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Week In Great Falls

<sh>Annual Great Falls Tree Lighting

<bt>The 15th annual Great Falls Tree Lighting will take place on Friday, Dec. 1 in the Great Falls Village Center. The merchant's Holiday Open House will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This year's event will feature Victorian Carolers instead of the traditional Langley Madrigals, as they have a prior commitment. To start a tradition where everyone can sing carols in unison, the Carl Freeman Company — The Safeway Property Management Company — has donated old-fashioned Victorian Carolers for 2006. They will welcome residents with Christmas Spirit at 6 p.m., just before Santa arrives, and keep the night full of carols until 7:45 p.m.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at 6:30 p.m. sharp to light the tree.

Another addition this year is Jenny Berman of Ashton Imaging. She will be taking 4 x 6 photos with Santa for $15. As in years past, all festivities will be held by the tree. There is a new Santa this year — Eric Partee, a long-time resident of Great Falls who will take the place of Earl Kennemer. Earl retired this year as he said it was time to pass the "Santa Hat" on to a new man. In addition, Patty of Old Mine Ranch will be providing the animals for this year's petting zoo. The live presentation of Christ's birth will begin at 7:45 p.m. sharp. This tradition that has been brought to Great Falls for many years by Margaret Johnson. For more information, contact Kelly Rafko at 703-759-2485 or gfvcca@aol.com.

<sh>Family Fun Walk in Great Falls

<bt>A Family Fun Walk will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 9 a.m. This walk, meant for the whole family, will begin and end at Forestville Elementary School, and will cover an easy 3 miles. Why a walk? Forestville Elementary's always cheerful, kind, and hardworking Edward (former building supervisor) was diagnosed this summer with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord (www.alsa.org). This diagnosis was received at the same time that Edward lost his wife to cancer. Since he is no longer physically able to work and devoted much of his savings to his wife's cancer battle, "Friends of Edward" was formed to raise money to assure he has the resources needed in the short-term, until his long-term disability plan begins.

Bundle up and join fellow families, teachers and staff from Forestville along with the Great Falls community for an easy 3-mile Family Fun Walk, to raise money for Edward. Participants will walk in the Forestville vicinity, then have a chance to get together afterwards for some food, fun, and festivities at "The Finish Line" in the cafeteria at Forestville. Register on-line at www.jmpa.us/FamilyFunWalk.asp. The suggested Walk registration fee is $5 per person. For more information about the event, call Karen Daboll at 703-450-7999.

<sh>SCC Hosts "Nourishing a Healthy Body Image" Event

<bt>Have you ever wondered: What to say to your daughter who comes home saying her friends have called her fat? What to say to your child who mentions to you that her counselor at camp reported that she doesn’t eat breakfast or lunch to stay thin? What to say to your daughter who says she wants to know how many calories or fat grams are in a food because she doesn’t want to get fat? If there is a way to prevent eating disorders? In our media-driven culture of beauty, helping our children feel good about their inner and outer beauty is a challenge. As parents, we need to encourage and help our children to develop a positive relationship with food, a healthy self esteem and a love and appreciation of their bodies. To help parents address this crucial issue, the Safe Community Coalition will sponsor “Nourishing a Health Body Image,” a free program featuring eating disorder expert Donna J. Schwartz, L.I.C.S.W, on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 7-9 p.m. at the McLean Community Center, located at 1234 Ingleside Ave. in McLean. Ms. Schwartz, a private practice psychotherapist in Washington , D.C. , will provide timely information and tips to help parents encourage positive attitudes about body image. The focus of the evening will be proactive measures parents can take with their children to address issues related to body image and self esteem. Real-life scenarios will be explored as tools for future conversations with our children. This program is designed for parents of kindergarten through 6th grade students, but all are welcome. Admission is free, but registration in advance is encouraged. Click on this link www.safecommunitycoalition.net/events.html to register. For more information, contact SCC board member Michelle Sandler at sccevents@safecommunitycoalition.net.

<sh>White House Christmas Ornament Sale

<bt>Doris Leadbetter, associate broker of RE/MAX Gateway in Great Falls, said the RE/MAX Gateway Great Falls office currently has the 2006 White House Christmas Ornament on sale. This is the third year that Leadbetter has offered the White House Historical Association's ornament sale, with the proceeds going to charity. Last year's charity was the Brenda MacDonald Melanoma Research Foundation, and this year, the Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department has been selected as the recipient. The 2006 White House Ornament features the Chester A. Arthur White House, and is selling for $17. The White House Historical Association is also presenting its limited commemorative stone ornament for $20. RE/MAX Gateway has both ornaments available for purchase. The office is located at 10135 Colvin Run Road, Suite 101, Great Falls. Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or call 703-757-5760 for more information. For more information about the Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department Building Fund, visit www.greatfallsvfd.org.

<sh>Donations Sought for Children's Hospital

<bt>This is the third year that the Neighbors International Foundation will be accepting donations for Children's Hospital and transporting them to Washington D.C. Note that all donations, for obvious health reasons, must be new. Neighbors cannot accept any used donations — even gently used. All donations must be in the Neighbors office by Dec. 16, in order to have on-time delivery for distribution to the children. Donations go to Dr. Bear's Toy Closet, a room that is stocked with toys, games, clothes, and other items to meet the needs of children and teens who are treated in the Inpatient units and Outpatient clinics of Children's Hospital. The office of Volunteer Services at Children's National Medical Center accepts all donations, including monetary contributions. Checks to support Dr. Bear's Toy Closet should made payable to "Volunteer Services." Gift cards or certificates from area stores such as Costco, Target, Toys R' Us, etc. are also appreciated.

The following is a list of guidelines that must be followed in order for Dr. Bear's Toy Closet to accept any donations: donated toys must be brand new because of the hospital's infection control requirements; all toys should meet the Consumer Product Safety Codes – the package will note if the toy meets the codes; latex (or rubber) balloons are not allowed in the hospital because of latex allergy precautions and other safety factors; brand new stuffed toys can only be accepted; due to fire regulations they cannot accept any spark-producing or friction-producing toys; toys should be sturdy — avoid toys that can break or have sharp edges; no toys should be made of glass or brittle plastic; painted toys should be non-toxic, and any glue or craft kits donated must be with non-toxic materials; no items with violent, frightening, or adult-rated themes; since many of the patients are Spanish-speaking, games, videos, and books in Spanish are always needed; although the "dollar stores" have real bargains, sometimes the quality is absent, and the hospital would rather have one good toy that meets safety standards, than five inexpensive ones that do not. Donations can be dropped at the Neighbors International Foundation (NIF) at 1146-D Walker Road, Great Falls between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Mondays-Fridays. Neighbors will transport all donations directly to the hospital. The Christmas deadline is no later than Dec. 15.

The following is a wish list that was compiled by patients, families, child life specialists, other staff members, and hospital volunteers. Infants and Toddlers: music boxes/ musical toys, rattles, infant mirrors, infant toys, baby blankets, activity centers, soft rubber squeak toys, baby books, rubber ducks/other squeeze toys, blocks, small steering wheels, Little Tykes toys and people, plastic wagons, push/pull toys, Sesame Street characters toys, picture books, Fisher Price (dollhouse, farms, zoos, firehouse, etc.), crib mobiles (washable), pop-up toys, water toys, musical toys (radio wind-ups), play telephones, wooden puzzles (5 pieces), stack toys, plastic trucks, Fisher Price medical kits, dolls (washable), Fisher Price tape players, bubbles, musical books, infant videos (Elmo, cartoons, etc.), teething toys, Duplo building blocks, small soft, plush stuffed toys, infant/toddler clothes. School Age Children: Uno cards, checkers, Memory, Trouble, Connect Four, Sorry, Candyland, Monopoly Jr., Scrabble Jr., Boggle Jr., Scattergories Jr., card games (Old Maid, Go Fish), electronic games (hand-held), coloring books, crayons, markers, colored pencils, Legos/Lego model sets, any theme gifts (cartoon characters), videos (G & PG ratings), activity books/word-find books, Magna Doodle, Etch-a-Sketch, Bristle Blocks, Match Box cars and race tracks, bubbles, paint sets (water colors), action figures, head bands, photo albums, Playdoh, arts and craft kits, construction paper, regular playing cards, dolls, model kits (snap tight), wooden models, Gimp, Disney stuff, bead kits/sand art kits, Barbies and clothes. Adolescents: battery-powered hand-held games, Gameboy/Game Gear, Gameboy Advance with games, UNO, Monopoly, Boggle, Scattergories, Scrabble, Clue, Jenga, Sorry, Gestures, Taboo, Outburst, Life, Pictionary, Hangman, Battleship, checkers, chess, nail polish and remover, makeup sets, headbands, manicure kits, baseball caps, playing cards, bandannas, batteries, pencils, notebooks, Nintendo 64 games, walkie talkies, datebooks, wallets, grooming kits (girls and boys), pocket mirrors, bicycle helmets, Nerf balls, model kits (snap tight), word search/crossword books, videos and DVD's (PG & PG-13), portable CD players, compact discs, CD walkman, thin markers, stationary, movie passes, disposable cameras/ Polaroid cameras and film, gift certificates (record stores, restaurants, etc.), bead kits, jewelry, posters, footballs, art sets, AM/FM cassette players, diaries/journals with pens, digital cameras, digital video camera, Polaroid cameras and film, video game systems and games (Game Cube, X-Box, Playstation), teen video's and DVD's (PG & PG-13), new computer equipment and printers, especially laptop computers, brand new DVD players, arcade games, pinball machines, laminated movie Posters for room, karaoke CD's, LCD Players, white/colored Xerox paper. Concierge Closet Needs: personal care kits (toothbrush and toothpaste, small shampoo and conditioner, phone cards, shaving cream, razors, soap, and hand lotion, clothes (for children of all ages and sizes from newborn through XXL), blankets and hats, gift certificates to Target, Costco, Walmart, Kohls, Giant, Safeway, and other area retail stores and restaurants.

<sh>Exhibit at Great Falls Library

<bt>The Great Falls Studios' All-Media Membership Exhibit runs through Nov. 30 in the Great Falls Library Meeting Room, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, VA 22066. A portion of the sales made during this event will go to Friends of the Great Falls Library. For more information, visit the web site at www.GreatFallsStudios.com. Great Falls Studios is non-profit organization.