Great Falls this Week

Great Falls this Week

<sh>Fresh Air Fund Seeks Host Families

<bt>Each summer the Fresh Air Fund gives summer vacations in rural and suburban communities to inner-city children. The Fund is seeking households to host a child from a low-income neighborhood in New York City for two weeks or more. To learn more, call Cynthia Kronlage at 703-426-1616, call the Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003 or visit

<sh>Governor's Screenwriting Competition

<bt>The Virginia Film Office will be sponsoring the 15th Governor's Screenwriting Competition. Only Virginia residents may submit screenplays. Each script must contain either Virginia locations or locations that could reasonably be expected to be found in Virginia. Scripts must be approximately 100-130 pages long, typed and submitted in a standard screenplay format. Screenplays are first read by Virginia judges, and finalists are selected and submitted to a second panel of judges who are currently working professionally in the entertainment industry. Three winning screenplays are then selected and each writer awarded a prize of $1,000 at the Virginia Film Festival in October.

Submissions will be accepted at the Virginia Film Office, 901 E. Byrd St., Richmond, VA 23219-4048. Screenplays must either be hand-delivered to the office by 5 p.m. on June 10 or postmarked on that day. Notification of results will be made on or around October 14. For more information call 800-854-6233 or visit

<sh>Organ Transplant Fund for Great Falls Girl

<bt>Members of the Great Falls community and beyond are banding together help 15-year-old Courtney Payen, who requires a liver transplant to save her life. Courtney is the daughter of Lydie Payen, the owner/operator of Nails By Lydie in Great Falls. Courtney has been diagnosed with biliary atresia, the congenital absence or closure of the ducts that drain bile from the liver. Doctors at Georgetown University Hospital have recommended a life-saving liver transplant, and Courtney currently is on the waiting list for the procedure. Meanwhile, her family, friends and community volunteers are working through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) to raise the estimated $50,000 needed to pay for transplant expenses. COTA is a national charity dedicated to assuring that no child is denied a transplant or excluded from a transplant list due to lack of funds. Donations to “COTA for Courntey P.’s Fund” are eligible for a tax deduction, and 100 percent of all funds are used for transplant-related expenses.

Courtney’s supporters are organizing a silent auction fund-raiser from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday May 21, at the Great Falls Public Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls. Donations of items and services to be auctioned will be gratefully accepted until May 15. To contribute an item, contact Joanne Horton at 703-759-3819. Community members who cannot attend the silent auction have several other options for making tax-deductible contributions to help Courtney’s family pay for transplant-related expenses and post-transplant care:

Make in-person donations at any Wachovia branch location using account number 3000025418234.

Mail checks or money orders payable to “COTA for Courtney P.” to Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403.

Send a check or contact the local trustee for COTA for Courtney P’s Fund, Karen Meengs, at 703-757-7960 to insure the funds are properly deposited in this specific campaign.

<sh>Cell Phone Drive

<bt>In order to fight domestic violence and combat community crime, the Virginia Crime Prevention Association and the Allstate Foundation, along with the Wireless Foundation and local law enforcement agencies, have launched a statewide public-private partnership drive to collect used cell phones. Known as the Call to Protect program, the new initiative urges Virginia cell phone users to donate old cell phones and batteries in specially marked boxes at participating Allstate agencies. All Call to Protect phones are pre-programmed to dial 911 and usually one or two non-emergency numbers like a domestic violence shelter. Members of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association donate free emergency airtime. All cell phone donations are tax-deductible. To print a tax receipt visit There is one participating Allstate location in McLean: 6845 Elm St., Suite 103. For more information call 804-231-3800 or e-mail

<sh>Nominations Sought for Elly Doyle Service Awards

<bt>Nominations will open on May 20 for the Elly Doyle Park Service Awards. The annual award, sponsored by the Fairfax County Park Authority and established in 1988, recognizes outstanding volunteer service by groups and individuals in support of Fairfax County parks and park programs. Nominations close on July 8. The award honors the past service of Ellamae Doyle, a former member of the Park Authority Board and well-known activist.

Anyone may offer a nomination. Current members of the Board of Supervisors, Park Authority Board and paid park staff are ineligible to receive the award. Recipients will be honored at a reception and volunteer recognition celebration on November 18. For more information or to receive an application form, contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662 or visit

<sh>Riverbend Park Seeks New Volunteers, Leaders

<bt>Adult volunteers are needed to work in several different volunteer positions at Riverbend Park, located along the Potomac River in Great Falls.

Volunteers-on-duty are needed to work at the front desk greeting visitors and orienting them to the park, responding to questions, registering people for programs and answering the phone. Weekday and weekend opportunities are available. Program leaders are needed weekday mornings to help with children’s programs by leading activities, guiding trail walks and assisting with planning.

No experience is necessary, and all training is provided. For more details or to apply, visit or call Jim Dewing at 703-759-9018.

<sh>OxyContin Robbery

<bt>Fairfax County Crime Solvers is asking for the publicís assistance in identifying the man responsible for robbing a store pharmacist on Wednesday, March 23. According to the Fairfax County Police Department, at about 12:45 p.m. the man entered the Rite-Aid store located at 1312 Chain Bridge Road in the McLean area. He approached the store pharmacist and announced the robbery. The man implied he had a handgun as he demanded the OxyContin drug. The victim complied with the man's demand and relinquished an undisclosed amount of the drug. The suspect ran out of the store in an unknown direction. No one was injured during the robbery.

The suspect was described as Hispanic or black, with a light complexion, in his mid-20s. He was about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 140-160 pounds. He was wearing a long-sleeved, dark-colored jacket and dark pants. His face was covered with a garment.

Anyone with information on this robbery or the suspect involved is asked to Fairfax County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. In addition to the $100 to $1,000 cash reward from Crime Solvers, Purdue Pharma is offering an additional $1,000 reward for information which leads to an arrest. As always, callers never have to give their names or appear in court.