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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.

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

A Medicare counselor from Loudoun County will discuss the Medicare Prescription Drug program, Thursday, Jan. 26, at 10:45 a.m., at the Senior Center at Cascades Marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling. Free. Call 703-430-2397.

The Radiation Oncology Center at Inova Loudoun Hospital is offering two new programs in 2006. A support program for children who have a family member with cancer and monthly Reiki sessions for those touched by cancer for patients, family and friends.

* The childrenÕs support program addresses concerns children may have when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. Through a variety of group activities, artwork and discussion, the children can learn about cancer and the changes it may bring to their lives. This program also helps them to learn that they are not alone, and gives them helpful ways to express and deal with their feelings and emotions. For children ages 5-12 and meets every Tuesday for eight weeks, beginning Jan. 24, at 4:30 p.m., at the Radiation Oncology Center. Registration is required. Call Jenny Eckert, M.S.W., Inova Life With Cancer, childrenÕs program manager, 703-208-5623.

* The Reiki sessions will be offered on a monthly basis, beginning January. These sessions are open to those touched by cancer including patients, family members and friends. The purpose of the session is to rebalance and recharge the bodyÕs energy systems. Groups will meet the fourth Thursday of every month, from 6:30-8 p.m., at the Radiation Oncology Center. Registration is required. Call Karen Archer, Radiation Oncology Center, 703-858-8857.

The Radiation Oncology Center is located at 44035 Riverside Parkway, Suite 100 in Leesburg.

The Loudoun County CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder) parents support group will meet the second Tuesday of every month, from 7:15-8:30 p.m. SuccessLab Learning Centers is hosting the meetings and providing refreshments. SuccessLab is located at 20660 Ashburn Road in Old Town Ashburn near the fire station.

The purpose of the support group is to provide a place where parents can come to be heard, be understood and help each other with their struggles and also learn about the amazing qualities children with ADHD possess. Contact CHADD Loudoun County coordinator Kirk Martin at 703-508-7908 or e-mail at kirk1martin@aol.com. meetings are slated for Feb. 21, March 14, April 18, May 16 and June 13.

The Social Security Administration is accepting applications from older adults and people with disabilities who may qualify for extra help paying for the new Medicare drug benefit.

The extra help will pay some or all of the monthly drug plan premiums and deductibles, and most of the coinsurance for prescription drugs covered by the new Medicare drug benefit. It is expected to provide an average of $2,100 per year in assistance.

Call the Medicare Hot line, 703-737-8036, at the Loudoun County Agency on Aging to request an application, to get help in filling out the application and for income requirements.

People with Medicare can apply for the subsidy by mail or in person at a local Social Security office. The application will also be available online at www.ssa.gov.

The Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit begins Jan. 1. The enrollment deadline is May 15. The average premium is expected to be about $37 per month for people who do not have the low-income subsidy.

The Loudoun County Eastern Loudoun Mental Health Center has moved to 21641 Ridgetop Circle, Suite 105, in Sterling. The Eastern Loudoun Mental Health Center, operated by the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, provides

mental health and substance abuse outpatient services to youth, families and individuals. Center hours are Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Fridays, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The new phone number is 571-258-3026. For emergency services, call 703-777-0320.

The Ridgetop office includes meeting space for group therapy and private offices for individual therapy appointments. The other County Mental Health Center remains in Leesburg at 102 Heritage Way, N.E.

Loudoun Healthcare Inc.'s behavioral medicine program has changed its name to Loudoun Adult Medical Psychiatric Services and has added 10 beds and two physicians. The 20-year-old program provides specialized evaluation and treatment for adults experiencing symptoms of psychiatric, emotional and/or neurological disorders. Visit www.loudounhealthcare.org.

Loudoun Community Free Clinic. Clinic needs volunteers for Wednesday and Thursday nights from 5:30-9 p.m. Needed are administrative, Spanish interpreters, physicians, nurses, lab tech and pharmacist volunteers. The nonprofit clinic provides acute, non-emergency quality health-care services to uninsured Loudoun County residents. Call Lyle Werner at 703-779-5412. E-mail info@loudounfreeclinic.org or visit www.loudounfreeclinic.org.

Tours of Birthing Inn. The Loudoun Hospital center is offering tours of the Birthing Inn on weekends and evenings. There is no charge for the tour, however registration is required. Registration may be done online at www.thebirthinginn.org or call 703-858-6360.

The YMCA Loudoun County, 6 Fairfax St., S.E., Leesburg, is offering Forever Fit. A gentle, but effective exercise program for seniors age 55 and older for men and women. Improve strength, flexibility, endurance, posture and balance through walking, marching, strength exercises, stretching and relaxation. Wear comfortable clothes and supportive rubber-soled shoes. Mondays and Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. Cost $8 per class. Call 703-777-2275.

Ashburn Presbyterian Church is beginning a cancer support group for those diagnosed with cancer, their family and friends. All are welcome. The group will provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere whose purpose is to support individuals affected by cancer by encouraging them to connect with God, resources and one another.

The group will meet from 6:30-8 p.m., on the second and fourth Thursday of every month, beginning Oct. 13. There will be no meeting on Thanksgiving. The meeting will be held upstairs at APC, 20962 Ashburn Road, in room 209. Child care will not be provided. Call the offices at 703-729-2012, or visit the Web site at www.ashburnpresbyterian.org.

American Red Cross Classes. Classes include adult, child and infant CPR, first aid, baby-sitter training and more. Advance registration required and there is a fee. Call 703-777-7171. Visit www.redcross.org/va/loudounco.

The Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region is sponsoring the following support groups for adults diagnosed with seizure disorders and caregivers.

Free of charge. Call 703-425-6660.

* Reston Epilepsy Group meets the second and fourth Friday of each month, from 7-8:30 p.m., at Herndon High School, Entrance 5, Room 123, 700 Bennett St., Herndon.

* Northern Virginia Epilepsy Group meets every Wednesday, from 7-8 p.m., at Falls Church High School, Room 100, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church.

Safe Sitter Classes. Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Services and Reston Hospital Center for girls and boys ages 11-13 who are interested in babysitting. Call Broadlands Regional Medical Center at 703-858-3465 to register.

Senior Newsletter. The Loudoun Cooperative Extension is offering a newsletter for seniors, "As You Age." The research-based newsletter was created by professors at Virginia Tech in the fields of human development and nutrition, foods and exercise. For a free copy, contact Kalinda Santos or Beverly Samuel at 703-777-0373.

Support group for tinnitus and hearing problems meets the first Friday of each month, 2 p.m., at the Senior Center at Cascades Marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling. The group is for people with hearing loss, tinnitus or MeniereÕs disease.

The Man-to-Man Prostate Cancer support group meets on the second Tuesday of each month, from 6:30-8 p.m., at the Senior Center at Cascades marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling.

The staff from Lenscrafters at Dulles Town Center will provide eyeglass care the second Wednesday each month, from 1-2 p.m., at the Senior Center at Cascades Marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling.

Teresa Tupaj from Blue Ridge Speech and Hearing will be at the Senior Center at the Cascades Marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, the third Tuesday of the month, from 10:30-11:30 a.m., to clean and make minor repairs to hearing aides; and to perform hearing screenings. Call 703-430-2397.

A support group for persons suffering with Alzheimer's and other dementia diseases as well as other mental illnesses, and their caregivers meets the second Monday of each month, from 7-8:30 p.m., at Galilee United Methodist Church, 45425 Winding Road, Sterling. The meetings are open to the community. Call 703-430-2203 or visit www.Galileeumc.org.

Sterling/Reston DRADA (Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association) Support Group meets first and third Tuesdays of each month, 7-9 p.m., in Reston. Call Ginny at 703-966-2510.

Ashburn Parkinson's Support Group, newly formed, meets the first Tuesday of each month, at 1:30 p.m., at the Winglar House West, 20903 Runnymeade Terrace, Ashburn. No charge. Call 703-723-0919 or patgrandaffairs@aol.com.