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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.

On Thursday, Aug. 18, the Potomac Station Community Association held a brief ceremony to donate $5,000 to the Loudoun County Volunteer Rescue Squad at the association's clubhouse located in the northwest corner of River Creek Parkway and Potomac Station Drive. The Loudoun County Volunteer Rescue Squad serves an approximate 80 square mile area, including Leesburg.

Douglas C. Beer graduated from the Army ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) Leader Development and Assessment Course, also known as "Operation Warrior Forge," at Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Wash.

The 33 days of training provides professional training and evaluation for all cadets in the aspects of military life, administration and logistical support. Although continued military training and leadership development is included in the curriculum, the primary focus of the course is to develop and evaluate each cadet's officer potential as a leader by exercising the cadet's intelligence, common sense, ingenuity and stamina. The cadet command assesses each cadet's performance and progress in officer traits, qualities and professionalism while attending the course.

Beer is the son of Richard C. and Ann D. Beer of Dulles. He is a 2002 graduate of Bishop O'Connell High School, Arlington.

Loudoun County Master Gardener Volunteers and guests gathered at their Demonstration Garden, Saturday, Aug. 20, for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of a major construction project, a large pergola that will serve as an "Outdoor Classroom" and built a new arbor to replace one that had deteriorated.

Home Depot Store No. 4621 of Leesburg, donated a large portion of the lumber and building supplies. Others who made monetary contributions in support of this project were Training Doctors Inc., Jane and Jed Shilling and Arthur and Mary Osteen.

Master Gardener Volunteers on the construction team were Barbara Arnold, Tom Fioramonti, Dave Hellums, Arthur Osteen, Denise Palmer and Sara Reed. Many other Master Gardener Volunteers helped by digging the holes for the support footers, helping mix and pour the concrete, picking up and spreading mulch and planting annual vines to grow on the pergola. Non-Master Gardeners who contributed during the construction process were Bill Ference, Leesburg Parks and Recreation, drew up the pergola construction plans; Bob Lilly, Town of Leesburg, repaired a damaged anchor bolt.

A tomato tasting was held following the ribbon cutting ceremony and a walking tour was led through the Demonstration Garden. Visit the Demonstration Garden free, to learn more and see photos, visit the new Master Gardener Web site at www.loudoucountymastergardeners.org.

A onetime Sheriff's Office cruiser saw its last two nights of action last week at Prince William and Clarke County Fair demolition derbies.

The vehicle, driven by Deputy Terry Rudolph, smashed its way into raising approximately $2,700 for Virginia Special Olympics. Rudolph placed fifth in both heats. This is the third year the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office has participated in a demolition derby and has raised more than $7,000 in total for the charity.

Rudolph is currently a member of patrol in the Field Operations Division and has been with the office for four and a half years. In previous years he has taken first and second place in his heat.

In order to raise money for Special Olympics the Sheriff's Office received sponsors from businesses all over the county including Little Country Store/Butts Tubes, Hill Tom Market, Bonnie's Country Kitchen, Bridge's Towing, Lovettesville Pizza and Subs, Purcell Guns, Red Line Motors, Tri-State Exxon, Sweet Springs Country Store, Koons Sterling Ford, Animal Ambassadors, Old Dominion Auto Salvage of Roanoke and

Initial Reaction of Winchester.

The Sheriff's Office cruiser was deemed unsalvageable by members of the Loudoun County garage and had accrued more than 120,000 miles during its tour of duty.

J. Michele Burns graduated and was promoted to second lieutenant, North Carolina Army National Guard, at a ceremony Aug. 20, at Northwood Temple, Fayetteville.

She is one of 17 soldiers to earn their commission as part of Officer Candidate School (OCS) at the 139th Regiment, North Carolina Military Academy. A six-year Guard veteran, she is the daughter of Scheryl Ann Cannon of Sterling and Jack Mitchem Burns. She is a graduate of East Burke High School in Icard, N.C. She is part of the 449th Aviation Group and is a J-1 Automation Programmer.

The graduation capped off 18 months of training for the traditional OCS candidates in Class 47. Traditional candidates take training one weekend a month and during two two-week summer sessions. The graduates from Accelerated Class 7 receive the same training in soldier skills and leadership but in a nine-week class.

Burns will make up the part of cadre of future North Carolina Army National Guard leaders who will work with civilian and military leaders across the state performing the Guard's vital missions.

A group of Loudoun County youth enrolled in summer camp with Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services and Youth Outreach enjoyed a D.C. United game, thanks to the support of AMERIGROUP and United for D.C.'s "Kicks for Kids" program. Parks and recreation staff accompanied 15 middle-school-age campers to RFK Stadium Aug. 10, where they were treated to a meal, a giveaway item and a match between D.C. United and the New Jersey MetroStars. One lucky camper even caught a game ball that landed in the stands. Through the donations of local corporations, D.C. United and the Kicks for Kids program provides a chance for area children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the excitement of live professional soccer.