The past two years the W. Dan Prince III Thanksgiving Eve Dinner has been a drive-through event. Courtesy of The Harvest Foundation.
The past two years tW. Dan Prince III Thanksgiving Eve Dinner has been a drive-through event. Courtesy of The Harvest Foundation.

Here’s a round-up of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

* * *

Dan Prince dinner returns to Martinsville

Volunteers are needed for the The past two years tW. Dan Prince III Thanksgiving Eve Dinner in Martinsville. Courtesy of The Harvest Foundation.
Volunteers are needed for the W. Dan Prince III Thanksgiving Eve Dinner in Martinsville. Courtesy of The Harvest Foundation.

The Harvest Youth Board has announced the return of the annual W. Dan Prince III Thanksgiving Eve Dinner. The dinner will take place on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, from 1-4 p.m. at Martinsville High School. The dinner, forced to move to a drive-through format the last two years because of the pandemic, will again welcome individuals for a hot meal in-person this year. 

(Disclosure: The Harvest Foundation, of which the youth board is a part, is one of our donors, but donors have no say in news decisions. See our policy).

The free, traditional Thanksgiving meal will be available for dine-in, carryout and delivery. Martinsville and Henry County community members wishing to order a meal for delivery should call (276) 730-9017 by Sunday, November 20, 2022. Individuals dining in or carrying out meals do not require reservations. The menu consists of a traditional Thanksgiving meal — turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, bread and a cookie.

This year, families with children under 12 will receive a free book. The Harvest Youth Board wanted to find a way to include the current board’s focus on literacy with the annual Thanksgiving Eve meal.

The W. Dan Prince III Thanksgiving Eve Dinner has served more than 10,000 meals since 2016 with the help of hundreds of volunteers. The meal serves as a signature event for the Harvest Youth Board.

The board is also seeking volunteers for the event. Volunteer duties include cooking, serving and delivering meals. Delivery drivers must be 18 years and older. Individuals who want to volunteer can visit to register. Volunteer registration closes on November 16, 2022. However, volunteers, especially delivery drivers, can join in on the action on the day of the event.  

 To find out more about the Harvest Youth Board, visit

* * *

USDA makes more than $700,000 in grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded more than $700,000 in grants to localities in Southwest Virginia, according to releases from Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, and Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both D-Virginia. They are:

  • $250,000 to the Town of Hillsville for the completion of the fifth phase of its farmers market.
  • $200,000 to Grayson County for the purchase of two sanitation vehicles.
  • $105,000 to the Town of Richlands to create a revolving loan fund that will serve as a recruitment and retention tool for micro- and small businesses.
  • $93,700 to the Town of Coeburn for the purchase of a backhoe for the public works department.
  • $50,000 to the Alleghany Highlands YMCA for the purchase of two vans.
  • $5,200 to the Town of Boones Mill for the purchase of a law enforcement vehicle to replace an older, unsafe vehicle in need of costly repairs. 

* * *

VCEDA gives grant for hair business in Bluefield

The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority has awarded a $10,000 Seed Capital Matching Grant to Ethics Hair Care, LLC of Bluefield.

Ethic Hair Care owner Kim Ross. Courtesy of VCEDA.
Ethic Hair Care owner Kim Ross. Courtesy of VCEDA.

The new business, owned by Kim Ross, projects six full-time employees within five years, said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel in a statement.

“Ethics Hair Care was birthed from a much-needed service for curly and coily textured hair care in the Bluefield and surrounding area,” Ross said in a statement. “As an African American living in a rural area, the support and resources for diverse needs are not as common as in a metropolitan area. Although the resources are sparse, the need is still real.”

The new business, located in the College Plaza at Bluefield, is planning to begin training staff in the fall and winter of 2022.

“In the past decade, those with curly hair have been breaking free from this mold and learning to embrace the texture God has given them,” Ross added. “This newfound interest has carved a niche for salons that dedicate their focus and services to this client. As with all hair textures, curly hair has its unique product and styling needs.”

Ross said the salon’s goal is to train and certify six to 10 stylists within the first year and employ at least three stylists. It operates its own six-week training and certification program and Ross said the goal for the future is to open additional salons and to provide potential franchise opportunities.

In addition to offering hair care, Ross said Ethics Hair Care will also offer styling products currently manufactured in Ohio, but has plans to develop its own formulations for shampoos, conditioners, creams and mists. In addition to offering those items for sale in-store, purchases will also be able to be made online through the company website at, now under development.

Ross said three stylists have been hired to start. All employees go through in-house training prior to employment, she added.

Ross worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) in developing her application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority.

About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton.