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SMA Fund-Raiser at Glory Days

Proceeds help toward finding a cure for Shea and others.

The joint's always jumpin' at Glory Days Grill in Centreville, and it'll be even livelier next Thursday, March 29, from 5-9 p.m., when it sponsors a fund-raiser for the upcoming Walk for Shea.

Virginia Run Elementary sixth-grader Shea Megale, 11 1/2, has SMA (spinal muscular atrophy), a rare, incurable form of muscular dystrophy. And each year, a special walk to raise money for research to benefit her and others is held in the Virginia Run community.

THIS YEAR'S Walk for Shea is the 10th annual and will be held Sunday, April 29. Registration and further information are available at www.walkforshea.com.

Meanwhile, next week, Glory Days will use its Dining for Dollars program — which raises money for charitable causes — as a kickoff to the Walk. It will donate a percentage of its food profits, that evening, between 5-9 p.m., to the event. (The popular eatery is in the Old Centreville Crossing Shopping Center).

Glory Days co-owner Jeff Newman believes that much of his restaurant's success is because of the support it receives, all year 'round from the local community. So, he explained, "We feel it is an obligation to give back to the people who've helped us become successful."

Last year's event was full of laughter and fun, and this year's promises to be the same. Several Virginia Run Elementary teachers will help serve meals to students and their families coming in for dinner.

They include sixth-grade teachers Mary Evelyn Anderson, Caren Williams, Kay Chodoronek, Melinda Fields and Mike DelGrosse, plus special-education teacher Robin Walls, fifth-grade teacher Holly Goolsby, second-grade teacher Janet Payne and librarian Catherine Conley.

"They're all very supportive and excited about it," said Mo Nieves, who organizes the annual Walk for Shea. "Last year, the teachers had a wonderful time."

In addition, from 9 p.m. on, the tips given to guest bartenders will also be contributed to the cause. These special bartenders will include Shea's dad Larry, who coaches lacrosse at Centreville High, plus fellow Virginia Run residents and family friends Bob Biagi and John O'Shaughnessy.

ACTUALLY, Biagi helped bring about the first Glory Days fund-raiser for Shea. He's participated in the Walk for Shea since it began, and he brought Nieves and Newman together, he said, "Because I know Glory Days is very involved in the local community."

And for Shea, it'll be a real, family affair, as well. Besides her dad, her mom Megan, sister Kelley, 17, and brother Matthew, 16, who both attend Westfield High, will also be on hand for the festivities. And, of course, the family wouldn't be complete without Shea's beloved service dog, Mercer, a black Labrador who's her best buddy.

Those who can't attend, but would like to make a donation may send checks payable to Shea Megale Fund Corp., c/o Walk for Shea, 6302 Rockbridge Place, Centreville, VA 20120.