Roanoke Developer Ed Walker to Speak at Dine for a Cause this Sunday, Dec. 8th

SF President Haden Polseno-Hensley and Director Mike Burton to Update Community as Restaurants Feature Gourmet Soups

Ed Walker
Ed Walker

Ed Walker made a national name for himself by finding new ways to use historic structures that had long been underappreciated.

Where others saw vacant office buildings, Walker saw potential. His innovative use of historic tax credits, ability to collaborate and eye for design have brought new life to downtown Roanoke’s 204 Jefferson, the Hancock Building, the Cotton Mill and Patrick Henry. That doesn’t   include his work outside downtown on buildings such as Wasena’s former Ice House, now known as the River House, home to apartments, a restaurant and a climbing gym.

Walker has found new twists and uses for longstanding community assets. Now, he’s appearing as the keynote speaker this Sunday at 6 p.m. at Dine for a Cause, a fundraiser at the Floyd Country Store for SustainFloyd, a locally focused non-profit organization, taking the same approach from a more rural perspective.

SustainFloyd’s mission mirrors Walker’s in many ways. The grassroots organization works to develop strategies and new markets to enhance Floyd County’s traditional strengths in agriculture and craftsmanship. In doing so SF hopes to preserve Floyd’s mountain heritage, enhance the local economy and help the county’s residents chart their own course for the future.

Walker, who has long had an interest in the Floyd community, will develop those ideas during his presentation on  Sunday.

“Ed will bring his considerable experience to our discussion on how a community like Floyd can develop various forms of wealth by focusing on place, keeping wealth local and building on shared values,” says SustainFloyd president Haden Polseno-Hensley.  “He’ll bring his perspective on how we can avoid development done to our community while encouraging development by and for our community.”

Haden Polseno-Hensley
Haden Polseno-Hensley

Polseno-Hensley, a young Floyd entrepreneur who co-owns Red Rooster Coffee Roaster, will also speak at Dine for a Cause about grassroots organizing and promoting change that makes a positive impact.

But first, everyone will enjoy a supper of locally made gourmet soups, pasta, bread, cheese and more. Supporters will eat well while helping to benefit SustainFloyd’s numerous programs that boost quality of life, help build new market access for farmers and artisans, and help preserve Floyd County’s economy, culture and environment.

The menu will include Pumpkin & Bacon Soup from Dogtown Roadhouse; Spicy Black Bean Soup and Creamy Tomato Soups from the  Floyd Country Store; Italian Wedding Soup from Mickey G’s Bistro & Pizzeria; Russian Borscht from Natasha’s Market Café; Seafood Chowder from Oddfella’s Cantina & Tapas Bar;  soup from River & Rail of Roanoke; bread from Grateful Bread; Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli and Naked Squash Ravioli from Floydioli; cheese from Good Food – Good People; apple cider from Sweet Providence Farm; coffee from Red Rooster Coffee Roaster; hard cider from Foggy Ridge and wine from Villa Appalaccia.

SustainFloyd Director Mike Burton will update the gathering on the organization’s activities and plans. He’ll discuss SustainFloyd’s  l Farm to School partnership with county schools, NRV Community Services, Virginia Cooperative Extension and other organizations. Burton will talk about the program’s successes, how its plans won a $98,389USDA grant and how that money will be spent over the next two years to build a sustainable program. He’ll also speak about the Floyd Farmers Market, the Floyd Artisan Trail Tour, the proposed food processing facility and a mobile solar generator a.k.a. the Voltz-Wagon.

The event will feature a special discount on SustainFloyd annual memberships, which normally cost $35. Tickets for Dining for a Cause are $15 for the general public. Those attending may purchase a ticket/membership combo for only $40, a savings of $10.  SustainFloyd members may attend Dine for a Cause for only $10. A limited number of reserved tables which seat four people are available for $150 each. For more information, contact SustainFloyd by calling 540/745-7333, emailing or visiting its office in the Station in downtown Floyd.


All proceeds from the fundraiser will support the mission of SustainFloyd. To learn more about SustainFloyd and its mission, go to



What:    All invited to SustainFloyd’s Dine for a Cause year-end fundraiser

When:   Sunday, December 8th, 6 p.m.

Where:  Floyd Country Store, 206 S. Locust St. in downtown Floyd

Admission:  $15 contribution; Combo package of admission/SF annual membership-only $40 ($10 savings)

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