Altavista, VA — You may have seen her around town, on stage, or on the big screen, but now Ashley Rayburn of Altavista has another accomplishment to add to her portfolio. This week, she received the Bobby Roach Photography Woman of the Year Award.
She emerged with an early lead during the month-long voting process at bobbyroach.com and won with a total of 766 votes, the most votes received by any contestant in the competition, and a 521 vote lead over the next-highest vote recipient in her category.
“To be named Woman of the Year is an honor. For me, it is a great privilege to be given such a title. I am very humbled and would like to thank everyone who voted for me,” said Rayburn.
In addition to winning this award, Rayburn was a background extra in the film Uncommon and starred in the play Damn Yankees at the Gretna Little Theatre in 2013.
She studies at Central Virginia Community College and plans to transfer to a four-year university to study English, Spanish, and theatre.
“Theatre has definitely had a positive impact on me throughout the years. I love to be on stage, acting and singing. Theatre has inspired me to go one step further and try out for movies,” Rayburn said.
She was a contributing associate producer for the 2013 film Finding Faith, a background extra in 2014’s Uncommon, and is a contributing associate producer for Virtuous, which will debut in May. Her involvement in film has brought her close to big-name television and film stars, including Erik Estrada of CHiPs fame and Ben Davies of Courageous. Estrada stars in all three films and Davies stars in the latter two movies with which Rayburn has been involved.
Despite her busy acting, production, and class schedule, Rayburn finds time to give back to her community.
“In my free time I like to volunteer within my community as well as the surrounding communities,” Rayburn said.
Rayburn promotes volunteerism through action with her involvement at the Gretna Little Theatre in Pittsylvania County.
“Ashley Rayburn has been associated with the Gretna Little Theatre for more than five years as an actress, stage manager, co-director, and photographer. Beginning with the youth theatre, she became a senior mentor to the younger participants, and was quickly cast in adult plays. She also started the face painting fund raising projects, organizing the events and recruiting other ‘painters.’ Living in Altavista, she has knowledge of the antique places to look for props and furniture and has been instrumental in set dressing several productions,” said Gretna Little Theatre Executive Director Janina Shoemaker.
Rayburn has been vital in the ongoing success of the Gretna Little Theatre.
She shares the 2013 People of the Year Awards with Man of the Year and Danville City Councilman Lee Vogler and Couple of the Year Kathryn Mills and Derek Forney, of Pittsylvania County.
Contestants were eligible for consideration of these awards by having their photo taken by Bobby Roach Photography between January and December 2013. Bobby Roach Photography is based in Danville and Pittsylvania County and provides photography and photo editing services.
Update // December 5, 2014
Ashley has been named Bobby Roach Photography’s Woman of the Year for the second consecutive year.