Fairmont, W.Va. – The holiday season is a time to give back and make your community brighter. That’s what Pierpont Community & Technical College and the Tygart Valley United Way had in mind for its most recent collaboration.

Throughout the holiday season, the pair have engaged in a holiday giving campaign that concluded with the “Giving Tree” fundraiser event at the Middletown Commons.

The fundraiser, a former staple of the Marion County community, allows local businesses to decorate a tree and raffle it off to support the United Way and its programs. Participating businesses included Pierpont, Fairmont Senior High School, East Fairmont High/Middle School, North Marion High School, Fairmont State University, Adams Office Supply, MVB Bank, Studio Z, White Hall Spirits, and Zion Assembly Church of God.

“The event brings back a beloved fundraiser not seen since the ‘90s,” said Kari Woodman, financial aid specialist at Pierpont. “The event holds significance as it restores a cherished tradition from the past, fostering a sense of nostalgia and community togetherness.”

The event began with the decorating ceremony on November 20, and the trees remained on display at the Middletown Commons, where community members could purchase raffle tickets to bid on their favorite designs, with all proceeds benefiting the United Way.

“We chose to partner with the United Way because it is renowned for its positive impact on communities, aligning with our goal to make a meaningful difference locally,” said Woodman.

On Monday, winners were drawn and contacted. Through the Giving Tree event and employee campaign, Pierpont raised nearly $3000 to support the United Way’s mission.

“This campaign was a major success, as it doubled the amount raised last year,” said Dr. Milan Hayward, president of Pierpont. “A major part of our vision is to give back to the community, and by following Kari’s lead, we were able to provide the United Way with an early holiday present.”

Although the Giving Tree event has concluded, there are still plenty of ways to get involved with the United Way, including the Celebration of Lights at Morris Park in Fairmont. To give, visit tvunitedway.org or call their office.

To learn more about Pierpont Community & Technical College, visit pierpont.edu.