Henrico County VA

As easy as ABC

After 51 years and two months, Virginia ABC employee Carlton E. Willis retired recently, leaving behind the longest career in retail service in the history of the agency. Willis worked as a store associate, assistant manager and manager in four stores in Henrico and Hanover counties and in the City of Richmond. His starting salary in 1961 was $75 a week.

“I really enjoyed working for the ABC,” Willis said. “I loved seeing the people who came in the store and enjoying a laugh or two with them.”

Willis took an early retirement in July 1991 but returned to work just two weeks later as a store associate at the Staples Mill Shopping Center store on Glenside Drive in Henrico. “I missed the people and the work,” he said.

“He was always friendly, and the customers just loved him,” said Bernard Bottoms, Richmond Regional Manager of Retail Operations and former supervisor of the Staples Mill Shopping Center store. “Carlton experienced a lot of change over the years as our stores transitioned from conventional counter service to self-service, and throughout it all he exemplified the dedication to providing good customer service that we strive for in all of our stores. He was a beloved member of our team.”

Beloved by many, Willis received two cards upon his retirement with a total of 340 customers’ signatures and notes of congratulations on reaching this milestone. “They were something to see, that’s for sure,” said Willis.
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HandsOn Day set for Oct. 17

HandsOn Day 2015, which will feature 1200 volunteers serving more than 65 nonprofits in Greater Richmond, will take place Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Among the projects in Henrico or surrounding communities that need volunteers are: installing GardenFest lights Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, distribution center assistance at Feedmore, pumpkin carving with residents at SupportOne, work and play at Housing Families First, paint for independence at Heart Havens, spruce up the shelter and clean sweep at Harbor House at Safe Harbor, pinwheel project at REAP and Kidney Walk prep at National Kidney Foundation Serving VA. > Read more.

Online tool helps identify best native plants for pollinators

Virginians who want to plant beneficial plants for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds have a new resource at their fingertips. The online Virginia Native Plant Finder now lets users search for native plant species that benefit pollinators. The tool, which is managed by the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, is free and easy to use; searches can be completed on desktops, tablets or smartphones.

Native plants are those that grow where they evolved; they have traits that enable them to adapt to local conditions. The Virginia Native Plant Finder lets users create their own custom native plant lists by selecting from dropdown menus. > Read more.

Growlers to Go opens in Short Pump; opening celebration Oct. 15

Growlers to Go has opened its second area location – in Short Pump, next to Trader Joe's.

Unlike the flagship store on the Boulevard in Richmond, this location is equipped with a Tasting Room, offering customers the opportunity to drink pints or tasting wheels as well as order snacks on premises. > Read more.


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The Shepherd’s Center continues its Open University four-week fall lecture series “Lunch and Life” at 12:30 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 9505 Gayton Rd. Dr. Jim Somerville, storyteller and… Full text

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