MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – One Marshall County family is still on a mission to honor their beloved sister by giving back, and they need the community’s help. 

“Whatever and however Kathy was living her life, we needed to carry on that legacy in her memory,” said Jane Rickman with the Kathy’s House Foundation.

Since its namesake Kathy Criswell-Martin passed away suddenly in 2016, Kathy’s House Foundation has been working with one goal in mind, continuing to touch the lives of others, just the way Kathy did. 

“Little did we know at that point in time the community would be in a state of shock as well,” Rickman continued. She said the outpouring of well-wishes and people sharing how Kathy had impacted them was overwhelming.

With the community’s help Kathy’s House Foundation been working to establish a hospitality house for patients at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital and the surrounding areas.

“That’s where we went for every holiday was Kathy’s house,” Rickman reminisced. She took in everybody. There was no strangers there.  From her kids down to her siblings, her grandkids, she just always made it so natural and there was no stranger ever.”

Kathy’s House Foundation is on its way to the ultimate goal. 

“We’re still looking at various properties,” explained Kenn Criswell. “We’ve got a lot in the pipeline at the moment, but without the money to get the house we’re still on hold.” 

Kathy’s House Foundation invites the community to a benefit weekend full of family fun, starting with street fair Friday on August 16th and the inaugural Kathy’s House 5-K run/walk.

“It’ll start at St. Jude Park and it’ll go out the crick and back,” said Rickman.  

Street fair food, inflatables, games and live entertainment runs from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at St. Jude Park.

Steak fry Saturday returns for the second year.

Tickets are $25 per person and includes steak, potato salad, a roll and drinks at St. Jude Park.

Music begins at 4:00 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:00.

All the money will go to Kathy’s House, making sure her lasting legacy lives on through helping others. 

Their goal this year is to raise $40,000.

“It would be a huge help to us to get this up and running,” Rickman added. “We’re gonna have to make whatever property we purchase ADA compliant and all of the renovations so we are just really looking forward to this becoming a reality.” 

If you’d like more information about Kathy’s House Foundation or want to register for the race and buy tickets for the steak fry, visit

In addition to the fundraising, Kathy’s House Foundation also helps other organizations throughout the year.

They continue to make “Kathy’s Bags” for patients at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital, donate hundreds of those bags to Foster Hope Ohio Valley and participate in Night to Sign, the Cinderella Project and Relay for Life.

Kathy’s House Foundation also holds a luminaria ceremony around Memorial Day to honor veterans.

“We have been honoring veterans now for the last few years,” Rickman continued. “We’ve honored about 750 Marshall County veterans and it’s a project that is very dear to our hearts, very humbling to be able to say thank you to our veterans.”