Riverside Avondale Preservation awards, gala venue announced

Riverside Avondale Preservation awards, gala venue announced
A passing of the torch took place when the incoming Board Chair, Brooks Andrews, presented the outgoing Board Chair, Nancy Powell, with a bronze commemorative Riverside Avondale Preservation plaque as a token of appreciation for her hard work and dedication to the organization. Andrews assumed the role of Board Chair the evening of the awards ceremony. Photo courtesy of Norris Creation

It was standing room only at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd when a crowd of 200 attended the Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) annual meeting Feb. 20, which featured a change in board leadership, a list of annual preservation award winners and the beginning of a history series taught by RAP Founder Wayne Wood.

During the meeting, RAP board chair Nancy Powell announced she was stepping down from her position, although she would remain on the board for another year. Powell was recently named the executive director for Scenic Jax.

“Thank you so much for being here. It has been a really rewarding five years,” she told the crowd. “I have one more year on the board and then I am passing the baton. We get to do fun things, interesting things, find out what’s going on, problem-solve. I want to give a shout-out to all the committee members and board members since 1974. There’s so much we have done. We needed to be able to think through what our role is today.” Powell complimented Executive Director Warren Jones and the work Jones had been able to accomplish with a small staff.

“The last accomplishment I am so proud of … we were able to plant 385 trees in this past year,” she added. “I am passing the baton to the next board chair, Brooks Andrews. “He has shown much leadership both in San Marco, and he came over here and has been very active in the parks, just a great leader.  I am happy to turn over the reins, as of today, right now,” she said.

Jones and Andrews both thanked Powell for her service.

Besides RAP and Scenic Jax, Powell also acts as an advocate for downtown and is on the marketing committee for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

For his part, Andrews said he continues to follow the legacy of RAP founder Wayne Wood. Among his goals as chair are focusing on preservation, on parks, on smart growth and “most importantly, we’re going to have fun this year. Everybody in this room, this is the year to volunteer. If you ever thought about volunteering, now is your time. We need you this year. It’s going to be a wonderful celebration. The intention is to celebrate our community and bring our neighbors inside and outside of Riverside Avondale.”

And for those looking to lead?

“Anybody can be board chair,” he jokingly told the crowd. “Last year, I was picking up dog poop in the park. Now I’m board chair.”

Gala venue announced

RAP officials also announced the venue for this year’s gala. Lawson Carr, board member and Anniversary Celebration Committee chair, said the event would commemorate the 150th anniversary of Riverside and 100th anniversary of Avondale, and that Lane-Towers House in Avondale.

“This year-long (anniversary) celebration is going to culminate the Saturday after the gala in Riverside Park,” Carr explained. “The idea is to have an extra special Riverside Arts Market and transfer that energy to the park afterward.  There will be music, family activities all day long, a birthday party with cupcakes and we will activate different parts of the park with food vendors and entertainers and our arts partners in the community. It’s not just going to be music. It’s going to be a fun afternoon.”

The growing list of celebratory events will begin with a historic church tour Saturday, March 21.

By Jennifer Edwards
Resident Community News

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