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Send announcements to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com 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.

Mike and Faith Comini, owners of NVGA Gymnastics in Sterling, announce the addition of Keru Cia of China to their staff. Cia was a member of the National Gymnastic Team of China, where she competed and coached several members of the Olympics team. At NVGA, Coach Keru is working with boys and girls of all ages and skill levels.

GraceFul Care staff members completed the Alzheimer's Association 12-hour training program for caregivers for persons with dementia. The classes were held at Sunrise of Hunter Mill, and the participants came from throughout Northern Virginia. The caregivers benefited from the comprehensive seven-module training program which centers on the person with Alzheimer's, and from recent training in utilizing some Montessori techniques to keep persons with dementia stimulated, active and confident. GraceFul Care Inc. was founded in 1995 to provide companionship and assistance to our elderly population. Based in Reston, it serves the counties of Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Arlington and Maryland's Montgomery County.

Messages painted on heart and star tiles along with approximately 100 other expressions of "thanks" and "get well soon" were delivered by Pottery You Paint in Ashburn to troops recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Feb. 26. On March 9, an additional 150 or so were delivered to the USO in Baltimore for distribution to the military personnel that pass through the USO lounge at BWI Airport. Throughout November and December and into the new year, the citizens of Loudoun County and surrounding areas visited Pottery You Paint to express their well wishes and thanks to U.S. troops. Boy and Girl Scout troops painted the majority of the heart and star tiles for the troops.

Five Loudoun County businesses received special recognition for their service to Loudoun County Public Schools during the annual School-Business Partnership Recognition Breakfast Friday, March 11, at Lansdowne Conference Center and Resort.

The five honorees that were then given special recognition were America Online, which was honored for its work with Broad Run High School. Ashburn Pediatrics was honored for its partnership with Monroe Technology Center. COLORCRAFT of Virginia was honored for its partnership with Park View High School. Hughes Group Architects Principal Eliel Alfon was honored for his partnership with Hillsboro Elementary. The Loudoun County Sanitation Authority (LCSA) was honored for its work with Algonkian Elementary.

Entertainment for the breakfast was provided by the Potomac Falls High School String Quartet. Kyleigh Johnson, a sixth-grader at Harper Park Middle School, was recognized for producing the cover art for the Partnership Profile booklet.

The Washington Redskins provided door prizes for the event, which included an autographed Shawn Springs mini-helmet; an autographed Marcus Washington football; an autographed Patrick Ramsey football; and an autographed LaVarr Arrington jersey.

Local area vendors are invited to the 2005 Loudoun County

Procurement's Buyer/Seller Information Exchange sessions. The purpose of these informal sessions is to give area businesses the opportunity to meet the county's procurement staff and become familiar with the county's procurement process. The next round of sessions are as follows:

* Wednesday, April 20, 10:30 a.m.

* Thursday, May 19, 2 p.m.

* Wednesday, June 22, 10:30 a.m.

* Thursday, July 21, 2 p.m.

The sessions will be held in the Lovettsville Room on the first floor of the County Government Center, 1 Harrison St., S.E., in Leesburg. Call 703-771-5142 or send an e-mail to sfields@loudoun.gov.

Loudoun Cooperative Extension is offering a seminar on "Starting a family Child Care Business," Thursday, April 21, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the Extension Office, 30 B Catoctin Circle, S.E., Leesburg. Topics include getting started in family child care, zoning, advertising, contracts, arranging space, activity planning and preparing nutritious foods in family day care. Requirements for licensing and how to enroll in the USDA Food Program for reimbursements of meals and snacks, also discussed. Registration fee $10. Call 703-777-0373.

Prospect Waterproofing Co., located in Sterling, recently received the 2005 Master Contractor Award from Firestone Building Products Company. The award recognizes the company for its dedication to quality roofing installations. This is the eighth time Prospect has attained the award status. In all, 250 commercial roofing contractors through the U.S. and Canada received the recognition this year.

Belfort Furniture will be the corporate sponsor of the Loudoun YMCA's 13th Annual Golf Tournament, May 5, to benefit the Building Bridges Campaign.

The Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce has created the 2005 PolicyMaker Series, which offers the opportunity to learn more about the region's critical issues from high-level policy makers. It provides a forum for networking with policy makers, as well as business and community leaders with an interest in public policy issues. Visit www.loudounchamber.org or call 703-777-2176.

Christopher Consultants Ltd. is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Loudoun office, located near Dulles Town Center. In that time, the company's engineers and surveyors have worked on such projects as Countryside, Lansdowne, Loudoun Tech Center, South Riding, Cascades, Lowes Island Golf Course, Stoneridge, Brambleton, St. Theresa Parish School, Selden's Landing Elementary School and the Dulles 28 Center. It is currently working on such projects as Leisure World of Virginia, Arcola Center, Avonlea planned residential community, Eastgate and Crystal Cove.

Nichole Towers, resident of Ashburn, announces the opening of an additional Kinderdance educational dance and fitness center at the Broadlands Association, on Claiborne Parkway, Ashburn. Towers is now teaching more than 36 students in a total of seven different authorized Kinderdance centers.