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    River Creek & Lansdowne
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Operation Homefront
    A wounded warrior recently used a newly-purchased track chair to navigate tough terrain. Photo Courtesy/Boulder Crest Retreat
    Vivian Dietrich of River Creek and the president of the Mid Atlantic Chapter of Operation Homefront, has just been nominated by the Loudoun Business Journal as one of 20 women in Loudoun County “Who Mean Business.” This honor is more than well-deserved, and it gives OH the credit it deserves.

    “I am truly humbled to be nominated for doing something that I am so passionate about,” Dietrich said.

    Dietrich typically defers to the OH staff and team of volunteers.

    As a prime example of the work accomplished by volunteers, Steve Taylor and Woody Wrable, both of River Creek, collected a group of interested participants to help raise money for OH. In January 2014, after some deliberation and discussion, the group opted to try and collect funds to purchase a track chair that would enable wounded and debilitated service members to have a degree of independence.

    “Over $55,000 was raised, enough to purchase two track chairs – on behalf of Operation Homefront – for use at Boulder Crest Retreat in Bluemont. Volunteers were happy that they could provide the independence for our wounded warriors’ need to enjoy the outdoors with their families,” Wrable said.

    Track chairs can be described as wheel chairs with tractor belts in place of wheels. The chairs thus can be navigated by one individual over the terrain of his or her choosing. The physical aspects combined with the physiological can be immensely therapeutic.

    “The response was overwhelming, and by the time the Operation Homefront Martinis Matter event (at River Creek) was completed, the campaign had raised enough to buy the two track chairs along with a third track chair which was delivered to a deserving retreat in Alaska,” Taylor said.

    Funds for the track chairs came from individual and corporate donors through the efforts of the team of volunteers led by Taylor and Wrable. The fruition stemming from their generosity can be seen in the photo of a double amputee in one of the track chairs at Boulder Crest Retreat – a poignant reminder of the essential work in which Operation Homefront engages.

    For more information go to And t.o read about Vivian Dietrich, pick up a copy of the Loudoun Business Journal at local restaurants and super markets.

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    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Bunny rabbits and egg hunts
    As the winter just passed, it’s hard to imagine that we are on the threshold of spring. Even at that, the Easter Bunny will be making an early appearance at the annual ‘Eggstravaganza’ which will be held at Seldens Landing Elementary School in Lansdowne from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 21.

    And yes, the traditional Easter Bunny will be present along with crafts, a moon bounce, marshmallow roast and of course an egg hunt. The organizers have broken it down by age: at 10 a.m. kids ages 2 and younger will be the hunters, followed at 10:30 by the 3 and older, and again at 11 a.m.

    This event is open to Lansdowne residents and their children at a cost of $10 per family – four people; $3 for any extras.

    Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers

    The River Creek Club will host the semi final Martinis Matter on behalf of the Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers organization. The event, featuring raffle items, and of course the inevitable martini: Sparkling Apple Martini, including not two but four different ingredients, will start at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 in Benjamin’s Tavern. The money generated from the sale of raffle tickets and martinis will be donated to LVC.

    An LVC spokesperson says, “Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers is a corps of volunteers who strive, through providing free services to help the elderly, chronically ill and disabled adults to remain living independently, with dignity and quality of life.”

    The some 250 volunteers take on a number of chores willingly: “medical and non medical transportation (last year 52,000 miles), assistance with grocery shopping, errands, home repairs, visiting and money management.”

    This fall the organization will celebrate its 20th anniversary. And board member Keith Wauchope explained that the LVC strives to have its clients remain in their own home rather than an assisted living place. He says, “One-third of the funding comes from the county,” with the rest from donations.


    Having spent two weeks in California where speed limit signs post minimums,, we had to re-adjust, for example, after arriving at Dulles, we drove into town on Route 28. I couldn’t believe no one was passing me as I was cruising along in the slow lane at only 80 mph until finally it dawned on me that we were back in Virginia – at 55 mph max.

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    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Portrait of a citizen scholar
    Dashell Laryea
    The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation in Lansdowne has been engaging young men and women whose motivation, skills, economic status and demeanor have warranted their financial and moral support. Last year we spoke to one of their clients, Dashell Laryea.

    His goal he told me is still philanthropy and he cited the Greek play “Prometheus Bound” as being one guideline and rationale for being philanthropic. “I believe that philanthropy calls us to have a more optimistic view of the future, empowering us to create it.”

    He says he has turned his attention to “design thinking,” which he adds, “emphasizes holistic, collaborative efforts that mutually benefits all those involved. The focus on ‘collective impact’ in social entrepreneurship and ‘conscious capitalism’ in business show increasing awareness that design thinking is a process by which we can create a more philanthropic world.”

    His favorite poet as recognized in the past is T.S. Eliot and remains so. “Eliot has challenged me to ask deep, reflective questions about the state of the world and my participation in it. Eliot was a master in the pliancy of language, which gives his poems voice that seem timeless, and yet, hauntingly personal.” He believes Eliot’s poem “The Wasteland” has prompted positive responses in the arts and sciences.

    I ask him what the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has meant to him? “A diploma in May and a life-long debt to pay it forward.”

    Likely it has been at least in part, his inspiration for his entry into the world of philanthropy. Last year when I spoke with him he had already been involved with philanthropic work with several organizations both domestic and international.

    “The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation does a wonderful job of providing support. It’s been 10 years now. And now that I’m a bit older, the relationship is less hands on, but always there if I need it.” He says he “checks in each semester” and attends the annual meetings. “I am connected with the amazing community of Jack Kent Cooke scholars at Yale and in the Northeast.”

    Laryea and the foundation have been forces for a better world.

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    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: New golf pro at River Creek
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Dialogues of Discovery
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Martinis Matter to benefit Adler Center
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Fundraiser for the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Co.
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Martinis Matter
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Post script 2014
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Martinis that Matter
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Tree lighting
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Gifts of the season
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Driving in deer country
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    Loudoun Business Journal - Spring 2015

    Readers Choice Winter 2014

    February 2015 Leesburg Downtown

    2014 Holiday Leesburg Downtown

    2014 Loudoun Holiday Gift Guide