The Rapp for Nov. 10

Middle Street’s new address is official

Gary Anthes | Rappahannock News

Middle Street Gallery will celebrate its grand opening at Rappahannock Central in Sperryville on Saturday (Nov. 12) from 2 to 5 p.m. Artists will be in attendance, refreshments will be served and music will be provided by local musician and composer Forrest Marquisee.

The nonprofit gallery’s November show, “Past and Present Members,” will feature the work of more than 30 artists representing 27 years of gallery service to the community. In addition to the work of current members, visitors will be able to see art of 18 past members, including sculpture by founding member Dan Lewis, paintings by June Jordan, Steve Kenny and many others. For this show, purchased art may be taken away on the spot – no waiting for a month until the show is over to enjoy your new pieces.

The show runs Nov. 3-27. The gallery is open 11 to 6 Thursday-Sunday. For more information, call 540-989-9330 or visit

Going once, going twice . . .

The scene in CCLC's children's garden.
Rose Ann Smythe
The scene in CCLC's children's garden.

Support Washington’s Child Care and Learning Center by attending the annual Fall Auction and Party this Saturday (Nov. 12). Doors open at 5:30, tickets are $45 per person, which includes free wine, beer and heavy hors d’oeuvres. An entertaining evening of bidding and buying – along with great food and drink – is guaranteed. But most important, you will be helping CCLC’s children.

If you’ve been to any of CCLC’s fall auctions, you might have wondered how we always manage to acquire so many wonderful things to bid on. Where do all travel and dining packages, antique furnishings, works of art, professional services, ephemera and such come from? And how about those beverages we serve on auction night? Do people simply give us all this stuff? The answer, of course, is yes. They give us all this, and more! They give us their time and financial support as well. But why?

People give because they’ve seen the difference CCLC and its staff make in a child’s life. They’ve developed a deep commitment to ensuring we can continue our work with the generations of preschool kids to come. A friend said that a child’s early years are known as “formative” because of their fundamental importance.  He understands what we and every one of our donors understand. Everything a child will become is rooted in those formative years ~ the years we specialize in at the Child Care and Learning Center. That’s why they donate.

Speaking of donations, we’ve received some pretty amazing ones through the years. During my time with CCLC, I’ve seen generosity lifted to inspiring levels but never have I seen anything so astonishingly generous as Ted and Renate Chapman’s endowment for this year’s auction! The Chapmans are selling their beloved “Greenfield” 1820s manor house and relocating away from Rappahannock. They’re leaving us with far more than fond memories though.

Ted and Renate have always been strong supporters, so when they asked us to come and pick up the things they were donating we expected to find plenty of special items. What we found was a house full of exquisite antique furniture, eye catching light fixtures, gorgeous carpets and other accumulated treasures of a lifetime. We discovered walls adorned with some of the finest original artwork we’ve ever acquired. It was overwhelming. There were literally truckloads of treasure and it was all coming to CCLC; making this year’s auction our best ever! For this, we owe Ted and Renate our deepest appreciation.

They, like everyone who contributes, know that children are our emissaries to the future and that there is nothing more important than preparing them for the journey. They give from their hearts and, to answer the original question, that’s where it all comes from.

– Ray Holland

Hearthstone’s solar talk is Tuesday

Hearthstone School is sponsoring an educational talk on solar energy and its applications in the community – including a plan to eventually power the Sperryville school with 100-percent solar electricity – at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 15) at the Rappahannock County Library in Washington.

Attendees will learn this history of active and passive solar power, its use and economic and environmental benefits, with questions answered afterwards by presenters Sam Cochrane, a certified solar contractor with Renewable Energy Solutions, and Kevin Weisgerber, Heartstone’s treasurer and Core Council member. The talk is free and no reservations are necessary. For more information, or if you have an interest in supporting Hearthstone’s solar project – either actively or passively – contact Weisgerber at 540-987-9465. 

Conservationists unite!

The Rappahannock County Conservation Alliance (RCCA) – an organization made up of Rappahannock residents and friends dedicated to preserving the rural and agricultural landscape of the county – holds its annual meeting at Wakefield Country Day School in Huntly this Sunday (Nov. 13) from 4 to 6 p.m.

RCCA encourages landowners to consider conservation easements as a tool for preserving our farms, our working forests and our views. The group raises money for the purchase of easements on agricultural land and is an information source for anyone considering an easement donation.

At the 2010 Annual Meeting, RCCA President Larry Grove presents a check to Board of Supervisors Chairman Roger Welch for $20,000 for the Farmland Preservation Program.  The funds helped secure a 236-acre easement near Amissville.
Courtesy photo
At the 2010 Annual Meeting, RCCA President Larry Grove presents a check to Board of Supervisors Chairman Roger Welch for $20,000 for the Farmland Preservation Program. The funds helped secure a 236-acre easement near Amissville.

This year, RCCA is hosting a panel with representatives from the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, the Virginia Department of Forestry and the Piedmont Environmental Council. Each organization will speak briefly about its role in Rappahannock conservation in the next few years. After which, the audience is welcome to ask their questions and then join the panelists for a cocktail reception.

“We try to do two things for our members and their guests at the Annual Meeting and that is to provide an outlook on conservation in the county and to host a social forum where landowners can ask their questions from folks who have already donated an easement,” said RCCA President Larry Grove.

If you want to learn more about private land conservation, the RCCA Board of Directors invites you to join them on Sunday afternoon for an informative discussion, delicious local refreshments, and presentation of RCCA’s annual gift to the Farmland Preservation Program (FPP).

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