Henrico County VA
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HPAC honors 5 preservation champions


Two individuals, two organizations, and one newspaper – the Henrico Citizen – were honored recently by the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee (HPAC) for their efforts to preserve and promote Henrico County heritage.

In a ceremony held Oct. 26 at the Henrico Theatre, HPAC Chairman Beverly Cocke presented the awards accompanied by Henrico County Manager Virgil Hazelett.

Genealogist and retired educator Brenda Dabney Nichols received the Award of Merit for her lectures and programs regarding Henrico history topics and for her recent publication African Americans of Henrico County.

Published in 2010, the book features a collection of more than 300 images and numerous interviews documenting the history of African American communities in the county, as well as the achievements and pastimes of their members.

Elvatrice Parker Belsches, an archival researcher, lecturer and documentary film maker, took home an award for her scholarship, research and professional guidance associated with an exhibit and program commemorating the 400th anniversary of Henrico County.

The author of Richmond, Virginia, an Arcadia Press publication from the Black America Series, Belsches wrote the script for a dramatic and musical program entitled, "African-American Heritage of Henrico County in Music and Stories." She also researched and authored four panels for the exhibit, "Remembering Our Legacy: African American Trailblazer of Henrico County," and reviewed, edited and annotated all 12 panels in the exhibit.

Members of The Henrico 400th Anniversary Advisory Commission were recognized for their three-year commitment to the research, planning and implementation of projects, publications and events marking the county's founding in 1611. The 15-member Commission organized a year of activities and legacy projects, which have so far drawn more than 30,000 participants.

The Henrico County Board of Supervisors took home its fifth Award of Merit from the annual presentation. The Board was honored for its commitment of resources and staff for the 400th anniversary of the county and for its establishment of the Henrico 2011 Commemoration Advisory Commission.

The Henrico Citizen received an Award of Merit for its continuing commitment to local history and its efforts to document the people, places and events that have shaped Henrico history. To mark Henrico's 400th anniversary – which is also the 10th anniversary year of the Citizen's founding – the Citizen is publishing a special series throughout 2011 illustrating "The Most Significant Moments in Henrico History."

Created in 1990, the HPAC advises the Board of Supervisors regarding identification, interpretation, rehabilitation, protection and preservation of the county's historical and cultural resources and recognizes significant historic preservation projects on an annual basis. The 2011 Awards of Merit recipients join a list of distinguished honorees that includes Dr. Louis Manarin (1994 and 2005), Dr. Robert Bluford, Jr. (2001); Peter and Sharon Francisco (2002); Mr. and Mrs. William D. Cosby, Sr. (2004); Dr. Dennis A.J. Morey (2004); Dr. Henry L. Nelson, Jr. (2004); and Freddie Warren Nicholas, Jr. (2007).
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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