The Golden Leaf Commons is the shining star of the Greensville County government complex. Normally, the Commons is used for dozens of events year-round, such as weddings, family reunions, anniversaries, birthday parties, fundraisers and more.
But this year has looked very different for Debbie Norwood Drummond, the facility’s manager, and her staff. Drummond described the harsh transition that the COVID-19 forced on the facility.
“What used to be a facility where all would come for fun, laughter and joy, has been remodeled into a setting of facemasks, sanitizing and social distancing,” Drummond said. “The entry, hallways and ballroom are now overwhelmed with crowd controls and protective glass with tables and chairs separated with distance. The windows and doors are covered with fliers giving information on precautionary measures. Social distancing circles line the sidewalks, and signs of COVID events decorate the lawn. This is our reality for now until ‘normal’ decides to return.”
Since the pandemic began last March, the Commons has not hosted private events. Instead, they have been home to the Greensville County Board of Supervisors’ meetings, COVID testing events, and most recently, COVID vaccination events. Golden Leaf was host for the Department of Social Services Christmas Happiness Toy Drive in December.
Drummond, who was born in Emporia, returned to the city in 2012 to be closer to her family. While working full-time at the Commons, she has attained her associate’s degree from Southside Virginia Community College. Currently, she is scheduled to graduate from Mary Baldwin University in spring of 2021 with her Bachelor’s degree in business.
Throughout the entire process, Drummond said the work could not have been done without her exceptional team.
“I have an amazing team that has worked extremely hard beside me to assist in what is needed to be done to make things possible to operate in a safe and secure environment,” Drummond said. “Thank you to Milton Garner, Karen Rawls, Roy Harrison, and Sharon Daniels. Without their assistance, it would have been very difficult to move forward in these challenging times. Their dedication has not gone unnoticed.”
Drummond says she and her team have spent countless hours assembling and distributing PPE packets and supplies for county employees in various agencies, as well as Greensville County Public Schools staff and members of the community.
“We will continue to do our part for as long as is needed,” she said.