Home Nonmilitary action Laura Tucker honored by Roanoke College

Laura Tucker honored by Roanoke College


A Salem native who spends a lot of time promoting the city of Salem through her civic and professional activities has been honored by Roanoke College.

Laura Tucker recently received the college’s Charles Brown Award at its annual Salem Appreciation Breakfast, which recognizes Salem residents who have made significant professional and civic contributions to the quality of life in the city.

The award, first presented in 1997, is named after Charles Brown, first dean of Roanoke College and former mayor of Salem.

Tucker’s public service history includes mentoring students and bringing the community together to celebrate fun and unique events and causes around the city.

Tucker, a Salem Water Department staff member and teaching assistant at Salem City Schools, volunteers for multiple civic initiatives.

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She mentors elementary school students through Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia, a nonprofit organization that works with community volunteers in a 17-county region. JA named Tucker its 2018 Volunteer of the Year.

When Salem marked its 215th birthday, Tucker co-founded a grassroots social media group called Salem215 that was dedicated to highlighting positive happenings in the city.

She also champions Roanoke College’s Toy Like Me program, a partnership of faculty, students and staff that modifies toys so children with disabilities and health conditions can see positive reflections of themselves.

TAP is looking for volunteers for a free tax clinic

Total Action for Progress’s free tax clinic provided tax preparation to 521 households last year, but the clinic may not be able to serve that many next tax season.

An e-mailed statement said TAP is in “an urgent need of volunteers for our free tax clinic”, adding “without volunteers, the clinic cannot operate”.

The weekly volunteer commitment is six hours per week for 10 weeks, and free online training is available.

The tax clinic is available to people with a household income of less than $58,000. Households helped by the clinic claimed $411,105 in earned income tax credit, according to the release.

Tuesday is the registration deadline to register as a volunteer. For more information, contact Teffany Henderson at [email protected].

The Miss Roanoke Valley pageant takes place on November 12

Isabella Jessee, Miss Roanoke Valley 2022, will relinquish her crown Nov. 12 at the Dumas Center, 108 First St. NW

Jessee of Roanoke is a 2022 graduate of Hollins University and EMT for Roanoke City Fire and Rescue. She finished second in the Miss Virginia pageant in June.

The Miss RV scholarship pageant is a preliminary to the Miss Virginia and Miss America pageants. Young girls from across the state will not only compete for the title of Miss RV, but also for Miss RV’s Outstanding Teen. A Teen N Training and several princesses will also be selected.

Outstanding Miss RV teenager Ayana Johnson of Suffolk will also give up her crown. She won the Miss VA Outstanding Teenage title at Roanoke in June.

Miss Roanoke Valley enjoys a network of support and resources to promote her personal community service platform during her year of service.

The contest starts at 7 p.m.; tickets are $20 but are free for children under 6.

An essay on an award-winning D-Day local vet

In October 2018, Forest I. Jones and his brother interviewed William Dabney, an African-American soldier who was in the D-Day invasion but did not receive the Legion of Honor until 65 years later.

Two months later, Dabney, then 94, died. His death, however, did not stop Jones from detailing World War II and Dabney’s non-military experiences in an essay.

This essay – Mr. William G. Dabney: “I was not afraid of the D-Day invasion, but I didn’t think I would come out of it alive” – ​​earned Jones an honorable mention in the category essay or non-fiction article from Writer’s 91st Annual Digest Writing Contest.

Jones, a Salem educator and school administrator, was among nearly 500 winners from more than 2,800 submissions in May 2021.

Film to tell the story of the Boys & Girls Clubs of SWVa

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia has been around for about a quarter of a century and celebrates with the premiere of a film documenting its history on Tuesday, November 29.

“Impressions: 25 Years of Inspiration for Local Youth” is a joint project with Firefli, a Roanoke digital services company, and filmmaker Will Sellari. It will have two performances at the Grandin Theater.

The film features stories from current and former club members, parents, community partners and founding board members, featuring footage from BGCSWVA’s 11 clubs in Roanoke and Salem and Roanoke, Montgomery and Franklin.

Organizers call the event, which takes place on Giving Tuesday, the global giving day during the holiday season, “a unique twist on BGCSWVA’s biggest fundraiser of the year.”

CEO Michelle Davis, Chief Development Officer Emily Pinkerton and Chairman of the Board Scott Jenkins said in a press release that they believe taking this approach to the annual BGCSWVA fundraiser “gives the community the opportunity to engage more deeply in our organization, immerse themselves in our mission, and have fun.”

“We pull back the curtain on what happens behind the doors of the Boys & Girls Club every day and the stories are powerful. I don’t want you to miss it!” Pinkerton added.

Morning noon includes popcorn, drinks, and lunch; and the 6 p.m. event includes popcorn, drinks, and heavy appetizers.

Admission is free, but please RSVP to www.bgcswva.org/moments to secure a spot.

TAP announces the winner of the Cabell Brand Hope Award

Abby Verdillo Hamilton, CEO of United Way Roanoke Valley, is the recipient of the 2022 Cabell Brand Hope Award from Total Action for Progress.

The award, recognizing the legacy of TAP founder Brand, was presented at the kickoff of the organization’s “Bringing Hope Home” campaign in October.

Officials announced that $114,700 of the $300,000 goal had been raised. The campaign ends at the end of June 2023 and the funds will go to education, housing and financial services programs.

Verdillo Hamilton began her career at UW in 2002 and was promoted to CEO in 2020. She has been recognized for her collaborative spirit in engaging diverse audiences on community needs and issues.

Her efforts include helping coordinate local governments, health departments and nonprofit organizations to meet the most immediate needs of families during the pandemic. She also serves on core teams for publicly funded pilot projects and learning cohorts to explore innovative strategies to meet community needs.

Verdillo Hamilton is also part of a task force that works closely with UW national leadership. In May 2022, she received the Roanoke NAACP Citizen of the Year – Humanitarian of the Year Award in recognition of her contributions to the Roanoke Valley and beyond.

TAP also selected Miz Lexima as Customer of the Year 2022.

As one of more than 5,000 people served by TAP, Lexima was a client of TAP’s vocational training programs which she says laid the foundation for her nursing career.