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Neighborhoods -- Goodwin House, Seminary Valley

<sh>Goodwin House

<bt>The recently published annual report of the Goodwin House Foundation provided interesting information on the increasing scope of the Foundation’s charitable mission. The Fellowship Program, a confidential financial assistance program, is the core of its charitable mission. This program assures a safe, secure and dignified retirement to those residents who have outlived their resources or who do not have sufficient resources to fully meet admission and monthly fees. In 2003, the Foundation granted $739,329 to support the Fellowship Program.

The Goodwin House Foundation has three continuing education funds for nursing staff: the continuing education fund of Goodwin House and Goodwin House West and the Alice Story Biache Fund. These funds augment Goodwin House, Inc.’s tuition reimbursement program and help to ensure that residents receive the most compassionate and professional nursing care available. Recently, the Foundation invited George Mason University’s College of Nursing and Health Science to offer its certificate program, “Studies in Aging for Gerontology Employees” at Goodwin House, Inc. The program has more than 60 students, including more than a dozen from outside our residential communities.

The Alice Story Biache Health Education Fellowship Awards cover extra expenses not eligible for reimbursement through Goodwin House, Inc.’s tuition assistance program. These expenses include books, uniforms, parking and childcare. Since Goodwin House Foundation received its first grant from the Biache Foundation in 2000, 12 individuals have received awards. Nine continue to work for Goodwin House and/or Goodwin House West. Of these nine, seven are immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean and Central America.

<1b>— Mary O. Ingles

<sh>Seminary Valley

<bt>Kathy Burns from our Civic Association is Seminary Valley's guest columnist this week.

Changes are being studied to make Alexandria's parks safer, according to Kirk Kincannon, new director of the city's Parks and Cultural Activities Department, who spoke at the quarterly meeting of the Brookville-Seminary Valley Civic Association (BSVCA) on July 12. His remarks came 10 days after a woman walking through Holmes Run Park was assaulted and raped at gunpoint on July 2. One suspect has been arrested and another is being sought.

Lt. Don Hayes of the Alexandria Police Department, who responded to audience concerns, joined Kincannon at the meeting. Some audience members recommended that brush be cut back near park walkways and that the city consider installing police call boxes. Hayes noted complaints that some people are using parks "as a cheap motel," as well as congregating areas after the parks are closed. More foot and bicycle patrols have been added, he said.

Kincannon said the city's 11 recreation centers are working to combat juvenile misbehavior, in conjunction with schools and social service agencies. He noted that the proposed $3.5 million renovation of the Patrick Henry Recreation Center will embark on a planning process this fall. He also mentioned the city's new Urban Forestry Initiative. He said the city was looking for grants, endowments and public/private partnership options to expand what they can do to beautify the city, including replanting and reforesting areas.

The next BSVCA meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18 at the Burke Library (note change in date and location). Representatives from the Landmark Mall and Foxchase Shopping Center will discuss expansion proposals. The group will also hold elections that evening and candidates are being sought for six officers and four at-large members for one-year terms. Please contact Shirley Downs at 703- 845-7958, who heads the BSVCA Nominating Committee.

<1b>— Kathy Burns