Have a happy, budget friendly Valentine’s Day

2019 Valentines Day Post Pic

While many folks joke that Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a scheme for greeting card companies and florists to rake in extra cash, it can still be a day to celebrate those you love. If expense is an issue, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Cupid’s holiday without breaking the bank. To quote the Beetles: “money can’t buy me love.”

Whether you are planning a romantic Valentine’s Day with your sweetie, a family filled day of love, or a fun day with friends, we’ve got you covered. We hope the following ideas can help you make this year’s holiday the best one yet.

  1. Explore your local community. While romantic getaways are great, they can be quite expensive. Instead of racking up debt by going on a vacation, this Valentine’s Day take advantage of your local area. A stroll through the park can be a romantic way to spend the day and won’t cost you a thing. Bonus? It’s a good way to get in exercise and begin a healthy lifestyle together. If that’s not your thing, check out local museums, which typically offer free or low cost entry. You never know what hidden gems you may discover in your own backyard. Also, check your local newspapers or social media groups to see if there are any Valentine’s Day events in your area. Many churches often host Valentine’s Day dinners for families and couples. Local restaurants typically offer Valentine’s Day specials as well.
  2. Take advantage of your OVB Visa Rewards. By using your Scorecard rewards points you can save money and still have the perfect Valentine’s Day with your sweetie. For example, use points to book an overnight romantic getaway. Booking your stay is simple as it can be done directly from the EZCard site.
  3. Put your chef skills to the test. Meals made with love are often the best kind. Dust off your recipe book and cook a special meal for the one you love. If you know what their favorite dish is go with that or try something new that you can both enjoy. Not feeling confident alone in the kitchen? Consider cooking a fun, Valentine’s Day meal together as part of your date. Just make sure to avoid any food fights!
  4. Host a progressive dinner. If cooking an entire meal is too time consuming and you’d rather spend Valentine’s Day with a group of friends, plan a progressive dinner. This works by having each couple/family host a portion of the meal. You travel from house to house enjoying each course from appetizers to dessert. Throw in some board games and this makes for a fun evening out with friends that won’t strain your wallet.
  5. Hit up a matinee. If a classic movie date is your Valentine’s preference, why not save a little money and go for a matinee? Matinees generally are less expensive than evening shows. If you work during the day, perhaps celebrate Valentine’s Day on a weekend afternoon this year. Check your local theaters for any Valentine’s Day deals.
  6. Transform your living room into your personal theatre. If you would prefer to stay in or want to save on movie ticket prices, host a movie night at home. This is a great couple or family activity. Each person can choose their favorite movie to add to the lineup. Make it a full theater experience with some microwave popcorn and candy for all to enjoy.
  7. Go cheesy – literally – by ordering a heart-shaped pizza. An oldie, but a goodie. Don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen but also don’t want the cost of going out to eat? Order a heart-shaped pizza. Many pizza restaurants have the themed pies available on Valentine’s Day. Its, cute, it’s cheesy, what’s not to love?
  8. Donate blood. This one might come off as a bit creepy, but donating blood is actually a great way to bond as a couple as you help those in need. Donating blood together can be a meaningful experience. Ask your local hospitals or Red Cross centers on how to get started. Bonus? After you donate blood you usually get to indulge in a sweet treat!
  9. Make homemade valentines. Creating your own valentines is something both couples and families can enjoy. Store bought cards can be quite pricey, so why not put more meaning in your cards by making your own? If you aren’t crafty, remember what it was like to make homemade valentines as a child. Make it a fun activity together. Exchanging your valentines can be just as fun as making them.
  10. Enjoy loved ones’ hobbies. What better way to show you care than showing interest in your partner’s hobby? If they enjoy video games, offer to play with them. Maybe they like to paint? If so, sign up for an art class together. While opposites do attract, shared interests can make you grow as a couple.

If you are still puzzled on how to spend this year’s Valentine’s Day, remember if all else fails candy should be on sale Feb. 15! What’s better than discounted chocolate and conversation hearts? We wish you all a wonderful and happy Valentine’s Day.

Have a holly jolly Christmas with community events

2018 Mothman Christmas

See the Mothman with his festive glow at Krodel Park’s Christmas Fantasy Light Show in Point Pleasant.

The lights are glowing, and the Christmas trees are shining. Yes, it’s officially the holiday season! This year, we encourage everyone to shop local [Download OVB Community First Holiday Gift Guide] as well as think Community First when it comes to Christmas festivities.

From festive light shows to holiday events, there are plenty local offerings to get you in the holly jolly mood. In Gallipolis, Ohio, Gallipolis In Lights offers breathtaking holiday views as you stroll through the Gallipolis City Park. The picturesque displays are reminiscent of a holiday movie. A tree walk, which includes trees sponsored by individuals, churches, families and schools, is a charming feature. If you catch him on the right night, the man in the red suit himself will greet visitors from his Santa House. Admission is free. Gallipolis In Lights runs through the holiday season. Read more of this post

OVB to host veterans day lunch

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November is a time to not only give thanks, but to also honor the veterans who sacrificed everything in order for us to enjoy the freedoms we have today. While Veterans Day was celebrated and observed Sunday and Monday, Ohio Valley Bank is continuing the celebration with a special event for veterans tomorrow.

The Veterans Day event will take place at the Bossard Memorial Library in Gallipolis, Ohio. [Last year’s event pictured above.] Festivities will be located in the Riverside Meeting Room, with the opening ceremony set for 10:30 a.m. Lunch for veterans will then be served immediately following until 2 p.m. All veterans are encouraged to attend and share in the food and fellowship.

OVB also just launched special veterans Community First Debit Cards. The upgrade to one of these designs is available for $10 with proceeds going back to the bank’s Veterans Action Committee for outreach. Veterans will be able to obtain an upgrade to one of the new military designs for free, and OVB will still give $10 to the bank’s Veterans Action Committee on their behalf. The cards are just one of the many projects that the recently established Veterans Action Committee has worked to achieve.

All 5 VAC cards

The design on top right of the ships and helicopter at sunset was taken by veteran and OVB IT Specialist Derek Hartman.

Read more of this post

Have a hauntingly fun Halloween with OVB branch events

Trunk or Treat Group

From pumpkins to witches to ghosts and goblins, Halloween has officially arrived. We have the perfect recipe to get you in the festive mood with a variety of fun Halloween activities, hosted by some of our OVB locations.

First up, our Holzer office is set to once again participate in Treat Street, slated for Tuesday, Oct. 23. The event, hosted by Holzer, takes place at the Gallia County Fairgrounds from 6-8:30 p.m. There will be more than 40 decorated stations/booths for children to visit and collect candy. Our OVB team will be showcasing their super powers as they dress as some of our favorite heroes at the event. You won’t want to miss out on this fun-filled family evening.

Our Main Office in Gallipolis will participate in the city’s Trick or Treat from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25. Families are encouraged to stop by the office, located at 420 Third Ave., for some candy and fun. Also on Oct. 25, our Wellston MBC office will host a Halloween event from 5-6 p.m. The office, located at 123 South Ohio Ave., will play host to a variety of festive games and face painting. In addition, there will be free popcorn and treat bags.

Make sure to visit our New Holland MBC office, located at 25 North Main St., on Friday, Oct. 26 for a special Autumn Celebration. The event will run all day from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Along with pumpkin decorating, cookies and apple cider will be available.

Bring the kiddos to our Jackson office, located at 740 East Main St. in Jackson, on Wednesday, Oct. 31 for Trunk or Treat. The event, sponsored by OVB and Jackson County Gear Grinders, will feature treats galore as well as snacks and games. Trunk or Treat will take place from 5:30-7 p.m. We hope to see you there.

Locally, Trick or Treat times are as follows:

  • Gallipolis, Ohio – Thursday, Oct. 25, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Rio Grande, Ohio – Thursday, Oct. 25, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Point Pleasant, W.Va. – Thursday, Oct. 25, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Mason, W.Va. – Thursday, Oct. 25, 6-7 p.m.
  • Pomeroy, Ohio – Thursday, Oct. 25, 6-7 p.m.
  • Jackson, Ohio – Wednesday, Oct. 31, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Wellston, Ohio – Wednesday, Oct. 31, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Oak Hill, Ohio – Wednesday, Oct. 31, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Barboursville, W.Va. – Wednesday, Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m.
  • Mount Sterling, Ohio – Wednesday, Oct. 31, 6-7:30 p.m.

Remember to think Community First as you enjoy all the spooky fun and treats this Halloween. From all of us at OVB, Happy Halloween!

OVB ready for Get Smart About Credit campaign

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Halloween is just around the corner. While ghosts and goblins might scare you, don’t let your credit do the same. To help promote the importance of maintaining good credit, Ohio Valley Bank is once again taking part in the American Bankers Association’s Get Smart About Credit initiative.

Get Smart About Credit is a national campaign comprised of bank volunteers who help youth understand credit and other important financial lessons. Now in its 16th year, this year’s event will again reach children across the country. Get Smart About Credit Day will be held Thursday, Oct. 18, however, OVB is set to celebrate the event throughout the month of October and the fall season.

Credit lessons will be incorporated into OVB’s financial education programs, which include elementary through high school grade levels. OVB will present Adventures in Credit, featuring the Centsables, to area elementary schools. Get Smart About Credit lessons will also be a focus in the OVB BANKit program, which is currently being conducted on a monthly basis at six local schools in Ohio and West Virginia.

The primary purpose of Get Smart About Credit is to prepare students to join the workforce by making sure they have a strong understanding of credit and other money management skills. Get Smart About Credit works to teach students that credit education is more than paying for college, credit cards and loans. The campaign aims to show that a true understanding of credit also encompasses budgeting, credit report comprehension and identity protection. By promoting these important lessons in area schools, OVB hopes to make an impact on our future generations.

Looking for ways to improve your credit or topics to help teach your kids about credit? We’ve got you covered with these helpful tips:

  1. Pay your bills on time. This sounds like a simple concept, right? However, too often people find themselves making late credit card payments. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, set up alerts on your phone as a reminder to get those bills paid on time. If you are able, pay your bill in full. If not, at least make sure to pay the minimum when due.
  2. Watch for warning signs of credit trouble. If you find yourself using credit for all purchases or always making late payments and/or barely scraping by to afford your minimum amount due, you’re already in trouble. The best thing to do in this situation is pay what you can and avoid making any more purchases with your credit card. If you are feeling overwhelmed ask your bank if they have any suggestions to help you get back on track.
  3. Budget, budget, budget. Setting and sticking with a budget is the first step to financial freedom. By adhering to a spending plan and working to build your savings, you will be less likely to overspend on credit cards, which will also help you save on added fees, such as interest costs.
  4. Think before you spend. Often those who encounter credit issues make the common mistake of purchasing items via credit without truly thinking about what it is they are purchasing. Do not pay for things using credit without understanding how it may affect your budget first. Make sure that you will have the means to make payments on your purchase before you reach for the credit card.
  5. Take advantage of your annual free credit report. It is recommended to have your credit checked annually to review for any possible errors on inaccuracies. By doing this you also help protect yourself against the dangers of identity theft. Check your credit for free annually by going to annualcreditreport.com, the official site set up by law from the three national credit reporting agencies. Be sure to type in the address exactly as is since there are many “lookalike” sites, which can charge you for the report or a subscription fee as well as collect information from you for marketing purposes.
  6. Utilize your bank services. Banks are more than money in a vault. They offer valuable services that students can benefit from, including student checking accounts, debit cards, mobile and online banking, balance alerts, personal loans, direct deposit and more. OVB also offers Benjamin Tracker, a helpful tool to help you stick with your budget and not overspend. In addition, OVB also offers a variety of financial education programs.
  7. Ask questions. Whether you are a student looking for advice or an adult wanting to improve your financial circumstances, ask for help. Your local banker is a great place to start.

For more information on OVB’s financial education programs or to schedule a presentation, e-mail OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.

Fall into the season with festive local events

Autumn has unofficially arrived, and our local communities have a jam-packed schedule of events for all ages to enjoy.

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The Mothman statue in Point Pleasant will take center stage during this weekend’s annual Mothman Festival.

From fall festivals to exciting local culture, most events are free or low-cost, which can be great for families looking to both have fun and stick to their budgets. First up this weekend a local legend will be celebrated with a variety of events. Yes, it’s officially Mothman Festival time.

The 17th annual festival will take place this Saturday and Sunday, with a special kick-off event 6 p.m. Friday at the Historic State Theater, located on Main Street in Point Pleasant, W.Va. The event will highlight three features from Small Town Monsters. Festival action gets underway 7 a.m. Saturday with the Mothman 5K. Other festival events include live entertainment, guest speakers, and a variety of Mothman/paranormal themed vendors, including artists, authors, merchants, crafts and food trucks. The festival will also host guided bus tours of the TNT area. On Saturday evening, head to the West Virginia State Farm Museum for the Mothman Hayrides. Hayride tickets are $5 each and will be available for purchase Saturday morning at the festival. Check out the Mothman Festival Facebook page for additional details.

Also this weekend, the Appalachian Art Festival will take place at the French Art Colony in Gallipolis, Ohio. The event will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. with a $5 entry cost. The event is described as a “celebration of the culinary, visual and performing arts of Appalachia.” Many vendors are scheduled to appear and demonstrations are set to take place.

In Jackson, Ohio, you won’t want to miss the Annual Apple Festival, set for Sept. 18-22. The Apple Festival is a staple of the community. According to event organizers, the Jackson Apple Festival currently holds a World Record for the most people bobbing for apples. In addition, the festival holds the title of the largest lighted parade in the state of Ohio. With a full schedule, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. The event promises to be filled with fun, food, music, parades, crafts, contests and competitions. Also, be sure to stop by our Jackson Milton Office during the festival parade. We will be hosting special customer appreciation event from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. with free hotdogs, popcorn and something to tempt your sweet tooth. For more information on the festival, visit http://www.jacksonapplefestival.org.

More festival action is set for Sept. 20-22 in Meigs County, Ohio with the Pomeroy Sternwheel Regatta. The event is hosted by the Pomeroy Eagles with the support of the Pomeroy Volunteer Fire Department, Meigs County Historical Society and the Pomeroy Merchants Association. The Jim Sisson Memorial Fire Truck Parade will kick things off 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20. Opening ceremonies will follow at the river front. Headlining entertainment Carl Acuff Jr. Show will then perform from 8-11 p.m. Friday festival events will showcase carriage rides, a history walk through Pomeroy and entertainment featuring Blitzkrieg. On Saturday, a 5K run with the River Rat Racers will jump start the day at 9 a.m. Kayak races on the river are set for 2 p.m. Other festival activities include a chili cook-off, cornhole tournament and a performance by the Riverside Cloggers.

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OVB Chairman of the Board Jeff Smith presents a check in support of the upcoming Emancipation Celebration in Gallipolis. 

The Emancipation Celebration will return to Gallipolis Sept. 22-23. The weekend, which has been observed in Gallia County continuously since 1863, will feature West Virginia State University President Dr. Anthony Jenkins as its keynote speaker. The event will host a variety of activities, including baseball, sack racing, parades and dance contests. The celebration will get underway at 10 a.m. at the Gallia County Fairgrounds. Bill Jackson with Civil War Troops will hold a raising of the flag ceremony, while the Pledge of Allegiance will be led by the Gallia Sub-District Youth. Kids Fun Day activities are set for 10:30 a.m. In addition, the Wave on Wheels Newport Aquarium will host events from 1-2 p.m. and 2-3 p.m. during the celebration.

Autumn events continue in October starting with the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival in Milton. The event is slated for Oct. 4-7 and will take place at West Virginia Pumpkin Park. The festival, which began in 1986, is one of West Virginia’s largest fests. More than 100 skilled artisans will display crafts and there will be a variety of exhibits and demonstrations, such as blacksmithing, pottery making, quilting and woodworking. There will be live music as well. For more information, visit https://wvpumpkinpark.com/pumpkin-festival/.

Fall fun continues with the Battle Days Festival in Point Pleasant Oct. 5-7. The festival features a variety of historical re-enactments and demonstrations. Activities will take place at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park and Main Street. A parade is set for 11 a.m. Oct. 6. Also on tap Oct. 6-7 in Point Pleasant is the Country Fall Festival. The event, which takes place at the West Virginia State Farm Museum, boasts a variety of fall-themed activities for the whole family to enjoy. From demonstrations to delicious apple butter making, this is an event that will help you get in the autumn spirit.

The Bob Evans Farm Festival will return for the 48th year Oct. 12-14. Open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., the festival is $5 for adults while children ages 5 and under get in free. The event, which is a staple in Rio Grande, Ohio, is truly a family affair with a full schedule of crafts, demonstrations, festive food and activities. There also will be a Kids’ Farmyard Fun area with face painting, a hay bale maze, game tent, kiddie train rides, a corn pile and more. In addition, the weekend promises performances from lumberjacks and chainsaw carvers. Families will be able to meet furry friends from the Columbus Zoo as well. For a full schedule of events, visit http://www.bobevans.com.

In Jackson, check out the Foothills Art Festival, set for Oct. 14-16 at Canter’s Cave Lodge. The annual event is a long standing tradition held within the foothills of Southeastern Ohio and features approximately 100 artists and more than 500 works of art.

On Oct. 27, the Harvest Fest/Tales in the Tavern event will take place in Point Pleasant at Krodel Park’s Fort Randolph. Historical re-enactments are scheduled from 4-8 p.m.  Also Halloween enthusiasts won’t want to miss seeing The Pumpkin House in Kenova, W.Va., which also starts that weekend. The house is a unique fixture of local autumn fun as it is decorated with more than 3,000 carved pumpkins.

For more information on fall events scheduled for your community, contact your area chamber of commerce or tourism center. Be sure to check back here next month as we keep you posted on what Halloween events our area has in store. Remember to think Community First as you enjoy the autumn season!

OVB BANKit back in action

It might feel like summer with these recent sizzling temperatures, but the 2018-2019 academic year is well underway. With school in session, Ohio Valley Bank has once again resumed their BANKit program in area high schools.

The OVB BANKit program, which spans the entire length of the school year, reached approximately 390 students last year from participating schools in Ohio and West Virginia, including Gallia Academy High School, South Gallia High School, River Valley High School, Point Pleasant High School, Wahama High School, and the Mason County Career Center, which is comprised of students from Point Pleasant, Wahama and Hannan High Schools. Students ranged from freshmen to senior grade levels.

Created in 2010, the OVB BANKit program brings real-life banking lessons to the classroom in a fun, interactive format. OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush conducts each lesson, which typically takes place on a monthly basis at each participating school. The program works as a game in which students are given $100 in “buzz bucks,” the OVB BANKit currency. Students have the option to invest their buzz bucks as they wish among different accounts, including CDs, money market, basic checking and savings. They also have the option to purchase and sell shares of stock in the game’s mock company, Pseudosoft.

During each visit students draw a Real Life Card, which may force them to pay an unforeseen bill or provide them with expected cash. Students also have a chance to manage their banking and make deposits/withdrawals in their accounts. This interactive portion of the program is essential as students learn to fill out basic bank paperwork as well as practice vital money management skills.

In addition to the game aspect, each BANKit visit includes a lesson on a financial topic. Lessons set for this academic year include:

  1. Basic differences in bank account types
  2. Filling out bank paperwork, such as deposits and withdrawals; check writing; updating check register
  3. Reading a bank statement
  4. Credit/Cost of Credit/Credit Reports/Credit Scores
  5. Budgeting
  6. Identity Theft
  7. Credit vs. Debit
  8. Interest

For more information on the OVB BANKit program and other financial education programs, visit http://www.ovbc.com and/or contact Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.