The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

St. Vincent de Paul to expand in Fayette 09.17.2007

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette’s St. Vincent de Paul store is about to expand. Anticipating the new addition brings to mind the past for Betty Monahan, who has been a part of the store since the beginning.

She recalls back in 1977 when the charitable organization first set up shop in the second floor of the Fayette village hall downtown.

“There were 23 steps up and 23 steps down,” Betty recalls. “It became too dangerous for older people, so Phil started looking around for an empty building.”

That’s Phil Monahan, her husband, who went into the former Clemenson’s  lumberyard one day, near the fire station.

“Marshall Clemenson said to Phil, ‘We’ve been looking for you. Where have you beestvdepaul.jpgn?’” Betty said.

It was settled. The store had found a new home in a building in the back of the lumberyard.

In those days, St. Vincent in Fayette mostly handled government surplus items, such as butter and cheese. A store with clothing and toys came later.

The lumberyard building was unheated, but the suffering there eventually worked to the local group’s benefit.

“We wore our snow boots and froze our fingers,” Betty said. “One day the head of St. Vincent in Toledo was visiting and Phil took him over to the building. The guy put his pop down and before long it was frozen.”

The visitor knew a change was needed. They soon moved into the house east of R&H Restaurant, before it was fixed up for residency as it is now.

“There were woodchucks in the basement and coons upstairs,” Betty recalls. “We had the middle floor.”

In 1990, the existing structure was built in back of Our Lady of Mercy church, and within two weeks, that building will grow with a new area designated for toys.

Good works

“We do a lot of good,” Betty said. “Some people tell us they wouldn’t have had Christmas without us.”

Christmas is the big season for Fayette’s St. Vincent de Paul store. During a three-week period, people from 35 surrounding communities visit to “shop” for gifts. About 1,500 children were helped by the group last year.

One week is scheduled for parents to select toys—at no cost, of course—then comes a week for grandparents. For the third week, the general public is invited in to find gifts.

During the remainder of the year, the store is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday.

There are a dozen or so volunteers who keep the store going, Betty said. They sort through items and place them in the appropriate location in the store.

“They keep us busy,” she said about the generous people who bring in donations. “They come from all over, especially right now when the garage sales are over with. What they don’t sell they bring to us.”

Most of the toys and clothing are good, used items, but occasionally new things are brought in. In addition, the Boy Scout troop collects food for the pantry.

The new addition will alleviate the need for the Monahans to store toys in their hen house south of Hudson.

“We get toys from St. Vincent in Toledo, but we get a lot of donations from this area,” Betty said. “It’s amazing.

“When it gets close to Christmas, they really come in. They dump their toy boxes. People sure are good to us.”

Local gardeners also bring in produce to give away in the summer.

The store handles some furniture, but it’s not a priority.

“We’re getting up there in age,” Betty said about the volunteers running the store. “We don’t really want to move furniture.”

In 30 years of working at the store, she and other volunteers have had the pleasure of helping many people in need.

“We’ve had a lot of experiences and a lot of good times,” Betty said.

• The St. Vincent de Paul Society started in 1833 in France. The first unit was established in the United States in 1845.

The goal of the international society is to relieve poverty, suffering and loneliness.

More than 4,300 units exist in the United States and an estimated 12 million Americans receive aid each year.

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