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Reston Town Center ~ Mercury Fountain Coins Benefit Character Counts! Coalition

Wishes = Buckets of Cash Donated to a Good Cause

For Immediate Release
September 8, 2011

Reston, VA – Mercury Fountain at Reston Town Center is the venue’s major icon, meeting place, and cooling respite on a hot day, but over the years, it has also contributed thousands of dollars in donations to a community foundation, Character Counts! Coalition.

During the months of fountain operation, the many coins that have been deposited as wishes are retrieved by the maintenance crew. They deliver the heavy load – about 7 buckets of coins each year – to Character Counts! Coalition. The organization then undertakes a lengthy process before they can benefit from the windfall. The coins arrive wet, so must be spread out to dry, then sorted to remove buttons, gum, foreign coins and other debris. Each time, the result is about 4 quart-size zip lock bags of cold cash, which are taken to their bank’s coin machine for a tally of the deposit. All those fountain pennies and silver add up to about $1,500 in donations every year.

“We are very grateful for the donations,” says Cate Fulkerson, president of the Reston chapter of Character Counts! Coalition, explaining that the funds are a major support for the organization’s efforts, including Ethics Day with South Lakes High School and the Annual Essay & Poster Contest.

Mercury Fountain, designed by Saint Clair Cemin of Brazil, has been in operation since 1990 and is maintained by Reston Town Center Association (RTCA). Topped by the Greek god of commerce and communications, Mercury, the Carrara marble fountain flows from early spring through late fall.

CHARACTER COUNTS! is a national, nonprofit, nonpartisan, character education initiative designed to help youngsters and adults develop and practice the basics of good character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. The Reston CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition assists this effort by providing leadership, coordination, and resources to promote character development throughout the community. Coalition Members include Reston Association, Reston Community Center, Reston Interfaith, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, Reston Citizens Association, YMCA of Reston, and the office Fairfax County Hunter Mill District Supervisor, Cathy Hudgins.

Established in 1990, beautiful Reston Town Center is an acclaimed outdoor venue offering more than 50 retailers, more than 30 restaurants, and a multi-screen cinema. At the center’s hub, the Pavilion hosts special events, concerts and festivals throughout the year, plus ice-skating in winter. Free parking in 6 garages. For more information on shopping, dining and events at Reston Town Center, visit Social media links for shopping, nightlife, other options, and mobile devices available at: (
Main Address: 11900 Market Street, Reston, VA 20190 T: 703-689-4699

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