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Dog search for Iraq War vet leads to animal training business

“My youngest daughter was deployed to Iraq, and when she came home, she was a different person.”

Thanks to Caring Angels, “JJ” was rescued from a local animal shelter and received the training he needed to begin his new life as a therapeutic support dog.

Caring Angels is the nonprofit arm of “Sit Means Sit” of Northern Virginia, a woman-owned franchise in Manassas. We sat down with owner Sonny Madsen recently to find out more about her business and her nonprofit.

PL: Tell us about your involvement with Caring Angels

Sit Means Sit: Caring Angel therapy dogs have all come through the Sit Means Sit training program. We have dogs that have helped with the victims of human trafficking, juvenile detention centers, fire departments, reading programs for children, nursing homes, FBI, funerals, teaching dog safety, assisting with college students going through test anxiety, returning soldiers, children with special needs and so much more.

PL: Why did you decide to start this endeavor?

Sit Means Sit: Before starting my business, I was a public speaker and sales manager. My youngest daughter was deployed to Iraq, and when she came home, she was a different person.

I hardly recognized her and had trouble connecting with her. One day on a trip to Arlington Cemetery we saw a soldier with a service dog – a beautiful white golden retriever. My daughter’s eyes lit up for the first time since coming home. I decided then and there to get her a service dog.

Turns out that is a lot easier said than done. I learned support dogs are extremely expensive and the whole process can take years. My daughter didn’t have years to wait – I knew she needed a support dog right now. So I decided I would find and train one for her myself.

PL: What attracted you to the Sit Means Sit (SMS) program over other options?

SMS: I did a lot of research including interviewing law enforcement for their training suggestions (since they train so many great dogs). The Las Vegas Sheriff’s Department referred me to the founder of Sit Means Sit, Fred Hassen.

The first time I met Fred he gave me a quarter and told me to throw it in the middle of his 5,000 square foot training room. He then explained that he would be able to get a small black labrador retriever to sit on that quarter in four attempts without moving himself.

Intrigued, I threw the quarter toward the middle of the room. Amazingly he had that dog happily sitting on the quarter in just two attempts without ever having to walk over to where I threw the quarter. I was impressed. I asked him how he did it and that was the first time he showed me the e-collar.

PL: What is unique about the SMS style of training?

SMS: We are e-collar trainers. The e-collar is a neutral training tool to teach focus, obedience, and trust. If you do it the right way, you have a happy dog who loves you more than treats or toys or anything else.

We have been able to work with puppies, anxious dogs abused and neglected dogs, dogs that are deaf, aggressive dogs and dogs that just plain have bad manners.

PL: What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far, and how did you overcome it?

SMS: SMS: Overcoming the negative stigma of e-collar training. I’m the first one to agree that the old-fashioned way of e-collar training was harsh and punitive. That is definitely not the way we use a collar. Our e-collars do not cause pain – they function as an adjustable ‘tap’ which is used as a cue to get the dog’s attention. The ‘tap’ is similar to muscle therapy devices found in the medical field for humans. When we bring on a new client, we always have them try out the device on their hand so they can feel the tap for themselves. With 64 sensitivity settings, the collars are fully adjustable to the smallest and the largest of breeds.

PL: What’s next – where do you dream of taking your business?

SMS: Sit Means Sit is the largest dog training program in the country, and our Northern Virginia franchise is their fastest growing location in the U.S. We want to keep that momentum and keep educating our clients.

Of course, my heart lies with the Caring Angels program and with the service dogs that we train – it’s the whole reason I got into the dog training business, to begin with, and I never want to forget that. Therapy dogs make a difference in ways we may never fully understand – I can only describe it as God’s grace. Right now, given our limited resources, we can only place a few dogs a year through the program. My goal is to one day build a facility where we can continue to train, house and donate ten service dogs a year.

The facts: 

Sit Means Sit 9823 Godwin Dr Manassas, Va
703-342-6164
Website: sitmeanssit.com/dog-training-mu/fairfax-dog-training/
Caring Angels Therapy Dogs: https://www.facebook.com/caringangelstherapydogs

*This post is written by Rod Loges and Jenn Mathis, of One Degree Capital in Occoquan, in collaboration with Potomac Local.

News
Be a part of great community journalism

We continue our community conversations in 2017

Before any great journalism is made, a publisher must listen to his community. 

As we prepare to ring in 2017, we’re also preparing for another year of producing great, quality journalism that is worth your time and attention.

Covering our communities in and around Prince William County has been our mission since we started in 2010.

You play a crucial role in helping us reach this goal. So, that’s why I’ll be at the One Degree Room, located at 204 Commerce Street in Occoquan, on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 from 10 a.m. to noon. 

Later in the week, I’ll be at Jirani Coffeehouse, located at 9425 West Street in Manassas on Wednesday, Jan. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During both sessions, you can chat with me, tell us what’s on your mind, and about what stories you think we should be covering. 

Just as I was last month when we met here, I’m open to talking about any issue in our community from roads, traffic, transit, schools, parks, local government, business development, shopping, entertainment, etc.

Got a pothole on your street that’s been ignored? Know of a special person in our community deserving of recognition? Just want to say hello and drink a cup of coffee? 

All of these are great reasons to visit.

See you soon. Happy New Year. 


Five ways Manassas Park Parks and Recreation staff stay motivated to workout

To many of us, the new year is an excuse to finally get motivated to work out and lose weight. Working out regularly is easier said than done because, for so many of us, it’s incredibly difficult to get, and then keep, the motivation to continue working out.

Here are some helpful hints from the Department of Parks and Recreation staff at the Manassas Park Community Center in regards to getting past the intimidation of working out, finding the motivation to work out, and keeping that motivation!

1. Set a goal to inspire you and keep you motivated

Whether you’re trying to advance professionally or looking to start working out, having clear goals help you stay focused and motivated especially during periods where you feel like you’ve plateaued. Operations/Aquatics Supervisor Sarah Barnett says even though she began working out as a student, she finds it harder and harder to stay motivated as a mom with a full-time job.

“I attended college on a running scholarship and felt like I was sort of getting paid to run,” she shares, “But now I find the best way to stay motivated is to sign up for a race or a marathon, and that forces me to stay motivated.”

Stay on task by setting clear goals using the SMART system; goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Getting ready for your first 5K easily follows the SMART system and can help propel you to setting more SMART goals.

2. Find someone to keep you accountable

Having a friend or hiring a personal trainer can really help you get the most out of your workouts. They can help ensure you’re using proper form, inspire you to try a new exercise, and help motivate you to steadily and safely push yourself to get you closer to your goal. One of the most important advantages of working out with somebody is that they can help keep you focused.

“I need an accountability partner as a motivator so I work out with a trainer,” says Jacqueline Tyre-Perry, Recreation Specialist for School Age Programs. Tyre-Perry knows she will be tempted to take shortcuts if she does not have that extra person tracking her progress. “Seeing results also motivates me, but the best motivator for me is definitely a trainer. When they say, ‘Give me five more reps!’ you know they’re pushing you while cheering you on.”

3. Work out in a group setting to motivate you to keep coming back

Working out with friends isn’t only great for accountability, but it makes the gym and working out fun instead of a chore. Park Manager AJ Tibbs says he began working out a couple of years ago because he wanted to get healthier, but now he likes going to the gym because he has tons of friends there.

“Now, working out has become a hobby for me,” Tibbs says, Life is too short, you really got to have fun while you can. I love going to the gym because I like to socialize there while I work out with weights.”

Marketing Manager Jason Shriner says he never worked out when he was younger. A former baker, he remembers watching a video by one of his food idols Michael Pollan where Pollan suggested to eat what you want, but make it yourself. Following this rule will keep you from overindulging (french fries take a lot of effort to make!) but you will also know exactly what you are eating.

However, he realized that eating healthy isn’t enough to have a healthy lifestyle. He remembers hearing a story on the radio where a 30-year-old nurse had a heart attack. “When I heard that story, I was about two years from turning 30, and I thought to myself, ‘If a nurse has a heart attack, what chance does a baker have?’” Shriner recalls. 

He started working out on his own at a gym, but he really started to love working out when he took boot camp at the Community Center – his first group exercise class. 

“I like working out in a group setting like boot camp because you never feel alone. Everybody is giving their all right next to you! Honestly, some of my favorite times are when the instructor does the craziest exercise, and we all just start laughing because we think it’s impossible – but then we try it together and succeed!”

4. Use working out as a chance to recharge your mind

Study after study has shown that exercise can help improve your mood as well as provides a myriad of mental benefits. When you’ve had a really stressful day, it can be really satisfying to channel that frustration in a healthy way by lifting weights.

When I work out, I like to be alone so I can just think,” says Jay Swisher, City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks recreation director. Swisher began working out as a school athlete to compete on the field, to be more competitive, and to enhance his sports abilities. “This led to a real interest in fitness and nutrition, which I studied in college. My interest in working out began as physical, but as I have grown older, my interest has become more mental as I use working out as my excuse to decompress and de-stress.”

To get the most mental benefit out of your workout, find a routine and a setting that works for you. Try jogging through a park, such as Signal Hill Park, to take in all the beautiful green scenery and sunshine. Once you find that perfect mix of scenery, routine, and music, you’ll naturally be drawn to working out.

5. Track your workout to measure your progress and use technology to help keep you accountable

When you start working out over several months, it’s easy to lose track of how much weight you’ve been lifting or how long you’ve been running three miles. Using a notetaking or fitness app on your smartphone can help keep you on target with your fitness goals. When you notice you haven’t increased your weights in three weeks, it could motivate you to add an extra five pounds.

Speaking of technology, if you prefer working out on your own getting a fitness device can also help you stay motivated. 

“My Apple watch was a Christmas gift from 2015, and it came with an app to help you track your workouts,” says Amelia Powell, Customer Service Supervisor. “The watch buzzed everyday reminding me to exercise. All those buzzes finally took their toll, and finally, on February 8th, I began running,” she said.

Reminders aren’t the only feature you can expect from fitness devices. Apps can also help you keep track of health metrics such as heart rate, exercise frequency, and calories consumed. Plus, the app can make sure you achieve your daily goals. 

“The app gives you completed circles each day you complete your workout. I have met my current fitness goal, but I still like seeing those completed circles on my watch. In fact, those completed circles keep me motivated to continue working out,” Powell explained.

Once you begin working out, you will find your own reasons to stay motivated just as the some of the staff members at Parks and Recreation have. We wish you much success with your fitness goals, and remember the Manassas Park Community Center offers group exercise classes such as Zumba or boot camp as well as qualified and certified personal fitness trainers to help you meet all of your fitness needs. Here’s to a healthy 2017!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. 

For more information visit us at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.

News
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

For a brief moment, we pause

It’s at this moment the world is merry and bright. Families travel to be with each other. Gifts of appreciation are shared. Memories are made. 

The store windows in Occoquan are decorated with garland, while the buildings in Downtown Manassas are adorned with white lights. 

A large Christmas Tree overlooks Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge, while light continues to shine on our very own symbol of freedom — The National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico.

These sights are commonplace in our community at this time of year. The hustle and bustle of our daily lives sometimes make it difficult for us to stop, look around, and appreciate them for all they’re worth. 

At Potomac Local, I’m appreciative of you for allowing us to celebrate another Christmas by looking back at all we’ve accomplished over the past year. 

We’ve seen the opening of a new Re-Store which helps provide housing to some of our area’s neediest. We saw the renaming of a Dale City middle school and talked to the community who came to be a part of the process. 

We learned about the histories of Aden and Smoketown — once settlements that today remembered best by the road signs erected in their honor.

And we saw the community crave sweets with the opening of a new doughnut shop, and lose their appetites when another favorite restaurant closed

These are just some of my memories from 2016. 

Your gift of continued support and readership of Potomac Local goes a long way in helping us to celebrate the season.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Uriah Kiser
Publisher 

News
Thanks for sharing coffee, story tips

Lots of great story tips at coffee session 

My recent one-on-one with the publisher session at One Degree Captial was a success.

I enjoyed meeting with community members and business leaders in Occoquan, as well as representatives from the Prince William County Solid Waste Division, The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Associates in Gastroenterology. 

We drank French press coffee (because what else do members of the press drink?) and swapped some great stories about our community. I learned a lot, and I appreciate the news tips.

I look forward to meeting you soon at another one-on-one session in January. Time and date TBD. Bring your story ideas.

Excited for the New Year

Here’s a bit of breaking news: Santa arrives in less than six days. Then the hustle and bustle of the holiday season winds down.

At Potomac Local, we’re looking forward to spending time with family and friends over the holidays. And then we can’t wait to learn what new developments 2017 has in store. The news never stops. 

Seven fire posts in one day 

We published seven posts to the site Monday about house fires. That’s very unusual.

In the case of the fire on Cosgrove Way near Dumfries, a concerned neighbor and Potomac Local community member Jacqueline Palmer sent us a sidebar post detailing information about the family who lost everything in the fire. See her post, and how you can help.

Winter begins on Wednesday (even though Saturday’s ice storm was a sure sign that it has already arrived). Please be careful when it comes to heating your home and discarding cigarettes and smoking materials. 

We’re back on winter weather watch 

Speaking of winter, how about that ice storm on Saturday? From crashes to canceled events, Old Man Winter showed up for the first time this season.

We’ll be watching VDOT and holding them accountable when it comes to pre-treating our roads. We can’t forget the bungle that was the commute from hell in January, where many people became stranded on highways and had to sleep in their cars. ‘

Dumfries Christmas Parade 

On a lighter note, I had the pleasure of announcing the 42nd Annual Dumfries Christmas Parade. Unlike years past, the performers weren’t allowed to stop in front of the reviewing stand. And, the location of the stand isn’t ideal, but none of that took away from a great Christmas tradition in our region. We posted the winners of the parade.

VRE extension prospects bleak

As we’ve been reporting, it doesn’t look good for an extension of Virginia Railway Express to Gainesville and Haymarket. It appears the cost — as much as $660 million, about $40,000 per each new rider gained between today and 2040 — outweighs the benefits.

While Prince William County leaders decide what recommendation they want to make to the VRE Operations Board (which will approve or kill the extension project), we’ll be watching this one for you. 

Wreaths Across America

And it is always fun to watch wreaths being laid at Quantico National Cemetery as part of Wreaths Across America. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7916 in Occoquan sent us a story about their efforts to lay the wreaths, and we published it.

Thank you for your continued to support in our mission to inform our community by bringing you relevant, local news.

News
Dumfries parade fun, cold, sparse around the reviewing stand

The 42nd annual Dumfries Christmas Parade was held Saturday.

This was my third year taking the microphone and announcing the marching groups, floats, and area elected officials who all participate in the Christmastime tradition.

I was honored to have Ms. Betty Covington on the stage to help me announce. Covington has done so much for Dumfries, serving as Dumfries Elementary School principal and later as the Dumfries District, renamed Potomac District School Board member.

In this day and age of video games, Netflix, and instant information, it’s great to see so many people bring their children to a parade, a time-honored tradition that brings communities together. Parents braved the cold and brought their children out on December day when temperatures never escaped the 30s.

From school dance troops, cheerleaders, Air Force JROTC, churches, businesses, the volunteer fire and rescue departments, and Santa and Mrs. Claus, there’s always a lot to look at the in the Dumfries show. All the marching organizations, bands, and floats were carefully judged they marched along the parade route. We’ll post the winners of the parade judging contest to Potomac Local as soon we have them.

The Toys for Tots float that appeared earlier this month in the Greater Manassas Christmas Parade held on December 3 that won first place at that event was also in Dumfries’ parade. We’ll see how it fared with the judges in Dumfries.

Going forward, Dumfries leaders may want to take a page out of Manassas’ book and move the reviewing stand to the end of the parade route at Graham Park Drive near Dunkin Donuts. Having both marched in the Dumfries parade, and announced the parade the past three years, I’ve noticed that many people gather at Town Hall at the start of the parade, and in a second large group at the end.

The announcer and the reviewing stand for the Manassas Parade are located at the very end of the route, at the intersection of Center and West streets. People line up along the over one-mile long parade route to see the procession, and then the participants are announced at the very end.

Very few people gather near the Dumfries parade review stand where I make my announcements.

The end of the parade is also a great place to snap photos, as many participants like to stop and perform for the parade judges to showcase their talents, and to show off their floats.

In Dumfries this year, parade marchers were told not to stop and perform in front of the viewing stand. However, some did and chose to dance or sing. Because their young hearts were enjoying themselves so much, who was we to tell them no? Where’s the Christmas spirit in that?

This year, the Dumfries parade was also competing with a series of events happening in eastern Prince William County, Winterfest, which also occurred Saturday. The festival was a daylong series of events that began with a Santa’s Lake Ridge Parade at Tacketts Mill, then caroling in Occoquan, capped off with nighttime fireworks at Prince William Marina.

Last year Winterfest was on the third weekend in the month, while the Dumfries parade has traditionally been held on the second weekend. With so many Christmastime events happening I’m sure it’s difficult to efficiently coordinate everything, but it’d be good to see the leaders of the small towns not competing for holiday event goers.

My hat is off to Dumfries Community Services coordinator Brittany Heine, who shows us what being a one-woman production is all about. Sure, Henie has help from many volunteers, but after years covering the town and participating in events, her role is the glue that makes the parade come to together.

News
SERVE in Manassas needs teen volunteers for book fair

Good morning Prince William – SERVE in Manassas has a great project for teen volunteers age 16+ on Monday December 19th. They are holding a book fair at the Barnes and Noble store in Manassas and volunteers are needed to read to the children and help with crafts in the store for an hour or 2. Please call Navara at (571) 748-2536 to learn more.

· Serving our Willing Warriors is looking for volunteers to help with projects at their Warrior Retreat at Bull Run. The opportunities include helping prepare the house on Wednesday mornings for new guests, assisting at community events as an ambassador, joining the garden team or working special events such as the Annual Monte Carlo Night in February. Please email them at: volunteer@willingwarriors.org to learn more.

· ACTS in Dumfries is looking for an admin volunteer in their Human Resources office. You must be over 18 yrs. old. Please email Jane at: janderson@actspwc.us to learn more.

· The Aubergine Thrift Shop benefitting the Novant Health UVA Health System has an urgent need for volunteers to help at their shop in Old Town Manassas. Duties include sort donations, hang clothing, arrange displays assist customers and work the cash register. Volunteers must be at least 18 yrs. old and commit to 1-3 hours per week as well as successfully complete a background checks. It’s a fun job in a great location. Please visit their website for more info at: novanthealthuva.org.

· House of Mercy has an urgent need for volunteers in the Donation Center. Duties include sorting, labeling and hanging. It’s a great family project and teens are most welcome. Please complete a volunteer application on their website at:houseofmercyva.org

· Chapel of His Glory Immigration Ministry is looking for a volunteer Paralegal/Legal Assistant to help pro bono lawyers working with immigrant families who entered the US legally and need assistance to renew/retain their legal status. Please email Pastor Herbert at: treasuredglory@gmail.com for more info.

· The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to transport veterans to their doctors’ appointments and perhaps stop by the pharmacy to fill a new prescription. It’s a great way to say thank you for their service. Please call Jan at (571) 292-5307 for more info.

· Bright Care Center in Manassas provides social and medical services to adults with disabilities. Volunteers are needed daily to pick up the noon lunch meal from Caton Merchant House for the participants. Volunteers are also needed for activities such as crafts, puzzles, music and jewelry making. This is a great job for teens age 16+. Please call Nyome at (703) 330-5836 to learn more.

· Saved Hands Foundation is looking for volunteers to teach Microsoft Office to adults either in the evenings or daytime. They are also looking for a grant writer, administrated support and a marketing director. Come be part of the team offering skill building to disadvantaged adults. Please email info@savedhandsfoundation.org to learn more.

· The Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center is looking for volunteers to help at the front desk on weekdays. Tasks include welcoming guests, answering the phone or assist residents and staff with admin projects. Volunteers must be 18 yrs. +. Please call Paola at (571) 748-2674 for more info.

· Prince William Area Free Clinic is looking for volunteer Pharmacists on Tuesday evenings from 3-7pm at their Woodbridge clinic. Please fill out an application at: pwafc.org/our-team.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan 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
Manassas theater owner goes ‘rogue,’ builds a community movie house

MANASSAS, Va. — The world of Star Wars is about to go “rogue” and branch off into a series of movies never seen before, with a new story that involves few of the original main characters of the 30-year-old sci-fi series.

For Kiran “Bunny” Khorana, owner of the Manassas 4 Cinemas on Mathis Avenue, he’s also going rogue with a departure from the ‘big box” chain movie houses he competes against for first-run showings of movies like “Star Wars: Rogue One” due in theaters December 16.

“It’s easy,” explains Khorana, “I listen to our customers and provide unique services and value that they can’t get by watching a movie at home or a big cinema.”

Manassas 4 Cinemas is a family-friendly cinema, providing first run movies most days for $7.50, or $10 per ticket after 4 p.m. Tickets on Tuesday and Wednesdays are $5 all day, about half the price of the big cinemas.

One of the most popular theater rooms at Manassas 4 Cinemas is the Cafe Cinema. Outfitted with couches, recliners, and other comfortable seats, this theater allows you to enjoy a first run movie while sipping on a beer or glass of wine along with foods like pizza and hamburgers.

It is a great example of the “cinema and draft house” trend that is increasing in popularity around the country. This specific theater is available for private rental and a great place to host holiday events, birthday parties, and corporate events.

Being an independent theater gives Khorana flexibility to have a voice. When most major cinemas were reluctant to show the 2014 comedy, “The Interview,” which poked fun at the reclusive leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un, Khorana was one of a handful of independent moviehouse owners who chose to screen the movie.

Competing against the big cinemas isn’t easy, but Khorana has diligently worked to make his business success. After selling another movie house, Khorana opened Manassas 4 Cinemas in May 2011 with a first-run showing of Pirates of the Caribbean. With a lot of hard work, Khorana grew his small operation to $1.2 million in his first year.

Despite recovering from recent quadruple bypass surgery, you can often find Khorana greeting customers in the lobby. He wants to hear what his customers want, and he wants to be close by to help them get it.

Khorana expanded his customer base in Manassas and Manassas Park by providing big screen showings of international soccer and rugby matches, along with movies from other countries.

Manassas 4 Cinemas is located at 8890 Mathis Avenue in Manassas. The movie house lists showtimes on its website.

The Facts: 

Manassas 4 Cinemas
8890 Mathis Avenue
Manassas, Va. 20110
703-330-3538
Owner: Kiran (Bunny) Khorana
Showtimes: manassas4cinemas.com/location/1262/Manassas-4-Cinemas

*This post is written by Rod Loges and Jenn Mathis, of One Degree Capital in Occoquan, in collaboration with Potomac Local.

News
Call to Action: Church needs paralegal/Legal assistant to help immigrant families

Good morning Prince William – Please join the fun at the Dumfries Winter Wonderland Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 10th. The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift program is collecting new, unwrapped toys for area children. Please bring a toy to share the joy of the season with a neighbor. The parade begins at 12 noon- see you there!

· The Aubergine Thrift Shop is benefitting the Novant Health UVA Health System has an urgent need for volunteers to help at their shop in Old Town Manassas. Duties include sort donations, hang clothing, arrange displays assist customers and work the cash register. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and commit to one to three hours per week as well as successfully complete a background check. It’s a fun job in a great location. Please visit their website for more info at: novanthealthuva.org.

· Speaking of gifts- Matrix Computer Consulting has a great deal on new PCs for home or office and will donate $35 for every PC purchased to the Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift Program. It’s a great deal for you and of course more toys for needy kids. Please email Sarah at sarah@matrixcc.net to learn more.

· The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift program for needy kids is in full swing. There are still 800 kids needing a sponsor! Share the joy of the season by sponsoring a child. You will receive the child’s name, age and two gift wishes so you can make their dreams come true. You can download all the info at: volunteerprincewilliam.org.

· House of Mercy has an urgent need for volunteers in the Donation Center. Duties include sorting, labeling, and hanging. It’s a great family project and teens are most welcome. Please complete a volunteer application on their website at:houseofmercyva.org

· Chapel of His Glory Immigration Ministry is looking for a volunteer Paralegal/Legal Assistant to help pro bono lawyers working with immigrant families who entered the US legally and need assistance to renew/retain their legal status. Please email Pastor Herbert at: treasuredglory@gmail.com for more info.

· The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to present the Safe at Home curriculum to 4th-grade students. Be part of the team to teach cute kids critical life skills while they are home alone. Please call Jan at (571) 292-5307 for more info.

· Bright Care Center in Manassas provides social and medical services to adults with disabilities. Volunteers are needed daily to pick up the noon lunch meal from Caton Merchant House for the participants. Volunteers are also needed for activities such as crafts, puzzles, music and jewelry making. This is a great job for teens age 16+. Please call Nyome at (703) 330-5836 to learn more.

· Saved Hands Foundation is looking for volunteers to teach Microsoft Office to adults either in the evenings or daytime. They are also looking for a grant writer, administrated support and a marketing director. Be part of the team offering skill building to disadvantaged adults. Please email info@savedhandsfoundation.org to learn more.

· The Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center is looking for volunteers to help at the front desk on weekdays. Tasks include welcoming guests, answering the phone or assist residents and staff with admin projects. Volunteers must be 18 yrs. +. Please call Paola at (571) 748-2674 for more info.

· Prince William Area Free Clinic is looking for volunteer Pharmacists on Tuesday evenings from 3-7pm at their Woodbridge clinic. Please fill out an application at: pwafc.org/our-team.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan 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
Come and chat with me on Tuesday in Occoquan

Do you have a pothole on your street that has been ignored for some time? How about a dirty playground in your neighborhood that is no longer a safe place for children to play?

Maybe you have some good news, like an amazing friend who organized as successful neighborhood watch program. Or, maybe you have a teacher who went the extra mile to help her students learn.

These are all great stories, and I want to hear about them, and any others you want to share.

I’ll be at the One Degree Room in Occoquan on Tuesday, December 6, from 10 a.m. to noon. Sit down, grab a cup of coffee, and chat with me about whatever is going on in your neighborhood.

As your community news publisher, I’ll be sure to listen to your story ideas, compliments, complaints, and constructive criticism.

There’s no charge to meet with me, so come over and grab the publisher’s ear.

The One Degree Room is located at 204 Commerce Street in Occoquan, on the lower level of the One Degree Capital building.

News
Founded in Stafford, Ricks Roasters ready for growth

STAFFORD, Va. — The founders of Ricks Roasters will take the lessons learned in Stafford and use them as the company aims to expand into the Northeast.

“Our strategic vision from the beginning has been the replication of the model we’ve built in Stafford. We are a local coffee roaster providing an outstanding product while being integrated into the community. When opportunities to repeat that model present themselves, we will pursue them aggressively. We are currently pursuing such opportunities in Martinsburg, W. Va., New York City, and Jonestown, Pa,” stated Sean Ricks, a company co-founder, in email.

Their coffee can now be found at various locations in Fredericksburg, Stafford, and at the Virginia Railway Express station in Quantico. Ricks boasts 80 company partners that work with the roster including the Great Harvest Bread Company in Lorton and Agora coffee shop in Downtown Fredericksburg.

While the company roasts its special blend of coffees for smaller shops and restaurants, Ricks says their future lies in roasting large quantities of coffee beans.

“Though we have a coffee shop at the VRE station, our primary path to market is wholesale. We’ve been very successful at customizing coffees for businesses, often paired with their menus. We not only have custom blends for coffee shops and restaurants, but also mortgage brokers, realtors, and gyms. We see all of our customers as partners and do everything we can to help them grow,” stated Ricks.

The business started after a husband and wife couple began searching for something they could do togehter.

“In May 2013, Keely and I were searching for a business we would be passionate about and could work on together. We loved coffee and decided we’d pursue a coffee I used to drink in Indonesia while serving in the Navy. The day after we settled on coffee, my motorcycle broke down on the way to my job at the Pentagon. After making the necessary repairs, we went to Tim’s Rivershore for lunch where Ricks Roasters was sketched out on a napkin. What began as a little “side” business for us has taken off into an exciting small business employing several veterans and veteran dependents.

Growing the business has presented challenges along the way as the coffee couple kept their full-time jobs.

“I am still on active duty in the Navy, and Keely is a social worker by trade. From the beginning, we knew our full-time jobs would preclude our ability to run this business all on our own. We’ve had to hire more people than we would have had to had we been able to work full time.

Bringing on staff and the nature of getting roasted product in the bag have made our labor costs track linearly with our sales numbers. As always, limited cash flow has throttled our growth and made decoupling the sales and labor numbers challenging.”

As the company grew, Ricks says he’s learned a thing or two about shipping and inventory costs. Raw coffee is heavy when shipped, so Ricks Roasters had to find a way to cut down on the weight it shipped to keep costs under control.

“Our raw product is very heavy so early-on we did our best to maximize the amount of product we would bring in per shipment. While this did help keep the cost per pound in freight down, it had a major impact on cash flow. Ultimately, we found the sweet spot in shipment size that saved the most amount of money per pound while not presenting very large inventory purchase bills.”

The Facts
Start Date: May 2013
Owners Names: Sean & Keely Ricks
Roastery: 1304 Interstate Business Park, Fredericksburg, VA 22405 (Stafford County)
Retail Location: 550 Railroad Ave, Quantico, VA 22134
Phone number: 540-318-6850
Website: ricksroasters.com

*This post is written by Rod Loges and Jenn Mathis, of One Degree Capital in Occoquan, in collaboration with Potomac Local.

Celebrate the Holidays here at the Manassas Park Community Center

The bright red, orange, and yellow leaves are falling off the trees, and the days are growing shorter and shorter. There is a chill in the air as fall decorations are taken down to be replaced by holiday decorations. Most of us have already seen holiday decorations in the stores.

You know, the holiday decorations you pretend you don’t see before Halloween, and well, before we know it, we will be in full holiday mode.

Instead of stressing about the holidays, why not plan to join us here at the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) for a variety of holiday events and programs.

The holiday fun begins here at the Community Center on Thursday, December 1, from 7 pm – 8:30 pm for the Dough Ornament Workshop.  Plan to be here to decorate and take home your own dough ornament. The staff at MPCC will supply all the materials; you supply all the creativity! Register for the workshop – it’s only $3 per ornament!

On Thursday, December 8th from 7 pm – 8:30 pm, the MPCC will be hosting our annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party. We will have fun building and decorating with lots of sweet treats. Families will need to pre-register at least three days in advance! The cost for this event is just $5 per gingerbread kit.

Then on Saturday, December 10th at 5:45 pm, we will have our annual Light Parade. This amazing display of lights on wheels will be sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Our annual parade of lights is a crowd favorite among residents living in Manassas Park and surrounding areas.

Residents decorate their cars with festive holiday themes, and as the sun sets, the lights on the cars glow and the parade begins. The cost to participate is only $10 per car. The parade starts at the Carondelet Drive intersection and ends at the Manassas Park Community Center. Participants are still needed; please contact Kaitlyn Collier if you would like to participate.

And, this year, we are announcing something new: It’s our first annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Celebration. It will immediately follow the Light Parade. At the Tree Lighting, there will be pictures with Santa, pictures with snow princesses, kid’s activities, and light refreshments for all who attend.

And the best part of this event is that it is absolutely FREE to attend. The MPCC staff is so excited to present this additional event and are hoping the weather cooperates! No ice or snow, please!

The following Saturday, December 17 from 9am-11am, bring the kids to the Community Center for Breakfast with Santa! There will be pancakes, photos, games, crafts, and lots of fun. Children of all ages are invited, and the cost is just $5 per person. Children under the age of 2 are included in their parent’s registration.

Later that same day (December 17) from 11:30 am-12:30 pm is Santa Paws where you can bring your puppy for pictures with Santa! It only costs $5 per pup!

You will have to enter through the patio located behind the Community Center. Don’t worry; there will be signs up directing you and your furry friends so that you won’t miss the fun.

With all of these fantastic holiday events scheduled here at the Manassas Park Community Center, let us handle the stress while you get into the holiday spirit. We’re looking forward to seeing you at Manassas Park Community Center throughout the month of December.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, Va.

Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.

News
Happy Thanksgiving

By now, I hope you’ve made it where you are going for Thanksgiving.

For my wife and I, we spent the day traveling on Virginia highways making our way over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house. This is the third time we’ve made the annual trip to be with family for this special holiday.

Like many who traveled this holiday weekend, we braved lines, crowds, and delays to make it where we were going. For those who stayed close to home, long lines and delays at shopping malls and roads will also affect holiday travelers and shoppers.

The best gift you can give yourself this Thanksgiving is to be with friends or family. It’s these people who are there for us, who make us laugh, who are there for us to talk, and for the very best of them, give us a shoulder to cry on from time to time.

And, if you’re a good friend who returns the favor, your visit will be a gift well received. 

I am truly thankful for my family who supports me in not only this project of bringing you our local news but in all endeavors. From improving our home, investing in our family, planning for our future, and taking care of our tribe of goats and pack of dogs, my family has been there every step of the way.

I hope that you have friends and relatives like this in your life and that you’ll be able to count your blessings, and for what you are thankful.

We’ll take a break Thanksgiving Day from posting local news. For us, it’s time to be with family and friends, to relax, regroup, and, of course, eat some turkey.

We’ll be back bright and early on Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Introducing corporate and non-profit rental packages at Manassas Park Community Center

As you begin planning for your corporate holiday party, you ask yourself several questions: Will there be a dress code? What kind of food will be served? Will there be a theme? It seems like the list is endless! After all, most businesses do not have professional party planners, so for the person who actually plans the holiday party, the task can feel daunting.

Luckily there is an easy solution – and it is conveniently located right in Manassas Park. The Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) is ready to meet all of your special event needs with its spacious banquet hall and numerous meeting rooms available to rent.

Amelia Powell, Customer Service Supervisor at MPCC says she is the concierge for the venue of endless possibilities.

“We really make it easy to rent space here. From our clean facilities, to our knowledge of area vendors, we can help you make your corporate or non-profit holiday party or event the best one yet,” Powell said.

“We hope you notice the extra efforts we put forth to maintain a clean, safe, and professional atmosphere,” she added,In addition, one of my favorite features that sets us apart from other venues in the area, are our knowledgeable instructors who can help you develop teambuilding exercises as part of your event.

There are several banquet hall rental packages designed to complement your company’s specific needs.

“A few years ago, a sorority rented the facility and wanted a dance floor, so we worked with them to provide one, and now a dance floor is part of the packages offered here,” Powell said.

“One of the first things I tell people who are interested in renting space at MPCC is to make a timeline. The details will be the difference between a good event and a great event, and we will work with you to make sure you stay on top of the little details so that you have a great corporate event here,” she added.

There are three separate corporate and non-profit rental banquet hall packages at MPCC to maximize your company’s needs.

The first package is called The Formal Piece where your company would rent the full banquet hall for four hours. It’s the perfect package for holiday parties, training, and large luncheons. The banquet hall seats 230 people and includes the caterer’s kitchen and the pre-function area.

The second package is called Smart Casualand includes half the banquet hall, caterer’s kitchen, and pre-function area for six hours. Half the banquet hall provides seating for 115 people. You also get a wireless mic, projector, and a podium making this package perfect for half-day conferences, lunch-and-learns, or training.

This “Smart Casual” package is perfect for holiday parties and events where you want to announce or call attention to staff who have exceeded your expectations. “This is the package businesses use when they want to take advantage of our instructor’s team building exercises,” Powell further pointed out.

The third package is calledArgyle Style where you would rent the full banquet hall for four hours, and is great for holiday parties, celebrations, or casual events allowing for your company’s fun side.

“This plan includes a dance floor and activity tables and was added after the sorority’s event I mentioned earlier,” Powell stated.

The Argyle Style package is perfect for company parties where the employees’ spouses and families are invited, as it includes a 12’ X 12’ dance floor, seating for 230 people, caterer’s kitchen, and pre-function area.

The caterer’s kitchen, included in all three packages, is 1,082 square feet with a six-burner gas range, convection ovens, warming ovens, ice machines, and stainless steel tables. There are several add-ons available for each of the packages including additional hours, childcare for up to 30 children, alcohol onsite, and audio-visual amenities.

Drum roll please!

This year, MPCC is introducing a new Non-Profit Scholarship.

“There are so many excellent non-profit organizations in the area who do not have the budget for renting a large space, so we thought why not help those who help others by providing the rental space and offer a specific Non-Profit Scholarship to help pay for that space,” Powell said.

If you know of a non-profit looking for space for their annual gala or fundraiser, please let them know about this scholarship,” she added.

Renting banquet space at the Manassas Park Community Center is the best solution for area companies who are looking for that perfect venue for a fun corporate event where all of the people involved will mingle actively during the company’s holiday celebration. In addition to the banquet hall packages, there are also multi-purpose room and conference room options presenting affordable solutions for smaller organizations. If your company is looking for a one- or two-day retreat, there is also a package that takes advantage of the facility’s robust recreational amenities

“We have the perfect space to suit any company or corporate event you are planning,” Powell summarized. Call the Manassas Park Community Center today at 703-335-8872 and ask for Amelia Powell, your concierge for the venue with endless possibilities.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.

News
Un Trim A Tree collecting new toys right before start of Greater Manassas Christmas Parade

Good morning Prince William – 71st Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade still needs a few more volunteers to help along the parade route.

This is a super fun day and will definitely put you in spirit! It only takes a couple of hours and you’ll see all your friends and neighbors as well. Please email Nora at nora@greenteaminc.com for more info- just 2 weeks left. Also- The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift Program is collecting new toys right before the start of the parade at 9:45am. Please come enjoy this wonderful community event and share the joy of the season with donating a toy for either a boy or girl age 0 to 12yrs. old. The toy float will come down the entire parade route and volunteers will collect your donations right on the spot.

· Speaking of gifts- Matrix Computer Consulting has a great deal on new PCs for home or office and will donate $35 for every PC purchased to the Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift Program. It’s a great deal for you and of course more toys for needy kids. Please email Sarah at sarah@matrixcc.net to learn more.

· Cheers to F.H. Furr and their Keep’emWarm Coat Drive for kids across the community. We are collecting new kids coats age 0 to 12yrs old. There are hundreds of kids that will show up at school with only a sweatshirt on when they should have a warm coat on. You can drop off your donation at any of the 4 United Bank branches in Prince William- Liberia Road, Balls Ford Road, Lake Ridge and Route 1 Dumfries. And the PW Libraries are also collecting coats at the following full service locations: Chinn Park, Potomac, Montclair, Central, Bull Run and Haymarket/Gainesville branches. Huge Cheers to F.H. Furr, PW Libraries and United Bank for this partnership!

· The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift program for needy kids is in full swing. There are still 1300 kids needing a sponsor! Come share the joy of the season by sponsoring a child. You will receive the child’s name, age and 2 gift wishes so you can make their dreams come true. You can download all the info at: volunteerprincewilliam.org.

· Project Mend A House invites all to their Holiday open House on Monday December 5th, 6-9pm. It will be an evening of cheer, shopping, door prizes, friendship and some adult beverages. The vendor line-up includes LulaRoe, Keep Collective, Chloe+Isabelle, Scentsy, Mary Kay and Pampered Chef. Please RSVP to Liz@pwahweb.org

· House of Mercy has an urgent need for volunteers in the Donation Center. Duties include sorting, labeling and hanging. It’s a great family project and teens are most welcome. Please complete a volunteer application on their website at:houseofmercyva.org

· Chapel of His Glory Immigration Ministry is looking for a volunteer Paralegal/Legal Assistant to help pro bono lawyers working with immigrant families who entered the US legally and need assistance to renew/retain their legal status. Please email Pastor Herbert at: treasuredglory@gmail.com for more info.

· The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to present the Safe at Home curriculum to 4th grade students. Come be part of the team to teach cute kids critical life skills while they are home alone. Please call Jan at (571) 292-5307 for more info.

· Bright Care Center in Manassas provides social and medical services to adults with disabilities. Volunteers are needed daily to pick up the noon lunch meal from Caton Merchant House for the participants. Volunteers are also needed for activities such as crafts, puzzles, music and jewelry making. This is a great job for teens age 16+. Please call Nyome at (703) 330-5836 to learn more.

· The Soroptimist Club of Manassas invites young women age 14-17 to nominate themselves for their Violet Richardson Award Program. This program celebrates volunteer service to better our community. Please email jamilah.dalton@gmail.com to learn more.

· Saved Hands Foundation is looking for volunteers to teach Microsoft Office to adults either in the evenings or daytime. They are also looking for a grant writer, administrated support and a marketing director. Come be part of the team offering skill building to disadvantaged adults. Please email info@savedhandsfoundation.org to learn more.

· The Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center is looking for volunteers to help at the front desk on weekdays. Tasks include welcoming guests, answering the phone or assist residents and staff with admin projects. Volunteers must be 18 yrs. +. Please call Paola at (571) 748-2674 for more info.

· Prince William Area Free Clinic is looking for volunteer Pharmacists on Tuesday evenings from 3-7pm at their Woodbridge clinic. Please fill out an application at: pwafc.org/our-team.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan 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
Call to Action: We have thousands of kids needing your help

 Good morning Prince William – mark your calendars for the 71st Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade at 10am. The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift Program is collecting new toys right before the start of the parade. Please come enjoy this wonderful community event and share the joy of the season with donating a toy for either a boy or girl age 0 to 12yrs. old. The toy float will come down the entire parade route and volunteers will collect your donations right on the spot.

· Cheers to F.H. Furr and their Keep’emWarm Coat Drive for kids across the community. We are collecting new kids coats age 0 to 12yrs old. There are hundreds of kids that will show up at school with only a sweatshirt on when they should have a warm coat on. You can drop off your donation at any of the 4 United Bank branches in Prince William- Liberia Road, Balls Ford Road, Lake Ridge and Route 1 Dumfries. And the PW Libraries are also collecting coats at the following full service locations: Chinn Park, Potomac, Montclair, Central, Bull Run and Haymarket/Gainesville branches. Huge Cheers to F.H. Furr, PW Libraries and United Bank for this partnership!

· The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift program for needy kids is in full swing. Come share the joy of the season by sponsoring a child. You will receive the child’s name, age and two gift wishes so you can make their dreams come true. You can download all the info at: volunteerprincewilliam.org.
We have thousands of kids needing your help!

· Chapel of His Glory Immigration Ministry is looking for a volunteer Paralegal/Legal Assistant to help pro bono lawyers working with immigrant families who entered the US legally and need assistance to renew/retain their legal status. Please email Pastor Herbert at: treasuredglory@gmail.com for more info.

· The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to present the Safe at Home curriculum to 4th grade students. Come be part of the team to teach cute kids critical life skills while they are home alone. Please call Jan at (571) 292-5307 for more info.

· Bright Care Center in Manassas provides social and medical services to adults with disabilities. Volunteers are needed daily to pick up the noon lunch meal from Caton Merchant House for the participants. Volunteers are also needed for activities such as crafts, puzzles, music and jewelry making. This is a great job for teens age 16+. Please call Nyome at (703) 330-5836 to learn more.

· The Soroptimist Club of Manassas invites young women age 14-17 to nominate themselves for their Violet Richardson Award Program. This program celebrates volunteer service to better our community. Please email jamilah.dalton@gmail.com to learn more.

· Saved Hands Foundation is looking for volunteers to teach Microsoft Office to adults either in the evenings or daytime. They are also looking for a grant writer, administrated support and a marketing director. Come be part of the team offering skill building to disadvantaged adults. Please email info@savedhandsfoundation.org to learn more.

· The Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center is looking for volunteers to help at the front desk on weekdays. Tasks include welcoming guests, answering the phone or assist residents and staff with admin projects. Volunteers must be 18 yrs. +. Please call Paola at (571) 748-2674 for more info.

· Prince William Area Free Clinic is looking for volunteer Pharmacists on Tuesday evenings from 3-7pm at their Woodbridge clinic. Please fill out an application at: pwafc.org/our-team.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan 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 in-home care firm awarded Franchisee of the Year

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Jack and Jacqueline St. Clair have much to celebrate this year. On October 27, the St. Clairs celebrated owning Home Instead Senior Care for a decade. They also celebrated winning Homecare Franchisee of the Year by the International Franchise Association.

The St. Clairs began their franchise when Jacqueline’s grandmother needed care.

“We know what it’s like to need good care and what a difference it makes to the client and family. Service, quality of care, education of caregivers and quality control all are really important to us.”

In the past 10 years, the St. Clairs franchise of Home Instead Senior Care and their 200 caregivers have provided Prince William and Fauquier counties over 1 million hours of quality care to over 5,000 seniors, the disabled and Veterans in their homes, close to friends and family. With purchasing a Home Instead Senior Care office in Herndon in April of 2014, they are looking forward to serving even more.

The services Home Instead Senior Care offers can include companionship, meal preparation, respite for family caregivers and Alzheimer’s care. Jaqueline noted how essential memory care is and how important it is for those memory care clients that want to stay in their own home.

“We’ve always been ambassadors for the Alzheimer’s Association. So many of our clients have Alzheimer’s.”

The St. Clairs are proud of the accomplishments their franchise has achieved. Looked to as one of the top in revenue, Jack is most proud of their franchise also being looked to as an information resource for caregivers.

“We take great pride that we’re a company that cares for the clients we serve and the people who are the caregivers.”

Honorees of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Awards are chosen from among franchisees who have demonstrated excellence within the franchising community. In the St. Claire’s case, the corporate management of Home Instead Senior Care recognized the dedication they show for both their franchises of Home Instead, as well as their community. They were nominated over 700 other Home Instead Senior Care offices.

Home Instead, Inc. was founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska. They provide in-home caregiving and support to help seniors “age in place.”

The International Franchise Association is the oldest organization and represents franchising worldwide. IFA membership includes franchise companies from over 300 different business categories. IFA announced they would be presenting Jack and Jacqueline St. Clair with their award at the Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. This meeting brings together franchise business leaders, policy makers, and other D.C. dignitaries to discuss the economic and community contributions of the franchise sector.

With this award and the quality care they bring to their clients, the St. Clairs do have a lot to celebrate. But Jaqueline said they are celebrating the future as well: “We want to continue,” she said. “We’re looking forward to celebrating 20 years.”

For more information on Home Instead Senior Care in Manassas, visit  www.homeinstead.com/manassas-va.

News
Cheers to F.H. Furr and their Keep’em Warm Coat Drive for kids across the community

· Good morning Prince William – Cheers to volunteer managers around the world celebrating International Volunteer Managers Day Saturday, November 5th. Our colleagues have the skills and knowledge to help people meet community needs. They provide the leadership and direction for volunteers of all ages build a good and just society and mend the social fabric of our community. Cheers to all the volunteer managers- our friends and colleagues!

· Cheers to F.H. Furr and their Keep’em Warm Coat Drive for kids across the community. We are collecting new kids coats age 0 to 12yrs old. There are hundreds of kids that will show up at school with only a sweatshirt on when they should have a warm coat on. You can drop off your donation at any of the 4 United Bank branches in Prince William- Liberia Road, Balls Ford Road, Lake Ridge and Route 1 Dumfries. And the Prince William County Libraries are also collecting coats at the following full-service locations: Chinn Park, Potomac, Montclair, Central, Bull Run and Haymarket/Gainesville branches. Huge Cheers to F.H. Furr, PW Libraries and United Bank for this partnership!

· The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift program for needy kids is in full swing. Share the joy of the season by sponsoring a child. You will receive the child’s name, age and two gift wishes so you can make their dreams come true. Please email mfoley@volunteerprincewilliam.org for a donor packet.

· Chapel of His Glory Immigration Ministry is looking for a volunteer Paralegal/Legal Assistant to help pro bono lawyers working with immigrant families who entered the US legally and need assistance to renew/retain their legal status. Please email Pastor Herbert at treasuredglory@gmail.com for more info.

· The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to present the Safe at Home curriculum to 4th-grade students. Be part of the team to teach cute kids critical life skills while they are home alone. Please call Jan at (571) 292-5307 for more info.

· The Potomac River Cleanup at Leesylvania State Park needs volunteers on Saturday, November 12th at 11 am. Be sure to wear bug spray, closed toed shoes, old clothes, and sunscreen for this super fun gets a dirty little job. You’ll know immediately how much impact you have on our precious resources! Please call (703) 583-6904 to register.

· Bright Care Center in Manassas provides social and medical services to adults with disabilities. Volunteers are needed daily to pick up the noon lunch meal from Caton Merchant House for the participants. Volunteers are also needed for activities such as crafts, puzzles, music and jewelry making. This is a great job for teens age 16+. Please call Nyome at (703) 330-5836 to learn more.

· The Soroptimist Club of Manassas invites young women ages 14-17 to nominate themselves for their Violet Richardson Award Program. This program celebrates volunteer service to better our community. Please email jamilah.dalton@gmail.com to learn more.

· The SPCA is teaming up with ACTS to provide healthy and safe food alternatives for pets at Thanksgiving. They are collecting pet food that will be distributed to the Operation Turkey families. Volunteers are needed to fill the bags of pet food by November 15th. This is the perfect job for scouts and youth groups. Go to www.pwspca.org for more info on the Thanksgiving pet food drive.

· Saved Hands Foundation is looking for volunteers to teach Microsoft Office to adults either in the evenings or daytime. They are also looking for a grant writer, administrated support and a marketing director. Be part of the team offering skill building to disadvantaged adults. Please email info@savedhandsfoundation.org to learn more.

· The Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center is looking for volunteers to help at the front desk on weekdays. Tasks include welcoming guests, answering the phone or assist residents and staff with admin projects. Volunteers must be 18 yrs. +. Please call Paola at (571) 748-2674 for more info.

· Prince William Area Free Clinic is looking for volunteer Pharmacists on Tuesday evenings from 3-7pm at their Woodbridge clinic. Please fill out an application at pwafc.org/our-team.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan 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.

New scholarship award focuses on youth and small business owners

OCCOQUAN, Va.  — The John Mathis Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, named after the father of One Degree Capital co-founder Jenn Mathis, is now accepting applications for its inaugural 2016-17 academic year scholarship award.

“Daddy continues to be an enormous inspiration to my growth as a business owner,” explains Jenn. “He constantly inspires, encourages and mentors me on business ownership and leadership. I would not be where I am today without him.”

Jenn and her business partner, Rod Loges, routinely seek ways to give back to the communities in which their business serves, including donating goods, services and time as well as mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages.

“When Rod and I discussed starting a scholarship,” Jenn continues, “we knew we wanted to create something that encouraged today’s entrepreneurial youth. Small business owners employ over half the nation’s workforce. Here at One Degree Capital we do everything we can to encourage growth in this critical segment of our society.”

The application process opens on November 1 – John Mathis’ birthday – and continues through the end of the year. Semi-finalists are notified in February with final selection made on March 13 (the anniversary date of One Degree Capital’s founding). The scholarship award is open to high school seniors who either work for a small business owner or who currently own their own small business. For more details, visit www.onedegreecapital.com/scholarship.

About The John Mathis Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
High school seniors who are either employed by a small business or who own their own small business are eligible to apply. The non-renewable $2,000 scholarship award can be applied toward tuition and fees of a postsecondary school. For full details and to apply for the scholarship award, visit www.onedegreecapital.com/scholarship.

About One Degree Capital
One Degree Capital is a privately funded direct lender to small business owners nationwide. Established in 2010, One Degree Capital has helped thousands of business owners start, sustain and grow their businesses by helping them find the right type of business loan for their unique needs. One Degree Capital offers a full suite of small business financing including business loans, working capital, equipment financing, SBA-backed loans, factoring and more. For more information, contact Jenn Mathis at 1.703-579-6868.

News
The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift program for needy kids is in full swing

Good morning Prince William – The Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition needs volunteers on Saturday, November 5th 9am-12 noon for their clean-up event on Neabsco Creek at Eagles Park. All supplies provided for this fun community event. Please email secretary@pwtsc.org to register.

· The Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift program for needy kids is in full swing. Share the joy of the season by sponsoring a child. You will receive the child’s name, age and two gift wishes so you can make their dreams come true. Please email mfoley@volunteerprincewilliam.org for a donor packet.

· The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteers age 55+ to present the Safe at Home curriculum to 4th-grade students. Be part of the team to teach cute kids critical life skills while they are home alone. Please call Jan at (571) 292-5307 for more info.

· The Potomac River Cleanup at Leesylvania State Park needs volunteers on Saturday, November 12th at 11 am. Be sure to wear bug spray, closed toed shoes, old clothes, and sunscreen for this super fun get a little dirty job. You’ll know immediately how much impact you have on our precious resources! Please call (703) 583-6904 to register.

· Bright Care Center in Manassas provides social and medical services to adults with disabilities. Volunteers are needed daily to pick up the noon lunch meal from Caton Merchant House for the participants. Volunteers are also needed for activities such as crafts, puzzles, music and jewelry making. This is a great job for teens age 16+. Please call Nyome at (703) 330-5836 to learn more.

· The Soroptimist Club of Manassas invites young women age 14-17 to nominate themselves for their Violet Richardson Award Program. This program celebrates volunteer service to better our community. Please email jamilah.dalton@gmail.com to learn more.

· The SPCA is teaming up with ACTS to provide healthy and safe food alternatives for pets at Thanksgiving. They are collecting pet food that will be distributed to the Operation Turkey families. Volunteers are needed to fill the bags of pet food by November 15th. This is the perfect job for scouts and youth groups. Go to www.pwspca.org for more info on the Thanksgiving pet food drive.

· Saved Hands Foundation is looking for volunteers to teach Microsoft Office to adults either in the evenings or daytime. They are also looking for a grant writer, administrated support and a marketing director. Be part of the team offering skill building to disadvantaged adults. Please email info@savedhandsfoundation.org to learn more.

· The Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center is looking for volunteers to help at the front desk on weekdays. Tasks include welcoming guests, answering the phone or assist residents and staff with admin projects. Volunteers must be 18 yrs. +. Please call Paola at (571) 748-2674 for more info.

· Prince William Area Free Clinic is looking for volunteer Pharmacists on Tuesday evenings from 3-7pm at their Woodbridge clinic. Please fill out an application at: pwafc.org/our-team.

· Operation Turkey is right around the corner! This is great opportunity to help those in need with all the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal. The special basics we all love include green beans, sweet potatoes, boxed pie crust, corn, biscuit mix, stuffing, box muffins, pumpkin pie mix, mashed potatoes, gravy packets or jars and of course cranberry sauce. Donations can be made to both ACTS in Dumfries and SERVE in Manassas.

· The Manassas Christmas Parade is in need of volunteer marshals! Also, there are several levels of sponsorship available. This year’s theme is Believe. Visit www.gmchristmasparade.org for more information or contact Nora at: nora@greenteaminc.com.

· The Greater Washington Heart Walk takes place on November 5th on the National Mall. Help fight heart disease and stroke. Go to www.greaterwashingtonheartwalk.org for information and to register as a walker or volunteer.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan 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
Potomac River Cleanup at Leesylvania State Park needs volunteers

Good morning Prince William – Happy Halloween! Historic Manassas is looking for volunteers to help with their Haunted Happenings event on Saturday, October 29th from 9am-12noon. Duties include helping with fun games for the children in costume. You don’t want to miss the fun- please email Erin@historicmanassasinc.org to learn more.

· SERVE is looking for youth groups to distribute flyers in their neighborhood about collecting TP when they trick or treat- yep you got it everybody could use a little extra TP especially families in need. Call Navara at 571-748-2536 to learn more.

· The Retired and senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteers age 55+ to present the Safe at Home curriculum to 4th-grade students. Come be part of the team to teach cute kids critical life skills while they are home alone. Please call Jan at (571) 292-5307 for more info.

· The Potomac River Cleanup at Leesylvania State Park needs volunteers on Saturday, November 12th at 11 am. Be sure to wear bug spray, closed toed shoes, old clothes, and sunscreen for this super fun get-a-little -dirty job. You’ll know immediately how much impact you have on our precious resources! Please call (703) 583-6904 to register.

· Bright Care Center in Manassas provides social and medical services to adults with disabilities. Volunteers are needed daily to pick up the noon lunch meal from Caton Merchant House for the participants. Volunteers are also needed for activities such as crafts, puzzles, music and jewelry making. This is a great job for teens age 16+. Please call Nyome at (703) 330-5836 to learn more.

· The Soroptimist Club of Manassas invites young women age 14-17 to nominate themselves for their Violet Richardson Award Program. This program celebrates volunteer service to better our community. Please email jamilah.dalton@gmail.com to learn more.

· The SPCA is teaming up with ACTS to provide healthy and safe food alternatives for pets at Thanksgiving. They are collecting pet food that will be distributed to the Operation Turkey families. Volunteers are needed to fill the bags of pet food by November 15th. This is the perfect job for scouts and youth groups. Go to www.pwspca.org for more info on the Thanksgiving pet food drive.

· Saved Hands Foundation is looking for volunteers to teach Microsoft Office to adults either in the evenings or daytime. They are also looking for a grant writer, administrated support and a marketing director. Be part of the team offering skill building to disadvantaged adults. Please email info@savedhandsfoundation.org to learn more.

· The Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center is looking for volunteers to help at the front desk on weekdays. Tasks include welcoming guests, answering the phone or assist residents and staff with admin projects. Volunteers must be 18 yrs. +. Please call Paola at (571) 748-2674 for more info.

· Prince William Area Free Clinic is looking for volunteer Pharmacists on Tuesday evenings from 3-7pm at their Woodbridge clinic. Please fill out an application at: pwafc.org/our-team.

· Operation Turkey is right around the corner! This is great opportunity to help those in need with all the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal. The special basics we all love include green beans, sweet potatoes, boxed pie crust, corn, biscuit mix, stuffing, box muffins, pumpkin pie mix, mashed potatoes, gravy packets or jars and of course cranberry sauce. Donations can be made to both ACTS in Dumfries and SERVE in Manassas.

· The Manassas Christmas Parade is in need of volunteer marshals! Also, there are several levels of sponsorship available. This year’s theme is Believe. Visit www.gmchristmasparade.org for more information or contact Nora at: nora@greenteaminc.com.

· The Greater Washington Heart Walk takes place on November 5th on the National Mall. Help fight heart disease and stroke. Go to www.greaterwashingtonheartwalk.org for information and to register as a walker or volunteer.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan 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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