The Williamsburg-James City County Community Action Agency will celebrate 50 years of making a difference by hosting a pair of events at its Waller Mill Road location and encouraging the community to come together.
“They’re both very community-focused and accessible,” said Liz Callan, the nonprofit’s director of development.
Festivities kick off the evening of Oct. 12 with a gala dinner dance and open house. Callan said the cost of admission was limited to $20 to encourage as many people to come out as possible.
“We really wanted it to be inclusive,” she said.
The events celebrate agency efforts, such as the Head Start preschool program and Project Discovery, which prepares older students for higher education through lessons on scholarships, college admission essays and beyond. Graduates of the programs will take the stage at the gala.
“The idea is to show the impact that we’ve had on helping people along their path,” Callan said.
Michelle Bethea, the Head Start disability and mental health coordinator, will cater the event. Guests can expect choices such as fried chicken and meatballs. Saxophonist Matthew Taylor will provide the evening’s entertainment.
The evening’s raffle includes prizes such as a child’s bike, Go Ape tickets and a four-person round of golf at Ford’s Colony.
A block party follows on Oct. 13 with free admission. Activities include games, face painting, Zumba and a bounce house, with York County Fire and Rescue onsite with a fire truck. A parent of one of the Project Discovery students will DJ the proceedings.
The food menu includes burgers and hot dogs, and the raffle features books, local restaurant gift certificates, a tablet and more up for grabs.
The Virginia Housing Development Authority will sponsor the gala, while Publix will sponsor the block party ahead of its Oct. 17 opening at Monticello Marketplace.
Brandon Greene, coordinator for Project Discovery, said he’s galvanizing as many alumni as he can to participate. That invitation also extends to the larger community.
“We’re celebrating the community,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of activities going on. Just come out to be a part of the community.”
Tressell Carter, who began her tenure as the agency’s executive director Monday, said the events offer a closer look at the work the organization does in the area.
“I would encourage the community to come out and catch that fire, catch that spirit,” she said.
Want to go?
The gala dinner dance runs 6-10 p.m. Oct. 12. Tickets are $20, available at bit.ly/2Nh4VZZ. The block party runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 13; free and open to the public.
Both events take place at the Williamsburg-James City County Community Action Agency, 312 Waller Mill Road.
Birkenmeyer can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 757-790-3029 or on Twitter @sethbirkenmeyer.