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Lt. John Koontz with the Huntington Fire Department helps Bo Shumaker, 4, of Ona, use the fire hose during the Hard Hats & Heroes event on April 27, 2019, at St. Mary’s Center for Education in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — Though the COVID-19 crisis led to the cancellation last month of the Junior League of Huntington’s popular annual children’s event, Hard Hats & Heroes, the organization still was able to support the needs of the community thanks to its partnering sponsors.

The Junior League of Huntington made the decision in March to cancel the 2020 event, originally scheduled for April 18.

Hard Hats & Heroes, an annual favorite event of many in the Tri-State area, provides an opportunity for kids of all ages to explore vehicles of all types.

They can interact with their favorite vehicles, get behind the wheel and meet the people who help to build, protect and serve the local community.

Despite the organization’s decision to cancel the event, its sponsors were gracious enough to allow the league to use their sponsorship donations to assist the local community during this time of need, said Junior League President Cara Cheung.

Sponsors of the event include Marshall Orthopaedics, Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall Surgery, Marshall Pediatrics, Dinsmore & Shohl, Valley Health, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, Home Sweet Huntington Residential, Donahue Brothers Inc., Realty Exchange and Bullington Insurance Agency.

As a result, the league was able to purchase 105 pounds of baby formula for the Facing Hunger Foodbank, 200 packages of shelf-stable food items for the Cabell County Community Services Organization and a variety of supplies for the Ronald McDonald House in Huntington.

“The league is disappointed that we couldn’t hold this very special event, but looks forward to welcoming the community to next year’s Hard Hats & Heroes in the spring,” Cheung said in a news release. “Until then, the members of the league are committed to helping the Huntington community overcome this pandemic and have so far sewn over 500 facial masks to be distributed to the public.”

The Junior League is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

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