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Joanne Tomblin speaks to Symphony League

By Wayne Towner

Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Joanne Tomblin
West Virginia First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin speaks Saturday during the West Virginia Symphony League of Parkersburg brunch and style show at the Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna. Photo by Wayne Towner

VIENNA, W.Va. — West Virginia First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin spoke Saturday about the importance of supporting local programs and organizations to members of the West Virginia Symphony League of Parkersburg.

Tomblin was the guest speaker at the symphony league’s “Wild World of Fashion” brunch and style show Saturday at the Parkersburg Country Club, as was Randall Reid-Smith, the commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

Proceeds from the event, which drew nearly 100 people, help support the “Music in the Schools” program for Wood and Washington counties offered by the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra-Parkersburg and the Ohio Brass.

 Tomblin spoke about her recent cookbook project which she spent two years working on, collecting a variety of recipes from people throughout the state, including a number of West Virginia elected officials and their spouses. It is entitled “The First Lady’s Cookbook: Recipes of the Mountain State.”

“I love to cook and I come from a line of good cooks,” Tomblin said Saturday. “The governor and I are big gardeners and canners and I wanted to put together a cookbook that really talked about West Virginia traditional recipes.”

Proceeds from the cookbook are going to the Mountaineer Food Bank. Tomblin said it was released in February and she is pleased with the response it has received. The first print run is nearly gone, so a second print run is planned in the near future, she said.

Tomblin said she was pleased she could attend Saturday’s program and support the symphony league and its programs.

“Any organization that is so focused on their community is important … There’s a large crowd out here today and they are coming out to support this. It all starts at the grassroots level, people in your local communities have to get together and do things to make your community better and this is one of those types of events,” she said.

The style show featured clothing by Talbots and accessories by Mulberry Lane and music was provided by Dr. Bob and Melissa Herceg.

Becky Deem, with the WVSO-P, said the symphony league holds the brunch event every two years, along with other events throughout the year to support the symphony and the performances and programs it offers in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

“We’re the symphony’s second home and we have our own symphony board here in Parkersburg and our own symphony league,” Deem said of the WVSO, which is based primarily in Charleston.

The symphony league also has another event coming up in May, said WVSO-P member Kiki Angelos. The West Virginia Symphony League will present the International Cooking School Dinner and Wine with Doctors and Lawyers at 5:30 p.m. May 21 at the Parkersburg Country Club.

Angelos said a seven-course meal will be prepared and presented by three doctors, three lawyers and David McClure, President and CEO of Camden Clark Medical Center, with each preparing a single course in the meal from a variety of international cuisines.

The cost will be $75 per person and information is available by calling her at 304-615-5454, Angelos said.

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