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Kruszewski wins 9 VPW awards

Henrico Citizen Managing Editor Patty Kruszewski won nine awards in the Virginia Press Women’s 2012 communication contest, including four first-place entries that will advance to the National Federation of Press Women contest.

Kruszewski collected two of her first-place honors in the Special Articles category, with stories about religion and health topics. In the health category, the winning articles were about two non-profits, ASK and the Richmond Hope Therapy Center, which support families of children with cancer and children with special physical needs. The stories in the religion category described changes in location and leadership for Congregation Or Atid and profiled a long-time member of Sandston Baptist Church, which recently celebrated its 85th anniversary.

In the category of feature articles written specifically for the web, Kruszewski won a first place for her story about a rare Robert E. Lee letter coming home to the Dabbs House Museum, where it was originally written, after almost 100 years.

Kruszewski also earned a first place in feature stories for her article, "Maronite Marathon," about the annual preparation for the Lebanese Food Festival produced by St. Anthony's Maronite Catholic Church. "Since every newspaper reports on the local food fundraiser, it's difficult to make the yearly report interesting," wrote judges. "'Maronite Marathon' manages by 'mixing in' many specific details that describe the preparation process and the women who volunteer."

Kruszewski took a second place in the Special Series category for two stories from the Citizen's Top Moments in Henrico History Series, published during Henrico County's 400th anniversary year.

"A lot of research and hours went into this," judges wrote of the stories, which centered around the 1865 surrender of Richmond at Tree Hill and the 1614 marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe.

In the Special Articles category of education, Kruszewski took a third place award for a story about Boardrooms to Classrooms, a Henrico Business Council program in which business leaders shadow school principals, and an article promoting the universal kindergarten registration date and the need for getting children off to a good start in school.

Kruszewski also took a third place award in the Special Articles history category, for stories about the colonial-era college planned for Henricus and the 1864 Battle of New Market Heights, in which 14 African-American soldiers won the Medal of Honor. She earned third-place honors, in addition, for a feature story entitled "Beauties Raise Bucks," about a womanless beauty pageant that raised funds for the American Cancer Society and honored the memory of a young cancer victim.

In the Special Articles health category, Kruszewski also won an honorable mention for a story about the Man of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and for "Life, One Breath at a Time," about a Henrico man recovering from his second double lung transplant.
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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