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Seven dozen Jared Boxes — decorated and filled with small toys, books, games and well wishes — were delivered this month to young, chronically ill patients at Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children, Reston Hospital Center and Inova Fair Oaks Hospital.

The Jared Box project was started in memory of a 5-year-old Pennsylvania boy who died from a brainstem tumor in November 2000. Francine Albritton of Oak Hill, who said she grew up with Jared’s mother, spearheaded the local effort.

Helping Albritton were several Oak Hill families, as well as Scout leaders and parents from Pack 160, Girl Scout Troop 240, Brownie Troops 1862, 3260 and 873 and Daisy Troop 6673.

A number of local businesses donated supplies: Herndon K-Mart, Greenbrier 5 Below, Fairfax Wegmans, Franklin Farm Giant, Chantilly Costco, Oriental Trading Company and Reston Target.

Jared Boxes provide a diversion for children while they receive chemotherapy and other medical treatments.

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CNNMoney lists Reston as 7th-best small city

CNNMoney set out to find America’s best small city (population 50,000 to 300,000), looking for factors such as economic strength, quality health care, low crime, great schools and lots to do. Out of 100 cities, Reston ranked seventh.

“Reston may be a planned community, but don't expect cookie-cutter homes here,” reports. “Thanks to famed master planner Robert Simon, houses of all shapes and sizes sit next to one another.

“Activities come in all stripes, too, from an über-urban downtown to 55 miles of bike paths, 52 tennis courts, and 15 pools.”

The top 10 small cities, according to the website, are Carmel, Ind.; McKinney, Texas; Eden Prairie, Minn.; Newton, Mass.; Redmond, Wash.; Irvine, Calif.; Reston; Columbia/Ellicott City, Md.; Overland Park, Kan.; and Chapel Hill, N.C.

Centreville, the only other Fairfax County community to make the list, came in 17th.

Although traffic congestion puts a damper on the quality of life here, CNNMoney notes, “next year's completion of the Washington Metro's extension to Reston will help alleviate the pain.”

Fairfax man is Rotarian of the Year

The Rotary Club of Fairfax recently gave the Rotarian of the Year Award to Robert Jones, a club member who has demonstrated exemplary commitment to Rotary’s principles.

The award, the highest honor an individual Rotarian can receive, was presented at a recent meeting of the city of Fairfax Inter-Service Club Council.

“Bob is a Rotarian in every way,” said Laura Hills, president of The Rotary Club of Fairfax. “He embraces every opportunity to involve himself in service to our club, to our community and to Rotary International.”

Jones has been active in club service projects, including ringing a bell in the cold for the Salvation Army, fixing up a home for a Fairfax resident in need of help, delivering donated dictionaries to third-grade students in Fairfax city, helping at the annual Christmas party for homeless children, and planning fundraisers each year.

Jones, a retired naval officer, joined the Rotary Club of Fairfax in 2004 after moving to Virginia. He is a director of The Fairfax Rotary Foundation Board.

The club is a member of Rotary International, an organization of business and professional persons united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards, and help build goodwill.

Military salutes

Department of the Army civilian Kimberly Ross received an Army Contracting Command Contracting Excellence Award during the U.S. Army Contracting Command's third annual contracting awards ceremony.

Ross, a contract specialist assigned to the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., has worked in federal service for three years. She is the daughter of Sandra Ross of Alexandria and Terry Ross of Yuma, Ariz.

Ashley Hendrickson, William Griffin and Pablo Chovil are Army ROTC cadets involved in Cadet Language and Cultural Immersion Training. After a week-long training session at Fort Knox, Ky., the selected cadets are deployed to partner nations, where they are immersed in the local cultures and languages.

Hendrickson, a student at the University of Virginia, graduated in 2010 from Centreville High School. She is the daughter of Heather Hendrickson and David Hendrickson, both of Centreville.

Griffin is a student at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C. He is the son of William and Lorna Griffin of Annandale.

Chovil, a student at The George Washington University, graduated in 2010 from McLean High School. He is the son of Soraya Otero and Hernando Chovil of McLean.

Army National Guard Spec. Alex Ballinger and Army Reserve Spec. Jason Semales have graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.

Ballinger, a 2004 graduate of Woodson High School, earned a bachelor's degree in 2010 from the University of Arizona, Tucson. He is the son of Mark Ballinger of Tucson, Ariz.

Semales, a 2002 graduate of Langley High School, earned a bachelor's degree in 2010 from George Mason University. He the son of Kathy Semales of Great Falls.

Air Force Airman 1st Class Peter Nguyen and Air Force Airman Kelsey Inscoe have graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Nguyen, a 2006 graduate of West Springfield High School, earned an associate degree in 2010 from Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria. He is the son of Kim Le of Springfield and stepson of Dwight Rider of Stafford.

Inscoe, a 2006 graduate of Woodson High School, earned a bachelor's degree in 2010 from Radford University. She is the daughter of Donald Inscoe of Fairfax and Susan Inscoe of Reston.

Virginia Military Institute Cadet Sean McCauley of Herndon has been named the S-3 captain of the VMI Corps of Cadets. McCauley’s duties will include coordinating ceremonies and training schedules and publishing Corps operations orders.

McCauley is the son of Cornelius McCauley Jr. and Kathleen McMahon-McCauley, both of Herndon.

Nominations sought for beautification awards

Southeast Fairfax Development Corp. is accepting nominations for the 2012 Mary Thonen Beautification Program Awards, which honor commercial property owners along Richmond Highway who have made extraordinary efforts to beautify their sites.

The awards are open to all properties visible from Richmond Highway between the Capital Beltway and the Fairfax County Parkway, south of Fort Belvoir.

Applications — to include photographs of the property and a brief narrative explaining how it adds to the corridor’s visual appeal — may be emailed to or sent to Southeast Fairfax Development Corp., 8850 Richmond Highway, Suite 105, Alexandria, VA 22309.

The deadline is Sept. 30, 2012. For more, call 703-360-5008.