The horn sounds Saturday at the Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point at Ben Venue Farm, with the first post at noon sharp.
This year, in addition to eight exciting horse races, a Rappahannock business row will be set up in the vendor area; along with a beer-garden, wine tasting tents, hat and tailgate contests with celebrity judges and lucrative prizes, and stick pony races for the kids.
Saturday’s event offers $1,000 to the meet’s top rider and trainer, plus a $2,000 purse for a Virginia-bred turf race. A new “runner’s reward” payment of $200 per Virginia-owned-trained-and-ridden starter is paid from a fund from off-track betting revenue from the Colonial Downs OTB network.
(ODH hosts a separate hunter pace Sunday, April 7, also at Ben Venue. Admission is free to spectate at the hunter pace).
Noel Lang, president of the board of the Rappahannock Food Pantry, informed the county supervisors at their monthly meeting Monday that the popular Sperryville-based pantry— where a whopping 10 percent of Rappahannock County residents obtain their groceries — has outgrown its space and will be building new digs in the “central” portion of the county, supposedly behind Union Bank.
The Town of Washington was hit particularly hard last year by the deadly boxwood blight, and now the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is warning property owners that the damp weather could result in even more cases of the dreaded disease.
Boxwood blight is caused by a fungal pathogen that infects the plant, resulting in defoliation and dieback. The invasive fungus, first found in Virginia in 2011, thrives in wet weather and temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit — as in springtime.
Early in disease development, boxwood blight causes circular, tan leaf spots, often with a darker border. Linear, black stem lesions appear on infected green stems, but often the first symptom people notice is sudden leaf drop.
Any homeowner who suspects blight should submit a sample for testing to the Virginia Cooperative Extension office at 311 Gay Street in Washington.
‘Nary a dry eye’
In commemoration of Vietnam Veteran’s Day, AARP hosted a special event at Quievremont Winery this past week. Hampton District Supervisor John Lesinski was keynote speaker. John is a decorated Marine with 4 years of active duty, an additional 22 years as a reservist, retiring as a full colonel. He sits on the Board of Virginia’s Veteran Service Foundation and the Board of Veteran Services, appointed to these critical agencies by two Virginia governors.
“The vast timber-framed room was packed, a moving and poignant ceremony taking place with nary a dry eye apparent as Vietnam Veterans were individually honored, stepping up to the podium, and presented with Vietnam Veteran lapel pins, to recognize their service, courage and valor,” writes columnist Chris Green. “The message on the lapel — ‘A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You’ — is embossed on the back, closest to the heart of the wearer.”
Lesinski spoke of the vast array of services provided to veterans, concentrating on Virginia’s Veteran Service Foundation that can be found in more detail on VSF.org. There is also a place on the website to make a contribution to efforts that support veterans in Virginia.
R.D. runs again
U.S. Marine war veteran and Democrat Roger Dean Huffstetler officially launched his campaign Tuesday for Congress in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, a seat currently held by freshman Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman.
Huffstetler, of Charlottesville, lost in last year’s Democratic primary to Rappahannock-based candidate Leslie Cockburn.
“I’m running for Congress because the problems facing our country require a new generation of leadership,” he said. “Partisan-bickering and special-interest politics have no place in government. We all want the same thing: a chance to provide our children with a better life than our own. This campaign is about everyone, which is why I’ll fight for every family in the 5th District to have a place in a more prosperous, inclusive future.”
Harvey hops in
The RAAC Community Theatre opened its production of “Harvey” — as in the imaginary rabbit — this past weekend with two nearly sold out performances. The run extends to Saturday, April 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 7 at 3 p.m. at the theatre at 310 Gay Street in Washington.
Make reservations at http://raac.org/raacwp/community-theatre/ or call 1-800-695-6075.
1st Friday movie
The RAAC 1st Friday movie tomorrow, April 5, is “A Star is Born,” starring Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper and Sam Elliott. The plot: A musician helps a young singer find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.
Showtime at the Little Washington Theatre is 7 p.m., with popcorn, candy and water available for purchase.
Monday marked the one-year countdown to the 2020 Census.
It is estimated that every single person not counted in Rappahannock will cost the county $2,000. So the goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. All told, Census data is used to distribute congressional seats to states, and to distribute more than $675 billion in federal funds to local and state governments each year.
“A complete and accurate count of all Virginians is . . . an important way to ensure our communities receive the share of federal resources they need to thrive,” said Governor Northam, who is pushing education, outreach, and preparation efforts “aimed at encouraging full participation in the 2020 Census, especially in communities that are hard-to-count and historically undercounted.”
Unused instruments? Donate to a good cause this Saturday
The Gloria Faye Dingus Music Alliance is proud to announce Gloria’s Instrument Gathering. Donated musical instruments are refurbished and redistributed to children and those in need throughout our community. The group believes the gift and power of music should have no barriers and be accessible to all.
This Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. donations will be accepted at The Gloria Faye Dingus Center for the Arts located at 92 Main St., Suite 104, in Old Town Warrenton.
This program will also seek donations to restore and repair donated instruments. Gloria’s is a 501c3 non-profit and all donations are tax deductible. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Tim Dingus at 540.347.7484.