By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Thanks to the generosity of businesses and individuals in the area, Warm the Children has not only met its goal for 2012, but once again will have some "carryover" money to start the 2013 campaign.
After announcing in October that this would be the second highest goal in the history of Warm the Children in Mineral County, the campaign was able to raise the $46,800 needed to provide warm winter clothing for all 633 children on the list.
Warm the Children, started by Mack Stewart, a retired newspaperman from Delaware, Warm the Children has spread throughout the eastern section of the United States and is usually affiliated with a community newspaper.
It was brought to MIneral County 18 years ago, with Judy Tetrick Layman, one of the owners of the News Tribune, taking the lead in establishing, administrating and keeping the books for the program. Over the subsequent years, a community chairperson - currently Kelli Wittman - has administered the program with the News Tribune and the Mineral County Family Resource Network serving as dual sponsors.
Since its introduction in Mineral County, Warm the Children has been able to help 7,277 children and raised a total of $580,000.
This week, Wittman expressed her appreciation to all those businesses, organizations and individuals who have supported the program this year and throughout all the years.
"The amount of support Warm the Children receives year after year from our community is truly heartwarming," she said. " We are very fortunate to have so many individuals and organizations that want to help their neighbors, especially the littlest ones.
"I am quite proud not only to be part of Warm the Children, but also to be part of such a caring community."
Part of the support for Warm the Children comes from fund raisers, from the smallest raffles to the largest of events - the annual crab feast sponsored by the Warlock Motorcycle Club .
Winner of the $100 Wal-mart gift card given away this year was Katie Galbraith and winners of the holiday basket raffles were Roberta Abernathy, Rachel Muncy and Mary Ann Shoemaker.
Donations are still being accepted for Warm the Children, and are in fact accepted all year around.