BIG STONE GAP — Mountain Empire Older Citizens (MEOC) has issued a call for help to support and participate in its annual walkathon to raise money for the organization’s Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly.
For the past 37 years residents of all ages of Lee, Wise and Scott counties and the city of Norton have gathered on the first Sunday afternoon in May for the annual walkathon, MEOC’s major fundraiser to assist older people needing help to stay warm during the winter months.
This year’s walkathon is scheduled for May 5 at Union High School in Big Stone Gap. MEOC’s Emergency Fuel Fund assists older people age 60 and over with emergency home heating situations. The fund is totally supported from donations, contributions and fundraising events and all proceeds go to help older citizens facing an emergency heating situation from October through the end of the following March each winter season. This past season the fund responded to 1,517 emergency situations. MEOC spent a record $222,466.18 helping older householders to remain warm, safe and secure in their own homes.
MEOC said it is not too late for organizations or businesses to become involved as a community sponsor. Organizations and businesses contributing $5,000 or more will have names and logos printed on official MEOC Walkathon T-shirts and be linked on MEOC’s website and Facebook, and can receive free advertising on MEOC buses. Walkers or sponsors of walkers are also encouraged to sign up.
The May 5 walkathon begins at 2 p.m. with a goal of raising $165,000. A celebration picnic follows the walkathon, and all who raise at least $100 from sponsors will be awarded a walkathon T-shirt.
To participate as a walker, contact MEOC to get a pledge form. All others who wish to support the cause can send a contribution to MEOC, P.O. Box 888, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219, and designate the contribution to the Emergency Fuel Fund. For information, to get involved or become a sponsor, call MEOC at (276) 523-4202 or 1-800-252-6362.