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    Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
    CountrySide/Cascades: Celebrating Earth Day
    April 22 is Earth Day, an ecological awareness celebration launched in 1970 that led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. In eastern Loudoun, green-focused members of the community are offering a variety of opportunities in honor of the event to help make our little corner of the world an even greener place.

    Claude Moore Park hosts an Earth Day cleanup at the park on Saturday, April 26, from 9 a.m. until noon. The free session, open to all ages, focuses on the cleanup of trails and streams, as well as trail maintenance. Groups and individual volunteers should register to participate by Friday, April 25. To register, call 571-258-3700.

    CountrySide presents its annual Spring Clean Up, in partnership with Earth Day and Keep Loudoun Beautiful, on April 26 beginning at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of the Parkway Pool on Algonkian Boulevard. Breakfast snacks and beverages will be provided to volunteers. Trash bags and gloves will be supplied from 10 until 11 a.m. To participate, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    The Cascades Green Team got an early start on Earth Day with a cleanup event at the beginning of April and continues to spearhead a variety of earth-friendly activities throughout the spring season. At the most recent Cascades board meeting, the team provided support for the installation of a way station for monarch butterflies, to help their northward migration. The board approved the station, which will be installed at the Lowes Island Community Center by a local Boy Scout troop and is expected to be completed by spring or summer.

    The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy is leading a campaign to help the endangered monarch butterfly. The program focuses on sharing tips for restoring habitat, such as planting milkweed and fall nectar plants; planting monarch way stations; raising and releasing monarchs and presenting community awareness activities. Detailed information is online at http://www.loudounwildlife.org/Monarch_Campaign_About.html.

    Golf tournament:The 9th annual Dominion Classic Golf Tournament to benefit Dominion High School takes place Monday, May 19, at Belmont Country Club, with registration at 10 a.m. and a shotgun start at noon. The day includes a hole-in-one contest featuring an opportunity to win a car, a $5,000 putting contest, food and beverages, a reception, raffle and silent auction. The cost is $250 per golfer. For information, call Dave Ledwell at 703-606-0105 or go to teeupfortitans.com.

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    Sterling Boulevard: Better to give
    Sometimes, it’s easy to let the bad and the people who aren’t great convince you that the world is just filled with awful humans. All you have to do is turn on the news and you see examples of people just doing really horrible things and you can let yourself get bit depressed. But here’s why you shouldn’t – at least not about the people in Sterling.

    Everybody Clean Up: On Saturday, April 12, a bunch of volunteers (I counted about 15) met at Gwen Thompson Briar Patch Park to wear snazzy orange vests and clean up Sterling Boulevard. They picked up litter from the side of our busiest street and made our neighborhood look not only better but appreciated by those of us lucky enough to live here. The Sterling Foundation, sterlingfoundation.org, sponsors this important event and works tirelessly to make Sterling a nicer place to be. They also sponsor SterlingFest! The group is always looking for volunteers and help, so this is your chance to be part of something awesome.

    Eggs for Everyone: The non-scientific count had over 300 children at the Community Egg Hunt this weekend, sponsored by St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Sterling. Volunteer-run and free to whoever showed up, the egg hunt included face painting, crafts and sparkle tattoos for all who came. The entire playground at Gwen Thompson Briar Patch Park was dotted with eggs for the finding – and not an egg was left at the end.

    Walk for a Cause: Later this month, Rolling Ridge Elementary will be holding a walk-a-thon to raise money for a new track at the elementary school. If you’ve ever driven by the school, you know it won’t be just kids using the track. Many in our community use the grounds of the school for keeping fit, playing sports and flying some gorgeous kites on warm windy Saturdays. If you know a Rolling Ridge family, ask how you can sponsor a child in the walk-a-thon. If you just want to help, you can donate at http://www.rollingridgewalk.org.

    Did your organization, place of worship or school do something great – or do you need some help doing something great? Tell me about it. I know there are wonderful things going out in our community that people should hear about. Just let me know at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and I’ll be happy to get the word out.
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    CountrySide: A worldwide celebration of books
    The Cascades Library joins a global celebration of the power of books with an April 14 reception to launch the local donation of more than 450 books to individuals who don’t read regularly and may not have access to books of their own.

    The event is part of an annual worldwide effort to spread the joy of reading through a program launched in 1995 by the United Nationals Education, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO).

    Tracy Kallassy, the librarian coordinating the effort at the Cascades branch, said that the library will be giving away 10 of the 37 titles selected for the 2014 program by the World Book Night U.S. committee. The books were chosen by a committee of publishers’ representatives, printed in special editions and made available to the program at no cost.

    A group of 22 volunteers will be delivering the books throughout the community, Kallassy said.

    The April 14 reception will be the pickup point for the donated books.

    Kallassy pointed out that the Cascades Library reception, which is free and open to the public, also offers a special treat. Alethea Kontis, a bestselling Loudoun-based writer whose award-winning novel, “Enchanted,” was selected as one of the 37 titles in this year’s national book giveaway, will be on hand to meet attendees.

    “This is fantastic,” Kallassy said. “There are some really amazing authors chosen [for this program].”

    The donated books will be directed to carefully selected recipients.

    Kathleen Britto, who runs the library’s teen services program, is one of the volunteers on the book distribution team. Her work with the library’s after-hours teen center has helped her identify some young members of the community who would benefit from the World Book Night program.

    “This would be a great opportunity to get some books in their hands,” Britto said. “We’ll try to connect them with kids who aren’t big readers and who attend Teen Night.”

    The Cascades Library World Book Night reception takes place April 14, beginning at 7 p.m. The library is located at 21030 Whitfield Place in Potomac Falls.

    Falcons Landing concert: The Falcons Landing retirement community presents pianist Bill Trowell of Bar Harbor, Maine, in two free concert appearances on Wednesday, April 9, at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Falcons Landing Ballroom. Trowell will present a variety of musical styles, from standards to show tunes, and classical to contemporary music. The concert is open to the public. Tickets are not required. For information, call 703-404-5130.

    Contact the columnist at KFinLoudoun[at]aol.com.
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    CountrySide: Cleaning up with the Cascades Green Team
    Sterling Boulevard: The hunt is on
    CountrySide: Local authors in the spotlight, family fun at Claude Moore Park, Boy Scout fundraiser
    CountrySide: ‘Crop for a Cause’ in Broad Run
    CountrySide: Raise the roof for the troops
    From Sudan to Seneca Ridge
    St. Baldrick comes to Sterling
    A Valentine Gift to Educators
    The Snow Angels of Broad Run
    Sterling Ruritans: Helping out for 63 years
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