High Peak Sportswear- DBI Business Member of the Month

23 Mar 16 high peak business

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Business Member of the Month for March 2016- High Peak Sportswear.

LaurenLocated at 209 College Avenue, right next to Greenhouse Boardshop and Souvlaki, and just a few steps away from Virginia Tech campus,  High Peak Sportswear is your best source for t-shirts, golf shirts, hats, and all types of imprinted apparel and gift items! We are recognized as a national leader in the screen printing and embroidery industry. We also provide a full selection of promotional products including calendars, bags, pens, cups, mugs, and magnets just to name a few.

FamilyManaged by Travis Bishop, with a little assistance from his two young daughters  when school is out, High Peak Sportswear offers a family friendly convenient shopping environment. Travis is the proud father of Emily (10yrs old), and Erin (8 yrs old). The girls are an integral part of the store and can be seen helping to shovel the sidewalk after a snowstorm; cleaning up the stock area or helping customers to feel at home while they visit the store. Travis and the girls share a love of soccer and he is now serving his 16th season as an Assistant Coach for Blacksburg High School Boys Soccer Team.

High Peak Sportswear is responsible for printing and producing a number of special lines of t-shirts each year including the Steppin’ Out t-shirt, Help Save the Next Girl t-shirt, the Big Event t-shirt and t-shirts for numerous sporting teams throughout the New River Valley.High Peak Sportswear also print for VT Athletics, Student Organizations, businesses, VT Departments, youth sports team, Montgomery Co. Schools, as well as Radford University Student Organizations and departments.

Travis tells us, “We do almost all the shirts for Help Save the Next Girl and their individual chapters.”

High Peak Sportswear also injects a sense of fun into the Hokie Spirit.The top sellers in the store are the “You Had Me a Let’s Go”, “Horse on a Treadmill” and the”Gobble Gobble” t-shirts. The store provides you with a quality product- from Hokie Baby clothes to team t-shirts; from seasonal themed shirts to fundraising or special cause awareness; from Steppin’ Out t-shirts to Football Fun; you can find it all in High Peak Sportswear!

High Peak Sportswear is a member of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

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Warm Hearth Village- DBI Non-Profit Member of the Month

16 Mar STAFF1

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. is proud to present our Non-Profit Member of the Month for March 2016-Warm Hearth Village.

Warm Hearth Village was founded in 1974 by Wybe and Marietje Kroontje, Dutch immigrants who wanted to give something back to the American people for liberating their country during WWII.  They envisioned a community where seniors of all walks of life would come together in an environment of incomparable beauty and value and their vision kroontjesand influence guide our plans and decisions still today.

We are the New River Valley’s only comprehensive, nonprofit retirement community and our mission further sets us apart as we are driven to serve seniors of all socioeconomic backgrounds through a wide range of choices in housing, services and care.  The Warm Hearth Foundation aids in our ability to take care of seniors who do not have the means to pay for housing and health care.  As an organization we constantly seek innovative approaches to care and services as well as new offerings to  meet the changing needs of seniors over time.Village Center outside-1

Warm Hearth Village is currently home to more than 550 seniors in living options that include active adult, independent living (which includes 144 subsidized apartments for seniors on low, fixed incomes), assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care, long-term nursing care and home health care.  We are staffed with a team of dedicated professionals and a volunteer board of directors who are guided by a strong set of values that put residents first!  The average tenure of our 11-person leadership team is an impressive 15 years.

Warm Hearth Village endeavors to be a good corporate partner and citizen by being actively engaged in the community around us.  Our staff serves on the board of many community organizations such as The United Way, Good Samaritan Hospice, The Women’s Resource Center, The Agency on Aging, just to name a few.  We give of our time in volunteerism and our support through partnerships and sponsorships.  We are proud to be a part of Blacksburg and the New River Valley and equally proud to watch this community grow and thrive alongside us.

Nestled in Virginia’s historic New River Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll discover that Warm Hearth Village is a different kind of community. Visit our website for more information: http://www.warmhearth.org/

SEEDS- DBI Non-Profit Member of the Month

18 Feb

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. is proud to present our Non-Profit Member of the Month for February 2016-SEEDS Nature Center.

SEEDS – Blacksburg Nature Center

Located at Blacksburg’s historic Price House, 107 Wharton St. SE

It’s 9 in the morning when the volunteers get into the Nature center. Julian and Hailey rush to put up the “OPEN” sign on the front of the building and to take the covers off of our exhibits. The cloth covers prevent the light from degrading the insects. Julian is the intern and is responsible for animal care during the week and for making sure everything goes smoothly. He got involved with SEEDS after having Dr. Mike as a professor freshman year. Hailey is an avid wildlife researcher who got involved with SEEDS to learn more about environmental education and teaching kids.


Intern- Julian Drabner, Artist- Robin Scully Boucher. During “Art in Nature” Thursday afternoons


When the first visitors start showing up, the volunteers are eager to engage with the kids, showing them a variety of live snakes, turtles, fish, and lizards, most being native to Virginia. Playful exploration and curiosity are encouraged at the nature center. Throughout the rest of the day other volunteers start showing up. Kelly, a Blacksburg native, got involved with the Nature center because her siblings attended camp when they were younger. JoHannah, a high school senior, originally got involved with SEEDS to fulfill volunteering requirement for a school project and after seeing the importance of teaching children about the natural worlds has been with the Saturday crew ever since.

Discovery Learning for Everyone


Visitors checking out the turtles.


Founded in 1995, SEEDS has a mission to inspire a natural curiosity and love for the environment in children and the young at heart through discovery learning, nature education, teacher support, and civic awareness.

Visit the Nature Center

SEEDS – Blacksburg Nature Center located at Blacksburg’s historic Price House and gardens. Rain or shine…nature discovery right in town. It’s a museum and more for children and the young at heart!

Tuesday: 9am-12noon
Thursday: 2pm-5pm
Friday: 9am-1pm
Saturday: 9am-1pm

…and by appointment for special visits & field trips.

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Modea-DBI Business Member of the Month

5 Feb

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Business Member of the Month for February 2016- Modea

Modea is a digital consultancy focused on providing softwaAAAModea at Kent Square-1re solutions in industries where consumers lack control, transparency and choice. The company’s innovative work in the health system space, for clients like Duke Medicine, and the telecom space, for clients like nTelos Wireless, has enabled positive, transformational change in consumer engagement through the adoption of user-focused digital platforms.

One of Modea’s beliefs is that software has transformative power over our lives. Yet software alone isn’t enough. The digital consultancy assists clients in uncovering the underlying issues that get in the way of the customer experience. These aren’t just software and user experience issues, but oftentimes issues within the client organizations themselves. They ensure that the solutions developed are ready for the organizations that will own them.

Holiday Party 2014Creating these solutions take a very diverse group of 24 team members, also known as “Modeans”. They hail from all over the world and represent a range of cultures, backgrounds, and trades. They are a mix of young and not-so-young. However, there is one simple truth that unites them: they’re all family. Whether discussing digital strategies or sharing lunch together on a hike, their people synergize in a way that they feel is special. And that forms a great foundation to do remarkable things together.

This foundation was also built right here in Blacksburg, Virginia. As the company has grown and changed over the years, the town has been a key part of their story. From the vibrant Virginia Tech community to the region’s innovative technology industry to the fresh mountain air, this town runs through their veins. They decided to set up shop in downtown Blacksburg’s Kent Square building, because of the many benefits provided, and are committed to supporting the community through events such as 100 Girls of Code.

Recently, Modea successfully completed a spin-out of a new company, called Ozmo. This new company that is working with clients like Verizon and Telus will focus exclusively on the development of digital device support tools for mobile operators, helping telecom service agents and their customers troubleshoot device issues with ease and confidence.

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To learn more about Modea, check out our website, watch this short video, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

 To learn more about Ozmo, check out the website, and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The Montgomery County Educational Foundation- DBI Non-Profit Member of the Month

25 Jan 1

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. is proud to present our Non-Profit Member of the Month for January 2016 –The Montgomery County Educational Foundation

The Montgomery County Educational Foundation is a non-profit organization that focuses on enhancing educational opportunities for students in Montgomery County Public Schools. Our mission is to provide financial support to enable students, teachers, and administrators to discover, advance, and enhance educational opportunities. We believe an investment in our schools is an investment in this community and the development of productive global citizens.

Over the last five years, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has sustained nearly $7 million dollars in budget cuts. As a result of these cuts, now more than ever, the students and faculty of this county need the support of the Montgomery County Educational Foundation (MCEF). The MCEF would like to not only minimize the devastating effects of these budget cuts, but to also provide opportunities beyond the scope of the available public resources for students and staff in Preschool through 12th grade.

In December, MCEF held its 4th annual grant award reception honoring 16 teachers from 10 schools who submitted grant proposals that went above and beyond the curriculum to enhance student learning.

Since its inception of the grant program, MCEF has awarded over $75,000 to 98 programs that involve the subject areas of reading, math, science, technology, afterschool programs, teacher development, student leadership, physical education, music, and life skills. If you would like to learn more about the foundation, please visit http://www.montcoef.org . If you are a supporter of education and would like to be part of this foundation’s effort, please contact Megan at info@montcoef.org or 540-315-2156.

The MCEF will be announcing the topic for its annual poetry contest for MCPS students in 2nd-12th grade later this month. The poetry contest was started to encourage creative writing and continues to be something students look forward to each year.

Here are a few quotes on the impact of MCEF.

“I want to personally thank the MCEF for its support of this project and for allowing me to use my skills as a teacher to bring some ‘outside the box’ learning activities for my students. Without the resources provided [by the MCEF], none of these opportunities could have benefitted our students in the ways they have. Thank you for truly believing in teachers across the county!” – Jackie Hodge

Tess Brooke from Gilbert Linkous Elementary says,

“Hatching season is the most EGG-citing time of the year in kindergarten! Each spring, we put 20 eggs into our incubator to kick off our adventure. Our Kinder Chicks project is cross-curricular, SOL aligned, and extremely engaging–and that’s no yoke! We study the life cycle, make hatching predictions, count backwards to hatch day, and (most challenging of all) practice being patient. Once the chicks hatch, we say that the chicks actually teach us math and reading! We use tally marks to collect data while we observe them. We read books to them, watch how they grow and write all about them too. Some of my favorite writing samples that the students create are their chicken writing. Thank you MCEF for this EGG-cellent opportunity!”

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Fringe Benefit- DBI Business Member of the Month

14 Jan 14

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Business Member of the Month for January 2016- Fringe Benefit

Owned and operated by Nancyne Willoughby, a Virginia Tech graduate, Fringe Benefit is proud to have served the community for 42 years.

In March 1972 the original owner, local entrepreneur Beverly Patterson, opened Fringe Benefit in the old Mill building, later to move it down to street-front at 217 College Avenue. It was an all natural fiber store, to combat the evil polyester of the 1970’s! Nancyne remembers shopping there when she was at Tech in the late 70’s. This very successful women’s clothing and accessories shop was there for more than two decades.

Beverly moved to Texas in the early 80’s and the store needed some attention. Nancyne had managed a few other boutiques in town after college and decided to ask Bev if she would ever sell the store; a few years later Bev was ready to sell. Judy Murray and Nancyne bought the store from Beverly in September 1987. They updated the business and worked together as co-owners until Judy left the business in 1997. The original store was 900 sq feet. Nancyne decided she wanted a fresher look and a bigger space so she moved into the current location, the old spot where Davidson’s men’s clothing shop had been at 117 N. Main St. in June of 2004.

Nancyne was born in Massachusetts, grew up mostly in Northern VA, came to Blacksburg to go to Virginia Tech, and never left. She earned a BA in Art, with a minor in History at VT. She joined DBI, formerly the Downtown Merchants of Blacksburg, in 1987 and has served as President of the Organization for a total of 16 years since joining. She is currently serving a second term on the Board. Nancyne was instrumental in the renovation of the Lyric Theatre and was a member of the original Lyric Board for 10 years. She has also served on the Friends of the Farmers Market Board for 10 years.

Nancyne says: “I love being downtown, you get a real sense of community. I love interacting with my customers!”

Special Features of shopping local at Fringe Benefit
Fashion Shows- Fringe Benefit has provided clothing and accessories for Fashion Shows over the years for the Blacksburg Newcomers Club & the Blue Ridge Cancer Center

If you like expert assistance, we will be glad to provide it with our personal service. Whether you are shopping for yourself or a gift for someone else, we have unique items that are sure to please anyone.

Speaking of gifts, we provide free gift wrapping, reward you with 20% off on your birthday and enjoy the benefits of our frequent buyers club. Come in today to find out more details of these benefits!

Gifts Galore-Looking for that perfect gift? Find it in our gift selection of Ten Thousand Villages, bath products from Caswell-Massey, local hand crafted soaps, cards from Palm Press and Local Wisdom.

Accolades Include:
Roanoke Times- Best of the NRV- Best Place to buy Women’s Fashions, Best Hidden Gem
Collegiate Times- Best of Blacksburg- Best Clothing Store

Downtown Blacksburg Inc- 2nd Best decorated Holiday Tree- 2014

Check out our website: www.fringebenefitva.com/index.html
Follow us on Face Book: www.facebook.com/Fringe-Benefit-97924721561/?fref=ts

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The Blacksburg Museum & Cultural Foundation- DBI Non-Profit Member of the Month


Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. is proud to present our Non-Profit Member of the Month for November 2015 The Blacksburg Museum & Cultural Foundation


The Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation’s (BMCF) builds community through Blacksburg’s arts, history and cultural heritage with a wide variety of exhibits, activities and events. The BMCF operates and programs the Alexander Black House & Cultural Center and St Luke & Odd Fellows Hall (SLOFH).

The Alexander Black House & Cultural Center is more home than history, presenting engaging programs and a venue for people to gather in a casual atmosphere where comfort meets culture. It’s a place where you can take pride in the heritage of the community without pretense. The Alexander Black House is a place for everyone, regardless of age or interests.
The museum’s free Holiday Open House was a huge hit this year. The Alexander Black House was dressed to the nines in traditional Victorian Style holiday décor, and great music by Dan Warren, Christian and Renee Rippe, and the Southwest Virginia Harp Society completed the holiday experience. Larry Bechtel also held a lecture where he discussed his Nativity Sculpture collected, titled ‘A Christmas Story’.

St Luke & Odd Fellows Hall is a museum of Blacksburg’s African American Culture and preserves the memories of the many families who lived in the neighborhood of New Town. Yearly festivals are held to build on the traditions of the Hall as a performance venue. Blues, Brews & BBQ held at SLOFH more than doubled its offerings and attendance this year. With two stages, eight bands, over 400 community members and several business and University partners, this event has become a much anticipated yearly event.

For those looking for a formal event, the annual Alexander Black Tie Gala happens in the fall which features a champagne reception, silent auction, specially created dinner, live music, dancing, and entertainment. This year’s gala boasted exceptional food, great music, and perfect weather! If you missed this year’s Gala, they hope to see you next year! You can purchase tickets and reserve tables by calling the Alexander Black House.

The Alexander Black House is the perfect place to book a rental. Have an event you want to hold? Events in 2015 included the Horseshoes and Hats Kentucky Derby Casino Night, weddings, baby showers, and more!

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For more information about events hosted by BMCF, visit their website at www.blacksburghistory.org or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/blacksburghistory/timeline?ref=page_internal.

Matrix Gallery- DBI Business Member of the Month

14 Dec

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Business Member of the Month for December 2015- Matrix Gallery

The Beginnings
Lana Juarez majored in Fine Arts at Virginia Tech, and it did not take her long at all to fall in love with the town of Blacksburg, Virginia. She’s always loved small towns and always felt at home with the independently-owned shops and businesses here. With her degree in hand, she applied to any arts-related job in the area that she could find, although most were commercial arts oriented, and that was not her training. Thus, her first job out of college was scooping ice cream at Gillies Confectionery!

Ten Years after Graduating College
Lana made a living gypsy style, traveling the East Coast and Midwest doing juried craft fairs. She met an amazing family of fellow artists and craftspeople, and over the years she was exposed to an incredible variety of top of the line creations including jewelry, pottery, woodwork, blown glass, and leatherwork—in fact, most all of the things she carries in the gallery to this day. She used to wish and wish that someone would open a crafts gallery so she could work there. That never happened, so she did it herself!

A little space on Main Street became available, and although she had traveled to some Colorado ski towns and even considered the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the gallery, starting here at home made the most sense. Matrix Gallery started as a three person partnership (Lana, her talented ex, Gil Roberts, and the visionary local builder, Phil Louer). The doors never would have opened with out the hard work of each of them, and Lana is so grateful they made such a great team. Time marched on, and she ended up buying out each of her partners, and with nerves of steel and a great miniature staff (of one, occasionally one and a half), she continues to run Matrix Gallery.

Lana loves the little gallery now as much as she ever did and still gets excited when she finds new work, and she is so grateful for the support of this community. It has been such a pleasure for her to share her love of beautifully crafted, functional art to live with and art to use and enjoy every day. She has always loved the care and energy put into something that is made by hand, and it has always been important to her to support American artists who are brave and driven enough to continue this important tradition.


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The Center for the Arts- DBI Non-Profit Member of the Month

9 Dec Moss Arts Center, at dusk.

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. is proud to present our Non-Profit Member of the Month for December 2015  the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech

The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech is the university’s professional presenting organization, bringing everything from classical and contemporary music to live theatre and dance to Blacksburg. The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech presents renowned performing and visual artists from around the globe and from close to home at the Moss Arts Center, 190 Alumni Mall. With a special focus on connecting our communities to artists through experiences that will expand cultural awareness and deepen understanding. The Center for the Arts is creating a thriving creative community fueled by inspiration where patrons have meaningful experiences enjoying arts of the highest caliber in a wide variety of forms.

For instance, coming up soon at the Moss Arts Center is a large-scale puppetry version of “Moby Dick” from Blair Thomas & Co. Puppet Theater on Friday, February 5. Catch a special performance from the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, perfect for a belated Valentine’s Day date night on Tuesday, February 16. And don’t miss acclaimed violinist Gil Shaham with The Knights orchestra on Friday, February 26.

For more information on these and other upcoming performances and events, please visit http://www.artscenter.vt.edu or call the Center for the Arts box office at (540) 231-5300.

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Winter Lights Festival with TubaChristmas

29 Nov WL2014 927

Friday, December 4 marks the kick-off to the holidays in downtown Blacksburg with a night of celebrations!
4-7pm Holiday Market- College Avenue
4-8pm Art Walk at participating downtown galleries
4:00pm Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus at The Lyric (bring your own camera)
4:15pm Blacksburg Children’s Chorale sing in Kent Square
5:00pm Blacksburg Children’s Chorale sing on Henderson Lawn Stage
5-7:00 pm “Cookies & Candy Canes”  in Kent Square lobby.
Summer Musical Enterprise perform the song “Counting Down to Christmas” in Kent Square
5:30pm Tree lighting on the Henderson Lawn with music from the Blacksburg Children’s Chorale & WSLS10
6:00pm TubaChristmas co-sponsored by the Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and the Department of Music at Virginia Tech on Henderson Lawn Stage
7:00pm Holiday Parade co-sponsored by Blacksburg Parks and Recreation Department and Virginia Tech Chapter of Circle K

All ages and ability levels!
Conductor – Dr. Jonathan Caldwell
TubaChristmas is coming to Blacksburg to join in the Winter Lights Festival. Join in the fun as the town celebrates with the annual lighting of the tree, parade, and Farmer’s Market happenings. TubaChristmas will make this the best holiday celebration ever! Bring your tubas, euphoniums and all of your friends to downtown Blacksburg on Friday, December 4th, 2015. Participants, please RSVP to ecrone@vt.edu

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