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Three Questions with 9 Great Citizens On May 5th, I was delighted to have been honored for my journalism at the 19th Annual Citizen of the Year Awards. It was an amazing honor. There were some amazing community leaders and citizens in attendance at the event and I had three quick questions prepared for before the ceremony, just in case the opportunity arose. I talked with this great group of people: Mayor Sherman Lea- City of Roanoke Deputy Mike Cherry- Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office Councilman Bill Bestpitch- City of Roanoke Pastor Johnny Stone- Hill Street Baptist Church David Stewart Wiley- Music Director and Conductor, Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Tiffany Stevens- Public Safety Reporter, Roanoke Times Kenai Hunt- Graduating Senior, William Fleming High School Manuel Dotson- 3rd VP, NAACP, Retired Norfolk Southern Kennady Wade- Actress, Singer, Student, Wood Wilson Middle School

Here’s what they shared with me: Ava Rosa: What do you love about Roanoke?


Mayor Lea: I love its Growing Up • June 2017

people. I love the scenic view that you have. I love the interaction in the community. But, more than anything else; it’s the friendly people in the community. Deputy Cherry: What I love about Roanoke is the mountains. Coming from a big city, Washington DC, when I first moved out here, the mountains were really peaceful and calming. So, when I have a bad day, I look at the mountains, I go to Mill Mountain to the Star and just think and really decompress from all the stresses of life. It’s the mountains, for me. Bestpitch: The best thing about Roanoke is the people who live here. The people who make our community so welcoming and friendly and caring for each other. Stone: The mountains. The mountains. The mountains. I love ‘em. Beautiful mountains, and the people are very nice. I like that a lot better than Texas. Wiley: I love the people, I love Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, but most of all, I love the privilege of making music here with the symphony. Stevens: I particularly like that people are very friendly, but that there is a mix of city and nature.

Hunt: I love that the city is small and everybody knows everybody, so it’s kind of like we’re all a big family. Dotson: The people, the beauty in the valley, and easy access to get anywhere you want to go. Wade: What I love about Roanoke is the diversity and how everybody is so friendly to each other and you can walk up to someone and they just give you a smile and you smile back at them. Ava Rosa: What does it mean to be a “good citizen”? Mayor Lea: To become engaged, be involved in what’s going on, volunteer- because if we are going to be a successful community, it’s gonna take everybody doing what they can do, to make it better. So, become engaged and involved in your community. Deputy Cherry: What it takes to be a good citizen is to be involved and be aware. Bestpitch: What makes a good citizen is staying informed, really understanding what’s going on in the community, understanding the issues, and understanding where you can get involved and make

Growing Up In the Valley June 2017  
Growing Up In the Valley June 2017  

Volume 5, Issue 10 - Our 50th Issue!