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ALL AROUND ASHBURN: #Running4brave raises thousands for mental health awareness

Pictured are the runners from the Loudoun Chapter of Moms Run This Town (MRTT) running on team #running4brave at the Loudoun Half Marathon. From left to right: Erin Troia, Annie Powell, Rachel Chou, Laurie Warwick, Vicki Matos and Jennifer Marshall
When Annie Powell, of Sterling, met “This is My Brave” co-founders Jennifer Marshall and Anne Marie Ames at an event last fall, she knew right away she wanted to become involved with their organization and help.

A stay-at-home mom of three young children, Powell was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder two years ago after several difficult manic episodes.

“Honestly receiving this diagnosis has been a relief,” Powell said.

“It has opened doors for me and I want to share my story. I don’t want to feel alone. It is empowering and inspiring to work with others going through the same thing,” Powell added.

Part of her therapy work has included running and physical activity, which has been “very cathartic.” She received her certified personal training license and hopes to help people with exercise and mental health.

She encourages other people to try exercise as a way to help with mental health issues.

“It does not have to be a half marathon, just start moving with any level of activity,” Powell said.

“I am very passionate about fitness and mental health. The goal is to figure out how we can help each other,” she said.

This past weekend, Powell, with six other women on her team, ran the Loudoun Half & 8K in Ashburn. They raised over $4,000 for This is My Brave, an Ashburn-based nonprofit organization designed to raise awareness about mental health issues.

“The race was awesome,” Powell said. “I trained for 12 weeks and it was a phenomenal day.”

The money raised will go toward a new program created by This is My Brave for students in Loudoun County high schools to raise awareness about mental health issues. The fundraiser will remain open to accept donations until the end of May, as May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Here is the link to the video and fundraising site: http://www.crowdrise.com/ThisIsMyBrave.
Brambleton’s Step Sisters expand to Fairfax County

The Step Sisters are proud to announce that they have expanded their reach throughout Northern Virginia, after signing agreements with Inova Fair Oaks and Fairfax Hospitals. The arrangement enables the group to provide support services to breast cancer patients currently undergoing treatment.

The Step Sisters signed their first agreement with Inova Loudoun in early 2014.

The Step Sisters raise funds to provide quality-of-life services such as transportation, house cleaning, fresh food delivery, child care and lawn services. By partnering with local leading hospitals, the group is able to match service to patient need.
The agreement will be rolled out in two phases with services provided immediately to Loudoun County patients treated at Inova Fair Oaks and Fairfax Hospitals. The second phase will follow shortly thereafter and will include patients from all neighboring counties.

Ashburn Farm Beautification Day

The Annual Ashburn Farm Beautification Day will be held April 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Community volunteers will help with spring clean-up of the common areas around Ashburn Farm, as well as some landscaping projects. For people interested in participating, they may contact Michael Kimmel at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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