By Katie Conklin, Special to the Henrico Citizen 07/08/11
Children of some local National Guard members will be able to find comfort when their parents are deployed overseas, thanks to a recent donation organized by a Henrico man.
At the Sandston Armory on June 15, LOGO Dynamics Incorporated’s Matt Davidson presented 75 National Guard teddy bears to Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Gagnon, State Family Programs Director Vickie L. Sais, and State Youth Coordinator Dana Ivory.
These bears, sporting shirts emblazoned with the National Guard symbol, will be distributed to the children of men and women in the Richmond area who are deployed for military service.
This was not Davidson’s first teddy bear donation; in 2008, he collected enough money to purchase 200 bears. He has acquired the necessary funds for this charity with the help of the Constant Contact e-mail marketing program.
Davidson utilized the program’s “event promotion” section to reach out to more than 300 contacts on his customer list and consequently received just more than $350 in donations. One such contributor was Bob Leahy from First Protection Equipment Company, who donated $250 – enough money to purchase 50 bears.
Davidson’s involvement in the effort stemmed from his membership in a community service group that organized an Armed Forces Day in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
A contact from National Guard Family Support presented the teddy bear idea to Davidson, who jumped at the chance to give back to the community.
Virginia has supplied citizen soldiers to all conflicts from the Indian wars of the 1600s to the global fight against terrorism today. A $5 donation is enough to purchase one bear and show a National Guard family that someone cares, Davidson said.
The effort to show support for National Guard families is ongoing and anyone wishing to make a donation should mail checks to: LOGO Dynamics, Inc., P.O. Box 891, Glen Allen, VA 23060, Attn: Matt Davidson.
The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.
Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.
The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.
Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.
The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.
An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown. > Read more.
A Henrico native will appear on the third episode of the Travel Channel's new grilling competition series “American Grilled.”
The episode, filmed in Charlottesville, will premier July 16 at 9 p.m. and feature Glen Allen-native Rex Holmes, a patent lawyer who operates http://SavoryReviews.com a blo,g centered around tasty recipes and BBQ.
The show features hardcore grilling enthusiasts from across the country going head-to-head for a chance to compete for a $10,000 cash prize and bragging rights when they are crowned the ultimate “grill master.” > Read more.
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