The cover of the Band of Brothers West Virginia Scenic Calendar for 2023. / Cover photo courtesy Al Tucker

Band of Brothers’ calendar fundraiser to assist groups that prevent, help youth overcome Adverse Childhood Experiences

BUCKHANNON – The organizers of the annual Band of Brothers hope to help children that grew up in an abusive environment.

Two Band of Brothers members attended the Oct. 6 Upshur County Commission meeting to outline their goals for the upcoming calendar fundraiser. The 2022 calendar sale featuring the group’s 2023 West Virginia Scenic Calendar marks the 10th anniversary of the fundraiser and Band of Brothers member Al Tucker said they wanted to focus on youth again this year.

“Last year, we worked with a group called West Virginia Kids Count, so we reached out to them, and they suggested we help a group called the ACEs Coalition,” Tucker said. “They’re trying to, and they’ve had success nationwide, doing interventions and able to change the lives of some of the kids that grew up an abusive environment.”

According to its website, the ACES Coalition of West Virginia is an umbrella organization comprised of over 400 different organizations and advocates working together to improve the health and well-being of all West Virginians. They do that by trying to reduce the effects of ACEs, or Adverse Childhood Experiences, or prevent them from happening in the first place.

Band of Brothers member Al Tucker addresses the Upshur County Commission at its Oct. 6 meeting. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

The Band of Brothers also plans to help local youth organizations such as the Upshur Disadvantaged Youth, the Christmas Store for Disadvantaged Kids, the prison angel tree program, Northern Appalachian Teen Challenge, Youth Mission Programs, the Grandfamilies Program and the Upshur Parish House.

“We decided to stay pretty close to the model of last year, helping underprivileged kids, and we’ve hooked up with the Underprivileged Children Foundation in Charleston, and they touch a number of counties,” Tucker said. “We’re all getting a lot of gray hair and it’s harder for us to go buy the presents and deliver them all, so we went out and found the people who have boots on the ground, and they’re working with the local communities, and they know what the families need.”

Band of Brothers member Tim Rock said on top of their calendar fundraiser, the Christian men’s group is cooking a chicken dinner to help flood victims in Kentucky.

“The first year we did this was for the veterans in the VA nursing home last year and last year we helped Seth Poling, a local young man battling ALS, so we raised money and gave it to him,” Rock said. “It’s very similar to what they do at Festival Fridays, we’re going to do this at the Chapel Hill parking lot, it’s going to be Oct. 15 at 11 a.m.”

Band of Brothers member Tim Rock also speaks at the Oct. 6 meeting. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

They are hoping to sell 190 meals and make about $3,000 so children affected by the flood can have a good Christmas.

“We know about floods and the people from Kentucky have come to help us, so we’re trying to give back,” Rock said. “There will be half a chicken, potatoes, beans, water and it’s $15 for the meal. The nest way to do this is to pre-order with Al through Facebook or texting or contacting any of us to make a reservation because the past couple of years we’ve pretty much sold out.”

Tucker can also be reached via email at alanandliva@aol.com.

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