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OVU Stepping Stones


Vienna, W.Va.—Stepping Stones chapters may not hold meetings during the summer, but they are never idle whatever the time of year. Small yard sales and bake sales contribute, but the annual three-day Community Yard Sale held earlier this summer brought in $4,446.27 for Ohio Valley University.

For the Parkersburg Chapter, the gigantic yard sale was the brainchild of 3 young members, Leachelle Moore, Tricia Cronin, and Lauren McCoy, who sat at the Stepping Stones Annual Convention in April 2012 brainstorming fundraising ideas. That July they spearheaded the first Community Yard Sale, which, from its inception 7 years ago, has netted the university $26,013.72. Moore, chairing the activity until this year, reached her personal goal last year of netting $5,000 from one sale. She comments on the phenomenal growth of the event, “I did not think this project would get as big as it has. People know it is coming every July and wait for it. Several shoppers have said this is their favorite sale of the summer.”

This year, Mariah Freed and Victoria Helmic chaired the activity with help from many Stepping Stones members. Sharon Bogard of Parkersburg and her sister Cathy Dowler of Pennsylvania worked tirelessly from set-up to sale to clean-up. Sharon explains their devotion:

 “Cathy and I are graduates of OVU, and my children have attended here. Our love of the college began when our mother, Norma Sadler, took an active role in Stepping Stones and served as president of the Parkersburg Chapter in 1981. My sister and I helped this year in honor of our mother who has now passed. And we have volunteered to chair the sale next year.”

While the Community Yard Sale began in 2012, the Parkersburg Chapter has conducted a stationary version, Stepping Stones Thrift Shop, since 1993. Laura Hamm diligently serves as supervisor of the Thrift Shop, now housed in a building owned by Lubeck Church of Christ, Washington, West Virginia. Dedicated volunteers devote hundreds of hours to the store, which is currently managed by Carrie Love. The store began with a 6-hour-per-week sales window but is now open 5 days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 to 3. In its 25-year history, the Thrift Shop has cumulatively garnered $214,317.85.

In addition to raising considerable funds for OVU, the Thrift Shop has the following purposes:

  • to serve the church by donating goods for missions and benevolence
  • to serve the community by providing low cost goods
  • to provide opportunity for people to recycle their excess possessions
  • to make friends in the community and demonstrate Christian service

Whether conducting summer or year-long activities, Stepping Stones remains true to its highest purpose. Director Susan Cockerham explains, “Stepping Stones always provides a pathway for service to all those ladies who want to be active in keeping Christ in higher education.”

Cockerham urges others to get involved also: “Call and let us know if you are willing to be a Stepping Stones volunteer—whether it’s a small, one-time yard sale or a major annual event.” Susan Cockerham may be reached by calling 304.482.8540.

Note: Monroe/Noble Counties golf outing is September 22, hosted also by Stepping Stones. Contact Merna Bettinger at 740.213.3930.

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Chartered in 1958, Ohio Valley University is a faith-based, residential, liberal arts college founded by members of the Church of Christ. Students of all faiths are accepted and encouraged to apply. The university offers a variety of baccalaureate and master’s degrees to students from 26 states and 25 nations. To learn more visit www.ovu.edu.