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Danville Parks and Recreation received three awards during the Virginia Recreation and Parks Society’s 63rd Annual Conference last week; Best New Program, Best New Renovation and Best Promotional Effort.
“As always, we are very proud to receive recognition from our peers,” Department Director Bill Sgrinia said. “Our staff works tirelessly to provide the best service we can offer and recognition such as this is a testament to their hard work and dedication.”
The conference, held in Hampton, was attended by over 500 delegates across the state. The annual awards presentations honors individuals, departments and organizations throughout Virginia who have demonstrated excellence in any of several areas during the previous year. Over 100 applications were received vying for awards in 14 different categories.
Best New Program – Cheer All
Cheer All was an all-day cheer clinic held last fall featuring members of George Washington High School and Averett University’s cheer programs. The program encouraged the high school and college athletes to demonstrate and teach cheers to the Stonewall population. The day culminated with cheer routines performed by all cheerleaders present.
The program allowed individuals with disabilities to fulfill dreams of cheerleading while emphasizing the idea that participants have the ability to achieve any goal they set out to accomplish. The program originated after an individual with a disability was not allowed to participate in her school’s cheer program.
Best New Renovation – Abreu-Grogan Park
In February 2016, renovations began at Abreu-Grogan Park through a partnership with Duke Energy. The $500,000 project included the construction of a unisex restroom, fishing pier, courtesy dock, kiosk and improvements to the sidewalk network that addressed ADA concerns in the park.
Since completion, Danville Parks and Recreation has seen a significant increase in boat rentals and participation in department kayaking trips. The increase of those interacting with the river increases appreciation for this beautiful asset and creates opportunities to raise awareness, educate the public, and increase environmental stewardship.
Best Promotional Efforts – Children’s Festival Coloring Ad
In October 2016, Danville Parks and Recreation hosted the annual Danville Children’s Festival. Advertising materials included a rack card and newspaper ads featuring the same “you-color-it-yourself” design. The public was asked to return the colored ad or card to receive a prize. Nine ads were purchased in three papers and 2,500 rack cards were printed and distributed to area schools, the Library, community partners and local businesses.
The advertisements had two purposes; to advertise the event and to track the efficiency of distribution. During the Festival, staff traded prizes for completed colored pictures, which were coded advertising materials. Staff were able to track which methods of advertising were returned. Data collected has been used to create marketing plans for future events.