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Contest offers home energy upgrades

One local homeowner will win up to $10,000 in home energy upgrades to lower energy bills and increase comfort, through the Richmond Region Energy Alliance's Richmond Home Energy Makeover Contest, which opened today and will continue through Aug. 26.

Ten finalists will also win free home energy assessments valued at $300.  Local nonprofits can also take part in the Contest’s Nonprofit Challenge for a chance to win a $1,000 cash prize.

“This is an exciting opportunity for homeowners in Richmond to finally take control of their home energy bills,” said Bill Greenleaf, executive director of the Richmond Region Energy Alliance. “With home energy improvements, one lucky homeowner will win once and save forever. We hear from homeowners all the time that they are paying too much on their energy bills while still suffocating in their homes during our hot and humid summers – and then shivering in frigid rooms in the winter. The Richmond Home Energy Makeover Contest is a free and easy way to enjoy your home again.”

The contest is open to single family homeowners who reside in the counties of Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Goochland, Powhatan, New Kent and Charles City, the City of Richmond and the Town of Ashland

To enter, visit http://www.rrea-va.org/contest  .

Contest entry involves completion of a five-minute form that will create a personalized home energy report that identifies what your energy bills are paying for and outlines simple ways you can cut those costs.

The Richmond Region Energy Alliance is a community-based nonprofit that provides tips for homeowners to solve their high home energy bills and comfort issues through home energy improvements. The contest is sponsored by Carrier Corp and EarthCraft Virginia.

Home energy improvements for the grand prize winner will range from small to large solutions and often include air and duct sealing, HVAC upgrades, insulation, sealing and/or replacing windows and doors, lighting and appliance upgrades.

The winner will be selected at the end of September, and the improvement work will be scheduled in October in coordination with the homeowner.
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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