News/Events

45th Walkathon boosts Emergency Fuel Fund

The 45th Annual Mountain Empire Older Citizens Walkathon so far has raised $116,650 to help heat the homes of local older adults in need this coming winter. Held Sunday, Aug. 29, on Big Stone Gap’s Greenbelt Trail, the event was a fundraiser for MEOC’s Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly. That fund assists older people in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton with heating emergencies during winter months. Those who are at least age 60 whose income is at or below 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines are eligible for assistance.

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86-year-old is steadfast Emergency Fuel Fund supporter

BIG STONE GAP – Eighty-six-year-old Laura Jessee’s donations arrive faithfully at Mountain Empire Older Citizens each month, always accompanied by a handwritten letter with her signature. The mailed contributions are to the Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly. That program, funded entirely by donations, helps older adults in MEOC’s three-county service area in emergency heating situations. In her letters, Ms. Jessee never fails to mention her continued prayers for those in need.

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Grant will provide liquid nutrition to area cancer patients

A $500 hunger and poverty grant from the United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network will provide liquid nutrition to about 20 cancer patients served by Mountain Laurel Cancer Support and Resource Center. Center Coordinator Dianne Morris was recently notified of the award by UMAMN Executive Coordinator Angela Kirtdall. “This grant will help support the special nutritional needs of cancer patients who are awaiting or receiving treatment. We are so thankful to receive the award,” Morris noted.

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Organizers excited for in-person Walkathon

Mountain Empire Older Citizens’ 45th Annual Walkathon, which raises money for the agency’s Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly, is set for Sunday, Aug. 29, at 2 p.m. at Big Stone Gap. Registration will begin at 1 p.m. The 5K walk will start at 2 p.m. at Bullitt Park and proceed along the Greenbelt Trail. A hamburger picnic for participants will follow the event. The fundraising goal is $165,000, and the community’s support is needed to reach it.

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Golf tournament raises money for cancer resource programs

Fifteen teams participated in the 10th Annual Harold Lester Memorial Golf Tournament on June 18, raising more than $12,000 to assist local cancer patients and their families. 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. MLCC 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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METGo! launches June 28

Mountain Empire Transit (MET) will launch a new on-demand transportation service in and around the Town of Wise and City of Norton on Monday, June 28. METGo! will be part of the first microtransit services in Virginia. Mountain Empire Transit is one of two public transit systems chosen by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) for the 18-month pilot project; Bay Transit in eastern Virginia is the other system. The project will explore how microtransit technology can improve service efficiency and rider experiences in rural areas.

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Cancer survivors share their stories

The 34th annual National Cancer Survivors Day® is Sunday, June 6, 2021. “It’s a day for everyone to join in solidarity with cancer survivors around the world, to raise awareness of the ongoing challenges cancer survivors face because of their disease, and – most importantly – to celebrate life,” according to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation. In honor of this day, two MEOC employees are graciously sharing, in their own words, their poignant stories of cancer survivorship.

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Four congregate sites to open in June

Some MEOC Senior Community Sites will open with restrictions on June 7 after being closed for more than a year because of the pandemic. One site each in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton will open once a week during June. Locations will include: Wise County – Trinity United Methodist Church, 203 E 1st St S, Big Stone Gap. Lee County – Pennington Gap First United Methodist Church, 41880 E Morgan Ave, Pennington Gap. Scott County – Hiltons Memorial United Methodist Church, 2869 Hilton Rd, Gate City. City of Norton – Norton Community Center, 201 Park Avenue […]

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Program helps cover medication costs for all ages

Ninety-one-year-old Anna Duncan is uncertain how she would pay for some of her needed medications without assistance from Pharmacy Connect of Southwest Virginia. The free program saves her about $1,500 monthly in prescription medication costs, she said. Duncan, a Lee County resident, is among thousands of individuals who receive free or low-cost prescriptions through Pharmacy Connect each year. The program serves the uninsured and under-insured of all ages in the counties of Lee, Wise, Scott, Dickenson, Buchanan, Tazewell and Russell and the City of Norton.

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Annual golf tournament is June 18

The 10th Annual Harold Lester Memorial Golf Tournament is set for Friday, June 18, at Lonesome Pine Country Club, Big Stone Gap. Proceeds will support the Harold Lester Memorial Fund of the Mountain Laurel Cancer Support and Resource Center of Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc. The Harold Lester Memorial Fund provides direct help to cancer patients throughout the local community who are experiencing unexpected needs due to a cancer diagnosis. The fund was established a decade ago by Harold Lester’s family in his memory after he lost his battle with cancer.

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