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    Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Honoring service men and women
    American Legion Post 150 holds its annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Veterans Memorial in Sterling on Monday, May 25, beginning at 11 a.m. The one-hour ceremony will include Boy Scout Troop 956 and the Sterling United Methodist Church choir. The keynote speaker will be Pearson Buasen, an Air Force veteran who works as a veteran service representative at the Northern Virginia Community College Loudoun campus. The Veterans Memorial is at the intersection of Sterling Boulevard and Holly Avenue. Parking is available on the street nearby and at Sterling Middle School. The public is invited to attend.

    LINK up: The Lowes Island Elementary School PTO, with the help of the school community, donated $1,000 to the LINK Against Hunger program serving those in need in Sterling, Ashburn and Herndon. The donation was made possible by the Lowes Island Leopards’ spring fundraising efforts, including a silent auction held the day after bad weather gave students a late March snow day away from the classroom. In all, the school community raised more than $12,000, which also provided funding for a playground for K-2 and special needs children at the school.

    Mobile Hope:
    The Falcons Landing Continuing Care Retirement Community in Potomac Falls presented a $1,500 donation to Mobile Hope, a Loudoun County-based project that supports homeless and economically at-risk children and young adults. The donation was made by the Falcons Landing community in honor of the hundreds of Falcons Landing residents who volunteer in eastern Loudoun, providing thousands of hours of support for programs such as Meals on Wheels, Head Start, the Loudoun County Public Library and AARP tax preparation services.

    Treasure hunting:
    Dominion High School hosts its annual Titan Territory Expo and community flea market on Saturday, May 23, from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the school parking lot, rain or shine. This high-energy event features live music all day, a children’s play area, family activities and food sales. Rental space is available for $20 for two parking spaces and $10 for each additional space. All rental fees benefit Dominion High School. For vendor information and registration, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    Brick by brick: River Bend Middle School is raising money for an outdoor classroom, to be known as the Raven Retreat, by selling personalized bricks for the project. The bricks will be used to help create an area with stump seating, a patio and gardens for outdoor learning opportunities. A personalized 4 x 8-inch brick is available for a $100 donation; an 8 x 8-inch brick is available for a $250 donation. The ordering deadline is May 31. Information is available online at or at

    Contact Kathie Felix at KFinLoudoun[at]
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    In the years after the Civil War, the country was still reeling from the loss of so many over the bloody four years.

    It is estimated more than 750,000 military personnel died in the war. To put that in perspective, that’s more than the casualties from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War all added together.

    It’s no wonder that the country felt a huge loss, as nearly 3 percent of the current population was now dead.

    In 1868, the head of an organization of Union army veterans suggested a national memorial day – then called Decoration Day. It was a day where flowers were to be placed at the graves of those who fell in the war and the date of May 30 was selected – supposedly because flowers would be in ready and plentiful supply.

    Many other states had already started their own memorial day in the years after the war. In fact there’s a bit of an argument about who started Memorial Day with our own capital (and my hometown) of Richmond vying for the title. However the discussion was put to rest by Congress and then president, Lyndon B. Johnson, when they declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day in 1966.

    If I know Richmonders, they did not take to that decision kindly.

    As the country recovered from yet another war in 1918, Decoration Day was expanded to include any member of the military who died in a war. Memorial Day was made a national holiday in 1971 and set as the last Monday in May.

    In 2000, Congress declared a National Moment of Remembrance, calling on Americans to pause at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day to remember the sacrifices made by our veterans.

    Although a moment or a day is not nearly enough to say 'thank you,' it’s a good place to start.

    In our own neighborhood, at the corner of Sterling Boulevard and Holly Avenue, you can find Sterling’s memorial to our veterans, the Sterling Park Veterans Memorial. Four flags fly at corner surrounded by a beautiful garden. This site is maintained by American Legion Post 150, based here in Sterling. To learn more about this group, and how you can help them make sure that we continue to remember the men and women who protect us, sacrifice for us and inspire us, you can visit Be to say 'thank you.'

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    Each year, tens of thousands of people lose their lives in traffic accidents. It’s estimated in more than 30 percent of those accidents, a driver was behind the wheel while under the influence.

    In Virginia during 2013, nearly 28,000 drivers were convicted of driving under the influence. The monetary costs of driving drunk is also staggering.

    Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that Virginian taxpayers pay $1.3 billion as a result of the deaths caused by drunk driving.

    Although, everyone knows it’s a dangerous, foolish and criminal act, drunk driving still occurs – often by the same people time and time again. About a third of those convicted of DUI have been in court before for the same offense. And there’s no way to estimate the times these same people got behind the wheel and just didn’t get caught or thankfully didn’t injure or kill someone.

    This weekend, MADD is sponsoring a Walk Like Madd event starting at Park View High School at 400 W. Laurel Lane. In addition to a 5K community walk, supporters can bid on silent auction items from sponsors, including many business located in Sterling, including Rebouderz, Solace Day Spa and Sterling Soccer.

    The walk begins at 10 a.m. at Park View, with check in beginning at 9 a.m. If you want to participate in the walk, you must register by 5 p.m. Friday, May 15. Registration is just $25 for adults and $20 for kids 5-18.

    Not a walker or have plans that day? Don’t worry, you can still support the efforts by registering to be a virtual walker for the same costs.

    You can also support teams of runners or form your own team of walkers, who will then act as fundraisers in the community.

    And don’t forget the silent auction, which will allow you to get great stuff while supporting an amazing cause.

    The monies raised will support MADD’s efforts to support tougher drunk driving laws, reduce underage drinking and provide resources to the victims of drunk driving. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning. You can find out more by visiting where, you’ll find registration details, a full and extensive list of auction items and an easy place to donate to the cause without having to leave your chair.

    For more information about the event or how you can get involved, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or call the even contact, Susan Cleveland, at 703-470-1053.

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    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: ‘Great Gatsby’ Casino Night in Cascades
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Waiting in line – to vote
    STERLING BOULEVARD: What the knit!
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Sterling Has Talent
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Summer robotics camps return to Sterling
    STERLING BOULEVARD: A crafting we will go
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Junk out and “Noises Off”
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: St. Baldrick Returns to Sterling
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