Manassas Local

Manassas, Manassas Park Democrats to host breakfast on April 23

The Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee (MMPCDC) will host its Blue Victory Breakfast, an annual fundraising event, on Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 8:30-11 a.m., at the new City Tavern, located at 9550 Center Street, Manassas.

The doors will open at 8:30 a.m., and the program will begin promptly at 9 a.m. The Blue Victory Breakfast celebrates MMPCDC’s outstanding volunteer leaders and elected officials, while raising the funds needed to help support its slates of Democratic candidates in the November General Election.

Enjoy a buffet breakfast that includes coffee, tea, juice, fruit, eggs, sausage/bacon, and a waffle station and the fellowship of your Democratic friends and neighbors. Several elected officials and 2016 election candidates are scheduled to attend and speak, including State Senator Jeremy McPike and LuAnn Bennett, Democratic candidate for Congress (VA-10th).

In addition, Virginia House Democratic Caucus Chair, Delegate Charniele Herring, will be a special guest speaker.

Ticket prices are $30 each, four tickets for $110, and eight tickets for $210. Sponsorships are available for $100 (True Blue), $250 (Blue Circle), $500 (Royal Blue), and $1000 (Blue Sky). RSVP and pay online from 

Fundraiser for House of Mercy to be held at MurLarkey Distilled Spirits

Food pantry w Apron_compressed

House of Mercy nonprofit organization will be teaming up with MurLarkey Distilled Spirits to hold a fundraiser for the less fortunate. 

Jim Larkin, General Manager of the distillery, states he is happy to help the agency that serves hundreds of people in local neighborhoods. The event is on Saturday April 23, from 6-8pm at the distillery.

 “We’re on-board to help provide food for the hungry. This will be a fun event for a great cause, and we’re pleased to be hosting it,” said Larkin.

Advanced registration is required. Email, or call House of Mercy at 703-659-1636, or use the “Contact” form at the House of Mercy website (

In addition to food, enrolled low-income House of Mercy clients receive a monthly clothing stipend for a minimum of three months from the House of Mercy aid program. This allows those in need to choose their clothing, promoting dignity and grace for those that House of Mercy serves.

About the House of Mercy

The House of Mercy is a Catholic-based humanitarian 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Manassas, Virginia. Founded in 2005, the organization is dedicated to serving the poor, marginalized, and forgotten. The House of Mercy provides aid to the poor regardless of background, race, religious affiliation, physical ability, gender or ethnicity. It offers a variety of free programs to the community, including:

  • Food Pantry
  • Free and discounted clothing
  • Thrift Store
  • New Shoe program for kids
  • Meal Packing (service project)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL), GED Math, and Beginning Math
  • Citizenship Exam preparation
  • Cooking and Nutrition
  • Spiritual Formation Classes
  • Christmas Assistance

House of Mercy Thrift Store is a public thrift store located at 8170 Flannery Ct, Manassas VA 20109. The sale of very gently used clothing, accessories, and home goods help to provide programs that serve the poor in the greater Manassas, Gainesville, and Nokesville areas. Everything in the store is supplied by generous donors, and are clean, fashionable, and trendy.

For more information about the House of Mercy, or to register as a client, or to donate financially,         email or call 703-659-1636.

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


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

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

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

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

Shriner: So, what exactly is a personal trainer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manassas Democrats to caucus for convention delegates


The Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee (MMPCDC) has scheduled assembled caucuses on Monday, April 18, at 7:30 pm to elect delegates and alternates from both cities to the Virginia 10th Congressional District and State Democratic Party Conventions. Caucus participation–including eligiblity to run for election as a delegate or alternate–is open to all registered voters in the respective cities of Manassas and Manassas Park who sign a standard Democratic declaration form. (more…)

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

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

Manassas Battlefield to Host Junior Ranger Day Event

Manassas, battlefield, park, civil war

Manassas National Battlefield Park will celebrate National Junior Ranger Day with a special event for youths of all ages on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

The event will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Henry Hill Visitor Center. Children and their families can join in a variety of hands-on activities including sending messages by telegraph and signal flag, learning how a cannon was fired, learning the meaning behind the NPS arrowhead, building a monument, and more. Participants can earn their Junior Ranger badge by completing the specially planned activities.

National Junior Ranger Day is a special event held each year during National Park Week, celebrated this year between April 16 and 24. National Park Week is an annual presidentially proclaimed week for celebrating and recognizing National Parks. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the National Park Service, and parks across the country are hosting special events, including many to allow families to experience America’s National Parks in a unique and kid-friendly way.

Entrance to Manassas National Battlefield Park and the event are free. For more information, contact the Visitor Center at 703-361-1339.

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

Farmers Market

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

Controlling litter and blight a priority for Ellis


Theresa Coates Ellis is a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and has been lived in the City of Manassas since 1987.

Ellis is a graduate of George Mason University with a degree in Business Communication. She is the founder of Tackle Management Corp, a company that provides local businesses aid in regards to public relations services. Her strengths encompass a skill set of Management, Marketing, and Public Relations. Besides being known as a businesswoman, Ellis is a mother of seven children and is very active within the community.

Ellis currently serves as a member for the Manassas Regional Airport Commission, the MCPS Education Foundation Board, and the President-Elect for the Bull Run Rotary Club. Additionally, she is a Sponsor and Founder of the Community Connection Network (CCN) Manassas City Public School and is a George Mason University Community Speaker. (more…)

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