Washington column for Oct. 11

A ‘day to serve’

Local groups partnered for a day of service to feed the hungry on Saturday, Sept. 29. The success of last year’s proclamation by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, which called for a statewide day of service by faith-based and community organizations, apparently drew the attention of neighboring states.

This year, governors Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia, Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Mayor Vincent C. Gray of the District of Columbia each joined with McDonnell in proclaiming Sept. 29 a “Day to Serve,” calling on their respective citizens to roll up their sleeves and generously donate their time and resources for the benefit of their communities.

Eradicating hunger was this year’s common theme, as faith-based and civic groups combined efforts to stock the shelves of local food pantries and shelters. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), a key organizer of the Day to Serve, had numerous activities underway throughout the region. In Winchester and the surrounding areas, each local LDS congregation sponsored a specific food bank or shelter. Through their efforts in projects such as door-to-door food drives, apple orchard gleaning and gathering various items, they were able to provide support for various food pantries, women’s shelters and other community organizations.

According to Larry Mayer, LDS’ Winchester Stake public affairs director, one congregation managed to collect 4,600 pounds of food in its neighborhood drive, all of which was delivered on Saturday to the Congregational Community Action Project (CCAP) in Winchester. Every community organization sponsored by a local congregation was also invited to travel to the LDS Bishop’s Storehouse in Upper Marlboro, Md., for an additional donation of $1,000 in food from the LDS storehouse itself. The Rappahannock Food Pantry was an early recipient.

“What a fabulous, generous donation,” said Mimi Forbes, director of the Rappahannock Food Pantry, who recently claimed nearly 700 pounds of donated food for the pantry. Dawn Bartlett of Huntly drove Forbes and volunteer Andy Platt to the LDS storehouse, where they happily loaded many boxes of food and returned to stock the shelves at the Food Pantry here in Washington. The Rappahannock pantry was just one of hundreds of area food banks across the area brimming with donations contributed by religious and civic groups during the month of September.

Acorn Cafe

Last Friday was the big day for Brooke Parkhurst, who opened Acorn Cafe, located in Ginger Hill Vintage Finds and Antiques.

Brooke Parkhurst, right, and Beth Hall serve the first customer, Trudi Martell, last Friday (Oct. 5) at Parkhurst’s new Acorn Cafe. Photo by Jan Clatterbuck.
Brooke Parkhurst, right, and Beth Hall serve the first customer, Trudi Martell, last Friday (Oct. 5) at Parkhurst’s new Acorn Cafe. Photo by Jan Clatterbuck.

Acorn Cafe offers Central Coffee Roaster’s coffee, a variety of teas (black, green and herbal), Cocoa Bella’s fabulous brewing chocolate and her delicious Roaster Red Pepper Quiche.

I have tried it – it’s good to the last crumb! Acorn Cafe will be open 11 to 4 Friday-Monday.

News from Dodger

Rappahannock Food Pantry’s ambassador, Dodger, the dog who lives in Rappahannock with his mom and dad, Rudy and Judy Segaar, reports on the Food Pantry in the latest Trinity Episcopal Church newsletter.

“Well, it’s been a pretty long summer for me,” writes Dodger. “I guess you’ve noticed I haven’t written any articles. Turns out I have Lyme disease! I’m on my third round of medication and I’m still not feeling so hot. But on to better news, you guys are awesome! The food for the pantry just keeps on coming! Even while you were taking summer vacations, my mom and I would go check the boxes and there it was, all this food! Now that we’re into October, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. So if you want to change things up a bit, you can start donating cans of turkey gravy, stuffing mix, pumpkin pie mix, cranberry sauce – makes me hungry just to think about it! Oh yeah, and don’t forget the pets!”

Blessings of the animals

The Rev. Jennings Hobson and Trinity Episcopal Church had a service for the blessing of animals in honor of St. Francis Day in the Quiet Place, in front of the church, Sunday afternoon (Oct. 7).

Ruth Baumgardner and her cairn terrier Belle were blessed by Rev. Jenks Hobson Sunday in honor of St. Francis Day. Photo by Margaret Baumgardner.
Ruth Baumgardner and her cairn terrier Belle were blessed by Rev. Jenks Hobson Sunday in honor of St. Francis Day. Photo by Margaret Baumgardner.
They had 20 dogs, two cats and three horses.

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