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Helping Needy Families for the Holidays

The staff of Chesterbrook Academy in Chantilly is supporting Our Neighbor's Child [ONC] by providing 35 families with clothing and toys this holiday season. ONC provides toys and clothing for local families having financial difficulties.

Fairfax County determines the families with the greatest needs, and then local volunteers work together to meet them. ONC is in its 12th year and once again is looking for groups or individuals to "adopt" the clothing needs of local families for the holiday season.

As of press time, the list is at 349 local families (900-plus children) in need. Anyone interested in helping should call Tracy McInturff at 703-222-6669 or e-mail GMFamily1@aol.com or Holly Cameron at hollycamer@msn.com. Specific family information will not be available until around Thanksgiving, at which time helpers will be contacted.

This is the second year Chesterbrook Academy has participated. It adopted 28 families last year and, said Chesterbrook parent Mary Mason, "It worked our really well and everybody liked it. This is one of our community services. We want to help people in Fairfax County — this is where we live. That's why it's so important to us."

The county provides McInturff with the clothing gender, sizes, wishes and needs of the particular families. Then, as people call her and offer their help, she tells them what's specifically needed. The clothing drop-off day to ONC is Sunday, Dec. 7, from 1-4 p.m. at the Sully Station I Community Center, 5101 Sequoia Farms Drive in Centreville.

In addition, as a fund-raiser for ONC, six front-row "dream seats" are being raffled off for the Dec. 14 game between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. Thanks to a generous gift from the MayMere Foundation, ONC is selling $10 raffle tickets for all six seats. The name of the person winning all of them will be drawn Nov. 28 at the Stone Road Starbucks.

Included will be a purple parking pass to the stadium entrance and all club-level privileges (hot dogs, sodas, peanuts, etc.). The seats are mid-field, just behind the Dallas Cowboys bench. Every penny of ticket purchases will be used to buy holiday gifts for local children in need.

Tickets are available at Century 21 New Millennium; Centreville Tire and Auto in the Centreville Square Shopping Center; the Virginia Run Community Center; Long & Foster, Realtors, Centreville; and Keller-Williams of Chantilly. For tickets, call Kelly Lavin at 703-830-2699.