The Rapp for March 12

Spring’s calendar: Sprung

Snappy dressers and engaging performers, Dark Hollow Bluegrass Band returns to the Theatre at Washington March 14. Courtesy photo
Snappy dressers and engaging performers, Dark Hollow Bluegrass Band returns to the Theatre at Washington March 14.

Forget the (wet) weather forecast. Sometimes checking the event calendar (ours on page 3, for starters) will tell you more about what time of year it is — and this weekend is clearly the official end of cabin-fever season. There’s a student musical at Belle Meade (Friday and Saturday, the second night being a dinner-theatre fundraiser with food by Sylvie Rowand); a RACC library lecture with serious-stone collector John Henry (Friday); the Historical Society’s annual Antique Appraisal and Bakery Boutique (10 to 2 Saturday at Copper Fox Antiques in Sperryville); and Saturday night brings Emmy-winning actor Alec Baldwin and a cast of musicians and animal- and human-rights luminaries for a night of activism to Castleton’s Theatre House, as well as bringing the ever-bright Dark Hollow Bluegrass Band to the Theatre at Washington. See page 3 for more.

Give Local Piedmont’s 2015 goal: $1 million

Give Local Piedmont participants and volunteers shout (or at least show off) this year’s online fundraising campaign date from the rooftops.Courtesy photo
Give Local Piedmont participants and volunteers shout (or at least show off) this year’s online fundraising campaign date from the rooftops.

Following the amazing success of the inaugural Give Local Piedmont event, which raised more than $675,000 in 2014, event organizers have raised the bar: Organizers say the goal for Give Local Piedmont — coming May 5 to a computer or mobile device near you — is to raise $1 million.

“To reach that goal, we are asking the entire community to step up to the proverbial plate,” says Tanya Paull of the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation, which sponsors the event. “Donors were so very generous in 2014, and we need that to continue, not only in what they offer from their pockets, but in spreading the word to encourage others to donate as well.”

Those poised to gain the most from Give Local Piedmont are the charities in Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison and Rappahannock counties. Last year, 107 nonprofits reaped the benefits of the 24-hour online giving event. Some were hesitant at first about signing on, but they quickly learned that efforts leading up to the day were less cumbersome — and far more financially rewarding — than other fundraisers.

To date, Paull says, 100 nonprofits are registered to participate in Give Local Piedmont 2015, including 32 that are new to the event. Each participant stands to gain potentially significant donations, increased awareness about the nonprofit and additions to their donor database. Nonprofits can register by March 31 by visiting To find out if your organization is eligible to participate, or for registration assistance, contact Paull at

A modest bequest

Who gets Grandma’s yellow pie plate? At a free workshop from 10 to noon Saturday, March 21, at Rappahannock Library, Aging Together is sponsoring a free workshop to help you answer that question (or ones like it) and to help families plan ahead for such matters instead of waiting for a crisis or death. “Passing on personal property is often assumed to be unimportant or an issue that just takes care of itself,” writes Aging Together’s community resource specialist Dianna Banks. “Decisions about personal belongings can cause more disagreements than decisions about titled property or financial wealth because of the memories they bring up when a family is already grieving the loss of a loved one.” For more information about the workshop, contact Banks at 540-829-6405 or

Park opening dates set

Though winter has not released its grip on Shenandoah National Park and staff continues to deal with frozen stuff up there on the mountain, park employees are also gearing up for spring.

The park’s spring opening schedule includes the switch from weekends-only to daily operation of visitor centers, including the Harry F. Byrd center (March 28) and Dickey Ridge (April 4).

As for campgrounds: Big Meadows opens March 27, Lewis Mountain April 3; Mathews Arm and Loft Mountain (and group camping at Dundo) open May 6.

Picnic grounds: Big Meadows opens March 27, Lewis Mountain April 3, Dickey Ridge April 4. Elkwallow, Pinnacles, South River and Dundo picnic grounds are already open.

Facilities and concession-run operations: Skyland Resort and Big Meadows Wayside open March 26; Big Meadows Shower/Laundry opens March 27; Lewis Mountain Cabins and Lewis Mountain Campstore open April 3; Loft Mountain Wayside opens April 9; Elkwallow Wayside opens April 16; Loft Mountain Campstore and Loft Mountain Showers and Laundry open May 6.

Big Meadows Lodge opens May 15.

More at or 540-999-3500.

Coterie goes green

Green ceramics by Libet Henze of Far Ridge Ceramics and glass green pieces by Patti Brennan are part of Coterie’s pre-St. Patrick’s event. Courtesy photo
Green ceramics by Libet Henze of Far Ridge Ceramics and glass green pieces by Patti Brennan are part of Coterie’s pre-St. Patrick’s event.

As a warm-up for St. Patrick’s Day, Sperryville’s Coterie Shop is hosting a celebration this Saturday (March 14) from 2 to 4, including local author Sheila Lamb signing copies of her “Once A Goddess” and “Fiery Arrow,” the first two installments of her Brigid of Ireland trilogy. Amy Fisher Chan of Bijou’s Sweet Treats will demonstrate how she creates those little pieces of cookie art, Karen from Cocoa Manna Brewing Chocolate will dole out samples, Lauren from Valley Green Naturals will demonstrate the company’s products (to go with Coterie’s specials on Valley Green products all weekend), and Jen Perrot of Flourish Root will have spring wreaths, mossy creations and more.

Coterie Shop is at the Sperryville Schoolhouse on Lee Highway. Call 540-987-8249 or email for more.

Changes at CCLC

Three months is not a lot of time (although this winter has made it seem longer), but the last three months have brought a number of changes at the Child Care & Learning Center (CCLC) on U.S. 211 near Little Washington. A dynamic board of directors, chaired by Betsy Dietel, has been busy energizing this Rappahannock institution of almost 40 years.

Among its new programs: The center has hired Christina Loock to begin an extensive curriculum in nature and in earth sciences for preschool, home-school, and after-school programs. “Children in Nature” offers CCLC children a way to explore nature and learn more about the world around them. “Summer at CCLC!” has an extensive schedule of summer camps beginning this summer for preschool and school-aged children. Each week has a different theme, ranging from exploratory trips in history or nature, to sports, nature studies, and arts and crafts activities.

CCLC was also reaccredited in December by the NAEYC, the largest organization worldwide that supports early childhood education. (CCLC is the only center regionally to meet the high childcare standards necessary for accreditation.)

CCLC also has a new executive director. Fred Catlin began in January and has a long professional career in educational administration and teaching.

Finally, because CCLC is open on most snow days, teacher work days and federal holidays, it is available on a drop-in basis to CCLC alumni who are in Rappahannock public and private schools. This “Emergency Childcare Service” helps families avoid having to scurry around to find childcare on those days where schools are closed but parents have to work.

For more, visit or call 540-675-3237.

Check out UVA Culpeper’s expansion

UVA Culpeper Hospital’s expanded Emergency Department sponsors an open house for families this Saturday.Courtesy photo
UVA Culpeper Hospital’s expanded Emergency Department sponsors an open house for families this Saturday.

UVA Culpeper Hospital invites families to its Emergency Department Community Open House from 9 to 11 this Saturday (March 14) for face painting, free books, a teddy bear clinic, refreshments — and, if you like, a tour of the expanded facilities. Visitors can also speak with physicians and clinical staff, gather information from the Blue Ridge Poison Center and learn helpful tips from local law enforcement on topics like bicycle safety, child seat installations and assistance with child ID kits.

With nearly three times the space, UVA Culpeper Hospital’s Emergency Department is now better prepared to offer life-saving patient care to the greater Culpeper community. The increase of 14,000 square feet has made room for new state-of-the-art equipment (including specific new systems for stroke and heart patients) and spacious and private patient care treatment areas.

The hospital is at 501 Sunset Lane. Call 540-829-4100 for more information.

‘Cello, Cello, Cello!’ March 22

At 3 p.m. Sunday, March 22, the 23rd season in the Smithsonian at Little Washington series continues with renowned musician Kenneth Slowik’s celebration of the violoncello. Slowik is artistic director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society and curator of the musical instrument collection at the National Museum of American History.

For this concert, Slowik brings three of his University of Maryland graduate students to present a sonorous program of music written by those who know the instrument best: famous cellists of the past. The sound of a cello choir — an ensemble consisting of three, four or more cellos — is often, and with good reason, compared to that of a group of voices. Of all the stringed instruments, the cello has perhaps the most extended range, encompassing the entire tessitura from the low notes of Russian basses to the high soprano register.

The works on the program, by cellist/composers Julius Klengel, Friedrich Dotzauer, Gaspar Cassado and David Popper, will also be informed by Slowik’s encyclopedic and affectionate commentary. Slowik was the recipient of the Smithsonian Secretary’s Distinguished Research Lecture Award; his remarks during the concerts at the Theatre at Washington are generally abbreviated versions of the talk which precedes each of the concerts heard in Washington, D.C.

Tickets ($25, $10 ages 17 and younger) available at or 540-675-1253.

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