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    Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Helping those who help us
    We tend to take a lot of things for granted. When we go to the store, we know there will be donuts. We know that there will be a Starbucks within a few miles of wherever we might be – probably more than one. And when we have an emergency, either at home or out and about in Sterling, we know that the Sterling Volunteer Fire Co. will show up. That’s what they do. They show up, they help, they make things better. So far this year, SVFC responded to nearly 2,000 events.

    However, we sometimes forget how much it costs to be heroes. Last year, the trucks that showed up whenever we needed them drove almost 100,000 miles around our area, going to help us, help our neighbors. The trucks run on diesel fuel that costs the volunteer fire company well over $100,000. Last year, just 10 percent of those in our area that were served by SVFC donated to them.

    All through October, the SVFC will be running its fundraiser, the Bucket Brigade, being out and about in Sterling with their red buckets asking for your support. If you see them, be sure to drop some cash and help them out.

    But don’t wait to see a volunteer firefighter before donating the SVFC. Instead, you can easily donate online at http://www.sterlingfire.org and then looking along the right side of the page for the “donate” button. You can also mail in a check or stop by the station on Enterprise Street and drop off a donation. Either way, we can say thank you for the men and women who show up to help us whether we say thanks or not.

    What if you want to do more than just donate money? The SVFC is always looking for volunteers to help at the station in both operational (active firefighting and emergency response) and associate (administrative and support) roles. The first step is going to one of the monthly orientation meetings. Lucky for you, there is one coming up on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. at the fire station in Cascades on Middlefield Drive. To learn more about how you can be part of something good, just visit http://www.sterlingfire.org and click on the volunteer button on the right side.

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    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: On the run for art education
    Sterling residents and expert runners Ray and Cathy Pugsley, two of the owners of the Potomac River Running stores, have coached a small army of area runners and also have provided the resources to present a host of local running-related events. Each year, their company—now an eight-store operation—offers more than 20 points-based races throughout the region, and provides the administration and expertise behind more than 100 additional running-related events.

    Ray Pugsley launched the company’s race-management effort in 2006 with the family-friendly Twilight 4 Miler in Ashburn. But, before any runners could get to the starting line of that first race, the event was cancelled due to a massive storm that produced a 24-hour rainfall record at Dulles airport.

    “The beltway was flooded,” Pugsley said. “People couldn’t drive.”

    Mother Nature stilled Pugsley’s interest in presenting races until 2009, when two experienced race managers, Scott Razcko and Mike Kiernan, joined forces with PR Running.

    “We have a smooth system that I can’t claim any credit for,” Pugsley said. “We have a great race management team.”

    The newest effort to head toward the finish line with a little help from PR Running is the GRACE Race, a 5K race/walk/kids dash. The inaugural GRACE Race, a benefit for the educational and outreach programs of the 40-year-old Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), takes place Saturday, Oct. 25, at 8:30 a.m. at Reston Town Center.

    Spectators and participants are bound to have some extra fun at this event, as art-inspired costumes for runners and walkers are encouraged. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in the timed 5K and to participants with the best costumes. Registration is $25 through Oct. 15, $30 until online registration closes Oct. 23 and $35 during packet pickup and on race day. Registration for the 9:30 a.m. Kids Dash takes place on race day; there is no charge to participate in that event.

    According to Pugsley, running-related events in Reston seem to attract Loudoun County runners, particularly those from eastern Loudoun.

    He has a suggestion for anyone who hasn’t been to a 5K: “Go with no intention of running it and watch.”

    “Hear the music, see the excitement and take a look at the people crossing the finish line,” Pugsley said. “You will see people from every walk of life, young and old, you name it.”

    “Most people are there doing it as their social activity,” he said, emphasizing the opportunity for making new friends.

    “You don’t have to run an entire 5K [3.1 miles],” he added. “Some people will walk. Some will run for a minute and walk for a minute.”

    Information and registration is available at http://tinyurl.com/GRACErace1/ .

    Contact Kathie Felix at KFinLoudoun[at]aol.com
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    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: The Scare in the Air
    It’s ba-a-a-a-ck. If you’re ready to jump right into the fright-filled month of October with an evening in the haunted woods at Algonkian Regional Park, you’ll find four weekends of thrills and chills waiting for you in Cascades. The grand opening of the annual scarefest takes place Oct. 10 -12, with new trail designs and the launch of a Haunted Fun House. Scream for the Cure, a cancer fundraiser, is scheduled for Oct. 17 and 18. The gates open at 7 p.m. and the last ticket is sold at 11 p.m. Admission to the Haunted Forest is $18, admission to the Haunted House is $10, or admission to both is $25. Weather-related closings (remember the rains and flooding in previous years?) will be posted on the event’s Facebook page at facebook.com/haunted.forest.

    Builders wanted: If you’d prefer to visit the park under more soothing circumstances during daylight hours, and help build amenities while you’re there, the Algonkian Nature Preserve is looking for volunteers to help build a low boardwalk across a seasonal pond. The project is a fairly easy effort; the walkway will be about 16 inches off the ground at the tallest point. The work includes digging holes for the footers, setting 6x6 footers in concrete, hanging joists between footers, attaching decking to the joists and building shoulders on the decking. Wear work clothes and bring gloves. If you’ve got a cordless drill, bring that along. Work dates are Oct. 8, 10, 16, 18 and 22, beginning around 9 a.m. For information, contact Algonkian park ranger Ron Meister at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    The river view: If you’re up for three hours of paddling, Algonkian Regional Park offers a spectacular opportunity to see the park and the surrounding area from the water at the height of the fall foliage season. Two Fall Color Paddle Tours, the final paddle tours of the season, are scheduled for Oct. 25 and 26 from noon until 3 p.m. The cost is $30 per person. To register, call 703-450-4655.

    Holiday volunteers: The LINK food pantry is in need of volunteers for its annual Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday programs at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Sterling and Trinity Presbyterian Church in Herndon. Help is needed Nov. 8 – 15 and Dec. 8 – 13 to pick up food from schools and businesses, sort food, escort clients at food distribution centers and deliver food to the homebound. Also needed are donations of food, gently used winter clothing and new toys for children from newborns to 16 years of age. Volunteers as young as 10 years of age (with parents) are welcome to participate. Information is available at linkagainsthunger.org.

    Contact Kathie Felix at KFinLoudoun[at]aol.com
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    STERLING BOULEVARD: Put your mind to it
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Troop 2157 brings the books
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Serving those who served our nation
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Got stuff?
    Cruising to a Cure for Cancer
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Directors wanted
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: The Young Relics come to Sterling
    STERLING BOLEVARD: Read to me
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING:  The Chrisman Effect: $42,000 raised to fight ALS
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Going batty
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    Loudoun Business Journal - Summer 2014

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