Happy holidays

PRINCETON — Area children were given memorable Christmas memories and gifts at the annual Brothers of the Wheel Christmas Party.

“It’s a good feeling to serve our community, but if it wasn’t for people in the community we couldn’t do what we do,” Doc Vaughn, the National Vice President of Brothers of the Wheel, said.

For well over 20 years, members of Brothers of the Wheel have been providing the children of Mercer County with a Merry Christmas. Without the annual festive event, these children may not have received such a plethora of gifts.

The Chuck Mathena Center became a sea of children and large bags stuffed with gifts. These bags were labeled for the child they were to be given to as that child eagerly awaited their turn to collect their presents.

Driven solely by donations and volunteers, the party is dedicated to providing children with their most sought after goodies. From bicycles, baby dolls, food, and more, the children and their families are welcomed into the warm and inviting atmosphere that the Brothers of the Wheel provide.

Throughout the year the group hosts bake sales and collection events to raise funds for the annual Christmas party.

In collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), the Brothers of the Wheel are given the information for area children in need. From there the group collects donations and shop to provide these children with a magical Christmas.

“We took care of 219 children this year which is a little over a hundred families. We sent them home with food just like we did last year,” Sarge Robinette, the Vice President of the Brothers of the Wheel Mercer County Highlands Chapter.

All year long the members collect both monetary and gift donations from generous contributors. The men and women of the group work tirelessly to ensure that each boy and girl, ages from newborn to fifteen, have a positive experience.

“Seeing the kids smile makes our day. That makes it worth everything and the parents bringing their children down here to get their gift bags. That means more to us than anything,” Robinette said.

According to Vaughn, the group will accept donations at any point of the year. For convenience, the Mercer County Highlands Chapter has a permanent P.O. box where donors may send their contributions.

Those interested in donating to the effort may send donations to P.O. Box 373, Princeton, 24740, WV.

— Contact Emily D. Coppola at ecoppola@bdtonline.com

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