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Kids' Business Expo on West Side to promote youth entrepreneurs

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Sponsored by the Fun Fitness Foundation and Markel Marketing, the WV Kids Business Expo – Christmas Edition is an upcoming event for budding entrepreneurs ages 6 to 18 to showcase their businesses and sell their products for the holiday season.

The WV Kids Business Expo – Christmas Edition will be held from 6 until 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, at A More Excellent Way Life Center Church, at 504 Virginia St., W., at Five Corners on Charleston’s West Side.

Youth entrepreneurs can participate in the Small Business Pitch Contest during the expo to vie for a first place prize of $200, a second place prize of $100 and a third place prize of $50.

The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, a division of the West Virginia Governor’s Office, is sponsoring the prizes.

Representatives from the Small Business Administration are scheduled, tentatively, to judge the entrepreneurial entries.

“The Fun Fitness Foundation began in Charleston in May 2018,” Fun Fitness Foundation Executive Director Traci Phillips said last week. “We wanted to create fun fitness activities to curb obesity. At that time, West Virginia was first in obesity in the nation and second among child obesity.

“We actually also ventured into youth entrepreneurship,” she said, “offering Financial Literacy Book Camps at Stonewall Jackson Middle School and Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary. We’ve done an obstacle course at the Kanawha County Preschool Fair at Kanawha State Forest, mixing financial literacy with fun fitness.”

In July, the foundation staged a Kids’ Business Expo at the TransCanada building in Charleston, the precursor to the upcoming Christmas-oriented event.

“We had 10 youth entrepreneurs, selling slime, cookies, lemonade, jewelry and other things,” Phillips said. “From that, we had a lot of community participation.”

Prior to the expo, young entrepreneurs can practice their small business pitch and work on their business plan during free money management for youth workshops provided by the Financial Literacy Boot Camp. Workshops are conducted from 2 until 5 p.m. every Saturday in November at the West Virginia State University Economic Development Center at 1506 Kanawha Blvd., W., in Charleston.

Additional free coding, graphic design and entrepreneurship workshops for high school students are being offered in November at MESH Design and Development and the Boys and Girls Club of Charleston, as well, to help prepare participants for the Small Business Pitch Contest.

The kid booth vendor fee is $10.

“Right now, we’re looking for event sponsorships and looking for kid vendors. We’re also looking for people to come through the door to buy the merchandise from the kid vendors,” Phillips said.

The deadline for the kid booth registration is Wednesday, Dec. 4. Register at

The event is also seeking local youth to provide entertainment during the expo.

The Fun Fitness Foundation is a nonprofit organization in Charleston that partners with Fun Fitness Kids Club LLC.

This event is a foundation fundraiser to assist in securing equipment for additional activities in partnership with Markel Marketing Inc., a youth-organized marketing company based in Charleston.

For more information, direct email to or call 304-561-7571.

For updates on the expo, visit Fun Fitness Kids Club on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Metro reporter Clint Thomas can be reached at or by calling 304-348-1232.

Funerals Today, Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Eades, Russell - 2 p.m., Raynes Funeral Home, Buffalo.

Harrison, Freda - 1 p.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

Loudermilk, Kathleen - 1 p.m., Sunset Memorial Park, South Charleston.

Newsome, Mae - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Selbe, Mary - 1 p.m., Fidler & Frame Funeral Home, Belle.

Vance, Dianne - 11 a.m., Crown Freewill Baptist Church.

Vanhoose, Kenneth - 1 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Wilson, Kathryn - Noon, Mt. Zion United Methodist Church Cemetery, Grantsville.