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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

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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