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Business in brief

Maryann Kaminsky of In Plain English and Christine Walters of Lessons Of Laughter and ComedySportz are teaming up to provide a series of improv programs to help students with speaking disorders increase confidence and learn theatre tips and techniques to aide in speaking with ease. Three “LOL In Plain English” classes for elementary, middle and high school students will be offered beginning the first week in October. Each class is two hours and will be held at ComedySportz Improv Theatre, 8906 W. Broad St. A program for adults is in the planning stages. Classes are limited to 12 students per session. The cost is $250. To register, call 539-8843 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
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Wheat Systems Integration of Glen Allen announced recently its purchase of Assured Packets, LLC, a Richmond-based company that specializes in cloud and virtualization technologies, with an emphasis on storage, VMWare, NetApp and WAN Optimization. One of the benefits of the acquisition is the combination of Assured Packet’s proven experience in the virtualization and storage fields with Wheat Systems’ strong capabilities in the networking and security arenas. This allows Wheat Systems to be one of the few Richmond-based integrators that have all of the partnerships and skill sets in place to provide the cutting edge in virtualization designs.
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Blue Equinox: A Harvest Celebration to Benefit VCU Massey Cancer Center will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 15 at James River Cellars Winery, 11008 Washington Hwy. The event will be hosted by 103.7 The River’s Melissa Chase and will feature gourmet pairings of wine and cheese, a special trunk showing of John Hardy’s latest designs, winery tours and music. Tickets are $15 and include a glass of wine, assorted appetizers and free parking. Additional food will be available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the VCU Massey Cancer Center. For details, visit http://www.support.vcu.edu/event/schwarzschild_cox .
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The Retail Merchants Association’s First Friday Forum will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. on Sept. 9 at the Westin Richmond, 6631 W. Broad St. Ed Grier, dean of the VCU School of Business, will discuss greater leader strategies learned during his 28-year career with the Walt Disney Company and his journey to VCU. He will also reveal challenges faced by the corporate giant such as market pressures, cultural shifts, takeover threats and more, and how Disney got back on track and into a position of ever greater strength. Admission is $30 for members and $35 for nonmembers. For details, call 662-5500 or visit http://www.retailmerchants.com .
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Agents with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer recently handled the following lease negotiations: Hot Mouse Mo, LLC – leased 3,000 square feet in Westpark Shopping Center, 9621-9691 W. Broad St; Dominion Air & Machinery Co. – leased 2,850 square feet in Interair Center, 5371-5393 Glen Alden Dr.; and The Bell Company – leased 1,900 square feet at 6717-6719 Janway Rd.
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JES Foundation Repair, a regional engineering solutions company specializing in commercial and residential foundation support systems for rehabilitation and new construction, will offer a free seminar from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the Sheraton Park South Hotel, 9901 Midlothian Tnpk. The seminar, “An Introduction to Helical Foundation Systems, Helical Soil Nails and Push Piers,” is for engineers, architects and general contractors. Two of the industry’s top geotechnical engineers, Jeff Kortan, P.E. and Don Deardorff, P.E., will be educating participants about commercial and residential structural support technologies, applications, designs, installation and terminology. The seminar is worth five professional development hours/ learning units and includes a free technical manual and a free presentation guidebook as well as a free continental breakfast and lunch buffet. To register, call Michelle McLees at 866-795-6083 or visit http://www.jeswork.com/freece .
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HYPE Off the Clock, a monthly social networking event, will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 8 at Bar Louie, 11788 W. Broad St. Admission is free for HYPE subscribers and $15 in advance and $20 at the door for nonmembers. Admission includes one drink ticket and hors d'oeuvres. To register, visit http://www.hyperichmond.com or call 783-9368.
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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Fairmount United Methodist Church will host their annual Yard Sale and Baked Goods from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds support church missions. For details, call 737-5416. Full text

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