PCC’s Big Lick Train Tug returns in a big way!

Saturday, September 26th 2020 at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

Teams of 10 will compete to pull the Train with all proceeds to benefit PCC. 
This massive collaborative event will be an amazing day of community and fun with PCC produced by Big Lick Entertainment!
Follow social media for more announcements!


Jenna Wrenn graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 2016. She was a Pathways student for 7 years. Jenna then attended Longwood University and majored in business administration with a concentration in management and marketing, including an endorsement in supply chain management. Jenna graduated a semester early in December 2019. She currently works full time at Mariner Finance as an account representative. As a Pathways high school graduate, Jenna was eligible for financial aid from the PCC College Fund throughout her time at Longwood. This fund helped to purchase books and other materials she needed to be successful during her time as an undergraduate. Congratulations, Jenna! We are all very proud of you!!!


At the PCC, MLK Day of Service included a “DAY ON not a DAY OFF” for eleven students and staff from Radford University who stocked the food pantry shelves. Many thanks to each of them along with Mary Thornhill, a regular PCC volunteer who helped oversee the pantry activity, and Gleica Norris, PCC Intern.


Save the Date for Roanoke Valley Gives 2020 – Wednesday, March 18, 2020!

Roanoke Valley Gives, an initiative of Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia, is a fantastic way to boost your organization’s fundraising efforts. The 24-hour online giving event has inspired and grown philanthropy across the Roanoke Valley, helped participating nonprofits share their story, reached many new donors and provided visibility that only this type of community-wide initiative can generate. In our fifth year, please join us, and let’s make this the best Roanoke Valley Gives ever!

Bookmark our fundraising page >



The mission of the PCC began in 1967 as a response to the 1950’s economic upheaval in Southeast Roanoke caused by the abrupt closing of the American Viscose plant and the building of the last steam engine at the Norfolk and Western Railway East End Shops. Today, PCC is still responding to the needs of our neighborhood and the response is guided by people with a common passion to help others in need, providing hope for a brighter future.
Brenda Wass, our Director of Emergency Services, is the heart and soul of this program. She has worked at the PCC for over forty-seven years. Having grown up in Southeast, she knows the community, the families, and their daily struggles at surviving. You could say that Brenda is our secret weapon in fighting poverty by the sheer fact of her vast knowledge of the social service network along with connections she has made over her lifetime of living and working in Southeast.

When Brenda was in 8th grade, her Home Economics teacher was Betty Dixon. Little did Brenda suspect that years later, Betty would become a treasured volunteer at the PCC, sharing her passion for helping others. As a PCC volunteer, Betty brought her quick wit and laughter that resounded throughout the building. She also brought her Northminster Presbyterian Church team of friends to volunteer each Wednesday for years and years. During slow times at the PCC, Betty would bring craft projects. One such project, a large cross-stitched wall hanging of the Lord’s Prayer, was gifted to the PCC. Sadly, Betty passed away on April 8, 2019, but her memory remains with us along with the Lord’s Prayer which still hangs behind the front desk in the lobby.

Dale Poe, another former volunteer and also my father-in-law, passed away on August 6, 2019. Soon after retiring, Dale began helping in the food pantry preparing food orders and restocking the pantry shelves. He enjoyed sharing the PCC mission with Brenda and PCC caseworker Patsy Ashe who passed away in 2012. When he was no longer able to volunteer, Dale faithfully supported “Patsy’s Pantry” for many years.

The PCC mission continues to play out with an assorted cast but all offer compassion, generosity of spirit and resources, encouragement and guidance…and hope for a bright future for each PCC client, their families and the community. An open invitation is offered to anyone interested in joining the PCC team.

-Cheryl Poe, Director of Volunteer Services


The third annual Big Lick Train Tug to benefit the Presbyterian Community Center took place on Saturday, September 21. It was a sunny and beautiful day to spend outdoors with friends and family. Cheered on by an estimated crowd of 1,500, fourteen teams competed to pull the “1776” diesel engine. American National Bank and Carilion Clinic were once again the Presenting Sponsors for this event, and we are so grateful for their strong support. This year, the Train Tug grew into a street festival featuring lots of good food and drink, music, an expanded Kid Zone, and many vendors. The Virginia Museum of Transportation not only added its Racin’ and Roddin’ event to the mix, but it also waived museum entrance fees for the day. The Train Tug raised over $59,000 for PCC programs. Thank you to all who supported the event.

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Thanksgiving Turkey Drive

Posted by: Julie Satterwhite Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Center Posts


Thanksgiving turkey

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we are asking for donations of turkeys or funds ($15.00) for the purchase of turkeys for our Pathways and Emergency Services families. We are seeking donations from now until Friday, November 22nd. We will happily accept fresh or frozen turkeys. If you will be donating funds, please designate them for this purchase. We thank you on behalf of the Southeast, Northeast and Vinton communities for your continued support and generosity!

Turkeys can be dropped off from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM most days or you can contact Nicole Jennings at 540-342-3568 ext 116 to arrange a drop-off.

Click here to donate


Big Lick Train Tug Registration is Open!

Posted by: Karen McNally Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Center Posts, Train Tug


Registration for the annual Big Lick Train Tug is open and teams are already vying for the top of the fundraising leaderboard. Your favorite Strength of Community Competition will be pulling the beautiful NORFOLK & WESTERN EMD SD-45 #1776!

To participate teams of 10 must raise at least $1,000 to be eligible to compete on Saturday, September 21t. All of the proceeds to benefit PCC. Last year’s winner, I Heart SE, is already leading the way and are looking to defend their title. Will your team unseat them? Register today at

In addition to the Train Tug, the Virginia Museum of Transportations annual Racin’ & Roddin’ event will take place offering music, food, beer, vendors, and more for you to enjoin while cheering on your favorite Train Tug team!


The Big Lick Train Tug – Racin & Roddin’ Street Fest has been announced!
Big Lick Train Tug rocks alongside the Virginia Museum of Transportation‘s 3rd annual Racin’ & Roddin’ event for an incredible community street fest featuring live music by Five Dollar Shake, craft-beer garden, street vendors, open car show and more!
Also new this year, teams will pull the beautiful 1776 diesel locomotive to benefit Presbyterian Community Center!
Keep it here for announcements and check out for competition info! #BigLickTrainTug #TheStrengthofCommunity #PCCRoanoke #VMT #RailHistory

Children, Summer and Food

Posted by: Karen McNally Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Center Posts


Did you know that in the 2,889 households assisted by the Presbyterian Community Center last year there were 1,692 children? The safety and welfare of at-risk children is a priority for our mission. A special fund subsidized by a $10,000 grant from The Edgar A. Thurman Charitable Foundation for Children allows us to supplement available financial aid for families with children in the home. The Thurman Foundation has been a valued partner for many years in our work to prevent homelessness for the most vulnerable members of our families. Read More

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