2020 Community Strong Person of the Year: Alison Williamson

The 2020 SHOWCASE MAGAZINE Community Strong People of the Year

Alison Williamson grew up in Lynchburg and is twice an alumnus of Liberty University. Williamson married her Danville-native husband in 2010. After seven years living in North and South Carolina, they moved to Danville in 2017. The couple has three young children who attend Westover Christian Academy, where Williamson is a high-school social studies teacher. She also serves as the Westover Honor Society sponsor. Williamson’s family is active members of Faith Memorial Baptist Church.

During the pandemic, Williamson orchestrated a Community Day of Thanks to show support to our first responders. The event saw local businesses offering free food options to first responders.

Williamson took time from her busy schedule to talk about community with Showcase.

Showcase Magazine: How do you define community involvement?

Alison Williamson: Community involvement is being part of events and organizations that bring people together. It takes on a wide variety of appearances. It’s a way to worship collectively, connect people, meet a need, or simply have fun.

SM: What inspires you to get involved in the community?

AW: Apparently, I just enjoy planning events and having a full plate. Ha ha! As a Christian, I believe It’s important to look outside of ourselves and serve others. Whether it’s donating to the local food bank or organizing larger scale projects for the community, I enjoy serving people and want my children to grow up with an example of how to use their time and talents to help to others.

SM: How do you balance life, work, and community involvement?

AW: My husband is amazing and supportive.  He is such a fantastic dad and advocate of my involvement in various groups, that he makes it easier to take on additional activities, but not lose focus on our marriage and family.  He keeps me grounded.

SM: Who are your real-life heroes and why?

AW: Myself and my family are ardent supporters of police, military, and all first responders. These men and women willingly chose to be on the front lines of safety and take on challenges that most won’t.  Their sacrificial love of people and community deserves our full support.

SM: What are you most looking forward to in 2021?

AW: Hopefully the second annual Community Day of Thanks for local first responders, as well as the possibility of normalcy after this pandemic. A new year always holds new possibilities, and that’s exciting.

SM: Do you have a favorite quote, and if so, what is it?

AW:  My husband and I chose Ephesians 3:20-21 as our life verse.  For us, we know it is the power of the Lord working to bring about anything good in us, and I want Him to receive all the glory for what is done. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.”

SM: How do you recharge? What do you like to do outside of work and volunteerism?

AW: We love time away as a family exploring new and favorite places. There is always a weekend day trip or extended vacation booked on our calendar for us to look forward to and anticipate a time of relaxation, escape, and memories.

SM: What are your favorite things to do in Danville?

AW: We always have a fun night seeing and judging the Christmas displays at Ballou Park. In summer, Saturdays at the community market are a place where we buy fresh produce, honey, and baked goods from locals. Additionally, I enjoy taking walks with my family along the Riverwalk trail. 

SM: What are your visions for the future of Danville?

AW: I would like to see more options for recreation and entertainment, like a children’s theater, trampoline park, etc.  Giving Danville families choices on where to spend time together and celebrate occasions helps our city to flourish and attract other visitors and businesses. Also, I hope to see Danville continue to grow in its community unity- which has come a long way since we moved here in 2017.  There are a lot of initiatives to help unify the community and these are great, but I hope to see its citize