Henrico County VA
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Troop produces 6 Eagle Scouts

Six Boy Scouts from a West End Boy Scout Troop will earn Eagle Scout recognition Feb. 8.

The Scouts from Troop 770, sponsored by River Road Presbyterian Church, are: Adam Jones, Sam Murphy, Cabell Murray, Ted Palmer, Kyle Adams and Grayson Phillips. The teens started in the troop together and have steadily climbed the ranks to earn the highest honor bestowed by the Boy Scouts. Only 5 percent of all Boy Scouts ever become Eagle Scouts. The awards will be conferred at River Road Presbyterian Church.

“What an impressive group of young men,” said Scoutmaster David Bernhardt. “They have excelled in Scouting, in the classroom and on the athletic field.”

Lebanese Food Festival celebrating its 30th year

At Saint Anthony’s Maronite Catholic Church in Glen Allen everyone is family, everyone has pride in their culture, and everyone has been preparing months in advance for the 30thannual Lebanese Food Festival May 16-18.

The festival – as it has throughout its lengthy history – will celebrate Lebanese food and culture, as well as the importance of family and tradition.

Sandra Brown, a lifelong member of St. Anthony’s and one of the many festival volunteers, said that the Lebanese Food Festival is something that she simply was born into. The church has more than 300 families with generations of Lebanese backgrounds, including her own (both her parents are Lebanese).

Refugees arrived in pursuit of ‘a romantic life’


Editor’s Note: This is the third and final article in a series about Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees living in Henrico County.

“It was like a dream. I was very scared,” said Hem Bhattarai, one of the many Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees now living in Henrico County, recalling the overwhelming nature of arriving in America from a refugee camp in Nepal. “I had never traveled in a plane before, and I had never seen a country like this.”

The Bhattarai family’s arrival at Richmond International Airport was the final step of a journey that began in 1991. For all of the drama that journey contained, this last leg was an anticlimactic affair as they walked off the plane and into the malaise of an empty airport late at night.

VBS seeks O-negative blood donors for newborns, premies

During the month of May, Virginia Blood Services is seeking to honor mothers and other caregivers of children by encouraging people who are blood type O-negative to donate blood on behalf of the area’s newborns and premature babies.

“There is such great joy to see a mother and her healthy baby. By having an optimal inventory of O-negative blood on our shelves, we can ensure that patients in need will receive this great gift of life,” said Julie Moore, executive director of Virginia Blood Services. “This Mother’s Day, we want to create awareness of the constant need for O-negative blood.”

O-negative blood is known as the “universal” blood type because it can be transfused to any patient in need.

In celebration of the American dream


In 1978, Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution to commemorate the first week of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. Thereafter, in May 1992, the entire month of May was designated as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.”

During the celebrations in the month of May, different Asian communities celebrate the importance and accomplishments of their respective cultures with a pageantry of festivals and government sponsored educational activities.

However, I wanted to expand upon the celebration of what it means to be not just an Asian-American but an American of Asian heritage. I do so by sharing our journey to and in this wonderful nation with the hopes that in reading this, our children can understand how people from different backgrounds contribute to the beautiful tapestry of the American experience.

Community ‘Spring’board launches in Eastern Henrico

A new community group called “Springs” held its first meeting at Highland Springs United Methodist Church April 28, seeking to connect faith-based organizations, civic groups, schools and businesses in order to address various issues affecting the community and create a central locale for those in need.

Springs founder Red Bankston, 69, has lived in Highland Springs for more than 40 years and witnessed the demographic and cultural changes in Eastern Henrico and their impact on the community. He believes a group like Springs is long overdue.

Store’s fans enjoy ‘shopping for a purpose’


Bargain hunting in western Henrico got a whole lot easier once the sisters were born.

The Thrifty Sisters, that is.

Founded in Dec. 2012 to benefit the Little Sisters of the Poor (LSP), who operate a home for the elderly on Michaels Road, the thrift store – located at 8911 Patterson Avenue – has far exceeded expectations.

For the shop’s initial year, organizers set a goal of donating $10,000 to help the Sisters in their mission at St. Joseph’s Home. But in only 15 months of operation, the store’s proceeds resulted in donations of $50,000 – and board members are scrambling to expand their storage and retail space to help the resale outlet grow.

Henrico man’s efforts lead to dog park


When Joel Webne rescued Lucy, a Collie-Corgie mix that had been abandoned near the Henrico Jail, in 1998, he had no idea that she would spark his lengthy campaign for an off-the-leash dog park in Henrico’s West End.

Thirteen years later – and after continued efforts by Webne – plans finally are in motion for a dog park to be built as an expansion of Short Pump Park. The reality is bittersweet for Webne, because Lucy will not be able to enjoy it; she died in March.

Henrico couple wins $4M Va. Lottery prize

Henrico residents David Diggs and Rosalyn Radden worked as a team to win the $4 million top prize in the Virginia Lottery’s $100 Million Cash Extravaganza game. She bought the ticket, he scratched it, and when they realized it was a big winner, they high-fived.

They bought the winning ticket at Martin’s, 2250 John Rolfe Parkway in Henrico. Radden had decided a few weeks earlier that she would buy one ticket in that game each week. This was the fourth week.

After dinner at home, when Diggs scratched the ticket, he said, “I think I have something.”

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