Portrait, plaque honor Nanci Drake

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Friends, family and colleagues gathered at the Bedford Welcome Center Nov. 30 to unveil a commissioned portrait of Nanci Drake, the first Director of Tourism for Bedford City and County who died unexpectedly more than a year ago on Dec. 2, 2006.

Mayor Skip Tharp presented and donated the portrait. Tharp was joined by County Supervisor Steve Arrington to unveil the portrait.

The portrait captures Nanci?s energy, enthusiasm and stellar smile.

Nanci Drake was the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce 2006 Citizen of the Year. She was affiliated with the following: Southeast Tourism Society Board of Directors, Sedalia Center Board of Directors, American Red Cross Board of Directors ? Historic Virginia Chapter, Bedford International Alliance Board of Directors, the Big Otter Mill Foundation, the Bedford Area Chamber Board of Directors, Virginia?s Explore Park Board of Directors, Blue Ridge Parkway Association Board of Directors, Bedford Main Street, Organization Committee, East Lake Business Association, Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association and Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The accompanying plaque reads:

Nanci N. Drake, March 31, 1958-December 2, 2006. First Director of Tourism for the City and County of Bedford, Virginia. ?A Welcome Center for visitors to learn about the beauty of our community. A Community Center to share the hospitality of our citizens and of our neighbors.? Nanci Drake?s Vision for The Bedford Welcome Center.

The Bedford Fire Department also presented a plaque in memory of Drake to be displayed in the Fire Gallery. The Fire Department received a new Seagrave Fire Truck and a special Roto Ray light was installed on the front of the truck in her memory.

Members of the Board of Supervisors, City Council, County Administrator Kathleen Guzi, City Manager Charlie Kolakowski , representatives from the Bedford Fire Department, and the Tourism Advisory Council were on hand for the presentation as well as the staff and volunteers from the Welcome Center.