Fireworks, picnics, healthy prospects and read a book

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New job promises fireworks. Beginning June 27, former Republican National Committee chairman and current Republican Party of Virginia chairman Ed Gillespie of Mount Vernon is filling the departing Dan Bartlett as White House Counselor, leaving the chairmanship and his lobbying shop, Quinn Gillespie & Associates. With long days to look forward to, Gillespie accepts a demanding front-row seat around President Bushs advisory table. Though the Fourth of July wont be an all-day picnic for Gillespie, it will provide the opportunity for fireworks on the South Lawn with the family.

Anticipating a 1st birthday. In the background of Americas upcoming birthday noise lie some little Alexandrians struggling to make it to year one. The Board of Lady Managers together with the good-will of Union Street Public House gathered roughly 160 persons for an elegant brunch to help meet the needs of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Inova Alexandria Hospital, an event which raised $6,000. Public Relations Barbara Brenman reported that the needed computerized incubators are so classy, you can hardly call them beds! Busily accommodating the 30-90-something crowd, general manager of the Pub Thomas Stevens said the establishment has a long history of partnering with the 135-year-old Board on their various hospital initiatives and enjoys a warm relationship with 40-year-plus Board member Marjorie Harris, a Pub regular and the brainchild behind the annual fundraiser which involves the donation of a lavish brunch, staff and securing the entire 2nd floor of the restaurant. Help out with the citys pressing medical needs: Doris Pringle, 703-578-3068.

Celebrate with a moving sale. Expect a different kind of holiday at Del Rays Remix vintage fashion shop where a moving sale is raging with deep reductions of up to 50 percent. Relocating to Capitol Hill at 645 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Remix celebrates its Grand Opening on June 29. In a gesture acknowledging the neighborhood which brought them success, original Del Ray clientele will receive special treatment at the new location. Simply say the magic words Im a Del Ray friend and get 10 percent off your purchase. www.remixvintage.com.

Bookcrossings believes in random connections and serendipity. Online book club member Andrew Johns (resqgeek.bookcrossing.com.) of Alexandria claims hes released into the wild hundreds of books in this area alone, planting uniquely identified books i parks and coffeeshops where they await confiscation by a curious stranger. The books ID corresponds to an online journal, enabling members like Johns to track his books and read fascinating entries. While some members simply pass books to neighbors and relatives, Johns books have found themselves in Spain and South Africa. Bookcrossings is a 500,000 international member organization that inspires one to look out for forgotten books and build interesting connections with other readers. www.bookcrossing.com

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