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SOAR365’s Ladybug Fund Fundraiser for Children and Youth with Disabilities celebrates 20th anniversary

“This is by far the best annual wine tasting event in Richmond,” Thom Horsey, co-founder of the Ladybug Fund and board member with SOAR365, said. “This is our most impactful fundraising and awareness event each year.”

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Tickets are now on sale for the 20th Annual Ladybug Fund Winetasting and Silent Auction to be held on Friday, April 24 at the Dewey Gottwald Center at the Science Museum of Virginia. The event has raised more than $2 million for countless children and youth with disabilities over the past 20 years.

The 2020 event, presented by The Reinhart Foundation, Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Buick GMC and Synergy Technical, offers guests an opportunity to experience fine imported European and West Coast wines paired with a variety of culinary delights by Mosaic Catering. Guests will also enjoy live jazz from John Conley and craft beer from Midnight Brewery. The highly anticipated silent auction will feature sought-after items like a private wine dinner for 20, an oil painting by local artist Anne Walker and exceptional wines for bid.

Proceeds directly benefit the children and youth in SOAR365 programs.

“This is by far the best annual wine tasting event in Richmond,” Thom Horsey, co-founder of the Ladybug Fund and board member with SOAR365, said. “This is our most impactful fundraising and awareness event each year.”

Horsey has three decades of experience in the wine industry, having worked for Robert Mondavi, Rodney Strong, and Chateau Ste. Michelle. He is personally involved in all food and wine pairings for guests.

“SOAR365 is one of those agencies you couldn’t name if your life depended on it before you need them but can’t possibly imagine your life without when your family member needs them,” Horsey said. “The Ladybug Fund Winetasting and Silent Auction is a fun way to bring the community together for an important cause. I’m looking forward to celebrating its twentieth year.”

Tickets are $95 through February 14, $100 through April 23 and $110 at the door. Guests can purchase tickets at soar365.org or by contacting Edilia Bendel at 804-665-1240.

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CarMax Tacky Light Run reimagined with virtual and road-based courses for 2020

The CarMax Tacky Light Run, originally scheduled for Saturday, December 12, won’t be held as a traditional single day, in-person event, and event organizers will instead offer multiple ‘Official Courses’ for registered participants to use.

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The CarMax Tacky Light Run, originally scheduled for Saturday, December 12, won’t be held as a traditional single day, in-person event, and event organizers will instead offer multiple ‘Official Courses’ for registered participants to use. Courses will be open December 11-December 13 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and a virtual option is also available for participants to complete their run or walk on a course of their own choosing as well.

One of the planned courses will utilize the Walton Park neighborhood, one of the area’s most festive collections of holiday lights and elaborate decorations, and the traditional site of the CarMax Tacky Light Run.

Now in its eighth year, the holiday-themed fun run combines one of Richmond’s favorite traditions – tacky holiday lights – with a celebration of active living. Registration is now open with pricing for adults ($18) and youth age 14 and under ($12), and, in addition to the marked and measured course options, registration also includes a long-sleeve event participant shirt, packet mailing, participant race bib, and a $5 discount to register for the 2021 CarMax Tacky Light Run.

All registered participants will also be automatically entered into a contest for a special CarMax Tacky Light Run prize pack. Optional add-ons to registration include a commemorative CarMax Tacky Light Run 2020 ornament, holiday-themed merchandise, and glow kits.

“We are excited that Sports Backers has come up with a creative solution to keep the tradition of this fun and festive event going this year,” said Leslie Parpart, Director of Community Relations at CarMax. “The CarMax Tacky Light Run has become a much-anticipated annual event for residents and families all over the Richmond region and we’re honored to be the lead sponsor for the eighth consecutive year.”

Each official CarMax Tacky Light Run course will have signage, mile markers, and passive traffic calming measures to promote the safety of participants. Event organizers will also provide additional support including lighting and other safety measures while courses are open from December 11-December 13.

“The CarMax Tacky Light Run has grown to become one of Richmond’s favorite holiday activities and we’re excited to offer this new event format for participants to take part in a festive and active way while following public health guidelines to support the health and safety of participants, volunteers, and staff,” said Molly Johnson, Event Director for Sports Backers. “We’re thankful for the continued support of CarMax and Chesterfield County and we look forward to the opportunity to celebrate in a new format in December.”

Participants will also be encouraged to dress up in their best, brightest, and tackiest holiday gear, and the CarMax Tacky Light Run Costume Contest will reward the top costumes in the categories of ‘Best Tacky Sweater,’ ‘Merry and Bright: Brightest Dressed,’ and ‘Best Overall: Individual and Group.’ Costume contest participants can submit photos to [email protected] or post on social media and tag @TackyLight Run, @SportsBackers or #NeverTooTacky.

Kids Run RVA will serve as the official event charity for the CarMax Tacky Light Run. Kids Run RVA is an initiative of Sports Backers that reaches thousands of young people and provides run clubs and fitness opportunities in schools and neighborhoods across the Richmond region, including many underserved communities.

Kids Run RVA gives youth the chance to have fun while being physically active in their own communities and gets thousands of kids moving throughout the Richmond area on a daily basis, with the goal of establishing healthy habits early in life that are critical to the long-term physical, emotional, and social development of all children. Kids Run RVA works to break down barriers and provide all kids the opportunity to participate in daily physical activity.

For more information on the CarMax Tacky Light Run, please visit www.sportsbackers.org.

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Field set for 2020 Dominion Energy Charity Classic

The 54-hole event will feature 81 players including five-time major champion Phil Mickelson, who will make his second PGA TOUR Champions start after turning 50 in June, as well as fellow World Golf Hall of Fame members Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara and Vijay Singh.  

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The final field is set for this week’s Dominion Energy Charity Classic, returning to The Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course, October 16-18.  The 54-hole event will feature 81 players including five-time major champion Phil Mickelson, who will make his second PGA TOUR Champions start after turning 50 in June, as well as fellow World Golf Hall of Fame members Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara and Vijay Singh.  

Defending champion Miguel Ángel Jiménez returns after adding another two titles to his resume this season at the Mitusbishi Electric Championship at Hualalai and last month at the Sanford International. It marks the third straight multi-win season for the native of Spain, who carded a course-record-tying 63 in the final round to post a two-shot victory at last year’s Dominion Energy Charity Classic. Jiménez will be joined by fellow past champions Woody Austin (2018), Langer (2017) and reigning Charles Schwab Cup champion Scott McCarron (2016).  

Seventeen-time PGA TOUR winner Jim Furyk, who turned 50 in May and went on to win his first two PGA TOUR Champions starts, will make his tournament debut in Richmond. It will mark the fourth start for the 2003 U.S. Open champion and 2010 FedEx Cup champion.

A total of 19 players in the field are major championship winners: Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, 2010 Masters; 2005 PGA Championship; 2013 Open Championship), Ernie Els (1994, 1997 U.S. Open; 2002, 2012 Open Championship), Vijay Singh (2000 Masters; 1998, 2004 PGA Championship), John Daly (1991 PGA Championship; 1995 Open Championship), Retief Goosen (2001, 2004 U.S. Open), Lee Janzen (1993, 1998 U.S. Open), Bernhard Langer (1985, 1993 Masters), Mark O’Meara (1998 Masters, Open Championship), Rich Beem (2002 PGA Championship), Mark Calcavecchia (1989 Open Championship), Darren Clarke (2011 Open Championship), Jim Furyk (2003 U.S. Open), Steve Jones (1996 U.S. Open), Tom Lehman (1996 Open Championship), Larry Mize (1987 Masters), Corey Pavin (1995 U.S. Open), Jeff Sluman (1988 PGA Championship), David Toms (2001 PGA Championship) and Mike Weir (2003 Masters).

Five past PLAYERS Championship winners are in the field: Stephen Ames (2006), K.J. Choi (2011), Fred Funk (2005), Lee Janzen (1995) and Phil Mickelson (2008).

In addition to the United States, the field features players hailing from 12 other countries including Australia (Stephen Leaney, David McKenzie, Rod Pampling), Canada (Stephen Ames, Mike Weir), England (Paul Broadhurst), Fiji (Vijay Singh), Germany (Bernhard Langer), Esteban Toledo (Mexico), Northern Ireland (Darren Clarke), Scotland (Colin Montgomerie), South Africa (Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, David Frost), Spain (Miguel Angel Jiménez), South Korea (K.J. Choi) and Sweden (Robert Karlsson, Jesper Parnevik).

“We are excited to welcome to Richmond all of the players that will comprise what is arguably the best field in the short history of this event,” said Steve Schoenfeld, Executive Director of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic. “Equally as important, the tournament will continue to make a significant, positive charitable impact in the local community, even in a year when we are unable to host spectators on site.”

Richmond native Bobby Wadkins, who grew up playing The Country Club of Virginia with older brother Lanny Wadkins – a World Golf Hall of Fame member and lead analyst for Golf Channel – received a sponsor exemption and will make his first start at the event. Wadkins owns four PGA TOUR Champions titles, including a senior major at the 2006 Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.

The Dominion Energy Charity Classic is typically the first of three Charles Schwab Cup Playoff events at the conclusion of the PGA TOUR Champions season. Following the onset of COVID-19 and event cancelations stemming from the global pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 seasons were combined to form a singular 2020-21 season, in turn reverting the three events back to full-field, 81-player tournaments. 

While the 2020 tournament will be held without spectators on-site, the three-round event will broadcast live on Golf Channel, Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 18, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday and 2:30 – 5:00 p.m.ET on Saturday and Sunday.  

Since the tournament’s inception in 2016, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic has helped to generate more than $3.5 million for Greater Richmond area charities with a focus on organizations benefiting military veterans. In three out of four years, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic has been voted by PGA TOUR Champions players as their favorite event, among all PGA TOUR Champions tournaments throughout the year. The Players Award represents recognition for a tournament that goes above and beyond in the experience they provide to PGA TOUR Champions players.  

To view the entire 2020 Dominion Energy Charity Classic field, visit the this link.

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Richmond authors Tressie McMillan Cottom, Erik Nielson, and Katherine Wintsch are finalists for the Library of Virginia Literary Awards

The event, streamed live, is an excellent opportunity for anyone who loves the written word to interact with amazing Virginia authors through a lively and informative online format.

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The Library of Virginia Literary Awards will be celebrated virtually this year with a week of author conversations and special events beginning Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

Anchoring the week is the Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration on Saturday, October 17, with author finalists, presenters, special guests, and featured speaker Douglas Brinkley, a U.S. presidential historian, and best-selling author.

This annual event, sponsored by Dominion Energy, is an excellent opportunity for anyone who loves the written word to interact with amazing Virginia authors through a lively and informative online format. Each virtual event begins at 6:00 PM and is accessible to the public, free of charge, through the Library of Virginia’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

  • Tressie McMillan Cottom is a finalist for the Nonfiction Award and the People’s Choice Nonfiction Award finalist for Thick: And Other Essays.
  • Erik Nielson is a Nonfiction Award finalist for Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics, and Guilt in America (co-authored with Andrea Dennis).
  • Katherine Wintsch is a People’s Choice Nonfiction Award finalist for Slay Like a Mother.

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