BY KAYCIE STUSHEK, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT NETWORK COORDINATOR, THE HUB
There are exciting things happening in Hinton! The community recently came together to talk business, growth, development, successes, and collaborations at a celebration hosted by the Hinton Full Steam Ahead team, a community-led initiative started by the a group working under The Hub’s HubCAP (Communities of Achievement) program.
Many movers and shakers around the area came and shared the initiatives they and their organizations have been working on, and ideas they have for next steps.
Among the projects shared were:
- The county’s regional partnership for focusing improvements to the Pipestem Resort State Park area,
- The city’s work towards providing an amphitheater for local events,
- A collaboration between Second Saturdays and the Festival of Rivers,
- The completion of a mural project in town,
- The many initiatives of Kiwanis, Railroad Days, and others.
One achievement that was quite exciting was shared by the Friends of the Summers County Public Library. Their existing Bookmobile “Bertha” is on its last leg, so the group has been fundraising for the past few years for a new one.
The Bookmobile is one of their most popular, loved, and utilized programs and they serve thousands of patrons each year. In addition to all three Summers County Elementary schools, they take it to far-flung areas of the county delivering books and smiles. The group needed to raise $60,000 of the $135,000 goal within seven months for the new Bookmobile to become a reality.
The community really came together, and they were able to raise all $60,000 in only three months!
Library Director Austin Persinger shared the good news at the event:
“We are humbled and honored by the outpouring of support our community has shown, grateful for the time and effort our volunteers have devoted to this project.”
Look for the new Bookmobile later this Spring!
Summers County has also been leading the state in the growth of businesses, and have two new ones opening in downtown Hinton whose owners were at the event to celebrate!
R&R Galleria, owned by Curt Messer and Amanda Baker, is a craftsman-style gallery located in downtown Hinton, featuring all West Virginia sourced materials. What sets them apart is their down-home makerspace features, including a working photography booth and soundproof room for recording, available to fellow creatives to utilize. A beautiful piano welcomes you when you arrive, ready for anyone who comes in to serenade their fellow shoppers.
Boho, opening on March 9th in downtown Hinton, is a shop dedicated to the bohemian values of a free-spirited and artistic lifestyle. Items for purchase include new and vintage home decor and personal goods including locally and regionally made art, handmade soaps, jewelry, women’s clothing, furniture, and Fiesta dishes. An on-site stained glass studio offers classes as well as an opportunity for visitors to watch the process in action. Kristal Straub is the shop’s proprietor and Carl Thompson is the stained glass instructor. They are a husband and wife team who see Boho as an opportunity to plug into their hometown and further develop their creativity while serving as catalysts for others to “live life out loud”.
At this community celebration, one thing everyone agreed on was that Summers County is an exciting place to be right now, and they are all on board to create even more opportunities to collaborate and support each other, and celebrate their beautiful community. I’ll be visiting again soon, and I hope you will too!