A generous donor has secured the naming rights for the House of the Carpenter’s new youth center on Wheeling Island. It will be named the Toni and Nancy Bedway Center for Youth.
Marianna Bedway and family members made the announcement at noon today, Monday, Dec. 16.
According to Marianna Bedway, both of her parents were artistic and intrigued with arts programs. The Bedway family is happy that the House of the Carpenter is willing to expand art programming and all youth programming at the new youth center. She added that both of her parents were very giving and always interested in the youth of the Ohio Valley.
“On behalf of the board of directors, our staff, our volunteers, and most of all, our neighbors who come for assistance, we thank the Bedway family for their generosity in helping to make our vision a reality,” said Executive Director Mike Linger.
“We are so grateful to the Bedway family and all of our donors for helping us build a safe place for youth growth and development. The Toni and Nancy Bedway Center for Youth, that is rising next door, will enable the House of the Carpenter to offer life-changing events for children, youth and families for many years to come, and we are so grateful.”
Two million dollars has been raised for the project, and construction is progressing on the 8,500-square-foot center, with the hopes of a June 2020 opening.
House of the Carpenter’s growth over the past decade has left the agency in need of more space. The agency serves 1,400 families, children and teens every week. The new youth center will provide a safe location for area children to come and have fun as well as give the agency the space needed to expand youth programs.
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Existing programs that will be expanded in the near future include the literacy program with Madison Elementary School as well as the literacy camp; art programs and music programs; and Pathways to Success for middle school students seeking apprenticeships in the trades, enrolling in college or seeking civil service careers.
The House of the Carpenter was opened in 1964 in cooperation with the West Virginia Conference of the Methodist Church as a mission project with the purpose of addressing the growing needs of individuals and families, resulting from the decline in the coal and steel industries in the region. The House of the Carpenter serves people throughout the Upper Ohio Valley on both sides of the Ohio River.
It began in an old Victorian home on Wheeling Island, where a clothing center, food pantry and utility assistance were provided to needy Wheeling Island families for 30 years.
In 2000, a new building was constructed, and the House of the Carpenter moved farther south on Wheeling Island to 200 South Front St., where it continues to operate today.
The House of the Carpenter provides a variety of enrichment programs for children and youth throughout the year such as after school programs, enrichment, and summer internships programs.