This month the Rappahannock Food Pantry is collecting school supplies for children who can’t afford to buy them. Needed: glue sticks, pencils, pencil boxes, pens, marble composition notebooks, scissors, book bags, disinfecting wipes, three ring binders, crayons, Crayola markers, paper towels, book bags or backpacks, lunch boxes and more. Donations can be new or gently used. Hand sanitizers and tissues would also be welcome. Bring the contributions to the Food Pantry at 603 Mt. Salem Ave. in Washington, 9 to 4 Tuesdays and Thursdays or 9 to 2 Saturdays from 9 to 2 (or drop them in the container outside otherwise). Call 540-675-1177 for more information.
“Bob . . . WHITE!” Sound familiar? It used to be much more familiar. Recent studies have shown a drop or complete disappearance of the bobwhite quail population in the state of Virginia.
State biologist Debra Wright will speak at the Rappahannock County Garden Club’s monthly meeting, at 2 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 15) at the Washington fire hall, and her subject is Virginia’s quail recovery program, now underway, and how landowners with a half acre or more can prepare proper habitat to encourage quail to return and nest. The meeting is free and open to all. For more information, call Jeanne Jarrett at 540-675-1000.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Taste of Rappahannock, one of the county’s most popular annual fundraising events. This year, the Taste brings with it the chance to win one of many unique experiences – including a stay at a private vacation home on a Scottish island and lunch in New York City with the editor-in-chief of Glamour magazine. This year also brings with it the opportunity to thank the loyal supporters who have contributed financially and with their time over the history the event.
“We have identified all the businesses and individuals who have generously supported the Taste over the 15 years of the event and all businesses and individuals who have donated both financial support and time over at least 10 of the 15 years that the event has been hosted,” said Jane Bowling-Wilson, executive director of Headwaters Foundation. “It is this kind of dedicated community support that makes possible the successful Headwaters programs.”
Proceeds from the 2011 Taste of Rappahannock helped to fund key Headwaters programs including an after-school program that launched in November, thanks to a strategic partnership with teachers and volunteers who made the program possible. After-school programs included tennis, dance, drama and “mad science,” a favorite among participants. Also, a Lego club was started.
The Headwaters Farm-to-Table program expanded under the leadership of Jen Rattigan, and underwriting from the Farm at Sunnyside, the Rappahannock County Farm Bureau and funds from the 2011 Taste of Rappahannock. Farm-to-Table programs are offered at both the high school and the Rappahannock County Elementary School (RCES). The high school now also offers a class in agriculture.
Some $20,000 from last year was used to support the Next Step program, Rappahannock schools’ college and career access program, which is expanding its internship opportunities. Headwaters, through Next Step, awarded $20,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors.
The Starfish mentoring program has developed a new primary reading program, which will launch in September, thanks to tremendous support of RCES principal Cathy Jones and community leader Liz Blubaugh, who will train volunteers with the reading readiness skills they will use with the elementary school students.
Adding to the excitement of the evening this year is a new raffle opportunity. Patterned after other successful fundraising raffles, 100 tickets will be sold at $100 per ticket. The grand prize is the winner’s choice of one of the items being presented at this year’s live auction during the evening of the Taste. Raffle participants do not need to be present at the Taste to win.
Popular auctioneer Sherry Truhlar of Red Apple Auctions will lead the live auction. In the tradition of past years, the evening’s silent auction will offer a variety of items, including original works of art by renowned Rappahannock County artists.
Terri Lehman will once again lend her culinary skills to planning a buffet of delectable dishes prepared from fresh produce and meats generously donated by local farms and restaurants. Kent Streu, culinary teacher at Rappahannock County High School, will lead his students through the preparation of appetizers, soups, desserts and salads.
Funding for this year’s $15,000 Challenge Grant was made possible by generous gifts from loyal supporters of Headwaters, including Bill and Sarah Walton, “Friends of Headwaters,” and Tom and Cole Johnson.
Individual opening seating is still priced at $150 per person, with opportunities for higher level sponsorships being offered. The event takes place once again in and around the Belle Meade Schoolhouse, where tents offer protection from the elements and the grounds offer peerless views of those same elements, including the school’s own farm fields and the Blue Ridge beyond.
Reservations must be made by Sept. 1. Respond to the printed invitation, if received in the mail, or contact Jane Bowling-Wilson at 540-987-3322 (or firstname.lastname@example.org).
– Laura Overstreet
Hearthstone school hosts music festival
On Saturday, Aug. 18, Hearthstone School will introduce a new summer music event, Hearthstock 2012: The Stardust Music Festival. The festival will feature multiple live bands on an outdoor stage, as well as activities for all ages. Face painting and moon bounces will be available for the children, while an assortment of vendors, including Erik the Viking and Soolah Hoops, will provide both entertainment and their homemade wares. A wide variety of food – including ice cream! – will be served, while beer and wine will also be available. The festival also offers massages and musical therapies for those looking for something a little more relaxing. The school grounds are located on Rt. 211 West, just outside the town of Sperryville. Admission is $10 (ages 12 and younger get in free).
The funds received will contribute to the school’s scholarship fund that will serve the local community. Vendors welcome – to apply call school (540-987-9212) or download an application form from hearthstoneschool.org.
Planning is in full swing for the 2012 Rappahannock County Farm Tour weekend, to be held Sept. 29-30, and that includes planning for the All Things Rappahannock Market at the Schoolhouse in Sperryville.
Spots are still available at the market for Rappahannock-based food and craft vendors to sell their products and for agricultural or environmentally-focused organizations to host educational displays. Items for sale should be locally made and/or use Rappahannock-grown products.
The cost for participation at the market for the two-day weekend is $20. Full information about the Farm Tour and All Things Rappahannock Market is available at farmtour.visitrappahannockva.com. Businesses and organizations can register and pay for registration online under “Be Part of the Tour.” Vendors may also contact Beth Hall at email@example.com or at 540-675-1124. Hall is organizing the market on behalf of the Farm Tour planning committee.
The deadline for registration is Aug. 29. Participation may be both days or one day and requires that display be in place from 9 to 5. Set-up times are 2 to 6 Friday and 7 to 8:30 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 28-29).
“The Sperryville Schoolhouse is now filled with retail businesses and draws a crowd year round. The Schoolhouse is developing a loyal customer base that is sure to positively impact the All Things Rappahannock Market,” Hall said. “The market will also benefit from visitors coming to the Civil War Heritage Day Sept. 29, hosted by the Rappahannock County Sesquicentennial Committee. The two events are being cross-promoted.” (See next item.)
With about 20 participating venues open to the public, the two-day Rappahannock County Farm Tour, Sept. 29-30, offers something for every interest. The farm tour is self-guided with activities for the entire family. It is designed to promote local agriculture to out-of-county visitors and to encourage residents to get to know the participating farms. Visit farmtour.visitrappahannockva.com for more information.
– Laura Overstreet
Rappahannock County will join in the Civil War Sesquicentennial celebrations Sept. 29 by hosting an all-day commemorative festival at the Rappahannock County Visitors Center.
Every history buff knows Rappahannock was a major thoroughfare for both armies during the war. Back in the summer of 1862, the farm fields and hills around the future site of Rappahannock’s library and visitors center served as campgrounds for nearly 20,000 members of the newly formed Union Army of Virginia. Led by General Nathaniel Banks, the beleaguered soldiers – who had just suffered defeats in the northern Shenandoah Valley – camped out for nearly a month in between battles against the Confederate Army.
Sponsored by the Rappahannock County Sesquicentennial Committee (RCSC), the festival will include reenacted skirmishes, cavalry, artillery and infantry firing demonstrations, as well as live musical performances. A Youth Boot Camp will also be held at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Special guest and noted screenwriter-director Ron Maxwell will present commentary on his newest film, “Copperhead,” while Civil War expert Art Candenquist will present “Civil War Comes to the Morning Side of the Blue Ridge.”
For a full schedule of events and driving directions: visitrappahannockva.com or 540-675-3153.