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    Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Cascades is Running for Trish
    Moms are always on the move, and Trish Van Belleghem, who passed away in 2013 after a hard-fought battle with melanoma, was no exception. In some ways, she may have even moved a little faster than the average Cascades mom. She loved to run, and often could be seen on the many trails and pathways winding through Lowes Island and Cascades.

    Van Belleghem’s time on the run was well deserved. She is described by those who knew her as someone who always put the needs of others before her own, and as “the glue that held the family bond together.” She was a much-loved and amazing mom to three children—Daniel, now 15; Kathryn, now 13, and Elizabeth, now 11—and an inspiring partner to her husband, Dan. To the members of Girl Scout Troop 521, she was a leader and a role model. And, to the students and faculty of Our Lady of Hope School, she was an active and welcome volunteer.

    To honor Van Belleghem’s resilient spirit, love of family and love of running, members of the Cascades community are launching an annual event, the MelaNoMore 5K Run/Walk, to raise awareness and funds for the fight against melanoma. Registration is now open for the run/walk, which will take place on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 8:30 a.m., with a start and finish line at Cascades Marketplace. All race proceeds will benefit the efforts of the Melanoma Research Foundation.

    The event is family-focused, with a moon bounce, crafts and other family-friendly activities, as well as food stands. In addition, youngsters in the Cascades community have been invited to participate in every aspect of producing the event, from race planning to raffle organization (a “retired” American Girl doll is among the prizes), to handling a flag ceremony.

    Information on the race, volunteer opportunities and registration is online at melanomore5k.com.

    Trash Bash: The Cascades Trash Bash returns, with some help from Keep Loudoun Beautiful, on Sunday, Oct. 26, from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Volunteers to clean up outdoor areas in Cascades and Sugarland Run will meet up for location assignments and cleaning tools (trash bags and more) at Potomac Baptist Church on Lowes Island Boulevard. Volunteers also are needed for behind-the-scenes activities before the event and on clean-up day. The Trash Bash includes a food drive, so bring a donation of nonperishable food for the Loudoun Interfaith Relief pantry. Register online in advance at semptertech.com/CTB/ for a speedy check-in, and to receive any weather-related information that could affect the event.

    Contact Kathie Felix at KFinLoudoun[at]aol.com
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    STERLING BOULEVARD: Find a friend
    Charles Dickens once said “What greater gift than the love of a cat.” It sounds almost trite until you think about it. If you’ve ever known a cat, you know they have their people. We had a cat that seemed to have only five compartments in his heart. If you lived within one of those, you were spoiled and coddled by his affection. Outside of those compartments, you were, at best, malevolently ignored. However, there’s not a day that I don’t miss my furry best friend.

    Cat affection is earned. They are picky creatures who won’t be won over (for long) by cat treats and tuna. And they take great joy in playing with the milk jug cap over the pile of expensive fake mice you bought. However, they are also the ones that know when you’ve had a really bad day, and will curl up against you to purr and tell you that everything will be just fine tomorrow. The cat will also probably suggest you take a nap— because that’s a cat’s solution to most things. When a cat decides that you’re his friend, you’ll know it.

    Despite cats being the most popular pet in the U.S., many are still looking for a lap to call their own. It’s almost impossible to estimate how many cats are out surviving in the wild – they are exceptionally good at fending for themselves. Each year though, over 1 million cats find someone to rub their ears and, if the person is very lucky, their belly.

    This Saturday, Oct. 26, at our own PetSmart, the Homeless Animal Rescue Team (HART) will give you the opportunity to raise that number a bit. HART is a non-euthanizing shelter for homeless animals that provides foster care for cats and dogs until they find a home. Just come by this Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. and adopt a new friend.

    If you want to take a sneak peek at some of the friends available, you can run by PetSmart and go to the adoption center. Or visit HART online at Hart90.org and view all the cats (and dogs) that are impatiently waiting for their own best friend.

    Don’t have room for a new pet right now? Consider being a friend in deed by sponsoring one of the animals at HART to help defray the costs of care and food – and maybe a little cat nip.

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    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
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: The Scare in the Air
    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
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    Loudoun Business Journal - Summer 2014

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