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Announcing the new 55+ Active Adult Membership at the Manassas Park Community Center

The Manassas Park Community Center is very excited to announce our new Active Adult membership.

This membership is exclusively designed for individuals 55-64 years old and is only $15/month with 6 and 12 month options. The membership includes access to the gymnasium, pool, and wellness centers as well as all land and water group exercise classes, one fitness orientation, one fitness assessment, and two 30 minute personal training sessions.

This exciting new membership was created based on member feedback and proven demand over the last couple years. Until now our only Active Adult membership option was our Senior Passport membership which is only $30/year. However, this membership is only available for individuals 65 years and older.

As the senior programming became increasingly popular requests to expand our membership offerings also grew. The result was the creation of the new Active Adult membership.

Trying to stay fit? The Active Adult membership includes a number of wellness based classes!

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Senior Strength and Stretch offers a challenging workout that is low impact, but still meets your fitness needs.

Mixed gentle yoga focuses on your core and improves balance with easy-going, gentle yoga poses.

Aquasize is a water based exercise class that offers muscle toning in a low impact environment.

One of our most popular programs is Pickleball which is described as a combination of tennis and badminton.

Looking to learn something new or meet new people? Going Global is an opportunity to experience the diversity within our communities where you can learn about a variety of cultures through photos, stories, and food.

Piano/keyboard lessons offer a chance to explore your musical side whether you’re a beginner or a novice.

If you’re crafty, Social Knitting and Crafting for a Cause are two programs where you can learn to knit or crochet while creating projects for yourself or others to donate. The monthly senior potluck allows you to reconnect with friends in a casual environment.

Easy Gourmet is a hands-on cooking class where you learn to make quick and easy fourfive ingredient recipes.

Road Trip 66 State-to-State is a program where you can experience the diversity of our own country – think of it as a domestic Going Global! All of these programs and more are included in the new Active Adult membership!

Come meet our Senior Recreation Specialist, Bethiah Shuemaker, who has been at the forefront of creating all new senior programs for spring!

We hope to see you soon here at the Manassas Park Community Center!

The future of retail in the City of Manassas: Why some stores are perfect, and some aren’t

retail shopping in Manassas

The City of Manassas recently completed a retail study using H. Blount Hunter Retail & Real Estate Research Co. The study was designed to examine the market and trade area from the perspective of a retailer. This economic analysis is intended to assist in recruiting retail businesses to Manassas and guide future planning and development efforts.

The City analyzed several existing and potential retail trade areas where shoppers can find a mix of chain and independent businesses. These areas are primarily located on transportation corridors and include Sudley Road, Mathis Avenue, Liberia Avenue, and Route 28/Nokesville Road.  

The analysis also included Historic Downtown which is both on a transportation corridor and is a destination center. Hunter identified several sites within these areas that are well-positioned to capitalize on emerging consumer trends and market factors. 

Route 28

For example, residential development has been successfully sustaining retailers along Route 28. It is a high-visibility area that is well traveled, which are benefits that are attractive to retailers. And, in the next few years, Manassas Gateway between Godwin Drive and the Prince William Parkway will begin developing with an exciting mix of housing, office space, entertainment businesses, and retail space. New residents, office workers plus visitors to the planned hotel, Heritage Brewing and other planned attractions will generate the critical foot traffic that new retailers want.

Mathis Avenue and Centreville Road

Another area for retail development is along Mathis Avenue and Centreville Road. This major commuter route is lined with businesses that generally offer “convenience goods.” 

There is incredible potential for refreshing the look of the existing shopping centers with façade improvements and enhancing parking lots with landscaping to completely change their appearance. Aesthetic improvements can go a long way in helping to fill vacancies as well as to attract high-quality tenants. Also, the large parking lots offer plenty of room for developing pad sites along Mathis Avenue, which means more commercial buildings can be built within them to create space for new businesses.

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Downtown

In Downtown Manassas the unique historic district is set apart from other commercial areas in the region because it is filled with independent restaurants and retailers that can’t be enjoyed anywhere else. It offers an attractive sense of place, a storied history, a year-long calendar of events, and experience-driven visits from local residents as well as people who come from miles away.  

Hunter points out that unlike other shopping areas in the D.C. Metro region, shoppers will travel greater distances to the downtown for the “powerful combination of community events, dining, and specialty shopping in a walking environment that has niche appeal.” 

New development opportunities may present themselves along areas that are underutilized – such as the commuter parking lots surrounding the Manassas Museum — and can accommodate new, mixed-use construction. Future development can likely attract even more boutiques, galleries, and restaurants, especially since most chain businesses require bigger spaces than what is available there.

Chain businesses have very specific requirements

Retail development is a complex process. Residents of a community frequently ask that a specific retailer be recruited to the City; however, retailers, especially large chain businesses, have very specific requirements that they look for when choosing a new location. These include a minimum building size, access to highways, and certain customer demographics – typically income levels. 

Since the City can’t grow in size, the retail that Manassas can recruit has to fit within the existing buildings or on the vacant land that is available. Each retailer’s preference for where they want to open a location is different, too. Some want to be near their competition and others want to be near other stores that appeal to similar customers. 

All chains avoid opening new locations in close proximity to their existing locations because they don’t want a new store to steal sales away from an existing one. This is why your favorite store in a nearby town might not open another location in the City. 

For example specialty retailers currently located in Fair Lakes, Potomac Mills, and the growing commercial corridors in Gainesville to the west may not be able to locate in Manassas. Consumers travel greater distances to take advantage of these mall environments and consequently the retailers will space their locations much further apart.

Why a cashier asks for your zip code

Many people don’t realize what a complex science retailers practice when siting new stores. In addition to analyzing complementary and competitor businesses, they use demographic information, drive times and zip code data which they get from your credit card company whether you shop in a physical store or online and when you otherwise provide it. Have you ever wondered why a cashier asks for your zip code when checking out with your purchase?

Choosing poorly is the worst decision a retailer can make. In addition to the capital cost of opening a new store, companies lock into lengthy leases. Plus, closing a store can tarnish a company’s image in the eyes of the consumer who wonders why the business failed and may attribute it to other peoples use and perception of the product.

For a City of approximately 40,000 people, Manassas has more opportunities for retail development than experts typically anticipate for communities of that size. This is because there is a customer base of about 150,000 people within a five mile radius, which builds the potential for retail recruitment.  

Future development opportunities and destination commercial districts means there is a lot in store for retailing in Manassas.

This post is written as part of a paid content partnership between Potomac Local and City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city.

Parades, pancakes, ornaments, & Santa pet photos: Don’t miss holiday fun at the Manassas Park Community Center

 

‘Tis the Season at the Manassas Park Community Center!

There’s just something about the holiday season that makes it one of my favorite times of the year. Maybe it’s because this is the season for spreading happiness, togetherness, and well-wishes to everybody you meet. To help you get into the spirit of the season the Manassas Park Community Center has lots of special events lined up!

The festivities kick off on Thursday, December 3 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. where you and your family can decorate dough ornaments for only $3 a person. You can literally create a lifelong memory to include on your Christmas tree or to keep at your desk all year round.

As a baking enthusiast, nothing brings me more holiday cheer than gingerbread houses! You and your family can decorate your own gingerbread houses Thursday, December 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for just $5 per participant. We’ll supply everything but feel free to bring your own special candy to make your houses extra unique.

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Our popular 10th Annual Light Parade is on Saturday, December 12 starting at 5:45 p.m. There’s a new route this year! It will start at the General’s Ridge Golf Course and follow Manassas Drive to the Manassas Park Community Center. There’s still time to have your vehicle be a part of the parade. Contact Tony Thomas at t.thomas@manassasparkva.gov for more details.

Santa will be visiting the Manassas Park Community Center for a pancake breakfast on Saturday, December 19 from 9 to 11 a.m. It’s only $5 per person for Breakfast with Santa and kids 2 years old and under can join us for free. Make sure to bring your wishlist!

Your pups can meet Santa on December 19 as well! From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. bring your dogs to take pictures with Santa during our Santa Paws special event! It’s only $5 per dog and you’ll get a high quality digital photo to keep for years to come.

In addition to all of our special events, our monthly promotion gets in on the holiday action! Get 12% off an annual Basic or All-Access membership or 12% off any rental you book during the month of December! For more details on memberships and rentals you can visit our website at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call the front desk at 703-335-8872.

We hope to see you soon here at the Manassas Park Community Center!

News
Call to Action: Children in need of healthy sack lunches

Good morning  – The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift Program needs your help- Come share the joy of the season with a child.  We provide the child’s name, age and their 2 wishes from Santa. This promises to put you in the spirit!  I still have over 1200 children needing toys and warm clothes.  Please visit our website at: volunteerprincewilliam.org for more info and fill out a donor form.  I can provide all the info on the child right away.  You can be shopping tomorrow!

• The Manassas Christmas Parade still needs a few volunteers to help out along the parade route in Old Town Manassas on Saturday December 5th. This is tons of fun. Please email Nora at: nora@greenteaminc.com for more info.

• Contract Solutions is looking for groups of volunteers especially youth groups to assemble bags of needed essentials for individuals staying at the Woodbridge homeless shelter. This is the perfect off-site project! Lunch size bags should be filled with new socks, snacks, candy bars and personal toiletry items. The folks at Contract Solutions deliver these Hope in a Bag every other week from now through March. It’s an on-going project of simple joy to our neighbors. Please call Carole at (703) 686-4846 for more info or via email at: pwlcarole@gmail.com • SERVE is looking for 3 groups who can make 80 sack lunches for a Nutrition Education Outreach for children on December 5th. The sack lunches need to be assembled and delivered to SERVE on December 4th. Groups provide the food, lunch bags, sandwich bags and napkins. Come be part of the solution of teaching our kids good eating habits. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs,org for more info.

• NBC 4 is looking for volunteers at their next community shredding event on Saturday December 12th at the Manassas NVCC Campus from 7am-12 noon. Volunteers age 14+ are most welcome. Please register with Claudia at: charris@kpwb.org or give her a call at (571) 285-3772 to learn more.

• The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to ring the bells at Red Kettles at area Walmart, Giant and Safeway stores between now and Christmas Eve. This program helps people throughout the year. Please call Katie at (703) 618-0511 to learn more.

• Meal on Wheels is looking for a volunteer to coordinate the service to the Gainesville/Haymarket area. Duties include picking up the meals at the Manassas Senior Center and delivering them to the warming station in Gainesville so other volunteers can deliver them to the seniors in the area. There has been a tremendous increase of seniors in the Gainesville area needing nice warm lunchtime meal and this volunteer opportunity sounds like a wonderful solution. Please call Melodee at (703) 792-4583 to learn more.

• The Novant Health Foundation is looking for volunteers to serve on their Gala Committee. Duties include securing donations for the auction at their Annual Gala onFebruary 27, 2016. This is a big event that helps tons of people in our community. Please call Abby at (703) 369-8201 to learn more • Historic Manassas needs volunteers at the Visitor Center during traditional business hours. This is fun place with people from all over the world stopping in to gather historical information on our community. Please call Erin at (703) 361-6599 for more info.

• The VETS Program of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to drive veterans and/or their spouses to their doctors’ appointments. Most of these appointments are local. They do have one client needing a ride from Manassas to Landsdown on December 8th. Please call Coleen at (571) 292-5307 to learn more about these vets and how you can give them the ride they need.

• Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers to get the brand new ReStore ready to go as well as the current location. Tasks include getting donations on the floor- especially all the holiday decorations. Please visit their website at: habitatpwc.org for all the specifics and to register for any of these fun events or email Tammy at:volunteer@habitatpwc.org

• Nominate your volunteers! The 2016 Virginia Governor’s Volunteerism & Community Service Awards Program is open for you to nominate your wonderful volunteers. It’s really easy to do right on-line at: vavolunteerismawards.org. The deadline for nominations is December 16, 2015 so you have a little time but don’t forget to do it.

• 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 atwww.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.

Leave the stress of the season behind! Shop Small in the City of Manassas

 

Shop for olive oil, home décor, fashion, pottery, fair trade goods, jewelry, books, antiques and collectibles, musical instruments, quilting supplies, and spiritual items

When it comes to holiday shopping, you can choose between two completely different experiences next week.

On Black Friday, you can rise before the sun and get ready to fight frenzied crowds. You can endure long lines as you frantically attempt to snag limited-time, mega deals on big-ticket items.

Or, on Small Business Saturday, you can instead enjoy a leisurely day browsing independently owned businesses, discovering unique gifts and specialty items, enjoying attentive customer service, and sitting down for a relaxing meal with friends and family.

There are many independently owned shops across the City of Manassas where fantastic, one-of-a-kind gifts are waiting for you on Saturday, November. 28.

In Historic Downtown Manassas, retailers will open early at 9 a.m. to welcome shoppers through their doors. You can park once and stroll for hours while finding something for everyone.  To get an idea of the wide range of retailers in the downtown, take a look at VisitManassas.org’s merchant directory.

Explore specialty boutiques that offer premium food from wine to olive oil, home décor, fashion, pottery, fair trade goods, jewelry, books, antiques and collectibles, musical instruments, quilting supplies, and spiritual items. Leave the stress of the season behind! In between your purchases, pick up a warm beverage, take a spin around the ice-skating rink at the Harris Pavilion, and enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the independently owned restaurants.

If you have history buffs on your list, there is no better place to visit than Echoes, the Manassas Museum shop. It features a wide array of merchandise that celebrates local history and culture. From children’s toys to Civil War collectibles to souvenirs – you will find many distinctive presents here that are not available elsewhere.

For shoppers pressed for time, a drive along Liberia Avenue to The Shops at Signal Hill, the Fairview Shopping Center, and the Davis Ford Crossing Shopping Center will offer you the convenience of running errands, buying groceries, and shopping “small.”

Discoveries here will delight the people on your list who hard to shop for. You can find gifts for antique seekers, archers, coin and military memorabilia collectors, art enthusiasts, cyclists, foodies, and cigar connoisseurs. And, you can save time by not cooking and stopping into one of the ethnic eateries or your other local favorites here.

If you are cruising down Centreville Road, don’t miss stopping into one of the antique shops that could very well have that rare piece you have been looking for. There are also several niche boutiques that can satisfy very specific wish lists – like bowling supplies, dancewear, signature pieces of jewelry, and vinyl records.

The desire to “buy local” has been growing in popularity over the years. American Express, the force behind Small Business Saturday, estimates that shoppers spent a total of $14.3 billion at independent businesses in 2014. This spending significantly impacts a community. Studies have shown that for every $100 that is spent at an independently owned business, approximately $45 is re-spent in the local community. This is often because those business owners live locally and recirculate their earnings back into their hometowns, conduct business with other local establishments, make charitable donations, and put local employees on their payrolls.

On the flip side, for every $100 spent at a national chain business, only approximately $14 goes back to the local community.

For shoppers who love spending time at independent businesses, shifting a portion of their holiday dollars will make a difference in supporting their community and their favorite merchants. Show your love for your favorite shops and choose Small Business Saturday next week!

Manassas is bucking the national trend and welcoming younger entrepreneurs to the city

A wave of business owners under the age of 35 has been bringing both new energy and great new destinations to the City of Manasass.

This activity comes at a time when the rate of entrepreneurship among young Americans has been falling across the U.S. While the Kauffman Foundation recorded the lowest rate of entrepreneurship in 17 years among people between the ages of 20 to 34, the City has been attracting this demographic.

Some of the forces driving this trend include a local culture of support for independent businesses, a collaborative business environment, and a strong sense of community.

There is no greater encouragement for an entrepreneur than the vote of confidence that support from the community can bring. Sean Arroyo, the CEO and co-founder of Heritage Brewing Company, used Kickstarter to see if locals would get behind his brewery concept.

Kickstarter is an online fundraising platform through which business owners can make sales pitches to raise money for their ideas. He met his goal and raised more than $20,000 from 166 backers three years ago. Support for Heritage continues to grow. A planned expansion will make it the second largest brewery in the state.

“It was funded mostly by people in and around Manassas and Northern Virginia,” said Arroyo. “It signaled to us that people want us here.”

Strong local support makes locating in Manassas an obvious choice for other business owners, too. Chase Hoover, co-owner of The Bone barbecue restaurant, says his family has been involved with businesses in Manassas for generations. Opening The Bone in the City was a “no-brainer” for him because he likes being in a community with so many independently owned businesses and strong support for buying local.

“The hospitality industry in Downtown Manassas is made up of many young entrepreneurs, which gives the city an energetic, unique flair you can’t find anywhere else,” said Hoover. “We love working with the other [local] restaurant owners to put on special events such as the weekly live music and numerous festivals throughout the year.  It is truly a small town where everyone works together toward the common goal of bringing great food and a great experience to visitors and locals alike.”

Miguel Pires, the owner of Zandra’s Taqueria, also cites the spirit of the community as a factor for opening his business in the City. He says he was raised in his family’s restaurants – Carmello’s and Monza – and worked as a general manager for both establishments for 10 years. When the time had come to open Zandra’s, Pires chose Manassas because he “wanted to continue to expand downtown’s culinary experience.” 

Chris Sellers, the owner of CJ Finz, credits the small-scale buildings in the historic downtown for giving restaurants a more intimate feel and an opportunity to focus on customer service.

“The restaurants here aren’t commercialized,” he said. “We get to build a connection to the community through each table that we serve.”

Business owners who are active with community organizations and civic groups strengthen that connection to the City even more. “People like me, Miguel, and others are excited about being the next leaders of the downtown,” said Sellers.

Entrepreneurs of any age can take advantage of area support services to get their business idea off the ground and join this community. The City’s Economic Development Department’s staff members are available to discuss the local economy, business ideas, great sites for locating new establishments, incentives, and the steps in starting a business.

Also, training and advice is available from George Mason University’s Mason Enterprise Centers, the Community Business Partnership, and the Flory Small Business Center (by referral).

News
Meals on Wheels needs help in Gainesville, Haymarket

Good morning Prince William – The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift Program is underway- sponsors are needed to provide holiday gifts to needy children in the community. We provide the child’s name, age and their 2 wishes from Santa. This promises to put you in the spirit! I still have over 1400 children needing toys. Please visit our website at: volunteerprincewilliam.org for more info and fill out a donor form. I can provide all the info on the child right away. You can be shopping tomorrow!

· The Manassas Christmas Parade still needs a few volunteers to help out along the parade route in Old Town Manassas on Saturday December 5. This is tons of fun. Please email Nora at: nora@greenteaminc.com for more info.

· SERVE is looking for 3 groups who can make 80 sack lunches for a Nutrition Education Outreach for children on December 5th. The sack lunches need to be assembled and delivered to SERVE on December 4th. Groups provide the food, lunch bags, sandwich bags and napkins. Come be part of the solution of teaching our kids good eating habits. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs,org for more info.

· The FH Furr Coat Drive for needy children is well under way and we need your help. This week all of the United Bank locations in our community will have specific sizes of NEW coats needed right now for underprivileged kids. Those locations are: Dumfries, Lake Ridge, Liberia Road and Balls Ford Road. We will gladly find a deserving child for any donated coat for age’s birth to 12yrs old but how fun to shop specifically for a child as winter approaches! Other drop off locations includes the Kelly Leadership Center, Battlefield Garden Center and of course Volunteer Prince William. Please call Mary at (703) 369-5292-ext. 4 with any questions.

· The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to ring the bells at Red Kettles at area Walmart, Giant and Safeway stores between now and Christmas Eve. This program helps people throughout the year. Please call Katie at (703) 618-0511 to learn more.

· Meals on Wheels is looking for a volunteer to coordinate the service to the Gainesville/Haymarket area. Duties include picking up the meals at the Manassas Senior Center and delivering them to the warming station in Gainesville so other volunteers can deliver them to the seniors in the area. There has been a tremendous increase of seniors in the Gainesville area needing nice warm lunchtime meal and this volunteer opportunity sounds like a wonderful solution. Please call Melodee at (703) 792-4583 to learn more.

· The Novant Health Foundation is looking for volunteers to serve on their Gala Committee. Duties include securing donations for the auction at their Annual Gala on February 27, 2016. This is a big event that helps tons of people in our community. Please call Abby at (703) 369-8201 to learn more

· Historic Manassas needs volunteers at the Visitor Center during traditional business hours. This is fun place with people from all over the world stopping in to gather historical information on our community. Please call Erin at (703) 361-6599 for more info.

· Birthright of Manassas needs volunteers to help in the office with basic admin tasks. This organization provides services to women in the Manassas area. Please call Kathy at (703) 361-9769 for more info.

· The VETS Program of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to drive veterans and/or their spouses to their doctors’ appointments. Most of these appointments are local. They do have one client needing a ride from Manassas to Landsdown on December 8th. Please call Coleen at (571) 292-5307 to learn more about these vets and how you can give them the ride they need.

· Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers to get the brand new ReStore ready to go as well as the current location. Tasks include getting donations on the floor- especially all the holiday decorations. Please visit their website at: habitatpwc.org for all the specifics and to register for any of these fun events or email Tammy at: volunteer@habitatpwc.org

· Nominate your volunteers! The 2016 Virginia Governor’s Volunteerism & Community Service Awards Program is open for you to nominate your wonderful volunteers. It’s really easy to do right on-line at: vavolunteerismawards.org. The deadline for nominations is December 16, 2015 so you have a little time but don’t forget to do it.

· 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.

Manassas Park Community Center starts ‘thank you’ pandemic to spread gratefulness

Don’t be alarmed, but in case you hadn’t heard summer is over and the Thanksgiving season is here.

Now is the season where people make a special effort to recount all the things they are thankful for in their lives. For many, it has become a tradition to share this list at the dinner table on Thanksgiving before eating.

Being mindful of your gratitude helps make you a happier person and, as happiness is contagious, it will make others around you happier as well. While it’s a wonderful and fun tradition to practice during Thanksgiving, the benefits of gratefulness can be enjoyed year round.

However, being grateful and focusing on what you are grateful for isn’t enough.

It’s easy to neglect to use the phrase, “thank you,” but those two simple words carry so much meaning. Thank you can reinforce and strengthen bonds we share with others.

When you say thank you to the person who makes your lunch in the morning, to your child who finishes their chores, or to your favorite cashier ringing up your purchase you express that you value that individual. Regardless of how monotonous, simple, or mandatory the task is, it should always be acknowledged and appreciated verbally.

Remember, gratefulness spreads happiness, but how can you express gratitude if you never say “thank you?”

Why do people neglect to say thank you? There are probably a myriad of reasons beyond my scope of knowledge and it’s easy to compile a list of cynical reasons – but let’s not create an anti-grateful list during the season of gratitude.

Instead let’s challenge each other to say a sincere and genuine thank you every day. Say it 10 times. Say it 100 times. Thank you is a rare phrase that has meaning no matter how frequently it is repeated.

Once you start saying thank you to others you’ll instantly notice others will start saying thank you to you. If happiness is contagious, and gratitude creates happiness, then it shouldn’t be surprising gratitude is contagious as well.

I’d like to start this gratitude pandemic. From me and on behalf of the entire City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, we’d like to thank you for all that you do. Even if we haven’t met yet, thank you. If we have met, thank you. Thank you for visiting our parks and our community center and giving value to the work that we do here. You are our community and we are here to work together to build our community up together.

To add further meaning behind our gratitude and to help spread our gratitude we are offering two specials this month. On Thursdays (through November 19) you can donate 10 non-perishable food items in order to receive 10% off a Basic or All-Access membership at the Manassas Park Community Center.  

From November 27 through December 4, we will be launching our ‘Friends and Family’ promotion where we share our employee discount with all of you. During that week only, you can get a Basic membership for 25% off.

For more details please contact us at 703-335-8872.

News
Call to Action: Warm coats needed now

Good morning Prince William – The FH Furr Coat Drive for needy children is well under way and we need your help. This week all of the United Bank locations in our community will have specific sizes of NEW coats needed right now for underprivileged kids. Those locations are: Dumfries, Lake Ridge, Liberia Road and Balls Ford Road. We will gladly find a deserving child for any donated coat for age’s birth to 12yrs old but how fun to shop specifically for a child as winter approaches! Other drop off locations includes the Kelly Leadership Center, Battlefield Garden Center and of course Volunteer Prince William. Please call Mary at (703) 369-5292-ext. 4 with any questions.

· Coat Drive – I have one special family that needs a boy’s size 14-16, girl’s size large, women’s large and men’s large. Please call me if you can help this family – (703) 369-5292 ext. 4

· Ho, Ho, Ho – The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift Program is underway- sponsors are needed to provide holiday gifts to needy children in the community. We provide the child’s name, age and their 2 wishes from Santa. Please visit our website at: volunteerprincewilliam.org to adopt a child.

· Historic Manassas needs volunteers at the Visitor Center during traditional business hours. This is fun place with people from all over the world stopping in to gather historical information on our community. Please call Erin at (703) 361-6599 for more info.

· Birthright of Manassas needs volunteers to help in the office with basic admin tasks. This organization provides services to women in the Manassas area. Please call Kathy at (703) 361-9769 for more info.

· Buckhall UMC is having their Annual Fall Bazaar on Saturday November 14th from 9am-3pm. This is sure to jumpstart your holiday shopping and bring home some fabulous home baked cakes, pies and bread for the weekend.

· The Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center needs supplies and basics for their residents such as shower curtains, winter coats, scarves, gloves and socks for adults and children, plus size clothing, bus tokens, winter boots for all as well as underwear, bath towels and blankets. Items can be dropped off at the shelter on Route 1 in Woodbridge or give Pam a call at (571) 748-2537 for more info.

· 2015 Greater Manassas Veterans Day Parade on Saturday November 7th needs volunteers beginning at 7am for orientation at the American Legion Post 10 on Cockrell Road, Manassas. Everything wraps up by 12:30. Please email Russ at: russ@keatinghome.com if you can help with this wonderful event.

· Prince William Soil & Water needs volunteers on Thursday November 12th for their meaningful watershed experience program for a third grade class. This promises to be a hoot. Please email Alysha at: education@pwswcd.org to learn more.

· The VETS Program of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to drive veterans and/or their spouses to their doctors’ appointments. Most of these appointments are local. They especially have a need in the Gainesville, Bristow and Haymarket area. They also have a very special lady with a spinal injury who needs to get to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland. Please call Coleen at (571) 292-5307 to learn more about these vets and how you can give them the ride they need.

· Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers to get the brand new ReStore ready to go. Tasks include flooring, painting, carpentry and others as well to get ready for the opening in late November. Please visit their website at: habitatpwc.org for all the specifics and to register for any of these fun events or email Tammy at: volunteer@habitatpwc.org

· Nominate your volunteers! The 2016 Virginia Governor’s Volunteerism & Community Service Awards Program is open for you to nominate your wonderful volunteers. It’s really easy to do right on-line at: vavolunteerismawards.org. The deadline for nominations is December 16, 2015 so you have a little time but don’t forget to do it.

· Saved Hands Foundation is looking for volunteers to help with marketing, admin tasks and grant writing. Please call Pamela at (571) 572-9013 to learn more.

· Catholic Charities- Hogar Immigrant Services needs volunteer teachers at their Woodbridge location. Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings 7-9pm. No experience needed as materials and training provided. Please call Cynthia at (571) 208-1572 ext. 103 to learn more.

· Pathway Homes in Woodbridge needs volunteers as friendly visitors and to help out in their group homes for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Please call Abigail at (703) 876-0390 to learn more about these activities.

· Neighbors in Need are looking for volunteer help in the office answering the phones and other admin duties during daytime hours. Please email Mrs. Cahill at: helping@neighborsinneedpwc.bpweb.com 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.

News
When trying to schedule a debate between Parrish & McPike, Parrish pushed back the most

Potomac Local, like many organizations, tried to get Hal Parrish and Jeremy McPike on stage for a debate this election season.

To our dismay, and to many of those who looked forward to the debate, it never happened. But it was not for lack of trying.

Our community news organization held more debates this year than we ever have held during our five years covering Prince William County. Candidates for state and local offices agreed to meet to debate and discuss the issues facing our community.

Potomac Local worked with the Republican and Democratic committees of Prince William County to secure the public schools we used as venues to hold these debates. 

The debates were well attended, and discussion sparked from them made voters better informed. Our debates were far from perfect, but they were substantive.

Potomac Local didn’t sell sponsorships for the debate, and no one from my company was paid to be there. It was a true public service.

This summer, Potomac Local worked tirelessly to bring together McPike, Parrish, officials in the respective political parties, church pastors, and business leaders to come to agreement on when and where both candidates could meet.

We first secured Bull Run Unitarian Chruch in Manassas as our debate venue due to its central location in the Prince William region. Parrish’s campaign declined to participate and cited parking constraints as the reason.

We then secured a large meeting room at the offices of Home Instead Senior Care in Manassas. The McPike campaign did not want to debate there as they felt the location would be too close to Manassas Councilman Ian Lovejoy, who serves on the council with Parrish and manages the Home Instead offices.

Finally, we secured an auditorium inside a Prince William County Public School. The Parrish campaign declined to participate if the Prince William Chamber of Commerce did not participate in the event.

Potomac Local is a member of the Chamber, and I also know it tried unsuccessfully to bring McPike and Parrish to the table. Many who watch state politics closely, including Dr. Stephen Farnsworth, who co-moderated several of our debates, were eager to attend a debate featuring both candidates.

Potomac Local does not endorse political candidates. I know Parrish from covering the Manassas City Council where he serves as Mayor. I know McPike from my years of covering the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department where he volunteers.

McPike won a debate Potomac Local hosted in May, featuring two Democrats running against him in a Primary Election. It would have been nice to see if could do it all over again had been able to stand next to Parrish and debate the issues.

Another debate Potomac Local tried to organize at the Manassas Park Community Center, between Robert Marshall and Don Shaw was canceled after Marshall declined to participate. 

Uriah Kiser is the founder and publisher of PotomacLocal.com.

News
Call to Action: FH Furr holds coat drive for needy children

Good morning Prince William – Here’s a huge Cheers to the FH Furr Coat Drive for needy children. Coats for age’s birth to 12 years old are needed to keep kids warm. You may drop off the coats to any United Bank in our community, the Kelly Leadership Center, Battlefield Garden Center and of course Volunteer Prince William. Please call Mary at (703) 369-5292-ext. 4 with any questions.

· Coat Drive – I have one special family that needs a boy’s size 14-16, girl’s size large, women’s large and men’s large. Please call me if you can help this family – (703) 369-5292 ext. 4

· Ho, Ho, Ho – The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift Program is underway- sponsors are needed to provide holiday gifts to needy children in the community. We provide the child’s name, age and their 2 wishes from Santa. Please visit our website at: volunteerprincewilliam.org to adopt a child.

· The Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center needs supplies and basics for their residents such as shower curtains, winter coats, scarves, gloves and socks for adults and children, plus size clothing, bus tokens, winter boots for all as well as underwear, bath towels and blankets. Items can be dropped off at the shelter on Route 1 in Woodbridge or give Pam a call at (571) 748-2537 for more info.

· 2015 Greater Manassas Veterans Day Parade on Saturday November 7th needs volunteers beginning at 7am for orientation at the American Legion Post 10 on Cockrell Road, Manassas. Everything wraps up by 12:30. Please email Russ at: russ@keatinghome.com if you can help with this wonderful event.

· Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers on October 31st for a shredding event at both landfill locations and on November 4th for their fun litter survey event. Please call Claudia at (571) 285-3772 to learn more.

· Prince William Soil & Water needs volunteers on Thursday November 12th for their meaningful watershed experience program for a third grade class. This promises to be a hoot. Please email Alysha at: education@pwswcd.org to learn more.

· The VETS Program of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to drive veterans and/or their spouses to their doctors’ appointments. Most of these appointments are local. They especially have a need in the Gainesville, Bristow and Haymarket area. They also have a very special lady with a spinal injury who needs to get to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland. Please call Coleen at (571) 292-5307 to learn more about these vets and how you can give them the ride they need.

· Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers to get the brand new ReStore ready to go. Tasks include flooring, painting, carpentry and others as well to get ready for the opening in late November. Please visit their website at: habitatpwc.org for all the specifics and to register for any of these fun events or email Tammy at: volunteer@habitatpwc.org

· Nominate your volunteers! The 2016 Virginia Governor’s Volunteerism & Community Service Awards Program is open for you to nominate your wonderful volunteers. It’s really easy to do right on-line at: vavolunteerismawards.org. The deadline for nominations is December 16, 2015 so you have a little time but don’t forget to do it.

· Saved Hands Foundation is looking for volunteers to help with marketing, admin tasks and grant writing. Please call Pamela at (571) 572-9013 to learn more.

· Catholic Charities- Hogar Immigrant Services needs volunteer teachers at their Woodbridge location. Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings 7-9pm. No experience needed as materials and training provided. Please call Cynthia at (571) 208-1572 ext. 103 to learn more.

· Pathway Homes in Woodbridge needs volunteers as friendly visitors and to help out in their group homes for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Please call Abigail at (703) 876-0390 to learn more about these activities.
· Neighbors in Need are looking for volunteer help in the office answering the phones and other admin duties during daytime hours. Please email Mrs. Cahill at: helping@neighborsinneedpwc.bpweb.com 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.

Chinese travel to Manassas to learn about local government

When delegates of the Shaoxing Yuecheng District in China were looking for an American local government to learn from, they selected the City of Manassas.  

On Oct. 20, 2015, the City of Manassas hosted five members of the Shaoxing Yuecheng Delegation from China.  Vice Mayor Way and City Manager W. Patrick Pate put together a team of senior staff to speak to the group.  The group heard from the Chief of Police, Voter Registrar, Treasurer, City Attorney and the Purchasing Manager about local government processes and transparency in government.

Members of the delegation were impressed to learn that the Manassas City Police Department is in the top one percent of police departments internationally as evidenced by their current CALEA rating.  Delegates asked questions as to which agency, out of the Federal government, state or local governments were responsible for the different aspects of government, such as elections and public safety.

At the end of the event, members posed for a group photo.  Members from the City of Manassas include City Manager W. Patrick Pate, Vice Mayor Jonathan Way, Purchasing Manager Jimmy Falls, Treasurer Robin Perkins, Voting Registrar Ann Marie Bausch and Director of Economic Development Patrick Small.  The Shaoxing Yuecheng Delegation included Mr. Jin Quanhai, Vice Secretary, CPC Yuecheng District Committee of Shaoxing City, Mr. Chen Jirui, Town Chief, Yuecheng Lingzhi Town People’s Government of Shaoxing City, Mr. Wang Yin, Director, Yucheng Fushan Sub-district Office of Shaoxing City, Mr. Zhao Xiongwei, Deputy Director Shaoxing City Yuecheng District Economy and Information Technology Bureau, and MaChao, Secretary, CPC Yuecheng Chengnan Sub-district Committee of Shaoxing City.

News
Call to Action: Volunteers needed for Manassas ‘Haunted Happenings’

Good morning Prince William – The VETS Program of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteers age 55+ to drive veterans and/or their spouses to their doctors’ appointments. Most of these appointments are local. They especially have a need in the Gainesville, Bristow and Haymarket area. They also have a very special lady with a spinal injury who needs to get to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland. Please call Coleen at (571) 292-5307 to learn more about these vets and how you can give them the ride they need.

· Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers to get the brand new ReStore ready to go. Tasks include flooring, painting, carpentry and others as well to get ready for the opening in late November. Please visit their website at: habitatpwc.org for all the specifics and to register for any of these fun events or email Tammy at: volunteer@habitatpwc.org

· Brain Injury Services is still looking for a good hearted golfer to hit golf balls with a client on Sunday afternoons at Burke Lake Park. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext. 232 to learn more.

· Project Mend-A-House cordially invites you and your family to their 15th Annual Taste of the Town on Wednesday October 28th, 6:30pm at the VFW Post 1503 on Minnieville Road. You don’t want to miss this fun event complete with dinner, prizes and much more. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Please visit their website: pmahweb.org to learn more.

· The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry presents their Haunt Away Hunger Casino and Auction on Friday October 30th, 7pm at the Evergreen Country Club. Tickets are just $60 each. Food, fun, prizes, raffles and casino games. Please visit haymarketfoodpantry.org for tickets and info.

· Nominate your volunteers! The 2016 Virginia Governor’s Volunteerism & Community Service Awards Program is open for you to nominate your wonderful volunteers. It’s really easy to do right on-line at: vavolunteerismawards.org. The deadline for nominations is December 16, 2015 so you have a little time but don’t forget to do it.

· Saved Hands Foundation is looking for volunteers to help with marketing, admin tasks and grant writing. Please call Pamela at (571) 572-9013 to learn more.

· SERVE needs volunteers to pick up donated food from local stores and bring it to the food pantry. You’ll be the solution for feeding over 800 families a month. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more.

· Catholic Charities- Hogar Immigrant Services needs volunteer teachers at their Woodbridge location. Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings 7-9pm. No experience needed as materials and training provided. Please call Cynthia at (571) 208-1572 ext. 103 to learn more.

· Historic Manassas is looking for volunteers on Saturday October 24th for their fun Haunted Happenings event as well as the new date of Fall Jubilee. This fun event includes trick or treating at local shops and fun activities throughout the Center Street are. Please email Erin at: erin@historicmanassasinc.org to learn more.

· Community Residences Group Homes in Manassas Park is having a fall clean-up on Saturday October 24th from 9am-2pm. Great way to help others and enjoy a beautiful fall day. Please email Liya at: labseno@yahoo.com for all the specifics.

· Pathway Homes in Woodbridge needs volunteers as friendly visitors and to help out in their group homes for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Please call Abigail at (703) 876-0390 to learn more about these activities.

· Volunteer Prince William invites all volunteer managers to the next Volunteer Management Training series starting October 27th from 9am-12noon and continues for the next 4 Tuesday mornings. This is a great course that includes exploring the heart of the volunteer, recruiting, training, supervising and evaluating your program. Please register for this free training series at: volunteerprincewilliam.org.

· Neighbors in Need are looking for volunteer help in the office answering the phones and other admin duties during daytime hours. Please email Mrs. Cahill at: helping@neighborsinneedpwc.bpweb.com to learn more.

· MADD needs volunteers for their Annual 5K Walk/Dash on October 31st at Burke Lake from 7am-noon. Please check out their website at: walklikemadd/northernvirginia.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.

These upcoming events help you celebrate ‘Spooktacular Manassas’

Now that the leaves are starting to take on red and auburn hues and the morning air feels crisp – it means it is time to celebrate fall in Manassas! From the annual Fall Jubilee to creepy cemetery tours, there is something going on every weekend in the City. There is no better place to celebrate autumn and Halloween!

The 2015-16 season of the Manassas Ballet Theater starts on Oct. 23 with the show “Jazz in Motion,” which combines ballet with contemporary and classic jazz standards. Show your tickets to several downtown restaurants and receive a dinner & a show discount! See the complete list online. Hylton Performing Arts Center. Tickets start at $15.

Take a guided tour of the Spirits of Manassas on Oct. 24 and trace the stories of the weird and sublime. Hear about historical figures who once passed through town, including authors Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe, The Gray Ghost (John S. Mosby) who spent time at the old Opera House, and learn about strange incidents along the railroad tracks – including a ghost cow! Tours start at the Manassas Museum on the half hour from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Buy tickets at the Museum, online, or call 703-368-1873 – $15/adults; $7.50/kids 12 and under.

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Join the last bicycle tour of the season on Oct. 24 from 9 to 11 a.m. Explore historic areas around Manassas with fellow cyclists. See historic homes, the only remaining earthwork constructed in 1861 by Confederate soldiers, and more. Buy tickets at the Museum, online, or call 703-368-1873 – $5.

Swing by Haunted Happenings on Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to noon for family fun. Activities will be held in the Center for the Arts parking lot. Kids can decorate their own pumpkin and participate in a costume contest before heading into downtown businesses for trick-or-treating. 9431 West Street. Downtown Manassas. Free.

Hurricane Joaquin threatened to rain out the Annual Fall Jubilee, so it was rescheduled for Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Browse cool crafts, play games, pick out a pumpkin, and enjoy live music and dance performances. Enter pumpkin pie baking and eating contests or the cornhole tournament. Manassas. Free.

Follow the Headless Horseman to the Pied Piper Theatre company’s production of Sleepy Hollow on Oct. 24 at 2 and 7 p.m. and  at 3 p.m. Metz Middle School. 9950 Wellington Rd. Tickets start at $11.

Don’t miss taking a tour of the Manassas City Cemetery, which dates back to the 1860s, on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. Manassas is not a quiet little town where nothing ever happens! Listen to tales about the City’s most notorious figures, gory murders, criminals behaving badly, and crossed debutantes. Manassas City Cemetery at 9317 Center Street. Buy tickets at the Manassas Museum, online, or by calling 703-368-1873 – $5. (These stories are not meant for children’s ears!)

Follow the trail of balloons downtown to businesses displaying artwork by local featured artists during the Fall Gallery Walk on Friday, Nov. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. Downtown Manassas. Free.

Get a jump start on your holiday shopping and support patient care at the Holiday Bazaar at the Novant Health Prince William Medical Center on Nov. 6 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Browse handmade and one-of-a-kind items – see the website for a list of vendors. Medical Office Building, 8700 Sudley Rd., 14th floor. Free.

Join your fellow community members at the Greater Manassas Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 7 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Stop by a downtown coffee shop and settle in along the parade route along Center Street to celebrate area Veterans. Downtown Manassas. Free.

Don’t forget the farmer’s market continues to be open on Thursdays in the Harris Pavilion and Saturdays in Parking Lot B from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pick up your favorite fall staples before grabbing lunch nearby.

Find arts & crafts vendors, hayrides, food trucks at Manassas Park Fall Arts and Crafts Festival

The Manassas Park Community Center is excited to announce their first annual Fall Arts and Crafts Festival to be held on Saturday, October 17 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. This festival will feature arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, games, hayrides, and a moon bounce.

The festival is the culmination of the tireless work of many individuals. For the past four years the community center has hosted the Fall Arts and Crafts Cornucopia which focused on vendors, but the community challenged the Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation staff to create a full feature festival.

Met with the opportunity to better serve the community, the Parks and Recreation staff envisioned a festival that combined the hometown charm of art and crafts with family friendly entertainment. There has been a lot of excitement in anticipation of the event as seen in the Fall Arts and Crafts Festival Facebook event where you can also see previews of the merchandise vendors will be selling.

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Parking next to the festival, located at the Stone House off of Old Centreville Rd, will open at 9:30 a.m. Additional handicap parking will be assigned at that parking lot. Parking in front of the community center is encouraged as the hayrides will also shuttle participants to and from the festival. The community center parking lot will be open at 7 a.m. All are welcome to attend this free event.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street, Manassas Park, VA 20181. The community center features an indoor swimming pool, two fitness rooms for aerobic and strength training, and two full basketball courts. The community center also provides recreational opportunities such as programs and classes for all ages. For more information visit www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com.

Are you feeling creative? The call for the 2nd banner art contest for 2016 is open

A creative spirit and an artistic flare contribute to the City of Manassas’ “modern beat.” Once the historic downtown was designated an Arts and Tourism district, it became PL 2a growing destination for public art, galleries, and events. From works of art by local artists on display in restaurants and in City Hall to the curated shows and performances at the Center for Arts, the community embraces and celebrates creativity. This month, however, the City of Manassas’ art scene is interactive. Artists and art lovers have three opportunities to contribute to the community’s creative vibe.

First, it’s time to vote for your favorite banner on the lampposts in downtown. Historic Manassas Inc. sponsored a contest calling for banner designs and received more than 130 works of art from area artists. Faced with a tough decision, a Selection Committee chose 60 pieces of art to decorate the downtown and named the contest’s winner – “Train Station” by Kelly Willis, which featured the City’s historic depot.

But there is a second prize still up for grabs – the $500 People’s Choice Award. After months of admiring the works of art blowing in the breeze, you can now vote for your favorite. You have many choices ranging from fiery sunsets to cherry blossoms to teetering tea cups. Pick up a walking tour guide at the Manassas Visitor’s Center in the train depot and stroll downtown to view each banner one more time. Enjoy a day downtown, pick up a cup of coffee, do a little shopping, and deliberate over lunch before dropping off a ballot at the Manassas Visitor’s Center by Oct. 30.

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Are you feeling creative? The call for the second banner art contest for 2016 is now open. Artists over 16 may submit their designs and vie for a chance to be a part of Manassas’ art scene. The application and guidelines are available on Historic Manassas’ Inc.’s website. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 15, 2016. Don’t wait for the last minute. In addition to having your work on display in the community, there is a $1,000 grand prize.

Lastly, since it is never too early to get into the holiday spirit, the City has issued a call for ornaments for the holiday tree at Virginia’s Executive Mansion. All submitted ornaments will be on display at City Hall, but one lucky ornament will be sent to Richmond. The Governor is seeking one-of-a-kind, handmade ornaments that fit in with the theme, “Celebrating Virginia’s Localities.” If you have an idea for a unique way to represent the City of Manassas, drop your 6-inch ornament off at City Hall by Oct. 20. Learn more online.

News
Battlefield Garden and Stone Center fo hosting Volunteer Prince William at Fall Festival

Good morning  – Cheers to Battlefield Garden and Stone Center for hosting Volunteer Prince William at their Fall Festival on Saturday October 17th from 10am-4pm. Bring the kids and enjoy free concert, local crafters, food vendors, free kids’ activities and a beer/wine garden. All proceeds from the beer garden benefit the Un-Trim-A-Tree Holiday Gift Program for needy kid’s right here in our community.

· Nominate your volunteers! The 2016 Virginia Governor’s Volunteerism & Community Service Awards Program is open for you to nominate your wonderful volunteers. It’s really easy to do right on-line at: vavolunteerismawards.org. The deadline for nominations is December 16, 2015 so you have a little time but don’t forget to do it.

· Mark your calendars for the SERVE Empty Bowls event on October 15th. Enjoy a lovely meal, enjoy Greater Manassas Children’s Choir and bid on silent auction items. Tickets are just $20 in advance at Manassas Church of the Brethren from 5-8pm. Please visit their website at: nvfs.org/emptybowls to learn more. Volunteers are needed throughout the day for set-up and help pick-up donated food as well as during the event and delivering any leftovers back to the SERVE campus. Volunteers age 16+ are welcome and younger with a parent. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more.

· Catholic Charities- Hogar Immigrant Services needs volunteers to help with office skills at their Manassas office. Hours are very flexible. Basic computer skills required with other light admin duties. Second Language is helpful but not required. Please call Cynthia at (571) 208-1572 ext. 103 to learn more.

· Volunteers are needed for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday October 17th at the Harris Pavilion. Please visit their website: alzheimersassociationnca.volunteerlocal.com to learn more.

· Come support the ACTS I-Walk on Saturday October 17th at Pfitzner Stadium at 9am. Registration is just $20 per person or $50/family. Great way to kick off your weekend. Please visit: iwalkforacts.com to learn more.

· Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers at their ReStore, for clean-up projects or preparing lunches for the other volunteers. Please visit their website at: habitatpwc.org for all the specifics and to register for any of these fun events.

· Historic Manassas is looking for volunteers on Saturday October 24th for their fun Haunted Happenings event as well as the new date of Fall Jubilee. This fun event includes trick or treating at local shops and fun activities throughout the Center Street are. Please email Erin at: erin@historicmanassasinc.org to learn more.

· Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers for the Recycling Day on October 17th from 9am-2pm or at their Clean Sweep event at the Hypothermia Shelter on October 24th from 9am-2pm as well. Please call Claudia at (571) 285-3772 to learn more.
· Community Residences Group Homes in Manassas Park is having a fall clean-up on Saturday October 24th from 9am-2pm. Great way to help others and enjoy a beautiful fall day. Please email Liya at: labseno@yahoo.com for all the specifics.

· Pathway Homes in Woodbridge needs volunteers as friendly visitors and to help out in their group homes for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Please call Abigail at (703) 876-0390 to learn more about these activities.

· Volunteer Prince William invites all volunteer managers to the next Volunteer Management Training series starting October 27th from 9am-12noon and continues for the next 4 Tuesday mornings. This is a great course that includes exploring the heart of the volunteer, recruiting, training, supervising and evaluating your program. Please register for this free training series at: volunteerprincewilliam.org.

· Neighbors in Need are looking for volunteer help in the office answering the phones and other admin duties during daytime hours. Please email Mrs. Cahill at: helping@neighborsinneedpwc.bpweb.com to learn more.

· MADD needs volunteers for their Annual 5K Walk/Dash on October 31st at Burke Lake from 7am-noon. Please check out their website at: walklikemadd/northernvirginia.org to learn more.

· House of Mercy is hosting their 2015 Campaign to End Hunger on Saturday October 17th. Volunteers are needed to work a 2 hour shift and contribute $20. This fee covers the cost of the food ingredients for 150,000 meals. Volunteers are needed to help lift 50# bags of raw materials for this event either for a 2hr morning or afternoon shift. Please call (703) 659-1636 or via email at: help@houseofmercyva.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.

Manassas set the bar with high-quality, truly local craft spirits and beer

The craft beer, wine, and spirits industry has been growing in leaps and bounds.

In the last few years, two breweries and a distillery have opened in the City of Manassas. While each place offers their own unique vibe and products, two characteristics unite and set them apart from the competition – a commitment to quality and local ingredients.

“Similar to the farm-to-table movement, people are excited by the grain-to-glass concept and high-quality products made from local grains,” says Bill Karlson, the co-founder and CEO of KO Distilling. “We make a point of telling people during tours that our wheat comes from Renwood Farms in Charles City and our rye came from Bay’s Best Feed Farm in Virginia’s Northern Neck.”

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KO Distilling opened in September and welcomed 450 people to its grand opening. During its first week, more than 100 people stopped by to sample its whiskey and gins. The distillery is a true agribusiness – the spirits are not just made in Virginia, but the majority of the grains used are sourced from local farms.

A Nielsen study found that “local, authentic” are qualities desired of beer and spirits growing in importance among consumers, most largely among the 21-34 demographic.  Perhaps that is because today about 75% of adults over the age of 21 live within 10 miles of a brewery. The Atlantic reported that there were 70 small distilleries in the U.S. in 2003. Karlson says that KO is the 19th craft distiller in an industry of about 1000 microdistillers.

Customers seek quality and want to know how ingredients are sourced, says Sarah Meyers, co-founder of Manassas’ first craft brewery BadWolf Brewing Company.

“We try to source local whenever possible and at Little BadWolf they get to see beer being made right in front of them. Given how many craft breweries are popping up, we might hit a saturation point, so you need to make sure your quality is way up there and that is our biggest focus.”

The beer made at Heritage Brewing has a 100-percent organic base and 92 percent of all ingredients are either organic or locally sourced.  Sean Arroyo, CEO of Heritage Brewing, explains, “Our approach is committing ourselves to the consistency and quality of our product and bringing the best ingredients that we can through organics and local aspects.”

This fall, Heritage is collaborating with The Bone, a barbecue spot in historic Manassas, on a bacon stout. And BadWolf is working with downtown Manassas restaurateurs on an “Old Town” Beer that will only be available in downtown establishments.

Experimenting with new creations keeps the excitement alive. Heritage, which is a 20-barrel brew house, also operates a small pilot system for making small batches of creative releases for the taproom. “It gives us a way to interact with our consumers and let them decide what our next big beers will be,” says Arroyo.

After BadWolf’s successful first year, Meyers and her business partner and husband Jeremy opened a 6,000-square foot production facility. Little BadWolf Brewing Company, the smaller, original location, is where people can try out the experimental batches and even suggest recipes, while the new Big BadWolf has space for special events and growler and kegs of their flagship brews.

“We are using our space for more than beer,” says Meyers. “We focus on giving back to charities and bringing people together for social events.” One look at BadWolf’s event calendar shows there is always something going on, including yoga, painting, and Craft Beer Bingo – all accompanied with a pint. Similarly, Heritage hosts trivia and live music nights in addition to special events like a new beer dinner series.

While all three businesses are committed to building a sense of community, they also take being a regional destination seriously. As Meyers says, “people won’t go to just a bar, but places like a brewery are something special they will seek out.”

Karlson says that he and his business partner, John O’Mara, always envisioned KO Distilling being a tourism destination by matching a great product with a great experience. “The minute visitors walk through our doors,” he says, “they know they aren’t in a warehouse anymore.”

KO Distilling’s tasting room has leather couches, a fireplace, and copper and oak design elements that mimic the copper pot still they use for distilling and barrels they use for aging. The atmosphere rewards locals as well as travelers for making the drive. Karlson, Meyers, and Arroyo all agree that Manassas, with its close proximity to I-95 and 66 and its abundance of historical sites and attractions, is an ideal location for attracting tourists from the metro area and beyond.

“What we want to do is bring in the community, produce a quality product, and have a great time doing it,” says Meyers.

Micron: A memory maker in Manassas

Today, people are glued to their smartphones. Hours at a time are spent in front of computers, tablets, and game consoles.

Despite this, few of us think about what makes them work. High-performance memory is the main component that makes our favorite gadgets have such cool features.

And when a computer slows down a few years after purchase, instead of buying a new one, a $50 memory upgrade can get you back up to speed in minutes. One of the biggest innovators of this powerful technology is located right in the City of Manassas.

Micron Technology is an advanced semiconductor solutions provider that designs and manufactures memory technologies. Founded in Boise, Idaho, in 1978, Micron has risen to the top of its industry.

It is the largest semiconductor manufacturer in Virginia, the only U.S.-based DRAM manufacturer, and the largest U.S.-based wafer supplier. (DRAM is the memory a computer processor needs to function. A wafer is a thin, round slice of material, usually silicon, that serves as the foundational layer on which a semiconductor is built.)

The company came to Manassas when it acquired Dominion Semiconductor in 2002. Soon after, it began investing heavily in modernizing the existing plant.

According to a study by George Mason University, Micron’s early capital investments during 2002 – 2005 totaled more than $178 million, created almost 390 jobs annually, and generated $56.5 million in new personal income to local residents. At the state level, Micron added $376.2 million in value to Virginia’s economy.

The company continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Sixteen years after it was established, Micron had already invested $300 million in expansion projects and was listed on the Fortune 500.

Today it has more than 30,000 employees across the globe and has netted $16.4 billion in sales during the last fiscal year. Manassas has been a part of this success story.

In 2010, Micron decided to invest $56 million to expand its Manassas facility to take advantage of the area’s highly skilled workforce. It built out a new “clean room” – a manufacturing environment with a low level of dust, chemical vapors, and other contaminants that is used in the semiconductor industry – in order to boost its memory chip production.

Former Lt. Governor Bill Bolling joined Micron’s executives in Manassas to announce the company’s expansion and celebrate its significant contributions to the Commonwealth and Manassas. The expansion created more than 100 new jobs. In fact, for the last five years, Micron has been the largest employer in the City of Manassas and currently employs more than 1,500 workers.

Years ago, Micron’s success caught the eye of former President George W. Bush who used the Manassas facility as the backdrop for a speech he delivered to highlight the importance of STEM education, investing in a highly skilled workforce, and being an innovator in a global marketplace. More recently, First Lady Michelle Obama gave a speech at this same facility to discuss the tech companies hiring veterans. She recognized Micron for doing its part to train these workers so they can compete for high-paying jobs in the technology sector.

The company is committed to giving back to the community. One of its biggest causes is STEM education and elevating students into high tech jobs.

In 2013 alone, the Micron Technology Foundation, together with Lockheed Martin, donated more than $53,000 to the Manassas City Public School Education Foundation for robotics and STEM programs. Staff members volunteer their time and mentor students through internships that sometimes evolve into full-time jobs.

As the company continues to grow and innovate – bringing smaller, more powerful and faster high-tech products to market – it continues to strengthen the City of Manassas and the regional workforce.

News
Call to Action: Looking for a volunteer to hit golf balls

Good morning  – Volunteers are need on Sunday October 4th to support WestRash Charities Pediatric Cancer Charity event. The fun duties include managing carnival games and teens are very welcome to help out. Please email Deena at: westrashcharities@gmail.com to learn more.

· Mark your calendars for the SERVE Empty Bowls event on October 15th. Enjoy a lovely meal, enjoy Greater Manassas Children’s Choir and bid on silent auction items. Tickets are just $20 in advance at Manassas Church of the Brethren from 5-8pm. Please visit their website at: nvfs.org/emptybowls to learn more.

· Cheers to Battlefield Garden and Stone Center for hosting Volunteer Prince William at their Fall Festival on Saturday October 17th from 10am-4pm. Bring the kids and enjoy free concert, local crafters, food vendors, kids’ activities and a beer/wine garden. All proceeds benefit the Un-Trim-A-Tree Holiday Gift Program for needy kid’s right here in our community.

· Come support the ACTS I-Walk on Saturday October 17th at Pfitzner Stadium at 9am. Registration is just $20 per person or $50/family. Great way to kick off your weekend. Please visit: iwalkforacts.com to learn more.
· Historic Manassas is looking for volunteers at their Haunted Happenings event on Saturday October 24th. This fun event includes trick or treating at local shops and fun activities throughout the Center Street are. Please email Erin at: erin@historicmanassasinc.org to learn more.

· SERVE in Manassas has an URGENT need for volunteers on Mondays and Tuesdays between 9am-3pm at their food pantry. Tasks include processing families, stocking shelves, accepting food donations and preparing food packages. Volunteers must be 16+ yrs. old. They would love Spanish speakers but mostly just you! Please email Jan to learn more at: jhawkins@nvfs.org

· Community Residences Group Homes in Manassas Park is having a fall clean-up on Saturday October 24th from 9am-2pm. Great way to help others and enjoy a beautiful fall day. Please email Liya at: labseno@yahoo.com for all the specifics.

 

· The Freedom Museum needs volunteers at their Annual Hanger Dance on Saturday October 10th as well as the day before and after. Duties include set up, breakdown, ticket sales, raffle sales and experienced bar tenders. Please call Jim at (703) 346-3212 or email him at: njrotcop@msn.com to learn more.

· Pathway Homes in Woodbridge needs volunteers as friendly visitors and to help out in their group homes for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Please call Abigail at (703) 876-0390 to learn more about these activities.
· Volunteer Prince William invites all volunteer managers to the next Volunteer Management Training series starting October 27th from 9am-12noon and continues for the next 4 Tuesday mornings. This is a great course that includes exploring the heart of the volunteer, recruiting, training, supervising and evaluating your program. Please register for this free training series at: volunteerprincewilliam.org.

· Celebrate Safe Communities Day on Saturday October 17th at the Target parking lot on Rt 28 from 10am-2pm. Lots of great displays and fun activities for the kids.

· Neighbors in Need are looking for volunteer help in the office answering the phones and other admin duties during daytime hours. Please email Mrs. Cahill at: helping@neighborsinneedpwc.bpweb.com to learn more.

· MADD needs volunteers for their Annual 5K Walk/Dash on October 31st at Burke Lake from 7am-noon. Please check out their website at: walklikemadd/northernvirginia.org to learn more.

· House of Mercy is hosting their 2015 Campaign to End Hunger on Saturday October 17th. Volunteers are needed to work a 2 hour shift and contribute $20. This fee covers the cost of the food ingredients for 150,000 meals. Please call (703) 659-1636 or via email at: help@houseofmercyva.org to learn more.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for a volunteer to hit golf balls at Burke Lake Park twice a month on Sundays and play chess with a gentleman in Lorton twice a month. You can make a world of difference for just a couple of visits a month to bettering the lives of brain injury survivors. Please contact Michelle: mthyen@braininjuryservices.org or by phone: 703-451-8881, ext. 232.

· 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.

News
You need closed-toed shoes, but Leesylvania State Park will provide all tools

Good morning – Community Residences Group Homes in Manassas Park is having a fall clean-up on Saturday October 24th from 9am-2pm. Great way to help others and enjoy a beautiful fall day. Please email Liya at: labseno@yahoo.com for all the specifics.

· Volunteers are needed for Public Lands Day at Leesylvania State Park on Saturday September 26th – 9:30am-1pm. Tasks include collecting native tree seeds that will go to local nurseries that grow trees for reforesting efforts across the region. You need closed-toed shoes and sharp eyes but they will provide all tools, water, supplies and lunch. You don’t want to miss this great event. You can sign up at: Potomac.org or call (703) 583-6904 for more info.

· The Rotary Club needs volunteers for its Rev It Up event on Friday September 25th from 4-9:30pm. This event is at the Harris Pavilion in Manassas and includes Brew and Live tunes, classic wheels and food trucks. This event supports CASA, Habitat for Humanity and the BARN. Please email TheresaEllis@tacklemanagement.com or call her at (571) 247-6729 to learn more.

· The Freedom Museum needs volunteers at their Annual Hanger Dance on Saturday October 10th as well as the day before and after. Duties include set up, breakdown, ticket sales, raffle sales and experienced bar tenders. Please call Jim at (703) 346-3212 or email him at: njrotcop@msn.com to learn more.

· Pathway Homes in Woodbridge needs volunteers as friendly visitors and to help out in their group homes for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Please call Abigail at (703) 876-0390 to learn more about these activities.
· SERVE in Manassas has an URGENT need for volunteers weekdays and Saturday mornings at their food pantry. Tasks include processing families, stocking shelves, accepting food donations and preparing food packages. Volunteers must be 16+ yrs. old. They would love Spanish speakers but mostly just you! Please email Jan to learn more at: jhawkins@nvfs.org

· Volunteer Prince William invites all volunteer managers to the next Volunteer Management Training series starting October 27th from 9am-12noon and continues for the next 4 Tuesday mornings. This is a great course that includes exploring the heart of the volunteer, recruiting, training, supervising and evaluating your program. Please register for this free training series at: volunteerprincewilliam.org.

· Celebrate Safe Communities Day on Saturday October 17th at the Target parking lot on Rt 28 from 10am-2pm. Lots of great displays and fun activities for the kids.

· Neighbors in Need are looking for volunteer help in the office answering the phones and other admin duties during daytime hours. Please email Mrs. Cahill at: helping@neighborsinneedpwc.bpweb.com to learn more.

· Give Blood! At the community event at the Stone House at Costello Park on Monday October 5th – 1:30-7pm. Please email Mary for your appointment at: mary.moore@ssihq.net.

· MADD needs volunteers for their Annual 5K Walk/Dash on October 31st at Burke Lake from 7am-noon. Please check out their website at: walklikemadd/northernvirginia.org to learn more.

· House of Mercy is hosting their 2015 Campaign to End Hunger on Saturday October 17th. Volunteers are needed to work a 2 hour shift and contribute $20. This fee covers the cost of the food ingredients for 150,000 meals. Please call (703) 659-1636 or via email at: help@houseofmercyva.org to learn more.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for a volunteer to hit golf balls at Burke Lake Park twice a month on Sundays and play chess with a gentleman in Lorton twice a month. You can make a world of difference for just a couple of visits a month to bettering the lives of brain injury survivors. Please contact Michelle: mthyen@braininjuryservices.org or by phone: 703-451-8881, ext. 232.

· The 2015 American Heart Association Walk is November 7th in DC. Volunteers are needed as course marshals, set-up, and other assistance. Volunteers must be 16yrs old or be accompanied by an adult. Please visit their website to sign –up at: greaterwashingtonheartwalk.org.

· 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.

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