Two upcoming meetings are planned to explore the Cultivate WV program.

First up, a virtual meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12 for those residents involved in the program in the Smithers and Montgomery area. They are urged to participate to examine securing grant funds for community betterment projects in the coming months.

According to Amanda Workman-Scott, the director of community engagement for the West Virginia Community Development Hub, Thursday's meeting was scheduled to be in-person, but rising cases of Covid-19 have dictated it occur virtually instead. "Our number one priority is that everyone stays as safe and healthy as possible," she said in an email.

To register free for the Nov. 12 Zoom meeting, join at The meeting ID is 942 1024 2351, with a passcode of 452902.

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The meetings are established to help create a sense of community and connection, organizers say. Join Hub community coaches Jenny Totten and Stacy Raffo as they share ideas to keep people engaged while in the online meeting scenario.

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A second interactive virtual meeting, for communities all across West Virginia from 6 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 17, can be accessed at

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To help promote Cultivate WV and the mini-grant program, a Halloween drive-through parade was held at the Smithers Gateway Center on Oct. 31.

"We gave out over 150 fully-stuffed treat bags amid lots of giggles and prizes," said Smithers Mayor Dr. D. Anne Cavalier. "We were blown away by the number of businesses and residents who donated so generously to make this a successful event.

"When you see these folks, thank them for caring: Brandi Jones Pritt with City National Bank, City of Smithers, Steve and Kimberly Giannini (Giannini Construction), Mike and Pam Edelman (Edelman Construction), John Lopez (former Smithers mayor), Lynette and Lesley Cavalier, Meg Whitt, John Marisco, Carl Kennedy DDS, Jack Bernardo DDS, Doug Divita (Burger Carte), Drs. Fred and D. Anne Cavalier, Grace Ann Nutter (Christian Family Bookstore), Patsy Tucker (Smithers city recorder), Beth Fish (Fish Insurance), Smithers Police Department, Smithers Fire Department, Kathy Frank (former city council member), Robert and Lisa Painter, sPAINTaculUR NAILS with Searra, Grants Supermarket (Ronny Martin), JanCare (Brandy McClellan), Morris Creek Watershed Association (Beach Vickers), Joel Acey (Bright Hope Lodge #9), Chuck Dickinson and several caring folks who dropped off candy for the treat bags, but who didn't leave their names."

Volunteers preparing ahead and/or on hand for the event included Smithers Recorder Patsy Tucker, Noel Mitchell (WVU Extension), Cheyiannea Watson, Haley Mitchell, Gordon Mitchell, Gordy Mitchell, Smithers council member Alma Bowles, Alex Giannini, Lucca Giannini, Austin Giannini, Marina Giannini, Kathy Frank, Smithers city employees Billy Moore and James Hudnall, Susie Ingram, Connie Higgins, Grace Ann Nutter, Brandy McClellan, Jenny Totten, Montgomery council member Les Thomas, Smithers council member Tommy Whittington, Kimberly Giannini, Frank Hill, Bobby Keglor, Teresa Dorsey, Sherry Foreman, Brian Whittington, Beth Fish, Amanda Workman-Scott, Aaron Murray, Fred Cavalier, Montgomery Mayor Greg Ingram, and Smithers Mayor D. Anne Cavalier.

Winners of four $50 prizes for the evening were:

• Shannon Simpson, Cultivate WV drawing;

• Brandy McClellan, best volunteer costume;

• Ally Roman, best car/drive costume; and

• Christopher Simpson, best costume.

There was also an Oct. 25 activity in Montgomery featuring hot dogs and a pumpkin carving contest

The Cultivate WV program from the West Virginia Community Development Hub will result locally in about $40,000 in funding which will be available for mini-grants for community members served by the UKV Strategic Initiatives Council.

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 can receive up to $2,000 for their project.

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