Community News and Notes

 CLAY CAFE STUDIO’S 6th Annual Family Fundraiser to benefit the Falls Church Homeless Shelter was a huge success. Family, friends, community leaders and business owners joined together in an evening of camaraderie and painting pottery for the two-hour event on Dec. 6. Clay Cafe is donating all of their profits from the event, a sum of $2,000. That marks a 30-percent increase over last year’s event. Shown here are Mark Werblood, Mayor Robin Gardner, Helene Safford, Ron Brouseau and Wyatt Shields, posing at the event. Generous donations were noted from Dr. Steve Rogers of Falls Church Animal Hospital, Bob Young of the Young Group, refreshments from ZPizza and Kendalls Bakery and support from the Greater Falls Church Chamber of Commerce. (Photo: Courtesy Helene Safford)

Winter Signups for Boys/Girls of Summer

McLean Little League baseball and softball will hold registration on three different dates in the coming month of January for the Spring 2007 season. All sign-ups will be held at The Clubhouse (1836 Westmoreland St., McLean). The first registration session is slated for Jan. 6 Officer Justin Cuomo of the Falls Church Police Department partnered with the United States Marine Corps and their Toys for Tots Program to deliver 200 toys to the children of the Homestretch program. “It was fun to see three police cruisers pull up to our building, only to see the officers pile out, grinning, their arms full of toys”, said Christopher Fay, Executive Director of Homestretch.  “The Marines and the Police not only keep us safe, they care about our children, and we applaud them for that.” (Photo: Courtesy Falls Church Police Department)from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. The next will be Jan. 11 from 5:30 – 8 p.m. and the last on Jan. 20 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Parents or guardians of new players must present a birth certificate, proof of residency. All registrants must live within the boundaries of the McLean Little League. For more information and forms, visit or contact Mia DeWitt at


Give Your Time on Your Schedule

If you would like to involve yourself in a volunteer charity program, but are dealing with a restricted schedule, you may be interested in a program called Volunteers for Change coordinated by Volunteer Fairfax. The program features a flexible calendar of “fund weekend and weekday evening projects to fit your schedule.” The program will have upcoming orientation sessions Jan. 7 (2 – 3 p.m.), Jan. 11 (6:30 – 7:30 p.m.), Feb. 4 (2 – 3 p.m.) and Feb. 7 (6:30 – 7:30 p.m.). After the orientation session, volunteers can choose from more than 45 monthly community service projects throughout Northern Virginia. For more information or register for a session, call 703-246-3460 x 2,2 or e-mail


‘Be a Santa’ is a Wrap

George Mason High School seniors whose PSAT scores qualified them as either National Merit Semifinalists or Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Program gathered for a recent photo. The Semifinalists are Jason Benn, Elizabeth Fortenberry, Brian Glover, Margaret Lipman, Elena Martinez, Matthew Peppe and William Stewart. Di Wu also earned this honor prior to moving to Pennsylvania. National Commended students are Kelly Casteel, Fritz Langford, David Maher, Irene Morrison-Moncure, Emir Parrotta, Francesca Sales, Rachel Taylor, Andrew Walden and Jesse Wilson. (Photo: Michael Hoover)Annandale firefighters and dozens of volunteers wrapped nearly 1,000 gifts for “isolated and forgotten” seniors as part of the Be a Santa to a Senior program. Since mid-November area shoppers have purchased gifts for the seniors at participating area retailers. The paper is homemade, decorated by local elementary and middle schoolers.


Classical Guitar Contest Announced

The International Conservancy of Music has announced the creation of the John and Susie Beatty Music Scholarship Competition for Classical Guitar, to be held March 9 – 11 and hosted by the George Washington University Music Department. The competition is open to students in the greater Washington metropolitan area and consists of three divisions from 18 to 12 and under. The Conservancy will award 15 scholarships, totaling $5,000. BARRY BUSCHOW (LEFT) and Keith Thurston (right) present the Village Preservation Society’s Virginia Village Award to George and Joan Burgess at the VPIS Annual Meeting on Nov. 9. The award was given in appreciation for the Burgess’s dedication to improving the quality of live in Falls Church through historic preservation, enhancement and interpretation of Cherry Hill Farm.Applications and full contest rules are available online at


Fairfax, Reston Interfaith Open Hypothermia Shelter

In partnership with Fairfax County, Reston Interfaith has announced that it will operate a seasonal hypothermia shelter this winter in addition to its year-round operation of the Embry Rucker Community Shelter. The new shelter will be available to homeless individuals from January 1 – March 31 in the North County Human Services building in Reston. Those interesting in volunteering or otherwise aiding the shelter can call 571-323-9565.


F.C.’s Dr. Spinella Given Directorship

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy announced the hiring of Dr. Giovanna M. Spinella of Falls Church as its medical director.

PASSING THE MANTLE at the annual meeting of the Greater Falls Church Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, departing Chamber president Helene Safford (right) is presented flowers from in-coming president Gary LaPorta. (News-Press photo)“Dr. Spinella’s appointment comes at a critical time,” PPMD’s Founder and Executive Director Pat Furlong said in a release. “There has been a growth in the expertise and experience of doctors at clinical centers for boys with DMD, and a growth in the potential for discovery of new compounds and treatments.”

Dr. Spinella is a pediatric neurologist with 16 years of experience at the National Institutes of Health. She is currently a consultant for the Office of Rare Diseases at the NIH and spent four years as the science program director for this office. Until this year she also served as staff neurologist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


Sister City Drive Urges Holiday Charity

The Kokolopori-Falls Church Sister City Partnership wants to thank the citizens of Falls Church for their outpouring of generosity for the schools in Kokolopori in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have received 39 donations totaling $1,303 to date, however that leaves them 61 donations short of their Dec. 31 goal of 100 to qualify for the $5,000 challenge grant. Most children in Kokolopori lack even basic school supplies like pens, notebooks and textbooks. For those interested in donating, visit, click on “Choose a Project” and then “Meet Basic Educational Needs in Kokolopori.” You can also give by check (instructions are on the website), but checks must be received by Dec. 31 to qualify for the challenge.


* Please note that deadlines for submissions to both News and Notes and the Calendar of Events will be accelerated due to the holiday schedule. Submissions for the Dec. 28 issue must be received by Dec. 22. Submissions for the Jan. 4 issue must be received by Dec. 29.