Saturday, October 03, 2009

Middleburg Seven Loaves Charity Concert - SGGL Kicks off VA Fall Races and Polo in Upperville

We spent a fantastic evening last night at the historic Blackthorne Inn & Restaurant in Upperville VA, a hunt-country getaway at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and historic Ashby Gap once owned by George Washington, reliving UVA Charlottesville concerts in the ampitheatre by (various combinations of) Speidel, Goodrich, Goggin and Lille.

The concert and silent auction benefited the Seven Loaves Services Food Bank of Middleburg - an ecumenical volunteer organization dedicated to providing food, personal supplies, and other assistance to those in the Middleburg community and the surrounding area that are in need of assistance. Sponsors included the Blackthorne Inn, Salamander Hospitality and Fields of Athenry Farm (organic meats).

SGG&L hit the first of 3 sets with many of their older, original work - and amped it up progressively as the jeans, boots and jackets dancing got under way - all under a spectacular moonlit tent setting by the Inn courtyard. (It was a bit disconcerting to hear a full drum set and keyboards with the acoustic foursome; but it certainly made for a more lively party...) The Inn put on a great show, with Fields of Athenry Hors d'Ĺ“uvres - with full menu fare available in the very cozy, hunt country themed Wolfe Tone's Pub.

We met a bunch of great people - several of whom were in town for the upcoming "5th Annual Ride to Thrive Polo Classic" event, Oct. 10th at the Merriweather Manor Polo fields in Leesburg. This event supports the very popular and successful Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program of Clifton. The Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program provides equine assisted activities for children and adults with disabilities, youth-at-risk, veterans, and their families in an inclusive, community setting. The program was originally chartered, in 1980, as the Fairfax 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program, under the Virginia 4-H extension program.

This program is very much like the Leesburg-based Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation (LTRF), which also provides opportunities for horseback riding and other related activities for therapeutic purposes for children and adults with disabilities. Swing by their 35th anniversary celebration and family fun fair Oct. 24 at Morven Park in Leesburg!

Another great Fall event in horse & hunt country coming up - Brad and Elaine Boland and the Vintage 50 Restaurant Group cordially invite you to join them on Saturday, October 17th at 3pm at the Fields of Athenry Farm...Elaine Boland and Chef Aaron McCloud will be pit roasting and BBQ-ing locally organic-raised Lamb, Beef, Chicken and Pork. Wine pairings, pony rides, face painting, and more are included...10% of all product sales benefit Leesburg's Faith and Family Therapy Dog Program. This program is evolving to place specially trained, GCC certified companion therapy dogs with specially identified, disabled children - much like the very popular and successful Paws4People program out of Round Hill, VA.

Vintage 50 (in Leesburg) and Vintage 51 (in South Riding) Restaurants and Brew Lounges support many Northern Virginia and Loudoun charities and events - including the extremely popular Northern Virginia BrewFest series in the Summer and Fall. This Fall's 3rd annual brewfest/beer festival, a "World Beer Experience", is at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, Oct. 24-25th.

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