Jacob Atem, one of the original “Lost Boys of Sudan” will be at the Seneca Ridge Middle School library on Thursday, March 6, at 6:30 p.m. to present a powerful look at life, the world, learning and gratitude. In his talk, Atem will share experiences from his journey from civil-war-ravaged Sudan to Ethiopia, Kenya and the United States.
Sudan’s “Lost Boys,” a group of about 20,000 young men, were displaced from 1983 to 2005 during the country’s second civil war. Nearly 2.5 million people were killed as a result of that conflict.
The evening with Atem is presented through a partnership with the nonprofit Sudan Sunrise as part of the Step Up Loudoun Youth competition. Admission is free; the event is open to the public.
First Responders Honorees: Anh Dang of Sterling Middle School and Militsa Sotirova of River Bend Middle School were among 12 Loudoun County students recognized for their outstanding essays in answer to the question: “How have you or someone you know been helped by a first responder?” The winning students were honored by the Loudoun First Responders Association with a February ceremony held at the Leesburg fire station. This is the fifth year for the annual student essay contest.
Photo Show Finals: CountrySide resident Dora Ramirez is one of 37 photographers selected as a finalist in the 2014 fine art photography exhibit opening this week at ArtSpace in Herndon. Two of her photos – “Martin’s Hand” and “Which Way?” – are among the 50 images in the running for the top three exhibit awards. The award winners will be announced at the show’s opening reception on March 8.
“Martin’s Hand,” a close-up view of the Martin Luther King, Jr. sculpture at the MLK national memorial site in Washington, is part of Ramirez’s ongoing “Hands Project.” Her black-and-white photo “Which Way?” offers an aerial view of bicycle riders pedaling toward the Capitol building, as seen from the terrace of the Newseum.
The photography show runs through Sunday, April 6, at ArtSpace, located at 750 Center Street in Herndon. The exhibit’s opening reception takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. The reception is free and open to the public.
Robotics: The Sterling campus of Northern Virginia Community College is accepting registrations for summer robotics camps for elementary, middle and high school students. The one- and two-week sessions will teach scientific principles, how to build robots, how to write computer programs and the engineering design process. Information is available at nvcc.edu/systemic/camps.html.
This week, O’Faolain’s Irish Restaurant and Bar in Sterling moves to the head of the class as the host of a March 1 St. Baldrick’s fundraiser put together by two Loudoun County elementary school teachers in a show of support for a couple of area students.
Julia Koehler of Sterling and Alexis Schaeffer of Leesburg, teachers at Sycolin Creek Elementary, learned about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and its fight against childhood cancer last year when they were invited to attend a fundraiser in Maryland focused on military families.
The love and support Koehler and Schaeffer saw there inspired them to plan an event of their own this year, which they viewed as an opportunity to honor cancer survivors Mathias Giordano, age 12, a former Sycolin Creek student, and Colby Wood, age 7, a friend of the Koehler family.
The two teachers, who met about 10 years ago and have been teaching together for the past five years, decided to time the event to coincide with their birthdays.
“In lieu of birthday presents, we wanted people to donate to this,” Schaeffer said.
Students, friends, neighbors and other members of the community are honoring their request.
“I’ve been completely overwhelmed with how completely generous people are,” Koehler said.
Contributions have come from supporters of all ages, including the children of a teaching colleague who each donated $20 from their savings funds.
In addition to raising money, St. Baldrick’s celebrations provide an opportunity to illustrate community support in a special way. Many participants shave their heads in a show of love for youngsters fighting cancer.
A team of five hair stylists will be on hand at O’Faolain’s and, so far, nine children and 16 adults are signed up for a head-shave, some of them also donating their hair to Children With Hair Loss, an organization that provides wigs to youngsters dealing with medical challenges. Schaeffer holds the first appointment and expects to be donating about nine inches of hair. The youngest supporter scheduled for a head-shave is in first grade.
The St. Baldrick’s celebration begins at noon on Saturday, March 1. The party is a family affair open to all ages, complete with face painting and balloon animals. The haircuts begin at 12:45 p.m. The last reserved hair appointment is scheduled for 2:15 p.m., with walk-in scheduling available after that time.
Donations will be accepted at the event and online at stbaldricks.org. Type Sterling, Va. into the website’s event locator to find the O’Faolain’s registration page.
If the gray and white snow-covered scenery has you wishing for some serious splashes of color, stop by ArtSpace in Herndon. The gallery is presenting a fiber art show through March 2 that includes work by two members of the CountrySide Quilters—Sarah Entsminger and Cheryl See.
The show, titled “Something Blue,” showcases work by Northern Virginia fiber artists who make both bed-size quilts and smaller pieces of fiber art.
As you walk in the front door, you’ll be greeted by a full-wall display of See’s stunning interpretation of “The Blue Collection,” an applique project from Maggie Walker Designs. For those yet to be bitten by the quilting bug, applique is a sewing technique that enables a fiber artist to create detailed images with fabric. Described by some experienced quilters as the most difficult applique project they’ve seen in years, The Blue Collection contains images of nearly 30 ceramic pieces—vases, teapots and more—researched in private collections and museums.
Scattered throughout the show are nine examples of Entsminger’s smaller works. Her “Snow Birds” piece, a delicate rendering of six blue birds in a winter-like setting, was used as the graphic design for the show’s marketing materials. Also on display is her traditional piece titled “Williamsburg Star,” and seven pieces created for group challenges: Red Flower Garden, A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush, Blue Bird, Baskets for the Bridesmaids, The Bride’s Wedding Day Album, Rehearsal Dinner and Tuxedo Rental Time.
Experienced quilters and those new to the idea of quilting are likely to find inspiration in the lively designs featured in the show. Many attendees may come up with an idea for a fiber art project before leaving the building, and even more may start wondering where they can find some of the magical fabric used so well in the projects on display.
If the show gets you wishing you could find yourself in a convention center filled with fabric, quilt patterns, fiber art projects and fiber artists, the CountrySide Quilters are ready to help you out. On March 1, the group offers its annual bus trip to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. The bus departs at 6:45 a.m. from Cascades and leaves Hampton when the show closes at 6 p.m. The cost is $60, which includes the bus fare and admission to the show. To make a reservation, contact vmcone[at]yahoo.com.
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