For several years, the Town of West Point has held a series of Food Trucks by the River events on select Friday evenings in the spring, summer, and fall. Each event features two food trucks, Gauthier Vineyard's wine truck, Sno-to-Go, and live music. West Point residents and guests from surrounding localities enjoy trying new food and wine while visiting one another, taking in river and creek views, and dancing.
The July 21st Food Trucks by the River event was a special one. Read on to hear what our friends at the Tidewater Review had to say:
Dunked for a cause
West Point’s Relay for Life team is coming up with creative ways to raise money.
By Kim O'Brien Root, Editor
WEST POINT — The chiefs of the West Point police and fire departments got into a friendly competition with the town manager the week of July 17th, 2023 that ended in a dunk tank.
The three are among the town employees participating in this year’s Relay for Life, which takes place in September. The town formed its own team — called POINTED Toward a Cure — and began coming up with creative ways to raise money.
“Like everyone in the world, we’ve had people affected by cancer,” said town spokeswoman Melissa Anderson. “We wanted to find a way to give back.”
Since human resources director Donna Pauley formed the team in March, the team has raised money from online donations and from selling “Colors of Hope” ribbons to hang up in Town Hall. One donor gave $1,000. Then, the two chiefs and the town manager agreed to take turns sitting in a dunk tank at the Food Trucks by the River event.
Townspeople cheerfully showed up at the dunk tank after a few days of Spencer Cheatham, chief of the West Point Volunteer Fire Department; Tim Sawyer, chief of the West Point Police Department; and Town Manager John Edwards joking with each other on social media to “bring it on!”
In the end, the dunk tank raised $1,327, all of which will go to the American Cancer Society. Sawyer and his police department came in first in the friendly contest, but Cheatham — who wore his yellow turnout coat and helmet along with a snorkel and flippers — got a shout out for being the one who took the most dunks and let kids have test throws.
“We are so proud of them, and incredibly grateful for our community’s support,” the town wrote on its Facebook page.
As of this writing, the team of eight town employees has raised more than $4,000, which doesn’t include bids that have been placed for a silent auction currently ongoing at Town Hall. Town employees on and outside the team donated items that can be bid on until Sept. 15 by visiting Town Hall. Ribbons in honor or support of loved ones can also be purchased.
The town’s team is among 10 teams that have signed up for Relay for Life of New Kent/West Point, which will take place Sept. 23 at Colonial Downs. As of Monday, the teams had raised just over $11,000, more than halfway toward their goal.
The event has been taking place for about 15 years in New Kent, taking a few years off during the pandemic. Last year was the first year the event has been held at Colonial Downs, where participants walk around a warm-up track. Unlike prior years, where the relays lasted 24 hours, many across the country are now smaller, several-hour-long events.
New Kent’s event is scheduled from 6-9 p.m., with different groups walking the track, starting with cancer survivors, said Mary Ann Owen, chairperson of Relay for Life of New Kent/West Point. Patricia Paige is honorary chair.
“It’s become more of a celebration of the fundraising efforts,” Owen said. “It’ll be a fun time.”
Sponsors, volunteers and items for an auction that will be held at the relay are still needed, Owen said. Luminaries can be purchased that day as well, or online. The “Colors for Hope” ribbons can be purchased at West Point Town Hall to support the town’s team.
For information about the Sept. 23 relay, and to donate to the teams, including POINTED Toward a Cure, visit the Relay for Life site. Information is also available on the Relay for Life of New Kent and Town of West Point Facebook pages.