Henrico County VA

The eagle has landed

A noble golden bird swooped in for a landing and a week of restorative nesting June 4 as the Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel & Conference Center lowered its landmark golden eagle from atop the Jefferson Building.

The 3000-pound eagle sculpture was removed by a 160-ton crane, the largest available in the commonwealth, under the supervision of the Glen-Allen based Chesin Construction Company.

After some delicate maneuvering, the bird was brought to earth and laid in a specially-prepared “nest” on the side of the Jefferson Building, where it will be repaired and re-gilded.

Wyndham’s Golden Eagle has perched atop the cupola of the Jefferson Building since the mid-1980’s, when Virginia Crossings was the headquarters of Figgie International. Legend has it that Chairman Harry Figgie won the eagle in a golf match against a fellow CEO at the adjacent Crossings Golf Course.

General Manager Bob Nelson noted at the removal that he has heard speculation that the fellow CEO was August Busch, Jr. – especially since the eagle’s stance bears a distinct resemblance to that of the eagle in the Anheuser-Busch logo.

“It’s well-known that Harry Figgie and August Busch were buddies, and there was an affiliation between Anheuser-Busch and Figgie International,” said Nelson. “That’s where the legend originated. But we haven’t established the actual lineage of the tale . . and we can’t confirm it because [the parties to the alleged bet] are dead.”

The eagle, which stands a full 75 feet above the grounds of the hotel’s Georgian buildings and is visible to I-95 motorists, has wings gilded in 24-carat gold. In recent years, however, the bird’s glittering plumage dulled as it took a beating from the weather and the winds of Hurricane Irene.

After a week of rest in its "nest," the regal bird will be restored to its perch atop the cupola in a June 11 ceremony to include hotel staff and local residents. Representatives of the Central Virginia USO and the Richmond Fisher House have also been invited to attend, said Brown.

"We will make donations to the groups and re-dedicate the eagle in tribute to the folks who put themselves in harm's way," Brown said. "It's only fitting."

The re-installation of the Golden Eagle will cap the recently-completed $3 million Phase I renovation program at the Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel & Conference Center, which included an overhaul of lobbies and meeting space and the addition of new gardens, reception areas and recreational facilities. Phase II plans are underway for renovation of the hotel’s 183 guestrooms and suites, to be completed by 2013.

The June 11 re-dedication ceremony, which is open to the public, will begin with the re-installation of the eagle at 10:45 a.m. The Wyndham Virginia Crossings is located at 1000 Virginia Center Pkwy. in Glen Allen. For information, call 727-1400.
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

Deep Run HS plans fall musical

Tickets for Deep Run High School’s fall musical production – Aida – will go on sale Nov. 3. The Elton John-Tim Rice pop opera, inspired by Verdi’s classic opera, tells the story of enslaved Nubian princess Aida, who falls for captain of the guard Radames, who is betrothed to the Egyptian princess.

Performances will be held Nov. 13-15 at 7 p.m. each day. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.

CAT Theatre to host auditions

CAT Theatre will hold auditions for Book of Days on Sunday, Oct. 26 and Monday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. each day. Auditions will be held at CAT Theatre, 319 North Wilkinson Road in Henrico. Book of Days will run Jan. 23-Feb. 7 and is one of CAT’s submissions to the Acts of Faith Festival.

Book of Days, by Pulitzer Prize winner Lanford Wilson is an exploration of faith, justice, and corruption, amidst the backdrop of murder – and community theatre – in small town America. Book of Days was first written for and produced by Jeff Daniels Purple Rose Theatre Company of Michigan.

Director Leslie Cline is seeking five females between the ages of 20-65 and seven males between the ages of 24-65. > Read more.

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Fetch a Cure’s fourth annual Mutt Strutt will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Deep Run Park, 9900 Ridgefield Pkwy. The day begins with a one-mile walk… Full text

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