Rainelle business owner puts best foot forward to revitalize town

RAINELLE, WV (WOAY) – If you’ve driven down Main Street in Ranielle in the past few months in the morning, odds are you’ve seen Mike Rogers on a jog. And if it wasn’t his bright neon sweatshirt that caught your attention it might have been the message on the back of it. Or maybe it’s the plastic bag he carries as he picks up trash along the way. 

“So I’m hoping to do two things. Someone may see me jogging and say, ‘Hey I need to get some more exercise too,’ and the more important, ‘Hey, maybe I’m not going to throw this out the window.’ I’m shocked at the number of people that just take their trash and throw it out the window. I wasn’t raised that way, so I don’t mind doing it.” 

But it’s also what’s on the front of his jogging sweatshirt that he hopes will make a difference in Rainelle.

In 2015, he started the screen printing company MySport. And then the floods of 2016 happened, completely ruining the inside of his business. 

With that, he started over and created what he now calls MySport FundRacer5 solely focused on youth sports fundraising. Teams can go to the website, create a fundraiser of the products that Rogers and his team make like ornaments, magnets and even lotions, and then from there the team can design a website and sell the products. 

Right now it’s just Rogers and a few others running it, but he hopes to hire his first shop employee soon and his goal is that he or she will be a graduating student from Greenbrier West or Meadow Bridge High School. 

“We want to focus on this end of the county. Kids who maybe don’t have a college fund, who don’t want to go to work in the coal mines,” he said. “Of course they’re sometimes open, sometimes not. Don’t want to work in the woods. Don’t want to work in the lumber yard. We focus on teams from across the country and we take that revenue and we bring it back to Rainelle”

And even though Rogers is not from the area, he would come to visit his grandparents, so when he was ready to settle down, for him, Rainelle was the clear choice. And it’s his love for Rainelle that pushes his desire to see the town get back on its feet.

“The flood was devastating and I think that really kicked it in for me. Okay, I need to do my part. The town’s bounced back incredibly, but it can’t stop,” he said. 

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com