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5K to raise money for Mountain Laurel Cancer Center

The 2022 Leigh Ann Bolinskey Memorial 5K Run/Walk will be on Saturday, Oct. 15, in Big Stone Gap. Mountain Empire Older Citizens hosts the event to raise money for the agency’s Mountain Laurel Cancer Support and Resource Center. Bolinskey was the center’s director from 2004 until 2014 when she died of leiomyosarcoma, a rare cancer. The 5K will begin at the Big Stone Gap Visitor Center and follow the Greenbelt Trail. Registration will open at 8 a.m. The race will start at 9 a.m.

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Golf tournament benefits Mountain Laurel Center

The 11th Annual Harold Lester Memorial Golf Tournament raised $12,500 to assist local cancer patients and their families. Nineteen teams participated in the June 17 tournament. The event, held at Lonesome Pine Country Club in Big Stone Gap, benefits the Harold Lester Memorial Fund of the Mountain Laurel Cancer Support and Resource Center. The center is operated by Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc., the local Area Agency on Aging serving Lee, Scott, and Wise counties and the City of Norton.

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Harold Lester Memorial Golf Tournament Is June 17

Proceeds from a June 17 golf tournament in Big Stone Gap will provide direct help to local cancer patients throughout the community. The 11th Annual Harold Lester Memorial Golf Tournament will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Lonesome Pine Country Club. Registration opens at 8 a.m. The event supports the Harold Lester Memorial Fund of MEOC’s Mountain Laurel Cancer Support and Resource Center.

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Walkathon total: $123,800 and growing

The 46th Annual Mountain Empire Older Citizens Walkathon has brought in more than $123,800 so far, and every cent will help heat an older adult’s home in our area this coming winter. Held Sunday, May 15, on Big Stone Gap’s Greenbelt Trail under beautiful blue skies and great weather, the event was a fundraiser for MEOC’s Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly.

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Mountain Empire Transit offers fare-free service

Mountain Empire Transit is pleased to announce fare-free service to all riders in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton. MET will provide free transportation for at least the next four years with a commitment from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and Mountain Empire Older Citizens Board of Directors. “The last few years have been difficult for all of us. MEOC and DRPT recognize this, and we are working hard to help our local communities,” said MET Director Mitch Elliott. “With the cost of everything increasing, especially fuel, it is now more important than […]

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Walkathon is a longtime tradition for Taylor

Seventy-four-year-old Barbara Taylor began raising money for the Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly about 20 years ago. Back then, she was a personal care aide for Mountain Empire Older Citizens, the area agency on aging that has operated the fuel fund since 1975. Relying entirely on donations, with no money ever used for administrative costs, the fuel fund helps older adults in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton with emergency heating expenses.

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‘It helped me so much’

Living on a fixed income, 96-year-old Magdalene Stipe says increased heating costs in the winter months means she may have to do without something else she needs. So she was appreciative when her MEOC personal care aide told her about the Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly. “I was so thankful she told me about it,” said Stipe.

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MET driver is top operator at state ‘roadeo’

Mountain Empire Transit veteran driver Jon Lovell brought home the top award from the 2022 Community Transportation Association of Virginia’s Paratransit Roadeo, and MET’s four-member team earned the overall highest score in the competition. MET driver Jeff Whisman placed third in the best driver competition, giving MEOC two of the three top awards, and all MET team members earned the highest score in at least one category. The event was held on Saturday, April 2, at Salem Civic Center and tested competitors on various skills, focusing on safety and passenger sensitivity.

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New freezer trucks to improve meal delivery to region’s elderly

Mountain Empire Older Citizens has added two new freezer trucks to its vehicle fleet that will allow the agency to be more efficient in meal delivery to the region’s elderly. Purchase of the trucks follows a year during which the agency served a record number of people through its home-delivered meals program due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (VDARS) provided funding for the specialized vehicles.

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