CEDAR LAKES - On December 1, 2014, the 11th Annual Winterfest ceremonial lighting extravaganza was held at Cedar Lakes Conference Center. Several Cedar Lake Foundation Board Members alongside of local supporters were in attendance to witness encouraging words from Adam Canter, the newly hired General Manger at Cedar Lakes.  

Canter opened the ceremony by stating, “You know they say that it takes a village to raise a child, and I feel like that applies to Cedar Lakes as well.”

 “I really want to say how thankful I am, how appreciative I am that you guys are here supporting Cedar Lakes and it wouldn’t be where it’s at today if wasn’t for the people of Jackson County and surrounding counties and the people of West Virginia who really care about this place.” Canter commented on how Cedar Lakes is “home to me,” with deep roots planted within Jackson County.

Cedar Lakes Conference Center aspires to have a feasibly and sustainably plan for the upcoming 2015 year.  

Canter commented, “This is a place I can’t watch fail, I’m determined to make Cedar Lakes succeed.”
Canter shared some items that are different this year, “I know in the past a lot of schools have been represented and a lot of scholarships given to different vocational schools to build some of the light displays. This year with the craziness of the transition between the former administrator and myself and the Foundation and State Board of Education and all these things that are a whirlwind of change going on at the state level, that scholarship wasn’t given out. There were no new displays by the Vocational Center.”

“I hope to get that back on track for next year and get back in touch with the Vocational Center- hopefully do more light displays and go for the gold.“

Looking ahead, Canter stated, “Going forward, we need community support and community buy-in to make Cedar Lakes a viable option.

“I wanted to recognize where we are with Cedar Lakes and where we are headed. I think it’s important. The community wants to know, the staff would like to know, even I’d like to know, but I’ll tell you what I do know. Where we are at right now is a transition period, I came in the middle of the transition period and Mr. Grimes did a fantastic job in helping me into this and helping the foundation in making this transition. Right now, we are employed by the State Department of Education. They have stated they are going to faze out our funding and Cedar Lakes will have to stand on its own. So in order to do that, the current plan is a mechanism in which they would transition the property and everything on the property from the State Department of Education to the Cedar Lakes Foundation. In order to do that, we need legislative action, so there are some major hurdles we have to make to have that legislative action in order to make a transition.”
“We have to make sure there is something in place to be able to pass the property legally. We have to make sure we know what’s happening with all the staff benefits, retirement and all those type things. We also have to figure out some type of funding.  So we are working tirelessly for all those things. We are working with our local legislators, and the Governor’s office. We’ve written a five-year sustainability plan. It kind of outlines the things that we need. We’ve taken a very close look at all of the renovations that need done at Cedar Lakes.”

When Cedar Lakes was original founded it was meant as an educational camp-like facility not a hospitality industry.
“I want to keep intact the original mission of what Cedar Lakes is, the heritage of what Cedar Lakes is, but also move forward in order to stand on our own two feet,” said Canter

He added optimistically, “I’m happy to say I really do feel like we are headed in the right direction. We’ve got people’s attention and I think that everybody wants Cedar Lakes to continue, I think we are going in the right direction. I don’t have solid answers at this point but sometimes those take a little more time because we want to make sure before we start giving answers, we want them to be factual as to what is going to happen.”

Canter added, “The bottom line is without the Foundation, without the support of the State Board of Education, without donors and community members this can’t happen. A lot of people ask how can I help Cedar Lakes? We are just looking for a reasonably sustainable plan for Cedar Lakes.

“That’s what we are working on and that’s where we are,” he finished.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Cedar Lakes Foundation or a donor, you may contact the Cedar Lakes Main Office at 304-372-7860.

Cedar Lakes extends a warm welcome for all to come see the 11th Annual Winterfest lights currently on display at Cedar Lakes.

This event has something for the entire family and is presented nightly at no charge. However, you may donate at the donation box either on your way in or out of Cedar Lakes. Your donations help to keep the lights burning at Cedar Lakes.  

There’s nothing that says ‘Christmas time’ quite like the beautiful displays at Cedar Lakes.