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Pouches' Community Corner

Pouches Joins an Explorer Troop

One Team, One Dream, One Family

pouches explorers

Back row left to right: Caleb Sanderson, Andrew Buck, Garrett Thamas, Pouches, Briann Lussier, Dillon Stewart
Front row left to right: Kylee Tucker, Ashley Woodyard, Alexandra Richards, Cassandra Mitchum

This month Pouches poked her head into an exciting new program for teens interested in law enforcement.

The long running Spotsylvania Sheriff’s cadet program has reorganized as a Boy Scout Explorer troop, said Sgt. Blackington, who took over the program in February 2017.

“We’ve reworked the program to attract a fresh group of applicants,” said Blackington. “The Boy Scouts of America Explorer program is really neat. Not only is it a nationally recognized program that carries a lot of weight on a resume, but the program is directed by the teenagers and young adults themselves, instead of being solely an adult-directed program. They run their own Explorer Post.”

Why are You a Member?

“I’ve always wanted to be a cop”

“I want to help out in the community.”

“I wanted to get out of my shyness and explore new opportunities.”

“I like coming to the meetings; we all talk as friends and family.”

Troop-Supported Events

Blue Christmas
National Night Out
Autism Awareness
Stars and Stripes
Trunk N Treat

The trips, activities and scholarships available through the Boy Scout of America program are another draw.

“We are planning a mini-police week August 7 through 11,” said Blackington. “We will have a K-9 demonstration, a crisis negotiation class and a patrol work lecture.”

The current 12 troop members are enthusiastic about the mission of the program, according to Pouches, who attended their July 11 troop meeting.

“Some of the main things this program is about besides law enforcement is treating everyone with respect. We as an Explorer Post created a motto (One Team, One Dream, One Family) and we follow that to the T. We work as a team to accomplish our dreams as a family. If one member falls we all fall. It’s a brotherhood, just like the department we fall under,” said Blackington.

“We are looking for 14 and 15 year olds who are interested in learning about law enforcement. We would like to start them at an early age and have them stay through 21. Four or five Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s [Department] deputies started out in the earlier cadet program, and we would like to keep encouraging and training potential future deputies.” The program teaches responding to crashes; executing traffic stops, building searches, hand cuffing and learning CPR/First Aid.

If your 14- to 21-year-old is interested in joining, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


police week

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Pouches Learns about Service Leadership

Three years ago, Leadership Fredericksburg alumni Matt Mitchell (’11) and Jennifer Mackowski (’11) and Next Generation board member Phil Leonhardt attended a Chamber of Commerce Next Generation meeting as usual. Luckily for area high school students belonging to Key Club, the speaker at that meeting, Kiwanis Club board member Roger Keddie, persuaded all three to step up and revitalize the Fredericksburg Kiwanis Club, the sponsor for area high school Key Clubs.

Key Club is an international student-led organization offering opportunities to teens to provide service, build character and develop leadership. The Fredericksburg chapter was formed in 1923.

Mitchell, Mackowski, and Leonhardt were happy to take on the challenge.

“Our experience with Leadership Fredericksburg and the Chamber NextGen board prepared us to encourage students to step forward to help their communities,” says Kiwanis Treasurer Matt Mitchell. “We were impressed by the Kiwanis mission to help high school students discover their leadership qualities.”

Since 2014, all three Chamber members have served as President of the club. The club now has 20 active adult members and supports 5 local Key Clubs, including one of the largest in the Capital Area at Stafford Senior High School.

These young students work hard to change their communities for the better. Stafford Senior High Key Club has focused on the Relay for Life event to eliminate cancer. James Monroe High School has worked to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus deaths through the international Eliminate Project.

What is Service Leadership?
Service leadership is the powerful force that occurs once people discover their heart to serve, answer their call to lead and exercise the courage to engage.
It's the premier level of social contribution.

At the June meeting, Aiden Gossett, Key Club Lt. Governor for the Capital Area and a rising Senior at Stafford Senior High, announced that Capital Area Key Clubs’ focus for next year will be supporting area Boys and Girls Clubs.
The Kiwanis Club’s impact on the community is impressive:

  • In December 2016, Kiwanis rang the bell for the Salvation Army red kettles. Their one day contribution of $18,569.47 was the highest in the region.
  • In April 2017, over 20 Key Club students from James Monroe High School, Stafford Senior High, Brooke Point High School and Chancellor High School collected over 700 pounds of trash from Old Mill Park to Bragg Hill Road.
  • The annual golf tournament, just completed in May, raised over $10,000 for scholarships for local Key Club graduates.
  • In 2016, the local Club and the Kiwanis Foundation contributed $30,000 to find activities and provide financial support for young men and women in the community.

If you are interested in joining, check out or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Kiwanis Club

Kiwanis Club members clean up the Rappahannock River region

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Pouches Celebrates Surprise $20,000 Grant to Friends of the Rappahannock

Pouches kayak2

Pouches is ready to kayak on the beautiful Rappahannock River. She’s also ready to learn more about how she can protect the river’s health using the Friends of the Rappahannock new River Report Card, sponsored by a surprise grant from the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region (CFRRR)

The CFRRR voted unanimously to award its first Visionary Grant in the category of Environment to Friends of the Rappahannock to create a River Report Card – an information and awareness tool that will deliver highly accessible local data about the state of the Rappahannock.

The foundation’s review committee selected Friends of the Rappahannock because its River Report Card has the potential to influence the quality of life in our region in the near future and for generations to come. The nonprofit’s staff demonstrates excellent expertise in their field and is equipped to support citizens who wish to take action for clean water.

“If I could sum it up in a few words, it’s a culture of clean water. I want people to recognize we have this incredible resource and we have to take care of it!” said Kathy Harrigan, Friends of the Rappahannock Executive Director.
Going forward, The Community Foundation will award grants to three more nonprofits in the categories of Arts, Human Services and Education.

- See more at:

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Pouches Rides for a Good Cause

Bikers Against Child Abuse, Inc. (BACA) exists to create a safer environment for abused children by empowering children to not feel afraid of their world. Imagine how an abused child feels when a group of large bikers rides up to their house, inducts them into their club and then escorts them to court to testify against their abuser.

BACA member Shadow says, “we exist to fill a hole that the therapists and attorneys can’t fill once the child has to go home. We will stay outside that child’s home until the child feels safe.” BACA lends support to their wounded friends by involving them with an established, united organization. They work in conjunction with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children. They send a clear message to all involved with the abused child that this child is part of their organization, and that they are prepared to lend their physical and emotional support to them by affiliation and by their physical presence. They stand at the ready to shield these children from further abuse.

They do not condone the use of violence or physical force in any manner; however, if circumstances arise such that they are the only obstacle preventing a child from further abuse, they stand ready to be that obstacle.

To contact Bikers Against Child Abuse (NOVA chapter), call their help line at 571-279-8908, or visit

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St Baldrick’s Foundation

St Baldrick’s Foundation began in 2000 over a simple idea – shave a colleague’s beautiful hair while also raising money for kids with cancer. And now this Foundation has funded over $200 million worth of research to cure pediatric
cancer. In 2015, the FDA approved a treatment that offers a higher chance of a cure for high-risk neuroblastoma patients because of that research.

Money is raised around the country every March and Paddy’s Steakhouse and Pub on Route 610 in Stafford will host its 15th annual St. Baldrick’s event on Sunday, March 12. The first event was in 2003. Rock Hill Fire Department asked them to partner with them and they took it over a few years later. Now 15 years later, they’ve successfully raised over $415,000!

“We shave our hair now so that one day no child will have to lose theirs,” says Helen.

To learn more about St. Baldrick’s visit And to learn more about our event search “Paddy’s Steakhouse and Pub”
or visit:

The event is family friendly with a clown, bake sale, a silent auction and door prizes! Hope to see you there!

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