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For Some, Polo Match Was a Dud

When Tricia Pansanella and her group arrived at the polo match, the buffet had been picked over.
When Tricia Pansanella and her group arrived at the polo match, the buffet had been picked over. (Courtesy Of The Pansanella Family)

Prem Devadas of Salamander Hospitality said he would be happy to hear from anyone with concerns about the food or service. "We are dedicated to making people happy," Devadas said. "I will call them personally."

Devadas said that he was in the kitchen area throughout the day and that food went out continuously until 4:30 p.m., after which dessert was served. "Food was being consumed very quickly," he said. "We're doing reviews of what happened, to find out exactly how much was distributed."

The Salahis said plans for next year are already being changed: There will be more food vendors; there will be 10 bars in the Celebration tent instead of two; V.I.P. areas will be separated from general-admission areas by fences; lawn ticket holders will be allowed to bring in chairs (in addition to blankets); and picnic meals will be available to pre-order.

If you have comments or complaints, call the Salahis at 540-635-9933 or e-mail Devadas at

A Prom and Graduation First

Freedom High School in South Riding, which opened last year, hosted its first prom last weekend at Lansdowne Resort. More than 300 students attended.

Graduation is June 19 for the school's first class of seniors, about 150 students. Principal Christine Forester said the valedictorian and salutatorian will be announced June 15 after senior finals and in time for graduation practice. The ceremony will be in the school gym, while other county schools, such as Stone Bridge, Broad Run, Park View and Potomac Falls, have graduating classes large enough to warrant renting Patriot Center at George Mason University.

The Freedom senior awards ceremony is June 7, and there will be a picnic and carnival for all Freedom students at 2 p.m. The class of 2007 will also be rewarded with an all-night graduation party with casino games, laser tag, a mechanical bull, food and prizes. Admission is $40 in advance and $60 at the door.

The costs of graduation parties are often underwritten by sponsors that are large, established businesses. But Forester said, "We can't expect them to fund every local school event and project."

For families that need help with the cost, class sponsor Joan Smedley might be a resource.

"The volunteers have come together, and I'm so proud of the great job they're doing," Forester said.

Interested in helping? Organizers could use a few more volunteers for setup, overnight game duty and cleanup.

Firehouse Plan Reconsidered

The Station 1 firehouse at 215 Loudoun St. in Leesburg has been used as a "home response station" (no on-site staff, just equipment) since 1997, when Station 20 was built on Plaza Street and firefighters and EMT crews were moved there.

But the Leesburg volunteer fire department has outgrown Station 20 and wants to rebuild Station 1. Its latest plan was rejected by Leesburg's Board of Architectural Review, which was not satisfied with the plan's design.

Firefighter Brian Duddy and other volunteers have been lobbying to rebuild the Loudoun Street station into a three-story building with office space on the top levels, with the goal of having the office rental income take pressure off the town and residents to fund the fire and emergency-service annual budget, which runs to more than $1 million.

"It's a win-win situation," Duddy said. "The volunteers will be financially self-sufficient from the revenue generated from the office space. We won't need to go to the town for money each year to support operations. Not to mention increased tax income for the town and county from whatever businesses occupy the available office space."

The plan was sent back to a Station 1 committee for refinement. If the review board rejects the next round of plans, the committee can go before the Town Council, which can overrule the board.

Tammi Marcoullier is a journalist and a mother of two who lives in Loudoun County. Check her blog for new items every weekday at Reader comments are encouraged. To contact her with tips or suggestions, e-maillivinginloco@wpni.comor call 703-469-2871.

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