Community Notes

Community Notes

Send announcements to The Reston Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454.

This free listing is reserved for activities and events that are open to the public at no or minimal cost.

FISH (Friendly, Instant, Sympathetic Help), helping families in crisis to stay in their homes by providing temporary financial help, is requesting donations of food and children's gifts to help fill holiday baskets for needy families. Drop off donations Dec. 19-22, at the United Christian Parish Church at 2222 Colts Neck Road in Reston.

Giant Food and Super G are offering customers the opportunity to purchase packaged hunger boxes, containing 11 different nonperishable food items, for $7.99 each. The boxes will be placed in collection carts at the stores, with the contributions distributed to food banks throughout the stores' market area, including Virginia. The boxes are available now through Dec. 31. Visit or call 301-341-8776.

All area high-school students and eighth-graders are invited to participate in an essay/poetry contest in honor of Martin Luther King. Students may enter by writing an essay, a poem or both in 300 words or less based

on one of the following themes:

1) What person or event had the most influence in your life?

2) Who has modeled Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream in your life?

A panel of judges from the community will determine the first- and second-place winners for each grade level. Several first-place winners will present their compositions at a special ceremony at South Lakes High School Jan. 17 during the Martin Luther King Celebration Day.

Four first-place awards of a $200 savings bond each are being offered and the four second-place winners will each receive a $100 savings bond to be presented at the January ceremony.

All essays and poems must be typed and received by George K. Johnson by Friday, Dec. 31.

There will not be a separate award for poems and

essays. Send contest entries to George K. Johnson, P.O. Box 2224, Reston, VA 20195.

This contest is sponsored by Reston's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Celebration Planning Committee and by Omicron Kappa Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

This contest is held in conjunction with Reston's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Celebration which will be held Jan. 16 and 17. Visit the celebration Web site at

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program will be offering the annual winter SoberRide program, between 8 p.m.-4 a.m., each evening through Jan. 1.

Washington-metropolitan-area residents celebrating with alcohol can call toll free, 1-800-200-TAXI (8294) and receive a no cost, up to $50 fare, ride home. The program is being offered in the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince Georgeâs counties in Maryland, and the counties of Arlington,

Fairfax, eastern Loudoun and Prince William in Virginia.

The League of Reston Artists (LRA) announces its first call for curated and solo art exhibition proposals for exhibits to be presented during its 2005 season at its sponsoring venue, The University of Phoenix Northern Virginia Campus, in Reston. Individual artists, groups of artists, artist collectives and independent emerging curators are invited to submit proposals for a curated exhibition by the postmarked deadline of Monday, Jan. 17. Each selected curator's role under this call for proposal will be to conceive, visualize and organize the art and artist(s) proposed for the selected shows. The exhibitions can be theme-based, media-based, retrospective or otherwise. Because of space limitations, all shows must be restricted to two-dimensional works that meet the LRAÕs framing and hanging standards policy. Visit the LRAÕs Web site at Individual artist(s) or photographers are encouraged to submit proposals for solo or group shows.

The Giving Circle of HOPE, a Reston-based philanthropic-service organization, is accepting applications for its first grant awards. Grant awards, in the range of $1,000 to $5,000, will be made to nonprofit organizations to directly benefit Northern Virginians in need.

Local nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations can find information about the grant application process at The next grant cycle's application deadline is Feb. 15, with awards occurring in June 2005.

The Giving Circle of HOPE (Helping Other People Everyday) represents a new trend in philanthropy. Like an investment club, giving circle members combine money and collectively decide how to use these resources to influence specific causes within their communities with monetary grants.

Started in January 2004, The Giving Circle of HOPE presently consists of more than 50 women of diverse ages, backgrounds, and professional experience. Unlike other giving circles, the Giving Circle of HOPE has a service arm, so members have the opportunity to not only make financial contributions, but also to contribute time and talent with other like-minded women to benefit Northern Virginians in need. The Giving Circle of HOPE is openly recruiting new members.