From the Wheeling News-Register: WHEELING (October 25, 2015) – Enthusiasm and dedication characterize the volunteer service of the members of the Circus Saints and Sinners Club, an organization that has been selected as a recipient of the 2015 Governor’s Service Award.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin honored the Ohio County community organization for its dedication to service at the Governor’s Service Awards luncheon earlier this month.
The event was a part of Faces of Leadership, the state’s annual conference on community service, program management and volunteerism.
Presented since 1995, the Governor’s Service Awards honors individuals, families and organizations that exemplify outstanding dedication to volunteerism and community service in West Virginia. The Circus Saints and Sinners Club received its award in the organization category.
Since 1929, members of Circus Saints and Sinners Club have been dedicated to volunteering their time and raising funds for charitable giving. Members believe it is a solemn responsibility to give back to the community. They identify community needs and take action to meet those needs. During 2014-15, they raised more than $50,000 for local causes including Wheeling Health Right and the Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling.
One of the club’s most impressive recent impacts has been with Special Olympics Ohio County, which didn’t start until 2014. The Ohio County group had no funds, few coaches and no uniforms to attend the state or regional games.
Director Pat Elliott presented their needs to Circus Saints and Sinners Club and their members stepped up to organize the chapter by providing marketing and fundraising. They donated $11,000 for the fledgling organization and facilitated another $6,000 in donations. Members volunteered as coaches and hosted parties and celebrations for their team members, often in their own homes.
“Ohio County Special Olympics could not have grown so fast or accomplished so much without Circus Saints and Sinners,” Elliott said. “If I ask them for anything, they come through. Their support and generosity has been truly overwhelming and has made us the envy of other counties.”
Ohio County Special Olympians have now won gold, silver and bronze medals at the local and state levels.