By Sarah Pride
Patrick Henry College
Nolan Barzee, the owner of the local print shop in downtown Purcellville, lent a trailer. Peter Forbes, a Patrick Henry College junior, made some calls and arranged logistics. And freshman Bart Gingerich took the trailer and converted it to a float for Purcellville’s centennial parade. Students Tony Pradia, Paul Janzen, Brady Kauk, Kirk Sosebee, Frank Barber, Sam Richard, and Jonathan Horton donned period gear and became young men signing up for the military during World War II.
“Think Norman Rockwell,” grins Gingerich. “A lot of onlookers were happily surprised to see PHC involved in the parade. Veterans clapped because the float was patriotic.”
Under the leadership of sophomore Kyndra Jamison, PHC took part in Purcellville’s parade through the efforts of the newly reinvigorated Community Involvement Commission (CIC). While motivated students have never lacked for local volunteer opportunities, the CIC is especially well-suited to help bridge the gap between students and town officials.
“We want to learn about as many opportunities as possible from the community and make them available to PHC,” Jamison declares.
Before starting college, Jamison cultivated a passion for volunteerism through programs offered at her local library. At community college she noted the many ways college students can get involved with their neighbors. Now at PHC, Jamison has helped revive the CIC, communicating to her fellow students an inspiration for service.
“At PHC, I found less community involvement than at my secular community college,” she relates. “Before we can impact the larger world, we must be faithful in our local settings.”
Junior Justin Jenkins serves as secretary for the CIC, while Jamison is the president. They assign individual coordinators for each event. On April 12, freshman Royal Magnell organized a Purcellville cleanup day. Students cleared a significant section of road, from the bridge spanning nearby Route 7 to the McDonald’s halfway down Main Street. On April 8, Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro presented the Town of Purcellville’s Citizenship Award to Jamison, Jenkins, and fellow students Jacob Holt, Natalie Kok, Dan Middleton, and Noah Oberlander for their service at the Centennial Reception and Navy Sea Chanters concert.
“Even though our actual tasks were very small—helping set up before the reception, serving town residents dessert, handing out concert programs—we were able to meet a need and serve our Purcellville neighbors,” says Jamison. “I felt very privileged to be a part of Purcellville’s 100th birthday celebration.”
Gingerich and other freshmen intend to pass on the vision for volunteerism and advance the impact of the CIC. To create the parade float, he had to deal with many local businesses to obtain supplies.
“We were able to get involved with the community on many different levels,” he says. “Everyone did a lot of really small things, but what mattered were people’s attitudes and willingness to help.”
As PHC approaches the end of its eighth school year, it continues to work toward establishing positive relations with the local community. As time passes, PHC students hope the College can continue to grow and prosper, hand-in-hand in friendship with the Town of Purcellville.