CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Children’s Home Society of West Virginia received a check for $88,827 Friday. The funds were collected one dollar at a time at convenience stores around the state.

This is the West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association’s, or OMEGA, 11th annual fundraiser for the Society. This year the theme was “Every Child Deserves A Loving Home.” Starting back on Mother’s Day customers at participating OMEGA stores, could purchase a $1 paper flower and write the name of a loved one on it. Every dollar went to the Children’s Home Society.

“We’re thrilled we donated $88,000 that will stay in West Virginia in their homes to help with adoptions, children who need a place to sleep for the night and their education,” OMEGA President Jan Vineyard said at Friday’s ceremony outside the governor’s mansion.

Last year, OMEGA raised a record amount, more than $92,000. Vineyard said she wasn’t disappointed with this year’s fund raiser. She realized some families are struggling but many still were able to contribute a dollar or two.

“I think people realizes that a dollar at a time we can make a difference. If everybody does their fair share or does a little bit, that’s always been our message!”

Vineyard estimated that over the past 11 years OMEGA has raised more than $1.6 million for children’s charities.

On hand for the check presentation was First Lady Joanne Tomblin and Mary White, the director of development and philanthropy for the Children’s Home Society.

Vineyard called the fundraising campaign the highlight of her year.

“It’s the best thing I do and my members are absolutely wonderful to do this,” she said.

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  • Annoyed

    After reading these comments one things people fail to realize that it was the community that raised this money. Not OMEGA, not Children's Home Society, not Mrs. Tomblin. All they did was facilitate and raise awareness about the flowers and what they go to support. It was the workers of these stores and the people of the community that raised this money. When I would go into a store where the flowers were being sold the employees were excited because they knew that the money is going to help the children of West Virginia. I applaud everyone who bought a flower because of you Children's Home Society will be able to continue as they have for 118 years to help the children of West Virginia.

  • appalled

    The convenience stores, high paid lobbyist, and especially the first lady have no skin in this at all. I personally bought several of the flowers because every time I played the lottery, I felt guilty throwing money away and not helping those foster kids. I don't want any credit but I certainly don't want media prostitute Tomblin, actual prostitute Vineyard and price gouging Go Mart taking it!

  • Cigarman

    And what does Tomblin have to do with either organization? Her position in the pic looks as if she gave the funds.

  • Rob C.

    Vineyard is a bad choice to have as as a front to any organization. Family values she is not.

  • Patchy

    It may be beyond the ken of those whose business model consists of sales of Twinkies and Bud Light but the self-congratulatory giant check and mugging for the camera is tacky in the extreme.

    Donate the funds quietly and stop patting yourselves on the back.

    • Fred

      Omega didn't donate a dime, it was their customers who donated the money. Omega is a business organization, focused on collusion and price fixing, headed by a petroleum industry lobbyist. If Omega members really wanted to help kids they would pay their employees a living wage.

    • ViennaGuy

      Twinkies and Bud Light have nothing to do with what the Children's Home Society does, so get over it. OMEGA did this because they wanted to do it, not because they have some sort of guilt trip over what their customers purchase.

      Or maybe you would rather donate the $88,000 yourself? Then YOU could mug for the camera.


      • Fred

        @ViennaGuy: The executive director of the Children's Home Society in your area is a woman whose mother is a convicted pedophile.

        • ViennaGuy

          - The executive director of the Children's Home Society in your area is a woman whose mother is a convicted pedophile. -

          So in your world, she should be held responsible for her mother's actions?

          I never cease to be amazed at how people take something GOOD and try to twist it into something BAD. Some of you must really live miserable lives.

          • ViennaGuy

            Grow up, Fred.

          • Fred

            If it's in the cat, it's in the kitten.