Send announcements to The 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.

Inner Healer Series, a free five-part series is designed to explore the tangible and dynamic of the Inner Healer Ñ your innate and unlimited resource for wellness and fulfillment -- will take place the second and fourth Thursdays of each month between Sept. 16-Nov. 11, from 7:30-9 p.m., at Worldgate Nutrition Center, 13009 Worldgate Drive, Herndon. Topics to be explored are Biochemistry Ñ Your Guide to Self Discovery, Turning Stress Into Wellness, and Energy Awareness as a tool for Self-Actualization. Call 703-707-WELL (9355) for more information.

The Alzheimer's Association's 2004 Tour de Canal SM bike ride for Alzheimer's disease will be held Sept. 11-12, beginning in Cumberland, Md., and ending in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., along the C&O Canal. The annual event raises awareness and funds to support local programs for people with Alzheimer's disease, their families and caregivers. The 20-mile Family Fun Ride is on Sunday, Sept. 12. For more information about Alzheimer's disease, visit or call 866-259-0042.

The Reston Community Center's People with Arthritis can Exercise (PACE) program will be held from Sept. 7-Oct. 28, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10-11 a.m., at the Reston-Herndon Senior Center located at 1850 Cameron Glen Drive, Suite 200. Registered participants will receive a PACE application in the mail that includes a doctor's authorization that must be brought to the first class. The cost of this program is $10 per session for people age 55 or older who live or work in Reston and $20 for nonresidents. Adults under the ages of 55 may enroll in Senior Academy programs with the permission of the program director. Please double the published fee. Registration is available either in person or by faxing a completed RCC Registration form to 703-476-8617. For further information, directions, or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact the Reston Community Center at 703-476-4500 (V/TTY) or visit the Web site at

CrisisLink is a confidential, free hot line and crisis response team, helping people deal with anxiety and stress. In the wake of the recent heightened security alerts in the Washington, D.C., area, CrisisLink is providing emotional support and links to community resources. The hot line number is 703-527-4077 or 1-800-784-2433. To learn more, visit

Katherine Frank, a cultural anthropologist and a

postdoctoral fellow and John DeLamater, a professor of sociology, both in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, are beginning a large-scale study of monogamy and marriage, and are looking to recruit several hundred couples from Northern Virginia for a confidential survey. Participants must be at least 18 years old and be currently married. Anyone interested in finding out more information about the study or becoming a participant contact Frank at, request an access code at, or call 608-262-1930.

Bereavement Support Groups. Three groups, sponsored by Haven of Northern Virginia, meet at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne. The General Bereavement Group meets the first and third Wednesday of every month, 7:30-9 p.m. The Suicide Survivors Group meets the first Tuesday of every month, 7:30-9 p.m. The Widow/Widower Support Group meets the first and third Thursday of every month, 2-3:30 p.m. and the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, 7:30-9 p.m. Call 703-941-7000 for more information.

Lupus Support Group meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month, at 6:30 p.m., at Reston Hospital Medical Plaza, Suite 117, 1800 Town Center Drive, Reston. Call 703-689-9240.

Diabetes Support Group. Meets the fourth Wednesday of the month, at 7:30 p.m., on the Reston Hospital Center campus in the Pavilion, 1850 Town Center Drive, Suite 307. Call 703-689-9100.

Spiritual Support Group. Designed for oncology patients or those dealing with major illnesses. The non-denominational support group meets in the Radiation Therapy Department in the Pavilion on the Reston Hospital Center campus, 1850 Town Center Parkway on the first Tuesday of the month, at 6:30-7:30 p.m. Call 703-689-9325.

New Mothers Support Group. Meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month, at 10-11:30 a.m., in the Community Room at the Reston YMCA, 12196 Sunset Hills Road, Reston. Call 703-689-9240.

Mothers of Toddlers Support Group. Meets the fourth Thursday of each month in the Community Room at the Reston YMCA, 12196 Sunset Hills Road. Call 703-689-9240.

Sterling/Reston DRADA (Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association) Support Group meets first and third Tuesdays of each month, 7-9 p.m., in Reston. For more information and directions, call Ginny at 703-966-2510.

The Reston NAMI Support Group. Group meets twice a month, from 7-9 p.m., at the Reston Regional Library, 11925 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston. This is a National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) support group for family and friends of people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders. Call Rhonda at 703-716-0674, or Barb at 703-715-2485 for more information.

The Reston Hospital Center. The hospital at 1850 Town Center Parkway, Reston, is offering the following classes. Call 1-877-689-3627 to register:

* Childbirth Preparation. Topics include family-centered maternity care, birthing options, relaxation and breathing techniques, breast-feeding and baby-care basics. Weekend classes are also available. Call 703-941-7183.

* Diabetes Class Series. Learn how to successfully manage diabetes from certified diabetes experts. Topics include nutrition and meal planning, monitoring, dealing with complications and exercise. Call 703-689-9100.

* Healthy Community 2010. A health screening program designed to improve the health of the community. Call 1-877-689-3627.

* Sibling Classes for children 3-4 and 4-6 years old. Children will hold and diaper an infant doll, watch a video on becoming a sibling and visit the nursery and birthing suites. Cost is $15 for one child and $25 for two. Call 1-877-689-3627.

* Joint Replacement Orientation Program. Free class to educate families about total joint replacement surgery. Learn about planning, what to expect at the hospital and what to do after surgery. Class meets the first Thursday of the month, from 9-10:30 a.m., and the third Tuesday of the month, from 4:30-6 p.m. Suite 307 of Pavilion at Reston Hospital Center.

* Pediatric Pre-Surgery Orientation Program. For children to learn what they can expect from surgery. Tour the pre-op and recovery rooms and experience a ride on a stretcher or wheelchair. Free, but registration required. Meets 5:30 p.m., on the third Monday of the month at Reston Hospital Center.

Reach to Recovery Program. The American Cancer Society offers free services to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo recent surgery. A trained volunteer who has survived breast cancer is available to talk with patients confidentially, provide helpful information and offer emotional support. A "Reach kitÓ is given to each patient, which includes a leisure bra, a soft prosthesis for mastectomy patients, exercise items and literature. Held on the first Thursday of the month, at 10 a.m. Call 703-938-5550.

Mitral Valve Prolapse/Sysautonomia Support Group. The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month, at noon. Call 703-689-9240.

Ombudsman Program. Volunteers are needed for the Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Volunteers are assigned to a specific nursing home or assisted living facility and make weekly visits. Using the skills of listening, observing and mediating, the ombudsman works with the residents, their families and the staff of the facility to ensure that residents' rights are being protected. Applicants must successfully complete a training session and must be available to volunteer four hours per week, primarily during business hours. Call 703-324-5435 for an application. Visit

Foster Care. Homes are needed in the area for foster children. Call ChildrenÕs Services of Virginia at 703-331-0075 or visit

The American Lung Association of Virginia. Take advantage of an e-mail service to residents in areas affected by smog-unhealthy levels of ozone pollution. Subscribers will receive smog alerts the day before ozone pollution levels are predicted to be unhealthy. Individuals with chronic lung or heart disease and sensitive populations, such as children and the elderly, can then take action to protect themselves by reducing or limiting outdoor activities. High concentrations of ozone can cause symptoms such as coughing, throat irritation and difficulty breathing, and also may increase susceptibility of the lungs to infections, allergens and other air pollutants. The daily forecast is provided to the American Lung Association from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

For more information on ozone pollution and to sign up for the Smog Alert, visit

Haven of Northern Virginia. A support group for suicide survivors. The group is open to anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. There is no charge and space is limited. For registration, call 703-941-7000 or visit

Reston Epilepsy Support Group. A support group for adults diagnosed with seizure disorders and caregivers, sponsored by the Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region, meets the second Friday of each month from 7-8:30 p.m. at the North County Government Center meeting room, 12000 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston. Free of charge. For more information, call 703-425-6600.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A support group for family and friends sponsored by the OCD Foundation, a regional organization, meets on the first Monday of each month at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church, 4000 Lorcum Lane, Arlington, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Call 703-978-6425.

Suicide Survivors. CrisisLink, a suicide prevention organization and hot line located at 5275 Lee Highway, Suite 301, Arlington, sponsors a healing and educational Suicide SurvivorsÕ Support Group, meeting the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, 7:30-9 p.m. Call 703-516-6771.

Inova VNA Home Health. Volunteers are needed to act as friendly visitors providing companionship to lonely, homebound patients. Volunteers are asked to spend one or two hours per week talking with a patient, running errands and doing odd jobs. Visiting can be done during the day, in the evening or on the weekends as the volunteerÕs schedule allows. Training will be provided and placements are made based on geographic location. Office volunteers are also needed in the VNA's Springfield office. Contact Marion Hart or Adele Jenney at 703-916-2885.

Dog Bites. Virginia Department of Health offers a "Guide to Protect Children from Dog Bites." For information on how to be safe around dogs, contact the Virginia Department of HealthÕs Center for Injury and Violence Prevention toll-free at 1-800-732-8333.

Choosing an Assisted Living Facility. A booklet produced by the Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living (CCAL) in cooperation with the MetLife Mature Market Institute, can be ordered by calling 703-533-8121. Single copies are $10 each.

Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization. Group provides free services including educational programs and lectures, brown-bag seminars, quarterly newsletters and a 24-hour HOPEline. The HOPEline, 703-461-9616 or 1-800-970-4411, is staffed by trained breast-cancer survivors who provide information and emotional support to callers. Call 703-461-9595 or visit

Virginia Health Information (VHI). The nonprofit independent organization's Web site,, reports on inpatient cardiac care provided at all licensed hospitals in Virginia. The information compares their performance and mortality outcomes. VHIÕs study is based on more than 100,000 cardiac patient discharges submitted by Virginia hospitals for the year 2000.

Shoplifters Anonymous. Group offers a new 12-step meeting program for those who wish to stop compulsive shoplifting. The group meets every Thursday, 7-8 p.m., at Saint PaulÕs Lutheran Church, 7426 Idylwood Road. Call Sue at 703-759-0396 or Carol at 703-764-0347 to confirm the meeting date.

AlzheimerÕs Family Day Center. Center has a support group for people with AlzheimerÕs disease and their spouses. The couples participate in a potluck dinner along with discussion/support group. The dinner has educational as well as social benefits through speaking to and learning from others who are Ògoing through the same thing.Ó The dinners are held at the Family Day Center, 2036 Westmoreland St., Falls Church, 6-8 p.m., on the third Tuesday of the month. Call Joan at 703-204-4664 to register.

AARP Widowed Persons Service. Service sponsors free weekly support groups to anyone widowed less than two years. Monthly educational meetings, travel and other activities are also offered. Call 301-949-7398.

The National Capital Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society offers free self-help groups in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. for people living with MS. For locations and times, contact the chapter at 202-296-9891.

Asthma Auto Program. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Maryland-Greater Washington, D.C., Chapter, is accepting donations of unwanted vehicles to raise money to fund educational programs, asthma-care training, scholarships, research, and patient assistance for area residents. Call 800-727-9333.

Express Care. A nonprofit organization dedicated to providing services including scheduling doctor's appointments and securing medicines, groceries for the homebound, health screenings and education through the "Care Connection," television program. The organization also works in assisting immigrants to understand the cultural practices and skills necessary to succeed in American society. Donations and volunteers are needed. Call 703-456-0020, e-mail or visit

Birth Mothers Support Group. Group meets each week during the school year in northern Virginia. It is for any woman who has ever placed a child in adoption and would like to meet with others who have done the same. Call Pat Cunningham or Stephanie Hayden at Catholic Charities at 703-425-0100.

Amputee Support Group of Northern Virginia. A support group for amputees, their families and friends. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month, from 7:30-9 p.m., at the TeleStar Court building. Call Irvin Axelrod at 703-222-7120 or e-mail for more information.

First Aid and CPR Classes are offered by the American Red Cross at its North Fairfax location, 1112 Herndon Parkway, Herndon. Classes include instruction in recognizing and caring for breathing and cardiac emergencies, assisting choking victims and caring for life threatening bleeding. For more information or to enroll, call 703-964-0004 or register online at