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We Can Be Proud of 400th Anniversary Efforts

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I would like to respond to Style Weekly's comments regarding Richmond Region 2007 efforts and leadership as being "lost" in their promotion of the Richmond area's 400th anniversary ("The Power List 2007," Cover Story, July 25).

Your comments were puzzling and contradictory in light of the fact that our most recent Signature Event, Rock the Boat -- The Godspeed's Journey on the James, scored a +7 in your May 30 issue. The event attracted 56,000 attendees and featured Henricus Public Days, tall ships, tours of the Godspeed, concerts and a major fireworks extravaganza. Style also has issued rave reviews over the last two years for Richmond Region 2007's first Signature Event, The National Folk Festival, with more than 150,000 attendees over a two-year period. Richmond Region 2007 has been the major financial contributor of The National Folk Festival that will continue in Richmond this October.

Other 2007 events totally funded by Richmond Region 2007 that were deemed successful by state and community leaders include the African-American Trailblazers that was held in March and co-hosted by Maya Angelou and Mayor L. Douglas Wilder, and We Are the Change! Democracy and Inclusion in the 21st Century, that brought together over 650 college students and community leaders to encourage and promote civic engagement. Another successful 2007 event that we have partially funded was the James River Adventure Games.

Three of these events will continue in future years as legacy projects of Richmond Region 2007. The National Folk Festival produced by Venture Richmond will have a new name in 2008, but will be largely the same event hosted during 2005-2007; the James River Adventure Games produced by Richmond Sports Backers will continue on; and an African-American Trailblazers educational DVD based on 12 Virginians who changed our world is being produced for statewide distribution to over 4,000 classrooms in Virginia this year.

Thousands of event-goers enjoyed Richmond Region 2007-sponsored events, and perhaps more importantly gained an awareness of our region's 400th anniversary and its relevance to our country's history. The only "lost" effort here is in Style's inaccurate portrayal of Richmond Region 2007's leadership and its events.

Wilson H. Flohr Jr.
President
Richmond Region 2007



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