Send announcements to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is Friday, two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Rachel A. Castrovinci is deployed overseas at a forward-operating location in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, military operations involving members of the U.S. armed forces and coalition forces participating in efforts to free and secure Iraq.

Castrovinci, an airfield management operations supervisor with six years of military service, is normally assigned to the 5th Operations Support Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D.

She is the daughter of Paul and Lynn Gill of Blasdell, N.Y. Her husband, Staff Sgt. Scott Castrovinci, is the son of Fred and Janet Castrovinci of Ashburn. The sergeant graduated in 1995 from Frontier Senior High School, Hamburg, N.Y., and received an associate degree in 2006 from the Community College of the Air Force.

Potomac Bank of Virginia has hired Dennis M. East, who joined the firm as senior vice president and relationship manager for Loudoun County.

East has been a part of the financial community in Loudoun County for more than 34 years. He was formerly president of Round Hill National Bank, president of Farmers and Merchants National Bank of Hamilton, and most recently, senior vice president with James Monroe Bank. He graduated from Loudoun County High School and is a graduate of Strayer Jr. College.

Potomac Bank has broken ground for itÕs newest branch in the Lansdowne area of Loudoun County.

Army Reserve Pvt. Hector R. Rodriguez Jr. has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

He is the son of Hector Rodriguez Ashburn. Rodriguez is a 2004 graduate of Stone Bridge High School, Ashburn.

Project Future, sponsored by the Good Shepherd Alliance, provides homeless children with experiences at summer day camp, crafts, sports, field trips and educational activities. The group toured the White House Visitor Center, Aug. 10, exploring the exhibits on the White House and then experienced a visit to the actual White House. The self-guided tour took the group through the library on the first floor, upstairs to the East Room, Green Room, Red Room, Blue Room and the State Dining Room. Afterwards the children were treated to a visit to the Smithsonian Institution's Renwick Gallery comprising a history about American Crafts.

The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation provided GSA with a $27,000 grant to make this homeless children summer camp a reality. Virginia Regional Transit provided reduced rate bus service transportation for eight adult staff and 12 children.

Arlyn K. Black, a pioneer business leader in Sterling Park, has been selected to serve as grand marshal of the 25th annual Columbus Day parade, sponsored by the Good Samaritan Council 6175, Knights of Columbus, Saturday, Oct. 8.

Black, CEO and owner of Arlyn K. Black Enterprises Inc., was recognized in 1995 by the Commonwealth of Virginia for his 35 years of service to the Steeling community. He was named Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 1994 and received the Milton Meyers Award. He was also the Sterling Jaycees first Good Friend Award recipient.

Black is active in transplant awareness, having received a liver transplant in 1996; is a member of the Loudoun Hospital/Loudoun Healthcare Institutional review Board and chairman of the Sterling Park agricultural control committee. He is married and the father of a son and three daughters.

Loudoun Symphony received a $40,000 grant from the Sheila C. Johnson Foundation in support of its upcoming 2006-2007 concert season. The Loudoun Symphony Association is a nonprofit organization committed to making classical music accessible and affordable to the community. It provides many educational opportunities and performance opportunities for individuals of all ages, and promotes cultural outreach and collaboration with other local arts groups. The Loudoun Symphony presents classical music performances, ranging from full orchestral works to small chamber concerts, providing playing opportunities for a wide range of musicians, from student string players to professional musicians from Loudoun County and the surrounding area.

Keep Loudoun Beautiful held a litter cleanup recently along a portion of the Potomac River in Loudoun County, covering several miles. Thirty-six volunteers removed 66 tires and 40 bags of assorted trash totaling 2,820 pounds.

The cleanup was sponsored by the Loudoun County Office of Solid Waste Management with funding from the Virginia Litter Prevention and Recycling Grant Program.

Shenandoah University graduated 160 students in a ceremony in the Smith Library Plaza, Saturday, Aug. 26. This is the first year August graduation was held outside.

The guest speaker is Jaime de Ojeda, Shenandoah UniversityÕs ambassador-in-residence since 1997. Honorary degrees will be presented to pharmacist R. David Anderson, physical therapist Phillip B. Donley and pianist John OÕConor.

Members of The Islamic Society of North America elected Imam Mohamed Magid as the organization' s vice president. Magid is the executive director and imam of The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS). He is the chair of Fairfax Faith Communities in Action, a member of The Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington Assembly, and board member of the Fairfax Youth Partnership. In addition, he serves as a member of the Arab, Muslim, Sikh Advisory Committee to the FBI Washington Field Office. Magid lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and five children.

The Leesburg Economic Development Commission elected new officers at its Aug. 23 meeting in Leesburg. Ara Bagdasarian will serve in the role as the commission chair with Karen Jones serving as vice chair.