The Rapp for Dec. 8

A-shopping they will go

Courtesy photo

The Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office sets off early Saturday (Dec. 10) on its 15th annual “Shop With a Cop” program, in which deputies pair up with needy kids to shop at the K-mart in Front Royal, where each child can buy $100 worth of merchandise for themselves and their families – followed by breakfast with Santa at Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue, gift-wrapping by volunteers and a food basket to take home. In the photo above, the children’s Sunday School classes at Reynolds Memorial Baptist in Sperryville hosted a bake sale and two weeks ago presented a $300 check to Sheriff Connie Smith for the program. From left (first row) are: Matthew Pullen, Brooklynn Jenkins, Claire Keyser, Beth Barron; and (second row) Sarabeth Ellis, Sunday school teacher Lauren Barron and Luke Ellis.

Vernikos makes a moving case

Courtesy photo

Joan Vernikos, author of  “Sitting Kills, Moving Heals,” delivered a presentation to students and guests at Belle Meade School as part of the school’s guest speaker series. Dr. Vernikos’ presentation focused on the groundbreaking research that she gathered as director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division. Through the observation of the effects of minimal gravity on the bodies of astronauts, she was able to make connections with an inactive lifestyle on earth and premature aging.

“Though many of us may exercise regularly, this is not sufficient to counteract the negative consequences of an immobile lifestyle,” Dr. Vernikos said. “I believe that maintaining an active lifestyle outside of normal exercise time may hold the key to combating obesity, diabetes and many of the other issues common in our society.”

The students of Belle Meade School were an active part of the discussion as well.  “Dr. Vernikos is helping people to realize that they can decide how fast they want to age,” said 10th-grader Eliot Caldwell.  Leif Kvarnes, eighth grade, commented on how impressed he was by Vernikos’ research, and noted that she was proud and surprised by how much the students knew as well.

For more information on Vernikos, visit her website at Joan Vernikos’s new book (its subtitle is: “How Simple Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness and Early Death – and Exercise Alone Won’t”) is published by Quill Driver Books and is available at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

For a schedule of upcoming presentations for the Belle Meade School Guest Speaker Series, visit

Vocal (and other) Food Pantry support

Ruthie Windsor Mann

That’s Trinity Episcopal Church’s Rev. Jenks Hobson handing Rappahannock Food Pantry director Mimi Forbes a check for $1,000 – proceeds of the recent Community Sing-a-Long held at Trinity. Meanwhile, down the road at the Blue Rock Inn, the restaurant and inn’s first open house last weekend (after the Washington parade) featured hot apple cider, wine, Margaret Dunn’s homemade cookies and chef Devin Bozkaya’s hors d’ouevres – and a silent auction and raffle of gifts that sent more proceeds to the Food Pantry.

Art works priced to be ‘gifted’

Even further down the road at Rappahannock Central (where Cafe Indigo this week starts serving dinner five nights a week, Wednesday through Sunday), an “Artists Holiday Gift Show” at River District Arts starts Saturday (Dec. 10) and runs through the end of the year, with the cooperative’s artists pricing their works to be given as gifts – or, okay, marked down. Many of the RDA’s artists will be around from 10 to 5 Sunday for an all-day opening reception.

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