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People Notes, May 21-27

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Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, congratulates Sarasi Jayaratne, 18, of Potomac Falls, center, and Cori Goodwin, 14, of Leesburg, on being named the top two youth volunteers in Virginia for 2008 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. They each received a $1,000 award.

Send announcements, which are open to the public at no or minimal cost, to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102 or e-mail to loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is Friday, two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454. For additional listings, visit www.connectionnewspapers.com.

Northern Virginia EMS Council recognized a high-school senior for outstanding contribution and affiliation with an EMS agency within the Northern Virginia EMS region. Molly Wacek is an active member of Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad and runs a weekly 12-hour duty-shift on Sundays. The scholarship is in the form of $1,000 and makes her eligible to receive a $5,000 scholarship from the Governor's EMS Advisory Board. Molly was part of the Fire and Emergency Medical Sciences program offered by Fairfax County.

Hannah Guthrie, a home-schooled student from Waterford, won $1,000 in the Community Levee Association’s essay writing contest on the "Indispensability of Virtue," in which more than 30 entries were received. This is the first year the contest has been held. Besides the grand prize, two other Loudoun students placed second and third respectively and won $100 honorable mention prizes. They are Kaitlyn Simmons, a senior at Heritage High School and Leesburg town resident and Michael Vereb, a senior at Park View High School and Sterling resident.

On Wednesday, May 7, Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Sean Morgan was recognized by the Virginia State Police Insurance Fraud Program for his efforts in this field. Morgan was instrumental in raising the awareness level among Virginia prosecutors by assisting in the development of an educational program and serving as a panel member during a recent training where more than 700 Virginia prosecutors attended.

Kenny Thayer of Sterling received the Loudoun Volunteer Services 2008 Outstanding Adult Volunteer Award Tuesday, May 6, at the Board of Supervisors meeting in Leesburg.

Twelve Venturers and Advisors of Coed Venturing Crew 761 recently accomplished PADI wreck diving scuba specialization at Lake Rawlings near Petersburg, Va. Crew 761 completed the course in association with Adventure Scuba of Chantilly and the course involved specialist dive equipment and training with four dives over two days. Wreck Diver specialization counts toward the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating. In addition, Venturers accomplished open water, advanced and rescue diver certifications during the weekend Scuba trip. Crew 761 will be utilizing wreck diver specialization during its annual North Carolina wreck diving trip in May and the Underwater Habitat "hotel" expedition in the Florida Keys in July.

Pat Ramirez of Sterling has received the Siamese Cat Rescue Center's 2008 Margaret Hoppe Memorial Award for Excellence. The award honors an individual, couple or family who volunteer with the Siamese Cat Rescue Center and who exemplify the spirit of Siamese Rescue in time, compassion and effort.

Ramirez, who has been with the rescue group since 1999, serves as regional coordinator for Northern Virginia, has fostered more than 70 Siamese cats; conducts workshops for volunteers; works with public shelters; interviews potential adopters; participates in fund-raisers and serves as a member and president of the board of directors.