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CHATHAM, Va. — Pittsylvania County Community Action (PCCA) is gearing up for its annual Community Action Awareness Day.

"We're excited about our annual community access day," said Executive Director Everlena Ross. "We want this to be one of the biggest things to happen in Danville-Pittsylvania since COVID hit."

The event will be held at the Old Dutch Market parking lot on South Main Street lot this Friday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event takes place every May during National Community Action Month, but this year, organizers say the impact will be greater than usual.

"The event represents a desire to open up and touch base with people who have been isolated for so long," said Annette Turner, event chair. "Even though we will observe 6-foot social distancing and use personal protective equipment, we want to bring together our partners so the community knows why we're here and what were doing. It's a lot of safety people and a lot of community people coming together to touch people without touching people."

Community agencies in attendance will include the Alzheimer's Association, AT&T, Chatham Bookmobile, Chatham First, Chatham Rotary Club, Danville Community College, Haven of the Dan River Region, One Accord Connections, Out of Darkness-Suicide Prevention, PCCA, Pittsylvania-Danville Health Department, Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, Pittsylvania County Social Services, Virginia Education Association and the Virginia Department of Environmental Health.

"All of these programs are community-based," Turner said. "If you look at who is going to attend—the health department, suicide prevention—all of these programs really relate to all of us. It is a plethora of information given to the public about services that are going to help the public, relative to what we are dealing with in society right now."

Piedmont Access to Health Services (PATHS) will be at the event administering blood pressure tests and COVID-19 vaccines. Blood donation will be available on-site as well as registration for the Head Start program and Project Discovery, a guidance program for first-generation college students.

"National Community Action Month is celebrated by all the community action agencies across the U.S. in May," Ross said. "The reason for that is because community action agencies have data to prove that we help change citizens' lives to become self sufficient."

The event promises local residents will "come for the information and stay for the fun."

Raffle tickets will be sold for a self-propelled lawn mower at $10 each, while tickets for a $75 Food Lion gift card will be sold for $1. Winners will be announced every hour on the hour.

Entertainment will include a DJ to pump up the crowd, bingo and "Mr. Bubbles" to entertain the small children. All the while, public speakers form the many associated agencies will have the change to speak and tell the public what their organization has to contribute.

Proclamations will also be made by the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County. Important people in attendance will include longtime Danville City Councilman Sherman Saunders, Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones, and Dels. Les Adams and Danny Marshall.

"It's going to be one-stop event with fun, recreation and education," Ross said. "We brought these community agents together to show that PCCA partners with all of these agencies. If we can’t provide the service, we can connect you to the person who can."

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