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 or call 783-9368.

Reynolds CC to host sculptor Paul DiPasquale

Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.

Free children’s clothing for those in need

The Children's Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church will be open Saturday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 to provide free new or nearly new children's clothing for families in need, prior to the start of the school year. The Clothing Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon both days. The church is located at 22 North Holly Avenue. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10

Beautiful fall weather is back this weekend! Don’t leave your favorite pooch at home – take the whole family to Canine Companions’ DogFest Walk ‘n Roll at West Broad Village or FETCH a Cure’s annual Mutt Strutt at Deep Run Park. Pets are also welcome at this weekend’s Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games. Halloween events taking place Sunday include the University of Richmond’s 18th annual Trick or Treat Street and Goblins and Gourds at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.


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Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will host October Oddities Oct. 1-31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Refresh your “garden spirit” with displays and activities for all ages throughout the month of October. Enjoy vignettes designed to provoke a sense of curiosity and wonder using underappreciated oddities of nature and “horti-torture.” Pick up a Gourd Quest at the admissions desk before heading down to the Children’s Garden. Included with regular admission which is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors 55+ and $8 for children 3-12. For details, visit Full text

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