School might still be out, but there is plenty of action in the cafeteria of Langston Hughes Middle School in Reston. The nonprofit Kids R First and its volunteers began its annual school supplies distribution at the school on July 25. The distribution process will continue for about two weeks.
Kids R First distributes these supplies to children in need at schools, grades kindergarten through 12, in Fairfax and Loudoun counties.
Kids R First, a 2005 Best of Reston recipient and Fairfax County Times 2011 Citizen of the Year, was founded in 1998 by retired teacher Susan Ungerer of Vienna. Many members of the all-volunteer organization also are retired educators. Additional community and business leaders have joined Kids R First as it works to raise funds to purchase supplies from local retailers at reduced prices, and give them to the children for free.
Since its founding, Kids R First has donated 1,541,000 units of new school supplies to 172,500 students at 88 schools. Ninety-eight percent of all donations go directly to support its programs.
In addition to its school supplies program, Kids R First grants mini-scholarships to students at 19 high schools through its College and Career Bound Program.
Among the volunteers, so far, have been members of the South Lakes and Park View high school football teams along with local firefighters and a team from Wiygul Automotive, that helped bring the truckloads of supplies into the school.
HoneyBaked store, owner win national awards
HoneyBaked, the ham company, has named its Franchisee of the Year: Reston business owner Roxie Curtis. Known as “The Ham Lady” in Northern Virginia for close to 20 years, Curtis also was recognized for top sales and superior product quality.
HoneyBaked announced the awards at its annual Franchise Summer Conference in July in Georgia.
The owner of the HoneyBaked store in North Point Village Center also was honored for being the top seller in the franchise division for sales growth year over year.
“Roxie should be our poster franchisee for what is possible when you do it the right way,” said Molly Kesmodel, vice president of franchise operations and development for The HoneyBaked Ham Franchise Co. “She sets the bar for the entire area.”
Curtis said she couldn’t have accomplished any of those things without her team, the community and her passion for what she does every day.
“If ever there was a love story in the ham business, I’m it. I absolutely love what I do,” she said. “We try to do the right thing every day. We provide excellent customer service, we work hard, we give this store life and we take that out into the community. We participate in Relay for Life, Herndon County Football, whatever is out there, we try to do it.”
Fairfax lawyers to lead divorce litigation department
ShounBach, a Fairfax law firm focusing on divorce and domestic relations, has named attorneys Keenan Goldsby and Sonya Powell as co-heads of the firm’s new litigation department. Albert Bonin, the firm’s managing partner, announced the appointments.
Goldsby and Powell have been partners of ShounBach since 2010. They each have more than 18 years of experience litigating divorce cases in Virginia, and both have strong records of courtroom success against many of the top divorce litigators in the region, Bonin said.
Goldsby, a native of Springfield, is a graduate of Duke University and University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Powell is a graduate of The University of Virginia and the University of Alabama School of Law.
Falls Church furniture retailer gives to schools
Bob’s Discount Furniture, headquartered in Manchester, Conn., has given $7,000 to seven schools in Falls Church to support arts and education programs. The funds were made possible by customer donations to collection jars found in every Bob’s store.
Each of the schools received a check for $1,000: Bailey’s Elementary School; Belvedere Elementary School; Falls Church High School; George Mason High School; Glen Forest Elementary School; JEB Stuart High School and Thomas Jefferson Elementary.
The check presentation took place at the Bob’s store on Leesburg Pike in Falls Church.
Scouting meritsAustin Gibbons, 15, a student at Oakton High School, attained the Eagle Scout rank July 16. Austin is a member of Oakton Boy Scout Troop 1983, where Dwight Reed is the scoutmaster.
Austin combined his love of Scouting and baseball in his Eagle project. In conjunction with local baseball training facilities and the Chantilly Youth Association baseball community, he organized a month-long collection of baseball equipment to donate to Pitch In for Baseball, a charity in Harleysville, Pa. Pitch In for Baseball sends new and gently-used baseball equipment to communities in need around the world.
Austin began Scouting as a Tiger Cub with Cub Scout Pack 1530. He has camped in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and participated in a 10-day trek to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico and the CHASE sailing adventure on the Chesapeake Bay.