Community Notes

Community Notes

<i>Send announcements to The Herndon 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. Call Jean Card at 703-917-6437, with questions. This free listing is reserved for activities and events that are open to the public at no or minimal cost. </i>

Reston Interfaith and Kids R First are joining together in collecting backpacks from residents willing to donate ications and e due Sept. 1, ap and have set a goal of collecting 5,000 backpacks for needy children. Last year, Reston Interfaith equipped more than 400 school children with new backpacks and school supplies. Backpacks will be collected by Reston Interfaith through Aug. 12, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Monday, Aug. 15 -Friday, Aug. 19, from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 20, 10-3 p.m., at 11150 Sunset Hills Road Suite 210, Reston. Visit

The Giving Circle of HOPE has opened its 2005 grant cycle. Grant applications are due Sept. 1; applications and guidelines can be accessed at or requested by e-mail at The Giving Circle awards $1,000-$5,000 grants via a competitive process to nonprofit organizations that help needy Northern Virginians. Grants will be awarded in December 2005.

The Giving Circle of HOPE is a philanthropic-service organization, which provides funds and assistance to Northern Virginians in need. Giving Circle members combine time, talents and monetary resources to impact specific causes. First formed in January 2004, the Giving Circle of HOPE is open to new members and can be reached through

The 11th session of the Herndon Citizen Police Academy will begin Aug. 31. Classes will be held every Wednesday from Aug. 31-Nov. 16, from 7-9 p.m. The academy is held at the Herndon Police Station. Participants will be given instruction in community policing, investigations, traffic enforcement, police K-9, forensics and evidence collection, and other topics. There will also be tours of the Adult Detention Center, a trip to the firing range and ride-along opportunities. The class is limited to 20 students. Participants must be 18 years of age or older. Participants need not live in the Town of Herndon, however town residents receive first consideration to attend. Contact Senior Police Officer Dexter Morgan at 703-435-6881, Ext. 294 or at

The Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region is sponsoring the following Support Groups for Adults diagnosed with Seizure Disorders and Caregivers. Free. Call 703-425-6660.

Reston Epilepsy Group meets the second and fourth Friday of each month, from 7-8:30 p.m., at Herndon High School, Entrance 5, Room 123, 700 Bennett St., Herndon. Northern Virginia Epilepsy Group (Support Group for Adults diagnosed with Seizure Disorders and Caregivers) meets every Wednesday, from 7-8 p.m., at Falls Church High School, Room 100, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church.

The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross is seeking platelet donors. Apheresis technology available at many area Red Cross blood Donor Centers allows some donors to give only platelets, while remaining blood components are returned to the donor before the process is complete. The donation takes slightly longer than a standard whole blood donation. For questions regarding eligibility, as well as a listing of local Donor Centers, which are equipped with apheresis technology, call 1-800-272-2123 or visit

The Women’s Center of Vienna will be offering a number of classes and workshops designed to help navigate the different aspects of separation and divorce, starting in April and continuing through August at various locations in Vienna, Fairfax and McLean.

Some of the assorted programs topics include Divorce Through Mediation, Divorce Without Litigation, Dollars and Sense of Divorce, Financial Planning for Separation and Divorce, Helping Your Child Cope With Separation and Divorce, Legal Aspects of Child Support and Understanding Your Right To Marital Assets and others. Visit the Women’s Center Web site at, or call 703-281-2657.

The Town of Herndon’s Cultivating Community Initiative is seeking nominations for the Yard of the Month competition. Residents can nominate their own yard or a neighbor’s yard, but the yard must be within the Town of Herndon. Only front yards will be judged. Winners will be selected for June, July and October. They will receive a $100 gift certificate to Meadows Farms and recognition in the media and by Town Council. Each month, both a single-family house and a townhouse will be awarded Yard of the Month. To obtain nomination forms, go to the town’s Web site at and click on “What’s New” then “Yard of the Month Awards.” Contact Robin Runser at 703-435-6800 Ext. 2010 or by e-mail at

Football Officials Needed. No experience necessary. The Northern Virginia Football Officials Association (NVFOA) is seeking new members for its 2005 training class who can become on-field game officials and electronic clock operators for games at the youth, middle-school and high-school levels throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. They are the sole supplier of football officials to all high schools in the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, and Fauquier. They also supply officials to numerous private schools in Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland. Men and women who have reached the age of 18 and who have a desire to be a part of the scholastic game are eligible. Information and application forms are available at the Web site or contact the commissioner, Dennis Hall, by phone at 703-532-0000 or e-mail

The International Center for Language Studies (ICLS), which has been selected to run an ESL (English as Second Language) program for 25 high-school students from France this summer, needs families to house them during each of its two three-week sessions: July 10-30 and July 31-Aug. 20.

In the sixth year of this program, ICLS will provide an all-encompassing cultural experience to complement the classroom curriculum. The weekday morning classes — designed to help the students acquire speaking and listening skills in American English — will be followed by afternoon field trips that present examples of history and culture in the Washington, D.C., area. Possible destinations include the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Air & Space Museum and many other historical and cultural sites in and around the city.

ICLS is now beginning to recruit families interested in hosting a student. Families will be expected to provide room and board, to help facilitate the student’s use of public transportation to travel to and from ICLS and to include them in weekend activities that will enhance their American experience. The students will have paid for the various incidental costs; a stipend will be paid to each host family.

Contact ICLS at 202-639-8800.

The Women’s Center is launching its new online job listing service, the Center’s latest addition to its roster of career services. The site will be accessible by visiting and going to the JobsOnline link.

User-friendly, JobsOnline will feature a full range of jobs from local businesses, including part-time positions.

Employers can list a full or part-time position for only $40 for two weeks or $65 for one calendar month and $50 for each month thereafter. Listings can be seen by over 200 visitors per day who view the Women’s Center Web site.

For information about JobsOnline or other career services at The Women’s Center, contact Carla Walsh, Coordinator of Career Services, at 703-281-2657, extension 271 or by e-mail

For information about other Women’s Center programs, contact the Women’s Center at 703-281-2657.

The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area recently said farewell to their outgoing president Olga Hernandez, who served from 2000-2005, and welcomed Sherry Zachry as the new president for 2005-2007. Zachry's term began July 1. The board of directors are working on candidate forums for the fall elections as well as planning for the September League Unit meetings throughout Fairfax County and in Prince William County to study the very current "Hot Topic" of Redistricting. Watch for further information about times and places for meetings. For more information visit the Web site at or call the office at 703-658-9150.

The Bargain Loft is a local thrift store located at 336 Victory Drive in Herndon. It is run by an all volunteer staff, and is clean and air conditioned. All the money made by the Bargain Loft goes to help Herndon/Reston FISH, which helps people with emergency needs such as money for rent, utilities or medicines.

Bargain Loft is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There are two shifts, mornings from 10 a.m.-noon and afternoons from noon-2 p.m.

The Loft particularly needs people on Saturdays and can always use teenagers who want to acquire some Community Service time. Call Mr. Stringer at 703-437-0600.

The Fairfax County Park Authority will begin improvements to a portion of the Difficult Run Stream Valley Park in May. This project continues efforts to complete the Cross County Trail, which will eventually travel from the Occoquan River in the south to Great Falls in the north. The work will include improving a section of the Cross County Trail and stream, and bank stabilization. Site improvements will require closing an existing parking lot that is used for trail access within Difficult Run Stream. Valley Park. The parking lot is located on the south side of Georgetown Pike across from Great Falls Park. The parking lot will be closed during construction. Construction completion is anticipated in August. Funding for this project is provided through the park bond program. Contact Project Manager Jim Duncan at 703-324-8747.

The 2005 Miss Virginia American Coed Scholarship State Pageant is looking for contestants for the pageant taking place Aug. 11-14, in Richmond. This is an "All Natural" scholarship pageant for girls ages 3-22, which emphasizes academic and volunteerism and natural look. The pageant does not allow makeup on contestants under the age of 13. For an application e-mail or call 804-305-4239. Visit our Web site

The Aspect Foundation, a high-school exchange student program, has been awarded grants for the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program and the Partnership for Learning Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program.

The goal of FLEX and YES is to provide an opportunity for international high-school students from Eurasia, the Middle East and Asia to experience life in a democratic society and learn about volunteerism and free enterprise.

Foreign exchange students who participate in the two programs come to Northern Virginia to live with host families, attend school and engage in activities to learn about American society and values. They, in turn, educate Americans about their own countries and cultures.

The FLEX program is funded by Congress under the Freedom Support Act and administered by the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. FLEX participants are high school students, ages 15-18 who come from the countries of the former Soviet Union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and

Cultural Affairs also fund the YES program. The program provides full scholarships for a year or semester of living and studying in the U.S. to a select group of young people, ages 15-18 from Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, Syria and Yemen.

The Aspect Foundation is also looking to find families to host regular exchange students for the upcoming school year in the United States. These students come from Western Europe, South and Central America and Asia.

Contact Robert Rawls at 703-409-9776 cell, 703-433-0362 or by e-mail at

A group called Promote Herndon has published the second edition of the town’s brochure, It’s All in the Heart of Herndon — A 2005 Guide. As before, the guide includes the calendar of events, information about downtown attractions, arts and entertainment, as well as parks and recreation. New to this year’s guide are the Town of Herndon and area maps, which were designed to show the locations of major events, attractions and recreation in town. The 2005 Guide is available at the Visitor’s Center, 717 Lynn St., 703-HERNDON or by calling Robin Runser, public information officer, Town of Herndon at 703-435-6800, Ext. 2010.

Kids Serve Too, a program of Virginia-based Salute Our Services, a nonprofit to support deployed soldiers and their families, is one of 10 programs from around the nation to receive the Newman Award, presented at the Pentagon on June 20. The Newman Award is given to organizations involved in supporting deployed service members or the families of deployed service members and is based on the organization’s impact to the respective communities, creativity and innovation. Along with a grant, KS2 will receive a certificate of recognition from Paul Newman.

The mission of Kids Serve Too is to honor, support and thank military children by fostering awareness and appreciation about the sacrifices and unique challenges they face; provide financial grants to allow military children the opportunity to maintain their extracurricular activities during deployments — a time when many military families are faced with a loss of income; build support systems in school districts, not located on military installations, by adding deployment issues to the curriculum and building partnerships between military families and the communities in which they live; and to provide informational tools and Web-based resources for military families and their communities by providing a central location on the Web site for all activities and programs that benefit children of a deployed parent.

Kids Serve Too, staffed by military spouses, exists to assure our men and women in uniform that their children are being taken care of while they are away serving our country.

Judges for the 2005 competition included Mary Jo Myers, spouse of chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Bill Lee, vice president, business development, Newman’s Own; Tammy Fisher, spouse of chairman, Fisher House Foundation.

To learn more about Kids Serve Too or apply for a grant, visit or

Professionals who want to become teachers can quickly obtain a license in critically needed subject areas of math and the sciences through the Virginia Community College Career Switcher Program. The Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) is the local regional center for the program.

Designed for working adults with bachelor’s degrees, the Career Switcher Program allows future teachers to keep their current jobs while completing the course. The program’s instructional portion takes 16 weeks with much of the work done online. During this time, particpants gain teaching experience by spending a minimum of 30 hours working with students in a classroom.

Graduates are issued a one-year license, making them eligible for employment with any Virginia school district. In the first year, new teachers receive support from trained mentors, as well as further instruction through professional development seminars. After the first year, the teacher is eligible for a regular five-year license.

Applications for the fall session will be accepted until Aug. 8. Additional information and entrance requirements are available online at or by contacting regional advisor Kathleen Ludlow at 703-257-6586.

The American Red Cross has issued an urgent national appeal for blood donations as national blood inventory levels continue to decline following the July Fourth holiday. As a result, the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac (GC&P) Blood Services Region is strongly encouraging local blood donors to schedule an appointment to donate blood.

Donors must be in generally good health, at least 17 years old, weigh no less than 110 pounds; have not received a tattoo within the past year; have not donated whole blood within the past 56 days.

Eligible blood donors can call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule a donation appointment. All blood types, as well as blood platelets, are needed. Platelet donors can call 1-800-272-2123 to schedule an appointment. Any groups interested in scheduling a blood drive or obtaining further information is asked to call 1-800-787-9282, Ext. 4925.

More information about local blood drives, donor centers, and eligibility requirements can be found at

A group of Herndon community leaders has initiated a humanitarian effort to collect and send textbooks to Liberia to help rebuild its educational system, which was destroyed by a civil war.

During years of war, rebels used schools as their bases and burned many school books. Numerous schools have been closed for several years, resulting in a very high illiteracy rate. In schools that were not destroyed, students must share books.

The donated textbooks cover common subjects for all grade levels.

Spearheading the project are the Rev. Dr. James Graham Jr., pastor of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, the Rev. Dr. Norman Tate, pastor of Heritage Fellowship United Church of Christ, the Rev. Ralph Duke, pastor of Beacon Hill Baptist Church all of Herndon, and Del Walters, five-o'clock anchor and managing editor of investigations for WMAR TV in Baltimore.

Walters and pastors of the three Herndon churches are raising funds.

Anyone who wants to donate to the Liberia textbook project can contact Mount Pleasant Baptist Church at 703-793-1196; Beacon Hill Baptist Church at 703-568-6198; or Heritage Fellowship United Church Of Christ at 703-620-9515.

For more than 35 years, Herndon-Reston FISH (Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help) has been helping local families in crisis meet emergencies and short-term needs.

FISH is built on the “neighbor helping neighbor” concept. However, according to Di Trapani, FISH is currently in need of more donations.

Trapani thanked Elizabeth Glennon, FISH president 2001– 2005, and expressed gratitude for her leadership in the period following 9/11 and the post-tech bubble. Trapani and the new FISH Officers and Executive Board assumed their new responsibilities at the July 18 Board of Directors meeting.

FISH is an all-volunteer, nonsectarian, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, which not only operates a hot line, assisting more than 21,500 callers per year, but also provides round-trip rides for the elderly and other needy persons to their medical appointments. In addition they operate The Bargain Loft, 336 Victory Drive, Herndon, a thrift store that accepts and sells many items including used furniture, household items, books, and toys. The Bargain Loft is completely run by volunteers. For more information about FISH, to volunteer or make a donation, call 703-437-0600.