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Business in brief


St. Joseph’s Villa recently received a $50,000 grant in support of its Career and Transition Services (CATS) program from the Altria Companies Employee Community Fund. Funds will be used to provide training and experience in job skills, work habits, teamwork and leadership to students with emotional, behavioral, developmental or intellectual disabilities. St. Joseph’s Villa’s CATS program consists of a series of steps to prepare students for workplace employment: assessments, goal development, in-class training, on-campus internships and off-campus work. More than 40 students took part in the program during the 2010-2011 school year and more students are expected to take part in the program this year. To learn more about CATS, visit http://www.neverstopbelieving.org/cats.

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The Princeton Review recently chose the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond for its newest guidebook, “The Best 294 Business Schools (2012 Edition).” Princeton Review selected the 294 business schools based on 19,000 student surveys that rated their school’s job placement, potential for real-world business experience, professors and other factors. Editors cited area and regional business ties, faculty-student relationships and an MBA program support staff in selecting UR. The Robins School of Business was founded in 1949 and is consistently ranked among the top 20 in the country by Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Firehouse Subs recently announced its partnership with Coca-Cola as the first national chain to roll out the Coca-Cola Freestyle fountains. Coca-Cola Freestyle fountains are in place in all six Richmond-area restaurants and guests can try them out for free during Happy Hour on Friday, Nov. 4 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The single, freestanding unit is touch-screen operated and offers regular and low-calorie beverage brands, flavored waters, sports drinks, lemonades and other options, many exclusive to Coca-Cola Freestyle. Guests can choose from endless possibilities, many never before marketed in the U.S., including brands such as caffeine-free Diet Coke® with Lime, Fanta® Peach, Minute Maid® Light Orange Lemonade and more. Firehouse Subs’ top-selling Cherry Lime-Aid®, an exclusive original recipe served with fresh squeezed lime, is one of the offerings on the fountains, making the chain the first to have its own signature drink brand with Coca-Cola Freestyle. For more information, visit http://www.firehousesubs.com .

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This Halloween Atkins, Maestrello, Miller & Associates Pediatric Dentistry will be giving away dollars in exchange for cavity-provoking candy. Trick-or-treaters can turn in their candy and receive $1 per pound, up to $5 per child and $10 per family. Every donor will also be entered into a raffle to win a family movie prize pack and will receive coupons for free food and prizes from local businesses, including Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, SkateNation and Kangaroo Jac’s. Candy will be collected Nov. 1-11. All candy must be unopened. The collected candy will then be shipped to troops overseas in partnership with Operation Gratitude. Atkins, Maestrello, Miller & Associates is located at 2560 Gaskins Rd. For more information, call 741-2226. For more information on Operation Gratitude, visit http://www.operationgratitude.com .

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Debbie Johnston, president of Care Advantage, Nurse Advantage and All About Care, recently won the MS Society’s 2011 Women on the Move Award. The Central Virginia Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society announced Johnston as the winner at an awards luncheon in September. The luncheon helped to raise funds for “A World Free of MS” and included a silent auction, lunch and touching speeches from doctors and those struggling with MS. Johnston was chosen from 11 women who were recognized for their outstanding professional accomplishments and their contributions to the greater Richmond community.

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Virginia Credit Union recently received federal approval to originate, underwrite and close Federal Housing Authority (FHA) mortgages, a move which could reduce cost and save time for borrowers seeking FHA loans to purchase a home. Achieving the status places the credit union’s FHA offerings on par with major national banks and large originators, according to Jeff Coward, the credit union’s vice president of real estate lending. For credit union members, the designation will mean speedier loan origination and closing. By eliminating the need to send files to HUD or to an investor prior to closing, VACU will cut 5-10 business days off the FHA loan origination process. FHA loans allow sellers to contribute toward closing costs and borrowers may use gifts of funds in the down-payment.
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

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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The Foundation Fighting Blindness will present the 7th annual Vision Walk at 10 a.m. in Innsbrook. There will be team and individual prizes, snacks and refreshments, kid’s activities, music and… Full text

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