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Marlowe Ruritan donates $1,000 van for seniors

July 20, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Marlowe Ruritan Club recently presented a check for $1,000 to Berkeley Senior Services. Board president Kevin Knowles and executive director Linda Holtzapple accepted the check from Ruritan members Billie McWillams and Leroy Harsh.

The funds are a contribution to the sixth annual Rockathon conducted by volunteers from Berkeley Senior Services, chaired by Rose Straley and Dorothy Lefevre, board members. The proceeds from the event are designated toward matching funds for the agency to purchase an additional van to transport seniors to and from medical appointments, including dialysis.

The state requires 20 percent of the purchase price of the vans be from local funds. The rockathon raised $5,000, about one-half of the amount needed to meet the required 20 percent match. This year's rockathon included a carwash organized by Ed Wilson. The St. Joseph's Catholic Church youth group volunteered to wash the cars.

The Berkeley County Commission provided matching funds to replace a van with high mileage; however, the additional van is needed to keep up with the need for transportation for senior citizens due to the increase in senior population in the county. Berkeley Senior Services provided more than 12,000 trips this past year. This number is expected to increase to more than 15,000 trips with the additional van, which increases the number of vans to six.

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Linda Holtzapple said that Berkeley Senior Services is the only nonprofit agency in Berkeley County that offers transportation to seniors in vans which are equipped with wheelchair lifts and offers door-to-door assistance. The agency also provides transportation and assistance with essential errands to seniors who are not mobile.

In other news, Berkeley Senior Services' board president Kevin Knowles and executive director Linda Holtzapple presented a certificate of appreciation to the Marlowe Ruritan for the use of the Ruritan facility for the North Site Senior Center.

Billie McWillams and Leroy Harsh accepted the certificate on behalf of the Ruritan members. Others in the group include Rose Straley and Dorothy Lefevre, Berkeley Senior Services board members.

A group of volunteers established the North Site in July 2006 under Berkeley Senior Services. Seniors and their guests meet monthly to enjoy an informational speaker, activities, blood pressure checks and lunch provided by Berkeley Senior Services' nutrition program.

The Marlowe Ruritan donates the use of its building to the North Site Center. Volunteers from the Ruritan, Bill Hull and Gene Detrow, help when needed. The group meets the second Tuesday of the month. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. All seniors aged 60 and older and their guests are invited to attend. A donation to Berkeley Seniors Services nutrition program is appreciated for lunch. To make reservations for lunch, call 304 263-8873.

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