Najiba Alami, a student at Loudoun Valley High School, was selected as the September student volunteer of the month by the Loudoun Volunteer Services Board. Alami coordinated a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for Purcellville group-home residents last year, crocheted scarves for the residents for Christmas and prepared Valentine cards for soldiers in Iraq.

The American Red Cross honored Potomac Falls High School, selecting its annual blood drive as high school blood drive of the year. Sponsored by the Youth and Government Club, the drive last school year collected more than 160 units of blood. The club has selected April 21 as the date for its next blood drive.

At the Herndon Showcase of Bands on Sept. 18, the Park View High School Marching Patriots won first place in Class A. The band also won first place for music, second place for marching, third place for percussion and third place for general effect.

The Marching Vikings of Loudoun Valley High School finished first in Class AA and posted the top score in the A and AA classes. The Viking guard was named top auxiliary and drum major Ian Richard placed second.

Lorraine Hooper of Leesburg won a blue ribbon at the State Fair of Virginia in Richmond for the ginger cookies she sells at the Leesburg Farmers Market. The old-fashioned ginger molasses cookie with chocolate chips is a signature item of her home-based business, Lola Cookies.

This was the first time Hooper had competed at the state fair. Her zucchini bread has won a blue ribbon at the Loudoun County Fair.

Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville won four gold medals at the state fair, for its 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, 2001 Merlot and 2002 Jolie Blond. Waterford Vineyards won a gold medal for its 2003 Chardonnay.

Silver medal winners included Middleburg's Chrysalis Vineyards for its 2002 Estate Bottled Norton, Locksley Reserve Norton and Viognier; Hillsborough Vineyards in Purcellville for its 2002 Ruby; and Leesburg's Willowcroft Farm Vineyards for its 2002 Chardonnay Reserve.

Bronze medals went to Chrysalis for its 2003 Viognier and Flint Hill's Farfelu Vineyards for its 2002 Barrel Select Chardonnay.

-- Compiled by LESLIE SHEPHERD