The Rapp for Jan. 22

Fourth (Estate) Friday

Our monthly Fourth (Estate) Friday caffeine-and-conversation hour is back in Washington tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 23) — specifically at the Country Cafe on Main Street. We’ll buy your coffee from 9 till 10 a.m. (you can always pay for an upgrade), and we’ll be open to coverage suggestions, ideas and criticism from any readers who can join us. See you there. (Call us at 540-675-3338 or email editor@rappnews.com if you have questions.)

Jazz on Saturday

Jazz pianist Bill Harris.Richard Lykes
Jazz pianist Bill Harris.

This Saturday (Jan. 24) at 8 p.m., you’ll want to be at the Theatre at Washington for jazz pianist Bill Harris’ “Timeless Love Songs” solo concert. Known far and wide for his simultaneously amazing chops and relaxed style, Rappahannock resident Harris explores the American Songbook and improvises on his favorite melodies and lyrics (think Nat Cole, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and such standards such as “More Than You Know,” “If I Had You” and more). There are still tickets available (they’re $25, $10 if you’re 17 or younger); call 540-675-1253 or email info@theatrewashingtonva.com.

Chocolate on Valentine’s Day

Learn to make out-of-the-ordinary chocolate from Joy Bliss Raw’s Thu Hoang Feb. 14 at Narmada Winery.Courtesy photo
Learn to make out-of-the-ordinary chocolate from Joy Bliss Raw’s Thu Hoang Feb. 14 at Narmada Winery.

If you love chocolate and hate doing the same old thing on Valentine’s Day, consider one of Narmada Winery’s chocolate workshop sessions led by master chocolatier Thu Hoang from Joy Bliss Raw, the Washington, D.C.-based artisanal chocolate company known for its organic, raw, gluten-free, fair-trade confections (a selection of which Thu will have available for purchase).

At either the 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. sessions at Narmada on Feb. 14, you’ll help make the chocolate that you take home — spiced with cardamom, chili and other out-of-the-ordinary ingredients. The fee is $12 per person; participants also get a 10 percent discount on all wine bottle purchases at the end of the class. Sign up at narmadawinery.com or call 540-937-8215.

Benevolent Fund background (and a dinner Jan. 31)

Lelani (who appeared at last year’s Western-themed Benevolent Fund Dinner as Lola, and was a big hit — and the source of numerous cash tips) stopped by Butch Zindel’s real estate office the other day to get help accessorizing for this year’s Hawaiian theme. So, is it seashells, or coconuts? Post your comment on the Rappahannock News Facebook page (facebook.com/rappahannocknews) to help her decide.Hazel Zinn-Day
Lelani (who appeared at last year’s Western-themed Benevolent Fund Dinner as Lola, and was a big hit — and the source of numerous cash tips) stopped by Butch Zindel’s real estate office the other day to get help accessorizing for this year’s Hawaiian theme. So, is it seashells, or coconuts? Post your comment on the Rappahannock News Facebook page (facebook.com/rappahannocknews) to help her decide.

The purpose of the Benevolent Fund is to care for the “needy” in Rappahannock County beyond that which is available from existing public sources. The Fund welcomes referrals from all the churches and service agencies of the county, including fire, rescue and police, and seeks to meet emergencies in the basic areas of heat, electricity, food, and rent (but is open to other possibilities as they arise).

The primary source of funding is a combination of an anonymous grant matched with funds raised by the annual “Celebrity Waiters” dinner. This year’s dinner is Jan 31 — a “luau” featuring Hawaiian-style décor, food and dress. (Last year’s theme was Western, complete with covered wagon, jail, and deputies.) This year the room at the Washington School will be decorated with tropical-style flowers, colors and dress. Waiters and guests will contribute to the ambience and entertainment.

Entertainment will include hula hoopers, jugglers and music for dancing. There will also be a photography booth manned by photographer, Ray Boc, where comic pictures of attendees may be taken for a fee. The waiters, in addition to serving the meal, will also provide entertainment for their tables and sometimes the whole room — all is to encourage “tips” above the basic cost of admission.

The proceeds go to the Benevolent Fund, which makes its assistance payments directly to suppliers (no cash is given to individuals). The average grant is about $275 and most grants pay for housing, electricity, heating or cooling, and sometimes transportation and medical needs.

The waiters this year include Debbie Donehey, Heather Lilly, Sean Spink, Lisa and Michael Mendell, Russ Savage, Mike Leake, Judy and Dick Reidinger, Jackie Meuse, Mark Allen, Pat Whorton, Bubby Settle and John Guido, Annie Williams, Chris Doxzen, John Lesinski, Connie Smith, John Kiser and Gus Edwards. Some waiters, like Debbie Donehey, have already started raising money for the Benevolent Fund and the competition for the waiter who raises the most money at his/her table can be fierce. A token award is given to the winner.

Admission to the dinner is $60. If you have not been invited by a waiter but would like to attend, please email bsmah@stoneledge.net. We are keeping a list of those who would like to attend and will place them at tables that have not been filled. We will fill all the seats in a first-come, first-served order. If we can’t seat you this year, we can put you at the top of the list for next year’s dinner (or you can volunteer to be a waiter). 

For any who would like to contribute, a check made payable to the Rappahannock Benevolent Fund can be sent c/o Trinity Church, P.O. Box 299, Washington, VA 22747. Trinity Episcopal Church (a tax-exempt organization) serves as the fiscal agent for the fund. All moneys given to the Benevolent Fund are tax deductible. They are kept in a separate bank account. There are almost no administrative costs associated with the fund.

— Bette Mahoney

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The Rappahannock News welcomes contributions from any and all members of the community. Email news and photos to editor@rappnews.com or call us at 540-675-3338.