RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The UCI Road World Cycling Championships are just three days away. To help meet the needs of 450,000 visitors, some local volunteers are taking a concierge service to the curbside.
They represent a dozen individual churches, nonprofits and business organizations along the route and collectively call themselves Community Partners.
“From all of us learning about each other, we’ll be able to point out different, really local Richmond attractions to all the visitors,” says Hannah Levy of The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design.
The Community Partners know UCI is a make-it moment for Richmond, and visitor experience is key.
“We want to offer them opportunities to recharge their phones if they’re getting low on battery, maybe some water, and We’ll have American flags as a little souvenir,” explains Rev. Carolyn Mobley, interim pastor at Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond.
First Baptist Church is also giving away cow bells to help guests go home remembering their good time in Richmond and the people who helped to make it happen.
“We’ll have red T-shirts on that have a heart on the front with the world on it, and basically what we’re about here is just loving the world and helping in any way we can help,” says Bonnie Wilmouth of First Baptist Church.
It’s all part of an effort to make locals and visitors a part of one community.
“Saying, ‘Thank you for coming to Richmond, I’m glad you’re here,’ or just passing your neighbor on the street and saying, ‘Hello, Good morning,” says attorney Wayland Hundley, who volunteers with several community groups taking part in UCI outreach.
Adds Rev. Mobley, “The opportunity for hospitality is enormous, and we’re glad to have a chance to do a little bit of that.”
The Community Partners will offer restroom facilities, activities for children, tents for share and other amenities along the race route. Many of their signs will include images instead of words so there are not language barriers.