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In good times and in hard times, and certainly, I think most would agree, we are experiencing hard times, it's good to know that your family, your friends, your community stands with you. 

Sunday, June 28, 2020, was an historic day in Rappahannock County. The Black Lives Matter Community Gathering held at Eldon Farms, Woodville, was epic! But, it could not have happened without key people who put in the time, talent and effort, with no pay to anyone, to make it happen. 

First and foremost, John and Lynnie Genho and staff, specifically Richie Burke at Eldon Farms, thank you for providing your beautiful, ideal location and for being so welcoming and gracious throughout the planning. 

On the hillside at Eldon, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains we all love, seemed right and fitting for the occasion. Although a quick turnaround time, you smoothed the way. And for that we are grateful.

I say “we” because without the “dopest” planning team ever — Kit Goldfarb, Steph Ridder, Pastor Russ Savage, Min. Angie Dennis, Katie Speicher, with support from John Beardsley and Dan Lanigan — it wouldn't have happened. Never say never (tell Dan Synder that, LOL!). Teamwork makes the dream work. 

Thanks to all of the musicians, Bobby G. and Friends, Marie Davis, Alex Smith, the speakers, Alyssa Amster, Tatayna Yates, Warrenton Town Councilman Mr. Renard Carlos, Mrs. Sandra Yates, Rabbi Rose Jacob, Delegate Joshua Cole and Bishop Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr., words are inadequate. Special thanks to Ms. Rachel Bynum for your poignant words and Mr. Chris Parrish, BOS for attending. You were all magnificent and spoke truth to power. 

Special shout out to Hope Dunn, for your stunning graphic design and social media support, to the Sperryville Community Alliance, Rappahannock Clergy Association, Hate Has No Home Here, Before & After, Culpeper NAACP/Branch #7058 representing Madison and Rappahannock, and Lowe's of Culpeper; your sponsorships are greatly appreciated. 

A great big shout out to Sheriff Connie Compton for her support and guidance and the Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Department for being onsite. Together, we accomplish much. Together we stand, divided we fall. It may sound like a cliché, but it's true. 

And last, but certainly not the least, the Rappahannock County community for showing up beyond anyone's expectations, even in the midst of a pandemic, to shout it loud and clear, BLACK LIVES MATTER, here and around the globe. 

Thank you. Keep the faith. Stay in prayer. A change is gonna come.

— Nan Butler Roberts, Lead Organizer of BLM in Rappahannock County, is a member of the Rappahannock County High School Class of 1974. Formerly of Sperryville, she lives in Culpeper.


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