Congratulations to our Winners!
Our first award is theNeighborhood City Partnership Award. This award is presented to Tonya Pickett, our former Neighborhood Services Coordinator. Tonya provided exceptional support to Roanoke neighbors. She was neighborhood oriented and was called a “jewel”. Neighbors say she always made sure everyone was kept up to date and involved.
Our second award is the Neighborhood Community Partnership Award. This award is presented to the Kiwanis Club. The Kiwanis Club was instrumental in the construction of the new Kiwanis Centennial Playground located beside the Melrose Library. The goal of the Kiwanis Centennial Playground was to build an inclusive outdoor space where children and their families could be active together and where the neighborhood could gather, promoting a sense of community, safety and well being. The Kiwanis Club and local partners made this dream a reality and worked closely with the Melrose/Orange Target Area(MOTA) community stakeholders to design the playground. The Kiwanis Centennial Playground is a space that will be a highlight of the MOTA neighborhood for decades and it is all thanks to the dedication, hard work, vision and drive of the Kiwanis Club of Roanoke.
Our third award is the Neighborhood Improvement Award. This award is presented to the Southeast Plawkers. The Southeast Plawkers meet every Tuesday (weather permitting) at a different location in Southeast to take a one hour walk and pick up litter. The group announces their meetup locations on the I Heart Southeast Facebook page and anyone/everyone is invited to show up and pitch in. All supplies are provided in partnership with the Clearn Valley Council. Throughout 2020 the Southeast Plawkers hosted 32 meetups, during which 50 unique volunteers completd 185 volunteer Plawking hours! Over the course of those 32 Plawks, more than 78 bags full of litter were removed from southeast streets! But plawking isn’t just about removing litter – it also provides an opportunity for neighbors and community partners to develop and strengthen relationships that are leading to bigger and better neighborhood improvement projects and community events!
Our fourth award is the Neighborhood Youth Volunteer Award. This award is presented to Lynessa Yi. Lynessa is a young member of the neighborhood who continues to volunteer with her family at community events. She has helped plant daffodils, is a part of the meet and greet new neighbors welcoming committee and also participated in discussion for the new Crystal Spring Library e-Branch! She also volunteered at the 2020 National Night Out Event. We are very proud of Lynessa for giving back to her community!
Our fifth award is the Neighborhood Communications Award. This award is presented to the Facebook Group: Roanoke Moms Survive Corona! Roanoke Moms Survive Corona is not the traditional neighborhood communications award nominee, but during these unprecedented times it has allowed many Roanoke Moms (and Dads) a place for comfort and support, a safe place to vent, questions the mundane, promote local businesses and service providers and of course assist with the ever popular “where can I find toilet paper and sanitizing wipes” requests. The group now has over 3,700 members since Peg McGuire created the page on March 13, 2020. It started as a way for families to find babysitting services but has since helped with much more!
Our sixth award is the Neighborhood Unsung Hero Award. This year’s award is presented to a couple that is well known in our community, Kat Pascal and Jimmy Delgado. Kat and Jimmy own Farmburguesa, with two locations, one in Vinton and another in Grandin Village. They are Millennials on the move! Kat and Jimmy are entrepreneurs, philanthropists, mentors and parents to two elementary aged boys. Kat has established multiple online forums for Hispanic Businesses, Latina Women, Teacher Support, Parents Information and other community resources. Their farm-to-table burger restaurant with a Colombian flair is family friendly and community minded. For every amount of support the community gives them they give back two-fold. During COVID19, through community donations and donating staff time and resources, they have been able to donate and deliver over 500 meals to essential workers. On May 12, 2020, they did a community driver that provided over 100 meals to Hispanic families in need. They have shown that immigrants have a place at the table in local and national economy and Roanoke has welcomed and cheered them along the way!
Our seventh award is the Neighborhood All-Star Award. This year’s award is presented to Humble Hustle. Xavier Duckett, founder of the Humble Hustle Company, uses his creativity and passion to fund community initiatives to teach love and foster hope within the community. In 2020, Xavier and the Humble Hustle Company led a large community event that touched all quadrants of the City titled “Chalk Up the City with Love”. This event was created in response to the experiences of social injustice as a way to spread love and positivity. People from all background participated in sharing a unified message of love. Xavier and the Humble Hustle community initiatives exemplifies the hustler spirit and humble mentality through serving others. Humble Hustle Clothing Company was founded by Xavier in 2015 – it began as a simple idea that would fund the programs and initiatives of the non-profit organization. Since then this team has helped host events such as Pretty Humble, a girls entrepreneurship program that helps provide scholarships for young girls; Humble Hikes exposing inner city youth to life-changing hikes and opportunities and they also provided 750 backpacks filled with school supplies and coats to underprivileged youth in our community. In response to COVID19, the Humble Eats project was formed where they collaborated with local restaurants to provide over 525 meals to youth and their families.
Our 8th award is the Neighborhood Outstanding Volunteer Leadership Award. This year’s recipient is Jordan Bell. Jordan is a millennial, father, historian, mentor, camp director and neighborhood activist. He is a member of Gainsborough Southwest Neighborhood Organization. On Juneteenth 2020, he led a walking tour group of over 100 community members from all over Roanoke; spanning diverse backgrounds and multiple generations. The tour included homes, properties and businesses on Patton Avenue, North Jefferson Street, Gilmer Avenue, Henry Street and Wells Avenue. He also showed courageous leadership through the Black Lives Matter, NAACP and social justice protests, art projects and marches. Jordan inspires people from all races and backgrounds within the City of Roanoke to get involved in issues that affect members of our Black Community. During COVID19 Jordan bought the vacant Barlow House on Gilmer Avenue and has been restoring it with the help of family and friends. His passion is recording the oral and written history of elders within the Gainsboro community. Jordan feels that it is his job and duty to educate future generations on Black History just as his elders and ancestors educated him. He spends most of his time influencing and educating youth in the city because he says, “Our youth will change this city so we want to inspire them to do that in the process.”
Our 9th and final award is the Neighborhood Arts Award. This year, this award goes to the Urban Arts Project for the “End Racism Now” Mural. The Urban Arts Project led the Campbell Avenue Mural Effort on the 200 block of Campbell Avenue, SW on Sunday, July 12th. The group deployed a dozen artists, more than 30 volunteers, a dozen vendors, a group of Star City DJs and many individuals and families providing encouragement to take an artistic stance that racism has no place in Roanoke. The collective message: END RACISM NOW. Organizers include: Jordan Bell, Xavier Duckett, Eboni Harrington, Aly Jones, Sherman Lea, JR. and Kameron Melton. City of Roanoke Fine Arts Coordinator Douglas Jackson also assisted with the mural. The Urban Arts Project mission is beautifying communities with love and inspiration. Their desire is to make art the vehicle for conversation, community and change.
Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you for what you do every day in our community to make Roanoke shine bright!