The Rapp for April 26

Fourth Estate Friday

Time once again to brainstorm with Rappahannock News staff — 9 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, April 28, at the Sperryville Trading Cafe and Market. We call the gathering Fourth (Estate) Friday — a “story conference” held on the fourth Friday of every month.

Please bring with you story ideas, submissions and suggestions for both the newspaper and the website. And yes, we invite your criticism and will address any concerns. Tell us what you think, help us do better, and get to know the faces behind the bylines.

Give local, Piedmont!

Courtesy image

The fourth annual day of giving is upon us.

The Northern Piedmont Community Foundation is celebrating strength in numbers and proudly sponsoring “Give Local Piedmont” — a 24-hour day of giving this Tuesday, May 2, promoting the nonprofit organizations that work tirelessly to enhance the Rappahannock community and its quality of life.

During last year’s day of giving, Give Local Piedmont raised $879,390 from 5,297 individual donations made to over 150 participating nonprofits in Rappahannock, Culpeper, Fauquier and Madison counties. The average gift was $141.

Thanks to a generous grant from the PATH Foundation and local sponsor support, bonus dollars will again be awarded to nonprofits that reach certain fundraising milestones during the 24-hour period.

Here’s how you make a donation: On Tuesday, May 2, go to and type in the name of the nonprofit(s) you wish to support. If you are looking for a worthy charity, you can search by category. Your chosen nonprofit will have a donation page where you can choose the amount you want to donate from $10 on up. New this year: donors can schedule their donations ahead of the event, in other words today through Tuesday.

While the purpose of the online giving day is to encourage the use of secure and easy online philanthropy, it is understood that some will prefer to donate via check. Checks must be made out to the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation, with the designated charity written in the memo line.

Checks will be accepted only at designated locations in the four counties between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. In Rappahannock County, the only place to leave checks is at Cheri Woodard Realty on Main Street in Sperryville. Other drop-offs include Union Bank and Trust Lobby on Main Street in Culpeper, the Northern Piedmont office in the basement of the BB&T bank on Main Street in Warrenton, and Skyline Cap, Inc. on Main St. in Madison

The cut-off time for checks is 5 p.m. in the four counties. Checks not made out to NPCF or delivered after 5 p.m. will not count in the Give Local Piedmont total. If a donor is giving to more than one nonprofit, each donation should be a separate check. No cash can be accepted.

Raincheck in order

Rainy weather this week prevented Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a former U.S. Navy Seal and congressman from Montana, from making his first official visit to Shenandoah National Park, where he might have made big headlines.

Zinke was to have traveled Monday morning along Skyline Drive to nearby Skyland Resort and Conference Hall to participate in an outdoor recreation industry roundtable on innovative ways to use public-private partnerships to address the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog.

So the Outdoor Industry Association on Tuesday hosted Zinke at the National Press Club, where he caused the earth to shake when telling reporters that President Trump was to sign an executive order Wednesday authorizing him to review the existence of more than two dozen national monuments “to make sure the people have a voice.”

Zinke explained that previous presidents — including George W. Bush and Barack Obama — had stretched the meaning of the Antiquities Act in creating the monuments, putting “millions of acres” off limits to development.

If not Zinke, Acting National Park Service Director Mike Reynolds was on hand in Shenandoah to hear from the outdoor industry leaders. Reynolds, who grew up in Yosemite National Park (imagine being a kid and having that for a backyard), is the third generation of his family to work for the National Park Service.

Demise of darkness

“Nothing short of spellbinding” — or so The Washington Post describes the award-winning ensemble OCEAN Celtic Quartet. This Saturday at 8 p.m. the quartet appears at the Little Washington Theatre on Gay Street to “mark the end of the cold and dark, and the return of the light and warmth.”

The ancient Irish festival of Beltane (May Day) signaled the end of winter and the coming of summer, and OCEAN’s upcoming performance of traditional and original music celebrates the return of the sun and the greening of the land.

“OCEAN’s soaring vocals, fiery fiddle tunes, and rollicking button accordion will have your heart swelling and your toes tapping, while you sing along with songs that stretch back for centuries — songs of love, lust, and everything in between,” the theatre states.

But wait, there’s more: There will be a special guest appearance by the ancient Green Man, also known as Jack-in-the-Green!

Spring musical: ‘School of Rock’

RCHS Drama Club and Rapp Band Ensemble will present “School of Rock” this weekend at the high school. Courtesy photo

The Rappahannock County High School Drama Club, under the direction of Russell Paulette, will be performing their spring musical “School of Rock” this Saturday (April 29) at 7 p.m. and Sunday (April 30) at 3 p.m. at the high school auditorium.

This brilliant group of young actors placed first in Virginia Districts, was awarded first-place champions in the Virginia 1A East Region and runners up in Virginia State Competition, with honors of best actor awarded to students Trusten Murrah and Savannah Stevens and best coach to their director and playwright R.S. Paulette.

This weekend’s performances also feature several of Rappahannock’s award winning musicians, including Sophia Hernandez on the stage and in the pit. This production is PG rated due to the use of some colorful language.

Tickets are available online at or at the door for $10. Limited seating available.

‘Order and disorder’

Some of the cast of Arcadia: Seated (left to right): Bob Hurley and Maeve Ciuba. Standing: Stephanie Mastri, Andy Platt, Peter Hornbostel, Patty Hardee, and Sam Cliffton. Photo by Ray Boc

Judging from this swell photograph, talented members of the RAAC Community Theatre cast of “Arcadia” appear ready to take the stage.

The much-anticipated play by Tom Stoppard concerning the relationship between past and present, order and disorder, certainty and uncertainty, opens at the RAAC Community Theatre on Gay Street in Washington on Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 pm; and Sunday, May 7 at 2:30 pm.

For reservations (we advise you to make them early) click into or call 1-800-695-6075.

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