The first winner of the James H. Roberts Athletic Scholarship
is Chase D. Mills (center) pictured with Mrs. Patricia Roberts,
(right) and Sara Roberts (left) Chase participated in football,
basketball and baseball. He will attend West Virginia University

Submitted by Sarah Holt
Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation

A new fund has been established with the Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation (LKACF), an affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF). The fund is the James H. Roberts Athletic Scholarship Fund, established by the Roberts family in memory of James Roberts, who passed away in 2006.

Mr. Roberts, who was born in 1925, was a graduate of Wirt County High School, where he was an outstanding athlete. During his high school football days, he averaged over 53 yards per punt, made the All-Conference team twice and was a two-time All-State Gridiron performer. In 1942, he was the highest scoring player in the state. He received a football scholarship to Ohio State University, where he graduated with a B.S. degree in 1948. His roommate at the time was Lee Tressel, father of Jim Tressel, current Ohio State University head football coach. In fact, the elder Mr. Tressel and Mr. Roberts were so close, Jim Tressel was named after Mr. Roberts, and the two kept in contact over the years.

He also played football for two years at Baldwin-Wallace College, where he served with the Navy V-12 Unit during World War II. He received his M.A. degree from the University of Michigan in 1949, and returned to Elizabeth, W.V., where he owned and operated the Roberts Store for many years. He was also the former president of Wirt County Bank, a Chairman of the Board of WesBanco in Elizabeth, and a member of the Board of Directors for WesBanco in Parkersburg. He was also an avid golfer, participating in all of the Mountaineer Athletic Club events and was a club champion at Worthington Golf Course. He also loved Mingo Bottom Golf Course in Wirt County. He was inducted into the Mid Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

His surviving family members include his wife of 53 years, Patricia Roberts; three daughters-Sara Roberts of Marietta, OH; Charlotte and Carl Perham and daughter Gracie of Fairfax, VA, and; Christy Roberts of Kitty Hawk, N.C. He also has one surviving sister, Elizabeth Roberts Bare of Hinton, WV.

Mrs. Roberts, who established this fund in memory of her late husband, lives in Elizabeth and is a very active participant in the community. She is involved with the Woman's Club of Elizabeth and is a member of the Elizabeth United Methodist Church. She established this fund to honor her husband's wish to provide a scholarship to a deserving Wirt County High School student. Her three daughters also support the establishment of this scholarship.

The James H. Roberts Athletic Scholarship will be awarded each year to a graduating senior of Wirt County High School that is planning to attend a four year program of study at a college within the State of West Virginia. This scholarship is open to all student athletes, male and female, who have grade point averages of 2.0 or above. Recipients of this scholarship shall be selected on the basis of their commitment to athletics, sufficiency of grade point average and adequacy of ACT/SAT scores. Students will be able to apply for this scholarship using the PACF General Scholarship Application Form, which is given to all of the high schools in the region beginning in January of each year. The deadline for the application is usually around mid-March.

The LKACF was established as an affiliate of the PACF in 2004. The LKACF is a 501(c)(3) entity, which serves to build permanent charitable funds that will support the Calhoun and Wirt Counties forever.

Donations for the James H. Roberts Athletic Scholarship can be sent to LKACF, P.O. Box 944, Elizabeth, WV 26143. Donations made to this fund are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Gifts that can be accepted include cash, appreciated stock, real estate, life insurance, tangible property, bequests and other planned gifts.

Questions about the James H. Roberts Athletic Scholarship or about LKACF in general can be directed to Sarah Holt, LKACF Representative, by calling, toll free, 1.866.428.4438 or by e-mail at