Henrico County VA
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VBS Seeks Donations to Keep Supplies Strong

Virginia Blood Services (VBS) officials are hoping to see an increase in donations with upcoming blood drives and stressing the importance of what giving blood can do for someone in the community.

“The reality and need for blood is daily,” said David Ambrogi, VBS’s volunteer coordinator for Henrico County.

VBS collects approximately 130,000 donations and holds more than 2,700 blood drives a year. The organization is holding several blood drives to combat recent decreases in donations.

“Holidays are the hardest times for blood donations,” said Marly Fausz, communications manager for VBS. All blood types are needed, especially O negative – the universal blood type.

The non-profit has been providing services for patients since 1974 around Central Virginia and employs more than 280 people.

VBS has eight donor centers including two in the West End, one in Chesterfield, and one in Chester. It receives no government funding and must rely upon donations and processing fees from patients’ transfusion charges to cover expenses and continue their effort of saving lives.

“With each donation, three lives are saved,” said Ambrogi. Four hundred pints of blood are needed every day just in Richmond alone and in a good year, only 1,200 total donations are given, he said.

Henrico County public safety, mental health, public works, and other departments hold blood drives six times a year on site for people to donate.

Blood drives are a source for VBS to gather volunteer donors to help individuals in need. A blood drive will be held at the Ruby Tuesday at Virginia Center Commons in Glen Allen from Dec. 20-23 and Dec. 27-30 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

A bloodmobile also will be set up at Short Pump Town Center by the Crate and Barrel store during the same dates and times. Donors will be entered into a raffle for a $50 Visa gift card at both locations. Qdoba Mexican Grill is donating free entree cards for donors at both drives as well.

If 1,000 pints are donated, 3,000 lives could be saved. Blood donations help with surgeries, cancer treatments, joint replacements, and other therapies and conditions.

“Life ceases to exist without blood donation,” said Ambrogi.

If individuals aren’t able to donate, they can sponsor a blood drive to provide support for patients in need in the community. “You can recruit donations by holding your own blood drive with your business or organization,” said Fauz.

Last year, nearly 70,000 people volunteered to give blood to the Virginia Blood Services; VBS officials are hoping for the same this season.

“One in seven people entering the hospital this holiday will need blood,” Fausz said. “There are many different uses that people just don’t think about that are needed.”

To donate or to find a center or a local blood drive, visit: http://www.vablood.org
Community

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.

Henricus Historical Park to host Publick Day Sept. 20

Henricus Historical Park will commemorate its anniversary during Publick Day, a signature annual event that celebrates the establishment of the second successful English settlement in the New World. In September 1611, Sir Thomas Dale, along with soldiers, tradesmen and farmers, ventured from Jamestown to create the Citie of Henricus. Leaders of Henricus developed the first English hospital, chartered the first college in North America, established tobacco as the first cash crop in Virginia, and created a place where Pocahontas lived and met John Rolfe.

Publick Day will take place Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $5 per vehicle. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Extras sought for AMC’s ‘TURN’

Paid extras are being sought to appear in the AMC television series TURN: Washington's Spies, which will begin filming its second season in the Richmond area at the end of September and continue through February.

No experience is required, but producers say that extras must have flexible availability, reliable transportation and a positive attitude.

Arvold Casting is holding an open call on Sunday, Sept. 21 and is seeking men, women and children who are Caucasian, African American and Native American, with thin to average builds and who can realistically portray people living in Revolutionary War times. Long hair is a plus but not a must. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


TGIF! Celebrate the weekend at Oak Hall Baptist Church’s Community Block Party on Saturday. Learn more about ballroom dancing, art and Colonial times. Or take the kids to Generation Z Games for water play or Southern Season to cook up a Disney-theme meal. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Check out these three B’s in Henrico this weekend: books, bluegrass and “Born Yesterday.” Other activities to participate in – and feel good about – are the 15th annual James River Regional Cleanup and the 5th annual Richmond Out of the Darkness Community Walk. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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