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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 Friday, two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454.

For the second year in a row, Loudoun Volunteer Services (LVS) has had success with Make a Difference Day, supporting the Community Holiday Coalition with generous donations from the community.

Last year, LVS exceeded its goal of 50 baskets by collecting more than 400. This year's goal was 500 and 660 were collected. LVS selected the Holiday Coalition as its service project and asked for volunteers to help collect household items to be distributed during the holidays. Items for three suggested baskets were delivered by dozens of families, Girl Scout troops and religious and other organized groups.

This year, for the first time, LVS sponsored a Volunteer Fair in conjunction with Make a Difference Day that included 20 nonprofit organizations seeking volunteers. The intent was to give those dropping off their baskets an opportunity to learn about other volunteer opportunities.

Marilyn Wentz and Jack Wilson were married Nov. 25, 1955, in Napoleon, N.D., while she was the reigning Miss North Dakota and shortly after he came to town with the White Sox farm club. Wilson retired from the U.S. Treasury before his second career as a vice president with Shearson Lehman Brothers and is now an author. Wentz taught for 37 years, first at McLean High School after which she retired as an assistant principal from Kent Gardens Elementary and is now active in various social and political organizations. They have four children and nine grandchildren.

As important they have been blessed with dear friends, over 60 of whom were present Nov. 5 to remember the last 50 wonderful years. Family members include son, David, and grandchildren, Jack and Robert; daughter, Rebecca; son, Richard, and grandchildren, Tyler, Sam, Sarah; daughter, Melanie, and grandchildren, Ryan, Chelsea, Collin and Kolton.

The American Institute for CPCU announces that Richard Vassar of Sterling has earned the professional insurance designation Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU).

The American Institute for CPCU is an independent, nonprofit educational organization that confers the CPCU designation on persons who complete eight rigorous courses and national examinations and meets its ethics and experience requirements. All CPCUs are required to maintain and to improve their professional knowledge, skills, and competence through their commitment to the American Institute's Code of Professional Ethics.

Vassar is an active member in the Risk and Insurance Management Society, a professional member of The American Society of Safety Engineers and he has written several articles for publication on various risk management topics. In addition to the CPCU designation, Vassar holds the associate in risk management designation and the associate in insurance services.

Vassar works as the corporate risk manager for Valcourt Building Services, headquartered in Arlington. He is a 1980 graduate of The American University in Washington, D.C. He resides in Sterling with his wife and two daughters. He is the son of Barbara Vassar of Newington, Conn., and the late William G. Vassar.

The designation will be formally conferred at a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., in October 2006, in conjunction with the annual meeting and seminars of the CPCU Society.

Loudoun Ballet Company announces the apprentices for the 2005-2006 season. They are chosen not only for their high level of skill but also their dedication and devotion to the arts. They spend countless hours in rehearsals and perfecting their skills, and this past summer many apprentices studied with prestigious programs such as Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Point Park, Rock School of Ballet, Universal School of Ballet, and Washington Ballet.

Apprentices are Luisa Casuccio, Michaela McGowan, Christine Jordan, Julia Cherundolo, Heather Caslin, Laurel Snyder, Stephanie Swift, Claire Babilonia, Ashlynn Jones, Sarah Terry, Anna Parker, Cathleen Corcoran, Jordan Gabrielli, Kaylyn Jackson, Shannon Gabrielli and Lindsey Miller.

Junior apprentices are Chase Madigan, Heather Swanson, Kendall Reiter and Lacy Piper.

Air Force Airman Daniel A. Dunn has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations.

In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

He is the son of Rita and Pat Dunn of Sterling. Dunn is a 2003 graduate of Herndon High School.

Air Force Airman Christopher S. Lowe has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations.

In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

He is the son of Sam Lowe of Ashburn. Lowe is a 2001 graduate of Broad Run High School, Ashburn.

At the annual meeting of the Piedmont Community Foundation (PCF) Oct. 28, the directors elected a new president, J. Bradley ÒBradÓ Davis, to succeed outgoing president, C. L. ÒTimÓ Dimos.

Dimos is the mayor of Middleburg and an estate and tax attorney. As a one of the founders of the Piedmont Community Foundation, he served as president since inception in June of 1999 through October 2005 and remains as legal counsel to the Foundation. Dimos was presented with a gift clock/plaque inscribed with his service dates in

tribute of recognition for his leadership steadfastly provided as a pioneer and visionary in leading the Foundation over the first six years.

Newly elected president, Davis, is the managing partner and founder of Ridge Capital Partners L.L.C. in Middleburg. With 22 years experience in private equity investing his skill in financial matters and creating successful partnerships will be key assets as he steps into the top leadership role with PCF.

The Loudoun Youth Initiative held Step Up Loudoun 2005 Nov. 10, at the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg. The event was held to encourage local community leaders to become more involved in the efforts of the Loudoun Youth Initiative.

Adolph Brown, associate professor of psychology at Hampton University was the featured speaker. Brown encouraged leaders to become actively involved in helping the youth of Loudoun and praised the accomplishments to date. The Loudoun Youth Initiative also sponsored Brown's appearances at River Bend Middle School and Potomac Falls High School later that day.

The new Loudoun Youth Initiative Logo was also unveiled at the event. The logo was created by Rachel Escueta, who is a senior at Potomac Falls High School. Twenty-nine entries created by Loudoun County students were entered in the contest.

The Loudoun Youth Initiative is a Loudoun County Board of

Supervisors-sponsored effort committed to making Loudoun County a great place for young people to grow up.