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Votes

Community Notes

Send announcements, which are open to the public at no or minimal cost, 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 Matthew Razak at 703-917-6457. For additional listings, visit www.connectionnewspapers.com.

With the opening of the Thanksgiving store just a few weeks away, and with more than 800 families already requesting assistance, the Community Holiday Coalition needs the help of the Loudoun community to provide Thanksgiving food baskets, personal and household baskets and gently used warm winter coats for those in need of help. Donations can be dropped off at many of the Holiday Collection sites throughout the county. Call the Holiday Hotline at 703-771-5718 or visit www.loudoun.gov and under hot topics, click on the Holiday Coalition for donation locations.

First Night Leesburg, a family-focused celebration of the arts held in downtown historic Leesburg on New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, is sponsored by the Bluemont Concert Series in cooperation with the Town of Leesburg, the County of Loudoun and a host of Loudoun business and civic organizations.

The entertainment committee is seeking artists, performers and performing groups who would like to be considered to be part of First Night Leesburg, especially artists and performers from Loudoun County and particularly from local schools.

Contact Entertainment Committee, First Night Leesburg, P.O. Box 203, Leesburg, VA 20178, call 703-777-6306 or e-mail info@bluemont.org.

George Mason University (GMU) and the Loudoun Youth Initiative (LYI) are completing a study on youth needs and will report the findings at the Third Annual Step Up Forum, Thursday, Nov. 9, at AOL in Dulles. Contact Tim Chesnutt, director of the Loudoun Youth Initiative, 703-737-8346.

The Community Holiday Coalition's "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" program is gearing up for its 11th annual Thanksgiving and December Holiday Stores. The Thanksgiving and Christmas stores are expecting to assist more than 1,000 Loudoun families in need, including more than 2,000 children. This year's program will be held at the Dulles Trade Center, 23430 Rock Haven Way, Sterling.

The Thanksgiving store will collect donations of food, personal and household baskets and gently-used, clean coats, Nov. 12-16, and distribution to families will be Nov. 14-16.

There are also collection sites throughout the county; a complete list of the sites is available on the coalition's Web site www.loudoun.gov/dss/holiday. Volunteers can call 703-737-8367 or e-mail holidayvolunteers@loudoun.gov to sign up to help at one or both of the holiday stores.

In December more than 2,500 filled stockings for children and filled gift bags for seniors and special adults will be distributed. The coalition provides the empty stockings and bags, but needs help in getting them filled. Call 703-737-8062.

The Loudoun County Office of Solid Waste Management encourages residents to participate in America Recycles Day Wednesday, Nov. 15. The goal of America Recycles Day is to increase consumer demand for recycled products and to educate residents about the environmental and economic benefits of recycling. Consumers are encouraged to practice "buying recycled."

County residents can pledge to reduce waste by reusing, recycling and buying recycled-content products. Pledge cards and contest rules are available at www.americarecyclesday.org. Completed cards postmarked by Nov. 19, will be entered in national and local awards contest. More information is available at www.loudoun.gov/oswm/recycle.

The Loudoun Arts Council invites nonprofit arts organizations to apply for ArtShare, the Council’s annual regranting program, which was created to distribute funds to nonprofit arts groups as well as to provide these organizations with grant writing experience.

To be eligible for a grant, organizations must demonstrate strong artistic quality and sound management practices. Grant applicants must have completed at least one season of programs and be members of the Loudoun Arts Council.

Key dates for this year’s ArtShare program are:

Nov. 17: Final applications are due by 5 p.m.

Dec. 15: Applicants are notified of recipients.

Dec. 31: Checks are mailed to grant recipients.

Contact the Loudoun Arts council for application forms and information about general policies and eligibility requirements at 703-777-7838 or info@loudounart.org.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training (TNT) program will be holding an informational meeting Nov. 18, at 10:30 a.m., at Douglass Community Center, 407 E. Market St., Leesburg. TNT is recruiting volunteers to help in the fight against blood cancers by raising funds as they train to walk, run, cycle or swim in marathons and half-marathons in honor of local patients. The program provides personalized coaching, group training and support, and the chance to meet new people and be part of a team. Call The National Capital Area Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at 703-960-1100; or visit www.teamintraining.org/nca.

Tickets for the 19th Annual Chocolates Galore & More fund-raiser for the YMCA Loudoun County go on sale Dec. 1. Tickets are $50 in advance; $55 at the door. The event takes place Friday, Feb. 23, 2007, at Lansdowne Resort. Includes desserts and hors d'oeuvres, silent and live auctions and live music. Call 703-777-YMCA.

Santa will ride through Ashburn on a fire truck, Dec. 9, from 6-9 p.m. The route will be posted in the Ashburn Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department's newsletter, "Firelines." Any group or organization that is interested in participating in the parade, contact Dan Davidson at 703-729-0006.

The 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization Youth Music Preservation and Promotion Association is getting ready for the upcoming launch of a music outreach program in the city of Leesburg. The Society Youth Orchestra (SYO) will begin offering free music instruction through orchestra to underprivileged and at-risk children and youth, starting January.

Loudoun Volunteer Services (LVS) is seeking nominations for outstanding student volunteers, to be recognized as Student Volunteer of the Month.

The qualifying student, or group of students, must be enrolled in Loudoun County public, private or home-school grades kindergarten through 12th. Nominees must demonstrate contributions to the Loudoun County community through exceptional volunteer service.

Students who are selected as Student Volunteer of the Month will receive recognition through their school, the media and Loudoun Volunteer Services' Web site and will receive a $100 donation to a local nonprofit of the student's choice. Recognition is given monthly, during the school year, September through June.

For a written description of the nomination process and criteria, contact Lisa Rose, volunteer coordinator, at 703-777-0113 or visit www.loudoun.gov/pio/volunteer.htm.

The grassroots nonprofit organization, Operation Pinecone, based in South Riding, strives to support the service members and their families by sending care packages abroad and delivering comfort items and providing support in various ways to service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. There are collection boxes for donations for this cause throughout Loudoun County. Visit Operation Pinecone, www.operationpinecone.org.

The Loudoun School Community Coalitions sponsor the “Parents Who Host Lose the Most” campaign to reduce underage drinking and is asking parents to take a survey by visiting www.loudoun.k12.va.us, and click on the “for Parents” button, then “Coalitions,” then the George Mason University survey button. It takes about three minutes, then hit the submit button.

Sponsored by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Loudoun Volunteer Services (LVS) has teamed with the White House to become a certifying organization for the "President's Volunteer Service Awards," a national program recognizing Americans who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to volunteer service. Issuing the award is the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation chaired by two-time Super Bowl Champion Darrell Green, with former U.S. Sens. Bob Dole and John Glenn as honorary co-chairs and composed of leaders in government, media, entertainment, business, education, nonprofit and volunteer service organizations and community volunteering. As one of the certifying organizations, LVS hopes to encourage and strengthen youth volunteerism in Loudoun County. Students in grades kindergaren-12th can visit their school's guidance office for a Student Volunteer Hours form, or go to www.loudoun.gov/pio/volunteer.htm.

The Senior Center at Cascades Marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, is collecting unused eyeglasses to be recycled foe people who cannot afford to purchase eyeglasses. Call 703-430-2397.

The Loudoun Youth Advisory Council is recruiting youth representatives in grades ninth-12th, for the 2006-2007 school year. The Loudoun Youth Advisory Council is a consortium of youth representatives from Loudoun County's public, private, parochial and home schools who promote leadership and advocate for youth issues to community leaders and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

Council meetings are held the second Monday of each month in the Board of Supervisors meeting room of the Loudoun County Government Center, located at 1 Harrison St., S.E., Leesburg.

The application can be found on the Loudoun Youth Initiative Web site at www.loudounteens.org. For more information about the Youth Advisory Council or the Loudoun Youth Initiative, contact Angela Johnson, Loudoun Youth Initiative at 571-258-3135 or by e-mail at ajohnso1@loudoun.gov.

The Loudoun County Disability Services Board (DSB) is looking for members. Those who are interested in serving on the board will be provided with a member job description and application. Duties listed on the job description include attendance at board and committee meetings, active participation in the compilation and development of the DSB Needs Assessment every three years and participation in public relations and advocacy activities. Contact Flor Gibson at 703-737-8755.

The Loudoun Convention & Visitors Association (LCVA) announces the publication of its new visitor brochure, “Towns & Villages of Loudoun County, Virginia.” This 50-page guide offers visitors a cultural overview of Loudoun’s seven incorporated towns and several villages. It also introduces them to the people, places and stories that make them unique.

To obtain a free copy, visit the Loudoun County Visitors Center, 222 Catoctin Circle, S.E., Suite 100, Leesburg or request one online at www.VisitLoudoun.org.