Seventeen local volunteers recently completed training to become a Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer. Volunteers receive approximately 60 hours of training in basic horticulture areas including vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, insects, and disease. Each volunteer signs a contract promising to return 75 hours of volunteer time to the Master Gardener program. The Loudoun County Master Gardener Volunteers (LCMGV) operate a Helpline Office where county residents can call, email, or come in for help with horticulture questions or problems. LCMGV also grow and maintain a large organic demonstration garden at Ida Lee Park in Leesburg that is free and open for everyone to visit during park hours. Anyone interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer should contact the Helpline Office at 703-771-5150, email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the Extension Office at 30-B Catoctin Circle, SE, Leesburg.
Capt. Robert Brendel recently graduated from the 216th session of the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico. Brendel was one of 244 law enforcement officers who graduated last month from the 10-week training program. The most recent session consisted of men and women from all 50 states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, 24 international countries, two military organizations, and three federal civilian organizations. Brendel is a 23-year veteran of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and is currently assigned to the Special Operations Division. Brendel is the sixth member of the Sheriff's Office senior staff to have graduated from the FBI Academy in the past nine years.
Barb Yarbrough, a long-time Goose Creek District Scout Leader, was awarded the Lutheran Lamb Award, the Lutheran church's highest recognition for adults involved in scouting, the church, and in the community. She was presented her certificate and award ribbon in front of Our Savior's Way Lutheran Church as a final celebration during Scout Sunday by Pastor Bill Mann. Yarbrough is the mother of three sons in Boy Scout Troop 970: Eagle Scout Steven Yarbrough, Life Scout Scott Yarbrough, and new Boy Scout BJ Yarbrough. Yarbrough is active in Loudoun County Scouting as the Cub Scout Round Table Commissioner and training staff, has served five years as Cub Day Camp Program Director, and was former District Scout Popcorn Chairman. She has served as a leader in Cub Scout Pack 1483 of Ashburn and Troop 970 of Sterling and is active in her church as Our Savior's Way Lutheran Church's Sunday School superintendent as well as an active parent at Hillside Elementary School.
The Third Annual Heroes of Hope Golf Tournament and Family Fun day held at the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg on April 17 raised more than $26,000 for brain tumor research. The Brad Kaminsky Foundation for Brain Tumor Research hosted the golf tournament, kids' carnival, shop for a cure, dinner and Silent Auction. Hundreds of people from Loudoun and Fairfax County came out to support the event and help raise money for brain tumor research. The foundation, which was started in 2001 by Brad Kaminsky's sister Lisa Millar of Ashburn, began after Kaminsky was diagnosed at age 28 with a malignant brain tumor. The foundation has raised more than $90,000 for brain tumor research in the past two years and has a Philadelphia event planned for May 14. The event is called "Cooking Up A Cure" after the organization's fundraising cookbook. The foundation is currently working on its fourth volume of "Cooking Up A Cure" and asks residents and local restaurants to submit recipes in memory or honor of any loved ones who have been affected by cancer in some way. To submit a recipe, contact Lisa Millar at 703-729-9897 or visit the website at www.buyacookbook.org. Brain Tumor Action Week runs from May 2-9.
Shenandoah Sound Drum and Bugle Corps of Sterling will be marching in the Grand Feature Parade in the 77th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival on May 1 in Winchester. Information about the festival can be found at www.thebloom.com. For the second year in a row, Shenandoah Sound will be joined by the Honor Guard unit from the Loudoun Elks Lodge.
The 2004 Favorite Loudoun Tree photo contest winners will be acknowledged at a formal program at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve on Saturday, April 24. The photo contest is part of the annual Leesburg-Loudoun Arbor Day celebration. The winners include:
* First place, Ann Puleo of Purcellville.
* Second place, Edith Brown of Leesburg.
* Third place, Barbara Sample of Leesburg.
* Honorable mention, Monika Mayer of Sterling.
Waterford author Kathryn Caskie's first novel, "Rules of Engagement," a Regency-set romantic comedy and winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award, debuts on April 27. Set in 19th century England, "Rules of Engagement" is the story of two eccentric great-aunts who mistake a military strategy text for a how-to-manual for getting engaged and use it to guide their nieces through the social season. Read an excerpt at www.kathryncaskie.com.
Robert P. Griffin Jr., Assistant County Administrator and Chief of Fire and Rescue for Loudoun County, has accepted a position with Arlington County as director of the Office of Emergency Management. Griffin will leave his position with Loudoun County on May 12. Upon Griffin's departure, Jack Brown will serve as acting Chief of Fire and Rescue for Loudoun County. Brown has served as assistant chief of Loudoun County Fire and Rescue since July 2000. He previously served for 28-and-a-half years with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.
The Junior Woman's Club of Loudoun (JWCL) is celebrating its 53rd birthday in April. The JWCL was formed by a group of 15 women in November of 1950. The intent of the original group was to unite young women to promote the welfare of the community and enrich the members culturally and intellectually. The club was sponsored by the Woman's Club of Loudoun and JWCL received its charter in April 1951 from the Virginia Federation of Woman's Clubs. The group is affiliated with the General Federation of Woman's Clubs, the world's largest women's volunteer organization. In celebration of its birthday, JWCL club members will be donating gifts to Birthday Blessing, a Loudoun County non-profit organization dedicated to providing needy children with a birthday present on their special day.