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Pollard Foundation donates $100,000 to culinary arts

At a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for the Claude Moore Educational Complex in downtown Roanoke, the Al Pollard Memorial Foundation presented the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation with a $100,000 donation to support Virginia Western’s culinary arts program and student scholarships.

The gift was announced as the College and the Roanoke Higher Education Center initiated a $5 million expansion of the Al Pollard Culinary Arts Program in the historic Gainsboro neighborhood.

Currently, more than 330 students takes classes in Virginia Western’s culinary arts program, which offers a two-year associate’s degree as well as industry certifications. Since 2013, the Educational Foundation has awarded 128 culinary scholarships, thanks to the support of the Al Pollard Memorial Foundation.

Al Pollard was a Roanoke restaurateur behind Corned Beef & Co., Frankie Rowland’s and 419 West who died suddenly in 2006.

“The Al Pollard Board is honored to have made a difference in so many people’s lives,” said Board member C.J. King. “We feel like Al lives on through the efforts of the students and the culinary school. This current donation continues to support an effort that Al Pollard would have loved because it was his life and his passion.”

The Claude Moore expansion will more than double the space for the College’s popular culinary program. It is expected to be complete by August 2018.

“This facility will usher in a new era for culinary arts in the Roanoke Region while commemorating the Gainsboro community’s strong history,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “Our students will have access to the cutting edge equipment and training that will allow them to build strong careers and support the local tourism and restaurant industries.”

The Al Pollard Memorial Foundation previously received statewide recognition for its generous support of Virginia Western’s culinary arts program. In 2011, it received the Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy at an event hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education.

The Al Pollard Culinary Arts Program at Virginia Western is nationally accredited by the American Culinary Federation. To learn more about the program, visit: www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/btt/programs/culinary.php.

Educational Foundation announces 2017 Board of Directors

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation is pleased to announce new members and officers for its 2017 Board of Directors. The board members, who offer guidance and expertise on campaigns such as the Community College Access Program (CCAP), include leaders from a wide array of Roanoke Region employers such as Advance Auto Parts, Optical Cable Corp., Berglund Automotive Group, Hall Associates and more.

Four new at-large members have joined the Board of Directors: Russ Ellett, Excel Truck Group; William J. “Bill” Lemon, Martin, Hopkins & Lemon, P.C.; Mark Dempsey, Appalachian Power; and Deborah L. Petrine, Commonwealth Care of Roanoke.

The Board of Directors officers for 2017 are:  Chairman, Dr. Charles W. Steger; Vice Chairman, Neil D. Wilkin Jr.; Treasurer, William J. Farrell II; Secretary, Tammy Moss Finley; and Immediate Past Chairman, J. Kenneth “Ken” Randolph.

“We are fortunate to benefit from the support of each of these accomplished individuals,” said Dr. Angela M. Garcia Falconetti, Executive Director of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation and Vice President of Institutional Advancement. “Their leadership will drive us toward our goal of expanding the opportunities we provide Virginia Western students and faculty.”

The new at-large board members began their terms with the Educational Foundation’s new fiscal year, January 2017. Existing members completing the at-large board are: Glen C. Combs, Nick Conte, Warner Dalhouse, David Dantzler, Christopher Desimone, Randy Foley, W. Heywood Fralin, J. Spencer Frantz, Jonathan Hagmaier, Edwin C. Hall, Leon P. Harris, Drew Parker, Tom M. Robertson Jr., J. David Wine and Barton J. Wilner. Garnett E. Smith and Nicholas F. Taubman serve as ex-officio members.

Student receives first Cabell Brand Center scholarship

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation is proud to announce the first recipient of a new scholarship that supports students completing academic internships.

Megan Perdue of Glade Hill is the first student to receive the Cabell Brand Center Gap Scholarship, which is named for the late Cabell Brand, a Salem businessman, philanthropist and longtime supporter of Virginia Western.

Perdue, a Franklin County High School graduate, will complete her internship this summer at the Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy. After graduating from Virginia Western in May, Perdue will transfer to William & Mary and complete her bachelor’s degree in history. Perdue also is a Valley Proteins Fellow, participating in a prestigious scholarship program administered by the Virginia Community College System.

The Cabell Brand Center initiated the endowed scholarship in 2016 with a $60,000 gift to the Educational Foundation. Recipients receive financial assistance as they complete academic internships at nonprofit or public entities that support the Center’s mission of addressing poverty, peace and the environment.

Perdue previously volunteered for five years at the Booker T. Washington National Monument, an experience she said inspired her ambition to one day teach history. As an intern she will help with everyday operations of the park, with water quality testing in the park’s creek, the park’s annual Juneteenth Event, and help with living history interpretation. She also will assist with the Junior Ranger Programs and with the development operation of the park’s first ever ECO-Camp.

“It is such an honor for the Cabell Brand Center to continue Cabell’s philanthropy by helping young people pursue their dreams and change the world for the better,” said Steve Sunderman, President of the nonprofit Cabell Brand Center.

The mission of the Cabell Brand Center is to inspire social responsibility and global citizenship through knowledge and active engagement.  It executes this mission by hosting informative public events, collaborative projects for both local and global action, supporting students who aspire to make a difference with their career or service activities through our scholarship program, and generating scientific publications to contribute to the advancement of science and the public good. To learn more, visit www.cabellbrandcenter.org.

A native of Salem, Cabell Brand was a leading businessman and philanthropist in the Roanoke region. After graduating from Virginia Military Institute and serving in World War II, he took over his family’s shoe company and built it into a massive business known as Stuart McGuire before selling it to the Home Shopping Network. Brand founded Total Action Against Poverty, now known as Total Action for Progress, and helped create one of the first Head Start preschool programs in the country, among many other achievements. Brand was the author of the 2008 book, “If Not Me, Then Who?,” in which he provides guidance on how individuals may contribute to poverty, peace and environmental issues in America.

The Cabell Brand Gap Scholarship represents the Educational Foundation’s first effort to specifically support students as they complete academic – and often unpaid – internships. The scholarship is intended to provide financial assistance and spur students’ interest in a career of public service.

For more information on the Cabell Brand Gap Scholarship, contact the Hall Associates Career Center, (540) 857-7298 or careercenter@virginiawestern.edu.  Applications are accepted year-round for fall, spring and summer internships.