Henrico County VA

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.
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Community

A.C. Moore to host winter craft day for kids

Event will help kick of Marine Corps' 'Toys for Tots' campaign
All 140 A.C. Moore locations will serve as drop-off centers this year for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, and all toys collected will stay in the local communities served by the stores in which they are donated.

On Saturday, Nov. 15, the Willow Lawn location will kick off the month-long program by hosting a "Make & Take" craft event for kids. Children ages six and older will be able to make a craft and take it home with them. Representatives from the Marines will be in-store to teach customers about the Toys for Tots program. A.C. Moore team members will be on site to help with the crafts. > Read more.

CCC seeks donations for food pantry

Commonwealth Catholic Charities is in desperate need of food donations for its community food pantry that serves the region’s low-income families, according to officials with the Henrico-based nonprofit.

After moving into its new location this past summer, the agency has dedicated a larger space for the pantry but the shelves are practically empty.

“As we head into the holidays and the weather turns colder, the need for food becomes even more critical, but unfortunately our cupboards are nearly bare,” said Jay Brown, the agency’s director for the division of housing services. “Donations of food will allow us help provide.” > Read more.

Hands-on duties

More than 1,000 volunteers from throughout the region gathered last month as part of HandsOn Greater Richmond to complete more than 60 projects.

The event is a program of the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence.

In Henrico, a group of Target employees (pictured) undertook a project at Fairfield Middle School to help re-plant the school's community garden and paint the outdoor shelter. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A ‘Life’ well lived

Animated ‘Book of Life’ overcomes average storyline with extraordinary presentation, details
“Beauty is only skin deep” applies all too well to The Book of Life. An animated feature from first-time director Jorge R. Gutierrez, The Book of Life spins a classic love triangle – two childhood friends, Manolo (Diego Luna) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) both in love with Maria (Zoe Saldana).

Maria, in all honesty, is a little more interested in Manolo’s musical charms, but her father wants her to marry the boastful and militaristic Joaquin. And when two gods, La Muerte and Xibalba (Kate de Castillo and Ron Perlman, respectively), turn this little love triangle into a wager (as gods often do), Manolo’s quest for true love will take him through life, death, immortality and the underworlds of Mexican folklore.

Now, back to the “beauty” part – because as far as the visuals go, The Book of Life is the most extraordinary animated film to hit theaters this year. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


The holiday season is underway and Lakeside Avenue has everything you need during its 10th annual Holly Jolly Christmas event! Shoppers will enjoy extended hours at several dozen shops and free trolley rides. Also this weekend, the 23rd annual Great American Indian Exposition & Pow-Wow. There will be over 200 American Indian dancers, singers, drummers, artists and crafters. In the mood for music? Check out The Gibson Brothers at UR and Susan Greenbaum at the Shady Grove Coffeehouse. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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