Henrico County VA

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

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

Brews and bites done right

Urban Tavern’s big, bold themes impress

The Urban Tavern opened in August, replacing the former Shackelford’s space at 10498 Ridgefield Parkway in Short Pump. Because of local and longtime devotion to Shackleford’s, Urban Tavern has some big shoes to fill.

Without any background information, I headed to the restaurant for dinner on a Wednesday night, two months after its opening.

On a perfect fall evening, four out of eight outdoor tables were taken, giving the impression that the restaurant was busier than it was. On the inside, a couple tables were taken, and a few folks were seated at the bar. > Read more.

A terrible, horrible movie. . . that’s actually pretty good

‘Alexander’ provides uncomplicated family fun
It’s not surprising in the least that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day doesn’t much resemble the book it’s based upon.

Judith Viorst’s 1972 picture book isn’t exactly overflowing with movie-worthy material. Boy has bad day. Boy is informed that everyone has bad days sometimes. Then, the back cover.

In the film, the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad-ness is blown up to more extreme size. Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) has a bum day every day, while the rest of his family (Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey) exist in a constant bubble of perfection and cheery optimism – to the point that the family is so wrapped up in their own success that Alexander’s being ignored.

So on the eve of his 12th birthday, Alexander makes a wish: just once, he’d like his family to see things from his perspective; to experience the crushing disappointment of one of those no good, very bad days. Once he has blown out the candle on his pre-birthday ice cream sundae, his family’s fate is sealed: one full day of crippling disasters for all of them. > Read more.

Deep Run HS plans fall musical

Tickets for Deep Run High School’s fall musical production – Aida – will go on sale Nov. 3. The Elton John-Tim Rice pop opera, inspired by Verdi’s classic opera, tells the story of enslaved Nubian princess Aida, who falls for captain of the guard Radames, who is betrothed to the Egyptian princess.

Performances will be held Nov. 13-15 at 7 p.m. each day. > Read more.

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