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Former mayor donates building

Piedmont Area Veterans Council (PAVC) received a blessing of a gift in the form of a donated building and land by former Town of Farmville Mayor Sydnor Newman.

According to PAVC Co-Founder and CEO Sarah Dunn, Newman and his wife, Eileen donated land and buildings located at 1201 West Third St., Farmville to the organization on Dec. 5.

“Their generous gift will ensure that veterans, widows, and caregivers will have access to a full-time Veterans Resource Center in our area,” said Dunn.

Dunn says the donation of the building came about when former Farmville Town Manager and veteran Gerald (Gerry) Spates and Newman were having a discussion.

“Veterans talk to veterans, and Gerry has always been so wonderful about telling other veterans about our services and recommending that they see us to see how we can help,” Dunn said. She further stated that Newman credits Spates for connecting him with the nonprofit group that currently serves eight counties in the Piedmont Area.

“Making the decision to donate to this organization was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done,” said Newman.

Newman is an Air Force veteran who served from 1951 until 1955 and obtained the rank of staff sergeant.

He served as an aircraft mechanic during his service though he had already obtained his pilot’s license while in high school. Newman later obtained his commercial and instrument license while using his GI Bill benefits after his discharge from the Air Force.

Newman attended basic training at Sampson Air Force Base in New York, which is now a State Park in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

During his time in the military, he served in Germany and France until his discharge at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.

According to Dunn, the PAVC has begun to explore preliminary plans for the potential renovation of the new building in the future. “It will be at least 18 months before the PAVC can move their office into the new building due to renovations that need to be made,” she explained.

Dunn says the organization plans to seek grant funding to help with renovations.

The PAVC office is currently located at 820 Longwood Avenue in a building that was donated by the Town of Farmville.

“Due to the Town of Farmville’s generosity, PAVC has been able to serve an increased number of veterans, widows and caregivers in the Piedmont Area,” said Dunn.

Dunn says that PAVC is serving about 1,000 veterans a month.

Currently, Paladin Medical Transport Inc. is in the building that will now become home to PAVC.

According to Paladin Medical Transport co-owner Brian Haddaway the transport service has been at the West Third Street location since spring 2007, and has recently purchased land just off Bush River Drive where they will build a new building. “If everything goes well, we might be into the new building by late summer,” said Haddaway.

“This building and location that we’re currently in have been great; we have just outgrown it. He went on to say, “We now own 20 ambulances and have nearly 50 employees, so there just isn’t enough space here for everything. Getting trucks in and out of the building is a struggle every day, so it’s time for a bigger building.”