The Rapp for July 21

Fourth Friday = Fifth Friday

Although tomorrow actually is the fourth Friday of the month, the Rappahannock News’ monthly Fourth (Estate) Friday will be on the fifth Friday this month — 9 a.m. Friday, July 29, at Tula’s Restaurant in Washington, where reporter Randy Rieland — whose series on Rappahannock County’s connectivity in the digital world begins on today’s front page — will be our guest and that of the Foothills Forum, which is cosponsoring the expanded event.

Your vote could be worth $50K

Your online vote can help Mike and Molly Peterson of Sperryville's Heritage Hollow Farms win a $50,000 grant.
Your online vote can help Mike and Molly Peterson of Sperryville’s Heritage Hollow Farms win a $50,000 grant. Lise Metzger/

Rappahannock County’s own Mike and Molly Peterson, stewards of Heritage Hollow Farms, are top-10 finalists in the AT&T Agility Challenge — an annual, nationwide competition for capital whose winner gets $50,000 to boost their business. You can help boost the Peterson’s business, which is grass-fed beef and pasture-raised livestock, by going online to, clicking on the photo of Mike and Molly and casting your vote — something you can do, and probably ought to do, once every 24 hours through the July 26 deadline.

PATH awards $50K to RappatHome

The PATH Foundation, a grantmaking organization based in Warrenton, has awarded $50,000 to Rappahannock at Home (RappatHome) to fund the expansion of the nonprofit’s programs.

RappatHome is developing a senior village to help support aging residents, a concept different from traditional retirement homes or assisted living facilities. The program is creating a mutual support network to assist their members to age within their own homes.

Rappahannock County’s demographic realities can make it difficult for less mobile residents to access resources. Eve Brooks, who serves as secretary on RappatHome’s board of directors, explained, “There are very few social services in place, and it is harder to connect to existing services.” These conditions often lend to the gradual isolation of less mobile residents.

This program creates a network of human connections to assist members with resources needed by aging residents. RappatHome hopes to create an organization that could be replicated in other areas with similar needs.

Membership is available to all residents over the age of 50 in Rappahannock County, the Culpeper portions of Amissville and Boston, the Warren County portion of Chester Gap and northern Madison County.

RappatHome is currently working to expand its membership base. “We plan to continue to do lots of outreach at this point,” Brooks said. As RappatHome collects more members, they will be able to expand the services they have available, and increased services will attract more members.

Kirsten Dueck, PATH Foundation senior program officer, was amazed to see how quickly RappatHome was able to establish itself as an organization. “RappatHome works to support an entire generation as it ages,” Dueck said, “and that is a program we want to support.”

In the past year, RappatHome has (with the help of the county Extension office) hosted a Senior Fitness Program, partnered with CVS to install a program that allows RappatHome volunteers to deliver prescription medications to RappatHome members, and facilitated grocery home-delivery services.

Ken Gray, RappatHome’s planning coordinator, hopes that this expansion will allow the organization to “build communities that make aging easier, more productive and more rewarding.”

In keeping with RappatHome’s growing presence in the community, Gray said that the organization is advertising for two staff positions and is moving to larger space. “We are looking for an executive director and a volunteer coordinator,” said Gray.  “They can be two parttime positions or one fulltime position, depending on the skills of the candidates.” For full job descriptions, visit

The organization’s new space — in the Washington School on Mt. Salem Avenue — offers more room for the expanding staff and is also accessible for people with disabilities.

The community is invited to an open house at the new office, 10 to noon Saturday, Aug. 13. For more information, call 540-937-4663 or email

Have art, will travel

Work by Jane Fotth

Work by Nancy Brittle

Work by Kathleen Willingham

Work by Mary Allen
From top to bottom, works by Jane Forth, Nancy Brittle, Kathleen Willingham and Mary Allen are part of Middle Street’s traveling National Park Service-related exhibit this month and next.

Soon-to-be-homeless Middle Street Gallery will take its art on the road next month, with two shows commemorating the centenary of the National Park Service hanging at lodges on the Skyline Drive.

Art related to Park Service properties, now showing at the invitation of Haley Fine Art in Sperryville, will move Aug. 4 to Skyland Resort and Big Meadows Lodge in Shenandoah National Park. The works now at Haley, augmented by additional works by Middle Street members, will be for sale at the lodges through Oct. 31.

Middle Street Gallery, currently co-located with River District Arts in Sperryville, will close its doors at the end of this month while it looks for a new home. A spokesman for the gallery said he hoped the nonprofit artists’ cooperative would find permanent new space in Rappahannock County by the end of the year, but that it would continue with temporary shows at other locations as opportunities arise.

Middle Street this summer joined with Shenandoah National Park and Shenandoah National Park Trust in a series of special exhibitions. Photographers, painters, sculptors and printmakers are showing works inspired by Park Service sites all over the U.S., from Acadia National Park in Maine to Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona to Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida.

The Shenandoah National Park Trust, the official philanthropic partner of Shenandoah National Park, will receive a portion of all sales from these shows. The Trust invests in programs and initiatives to ensure that the national park remains an economic driver for the region and a place of beauty, respite and recreation for visitors from all over the world.

Middle Street’s National Parks show concludes its run July 24 at Haley Fine Art. Haley is open 10 to 6 Thursday-Monday at 42 Main St. in Sperryville. Call 540-987-1000 or visit for more information.

Clear out that clutter now

With autumn comes back-to-school and sports activities, renewed job pressures, the harvest. Free up time and space now by clearing out clutter and donating gently used items to the Rappahannock County Democratic Committee’s Dog Days of Summer Indoor Yard Sale and Fundraiser.

As predictable in the dog days as bugs and hot weather, the annual sale is Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 3-4 (that’s Labor Day weekend) at the Washington fire hall.

To hold the yard sale, the Dems need stuff to sell — the still-usable stuff that is cluttering your life. They will accept donations of practically everything but the kitchen sink. “We actually had a kitchen sink donated one year,” said RCDC President Ross O’Donoghue, “and we had a heck of time getting rid of it.”

Here is the A to Z of the kinds of things they are looking for: art work, books, collectibles, costume jewelry, DVDs and CDs, electronics (but no computers and analog TVs, please), fabrics, furniture (except overstuffed chairs and sofas), holiday items, kitchen ware, lamps, linens, pet equipment, picture frames, pottery and glassware, small appliances (nothing larger than a bread box), sports equipment, tools and hardware, toys, and other items — in good condition, please!

Ross also said the group will not be accepting clothing for the yard sale, but clothing may be donated at any time to the Thrift Shop on the Washington fire hall grounds.

To donate items, please deliver them to the fire hall on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 2-3. If you cannot bring the items yourself, please call Jan Makela (540-454-0547), Andy Platt (540-937-4527) or Ross (703-303-5695) to arrange for pickup.

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