News/Events

Slemp Foundation gift to help cancer patients

MEOC Executive Director Michael Wampler (second from right) accepts a $10,000 check for the Mountain Laurel Cancer Support & Resource Center from The Slemp Foundation trustee Nancey Edmonds Smith. Accompanying Smith to present the check on June 21 were son and daughter Jim Smith and Melissa Jensen (far right), also foundation trustees. MEOC Director of Wellness and Insurance Counseling Tiffany Jacobs, who coordinates Mountain Laurel services, is also pictured. The money will buy liquid nutrition supplements for cancer patients and gas gift cards for cancer-related travel. Visit The Slemp Foundation website here to learn more about it.

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Golf tournament benefits MEOC’s Mountain Laurel Center

The 12th Annual Harold Lester Memorial Golf Tournament raised about $12,500 to assist local cancer patients and their families. The June 16 event at Lonesome Pine Country Club in Big Stone Gap benefited the Harold Lester Memorial Fund of the Mountain Laurel Cancer Support and Resource Center. Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc., the local Area Agency on Aging serving Lee, Scott, and Wise counties and the City of Norton, operates the center. Nineteen teams participated in the tournament.

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METGo! wins CCOA Best Practices Award

METGo!, Mountain Empire Transit’s free on-demand bus service in the Wise-Norton area, has received the 2023 First Place Best Practices Award from the Virginia Commonwealth Council on Aging. The 24-member CCOA advises the governor and General Assembly on aging-related issues. The award, which includes a $5,500 cash prize, was judged on criteria including community impact, potential for replication, innovation, outcomes and promotion of aging in the community.

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MEOC taking applications for Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program

Mountain Empire Older Citizens is accepting applications for the 2023 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program from those at least age 60 in Wise County and the City of Norton. Recipients must be at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. For a one-person household, the monthly income limit is $2,248; for a two-person household, it is $3,040.

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Walkathon Is Longtime Community Tradition

A friend asked Lee County resident Dorothy “Dot” Carter (pictured above, second from right) for a simple favor about 35 years ago: Would Carter walk in her place at the Mountain Empire Older Citizens Walkathon? Carter was happy to help. She went to the Walkathon, which raises money for a program that provides emergency heating assistance to older adults in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton, and fulfilled her friend’s commitment to participate.

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MEOC employee an advocate for colorectal cancer screening

Does a good family health history, consistent exercise and a healthy diet make colorectal cancer screenings unnecessary? Judy Willis thought so, but she was proved wrong. In her role as director of care coordination at Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc., Willis promotes cancer screenings as a presenter of Understanding Cancer workshops, which provide education on cancer prevention, screenings, treatment and resources to groups and individuals in the community. She also encourages her friends and family to get screened.

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Hearthwarming Sunday supports Fuel Fund for the Elderly

Mountain Empire Older Citizens is asking area churches and individuals to participate in Hearthwarming Sunday to provide a midwinter boost for the agency’s program that annually assists about 1,000 older adults with emergency heating expenses. The annual fundraiser, held on the Sunday closest to Valentine’s Day, benefits MEOC’s Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly. This year’s Hearthwarming Sunday is Feb. 12. It comes at a critical time for the fuel fund, which assists older adults in Wise, Lee and Scott counties and the City of Norton.

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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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