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Giving: Roanoke motorcycle club awards scholarships to Northside, Lord Botetourt graduates

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Jada Morgan, left, and Sanii Nash-Fuell, at a ceremony in May marking their scholarships from the Roanoke chapter of the National Association of Buffalo Soldiers and Troopers Motorcycle Club.

The Roanoke Chapter of the National Association of Buffalo Soldiers and Troopers Motorcycle Club has awarded $500 scholarships to Sanii Nash-Fuell and Jada Morgan.

Nash-Fuell, daughter of Jemarh Fuell and Tanisha Nash, is a Northside High School graduate and will attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she plans to major in kinesiology with a minor in business finance.

Morgan, daughter of Darin Uwezo Morgan and Lauran DeAnna Morgan, is a Lord Botetourt High School graduate and will attend the University of Lynchburg, majoring in nursing with a minor in psychology.

The National Association of Buffalo Soldiers and Troopers Motorcycle Club is a tiered organization. Both Roanoke scholarship recipients will now compete at the Frontier and National levels for additional scholarship awards.

PH graduate receives scholarshipAshton Tinsley, a 2022 Patrick Henry High School graduate, has received the Clarence M. Gillis Scholarship.

The scholarship, established in honor of the late Roanoke Valley educator, is awarded annually to a deserving student who exhibit leadership and good citizenship.

Tinsley was a member of the National Honor Society and the French Honor Society. He volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and Straight Talk, a nonprofit for at-risk youth, and was the founder of the FCA Bible study group at PH.

Tinsley plans to attend Liberty University and major in religious studies.

Food pantry coordinator honored Melissa Loving, the school site coordinator for the “Giving Light” student-led food pantry at Andrew Lewis Middle School, recently was honored for her work.

The Salem Area Ecumenical Ministries’ Healthy Communities Action Team nominated Loving as a “Powerful Partner,” and the recognition was bestowed by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth.

SAEM receives a grant from the foundation, which announced the “Powerful Partner” award to honor organizations and individuals that contribute significantly to its goals and objectives of preventing and reducing youth tobacco-use, and childhood obesity.

Loving volunteers as site coordinator for about 40 at-risk students who use the food pantry on a weekly basis. She has devoted many hours after school and on weekends to assist with food drives, and visits local churches, community groups, and businesses to secure food and financial donations. She also has developed a network of community partners to support the school food pantry.

Festival of India set for Aug. 13The India Heritage Society is presenting its 14th Festival of India from 4 until 8 p.m. Aug. 13 at Elmwood Park.

The free, family event celebrates the 76th Independence Day of India and India’s rich heritage in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. It will focus on Freedom Fighters of India and their sacrifices, and each of India’s 29 states will be represented during the evening of fun, food, dance, music and costumes.

For more information on Festival of India, call Ssunny Shah at 540-537-0618 or email

Agency seeks support for golf tourneyThe Intellectual Disabilities Agency of the New River Valley is recruiting teams and sponsors for its 25th annual golf tournament that will be held Aug. 15 at the Blacksburg Country Club.

The tournament is one of the main fundraisers for IDA which provides a variety of social, recreational, and educational activities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in the New River Valley. Clients participate in programs, along with volunteer community members, such as bowling, craft classes, dances, and cooking classes. The agency also provides limited transportation for clients and serves as respite for family members.

Lunch will be provided prior to the 1 p.m. shotgun start. The cost is $300 a team, or $75 for an individual.

For more information, contact Sheila Roop at or 540-381-0310, or call Coreen Bookout at 540-392-9262.

Find the agency on Facebook @ Intellectual Disabilities Agency or visit

Food drive at Sunday’s Salem Red Sox game

W.S. Connelly & Co. Inc. is trying to help strike out hunger by hosting a drive to for Feeding Southwest Virginia at Salem’s Red Sox Stadium on Sunday.

Gates open at 4:05 p.m. for entrance to the baseball game, and the first 500 people bringing a minimum of one can or any non-perishable food item will get a ticket to the baseball game.

W.S. Connelly & Co. Inc., founded locally in the 1950s as “a simple feed ‘n’ seed business” with just a handful of employees now has more than 100 employees across several states.

Feeding Southwest Virginia channels approximately $30 million worth of food and grocery-related products annually through more than 380 partner feeding programs in a 26-county, nine-city region, including the Roanoke Valley.

Adult literacy programs boostedThe Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded an $8,000 grant to Blue Ridge Literacy to support adult English literacy.

The grant is part of the Dollar General foundation’s recent award of $10.5 million donation to support summer, family, and adult literacy programs.

Funds from the literacy foundation will support programming for more than 250 foreign-born adults who participate in BRL’s Leveled English for Speakers of Other Languages Class Programs and One-on-One tutoring services, said Ahoo Salem, Blue Ridge Literacy’s executive director.

Blue Ridge Literacy offers in-person and online ESOL classes at Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Levels as well as context-specific English and Health Literacy and English and Digital Literacy classes. With a focus on Functional Literacy Skills, BRL’s ESOL class programs provide adult learners with the reading, writing, and English communication skills they need to interact and operate in everyday settings and to make long-term plans so they can improve living conditions for themselves and their families. Blue Ridge Literacy works closely with its community partners to share information about available resources and opportunities in the Roanoke Valley.

Grant to help at-risk teensThe Botetourt Rotary Club has received a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant to help fund its Youth-At-Risk Project.

The club intends to use the grant, one of 100 awarded nationally, to create a long-term, sustainable program to provide resources to address teen mental health and substance abuse as well as funding pro-social activities that will help teens avoid delinquency, develop self-esteem, and make positive contributions to their community.

“Teens in Botetourt County and the surrounding areas battle significant substance abuse and mental health issues,” said Lethia Hammond, Botetourt Rotary Club president, adding “This grant provides the seed money to help us build a sustainable, long-term Youth-At-Risk program. Our goal is to develop a program that may be easily replicated in surrounding communities.”

Contact JoAnne Poindexter at


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