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Making connections

Henrico HS student organizes camp for special needs students
Rising Henrico High School senior Olivia Faraone knew she wanted to build partnerships and friendships between students across a spectrum of talents, abilities and backgrounds at her school.

So this summer, she launched Camp Connected, a week-long summer camp that paired special needs participants with camp volunteers as part of the Students for Students club that works towards inclusion.

When Faraone began at Henrico High School, she noticed that students weren’t interacting with the special needs students. During her lunch break, she began visiting them in exceptional education teacher Anita Smith’s classroom.

Living history

Henrico filmmaker Kevin Hershberger has transformed the "birthplace" of Jesus into the Hanoi Hilton.

Hershberger, the CEO of LionHeart Film Works, modified the Salem Baptist Church in Manakin (best known as the site of a living nativity scene each Christmas) to replicate the notorious Vietnamese Hoa Lo prison camp for a Vietnam prisoner-of-war documentary he's currently filming for the Smithsonian. Adding shackles and torture hooks to the walls where holiday visitors will line up in December seems morbid, but this is what Hershberger does. As a documentary filmmaker dedicated to filming historical documentaries in and around Henrico County, the VMI graduate is forced to get creative with his sets.

LionHeart is based out of a nondescript storefront in the West End.

County dedicates Twin Hickory Park

Citizens of Henrico now have a new recreational opportunity, after county officials cut the ribbon on Twin Hickory Park – a new 48-acre park near Deep Run High School – July 12.

Funding for the $3 million complex was part of a 2005 bond referendum dedicated to school, library, and park projects throughout Henrico County, which was the result of input from citizens, residents and civic associations.

Holman student has All-Star experience

A Holman Middle School student had an All-Star experience to remember in Minneapolis this week.

Nicholas Noonan competed in the 11-12 year-old division of the Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run competition, which was held at Target Field on the day before the MLB All-Star Game. The competition is a baseball skills challenge open to children nationwide.

Of more than 625,000 players in 4,000 preliminary competitions, only 12 baseball and 12 softball players earned the right to compete in the final round in Minneapolis. Noonan was one of two finalists from Virginia.

Mudstock run draws hundreds to Henricus

The first annual Henricus Mudstock – a 5k mud run through Henricus historical Park in Chesterfield – took place June 28, bringing more than 600 runners to the park. The event also included a one-mile Flower Children run.

The Mudstock was sponsored by the Richmond Sports Backers and held on the Henricus Trail. Participants navigated their way through obstacles along the way, such as water traps and a crawl through a mud ditch.

Coal Pit offers opportunities for at-risk children


When the Coal Pit Learning Center opened in 1976, it was the vision of Dorothy Gallimore to provide children from low-income families with educational skills and a sound, safe environment to succeed in school. Almost 40 years later, it has transformed from an aging schoolhouse to a multipurpose facility that has doubled in size as the result of a budding relationship between Coal Pit and the Innsbrook Rotary.

“Innsbrook Rotary is a big believer in supporting issues with children, and when we learned about Coal Pit, we thought that was a great entity to support and we saw an opportunity to help the center grow,” said Wes York, Innsbrook Rotary president.

Pow-Wowed

More than 60 members of Native American tribes from the United States and Canada celebrated their dancing, drumming, and singing traditions in a PowWow at the Osborne Park & Boat Landing in Varina June 28. The event was the first ever at the site, but the organizing Youghtanund Drummers hope to make it an annual event.

To the beat and singing of one of the four drummer/singer groups, dancers in different combinations and traditions moved rhythmically around a center circle under the scorching sun.

Fan Care program offers assistance to seniors

Senior Connections, The Capital Area Agency on Aging, is helping older adults combat summer heat through the Fan Care program. Through Fan Care, adults ages 60 and older who meet eligibility requirements and have situations that are threatening their health receive fans and cooling assistance information.

Fan Care is made possible by funding from Dominion Virginia Power in conjunction with the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS).

Henricus adding Church and Meeting Hall

The last heavy timber beams were fitted earlier this month week into the roof structure to complete the framing of the recreated 1611 Church and Meeting Hall at Henricus Historical Park in Chesterfield County. The building soon will complement the facilities of the open-air museum.

The church structure was the focus of civic activity within a settlement. The church served as a place of worship but also was a court of law and meeting space in 17th-century English culture. It was where information was disseminated, orders issued, grievances aired and discipline enforced.

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Registration ends today for the Henrico NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner on Sept. 27 at Quioccasin Baptist Church, 9011 Quioccasin Rd. The speaker will be Ms. Clayola Brown, president of A.… Full text

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