Page 1


January 3, 2018

Vol. 8, No. 1

State park draws crowd for light show By Laura McFarland News Editor

Gregory, Hurt leading the way for Cumberland girls, page 9


UMBERLAND – Bear Creek Lake State Park was lit up with Christmas spirit in December with the return of the Lights at the Lake. The fourth annual Christmas light display was bigger than ever between an increased number of lights put up by the park as well as the addition of community involvement with decorated campsites, said Tim Kennell, president of the Friends of Bear Creek Lake State Park. The event took place over several nights on Dec. 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17, 2017. Despite snow, ice and rain, the state park had 326 cars pass through the gates to come see the lights, Kennell said. In lieu of an event fee, participants were asked to bring a new toy to enter the display area for free. Between donations at the gate and during the Friends group’s third annual pancake supper held on Dec. 10 at Bear Creek Hall, the event collected $1,074 and a total of 421 toys. “We are pleased with this year’s success. All of the toys and dollars will go to the Cumberland Christmas Mother. The excitement is already growing as we look forward to next year’s even larger display and larger donations to Cumberland Christmas Mother,” he said. Joey Dayton, who was promoted from assistant park manager to park manager in October, said he appreciates that Lights at the Lake provides a good tie to not only the Cumberland community but even beyond. see LIGHTS, pg. 3 



John and Lucy Greer, right, took a photo with Santa and Mrs. Clause at a craft fair held Dec. 10 to help them. The couple has struggled since John Greer was diagnosed with cancer.

A family in need By Laura McFarland News Editor


UMBERLAND – Cumberland County recently came together to support two of its own when a Christmas Craft and Vendor

Show was held to support a local couple affected by cancer. The Christmas Craft and Vendor Show was held on Sunday, Dec. 10 in the Cumberland Community Center gym to raise funds to help John and Lucy Greer of

Cumberland County. John was diagnosed in September with neck cancer and is currently going through treatment. Suzanne Moore, who organized the event, works with Lucy

CHS holds Junior Ring Ceremony, page 6

see CRAFT, pg. 8 

Christmas Mother wraps up 2017 Christmas Mother Barry Vassar said he was thrilled with how the community came out to support the program in 2017 and that combined UMBERLAND – The Cumberland with a lower number of applicants put less of a Christmas Mother program wrapped up a strain on its resources this year. successful 2017 season in a great place and is in a In 2017, the Christmas Mother served 137 good position heading into 2018. see 2017, pg. 7  By Laura McFarland News Editor


 COMMUNITY: Library to offer training in case of opioid overdose P2  STATE: Cumberland girl’s lamb named grand reserve champion P4

Pancake supper adds to festive spirit at state park, page 12

 EDUCATION: Students of the month honored P6  EVENTS: Christmas Parade canceled after too many pitfalls P7


Being lazy is easier said than done When my dad died in 1988, it was a harder tradition for my mom to keep doing for a number of reasons, not the least of which she was a single mom and ornaments for three children could add up. But she did continue it for a few years until I think our interest started waning. Several years ago, I bought a cute little 3-foot artificial tree that could house all of these ornaments from my childhood and filled in the empty spots with pretty teal ornaments and ribbon to make it look full and more festive. But then, year after year, I kept up the tradition of adding a special ornament that meant something to that year, sometimes serious, sometimes funny. There are two ornaments commemorating the years I finished first a half marathon and then a full marathon. There is the ornament shaped like a cowboy boot that is so heavy I generally put it under the tree rather than hanging it up. Two drums, one red and one white, are ornaments that once hung on the tree of my mom’s mom, Nana, who died several years ago. Two years ago, friends separately gave me Doctor Who and Harry Potter themed ornaments because we are all fans. There’s a very pretty angel that used to hang on my middle sister’s tree until I talked her out of it. Last year, I got some homemade Minion ornaments at one of the local Christmas events for the fun of it. Unfortunately, one of them fell and broke a little, but I just put him at the back of the tree with his one eye facing out. This year’s ornament hasn’t been decided yet. So, yes, it’s a tree all about me, but I think Christmas trees are that way for many families that embrace the tradition of getting or making new ornaments every year. When I took the ornaments out of their boxes on the night after Thanksgiving and started arranging them on that little tree, I was assailed with the memories of people and places far away but close in my heart that were tied to many of those ornaments. And when that happened, the tree about me became a tree about us and didn’t seem so selfish after all.

By Laura McFarland News Editor

When it comes to Christmas, this editor believes that the whole thing should either be focused on the meaning of the celebration, which is Jesus’ birth, or the spirit of it, which is about selflessness and giving. Yes, I like many of the trappings of the season, including looking at Christmas lights, weird gift exchanges, extra baked goods floating around, and people helpless against getting holiday music stuck in their heads. I also love seeing an increase in food and clothes drives in Cumberland, live nativities telling the story of Jesus’ birth, watching people open their hearts and wallets to give to programs like the Cumberland Christmas Mother, and attending special services. The funny thing is, the only place where all this doesn’t seem to apply is with my Christmas tree. There, it’s all about me, and I am OK with that. Years ago, when I was ready to move out of the house, included among my things was a faded old paper box containing special ornaments from my childhood. The year my parents got married, they bought a Hallmark ornament together to commemorate the occasion. They also bought ones for my sisters, who were from my mom’s previous marriage. The year I was born, they bought a Baby’s First Christmas ornament, and again my two sisters received their own. This tradition continued for several years. “I enjoyed it. I wanted for y’all to have a little bit of heritage and something to look back on,” my mom recently told me. “I have an ornament I still have that was a Santa Claus. I still cherish it. I don’t put it on the tree anymore because I am afraid it will get broken, but I cherish it.” For the first few years of my life, the ornaments were round with illustrations on them along with the year. After a few years, there were other special figures, such as an Eskimo and a wolf in a canoe, a mouse inside an ice cream cone holding a spoon, a bear holding a bell, a kangaroo kicking a soccer ball, and a cardinal Laura McFarland may be r eached at Lmcfar land@ powhatanwearing winter gear. EDITORIAL & BUSINESS OFFICE 8460 Times Dispatch Blvd. Mechanicsville, Va 23116 (804) 746-1235 • TOLL FREE (877) 888-0449 FAX (804) 730-0476


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January 3, 2018

Library to hold training to combat drug overdoses By Laura McFarland News Editor

CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland County Public Library wants to put the ability to save a life in the hands of local residents with a new class on how to revive someone who has overdosed on opioids. Robin Sapp, the library’s director, will hold “REVIVE!: Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education for Virginia,” a training course on how to administer naloxone in the case of an opioid overdose. The free training class will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22 at the library, 1539 Anderson Highway, Cumberland. The training is free and includes materials needed for the class. Sapp became certified to teach REVIVE! in October through the Office of Substance Abuse Services, part of the Virginia Department of Health and Developmental Services. She said she felt it was necessary because she has a close family member who is addicted to opioids, but she also saw a larger need in the community. “I think this addiction touches so many people – rich, young, poor, old, black, white – it doesn’t matter. It is so rampant. It is just out there touching lives,” she said. The class will train a lay person to administer naloxone, a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids, such as heroin. Sapp also pointed out that a lay person administering naloxone in good faith is immune from criminal prosecution. The training will educate people on the background and development of the program to understand the state of emergency the United States has with the opioid crisis as well as covering signs of opioid overdose, how nalonoxe works and how to respond and administer naloxone. “They will get hand outs and we will get hands-on working with a dummy,” Sapp said. Class size is limited to 20 people and registration is required. For more information, contact the library at 804-492-5807. Laura McFarland may be r eached at Lmcfar land@ powhatantoday. com.

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LIGHTS Continued from pg. 1 

“We frequently get guests from the Richmond area. This is a nice way to draw the community here to the park,” he said. “You hear of the Tacky Lights show but you have to drive to Richmond to see them. This is right here in our backyard.” The 2017 display was even better than the previous year because the event is continually growing, Dayton said. This year, the majority of the lights in the display were installed by camp hosts staying at Bear Creek who volunteered their time, including Kennell. The different camp hosts worked from Nov. 1 to Dec. 8 on the project to put up the thousands of lights and dozens of decorations and displays. One of the new features in the main light display was a new set of lights synchronized to music. The system was

made by Kennell and another camp host, Rich Armstrong, using funds from Bear Creek and personal donations. Kennell said that system will expand in 2018. Dayton said the synchronized display, which was set up in the Chestnut Campground, was his favorite part of this year’s light displays because “it’s got that wow factor.” A Christmas tree was also set up in the middle of Bear Creek Lake with 600 solar lights, he said. “We took the lifeguard chair off the lifeguard stand and affixed the tree to the lifeguard stand. That is going to become a 20-foot tall tree next year,” he said. Also new this year was inviting sponsors to participate by decorating campsites using their own decorations, Kennell said. This year’s participants were Cumberland Boy Scouts, Powhatan Boy Scouts, Essex Bank, Friends of Powhatan State Park, Friends of Bear Creek State Park and Smyrna Baptist Church. A decorating contest was held and Smyrna Baptist

Church’s display took first place. “As our lights and decorations age out, we are looking for sponsors to some in and decorate the campsites. That frees up the lights we have to decorate the site to use somewhere else,” he said. “We are looking for corporate sponsors for 2018 to help further elevate our light show.” For more information on becoming a sponsor, contact Kennell at 804-840-2985 or the park at 804-492-4410. Dayton said he thought bringing in the sponsors to help decorate camp sites was a good idea. Park staff has a busy schedule, so the volunteers who put up the majority of the lights have a big workload, and it’s good to take a little off their shoulders. John Leale of Louisa is a relatively new volunteer with the Friends group and was one of the camp hosts who helped set up the light displays. He and his wife stayed at the campground in November. Especially for a small state park with only a few volunteers doing the work, Leale said he thought it turned out to be a “fantastic light show.” He came out on Dec. 10 to see the lights and enjoy the Friends’ pancake supper. “It is a great opportunity for people here to see a great light show, get some pancakes and enjoy a great night,” he said. Laura McFarland may be r eached at


Shown are the light displays featured in Bear Creek Lake State Park’s annual Lights at the Lake, which was held over two weekends in December. Most of the displays were set up by camp hosts who volunteered their time, but new this year, sponsors could sign up to decorate individual campsites with their own decorations.

Cumberland Today

January 3, 2018


COMMUNITY CALENDAR WEDNESDAYS  The World War II Round Table holds meetings beginning at 7 p.m. at the Father Val Hall of St. John Neumann Catholic Church located 2480 Batterson Road in Powhatan.  Cumberland County Public Library will hold Mother Goose on the Loose, a new story time option for all children from birth to age 3. It meets at 10 a.m. Wednesdays. The story hour will Incorporate songs, nursery rhymes, lap-sit activities, movement and music and integrate the latest early literacy techniques into the library program.  Cumberland County Public

Library will hold Reading with Ellie Mae at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays. Ellie Mae the Reading Dog visits the library to lend a friendly paw and ear for Preschool Story Time. Pre-school age children and their caregivers are invited to an hour of stories, nursery rhymes, songs and crafts.

THURSDAYS  The Cartersville Volunteer Rescue Squad holds a Bingo game on the third Saturday of each month. Doors open at 4:45 p.m. and games start at 6 p.m. Jackpot depends on the number of players. All proceeds benefit the rescue squad. No children under 12 allowed. For more information,

Help Feed Hungry Kids in Cumberland

“Backpacks of Love ensures that no child goes hungry. This is especially important in Cumberland County, where food access is limited. Basic needs, such as hunger, must be met before students can be expected to learn. We are thankful that Backpacks of Love assists in filling this void for our students and families.” —Dr. Amy Griffin, Superintendent, Cumberland County Schools


Backpacks of Love is a local nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger for children in Cumberland, Va. The organization works with school staff to identify children in need and discretely places a bag of food in their backpack for the weekend.


Cumberland Today

January 3, 2018

call Ann at 804-314-0966.  Rotary Club of Farmville meets at noon at Charley’s at 201 B-Mill St. in Farmville.

804-512-7547 or go to www.

TUESDAYS  The Powhatan Moose Lodge will host smoke-free Bingo with doors opening at 6 p.m. and games starting at 7 p.m. every Tuesday and every third Friday. For more information, call 804-598-2809.


 “Christian Motorcyclists Association Powhatan” chapter Living Wheels meets at 6 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month. Members of the public are invited to join the members  H.O.P.E. – Helping Others Prepare for Eternity is a Ladies at Company 1 Fire Station at Group that meets at 7 p.m. Old Buckingham Road and every third Tuesday of the Mann Road. For more informamonth in the Fellowship Hall tion, call 804-598-1834 or 804at Cartersville Baptist Church. 357-6730 or 804-512-8835. All women are invited to join. Bingo starts at 7 p.m. every MONDAYS Tuesday at the Powhatan Moose Lodge. For more infor The Cumberland chapter of mation, call 804-598-2809. the NAACP meets at 7 p.m. the first Monday of the month  Cumberland Clothes Closet is at Cumberland Public Library. open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Contact 804-909-0049. each Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 10 a.m. until 2  A free health screening is ofp.m. on the second Saturday fered from 4 to 7 p.m. on the of each month. The CCC first Monday of each month is located in the Commuat 2294 Cartersville Road in nity Center Building C-7 (Old Cartersville (the old Cartersville Cumberland School building) Medical Building). The screenand has gently used clothing, ing includes checks for blood glassware, shoes and small pressure, BMI, weight, gluappliances for sale. cose, height, and cholesterol. No appointment is necessary. Contact 804-375-9850. ONGOING  The Loaves of Love Food Pantry will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. the first Monday and from 3 to 5 p.m. the third Sunday of each month at 2294 Cartersville Road in Cartersville. For more information, contact

 Backpacks of Love, a nonprofit committed to eliminating hunger in school-age children by providing nourishing food for their weekend, needs help. In addition to the constant need for donated individual-

sized food items, adults or students are needed to double bag the plastic bags the group packs in, which will help expedite the packing process. (This job can be done at home if people pick up bags at the pantry office.) The group also needs help breaking down boxes for recycling. This job should be done weekly preferably on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and/or Thursdays after packing days. These are great jobs for students looking for community hours. Contact Gloria at 804-598-2723.

Office across from Lowe’s in Farmville. A hands-on session will be held on a date to be announced. Cost is $50 per family and pre-registration is required. Grant money is available. For more information and to register, contact Mary Jane Morgan at 434315-1433 or email at

 Cumberland County Public Library will hold “REVIVE!: Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education for Virginia,” a training course on how to administer naloxone in the case of an opioid overdose. The free  Narconon Arrowhead is here to training class will be held from help you. Narconon offers free 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, addiction counseling, assessJan. 22 at the library, 1539 ments, and referral services to Anderson Highway, Cumberrehabilitation centers nationland. Class size is limited and wide. Call 1-800-468-6933 or registration is required. For log on to www.narcononarrowmore information, contact the library at 804-492-5807.

UPCOMING  Lonesome Dove Equestrian Center in Powhatan needs volunteers to help with sessions with veterans participating in equine therapy. Helpers are needed starting at 10 a.m. on Jan. 10 and 16; Feb. 6, 14 and 20, and March 6, 14 and 20. To volunteer, call 804-318-6485. Visit  Beginner Beekeeping Classes by Heart of Virginia Beekeepers will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, Tuesday, Jan. 23 and Monday, Jan. 29 at the Prince Edward County Extension

 Free Tax preparation through the AARP Tax-Aide program will be offered from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Monday starting in February. This exludes Presidents’ Day on Feb. 19. Register at the Cumberland County Public Library or by calling 804-492-5807. Appointments preferred.  Sweets in the Stack, the library’s annual community fundraiser, will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 24. The library is taking donations of money or items for baskets to be raffled off at the event. Contact 804-492-5807.

Lamb chosen as reserve grand champion PHOTO COURTESY OF THE VIRGINIA STATE FAIR

The Oct. 7 State Fair of Virginia Youth Livestock Sale of Champions raised $82,362 to support the fair’s long-standing commitment to youth. The Sale of Champions featured auction of grand champion and reserve grand champion market animals from this year’s 4-H and FFA youth livestock shows. Exhibitors received 25 percent of their respective animals’ purchase prices – 60 percent as a cash premium and 40 percent in scholarship funds. Reserve Grand Champion Market Lamb was exhibited by Sarah-Jane French of Cumberland County and purchased for $5,200 by Brandt, Land of Promise Farms, Deere Horns Homemade Ice Cream, Pickle Barrel and Triple T. “In addition to helping fund the fair’s scholarship program, the Sale of Champions also affords an opportunity to showcase our youth livestock exhibitors’ hard work and achievement,” said Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe, the fair’s executive director.


AUBRA BERGER Aubra "Louise" Anderson Berger ascended into glory to be with the Lord on Sunday, December 3, 2017. Louise was born at home on June 20, 1923, to her beloved parents, Lessie Robertson Martin and Clyde C. Anderson Sr. Louise was an eighth generation Virginian, descended from early settling families of Chesterfield County, such as the Robertson, Walthall, Wooldridge, Trabue, Robiou, Baskerville, Cox, Archer, Traylor and Markham families. She was descended from Vikings by way of her Scandinavian and Celtic heritage, and she descended from French Huguenots who settled in Manakintowne, in Powhatan in 1700. Louise lived 91 of her 94 years in Chesterfield County. Her most recent years were at A Loving Heart, Powhatan, in the excellent care of Donna and Jiggs Gordon and their devoted staff. Despite her declining health, they went out of their way to make her final years comfortable and even cheerful. She was a lifetime member of Providence United Methodist Church, where her father's family was among its founders. On October 19, 1944, Louise began her life as the bride of Carter L. Berger of Cumberland, Va. They were married 49 years, having two children, Susan Gail Berger Martin (Dale) and Brian C. Berger. Lou was preceded in death by her loving husband, her parents; her dear grandmother, Clara Cox Martin; three siblings, Mildred Crostic, Benjamin and Clyde Anderson Jr.; and her daughter-in-law, Debra Scott Berger. Cherishing her memory, she leaves her daughter and son-in-law, son, beloved grandchildren to whom she was the "Very Best Grandma in the Whole Wide World," Wendy McClellan, Justin Martin (Amber), Jonathan Berger, Nathan Berger (Julia), Kaitlyn Hodges (Eric) and Kylene Berger; precious great-grandchildren, Layne Puryear, Rachel McClellan, Emily Ruckart, Ava Martin, Cameron, Nathan Jr. and Lillian Berger, Aubrey and Dylan Hodges. Lou was a generous, gracious, humble and loving mother, wife, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend, always placing others ahead of herself. She especially enjoyed old family stories and pictures, antiques, the activities of her children and grandchildren and family visits. While the world will certainly be a duller, less col-

Louise Robertson. Throughout their 21 years of marriage, he was a devoted husband and family man. On Friday, December 15, 2017, he departed this life at his Cumberland residence. He was preceded in death by his parents and four brothers, Ollie Jr., Floyd, Arthur, and Raymond. He leaves many to cherish fond memories: his wife, Louise; four stepdaughters, Shirley Ward, Elaine Lonon, Eloise Truesdale, and Virginia Dortch; 21 stepgrandchildren and a number of step-great-grandchildren; one brother, Robert Robertson; two aunts, Mary E. Dangerfield and Catherine Smith, one sister-in-law, Essie Robertson; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends. A visitation was held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 21, 2017, at Marian Gray Thomas Funeral Home, 64 Cartersville Road, Cumberland. A funeral service was held at 1 p.m. on Birdie R. Harris, 76, of Ashland, went to be with the Lord Friday, December 22, 2017 at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 283 on Saturday, December 9, 2017. She is survived by two children, Sugar Fork Road, Cumberland. Interment in the cemetery at Mt. Karen Green (Charles) and Jermie Harris (Cassidy), both of Olive Baptist Church. Cumberland; niece, Shelia Hicks (Terry); nephew, Douglas Flemmons; and friends, Patsy Zimmerman and Shelda Green. Services private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made Coy Roland “Buddy” Sams, 75 of Cumberland passed away to the American Cancer Society. peacefully on Sunday morning, December 3, 2017, held securely in the arms of his wife of 50 years, Judith Peters Sams. Buddy is survived by his wife, their daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer John "Henry" Robertson, son of the late Ollie Robertson and Michael Turner, and their three cherished grandchildren, Sr. and Olivia Dangerfield Robertson, was born July 22, 1928 Michael (Zan), Hayes and Peyton Turner. He is also survived in Cumberland County. At an early age, Henry was converted, by two sisters, Frieda Newman and Elinor Godsey, and one baptized, and joined the Mount Olive Baptist Church. He brother Eugene Sams. Also surviving are two sisters-in-law who attended the Cumberland Public Schools and, after graduation, loved him like a brother, Carolyn Helgeson and Rebecca Peters; he served in the United States Army from October 1950 until nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. Buddy served July 1952. After this military service, he moved to Paterson, New in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam conflict and Jersey to seek employment. For a number of years, Henry was returned home to work in Landover, Maryland as a decorator. employed by S. B. Thomas Bakeries. While in Paterson, he was He was always proud of decorating the White House and the affiliated with Grace Baptist Church. Upon his retirement in National Christmas tree every year in addition to decorating for 1990, he returned to Cumberland and rejoined the Mount Olive and attending the Inaugural Balls for several United States presiBaptist Church, where he served as a trustee before becoming dents. After moving back to the Cumberland area, he worked at a deacon. He also truly enjoyed singing in the Senior Choir Truxmore Industries in Richmond and retired from The Lumber and the Male Chorus. In 1996, Henry was joined in wedlock to orful place, her darling spirit and sense of humor will make us smile for years to come. She is loved always and in all ways. God speed, Lou. Visitation was held from 3 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, at Bennett & Barden Funeral Home, 3215 Anderson Highway, Powhatan. Funeral services were at 1 p.m. on Thursday, December 7, 2017, at Bethel Baptist Church, 1100 Huguenot Springs Road, Midlothian. Interment followed in Grove Cemetery, Sunnyside, Cumberland. In lieu of flowers, the family requests charitable donations be made in Lou's name to The Shriners Hospital for Children, ACCA Shrine Center, 1712 Bellevue Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23227.




see OBITUARIES, pg. 10 

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Cumberland Today Advertise in Cumberland Today’s Church Directory Call 804-746-1235, ext. 4616 or 1-877-888-0449, ext. 4616 for details.

Cumberland Today

January 3, 2018



Students of the month honored


During the school year, the Cumberland School Board recognizes students of the month at regular meetings. The following students were recognized at the meeting held on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017: Avery Lohr, first-grader, daughter of Lindsey and Adam Lohr; Sidney Caban, fifth-grader, daughter of Yvette and Manuel Caban; and Toby Watkins, ninth-grader, son of Matthew Watkins and Karen Lake of Cumberland. Shown is Sidney Caban receiving her plaque for being named Student of the Month for Cumberland Middle School.

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Junior ring ceremony


On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, Cumberland High School held a Junior Ring Ceremony in the cafetorium. Juniors were presented with their rings by CHS principal Dr. Jeffrey Scales, who was himself a graduate of CHS. Parents, teachers, and administrators were in attendance to watch students put on their rings. Then the juniors participated in the traditional “ring turning� rite by having friends and teachers turn the ring the number of times equal to the last two digits of the class year. Shown is Nick Yoder being presented with his junior ring by Scales, above, and CHS juniors proudly displaying their new rings, below.

Board honors staff Christmas parade canceled to. I can remember one other year we didn’t have a parade. Most of the time we can either carry it out or do the weekend after,” Gamage said. Gamage still wants to see a parade marching down Anderson Highway in Cumberland before next Christmas, so she hopes she has come up with a good solution by hold one as part of the county’s annual Patriot Day festivities. The annual holiday in April is held to celebrate the fact that the “First Call for American Independence” was made on April 22, 1776, in Cumberland County. This year, the day is set to be recognized on Saturday, April 28, but again, that will only be if organizers can get more help putting it together, Gamage said. The day takes a great deal of work, and finding enough volunteers to put it on has been a struggle in recent years, she said. If people are interested in volunteering, they can contact Gamage at 804-492-4803.

By Laura McFarland News Editor


The following new staff members were recognized by the Cumberland School Board at the November 2017 meeting: Megan Crump, Cumberland Elementary School teacher; Kristen Mosley, Cumberland Middle School art teacher; and Jamaal Artis, Cumberland High School health and physical education teacher.

2017 Continued from pg. 1 

families, which included 267 children and teenagers from birth to 17. The numbers across the board in all categories were down from the year before, including seniors, he said. “I don’t know if that is an indicator that more people are in a better position this year. Maybe it’s because people are moving in and out of the county,” he said. “But everybody who applied, we met their needs and we met what they were looking for. That is always what we are looking for.” The program handed out 100 gift bags to seniors in the community and had about 65 senior adults who attended the senior luncheon held at Payne Memorial United Methodist, he said. The Cumberland County Clothes Closet provided the meal, which they have been doing for years. The final budget is still being worked on, but Vassar said he knows the program not only met but exceeded its budget goal through donations from businesses and different individuals. Organizers always want to bring in as much or more than they spend, which is right around $6,000. Vassar said he knows they brought in more than $6,000 but he is not sure by how much they exceeded their goal. It was an incredible amount of giving this year and Vassar said he thinks it is a blessing the way things turned out with the lower application numbers.

“Because of the additional donations that came and the large amounts of those donations, those two factors have given us a great head start into 2018,” he said. This year was an excellent year from several other perspectives, Vassar said. The program had more volunteers and more new volunteers this year than it has had in the past, which “really cut back on any one person having to carry too much workload to get things done.” The Christmas Mother usually gives a large group of teenagers, which covers 12-to-17-yearolds, sweatshirts, sweatpants or gift cards, Vassar said. This year, about 90 teens received gift cards donated by local churches. From the local area churches alone, the Christmas Mother program received about $3,000 in donations, which includes financial donations and gift cards. “It was just really good to see that we were able to look at churches and say this is what we need from you. We need gift cards. Then the churches made the purchases for the gift cards and donated them to the program. I thought that was really good of them to do,” he said. Other notable moments included:  The Richmond Area Bicycle Association and a few local individuals donated a combined roughly 40 bicycles and tricycles.  Bear Creek Lake State Park’s annual Lights at the Lake, which takes donations for the Cumberland Christmas Mother, collected $1,074 and a total of 421 toys.

CUMBERLAND – A snowy weekend and staffing problems pump a crimp in plans for the 2017 Cumberland Christmas Parade, leading to it finally being canceled. When several inches of snow dropped on the region on the same weekend as the parade’s originally scheduled date on Dec. 10, organizers postponed it a week to Dec. 17 to keep people safe, said Barbara Gamage, parade coordinator. However, the new date didn’t prove to be any more auspicious for the parade because Gamage said she couldn’t get enough help in time to have the event go ahead as planned. Her third and final solution to still have a holiday parade this season was to hold the parade on New Year’s Eve, which would keep the parade on a Sunday and still be in the season, “but we couldn’t get the help for that either,” she said. “It really was disappointing because I think Laura McFarland may be r eached at it is something the community looks forward




804-417-69 Cumberland Today

January 3, 2018


CRAFT Continued from pg. 1 

she said. Lucy said she was shocked when she heard Suzanne’s plan to hold the craft show to raise funds for her and her husband. The event was organized by her co-workers at social services, including Suzanne, Linda Matney and Melanie Fowler. “Not only do we have to worry about the health part but the financial part. I never, ever expected this to happen,” Lucy said. “(Suzanne and I) were just talking and I said I don’t know how I am going to pay the bills because he is not working.” Soon after, Suzanne came to her with the plan to hold the craft fair, which she thought would be timely because of the holidays and relatively easy to put together at the last minute. Lucy’s reaction: “I cried.” “It’s amazing. That’s all I can say. They do not know how much we appreciate it,” she said at the end of the fair, tearing up as she spoke. John made a brief appearance in the middle of the day. Lucy said he agreed with her that what organizers put together was “totally awesome.” “He is kind of awestruck that people care enough to do this. People that don’t even necessarilyy know him but they know me,” she said. Suzanne added that people who still want to help the Greers can make a donation at C&F Bank in Cumberland in their name.

at Cumberland County Social Services and is a friend. She started planning the event to help the couple at the beginning of November, so it was very quickly put together. Still, she said she had a fantastic response. The event originally had 36 vendors signed up, and while snow that weekend and illness kept some of them from showing up, it was still a great turnout, she said. “I was really happy how excited all the vendors were to participate. They were very generous with what they gave for the raffle. I requested every vendor give us a prize for a raffle,” she said. The event raised money through the vendor fees, sales from a cookie buffet where people could buy homemade cookies by weight, a large raffle, and a 50-50 drawing, she said. Santa also stopped by mid day for photos and to spread some Christmas cheer. Lucy Greer was present at the event all day and said she found herself in tears multiple times throughout the day because of the support she and her husband received. The Greers were both born and raised in Cumberland and Lucy has lived here all of her life. John was diagnosed with neck and throat cancer in September after he saw a spot on his neck he didn’t like the looks of and went to have it checked out. A doctor did a biopsy and they found out he had cancer. Because of all the testing he had to go through, he didn’t start treatment until mid November, said Lucy, who works at Cumberland County Social Services as a benefits program specialist. John is a volunteer driver with Logisticare, which has Laura McFarland him driving patients to medical appointments. He was may be r eached at driving to supplement the couple’s income. Since he Lmcfarland@powhatanis a contract worker, he doesn’t get sick leave or health benefits, and he hasn hasn’tt been able to work since October,


Above, Lucy Greer, center, was beyond touched when some of her co-workers at the Cumberland Department of Social Services organized a craft fair to help pay bills after her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Among those who spearheaded the project were Linda Matney, left, and Suzanne Moore.


A few dozen craft vendors and a visit from Santa made a craft fair held Dec. 10 for a local family dealing with cancer a success.


Lucy Greer, right, was beyond touched when some of her co-workers at the Cumberland Department of Social Services organized a craft fair to help pay bills after her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Among those who spearheaded the project were Linda Matney, left, and Melanie Fowler, center.


Cumberland Today

January 3, 2018

Cumberland Today Sports Gregory, Hurt leading the way for Cumberland girls By Billy Fellin Sports Editor

Cumberland’s Ruby Yarborough scored the first basket of the game for the Dukes on Dec. 18 against Goochland in a James River District matchup. Unfortunately for Cumberland, that would be the lone basket of the first quarter as Goochland went on a 17-0 run through the start of the second quarter en route to a 55-24 win. “We’re getting there,” coach Omar Epps said of his team. “We’re making slow progress. We’re young.” The Dukes were haunted by turnovers for much of the night against the Bulldogs. Any momentum that Cumberland might have gained from a basket or a run was quickly thwarted either by the aggressive Goochland defense or by an errant pass or violation by Cumberland, which resulted in the ball transitioning back to Goochland. Turnovers have been an issue for the Dukes for the entire season thus far. “We come out, turn the ball over a lot, and get behind,” Liggins said. “That’s been our season so far. We turn the ball over and other teams capitalize off of that. It’s hard to get back in it when you constantly turn the ball over. If we can get better with our turnovers, we could possibly have a better outcome at the end of the game.” The largest run of the game against the Bulldogs for the Dukes was in the third quar-

ter, when Ty’esha Hatcher, Olivia Sims and Sade’ Gregory combined for a 6-0 run that brought the Dukes within 12 points. Goochland went on a 6-0 run of its own that wiped that progress out and extinguished any chance the Dukes had of coming back into the game. “That’s a good team,” Liggins said of Goochland. “That’s a real good team that we played. I tip my hat to Goochland. They came in here and just out-played us.” Gregory is one player that Liggins said has been a big contributor so far this season. She led the Dukes in scoring against the Bulldogs with 12 points. “I’ve been getting solid play out of Sade’ Gregory,” he said. “My guards….Ruby, Olivia… they’ve been giving us good play. Nikki Hurt has been leading us in scoring. She’s been off the last few nights. We just need to figure out how to put the ball into the basket and hopefully we can get better doing that.” One bright spot of the game against Goochland was Cumberland’s performance at the free throw line. The Dukes went 10 of 18 from the charity stripe. Cumberland began the season with a three-game losing streak, falling to Monticello in back-to-back games and then to Prince Edward on Dec. 5. Cumberland’s earliest win was again Central Lunenburg on Dec. 12, a 44-32 final. On Dec. 27, Cumberland finished second in the 2017 Cumberland High School Girls


Cumberland’s Sade’ Gregory (24) sends a pass to one of her teammates to get out of a trap by the Goochland defense during the Dukes 55-24 loss to the Bulldogs on Dec. 18. Gregory led the Dukes in scoring on the night with 12 points.

ball team won back-to-back games as they were crowned champions of the Cumberland High School Boys Holiday Basketball Tournament on Dec. 27. The Dukes defeated Rappahannock on Dec. 26 and took down Prince Edward the next night to take the tournaBOYS BASKETBALL ment. Cumberland’s Darius Kyle was named the 2017 Cumberland’s boys basketTournament MVP.

Holiday Tournament. The holiday break wasn’t much of a break for the Dukes, who will come out of the holiday tournament and play against Buckingham on Jan. 3, followed by Bluestone, on Jan. 8, both teams in the James River District.

After a one-point seasonopening loss to Monticello on Nov. 28, the Dukes won three games in a row against James River District opponents. The Dukes took down Prince Edward 59-46 on Dec. 5, then Central Lunenburg 66-60 on Dec. 12 and squeaked past Nottoway 68-66 on Dec. 15. Goochland took down Cumberland on Dec. 18 by a score of 53-40. Cumberland

faced Amelia on Dec. 22, but that game’s result was not available at the time of printing. The Dukes will continue its James River District schedule as they’ll travel to Buckingham on Jan. 3 and then will host Bluestone on Jan. 8. Billy Fellin can be reached at or on Twitter at @BillyFellin.

Cumberland Today

January 3, 2018


OBITUARIES Continued from pg. 5 

Yard in Farmville. A celebration of Buddy’s life was held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 7, 2017, in the chapel of Puckett Funeral Home, Farmville. Family received friends from 3 to 5 p.m. the day of the service in the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to an Education Fund for the grandchildren to Judith P. Sams, 36 Trents Mill Road, Cumberland, VA 23040.

KRISTIN WARNER Kristin Elaine Meyer Warner, 78, retired school teacher of Cumberland County Public Schools, passed away at Centra Southside Community Hospital, Farmville, on Saturday, December 9, 2017. She was born in Freehold, New Jersey on February 3, 1939. Kris is survived by her husband of 57 years, Stanley Foster Warner of Cumberland County; son, Dirk Laros Warner of Cumberland County; daughter, Karin Jenette Warner of Buckingham County; brothers, William Laros Meyer of West Rupert, Vermont and Karl Henry Meyer of Nashville, Tennessee; daughter-in-law, Jane Wesley Taylor-Warner; son-in-law, Thomas Martin Gibson; as well as many nieces and nephews. Kris was predeceased by her parents, U.S. Congressman William Henry Meyer and Bertha Margaret Laros Meyer, formerly of West Rupert, Vermont. Mrs. Warner taught fourth grade and sixth grade for 30 years at Cumberland County Public Schools. She was a 1960 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania, with a degree in sociology. She also attended Goucher College in Towson, Maryland as the Northeast Regional Scholar from 1956 to 1958. Mrs. Warner grew up in West Rupert, graduating as valedictorian from Washington Academy Public School in Salem, New York in 1956. She gained a life-long love for learning and education stemming all the way back to her early years attending a small tworoom schoolhouse in West Rupert. While Kris was a student attending Goucher College, one of the highlights of her young adult life was to visit Sagamore Farm and meet the great "Grey Ghost" racehorse, Native Dancer, who she first watched race at Saratoga Race Course near her hometown. Throughout her life, Kris, an avid horse lover, always believed that Native Dancer, whose stride equaled that of Secretariat, might have crossed the finish line before "Big Red" if only they could have pounded the turf together. Kris's love for animals and people was boundless and she steadfastly believed in the intrinsic


Cumberland Today

equality of all beings. Her personal motto was "look for the possible good" and her love and respect for all life was evident in the way she cared for those who were blessed to cross her path. She loved and sought the best from the children she met in the classroom, and she worked tirelessly to provide a secure and happy life for the many adopted, stray or abandoned animals who found themselves in her barnyard or on her doorstep. She once even performed CPR on a drowned baby chick, which went on to live a long and happy life. Throughout her 78 years, Kris also rescued and fostered many orphaned baby mammals and birds. Caring for those in need was always her great gift. Later in life, even after she became physically handicapped herself, Kris never turned away from helping others who needed her care. God clearly knew that Kris was among those to call on to pass along a kind word or a caring action. She was beloved by her family and the many students whose lives she touched, and though her passing will be hard-felt by those she leaves behind, her loved ones find great comfort in the faith that she has reunited with many other dear ones who passed before her. The earth is better off for her having passed over it, and Heaven has now gained another angel to fulfill the next assignment. A private family memorial service will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a donation to a humane organization or charity of choice. Mrs. Warner's family also would like to thank all of the wonderful caregivers who provided aid and comfort during her time of need. Cards or remembrances may be sent to the family in care of Puckett Funeral Home, Farmville, who is serving the family.

FLORENCE WOODSON Florence Hilda Berger "Sue" Woodson, 95, was born November 18, 1922, in Cumberland County, and died on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. She was predeceased by her parents, Ralph Edward Berger and Lillian Alice Jenkins Berger; her husband, Robert Garnett Woodson Sr.; her son, Steven Gayle Woodson; her sister, Rebecca Berger French; and her brothers, Edward Berger, Harry Berger, John Berger and Jackson Berger. She is survived by her son and his wife, Robert Garnett Woodson Jr. and Laura Moser Woodson; two grandchildren, Laura Elizabeth Woodson and Christopher Scott Woodson; her niece, "Becky" French Rowan (Harry); her nephews, Hugh A. French (Anita), Michael Berger (Luknam); and other nieces and nephews. She was a graduate from Cumberland High School. She was a lifetime member of Grove United Methodist Church and Payne Memorial United Methodist Church. She was also a mem-

January 3, 2018

ber of many local organizations including the Cumberland Garden Club, The Red Hatters, United Methodist Women and Grove Church Cemetery Association, where she served as secretary and treasurer for many years. She retired from the United States Census Bureau. The family wishes to thank the French family, the Rowan family, Erma Ricker, Lorraine Stinnett, the staff at Brookview Lodge at The Woodland and the staff of Centra Southside Community Hospital and many other wonderful friends for their special care and support. Her niece, Becky

Rowan, was very devoted and special to her and called her on a daily basis after her husband died over 10 years ago. Memorial contributions may be made to Payne Memorial Methodist Church, P.O. Box 323, Cumberland, VA. A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 16, 2017, at Payne Memorial Church, with interment following in Grove Church Cemetery, Cumberland. Family received friends from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, December 15, 2017, at Puckett Funeral Home. Puckett Funeral Home served the family.



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Long time bank employee retires after 43 years Contributed Report

POWHATAN – Aline S. Ownby, Vice President &Loan Officer, retired from New Horizon Bank at the end of the 2017. Ownby started her banking career in 1974 at the “original” Bank of Powhatan as secretary to then president, Stan Whittaker. After 10 years, she transferred to the Cumberland Branch to take the position of assistant branch manager for the same bank. While working at the Cumberland location, the bank went through numerous mergers and name changes. From 1984 -2001, Ownby said she worked for five different banks all from the same desk at the same location. Having become all to familiar with mergers, Ownby decided in 2001 to join the “new” Bank of Powhatan as a loan officer. Having performed most every job function within the bank at some point in time, she said she knew her real love for banking was being a loan officer. She said she enjoyed working with young people helping them get their first automobile loan, and also

was skilled at construction and lot loans. Many people in Powhatan and the surrounding counties have Ownby to thank for helping them finance their dream homes. Happy where she was, Ownby was presented with an opportunity to join New Horizon Bank, a brand new bank at the time, as vice president and loan officer. Believing in the idea of a homegrown community bank, she joined the team of experienced bankers at New Horizon. She joined the bank in 2010 and is said to have made a difference in the lives of many clients with her knowledge, professional experience and knowhow. Ownby said she is excited at the prospect of spending more time with her husband and family. “Ms. Ownby,” as she is greeted by most of her customers, has three grown boys and five grandchildren ranging in age from 11 months to 20 years old. Along with travel and her volunteer work, Ownby said she also is most excited to be spending time with her family.


Aline Ownby, who used to work in Cumberland, recently retired from New Horizon Bank.

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Pancake Supper



Cumberland Today

January 3, 2018

Th FFriends The Th i d off Bear B Creek C k Lake L k State St t Park P k hosted a pancake supper on Dec. 10 in Bear Creek Hall in connection with the park’s annual Lights at the Lake. Volunteers were busy in the kitchen cooking up a scrumptious breakfast and Santa was ready with a smile to greet families who visited.


Cumberland Today – 01/03/2018 © 2018 by Richmond Suburban News. All advertising and editorial matter is fully protected and may not be repro...


Cumberland Today – 01/03/2018 © 2018 by Richmond Suburban News. All advertising and editorial matter is fully protected and may not be repro...