Jeremy T.K. Farley — June 29, 2016

Wytheville, Va. – This past week, the State of West Virginia suffered historic flooding which left dozens dead, hundreds homeless and countless communities destroyed.

With such a great tragedy occurring so close to home, Wythe County officials reached out to the American Red Cross this week to find out how local citizens can lend a helping hand to our neighbors in the Mountain State.

Lee Clark, Chief Operating Officer of the Roanoke Red Cross stated that the best way local citizens could help would be by making a monetary donation to the American Red Cross, which can either be done online by clicking the donate button at www.RedCross.org (then selecting “West Virginia Floods”) or by calling the American Red Cross at 800-733-2767.

The Red Cross also has opportunities for donors to work one-on-one with a live person. This can be done by contacting Nikki Brown-Kasey (phone: 540-985-3541 / email: [email protected]).

In addition to requesting monetary donations for flood victims, the Red Cross also wishes to encourage residents of our region to consider becoming a volunteer. Volunteers may register by visiting www.RedCross.org and clicking “Become a Volunteer” underneath the “Volunteer” tab. Non-computer users who wish to become a volunteer may contact the American Red Cross for further direction: 800-733-2767.

“We have over 400 Red Cross volunteers and staff in West Virginia, and more will be needed as this will be a lengthy process to get people back on their feet,” said Clark.

According to Red Cross officials Wythe County has been in contact with, the needs of afflicted West Virginia communities will remain great for months to come, therefore, organizations wishing to take part in the relief effort need not worry about having too little time to properly fundraise.

As of yesterday, the American Red Cross was expecting to handle more than 6,000 individual cases in the Mountain State. One Red Cross representative told a Wythe County official, “The damage is staggering and the relief costs will likely exceed $5 million dollars.”

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WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – The Wythe County Department of Parks & Recreation has announced that the Rural Retreat Lake Park’s pool will operate on extended hours during the week of July 4th.

Though normally closed Monday through Wednesday, Kevin Williams, parks and recreation director, said that the county has decided to keep the pool open for campers and local residents throughout the entire week.

The pool will be open between noon and 6 p.m. Monday, July 4th through Saturday, July 9th, then resume normal hours the following day, Sunday July 10th (Sunday 1-6 p.m., Thursday – Saturday 12- 6 p.m.).

Williams said 2016 has offered prime pool weather for patrons of the park and that the campground is already booked for the weekend of July 4th.

Last year, the Virginia Tourism Corporation named the 74-campsite, county managed park to be one of “Virginia’s 13 Favorite Campgrounds for Summer.”

Offering a stocked trout pond, 95-acre fishing lake, 9-hole Frisbee golf course, junior-Olympic size swimming pool, as we as numerous birding and wildlife hiking trails, the lake park has grown into a regional destination, becoming part of the Independence Day traditions of hundreds of families.

Though the park is booked for the weekend of July 2-3, Williams said there are a few campsites remaining and available for the actual night of Monday, July 4th. Wythe County residents, military personnel and veterans, as well as senior citizens are eligible for a 10% discount upon request.

To make reservations, individuals may call (276) 686-4331.

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