Tuesday, April 1, 2014

3/13/2014 Hanover Idols, PH Show Choir, Summer Theater Camp at the Center


This town is so ready for warm weather.  I think every child who has a bike was out riding this weekend, and it took every ounce of parenting strength that I had to make them come in when it got dark.  I need to start making a list of all the things that I need to do in my yard, because every time I happen to glance out the window I see something that needs pruning or weeding or cleaning.  Three cheers for the projects of Spring!

There is so much going on these days at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center.  The Mardi Gras fundraiser was a blast this past weekend with many fabulous masks and lots of beads!

And just the weekend before, that old building was alive with the voices of the Hanover Idol Competition.  Congratulations to Sarah Hopkins, who won the title of Hanover Idol and to Carrie Cauthorne who won runner-up.  In the Jr. Idol competition, Audrey kate Taylor took the title and Jean Woodrum was runner-up. DVDs of the competition are available for $20 from the Center. You can find an order form on the website- hanoverarts.org.

The Center will host the Barter Players on Thursday, March 27th for their production of “Little House on the Prairie” at 6:00 pm.  Tickets are $2 and available at the door.

Congratulations to the show choirs of Patrick Henry High School who have spent the past two weekends deep in regional competitions!  They have won numerous awards, including Co-Grand Champion, Showmanship, People’s Choice Award, and a 2nd Place.  This past Saturday at the Central Virginia Show Choir Competition, Best Overall Daily went to Max Cook!  They will be performing next at the Lee-Davis/Hanover Festival of Choirs on March 21st and 22nd at Hanover High.

Are you thinking ahead to summer?  Lorie Foley sure is!  The Summer Theater Program at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center has announced the dates of their annual theater camp and summer production.  The Camp, for kids in grades 1st through 5th, will run the week of July 14th from 8:30 to 4:30 pm.  Tuition for the program is $250 and a registration form is available on the website:  www.hanoverarts.org.  Discounts are available for siblings.

For those middle and high school thespians, the summer musical will be “Once Upon a Mattress.”  Auditions will be May 14th and 15th at the Center, rehearsals will run May 18th through June 26th, and the performances will be June 27th, 28th, and 29th at the Hanover Tavern!

There are lots of March babies out there who have been celebrating recently: Tamra Bardwell, Tracy Brown, Chris Dull, Patricia Reagan, and Alec and Meade Rheihl.  We hope they had lots of sunshine and presents on their special day!




Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com.  

2/27/2014 Fastest in the State, Hanover Idols, Mardi Gras Party, Tiger Trot 5K,



What a tease Mother Nature is to us these days.  Several nights ago we sat out on our side porch, warmed by the last rays of a setting sun, and let the peeping frogs from Mechum’s Creek serenade us as we drank a glass of wine.  Now today, I am looking at a low, grey sky that threatens to snow at any moment.  I am always ready for the next season, but now more than ever as we wait for this inexcusably cold winter to depart.  How many days until Spring?

Congratulations to our Ashland kids who competed in the Virginia High School League State Champs this past weekend!  Ted Schubert took home a first place medal in both the 100 meter back stroke and the 200 meter IM.  His times qualified him as an automatic NISCA All-American.  Thomas Perkins finished 8th in the 100 free style, and Mattie Grant finished 5th in the 200 free style and 2nd in the consolation heat of the 100 butterfly.  To compete at that level is really impressive, and we are very proud of these three.

Sign up now to run the 7th Annual Tiger Trot 5K benefitting the Henry Clay & John Gandy PTAs.  There are options for a ½ or 1 mile for kids 12 and under, and the 5K is open to runners and walkers.  You can register on line at http://www.onestoprace.com/search/event.aspx?id=22958 or on the morning of the race.  The event starts at 8am on Saturday March 8th.

To compensate for this cold, dreary weather, you must get out more.  Fight the freezing temps with fellowship. 

The Hanover Idols Competition is this Sunday at the Arts and Activities Center.  The $7 tickets are available at the Center now or by calling 798-2728.  The doors will open 30 minutes before curtain time and any available tickets will be sold then.  Seating is limited, people!  The Junior Idols competition starts at 3:30, and the Idols competition begins at 7:00 pm. 

While you’re securing your seat for this Sunday’s spectacular event, go ahead and reserve your ticket for the Hanover Arts and Activities Center’s Mardi Gras party on Saturday, March 8th, from 7:00 to 11:00 pm.  It’s $20 per person, or $35 per couple with tickets available at Cross Brothers Grocery or at the door.  Find some beads, put on a mask, and come shake the floor at the Center!

Ashland Youth Soccer is now accepting registrations for their Spring Soccer teams.  The fields at Poor Farm have been lonely all winter and they can’t wait for those little chaps to be out there on Sundays!  Visit www.aysl.org to sign up; practices will start mid-March.

A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society called “Finish the Fight” will be held on Saturday, March 8th at the Holiday Inn Express from 11:00 am to 3.  Lots of local vendors will be there!  Please call Diane Jennings for more information: 630-284-9961.

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Stay warm this weekend!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2/20/14 Dreaming of Warm Days, Party with the Catholics, Register for Spring Sports



The time has come; I am done.  The beauty of a winter snowfall is now lost on me because all I can see is the muddy slop that is left behind. The excitement of a snow day is now getting old and boring, frankly, and I would gladly trade days spent bundled up for a warm evening on the back porch.  The other day I spent almost an hour reading an insightful essay about culture from the New Yorker magazine, and I can only remember two words from the whole thing: “summer candles.”  I read those words and I was completely distracted, like an old friend had suddenly come to mind.  I need some summer candles.

Ashland Youth Soccer is now accepting registrations for their Spring Soccer teams.  The fields at Poor Farm have been lonely all winter and they can’t wait for those little chaps to be out there on Sundays!  Visit www.aysl.org to sign up; practices will start mid-March.

Registrations are also being accepted for the spring season with the Ashland Little League, who is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year!  You can register online, or in person this Saturday at Randolph-Macon’s Brock Center from 8:30-noon.  Coaches will also be conducting evaluations on Saturday for baseball and softball, ages 7-16.  Visit their website, www.ashlandlittleleague.org for more information.

A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society called “Finish the Fight” will be held on Saturday, March 8th at the Holiday Inn Express from 11:00 am to 3.  Lots of local vendors will be there!  Please call Diane Jennings for more information: 630-284-9961.

Local gardening expert Cindy Connor will be signing copies of her new book, “Grow a Sustainable Diet,” at the Ashland Coffee and Tea on this Saturday, the 22nd from 10:00 to 2:00 pm.  It’s time to start thinking about your spring garden, isn’t it?

The place to be this Saturday, February 22nd, is at St. Ann’s Catholic Church for their Casino Night!  Doors open at 6:00 pm., and the $25 tickets include food, two drink tickets, prize table tickets and fun money.  The silent auction items are usually really great, so don’t miss this chance to party with the Catholics!

Buy your tickets now for the Hanover Arts and Activities Center’s Mardi Gras party on Saturday, March 8th, from 7:00 to 11:00 pm!  It’s $20 per person, or $35 per couple with tickets available at Cross Brothers Grocery or at the door.  Prizes will be given for the best Mardi Gras mask- sounds intriguing!

Lastly, I’d like to wish a happy birthday to my father, Frank Delano. I’ve included lots of exclamation points in this column just for you, Daddy!

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com!



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2/13/2014 How Much Snow?



If there was an Olympic event called “Train Crossing Planning and Calculations,” then Ashlanders would definitely take the gold.  I know for a fact that almost every citizen in this town can spot the first flashing red light of the crossing arm, and immediately change their route to find an open gate.  I know that they listen for the horn to know what kind of train is stopping, and with that information they can gauge how long the train is, which will tell them where they can cross.  I bet we have grown extra synapses in our brains from having to figure all of this out.  Another reason to love Ashland and the smart people who live here!

Buy your tickets now for the Hanover Arts and Activities Center’s Mardi Gras party on Saturday, March 8th, from 7:00 to 11:00 pm!  It’s $20 per person, or $35 per couple with tickets available at Cross Brothers Grocery or at the door.  Prizes will be given for the best Mardi Gras mask- sounds intriguing!

The season is over, but congratulations are due to all of the Patrick Henry swimmers who went to the Regional Conference at George Mason last week:  Meade Reihl, Madeline Montgomery, Josie Koren., Madison Brown, Marielle Robinson, Thomas Perkins, Ted Schubert, Dalton Nash, Kyle Koren, Austin Davis and Owen Wright.

On Sunday, February 16 from 4:00-5:30 pm, come and hear Ashland and Hanover residents tell their personal stories of growing up.  The topics of education and life as students in different schools will be the focus of this particular program.  This program, called Untold Stories:  Growing Up in Ashland/Hanover—Black and White Experiences, is free and open to the public and will be held at the Center.

The final fundraisers to help send "Cinderella: The Fairy Godmother's Tale" to the New York Children's Theatre Festival will be held February 15 & 16 at the Whistle Stop Theatre at the Ashland Firehouse (201 Duncan Street, Ashland).

Bring your favorite little valentine to an enchanted party! Come dressed in your favorite princess (or prince) costume, or try on some of ours!  Meet the real Cinderella – and enjoy cakes, dancing, stories, and other activities! Times are Saturday, 2/15 at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm; Sunday, 2/16 at 4:00 pm.  Tickets are $20 per adult-and-child (4 years and up); $7.50 each additional child (up to 3 children per adult).    Space is limited, so please reserve your places at whistlestoptheatre@gmail.com.  

By the time you read this, you may be buried in a foot of snow.  I hope it is still snowing and the current is still on.  I plan to run to the grocery store as soon as I submit this, and tonight I will find those sleds and snow boots, and put them on the back porch. Take lots of snow pictures!


Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. xoxo

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2/6/14 Valentines Ideas, Mardi Gras Party, Growing Up Ashland, Bart's Coffee Cup



So what promises does February hold for us?  We have stumbled out of the furry that was January, we stand blinking in the sunlight and wonder, “how much more winter do we have to take?”  I would trade my snow boots for rain boots at this point, and I can put up with a soggy, muddy yard if that means that shoots of crocus may soon appear. 

I think we should thoroughly embrace February and her Valentines Day.  I think we should string paper hearts from the ceiling and cover every banister & railing with red ribbons. I think we should write love letters to everyone: people, places, and pets.  The cold and the snow has kept us inside too much; let’s get out and decorate.

Buy your tickets now for the Hanover Arts and Activities Center’s Mardi Gras party on Saturday, March 8th, from 7:00 to 11:00 pm!  It’s $20 per person, or $35 per couple with tickets available at Cross Brothers Grocery or at the door.  Prizes will be given for the best Mardi Gras mask- sounds intriguing!

On Sunday, February 16 from 4:00-5:30 pm, come and hear Ashland and Hanover residents tell their personal stories of growing up.  The topics of education and life as students in different schools will be the focus of this particular program.  This program, called Untold Stories:  Growing Up in Ashland/Hanover—Black and White Experiences, is free and open to the public and will be held at the Center.

Next Wednesday, February 12th, come to your Ashland Library to experience “What's in Your Cup?: A Coffee Tasting” from 7:00 - 8:45 p.m.  Bartlet Shaw, of the Caboose Wine and Cheese Shop, will talk about the different varieties of coffee.  Sample some new coffees you might enjoy, too.  Refreshments provided by the Friends of the Ashland Library.

The final fundraisers to help send "Cinderella: The Fairy Godmother's Tale" to the New York Children's Theatre Festival will be held February 15 & 16 at the Whistle Stop Theatre at the Ashland Firehouse (201 Duncan Street, Ashland).

Bring your favorite little valentine to an enchanted party! Come dressed in your favorite princess (or prince) costume, or try on some of ours!  Meet the real Cinderella – and enjoy cakes, dancing, stories, and other activities! Times are Saturday, 2/15 at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm; Sunday, 2/16 at 4:00 pm.  Tickets are $20 per adult-and-child (4 years and up); $7.50 each additional child (up to 3 children per adult).    Space is limited, so please reserve your places at whistlestoptheatre@gmail.com.  


C’mon Valentine Town, show the love!  Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

1/30/2014 Winter Continues, Hanover Schools Lead, Valentines Birthdays, Casino Night



It is my hope for you that the pipes in your house are well insulated and you have plenty of wood/propane/oil/electricity to make it though this bitter winter.  I can’t remember a colder season.  Personally I like snow and/or 32 degrees- that’s as cold as I can comfortably tolerate.  Check on your neighbors during these cold Arctic blasts; shovel their walks and lend a hand if you can.

Congratulations to all of the Hanover Idol Finalists!  The list of names is really impressive and we can’t wait to see them perform. The 2014 Hanover Idols Junior Competition will take place Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 3:30 at the Hanover Arts & Activities Center.  Doors will open at 3:00pm.  Then the  Hanover Idols Competition will take place later at 7:00 pm.  Doors will open at 6:30 pm and $7.00 donations will be accepted at the door.
Congratulations to our Superintendent, Dr. Jamelle Wilson, who was recently selected as one of the nine YWCA of Richmond’s 2014 Outstanding Women Award recipients. It was so inspiring to read about the path that took Dr. Wilson from being a Beaverdam student to the first African-American woman to lead Hanover County’s schools.  It gives me a great deal of comfort and satisfaction to know that our children are being educated under her leadership.
Congratulations are also due to Donald Latham, principal at Liberty Middle School, has been named the 2013 Administrator of the Year by the Virginia Association of School Librarians! 
The Pollard home is getting ready for some birthday festivities in the next few weeks.  Talon Pollard will turn 4 years old on February 3rd, and Claire Foreman will turn 2 on Valentines Day.  Great-grandmother Marilyn Pollard must have some exciting presents waiting to be unwrapped!
Mark your calendars for February 22nd and the St. Ann’s Catholic Church Casino Night.  There is hardly a better way to break those mid-winter blues than a party in the parish hall!

We are all anxiously waiting for Rodney Bardwell to get better and come home. Randolph-Macon and the Center of the Universe are not the same without him.

And lastly, we love the tree house that is being constructed in the Mercer back-yard on Virginia St.  We expect it to be open during Garden Week!


Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com.  Stay warm and close, COTU.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

1/23/2014 Meg's Phenomenon, CJ's Thumbs Up Ball, Hanover Idols at HAAC


 
Never in my life have I witnessed a phenomenon like Meg Menzies.  Even if you don't have a Facebook account, you must have seen the news reports everyday, and the multiple articles in the local papers.  A distant friend of Meg's, searching for a way to honor her, invited people on Facebook to come out and run in Meg's memory on Saturday- the day after her funeral.  This invitation kept getting forwarded, and forwarded, and forwarded, until people across the globe had heard of the story of the young mother killed while running on a beautiful morning with her husband. 
 
Meg's story touched thousands of people, and I think there were almost 100,000 people who had signed up to run in her memory.  It was so incredible to log onto Facebook Saturday and see story after story popping up on the screen.  People ran in the snow in Canada, in China, and in Australia; one man ran the Boston marathon route for Meg.  People ran, people walked, and people swam in her honor.  There were so many stories of people who said that they hadn't run in years, or they had never run, or they were still on crutches after an accident.  Meg's story reminded everyone of the gift of life and I know that this outpouring of love and support has lifted up her family.  As tragic as this past week was, how good to see the love of humanity shinning through. 
 
The hard work, however, begins now.  Just as Charlotte Reynolds is remembered everyday by the work done by CJ's Thumbs Up Foundation, we have to keep Meg's memory strong by fighting against drunk driving.  How many times have you suspected that someone might be too tipsy to drive, but didn't say anything because it would have been embarrassing?  I think it's happened to many of us and we have to start speaking up.  Talk to your kids about it, talk to your friends about it.  When you have a party, have an awesome non-alcoholic drink for all the designated drivers. 
 
CJ's Thumbs Up Foundation continues to raise funds to support families who are battling childhood cancers.  It is amazing to see the good that they have been able to do in four years.  Meals have been delivered, bills have been paid, families have been helped.  Please visit their website:http://www.cjstuf.org/,  and find out about the 2014 Thumbs Up Ball coming up on February 8th.
 
Come out to your neighborhood library on Monday, January 27th, from 6:30 to 7:30 to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss!  Bring your 3-12 year old and hear some of those wonderful stories that have become a quintessential part of childhood.  Cake will be served by the Friends of the Ashland Library.
 
Mark your calendar for the 2014 Hanover Idols Competition coming up in March!  The 2014 Hanover Idols Junior Competition will take place Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 3:30 at the Hanover Arts & Activities Center.  Doors will open at 3:00pm.  The 2014 Hanover Idols Competition will take place on the same day, but at 7:00 pm.  Doors will open at 6:30pm.  $7.00 donations will be accepted at the door.
 
I'm writing this from my kitchen table waiting for the snowstorm.  Ashland is a wonderful place, but it is certainly lacking in the area of a good sledding hill.  I hope you are warm and snug as the flakes start piling up.