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Community Notes

Send announcements to The Reston Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to

reston@connectionnewspapers.com or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jean Card at 703-917-6437.

This free listing is reserved for activities and events that are open to the public at no or minimal cost.

The annual "They're Still Hungry" food drive sponsored by the Northern Virginia University of Maryland Alumni Chapter, in conjunction with Reston Interfaith, Sunday, Jan. 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Giant Food, Northpoint. Reston Interfaith will distribute the collected food.

Giant Food and Super G stores are collecting donating for tsunami relief through Jan. 22. All funds collected will go to the Red Cross and UNICEF.

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 contact@msvaamericancoed.com or call 804-305-4239. Visit our Web site www.msvaamericancoed.com.

The 45 Safeway stores throughout Northern Virginia will be accepting donations for the tsunami relief effort. Customers can tell the cashier to add the donation amount to their grocery bill. The funds will be forwarded to the Red Cross and UNICEF. In addition to the in store find-raising, the Safeway Foundation will make a cash contribution to relief agencies and will match the contributions of Safeway employees.

The Reston Community Center is hosting Teen Ski Fest, two days and two nights at Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort in West Virginia. Instructors will provide beginning to advanced lessons for skiers and snow boarders. In addition, there is an indoor pool and game room, tubing and night skiing. The trip begins at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21 and ends at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23.

Teens will be chaperoned by RCC staff, but teens will be on their own during the day and will be required to check-in at designated times.

The basic package includes bus transportation, two nights lodging, two breakfast buffets, one dinner, ski tickets for two days and two nights and unlimited use of the indoor pool. The cost of the basic package is $160 for teens whose parents live or work in Reston, and $320 for all

others. For additional package options and pricing, contact the Reston Community Center at 703-476-4500 (V/TTY).

The trip fee does not cover lunches or dinner on the way to and from the resort. Ski Fest is targeted to middle-school and high-school students.

Register either in person or by faxing a completed RCC

Registration form to 703-476-8617.

The AARP's Northern Virginia Tax-Aide Program, a free, volunteer-run tax preparation service available to taxpayers with middle- and low-income, with special attention to those age 60 and older, will be available at nine locations including Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Tuesdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Thursdays, 6-9 p.m., no appointment necessary. Service begins Tuesday, Feb. 8. Call 1-888-AARP NOW or visit the Web site at www.aarp.org/taxaide.

The Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation is seeking top Hispanic high-school seniors in 12 regions, including the Washington, D.C., region, in an effort to identify and promote the next generation of role models. Students can apply online at www.HispanicHeritageAwards.org. In addition, applications are available at participating Subway restaurants. Applications are due Feb. 11.

Students can win gold or silver medallions, along with educational grants and possible other prizes, in the categories of academic excellence, community service, engineering and mathematics, health care, journalism and sports.

To qualify for the awards, each applicant must demonstrate an interest in the category to which they apply, in addition to excellence in academics and a commitment to community service. The candidates must also write an essay about the influence of their Hispanic heritage in their lives. Local selection committees are established in the 12 regions to choose the award recipients and, subsequently, special events are coordinated in every city in celebration of the Regional Youth Recipients‚ achievements. Visit www.HispanicHeritageAwards.org.

Volunteer Fairfax is seeking nominations for its annual Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards. This communitywide event honors individuals, businesses, and organizations throughout Fairfax County who give time and service to our community.

This year's breakfast ceremony will celebrate Volunteer Fairfax's 30th anniversary with the theme "30 Years of Strengthening our Community through Volunteerism." The awards breakfast will take place Thursday, April 21, at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, from 8-9:30 a.m.

Nominations are now being accepted for several categories. To download a nomination form, visit the "Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards" page under the "Individual" page on the Web site at www.volunteerfairfax.org. To receive one by mail, contact Erin Whyte at 703-246-3460 or serviceawards@volunteerfairfax.org.

The deadline for submission of nominations is 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 18.

The Giving Circle of HOPE, a Reston-based philanthropic-service organization, is accepting applications for its first grant awards. Grant awards, in the range of $1,000 to $5,000, will be made to nonprofit organizations to directly benefit Northern Virginians in need.

Local nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations can find information about the grant application process at www.GivingCircleofHOPE.org. The next grant cycle's application deadline is Feb. 15, with awards occurring in June 2005.

The Giving Circle of HOPE (Helping Other People Everyday) represents a new trend in philanthropy. Like an investment club, giving circle members combine money and collectively decide how to use these resources to influence specific causes within their communities with monetary grants.

Started in January 2004, The Giving Circle of HOPE presently consists of more than 50 women of diverse ages, backgrounds, and professional experience. Unlike other giving circles, the Giving Circle of HOPE has a service arm, so members have the opportunity to not only make financial contributions, but also to contribute time and talent with other like-minded women to benefit Northern Virginians in need. The Giving Circle of HOPE is openly recruiting new members.