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The expectations were high when FreshySites was tasked to build a website for a company rooted deep in Virginia’s rich winemaking history

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. This mission extends to clients both national and local.

Earlier this year, we were asked to create a website for the local landmark business Morais Vineyards and Winery.

Wanting a more accessible, modern site that would better represent their gorgeous vineyard and winery, as well as the delicious wines they produce, this historic business came to the right place – right down the street from their wine tasting room in Manassas – for such an undertaking.

Though the expectations were high in our being tasked to build a website for a business that’s been an integral part of Virginia’s rich winemaking history for decades, we knew exactly how to revamp the Morais Vineyards & Winery website.

After months of steady planning and collaboration, mockups created and revision rounds went through, we transformed their previous website – marked by improper spacing, lackluster design, and ordinary functionality – into a simple and elegant site filled with features and pages unique to such a gorgeous place in our region.

Discover more about Morais Vineyards & Winery on their charming and aesthetically pleasing website representative of a venue perfect for lavish weddings and events.

Their blog is a perfect assortment of ideas, information, and advice for any bride in need of help or inspiration. And, their image gallery says more than our endorsement ever could!

Explore the various wedding packages offered, beautiful locations on the grounds to get married, the history of the Morais family, photos from past weddings held there and so much more.

FreshySites – 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!

New shoulder replacement procedure gives the gift of movement

Ernie Krapfl is avid table tennis player. But, the 74-year-old’s game was nearly derailed by a severe shoulder injury.

“I had been losing a lot of sleep because of the pain. I had a separation and a torn rotator cuff,” he explains.

Krapfl had been living with the injury since his college days and kept putting off getting surgery because of the fear of a lengthy recovery.

But his primary care physician shared with him the many advances which had taken place over the last several decades and advised him to visit a specialist. That’s when Krapfl met board certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon Cyrus Press, MD.

“The majority of my patients are baby boomers. They’re active and they want to remain active. They’re looking for solutions to their problems that extend beyond pain relief,” explains Dr. Press.

Dr. Press, a specialist at the Sentara OrthoJoint Center®, was the first surgeon in Northern Virginia to utilize stemless shoulder replacement surgery. Dr. Press thought Ernie Krapfl could be a good candidate for the state of the art procedure.

During a shoulder replacement, the ball and socket of the shoulder are removed. The ball is replaced with metal and the socket is replaced with plastic.

“The newer technology, which this patient received, is a stemless shoulder replacement. This minimizes the amount of entry we have to go into the bone in order to put this metal ball on,” explains Dr. Press.

That means less pain for stemless shoulder replacement patients.

And, for Ernie Krapfl, that means he’s been able to return to the game his loves,” I’m now ready to challenge Dr. Press to a match!” he says laughing.



Historic Downtown Manassas Holiday Gift Guide

Are you looking for unique gifts this holiday season but not interested in the hustle and bustle found at the major retailers?

Why not shop small in the City of Manassas. You’re sure to find something for everyone on your list at one of the charming shops in Historic Downtown.

All lit up for the holidays, Historic Downtown Manassas is a hidden gem with independently-owned boutiques featuring jewelry, homeware, clothing, original art, candles, and much more. Take a look at these gift suggestions to get a glimpse of what Manassas shopping has to offer. Check out VisitManassas.org for a full list of stores and activities. Better yet, bring the family and enjoy a day of shopping, an amazing meal and perhaps a little hot chocolate and ice skating.  

Fun & Tasty Stocking Stuffers

Bacon treats? Lip gloss? Fidget Spinners? Yup. You can get all three, and even Havana Banana flavored soda at Popcorn Monkey. If they have an oversized stocking, you could also put a tin of delicious popcorn in there…it would not disappoint. Prices on stocking stuffers starting at $3.99.

Popcorn Monkey

For the Person Who Has Everything

There’s at least one person on everyone’s list that you agonize over every year. A great way to approach a gift for the person who has everything is to pick delicious perishable items. Manassas Olive Oil Company will allow you to customize a gift basket with things like artisan olive oils, balsamic vinegar, and pour spouts, and a dipping dish. The friendly staff will even package it up with a pretty holiday bow.

Manassas Olive Oil

For the Kids (No batteries or assembly required)

Give your child the opportunity to discover their music talent by teaching their fingers something useful (other than how to use a Nintendo controller). Prince William String Academy offers music lessons in piano, violin, viola, cello, and bass. Four half-hour lessons with a professional musician, only $140. 

For the Person Who Embraces the Holiday Spirit 

These one-of-a-kind earrings from McCall Studio Gallery (a division of DMVISUAL) will ensure that the person donning these beauties will be sparkling brighter than the tree. Pick up some holiday spirit with these snowman or Christmas tree crystal earrings. A pair starts at $30.99.      

McCall Design

For the Person Who’s Ready to Get Fit in 2018 

Center Street Studio is the perfect place to start or continue your fitness journey. The easiest way to get started is with the Wellness Package for New Students for only $199. The package includes the “Intro to the Pilates Reformer” (three private Pilates apparatus lessons), a three-class yoga pass, two thirty-minute health-coaching consultations.* Give the gift of transformation- a more confident and healthy you in the new year. 

*For new students to Center Street Studios only. One package per person.

For the Hostess with the Mostess 

For the person who loves to host, give them a beautiful serving platter that can suit any occasion, season or holiday. Introducing the Nora Fleming platter- with interchangeable “minis,” you can transform one platter into the ultimate platter for every possible celebration. Platters and minis are available at Love, Charley (along with lots of other charming shabby chic homewares). Prices vary depending on the size of the dish.  

For the Craft Beer Aficionado 

For the lover of craft beer, or the person looking to expand their palate, pick-up a limited or barrel-aged release, available only at the Heritage Brewing taproom. Toast to friendship with the gift that will be the perfect addition to any holiday dinner table. Six packs start at $11.99. 



Working out and keeping fit during the holidays and beyond

During the holidays well, okay most of the time, it sure feels like we are living our lives in the fast lane! Everything all the time, one of the lines from the song by the Eagles, sums up the frantic and often frenetic activities occurring during the holidays. If you are like many people, the time you spend in the gym may suffer because you simply do not have the time or the energy to work out as you would like.

Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) fitness instructor Kathleen Joubert suggests that you work out with a friend. “Find someone with similar fitness and workout goals to your own, and plan to meet at the gym,” advises Joubert, “Discuss the classes you wish to attend, and plan to be there.

She points out that you are not as likely to miss classes if you know you have someone waiting for you. If you are working out alone, you may find any excuse not to go to the gym, but if you know your friend is there, waiting, and will be annoyed that you did not show up, you are more apt to go.

“I always tell people that is exactly how it began with me,” Joubert explains,When I was trying to get into a workout routine I had a great friend and workout partner who I did not want to disappoint so I went to the gym–even if I really didn’t want tobecause I didn’t want to let my workout partner down.

Joubert adds in order to keep motivated, stick to the classes and work out programs that you and your workout partner both like. It can turn into a competition, but if it gets you to the gym, then you both win!

Another helpful tip is not to stop at home before you go to the gym. Joubert always changes into her gym clothes before leaving work, and drives directly to the gym. “It is harder in the winter because it gets dark so early, but we all know that if you stop at home, you will find your way to the warm, comfy couch, and you will not make it to the gym as you initially planned,” Joubert adds.

If you prefer to work out alone, Joubert cautions not to do something she sees every day, “I always cringe when I see people lifting more weight than they should. Her experience and training reinforce her philosophy that it is more important to use less weight and do more repetitions.

“I am that instructor who will go right over to people and correct them immediately. I do not wish to embarrass anyone, but I know the correct form and if you are trying to lift weights that are too heavy, your form will be less than perfect, and that is how injuries happen,” Joubert explains.

“In my classes, I help people shape muscle, not build muscle,” Joubert clarifies, “If you are in my body sculpting class, and you are having a difficult time finishing the set, you are probably lifting too much weight.Most people are surprised when she tells them that men should only be lifting between 10-20 pounds, and women should probably lift no more than 16 pounds, which is only 8 pounds on each side. “Using lighter weights and increasing the repetition to three sets of twelve is a good way to maximize your workout without inviting injury,” she said.

Joubert likes to talk about diets with her students and stresses the importance of keeping portions small. “A great diet tip I always share is to keep your calorie intake in moderation by eating only a spoonful of whatever you wish to eat! If you are at a buffet, eat everything—but only one spoonful of everything,” she laughs.

Another tip Joubert recommends is to give yourself realistic goals. If your goal is to just get to the gym regularly, once you meet that goal, then give yourself another goal that you can meet such as attending

2 to 3 classes a week. She warns doing too much too quickly can lead to injury. She would rather see you building up to a goal rather than wearing yourself out from doing too much too fast.

“We really are our own worst critics,” Joubert added emphasizing she has heard every excuse for not going to the gym including people who say they are too fat, too old, or too embarrassed. She assures you that once you begin your workout routine, and start meeting your attainable goals, you will want to go to the gym!

Are you motivated to take one of the classes taught by Kathleen Joubert at the Community Center? She teaches Kickboxing on Tuesdays from 7:30 pm-8:20 pm, Body Sculpting on Wednesdays from 6:00pm-6:50 pm, and Boot Camp class on Saturdays from 8:30 am-9:20 am.

See you in class!

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 offers group exercise classes, basketball courts, a swimming pool, wellness areas, and recreational programs.

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



JES Foundation Repair provides FREE inspections to homeowners suspecting damage from recent earthquakes

Regional experts who helped hundreds after the Mineral, Va. earthquake are available to inspect homes damaged from the recent Howard County, M.d. and Dover, Del. earthquakes.

After the 2011 earthquake in Mineral, JES Foundation Repair had a busy schedule inspecting and repairing homes from Virginia Beach to Baltimore. Now with the tremors recently in Howard County and Dover,  the Manassas branch of JES is ready to provide free inspections to homeowners in Maryland or Northern Virginia that might wonder if their home’s foundation was affected.

Signs and symptoms of possible damage to a home’s foundation from an earthquake include cracks in brick, cracks in drywall, doors, and windows that stick and uneven floors. Leaning chimneys pulling away from the home is one of the more common damages that occur even with minor tremors.

If there is damage, JES provides a free assessment and estimate on what is needed for a long-term repair solution. Call 877-537-9675 or go to jeswork.com to arrange the free inspection.

About JES Companies

JES Companies specializes in residential foundation repair, crawl space encapsulation, basement waterproofing, and concrete lifting. It 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 Indianapolis, Indiana, and Columbia, South Carolina. 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, West Virginia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Georgia. For more information about JES, please visit www.jeswork.com.



Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center leads the mission for women and family-centered care

Newly renovated rooms, family birthing units and an open floor plan is transforming the patient experience for expectant mothers. 

On Thursday, November 30, 2017, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center officially launched its Women’s Health Center. The hospital recently celebrated 45 years of serving the community. This latest development showcases Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s commitment to women and families.   

For decades, we’ve served the community as Women’s and Children’s services.  As we look towards the future, we are focused on the comprehensive needs of women in Northern Virginia. The new Women’s Health Center provides the infrastructure we need to expand our services and care for women throughout their lifetime,” explains Kathie Johnson, President, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

The new Women’s Health Center offers 27 newly renovated rooms. These private rooms feature a contemporary, open floor plan with an ensuite bathroom, infant warming beds and room for family and friends, all in close proximity to nursing staff. State of the art nursing stations allow caregivers to monitor mothers’ labor and symptoms as they occur and allow immediate response. This, coupled with Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s level 2 NICU, supported by our partnership with Children’s National Health System, enables us to ensure 24/7, top of the line, neonatology care, all to benefit the tiniest members of our community.

“The location of our NICU allows babies who require extra support to be cared for at a neonatal facility close to home. Our goal is to provide seamless, coordinated care to make this a positive experience for mother, child and family,” explains Johnson. 

This full-service center supports our goal, which is to provide the highest quality of care. An extension of our Women’s Health Center features access to a team of female Nurse Navigators specializing in Obstetrics, Cardiac, Orthopedics, Urology, Bariatrics and Oncology. This group of women clinicians understands and will support you through your health journey, with a full range of preventative health screenings, education program and support groups for every phase of your life. 

“Our new name says to everyone, including the moms, that you and your family are first. It demonstrates our unique needs as women and how we need to make our health a priority,” adds Florence Pullo, RN, Interim Director, Women’s Health Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

To find a physician to care for you, through every stage of your life, call 1-800-SENTARA.

Tour historic Rippon Lodge this holiday season for ‘Christmas Through the Ages’

What had started as a fast-paced struggle across the Low Countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and finally into France itself, the First World War was already five months old by December of 1914.

In September, the French and British Armies had stopped the German drive short of Paris, at the Marne River. Warfare slowed down as soldiers dug trenches; the ‘front’ facing enemy positions were only the very tip of a system that stretched miles deep.

Infantrymen, in contact with the enemy, did not expect much of a Christmas celebration that year under such desperate conditions. Units rotated periodically, with a day of rest in less exposed trenches to the rear, where they would not be under direct fire. This brief relaxation would be the most men would expect for the holiday.

Ignored by officials on both sides, Pope Benedict XV attempted to arrange a truce between the warring powers for Christmas.

What actually happened came from men in the field, without any apparent organization. It started after men settled into the trenches in November… it began with arrangements (ceasefires) while recovering the dead from No-Man’s Land. Burial parties, from opposing sides, then exchanged information and food with each other.

In many places, the lines were close enough that the soldiers could shout across at each other, whether to taunt or simply chat. Conversing was especially clear among the German and British armies, because many men had visited or lived in both nations, and could communicate with each other in English.

On Christmas Eve, British soldiers reported that German soldiers started singing songs and playing music. Soon, the British responded with their own tunes and songs. The shouts between men took on a festive tone, exchanging seasonal greetings. Who first raised their head above the trenches goes unrecorded, but officers and infantrymen from both sides, began to emerge. And no one fired. Artillery fell silent in some sectors.

Orders, of course, strictly prohibited any of this fraternization, holiday or not. Many company officers and Generals were afraid that it would prevent men from continuing the fight afterward. There seemed to exist among the soldiers in the trenches, a sort of understanding, born from their shared condition, regardless of general orders.

This did not extend to all soldiers, of course. Captain Billy Congreve of the Rifle Brigade wrote in his diary, “We have issued strict orders to the men not to on any account allow a truce, as we have heard rumours that they will probably try to. The Germans did. They came over towards us singing. So we opened rapid fire on them, which is the only truce they deserve.”

On the other side of the issue, Captain Bruce Bairnsfather of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment observed among his men that, “There was not an atom of hate on either side that day; and yet, on our side, not for a moment was the will to war and the will to beat them relaxed. It was just like the interval between the rounds in a friendly boxing match.” While there was suspicion, mistrust, and prejudice on both sides, it was pushed aside for that peaceful meeting.

The high command’s fears came to fruition in some of the battlefields the day after Christmas. Private Frank Richards of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, wrote in his memoirs, “During the whole of Boxing Day (December 26th) we never fired a shot, and they the same, each side seemed to be waiting for the other to set the ball a-rolling.”

In the end, as units rotated back to different positions, and simply as time passed, the informal truces ended. These ‘truces’ became a distant memory, as the first year of a brutal struggle would go on another four years, with 29 million soldiers killed or wounded, over 57% of those serving. There would never be another Christmas quite like the one in 1914.

This December at Rippon Lodge in Woodbridge, Prince William County’s Historic Preservation Division will be presenting Christmas Through the Ages. This special holiday-only program starts off with a tree lighting on the lawn December 2 and continues every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 23. The first tour of the day begins at 11:00 am and the last at 3:00 pm.

Each walk through the Lodge with one of the guides takes a visitor through some American holiday-time traditions; from the 1700s celebration of the time between Christmas and Epiphany, known as Twelfth Night, through the Victorian age, 1920s, and 1930s, learn how we came to celebrate Christmas as it is today.

Another special occasion will be a visit from Santa Claus on December 9th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Parents will be given a ‘Things Santa Should Know’ card before their child meets that right jolly old elf in his temporary residence in Rippon Lodge’s cabin.


Karen was tired of restructuring family fun around her pain. So she did something about it.

Dr. Daniel Hampton at Sentara OrthoJoint Center® at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center reserves surgery as a last resort for patients with chronic knee pain.

When Karen Cribb, the Patient Advocate at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, became Dr. Hampton’s patient, he told her that eventually, she would need to have knee replacement surgery. After weighing the benefits and risks of surgery, they decided to try alternative therapies such as anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and injections first to see if they could manage her osteoarthritis, pain, and limited mobility issues without surgery.

Injections of corticosteroids provided temporary relief for Karen. However, when the medication wore off, the pain grew unbearable. They then tried a series of four shots designed to build cushioning around the knee, but that did not prove effective for her either.

“Those treatments work for different people to varying degrees,” said Dr. Hampton. “When it’s time for surgery, your body will tell you.”
Karen grew up playing sports like basketball and softball during a time when there were no professional coaches ensuring the safety of younger athletes. As she got older, her knees began to bother her.

“I truly didn’t pay attention to the pain, until I couldn’t participate in family activities the way I used to,” said Karen.

She finally realized her mobility restrictions as she listened to her husband and daughters plan a big family vacation to New England for her upcoming birthday. Well-intentioned, her husband and daughters repeatedly said, “Mom can’t do that, so we won’t do it.”

Karen acknowledged they were restructuring the fun activities around her pain. During her vacation, she was disappointed when she could not get to the top of a lighthouse in Maine or climb the steps at Bunker Hill in Boston. Karen wanted to be active and pain-free, so she could enjoy time with her family, and she resolved to do something about it.

Karen knew the time had come for surgery when she began to fall and make trips to the emergency room that caused her to miss family activities. The rest of Karen’s body was now compensating for her injured knee, and she eventually threw out her back. Her daughter was getting married soon, and she did not want her knee problems to interfere with the wedding. It was time to consider knee replacement surgery.

“Throwing out my back because of my knee pain was an eye opener,” Karen said. “That was the decision–making moment for me.”
Karen and Dr. Hampton set her surgery date for April.

“There is a very high success rate with knee replacement surgery,” Dr. Hampton said. “About 95 percent of patients do well with replacements.”

Patients who opt for knee replacement have an intense recovery period with several months of extensive physical therapy. “Additionally,” Dr. Hampton said, “there is a six-month check-up and another follow-up appointment at one year with periodic x-rays. Patients are then, typically seen annually.”

Surgery requires a close partnership between the patient, surgeon, and rehabilitation therapists. The patient must be motivated to adhere to the therapy regimen and stay active, even when there are some stiffness and pain. Walking, hiking, swimming, and other low impact exercises are excellent ways to stay active for those recovering from knee replacement surgery, and they carry the added benefit of potential weight loss, which further reduces pressure and strain on the knee.

The surgery itself was not painful for Karen. Her family was incredibly supportive, encouraging her to stay active, helping her recuperate, and driving her to her medical appointments during her recovery. When Karen returned to work, the staff at Sentara was also very supportive.

“This is what we do, for our patients and each other,” said Karen. She and her coworkers even shared a good laugh about her bedazzled cane she used during her recovery. “Go gaudy or go home,” Karen joked.

Karen completed her physical therapy four months after her surgery. Overall, she describes the surgical experience as positive. She’s grateful for her improved quality of life.

“I really appreciate Dr. Hampton and the therapists saying that I can’t hurt the knee, but I will hurt myself if I don’t stay active,” Karen said. “It feels great to feel good.”

To find an orthopedic specialist near you call 1-800-SENTARA or visit: Sentara OrthoJoint Center® at https://www.sentara.com/woodbridge-virginia/medicalservices/services/joint-replacement.aspx.

 


How FreshySites updated this 3-year-old website that didn’t share the sleek look of this modern national security school

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.

This mission extends from regional to national clients.

Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS) came to us to build their new website because they were dissatisfied with the antiquated style and functionality of their site at the time.

This three-year-old website didn’t have the sleek or modern look they felt represented their organization, dedicated to training our country’s future national security professionals in the heart of Washington, D.C.

Among what DMGS wanted was a more unique and advanced functionality to complement a newly polished design, but still able to offer the immense amount of information about the organization’s history, curriculums, daily goings-on, etc.

Building this website required our team to be extremely creative and meticulous in incorporating all the content – over forty pages worth – their site contains in an aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly format.

After countless check-ins to ensure the website’s flawless functionality – that the dozens of redirect links worked correctly, all the content was organized and revised, etc. – as well as extensive coordination to ensure a smooth launch process on a specific date at a specific time, the DMGS site went live.

What resulted from FreshySites’ determination to take this regional project, with national implications, to the next level was a robust and comprehensive website that conveys the credibility, legitimacy, and importance of what the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security prepares their students for on a daily basis.

See for yourself! Explore the dozens of pages, all stemming from a simple menu, filled with information on the different programs DMGS offers, admission qualifications, downloadable applications, news, events and more.

FreshySites – a regionally focused company with national reach and operations.

About FresySites: 

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!

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!

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.

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.”

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.


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…)


FREE class at Manassas Park Community Center offers money-saving tips, saving strategies

When you hear the term financial planning, you probably roll your eyes and think to yourself that only rich people need to worry about financial planning. While it is true that certain financial planning topics certainly are for the rich (think Estate Tax), when you really think about it, don’t we all need to manage our money.

Because it is, after all, our money.

So, how can the average person work out a system to manage his or her money? Here at the Manassas Park Community Center, we offer FREE financial classes taught by financial professionals from the Virginia Cooperative Extension. These experts offer practical advice to area residents of all professional and economic levels to learn strategies to manage their money and to make their money work for them!

The Virginia Cooperative Extension is the cooperation of local, state, and federal governments in partnership with tens of thousands of citizens to help strengthen families and to help protect the environment. Based on research conducted at Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, these partnerships help everyday citizens in many areas of their lives, including financial planning and gardening.

Concepts of financial planning can be complex, so the financial planning experts from the Virginia Cooperative Extension suggest starting small and taking baby steps toward your goal. A good way to begin to manage your money is to create a budget for yourself. You can find several apps online to help you, or you can do it the old-fashioned way. Get a blank sheet of paper. Write the word budget across the top of that blank sheet of paper. During the course of a week, write everything, yes EVERYTHING and EVERYWHERE you spend money: Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, breakfast at the deli, gas, tolls, parking fees, lunch, rent, car payments, insurance payments, the list is endless! (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.

A member of the Felmley family has been involved with the hospital from before it was even built — that’s more than 45 years of service!

When Martha Felmley was invited to an introductory meeting for the Potomac Hospital Auxiliary in the early 70’s, she had no idea it would ignite a passion that would consume nearly half of her life and be passed down through the generations.

“We had fundraisers to make money and went door to door to collect money. In the beginning, it was all about money to build the hospital” remembers the soon-to-be 90-year-old, smiling.

For Martha Felmley, that commitment grew as the hospital did. Over the years, in addition to volunteering, she served on the Hospital Board of Trustees and worked in community relations, her family always by her side. That’s why it’s no surprise the hospital became a family affair, with Felmley’s daughter and granddaughter both eventually working here!

For Felmley’s daughter, Martha Moore, the connections to the hospital started before she could drive. “I used to babysit Howard Greenhouse’s children!” she remembers, laughing.

Moore, now a Cardiac Systems Coordinator for Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, started out babysitting the head of the hospital board’s children. It was about that same time she was a candy striper at the hospital, and from there, she was a weekend cashier in the gift shop. (more…)



‘…concerns have been raised within the business community regarding whether or not focusing on a real estate tax ratio is the best “measuring stick” for progress’

On Friday, November 3, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee will host renowned economist, Dr. Stephen Fuller of the Stephen S. Fuller Institute and members of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors for a discussion on regional trends and the economics of growing the commercial tax base in Prince William County.

Earlier this year, Prince William County approved their FY17-20 Strategic Plan which contains long-term goals for the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) on topics ranging from economic development to public safety and education. Of particular interest to the business community is the economic development goal focused on increasing the ratio of commercial property tax to 35% of all collected revenues. Since the plan’s approval, the Chamber has hosted multiple meetings on this issue, hearing from County staff as well as industry leaders. 

View a September Opinion piece by the Chamber that explains more about the issue.

While growing business in the County is an important goal, and one which the Chamber supports, concerns have been raised within the business community regarding whether or not focusing on a real estate tax ratio is the best “measuring stick” for progress. The Chamber has invited the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to attend the presentation to hear from Dr. Fuller in hopes that the targeted discussion will provide the necessary economic framework to inform future policy decisions regarding the expansion of the commercial tax base. (more…)



‘At one point in the night, every patient got up, said their name, and shared how much they’ve lost. All told, 3971 collective pounds had been shed!’

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Men and women, of all ages, races, and sizes gathered together to remember what used to be.

It was all part of the bariatric team’s annual, “A Gala, Celebrating You.” For the sixth year in a row, people came together for a Weight Loss Surgery Patient Reunion at the Hylton Education Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

More than 40 former patients and their loved ones came out to remember their weight loss journey and celebrate how far they’ve come.

It was a reunion for many, with patients coming up to one another and asking tentatively, “Do you remember me?” Plenty of hugs, laughs, and smiles were exchanged.

At one point in the night, every patient got up, said their name, and shared how much they’ve lost. All told, 3971 collective pounds had been shed!

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done- outside of marrying my husband!” chuckled Reva Gravelle.

Gravelle was just one member of a patient panel who spoke with the group and answered questions. She was 62 years old when she decided to move forward and get the surgery. Eight years later, she hasn’t looked back and says she feels healthier than ever! “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels,” she says smiling.

Just like Gravelle, everybody had their own story, but there was a common thread everyone could relate to. Patients shared varied firsts: having a lap for a grandchild to sit on, being able to get up by themselves when falling, flying without having to buy an extra seat or getting a seatbelt extender, different shopping options for clothing and being able to fit in a roller coaster seat.

Many patients credit their surgeon, Dr. Denis Halmi with helping them make the change, something he seemed little uncomfortable with, “I try to explain, it wasn’t me, because you are the one making the changes, because of what you are doing, it’s making the change. I’m here to help you, here to support you, but you’re the one who does it.”

While patients were in varied stages of their weight loss journey- some, having had their surgery years ago, while others had their surgery just months earlier, all know that this is a lifetime commitment. To that end, even the event’s food reflected their new lifestyle and featured healthy choices such as diced fruits and vegetables, shrimp, turkey meatballs and blended-to-order fruit smoothies.

This was also an uplifting event for those patients who may have gotten off track. Instead of beating up on themselves for diet missteps, patient speakers and health professional reminded everyone, while it’s nice to move numbers on the scale; this voyage is about more than that. It’s about getting healthy. Organizers reminded patients this event isn’t the only support available. The program hosts both weekly and monthly support groups for current and former patients. And, if those groups are too far for some to travel, the bariatric program has recently added a new virtual support group for the last Thursday of the month. It’s all in an effort to make sure people have the assistance they need to meet their health goals. To find a bariatric surgeon near you, call 1-800-SENTARA.

Photos: Dr. Halmi in the center, surrounded by patients who enjoyed a great time, and Dr. Halmi speaking to the group, sharing words of encouragement.

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