Washington column for May 5

 Congressional Art Competition

For the past several years, Robert H. Ballard has been asked to judge Virginia’s 5th District’s school arts contest, the Congressional Art Competition, sponsored by the members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. The winning works are displayed for a year at the U.S. Capitol. The theme for Rep. Robert Hurt’s 5th District contest is Virginia’s Farm Life, and Rappahannock County’s Robert H. Ballard judged the works on Tuesday, April 26. The winners will be announced very soon. There’s more information online at house.gov/content/educate/art_competition

The new sign of CCLC

washCCLC-logo-5Almost 40 years ago, a Rappahannock institution — the Child Care and Learning Center — began in the basement of a building on Main Street in Washington. CCLC was originally called Sursum Corda (“lift up your hearts”) and its logo was a heart with wings. Now CCLC has a new logo to reflect its commitment to the Rappahannock community, the diversity of learning styles and the joy of learning each child embodies.


Ellen Mustoe of Washington was ordained in a service at the Washington Baptist Church on Feb. 28 and took part in her first communion service as an ordained pastor the following Sunday. In addition to a packed house of local folks on April 28, more than 20 of Ellen’s friends from Kairos prison ministry joined them to recognize their colleague’s years of devoted service as a lay prison chaplain and to support Ellen with their presence, prayers, music, and participation in the Service of Ordination. The Rev. Karen Powell from Kairos preached the ordination sermon, “Last at the Cross —First at the Tomb,” a powerful testimony to the ministry of women to Jesus and to those whom he loves.

Ellen is a dear friend, one who is really dedicated to serving the Lord and putting him first in her life. Congratulations, Ellen!

Relay For Life

Rappahannock County’s Relay for Life teams had a great weekend with all their fundraisers. In nine days, the powerful “Relay For Life” event itself takes place — starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 14 until Sunday morning, at Rappahannock County Elementary School. This is the time when caring teams, family, friends and survivors get together to raise much-needed funds to save lives from cancer and celebrate what they’ve overcome. We remember lost to the awful disease and we honor people who have fought or are fighting cancer. The emotionally powerful ceremony symbolizes the commitment each of us can make in the fight against cancer year-round. There will be lots of fun for all. Make sure you circle the dates in red for this event.

Anniversary wishes

Helen and Bob Bridges celebrate their 68th anniversary on Saturday, May 7. They lived in Rappahannock from 1969 until 2011 on their 300-acre farm, “Reality” Jenkins Mountain, in Gid Brown Hollow, where they raised white-face cattle. They later built the first house on Jenkins Mountain, where they resided for 40 years. In 2004, the Bridges sold 287 acres to John and Teri Geuvremont, which later became Quievremont Winery. In 2013, they sold the mountain house along with 50 acres to Jeff and Megghan Abboud from Northern Virginia,

The Bridges, who now reside in Charlottesville, kept 40 acres on the mountain, which is now for sale.

Happy Anniversary Helen and Bob!

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go out to my daughter-in-law, Amber Clatterbuck, who celebrated her special day Wednesday, May 4. Also wishes go out to my son, Jonathan Clatterbuck, who will celebrate his day on Wednesday, May 11.

Special day for mothers

Looking for that special card for Mother’s Day? R. H. Ballard has a lovely selection of beautiful cards for moms.
Looking for that special card for Mother’s Day? R. H. Ballard has a lovely selection of beautiful cards for moms. Joanie Ballard

This Sunday, May 8, is Mother’s Day, and although we celebrate it only once a year, we don’t need a special day to show our gratitude to our mothers. Anyone looking for that special gift for your mother, the R.H. Ballard shop has a lovely selection of cards, spring scarves and totes, lots of soaps and lotions, and great books and linen, too, in all price ranges.

To salute our mothers and everything they accomplish on a daily basis for our families and community, Tula’s is offering a Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday (May 8) with “Frittata fit for a Queen” — filled with fresh asparagus, roasted red peppers, scallions and prosciutto ham. Tula’s mixologists will present a special Mother’s Day floral refreshment as colorful and fragrant as the finest of bouquets. Make your reservation now for Mother’s Day Brunch at 540-675-2223 or opentable.com.

Also don’t forget the Rappahannock Farmer’s Co-op, which has annuals and perennials and beautiful hanging baskets for sale, as well as vegetables of all kinds.

For all mothers: Happy Mother’s Day!