Henrico County VA
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Teddy bears donated to National Guard

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.
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

Film industry training program planned for this weekend

The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), in partnership with the Virginia Film Office, will offer "Get Your Start in the Film Industry," a two-day seminar designed to prepare workers for film, television and commercial projects in Virginia. The course will be held Oct. 4-5 at the Workforce Development and Conference Center, 1651 Parham Road in Henrico, on the campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

The training will be taught by Gary Romolo Fiorelli, an accomplished assistant director for film and television projects, which include the television series Sons of Anarchy and ABC’s current drama Mistresses. > Read more.

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.

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