Leslie Becker

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Be sure to catch Franklin County's 9th Annual Christmas Celebration features arts, crafts, music

and food in Downtown Rocky Mount, Va. on December 7th 2012 from 5:30-9 pm. Enjoy the

holiday celebration with your family & friends, admission is free. There will be plenty of fun

activities for the whole family.


Also, James Nagy will be signing his new book, "Images of America Franklin County" at The

Artisan Center along the Crooked Road. Visit the Indoor Craft Market from 10 am – 8 pm. Call

540-482-0005 for more information.

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Hickory Hill will hold their annual Christmas Open House, where you can sip hot mulled

wine, taste seasonal snacks and purchase gifts for the wine lovers on your holiday gift list, on

December 15, 2012 from 11 am to 5 pm. The vineyard is located at 1722 Hickory Cove Lane,

Moneta Va. 24121.


First planted as a hobby vineyard in 1984 by Roanoke natives with lake property, Hickory

Hill has slowly grown over 28 years into a successful 3 generation family wine business with

acclaimed wines and regional distribution in stores and restaurants.


For more information call 540-296-1393 or www.smlwine.com.

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This Christmas season, be sure to add the Downtown Moneta Light Display for 2012to your

holiday event calendar!


Starting Friday November 30th Celebration Square in Downtown Moneta will be lit up for the

holidays with a dancing musical light show every night from 5-10 pm. There are activities for

good boys and girls of all ages! The event will take place at 1100 Celebration Ave., Celebration

Square, in Moneta from November 30th to January 8th 2013.


For more information on the event please call 540-296-1329 or go to www.downtownmoneta.com.


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This Christmas season, be sure to add the Downtown Moneta Light Display for 2012to your

holiday event calendar!


Starting Friday November 30th Celebration Square in Downtown Moneta will be lit up for the

holidays with a dancing musical light show every night from 5-10 pm. There are activities for

good boys and girls of all ages! The event will take place at 1100 Celebration Ave., Celebration

Square, in Moneta from November 30th to January 8th 2013.


For more information on the event please call 540-296-1329 or go to www.downtownmoneta.com.


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The 2012 Flotilla for Toys Boat Parade of Lights will be held November 24th 7 pm-9 pm.

The Virginia Dare and Lake Christian Ministries has worked hand in hand to put together the

Flotilla for Toys Boat Parade of Lights. The Virginia Dare leads numerous Boats with lights

glistening on the waters of Smith Mountain Lake. This event raises Toys for the local Children

of need.


You can ride on The Virginia Dare as the lead boat in the flotilla and lead the way with Santa

and Rudolph. Admission is $35 for adults and $25 for kids 12 and under. The price includes: the

two hour cruise, hors d’ oeuvres, assorted cookies, holiday punch & tax. For more information or

to enter your boat in the flotilla, call 540-297-7100 or visit www.vadarecruises.com.

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The 6th Annual Johnny CASA 5-Miler/5K Walk will take place at Lake Watch Plantation in Moneta, VA on September 8th starting at 8:30 am

The event’s goal is to make this race a quality fundraiser that appeals to runners, walkers, and recreational athletes of all ability levels. This year’s proceeds will benefit the Southern VA CAC.

Protecting the best interests of children at risk from abuse, neglect, or abandonment, the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center was established in August 2001. The center provides a rapid response to children and non-offending family members who have been impacted with the immediate and long-term trauma associated with child abuse and neglect. Services at the CAC include on-site medical evaluations, clinical assessment and treatment services, forensic interviews, state victim compensation claims filing, education and prevention, victim advocacy, and victim case management.

The 5 mile run is designed for runners of all levels, passing through the rolling terrain of Lake Watch Plantation, a 479 acre rural village center development. Online registration will be open now until 3pm on September 7th. Once online registration closes, race day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and will continue until 8:15 a.m. Not a runner? Walk the 3.1 mile course. Free performance t-shirts with every registration!

Through Aug. 31, fees are: $20 for individual runner/walkers, $75 team 1-5 people and $140 team 6-10 people. After Aug. 31, add $5 per individual and $10 per team. For more information, visit www.johnnycasa5miler-5kwalk.com.

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Up, up and away! The 2nd Annual Smith Mountain Lake Hot Air Balloon Classic takes place in Downtown Moneta (1123 Celebration Ave., Corner of Route 122 and 608 (White House Road) Moneta, VA 24121) on September 7, 2012 from 5- 7pm.  Bring the whole family to enjoy $5 tethered balloon rides featuring 6 to 8 hot air balloons.

The Annual Smith Mountain Lake Hot Air Balloon Classic has both morning and evening flights planned throughout the weekend. (Please note that the event is weather dependent and is subject to change without advance notice). Be sure to visit the shops at Celebration Square and have a bite to eat or grab some ice cream while you are there too!

All proceeds are to benefit the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 540-297-4900 or visit the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce Website at: www.visitsmithmountainlake.com.

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Posted by on in Smith Mountain Lake Fun

The Smith Mountain Lake Arts Council is presenting "Baroque, Bluegrass, Bluejeans" with David Wiley, Adelaide Muir Trombetta and Jeff Midkiff on Sep 9, 2012, 3pm at Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Moneta. Tickets are $20 at outlets (Visitors Center, General Store, Radio Shack) or by mail $5 for children 6 and under and 17 for SMAC members by mail (SMAC, PO Box 70, Moneta, VA 24121 ; enclose self-addressed stamped envelope.

This special (afternoon) concert presented by SMAC will explore the deep and exciting connection between Baroque, Classical and Bluegrass styles. From the classic mandolin concerto by Antonio Vivaldi to modern Bluegrass masterpieces, the music will bridge the gap between traditional and original compositions with innovative and fun musical combos.

Selections include: Ms. Trombetta singing Samuel Barber’s beloved “Knoxville, Summer of 1915” and Schubert’s lovely “The Shepherd on the Rock” accompanied by Maestro David Stewart Wiley at the piano and Jeff Midkiff on the mandolin and clarinet. The crossover musical event is the perfect combination for our lake region, as we celebrate the music of Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

Come dressed in your comfortable blue jeans for an afternoon of great music, and get your tickets early, this concert is likely to sell out! For more information, contact Marty Bowers at 540-297-0965 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Just a reminder, if you are looking for a delightful early autumn day trip or overnight destination, then the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival is the perfect event for aficionados of wine as well as fans of outdoor concerts and craft festivals. The 24th Annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival will be held September 29th and 30th, 2012. 27 Wineries are participating as well as 85 craft and food vendors. The wide array of Virginia wines is sure to offer flavors and styles to please every wine lover’s palette!

This year’s festival will be held at Southwest Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta on Route 122 across from the Lakewatch Plantation, 27 wineries will participate with 85 juried craft and food vendors.

The two-day festival will be held rain or shine. Tickets are available for tasters and non-tasters and can be purchased in advance. Taster tickets are $18 and designated driver admission is $12. These special discount prices remain in effect until September 28, 2012. Prices at the gate are $22 for taster and $15 for designated driver. Parking is free. For more information visit www.smlwinefestival.com or call the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce at 540.721.1203.

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On the shores of beautiful Smith Mountain Lake this Fall, eight elegant homes with unique architectural designs, creative interior decorating, spectacular scenic views, unusual collections and antiques, and finely manicured landscaping, will open their doors for you and other visitors to enjoy during the 22nd annual Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour.  This year’s tour takes place Friday, October 5th through Sunday, October 7th.

The Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour has identified the eight homeowners who have agreed to open their homes for the 2012 Tour. The tour may be taken by either (private or rented) car or (private or rented) boat. By land or by water, your day is sure to be memorable.  Directions and a list of the homes are available at: www.smlcharityhometour.com. Hours are Friday and Saturday, 10am-5pm and Sunday, 1-5pm.

While on the tour, be sure to take part in the Special Home Tour Luncheon Cruise aboard SML's Virginia Dare sightseeing 'Paddle-Wheeler' on Sunday, October 7th from 2-4 P.M.  On the cruise you get to hear Home Tour background presentations and view several of the homes from the water. The price is $37 for Home Tour ticket holders. For more information about the cruise or the tour, visit www.smlcharityhometour.com.

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Posted by on in Smith Mountain Lake Fun

Boats! Boats! Boats! Whether you rent your boat at a local marina or bring your own use one of the six public docking areas or a marina to launch, with so many miles of water, you can get totally away from the crowd and anchor in a quiet cove for a day of fishing, swimming or just picnicking.

If you don't happen to have a boat, or just don't have enough experience to drive a boat, Smith Mountain Lake is a great place for beginners to take a course in boat safety visit www.smlba.com or go to www.smlsailing.com for information on learning how to sail.

But you don’t have to be the captain to enjoy time on the water. Check out the SML Boating Association's activities and events too! Another organization, Blackwater Yacht Racing Association at the Pelican Point Yacht Club is a non-profit organization made up of members who enjoy sailing and sailboat racing. Activities include regular spring, summer and fall races, and sponsored invitational regattas. If you have a sailboat and would like to participate in the BYRA races, learn more by visiting www.byrasailing.org.  No matter whether you are a boat owner, experienced sailor or just testing the waters of Smith Mountain Lake for the very first time, there is a boating activity for you!


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Hickory Hill Vineyards is inviting the public to help them celebrate 11 years as a winery at Smith Mountain Lake. The winery started as a hobby vineyard and was planted in 1984 by Roanoke natives, who owned property at Smith Mountain Lake. Since then, Hickory Hill has grown over the next 28 years into a highly successful, 3rd generation, family-owned vineyard with a wide selection of wines and regional distribution in local stores and restaurants. Along with a popular “Lake series” of wines made in a light & fruity style, the vineyard offers vintage, estate-grown Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, Cabernet Franc and their award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

Visitors to the winery are encouraged to tour the 1923 farmhouse tasting room and gift shop and to enjoy the available picnic area. Wine tastings are complimentary for those age 21 and up. Tours and tastings are 11am- 5pm, Thursday through Monday from April to November. For more info call 540-296-1393 or visit www.smlwine.com.

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The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce will be taking part in the first annual Governor's Bowl Chamber of Commerce Challenge Food and Fund Drive. The "Governor's Bowl" campaign began May 28th and will run until July 4th, and serves to help keep Virginia's food banks stocked during the summer, which are typically much slower for food donations.

Due to children being out of school, summertime is typically a slow time for food donations in the area. Parents of children who would normally be receiving free or reduced-price meals at school are in need of other resources to help feed their children. Over 80,000 children in Southwest Virginia are food insecure.


Persons wishing to make donations may bring them to the lake chamber at the Smith Mountain Lake Visitors' Center at Bridgewater Plaza. The Smith Mountain Lake Chamber reminds businesses and individuals of the need in the community. For more info Food and Fund Drive, call the chamber office at 721-1203.

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Posted by on in Smith Mountain Lake Fun

If you missed the television premier of "Lake Effects" previously shown on the Hallmark Movie Channel during the month of May, don’t worry! The DVD will be available to retailers on Aug. 14th and has a suggested retail price of $19.98. "Lake Effects" features several area businesses and homes. The film's producer, Sara Elizabeth Timmins, owner of Life Out Loud Films, lives in Moneta.

“Lake Effects” is a family drama set and filmed at SML last year, and follows a big-city lawyer who travels home to SML for the funeral of her father and reconnects with her mother and sister, while learning what makes life at Smith Mountain Lake so special.

The cast of "Lake Effects" includes Emmy award-winner and two-time Golden Globe award-winner, Jane Seymour and Scottie Thompson, Madeline Zima, Casper Van Dien, Jeff Fahey, Ben Savage, Eyal Podell, Sean Patrick Flanery and Mary Beth McDonough. Visit www.lakeeffectsthemovie.com for more information.

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The fourth-annual PWC Poker Run, hosted by the SML Power boating Association, features six card stops and a $1,700 purse and will be held on June 23rd. (All participants must be on  personal watercraft to participate.) PWCs will be launching Waller's Waterfront at the Crystal Shores Marina and then returning. The card stops include: Indian Point Marina, Bernard's Landing, Gills Creek Marina, Jake's Place and the Penhook Boat Dock. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Scruggs Dive Team.

Participants ski out at 11 a.m. after a 30-minute captain's meeting. All players must have returned by 3 p.m. to be eligible for cash prizes. The top 5 hands will be awarded $750, $500, $250, $150 and $75 respectively. Registration fees are $75 per PWC operator and $75 per rider (The event has a one-rider limit). Fees include a poker hand and food during the awards presentation. (Rider who do not wish to play can register for $15, which also includes food at Waller's).

Registrations will be accepted online at smlpba.com through June 16. Registrations will also be taken June 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. and on June 23 from 8 to 10 a.m. at Waller's. For more information about the PWC Poker Run, call Kyle Enslow at 597-5329 or visit smlpba.com.

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SML residents take pride in the beauty of the natural world that surrounds us here at home. Few places in the state offer such exquisite views without the isolation that usually goes hand in hand with rural living. That's why each year lake residents work together in a mass cleanup effort of the lake and its shorelines.

This year's Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake Cleanup day will take place on May 5 from 8am to 4pm. All participants are given work gloves and heavyduty plastic bags, as well as a map of debris drop off points. Volunteers with barges and pontoon boats are needed for the cleanup as well, in order to remove debris from the lake itself. Participants are eligible for great door prizes, and winners will be announced on May 7.

For more information on volunteering to clean up or beautiful lake, contact the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce.

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It's no secret that a diet consisting of mostly fresh local whole foods will lead to a healthy life with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so on. And while it may seem expensive and too time consuming to adopt a healthier lifestyle, this simply isn't the case.Smith Mountain Lake's rural Virginia location makes eating fresh produce, meat, and dairy straight from the source easy.

In fact, the folks at Homestead Creamery have paired up with Good Food Good People to take the guesswork out of adopting healthy eating habits.Contact the folks at the creamery by calling (540) 721-2045.


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Posted by on in Smith Mountain Lake Fun

The 9th annual Smith Mountain Lake Business Expo went off with out a hitch last Friday, with over 4,000 attending. With perfect weather and a great turnout, the event was definitely a success. At least 120 local businesses were represented at the expo, as well as"Your Business Connection," an initiative to connect local job seekers with employers.

For those considering a move to Smith Mountain Lake, the annual expo is a great way to see all that this community has to offer, and to network with business owners from Franklin, Bedford, and Pittsylvania counties.

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On May 18 and 19 at 7pm, New Crusty Minstrels will host a “Good Times at Margaritaville” sing-along at the SML YMCA. Song lyrics (by artists like Jimmy Buffett and the Beach Boys) will be projected on a big screen so guests can join in the fun.

All are encouraged to wear a Hawaiian shirt or beachwear, and flip flops (no high heeled shoes, please). Guests may bring food/beverages (including alcohol), and Hot Shots will be dishing up “Cheeseburgers in Paradise!”

Tickets are $15, and are available at The General Store, Radio Shack, SML Visitor’s Center, and ShopRite. Revenue from ticket sales will be split between Lake Christian Ministries and SML Good Neighbors. All additional donations will be matched on LCM’s behalf by an anonymous patron and on SML Good Neighbors behalf by New York Times bestselling author and part time lake resident David Baldacci!

To reserve a table for eight to 10 people, call Connie Canova at 297-6680. For more information, call Nancy Woolley at 297-1199 or Jerry and Ferne Hale, 721-7222.

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Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease that robs its victims of their memories and personality. And as anyone who has ever cared for a loved suffering from this disease will tell you, its effects are heartwrenching.

Annette Carter of Blue Ridge, VA can attest to that. Her companion of 27 years and husband of 12 passed last January after a battle with the disease. And now, in honor or her husband, she will host a fundraising event for Alzheimer’s Research on June 9th at the Vinton War Memorial.

For more information on the event as well as a little bit more about Annette and Jim Carter, check out this article from The Laker Magazine.

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Leslie Becker, AIA, AIPP, FIABCI, NAR
Licensed in the State of VA


P: 540.797.0477 | F: 866.507.5289
PO Box 50
Huddleston, VA 24104

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