Washington column for Nov. 12

’Tis the season

With Thanksgiving coming in two weeks and the Christmas holiday right around the corner, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday. I know I have.

Some people have already focused on the Christmas holiday — some earlier than others. I notice that R.H. Ballard’s shop windows are also beautifully decorated for the holidays.

A reminder for everyone: Be sure to ring in the holidays with Christmas in Little Washington on Sunday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m., with festivities throughout the town. Come early for a full day of family fun. The holiday parade, which starts at 1:30 p.m. includes a grand marshall and The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps leading a cavalcade of animals, floats, and performers — including Santa and a host of local dignitaries — through town. Free admission and parking. maps and programs will be available throughout the town.

Also keep in mind that Christmas in Little Washington benefits the Rappahannock Food Pantry. Be sure to visit their table on Gay Street and have some hot cider. All donations gratefully received. Let’s help feed our neighbors!

If the weather looks unfavorable, call 540-675-3128 for a recorded message within 12 hours of event to find out if event is cancelled.

There ‘s plenty to surprise and delight the whole family. Hope to see you there.


Birthday wishes go out to my sister, Judy Alther. She will celebrate her special day on Wednesday (Nov. 18).

Country breakfast

The air is getting colder outside. Why not go and warm up with a hot breakfast at the firehouse. Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue will be having an All You Can Eat Breakfast Buffet on Saturday, Nov 21, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at their station. Hot and fresh scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, sausage gravy, biscuits, hashbrowns, fried apples, orange juice, and coffee. Adults and kids 11 and older $8, kids 10 and under eat FREE. For more information, call 540-675-3615 and speak with one of their volunteers. All proceeds will be used to fund our daily operations.

Joint Worship with First Baptist

On Sunday, Nov, 15, the Washington Baptist Church will join the brothers and sisters at First Baptist Church, Washington, for a special worship service. The host, the Rev. James Kilby, will lead the service and Walt Childress, pastor of the Washington Baptist Church will preach. Music will be provided by both churches including a joint choir under the direction of our Minister of Music, Wendy Aichele.

The idea for this service came from the members of both First Baptist and Washington Baptist following their joint prayer vigil for the shooting victims in Charleston, South Carolina, and the joint Bible Study they have recently completed. A brief cookie and coffee reception will follow the service.Everyone is also invited to attend the Sunday School class at First Baptist at 9:45 a.m.

What a better way to usher in the holiday season than to attend a community service.

RCHS winter concert

The Rappahannock Concert and Jazz Band Winter Concert will be held on Thursday, Dec. 10 in the RCHS auditorium, starting at 6:30 p.m. They will be having their annual basket raffle fundraiser, and refreshments will be served. For more information, call 540-227-0745.

News from Free Clinic:

The second annual Rappahannock Free Clinic Raffle has commenced. The prize again is donated by The Inn at Little Washington and is a dinner for two at the world famous restaurant. Raffle tickets cost one for ten dollars or three chances for twenty five dollars. The winning ticket will be drawn at The Inn on Jan. 8. Tickets are available from any Clinic Volunteer or from a number of businesses and offices, including the Rappahannock Zoning Office, the Commissioner of Revenue Office, Little Washington Spa, Rappahannock Real Estate Resources (Butch Zindel), the Merry Moo, Hackley’s Store, Mayhugh’s Store, Sperryville Golf Course, Copper Fox Antiques, and the Knit Wit Yarn Shop.

Rappahannock Clinic Volunteer Coordinator Anne Lavigne says, “if you are a Rappahannock resident, are financially stressed, and need some medical attention, please come in and you will get wonderful help from Clinic doctors and nurses.” One of the volunteers, Cecile Scott, says several patients have told her they get the best medical help ever, here at the Free Clinic.

Clinic sessions are held evenings of the first and third Wednesday of each month. Patient sign-in is from 5 p.m.to 6 p.m.. at the Rappahannock Health Department in Washington. Appointments are not needed. The doctors and nurses are all Rappahannock residents who donate their time. Dr. Franklin Brosgol, Dr. Brooke Miller and his wife nurse practitioner Anne Miller are some of the medical professionals who regularly see patients at the Free Clinic in the evening after leaving their regular practice. The paperwork and financial screening is done by lay-persons, who also donate their services. Nurse Carmen Cioceanu arranges prescription medications for many patients.

The Rappahannock Free Clinic is a branch of the Fauquier Free Clinic, which recently moved into a beautiful, brand-new facility in Warrenton. As a wonderful bonus, on the second floor of this new facility is an ultra-modern dental clinic, which provides free dental services to Clinic patients.

Former teacher Mary Jane Cappello, who retired after many years at Rappahannock Elementary School, is often asked why we need the Free Clinic when there is Medicaid. The answer is that in Virginia many people are not covered by Medicaid. According to Fauquier Free Clinic Director Rob Marino, if you are a pregnant woman, a blind person, a poor child, someone with long term disability or a long term resident of a nursing care facilities, then you probably can get Medicaid in Virginia. But there are many people who are sick, cannot afford a doctor, but don’t fit one of those categories. That is where the Free Clinic steps in. Clinic Volunteer Brion Patterson remembers a patient who said he always had good medical insurance while he was working, until he had a heart attack and lost his job. The help of the Free Clinic is a god-send. Raffle tickets will also be available at the route 211 Quickie Mart on Saturday Nov. 21.

Have a wonderful week!