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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.

Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services announces the hiring of Dave Carver as division manager for Youth and Sports. Carver was formerly the program manager for the Loudoun County Gang Response and Intervention Team (GRIT), a multi-agency organization charged with the coordination of gang prevention, intervention and suppression programs and activities for the county. Carver is credited with authoring the plan that enabled Northern Virginia to develop a regional gang prevention and intervention strategy.

Prior to becoming the GRIT coordinator, Carver served as a line probation officer and probation officer in the county's Supervised Release Program for a total of 11 years. He holds a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University and began his professional career working as the events manager for the university's athletic department. He has managed several NCAA Women's Basketball tournament events, as well as a NCAA National Championship event.

Carver is "proud to call Loudoun County his home" and maintains an active role in the community. He has served as a youth sports coach in basketball, baseball and softball and as a league commissioner for Lower Loudoun Little League and Central Loudoun Basketball League. He and his wife reside in Leesburg with their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.

The Good Shepherd Alliance has received a $15,000 grant to improve the Loudoun-based charity's efforts to help homeless people find and keep jobs. The grant was awarded by Skill Source Group Inc. of Vienna and was part of a larger grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Good Shepherd is among 15 faith- and community-based organizations in Northern Virginia that will receive funding.

The SkillSource Group Inc. focuses on collaboration with faith- and community-based organizations is essential for the SkillSource One Stop Center efforts to adequately respond to challenges presented by job seekers with multiple needs, including limited English, reading and math skills or lacking access to reliable transportation or child care. The Northern Virginia SkillSource One Stop Centers have been particularly successful in supporting and enhancing career opportunities for thousands of local job seekers each year.

Good Shepherd Alliance will use the money to partly fund its first position devoted to case management, said Sharon Zachary-Heyliger, the organization's director of administration. That position will help the organization keep closer tabs on its clients' requirements.

Jeff Tiller of Loudoun County will serve as press aide to Gov. Tim Kaine (D). Tiller previously served as a communications intern in the Transition Office and on KaineÕs gubernatorial campaign.

As a part of its annual Christmas season giving, coed Venturing Crew 761 of Sterling recently forwarded 250 pounds of care packages to American soldiers and Marines stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Care Package.

Every Christmas season since inception in 2001, Venturing Crew 761 has supported the community in a significant way. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the crew has supported soldiers by forwarding care packages, and this year working through Operation Care Package, the crew collected much needed personal items for American troops and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, and forwarded to individual serving men and women for the Christmas and Hanukkah holiday season.

Chartered by the Rotary Club of Sterling, Crew 761 is located in Sterling. With 28 youth, of which 50 percent are young women, its Venturers are from the local area of Ashburn, Leesburg, Sterling and Potomac Falls, and attend some six Loudoun and Fairfax high schools.

Air Force Airman Nicholas E. Vastardis 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 Louis Vastardis of Ashburn, and Karen Vastardis of Virginia Beach, Va.

Vastardis is a 2001 graduate of Loudoun County High School, Leesburg.

At the American Library Association's mid-winter conference in San Antonio, Texas, the Loudoun County Public Library received the 2006 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award, which recognizes and honors outstanding achievement in library public relations.

The award is one of the most coveted and the most prestigious award given by the American Library Association. Loudoun County Public Library received the award for its program "Hanging Out Rocks!" a campaign that responded to the needs of teens in Loudoun County's growing community by giving them a place that they could call their own.

The award is jointly sponsored by the H.W. Wilson Foundation, Bronx, N.Y., with the Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA). The award will be presented to the Loudoun County Public Library at the American Library Association's annual conference in New Orleans, June 2006.

Army Pvt. Lee Bun has graduated from the Field Artillery Automated Tactical Data Systems Specialist One Unit Station Training (OSUT) at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla.

During the 16-week training program, the trainee completed basic military training to learn basic soldiering disciplines and skills followed by advanced individual training as a field artillery automated tactical data systems specialist.

As members of the Army's field artillery team, the soldiers are primarily responsible for operating field artillery tactical data systems on a multiple launch rocket system team. The teams are used to support infantry and tank units while supplementing cannon artillery in combat and are involved in launching various missiles and ammunitions in quick strikes during combat.

The soldiers are trained to establish, maintain and operate communication systems, assist in preparation of computer centers, prepare field artillery tactical data systems, and determine target location using computers or manual calculations. Skills training included methods of computing target locations, ammunition handling techniques, gun, missile and rocket system operations, and artillery tactics.

Bun is the son of Nary Argueta of Gaithersburg, Md., and brother of Rosa Bun of Sterling.

Army National Guard Sgt. Matthew J. Jackson has completed the Warrior Leadership Course as part of the Army's Noncommissioned Officer Education System.

The course is designed to provide the Army with soldiers who can visualize, describe, and execute squad-level operations in varied operational environments and battlefields. The course teaches specialists how to be a noncommissioned officer and focus on leading, training, caring, maintaining, and warrior skills. The training prepares specialists for promotion to sergeant and for assignments in teams, crews and squads, which symbolizes their transition from "follower" to "leader." Every student receives detailed squad-level combat leader training, and the learner-centered and outcome-based approach reinforces all small unit tactics, techniques, and procedures.

Jackson is a driver with the Joint Visitors Bureau assigned to the 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. The sergeant has served in the military for four years.

He is the son of Randy D. and Anne M. Jackson of Knox St., Millinocket, Maine.

His wife, Abigail, is the daughter of David Aikman of Round Hill and Nonie Aikman of Falls Church.

Jackson received a bachelor's degree in the year 2000 from Simon's Rock College, Great Barrington, Mass.

Jennifer Ashley Hiltwine, daughter of Craig and Deborah Hiltwine of Sterling, has been named to the President's List for the 2005 fall semester at Elon University in North Carolina. To be included on the President's List, as student must have no grade below an A- in a minimum of 12 semester hours.

Hiltwine graduated from Broad Run High School and is a communications major.

The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) awarded 25 grants totaling $123,150 to assist Virginia organizations in their efforts to research and interpret Virginia's history, to explore issues of importance to Virginians and to showcase Virginia's folklife and cultural heritage.

Recipients of the grants include museums, colleges and universities, African-American heritage organizations, civic groups, libraries and historic sites. The funds will be used to support documentary projects, exhibits, oral history research and collections, database creation, film festivals, compact disc music development and production and conferences. Locally the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, Purcellville, received a $1,250 grant for Between the Hills, to support planning for a long-term project that will interpret the finding of an archaeological and historical research project that has uncovered an intact 19th century historic landscape within the boundaries of the largest publicly accessible natural area in Loudoun County, the state's fastest-growing locality.

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office received electronic equipment for surveillance purposes from the Target

store in Leesburg.

The equipment, which includes monitors, will be used by the Criminal Investigations Division. In the past few years the local Target stores have donated monies through their grant making program as well as equipment including a bench with a handcuff bar for use in an interview room last summer.

The Target Corporation says it is committed to giving back to the communities where it does business.

Air Force Airman Kristina M. Forte 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.

She is the daughter of Glenda and William Kreijanovsky of Sterling. The airman graduated in the year 2000 from Potomac Falls High School, Sterling.

Inova Health Systems announces Susan T. Carroll as the new chief operating officer of Inova Loudoun Hospital and Roderick Williams as chief operating officer of the Western Loudoun Medical Center.

Carroll began her career with Loudoun Healthcare in 1998, serving first as manager of business affairs and then moving on as director of that program. She worked closely with physicians in overseeing managed care contracting on behalf of both the hospital and practitioners. In 2003, she was promoted to director of ambulatory services, overseeing outpatient hospital services including radiology, cardiology, oncology and rehab, all of which were experiencing major growth through new services and enhancements of those being offered.

Williams is a graduate of Clark College in Atlanta and earned his master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He joined Loudoun Healthcare Inc. in 1989, serving as vice president of support services and administrator of the Loudoun Long Term Care Center Ñ now, Loudoun Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He was later given responsibility for all outpatient services as well.

Brian J Cvilikas of Lovettsville is a new junior member of the American Angus Association. Junior members of the association are eligible to register cattle in the American Angus Association, participate in programs conducted by the National Junior Angus Association and take part in association sponsored shows and other national and regional events.

The American Angus Association is the largest beef registry association in the world, with more than 34,000 active adult and junior members.

Denny J. Fox has received a three-year Army ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) scholarship to attend Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va. The mission of ROTC is to provide future officers with leadership qualities needed in the regular Army and the reserve components.

The cadet will study military science, management development, and experience adventure training while pursuing a bachelor's degree. The scholarship will pay most of the student's college tuition, on-campus educational fees, and provide a flat-rate for textbooks, supplies and equipment.

After graduation, the cadet will be required to serve in the military for eight years. The obligation can be fulfilled by serving either on active duty and/or in the Army National Guard or Reserve.

The cadet will be pursuing a degree in business and economics. He is the son of Denny R. and Suzanne Fox of Leesburg.

Army Pvt. Nicholas W. Taylor has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

He is the son of Bruce and Christine Taylor of Sterling. Taylor is a 2003 graduate of Park View High School, Sterling.