Sens. Bill Hamilton, R-11, and Robert Karnes, R-11, present two donations at Thursday's Upshur County Commission meeting. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Senator honored to deliver check for community building roof in honor of late beloved friend

BUCKHANNON – Two West Virginia state senators on Thursday delivered monetary donations to two Upshur County groups.  

Senators Bill Hamilton and Robert Karnes, who both represent the 11th senatorial district that includes Upshur County, attended the Aug. 11 Upshur County Commission meeting to present two checks to the commission for two local organizations.

“On behalf of Senator Karnes and I, I’d like to present a check to the Upshur County Youth Camp for $10,000 for repairs to the bridge,” Hamilton said. “Then the second presentation I have gets a little more personal for me, but it’s for the Kesling Mill Community building. Of course, this is my 20th year in the Legislature and I presented checks on behalf of Kesling Mill for different projects over the 20 years, but this was $8,780 for the replacement of the roof on their community building.”

Hamilton said his best friend and Kesling Mill Lion Club member Mack McGraw requested the donation before he passed away.

“My partner and best friend and advisor Mack McGraw was instrumental and he would ask me, ‘do you have that check out?’ and I would say, ‘it’s coming, it’s coming,’” Hamilton said. “Unfortunately, he didn’t make it to see it, but I know he’s looking down and appreciative of the help that we could give him.”

Karnes said he does not like to see former community buildings fall apart and he hopes their donation keeps the building going.

“It’s a shame that we close down some of these old schoolhouses that have become community buildings, but at the same time, you can still see how they’re sort of the hub of the community, and everybody still gathers there,” Karnes said. “Making sure we do everything we can to keep those available for those communities is something that I’m happy to do.”

Pictured, from left, are commissioner Sam Nolte, commission president Kristie Tenney, Debbie Hull, Craig Presar, Sen. Robert Karnes, Donna Matthews, Sen. Bill Hamilton and commissioner Terry Cutright. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Prior to adjourning, the commission also took the following actions:

  • Approved a request from Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility for a $5,000 donation from the Spay and Neuter Fund to continue pre-adoption spay-and-neuter services.
  • Approved a letter from Lisa Lamb requesting appointment to the James W. Curry Library Advisory Board. Upon approval, Ms. Lamb’s term will be effective immediately and expire on December 31, 2026.
  • Approved Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility Volunteers Cynthia Pounds and Linda Coyner.
  • Approved a request from Kimbra L. Wachob, assistant director with the Upshur County Emergency Communications Center, requesting the employment of Bailey Walton as telecommunicator, effective August 15, 2022.