In 2015, a fundraiser for children with heart abnormalities was in need of a location. As the coordinator of marketing and membership at the Shenandoah Discovery Museum at that time, not only was Ryan Hall happy to open the doors of the museum to host this not-for-profit collaboration for Mended Little Hearts of the Shenandoah Valley, but he was eager to go above and beyond to bless the families of the little ones involved by gifting them a day of fun at the museum. I have had the great honor of working with Mr. Hall on many occasions, but this event stands out because it demonstrates commitment to his community. His heart for the community is evident in the way that he leads through servant-hood.
In 2020, disaster struck the Winchester area as we prepared for COVID-19, and a mask shortage made the situation dire. A friend of mine developed a mask pattern and we began the daunting process of making sure our healthcare and essential workers would have access to a mask (at the time they were unavailable to purchase online or at any store). Mr. Hall immediately offered his services and encouraged the involvement of the Valley Makers Association. This alone would have been an amazing contribution to this project, but again, Mr. Hall went above and beyond. He not only organized an interface for both volunteers and healthcare workers to request masks and materials, but he arranged for the involvement of Winchester Medical Center Foundation, manufactured face shields using 3D printers, and fielded requests for masks and material and donations. All in all, nearly 25,000 masks were made by 500-plus volunteers over the course of a few weeks.
I have to believe that our city is ahead of the curve with lower infection and hospitalization rates from COVID-19 in part because our most essential frontline workers were provided with masks from the very start of the pandemic. Mr. Hall has proven himself invaluable in an emergency leadership situation. I absolutely look forward to Mr. Hall’s leadership in Winchester because I have seen how much he can do with just a little, how motivated he is to make a difference, and how willing he is to listen to the counsel of those around him. He is truly a servant leader with a heart for his community.
SheRae Hunter is a Frederick County resident and works in Winchester. Ryan Hall is the Democratic candidate for Winchester’s Third Ward seat in the Nov. 3 election.