By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
FAIRMONT, W.Va. — There comes a point when it’s so cold outside that no amount of Under Armour, cold-weather gear and hot coffee can make a difference.
Tuesday was that cold. The high reached 27 degrees, but that was only boosted by the bright sunshine in a cloudless sky.
When Times West Virginian publisher Chuck Jessup climbed the rungs on the ladder that led to the newspaper’s roof, the temperature was still in single digits.
But it didn’t deter him.
Jessup stood on the roof of the newspaper office for six hours trying to encourage the community to meet the goal for the newspaper’s annual Gift of Love food drive.
“This wasn’t about calling attention to the Times West Virginian or myself,” Jessup said. “We wanted to call attention to the fact that there are people who are hungry, and 12 food pantries are helping them each and every day.”
After several hours on the roof, Jessup wondered how much longer he would be up there. He was scheduled to be on the roof until the goal of $13,000 was reached, or until 4 p.m.
“When I came down from the roof at 4 p.m., we were about $1,600 shy of our $13,000 goal with cash on hand,” he said. “But we’ll make that goal. There were several people who could not make it to the office for one reason or the other and contacted us with plans for coming later this week.”
The food drive will continue until the goal is met. Jessup said he believes in Marion County when it comes to helping others.
“I have faith this community will meet the goal we set, because there’s no other community like this one,” he said. “When there’s a need, there are people right there to meet it.”
Managing Editor Misty Poe said last year’s food drive allowed the Times West Virginian to purchase $13,000 worth of food.
“Last year, I was astounded at how much food $13,000 could buy,” Poe said. “This year, with purchasing food in bulk through Save-A-Lot, the money will go much further toward feeding the hungry within our own county…”