ToquiNotes: Asking City, Harrison County Residents to Step Up and Assist Clarksburg's Dougie Layfield

By Jeff Toquinto on June 23, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Back in 2005, while attending a Bridgeport boys’ basketball game at Robert C. Byrd High School the Eagles were honoring the 10-year anniversary of the squad that made it to the state championship game. As each player and coach was announced there was loud applause from the Eagles’ sideline and polite applause from the Indians’ side of the building.
 
Then, the announcer said the words, “and team manager, Dougie Layfield.” The RCB side went from loud applause to an eruption and at the same time the section covered in BHS red was on their feet giving a full-fledge standing ovation.
 
If ever there was a testament to how beloved Dougie Layfield is in Clarksburg and well beyond, that was it. Quite simply, there are few individuals if any that are as beloved by everyone. And I don’t say that lightly.
 
For those that don’t know, Dougie has been assisting as the team manager for sports at Robert C. Byrd – and well prior to that at Washington Irving High School – for decades. He is a 100 percent advocate for the kids, the coaches, the school and the Clarksburg community and he’s known well beyond the borders of the city as well.
 
Opposing coaches often greet him like a personal meeting with the Pope. And he greets them with kindness as well.
 
I’ve seen it for years. I saw it when I first started writing in 1986 and he was already an old hand around the sports fields when I was still wet behind the ears. I see it today as well and that’s more than three decades later.
 
There’s no way to determine the amount of time he’s volunteered at RCB and WI. There’s no way to measure the young kids he patted on the back and supported along the way. There’s really no way to completely pay back someone whose mere presence has helped make everyone else around him better for knowing.
 
Yet, there’s something I’d like the folks in the Bridgeport community reading this blog and beyond to do. I really would like to see you make an effort to help pay back to one of the kindest souls I know in Dougie Layfield.
 
At the end of this blog, I’m going to tell you how to help after I tell you why you need to help.
 
Dougie lives by himself. It’s not surprising to know it’s not far from Robert C. Byrd High School where he often can be seen riding his bike back and forth from the school.
 
Recently, it was learned that parts of his residence were in a state of disrepair. And already, a group has stepped up to help.
 
The Clarksburg Baptist Church’s StudentLife Ministry group is working to do a local service project to make the needed repairs. Some of the work has already been done, but it’s likely a big ticket item requiring contractors to assist is next.
 
I talked to the man coordinating the effort, Allen Hill who is the director of StudentLife Ministry, and wasn’t surprised to hear the good words the man had to say. And I definitely wasn’t surprised to hear the first thing he said.
 
“I’ve known Dougie Layfield since his days at Washington Irving,” said Hill. “He just volunteers and gives of himself to the high school and particularly the sports teams and has done so for decades.”
 
For Hill, knowing about Dougie and then learning about his home led to the process beginning.
 
“We heard his home had issues and needed repairs. At Clarksburg Baptist Church we saw this as an opportunity to do what you would call a local mission project,” said Hill. “As a church, we believe it’s an outreach of Christ and we’re supposed to help people in need and right now Dougie is in need.”
 
Already, the youth group that consists of students in grades six through 12 have done work and assisted with adults in other projects. Hill said what began as a general clean out of the house led to the discovery of issues with his bathroom and some pretty significant issues with his roof.
 
“Right now, we’re coordinating the effort to raise funds because there’s a lot of work we simply can’t do,” said Hill. “The funds we hope to raise will be utilized to get a contractor.”
 
The StudentLife group has done plenty though beyond the cleanup. Hill said the bathroom has already been done as well.
 
“We were able to remove a truckload of stuff and it was rewarding to get the bathroom work complete, but with the roof and maybe some other issues we’re going to have to have contractor help,” said Hill. “Getting that help is going to require some funds.”
 
And that’s where you can help. There’s several easy ways to go about it.
 
You can donate directly by mail by sending a check to Clarksburg Baptist Church, P.O. Box 327, Clarksburg, WV 26302 (put Dougie Layfield Service Project in the memo line). You can inquire about making a donation by calling Hill at 304-203-6183. Also, contractors who may be willing to work on the project, provide materials, do something at cost or anything else to assist can call Hill at the same number. And you can visit the Clarksburg Baptist Church Web site.Here's the link for that:   http://www.clarksburgbaptistchurch.com/serviceproject
 
Bridgeport, Harrison County and even those who read elsewhere in the state and beyond it’s time to do what you always do. Step up and help a person whose entire life has been dedicated to volunteering. Step up and help Dougie.
 
Editor's Note: Dougie Layfield is shown doing his managerial work at a recent RCB football game, while he fires up the student section in the second photo. In the third picture, Dougie is shown talking to the blog's author prior to a recent BHS-RCB game and below he's shown with his trusty bike at an Indians-Eagles baseball game. Top three photos by www.benqueenphotography.com.


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