February 4, 2016 — Brent Holsinger of On The Road Collaborative
On the Road Collaborative was born out of Brent Holsinger’s earlier initiative, Beyond the Bell, and provides Out-of-School Learning for students at Skyline Middle School. The organization also works hard to promote inclusion, justice, and equality for all kids in the Harrisonburg community. Kids in the program get additional learning opportunities in dozens of fields of study after normal school hours to help close the achievement gap and provide enriching outlets for young people on the margin. Team Leaders and Community Teachers facilitate these opportunities, making volunteer service and donations vitally important to the success of On the Road.
From the ceremony…
“If life is a road and they’re on it, you’re steering. You’re steering because you understand that not everyone has a finely tuned luxury bike. Some bikes have bent spokes. Some have sketchy brakes. Some have a chain that won’t stay on. Heck, some are just lucky to have two wheels. So you sit up front, steering, traversing steep hills and shadowy valleys, doing the hard pedaling while your youngsters practice behind you. You teach them to slow down for curves, to watch out for potholes, train tracks, and miniscule gravel. You teach them to be focused and careful during storms, and to use their tools to fix up their breakdowns.
One day, all of your students will say, ‘Hey, can I drive?’
And you’ll ask, ‘Are you ready?’
And they’ll say, ‘I’ve been riding with you all this time. I think I know what to do.’
You’ll say, ‘Well, if you mess up, I’m right here.’ And they’ll ride on down the road.
What’s down the road for you… is a day when your students come back as happy, fulfilled, socially conscious adults and thank you for what you’ve done for them. What’s down the road for you are scientists and doctors and teachers and community leaders whom you helped create. What’s down the road for you is not just a hope that they’ll be okay, but a knowledge that they’re thriving.
Brent, thank you for being a tether from the margin. Thank you for giving Harrisonburg students a way back to the circle to which we all want to belong. And for giving them the chance to be A PART of something, instead of standing APART. Thank you for being a Harrisonburg Action Figure™.”
Brent received a one-of-a-kind trophy made by local artist Elwood Madison and sponsored by Jacktown, and a prize bag containing gifts from Beyond Restaurant and Lounge, Larkin Arts, Brothers Craft Brewing, and Lucas Roasting Company. Thank you so very much!
September 25, 2015 — Kevin Gibson and Alan Maynard of VA Momentum
About Alan and Kevin…
Fed up with their own unhealthy habits in college, Alan and Kevin decided to form VA Momentum as a way of sharing their new appreciation for wellness with their community. It started humbly with one race — the Valley 4th Run, where runners choose their distance and a charity to support — and it’s grown so much that Kevin ditched his job at JMU to pursue VA Momentum full time. Alan and Kevin’s wives, Kristin and Emma, have also worked their fingers to the bone to get the organization up and running.
From the ceremony…
“We are honored and grateful to present the first ever Harrisonburg Action Figures™ award to Alan Maynard and Kevin Gibson of VA Momentum. Their events, like the Diamond Dash, Pound the Peak, Valley Vines Twilight 5k, The Rocktown Turkey Trot, The Valley 4th Run, Brothers Craft Brewing Three-Miler, and Run, Sweat, and Beers, have raised more than $25,000 for local charities.
“Please accept this awesome, one-of-a-kind trophy, created especially for you by local artist Jeff Guinn, and sponsored by The Hello Harrisonburg Podcast and Beyond Restaurant and Lounge; this prize bag from our friends at Court Square Theater, Midtowne Bottle Shop, and Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza; and this beautiful certificate of award created by Brandy Somers.
“Kevin and Alan, thank you for bringing people together in the spirit of fun and wellness. Thank you for your commitment and endurance. And thank you for being Harrisonburg Action Figures.”