Columns & Blogs

Call to Action: Tax holiday for disaster supplies

Good morning  – Come celebrate National Trails Day and Clean the Bay Day on Saturday June 6th at Leesylvania State Park from 10am-5pm. The morning activity includes removing trash from the streams. Be sure to wear bug spray, sunscreen and closed toed shoes that you don’t mind getting a little muddy. The afternoon activity includes clearing of trails. This is the ultimate see your hard work’s accomplishment. Please call the park at (703) 583-6904 for more info.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for volunteers to help with programming efforts with the volunteer programs. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext.232 to learn more.

· Division of Historic Preservation is gearing up for spring projects at the Julie Metz Wetlands Preserve in Woodbridge. Volunteers are needed to help with trail and stream clean-up, development of interpretive materials and education programs. These volunteer opportunities continue through the fall. Please call Rebecca at (703) 499-9812 to learn more about this county treasure.

· Tax Holiday time! May 25th-31st is set aside this year as our state tax holiday for you to stock up on disaster supplies for you and your family. Please visit: vaemergency.gov full the full list.

· Historic Manassas is looking for volunteers to help with the 21st Annual Railway Festival on Saturday June 6th in Old Town Manassas. Duties include line control, directional, helping with games and activities. This is a super fun event. Please email Erin at: erin@historicmanassasinc.org to learn more.

· Virginia Dept. of Health needs volunteer actors at their next exercise on Thursday June 4th first thing in the morning. Please stop by the Costco at Potomac Mills for a few minutes to help in this simulation and grab your free hot breakfast on the way out the door. Please go to: prepareprincewilliam.com to register. Keep Reading…

NewsChat: Burning rail car, bourbon tastings popular events at Manassas Museum

manassas museum

Elizabeth Via-Gossman is the director of the Manassas Museum System. At the center of the organization is the Manassas Museum in Downtown Manassas.

Through its many exhibits, the museum tells the story of the railroad city from its early beginnings during the Civil War up until today. We wanted to learn more about the inner workings of the Manassas Museum and Via-Grossman took some time out of her day to answer some of our questions.

PL: What makes your museum unique to our community? What special exhibits do you feature, and why do you think your museum has become a favorite of those who visit you? Please also mention who is a typical visitor at your museum.

Via-Gossman: We are fortunate to be the stewards of seven historic sites as well as our museum and lawn, which are central to Historic Downtown Manassas. We are able to share a vast collection of artifacts with visitors, and to share our love of history with visitors of all ages. We are aware of the serious responsibility we have to preserve our area’s history, to educate new generations, and to provide citizens and visitors with a rich cultural and recreational resource. We love when visitors of all ages leave learning something they never knew before.

Also on NewsChat: Celebrating saving the Mary Washington House

PL: What challenges has your museum faced over the years, from getting out the word about your organization, to securing and maintaining funding? How did you overcome them?

Via-Gossman: Like any museum, we have to find diverse ways to let area residents and visitors know about all exhibits, programs, and sites. The way people get their information has changed so much from the days when everyone read a local newspaper. Now many of our visitors love to get our postcards, some like emails, and some rely on our website, signs, and area calendars. We’re always delighted when we have first-time visitors who have lived here but have not known about the museum, Liberia or other historic sites.

Through the years, we have been fortunate to secure many private donations and grants that have helped enhance such things as exhibits, programs and restoration at Liberia. We appreciate that The Manassas Museum Associates, our fund-raising arm, has been a steady source of support for all our efforts, and as a city-funded museum, we are continually grateful for the support of our city government and our citizens.

PL: Has your museum put our area “on the map” of cultural and community significance?  Please discuss some of the unique items that can only be found in your museum. Keep Reading…

NewsChat: Celebrating saving the Mary Washington House

Anne R. Darron is the executive director of Washington Heritage Museums. The organization is responsible for maintaining the Mary Washington House in Fredericksburg, the home of George Washington’s mother. They also oversee the Rising Sun Tavern, Hugh Mercer Apothecary, and St. James’ House in Fredericksburg.

Darron has been on the job 11 months. We asked her how things are going, and what events are coming up at the museums.

PL: What makes your museum unique to our community? What special exhibits do you feature, and why do you think your museum has become a favorite of those who visit you? Please also mention who is a typical visitor for your museum.

Darron: The four 18th century properties that make up the Washington Heritage Museums are unique to the area in that they are actual 18th century buildings, not reproductions. Mary Washington actually lived in the Mary Washington House. The other three properties are each connected to the Washington family in some way.

The Rising Sun Tavern was originally the residence of George Washington’s brother, Charles. The Hugh Mercer Apothecary represents the office of Dr. Hugh Mercer, who treated Mary Washington, and was also a Revolutionary War hero, serving under George Washington. St. James’ House was the home of James Mercer, the attorney who drew up Mary Washington’s will.

Also on NewsChat: Burning rail car, bourbon tastings popular events at Manassas Museum

At the Mary Washington House, visitors enjoy seeing some of Mrs. Washington’s belongings, including her teapot. The Hugh Mercer Apothecary has an exhibit about a letter from George Weedon, who adopted Hugh Mercer’s son after his death, to Charles Willson Peale. The letter discusses the artistic training of Hugh Mercer’s son by Peale.

Our visitors are often families, but we often see group tours as well. 

PL: What challenges has your museum faced over the years, from getting out the word about your organization, to securing and maintaining funding? How did you overcome them? 

Darron: Washington Heritage Museums is open to the public 360 days a year without state or federal funding. We are a new 501(c)(3), having formed our own organization in 2013 from the statewide organization, Preservation Virginia.

In the last two years, we’ve established 501(c)(3) status, created bylaws, recruited members, and hired an executive director, our first full-time employee.

We are working to secure grants to care for our buildings and are currently working on plans to renovate portions of the Mary Washington House.

PL: Has your museum put our area “on the map” of cultural and community significance?  Please discuss some of the unique items that can only be found in your museum.

Darron: Absolutely! The Mary Washington House is the only house that George Washington purchased for his mother, and was the last home that she lived in. The Tavern portrays an excellent example of tavern life. The Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop gives a very interesting insight into 18th century medicine – how much it has changed, and how much is still the same.

PL: Can area residents help play a larger role in helping your organization build awareness of your goals? 

Darron: We are always seeking new members! We’re also thrilled when we hear that visitors recommend our sites to their friends.

We are in need of volunteers – They help in the Museum Shop, tend the gardens, help in the office. You name it – if someone has a talent, we have a need to match it!

PL: What new exhibits / events can we expect at your museum in the near future?

Darron: On Sept. 12, we will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of the  saving of the Mary Washington House. Slated to be sold to the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1890, the house was to be dismantled and moved  piece by piece to Chicago, where it would likely have burned in the  fire.

Local women, with help from the newly formed Association  for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, raised money and acquired  the house saving it from certain loss.

We will be celebrating  with a fundraising gala the evening of Sept. 12. People can contact the office at 540-373-5630 for more information.

For more on Washington Heritage Museums, visit their website, and find them on Facebook and Twitter

Call to Action: Kick off summer at Bahama Breeze at Potomac Mills

· Good morning  – Keep Prince William Beautiful is kicking off their summer in fashion with a fun evening at Bahama Breeze on May 28th 6-9pm. Enjoy appetizers, drinks and live music and all for a great cause. You can RSVP on their website: kpwb.org. You won’t want to miss this fun event.

· SERVE has lots of fun volunteer jobs for the summer at both the admin building and the food pantry. Come be part of their super team by helping with important services provided to families. You must be at least 18yrs old and complete a background check. Bilingual Spanish speakers are most helpful. Please email Jan at jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more.

· BEACON Adult Literacy is looking for volunteers this summer for their conversation classes. They will give you all the skills needed to make a significant improvement in another’s life. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Virginia Dept. of Health needs volunteer actors at their next exercise on Thursday June 4th first thing in the morning. Please stop by the Costco at Potomac Mills for a few minutes to help in this simulation and grab your free hot breakfast on the way out the door. Please go to: prepareprincewilliam.com to register.

· Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers in their ReStore in Manassas. This is a super fun place full of donors and customers. It’s a great place to volunteer for either a morning or afternoon shift. Please visit: habitatpwc.org to sign up and view their volunteer calendar.

· The 150th Anniversary of the Juneteenth Celebration is Saturday June 20th from 11am-4pm. Volunteers are needed for helping with games for the kids, set-up, greeters and other fun jobs. Please call Katie at (703) 792-4620 to learn more this event.

· Historic Manassas is looking for volunteers to help with the 21st Annual Railway Festival on Saturday June 6th in Old Town Manassas. Duties include line control, directional, helping with games and activities. This is a super fun event. Please email Erin at: erin@historicmanassasinc.org to learn more. Keep Reading…

Call to action: Vets, spouses need rides to doctors appointments

· Good morning  – Memorial Day- May 25th is right around the corner and SERVE needs a group of volunteers to prepare breakfast or lunch to the residents of the Family Care Shelter. You need to provide all the food ingredients but can utilize their kitchen or grills if you want to do an all American cookout. It’s a special day and a very special way for you to help our most vulnerable citizens. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more.

· Historic Manassas is looking for volunteers to help with the 21st Annual Railway Festival on Saturday June 6th in Old Town Manassas. Duties include line control, directional, helping with games and activities. This is a super fun event. Please email Erin at: erin@historicmanassasinc.org to learn more.

· Tornado season upon us I thought I would remind everyone to sign-up for their local Alert network to receive severe weather notifications. In Prince William County go to: www.pwcgov.org/pwcan, and in Manassas go to: www.manassascity.org/alert, and in Manassas Park visit www.cityofmanassaspark.us and scroll to the bottom right or the page and click on the sign-up icon. The American Red Cross has excellent apps for your cell phone as well. Stay safe out there!

· I’m calling on individual’s age 55+ in the Gainesville, Haymarket area including Heritage Hunt and Dominion Valley to join our Drive a Vet Program with RSVP. We have requests from veterans or their spouses for a ride to their doctor appointments. Come join this wonderful program of simply giving someone a ride! Please call Coleen at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1 to learn more

· The Alzheimer’s Association is looking for volunteers to assist with our community outreach and awareness efforts. They need volunteers for several upcoming events. Please contact Sony for additional information: samartey@alz.org or 703-766-9025.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for volunteers to be matched in one to one friendships with survivors of brain injury. Experience is not necessary only your interest. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext.232 to learn more.

· BARN is in need of more raffle baskets for their upcoming golf tournament fundraiser named in honor of Senator Colgan. This is a great way for a business, group, or individual to help homeless women and children. Call Tammy at 703-369-1325. Keep Reading…

Potomac Local readers click on crime news

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If it bleeds, it leads.

That’s an old saying about local news; taking shots at news directors who put stories like car crashes, shootings, and other general mayhem at the top of their newscasts.

However, news about crime and public safety is some of the most read, most shared, and consistently highest-ranking content on PotomacLocal.com.

Information about new arrests, scam artists trying to rip off residents, and details about why the police were on your street last night always does well on our local news site.

More than 50,000 unique readers in Prince William, Manassas, and Stafford consume this content on a daily basis. After seeing their friends and family member’s arrest photo on our site, finding a good lawyer becomes one of the first things on their to-do list.

It’s something for you to think about when trying to build awareness about your services in our community.

We also cover more than crime news – topics like schools, traffic and transit, and community events. We’re a trusted daily online news source read daily — with more than 150,000 page views and social interactions per month.

Take a look and you’ll see, from our list of most-read stories in 2014, PotomacLocal.com readers are captivated by stories about crime in their community.

See for yourself by visiting our site. We post at least one crime story a day on PotomacLocal.com. Our posts are based off trusted information obtained from local police and sheriff’s departments.

When it comes to marketing your services, we have online display ads, as well as ways to reach our audience through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

We also offer a promoted post option that allows you to reach our audience by posting answers to commonly asked legal questions directly to our site. It’s brands you as the local legal expert in your field. 

If you have questions about how all of this works, please send me an email and I’d be happy to chat with you.

Call to Action: Sign up for local emergency alerts

Good morning – with tornado season upon us I thought I would remind everyone to sign-up for their local alert network to receive severe weather notifications. In Prince William County, go to pwcgov.org/pwcan and in Manassas go to manassascity.org/alert, and in Manassas Park visit cityofmanassaspark.us and scroll to the bottom right or the page and click on the sign-up icon. The American Red Cross has excellent apps for your cell phone as well. Stay safe out there!

· Learn more about your community! Join Volunteer Prince William and a host of other organizations Saturday May 9th during the Community Expo at Pftizner Stadium from 9am-3pm.

· I’m calling on individual’s age 55+ in the Gainesville, Haymarket area including Heritage Hunt and Dominion Valley to join our Drive a Vet Program with RSVP. We have requests from veterans or their spouses for a ride to their doctor appointments. Come join this wonderful program of simply giving someone a ride! Please call Coleen at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1 to learn more

· The Alzheimer’s Association is looking for volunteers to assist with our community outreach and awareness efforts. They need volunteers for several upcoming events. Please contact Sony for additional information: samartey@alz.org or 703-766-9025.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for volunteers to be matched in one to one friendships with survivors of brain injury. Experience is not necessary only your interest. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext.232 to learn more.

· BARN is in need of more raffle baskets for their upcoming golf tournament fundraiser named in honor of Senator Colgan. This is a great way for a business, group, or individual to help homeless women and children. Call Tammy at 703-369-1325. Keep Reading…

I was stopped by a Prince William police officer after I took this photo

Every photo has a story.

As a reporter for many years, I’ve worked a lot of crash scenes, house fires, and homicide investigations. Never once was I stopped by a police officer and asked for my license and registration.

There’s a first time for everything, they say. Who knew it would be the assignment where I’m taking a photo of a Ferris Wheel?

It was just before 1 p.m. Friday when I was driving along Route 1 and saw a carnival rides erected in a parking lot across from Our Lady Angels church. I pulled into the parking lot to take a photo of the wheel with my camera phone. A police car was sitting in the parking lot.

After pulling in, I stopped my car, rolled down my driver’s side window, stuck my cell phone out the window, and took this photo: Keep Reading…

Call to Action: Haymarket Regional Food pantry first Annual 5K Run for Hunger Saturday May 9

Good morning  – the Bill Mehr Drop in Center is looking for volunteers to help with general admin tasks, help schedule volunteers and most importantly if you have the credentials is to provide case management to clients. This facility is located close to Potomac Mills Mall and offers wonderful services to homeless individuals. Come be part of this super team. Email Juan at juanmm@juno.com or Terry at teniel3@aol.com to learn more.

· BEACON Adult Literacy needs an electrician to tutor an adult in the Manassas area as he prepares to take his state license exam. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Come join the fun mas the Haymarket Regional Food pantry hosts its first Annual 5K Run for Hunger on Saturday May 9th. This year’s event will be at the Vint Hill Craft Winery beginning at 8am. Registration is just $30. Please visit their website: haymarketfoodpantry.org for all the info.

· I’m calling on individual’s age 55+ in the Gainesville, Haymarket area including Heritage Hunt and Dominion Valley to join our Drive a Vet Program with RSVP. We have requests from veterans or their spouses for a ride to their doctor appointments. Come join this wonderful program of simply giving someone a ride! Please call Coleen at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1 to learn more

· Keep Prince William Beautiful is full of fun projects this spring. Volunteers are needed on Saturday May 2nd 10:30am-1pm at the Potomac Library Volunteer Fair, on Saturday May 9th at the Community Expo at Pftizner Stadium from 9am-3pm and throughout the month of May to complete Shopping Center Surveys. Please call Damir at (571) 285-3772 to learn more. Keep Reading…

Call to Action: Vets needs rides to doctor appointments

Good morning – Join with Comcast and Leadership Prince William for a day of service on Saturday April 25th in several locations in Manassas Park. Please register at: leadershipprincewilliam.org. Check-in is at 8am and things get under way from 9am-12:30 and finish with a lunch celebration.

· I’m calling on individual’s age 55+ in the Gainesville, Haymarket area including Heritage Hunt and Dominion Valley to join our Drive a Vet Program with RSVP. We have requests from veterans or their spouses for a ride to their doctor appointments. Come join this wonderful program of simply giving someone a ride! Please call Coleen at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1 to learn more

· Now that tax day has passed the Prince William Recycling Program needs volunteers to help them on Saturday May 9th from 8; 30am-1pm for their community shredding day. This event is at both the Landfill on Rt 234 and the Balls Ford facility. Tasks are easy – just direct or help folks unload their cars. They also need volunteers at the Community EXPO at Pfitzner Stadium from 9am-3pm. Please call Deborah at (703) 792-5328 to learn more.

· Capital Caring is looking for volunteer artists to do monthly art activities with nursing home residents. Please call Rachel at (703) 957-1785 for locations and times to share your love of art.

· Please mark your calendars for Sunday May 17th to honor our fallen military by holding flags on the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon course from 6am-11am. This movement is called Wear Blue and certainly epitomizes how we all feel for our service members. Please call Krista at (410) 932-1812 to learn more.

· Court Service Unit would love your help during traditional business hours helping with screening of individuals seeking protective orders, custody, visitation and answering the phones, filing and such. This is a fun fast paced environment and includes a background check before starting. Please call Lynn at (703) 792-4785 to learn more.

· SERVE needs volunteers as well with admin tasks on Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9am-1pm. You must be an adult, be friendly, empathetic and enjoy helping families. Spanish speakers are most welcome. Please email Jan at:jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more. Keep Reading…

How reading the ads clues me in to all the fun stuff going on

When I travel to a new city, the first thing I do is listen to the radio stations. I’ve probably heard nearly every song before, but the commercials are all new to me.

When I check in to my hotel, after marveling at the view (if I’m lucky enough to have a view), I turn on the local TV station. If I can find one, I grab a local newspaper.

These have always been tried and true sources of local information. I scan their local news and read the ads.

The local ads, just like the news, tell me what’s going on in a community. They serve as informative content that, at a glance, tells me about fun things happening in the area.

Most times I’ll see or hear an ad for an event, and then pack up friends and family in the car and drive over to that event feeling as if I’ve got some kind of insider information just because I saw the ad or read a promoted post on a blog.

I don’t know why I’m this way. Maybe it’s because I’m a media guy. Maybe it’s because I like to explore the community and try new things.

I do the same in my own community. I’m always scanning and searching for things to do right here in Prince William and Stafford counties. That’s why I’ll never understand when people say “I never read the ads.”

I get that some, if not most advertising is disruptive. TV ads that interrupt your favorite show, or pop-ups on your computer screen that try to sell you online poker chips. Keep Reading…

Even Aware, It Can Happen To Anyone

062814-mushungI just reported on a woman being robbed in the parking lot of Target in North Stafford. And already social media commenters are saying people should be more aware of their surroundings, or they need to carry mace and have their car keys in their hands ready to use as a weapon. But it’s not so simple.

To recap, the woman and young child had walked out of the store to her vehicle. She then placed the child in the carseat. When she stood back up, she was shocked to find a man standing next to her. She asked him to step back. He showed a gun and demanded money.

A similar thing happened to me years ago in another area. I am normally very aware of my surroundings. I had served in the Civil Air Patrol, and our motto was Semper Vigilans, which is Latin for “always vigilant” — always alert and ready. I took that motto to heart. 

Yet, one day at the park, after I had placed my child’s stroller in the trunk of my car, a man appeared out of nowhere standing VERY close to me. He asked for money. 

He didn’t get any.

The trunk of my car was still open, and I had a sword in it. Yes, a sword. 

I had recently given a presentation on what it was like to live in the Middle East as an American and had brought various souvenirs as well as historic cultural symbols. One of them included a sword. 

I last saw him running across the train tracks with a bicycle in his hands that he didn’t have with him earlier. He was running fast. I never saw him again. 

I was fortunate the man did not appear to have a gun. Mace, car keys, and even being aware enough to notice a criminal before he gets too close doesn’t help if that criminal has a gun.

I still don’t know how this man got right up next to me so quickly and so silently in an open area when there was no one else around for at least 50 feet except a gentleman sitting in an adjacent truck who called police after I was approached. 

So I ask you not to judge the victim of the crime. If you choose to judge anyone, let it be the perpetrator. 

To read the original story, click here.

Call to Action: Become a BINGO volunteer for Save a Dog

Good morning – Happy Easter and happy spring! Springtime brings with it lots of things including puppies and kittens. We all know there are not enough good homes for them all. You can help the furry ones by becoming a BINGO volunteer for Save a Dog, Save a Cat (SADSAC). BINGO begins May 3 at the Elks Lodge on Minneville Rd. in Woodbridge. First there will be a volunteer training session on April 26. You can become a card verifier, concession server, or help with set-up or take-down. Email Sherry for details: sadsac01@yahoo.com.

· To all agencies who utilize wonderful volunteers in their work please don’t forget to submit their names for recognition at the community wide Volunteer Recognition event which is scheduled for Sunday May 17th. Please email Shelley at: stibbs@volunteerprincewilliam.org for more info.

· Beacon Adult Literacy offers affordable ESL classes in the Manassas area. Volunteer are needed, no previous teaching experience is required – they will train you. The new semester starts April 6th and there are opportunities in both the evenings and mornings. You can learn a new skill and help someone else learn one too! Visit: beaconliteracy.org or Facebook to learn more or call 703-368-7491.

· Saved Hands Foundation will present a FREE resume writing seminar April 8th from 9:30am to 11:30am at Goodwill of Greater Washington, Dale City Career Center, 2950 Dale Blvd., Dale City. Seating is limited – please visit: savedhandsfoundation.org/events or phone 571-572-9013 to register.

· Transitional Housing BARN cordially invites you to their Annual Sen. Chuck Colgan’s Charity Golf Tournament on Monday May 11th at the Evergreen Country Club. Lots of great golf, goody bags, breakfast, awards banquet and fun contests. Entry fee is just $150 and supports all their good work. Please call or email tammy for all the specifics at (703) 369-1325 or tperkins@barninc.org

· The City of Manassas has a community clean-up at Cannon Ridge on Saturday April 18th at 10am. Come out and help clean-up the neighborhood and have a chance to win a free pass to the Stonewall Pool as well as recognition from Mayor Parrish. Register at the Manassas Police Dept by April 10th.

· Division of Historic Preservation is gearing up for spring projects at the Julie Metz Wetlands Preserve in Woodbridge. Volunteers are needed to help with trail and stream clean-up, development of interpretive materials and education programs. These volunteer opportunities continue through the fall. Please call Rebecca at (703) 499-9812 to learn more about this county treasure. Keep Reading…

A panda helped us find parking at Bobs Burgers

When it comes to parking in the city, a Seinfeld episode comes to mind.

You know the one where George Costanza gets into an argument with another driver over a parking space on the street.

I’ve always remembered this particular exchange between the characters:

Elaine: Oh, you’re never gonna find a space on Jerry’s block, just put it in a garage.

George: Look, I have my system. First I look for the dream spot right in front of the door, then I slowly expand out in concentric circles.

Elaine: Oh come on, George, please put it in a garage. I don’t want to spend an hour looking for a space.

George: I can’t park in a garage.

Elaine: Why?

George: I don’t know, I just can’t. Nobody in my family can pay for parking, it’s a sickness. My father never paid for parking; my mother, my brother, nobody. We can’t do it.

Last week, however, I did want to pay for parking. My wife and I had tickets to see “Bobs Burgers Live” at the Warner theater in Washington, D.C. It was a Wednesday night, I drove us both into the city after work, and we wanted the easiest, most uneventful evening leading up to our show.

Earlier, I went to Google and typed in “Warner theaterParking” and saw a host of results appear on the page. I clicked on one of them, and I saw the “Bobs Burgers Live” logo.

“Hey, that’s the show we’re going to tonight,” I said.

It was like the website knew exactly what I was looking for — parking for the Bobs Burgers show. I was intrigued, and I clicked on.

The site’s name was Parking Panda. It showed me several garages within a three to four block radius of the Warner Theater, and it also showed how much it would cost to park there – between $11 and $23. Some garages offered valet though my wife and I are not fans of valet. Keep Reading…

Call to Action: Cannon Ridge needs cleaning

Good morning – this is sure to verify spring is right around the corner- Transitional Housing BARN cordially invites you to their Annual Sen. Chuck Colgan’s Charity Golf Tournament on Monday May 11th at the Evergreen Country Club. Lots of great golf, goody bags, breakfast, awards banquet and fun contests. Entry fee is just $150 and supports all their good work. Please call or email tammy for all the specifics at (703) 369-1325 or tperkins@barninc.org

· To all agencies who utilize wonderful volunteers in their work please don’t forget to submit their names for recognition at the community wide Volunteer Recognition event which is scheduled for Sunday May 17th. Please email Shelley at: stibbs@volunteerprincewilliam.org for more info.

· The City of Manassas has a community clean-up at Cannon Ridge on Saturday April 18th at 10am. Come out and help clean-up the neighborhood and have a chance to win a free pass to the Stonewall Pool as well as recognition from Mayor Parrish. Register at the Manassas Police Dept by April 10th.

· Division of Historic Preservation is gearing up for spring projects at the Julie Metz Wetlands Preserve in Woodbridge. Volunteers are needed to help with trail and stream clean-up, development of interpretive materials and education programs. These volunteer opportunities continue through the fall. Please call Rebecca at (703) 499-9812 to learn more about this county treasure.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for volunteers to be matched in one to one friendships with survivors of brain injury. Experience is not necessary only your interest. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext.232 to learn more.

· SERVE is super busy at their food pantry. Volunteers are needed to assemble food packages during the day and two evenings a week. Great job for teens age 16+. Make this a Spring break activity and continue to help on an ongoing basis. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more.

· Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers on Saturday April 18th from 9am-12 noon for their Annual Clean Sweep in Woodbridge. The day begins with litter and safety education and training followed by the community clean-up along the route 1 corridor. Please wear your old clothes and rubber boots as this will be a get your hands dirty project that promises to cleanse the soul. This is not appropriate for children under 10yrs old. Please call (571) 285-3772 for more info or check out their calendar at:kpwb.org Keep Reading…

Call to Action: Virginia Bluebell Festival needs volunteers

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Good morning – our Division of Historic Preservation is gearing up for spring projects at the Julie Metz Wetlands Preserve in Woodbridge. Volunteers are needed to help with trail and stream clean-up, development of interpretive materials and education programs. These volunteer opportunities continue through the fall. Please call Rebecca at (703) 499-9812 to learn more about this county treasure.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for volunteers to be matched in one to one friendships with survivors of brain injury. Experience is not necessary only your interest. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext.232 to learn more.

· SERVE is super busy at their food pantry. Volunteers are needed to assemble food packages during the day and two evenings a week. Great job for teens age 16+. Make this a Spring break activity and continue to help on an ongoing basis. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more.

· Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers on Saturday April 18th from 9am-12 noon for their Annual Clean Sweep in Woodbridge. The day begins with litter and safety education and training followed by the community clean-up along the route 1 corridor. Please wear your old clothes and rubber boots as this will be a get your hands dirty project that promises to cleanse the soul. This is not appropriate for children under 10yrs old. Please call (571) 285-3772 for more info or check out their calendar at:kpwb.org

· The PW Conservation Alliance needs volunteers for their Bluebell Festival at Merrimac farm on Sunday April 12th from 10am-4pm. Come join in this wonderful activity in Nokesville. Please call Myndi at (703) 499-4954 for more info.

· The Neabsco Creek Clean-up is Saturday March 28th from 9am-12noon. This is the perfect way for teens to start your spring break! Please wear long sleeves and tall rubber boots. Trash bags, gloves and drinking water are provided. Park at the Neabsco Eagles Park and under the power lines. Sign-in at the cul-de-sac on Neabsco Creek Drive behind Wawa on Rt. 1. Email: siverstrand@prodigy,net with any questions.

· Volunteers are needed at the Coles District Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday March 28th. You don’t want to miss this fun- tasks include hiding eggs, organizing activities, corralling kids and making sure every family gets a picture with the Easter Bunny. Please call Katie at (703) 792-7059 to learn more.

· PW Soil and Water Conservation District needs volunteers with canoe and boats on Saturday April 11th for the 6th Annual Upper Occoquan River Clean-up. There are several access points so please call (703) 791-6158 for all the specifics. Also the Alice Ferguson Foundation has many volunteer opportunities as well. Please check out their website for specifics and to register at: potomaccleanup.org.

· Beacon Adult Literacy needs volunteer tutors to teach conversation or computer literacy to ESL students in the Manassas area. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more and join the next volunteer training.

· Literacy Volunteers of America- Prince William need volunteer tutors to work with adults in the Woodbridge area. No experience necessary as you will get all the skills needed at their tutor training beginning on May 23rd. You can be a life-changer. Please call (703) 670-5702 or visit their website at: lvapw.org to learn more.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Call to Action: Interested in the health field?

Good morning –Prince William Health District has a wonderful volunteer opportunity for all interested in the health field. Volunteers are needed on Tuesday mornings from 8am-12 noon at their Manassas Park Rec. Center clinic. Duties include assisting patients with medical forms, answering questions, navigating resources and helping with presentations. Orientation and training is provided as you must complete a background check. This is a super resume builder. Please call Valda at (703) 792-6755 to learn more.

· SERVE is super busy at their food pantry. Volunteers are needed to assemble food packages during the day and two evenings a week. Great job for teens age 16+. Make this a Spring break activity and continue to help on an ongoing basis. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more.

· Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers on Saturday March 21st from 9am-12 noon for their annual clean-up at Veterans Park in Woodbridge. Please wear your old clothes and rubber boots as this will be a get your hands dirty project that promises to cleanse the soul. This is not appropriate for children under 10yrs old. Please call (571) 285-3772 for more info. Also mark your calendars for more fun activities with them on April 11th for Earth Day and April 18th for the Route 1 Clean Sweep.

· The PW Conservation Alliance needs volunteers also on March 21 st for native planting at Merrimac farm. Come join in this wonderful activity in Nokesville. Please call (703) 499-4954 for more info. They are also looking for volunteers on March 28th at the K9 Gunner Dog Park. These are both super fun get your hands dirty projects.

· The Neabsco Creek Clean-up is Saturday March 28th from 9am-12noon. This is the perfect way for teens to start your spring break! Please wear long sleeves and tall rubber boots. Trash bags, gloves and drinking water are provided. Park at the Neabsco Eagles Park and under the power lines. Sign-in at the cul-de-sac on Neabsco Creek Drive behind Wawa on Rt. 1. Email: siverstrand@prodigy,net with any questions. Keep Reading…

Proven performance of Continental Tires now at Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire

Steves, auto, tire

As a Premier Auto Repair Shop in Northern Virginia, we at Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire partner with suppliers that share our vision of quality. We have partnered with Continental Tires to become a local dealer.

Continental tires have a proven history of performance and quality that vehicle manufactures like Mercedes Benz and BMW demand. As an original equipment tire for Honda, Mercedes Benz, BMW Continental has proven they are up to the challenge and provide an outstanding product on several vehicle platforms.

Backed by a the Total Confidence Plan, Continental tires provide three years of flat tire changes or towing, up to 150 miles on a purchase of four new tires. Continental is so confident, they back each tire with up to a 60-day trial.

The Continental tire lineup includes tires to meet every need from a ContiSportContact 5P an Ultra high performance tire, to a Contitrac all-season light all terrain tire.

Here at Steve’s, we now have a partner to provide you the ride comfort and performance you want. As specialist in the European repair market, we know what your vehicle needs to run its best. Continental tires will provide the grip to get you there weather you drive a ultra luxury sports car, SUV, or Minivan.

Continental Tires have been in business since 1871 in Hanover Germany.  Now in 42 countries and with 73 locations, Continental tires are a global leader.

Continental tires have created some of the industry’s firsts such as the first pneumatic bicycle tires created in 1892. In 1904, Continental produced the first pneumatic tire with a patterned tread design. Also, Continental tire invented the first detachable rim in 1908 to help save time when changing a flat tire.

Call to Action: Ever been to Merrimac Farm?

Good morning – spring is right around the corner- and Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers on Saturday March 21st from 9am-12 noon for their annual clean-up at Veterans Park in Woodbridge. Please wear your old clothes and rubber boots as this will be a get your hands dirty project that promises to cleanse the soul. This is not appropriate for children under 10yrs old. Please call (571) 285-3772 for more info. Also mark your calendars for more fun activities with them on April 11th for Earth Day and April 18th for the Route 1 Clean Sweep.

· The PW Conservation Alliance needs volunteers also on March 21 st for native planting at Merrimac Farm. Come join in this wonderful activity in Nokesville. Please call (703) 499-4954 for more info. They are also looking for volunteers on March 28th at the K9 Gunner Dog Park. These are both super fun get your hands dirty projects.

· PW Soil and Water Conservation District needs volunteers with canoe and boats on Saturday April 11th for the 6th Annual Upper Occoquan River Clean-up. There are several access points so please call (703) 791-6158 for all the specifics.

· BARN Transitional Housing is kicking off spring with their 1st. Yard Sale of the season on Saturday March 14th as well. It runs from 8am-12noon or you can access the early bird shopping at 7:30am for a $5 entrance fee. Great stuff, great bargains and all for a great cause. The BARN is located at 9541 Linton Hall Road in Bristow.

· Beacon Adult Literacy needs volunteer tutors to teach conversation or computer literacy to ESL students in the Manassas area. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more and join the next volunteer training.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for a volunteer to help their client self-publish a book. Experience is not necessary only your interest. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext.232 to learn more.

· Literacy Volunteers of America- Prince William need volunteer tutors to work with adults in the Woodbridge area. No experience necessary as you will get all the skills needed at their tutor training beginning in May. You can be a life-changer. Please call (703) 670-5702 or visit their website at: lvapw.org to learn more.

· The Alzheimer’s Association needs volunteers to join their planning committee for the next walk on October 17th in Manassas. Please call Sonya at (703) 766-9025 to learn more.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

There are lots of free, family-friendly attractions and events in the Prince William area

Prince William & Manassas offers exceptional activities and unique attractions for people of all ages to enjoy! Everyone has hectic schedules and lives filled with work, driving and stress. However, it’s important to pause, take a breath and appreciate what your area has to offer. Here are some family friendly attractions and events that are easy on the wallet and sure to please.

Attractions:

  • National Museum of the Marine Corps – Enjoy an interactive and education tour of the museum at no charge. Admission is totally free and the exhibits have plenty of kid friendly features that make for a wonderful family day out.
  • Manassas National Battlefield – Pack a picnic lunch and take the family for a hike through the historic battlefields where the Civil War began. A scenic getaway from the hustle and bustle of your everyday routine.

Events:

  • Greater Manassas St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Bringing the spirit of St. Patrick to the Greater Manassas Area, this parade is back for the 16th The parade will run through Historic Downtown Manassas on Saturday March 14th from 11:00a.m. to 12:15 p.m. So put on your green and join the fun!
  • Live Well Festival – Head on over to the Harris Pavilion on April 18th for free health screenings, fitness classes, kid activities, entertainment, and more. The historic downtown merchants will also be hosting their biannual sidewalk sale! Recycle those gently used household items or clothes to a worthy cause, visit with the recycling and environmental exhibitors, and help the kids make earth friendly art projects.
  • Arts Alive! – Enjoy live performances and exhibits by local artists and ensembles at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on May 2nd from 12pm – 4pm. Participate in hands-on activities, live demonstrations, and workshops for all ages! Food and craft vendors will be onsite too.
  • Picnic With Painters – Enjoy live music, games and your picnic lunch on the lawn of the Liberia Planation May 17th from 12pm – 4pm. Painters will be set up at the event painting the picnic scenes throughout the afternoon.

To learn more about our attractions and things to do in Prince William & Manassas please visit discoverpwm.com Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/pwcmanassas or tweet with us at @Discoverpwm and show us how you make a memory in Prince William & Manassas.

Call to Action: Birmingham Green Senior Living looking for volunteer guitar players

Good morning  – its official – spring and warm weather are right around the corner and you can kick it off in style with the Shindig Jig 5K to benefit the Rainbow Therapeutic Riding program on Saturday March 14 at Silver Lake Regional Park. Check in at 8:30am and race time is 10am. Come with your 3 person team for just $25 each or by yourself for $40. All proceeds benefit this wonderful program. Please visit: rainbowriding.org to register.

· BARN Transitional Housing is kicking off spring with their 1st. Yard Sale of the season on Saturday March 14th as well. It runs from 8am-12noon or you can access the early bird shopping at 7:30am for a $5 entrance fee. Great stuff, great bargains and all for a great cause. The BARN is located at 9541 Linton Hall Road in Bristow.

· Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers to judge science projects at the PW – Manassas Regional Science Fair from 9am-10am. Please call (571) 285-3772 to learn more.

· The 2nd fun need is volunteers are needed at the 24th Annual SERVE Bowl a Thon in Manassas from 1pm-4pm. Tasks include set up, greeting participants, handing out t-shirts and other general tasks. It’s a great opportunity for teens age 16+ or younger with their parent. This super fun day is very important to the SERVE families. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org for all the specifics. And then don’t forget about the BEACON Event: Keep Reading…

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