A pair of upcoming local events in the Upper Kanawha Valley will serve a two-fold purpose.
An Oct. 25 activity in Montgomery featuring hot dogs and a pumpkin carving contest, followed by a Halloween drive-through parade in Smithers on Oct. 31, will offer fun for the community, as well as help the public learn more about upcoming mini-grant opportunities via the Cultivate WV program from the West Virginia Community Development Hub. At both of the events, information will be presented about $40,000 in funding which will be available for mini-grants for community members served by the UKV Strategic Initiatives Council in Montgomery and Smithers.
The Montgomery event will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25, according to Mayor Greg Ingram.
The park board trailer will be set up at the community center at 612 3rd Avenue, and hot dogs paid for by donors will be given away. Visitors will fill out a registration card, which will have space for their name, contact information and their ideas. Individuals can take the card and give it to the person at the hot dog stand to get their food. Anyone who lists contact information on their card will have their name placed in a door prize bucket from which names will be drawn every 15 minutes. There will be five winners.
For the Montgomery pumpkin decorating contest, people are asked to bring their own decorated pumpkin to be judged. The best three entries will be given a prize, which will come from local businesses.
Among the businesses which have contributed so far are Kennedy Dental, City National Bank, Bernardo Dental, United Bank and Dairy Queen.
Those wishing to make donations can contact or stop by city hall.
The drive-through Halloween parade will be on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Smithers Gateway Center parking lot.
City National Bank, Edelman Construction, the City of Smithers, Fish Insurance and the Christian Family Book Shoppe are among those providing cash and/or goodies/sealed candy for treat bags. The treat bags will include sealed candy, pencils, pens, chip clips and mini flashlights. Trick-or-treaters will receive a goody bag which will be served out of a basket or decorated box and in no-contact fashion.
Currently, the plan calls for 150 treat bags to be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Contests that night will include best decorated car, best costume in a car, and best costume on a volunteer.
The timing of the Smithers event will allow those already in costume to go trick-or-treating afterwards in local communities which are allowing it.
The UKV SIC is a combination of leadership from Montgomery and Smithers, and those community members or organizations that successfully apply for the mini-grants (with the award decision made by WV Hub and Cultivate WV representatives) can receive up to $2,000 for their project.
Cultivate WV builds a community's ability to engage and mobilize its residents, promote community projects and events, develop the town's infrastructure, grow a town's entrepreneurs and small businesses, and secures funding for small- and large-scale community improvement projects.
A kickoff meeting for the mini-grant program locally was held on Oct. 8 in Smithers. "Have an idea or dream for community betterment?," asks Smithers Mayor Dr. Anne Cavalier. "Here's your chance to make it happen."
Anyone wishing to donate or volunteer to work the upcoming events is urged to call their respective city halls.
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