Columns & Blogs

Call to Action: Luggage needed for foster children


Good morning – Volunteers are needed for the 2nd Annual Cajun Occasion Crawfish Boil on Sunday May 15th. This year’s event benefits the Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift program for needy kids. Jobs include serving beer and wine, checking ID’s, set up and take down to name a few. This promises to be great fun and for a great cause. Work a couple of hours then enjoy all the fun. Please call Mary at (571) 292-5303 to register.

· Helping Neighbors Outreach Center in Dale City needs volunteers to help in the office on Thursdays from 9:30-3:30. Duties include answering the phone, mailings and other admin duties. Please call Pastor Edmonds at (703) 964-7725 for more info. (more…)

7 reasons to choose sports camps at Manassas Park Community Center

In Samurai Warriors Camp, campers defend their emperor from the invading army using Nerf toys and water balloons.

It’s that time of year. Summer camp season is upon us, and the excitement builds up in the household.

I can recall my youth and the constant annoyance I became to my parents to please put me into a summer sports camp. I attended Elite basketball camps in Pittsburgh all the way down to Orlando, Fla. I also participated in sports camps from soccer to football and I met a variety of great coaches and staff.

I developed numerous friendships with other campers whom would later turn out to be some of the same men and women that became star athletes respectively in their sports. (more…)

Dance, improv comedy, music part of bigger Manassas Gallery Walk

Gallery Walk Slider

Gallery Walk is back and bigger than ever in historic Downtown Manassas on Friday May 6 from 6 to 9 pm. Residents and visitors are invited to come out and explore all of the arts this vibrant downtown has to offer.

This year, along with stationary visual arts, there will also be live performances of dance, music, and improv comedy throughout the streets.

Partnering with the Prince William County Arts Council, this year’s Spring Gallery Walk event has attracted a larger number of artists thus adding excitement for all that there is to see throughout the evening. (more…)

Call to Action: Help needed to install smoke alarms


Good morning – Meals on Wheels has an urgent need to volunteers to deliver a mid-day warm meal to homebound seniors. This fabulous program serves hundreds of folks Monday through Friday every week. Your route only takes about 2 hours to do so it’s perfect for a retiree or anyone who can just flex out of their workday for a long lunch. If you are age 55+ please join RSVP for added benefits while delivering the meals. To join RSVP, please call (703) 369-5292 ext. 1 or call Melody at (703) 792-4583 at Area Agency on Aging for the Meals on Wheels Program. (more…)

Artists are being drawn to Manassas for the City’s energy

Artists are thriving in the City of Manassas.  

A once little known community, the City’s art programs are gaining recognition across the state.  Staying true to the City’s motto of having an “historic HEART and modern BEAT,” the City is no longer attracting artists based solely on its history.  (more…)

Call to Action: Help teach soccer to disabled children


Volunteers are needed for the 2nd Annual Cajun Occasion Crawfish Boil on Sunday May 15th.  This year’s event benefits the Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift program for needy kids.  Jobs include serving beer and wine, checking ID’s, set up and take down  to name a few.  This promises to be great fun and for a great cause. Work a couple of hours then enjoy all the fun.   Please call Mary at (571) 292-5303 to register. (more…)

Call to Action: Volunteers needed for riding camp


Good morning – Virginia Cooperative Extension invites volunteers to their next Master Financial Education Training on Monday May 2nd for 9 sessions.  This certificate requires 24 hours of training and regular volunteering annually.  It’s a super life skill program to empower families with financial education.  There is a registration fee and background check required for this important training.  Please call (703) 792-4765 or email them at: to learn more. (more…)

2 main reasons to workout with a trainer at Manassas Park Community Center


With the temperatures warming up outside, it’s natural to feel the urge to get up, get out, and get active.

There is still plenty of time to reach your fitness goals before beach season hits, but as we get closer and closer to summer, you may find it difficult to stay on task and stay motivated. That’s where personal training can come in handy.

To help you reach your fitness goals, the Manassas Park Community Center will give you an additional 10 free 30-minute personal training sessions when you renew or purchase an annual Basic or All-Access Passport membership throughout the month of April.

If you’re like me though, you may not exactly understand what personal training is or how it can benefit you. I sat down with our Deputy Director, Jay Swisher, who has worked as personal trainer and oversees our personal trainers here at the community center and asked him some questions I had about personal training.

Shriner: So, what exactly is a personal trainer?

Swisher: A personal trainer is someone who provides not only guidance in the technical sense but also moral support to someone in an effort to help them reach their fitness goals.

Shriner: I’m fully capable of going to the gym and working out or running on the treadmill. What is the advantage of using a personal trainer versus just going to the gym on my own?

Swisher: There are two main reasons to work out with a trainer:

First, you’re working with somebody who is specifically trained in an exercise science based discipline. That specialized knowledge will allow them to prescribe the most effective program to help you fulfill your fitness goals. Exercise prescription includes everything about your workout routine – the recommended exercises, repetitions, sets, weights, frequency, and so on. This knowledge is derived from different places including past experience or background, which can include education and formal training.

Second, you’re gaining a support system. A trainer will motivate you and hold you accountable. Sure, you can go online and download sheets of exercises or watch YouTube videos but those videos aren’t going to text you to make sure you’re keeping up with your routine or encourage you to keep going when you feel like you’ve plateaued. In addition, your trainer will be able to monitor your form by demonstrating how to properly perform exercises. You can put yourself at risk by performing exercises incorrectly, but also incorrect form means you aren’t achieving your maximum potential and getting the most from each exercise.

Shriner: Okay, so I’m convinced. What do I need to look for in a personal trainer? How can I make sure I’m picking a good trainer?

Swisher: The first thing you want to do when you’re considering using a trainer, or even when you want to work out on your own, is figure out what your fitness goals are. Search for a trainer whose skill set best matches your needs. If you have very specific fitness goals, you’d want to seek out a personal trainer who has expertise in that same area.

It’s important to vet your trainer to make sure they are truly qualified. Check their background, ask about their experience and certifications. When it comes to certifications, check for reputable agencies such as AAFA, ACE, or ACSM. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a mini session. Tell them about yourself. Say you’re a 44-year-old male with high blood pressure who has been sedentary for the past 15 years and one of your goals is to lose 10 pounds. Listen to what the trainer would recommend and see what they demonstrate. How do you feel about their training style? Ask them about their fitness philosophies – do they make sense to you? What it boils down to is you need to ask questions, listen to the answers, and observe their style. (more…)

Live Well Festival to feature health and wellness activities, farm to table brunch

Spring has sprung and it’s time for the year’s first festival in historic downtown Manassas! The 10th Annual Live Well Festival, formerly known as Spring Cleaning Day, will be held Saturday, April 16 from 9 a.m. – 2 .p.m in the Harris Pavilion and along West Street. Health and wellness information, exercise classes, a farm-to-table brunch, and more will be available. (more…)

Manassas Farmers Market has more vendors, ‘Take-Out Tuesdays’

Farmers Market

The City of Manassas Farmer’s Market is back for its 25th peak season. Running from April through early November, the market is open on both Thursdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Thursday market will be housed at the Harris Pavilion beginning April 7, while Saturday shoppers can find all their market necessities in Parking Lot B, across from the Train Depot beginning April 9. (more…)

Call to Action: Summer camp volunteers needed


Good morning – Thinking about buying a home? Attend a FREE Homeownership Seminar Saturday, April 9 that 9:00am. Then, learn how to manage your finances by attending a Smart Money Management workshop on Tuesday, April 12 at 7:00pm. Both programs are held at Sudley North Government Center and brought to you by Virginia Cooperative Extension Financial Education & Housing Counseling Program. To register call 703-792-6287 or email (more…)

Call to Action: Volunteers needed for Boys and Girls Clubs health fair


Good morning  – Is it true? Sure feels like spring! Perfect timing for the 5K Run for Hunger to benefit the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry on Saturday April 2nd beginning at 8:00am. Not a runner? Walkers are welcome too! Enjoy the out of doors and support an important cause. Go to for details! (more…)

Call to Action: Capital Caring is looking for volunteer massage therapists


Good morning – Habitat for Humanity ReStore is just bustling with lots of new donations so volunteers are needed to build hoppers for books, racks for granite, sanitizing banquet chairs and many other fun jobs in this super fun place. It’s so easy to join in by signing up on their volunteer calendar at: (more…)

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