Washington column for Nov. 8

Little Washington’s Halloween

Little Washington celebrated Halloween with great fanfare last Wednesday (Oct. 31) as kids and families came to visit the town’s decorated homes and businesses and to spend time at Trinity Episcopal Church. The Halloween Guild transformed Trinity’s parish hall into Halloween Central during the days prior and did not let superstorm Sandy deter their efforts. Doors were set to open at 6 p.m. but goblins, ghosts, witches and Spider-men arrived early. All were given hot dogs, chips, candy and cookies, along with coffee and autumn harvest soup for the adult crowd.

Hurricane Sandy did not stop Supermen, goblins and ghosts from enjoying hot dogs and candy at Trinity Episcopal Church’s decorated parish hall on Halloween night in Washington. Photo by Ruthie Windsor Mann.
Hurricane Sandy did not stop Supermen, goblins and ghosts from enjoying hot dogs and candy at Trinity Episcopal Church’s decorated parish hall on Halloween night in Washington. Photo by Ruthie Windsor Mann.

More than 550 people stopped in for treats and a respite. Shouts of “More dogs!” were heard throughout the evening and by the end of the night more than 440 hot dogs, 600 bags of chips and 75 pounds of candy had been served. The Halloween Guild – chaired by Amo Merritt and Kathleen Hutcheson, Trinity’s resident ghouls – is already planning next year’s celebration. Amo and Kathleen would like thank all the volunteers who helped make this year a success. This brief item comes from Greg Merritt.

Studio and gallery tour

Washington’s streets and galleries bustled with activity and art lovers during the weekend’s eighth annual Artists of Rappahannock Studio & Gallery Tour. Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC) tour committee chair Nancy Raines said she was very pleased with the attendance. While the number of visitors was down slightly from last year, possibly due to the recent storm and the pending election, the crowd seemed to be in a buying mood. “We sold more at the fire hall than we ever had before,” she said. “We hope and expect that the individual studios and galleries met with the same success! Most important, at the places I went, people had their checkbooks out and were buying from the artists, which is of course, the point of all this!”

Also, we were blessed that for the eighth year in a row we had good weather, even if most of the leaves had been blown off our trees by Hurricane Sandy. “And thanks to the Rappahannock News for the help with publicity!” said Charlotte Taylor. The hard work of planning culminated in an outstanding event that showcased not only the county’s artistic talent, but also its cultural wealth and beauty.

Cancer survivors dinner/dance

In 1997-98, the word “cancer” hit the family of Ellen Timbers like a ton of bricks. Her brother Melvin was diagnosed with prostate cancer, had surgery and treatment, and within that year had passed. Unfortunately it was not over. In 2002, Ellen was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had two surgeries, radiation and chemo. This month, as she celebrates 10 years cancer-free, she explained a bit of why she’s involved with the Rappahannock Relay for Life’s annual Survivor Dinner/Dance this coming weekend.

“In 2005 and again in 2009, my brother James was diagnosed with kidney and then prostate cancer,” she writes. “It then became very clear to the family that we needed to educate ourselves and get properly tested. Why do we keep going? My point exactly.”

We all probably have loved ones in the community that we have lost in the past year. The second annual Survivor Dinner and Dance at 6:30 this Saturday (Nov. 10) at the Sperryville Schoolhouse helps support existing community programs, as well as programs that are needed. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner is provided by the Country Cafe. As Ellen said in last week’s edition, “Cancer does not sleep and neither does the American Cancer Society.”

You can access them at any time by calling 1-800-ACS-2345 or go to cancer.org with questions or to be connected to someone in your area; your local contacts are Katherine Todd (540-522-6656) and Ellen Timbers (540-987-8402). “This is not just another party but a party with a purpose – to educate, advocate and eradicate cancer,” Ellen writes. “By the time you read this it will be too late to purchase a ticket in advance, but we want to honor, recognize and support our survivors and to give thanks to the many ACS volunteers and the community for the continued support. The path was paved many years ago for Relay to come to Rappahannock and we do not want to stop.”

Prayers for Harry Smoot

Harry Smoot is at the Mount Vue Nursing Home in Luray for a period of rehabilitation. He would love to hear from his church family and friends. You may write to him at Mount Vue Nursing Home, 30 Montvue Dr., Room 216, Luray, VA 22835. Remember Harry in your prayers each day, that he may be home with his family soon.

Inspiring testimonies

Darcie Gill, a mission representative for The Voice of the Martyrs, is coming to Washington Baptist Church this Sunday (Nov. 11) at 6:30 p.m. to share the challenging and inspiring testimonies of families in restricted nations. Gill, sometimes accompanied by her husband, Tim, has traveled all over the U.S. and the world, including Sudan, China, Vietnam, the Middle East and more. Gill has been serving the persecuted family for more than 12 years, sharing their challenging yet encouraging message. For more information, call the church at 540-675-3336.

A pause for Cause for Paws

RappCats has postponed its Cause for Paws raffle drawing until this Sunday (Nov. 11) to give RappCats’ volunteers more time to sell the tickets. Sales efforts were hindered by the impact of Hurricane Sandy, so the Nov. 4 drawing was moved back. The raffle 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. Tickets can be purchased for $5 each (or five for $20); only 500 tickets will be sold. Prizes include a romantic package for two, featuring dinner at the world-renowned Inn at Little Washington and an overnight stay at the luxurious Middleton Inn. Volunteers are selling tickets throughout the county; tickets can also be purchased by emailing rappcats@rappcats.org or innkeeper@middletoninn.com.

Birthday wishes

Belated birthday wishes go out to one amazing lady, Betty Buntin of Washington. She celebrated her 96th birthday last Thursday (Nov. 1). Betty and her daughter, Nancy, enjoyed her birthday at the Thornton River Grille in Sperryville.