On February 12, 1959, representatives from the Brambleton, Roanoke and Valley Junior Woman’s Clubs, all of Roanoke, Virginia, met to discuss the possibility of working jointly for the possible formation of a Roanoke Central Recreation Council for the purpose of adequately meeting the needs of recreation, in all fields, in all age groups, in all sections of the Roanoke Valley.
A meeting of interested citizens was set for March 9, 1959, to which the public was invited, at Hotel Roanoke. Approximately 60 civic leaders, representing health, recreational, welfare and educational groups, in addition to civic club leaders and other interested persons, attended this meeting, out of which grew the appointment of a Steering Committee to consider the organization of a Roanoke Valley Community Council, for the study of a broad program to include the problems of unemployment, needs of the aged, and recreation for youth and the aged, and to avoid the duplication of time, money and effort by different organizations in these fields of service, of time, money and effort by different organizations in these fields of service.
R. Franklin Hough, Jr., of Salem, accepted the Chairmanship of this Steering Committee, which held its first meeting on March 23, 1959. Dr. G Gary White, of Hollins College, explained the interest in a community council as representing the confluence of three streams, formerly flowing in parallel directions, “the “Three Streams” being a United Fund project committee headed by Mrs. Harry Rosenbaum, which is a Social Planning Council; a committee on juvenile problems, headed by Dr. White; and the three junior women’s clubs, whose efforts have been directed toward setting up a recreational council. Dr. White identified 71 agencies and organizations in the community which would be interested in a community council. It was emphasized that Roanoke is one of 57 cities in the U.S. with a population of approximately 100,000, of which 50 have organized community councils.
Mr. Hough appointed a Committee on Structure to draw up a constitution; a Committee on Financial Support to recommend ways and means of securing the necessary funds to establish a permanent community council; and a Committee on Agencies to list the agencies and organizations in the Roanoke Valley area which would be represented on the council.
A second meeting of the Steering Committee was held on May 25, 1959, to discuss plans for the functioning of the Structure Committee to activate a Community Council. Dr G. Gary White was appointed Chairman of the Structure Committee and representatives of the Brambleton, Roanoke and Valley Junior Woman’s Clubs, and the Roanoke Junior League, were requested to contact all groups or agencies not covered in an existing pamphlet of the united fund and report on the work they are doing, and break down this work into categories of welfare, recreation, old-age problems, etc.
Subsequently, several meetings of these committees were held, during which the necessary lists were compiled; and Dr. White and his Structure Committee drew up a proposed constitution, after studying thoroughly the constitutions of similar community councils in the United States, which were used as a guide in forming a constitution which would meet the requirements of this area. Then on July 19, 1960, the Steering Committee held a meeting to discuss this constitution, and make revisions, after which it was adopted, and plans were made to hold another meeting of interested citizens in September, 1960 for the purpose of presenting the proposed constitution for their consideration, and hopefully, for their approval and adoption.
This second meeting, to which the public was again invited, was held in the Times-World Auditorium on September 27, 1960, at which time the Constitution was discussed, copies having been mailed previously to those attending, and unanimously adopted.
A Membership Committee was formed to poll the prospective membership of the council, to invite representatives to a future meeting, at which time organization as directed by the Constitution will be effected.
Mrs. W.M. Rich Jr., Secretary pro tem
Roanoke Valley Council of Community Services
2431 Durham Street, N. W., Roanoke, Virginia