The Rapp

Photo by Ray Boc

Planning for the Fourth

The Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department has started once again planning for its Rappahannock County Fourth of July Celebration, on the 100 rolling acres of Bill Fletcher’s Thornton Hill Hounds course off U.S. 522 just south of Sperryville. And they can use help — not as much with the planning for the squad’s biggest fundraising event of the year, which helps pay for the company’s equipment and operations. For the fourth annual fireworks, music and entertainment gala, they’re looking for a few good underwriters.

“We’ve been fortunate in the past to have underwriter support,” said Sperryville Fire Company Chief Richie Burke, “but we realize it’s not always guaranteed.”

In addition to a sizable anonymous donation, plus underwriting from the Rappahannock National Bank, Greg Williams Tree Service, John Kiser and others, Burke said the company’s looking to offer smaller sponsorships — in the range of $1,000, rather than the previous $5,000 to $10,000.

If you can help, contact event co-chair Burke at 540-987-8570 or And stay tuned to the Rappahannock News for further coverage of the event.

Rappahannock News Staff Photo/Roger Piantadosi

Volunteer for visitors

The county’s first-ever Visitor Center will be open by Memorial Day, and volunteers are needed to staff it Fridays through Sundays. There’s a training program next Wednesday, May 12, at the Link in Sperryville, for volunteers who can commit to at least two four-hour shifts per month. If you’re interested, contact Contact Laura Overstreet at the Rappahannock County Office of Tourism at or call 540-675-5330.

Improvements to the county-owned Avondale farmhouse, the first floor of which will house the center, are being done by jail trustees, or trusted inmates, with money already in the county’s building and grounds budget, said County Administrator John W. McCarthy. The $10,000 estimated to keep the center in operation for a year is being raised by the Rappahannock Hospitality and Visitors Association (formerly the Washington Hospitality and Visitors Association) — the executive committee of which voted last week to set the bar by making its own $4,000 contribution to the fund.

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