From organizing movie nights for children to helping with the creation of the Great Falls Freedom Memorial, Andrew Pendergrass has been very involved in the Great Falls community.
"He's very active in the community, and he does not even live here," said Walt Lawrence, a Great Falls resident and local artist who volunteers at the Great Falls Library once a week. "He's done a lot to raise the visibility of the library throughout the community — it's our community center in addition to being a library."
Pendergrass, who lives with his family in Fairfax, has been the branch manager of the Great Falls Library for the last three and a half years. However, on Feb. 16, he will be leaving his position to become branch manager of Patrick Henry Library in Vienna.
"Andrew is a wonderful person, and I can tell you that he will really be missed," said Mike Kearney, president of Brogue Charities in Great Falls. "He has been very community-minded, and the Great Falls community has been really fortunate to have him."
Kearney has worked with Pendergrass on many community projects, including the Great Falls Freedom Memorial and various Great Falls Friends events.
"He's very sensitive, and he really has the community at heart," said Kearney. "He puts a lot of thought into making everything special, and he has been a really wonderful person to work with."
For his part, Pendergrass says he has mixed feelings about his impending departure.
"I have the warmest of feelings for the community and the people in the community," said Pendergrass. "Every day it seems I am breaking the news to somebody. I have built up relationships, and this has been a very special place for me and my family."
Pendergrass says he has fond memories of the library's "Book Cart Precision Drill Team" in the annual Fourth of July celebration.
"Everyone likes to see the library staff pushing carts," said Pendergrass. "It's always amusing."
He has also worked with the Great Falls Historical Society to host speakers, and with the Friends of Great Falls Library to sell fundraising raffle baskets for Great Falls Day.
"It's fair to say that this library is as involved with community events as any," said Pendergrass. "I've seen that as part of my mission here, and I've been receptive to community groups coming my way."