1,500 attend governor’s Easter egg hunt

Annabelle and Elise Nee romp over the grounds of Richmond's Capitol Square Wednesday at the first "Governor's Easter Egg Hunt." (Photo by Alex Wiggins of Capital News Service)
The lawn around the state Capitol was hopping with about 1,500 egg-collecting children Wednesday as Gov. Bob McDonnell and first lady Maureen McDonnell held Virginia’s first “Governor’s Easter Egg Hunt.”

Just as the U.S. president traditionally opens the White House grounds for an Easter egg roll, the McDonnells invited children to participate in their free event at Capitol Square.

The McDonnells formally greeted their guests after exiting the Executive Mansion accompanied by the Easter Bunny, Smokey Bear, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rodney the Ram, the Richmond Flying Squirrels mascot Nutsy and several other costumed characters.

“I want to especially thank the first lady and her staff – all of the people from the First Lady’s Initiatives Team Effort – for their great planning,” Gov. McDonnell said.

He singled out “Sarah Scarbrough, the mansion director, who’s been putting Easter eggs together for about three months, I think.”

After the event, Scarbrough called the egg hunt a success. “We’d love to see it become another Virginia tradition,” she said.

Eight thousand plastic eggs had been placed all over the lawn of Capitol Square, designated for children of different ages – with some eggs apparently containing more impressive treasures than others.

The eggs for the event had been donated by the Science Museum of Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Bow-Tie Cinemas and other organizations, according to a press release issued by Mrs. McDonnell.

Students from The Steward School, a college preparatory school in Henrico County, painted the faces of egg-hunters for free. Music and mild weather accompanied the late-afternoon and early-evening festivities as the governor and the first lady mingled with a long line of guests and friends. They included VCU President Michael Rao, his wife Monica and their two children.

Some attendees were displeased, however, with the first-time jamboree.

“It was unorganized,” said Delethia Agyeibi, a mother of two. “When the governor said, ‘Go!’ or whoever said, ‘Go!’ everybody went – and they didn’t acknowledge the times and the ages for each set area.”

Agyeibi’s children expressed disappointment at not having won any special “prize eggs.” But they smiled at the eggs they did manage to gather.

As part of the first lady’s Serving Our Service Member Families effort, the McDonnells encouraged guests to bring “baby shower gifts for expectant military moms.” Mansion staff and volunteers set up boxes for these items around the Capitol grounds, and most of them were full by the end of the two-hour-long event.

Children were able to write thank-you cards to members of the military at a booth provided by the United Service Organizations, as well as create bracelets with supplies provided by the Science Museum of Virginia.

“We all agree that trying to come together and do what’s best for Virginia, trying to solve problems, is the thing that makes Virginia really a great state,” Gov. McDonnell said.

“Enjoy this time with your family. Have a celebration for the great blessing that God has given us as Virginians and Americans and do the things that you want to do to have fun.”

Several state agencies helped with the event. They included the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, the Virginia State Police, the Virginia Tourism Corp. and the Virginia Egg Council.
Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

RVA Polar Plunge raises $40k for Special Olympics


More than 300 participants took the plunge for charity Feb. 25 at The Shops at Willow Lawn, raising $40,000 for the Special Olympics of Virginia as part of the 2017 RVA Polar Plunge Fest. Participants jumped into frigid water as part of the event, having raised money through donations leading up to the event.

“At Special Olympics Virginia, our vision is to inspire the first unified generation; a generation of people who respectfully include each other in the school, in the workplace, in the community,” said Rick Jeffrey, Special Olympics Virginia President. “Plunging this past Saturday included people with intellectual disabilities and those without; people of all ages, genders, races and religions; students and teachers; doctors and lawyers; military and law enforcement; one for all; all for one." > Read more.

Fundraiser bags more than $50k


CancerLINC's 11th annual "It’s in the Bag" event raised more than $50,000. The event, presented by Virginia Cancer Institute, was held at The Westin Richmond in Henrico Feb. 2 and was attended by more than 200 people.

“It's in the Bag” included handbag designer Thaddeus DuBois and his family from Syracuse, Ind. DuBois brought four handcrafted handbags, which were auctioned off and raised more than $4,000. Three autographed handbags from “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker also brought funds. > Read more.

A date with states


Above, Varina’s Andre Watkins drives to the basket during the Blue Devils’ 52-51 win against Hampton in the Group 5A third-place game at Hermitage High School Feb. 25. Below, Tyrese Jenkins drives to the basket during the game. The Blue Devils (21-6 on the season), who earlier last month defeated Hermitage, 53-34, to earn a spot in the 5A state tournament, next will face Albemarle in that tournament. It is the program’s first trip to the state tournament since 2001 and first under fourth-year coach Andrew Lacey, who has turned around a team that was 6-14 during his first season. > Read more.

Future public servants observe lawmaking firsthand


For the past two months, they showed up every day at the state Capitol, dressed in matching blazers and carrying pen and paper at the ready – the next generation of public servants carefully observing their superiors.

These young adults are known as pages. They are middle school and high school students from around Virginia who assist in everyday tasks at the General Assembly to experience firsthand how the legislative process works.

The program dates as far back as 1850, when the one page who worked was paid $2 a day. > Read more.

CRLC seeks donations for Malvern Hill Farm


The Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) is seeking to raise $100,000 in 30 days to cover due diligence and closing costs associated with the historic Malvern Hill Farm. These include boundary survey, Phase I ESA, title search and insurance, recording fees, taxes, and legal work as well as a Section 106 review.

CRLC is scheduled to close on the purchase of the property May 31, and is asking community members to help support the site's acquisition. All donations will help CRLC leverage $1 million in matching funds. > Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Given the warm weather lately, Saturday’s RVA Polar Plunge Winter Fest, benefiting Special Olympics Virginia, might actually be enjoyable! Other weekend events you’re sure to enjoy include the 14th annual Richmond Kids Expo at the Richmond Raceway Complex, the Richmond Symphony and The Taters in concert at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, and the Richmond Ballet Minds in Motion Team XXL performing at the Henrico Theatre. This is also the last weekend to check out HATTheatre’s production of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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The Weinstein Jewish Community Center will present the sixth annual ReelAbilities Film Festival March 16 and 18-19. The festival is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. The schedule includes: March 16 at 7:30 p.m. – “Shameless: The Art of Disability;” March 18 at 7:30 p.m. – “Margarita with a Straw;” March 19 at 12 p.m. – “Mimi and Dona;” and March 19 at 2 p.m. – “Gabriel.” Talk Backs follow each film. Tickets per film are $8 for JCC members and $12 for nonmembers. For details, visit http://www.richmond.reelabilities.org. Full text

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