Lion Andre Peery and others publish vividly illustrated Roanoke history book
by Shawn Nowlin
Regardless of age, for most people, there is something peaceful about filling in the lines of an illustration in a coloring book. Earlier this year, Andre Peery and members of his Lions Club had an idea for a unique coloring book – one that features a picture history of the Roanoke Valley.
Peery belongs to the Roanoke Valley Breakfast Lions Club. The mission of the organization is to “empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding.”
Coloring Virginia’s Blue Ridge became a fundraiser for the club to support the charities they are involved in. There are ten members, along with Peery, in the non-profit organization: Patricia Carr, who spurred the idea and did the illustrations, Jean Broyles, Suzanne Ross, Jim and Lion Wanda Dalton, George Ferguson, Barbara Richmond, James Beck, Brenda Cooper and Alison Cordero. Peery says they all played a role in the development of the coloring book.
Peery is no stranger to relying on others to accomplish a goal. Born at Burrell Memorial in 1948, the only black hospital in the area at the time, he was raised in Salem.
Peery attended the Carver School, which, as he put it, “was the segregated school for all minorities who lived in Roanoke County, Vinton, Hollins, Cave Spring and Catawba at the time.” After 11 years there, he was given the opportunity to attend Andrew Lewis High, becoming one of the first minorities to receive a diploma for the school. Peery ranked 74th academically out of 300 students in his graduating class.
After high school, Peery attended Concord College in Athens, West Virginia, for a year before joining the Air Force as a Ground Radio Communications Technician. It was during this time that Peery grew a passion for serving the community that he was in.
When he joined the Lions Club, Peery had high goals for the organization. One of the main reasons why he helped promote the coloring book was to help more people understand the history of the area, help children learn about things to do and make some money for the charities.
Keith Davis is a supporter of the Roanoke Valley Breakfast Lion’s Club and says that he purchased a coloring book for each of his four children over the summer. “I love everything that they represent. I plan on purchasing some more coloring books to give out for Christmas,” he added.
Peery primarily credits his parents for what he has been able to accomplish in his life. “My mom is a shining example of how to love people unconditionally. My dad was my philosopher and leader guide. My Uncle Lewis, who helped charter this Lions Club, was an example of how to contribute to your community with service and leadership. I also credit Boy Scouts for giving me a set of core values to live by at an early age.”
Coloring Virginia’s Blue Ridge may be purchased for $10 by contacting 540-521-0530 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.