Pembroke receives RALLY Grant
Town of Pembroke receives Rally Grant
If you happen to drive by the Pembroke Town Hall you can’t help but notice the new art display on the front of the building. It was made possible by the RALLY Southwest Virginia Grant. Several local Pembroke residents were involved in pulling it all together.
The drift wood in the fishing hole and the canoe on the sandbar were donated by Paul Moody at New River’s Edge, Inc (“let the river love on ya”). The drift wood is from his private collection found over the course of a lifetime, fishing, splashing, and playing on the beautiful and historic New River. The canoe is the remains of the very first canoe Moody ever owned and it came from the very first canoe livery (in recent history) in Giles County. Back in the ‘70’s, Mr. Sonny Jeffers’ brother-in-law, Neil Tuggle (of Peterstown, WV) opened the New River Canoe Livery on Jeffer’s property as you start up Big Stony Creek Road. Moody purchased the canoe, a 16 foot Mohawk Roylex, after graduating from college in 1980. Moody stated “They sure don’t make ‘em like that anymore.” He recalls spending countless hours perched in the front or back seat in pursuit of the elusive New River bronze citation smallmouth bass. After over 40 years of rugged and sometimes abusive use, the canoe needed some repairs. Moody stated he had planned on making those repairs and putting it back in service down at The Edge. But when he got wind that the Pembroke Town Hall was looking for a few artifacts for their grant display, he was eager to donate the old canoe and give it a proper retirement.
The metal sculptures (including an 8ft tall silhouette, tackle box, fishing pole, and bass), layout, greenery, sandbar, fishing hole, and lighting were all works from Lee Rhodes. Lee was asked to come on board because of his extensive knowledge in welding and metal works. “We basically gave him a concept and he took it to levels we never could have imagined” stated Mary Kay of the Town of Pembroke. Lee could often be seen working on the display at all hours of night as he donated countless hours toward the project. Mary Kay also states, “We think it is great that we have such local talent and a willingness to participate from the public. Several residents also donated their time to sit on the committee.”
Those passing by will notice a new kiosk in front of the Town Hall. The kiosk was constructed as Tyler Higginbotham’s Eagle Scout Project. Members of Boy Scout Troop 460, family, and friends of Tyler’s donated both financially and through physical labor to build the kiosk. The kiosk provides benches on both sides to take a rest and enjoy watching the flow of traffic headed to our majestic river. Through the RALLY Grant, display cases were purchased and mounted on the kiosk. The hope is to keep the community more informed and post upcoming events here.
The grant is designed by Opportunity SWVA partners and sponsored by the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development, Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Appalachian Regional Commission. The program has invested $36,000 in twelve SWVA communities. An additional eight communities will participate in RALLY by the end of summer 2018. The program is an action learning grant that provides communities with resources to accomplish a meaningful project while molding a cohesive team of energetic leaders engaged in improving their communities.
Submitted by the Town of Pembroke
Edited for posting.