Henrico County VA
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Electric slide

Eastern Henrico hosted the Electric Football World Championships and Convention July 31-Aug. 2 at the Four Points Sheraton hotel, bringing together 80 teams of hand-painted miniature football players “handled” by their coaches, who came from throughout the United States and even from Paris. The event was sponsored by Tudor Games.

Canine commitment


Sixty-one year-old Debbie Hart-Bowley of Henrico suffers from a neurological movement disorder that limits her mobility. But she has gained some of her freedom back after being paired with Fletch, a young Labrador/golden retriever mix through Companions for Independence.

Fletch can open doors, turn light switches on and off, assist with transportation and pick up dropped objects; Hart says he’s a perfect match.

“Fletch is laid-back and just loves moving at my pace, which is important because my health has slowed me down,” she says. “I can do so much more when he is helping me, and I save time and energy. I am no longer sitting looking at four walls; Fletch has helped me enjoy life again.”

CACGA rings in Chinese New Year with flurry of colors

The Chinese community celebrated the arrival of the new lunar year – a year dedicated to the horse – with a parade of dancing lions and dragons, acrobatics, other cultural performances including Peking opera, vendors and children's activities at the The Cultural Art Center At Glen Allen Jan. 19, just a few days before the official new year began Jan. 31.

All over China, people may take several days of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the new year with family and friends as Americans do for Thanksgiving. The new year 4712 is designated to the horse, one of the twelve rotating Chinese zodiacs.

Hitching a ride

The Budweiser Clydesdale East Coast hitch, with its four pairs of stunning Clydesdale horses, made an appearance at the West Broad Village last month, on its way to the Super Bowl in New Jersey. The Clydesdales are used for promotions and commercials by the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company.

There are several "hitches," or teams of horses, that travel around the United States. Anheuser-Busch owns a total of about 250 Clydesdales in total; each one must be at least four years old and six feet tall.

Positive reflections


In 2009, Aljanette Hall struggled like many Americans. She found herself out of a job after many years working in the real estate business. The time off afforded her the opportunity to live out her true passion - shaping young girls into successful women-to-be who know their value.

“Going through the downside of the economy, I knew just how it was,” she says about feeling singled out and in need of information. She had been mentoring through her church on a volunteer basis, but saw the need to grow her outreach throughout greater Richmond.

Cleaning up


La Forest Williams and Michelle Collins-Robinson joined students from Maggie Walker Governor’s School and volunteer coordinator John Shuck to help clean up East End Cemetery in Henrico County Jan. 4 as part of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s “Day of Service.” The cemetery, adjacent to Evergreen Cemetery, is the final resting place for several noteworthy African-Americans, including famed educators Virginia Randolph and Rosa Bowser. It’s been overgrown with brush and ivy for years and is used as an illegal dumping area.

Tour empowers girls with fun, education

In a society in which many of the normalcies in tween culture focus on sexuality and promiscuity – and push young girls to grow up too fast – the Secret Keeper Girl Crazy Hair tour offers a fresh outlook on mother-daughter connectedness by teaching that being “crazy” can mean many different things.

A “Secret Keeper girl” embraces modesty, loves herself and others, feels comfortable sharing with Mom, and knows she is a masterpiece of God. By introducing girls to this event, organizers hope that they will realize the true beauty that lies within them and be opened up to a world of positive role models.

After-school program offers new support for autistic kids

After his continuous behavioral issues at school and a lack of understanding about his autism, Henrico resident Robin Davis didn’t know where to turn to help her son, Matthew, 13. Sounds, smells and sights were overwhelming for him, other kids were making fun of him, teachers were frustrated, and so was Davis.

“If I forced him to go to school, he would’ve ended up in the juvenile system because his anxiety is so bad,” Davis said. “I needed to protect him and give him the best shot possible. Most people just don’t know how to work with kids with autism and they require a lot of time, patience and understanding, but school is too rushed.”

Faith, family and football


Derrick “Skip” Hopkins spent the past four years as a defensive tackle for the Virginia Tech Hokies, concluding his career during the team’s Sun Bowl loss Dec. 31 to UCLA, but football has not been his only achievement.

His football career began at age five when he played offense and defense for the Glen Lea Lions in Henrico. He continued to play defensive tackle and offensive guard while at Fairfield Middle School and focused his attention on defensive tackle at Highland Springs High School.

High school is where Derrick became “Skip.”

“My brother [Antoine] was already playing on the team and everyone called him ‘Hop,’ so my coach started calling me ‘Skip’ and it stuck,” said Hopkins.

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