Thumbs up to Andrew Belvin, volunteer extraordinaire with the Altavista Volunteer Fire Department.

At 70 years of age, he has no plans whatsoever of ever not volunteering for the Altavista department, where he’s been a volunteer since 1964.

He signed up a couple of years after high school, with a strong desire to serve his community. Born in Naruna — a dot along U.S. 501 between Gladys and Brookneal in Campbell County, he’s served the Altavista department in many roles, culminating with being named chief in 1990.

Over his career, he’s had several close calls but has always lived to respond to another dispatch. Today, at 70, he admits he’s not as limber as he once was, but volunteering is just something he can’t get out of his blood. His job today involves driving the trucks to calls and monitoring the equipment while crews knock down the flames.

Folks like Andrew Belvin, sadly, are too few in number these days. We congratulate him on his golden anniversary as an Altavista volunteer, but just wish we could clone him!

* * *

Thumbs up to Sweet Briar College for the inclusion of the Sweet Briar House atop the Virginia Center for Architecture’s online “Virginia’s Favorite Architecture” survey.

The college, founded through a bequest of Elijah Fletcher as a memorial to his daughter Daisy more an a century ago as a college for women, is one of the premier small colleges in Virginia.

Sweet Briar House, along with the estate on which it sits, dates back to the 18th century. Fletcher expanded and renovated it substantially when he took over the plantation in the mid-19th century. Today, it’s the home of the college president and is, quite literally, the embodiment of the heart and soul of the college itself. The greater campus is another architectural gem, designed by the famous architect, Ralph Adams Cram.

Sweet Briar House topped the most-beloved list, besting out such sentimental favorites as The Academical Village at the University of Virginia and Monticello. Rounding out the Top 10 list was Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, in Bedford County.

* * *

Thumbs up to the young toe tappers and their instructors at the Amherst Dance Academy who, today, will be dancing down Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., as part of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.

This year marks the third in a row that dancers from Amherst have been invited to participate in the Washington festival.

Owner Joy Buendorf came to Central Virginia a dozen years ago with her husband, Jason. Soon, she was on the teaching staff of the school, then known as TERRIfic Time Dance Studio. She bought the business in 2006.

Great job, guys, and represent Central Virginia with style and grace.

Load comments