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Local charities eligible for Richmond Unite funds

Donations will be based upon online voting by the public
Richmond Unite, a nonprofit organization that supports local charities that serve youngsters, has opened the online voting component of its charity project, allowing citizens to vote for one charity a day until Sept. 8. Among those eligible for votes to receive donations are several Henrico organizations. Members of the public can vote for their favorite charities at http://www.richmondunite.org/vote-now/.
 
Richmond Unite raises money for qualifying charities through a variety of channels, including a series of three events – a conference, dinner and party featuring Virgin Group founder Richard Branson – on Sept. 9. Funds distributed to qualifying charities in December will be based on the votes those organizations receive during the month-long online voting process. 

In its inaugural year, 39 charities have qualified to participate in the Richmond Unite project.  The Henrico organizations include Christian Youth Theater, Joyal Capital Management Foundation, Inc., St. Joseph’s Villa, Hilliard House and Challenge Discovery Projects. 
 
The other organizations are: ART 180; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Richmond & Tri Cities; Blue Sky Fund; Boy Scouts of America; ChildSavers; Children, Inc.; Church Hill Activities and Tutoring; City Singers; Communities in Schools Chesterfield; Communities In Schools of Richmond; Friends Association for Children; HARPS Foundation; Higher Achievement; Hope for Families; Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts; Podium Foundation; R.A.M.P.S.; Richmond Ballet; Richmond CenterStage; Richmond Cycling Corps; Richmond Peace Education Center; Richmond Shock; Richmond Tennis Association; ROSMY; Scottish Rite Childhood Language Center; Theatre IV; UMFS; U-TURN; Virginia Foundation for Community College Education; Virginia State Golf Association Foundation; Volunteer Families; William Byrd Community House; YMCA of Greater Richmond; Youth Life Foundation of Richmond.  
 
For details about next month's events or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.richmondunite.org.
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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Calendar

Fairmount United Methodist Church will host their annual Yard Sale and Baked Goods from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds support church missions. For details, call 737-5416. Full text

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