Ringing in the New Year

Managing Editor

Rebecca Stephens

JRebecca Stephens

This issue of Huntington Quarterly, the first of 2016, is a great example of what defines our community and makes it truly unique. From a woman’s efforts to care for the sick and the poor to her fight against drug addiction in our community, from a World War II war hero to a local business making waves in the furniture world, from a unique local eatery to the ongoing contributions of our area churches, Huntington has much to offer.

Our cover story is on Laura Darby. Some of you may not know her name, but you should. For decades she has worked behind the scenes to become one of the most influential and impactful members of the community. After raising a family of six, she enrolled in nursing school and then founded Hospice of Huntington. In addition, Darby was one of the driving forces behind Ebenezer Medical Outreach, which provided health care to the region’s poorest families. More recently she contributed to the founding of Lily’s Place, a residential recovery center for babies born with drug exposure. As if all that weren’t enough, she worked alongside her husband as he built his medical practice and, later, DARCO International, a global company that specializes in post-op, trauma and wound care products for foot and ankle patients.

Also included in this issue is a Q&A with the highly revered, yet wonderfully humble, Hershel “Woody” Williams, a West Virginia native and the last Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima. Williams reflects on his time in the Marines, his love of this area and how his service created a career and passion that continues to this day with the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation.

MacKenzie-Dow Fine Furniture is a Huntington business that shows the true entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens. The company’s furniture pieces, handcrafted and locally produced in the store’s plant off Hal Greer Boulevard, have been purchased and shipped to all 50 states. In addition to selling their products at High Point, North Carolina, and The Greenbrier, MacKenzie-Dow recently opened a showroom on the first floor of the Visual Arts Center that will give people a chance to peruse its offerings right in the heart of downtown Huntington.

Recently, local residents welcomed the return of Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar in its new location on Third Avenue following a disastrous fire that destroyed its original location nearly two years ago. Owners Drew and Megan Hetzer have many plans for their businesses entering the New Year, and we’re excited to see what they serve up.

Huntington has long been regarded as the “City of Churches” for the numerous houses of worship that line Fifth Avenue and beyond. This issue features an article, part one in a series, that shines the spotlight on churches that have put their faith into action by rolling up their sleeves and trying to help the poor and drug-addicted members of our region.

With this edition of the Huntington Quarterly, we attempt to reach the same goal we’ve had for the past 26 years – to showcase the positive stories of the Huntington community. We hope you enjoy.

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