July 11, 2013 – Meeting Roundup
This week’s speaker is Steve Catlett, director of the Martinsburg/Berkeley County Parks and Recreation Board, a position in which he has served for 20+ years. The Board has come a long way under his direction. War Memorial Park came under his supervision in 1986. Since then the Park has undergone pool and playground equipment upgrades, the addition of miniature golf and volleyball courts, and the replacement of the main pavilion.
There are now 15 parks throughout the county, where it used to be just a few scattered in Martinsburg. There is a BMX/Skateboard park as well as a soccer park. (Rotary was very generous in helping get that park developed). Perhaps the crowning achievement was the addition of Poor House Farm Park and its subsequent development into a wonderful place for hiking, fishing, etc. with a big barn that can be used for social functions.
There is one recreation center, Berkeley 2000, and another, the W. Randy Smith Recreation Center, to be opened soon. These provide year round places for gymnastics, basketball, indoor soccer, camps, and other uses. The gymnastics area is probably the finest in the four state area. Ambrose Park, which was underutilized, is being converted to a dog park so our furry friends can have a chance to run and play. They offer many summer programs such as soccer camps, volleyball camps, swimming lessons, water aerobics, basketball camps, golf at the Woods, and summer energy and explorer camps.
To find out more about what Steve and the Rec Board are doing, come to this week’s meeting.
Thirty percent (30%) of West Virginia boys and girls under age six live in poverty. That means that a family of three earns less than $20,000/year, or about $400/week. Research in brain development shows that social, emotional and cognitive development is shaped in early childhood and has a lifelong effect. Poor kids are 5 times more likely to have children outside marriage, twice as likely to be arrested, and nearly 3 times as likely to have severe health problems, than kids not living near the poverty line. Poor kids also end up earning incomes less than half those of their counterparts. Taking care of our most vulnerable children is not only the right thing to do; it is the best way to help our state’s health, welfare, and economy in the long run.
Stephen Smith, Executive Director of West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, told us a little about his organization and their mission. The organization originally started to help poor kids get health insurance (CHIPS) and did quite well. Now their emphasis is on children’s health. Almost 40% of West Virginia families are below the poverty level and can afford limited amounts of food. Most of that food is high calorie rather than nutritious.
There is a Mega Food Drive the entire month of August for United Way of the Eastern Panhandle. President Mike has put us in a friendly competition with the other area Rotary clubs to see who can get the most food. He says he has no intention of coming in less than first place. He will bring a list of foods that are acceptable this week. Bring food items in August so we don’t let Mike down.
Berniece Collis still can use a couple of volunteers for the 8-11 shift at the Berkeley County Youth Fair on August 10th.
Bill Bowen can also use a couple of volunteers for his committee for the Bob Elmer Sports Breakfast, which will be October 19th.
The Golf Tournament is set for August 26th at the Woods. There is a shotgun start at noon with a picnic at 5pm, which is open to all members. A Tee Sponsorship is $100, Prize Sponsorship is $250, and Special Event Sponsorship is $500. There will be a $10,000 Hole-in-One, a new car Hole-in-One, a $2,500 Putting Contest, and a $50,000 Shoot-Out. Send your checks to Rotary Club of Martinsburg, c/o Mike Hite, 124 N. Maple Ave., Martinsburg.
President Mike wants everyone to look at their information at DaCdb and upgrade it or add to it with a picture. Go to DaCdb.com, go to log in and follow the instructions. You need your email address and either your last name or Rotary Member Number.
The streak has been broken. PP Gail Moxley won 50/50 but failed to draw the Ten of Diamonds. She won’t be here to sell tickets next week, so she is getting someone to substitute for her. The pot grows as the deck shrinks to 51 cards.