Citizens raise $4,000 toward bridge project

In only four months, the hard work and dedication of a group of determined citizens has raised $4,146 in funds toward the rebuilding of the

The old Bob White Covered Bridge, which was swept away by floodwaters last September, is a source of nostalgia for many in the Woolwine community.
The old Bob White Covered Bridge, which was swept away by floodwaters last September, is a source of nostalgia for many in the Woolwine community.

, which was destroyed by floodwaters last September.
The Patrick County Covered Bridge Committee, which has its nucleus in the Woolwine community, has worked in conjunction with the Patrick County Tourism Office to raise funds to restore the bridge over the Smith River.
Joseph Quesenberry, county tourism director, said he is “exceptionally pleased” with the current results.
“In our online campaign, we have raised $1,475 in donations from across the state,” he said. “Combined with the tireless efforts of the Covered Bridge Committee, our total raised since the beginning of April currently stands at $4,146. This is all because of the hard work, long hours, and the dedicated service of some of our finest citizens.”
People from across the state have donated to the fund, some leaving memories and comments along with their donations. Susan Traxel Martin is one of those donors, leaving a stirring message.
“After my double lung transplant, I heard about the Covered Bridge Race,” Martin wrote. “For recovery, I began walking three months after receiving the gift of life. Struggling, but with encouragement of others along the race route, I ultimately took my winning steps through the Bob White Covered Bridge and was the very last person to cross the finish line in celebration.
“I cried the day I learned of the bridge’s destruction,” Martin said. Let’s reconstruct this precious landmark in honor, and for the future to enjoy and imagine the past.”
A recent donation of $750 was received from the estate of Barney and Lillie Agee Lackey, a family with strong ties to the historic structure.
“It’s donations like these that make everything worthwhile,” said Ellen Elgin, treasurer of the Covered Bridge Committee. “The memories we all have with this historic structure will never be lost. Our hope, as a committee, is that we can rebuild the Bob White Covered Bridge for future generations. They deserve some of the same fond memories that we did.”
The tourism office and the committee are continuing to work to raise funds for the bridge.
The annual “1950s Ice Cream Social” hosted by the Covered Bridge Committee will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21, in the Smith River Rescue Squad building to raise additional funds.
Everyone is encouraged to come out and enjoy the sights and sounds of the 1950s, with classic cars, ice cream, music, ‘50s attire and much more.
For more information, please contact the Patrick County Tourism Office at 276-69406094, or jquesenberry@co.patrick.va.us.
To donate funds toward rebuilding the bridge, please visit the county tourism website at visitpatrickcounty.org.

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