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RIR keeps both race weekends for 2013

Officials from Richmond International Raceway today announced that the track will continue to host two NASCAR weekends in 2013. The events will be held April 26-27 and Sept. 6-7, with the September Sprint Cup Series race again serving as the final race before the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (the circuit's playoff equivalent).

The total financial benefit to the region as the result of both weekends – each of which includes a Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series race – is more than $300 million, according to RIR officials.

“Bringing NASCAR back to Richmond International Raceway twice next year is huge for everyone in Greater Richmond,” said RIR President Dennis Bickmeier. “The money being pumped into our economy twice a year makes a big difference in the livelihood of the 1.3 million people who call Greater Richmond home. Hotels, restaurants, grocers and many other locally owned businesses will benefit when NASCAR flocks to RIR.”
  
Tickets for the April NASCAR weekend go on sale Friday, Dec. 7. Fans who purchased tickets to this month’s NASCAR weekend at RIR will be receiving renewal invitations in October. Guests who renew receive a savings on each ticket purchased, opportunity to keep their seats and may add or relocate seats before the general public.
 
For details, visit http://www.rir.com or call 1-866-455-7223.
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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Henrico Police will present a Gang Awareness Program from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Deep Run Recreation Center on Oct. 1 and at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center on… Full text

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