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Wendy’s owners donate $110K to nonprofits

From left, Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz, Wendpark co-owner Ray Blackburn, Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce, Marietta Mayor Josh Schlicher and Wendpark co-owner Kim Blackburn pose for a photo with a symbolic check for $110,000 in local charitable donations outside the Wendy’s at 1603 Seventh St., Parkersburg, Monday. The Blackburns donated $10,000 for each of the 11 Wendy’s locations they own in Wood, Pleasants, Wetzel, Washington and Meigs counties. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — The owners of local Wendy’s franchises on Monday donated $110,000 to a total of 27 organizations in the communities they serve.

Wendpark owners Kim and Ray Blackburn donated $10,000 for each of their 11 Wendy’s locations across Wood, Pleasants and Wetzel counties in West Virginia and Washington and Meigs counties in Ohio, where customers have continued to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were able to stay open,” Ray Blackburn said. “The community has done such a great job trusting us, our sales have not faltered.”

To determine where the money would go, the Blackburns said they sought input from store employees, as well as local officials.

“Certainly senior meals (were) so very important,” Kim Blackburn said.

The donations included $15,000 to the Wood County Senior Citizens Association, which delivers hundreds of meals a day to local seniors. Other priorities identified were activities for children, who have been out of school and often away from friends during the pandemic, and animals.

As a result, the Wood County Recreation Commission received $8,000 and the Humane Societies in Parkersburg and Pleasants County $5,000 and $2,500, respectively.

“We have a lot of animal lovers in our stores,” Kim Blackburn said.

The donations reflect Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas’ emphasis on giving back to the community, she said, along with providing help to organizations that assist the community in a time when they need it.

“The average person out there who would give normally may not be able to give right now,” Ray Blackburn said.

In addition, the pandemic has prevented Wendy’s from playing host to fundraising events like community nights and car washes, he said.

The Blackburns presented a symbolic $110,000 check Monday at their 1603 Seventh St., Parkersburg, location, with Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce, Marietta Mayor Josh Schlicher and Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz accepting on behalf of the communities.

Ray Blackburn said each mayor helped determine some of the recipients, including Joyce recommending the Wood County Recreation Commission, Schlicher suggesting EVE Inc. ($5,000) and Lorentz pointing to the Belpre Senior Center ($10,000).

Other organizations receiving contributions were Old Man Rivers Mission ($3,500), Children’s Home Society of West Virginia ($3,500), House to Home ($3,000), Catholic Charities of West Virginia ($2,500), Recovery Point ($2,500), YMCA of Parkersburg($2,500), Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department ($2,000), Pleasants County Senior Nutrition Inc. ($5,000), Boys and Girls Club of Pleasants County ($2,500), Wetzel County Commission on Aging ($5,000), Community Resources Inc. ($2,500), Relay for Life of Wetzel County ($2,500), The Right Path of Washington County ($10,000), YMCA Marietta ($2,500), Belpre Volunteer Fire Department ($2,000), Barlow Volunteer Fire Department ($1,500), Little Hocking Volunteer Fire Department ($1,500), Meigs Council on Aging ($4,000), Chester Volunteer Fire Department ($2,000), Middleport Volunteer Fire Department ($2,000) and Rutland Volunteer Fire Department ($2,000).

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