Features

Snowstorm causes urgent need for blood donors


The American Red Cross is urging eligible donors throughout the Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region to give blood or platelets following the recent winter storm, which has compounded a severe winter blood shortage.

Snow and icy roads forced 27 blood drives to cancel in the Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region, causing about 750 donations to go uncollected. Last month, nearly 100 blood drives were forced to cancel across the country due to severe weather, resulting in more than 3,100 blood donations going uncollected. Overall, hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors and weather contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed.

Full circle


In only eight years of existence, Henrico Police Athletic League (PAL) has grown from a single, small after-school program to a series of sports camps, summer camps, recreational and after-school programs serving several hundred children each year.

Four years ago, Henrico PAL also won national recognition as Aubrey Temple of the Youth Leadership Council and board member Johnny Newman were honored as "Male Youth of the Year" and "Male Volunteer of the Year" at the national conference.

Buggin’ out


Fans of Volkswagen were in Bug heaven last month at Bugstock, which hosted a gathering of the iconic VW Beetle, Bus and other classic vehicles at Henrico's Twin Hickory Park. The Aug. 23 event featured vehicles from Richmond Region AACA and Central Virginia Vintage VW club members.

Henrico community rallies around local family after house fire


The beauty of tragedy is that it often brings with it the opportunity for an inspiring recovery. The Henrico community recently embodied that opportunity.

Tragedy struck a Henrico family when a fire scorched its home, leaving it with nothing. One of the family members is a teenage boy who was ready to embark on his college journey at James Madison University, but those plans seemingly went up in smoke with the fire.

Despite losing everything, that teenager has gone to James Madison, all thanks to a community effort to gather resources and raise money for the family. (Family members requested that their names not be used in this article.)

On the trail of history


Cameron Hopkins did not grow up in a typical neighborhood.

Sure, it may have seemed like an everyday community at times, but the ground beneath his feet was too significant to call “normal.”

Hopkins, a rising senior at Varina High School, spent his childhood at home in the Fort Harrison section of Richmond National Battlefield Park, a national park commemorating Richmond’s copious Civil War history.

A race everyone wins


Michael Harlow found a higher purpose when he discovered the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls in 2011. For four years since, Harlow and his company have played a major role in developing and managing an event that has become invaluable to the Virginia Home: the VHBG’s annual youth triathlon.

Harlow, the founder of Endorphin Fitness, first learned of the Virginia Home because his wife had a cousin who was a resident of the home years earlier. He did some research and visited the campus, and as soon as he learned the mission of the home, he was sold.

Church serves as a haven for the two-wheeled world


"The Worlds" is coming to Richmond, and excitement is building by the day as the countdown closes in on September's World Road Cycling Championships.

But at one Henrico church, the two-wheeled world has already been turning up on the doorstep for decades now, and hosting cyclists from around the globe is nothing new. In fact, it's a popular and much-beloved portion of the church's ministry.

Across the universe


Last month, Henrico native Alice Bowman saw 14 years of work come to fruition when the New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto and collected unprecedented data and images of the dwarf planet.

Bowman (pictured above, and below, with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden), who began the initial stages of the project in 2001, is the first female Missions Operations Manager (MOM) in the history of Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab (APL). Throughout her life, Bowman has earned a degree from the University of Virginia, worked in three states, made history as the first female MOM at APL and shown Earth what Pluto looks like.

Her entire journey, though, began in the West End of Richmond off Three Chopt Road.

Pedal power


More than 20 businesses in Lakeside have joined to participate in a new "Bike Friendly Saturdays" initiative by offering discounts, free merchandise and other promotions for anyone who rides a bike to their shops.

The program is the first business biking district in the Richmond region.

From a business perspective, shop owners believe that people riding bikes are more likely to stop at stores and spend more while shopping. The program is a partnership and collaboration between the Lakeside Business Association, Bike/Walk RVA and the businesses.

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The American Legion Post 233, 8088 Recreation Rd. in Varina, will host a free Music Jam at 5 p.m. every fourth Thursday of the month. Featuring country gospel and bluegrass music. Anyone is welcome to play or sing. Food and drinks are available for purchase. For details, call Wayne Gilbert at 572-3124. Full text

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