Nonprofit Honors Ashlyn Buterbaugh
A fashionista who walked to the beat of her own drum, Ashlyn Buterbaugh certainly had a lasting and memorable effect on anyone she met. Having died February 1 as a result of injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident, the 18-year-old senior at Forbes Road Junior/Senior High School is living on through a newly-formed, nonprofit organization entitled “Ashlyn’s Angels.”
Created through the efforts and fundraising finesse and knowhow of Big Cove Tannery resident Nancy Buterbaugh Bivens, the group got its official start this spring and has been gaining momentum ever since.
In recent years, Bivens had single handedly been doing fundraisers for a variety of local causes such as fire victims, those suffering from chronic illnesses and, of course, mounting medical expenses. Following her young cousin’s tragic death earlier this year, Bivens set her sights on helping raise money for the Buterbaughs through a dance and auction. Held at the McConnellsburg American Legion on April 14, just under 300 tickets were sold and the community responded with an outpouring of auction donations.
“It was a massive turnout and response,” recalled Ashlyn’s mother, Sherri Buterbaugh. Within a week of the event, Bivens was asked to consider organizing a fundraiser for local cancer victim David Welsh. It was at that point “Ashlyn’s Angels” was created.
“Nancy called me and asked if I would mind using Ashlyn’s name for the organization,” Sherri told the “News.” “This is the essence of Ashlyn. It honors the type of person she was.”
“I am honored because this is Ashlyn’s spirit living on,” Sherri added.
“When you put it together, it was a perfect fit,” Nancy chimed in.
The group’s board of directors includes Bivens and Buterbaugh as president and vice president, respectively, as well as secretary Lori Buterbaugh, assistant secretary Mallory Welsh and treasurer Patti Mills. Additional board members are Theresa Love, Joni Mellott, Tina Spears and Brock Hohman.
The group meets at 6 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the American Legion in Mc- Connellsburg. New members are always welcome, and there is a $5 membership fee.
Sherri stated Ashlyn’s Angels has established several main goals they hope to achieve, in addition to continuing to raise money for local families and individuals in need. The organization is in the final stages of finalizing the Ashlyn Buterbaugh Memorial Scholarship, which will provide money to a graduate at each of the county’s three school districts. Furthermore, they are hoping to establish a “grief support group.” At this time, they are looking for an individual to facilitate and oversee the meetings on a local basis.
Over the Fulton Fall Folk Festival weekend, Ashlyn’s Angels will host a food and soup sale at Bivens’ home located at 13946 Great Cove Road. Money from the food stand will be used to build up the organization’s general operating fund as will proceeds from a Halloween costume party set for Saturday, October 27.
The spooky, fun-filled event will be held at the McConnellsburg American Legion. Kids of all ages are welcome between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. for a costume party. Youngsters can attend for free, and a $2 fee has been established for both children and adults wishing to participate in an 8 p.m. hayride. From 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., adults ages 21 and over are welcome to stop by the legion for music, dancing and light refreshments. Cost is $5.
Bivens stated Ashlyn’s Angels is currently soliciting candy donations from the general community and businesses to make sure each child attending leaves with a treat bag.
As organizers continue to complete necessary paperwork to garner tax-exemption status, they also remain hopeful that by next April they will be licensed to offer raffles, basket bingos and other small games of chance.
Information regarding Ashlyn’s Angels can be obtained by contacting Nancy Buterbaugh Bivens at 717-799-7343 or Sherri Buterbaugh at 717-987-3323. The organization also maintains a Facebook page, which can be liked for event updates and status reports.
“Without the support of local businesses and residents, this wouldn’t be possible. We want to continue to give back to the community,” concluded. Sherri. “It’s a wonderful thing to live in a small place where we can support and help one another.”