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Glen Allen resident to compete for $100k in tuition at SEC championship game

Ryan Kovacik, a VCU student from Glen Allen, is one of five finalists selected by Dr Pepper to compete for $100,000 in tuition money prior to the SEC football championship game Dec. 1 in Atlanta. Kovacik submitted his video to DrPepper.com explaining why he deserved to win college tuition from the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway.

“Dr Pepper is a longtime supporter of college football, and we are proud to have helped so many students reach their dreams by removing the burden of tuition through the annual Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway,” said Leslie Vesper, director of brand marketing for Dr Pepper. “Once again this football season, we’re giving away more than $1 million in tuition to help make paying for school a little easier, and we’re very pleased that the Cowboys Classic is now part of the program.”

Kovacik was selected by a panel of judges on the strength of his video submission. Entries were judged on a range of criteria, such as the inclusion of Dr Pepper, a description of how the tuition money and a college education will help the student make an impact in the world, and overall presentation quality. Kovacik’s winning video can be viewed at http://bit.ly/PQeG1Q.

The five finalists first competed in a preliminary contest Nov. 30, and Kovacik was among two winners who advanced to the finals, which will air on ABC during the game. For each of the events, finalists will throw footballs from five yards away into a two-foot hole in an over-sized Dr Pepper can replica. The fan who successfully completes the most throws in 30 seconds will win the grand prize of $100,000 in college tuition. The runner-up will take home a $23,000 tuition prize, and the three contestants who did not advance from the preliminary throw will receive $2,500 in tuition.

Dr Pepper is giving away grand prizes during halftime of four conference championship games later in the year, including the Dr Pepper ACC Championship, the Pac-12 Championship, the Big Ten Championship and the SEC Championship. The brand also gave away a grand prize scholarship during the Cowboys Classic on Sept. 1.

There is still a chance for consumers 18 and older to enter to win a $2,500 tuition prize through the program by submitting videos at DrPepper.com by Dec. 31. In addition to the video submissions, Dr Pepper will also be giving away tuition through a number of retailer specific promotions.
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

Film industry training program planned for this weekend

The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), in partnership with the Virginia Film Office, will offer "Get Your Start in the Film Industry," a two-day seminar designed to prepare workers for film, television and commercial projects in Virginia. The course will be held Oct. 4-5 at the Workforce Development and Conference Center, 1651 Parham Road in Henrico, on the campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

The training will be taught by Gary Romolo Fiorelli, an accomplished assistant director for film and television projects, which include the television series Sons of Anarchy and ABC’s current drama Mistresses. > Read more.

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.

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