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Glen Allen Resident to Sing National Anthem at Nationwide Race

When thousands of fans stand for the national anthem tonight prior to the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway, all eyes will be on a Glen Allen resident fulfilling a lifetime dream of singing at a NASCAR race.

Twenty-two year-old Ryan Corbin of Glen Allen entered Richmond International Raceway’s National Anthem contest last month and ultimately won the opportunity to perform prior to the race.

“I’m so excited,” said Corbin. “Four months ago I was in the stands hoping I could sing at a race one day. And four months later I’m doing it. It’s the chance of a lifetime and I’ve wanted to do it since I was five years old. I’m just overwhelmed with joy right now.”

In August, the track hosted a month-long contest to determine who would perform the National Anthem prior to the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Nearly a hundred submissions were received via e-mail, mail and through an open audition at Short Pump Mall. The second and final rounds were showcased at the mall and Corbin bested eight other finalists for the opportunity to perform.

Corbin is a huge NASCAR fan and was introduced to motorsports by his father. Following his first race, he was instantly hooked.

“Racing at Richmond is exciting in so many ways,” said Corbin. “Forty-three cars on a short track at night, running side-by-side, watching them beat and bang for every lap! Now that's exciting, and the reason Richmond racing is so special. When you walk to your seat you can feel the vibrations as the cars go around and you can see drivers up close! It’s just an all around amazing place!
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

New Henrico biscuit shop thrives with grandmother’s recipe

Tim Laxton rises at 4:30 a.m. every day for a biscuit. But he’s not rushing out to any restaurant to get his favorite Southern comfort food; he’s baking his own from scratch and serving them up from his bakery on Lakeside Avenue.

Laxton opened Early Bird Biscuit Co. & Bakery in early July and since then biscuits have been flying out of there.

The self-taught baker draws hungry crowds in with a biscuit of the day like the Old Bay Cheddar, but the buttermilk biscuits are the staple.

“On a Saturday I generally make about 400 biscuits with my two hands,” Laxton said. “I’m constantly making biscuits all day long.” > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

CAT Theatre announces cast of Sherlock Holmes play

CAT Theatre’s 51st season will open with Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, which will run from Oct. 24-Nov. 8. Adapted by Steven Dietz, it is based on the original 1899 play by William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and was the winner of the 2007 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Play.

The plot follows what seems to be the end of the career of the world’s greatest detective as he is confronted with a case far too tempting to ignore. When the King of Bohemia faces blackmail by famed opera singer Irene Adler, Holmes and his faithful companion, Dr. Watson, find themselves falling into the trap of evil genius Professor Moriarty. As Holmes says, “The game is afoot Watson, and it is a dangerous one!” > Read more.

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