From left: Roanoke College President Frank Shushok Jr.; Michael Mansfield; Sandra Meythaler; Seth Davis; Susan Smith, representing Roanoke Valley Children's Choir; Douglas Jackson; Michael Hemphill; and Hollins University President Mary Dana Hinton. Photo courtesy of Roanoke College.

Here’s a roundup of briefs around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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2022 Kendig Award winners announced

The Perry F. Kendig Awards, which are given annually to people and organizations that support the arts in the Roanoke region, were presented Tuesday at Hollins University.

The awards, which are cosponsored by Hollins and Roanoke College, are named for the late Perry F. Kendig, who served as president of Roanoke College and was an avid supporter and patron of the arts. 

Three awards were given:

  • The Individual Artist Award went to Seth Davis, Mill Mountain Theatre’s resident music director. For nearly a decade, Davis has inspired more than 4,000 children and teenagers by helping them find joy and fulfillment through music. His students develop leadership and talents they can apply to their studies and future careers. “Teaching is Seth Davis’ passion; music is his language,” said one of the nominators. 
  • The Arts and Cultural Organization Award was given to the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir. For 35 years, RVCC has met the needs of young people across the Roanoke Valley, providing an artistic and in-depth study of voice in a choral setting. The choir currently has 130 singers aged 7 to 18. It is divided into a “Little Singers” group for children ages 4-6, three training choirs and a concert choir, and children move up through the groups as their development and aptitude deepens.  
  • The Individual or Business Arts Supporter Award was presented to Douglas Jackson, arts and culture coordinator for the city of Roanoke and capacity development specialist for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Jackson is a long-serving ally of the arts in Virginia’s Blue Ridge who is invested in finding ways to make the arts compelling and accessible to all. He has done that through community initiatives such as BOOK CITY and Roanoke’s Year of the Artist.  “Doug’s belief in the power of the arts to strengthen community in all its diversity, and to build trusting relationships, is contagious,” a nominator said.  

Other nominees were Michael Hemphill, founder and host of the Blue Ridge PBS and YouTube show “Buzz4Good”; Michael Mansfield, an actor and director who has worked with multiple local arts organizations; and Sandra Meythaler, executive director of Roanoke Ballet Theatre. 

The Kendig Awards program was established in 1985 and presented annually by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge through 2012. Hollins University and Roanoke College have now partnered on the program for 10 years. Kendig’s sons, Bill Kendig, a 1980 graduate of Roanoke College, and John Kendig, attended Tuesday’s event. 

“We so appreciate the fact that Roanoke College and Hollins University honor Dad with that award,” John Kendig said. “He would love to be here. He would be in his element.”  


Nutrition and health care programs receive federal funding

Three Virginia initiatives that provide health care and nutrition assistance have received a total of $2.5 million in aid through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program.

The funding, announced Thursday by the offices of U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both D-Virginia, will be distributed as follows:

  • $467,900 to Appalachian Sustainable Development in Duffield to expand food distribution and help food pantries cover their financial costs.
  • $1 million to the Harvest Outreach Center in Gladys to help Virginians access mental health care through telehealth and reimburse revenue lost during the COVID pandemic.
  • $1 million to Northampton County to purchase emergency medical services, medical and food prep equipment as well as new generators for two elementary schools.

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SML Pavilion opens in Moneta

The SML Pavilion, a nonprofit event space in Moneta, opened this week with a community gathering.

The pavilion offers a performance stage and seating for up to 220 people under a 40 foot-by-100 foot tent. All events at the pavilion will benefit Smith Mountain Lake-area nonprofits including SML Good Neighbors, Lake Christian Ministries, Children’s Assistive Technology Service and the Moneta Fire Department.

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Management Institute at Roanoke College accepting 2023 nominations

The Management Institute, sponsored by Roanoke College’s Business Administration and Economics Department, is accepting nominations for its 2023 management program.

The application deadline is Nov. 11. The program will be held during the spring semester, opening with a networking and team-building event on Jan. 17. The program runs for 12 weeks and meets on Thursday evenings at Roanoke College.

To participate, an employee must be nominated by an organizational sponsor. Organizations may nominate more than one employee. A maximum of 18 candidates will be admitted to the program at a cost of $1,950 per participant.

To nominate someone or to learn more about the program, visit