There is no greater feeling than knowing you were on the winning team. And that is what it felt like to be on the floor of the House of Delegates when they announced February 4, 2014 as “Tucker County Day.” This was the very first Tucker County Day at the Legislature and it was not only a success but Senator Sypolt said that it “raised the bar for every other county in the state”. The day started off true local style with food and friends. Tucker and Preston Counties worked together to serve breakfast of local eggs, potatoes, biscuits and gravy and, buckwheat cakes and applesauce. Roxanne Tuesing of the Senior Center remarked that you could smell the food all around the Capitol. The food was cooked by Tucker County High School Chef Brian Covell and the Tucker County ProStar students. And the students: Cheyenne Surguy, Paige Moore, Maria Ricottilli, Seth Millican, Payden Michael and Billy Plum served over 500 breakfasts!
While these ProStar students cooked and served our senators and delegates they were serenaded by Heather Hannah-Nelson, Brittany Ampel, and Simon Ampel. Later that morning, the band Douglas Falls joined the music and even had a senator join Ruth Melnick and Diana Villamore play Cluck Old Hen. “It is a wonderful thing to see” said Randy Smith. Large signs listed the source of all the local foods for visitors to see. Also listed were the sponsors whose donations allowed the event to happen: Kokosing, Performance Motors, Mt State Brewery, The Tucker Community Foundation, McClain Printing and the County Commission.
The House of Delegates wing of the Capitol was lined with tables that highlighted many of local businesses and organizations including Green Rivers, MUD Ceramics, Mozark Woodworks, Buxton Landstreet Gallery, City of Parsons, Friends of the 500th, Alpine Heritage, McClain Printing, Purple Fiddle, Q&A Associates, Black Bear Resorts, Verglas Media, Mountain Hospice, Stevens Reality, Parsons OnTrac, Senior Center, CVB, and many others. The energy made it a true party atmosphere.
At 11 AM the House of Delegates opened with the Honey Rubinstein Center cadets leading while carrying in the flags and an opening prayer by James Snyder. Then Delegate Randy Smith invited the representatives from Tucker County onto the floor while the resolution to make February 5 Tucker County Day read into the books. Leading the procession onto the floor were Commissioner James Rubenstein, Justice Allen H. Loughry II and Tucker County Commissioners Mike Rosenau, Diane Hinkle and Lowell Moore. Joining them were over 40 citizens from Thomas, St. George, Parsons, Davis and Canaan Valley. Joked speaker of the House Timothy R. Miley “It looks like you brought half the county!”
A box lunch with Senators Dave Sypolt, Bob Williams, and Delegates Randy Smith, Larry Williams, and Mary Poling provided the opportunity for Preston and Tucker County citizens to share their ideas and concerns. The afternoon held meetings with Secretary of Agriculture Walt Helmick, Department of Commerce Mark Julian, Harry Bergstrom from the Department of Highways and Kathy Cosco from Frontier Communications. By collaborating with Preston County, these meetings covered issues important to this part of the state. WVU Extension Agent Jennifer Poling observed “the meetings were very positive and you could tell that they were listening.” It was agreed by all that Tucker County Day was a success event and that working together with Preston County was a good idea.