Berkeley County Community Showcase promotes area businesses, nonprofits

November 03, 2012|By RICHARD F. BELISLE |
  • Tina Combs
Submitted photo

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Dave and Jan Henderson walk the halls of Martinsburg Mall about three times a week for exercise, and Saturday morning, they walked into the Martinsburg/Berkeley Chamber of Commerce’s fifth annual Berkeley County Community Showcase.

Spread across one wing of the mall was a mix of 50 exhibitors assembled by the chamber to promote area banks, nonprofits, home improvement companies, health care and education facilities, and civic groups.

“This is an opportunity for them to display their products and services to the community,” said Tina Combs, the chamber’s president and chief executive officer. “It’s part of the chamber’s mission.”

“This holiday season is a time for everyone to support local businesses whenever possible,” Combs said in prepared remarks. “After all, our local businesses provide jobs, support the local economy and are the ones we call when we need donations for our churches, sports programs, charities and schools.”

The Hendersons, of Martinsburg — Dave is 79 and Jan is 72 — said they stopped at some of the displays such as the one for the Habitat for Humanity table, where Dave learned he could volunteer for the agency’s ReStore operation.

They also inquired at the Blue Ridge Community and Technical College table.

“We’re looking for a place to send our grandson,” Dave said.

Kathryn Miller, photographer and retouch artist, runs Kadian Imageworks in her home studio outside Shepherdstown, W.Va. Her table displayed samples of her work on retouched photographs — some current, many old, cherished photos their owners want repaired and preserved.

Miller said she has worked on a wide range of photographs for the White House and clients including Calvin Klein, Nokia, Nintendo and Nordstrom.

Ryan Fansler, a 15-year-old Martinsburg High School sophomore, spent the day helping children to compete in the coloring contest. He was volunteering for his community service project, a graduation requirement.

Melissa Donham, a volunteer at the Habitat for Humanity table, was hoping to recruit volunteers to help the nonprofit finish building a home in Martinsburg for a family of three in time for Christmas.

“We have the windows, but we need someone to install them,” she said.

Seeking volunteers at the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program table was Marge Ruth. The agency recruits older residents to volunteer at the local library, hospital and other facilities.

A box on her table only contained the names of three potential volunteers by early afternoon.

“We’re trying to get people in Martinsburg involved,” Ruth said.

The list of exhibitors included the Berkeley County Arts Council, Brown Funeral Homes, CNB Bank, Costco Warehouse, Eastern Panhandle Home Builders, H&R Block, Heartland of Martinsburg, a Mary Kay beauty consultant, James Rumsey Technical Institute, L.R. Wilson Seamless Gutters of McConnellsburg, Pa., McElaney Chiropractic, Valley Health Urgent Care and Pink Flaming Jewelry Designs.

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