Gerri's Dream: Friends, family complete upgrade at MCFRN

Staff Writer
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Members of the Mineral County Family Resource Network board of directors and staff are pictured with the new sign for the MCFRN complex: (front, l-r) 
Andrew Root, Dayla Harvey, (left side) Gina Spriggs, April House, Patricia Barbarito, Patti Coleman and Chris Morgan; (center) Tom Denne and Patty Sites; (right) Sarah Burke, Wesley Stullenbarger, Barb Kesner and Eric Phillips. Not pictured: Autumn Beavers.

For the News Tribune

KEYSER - October 8, 2019, was the day Mineral County lost a strong champion; the day Mineral County Family Resource Network (MCFRN) lost their leader, Gerri Mason.

Losing such a strong presence does not go unnoticed and those that knew Gerri feel her loss daily. She did not want the community to go without, however, so she left behind a wish list that, once completed, would ensure that Mineral County would remain strong in her absence.

Gerri was a visionary, a planner and a list maker, so leaving behind a wish list was her final assurance that her vision became a reality.

These wishes included a complete remodel of the 251- 251 ½ West Piedmont Street properties that she obtained during her term as MCFRN director. She wanted a place that felt like a home away from home, that was welcoming to community residents, and that took the discomfort out of asking for help.  

In the last 365 days, the current MCFRN director and team have successfully completed each wish on Gerri’s list. The interior remodel is complete and now houses a family simulation center, appropriately named the Gerri Mason Family Center. This center will allow service providers to host supervised visits and teach as well as implement parenting curriculum in a safe home-like environment.

The property also hosts the Catamount Children’s Center, a local non-profit daycare, and Mineral County CASA, a non-profit that advocates for abused and neglected children within the county - a national program which Gerri spearheaded  in Mineral County.

Other wishes included a new outdoor sign identifying each agency on the property, the painting of the white house, where MCFRN is located, a storage shed to properly house program and event supplies, and a community storehouse for emergency purposes.

The completion of Gerri’s wish list was made possible from grieving donors all over the state of West Virginia, California and Italy, as well as hard-working individuals who donated their time and expertise.

The current board of directors and staff know that with her hopes as the compass for the MCFRN, the community is in great hands.