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Children discover themselves at Manassas Park Community Center Summer Camps

When you close your eyes and picture the perfect, idyllic summer day, does that day include the beach? On the other hand, you could be imagining a day at an amusement park or a lake. Is your perfect summer day a day where your only decision is when to reapply the sunscreen?

If you are a working parent with school-age or teenage children, the idea of summer vacation presents some unique challenges. School is out of session which means the kids are home all day. Many children become bored, and parents are looking for ways to keep kids busy and engaged–all while having a fabulous time and making new friends.

The summer camps offered at the Manassas Park Community Center are specially designed to keep your children involved and engaged. Each camp offers a different theme and encourages thinking, sharing, and socializing.

Tony Thomas, Recreation Services Supervisor, says he and his staff have developed the summer camps around a variety of interests.

“If you have a sports lover, we have sports camps. If you have science lovers, we have science camps. If you have art lovers, we have art camps,” says Thomas. “We even have camps for children who imagine their name in neon lights on Broadway.”

Kids, ages 3-5, can participate in weeklong playschool camps where they will learn about bugs, music, and space. They can also learn about the wonders of the ocean and go around the world in five days. Each camp has been designed to help preschoolers learn about their world and to have fun!

Picture this: your school age child’s imagination soars as he or she is transported to Japan sometime in the 1800’s where their emperor needs the campers help to defeat the enemy. The Emperor has put together an army of Samurai soldiers and only has one week to train his loyal farmers. They will need to build their own Samurai armor to protect them against the enemy forces. Campers will use Nerf archery, rubber foam Bo staff, and water artillery to defend the Emperor’s nation in Samurai Warrior’s Camp. (more…)


Where did the Easter Bunny come from? Egg hunts on April 8th, 15th in Prince William

Flowers bloom, trees begin to grow their leaves, and animals wake from their slumber in the spring.

One of the more symbolic celebrations during the beginning of the year is Easter. There are traditions and symbols that are associated with the festive day one may not know about, including a fox, a chicken, and of course, the rabbit.

Where did the Easter Bunny come from? The egg giving hare has been associated with Easter for centuries, with some of the first mentions of this furry animal in 16th-century German writings. The Easter Bunny is believed to have imported to the United States by Pennsylvania Dutch settlers.

Known as the Osterhase, he was not the only animal to bring eggs to children on Easter throughout history. In parts of Germany and Switzerland, children also waited for eggs from the Easter Cuckoo, the Easter Rooster, the Easter Stork, the Easter Fox, and the Easter Chick.

Besides coloring eggs for the celebration, other traditions, such as the egg tree, also found their way to American though the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s.

Furthermore, gift giving has become a part of the Spring celebration, with the giving of candy or baskets full of candy. Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, with chocolate Easter Bunnies — solid or hallow — usually as the main attraction.

The confectionary animal wonders began appearing in Easter celebrations the early 20th century due to advances in chocolate molding techniques.

On Saturday, April 8, Ben Lomond Historic Site, along with their friends at the Pat White Center, are hosting its annual Eggstravaganza from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Egg Hunts will be at 11:30 am, 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. at the historic site and each hunt will be separated by age groups.

Try your skills at a historic egg roll as well as enjoying fun kid-friendly games and crafts at Pat White Center at Ben Lomond. Guest are encouraged to bring their own basket for egg collecting. Tours of the Civil War Hospital will be available.

Please purchase tickets at Pat White Center at Ben Lomond. Admission is $5 per person, with children 2 and under free. Ben Lomond Historic Site is located at 10321 Sudley Manor Dr., in Manassas. 703-367-7872.

On Saturday, April 15, Rippon Lodge Historic Site host its annual Easter Egg Hunt from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Egg hunts are at 11:30 a.m.., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. on the lawn and each hunt will be separated into age groups.

Along with the search for colorful eggs, crafts, lawn games, and tours of the historic house make this a day the whole family may enjoy. Guest are encouraged to bring their own baskets for egg collecting, and a picnic lunch.

House tours will be available on the hour. Admission is $5 per Child, $2 per Adult; and children two and under free. Rippon Lodge Historic Site is located at 15520 Blackburn Road in Woodbridge. 703-499-9812.

Full of delightful activities the whole family may enjoy, don’t miss out on these two popular events. Come and celebrate Easter this spring with Historic Preservation in April!


Leadership, success, ‘failure for winners’ all topics at this year’s Prince William Women’s Leadership Conference

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Women from across Northern Virginia are making plans to attend the Prince William Women’s Leadership Conference: The Art of Being a Successful Woman.

Now in its 6th year, the conference is the culmination of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce’s annual Women’s Leadership Series. The Art of Being a Successful Woman will be held at the Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training (2645 College Drive; Woodbridge, VA 22191) from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2nd. The conference is sponsored by BION, Inc. Registration for the conference is available online at PWChamber.org along with expanded event details.

Dr. Beth Cabrera, Author & Senior Scholar at the George Mason Center for the Advancement of Well-Being will be the conference Keynote speaking on the premises outlined in her book Beyond Happy: Women, Work, and Well-Being. As a writer, researcher, and speaker, she helps individuals achieve greater success and well-being. Her leadership development programs focus on strengths, purpose, mindfulness, and workplace well-being. In 2009, she founded Cabrera Insights to help individuals and leaders apply principles of positive psychology for enhanced engagement and performance.

The theme of this year’s conference centers around the pressures women face (both internal and external) in order to be considered a “success.” Breakout session speakers will drive home the idea that success is a work in progress, much like creating a work of art. And like art, success is also subjective. The event website paints a picture of a woman who has it all together and finishes by saying, “Whew! Sounds like a lot of work! It’s time you learned that any great work of art is created in layers: built little by little into something beautifully, interestingly comprised of both intentionality and happy mistakes!”

Breakout sessions include:

–Shaping Your Future, taught by Kathy Strauss, Creative Director at Imagewerks & Lori Muhlstein, CEO at Lorim Resources

–The Art of Being a Visionary Leader, taught by Nicole Chamblin, Chief Visionary at Visions Productivity Solutions

–Sales is Not a 4 Letter Word, taught by Rebecca Vaughan-King, President at Imagine, Inc.

–Empowering Women to Achieve Success, taught by Dr. Sabrina Brandon Ricks, President at SBR Workplace Consultations

–Failure is for Winners: Why Failing Right is the Key to Success, taught by Rebecca Barnes, Founder & Publisher of Prince William Living Magazine

–Savvy Women: Smart Investors Take Charge of Their Financial Future, taught by Emily Dupree, Regional Director of MFS Investment –Management

For the full agenda, visit PWChamber.org. Says past attendee Ramunda Young with Northern Virginia Community College, ““The quality and quantity of dynamic women present offered wonderful opportunities to connect and build relationships.”

Women from all walks of life are invited to join the women of the Prince William Chamber of for a day of powerful presentations and inspirational workshops, at the Prince William Women’s Leadership Conference: The Art of Being a Successful Woman. For more information call 571-765-1876 or email ashort@pwchamber.org.

Sponsors for The Art of Being a Successful Woman are: Novant Health UVA Health System, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, NOVEC, Prince William Living and the Prince William/Gainesville Times.


Holiday Inn Express North Stafford part of growing ‘select service’ hotel catering to business travelers

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It’s been about a month since the Wingate Inn in North Stafford changed its name to Holiday Inn Express, and there’s already been a noticeable improvement.

The rooms are completely renovated, and the pool went from a chlorine-filled swimming hole to a salt water oasis, and the continental breakfast is now anything but bland.

The changes are part of an $6 million renovation project at the hotel located the heart of North Staford, across from Stafford Marketplace. Changing the brand of the hotel was a significant move to attract and cater to business travelers.

“If we’re going to do a full renovation we’re going to go for a higher brand,” said Amal Lambaraa, Managing Director of Lambaraa Hospitality LLC at the Holiday Inn Express in North Stafford.

The new name not only means fresh linens and a brighter coat of paint. It means a better, healthier complimentary breakfast with low-calorie pancakes, waffles, and grab-and-go healthy options like fruit and gourmet coffee.

“Some days, the breakfast you take away can also be your lunch. You can take your food with you, and that prevents you from needing to run out to a gas station to get food or coffee,” added Lambarra.

There is over $1 billion in new hotel construction happening across Virginia right now. Leading the pack are these types of “select service” hotels. (more…)

News
Fairfax waste, recycling facility ‘should be considered closed indefinitely’

A statement from Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program: 

The Covanta Fairfax, Inc. waste-to-energy facility, located at the county’s I-95 Solid Waste Management Complex in Lorton, has been closed due to damage from an extensive fire at the facility last week. Damage assessment and plans to restore the facility to operation are ongoing. Until more information about the condition of the facility is made available, it should be considered closed indefinitely, as a practical matter.

This announcement will be updated as the condition of the facility and a recovery plan and schedule are developed.

Please be aware that the municipal solid waste being processed at this facility is generated by residential homes and commercial establishments – no hazardous wastes are accepted at this facility, as this is prohibited by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VA DEQ). The VA DEQ is aware of the fire and resulting situation. (more…)

News
Fairfax incinerator now closed after massive fire

A statement from Fairfax County Recycling and Trash: 

The Covanta Fairfax, Inc. waste-to-energy facility, located at the county’s I-95 Solid Waste Management Complex in Lorton, has been closed due to damage from an extensive fire at the facility last week.  Damage assessment and plans to restore the facility to operation are ongoing.  Until more information about the condition of the facility is made available, it should be considered closed indefinitely, as a practical matter.  This announcement will be updated as the condition of the facility and a recovery plan and schedule are developed.

Other than smoke resulting from the fire, no emissions of waste or other materials from the facility have occurred.  Please be aware that the municipal solid waste being processed at this facility is generated by residential homes and commercial establishments – no hazardous wastes are accepted at this facility, as this is prohibited by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VA DEQ). The VA DEQ is aware of the fire and resulting situation. 

(more…)

News
Updated: 2-alarm fire at Lorton incinerator was ‘deep-seated and will take multiple days to extinguish’

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Photo  Tweeted by @ffxfirerescue by @mountainstwin1

We’re working to get more on this story from Fairfax County fire and rescue officials. Here’s what we know now. 

From Covanta

The I-95 Energy/Resource Recovery Facility, operating as Covanta Fairfax, Inc., began commercial operation in June 1990. The facility processes more than 3,000 tons per day of municipal solid waste for a population of more than 900,000 in the Washington, D.C. suburbs of Fairfax County, Virginia. The 22.9-acre facility in Lorton, VA, sells more than 80 megawatts of renewable energy – enough energy to meet the needs of over 80,000 homes. It is the first Covanta facility to have a system to recover very small particles of non-ferrous metal for recycling. 

Update

From Fairfax County fire and rescue:  (more…)


Honor vets and active duty military at the Clubs at Quantico

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Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security John C. Harvey, Jr.
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On Tuesday, January 24 the Prince William Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Salute to the Armed Forces Luncheon at the Clubs at Quantico & Crossroads Event Center, located on Marine Corps Base Quantico.  

Presented by the Chamber’s Veterans Council, the luncheon features status reports from Fort Belvoir Garrison Commander, Colonel Angie Holbrook and Colonel Joseph Murray, Base Commander at Quantico. Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, John Harvey will be the Keynote Speaker. PenFed Credit Union is the Presenting Sponsor. All interested Prince William County and Manassas area residents and business leaders are encouraged to attend.

No one who lives or works in Northern Virginia can be unaware that the region is packed with veterans and military personnel, making it somewhat easy for residents to take for granted the safety and security we enjoy. Chamber staff agree, and said they believe that is why the Salute to the Armed Forces has become a favorite among the membership.

“The event is so very moving and that effect has not worn off, even after six years,” said Director of Marketing and Communications Andrea Short.

This will be the first year that the event will take place on the Marine Corps Base. Each year the Chamber utilizes this program to honor active-duty service members and Veterans from across the region.

The 2017 event will be no exception. From the moment guests walk through the doors they will recognize that this event is different from any other business luncheon or awards program. Veterans are given a badge so that fellow attendees know they have served.

Conversations around the lunch tables to the remarks from the podium; the room hums with moving accounts of personal connections to the U.S. military. Even the Marine Corps and Army Commanders carry the theme by honoring outstanding soldiers and Marines from their command.

In 2016, a young Marine who had almost single-handedly run the Toys for Tots program was honored by her Commander.   

This year the Chamber’s Salute to the Armed Forces Keynote Speaker, John Harvey, will share what is being done by Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration in terms of veterans-related issues and the ways in which the Commonwealth is working to ensure the maintenance of a productive relationship with military services and the federal Department of Defense.

The program will also feature remarks by World War II Navy Veteran Chilton Raiford who lived through two Kamikaze attacks and rescued fellow servicemen from a burning staircase.

The program concludes when retired Marine and Chamber member Harry Horning plays TAPS on his trumpet, honoring those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice.

In addition to PenFed Credit Union, Salute to the Armed Forces 2017 is sponsored by First Command Financial Planning, NOVEC, Prince William Living, Zeiders Enterprises, The Prince William Times and Dominion Virginia Power, among others. Tickets to the luncheon are $45 for members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, or $60 for non-members. Registration is available online at PWchamber.org. Questions? Contact the Prince William Chamber of Commerce at 703-368-6600 or email ashort@pwchamber.org.


Want More Prince William County?

Prince William County has established itself as an important part of the economic landscape of the Greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area and Northern Virginia.  The County’s contributions to the Northern Virginia economy has resulted in the region singularly accounting for roughly 45 percent of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s total economic activity and 37 percent of all employment, as recently reported in the 2016 State of the Commonwealth Report.  

As Virginia’s second-largest and fourth-fastest growing County, Prince William County has grown consistently and continues to expand and diversify.  Last year, Site Selection, cited one of Prince William County’s Department of Economic Development projects as “…the top project in capital investment [in Virginia] for 2016, to date, is a $350 million Iron Mountain data center going into Manassas.”  SmartAssets also named Prince William County among the state’s top 5 investment locations.

In the last five calendar years [2011-2015], projects closed by the Prince William County Department of Economic Development alone intend to invest a record $2.7 billion and to create 2,900 jobs.  2015 was the fifth year in the Department’s history that it logged over half of a billion dollars in capital investment, with $660 million and more than 600 new jobs. 

“Twenty years ago Prince William County recognized the importance of Economic Development and dedicated a new Department to work on defining a roadmap to its future,” said Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “Today, we are realizing the benefit of laying the foundation for a prosperous economy and continue in our dedication to raise the bar higher for our business community and citizens by delivering on increased capital investment and high-paying, highly-skilled jobs.”

“By concentrating in life sciences and information technology we are creating growth opportunities that are opening up new markets and new types of business opportunities, influencing other technology sectors and the region, as a whole,” said Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director, Department of Economic Development, Prince William County.  “The County’s growth is owed in part to its strategic location and excellent competitive edge, such as a ready supply of highly-educated young professionals, affordable and available land and competitive labor costs, all of which result in a strong value proposition.”

Throughout its growth, Prince William County has distinguished itself as a premier business destination, that has made significant strides in its new role as a thriving science and technology hub.  There has also been a notable increase in employment opportunities within Prince William County.  As of 2015, the County provided job opportunities for over 122,000 persons.  In fact, over the period 2010-2015, job growth in Prince William County convincingly outpaced that of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area at 18% compared to 6%; as well as that of the state of Virginia which also saw a 6% increase.  Similarly, the number of businesses in Prince William County increased by 20% over the same period compared to 11% growth in the Washington D.C. metro area and 12% growth for all of Virginia. 

By all indications, Prince William County’s ability to generate job opportunities within its boundaries is expected to continue into the foreseeable future, based on the latest round of estimates released by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.  According to those projections, job growth in Prince William County is expected to outpace that of any of the other observed localities in the metro area.  Over the 30-year period, 2015-2045, the County is expected to add an additional 114,000 jobs – an almost 80% increase. 

Want more Prince William County?  Check out our latest video, sign-up for newsletters or visit us at: www.PWCEconDev.org or @PWCDED.

News
Recycle your Christmas Tree in Prince William County

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After all the holiday festivities are over and the finery has lost its luster give your Christmas tree, wreath and other cut greenery another life as compost, mulch or habitat. Simply remove all ornaments, decorations, tinsel, nails and the tree stand and take the greenery to one of locations listed below to be recycled or repurposed.  

The Prince William County Landfill at 14811 Dumfries Road in Manassas.  Monday – Saturday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The facility is closed New Year’s Day. 703-792-4670

The Balls Ford Road Compost Facility located at 13000 Balls Ford Road in Manassas. Monday – Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The facility is closed New Year’s Day. 703-792-4670

Leesylvania State Park located at 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive in Woodbridge (off Neabsco Road). Trees may be dropped off at Shelter 2 and will be used for habitat.

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) located at 5399 Wellington Branch Road in Gainesville.  Dec. 26 – Jan. 9.  The drop off area is located in the front parking lot in the area outlined with the orange safety cones.  NOVEC will deliver the wood-chip mulch to interested customer-owners at no charge, visit www.novec.com/mulch


Earn a Degree or Certificate in Less time with NOVA Weekend College @ the Woodbridge Campus

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Beginning in the spring 2017 semester, Northern Virginia Community College students can finish a semester’s worth of classes in only 14 weeks through the NOVA Weekend College @ the Woodbridge Campus.

NOVA Weekend College @ The Woodbridge Campus enables students to take an entire semester of classes in only two days. Adult learners who are busy balancing full-time jobs and family responsibilities can enroll in a 12-credit schedule of Friday and Saturday morning classes, with an option of selecting from a wide variety of classes needed to earn a degree or certification.

This new, innovative approach to accommodate those with busy schedules offers flexible, hybrid (half classroom & half online) courses that meet at 9 a.m. and/or 11 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with classes ending at 12:30 p.m. The rest of the work and class interaction is done at home using the internet.

“NOVA Weekend College @ the Woodbridge Campus offers a flexible schedule for busy working adults to take a full course load in only two mornings per week,” said Provost of the Woodbridge Campus, Dr. Sam Hill. “This new initiative provides an amazing opportunity for busy people in our region to earn a degree or certificate at a much faster pace, to advance and to become an expert in their chosen profession.”

Visit NVCC.EDU/WOODBRIDGEWEEKEND for more information. Online registration is open 24 hours a day at www.nvcc.edu/startstrong.

Who is Gar-Field Senior High School named after?

Gar-Field High School, located on Smoketown Road, was originally established near Cardinal Drive and Route 1 on land donated in 1949 by Martin Gilmer Garber and Grover P. Manderfield. (more…)

We Want to Help You Make it A Mother’s Day She’ll Never Forget!

Mother’s Day may be over a month away, but if you want it to be the most epic Mother’s Day ever then you want to start planning for it now.

Sit back and think to yourself, “What should I do to really make my mom happy on Mother’s Day?” Would she love to cook with gourmet olive oil? Has she been working so hard that only the best massage could relieve her 9-5 tension? Does she own the room when she shows up flawless in a gown? (more…)

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