The Roanoke Valley (Virginia) Branch of the National League of American Pen Women is proud to announce that the group is the recipient of a 2009 Perry F. Kendig Award as Outstanding Arts & Cultural Organization. The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge makes this prestigious award each year to an organization for its contributions and service to the community. Branch members devote time and energy to numerous projects involving the arts in the form of painting, writing, storytelling, photography and other endeavors. Some of the activities include organizing a project to audiotape 250 children’s books, appropriate for K-5, for use by disadvantaged and/or visually handicapped children; working with a fifth grade class for three years helping them with idea development, and researching, interviewing, photography, writing and editing articles to create a monthly school newspaper. Members also teach art to all age groups in schools, art museums, and outreach programs, raise funds for historic preservation and continuance of programs such as NOVA and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and coordinate and judge student essay contests and poetry contests. They also hold workshops on storytelling and encouraging people of all ages to tell their own stories and donating artwork to Roanoke Valley SPCA fundraising projects.
Members of the group are Margaret DuBois, Patricia A. Bijwaard, Becky Mushko, Ethel W. Born, Mildred Sandridge, Anita J. Firebaugh, J. Gail Geer, Judy Light Ayyildiz, Elena DeRosa, Myrtle Hooker, Gail Tansill Lambert, Eslye Moore, June Plunkett Poe, Beth Ann Rossi, Mary Tousman, and Peggy Ann Shifflett.
The Roanoke Valley Branch will receive the Kendig Award on June 24, 2009 at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia.