TRADITIONS: William Byrd students collect money for Roanoke domestic violence shelter

By Lindsey Ward - Anchor
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William Byrd commitment party is a busy place (Image 1)

VINTON (WSLS) - Friday night was Salvation Army - Turning Point Shelter night as the William Byrd Terriers took on the Northside Vikings.

William Byrd Principal Dr. Richard Turner and other school leaders came up with the idea to collect donations at the game to make a difference for domestic violence victims and raise awareness about next week's Mr. ‘Merica pageant at the high school.

The Mr. ‘Merica pageant is a student run fundraiser for Dancing with the Valley Stars, which of course benefits the Turning Point Shelter.

"Service Learning" students collected donations in the stands and are organizing the pageant.

Jessica Catley is one of the teachers of the service learning class.

"From a teacher's perspective getting them to actually do this thing from the ground up has been amazing to watch," she said.

In fact, William Byrd Principal, Dr. Richard Turner has taken notice of the student's enthusiasm to help raise money for Dancing with the Valley Stars and domestic violence victims.

"They've done the organization and the details and the more we've done the teachers have been able to step back because they've really taken over doing the whole thing so really it's their program under the supervision of our staff of course, but I'm just really proud of them," Dr. Turner explained.

He's so proud he actually decided just this week to collect donations at this rival game.

Dr. Turner says unfortunately domestic violence has affected the William Byrd community.

"For those students that families have experienced that it's devastating and it's hard to focus on education and what you need to get ready for further education and employment down the road when you're having these issues at home, so we want to do our part," he said.

"One thing that hit me and the students as well is the fact that it happens here in Roanoke we hear about it on the news and on TV," Catley said.

The Mr. ‘Merica pageant fundraiser is next Thursday at 7 p.m. at William Byrd's auditorium.

Again, that money goes to dancing with the valley stars and the Salvation Army's Turning Point Shelter.

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