What’s Happening at the Jefferson School?

Amie Whittemore, a.k.a. "Betty Bookworm," will participate in the CLAW (Charlottesville Lady Arm Wrestlers) Event on Saturday night to benefit Literacy Volunteers. Amie Whittemore, a.k.a. “Betty Bookworm,” will participate in the CLAW (Charlottesville Lady Arm Wrestlers) Event on Saturday night to benefit Literacy Volunteers.

Literacy Volunteers to Benefit from Charlottesville Lady Arm Wrestlers Event Saturday

On Saturday, August 23, Charlottesville Lady Arm Wrestlers will be hosting its final match of the season and proceeds from the event will go to support Literacy Volunteers. General admission tickets are $5 and doors open at 7pm with wrestling starting at 8pm. A few V.I.P. tickets are still available here.

While there are now over twenty CLAW leagues throughout the United States, as well as in South America and Europe, lady arm-wrestling began here in Charlottesville. “Claw’s been around since 2008, so the first year it was at a manic pace of about ten matches that year and now we do three each summer,”  Dolly Joseph, one of the founding members of CLAW. CLAW’s popularity even led to a locally-produced documentary about the growth of the movement by Billy Hunt and Brian Wimer. CLAW: The Movie is available for purchase at the Blue Moon Diner or online, and is currently being screened at film festivals around the country, after premiering at the Virginia Film Festival last year.

“It really started as some smack talk while several of our founders were at the gym together trying to threaten to see who could take who down in arm-wrestling,” added Laura Galgano, another founding member and owner of the Blue Moon Diner. “They decided they wanted to try and have an event and they came to me at Blue Moon Diner and I’m silly enough to say, yes of course, we should completely do something like that.”

The event features eight wrestlers, who dress up as characters and have entourages that try to collect bribes from the audience to sway the event’s judges. All proceeds from these bribes go to benefit a woman-founded or woman-run charity in the area. “We’re really excited to be working with Literacy Volunteers and excited to be doing ridiculous things to raise money for some local causes,” said Galgano.

Literacy Volunteers will be rooting for one of its staff members, Amie Whittemore, who will be wrestling as Betty Bookworm. “While Betty may seem very bookish, she’s tough and she takes reading very, very seriously,” Whittemore explained about her persona. In the last six years, CLAW has raised over $60,000 for local causes.

Galgano added, “There are very few opportunities for adults outside of Halloween to really be silly and let go and hide underneath another persona. So it’s a very freeing and fun experience for everyone.”

Raffle, Game Night Happening at Mary Williams Community Center

JABA’s Mary Williams Community Center will be raffling two pairs of tickets to an upcoming concert at Carver Recreation Center featuring “Touch the Band.” Proceeds from the raffle will support JABA’s Home Delivered Meals program in Charlottesville & Albemarle county. Raffle tickets are available at the center and at JABA’s Hillsdale location for just $1.00 a chance. Concert tickets are valued at $18.00 each and include refreshments catered by Mel’s Cafe. The winners will be drawn on Monday September 8. “Touch the Band” will be performing on September 12, 8:30pm-11:30pm at Carver Rec.

Mary Williams Community Center Manager Kelly Carpenter also reports that the Center will be partnering with Charlottesville Parks & Recreation to host a weekly Games Group. Beginning Sept. 17, each Wednesday through December 17 from 2:15pm to 3:15pm, the Center will be open to individuals who would like to play dominoes, checkers or scrabble. While the group is geared to seniors everyone is welcome.  There is no fee to participate. Call the Mary Williams Community Center for questions and to reserve your spot at 434-987-8433.

The Women’s Initiative Offers “Challenge into Change” Writing Contest, Workshops

The Women’s Initiative is offering two workshops to support writers entering its “Challenge into Change” writing contest. On August 29, noon to 1pm,the Women’s Initiative will host a brainstorming session at its main office, located at 1101 East High Street. The second workshop will focus on polishing one’s essay and take place September 19, noon to 1pm, also at the High Street location. Contact Eboni Bugg for more information or if you’d like to attend:  ebugg@thewomensinitiative.org.

“Challenge into Change” is open to all writers, regardless of gender. Submitted writings should be no more than 500 words and be about or by a woman who has turned a challenge into an opportunity for positive growth.

Submissions are due by Thursday, September 25 and winners and contestants will be celebrated on October 26 at the Jefferson School City Center. All submissions must be accompanied by an agreement form. Judges will be looking for essays that inspire and show transformation; perfect spelling and grammar are not required. The following cash prizes will be offered: 1st place ($200), 2nd place ($150), 3rd place ($100), Runners Up ($50) and Honorable Mentions ($25). All contestants will receive three free copies of the 2014 contest book. Books will also be available for purchase through Lulu Press, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

JSCC logoJefferson School City Center is a voice of the nine nonprofits located at Charlottesville’s intergenerational community center, the restored Jefferson School. We are a legacy preserved . . . a soul reborn . . . in the heart of Cville!


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