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Challa wins Henrico Community Leader of the Year award

The Greater Richmond Chamber recently named Lakshmi Challa, CEO of Challa Law Offices, Inc., the 2012 Henrico County Community Leader of the Year.

Working with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, Challa established the Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence Project to assist undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic or sexual violence in obtaining legal status, so that they can lead a life free from the tyranny of their abusers and fear of deportation. Under Challa's leadership and with the pro bono assistance of a cadre of attorneys and University of Richmond law students, the project has helped more than 50 women remain in the United States, work legally and provide for their families and children.

In addition, Challa has provided legal expertise to Commonwealth Catholic Charities, supporting unaccompanied minors brought to the U.S.; has served on Senator Stolle’s Illegal Immigration Task Force; and was appointed by Gov. McDonnell to the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Health Systems Board. She currently serves on numerous boards in the Greater Richmond Region and Central Virginia.

First established by the Chamber’s Henrico Business Council in 2008, the Community Leader of the Year award honors unsung heroes who show unwavering support for Henrico County and the business community, demonstrate dedication to the betterment and growth of Henrico County, and exhibit enthusiasm for and make a significant difference in their community. Prior award winners include: Mark Smith, Midas of Richmond (2011); Denise Kranich, Innsbrook Foundation (2010); Kathleen Burke-Barrett, St. Joseph’s Villa (2009); and Peter and Sharon Francisco, Peter Francisco Companies (2008).

Challa will be honored May 2 at the 2012 Henrico Awards Ceremony, "Celebrating Excellence in Henrico County," to be held from 7:15 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Henrico Doctor’s Hospital Forest Campus on Skipwith Road. To register, visit http://www.grcc.com or call 783-9368.
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

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.

Cultural Arts Center announces 2014 fall class schedule

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is now registering participants for its fall 2014 schedule of classes.

The center will offer more than 100 classes for children and adults, covering topicssuch as culinary arts, fiber arts, visual and performance arts and more. Instruction is structured to appeal to a wide range of abilities, from beginners to experts of all ages. Class sizes are kept small to ensure maximum benefit for participants with generally no more than 15 students. > Read more.

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