Happy face //
Six-year-old Nia McKoy grins with pleasure as Ivy MacCurtin transforms her face Saturday at the 2017 Richmond Peace Festival at St. Joseph’s Villa in Henrico County. Please see B3 for additional photo coverage.
New city-backed developments involving millions of dollars are beginning to take shape in the East End. Left, heavy machinery churns the ground at 1611 N. 31st St., site of the former Armstrong High School. The purpose: To prepare the site for development of 175 new apartments and 81 single-family homes. It is the first step in replacing the Creighton Court public housing community. A nonprofit, The Community Builders, is leading the project for the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Right, just six blocks west at Nine Mile Road, Fairmount Avenue and 25th Street, more heavy machinery is preparing the site for two four-story buildings. One building will provide space for Reynolds Community College’s $11.5 million culinary institute, a dozen apartments, a restaurant and offices. The second building is to include space for a modern grocery store and smaller retail shops and 42 apartments. Corporate leaders Steve and Kathy Merkel are spearheading the development that is expected to exceed $20 million. The revitalization of the area also includes new apartments on Venable Street and other smaller retail and residential developments across Church Hill.
Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care //
Celebrating 50 years of service
Richmond Delegate Betsy B. Carr, left, presents a General Assembly resolution congratulating the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care for 50 years of providing counseling to families, couples, children and individuals to “restore healing and hope.” Receiving the proclamation at a celebration Sept. 28 at the Virginia Historical Society are Frances Broaddus-Crutchfield, president of VIPCare’s board and contributing Free Press writer, and Dr. Douglas M. Thorpe, executive director of the Henrico County-based nonprofit. Sister Cora Marie Billings, a member of the VIPCare board, also was honored for her advocacy and work to promote counseling in the Richmond region. VIPCare was founded in 1967 by a multiracial, ecumenical group.
Ornamental grass in the West End
Celebrating peace and diversity // children are enthralled as members of the Latin Ballet of Virginia dance at the 14th Annual Richmond Peace Festival last Saturday at St. Joseph’s Villa. A creation of the faith community, the event celebrates peace, diversity and community and includes an interfaith service. The ballet was among an array of entertainers, ranging from rappers to African and Chinese dancers and spoken word artists.
Celebrating peace and diversity //
The festival also offered henna ink tattoos, left, along with a variety of arts and crafts in seeking to carry out its mission of creating an “atmosphere of fun, fellowship and love.” First held in 2004, the festival is a cooperative effort of Bon Air United Methodist Church and the Islamic Center of Virginia. Founding sponsors include the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond, the Richmond Peace Education Center, the Midlothian Friends, the Mormon Church the Richmond Mennonite Fellowship, the Spiritual Mind Center and the Asian-American Business Assistance Center.
United in prayer //
A coalition of groups welcomed the homeless and others last Saturday to a communitywide faith event, Cookouts for Christ, on Willis Road in South Side. The free event, which featured food and music, also offered testimony by ministry leaders of how Christ turned their lives around from drugs, hopelessness and despair. Joining in prayer at the cookout are, from left, Beth Hextall; Sondra Stephens; Marvin Williams, associate pastor with Grace Alive Ministries; and Jamie Lombardo. The event was sponsored by Christina Perera Ministries in partnership with Harvest Renewal, Dwelling Place and A Place of Miracles Café.