A stately black bear sculpture is keeping watch over the gardens at Elmhurst, the House of Friendship senior retirement residence in Wheeling, and his name is Elmer.
The beautifully carved wooden bear was created by chainsaw woodcarver Jeff Roscoe of Flushing. Residents watched the bear take shape a week before West Virginia Day and then submitted suggestions for naming the bear that Roscoe burnished with a torch after it was carved.
The bear was officially christened June 20 and will join several other woodcarvings by Roscoe that can be found throughout the gardens surrounding Elmhurst, including an angel and an eagle.
Admiring Elmer the black bear in his new home at Elmhurst are activities director Samantha Rohm and residents, from left, Dominic Pinzone, Virginia Adkins and Jean Burkle who each submitted the name Elmer which won the “name the bear contest.”