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Clay Center opened doors to 2,000 following summer storm

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- More than 2,000 guests visited the Clay Center at no charge in the four days following the derecho that hit the Kanawha Valley in early July, the organization's chief financial officer told the board of directors Thursday.

"During the power outages after the storm, we didn't charge admission and 2,000 people visited the Clay Center for free," said CFO Rebecca Gillispie. She said that was the reason attendance revenue was down for the summer months, but the board members agreed that it was a goodwill gesture that was appreciated by the community.

In other business, treasurer Charles M. Avampato reported that the Clay Center has not used all of the money given by the now-defunct Clay Foundation.

"We ended up not using 100 percent of the Clay Foundation money this year," Avampato said, so it will help with next year's financial picture.

In a review of investment fund performances for the quarter ending June 30, the total fund was valued at $33.4 million.

President Judith L. Wellington said the children's summer camps presented by the education department of the center were at capacity, and she said 1,650 "very avid fans" attended the Daughtry concert Aug. 8. Curator of Art Arif Khan talked about the success of the current exhibit featuring art faculty from West Virginia and Marshall universities.

Board member Andrew K. Teeter reported that the development committee is having continued success in fundraising through grants, foundations, sponsorships and memberships.

New board member Madeleine Nibert, chairman of the Friends of Clay, discussed the group's annual fundraiser, Carnaval, which will have a New Orleans theme this year. The new head of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, J. Thomas Jones, was also announced as a new Clay Center board member.

Members of the board of directors include:

Phyllis Arnold, Charles M. Avampato, Robert Berthold, Jr., Ellen Cappellanti, Kelly L. Castleberry III, Elizabeth E. Chilton, Andrew B. Cooke, Stephen P. Dexter, Robert E. Douglas, Fonda Elliot, John Elliot, Horace W. Emery, Harry H. Esbenshade III, Alex Franklin, Shawn P. George, Michael R. Graney, David Haden, David J. Hardy, Tom Heywood, Eric Iskra, Lloyd G. Jackson II, Mike John, Mayor Danny Jones, J. Thomas Jones, Laurance Jones III, Melvin Jones, Stephen E. Kawash, Virginia King, Thomas Kittredge, Ken Kleeman, Jane Kopp, Charles W. Loeb, Jr., Edward H. Maier, Gayle C. Manchin, Sallie McClaugherty, Kyle Mork, Madeleine Nibert, Roger Nicholson, Charles Patton, David Ramsey, Sharon Rowe, Sue Sergi, Del. Douglas Skaff, Jr., Reed Spangler, John Strickland, Andrew K. Teeter, Gayle Twigger-Shaw, Grace Vandecruze-Heyliger, Richard M. Wallace, The Reverend Matthew Watts, Steve Wehrle, Joan Weisberg, Judith Wellington, Joseph B. Wollenberger. Reach Sara Busse at sara.busse@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.


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