Danville Parks and Recreation recently garnered two awards during the Virginia Recreation and Park Society’s annual conference but Department Director Bill Sgrinia was reluctant to accept all of the credit.
“Both of these awards were given for activities involving the entire community,” Sgrinia said. “The awards committee was very impressed with the amount of community involvement we have with our programs in Danville.”
The first award, Best New Special Event, focused on The First Annual Community Holiday Light Show, held in historic Ballou Park in 2014. The two-week show celebrated the season with the help of countless volunteers.
“The goal for the light show was to create a community event that focused on creativity and giving back,” said Lynette Anderson, one of the event organizers. “The light show was shaped into a competition where schools, community groups, civic organizations, athletic/booster clubs and creative individuals could win money for local non-profits. Groups could also participate by volunteering to work the entrance gate. A portion of the gate fees were given to each volunteer group that worked.”
Last year, 18 groups built displays and 10 organizations worked the gate. In all, over 1,000 cars drove through the park and $4,200 was donated to local non-profits.
“We were very pleased with the amount of people who, not only participated, but also the amount of people who supported the event by visiting the park,” Anderson said.
The Parks and Recreation staff is currently working to build the 2015 show. If you are interested in building a display or volunteering, call 434-793-4636.
The second award Danville Parks and Recreation received was Best Promotional Effort – Traditional for its efforts surrounding the Danville In Motion race calendar rack cards.
The 4-inch X 9-inch rack cards were designed and created to inform the community of the many biking, walking and cycling events within the community and offered a free promotional outlet for many events that did not have a lot of marketing resources.
“The idea here was to not just promote our events but the many great events in Danville,” Sgrinia said. “Annually, there are around 19 large-scale events held throughout the community that range from charity walks to half marathons. We believe that a healthy community plays and the best way to promote a healthy community is to share what the community has to offer.”
For 24 cents a card, Parks and Recreation printed around 2,500 cards and distributed to various recreation centers, gyms and retail stores throughout the area. In conjunction, the department also printed the full schedule on the “Play Danville” magazine as well as on its website.
Sgrinia said, printing the rack cards was the easy part, however; noting the award was earned by the entire community.
“We just put the schedule out there,” he said. “The members of the community who create, schedule and staff all of these races are the real winners.”
Parks and Recreation is currently gathering race dates for the 2016 cards. If you’d like your event to be included, email Russell Carter at email@example.com or call 434-799-5200.
During the conference, Sgrinia also received the President’s Award for his dedication to the advancement of the field of Parks and Recreation and its professionals.