Video Contest Supports Efforts to Save the Sears Hill Bridge

By: Todd Corillo Email
By: Todd Corillo Email

A group of community members in Staunton has been raising funds for more than a year to save the Sears Hill Bridge.

Now the Staunton Downtown Development Association is helping out with several activities, including a "Save Our Bridge" video contest.

Currently, three films have been entered in the contest, including submissions from Ryan White, Flying Warthogs Film and Rachel Dixon.

Dixon is the youngest person to enter the contest, at just 13 years old, but she says writing and directing the film was special due to her family connections to the bridge.

"We've walked across that bridge a couple of times and my great-grandma lived on Sears Hill. She was a pretty big part of my dad's life and I've heard many, many stories about her," explains Dixon.

Her film, "Stan," tells the story of Stan, a bridge troll who lived under the Sears Hill Bridge.

Bryan Demory plays the troll and says he too has fond memories of the Sears Hill Bridge.

"I used to hang out on the bridge when I was in high school. We thought it was a cool thing to take pictures on it and it's always been just an icon," comments Demory.

He says he was impressed, but not surprised, at everything Dixon was able to accomplish at such a young age.

"She knew exactly what she was doing, she didn't need much direction at all," adds Demory.

Julie Markowitz, the Executive Director of the Staunton Downtown Development Association that is sponsoring the contest, says the Sears Hill Bridge has been a vital part of the community.

"It's a really important connector between the Sears Hill neighborhood and downtown. So that's really the end goal is to get that refurbished and back up," says Markowitz.

She says the video contest wouldn't be possible without the support of Lingo Networks, which is moving to Downtown Staunton and plans to install WiFi in the downtown area.

All of the films will be screened at the Visulite Cinema in Staunton June 26 at 9 p.m.

The Sears Hill Bridge was shut down in January 2010 due to safety concerns.


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