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Support local shops, restaurants, and services for Small business Saturday

“Small Business Saturday” was launched in 2010 by American Express to encourage shoppers across America to focus a portion of their holiday shopping on small, local businesses. The program was initially aimed at helping main street businesses survive the economic downturn and cardholders were offered various perks for shopping small. “Small Business Saturday” has since evolved into an annual event featuring tens of thousands of participating shops, restaurants and service providers throughout the country.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of Manassas and significantly contribute to this historic City’s modern beat. The revenues generated from these businesses are what helps enable the City to provide high-quality public services.

On Nov. 25, Historic Manassas Inc. will celebrate Small Business Saturday by “rolling out the blue carpet” for the local businesses. Events are planned throughout the morning to kick-off the local holiday season and discounts will be offered by many merchants. Come out on Saturday, November 25th and support the local small businesses of Historic Downtown Manassas on Shop Small Saturday!


News
Teaching the DAGPAW: Martial Arts and concepts for Life at Manassas Park Community Center

The Manassas Park Community Center offers a variety of martial arts programs for kids of all ages. Master Geoff Mann teaches all of the martial arts classes here at the Community Center. He received his first black belt in 1992 and is a fifth-degree black belt.

Master Geoff has been an instructor at the Community Center for 13 years. That gives him more history at Parks and Recreation than the actual building itself!

Master Geoff explains that the term martial arts initially means “military way of.” The history of martial arts dates back to ancient Greece, Rome, and China. The military of these countries took the fighting and defensive systems of the peasants, adapted, and then incorporated these fighting styles to suit their military needs.

Fast forward to the 1970’s where martial arts legend Bruce Lee became famous for his skills and beliefs that the best fighter is someone who is adapted to any martial arts style while incorporating individual style and not limiting themselves to one practice.

“When I started training in 1985, the MMA club where I was training introduced us to all MMA practices at the time, so we learned a real variety! Now, I teach modern Karate, traditional Tae Kwon Do and I add a little Kempo, Akido, and Jujitsu. My own background and training is inspired by Bruce Lee because we both believe in individual style while emphasizing various martial arts,” he explains.

DAGPAW

Master Geoff tells everyone, students, and parents, that he firmly believes teaching karate and other martial arts is his tool to teach discipline, courtesy, and respect.

“Parents rarely come to me and say they want their kids to defend themselves. Instead, what parents want is for their kids to stay focused and to use their energy learning skills they can use in life. I teach these kids to become better citizens using the concepts of discipline, courtesy, and respect,” he points out.

Master Geoff teaches a theory called, DAGPAW, which stands for discipline, a’s and b’s, goal setting, perseverance, attitude (a good, can-do attitude) and work ethic. To Master Geoff, these are the real benefits of Karate and other martial arts.

“With MMA, the more involved you are, the better off you are. I am also a big believer in having consequences for actions,” he says.

The martial arts uniform is a useful tool to help discipline and focus the children. Mann encourages parents to purchase the uniform to help children achieve their goals. He gives students incentives through the patches on their uniform.

Master Geoff teaches his three to seven-year-old students how to kick properly and gets them to follow those guidelines as closely as possible. He admits there is no one true art form and encourages mixing to adapt to students’ needs and preferences.

“Traditional ways are great, but they might not be practical such as the high jumping kick. This particular kick was originally used to knock people off horses and is not something I use in my classes,” explains Mann.

The MMA classes at the Community Center begins with the Dragon Tots class for students, ages three to four, to learn basic martial arts skills with special emphasis on courtesy, discipline, and respect. This class is on Wednesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 12:55 p.m.

WCRB Mixed Martial Arts are specifically for children, ages six to 13, with or without prior experience, to learn martial arts while emphasizing respect, courtesy, and discipline! This class also combines Master Geoff’s Academic Excellence program to help maximize your child’s learning. The class is on Mondays, from 5 to 5:50 p.m. or 6 to 6:50 p.m.

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, wellness areas, special events, and recreational classes. For more information visit us at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.

FreshySites designs, builds first e-commerce website for USA Volleyball

At FreshySites, we’re dedicated to taking our clients’ online presence to the next level through the creation of beautiful, clean and user-friendly websites.

With that mission front and center, we recently harnessed our commitment and passion to partner with WorldWide Sport Supply and create a website for a globally recognized brand and organization – USA Volleyball.

FreshySites was approached to create an E-Commerce website platform that would provide a scaleable solution for order management and fulfillment for the United States Volleyball Team.

Creating an E-Commerce website platform that can handle the high demand and order influx for a national brand has many moving parts.

One of the biggest hurdles we had to overcome was that this was to be the first E-Commerce site for USA Volleyball – ever.

Our team spent hours carefully planning and collaborating – internally and with our client – on the USA Volleyball site, mapping out its many components to ensure flawless functionality and launch.

After months of hard work, we created the USA Volleyball Shop – a modern and fully responsive E-Commerce website, allowing members and fans alike to easily purchase USA Volleyball swag on a beautiful, simple user interface for both desktop and mobile devices.

Explore the site’s different features, like the swatch zoom, which allows users to easily check out various color options for different products, or the sort options, allowing users to shop based on a product’s popularity, price, and rating.

From T-shirts to jackets to hats, there are loads of quality apparel products featured for men, women, and children – all sponsored by Adidas.

With the start of the Winter 2018 Olympics right around the corner, now is the time to explore this brand new site for any USA Volleyball fans you may know!

FreshySites is a regionally-focused company with national reach and operations.

FreshySites is a fast-growing website design firm dedicated to creating beautiful websites, while consistently delivering best-in-industry customer service and support. Founded in 2011, FreshySites has quickly expanded into the largest in-house WordPress web design shop on the East Coast.

Our Washington D.C. office was founded in 2012 by Vincent Consumano. With additional offices, we have the team, resources and tools to serve our local – and national – clients through website mockups, creative briefs, revision rounds, and Search Engine Optimization audits. FreshySites is determined to take our regional clients’ online presence to the next level, ultimately helping them to grow and thrive. Explore our website to learn more about us, see our portfolio of work and become a part of our client family today!


Chronic compression of the spinal cord meant he couldn’t write a letter or open a bottle. Then Dr. Lotfi stepped in.

  • SNVMC
  • Address: 2300 Opitz Blvd, Woodbridge, VA 22191
  • Phone: 703-523-1000
  • Website: 703-523-1000

Lou Ferrao knew something was terribly wrong. He had suffered from neck pain before.

He even had surgery which gave him limited relief. But the neck pain he felt now was severe and accompanied by other, more ominous, symptoms. He had been experiencing spasms and weakness in his legs and now had begun experiencing the same symptoms in his arms.

Lou had always been an active man. He loved to scuba dive and was certified as a rescue diver; a designation only awarded after completing what some divers call the most challenging course they’ve ever taken. He loved to walk and hike.

Now he found his legs no longer responding to the directions that he was giving. It was devastating.

Determined to find the reason behind his troubling symptoms, Lou visited a neurologist who diagnosed him with severe nerve damage on his left side and moderate damage on the right. His neurologist then referred him to the Sentara Back & Neck Center and Dr. Paymaun Lotfi, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal surgery, to determine the cause of the damage.

As Lou went through a series of tests prescribed by Dr. Lotfi, his condition continued to deteriorate. He was no longer able to open a bottle or write a letter, and when he moved from a room with carpet to one with wood floors, he would lose his balance and stumble.

After all the tests had been completed, Dr. Lotfi diagnosed Lou with cervical spinal stenosis.

Dr. Lotfi explains, “It’s a condition that causes narrowing of the cervical spinal canal and chronic compression of the spinal cord and nerves; this causes numbness and weakness in arms and legs as brain signals can’t reach extremities.”

Dr. Lotfi suggested a spinal laminectomy and fusion, which removes the back part of the vertebrae, decompressing the spinal cord. The spinal column is then stabilized by placing screws and rods in the spine. Since Lou’s condition had been longstanding, Dr. Lotfi explained that he might not regain all his lost strength and lost functions, but it was important to decompress his spine to prevent weakness, paralysis or something even worse.

Lou appreciated the time that Dr. Lotfi spent explaining his condition.

“When Dr. Lotfi sat down with us, his empathy really showed. He tried to put himself in my shoes. He showed us the MRI. You couldn’t see my spinal cord from C2-T2 because it was so compressed,” Lou said. “He gave me an in-depth explanation of what was going on. He was educating me at the same time as he was helping me.”

After listening to Dr. Lotfi, Lou realized that the surgery wasn’t about feeling better; it was about survival. With his wife’s agreement, Lou made the decision to have surgery at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

The day of the surgery, everything went well. Dr. Lotfi was with Lou when he woke up and actually removed his cervical collar at that time. Lou suffered very little pain from the procedure and within four days was up and at rehab several hours a day.

Life is better for Lou now. While damage to the spinal cord can sometimes take years to heal, Dr. Lotfi says, “He (Lou) had a rapid recovery, and almost immediately could tell the difference in improved strength in his arms and legs.”

Lou no longer has the severe neck pain that plagued him, and he has regained his sense of balance and is walking with a cane. He is slowly getting his endurance back. He describes his life before and after his surgery as “the difference between night and day.”

Lou can’t say enough about Dr. Lotfi and his experience, “He (Dr. Lotfi) lives up to the Hippocratic oath. He was my guardian angel. It (the surgery) was the best thing I ever did.”

Unfortunately, many individuals suffering from spinal pain don’t seek help. They endure the discomfort and inconvenience for years because of many different reasons.

Dr. Lotfi understands this but says, “(You) may understandably be guarded about surgical treatment of the spine. However, many conditions such as stenosis are very disabling, and a properly executed surgery can truly improve one’s quality of life and function.”

Lou agrees and adds, “People shouldn’t have to suffer because they don’t know a procedure can help them.”

News
The Manassas Christmas Parade needs volunteer marshals to help

Good Morning Prince William – The Un-Trim-A-Tree Holiday Gift program is in full swing! We have 1,900 children available for adoption. Share the joy of the season by sponsoring a child and making their wishes come true. You’ll be given the two wishes for toys or clothes valued up to $75 for a little boy or girl up to 12 years old. These children live here in our community. Come join the fun. Please visit volunteerprincewilliam.org for more info and to download the donor form.

· Mark your calendars for the next Volunteer Mobilization Center Training on Saturday, December 9th, 9am-12noon at Volunteer Prince William. Come learn how to man the center to dispatch volunteers in the event of a disaster to best utilize time, talent and meet human needs. Please call Bonnie at (571) 292-5302 to learn more.

· Calling all adult service groups! – The Manassas Christmas Parade needs volunteer marshals to help on Saturday, December 2nd. This is a super fun event kicks off the 2017 Holiday Season in Old Town Manassas. It’s just a couple of hours in the morning that is sure to put you in the spirit! This is the perfect opportunity for a large group as they need 40-50 volunteers! Please email Nora to learn more at nora@greenteaminc.com.

· Our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is looking for empathetic volunteer age 55+ to assist as a Senior Link Volunteer. This position has flexible hours and can be done at either the ACTS Manassas or Dumfries locations. Duties include calling home-bound seniors to check on them. Training is provided by ACTS and is scheduled in December. It’s a wonderful way to learn more about your community and reach vulnerable seniors. Please call Jan to learn more at 571-292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team.

· The Salvation Army is also in full swing with their holiday programs. Volunteers are needed to man the Red Kettles at over 20 convenient locations across the community. They also need volunteers to man the Angel Trees at either Manassas Mall or Potomac Mills Mall. Great opportunities for volunteer groups. Please Call George at (703) 580-8991 to learn more.

· Take the I Recycle pledge! At https://americarecyclesday.org/pledge/ and you could win $300-$800! But more importantly, improve our community, conserve natural resources and create green jobs.

· Willing Warriors invites you and your family to the next volunteer orientation is Wednesday, November 29th, 6-7pm and their Open House is Sunday, December 3rd, 1-4pm. Please email them at volunteer@willingwarriors.org if you plan to attend.

· Project Mend-A-House needs handy volunteers to help with their fix-up projects across the community. Both skilled and unskilled are most welcome on weekends and during the week. Also mark your calendars for their Holiday Open House on December 4th- 4:30-7:30. Please call (703) 792-7663 to learn more.

· Habitat for Humanity has opened their new Restore in Woodbridge so now you have two great locations to donate and more importantly volunteer in the store. Please visit their website to book your next shift at www.habitatpwc.org.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for a volunteer to organize and facilitate a monthly or quarterly get together at Jirani Coffeehouse in Manassas for individuals with brain injuries. It’s a great opportunity for someone who has an interest in music, small group facilitation and working with people with disabilities. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext. 232 to learn more.

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.

How the Sentara Diabetes Management Program helps patients understand and learn to live with their disease

November is American Diabetes Management month and with more than 30 million people living with diabetes in the U.S., it’s no wonder the American Diabetes Association estimates at least seven million of those people, don’t even realize they’re living the disease.

Health organizations and those working within the field say the disease has reached epidemic portions. It’s something the Sentara Diabetes Management Program team sees every day.

“The numbers are increasing, both type one and two are on the rise,” says Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator Robyn Johanson, “It is a chronic, lifelong illness that really requires the person to learn the skills to self-manage their diabetes. And with that, they need a lot of ongoing support and the necessary tools to do that successfully.”

Diabetes can be confusing

When you eat, your body turns food into sugars, or glucose. At that point, your pancreas is supposed to release insulin.  Insulin serves as a “key” to open your cells, to allow the glucose to enter — and allows you to use the glucose for energy. But with diabetes, this system does not work.

“Diabetes is a problem with your body using the sugar we need for energy, so someone with type one diabetes is unable to get that sugar out of their blood. People with type two, have a bit more difficulty doing so, because of a hormone called insulin. So type one needs to take insulin, because their body doesn’t make any. Whereas type two diabetes, they tend to have trouble using that insulin. So clinically, it’s a lifelong management of controlling medicine, physical activity, healthy eating and monitoring blood sugar, as well,” explains Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Abbie Chesterson.

For more than 30 years, the team at the Sentara Diabetes Management Program has been helping patients understand and learn to live with their disease.

Our patients come to us through physician referrals. We are a group of nurses, dietitians and community health workers who follow a standard set of blood sugar targets for American Diabetes Educators,” explains Team Coordinator Genevieve Thompson.

Thompson, a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator, oversees the team made up of three full-time and three part-time employees. While the group gets referrals from area doctors, it’s up to the patients to show up and make the commitment to make some changes. But, admitting there’s a problem can be overwhelming for some just learning they have the disease.

People feel like they failed. Their pancreases failed, the person hasn’t failed,” says Johanson. “When you say that to somebody, they feel a lot better because they blame themselves.”

Within the Sentara Health System, Northern Virginia has the largest diabetes management program. Not only is this a densely populated region, it’s culturally diverse and those different cultures bring different diabetes management challenges. The team has gone out into the community and sees the type of food which is traditional for each culture.

“We individualize it. If someone comes in from a Middle Eastern country, we have a list of typical Middle Eastern foods that we can talk about, because maybe they’re not going to have hamburger buns and French fries. We try to make it as beneficial to the patient as can be,” explains Chesterson.

Some symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst, nerve sensation changes, blurry vision and slow healing. But, not everyone has those traditional warning signs, and that’s why community health members go out to the public.

The program, along with a grant from the Potomac Health Foundation has started doing pre-diabetes screenings over the last three years, more than a thousand people have been screened.

“Early care and detection is so important. The positive side, when you detect it early you can work at preventing the progression of type two diabetes,” explains Community Health Educator, Johanna Segovia, MPH.

Regardless of the type of diabetes, this group is committed to caring. The team wants to empower people so they can live their healthiest life while managing their disease.

“Patients shouldn’t be afraid to reach out and get help. If they’re struggling, we can get them back on track and offer support,” explains Thompson.

Adds Chesterson, “Education is really important if you don’t know what to do it’s going to be even harder, so learn what you can do. That’s why we’re here.”

“Having a chronic disease is very stressful and once you are you in control of it, a lot of that stress goes away because you’re managing it. It’s not managing you,” adds Johanson.

If you have any questions about managing your diabetes, finding a diabetes support group or learning more about the pre-diabetes program, call 703-523-0590 or email: SNVMCdiabetesed@sentara.com.


JES Foundation Repair honors veterans through U.S. Flag retirement efforts

Flag 17 Pshop wo VA
Stella, TJ flags

MANASSAS — In honor of Veterans Day, November 11, 2017, JES Foundation Repair delivered 45 worn and tattered U.S. Flags to Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Post 392 for proper retirement.

JES accepts timeworn flags throughout the year and distributes them to Boy Scout troops and VFW posts that provide proper and respectful flag retirement programs.

“Many people have old American flags and aren’t sure what to do with them,” Stella Waltz, Vice President and co-founder of JES said. “The JES offices throughout Virginia serve as a resource where people can hand over or drop off their old flags. It is gratifying to see and hear expressions of relief from people who have long flown their flags with pride.”

VFW Post 392 Senior Vice Commander Teresa “TJ” DeChamplain was present to accept the flags. “We appreciate Stella and the JES team’s efforts,” TJ remarked. Retired from the United States Navy, she spent her career respecting the flag and honoring it in her work. “Many VFWs, Boy Scout troops and other organizations accept flags, so there are many places to retire Old Glory when it’s time,” she added.

Besides leading the flag retirement efforts at JES, Stella Waltz provides free, educational presentations on the history of and proper etiquette with the American flag. She has presented to schools, churches, civic organizations, corporations and retirement communities. For more information contact Eric Lackey at 877-537-9675.

About JES Foundation Repair

JES Foundation Repair specializes in residential foundation repair, crawl space encapsulation, basement waterproofing, and concrete leveling. The firm is part of JES Companies, which is comprised of JES Foundation Repair, JES Evergreen, Indiana Foundation Service, and Mount Valley Foundation Services. JES Companies operates out of five offices in Virginia including Manassas, Virginia Beach, Chester, Appomattox, and Salem as well as Whiteland, Indiana, and Columbia, South Carolina locations. JES has been named to the Fortune 5000 Fastest Growing Companies, Virginia Chamber of Commerce Fantastic 50, Inside Business Roaring Twenty and Best Places to Work. JES Companies serves Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Indiana, South Carolina, and Georgia. For more information about JES, please visit jeswork.com.


2017 Manassas Christmas Parade Grand Marshal and Woman of the Year

There is a lot to look forward to at the Greater Manassas Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 2 beginning at 10 a.m.  There will be more than 100 groups, including floats, dancers, marching bands and, of course, Santa.  This year’s theme is A “Christmas Carole.”

Every year — this is the 72nd year for the parade — the Parade committee selects a Grand Marshal and a Woman of the year. 

This year, John D. Martin was selected as Grand Marshal for his service to this community.  John’s community involvement includes former President of the Manassas Rotary Club, Rotarian of the Year, member of the Friends of the Foundation golf tournament, member of the Greater Manassas Christmas Parade Committee, and Chairman of the Parade Committee for more than 15 years.  Born and raised in the City of Manassas, John is also a Manassas Businessman with Dudley Martin Chevrolet.  This year’s parade was named in honor of John’s beautiful wife Carole, who passed away shortly before the Christmas parade last year.

The Woman of the Year for 2017 is Judy Wine, Senior Vice President of Wine Energy, a City of Manassas business since 1960.  Always an active member of the community, Judy has been a member of Northern Virginia Family Service’s Board of Directors since 2010, a recent appointee to the board of the Greater Prince William CASA organization, and a major fundraiser for the March of Dimes Walk for Babies since 2011, helping to raise over one million dollars.  Judy was instrumental in securing a $750,000 matching grant from the Hylton Foundation to help pay the mortgage on the SERVE campus in Manassas. 

Not only will John and Judy participate in the 72nd Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade, but they will also be honored at Santa Lights Manassas on Dec. 1.  Both events are free and open to the public.

 


Express Lanes announce winner of “Go the Billionth Mile” contest

Alexandria, Va. – Today Transurban, operator of the 495 and 95 Express Lanes, announced that Tammie B. of Alexandria, Virginia is the winner of the “Go the Billionth Mile” contest and will receive one year of toll-free travel on the 495 and 95 Express Lanes. The contest was held in September 2017 to celebrate the milestone of one billion miles traveled since the Lanes first opened in November 2012 and gave a lucky customer a chance to win the free-travel prize.

“I’m really ecstatic that I have this opportunity for a free year of commuting on the Express Lanes, it means so much to me,” said Tammie. “The Lanes provide me 20 more minutes of sanity and 20 less minutes of aggravation to have to deal with,” she added.

Tammie B. has lived in Virginia for 30 years and works at a trade association in Washington, D.C., commuting from her home in the Kingstowne area of Alexandria.

Her typical trip on the Express Lanes takes her from the Springfield Parkway to regular lanes on I-395 near Duke Street.

Tammie enjoys comedy and horror films as well as touring Virginia wineries and local museums.

Content featuring Tammie will be featured on the Express Lanes website and social media channels to help educate new customers.

About the Express Lanes

The 495 and 95 Express Lanes operate on I-495/Capital Beltway and I-95 providing drivers with faster and more predictable travel options in Northern Virginia. Together, the 495 and 95 Express Lanes create a region-wide network of free-flowing lanes for nearly 40 miles from the Dulles Toll Road to Stafford County. Delivered through a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Transurban, the Express Lanes give drivers reliable travel choices on two of northern Virginia’s most congested roadways. For more information, please visit ExpressLanes.com.

News
The Bull Run Warrior Retreat set to expand its Haymarket campus

Near the base of the Bull Run Mountain, a favorite retreat for wounded warriors is expanding.

A $300,000 donation from the Pen Fed Foundation will allow the charity “Serve Our Willing Warriors” to build a second, cottage-style home on the 37-acre property in Haymarket called the Bull Run Warrior Retreat.

Construction on the new structure will begin next month and should be complete by next summer.

It will sit next to a massive 11,000 square foot, single family home where each week a wounded military serviceman or woman, their families, or friends, come to stay or escape from the doldrums of a life in the recovery wards at Walter Reed or Fort Belvoir hospitals.

The new home will accommodate up to 10 people and is one of three new cottages planned on the property. The charity was founded in 2012 and is now feeling growing pains, and is in desperate need of people to volunteer to care for those suffering from PTSD, and from the loss of limbs.

“This house does not drive itself. I need people to cut grass. I need people to volunteer. I need people to be ambassadors,” said Serve Our Willing Warriors Executive Director Jeffery Sapp.

Serve Our Willing Warriors Executive Director Jeffery Sapp speaks with business and government leaders about the work done by the charity.

Many suffer from depression and have suicidal thoughts

The charity invited business owners, and government employees for the tour of the facility on Nov. 2. They got an earful about what the organization does to serve the military members on and their families who come here.

All combat veterans, many suffer from depression and have suicidal thoughts. Others have returned home to find their marriages on the edge of ruin and then decided to come to the retreat.

“When they come here that gives them a chance to do normal things,” said Sapp.

Those ordinary things can be something as simple as cooking a meal or eat together as a family. Spend time outdoors on a walking path, or sit together on a leather sectional sofa to watch a movie.

“We can get them on to their lives, and to the lives, they want to live and stop thinking dark thoughts, and we do it in six days,” added Sapp, who credited the retreat for helping to save the marriages of at least eight service members on their spouses.

A view of one of the master bedrooms in the warrior retreat.

A massive retreat 

The warriors check on Friday morning, where they find a freshly clean and sterilized house fit for any family. There’s a large kitchen and dining area upstairs, complete with master bedrooms, and smaller children rooms.

The downstairs has a library, game room, and family room complete with entertainment center and a small kitchen. The warrior’s favorite dessert is waiting for them when they arrive, and an executive chef comes on Sunday nights to prepare a culinary delight for the visiting family.

For weeks leading up to the visit, the charity’s staff work with their soon-to-be guests to find out about their interests, and about what activities they want to do when they arrive. For many, it’s to sit and enjoy peace quietly.

The bathrooms are all handicapped accessible, and the showers large. Outdoors, the large firepit, patio, and deck are all surrounded by woodland views and Bull Run Mountain.

A view of the warrior retreat.

‘It wasn’t as easy as that’

It takes about 20 people to run the warrior retreat, to serve the current guests, and on Thursdays prepare the house for new visitors. There’s a waiting list of about 100 people who wish to someday visit the retreat.

All visitors must be cleared by their doctor to leave Walter Reed or Fort Belvoir to make the trip to Haymarket. This usually means having the right medications prepared, and any necessary medical equipment packed and ready to go with them.

Over the years, the center’s staff had to learn who was eligible to visit the retreat and who wasn’t. As it turns out, federal regulations allow a combat wounded veteran can accept nearly any form of charity, but it’s not the same for those who weren’t injured in war.

“When we started, we had the mentality that “if you build it they will come.” It wasn’t as easy as that,” said Larry Zillox, who sits on the charity’s Board of Directors.

Serve Our Willing Warriors, like any other business or organization, had to put in years to build relationships with the military, and medical providers to convince them of the healing powers of the retreat. Today, those visitors are the greatest advertising for the retreat.

“When they get back to the hospital, they’re telling everyone about us,’ said Sapp.

The charity was founded in 2006 over the course of 40 days when members began visiting wounded warriors in hospitals with the hopes of brightening their days. After 40 days, they kept doing it.

The warrior retreat is valued at nearly $1 million and was purchased by the charity in 2013. More than $1.2 million in donated materials and labor helped to turn the dilapidated, 40-year-old home that today, really is a shining at the base of a mountain.

The patio of the warrior retreat.

News
A 1-2 punch for Haymarket: Water and gas lines ruptured

HAYMARKET — It all started about 10 p.m. Sunday with a ruptured water main.

“It looked like a geyser,” said Haymarket Police Chief Kevin Lands.

The water main break shut off water to homes and businesses at the center of town, at the intersection of Washington and Jefferson streets in Haymarket.

A crew from the Prince William Service Authority arrived about 11 p.m. Sunday to start repairs, according to Lands.

But then, as water crews were making repairs they struck a gas line.

“It’s started whistling, and everybody took off running,” said Lands. “It whistled like that for about five hours.”

Crews from Columbia Gas were called into fix the new leak, and they were able to shut off the leaking gas line about 7:30 a.m. Monday, said Lands.

Now crews are working to repair both the water and gas lines. A total of 134 homes and businesses are affected by the utility line breaks.

Lands told us that every structure south of the intersection of Jefferson Street and Washington Street is without water and natural gas.

It’s been a messy morning in Haymarket.

Town Police Chief Kevin Lanes told us a crew from the Prince Willia Service Authority was working to fix a water line when it accidentally struck a gas main. Businesses along Washington Street, between the intersection of Jefferson Street and Route 15 are also without service.

The gas company is now going house to house, and business to business to shut off the gas meters at the affected properties. Afterward, they can go and complete the gas line repairs.

Afterward, the representatives from the gas company must go back to the affected homes and businesses to re-light the pilot lights at the affected properties.

The repair process could last into the afternoon, and the affected intersection will be closed all day long.

“It could be three or four o’clock before all this is fixed,” said Lands.

Updated

The water and gas main line repair is complete. 

 

November is American Diabetes Management Month

November is American Diabetes Management month and with more than 30 million people living with diabetes in the United States, it’s no wonder. The American Diabetes Association estimates at least seven million of those people, don’t even realize they’re living the disease. Health organizations, and those working within the field, say the disease has reached epidemic portions. It’s something the Sentara Diabetes Management Program team sees every day.

“The numbers are increasing, both type 1 and 2 are on the rise,” says Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator Robyn Johanson, “It is a chronic, lifelong illness that really requires the person to learn the skills to self-manage their diabetes. And with that, they need a lot of ongoing support and the necessary tools to do that successfully.” Diabetes can be confusing to understand. When you eat, your body turns food into sugars, or glucose. At that point, your pancreas is supposed to release insulin.  Insulin serves as a “key” to open your cells, to allow the glucose to enter — and allows you to use the glucose for energy. But with diabetes, this system does not work.

“Diabetes is a problem with your body using the sugar we need for energy, so someone with type 1 diabetes is unable to get that sugar out of their blood. People with type 2, have a bit more difficulty doing so, because of a hormone called insulin. So type 1 needs to take insulin, because their body doesn’t make any. Whereas type 2 diabetes, they tend to have trouble using that insulin. So clinically, it’s a lifelong management of controlling medicine, physical activity, healthy eating and monitoring blood sugar, as well,” explains Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Abbie Chesterson.

For more than 30 years, the team at the Sentara Diabetes Management Program has been helping patients understand and learn to live with their disease. “Our patients come to us through physician referrals. We are a group of nurses, dietitians and community health workers who follow a standard set of blood sugar targets for AmericanDiabetes Educators,” explains Team Coordinator Genevieve Thompson. (more…)


Join the fight to stop county supervisors from approving the Kline Project

Residents of Prince William County,

Please join the fight to stop the Prince William County Board of Supervisors from approving another development that will add 392 housing units, an estimated 15,000+ daily trips, and 255 children to already overcrowded classrooms.

The Kline Project at the corner of Prince William Parkway and Liberia will be another retail strip with a huge storage unit facility, gas station, and drive-thru; increasing school overcrowding, urban sprawl, and traffic congestion.

Please visit citizensallianceofprincewilliam.org, sign the petition change.org/p/12113980 and help spread the word through Facebook.com/CitizensAlliancePW to your neighbors and social media contacts.

Attend the Planning Commission Public Hearing, 15 November, 7 p.m., Board Chambers, James J. McCoart Administration Building, 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, Va., 22192

It’s time for citizens to remind the County Supervisors we are their priority. Children and families first!


News
Spend the holidays in the City of Manassas

During the holidays, the Historic Downtown of the City of Manassas becomes an iconic winter wonderland full of charm and excitement. As visitors wander down Center Street, the buildings are outlined in twinkling lights, shop windows are filled with homemade Gingerbread houses and one can smell the season in the air.

This holiday season; spend some time in Downtown Manassas. December 1 at 5:15 p.m., Santa Lights Manassas. Santa will arrive by VRE train to light the City. There will be hayrides, ice-skating, holiday performances and fun for the whole family.

December 2 brings the 72 nd Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade. More than 100 floats, dancers, marching bands and assorted characters will travel along Center Street, heralding in the season.

Visitors are invited to take in the holiday charm with free horse-drawn carriage rides on Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Shopping and dining in the Historic Downtown is sure to bring on the holiday cheer, especially with the new Secret Santa registry available in downtown stores. And, if there’s someone on the list who is hard to buy for, why not get them a ManassasOpoly game.

For more information on these and other events in the City of Manassas, visit visitmanassas.org. Hope to see you around the City of Manassas.

 


A final, permanent resting place for Prince William’s unclaimed dead

There’s little information about their lives, but in death, five Prince William County residents were treated to a heroes’ funeral with an honor guard salute, two women singing hymns, two chaplains sharing prayers and even the Prince William County Sheriff taking time to speak.

It’s part of the county’s annual memorial service for the unclaimed. Thursday morning at Woodbine Cemetery in Manassas, a small group gathered.

A Memorial Service for Prince William County’s Unclaimed Citizens is a project that started last year. The program provides a final, permanent resting place for Prince William’s unclaimed dead. But, organizers say that term may be misleading. These are Prince William County residents who may not have been able to afford a funeral, outlived family members or were possibly homeless. Even though there are a number of possible, different scenarios, the county wanted to help provide, what Sheriff Glendell Hill calls, “a noble burial.”

This year, five people were laid to rest at Woodbine Cemetery: Willie Mae Miller, Edwin LyneConnor, Edwin Fay Gray, Robert E. Gross and Earl Miller. Sheriff Hill says during the course of investigating Earl Miller’s death, they found the ashes of his mother, Willie Mae Miller. Thursday’s service ensured the two were buried together.

Less than two dozen people gathered for the service. Among those, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s chaplain and decedent affair coordinator, Cindy Hardy. “I wanted to go and honor the lives that we may have worked with when they were alive,” she shares. In her role as chaplain, she often helps people through tough times. Thursday was no different when she was seated next to a friend of one of the deceased, “He was able to have a proper goodbye. He said he felt connected and glad that he was able to have these final moments with him and say a proper goodbye.” (more…)

News
Suspect in Haymarket armed robbery arrested

From Prince William County police:

Armed Robbery *ARREST – On November 1, the suspect, identified as Kenneth Lewis HARRIS, who was wanted in connection to an armed robbery incident which occurred in the area of Mountain Rd and Loudoun Dr in Haymarket on October 30, turned himself into authorities at the Prince William-Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center without incident.

Arrested on November 1:

Kenneth Lewis HARRIS, 48, of the 100 block of Clubhouse Dr in Leesburg (more…)

News
13 things to do this Halloween to prepare winter’s horror

Some winters in the Washington area can be scary, and some of them downright horrifying.

Remember 2010? Snomageddon? Our region was buried underneath as much as 32 inches of snow. There even was more in some places.

So, while last year’s winter season didn’t come close to that nightmare, anything can happen this year.

The Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative is urging homeowners to take these 13 steps this Halloween week to prepare for the winter season that lurking just around the corner.

1. Batts in the Belfry

The U.S. Department of Energy says insulating is the most cost-effective way to reduce energy bills 10-50 percent. Insulate the attic floor with R60 fiberglass batts, loose-fill, rigid-foam, or spray-foam insulation. Install an insulated cover over pull-down stairs. Do not cover or block soffit vents, wires, motors or recessed lights. Consult an expert to determine the best insulation for the home’s construction.

2. Caulk Cracks

Caulk masonry cracks in walls and between the house and concrete foundation. Seal openings around plumbing pipes, ducts, vents, chimneys, and anything that goes through floors, walls, ceilings, and roof with caulk or insulating spray foam. (more…)

News
2,262 pounds of prescription medications collected in drug “Take-Back”

From Prince William County police:

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA . . . A total of 2,262.2 pounds of expired or unused prescription medications was collected in greater Prince William County on Saturday, October 28th. The event was sponsored by the Crime Prevention Unit of the Prince William County Police Department, the City of Manassas Police Department, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center, Sentara Lake Ridge, and Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center.

 

  • Manassas City Police and sponsors collected 1,432 pounds of expired or unused
    prescription medications at the Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William
    Medical Center collection location in the city of Manassas.
  • Prince William County Police and sponsors collected a total of 830.2 pounds of expired
    or unused prescription medications:
  •  471.1 pounds at the Sentara Lake Ridge collection location in Woodbridge, and
  • 359.1 pounds at the Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical
    Center collection location in Haymarket. (more…)


‘It was the murder of her younger brother which brought such intense grief into her life that she gained 170 pounds’

Aubrey Dewey had lost hope. And not just hope at being able to lose weight. She had lost hope in life.

When you ask her what she would tell her younger self now that she’s on the other side of her weight-loss surgery, her words are full of grace and empathy.

Aubrey’s strength and wisdom are apparent, and we see that this journey was about so much more than reclaiming her physical body; it was and continues to be, about re-establishing her sense of self-worth and self-love.

“I would first look at [my younger self] who is in so much pain and has lost all hope for anything better in life and tell her that she’s worth this effort [of weight-loss]. I would tell her that it’s okay to move forward. Healing doesn’t equal forgetting the one that was taken from you. I would tell her that freedom from a body that has become a prison feels better than she could ever begin to imagine. I would tell her that she absolutely can do this and that she’s going to see just how strong she really is.”

Aubrey gained this perspective through her work with the community at the Sentara Weight Loss Surgery Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. The program became a safe space for Aubrey where she found the courage to face the intense pain that spurred her weight-gain.

Unlike many people who have life-long struggles with obesity, Aubrey spent most of her life at a normal weight. It was the murder of her younger brother which brought such intense grief into her life that she gained 170 pounds. At her peak before surgery, she weighed 340 pounds. For ten years, food was her haven, and her weight was a survival mechanism. (more…)



Caregivers strive to reduce bath-time challenges for seniors

When it comes to helping older adults remain in their homes, bathing can be a challenging issue. But Tessa Lamb of Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas and Herndon has found those concerns can be overcome with the right combination of compassion and experience.

Lamb has been working with seniors since 1996, as long as she’s been a licensed practical nurse. During that time, she realized there are identifiable, key issues that impact bath time. By recognizing and addressing these concerns, home care providers can help their clients age with greater hope and success.

Respecting privacy and independence

Over the years, Lamb has worked with seniors aged 65 up to “the beautiful young age” of 96 who wanted to age in place. That taught her the value of having a good relationship with her clients, she said.

“They all cherish their independence,” she said. “Getting into and out of a shower can be difficult as we age and become less flexible. Many times requiring the standby assistance of a home health aid can be very daunting.”

At the same time, privacy is a key concern for clients. “They have been taking care of themselves for over 60 or more years and now someone needs to help them shower,” she explained. “This can be both frustrating and embarrassing.”

Neither giving nor receiving this kind of care is easy. That’s why cultivating a positive relationship is crucial to protect the dignity of those receiving care, as well as to enhance the quality of life for both seniors and their families throughout the caregiving experience.

Recognizing changes in sensory perception

As people age, the acuteness of the senses decreases, and that can have ramifications for both the person who is bathing and the person who is helping with the process. For example, Lamb pointed out, the ears serve two purposes – hearing and maintaining balance – so the loss of sensitivity affects balance as well as hearing. That can have a significant impact when it comes to bath time.

“If your balance is off, you are not going to want to go onto a wet, slippery surface,” she said.

The same holds true when it comes to vision loss. “The bathroom is a major fall risk area, and thus a very scary place for seniors,” Lamb explained.

Other senses also come into play. When the sense of touch changes, it can result in decreased temperature sensitivity. That means it can be difficult to tell the difference between water that is cool or cold and water that is hot or warm.

When the sense of smell is lessened, seniors might not be able to smell the odor of their body when they have not taken a shower in several days or weeks. Understanding these changes in sensory perception and how they affect a person’s ability or willingness to bathe can help offset concerns a senior may have when it comes to bath time.

Accounting for fatigue or dementia

Another factor that can impact the bathing process is the fatigue that can accompany many of the medical conditions or illnesses that seniors may develop. Even medications can cause people to become tired easily.

Helping bathe clients with dementia and memory impairment requires particular care, Lamb said. “It is very, very important to establish a rapport, trust and a relationship with them before any major task can be performed,” she explained. “Consistency is also key because of the short-term memory loss.”

In Lamb’s experience, a little bit of empathy goes a long way when it comes to overcoming the challenges surrounding bath time. “I recommend that you show seniors love, kindness, patience, respect – and allow them time,” she said. “Give them choices.”

Perhaps a client isn’t up to a bath at a particular moment. That’s when a caregiver should offer alternatives, such as a sponge bath, a warm face cloth, a chair bath or even a bed bath. The bottom line is that there are many options. A good caregiver will understand and offer alternatives, while also respecting the client’s concerns.

“There is also the option of ‘just not today,’” Lamb said. “It is more important to establish a relationship and build trust first than try to obtain the goal of a bath.”

For more information on Home Instead Senior Care in Manassas and to sign up for their newsletter with other helpful articles, visit their website.

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