SOUP celebrates ideas

Published 12:07 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Participants of the third Downtown SOUP event enjoyed cuisine and a host of strong ideas for the Farmville community Friday during the event, held at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts.

Farmville Downtown Partnership presented grants in the amounts of $1,500 and $1,000 to the two winning ideas for the program, which were decided by a vote after representatives pitched ideas for the votes.

The grant for $1,500 went to the Central VA Young Authors. Representatives of the program would publish stories and host book signings for students who wrote about the Farmville area. The youth eligible to participate would need to attend public, private or homeschools in the Farmville area.

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Central VA Young Authors presenters Jenny McIntosh, Nikki Atkinson, Jerry Todt and Lucy Everett spoke about Amanda Tyler’s idea and about the importance of encouraging programs that would nurture students’ talents while also helping them to learn more about the town’s history.

“Our unique opportunity is to showcase our pride in what we have, and what we have is our youth,” Atkinson, a teacher at Prince Edward County Middle School, said. “We have amazing youth in our local schools, and a lot of time, those youth go unnoticed, and they don’t have an avenue to showcase what they can do.”

Noting the current exhibit by the LCVA of the student artwork, Atkinson said, “let’s take this further.”

Jerry Todt, a published author, said funds will go to editing, publishing and distribution of the winning books. He said a committee will be organized to choose winners. Todt said there would be two winners in grades 4-5 and grades 6-7.

The grant for $1,000 went to the Wildflower/Butterfly Garden proposed to be in the area of the High Bridge Plaza in downtown Farmville.

Presenters Kay Huggard, Callie Vogel and Tom Huggard spoke about the benefits of the garden, in both bringing beauty and a chance to learn about botany to the area.

Vogel said the idea was developed by her enormous family, and nine cousins.

“We could see so many people enjoying it,” Callie, a Prince Edward County High School student, said. “Especially the hikers and bikers that ride along the High Bridge Trail.”

Callie said the garden would include annual and perennial flowers. She said B&M Greenhouse would help with initial tilling and planting of the garden.

She said her family grew up in an environment where they walked through woods and gardened with one another. They said they wanted to extend the same sense of adventure to families and community members in Farmville.

“As a family, we’re determined to maintain the garden, nourish it weekly, monthly and re-seed it every year,” Callie said. “We would make sure that it continues to grow and stay bright and colorful throughout many years.”

Past winning ideas have been a town herb garden, publication of Farmville coloring books and a student mural project.

Two additional ideas during the SOUP program included stopping posts for horses at High Bridge Trail State Park, presented by Debbie and Abby Spillman, and a mural on the brick wall at the intersection of Main and High streets, presented by Senior Vice President of Investments at Davenport & Company Brad Watson.