Washington column for Oct. 25

Autumn in Washington

It was officially autumn in Washington and Shenandoah National Park this past weekend and the famously colorful leaves were at their peak. It was a beautiful weekend for last weekend’s 56th annual House Tour and Dried Flower Sale. As always, the tour was sponsored by the women of Trinity Episcopal Church, who had dried flower arrangements for sale in the parish hall.

Innkeeper Mary Ann Kuhn (right), along with Judy Brown, served tea and desserts at Middleton Inn during last weekend’s House Tour. Photo by Ruth Windsor Mann.
Innkeeper Mary Ann Kuhn (right), along with Judy Brown, served tea and desserts at Middleton Inn during last weekend’s House Tour. Photo by Ruth Windsor Mann.

According to Helen Williams, one of the women behind the flower arrangements, “Lots of visitors enjoyed the three houses, celebrating the 200th anniversary of Caledonia, being amazed at the journey of Woodlawn from Appomattox County to Rappahannock and remembering the past evoked by the artifacts and primitives of the Grosso House’s Americana collections. Fifty-six years of experience have made the weekend tour familiar. The flower arrangements, all 200 of them, caused the familiar ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs,’ and there are still some left over in the parish hall. Guests for the houses were a bit fewer this year, but more came to see the flower arrangement display. The weather was, as expected, beautiful, and the maples in front of Trinity Church, and in Sperryville, caused many photographers to pause.”

On Saturday, I was in the post office getting my mail and a lady that was visiting the town told me she really enjoyed the house tour and described the beautiful dried arrangements as works of art. So nice to hear feedback from visitors.

Apple butter: gone

In just three short weekends, the Rappahannock Lions Club sold out its supply of apple butter! Those fellas (and gals) in the blue and yellow caps cajoled Quicke Mart patrons into buying 1,240 homemade pints and 36 quarts, according to Lion Larry Grove, the man behind the club’s traditional money-raiser. Savvy buyers might still be able to find a pint at Bryant Lee’s apple shed off U.S. 211. The club thanks members of the community for such support.

By combining apple butter proceeds with fundraising projections from the upcoming Grand Raffle and ChiliFest, Lions Club members are enthusiastic about meeting their 2012-13 budget under the leadership of Lions President Bill Gadino. Jim Manwaring chairs the year’s main fundraiser (which is 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, with a drawing for the shot at up to $5,000 in cash starting at 6). Take note of the new location (the Sperryville fire hall). All proceeds go back into the community in the form of nonprofit contributions, scholarships and service projects.

Cause for Paws raffle

This year’s A Cause for Paws raffle is underway and tickets are on sale through Nov. 4. You can purchase tickets for just $5 (or $20 for five) and enter the drawing for a chance to win a romantic package for two, including dinner at the world-renowned Inn at Little Washington and a one-night stay at the luxurious Middleton Inn, one of a handful of four-diamond inns in the country.

Only 500 tickets will be sold, so the odds of winning are very good and the proceeds are for a very good cause. Since the tickets and prizes were donated, all of the ticket sales benefit the RappCats Spay & Neuter Fund.

A Cause for Paws was created in 2006 by Michelle and Gary Schwartz, former owners of Heritage House B&B, in memory of Toby, their rescued cat and a guest favorite, who was killed by a speeding motorist on Main Street.

“Knowing there were individuals in the county who rescued cats but couldn’t afford to spay or neuter them, we worked with RAWL in creating a Feline Spay & Neuter Fund,” said Gary.

The Schwartz’s agreed to hold the raffle and donate the proceeds as seed money for the fund. Approximately $8,000 has been raised in the four raffles held since 2006. For the second year in a row, the raffle will benefit the nonprofit RappCats, an all-volunteer cat rescue organization working to help the stray, abused, abandoned and unwanted cats of Rappahannock County.

The Cause for Paws raffle was created in 2006 by Michelle and Gary Schwartz in memory of Toby, their rescued cat, who was killed by a speeding motorist on Main Street. Courtesy photo.
The Cause for Paws raffle was created in 2006 by Michelle and Gary Schwartz in memory of Toby, their rescued cat, who was killed by a speeding motorist on Main Street. Courtesy photo.

It has meant a lot for Michelle and Gary knowing they could turn their negative experience into something that positively benefits animals in the county.

“We truly believe that if everyone makes an effort to spay and neuter, it will help reduce the unwanted cat population in the county,” says Michelle. To those who don’t consider themselves to be cat lovers, she adds, “Please purchase a raffle ticket and help us control the cat population. It will make your dog and the songbirds of Rappahannock very, very happy!”

Tickets can be purchased at Union First Market Bank, the Hair Gallery and Middleton Inn. For more information, call RappCats at 540-987-8099 or visit their website at rappcats.org.

Local news

Air Force Airman Patrick S. Hanberry, son of Judo Hanberry of Washington, graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Airman Hanberry, who graduated from Highland School in 2010, completed an intensive eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills.

Wishes

Birthday wishes go out to C. E. “Skippy” Giles, Jr., who celebrates his special day today (Oct. 25), Mitzi Young, who will celebrate her special day on Monday (Oct. 29), and to Steven Alther, who will celebrate his day on Halloween.

Tula’s grand opening

Tula’s Off Main, 311 Gay St., is having its grand opening from 10 to 4 this Saturday (Oct. 27) at the cafe. Stop by for a free 12-ounce cup of Tula’s house coffee and be sure to sample other menu items. Make sure to try their ginger scones; they’re delicious! For more information, call 540-675-2223.

Trick-or-treat!

Next Wednesday night (Oct. 31), it’ll finally be time for goblins, bats and other Halloween spirits. Trinity Episcopal Church invites you to come out on Halloween night at 6 p.m. for candy and hot dogs. The Hair Gallery, Washington’s Town Hall, the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office and The Inn at Little Washington are among those offering treats again this year.

The Inn’s own Devin Day will be in costume and on the front porch of the main building at Middle and Main Streets from 5 to 8 p.m. (Please note that The Inn will not have any candy at the Tavern Shops or the outer buildings and cottages.) Be sure to stop by and have fun with your neighbors and friends in the town of Washington.

Have a safe and happy Halloween, everyone.