With Cookies and Cocoa success, Project HOP2E ready for more fun


TAYLOR COUNTY—Cookies and cocoa and Santa, oh my! Taylor County Project HOP2E’s most recent community event went splendidly, according to officials.

Following the annual Grafton Christmas Parade, residents of all ages were welcomed to Project HOP2E’s location in Greene’s Plaza, for an evening of festive fun filled with hot cocoa, cookies, coffee, spiced cider, music and dancing.

During their Cookies and Cocoa Community Christmas Event, area youths were treated to a visit with Santa, telling him what they would like this year, before receiving special presents from the Jolly Old Elf, along with a picture to take home.

The event was a collaborative effort between Project HOP2E; After Hours Custom DJ by Rick and Jo Burke; Matthew Fouty of the Froggy family of radio stations, which includes Froggy Country WGIE and WGYE and Hot 105.7 WHTI; local businesses; and individuals.

“We would like to thank everyone who made Cocoa and Cookies such a success! Without the help of community businesses and individuals, it would not have been possible,” voiced Rick Burke, of After Hours Custom DJ.

Organizers would like to take a moment to thank the following business and individuals for their contributions to the special evening of family fun:  Bartlett’s Funeral Home; Cricket Wireless; Donald G. Ford Funeral Home; Grafton Walmart; Leonard’s Grill; Mountain Statesman; Taylor County Sheriff Department; Charlotte Oliverio; Linda Edwards; Jason Jimmie; Normalee and John Burke; Bill and Judy Duckworth; Chad and family; Taylor County Project HOP2E; After Hours Custom DJ; and Froggy Radio.

“A special thanks goes out to Matt and Liz Fouty for Santa and Mrs. Claus,” Burke commented.

 And with one successful event in the books, After Hours DJ and Project HOP2E are gearing up for even more fun in December.

Grab your dancing shoes and head out to Project HOP2E’s location on Friday, December 17, for a Holiday Teen Dance from 6:30-8:30 p.m.. The event is open to youths in fifth-eight grades only.

For just $5, pre-teens and teens can dance the night away, to the cool sounds of After Hours. Concessions will be available for purchase.

“We really hope that the youths of the county will come out to help support Project HOP2E and their mission of feeding the hungry in Taylor County,” said Burke. “Their pantry has been hit hard and is at risk of having to shelter their doors, leaving community members in need without a pantry. All of the proceeds raised will be given to Project HOP2E.”

Then, on Saturday, December 18, the duo will be welcoming singers of all ages to try their hand at a singing battle at Jingle Jam Karaoke.

The event is sure to be one you won’t want to miss, as competitors belt out some of their favorite karaoke tunes in hopes of claiming prizes.

“During the evening, there will be a 50/50 raffle, with 50 percent of the proceeds going to the first-place singer and the remaining funds being donated to Project HOP2E,” Burke shared.

The second and third-place winners will also take home gift cards for their melodic efforts.

“We will once again have concessions available for purchase,” Burke voiced. “This is an event you don’t want to miss!”

The cost to participate is $10 per contestant and the fun is set to begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Greene’s Plaza location.

Feeding the hungry of the community is the main goal of Project HOP2E’s food pantry, and due to a growing need in the community in the wake of the virus, the organization’s outreach has been hit harder than ever.

“We know the importance of a good meal on the table. Without donations from our community, we could not do what we do, so we are always grateful to accept them,” Taylor County Project HOP2E’s President and Director Mike Manypenny expressed.

Monetary donations in the form of a check made out to Taylor County Project HOP2E can be sent to 233 Dogwood Lane Grafton, WV 26354. Those wishing to donate items may contact Manypenny directly at 304-677-0379 to make arrangements.

To learn more about Taylor County Project HOP2E or how to become a volunteer for the organization, please email [email protected].

© 2022-Mountain Statesman

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