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Villa Earns $50k Walmart Grant

St. Joseph’s Villa announced this week that it had received notice of a one-year, $50,000 grant from The Walmart Foundation in support of workforce development programs. The grant follows a similar one awarded by The Walmart Foundation in late 2009.

Funds will be used to support “Stepping Up,” the Villa’s workforce development and transition planning initiative. The initiative continues to be based on assessment, planning, and training for Villa clients at Flagler Home, Dooley School and the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism.

Clients in the workforce development program complete a career assessment, develop a transition plan which incorporates interests and abilities, and develop a budget based on the lives they envision following graduation.

St. Joseph’s Villa has operated its “Stepping Up” program at Flagler Home for the past 10 years, and similar programs at Dooley School and Sarah Dooley Center for Autism have increased efforts to better prepare students for life after graduation.

This year, the Villa intends to begin the CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accreditation process, to develop a partnership with the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) to offer work adjustment services, and to create additional internship opportunities in support of its vocational and transition services.

“We are thrilled to have this support from the Walmart Foundation,” said Cynthia Faison, Chief Operations Officer at St. Joseph’s Villa. “Career and transition services are vitally important to the futures our clients are building for themselves and their families. The Walmart Foundation’s support enables us to ‘take it to the next level’ and make many of our plans a reality.”
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

Tix 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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Chickahominy YMCA will offer a Hot Spot program on Tai Chi at 10 a.m. in the Group Exercise Studio. Learn gentle, meditative physical movements to increase muscular strength, flexibility, and… Full text

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