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Conference
Mary June Williams and Margaret Ann Gochenour, of Alpha Voyages Inc. in Winchester, recently have returned from Vacation.com's 14th International Conference & Trade Show on board Royal Caribbean International's Oasis of the Seas for the industry's largest event on the largest cruise ship in the world.

There they learned about the latest mobile technology, social media, travel trends and some of the world's most appealing destinations.

Vacation.com is the largest travel serves marketing organization in North America. Alpha Voyages has been a member of Vacation.com since 2006.

For more information, call 662-6279 or visit www.avi.travel.

Awards
Royal Cinemas' employees Samantha DeAngelis and Sarah Laslo were awarded a combined total of $5,000 in college scholarships from the Mid-Atlantic National Association of Theatre Owners on May 15.

Mid-Atlantic NATO is a non-profit trade association comprised of motion picture exhibitors and theater owners and operators with facilities located in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. Mid-Atlantic NATO membership includes large chains, regional circuits and independent theater owners. Since 1985, over $400,000 in scholarships have been awarded to a total of almost 300 theater employees of Mid-Atlantic NATO member theaters. This year 20 scholarships totaling $34,000 were awarded. Royal Cinemas' employees took home the second and third highest amounts for college students in 2012.

Royal Cinemas can be reached at royalcinemas@embarqmail.com.

The Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District
recently recognized the efforts of 12 farmers to reduce runoff of nutrients, bacteria and sediments into the Shenandoah County portion of Smith Creek. The awards were presented to participating farmers at the Smith Creek Family Fun Day, hosted by the Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

Joe Wilkins of Wilkins' Bros. Dairy won the grand prize -- a one-week stay at a condo in the Bahamas, donated by the Friends of the Shenandoah River, and $500, donated by Wal-mart. Other awards were donated by Southern States, Valley Fertilizer and Zerkel Hardware of Mount Jackson and Mac's Greenhouse in Woodstock.

The farmers all have installed agricultural best management practices as part of the Smith Creek Showcase Watershed Initiative undertaken in partnership with U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Smith Creek Watershed Partnership.

The Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District, founded in 1941 provides technical assistance and cost-share funding to support conservation of natural resources and prevent soil erosion and water pollution in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren counties and the City of Winchester.

For more information, call 465-2424, ext. 3.

New member
Artist Diane Artz Furlong has become a member of The Art Group Gallery in Mt. Jackson.

A lifelong Shenandoah Valley resident, she finds inspiration daily in the beauty of the mountains, hills, woods, fields and streams that make up the countryside surrounding her home in Oranda. A self-taught artist, she considers herself to have been an artist all her life, and began to devote herself full-time to her passion in the last few years. She focuses on mastering the medium of pastel.

Diane recently was commissioned by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation to create three paintings depicting the battlefield at Cross Keys, Va. The paintings were presented to honorary attendees at the commemoration events at Cross Keys in June.




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Correction: The Art Group Gallery (TAGG) is located in Mt. Jackson, Virginia, rather than Woodstock, in the Bowman-Shannon Cultural Arts Center, 5998 S.Main Street. 540-477-3117.



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