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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.

Area stores, in cooperation with the Loudoun United Way, Loudoun County Department of Social Services and local nonprofit human service agencies, are holding a drive in August to collect school supplies for children who cannot afford them. Shoppers across Loudoun County will have the opportunity to prepare a child by donating needed school supplies at local Loudoun Giant stores, Rite Aid stores in Leesburg and Purcellville, Leesburg Pharmacy and all Loudoun County Community Centers.

Loudoun nonprofits, government agencies, and elementary schools working with low-income families will distribute the supplies in time for school in August. Participating agencies include YMCA-Big Friends, Northeast Coalition, LARC, Loudoun County Department of Mental Health, Loudoun County Youth Shelter, Young Adults Program, Transitional Housing and Emergency Shelter Programs, Loudoun County Department of Social Services and several area elementary schools.

Look for a donation box or shopping cart with the School Supplies posters and flyers in participating stores and community centers and donate to a child in need. Students need book bags, spiral notebooks, three-ring binders, No. 2 pencils, loose leaf three-ring paper, scissors (round end), rulers, crayons, composition books, pocket folders, Kleenex, plastic storage bags, liquid soap and lots of miscellaneous items. If you have a child in school, check out their supply list for more ideas.

Call the Department of Social Services at 703-771-5718 for more information.

Loudoun County Department of Animal Care and Control announces Purr-fect Pairs — a program designed to encourage multiple cat adoptions in August, with The Purr-fect Pairs Parties Aug. 17, 24, and 31, from 6-8 p.m.

A recent study finds that seven out of 10 veterinarians believe that cats living in a household with a feline companion lead healthier, happier lives than their solo counterparts. Single cats are often more susceptible to separation anxiety, loneliness, and behavior problems.

Purr-fect Pairs allows anyone who adopts a cat from the Loudoun County Animal Shelter in August to adopt a companion cat for free. The shelter will waive the adoption fee, including spay/neuter surgery if necessary, for the second cat. In the cases where the adoption fees differ, the lower of the two fees will be waived.

In addition, the shelter will waive the adoption fee for a companion cat for anyone who has adopted a cat from the Loudoun County Animal Shelter in the past six months.

Call the Animal Shelter at 703-777-0406. Pets available for adoption can be viewed online at www.loudoun.gov/animals.

The Loudoun County Animal Shelter is located at 39820 Charles Town Pike, Waterford. Shelter information and directions can be found at www.loudoun.gov/animals.

The Loudoun Chorale, under the direction of R. William Propst, announces its 2005 fall concerts and preparatory rehearsals. The chorale will perform a selection of spirituals and songs at the Waterford Fair Oct. 8. The fall concert, to be performed Dec. 3, 10, and 11 will feature Gloria by Vivaldi and a selection of holiday carols.

Rehearsals begin Sunday, Aug. 21, at 5:30 p.m., at the Leesburg Presbyterian Church, 207 West Market St., Leesburg. Soprano, alto, tenor and baritone/bass singers interested in joining the 65-member chorale ensemble are welcomed, and are responsible for membership dues and the cost of their music.

The Loudoun Chorale is a community-based arts organization, which was created to respond to the need of local performers to offer quality music presentations on a continuing basis. For further information, visit www.loudounchorale.org or call 703-729-8972 or 540-554-8594.

The 2005 schedule of fall classes, programs and special events offered by the Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services is now available. Copies are distributed as a bulk mailing to Loudoun households directly by the post office. The information can also be found on the county's Web site. Visit www.loudoun.gov/prcs and click on the picture of the Fall Activity Guide. Registration for county residents begins Friday, Aug. 22. Non-county residents may register beginning Aug. 29. Call 703-777-0343.

Kids R First volunteers are sorting and distributing school supplies for needy students in Fairfax and Loudoun counties at Langston Hughes Middle School cafeteria in Reston, from Aug. 8-18. Youth and adult volunteers will be at the school, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., each weekday until all 130,000 units of custom-ordered supplies have been delivered to 70 schools in the Dulles corridor. Thirteen thousand needy students from grades kindergarten-12 will receive free school supplies when they return to school for the fall term. Kids R First is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. Drop-off locations for donated supplies include Safeway stores at South Lakes, Hunters Woods and Herndon; the YMCA in Reston; Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce; Office Depot in Reston; The Used Bookstore at Lake Anne Washington Plaza, Reston; and Millennium banks at Washington Plaza and Wiehle Avenue, Reston, Elden Street in Herndon and Seneca Shopping Center in Great Falls. Deadline for backpack collection is Aug. 30.

In addition to school supplies, Kids R first provides 10 high schools in the Dulles Corridor with funds to benefit students from needy families who are choosing career or aspiring to attend colleges. Tax-deductible donations should be sent to Kids R First, P.O. Box 3242, Reston, VA 20195. Call or fax 703-860-2255.

Employees at 177 Safeway and Genuardi's stores throughout the mid-Atlantic region are raising money to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) as part of a month-long fund-raising campaign during August. Customers at any of the company's stores can make contributions as they are checking out using the tear sheets located at each cash register. The company is offering a $1-off coupon of its own Tuxedo Sandwich Cookies for customers making a donation as a way of saying thank you. Many stores will supplement the check-stand effort by hosting barbecues or selling ice cream floats.

Expanded information about the Probate Department of the Circuit Court Clerk's Office, including dozens of forms, answers to frequently asked questions, and a glossary of probate terms, is now available on the Loudoun County Government Web site.

By visiting www.loudoun.gov/clerk/probate, residents will find

substantial and detailed information on probating wills, appointing and qualifying executors and administrators of estates, testamentary trustees, conservators, guardians for incapacitated adults, and guardians for minors.

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is looking for responsible and energetic people for crossing guards. Duties include escorting children across busy crosswalks and/or intersections, monitoring the flow of traffic to ensure safe passage, and interacting with parents, school personnel, city employees and others. A number of openings, including several opportunities in South Riding for people who are available between 7:20-9 a.m. and 2:30-4 p.m., weekdays. Call Willy Stevenson at 703-771-5735 or get an application online at www.loudoun.gov and click on jobs.

The Fire Marshal's Office reminds citizens that there is no open burning in Loudoun County through Aug. 31. Visit www.loudoun.gov/news/burning.htm.

Giant Food LLC is appealing to the public to donate funds or food at any Giant or Super G store to help area food banks over the summer months when their needs increase significantly, through Aug. 31. Giant's "Checkout Hunger" program offers customers the opportunity to donate to local food banks at the checkout registers. Customers may also donate nonperishable food at any Giant or Super G store.

The Sterling Annex Community Center, 1115 W. Church Road, Sterling, is recruiting facility supervisors and instructors. These are part-time positions and are on an as-needed basis. Call China Nicholson or Barbara Smith at 703-430-6673.

The Loudoun Symphony, under the direction of Mark Allen McCoy, has performing opportunities for paid principal string positions and for non-paid — volunteer — section strings and brass positions for the 2005-2006 season. Paid principal string positions are assistant concertmaster, assistant principal second violin, principal viola and assistant principal bass. Non-paid positions are second trumpet, third trumpet, bass trombone and section strings. Auditions will take place in the morning of Saturday, Sept. 10, in Leesburg. The orchestra rehearsals for the 2005-2006 season are Wednesday evenings September-May.

Individuals interested in auditioning should specify the instrument and send name, address and daytime phone number along with a $5 non-refundable fee payable to: Loudoun Symphony, P.O. Box 4478, Leesburg, VA 20177. Repertoire and an audition time slot will be forwarded by mail. For more information call the Loudoun Symphony office at 703-771-8287.

The Master Singers of Virginia is holding auditions for its 11th season. Singers in all voice parts are encouraged to audition. The Master Singers of Virginia, directed by Erik Reid Jones, is the premiere a cappella choral ensemble in Northern Virginia concentrating in 20th and 21st century choral music. and is a 28-voice ensemble that performs three major concert programs each season, each of which is performed three-four times, as well as other engagements throughout Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. Visit the Web site at www.msva.org. To schedule an audition call Diana Manfredi, president, at 571-213-6306.

The 2005 Annual Loudoun Farms Product Guide, which will assist consumers in finding local farm products and services

throughout the growing season, is available. Among the goods included are eggs, meats, flowers and plants, fruits and vegetables, plus salsas, wool products, soaps, herbs, and grains. To receive a copy of the guide, call the Loudoun

County Department of Economic Development at 703-777-0426 or e-mail info@LoudounFarms.org.

Loudoun Volunteer Services seeks nominations for Student Volunteer of the Month. Loudoun students will be recognized for their volunteer efforts during the 2004-2005 school year. Nominate students, or groups of students, elementary-12th grade, who volunteer their time in a variety of ways in their schools, churches, and towns. A one-page narrative may be sent to the Loudoun Volunteer Services Board at pivs@loudoun.gov or to 1 Harrison St., S.E., P.O. Box 7000, Leesburg, VA 20177.

The one-page narrative should include the student's name, address, telephone number, school and a description, including length of service of the exemplary volunteer efforts of the student. Contact information for the person nominating the student should also be included.

Volunteers will be featured in the Loudoun Volunteer Services Newsletter and on the Loudoun County Government Web site. Contact Lisa Rose, volunteer coordinator, at

703-777-0113.

Instead of throwing away old phone books with the trash, Loudoun County residents can recycle them and help save landfill space and reduce the number of trees cut down to make new paper. The Loudoun County Office of Solid Waste Management encourages residents and businesses to deposit phone books at any of the 11 Recycling Drop-off Centers in the county. For more information about these and other local recycling opportunities, call the Loudoun County Recycling Hotline at 703-771-5318 or visit www.loudoun.gov/oswm.

The trustees of the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation have concluded their grant distribution cycle for 2005, making gifts totaling more than $4 million to various charities, including $374,500 to Loudoun-based charities this year. The foundation is accepting grant applications for 2006, visit the Web site www.claudemoorefoundation.org, the deadline for applications is Sept. 1.

Safeway Inc. announces the 10% Back to Schools program, where Safeway will join with 40 food manufacturers and suppliers to donate 10 percent of the sale price of 1,000 selected products to schools chosen by the customers. Through the program, Safeway and its vendor partners are committed to giving an additional $10 million. The program runs through Sept. 6. When customers purchase any of the 1,000 eligible products using a Safeway Club Card, the customer will accumulate “school dollars” for the school of his/her choice. The products will be marked with a special 10% Back to Schools icon on store shelves. At the end of the program, customers will receive a final donation receipt with their cumulative total of “school dollars.” They can then take or mail the receipt to their school, which then redeems it online. There is no per-school cap on donations.

Leadership Loudoun, a nonprofit organization that trains current and emerging leaders in Loudoun County, is accepting applications for the Class of 2006. Call 703-771-5511 or download the application at www.leadershiploudoun.org. Applications will be accepted until Sept. 1. The class year, which runs from October through June, includes topical forums, networking events, individual leadership development and hands-on community change projects.

The Loudoun County Office of Transportation Services is accepting applications and petitions for the establishment of pilot parking districts in accordance with the provisions of the recently enacted Residential Parking District Ordinance. Applications in the form of petitions are available at the front counter of the Office of Transportation Services, 1 Harrison St., S.E., third floor, Leesburg; by telephone at 703-737-8624; by e-mail at OTS@loudoun.gov or online at www.loudoun.gov/transportation/office.htm. Applications should be received by the Office of Transportation Services on or before Sept. 12.

The Arts Council of Fairfax County is calling for Washington, D.C., metropolitan-area youth performing arts groups for the annual International Children’s Festival at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Saturday, Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 18.

International performers will come from different parts of the world to represent their country, history and culture. The talented students from these countries are given the chance to experience American culture, while sharing their own. Through music, dance and storytelling, the local culture of the D.C. region will also be well represented.

For further information and an application, contact the Arts Council by e-mail, sfridy@artsfairfax.org, or call 703-642-0862, Ext. 3. For festival information, visit www.artsfairfax.org.

Plant-A-Memory is a countywide program that provides a living, growing, memorial to a loved one or special event. By emphasizing trees native to the Piedmont region of Virginia, the program supports ongoing beautification of the county’s parks. The trees selected for the program also benefit wildlife preservation efforts in Loudoun County. All donated trees will be marked with Plant-A-Memory plaques with a loved one’s name.

Trees will be planted in the park of the purchaser's choice. Tree selection and planting location will be administered by the staff at the park. Claude Moore Park, Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, Franklin Park or Potomack Lakes Sportsplex are available as planting location.

Prices include the 3-inch-square plaque, mounting post, mulch, and maintenance: $150 for a tree up to 1.5 inches diameter, and $300 for a tree up to 2.5 inches diameter. The next round of trees will be planted in November, so orders must be received by Oct. 1. Contact Claude Moore Park at 703-444-1275.

Loudoun MADD is selling the new red MADD CHOOSE COURAGE community awareness wristbands for $1, which can be mailed for an additional $.50 each. The wristbands can be purchased by sending a check to Loudoun MADD at P.O. Box 4252, Leesburg, VA 20177, with the number of wristbands for purchase. Visit the Loudoun MADD Web site at www.maddloudounva.org to see a picture of the wristbands. For questions send an e-mail to maddloudoun@aol.com.