Calfee Training School. Randy Walker photo
Calfee Training School. Photo by Randy Walker.

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

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$50,000 grant will support exhibit at African American Heritage Center in Pulaski

Calfee Community & Cultural Center in Pulaski will receive a $50,000 grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The funding will support the development of the central exhibit at the organization’s African American Heritage Center: “Quiet Courage: Chauncey Harmon, Percy Corbin, and the fight for educational equality in Pulaski, Virginia,” according to a news release announcing the grant.

The Calfee Community & Cultural Center was created to give new life to the former Calfee Training School, a former school for Black children in Pulaski. [Read more about the history of the Calfee Community & Cultural Center in this Cardinal News story from earlier this year.]

The center is one of 40 sites to receive a total of $3.8 million in grant funding to help with preservation efforts for historic places that represent African American cultural heritage, according to the release.

The Action Fund is the largest U.S. resource dedicated to the preservation of African American historic places. Since 2017, the fund has received 5,638 funding proposals requesting $655 million. Since 2018, it has supported 242 projects through an investment of $20 million. 

To learn more about the program and this year’s recipients, visit

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Boxley Materials again partners with Virginia Museum of Natural History for education programming

The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville and Boxley Materials Co. have announced the renewal of a year-long partnership in support of the museum’s educational programming initiatives.

The $10,000 gift from the Blue Ridge-based Boxley to the VMNH Foundation will help the museum deliver a variety of STEM-based educational programs, according to a news release.

The partnership is a continuation of a collaboration between VMNH and Boxley forged in 2019. Specifically, the partnership supports the museum’s standards-based school programming, as well as field trips to Boxley quarry sites located throughout Virginia, the museum’s Homeschool Science & Engineering Academy and VMNH Science Festivals, the release said.

For more information about VMNH educational offerings, including how to request programming, visit

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50th annual Blue Ridge Folklife Festival coming in October

The 50th annual Blue Ridge Folklife Festival has been scheduled for Oct. 28.

The festival, hosted by the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum in Ferrum, will feature performers, artisans, food and other activities including a checkers tournament, a previous tradition that’s being brought back in honor of the 50th anniversary.

Scheduling updates will be posted on the BRIM website regularly for event details. Registration information to play in the checkers tournament is coming soon.

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Youngkin lays wreath at Normandy to honor D-Day troops

Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Saturday toured Pointe Du Hoc and the American Cemetery in Normandy, France, and laid a wreath to pay respects to the lives lost in World War II. 

Gov. Glenn Youngkin at a gravesite in the American Cemetery in Normandy. Official Photo by Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin.

“It was a profound honor to visit the hallowed grounds of the American Cemetery in Normandy, coming face-to-face with the inescapable truth that freedom is never free,” Youngkin said in a news release. “On behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I extend my deepest gratitude to the Bedford Boys and all Virginia service members who gave their lives in the name of freedom and in the defense of liberty.”  

On June 6, Youngkin spoke at the 79th anniversary of D-Day in Bedford County. The town of Bedford is home to the “Bedford Boys,” 35 men who fought on D-Day, 19 of whom lost their lives. 

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United Way of Central Virginia announces $1 million in awards to 36 programs

United Way of Central Virginia has announced the beneficiaries of this year’s Community Impact Grant Program.

Through the program, UWCV will invest $1 million in 36 education, income and health
programs serving Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell counties and the city of Lynchburg.

The 2023-24 grant recipients:

  • Altavista Area Habitat for Humanity: housing
  • American Red Cross of the Blue Ridge: vital and blood services, disaster relief
  • ARC of Central Virginia: quality of life services, support and empowerment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Bedford Area Family YMCA: child care
  • Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Virginia: community and on-site mentoring
  • Boy Scouts: ScoutReach (outreach in underserved, inner-city communities)
  • CASA of Central Virginia: volunteer training in advocacy for abused and neglected children in court
  • Central Virginia Alliance for Community Living: senior special transportation, Meals on Wheels and congregate meals
  • EMPOWER Day Support of Central Virginia: day support and quality of life enhancement for people with intellectual development disabilities
  • Free Clinic of Central Virginia: free medical, dental and pharmacy services for the uninsured
  • Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council: female entrepreneurship program
  • HumanKind: mental health counseling, Healthy Families program and Ways to Work program
  • Jubilee Family Development Center: youth educational support in disadvantaged communities
  • Lake Christian Ministries: food assistance
  • Lynchburg Community Action Group: early childhood education, employment training, and formerly incarcerated reentry
  • Lynchburg Sheltered Industries: providing employment to individuals with disabilities
  • Mary Bethune Academy: child care in a historically underserved community
  • Salvation Army: emergency shelters and family services
  • Virginia Legal Aid Society: legal services for housing improvement, eviction and foreclosure prevention
  • YMCA of Central Virginia: after-school and summer programs for children
  • YWCA of Central Virginia: domestic violence prevention, sexual assault response and housing for victims of domestic violence