By Bobby Bordelon
One lucky, or unlucky, volunteer hoping to help raise money towards continuing visual improvements to downtown Ronceverte will be donating something important to the cause – their face.
One of the volunteer contestants will get hit in the face with a pie, although who it will be is still up in the air.
“The new nonprofit in town, Friends of Ronceverte, is having a ‘FUN’raiser – there are six contestants you can vote for [to get hit with a pie in the face],” said City Recorder Deena Pack.
“Do you know any of them?” joked Councilmember Leah Stills.
Jars have been placed in three locations, and online, each labeled for one of the six contestants, including Pack, Friends of Ronceverte founder Tanya Hazelwood, Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Deputy Bart Baker, Greenbrier County Commission President Lowell Rose, State Senator Stephen Baldwin, and Ronceverte Mayor David Smith. The contestant that has raised the most money in all of the locations by October 15 will be revealed and pie’d in a live event shortly after the funraiser ends.
“When our committee met and we came up with the idea, everybody was like ‘you’ve got to do it Tanya, I’ll pay money to see you [get pie’d].’ Yeah, there are probably a lot of people that want to see me pie’d,” explained Hazelwood. “I’m not allowed to know [who is in the lead] but I’m pretty sure Baker has taken the lead at this point. I know someone paid $250 to see me get pie’d. Because of that I was in the lead, but I think the little dollars are adding up and Bart’s in the lead.”
The six volunteers were easy to convince, Hazelwood explained, due to the work Friends of Ronceverte has already done to clean downtown and their future plans to do more.
“Our organization is so new that everything we’ve done so far has pretty much come out of our own pockets,” Hazelwood said. “We’re really needing some funds to go back to the beautification of Ronceverte, which entails clean up, trying to help residential people with their lawns, trying to get storefronts looking better. … The clean up stuff – it costs money to do that. We’re doing adopt a highway. DOH has given us supplies, but we need stuff to help clean up. Stuff like paint, flowers, trash bags. … We are really were in the red as far as funds go. This was our first opportunity to do a fundraiser and it’s going really well.”
Although the organization is new, Hazelwood has looked forward to completing some bigger projects for the city. Previously, she worked with the city and a committee on multiple new downtown murals, a beautifucation project that Friends of Ronceverte looks to build on.
“We have a lot of plans – we want to build a big landmark chair that says Ronceverte that people can sit in. We want to do some of those big letters that say love, something to get people down there to take pictures, some tourist-y things. … Some people will say they want to see these changes but we’ve got a group of do-ers.”
So far, Hazelwood estimates $1,000 has been raised between the candidates, although the exact amount is still uncertain. In order to donate and to vote for who gets the pie, visit the jars placed at City National Bank in the Ronceverte Kroger, Edgarton Cafe in downtown, and Factory Tire. In addition, a Pay Pal link can be found online on the Friends of Ronceverte Facebook page.
“I’m not gonna be donating to myself, I’m gonna be donating to all the others,” Smith said with a laugh. “Big thanks to the Friends of Ronceverte, their clean up projects, getting out and picking up trash and cleaning up Route 219, that was a big plus. The work they’ve done on the sidewalks, helping some folks with their trimming [ha s been good].”