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Alexandria Bulletin Aug. 30-Sept. 4

The City of Alexandria has been awarded new allocations of funding from the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) to help make homeownership more affordable for people who live or work in the City. This funding, totaling almost $20 million, is being provided through three programs administered by VHDA: the Sponsoring Partnerships and Revitalizing Communities (SPARC) Program, HomeStride, and the FlexSPARC Program. Participants must be first-time homebuyers and the home they purchase must be located within the City of Alexandria. All funds are limited and anyone interested is encouraged to inquire immediately. For more information, call the City of Alexandria’s Office of Housing at 703-838-4622 or TDD at 703-838-5056.

Alexandrians Involved Ecumenically (Alive!) will hold three events on Aug. 25. Last Saturday Food Distribution will be held at the Church of Resurrection, Cora Kelly Recreation Center and Ladrey Senior High Rise. A Food Collection will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Third Baptist, Washington Street UMC, Zion Baptist and Baptist Temple. A Furniture Collection will be held at Alfred Street Baptist and St. Mary’s. For more information contact ALIVE! at 703-837-9300 or AliveToo@aol.com. Visit their web site at www.alive-inc.org.

The school nurses of Alexandria City Public Schools are sponsoring a student health and immunization fair on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at Polk Elementary School, 5000 Polk Ave., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and open to ACPS students in grades K-5 who need physical exams, lab tests and/or immunizations in order to meet school entry requirements. Information for families on general health care and guidance in how to apply to health insurance programs will also be available. All students should be accompanied by a parent or guardian and bring copies of their immunization records, health histories and allergy information. Families should pre-register by calling 703-321-1990.

The Alexandria Mentoring Partnership, through the support of the City of Alexandria, is sponsoring a free information session on August 29, from 6 – 8:30 pm at the Lyceum, 201 South Washington St., in order to recruit at least 200 new mentors. The Partnership will kick off the event by serving a light dinner from 6 – 7pm, and the information session is scheduled from 7 – 8:30 pm. Current mentors, youth, parents, and staff who are involved in local mentoring programs will discuss opportunities for the community to participate. RSVP to attend by calling 703-838-4180, ext. 261, or by e-mailing mentoring@alexandriava.gov . Visit www.alexandriava.gov/mentoring <http://www.alexandriava.gov/mentoring>

On Thursday, Sept. 13, the Courtyard by Marriott Alexandria is hosting a joint networking mixer for the Eisenhower Partnership and West End Business Association (WEBA) from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott, 2700 Eisenhower Ave. New City Councilman Justin Wilson will be the guest speaker and will talk about the new draft Transportation Plan prepared by the City's Ad Hoc Transportation Task Force, the upcoming Eisenhower West study and be available to take questions. There will be food, drink, raffles and free parking. RSVP to 703-684-5124 or e-mail to patk@eisenhowerpartnership.org.

The City of Alexandria’s Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse is sponsoring a Drug and Alcohol Recovery Month event featuring psychiatrist and addiction expert Dr. Laurence Westreich on Sept. 10 at 6:45 p.m. at Minnie Howard School, 3801 West Braddock Road. Free. A book sale and signing by the author will follow the event. For additional information, call Jennifer Cohen Cordero at 703-838-4455, ext. 165 or e-mail

jennifer.cohen-cordero@alexandriava.gov.

The Alexandria Police Citizens' Academy begins Sept. 5 and ends with a formal graduation on Nov. 14. The Academy is held every Wednesday evening from 6:30–10 p.m. at the Police Hoffman Facility located at 2034 Eisenhower Ave. This 10-week course is free and designed to familiarize citizens with various aspects of the Police Department. Participants must be 21 years of age and live or work in the City of Alexandria and have no misdemeanor arrests within the year of application. Contact Ms. Cheryl Smith in the Community Relations Unit at 703-838-4520 or e-mail cheryl.smith@alexandriava.gov

Alexandrians Involved Ecumenically (Alive!) will hold a board meeting on Sept. 4 at the Washington Street UMC. For more information contact ALIVE! at 703-837-9300 or AliveToo@aol.com. Visit their web site at www.alive-inc.org.

The Alexandria Commission for the Arts is seeking nominations for the 2007 Alex Awards. The program recognizes individuals, organizations, schools, and businesses that have made exceptional contributions to cultural life in the City of Alexandria. All nominations must be submitted to the Commission’s office, 1108 Jefferson St., by the close of business on Wednesday, Sept. 19. To receive a nomination form, request further information, inquire about sponsorship opportunities, or purchase tickets, call the Commission’s office at 703-838-6348, by e-mail at alexandriacommissionforthearts@verizon.net, or visit www.alexandriacommissionforthearts.org.

The City of Alexandria's Citizen Academy begins its 8-week fall session on Sept. 27. The Academy provides an opportunity for citizens to learn about City government through first-hand experience and gain exposure to a wide range of government functions, services, activities and issues.

Classes will be held every Thursday from 7-9 p.m. The class size is limited to 15 – 20 people and is open to City residents over the age of 18 and owners of businesses located in the City. The majority of the classes will be held in the City Council Workroom at City Hall, 301 King Street, however, a few classes will be held at different locations throughout the City. The deadline for application submission is Sept. 13. For more information and/or an application visit www.alexandariava.gov or call Elaine Scott, in the Office of Citizen Assistance at 703-838-4800.

WomenHeart, www.womenheart.org, is a patient advocacy organization serving the 8,000,000 American women living with heart disease. The next local meeting will be held at Buzz, 901 Slaters Lane, Alexandria on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Marianne Lawrence 703-518-8808.

The Alexandria Archaeological Commission (AAC) established the Bernard "Ben" Brenman Archaeology in Alexandria Award. This new award celebrates the contributions of the late Ben Brenman, a retired U.S. Army colonel. Brenman devoted himself to finding, preserving and sharing Alexandria’s rich and diverse heritage, and was a founding member of the AAC, serving as its chair for 21 years. The AAC, a City of Alexandria commission, was the first of its kind established in the U.S.

The Brenman Award is open to businesses, organizations, families, professional preservationists, volunteers, students and other individuals who have demonstrated work or efforts in archaeological investigation, research, site protection, education, public interpretation, open space design, collections, or conservation. Nominations will be accepted on an annual basis, however, an award recipient may not be selected every year. Nominations are now being accepted for the first Brenman Award. Nomination forms are available online at www.alexandriaarchaeology.org or by calling the Alexandria Archaeology Museum at 703-838-4399. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 8.

Alexandrians Involved Ecumenically (Alive!) will hold three events on Sept 29. Last Saturday Food Distribution will be held at the Church of Resurrection, Cora Kelly Recreation Center and Ladrey Senior High Rise. A Food Collection will be held at Alfred Street Baptist, Beverly Hill Community UMC, Church of St. Clement, Emmanuel Episcopal, Fairlington UMC and Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai’s. A Furniture Collection will be held at Beth El Temple, Immanuel Church on the Hill and Agudas Achim. For more information contact ALIVE! at 703-837-9300 or AliveToo@aol.com. Visit their web site at www.alive-inc.org.

The Walk to Fight Breast Cancer in Alexandria will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 8 a.m. Registration costs $25 per adult and $10 for children. After October 16, the cost for registering adults increases to $35 per adult. This event is located at Cameron Run Regional Park off of Eisenhower Avenue.

The third annual Dine Out and Shop for the Walk to Fight Breast Cancer will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 16. A variety of local Alexandria restaurants and stores will be donated a portion of the proceeds from their sales to the Walk to Fight Breast Cancer.

For further details about the Walk to Fight Breast Cancer, visit www.alexcancerwalk.com , or call 703-838-5030.

The Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is seeking persons who are diplomatic, assertive, and good communicators to serve as a volunteer ombudsman. Volunteers are assigned to a specific local nursing home or assisted-living facility in the City of Alexandria and make weekly visits, meeting one-on-one with residents. Applicants must be available to volunteer four hours per week. For further information and to obtain an application, call 703-324-5435, TTY: 703-449-1186, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/LTCOmbudsman.

The Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse is in need of volunteers to serve in the following positions:

* Guardians for adults with mental retardation and mental illness. Guardians make decisions about personal care, health care, living conditions and recreation. Guardians are court-appointed and bonded. The duties require approximately four hours per month.

* Representative Payees to receive Social Security checks and pay bills for persons with mental retardation or mental illness. A separate bank account is opened with automatic deposit and there are few monthly transactions. The duties require two hours per month, per account.

* Friendly Visitors to plan one-on-one outings and activities with a resident of an Alexandria group home for adults with mental retardation. This volunteer activity requires approximately two hours per week.

Mentors to meet one-on-one with a specific child on a weekly basis to provide friendship, act as a positive role model, plan leisure and recreational activities together, participate in age appropriate activities and assist the child with school work as needed. Meetings with the child take place primarily in neutral locations away from the child's and mentor's homes. Being a mentor requires approximately two hours per week.

Contact Jennifer Cohen Cordero at jennifer.cohen-cordero@alexandriava.gov or 703.838.4455, ext.165.