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Glen Allen resident to compete for $100k in tuition at SEC championship game

Ryan Kovacik, a VCU student from Glen Allen, is one of five finalists selected by Dr Pepper to compete for $100,000 in tuition money prior to the SEC football championship game Dec. 1 in Atlanta. Kovacik submitted his video to DrPepper.com explaining why he deserved to win college tuition from the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway.

“Dr Pepper is a longtime supporter of college football, and we are proud to have helped so many students reach their dreams by removing the burden of tuition through the annual Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway,” said Leslie Vesper, director of brand marketing for Dr Pepper. “Once again this football season, we’re giving away more than $1 million in tuition to help make paying for school a little easier, and we’re very pleased that the Cowboys Classic is now part of the program.”

Kovacik was selected by a panel of judges on the strength of his video submission. Entries were judged on a range of criteria, such as the inclusion of Dr Pepper, a description of how the tuition money and a college education will help the student make an impact in the world, and overall presentation quality. Kovacik’s winning video can be viewed at http://bit.ly/PQeG1Q.

The five finalists first competed in a preliminary contest Nov. 30, and Kovacik was among two winners who advanced to the finals, which will air on ABC during the game. For each of the events, finalists will throw footballs from five yards away into a two-foot hole in an over-sized Dr Pepper can replica. The fan who successfully completes the most throws in 30 seconds will win the grand prize of $100,000 in college tuition. The runner-up will take home a $23,000 tuition prize, and the three contestants who did not advance from the preliminary throw will receive $2,500 in tuition.

Dr Pepper is giving away grand prizes during halftime of four conference championship games later in the year, including the Dr Pepper ACC Championship, the Pac-12 Championship, the Big Ten Championship and the SEC Championship. The brand also gave away a grand prize scholarship during the Cowboys Classic on Sept. 1.

There is still a chance for consumers 18 and older to enter to win a $2,500 tuition prize through the program by submitting videos at DrPepper.com by Dec. 31. In addition to the video submissions, Dr Pepper will also be giving away tuition through a number of retailer specific promotions.
Community

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Journey to mediocrity

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ fails to capitalize on tasty concept
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a curious little Romeo and Juliet of a film. A family, forced out of their native India, begins a trek across Europe.

The family’s sole mode of transportation sputters and dies in a sleepy little French town, but the town’s food culture is high, and that’s a perfect place for a family of restaurateurs to settle down. There’s only one problem – the family’s rustic “Maison Mumbai” is right across the street (a hundred feet away, if the title didn’t clue you in) from a prestigious French bistro with a Michelin star, run with an iron fist by the dreaded Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren, pictured).

It’s here that a particular Romeo and Juliet story begins to develop, with Hassan (Manish Dayal) on the Indian side and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) on the French side. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

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