Yankees Back in Falmouth This Weekend

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — This weekend, Sept. 13 and 14, teach President Lincoln how to take a “selfie” at the 7th Annual “Yankees in Falmouth! And Some Confederates Too!”

This family-friendly and free event in Stafford County interprets the Union Army’s occupation of the Rappahannock River community of Falmouth during the Civil War. The event will be held on the grounds of the Moncure Conway House, an Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Historical Site, and the Historic Port of Falmouth Park.

Bring your family out to the event and engage them in history while they capture pictures of a variety of reenactors, including Union and Confederate soldiers, President Lincoln, the 14th Brooklyn, also known as “The Red Legged Devils”, 23rd USCT African-American regiments, 8th Virginia Infantry, 13th Virginia Infantry, 47th Infantry, Edenton Bell Battery/Artillery, and 3rd U.S. Regulars. Some of the military reenacting units will portray the historical counterparts that were encamped and quartered in Falmouth during the Civil War. Event activities will include daytime and nighttime artillery firing demonstrations, period music by Evergreen Shade, special lectures, strict military impressions, period telegraph display, encampments, civilian living history interpretation, and other special activities.

On Saturday, two presentations will be given: “Civil War Union Women in Falmouth and Stafford” by Al Connor and “Servant Call Bells and the Southern System” by Lenetta Schools. On Sunday at 11 a.m., a Civil War Church service will be held and the general public is encouraged to attend.

Saturday’s daytime event is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday will also feature a special night time cannon firing at 8:30 p.m. at the Historic Port of Falmouth Park.

Sunday’s event is from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For a complete schedule of events, visit For more information about the “Yankees in Falmouth! and Some Confederates Too!!” annual event and other Civil War activities in Stafford County, please visit the or contact Stafford County Tourism directly at 540-658-8681.

Eagle Scout Makes Benches for Clearbrook Center of the Arts at Tacketts Mill

090914 benches

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — Sean Zylich, of Boy Scout Troop 295, has fulfilled the requirements of Eagle Scout rank by designing and implementing the construction of 12 ash benches  at the Clearbrook Center of the Arts, located at the Tacketts Mill shopping center in Lake Ridge.  

The benches will be displayed around the Tackett’s Mill Center after they have been painted by local artists through a design competition.  

Clearbrook Center of the Arts is a new presence in Lake Ridge and is located at 2230B Tackett’s Mill Drive.  The center relies on local volunteers and seeks to promote artistic and educational activities in the eastern end of Prince William County, Virginia and the public appreciation of these activities in both public and private venues.  

The Clearbrook Foundation, a  Virginia non-profit, is underwriting the Center of the Arts and is funding Prince William County’s Poet Laureate program.

Tackett’s Mill’s June event, Poetry and Jazz, crowned Zan Hailey and Dr. Robert Scott as Prince William County’s first ever Poet Laureates.  

Readers are encouraged to visit for more information.

Prince William’s 5 Classic Fall Activities

Editor’s note: This column is written by Discover Prince William / Manassas and is posted to Potomac Local under a special content-sharing agreement. 

Discover Prince William County and ManassasWith fall upon us, visions of pumpkin and smells of fresh apple cider are filling the air. We invite you to get out of the house this weekend to experience these five traditional autumn activities in Prince William & Manassas. 

1)      Go for a fall foliage bike ride through Prince William Forest Park. One of the National Parks in the County, Prince William Forest has more than 21 miles of bicycles-accessible roads and trails. Enjoy the 12 mile paved Scenic Drive and see if you can spot wildlife throughout this quiet ride. Prince William Forest Park also offers rental cabins and campsites for those wanting to continue the outdoor experience all weekend!

2)      Take in a taste of fall. Grab a pint (or two) at Heritage Brewing Company where their autumn seasonal ale, the Bradford Ale is fermented with pumpkin and bourbon infused cinnamon sticks. Cross the street to BadWolf Brewing Company where their taps are continually changing.

3)      Go pumpkin picking. Get the experience of one of the few pumpkin patches left in Northern Virginia at Yankey Farms. Choose your fall pumpkin, and cut it right off the vine. Enjoy shopping through their other seasonal produce including gourds and winter squash. If you have kids, check out the corn maze and cow train.

4)      Take the free Prince William County Farm Tour. Enjoy a weekend in the country experiencing modern farm life through the annual Prince William County Farm Tour on September 27th-28th. With 10 locations open to the public, experience fun and educational activities for the whole family. Follow the farm tour map to watch a sheep shearing demonstration at Ben Lomond or tour the flower gardens at Lynn Vale Farm & Studio.

5)      Enjoy a fall festival. From the Occoquan Arts and Craft Festival to the Taste of the Potomac in Woodbridge, there are plenty of fall festivals, no matter your interest. 

Make sure to mark your calendars to discover all of the fun fall events and activities in Prince William & Manassas. For more information visit our website, and share with us on Facebook and Twitter how you #discoverpwm.

Potomac Local Pets


Bandit is an affectionate boy who is always ready to play. He is a lab mix with a beautiful black coat and  a gentle, sweet disposition. Lots of adorable puppy energy. Estimated DOB is mid February 2014. Healthy and up to date on shots, he is ready to bring endless joy to his forever home

Spice: She is just the cutest thing! Spice is a very social and affectionate 3 year old calico  who still quite kittenish. She has been spayed and is UTD on all her shots

-Information provided by the Stafford SPCA. Contact them for more information on any of the animals shown above. 

Quantico to Welcome 2nd Annual Blockade Run Kayak & Stand-Up Paddleboard Races

QUANTICO, Va. — In 1861/1862 Confederate forces blockaded the Potomac River with the use of land based cannon and artillery pieces.  One of the main gun batteries was located in the town of Evansport (present day Quantico).  Union vessels travelling up and down the Potomac River were forced to run the blockade. 

Make history, in a place of history. Come join us on Saturday September 20 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the 2nd Annual Blockade Run Kayak & Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Races being held on the same waters as the Confederate Blockade of the Potomac during the Civil War!!!

The Town of Quantico is pleased to partner with the Ft. Belvior/Quantico Chapter of Team River Runner and the American Canoe Association (ACA) in hosting this event.

This event will include the following races: 1K kayak race, 1K kayak 4-person team relay race, 1K SUP race, 1K SUP 4-person team relay, 250M Youth kayak race and 250M Youth SUP race. An awards ceremony will follow the races.

All equipment will be provided and is included in the registration fee. The registration fee for this event is $20 for adults, kids race for free. Same day registration will be available. This event is open to the public. Families and pets are welcome. Children 8 years old and over are welcome to participate but must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

This event will be held at Raftelis Potomac River Park 408 River Road Quantico VA 2213.

To register please contact Mayor Kevin Brown at cell/text (571) 334-3432 or  Find out more about this and other town events by visiting or by searching for “Town of Quantico” on Facebook.

Summer Band Program Helps Students Transition

MANASSAS, Va. — For many students, making the transition to high school extra curricular activities can be difficult, and this sparked the need for a summer band camp program to help students in Manassas.

Started by the M&M Band Boosters at the end of the past school year, a group of teachers and students at Mayfield intermediate and Metz elementary schools in Manassas came together to create a summer bad camp program, to help students prepare for joining the Osbourn HS Band this Fall.

During the 5-day free camp, students from 6 to 12 grade had the opportunity to learn a new song each day, according to Jhenny Michalek, a parent whose daughter participated in the program.

In order to make the program a success, several teachers and parents dedicated their time to the camp. “Several teachers were involved.  Mr. Wilfinger and Mr. Stevens both directed and played instruments during the concert.  Susan Harris and David Battle played during the concert and helped students during practice.  We also had one parent join the concert with her instrument,” Michalek said.

The camp culminated in a Manassas City Symposium on July 28 at the Harris Pavilion, where the students had the opportunity to perform their work in a concert.

With the camp being such a success, there are plans to continue the program next summer.

“Our goal is to open the symposium next year to the students and any parents or family members that would like to play with their student so that it will grow as a community event,” Michalek said.

Palmer Family Celebrates Five Decades of Love

The family of Robe’rt (Bob) and Bettye Palmer are holding a surprise 50th wedding anniversary celebration today at the Waterford Hotel in Springfield.  Two hundred guests from across the country are expected to attend, including community leaders.

The Palmers were engaged in 1963, a pinnacle year for the Civil Rights movement.  As plans were being made for 100,000 people to converge on Washington, D.C. for the historic March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King would deliver his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, the Palmers were making a promise that has held firm for decades.  The Palmers married September 1, 1964.

Together, the Palmers raised a family in the wake of significant historic events, including the first moon landing, the Viet Nam War, the Nixon administration and the continuing conflicts in the Middle East.  They have four children: Robe’rt, Jr., Palmer, Remond Palmer, Nicole Guess and Germaine Palmer.  The Palmers also have four grandchildren: Dana Rae Lawrence, Remond Keith Palmer, Jr., Keshawn Jemond Palmer and Valentino Bryon Guess.

The Palmers are active members of Dumfries’ First Mount Zion Baptist Church, under the leadership of Dr. Luke Torian and Assistant Reverend Sandra James.  According to Robe’rt, Jr., “Over these 50 years, as with all families, Bob and Bettye have no doubt had their ups and downs, their triumphs and losses, sickness and health.  But the one constant, as anyone who knows them can attest to, has always been their love and commitment to God and to each other.”

Nicole Guess says her mother is known to say, “Keep your hand in God’s hand,” while Bob’s motto is, “I will trust in the Lord always.”

“You can be on time for everything else,” says Bettye.  “Don’t make me late for church.”

Bettye is also known for her coordinated outfits, from dress, to shoes, to hat, to handbag.  Guess remembers her father saying, “Bettye, you don’t have to buy another hat, dress or purse, even if they are giving it away!”

The Palmers met in 1963 in Asbury Park, NJ, where they both had moved to work.  At the time, the area was the hub of the African American community.  Bettye’s career took her from a clothes cleaners to manufacturing and corporate America, including Signal Light and AT&T.  Bob worked in the hospitality industry and eventually with the Asbury Park school system until he retired in 1999.  In 2006, the family moved to Dumfries.

Robe’rt, Jr., holds a Bachelor’s degree from Rowan University and a Master’s from Strayer University.  He has worked for the Department of Defense for 25 years in D.C. Metro. 

Remond attended Monmouth University and graduated from Seton Hall University.  He is a retired fireman and currently instrumental in the Asbury Park political system. 

Nicole holds a Bachelor’s degree from Rowan University and a Master’s from Strayer University.  She is a Department of Defense Contractor in D.C. Metro.  

Germaine graduated from Potomac High School in Dumfries and works for Prince William County. 

 “With that strong commitment, their union has stood the test of time,” Robe’rt, Jr. says about his parents.  “And that is what we celebrate today.”

Pastor, Fire Chief Do Ice Bucket Challenge

Pastor Connie Thomson

Pastor Connie Thomson

Besides both being community leaders, what do Connie Thomson, Pastor of River of Grace Lutheran Church, Manassas, VA and Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief, Kevin McGee have in common? Both recently received the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge”.

On Sunday, August 17, 2014, on the front lawn of River of Grace Lutheran Church, Pastor Connie Thomson was the first to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge.

When Jeff Stamp, member of River of Grace, was asked by Pastor Thomson why he chose her for the challenge, he told her it’s because she is always encouraging others to get out of their comfort zones.

Pastor Thomson said she believes “life happens when we get out of comfort zones because that is when we stop counting on ourselves and God can work with us.” Pastor Connie Thomson also said she accepted the challenge “because it was fun for the congregation and because she wanted people suffering from ALS to know that there are people standing with them spiritually and emotionally.”

Before being doused with the icy water, Pastor Thomson named her choices of people to receive the challenge. Pastor Thomson named two fellow pastors: Kate Davidson of Columbia, Maryland, John Stevens from Oregon City, Oregon, “because why should the East Coast have all the fun”, Jim Hedrick, member of River of Grace, and Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee. McGee was invited to River of Grace to receive the challenge with Pastor Thomson and he accepted.

Chief Kevin McGee said he accepted the challenge because, “it is a great opportunity to bring more awareness to this terrible and debilitating disease so society can develop better treatments. Chief McGee went on to say that receiving the ice bucket challenge “is a small price to pay in comparison to what the people with ALS suffer every day.” While still dripping with icy water, Pastor Connie Thomson appeared to eagerly drench Chief McGee with an equally icy bucket of water.

The “Ice Bucket Challenge” was originated by “Team Frate Train”, friends of Peter Frates who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2012. In addition to receiving the “ice bucket challenge”, Pastor Connie Thomson and Fire Chief McGee will be making contributions to the ALS Association.

The “ice bucket challenge” total donations has reached $22.9 million, 12 times the amount raised last year according to the ALS Association.

The Learning Experience Collects Backpacks for Charity


The Learning Experience (TLE) in Woodbridge, Va., conducted a back-to-school drive leading up to its ‘Back-to-School Bash’ on August 9 to donate school supplies to Operation Home Front, a local nonprofit organization.

In total, the TLE Woodbridge collected 15 backpacks filled with supplies for donation. The Back-to-School Bash was open to the community and included activities such as a large water slide for the kids, games and prizes.

All-in-part of the academy’s first-of-its-kind philanthropy program and curriculum at the preschool level, children enrolled at TLE are no strangers to philanthropic work. TLE students are taught how philanthropy’s core tenants of selflessness, generosity and giving can be applied to their classroom, home life, and community for years to come, and participate each month in philanthropic activities such as the school supplies donation project partnering with nonprofit organizations.

For additional information, visit

Anne Kadis Wins Stafford County 350th Art Competition

Local artist Anne Kadis envisioned marrying Stafford’s rich history with modern day life in her award-winning work “History Lessons.” Ms. Kadis won the Commemorative Art Piece Competition sponsored by 350th Anniversary partner The Professional Artists and Artisans Association of Stafford County (PAAASC). Limited edition prints of “History Lessons” will be offered as a thank you to the many volunteers who have helped make the 350th Anniversary a success.

“Without our many volunteers, we would not have been able to pull off the events and programming this year,” said Chairman of the 350th Anniversary Blue Ribbon Committee Harry Crisp. “We wanted to do something special for them and I think this lovely print will remind them of this special year and their important role in it.”

Ms. Kadis said this is the first painting she completely staged. She wanted to depict the strong roles of African-American women in the lives of children like the young George Washington as well as pay tribute to the role of Stafford County as being part of the “Freedom Trail” slaves used to escape. The quilt in the painting is an heirloom belonging to Ms. Kadis’ family. The setting for the painting is the front porch of Concord, a home built in 1790 in Stafford that belongs to local historians Rick and Jerrilynn MacGregor. The original painting is on display in the lobby of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.

Stafford’s 350th Anniversary Celebration is still going strong! The Wings and Wheels Festival takes place on Saturday, October 18, 2014, where Stafford will honor its strong military heritage. The Trail to Freedom Tour and the Rowser African-American History Wall dedication follow on Saturday, November 1, 2014. Personalized bricks are still available to support these two events as well as other 350th Anniversary programming. The bricks will be placed at the Rowser Building. For more information, visit 

10 Years in, Chick-fil-A’s Mike Lovitt Has a Restaurant for the Community (Promoted Post)


After spending 30 years in the Army working in the public relations field, Lt. Col. Mike Lovitt liked being in front of people.

After all, having the knack to inform and explain to other military members, as well as general public exactly what the Army is up to can take some finesse. He used those same skills when he took command of a basic training unit in charge of recruiting people to join the Army. There, it was all about working with people day in and day out.

When it was time to retire Lovitt wanted to continue working with people. He says he wanted to get into the restaurant business but he didn’t know quite how to do it. 

Ten years later, Lovitt is now the managing Operator of the Chick-fil-A restaurant at Bristow, inside Sowder Village Square just off Route 28 near Manassas. You can see him nearly each day inside the eatery, whether it’s behind the counter training employees, at the drive-through window handing orders to customers, or out in the dining room making sure the customers’ food is prepared just how they like it.

“We try extra hard to create memorable experiences, and that means we’ll go overboard to make customers feel good about being here. When they leave here, we want them to ‘I can’t believe that that happened. Did they really carry my tray? Did they really come and clear my table,” said Lovitt.

The operator said his first experience with Chick-fil-A was in 1987 while he was stationed at Fort McClellan in Alabama. He aptly remembered the restaurant was then, as it is today, was closed on Sundays.

He retired from Fort Belvoir in 2004, and that’s when he decided he would enter the restaurant business by operating his own Chick-fil-A. Two months after retiring from the Army, Lovitt was operating a Chick-fil-A at Montgomery Mall in Maryland.

“After spending 30 years in the military, there wasn’t a challenge I thought I couldn’t handle,” said Lovitt. “Once stepping in here and learning to manage food cost, managing labor costs, after the first 90 days I was asking ‘what did I get myself into?”

With the help of his eldest son, Mike, they quickly got the hang of things. Lovitt was so successful he was given the opportunity he wanted for a long time – opening a new Chick-fil-A restaurant that, unlike the one inside the mall, had a large dining room.

His business has now evolved into a family one, with his younger son, Chris, and his wife, Jan, all playing roles at the restaurant. They, too, can be seen regularly helping guests inside the dining room.

To make Chick-fil-A at Bristow a center of community, outdoor movie nights are held here during the summer, family nights are held on first and third Tuesday of the month, and community groups meet here regularly.

“I’ve always known that a generous man will prosper,” said Lovitt. “I wanted to give to the community, and during our first few years we did give a lot because if you do give it will come back to you.”

There could be more business ventures ahead for Lovitt and his family, as they are exploring the possibility of opening their own bed and breakfast – something Lovitt has wanted to do even before donning a Chick-fil-A uniform.

“I will be here as long as can physically do this. My heart is in this. I love this,” he said.

Chick-fil-A at Bristow is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., and is closed Sundays. Fore more information, call them at 703-365-9292.

Potomac Local Pets




Bandit is an affectionate boy who is always ready to play. He is a lab mix with a beautiful black coat and  a gentle, sweet disposition. Lots of adorable puppy energy. Estimated DOB is mid February 2014. Healthy and up to date on shots, he is ready to bring endless joy to his forever home.


Onyx is a striking, 3 year old, all black male cat with brilliant gold eyes. Onyx has been micro-chipped, UTD on vaccinations, has been neutered and would love to go home with you today!

Lost cat

Missing since last Saturday evening in Stafford on 610 at Stafford Glen Court area. His name is Kitty Boy – orange bobtail, 3 to 4 yrs old and neutered. Please call if seen found. Five four zero six two three three seven nine two. Reward offered.

-Information provided by the Stafford SPCA. Contact them for more information on any of the animals shown above. 

Want a Garden Plot in Dumfries? Follow These 24 Rules

DUMFRIES, Va. — A new community garden has been built in Dumfries. Want a garden plot? Well, first you have to know the rules.

The Town Council had a look at the new rules for the garden – all 24 of them that outline how big each plot should be, how you shouldn’t steal vegetables from other people’s plots, and how community gardeners are expected to attend regular garden club meetings and workshops.

“The community garden brings together people of all ages. It helps people learn to be self-sustaining and learn more about healthy living,” said Dumfries Town Councilman Derrick Wood, who pushed for the creation of the new garden as part of the town’s recently formed Parks and Recreation Commission.

The garden, located in the town’s Ginn Park on Graham Park Road, has only been in use for three months and has five gardeners and one church group who have claimed 11 of the 26 plots. Wood says he hopes to have all of the garden plots claimed by next spring, just in time for the next growing season.

Repairs Underway for Old Home at City’s Entrance


MANASSAS, Va. — No, you’re not seeing things. An old house at the west entrance to Mansasas now has an orange roof. It’s a little uncommon seeing that Manassas is really in red brick that gives the city’s its old timey Civil War-era look and feel.

But the structure at 9985 Foster Street is being renovated in hopes new tenants – those looking for a new home for their business – will set up shop here.

A contractor, Mr. Dillman, who was painting the eaves of the old house on Friday morning, said the home was built between 1910 and 1920, and said he found and old newspaper inside the home from the year 1931 that he kept as a keepsake, he said.

The last tenant at the home moved out eight years ago, he said. And, when Dillman started working on restoring this home, he said the house had cold water running from a well to one faucet inside the home. He also said there’s no evidence the home ever had an indoor toilet.

The sale of the home closed for $51,519 back in March. It sits on a small tract of land next to a overpass that carries drivers on Va. 28 over Wellington Road and railroad tracks.

Inside the home, the house has been completely gutted except for a tile floor, which will eventually be removed, too. New florescent light fixtures appeared to have been installed in some rooms of the house.

Dillman said he is the only contractor working on the home, so it could take a least a year to finish the project. He said the current owner bought the house only to find the inside the home stripped of its copper piping. 

Manassas Church of the Brethren Welcomes New Pastor

It is a great pleasure to announce that Chris Bowman has accepted the call from the Manassas Church of the Brethren congregation to become our next Pastor. Pastor Bowman will begin his new role effective September 1, 2014.

Pastor Chris comes to us with over 27 years of experience. Chris has served as Pastor of the Oakton Church of the Brethren since 2004 following pastorates in Pennsylvania and Illinois.

He was ordained in 1987 and received degrees from Manchester College (1984), Bethany Theological Seminary (1987), and San Francisco Theological Seminary (1999). Bowman served on the worship planning team and delivered the message at the 2008 Annual Conference of Church of the Brethren celebrating the 300th anniversary of our denomination.

He was also tapped to give the message for the Christmas Eve service broadcast nationally on CBS in 2004. In 2003-2004 Pastor Harris served as Moderator of the Church of the Brethren and presided over Annual Conference in Charleston, WVa. Chris has held numerous district and national positions in the Church of the Brethren including: 1993-1998 Church of the Brethren General Board (Chair, 97-98).

Please join us on September 7 for a special welcoming service with carry-in meal to follow. 

Police, Fire Departments Help Osbourn Freshmen Get Oriented for New School Year


MANASSAS, Va. — Several incoming freshmen at Osbourn High School had their eyes opened by the fire and rescue and police departments.

In the school’s parking lot late Wednesday morning, students who are part of the Rising Stars program saw demonstrations from the Manassas Police Department’s K9, motorcycle, and SWAT units, and saw firefighters demonstrate the life-saving skills they use to cut into wrecked vehicles in order to pull victims to safety.

“I’m always in awe of how many we have in our program, because to give up three days of your summer vacation as a 14-year-old is pretty impressive,” said Mike Dufrene, assistant principal at Osbourn High School.

Rising Stars is a three day program with a core focus of getting incoming freshmen oriented with not only their new school, but with the community around them.

“We look at these 140 students as the leaders of the incoming freshman class. They understand schedules, they understand where the lockers are, they understand the building, and they are like our go-to kids,” said Dufrene.

After all of the demonstrations were completed, two students and a Manassas police officer submitted themselves for the ice bucket challenge, the viral campaign raising money for the ALS Association. Firefighters filled a cooler and hoisted it atop a ladder truck and then dumped it on the students’ and police officer’s heads.

Fire & Rescue, Police Camps Give Students Hands-on Experience

This summer, several teens in Manassas were given the opportunity to gain professional and hands-on experience in Fire & Rescue and Police work in camps run by the city.

These camps were free for students, with the help of the Manassas City Police Charitable Foundation, which paid for the cost of the camps, and helped students attend.

According to Patty Prince, city spokeswoman, offering the camps for these students was not only good for them individually, but for the community as well.

“We’re all one city, and we all benefit when our young people keep going through high school and earn their degrees,” Prince said.

See a collection of photos taken during the camp


The Police camp, hosted July 7- 18, was geared towards incoming freshmen at Osbourn High School in Manassas. During the two one-week camps, the students learned how to conduct a traffic stop, defense tactics, visited the SWAT team and saw demonstrations from the K-9 unit, according to a press release issued by Prince.

Working with incoming freshmen is particularly important, as having early access to job skills and career planning can help students in pursuing their education.

“It’s important because you’re working with rising [high school] freshman, so you’re showing them what you can do after they’re done with school. Just the varieties of careers they can get into if they finish their degree, as well as what they can do after high school. So you’re catching them as they get into school, and giving them that kind of incentive to study hard and work,” said Prince.

Similar to the Police camp, but with the added element job preparation and interviewing skills, the Fire & Rescue camp, offered for freshmen and rising sophomores, was held July 28 – August 1. Students going through the camp learned how to wear firefighter gear, basic skills, CPR, and even emergency simulations and demonstrations for the sophomore students.

Jhenny Michalek, a parent of one of the Fire & Rescue camp participants, was really pleased with the experience her daughter had at the camp.

“What I really loved about the camp, and what really impressed me with the kids was that they mostly didn’t know each other when they started the camp, and throughout the whole camp, with all of the things they were doing, I saw them all encouraging each other,” said Michalek.

In addition to the encouragement that Michalek saw during the camp, she was also happy with the students’ teamwork on difficult tasks. “It really impressed me how much the teamwork aspect of it was really focused on by the guys that ran the camp,” Michalek said.

For her daughter, the highlights were some of the more exciting activities, as well as the job training experience that she received. “I liked it a lot. The scariest thing for me was going up on that ladder. The business [development] part where we interviewed people and we were interviewed and we had to fill out an application [was helpful],” Michalek’s daughter commented. 

Jersey Mikes Opening at Smoketown Stations


WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Get ready for another Jersey Mikes sub shop, this time at Smoketown Stations shopping center.

The sub shop will open its doors next to the Barbershop & Co. and Old Country Buffet on Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge inside a shop that used to house a Quiznos Subs.

So far, no opening has been announced.

“The site has just been approved…it hasn’t even gone into lease execution yet,” said Jersey Mikes spokeswoman Josie Capozzi.

But that hasn’t stopped a flood of posts to social media from Woodbridge residents exited about the upcoming opening. The store will join locations in Stafford Marketplace shopping center and at Stonewall Shops Square in Gainesville.

The sub chain quickly expanding across the U.S. and plans to open its 800th shop on Wednesday, with 40 more stores to open by the end of the year.

Jersey Mikes typically opens its stores on Wednesday and offers a free sub sandwich in exchange for a donation to a selected local charity, said Capozzi.

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