Tag Archives: Community

Event Preview: Tuxes and Tails

Written by Dawn Nolan
Over the past year, The Kanawha Charleston Humane Association has made several significant improvements to its policies and practices, which have resulted in an increase of lives saved. In order to continue these positive changes, the shelter has announced its first annual fundraising gala, Tuxes & Tails. The event will be held on Sunday, April 27 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Clay Center for Arts and Sciences. “In the past, the event [formerly known as the Fur Ball] took place at Coonskin Park and was more informal,” describes event planner Belle Manjong. “The gala will be more of a upscale affair.”
The organization hopes to use Tuxes & Tails as a way to raise awareness as well as necessary funds. “Our expectations are two-fold,” explains Manjong. “The event will be used to highlight what the Humane Association does as well as the accomplishments that have taken place over the last year. It will also serve as a way to thank supporters.”  A special yet-to-be announced honoree will be recognized during the festivities. “This will be a personal thank you to an individual that has gone above and beyond,” adds Manjong. Another secret that will be unveiled during the gala is the name of the event’s signature drink, which was chosen by the winner of a silent auction sponsored by Mission Savvy Café and Juice Bar earlier this month.
During the gala, guests will also enjoy live entertainment by The Production Company and a gourmet buffet catered

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Calling all foodies! – 101 Unique Places to Dine Nominations

Calling all foodies! The West Virginia Division of Tourism is seeking your recommendations of local, exceptional eateries for the next edition of 101 Unique Places to Dine. Nominations are being accepted through April 30. “The first edition was done in 2010, and we received over 500 nominations,” recalls Jane Bostic, Marketing Specialist at the WV Division of Tourism. “We expect a lot more this time since the brochure has gained popularity, and we have engaged social media to get the word out.”
At the end of the submission period, nominations will be reviewed and tallied. “Selections are based on popular vote,” explains Bostic. “The top 101 [eateries] with the most votes will be chosen for the brochure as long as they meet all of the specific guidelines.” Selected establishments must be located within the West Virginia and not be a part of a national chain. Additionally, nominations must be filled out in full and submitted online on the Division of Tourism website. To submit your choice, visit http://www.wvcommerce.org/travel/thingstodo/wvdining/101-places/vote.aspx.

Try some of these distinct dining establishments from the 101 Unique Places to Dine 2012:

Cathedral Café – 134 S. Court St., Fayetteville – “This beautiful old church has been transformed into a great café. Every dish is served fresh and hot. The berry pancakes are so huge they spill over the plate!”
Custard Stand – Webster Springs, Elkins, Oak Hill and Danville – “Home of the famous chili dog. Full menu and 50-plus yummy flavors of soft serve. Open year round.”
Fat Patty’s – 1935 3rd

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Stay Local: Mavis Manor – Bed & Breakfast

Originally built in 1897 by Dr. Lonnie Lilly as a hospital for overnight patients, Mavis Manor has since become a country retreat for travelers of all types. The Marchese family purchased the estate in 2005 and made it into a bed and breakfast focused on “farm to fork localness”. “We’re currently transitioning into a full farm-stay,” says the Manor’s General Manager, Sir Justyn J. Marchese.

The historic house sits on 33 acres of land, which is comprised of a permaculture fruit forest, trees and berry bushes. “The plants that we grow are for consumption on the property,” explains Marchese. A seven acre hayfield, pond and soon-to-be added honey bee hives round out the rest of the farm’s features. Mavis Manor also has a few animal inhabitants. “We mostly focus on chickens,” says Marchese. “However, we also have a pig [Sylvia Smackers] and lease out part of the property to a farmer for his cows.”
Visitors can stay overnight in one of Mavis Manor’s three guestrooms, which range from $99 – $199. Each are specifically designed with a certain type of person in mind.  For instance, the Buchanan Suite includes a queen-sized poster bed, fireplace and turret writing nook. “It’s used mainly for couples – it’s a little more girly and fluffy,” describes Marchese. Families or a small group can stay comfortably in The Oaks. “It has two queen sized beds and two single beds, it’s sort of a room within a room,” adds Marchese. While single or business travelers simply looking for

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Shop Local: Mission Savvy Vegan Café & Juice Bar

For Jennifer Miller, a longtime vegan and former animal rescue worker, passion has always been the basis of her business. She opened Mission Savvy, an eco-friendly, sustainable clothing boutique in downtown Charleston in 2010 as a way to provide ethical fashion to local buyers. However, Miller’s business model changed from fashion to food after she realized the popularity of the grab-and-go snacks she stored in the boutique’s fridge. “It was just flying off the shelves,” she remembers. “So, I decided to take the risk in assuming that it was a good idea to completely transition to food. I did that about a year and a half ago.”
Before taking the leap, though, Miller decided to test out the market with a food truck. It’s fun,” she describes. “We go out to fairs and festivals. The menu is what I like to call ‘transition food’ – veggie dogs, veggie burger, curry – all organic, though. We’ve been doing it for about three years.”
Now known as Mission Savvy Vegan Café and Juice Bar, Miller and her team is still fulfilling a need in the community. More and more people are becoming ‘veg-friendly’,” she says. Whether her customers are visiting because of health or moral reasons, Miller doesn’t mind either way. “To each their own,” she says. “I’m just providing an option where no animals are hurt in the business process. Also, there are a lot of stereotypes surrounding vegans. I want to show people that the food is really good and you feel

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Family Martial Arts – Gracie Bullyproof program

Statistics show that approximately 3 million children miss school on a monthly basis due to the fear of being bullied. Because of this, the well-known Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy® developed the Gracie Bullyproof program.  “It empowers children and shows them how to deal with bullying without being violent,” explains Jason Wilcox, owner of Family Martial Arts in Beckley. “The program teaches verbal assertiveness and non-violent self-defense techniques in order for children to stay safe.”
Wilcox was introduced to the Bullyproof program while earning his certification in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. His studio, located in the Crossroads Mall, will begin offering the full program in later this month.  “Classes will be held twice a week. There will be sessions for ‘Little Champions’ – children ages 4 through 8 – and ‘Junior Champions’ – children 9 through 15,” he describes. “It’s a very practical program, and it’s fast. Students could be able to defend themselves in a matter of weeks.”
The Gracie Bullyproof program varies from traditional jiu-jitsu in several key areas. Most significantly, the techniques are presented in the form of games and the “push” rather than “pull” teaching method is used. “If a child makes a mistake, we don’t focus on the error,” says Wilcox. “Instead, we praise them for what they did right.” Wilcox believes that due to this difference, students will stick to the program longer. “It’s not as rigid or strict,” he adds.
Verbal assertiveness training is a core part of the Bullyproof curriculum. This aspect instructs students how to utilize direct eye

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Eat Local – Mario’s Pizza

Charleston has its fair share of pizza places – both locally owned and national franchises – so it takes a loyal customer base for a restaurant of this type to survive, and after decades of ups and downs, it seems that Mario’s Pizza has finally hit its stride.
The credit can be attributed to restaurateur Jeff Burger who now co-owns the business with his father. The two reopened Mario’s Bigley Avenue location in July 2011 and expanded into Belle in July 2013. Unfortunately, like most businesses in the Charleston-area, Mario’s was affected by the recent chemical spill. However, customers can rest easy knowing that the pizza joint is still using bottled water and bagged ice. “If we won’t use the water ourselves, we aren’t going to give it to our customers,” says Burger.
Customers can recognize the pizza joint by its unique logo. “It’s a caricature of me,” describes Burger. “My childhood best friend, Trace Corely, who owns Gnarleston, designed it. We wanted something that would stand out.”
Food-wise, Mario’s menu is pretty standard in its offerings. It features pizzas ranging in size from mini to 16 inches, salads, subs, wings, breadsticks and calzones. Although, it is the attention to detail and quality that makes the shop’s selections stand above the rest. “We take pride in what we do and don’t use the cheapest ingredients we can. We go with what we like, even if it might be more expensive, and find that tastes better,” explains Burger. “All of our food gets

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Eat Local – Mario’s Pizza

Charleston has its fair share of pizza places – both locally owned and national franchises – so it takes a loyal customer base for a restaurant of this type to survive, and after decades of ups and downs, it seems that Mario’s Pizza has finally hit its stride.
The credit can be attributed to restaurateur Jeff Burger who now co-owns the business with his father. The two reopened Mario’s Bigley Avenue location in July 2011 and expanded into Belle in July 2013. Unfortunately, like most businesses in the Charleston-area, Mario’s was affected by the recent chemical spill. However, customers can rest easy knowing that the pizza joint is still using bottled water and bagged ice. “If we won’t use the water ourselves, we aren’t going to give it to our customers,” says Burger.
Customers can recognize the pizza joint by its unique logo. “It’s a caricature of me,” describes Burger. “My childhood best friend, Trace Corely, who owns Gnarleston, designed it. We wanted something that would stand out.”
Food-wise, Mario’s menu is pretty standard in its offerings. It features pizzas ranging in size from mini to 16 inches, salads, subs, wings, breadsticks and calzones. Although, it is the attention to detail and quality that makes the shop’s selections stand above the rest. “We take pride in what we do and don’t use the cheapest ingredients we can. We go with what we like, even if it might be more expensive, and find that tastes better,” explains Burger. “All of our food gets

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Event Preview: VFW Honor Guard Run

Runners are invited to race where the cars do during the inaugural VFW Honor Guard Run at Summit Point Motorsports Park on March 8, 2014. A 2.5, 5 and 10K are scheduled. “The 2.5 is more of a ‘fun run’,” describes Byron Royal, VFW Post 3522’s Junior Vice Commander and the Run’s organizer. “Those doing the 5 and 10K will actually begin at the same time. Because of this, there will be a mix of speeds and more people at the starting line. It’s a cool concept.”
Royal, a runner himself, believes that holding the event at Summit Point will not only draw seasoned racers, but amateurs as well. “Since it’s on a closed course, there isn’t law enforcement closing off intersections or a time constraint,” he says. “If people want to walk the whole time, they can. It’s less intimidating.”
Participants for each run will be divided into six age categories. Awards will be distributed to the top finishers in the 5 and 10K races. Children under the age of 12 will also receive a prize for completing the course.

Local businesses are volunteering their time and resources for the Run. Refreshments will be available at the finish line from the Ranson Chick-fil-A, and Reedy Creek Radio will have a hospitality tent on-site. Boy Scout troops will be manning the aid stations and water stops, and Scout Leaders will assist as race marshals. “We’re very active with the Scouts so it was a natural fit for them to be involved,” explains Royal.

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VIDEO: Reports around the World of the Charleston Chemical Leak

Below the map you see a video compilation of News clips from around the globe covering the Charleston Chemical Leak story as it develops.
Photo below shows a map of Charleston, WV with the WV American Water Company and Freedom Industries highlighted for a visual on the Chemical Leak.

Video Timeline of events below:
2:10 – Official: ‘Can’t Say WVa Water Is Safe’
At least 100,000 homes and businesses around West Virginia’s capital have been told not to use the water, after a chemical spill in the Elk River. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has declared a state of emergency. (1/10/14)
A state of emergency has been declared in West Virginia, US, after a chemical leak into a river.
2:43 – A word from the president of Freedom Industries
4:12 – UPDATE: Up to 300,000 people in West Virginia have spent a second night without tap water after a chemical spill into the Elk River.
8:30 – Senator Manchin Appeared On CNN’s The Lead to Provide Chemical Spill Updates
8:50 – Mayor Danny Jones explains the problems in West Virginia following a chemical spill that contaminated the water supply.
9:34 – Numerous people have reported symptoms of illness, as officials issue warning on tap water.
UPDATE: (Saturday evening, 1/11/14) – Estimated 7,500 gallons of the chemical leaked into the Elk River. – http://www.governor.wv.gov
Credits: CNN, Good Morning America, Euro News, 7 News, CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, RT, AP, Wchstv.com

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Antiques Roadshow comes to Charleston, WV

We’re excited to hear the Antiques Roadshow will be making a stop through the mountain State, right here in Charleston, West Virginia.
The PBS series features local antique owners who bring in items to be appraised by experts where they discuss and learn the provenance, history, and value of their items.

Betty Krulik and the owner of the Gifford painting are thrilled by the discovery and was able to recognize this hidden gem as a Gifford based on its style, here depicting an Italian landscape.

Antiques Roadshow has been nominated 11 times for a Primetime Emmy and it’s PBS’s highest-rated series, seen by almost 10 million viewers each week.
The live event is scheduled for August 16th at the Charleston Civic Center, you can check out West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s website for more details and volunteer information in the coming months. http://wvpublic.org
For additional information, go to the Antiques Roadshow website or call the Antiques Roadshow toll free number (1-888-762-3749).

To get tickets to the live event, click here.
For FAQ’s about the show and event, click here.

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