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Purcellville Cross Serves as Beacon of Hope for Highway Travelers

November 9, 2015 Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on Purcellville Cross Serves as Beacon of Hope for Highway Travelers
Crux St. Francis de Sales

By Mark Gunderman
The Crux Gloria was erected and dedicated by St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in November 1990.

If you’re traveling from Leesburg on Highway 7, passing through Purcellville just west of the Berlin Turnpike exit, you can look to your right and see a majestic metal cross sculpture. Within the cross, the shape of Jesus appears to have been creatively cut out by scissors.
Called the “Crux Gloria” (Cross Glorious in Latin), it resides at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church on St. Francis Court in Purcellville. No matter what religious beliefs one might avow, the cross impresses with a fantastic beauty, especially at night when the interior of the cross is illuminated, highlighting the outline of Jesus. The lights that brighten its interior automatically turn on every twilight and extinguish at each sunrise.

The sculptor of the Crux Gloria, Tomas Fernandez, was a member of St. Francis De Sales in 1988. He recalls being “literally woken up by God” sometime that year and being inspired to create the structure. “God told me, ‘My cross is a cross of light, and I want you to build one,’ ” Fernandez said. … Continue Reading

Gifts Within

August 8, 2015 Faith, Lifestyle 1 comment
I Am Bread_072515_media

Second Mount Olive Baptist Church of Hamilton sponsored the very inspiring “Gifts Within” – the third Project Blessings Program and Family Entertainment Night on Saturday, July 25 at Tuscarora High School in Leesburg.

The MC for the evening was the Rev. Garrett Jackson of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Aldie.

Leesburg Mayor Kristen Umstattd provided a special welcome. Mayor Umstattd has previously attended the 2011 and 2013 events. “The Gifts Within event is always tremendously uplifting. It speaks to all of us who love Christ and want Him to be a constant presence in our lives. I always leave this very spiritual experience with a sense of joy and contentment,” she said. … Continue Reading

A Servant’s Heart Scholarships

July 1, 2015 Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on A Servant’s Heart Scholarships
servantsheartscholarship

Joshua’s Hands was established in 1999 in memory of Joshua Guthrie, who was an enthusiastic community volunteer. Joshua’s years of service were cut short by his death at the age of 16. Joshua’s Hands seeks to continue to be his hands of service in the community and to encourage others to serve.

In addition to an annual Fall Festival that is free to the community, American heritage education programs – which includes our Valiant Warrior Quilts, community service and teen safe driving education, the organization offers A Servant’s Heart Scholarship. The scholarship is essay based and open to all seniors in Loudoun County. To date, the organization has awarded $27,000 in scholarships.

The 2015 recipients are from varied backgrounds with diverse interests. Emma Appleton (Woodgrove High School) will pursue a degree in secondary education at JMU in the fall. In her essay she wrote about bringing lessons from foreign volunteer efforts back home to her family and community.

“One of the biggest lessons that I learned about serving was to bring my growing love for God home and serve my family,” Emma said. “I have found that it is really hard to humble yourself before the family you live with all the time – the people whose faults you know well. In Bolivia, it was easy to help clean up after meals. Our ‘fights’ were over who got to serve and wash the dishes. It was easy to give up space to my teammates. But as I started to look at my Bolivian ‘family,’ I realized that I was not as eager to serve my own family back home. God really challenged me to take the servant’s heart I had in Bolivia back to Virginia with me.”

The winning essay from Freedom High School was written by Peyton Aspinwal, who learned about service on a Nicaraguan soccer field. She wrote: “One of my favorite things about Nicaragua is the love the kids have for each other and the joy that radiates from each smile. It is a love that is geared towards serving, sharing, and doing. They are each so quick to give up what little they have for someone else who has less.”

Loudoun Valley High School’s Henri Brown learned about a servant’s heart as he used his musical talents to inspire others as he served in his community and as he built hurricane resistant walls in Belize. The message hit home when a poverty stricken child in Belize placed three of his cherished marbles in Henri’s hand as a parting gift. In his essay he noted that a mission or volunteer effort might only make minor changes in an environment or slightly improve conditions for those in need, but it changes the volunteer forever.

Joshua’s Hands Valiant Warrior Quilting Event is July 17-26 to make quilts for our wounded warriors. This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the organization, the Valiant Warrior Quilting Project or A Servant’s Heart Scholarship visit the website: www.JoshuasHands.org

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Saint John the Apostle Roman Catholic Church Eucharistic Procession Walks through Leesburg

June 8, 2015 Faith, Lifestyle 1 comment
Eucharist Procession

By Mark Gundrman

Saint John the Apostle Roman Catholic Church held a Eucharistic Procession on the Feast of Corpus Christi on Sunday, June 7. Gospel readings, prayer and singing were emulated at stations along the procession route.

The procession was comprised of clergy, First Communicants in their communion clothes, Knights of Columbus in their 4th degree regalia, Altar Servers in their cassocks, members of all parish ministries and lay people and their families. The Holy Eucharist was contained in a processional monstrance protected by a decorated canopy. The procession with the Blessed Sacrament under guarded canopy proceeded through the church property, St. John’s cemetery and down Church Street, with a stop at the County Courthouse. The procession returned to St. John’s via North King Street. … Continue Reading

Over 50,000 Meals Packaged at Western Loudoun County Stop Hunger Now Event

April 27, 2015 Events, Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on Over 50,000 Meals Packaged at Western Loudoun County Stop Hunger Now Event
2015 SHN 11

On Saturday, April 11 over 300 volunteers from across the county met at Round Hill Elementary School to support the 5th Annual Western Loudoun County Stop Hunger Now event. Enthusiastically working in highly organized production lines, they packaged 50,328 meals in less than 3 hours against a background of music and cheers as production goals were met. Volunteers included a wide range of individuals and families from across Loudoun County as well as community groups from several churches, Boy and Girl Scout troops, sports teams, school groups, and emergency services organizations.

This annual event is sponsored and organized by Round Hill United Methodist Church.

According to Pastor Witt, this year’s event once again exceeded expectations. Fund raising goals needed to pay for the food and packaging materials were met and volunteer turnout grew for the fifth consecutive year. Round Hill UMC began sponsoring this community event after church members were introduced to the Stop Hunger Now organization in 2010 at their annual conference. The first Western Loudoun County Stop Hunger event at Round Hill UMC in 2011 packaged 25,000 meals. Community support for this annual project grew rapidly and the event was moved to the much larger Round Hill Elementary School location in 2013. Over the past 5 years, the Western Loudoun Stop Hunger Now campaign has packaged more than 350,000 individual meals for shipment to Uganda, Haiti, Philippines, and Burkina Faso.

During this year’s event, volunteers assembled and packed individual meals by manning a series of measuring, weighing, filling, sealing, and packing stations. Each dehydrated rice/soy meal is designed to be nutritionally sound and culturally acceptable across the globe. Meals are also fortified with 23 essential vitamins and nutrients since research shows that one in three people in developing countries suffer serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The meals packed at this year’s event were transferred to a holding warehouse in Lynchburg VA to await mid-May shipment to a priority third world location to be selected by the Stop Hunger Now organization.

This event is part of a much larger effort to relieve hunger in some of the world’s most distressed areas. The Raleigh NC-based Stop Hunger Now organization was founded in 1998 by Ray Buchanan, an ordained United Methodist minister with the vision of ending hunger in his lifetime. Buchanan, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam, previously founded and spent 18 years as co-director of the Society of St. Andrew, a Virginia-based domestic food relief organization. Since inception, Stop Hunger Now has provided over 180 million meals in 65 countries by engaging the support of over 500,000 corporate, student, civic and faith-based volunteers to package meals. This year, Stop Hunger Now expects to package over 45 million meals, and ship over $9 million in donated aid consisting of mainly vitamins and medical supplies to worldwide locations.

2015 SHN 12

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International Easter Banquet

March 22, 2015 Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on International Easter Banquet
Easter_dinner_leesburg

By Mark Gunderman

Invitation to an International Easter Banquet in Leesburg:
Sunday March 29 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Leesburg Community Church, 835 Lee Avenue SW in Leesburg.

Come, taste and experience what Easter is all about! And come find out what it means that God gave up His Son for the world.

International Learning Center – NoVA (ILC-NoVA*) and the churches of the Leesburg area are together hosting a banquet celebrating a very important holiday in America and all over the world. Come with your family and befriend our ESL/international families, and please invite your friends from other nations. We will have testimonies and singing in many different languages Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu & of course, English. Childcare is also provided. … Continue Reading

Holidays – The Season of Giving

December 10, 2014 Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on Holidays – The Season of Giving
Gunderman

By Mark Gunderman

Besides the many commandments in the Torah instructing us to love our fellow man, there is also an explicit commandment to open your hand to the poor and to give or loan them whatever they need to keep from spiraling into poverty. In Judaism, giving to the poor is not considered a generous act; it is called “Tzedkah,” the Hebrew word for charity, and is seen as simply an act of fairness. The word “tzedakah” is derived from the Hebrew root “Tzadei-Dalet-Qof,” meaning righteousness or justice. Four thousand years ago ancient Hebrews paid an obligatory tax to provide for the needy. Today many renowned charities of the world have their roots in the efforts of charitable-hearted Jews. … Continue Reading

LINK Thanksgiving Program News

November 20, 2014 Faith, Lifestyle 1 comment
sigma_mu_thanksgiving_push

Members of Sigma Mu Mu of Loudoun County, VA Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity volunteered at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Sterling on Saturday, November 15 to support the LINK Thanksgiving Food Distribution program. The men’s group managed traffic control for the steady flow of 55 family pick-ups an hour as shopping carts totaling over 50,000 pounds of non perishable groceries, and 750 pounds of frozen meat and 300 pounds of vegetables and fruit were loaded into needy family vehicles from our local neighborhoods. LINK was able to provide three to five days worth of supermarket food and a grocery gift certificate to 776 families (3,880 people) at both Christ the Redeemer and Trinity Presbyterian in Herndon during the all day event. Sterling United Methodist Church also distributed 2,500 winter coats, hats scarfs and mittens.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Wiggs.

New Organ To Highlight Christmas Music Service at Middleburg United Methodist Church

November 16, 2014 Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on New Organ To Highlight Christmas Music Service at Middleburg United Methodist Church
middleburg christmas

Middleburg United Methodist Church will dedicate their new organ at their annual Christmas music service Sunday, December 21 at 11:00 a.m.. The clear, rich sounds of the new organ will be enhanced by string accompaniment provided by Alan Saucedo on cello and Cynthia Saucedo on violin. The new organ is a gift from the Donald Taylor family in memory of his late parents Margaret and Chester Taylor and from the estate of Janis E. Combs, a longtime choir member at the church. Allen Organ Company, the largest and best-known purveyor of church organs in the United States, supplied the powerful new instrument, which embodies the most advanced technology available. The quality of the sound is that of a large, complex pipe organ, and can replicate various types of organs such as baroque European models. The organ can also play the notes of other musical instruments such as trumpet, piccolo, and chimes. … Continue Reading

“God’s Work. Our Hands”

September 9, 2014 Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on “God’s Work. Our Hands”
God's work

“God’s work. Our hands.” is the day that offers the opportunity for the community to share the love of God with neighbors. This event, sponsored by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), is one dedicated day of service when nearly 10,000 ELCA congregations put their faith into action by engaging in service activities. New Jerusalem Lutheran Church will be starting this community service at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 7, at New Jerusalem Lutheran Church, 12942 Lutheran Church Road in Lovettsville. We welcome all members of the Lovettsville community to participate in this event and help with one of the activity stations, which include a food drive, quilting, and cemetery stone repair. Please come by and see what “God’s work. Our hands” Sunday is about and feel free to join us. Any donations to the Western Loudoun Food Pantry would be appreciated during the hours of 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

LINK Update

February 10, 2014 Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on LINK Update
CTR_Catholic_line

By Mark Gunderman

During 2013 Holiday programs in November and December, LINK was able to provide groceries for three – five days to more than 7,400 individuals (110,000 pounds of canned, boxed and frozen food) turning Christ the Redeemer Catholic and Trinity Presbyterian Churches into makeshift supermarkets. Attached photo is courtesy/ Matt Harmon.

During the entire 2013 year, LINK served in excess of 4,515 families (21,220 individuals), distributed more than 350,000 pounds of food and provided $89,944 in financial assistance and grocery gift cards. LINK is about Christians helping their neighbors. As in the story of the Good Samaritan, LINK assists those in need, regardless of race, religion or creed. … Continue Reading

Evolution Weekend Celebration at St. James in Lovettsville

February 1, 2014 Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on Evolution Weekend Celebration at St. James in Lovettsville

In celebration of Evolution Weekend, an annual event led by clergy to encourage serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science, St. James United Church of Christ in Lovettsville will host a presentation by Dr. Mark Lupisella:

Evolution Weekend was founded nine years ago by The Clergy Letter Project (http://www.theclergyletterproject.org/) to counter the undermining of evolutionary science and the belief that faith and science are incompatible. Attacks on evolution have often also defamed Charles Darwin as an enemy of compassion and morality, falsely associating his work with the unrelated concept of “social darwinism.” In fact, Darwin’s writing “reveals caring, love, moral evolution and education as the prime drivers” of human advancement toward justice and compassionate community, says the Rev. Don Prange. … Continue Reading

Francis Makemie Society

January 15, 2014 Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on Francis Makemie Society
february_wide_dig

By Mark Gunderman

Protestant dissenters in Virginia first obtained religious liberty due to Francis Makemie’s petition to Colonial Governor Francis Nicholson.

In 2013, Makemie Park near Temperanceville, Virginia has been the site of archeological digs on the former site of Reverend Francis Makemie’s 17th century residence. Following the same archeological procedures used at Jamestown and Saint Mary’s, the Francis Makemie Society marked out a 90’ by 40’ area with string and large nails over what many believe is the foundation of Makemie’s house. Today the entire area is under scrutiny to learn more about both the foundations and a trove of early colonial artifacts. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

Columns

Asterisk No More

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Moods come and go, but greatness endures.” These prescient words were uttered by President George H.W. Bush, a man who knows firsthand the truth of his own saying. In 1992, President Bush garnered only 37 percent of …

Second Bull Run

Bull Run Creek

It may not have been a battle, but – seeing as how it was my second attempt at getting a good look at Bull Run Creek – coupled with the fact that I’m a native Northerner – I felt a …

Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. “snOMG,” “snowmageddon,” “snowpocalypse,” and “kaisersnoze” are a few terms to describe what just happened in Northern Virginia. The storm was reported to be the second worst storm on record. And while many children and teens gladly …

What Is a Sport?

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde On January 10, hundreds of talented dancers from across the East Coast competed at the Universal Dance Academy Regional Championship at West Springfield High School. Tensions were high and the stakes couldn’t have been greater. What …

Six Things to Know to Weather a Market Downturn

Smith0035

It’s natural to be nervous when the markets head for negative territory. Keep a positive perspective with these six investing reminders. It can be very unsettling for investors when their portfolios and the markets start heading for the red and …

El Nino Evolution

Figure 3. Sea-surface height as inferred by by NASA satellites during the current El Niño (December 27, 2015, at left, from Jason-2) and at a comparable point during the last “super” El Niño (December 28, 1997, at right, from TOPEX/Poseidon). Warmer temperatures in the upper ocean result in higher sea-surface heights, as the seawater expands. In 1997, the above-average sea surface height was generally more intense and peaked in November. In 2015, the area of high sea levels was less pronounced but considerably broader. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. (see [4])

Figure 1 shows the annual global temperature anomaly since 1980 up to November 2015 using the NASA GISS data set [1]. NASA has not yet published December’s data though BEST has [2] and yes 2015 was the hottest year on …

Editorial

Grief and Greed

blueridge2

By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

blueridge2

By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Job Well Done!

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Kudos to Town Manager Rob Lohr and his awesome hard working staff. You did a fantastic job of snow removal throughout the Town of Purcellville this past week. Mr. Lohr …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

eaglescout

Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

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8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

benkellog

Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Calendar

February 2016
M T W T F S S
1 2 3

Loudoun Valley Boys Basketball Spirit Night at Coach's Corner

4

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

5

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

6

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

7

5K Race to Benefit Riverside High School Athletic Department

8 9 10 11

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

12

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

13

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

14

Gallery Coffeehouse: READERS THEATRE "LOVE LETTERS" BY A. R. GURNEY

15 16 17

Mad Cap Puppets: UNDER THE BONSAI TREE

18 19

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

20

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT: Year Of The Monkey

21

Loudoun Symphony presents A LITTLE CHAMBER MUSIC

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

22 23 24 25 26 27

THE EDGE: Malone Benefit Concert

28

Loudoun School of Ballet Winter Showcase

29 1 2 3 4

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

5

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

6

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theatre, 100 Lunches" by Jack Sharkey & Leo Sears

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Lifestyle

Run and Walk To Your Nearest 5K Pregame Event Happening on Super Bowl Day In Leesburg

3 Feb 2016

runandwalk

There is a new Running Company, the Pace Makers Running Company, in town and they are on a mission to help the local population with their health goals while raising money for selected charities. The race at The National Conference Center in Leesburg on February 7, is to help benefit the Riverside High School Athletic Department. The upcoming race on …

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Lovin’ Leesburg for All Its Beauty

3 Feb 2016

lovinleesburgrealestate1

By Hannah Hager We may be in the thick of winter, but this home on Cherry Spring Lane will melt your heart. Come spring you’ll fully be able to enjoy this simple, yet elegant brick home and its surrounding green pastures enclosed by miles of black wooden fences. Beyond your immediate yard are sweeping views of the mountains and valleys …

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6th Annual Loudoun Grown Expo February 27

3 Feb 2016

loudoungrownexpo

It’s that exciting time of year again for the Sixth Annual Loudoun Grown Expo. The yearly event will take place at the Bush Tabernacle 250 South Nursery Avenue, Purcellville, on February 27 with new expanded hours starting at 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There will be wine and beer exhibitors, farm exhibitors, artisans and makers, restaurants and other rural economy …

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Around Virginia

Education Savings Accounts Make Big Move in House

Dave_larock

The Virginia House of Delegates gave a strong push to House Bill 389, Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-33rd District) innovative Education Savings Account legislation, as the House Education Committee voted 13-9 in favor of advancing the bill forward. “This is definitely an exciting development for parents and students in the Commonwealth,” …

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Kaine to Hold Hearing on Opioid Abuse

Kaine

On Monday, February 1, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, will hold a field hearing in Loudoun County to examine the ongoing fight against opioid misuse and abuse among older Americans. Kaine has met with families, law enforcement and business leaders across Virginia …

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Youth Can Apply for 2015 Livestock Exhibitor Scholarships

Virginia_seal

Youth who exhibited beef cattle, sheep, meat goats or swine in the 2015 State Fair of Virginia 4-H and FFA youth livestock program are eligible to apply for 12 new scholarships being offered by the State Fair of Virginia. Scholarships will be offered in three age groups: Juniors (9-12), Intermediate …

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Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

westernloudounvolleyballclub

The Western Loudon Volleyball Club U14 boys team, called the “Hitmen,” finished second in a tournament held January 17. This is the first ever boys team for the WLVBC (and only the second boys club in the area). Coach Allan Kotmel led the seven-member team. WLVBC started eight years ago, …

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ODFC West Travel Soccer Program Shines

2 Dec 2015

ODFCsoccerpics

The Old Dominion Football Club West boys and girls middle school travel soccer program scored big the weekend of November 21 and 22.  The girls Quest Premier 22 team took home the championship in the U12 Girls Premier Division of the Hunt Country Classic located in Fauquier County. The boys …

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