LOGAN, W.Va. — Students who participate in the Junior ROTC and Junior National Defense Corps programs at all three Logan County high schools will be able to continue to participate in the coming year. A week after Logan County School Board President Paul Hardesty announced funding had been found for the JR ROTC program at Chapmanville, money for the other two schools has also been secured.
“I am fully convinced with all the private donations we have secured and with the help of the Logan County Commission and Delegate Phillips and Delegate Marcum who have helped to bring some people to the table,” said Hardesty. “We have secured funding to keep Logan, Man, and Chapmanville open for another year.”
Private donors ponied up close to $225,000 to fund the programs. None of the private companies wanted to be recognized for their contribution at this point. A week ago, Alpha Natural Resources put funding into the Chapmanville Jr. ROTC which faced a critical deadline. Hardesty, speaking on MetroNews Talkline Friday, said the company endured some unfair criticism for that donation.
“It’s no secret they emerged from bankruptcy, and they have tax implications and bankruptcy provisions to address those in due time,” said Hardesty. “These people did this out of the goodness of their heart. They took operational dollars and money that could have been used for a change out for a piece of equipment and said, ‘Look we want to help. We’re in this community, we’re part of this community.'”
The funding started lining up when Hardesty sat down and started going through his phone contact list. He was moved by the stories he heard from students who participate in the programs all all three schools. However, the county coffers to fund them are dry in a year when 70 school employees had to be terminated to make ends meet on next year’s budget.
“A boy at Logan named Nicholas has endured more than any boy his age should have to endure, he touched my heart. Then Samantha told me she got off drugs and now is on the honor roll because the program meant that much to her. It gave her hope and gave her structure,” said Hardesty of the students who spoke at the Logan County School Board meeting. “These kids came to our meeting and were role model citizens. They were very respectful in a bad situation.”
The funding Hardesty and several others secured however isn’t permanent, it’s a one year extension.
“I want to tell all of these people tied to these programs, we have given you a 365 day head start,” Hardesty said. “There’s going to have to be ways found to fund these programs going forward.”