#TeamAFP News Update: Local elections, sports updates for May 19
About Chris Graham
Chris Graham, the editor of The Augusta Free Press, an award-winning journalist and editor, is a 1994 graduate of the University of Virginia, and has covered Virginia politics since 1997.
An author of seven books, Chris co-wrote Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, published in 2019, and also co-wrote a book on the history of University of Virginia basketball, Mad About U: Four Decades of Basketball at University Hall, which was published in 2006.
Chris has covered University of Virginia sports since 1995, and is a sports broadcaster with experience as a play-by-play man and color analyst on ESPN3 and ESPN+ broadcasts of college baseball, college football, collegiate wrestling and women’s water polo.
This fall, Chris will serve as the play-by-play voice on radio broadcasts for VMI football, marking his fifth season as a broadcaster for Keydets’ radio broadcasts.
He is a member of the Football Writers Assocation of America, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
From 2009-2014, Chris was the play-by-play voice of the Waynesboro Generals, a team competing in the Valley Baseball League, a premier college summer baseball league affiliated with Major League Baseball and the NCAA.
The former co-host of ACC Nation, a syndicated radio show that ran for four years, ending in 2007, and regular guest host of WMRA’s Virginia Insight, Chris is currently a contributor to The Mark Moses Show on 95.9-The Fan in Melbourne, Fla.
Chris also served as a member of the creative team and on-air TV commentator for Awesome Wrestling Entertainment on AWE’s Night of the Legends live pay-per-view event in 2011.
Chris wrote a book on that experience, The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, that was published in 2018.
He is also the former co-host of “Viewpoints” on WVPT, a weekly news affairs TV show that aired from 2016-2017.
About Crystal Graham
Crystal Abbe Graham is the publisher of Augusta Free Press LLC.
A graduate of Virginia Tech, she is a member of Gamma Phi Beta.
Crystal began her professional career at The News Virginian (Waynesboro, Va.) in 1999. She has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design.
Crystal covers news and sports for Augusta Free Press. Her news coverage includes a series on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and national and local politics. She also covers UVA athletics for Augusta Free Press, and has covered Nascar, ACC Football Kickoffs and the 2017 and 2018 ACC Basketball tournaments. She is a regular contributor to the “Street Knowledge” podcast also produced by Augusta Free Press.
She was the co-host of Viewpoints, a weekly TV news show on WVPT, a PBS affiliate in Harrisonburg, Va., from 2016-2017, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show on WVPT that aired from 2004-2005. Her work on Virginia Tonight earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.
Crystal served on the board of directors of the Virginia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and was the area director for AFSP’s Virginia chapter in 2017. Under her leadership, the chapter raised $641,155.43 in campus and community walks. In 2017, the chapter also increased event participation (190 events to 111 previous year), educated more people (10,839 vs 3,711 in previous year) and increased community partners from 38 to 98. The team also secured more than 120 corporate sponsorships during walk season and organized the most successful month of fundraising at Baker’s Crust in the restaurant’s history.
In 2017, she received the Dr. and Mrs. C. Lennart Sanquist Prevention Award from Mental Health America of Augusta for her work in suicide prevention including the formation of a Suicide Prevention Roundtable. Graham was certified in 2019 by LivingWorks Education to teach safeTALK, a half-day workshop that teaches participants to be a suicide alert helper. In 2016, Crystal completed a two-day facilitator training for a Survivors of Suicide Loss Peer-to-Peer Support Group and helped launch a Staunton, Va.-based group. She completed the two-day ASIST intervention training in 2016 also offered by LivingWorks Education and has presented programs to local populations (general public, high school and colleges) including Talk Saves Lives, More than Sad, and It’s Real. In 2017, she also participated in a Dale Carnegie training in Chicago titled “How to Win Friends and Influence People: Leadership Lessons” with Stephen Holgate and Sarah Mannone. Crystal completed a grant writing workshop with Laurie Jarrett Rogers through the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies in Richmond. She served on the mental health expert review committee for the Virginia Department of Education working on revisions to the mental-health portions of the SOLs.
In 2019, she started a Facebook Page titled The Ditto Project to further the cause of suicide prevention and education. Her dedication to prevention stems from the loss of her identical twin sister, Christina, who died by suicide and suffered from depression. In addition to suicide prevention and mental health, she also advocates for animals, the arts, youth and LGBTQ+ rights.
She has also previously served as the associate director of the Wayne Theatre Alliance, marketing director of the Waynesboro Generals collegiate summer baseball team and was a volunteer business ambassador with the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce.
She is most proud of her series covering local efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, a prevention campaign with the Central Shenandoah Office on Youth titled “Be the Influence” and efforts around Mental Health Month and a Suicide Prevention Roundtable started in 2016 by Graham.