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Have Your Next Group Event at Manassas Olive Oil

This is a sponsored column written by Potomac Local for Manassas Olive Oil

The Manassas Olive Oil Company was founded on the notion that great olive oil should be shared with others.

Alex and his daughter Amanda, both military veterans, opened their shop on Grant Avenue in Manassas to share their passion for fresh olive oils and balsamic vinegar with their friends in thier sunlit tasting gallery.

A tasting is now an event that you can share with your friends and family. Manassas Olive Oil is available for bachelor parties, after-hour night time events, and culinary shows.

Becuase of Manassas Olive Oil, more people in and around Manassas are having fun while tasting delicious oils and vinegar. Recently, Manassas Olive Oil shared partnered with Love, Charley for a First Friday event featuring free tastings, raffles, and coupons. (more…)

Threats, slashed tires challenges for beer keg delivery service

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

When I tell people about One Degree Capital, I often hear things like “Oh, I’d love to start my own business doing ‘XYZ’ someday.”

To the outsider, it often looks easy to own a business. The reality is that business owners face challenges and surprises all the time. It takes a lot of perseverance to overcome them and be successful.

My lessons in perseverance came to me early in life. I started my first business as a sophomore at Miami University, where I discovered an opportunity to help solve a disturbing problem in the community.

The two-lane, windy highway between small-town Oxford, Ohio (home of Miami of Ohio – go Hawks!), and the nearby City of Hamilton had been nicknamed “The Highway To Heaven” because so many college students died traveling that road. Students regularly drove to Hamilton to pick up kegs of beer for parties from local distributors. Sadly, many drove under the influence, which added to the trouble. (more…)

Dumfries will cleanup Quantico Creek

This post was submitted and paid for by the Town of Dumfries to inform residents about community events. 

The Town of Dumfries has planned to participate in two events this April focused on fostering environmental awareness and sustainability.

Please join us as we strive to improve water quality and promote storm water management practices through our Quantico Creek Cleanup and the Keep Prince William Beautiful Festival.

28th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup

On April 16, the Town will participate in the 28th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Through this annual cleanup, participants from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC gather at various sites to cleanup portions of the Potomac River Watershed.

Last year, almost 24,000 volunteers joined together to support the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative. The Town eagerly awaits the opportunity to once again participate in this event by engaging residents to cleanup Quantico Creek, a tributary to the Potomac. Volunteers will meet at the Simpson Community Center located at 17755 Main St. Dumfries, VA 22026 at 8:30 am on the day of the event.

Keep Prince William Beautiful Festival

Join the Town on April 23 at the 2016 Keep Prince William Beautiful Festival. This festival is sponsored by a local environmental non-profit, Keep Prince William Beautiful, in partnership with the Potomac Nationals. Admission to the event is free and will feature community businesses and vendors, educational showcases on recycling, litter awareness, beautification and water preservation, music from local artists, food trucks and more!

The Town will have a booth displaying brochures about storm water management initiatives and actions residents can take to help improve local water quality. The festival will be held at G Richard Pfitzner Stadium located at 7 County Complex Ct. Woodbridge, VA 22192 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, please visit our website at www.dumfriesva.gov or contact the MS4 Coordinator, Shaina Schaffer, at sschaffer@dumfriesva.gov.

Dumfries events: Black History celebration, Easter Egg Hunt

This post was submitted and paid for by the Town of Dumfries to inform residents about community events. 

On Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, the Town of Dumfries will be hosting our Annual Black History Month Celebration at the Little Union Baptist Church located at 17150 Mine Road in Dumfries.

This ceremony will feature guest speaker Reverend Michael Sessoms, from Little Union Baptist Church as well as Ms. Phyllis Aggrey, Executive Director of the Prince William County Human Rights Commission. Ceremonies will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will feature performances by the Little Union Baptists Men’s Choir and the Dumfries Elementary Chorus.

A reception will follow immediately after the service at Little Union Baptist Church. (more…)

Pies and wine so good, Mom’s has a great business plan

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

There is a perfectly logical reason for the location of Mom’s Apple Pie Bakery and Wine Shop in Occoquan: It is the first place you will want to visit when you pull into town, and also before heading back out of town.

Yep, Mom’s is that good.

Of course, Mom’s bakes some fantastic pies (second only to my own mom, of course… hi, Mom!) Strawberry, Pumpkin, Rhubarb, Apple and many other flavors are made to very exacting high quality standards under the supervision of store employees like Sharon Cardinale, who has been at Mom’s for over 11 years.

Not to be outdone, Mom’s also has a top-notch Wine Shop staffed by Certified Sommelier, Keith Bevins. It turns out Keith loves craft beer almost as much as he loves wine, which makes for a pretty darn good selection that’s sure to please everyone.

And if that weren’t enough, Mom’s also serves as a general store of sorts for the town of Occoquan, where residents can find everything from milk and butter to household cleaners and even bait and lures. (more…)

10 reasons why you should be a lifeguard this summer

“Shaping the Future” is a sponsored column written by Manassas Park Community Center. The column highlights the many ways you can have fun, get fit, and improve your life.

This week’s weather probably has you thinking that WINTER is finally here, but believe it or not, here at Parks and Recreation, we are already starting to think about SUMMER!  

We are diligently planning for summer camps, swim lessons, special events, and the 20th year of operation at Signal Bay Water Park! One of the major components in planning for summer is making sure we have the right staff to carry out our plans. It takes us months to interview, select, and train all of our employees, which is why we start in the dead of winter!

Within our department, we have many different options for part-time employment. For those who love working with children, we have summer camps leaders and aides. 

If you are passionate about a specific sport or hobby, you may be the perfect fit as an instructor for one of our athletic summer camps. Enjoy spending time outdoors? Perhaps working as a park laborer or lifeguard is the job for you. (more…)

Business is booming in Manassas

This post is written as part of a paid content partnership between Potomac Local and City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city.

Historic Heart. Modern Beat.   These four words simply yet masterfully describe the City of Manassas.  In case you missed it, this is the City’s new tagline, and it’s pretty spot-on.      

Manassas is a city steeped in rich history and tradition and takes great pride in the pivotal role it played in our country’s defining war. 

Manassas is also transforming. 

It is attracting a creative class of entrepreneurs that are changing the face of our City.  They are authentic, eclectic, driven; and they are breathing new life into Manassas, most notably in Historic Downtown.  (more…)

Your business should be creative & unique, something no ‘big box’ store can do

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

In today’s “big box” retail world how do small business owners stand out and compete?

One way is by building their own community of champions and collaborators.

All around us are great examples of how small business owners have created their own community (or One Degree World, as we call it around here).

One of my favorite examples comes from a small cafe alongside the deceptively calm Upper Youghiogheny River. (more…)

Programs & events coming up at Manassas Park Community Center in 2016

“Shaping the Future” is a sponsored column written by Manassas Park Community Center Marketing Manager Jason Shriner. The column highlights the many ways you can have fun, get fit, and improve your life.

With the New Year in full swing, we’ve been very busy getting ready for spring and summer programming! There are some important changes we’d like to share with you and we’d like to reveal a tiny bit of programming so you know what to expect in the coming year.

MOSAIC increased to 4 times per year

In response to customer feedback we’re switching things up with our program catalog, the MOSAIC. The MOSAIC will be coming out four times a year instead of two times a year.

This opens up more programming opportunities for our patrons as this gives us greater flexibility in creating new programs and finding instructors. In addition, many parents expressed that planning for summer camps in February (the typical release date for the spring/summer MOSAIC) was difficult.

We hope that by releasing the summer MOSAIC later in the year our loyal customers will find it easier to plan their summer vacations. The spring MOSAIC is scheduled to come out February 13th. The summer MOSAIC is scheduled to come out in April. (more…)

Beat winter blues with lecture series at Old Courthouse

In the winter of 2004-05, the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division was in a programming quandary.

There were very few programs offered during the months of January, February, and March and there was, at least, one venue, the Old Manassas Courthouse that was underutilized during those months.

An idea was raised to offer during these months a series of lectures on Thursday evenings that would be free to the public in the upstairs Ball Room of the old courthouse located at 9248 Lee Avenue in Manassas and the Winter Lecture Series was born.

The lectures featured topics that in some way tied to the county. Today the Historic Preservation Division will offer the 12th annual series which is now called the History Lecture Series because in has been extended into April. Topics have ranged from prominent people to historic events that shaped the history of the county, to world events that county citizens might have participated in.

This year is no different. (more…)

Local beans, great atmosphere key to Manassas coffee shop success

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

groundscentralstationPssst, slow down. Take a moment and smell the coffee… or the tea or even the great breakfast sandwiches made by Matt Brower and his team at Grounds Central Station in Downtown Manassas.

Go there for the coffee, go back again and again for the great people and experiences.

I originally found GCS in March 2015 while in Manassas on business. I had time between meetings and wanted a great cup of coffee and an equally good experience. Not being too familiar with Manassas I turned to Yelp for guidance and boom – I found GCS (with a 4.5 star Yelp rating to boot).

Over the past year, I have been back to GCS, oh, a couple of times! I have gotten to know Matt and his merry band of baristas pretty well.

One thing Matt serves – above and beyond a great Americano – is “community.” (more…)

Learn to set your 2016 sales goals at this free 1 Million Cups session

Are you developing your sales goals for 2016? Where do I start? Are they achievable?

How do I build a model I can follow, or my company can execute?

What are the differences between strategy and tactics? What are the steps and ideas to execute them?

Many entrepreneurs and sales professionals are tasked with developing sales goals for growth, where do I start and how do I track? (more…)

Leela Nowka paintings on display at Manassas City Hall

Leela Nowka

Paintings from artist Leela Nowka, impressionistic painter from India, are on display in The Hall at City Hall.

Born in Niarobi, Kenya, Nowka graduated college in India from the Isabella Thoburn Women’s College. She had a long a career in the Indian Diplomatic Service and is currently retired and living in the City of Manassas.

Nowka studied art under impressionist painter Sylva Monteleon and realist painter Acharya Charles Pather. In 2008 she oversaw the “Object D’Art Cell” in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. The group provided art to dignitaries and Indian Embassies. (more…)

Find people you know, trust who have your success in mind

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

Building a Business is a Team Effort — With a Little Help From Our Friends

My first lesson in the value of mentors came early – and hard. On July 3rd, 1985, I was enduring the first grueling week (called “Ground Week”) of the U.S. Army Airborne School. My Student ID – printed boldly across my helmet – was 141 (yes, 30 years later I remember my Student Number).

No matter the reason, I was a “NO GO” and did not qualify to advance to the second week (Tower Week) of training. The choice was mine – give up or repeat Ground Week.

Ugh! I wanted to quit, to give up, go back home and drink some beer with my friends and work so I could actually afford my next year of college expenses. Worse yet, if I decided to repeat Ground Week my Student ID label on my helmet would become 141”G” and everyone would know that I was “recycled.”

One of my Airborne Drill Instructors (we called them “Black Hats” ( I’ll leave you to guess why) came over and said to me) “Cadet, I know you are thinking about quitting. Heck I would be thinking it too if I were you.”  (more…)

Stay on the path to a New Year, New You at Manassas Park Community Center

“Shaping the Future” is a sponsored column written by Manassas Park Community Center Marketing Manager Jason Shriner. The column highlights the many ways you can have fun, get fit, and improve your life.

With the New Year, now is a great time to think about the year ahead. When I was younger, New Year’s Day didn’t really mean much more than partying, but now it’s a favorite time of mine where I like to set goals for myself. I especially like resolutions that involve learning something new or that result in a tangible finished product.

Over the past few years my resolutions have included listening to more podcasts and TEDtalks, learning to sew (this includes sewing a costume from scratch), creating my own board game, and learning sign language, photography and how to indoor rock climb. When you’re a kid, school can really make learning feel like a chore, but after I graduated college, I realized how much I missed learning new things and challenging myself. You don’t realize how easy it is to stand in one place until you look back on the year and realize it!

Make a promise to yourself this upcoming new year; find the new you! Here are some tips and strategies on choosing resolutions and seeing them through.

1. Be true to yourself and set resolutions you’ll enjoy

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life it’s that if something feels like a chore, then I will find every excuse in the world not to do it. Motivation is an incredibly powerful thing, but it doesn’t come externally. Even when somebody else is encouraging you, you must ultimately want to do it for yourself in order to see your goals through. If you are an extrovert and you have fitness goals, participate in fitness classes! There is nothing more isolating than wearing headphones and working out – totally toxic to an extrovert’s success. Remember to set yourself up for success when choosing your resolutions!

One of my favorite fitness classes at the Manassas Park Community Center is bootcamp. In this high intensity class, the instructor challenges my classmates and me to perform a variety of strength training and cardiovascular exercises, all while maintaining an elevated heart rate. As a self-identifying geek, I never knew I was capable of doing some of the exercises until I participated. It’s not all excruciating work! I feel like we laugh constantly in the class as we awkwardly try new exercises and tease the instructor. Other popular fitness classes at the community center include Zumba, Aqua Zumba, and yoga.

2. Create a plan

Aside from fitness and learning something new, financial responsibility is another popular resolution. Whatever your resolution is, make sure you actually plan out how you’re going to achieve it. Ask yourself these questions to start. Is it fitness related – Where do I want to work out? Should I hire a personal trainer? If it’s learning something new – What time can I dedicate? What expenses are involved? If it’s fiscal What is a budget I can manage? Do I have monthly expenses that I can do without?

One method that helped me save money was to track my spending on a spreadsheet. True, this is a chore (although I do love a good spreadsheet), but knowing that I would eventually have to input a purchase into a spreadsheet where it will be staring back at me – possibly judging me – has been enough to deter me from certain purchases. Plus it’s pretty rewarding to see a year’s worth of spending slowly declining throughout the year! Another tip that I use to talk myself out of a purchase is equating how much an item costs to how much I make hourly. Is this new gadget really worth 2, 4, or 8 hours of my time at work? Cash and especially credit cards can be intangible concepts, but your sweat is pretty real!

Consider incorporating a class into your plan like the programs at the Manassas Park Community Center. INOVA will be teaching a free class called “Eating Better on a Budget” on January 5 or come check out People, Inc.’s free “Credit and Budgeting Workshop on January 20. Talking with professionals and researching ideas online, including articles, videos, and podcasts, are great ways to get fresh ideas to incorporate into your plan.

Belly dancing: Learning new dances, like belly dance, is a great new year’s resolution!
Try group exercise classes or working out with a friend if your routine gets stale
The Manassas Park Community Center recently built a second fitness room featuring all new exercise equipment – come try them out!
The personal trainers at the Manassas Park Community Center love finding new ways to shake up your workout – like boxing!
You can get 2 30-minutes personal training session as part of your membership to the Manassas Park Community Center
Try something you’ve always wanted to, like scrapbooking, by taking a class at the Manassas Park Community Center
Taking classes, like sign language, gives you a chance to meet people who share your interests and can help practice your new skills
Zumba is one of our most popular classes at the Manassas Park Community Center

3. Set realistic and measurable goals

Businesses are successful because employees have somebody holding them accountable. Excellent managers use plans with defined goals to set expectations that both the employee and the manager can agree upon. Similarly, anytime you sign a contract, you’re actually setting a level of expectations. These are expectations you are expected to perform as well as what you expect the other party to perform. Plans, goals, expectations, and accountability all result in getting things done. So why not do the same for your resolution?

I don’t expect you to draw up a contract between you and yourself for your new year’s resolution, but you should at least create an event in your phone’s calendar eight weeks from now that says, “Lose this many pounds,” “Save this much money,” or “Be able to ask for help in the grocery store in a foreign language.” When you have a goal, you have a real expectation with a real deadline for yourself to work towards as opposed to some nebulous concept of “lose weight,” “save money,” or “learn Spanish.” Don’t just set one goal either – set milestones leading up to your final goal so you have a timeline to reinforce your plan.

When setting fitness goals be sure to consult a professional so that you are setting safe and healthy goals. Your Primary Care Physician and the Personal Trainers at the Manassas Park Community Center are two good resources, and a fitness assessment is included free of charge with every membership at the community center.

4. Celebrate accomplishments and be flexible

Willpower is a limited resource. When you’re trying to lose weight, you can only deprive yourself of ice cream for so long. Torturing yourself like this is a surefire way to turn your resolution into a chore. If you reach a fitness milestone, treat yourself! Be flexible and don’t punish yourself for accommodating unexpected events. If your car gets a flat, replacing a tire isn’t a hindrance to your financial goal – emergencies are a reason you wanted to save money in the first place!

5. Don’t stop, won’t stop

It’s going to take persistence and practice to reach your final goal, so don’t give up! It’s said it can take an average of 66 days to form a habit – although this number can vary vastly depending on the habit. [1] If you find your motivation waning, try to focus on the end goal or try to find ways to make the project fun again. Getting a friend involved, changing locations, or switching up your routine can help keep your resolution enjoyable.

Finally, don’t stop once you’ve achieved your resolution. Keep working out, keep saving money, keep practicing that language, but also set a new resolution for yourself! Yes, even in the middle of July! Have you reached your target weight? Why not try hiking or indoor rock climbing? Keep learning and keep moving forward so that next December 31st you can look back and reward yourself for all the resolutions you’ve accomplished – and look forward to all the resolutions you want to try.

How Home Instead finds great people to care for their clients

Editors note: This paid promotional post was written by Potomac Local in collaboration with Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas, serving Prince William and Fauquier counites.

Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas is always looking for candidates searching for rewarding career.

Candice Johnson is the Regional CAREGiver Recruiter at Home Instead Senior Care. Home Instead Senior Care selects and places experienced CAREGivers to homes with seniors, from those who need just a little help and companionship to seniors who need around the clock, twenty-four hour care.

As a Regional CAREGiver Recruiter, Johnson does a lot of work and running around town to attract the best talent that the community has to offer.

“The recruiting process is a lot of repeating my same actions. So I do a lot of “flyering”, I advertise in papers and online, I participate in job fairs and speaking engagements at colleges, CNA schools, LPN schools. I’m really just getting the position out there,” said Johnson The most important part to Johnson’s role is that people know that Home Instead Senior Care is hiring and that many of the positions are flexible and can fit comfortably into anyone’s hectic schedule.

“So if they’re working full time or going to school full time, this is a job that will allow you to still keep your daily responsibilities but bring in some supplemental income on the side,” said Johnson.

Who is the ideal candidate that Home Instead looks for and hires? (more…)

How knowing ‘Why’ led website developer WIX to $1 billion

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

Five, four, three, two, one… Happy New Year! Well, almost! The New Year is a great time to evaluate our business goals and make sure we know the answer to the question, “Why do we do what we do?”

Here is a great example: Avi, a business associate I met in 1999, said to me at the time, “Rod, I want to make it easy and affordable for business owners to build and manage websites.”

In 1999 that was easier said than done. But Avi and a few of his associates started a company that set out to do just that. While his company attracted millions in venture funding, they never gained a critical mass and eventually sold to a competitor.

Flash forward several years later to a phone call I received from Avi who proudly claimed, “Rod, I have finally found a way to make it easy and affordable for business owners to build and manage websites.”

Now, those who know me know that I am a bit of a tech snob. I remember looking at the phone thinking, “WOW, that is a big claim to make!”

Sure enough, Avi’s tenacity paid off. Today his company, WIX, trades on NASDAQ and has a value of just under $1 billion – that’s right – just under $1 billion.

One Degree Capital is a customer of WIX.com, and we love it.

Across three businesses and over 16 years, Avi always knew his “Why” and stuck to it. As quoted from the company’s website, Wix’s vision is “We make it easy for everyone to create a beautiful, professional web presence.”

A common thread that runs through most successful companies is that they know their WHY – the main reason they do what they do. They know and stay committed to their “Why.”

So here is a question for you: As a business owner do you know your “Why?” If you need some help, ask yourself the following questions:

— Why? Why does your business exist? Are you passionate about this?

— Who? Do you enjoy working with your target audience?

— How? Do you serve your customers in a unique and valuable way?

If you are interested in learning more about how to build your “why” here are several great resources:

Simon Sinek, internationally acclaimed author of “Start with Why,” has a powerful TED Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sioZd3AxmnE that is sure to inspire you to action.

Jeff Parks, a Prince William County-based seasoned consultant and a Coast Guard veteran, says “Live your passion, give your gift.” www.performancebreakthroughs.com. Jeff has helped over 200 organizations define their purpose and build “High-Performance Organizations.”

Margie Warrell wrote this incredible article “Know Your Why – 4 Questions to Tap the Power of Purpose.” Also, she has written three books on Leadership, Life, Courage and Purpose.

Sharon Dilling, owner of Fairfax-based Ability Potentials helps people identify their unique skills, energies, and passions. It works! I took Sharon’s assessment test years ago, and it said I should be the general manager of a commercial finance company. She was right!

As the owner of One Degree Capital for the past six years, I can tell you that I LOVE working with my third hero: The American Small Business Owner. Sharon’s test was so helpful that I have paid for a number of people to take it.

The people who are open and willing to explore the suggested career paths have told me they later that they have truly found their “life’s work.”

What is your “Why?” If you know of any locally owned businesses that have a strong “Why” please share them in the comments section – I would love to learn more about the amazing business owners in our local area.

It’s time to party with Okras New Years Eve in Manassas

  • Okra's Cajun Creole
  • Address: 9110 Center Street Manassas, Va. 20110
  • Phone: (703) 330-2729
  • Website: www.okras.com

An all-inclusive party, a hotel room, and hangover cure awaits New Years Eve revelers at Okras in Manassas.

Okras Cajun Creole in Downtown Manassas will hold a New Year’s Eve party that will feature a full buffet of favorites from the Big Easy, to include Pene New Orleans with andouille sausage and ham; Cajun deviled eggs and alligator bites.

Drinks will be flowing from the bar, as hurricanes, landmines, and some bourbon from Okra’s private stock are all on the menu.
A high-energy live band will play music from the 80s and 90s, and take requests all night long.

After the party, guests will enjoy a deeply discounted room rate at Olde Town Inn, a short, one-block walk from Okras. This way, those who come out to party don’t have to think about getting behind the wheel of a car.

Those who stay the night at the hotel will be welcomed back to Okras the following day for an individually prepared “hangover” lunch.

While the party is all about fun, Fisher said it was important for Okras to partner with Olde Town Inn to give his guests a place to stay for the night.

“This is a great way to come out and have fun and skip the driving home part,” said Fisher.

Tickets for Okra’s New Year’s Eve party are on sale online now. 

Okras opened in 1998 and became known as the place that brought New Orleans flair to the City of Manassas. The restaurant sits on the corner of Center and Battle streets in Manassas, at the heart of the city’s growing entertainment district.

Okras has become a destination for local and visitors seeking authentic “Nawlins” food and flair. The restaurant has become a popular gathering place for those who are looking for daily drink specials, and for those who seek authentic New Orleans cuisine. 

Sharing is caring: How businesses can give back to charities

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

One day not long ago a Dad was getting his daughters ready for school, and he couldn’t figure out why the lunch foods were almost gone. It was only halfway through the week and already they were low on lunch meat.

The next morning he found his daughter making two lunches. When asked what she was doing, she shared that another student’s mom was very ill, and her dad was usually too tired and too busy to make lunch. So this little seven-year-old took it upon herself to start bringing this other student lunch every day. That little seven-year-old girl was my daughter, Olivia, now 14.

It is amazing how much we can learn from our kids and their wonderful hearts full of willingness to share (as long as it is not with their siblings). Sharing really is caring.

Prince William County is home to a number of caring businesses that share their success with a variety of dedicated not-for-profit organizations.

Here at One Degree Capital, we donate roughly 2% of our annual profits to charitable causes throughout the year. In the past, the charities were chosen either by me (usually from seeing a need in the community) or by a charity approaching us for corporate sponsorship of an event.

Both ways have been great, but as I am all about “One Degree Relationships” I started to wonder what charities our team members would choose. So at a recent team meeting, I announced a new charitable program where our team members get to decide which charity we support monthly.

I asked the group, “So, team, where should we start? What are your ‘One Degree Communities?’”

Our team member Caitlin Hughes was excited to offer the first suggestion.

“As a survivor of Aplastic Anemia myself, it would mean a lot to me if One Degree Capital would support The Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation, “ explained Caitlin. “The Foundation makes it possible to bring awareness and education to local communities regarding bone marrow failure, and donations help support continual research of these diseases. The Foundation’s efforts really helped me through a tough time in my life.”

We all agreed that was the perfect place to start!

I encourage other business owners to find unique and valuable ways to give back to our community throughout the year. A great resource regarding local charitable organizations who need our support is Volunteer Prince William.

Here are a few great nonprofits here in Prince William County:

The Streetlight serves the poor and the homeless.

ACTS – Action in Community Through Service of Prince William, Inc. operates a food pantry and other services (ACTS) 

Prince William SPCA (my daughter’s favorite charity) helps homeless animals.

Sharing is indeed caring. What are some other ideas on how businesses can give back to their own “One Degree Community?”

Please share your insights and success stories in the comments section so we can all learn and find new ways to give back to our community.

BBC, WaWa, ’90-Day Fiancé’ are just some of the big names filming in Manassas

The tent was set up and light was barely coming over the horizon when the crew from Twin Productions began filming two commercials for Wawa, the food and gas chain of Pennsylvania.

“Manassas was like a perfect Hollywood back lot,” said Sasha Levinson, director for the Wawa commercials. “So many areas to create stories in, Manassas was an ideal place for our story to come to life.”

“Manassas was the perfect combination of beautiful locations and a cooperative and helpful infrastructure that made shooting our Wawa commercial a wonderful experience,” commented Angela Edwards, Producer for Twin Productions.

This is not the first film crew to choose Manassas in the last several months. Six other production companies have filmed in the City in just a short period of time. The City of Manassas’ new brand touts the City as having an historic heart and a modern beat. These film crews are a perfect example of the new brand.

Filming the City’s Modern Beat was Sharpe Entertainment as they used Stonewall Park to film an episode of “90-Day Fiancé.” Ideology Productions shot a commercial for American Public University also in Stonewall Park.

[ngg_images gallery_ids=”582″ display_type=”ds-nextgen_royalslider”]

Illustrating the City’s Historic Heart was Flight 33 Productions who worked at Liberia Plantation to film an episode of “Codes and Conspiracies” for the American Heroes Channel. Also along the Historic Heart theme was Boundless Productions from the BBC filming a segment of “Great American Railroad Journeys” outside the City’s Train Depot.

As a more “Modern Beat” type of filming, Fox 5 selected the City of Manassas for one of its summer Zip Trips. City staff worked with Fox 5 producers to showcase the City and all it has to offer, ranging from restaurants, to shops to the wonderful community.

A grad student filming his thesis project in the City incorporated both the Historic Heart and the Modern Beat of the City of Manassas. He used a portion of Main Street to shoot a retro movie with 1950’s subject matter.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation website cites a study by the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Public policy which found that more than 8,000 people in Virginia are involved in this industry, which brought more than $500 million in economic impact to Virginia in 2004.

While that data is a bit old, it gives a general perspective on the importance of the film industry to the Commonwealth and, by extension, localities. Film crews spend money with local businesses – shops, restaurants and small businesses all benefit. The crew that filmed for WaWa had more than 60 people on location throughout the day. So not only does all of the filming in Manassas contribute to extending the City’s brand, it really has a positive economic impact as well. Look for the

The City will continue its efforts to work with this important industry in the future.

This post is written by the City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city in a paid content partnership with Potomac Local.

Announcing the new 55+ Active Adult Membership at the Manassas Park Community Center

The Manassas Park Community Center is very excited to announce our new Active Adult membership.

This membership is exclusively designed for individuals 55-64 years old and is only $15/month with 6 and 12 month options. The membership includes access to the gymnasium, pool, and wellness centers as well as all land and water group exercise classes, one fitness orientation, one fitness assessment, and two 30 minute personal training sessions.

This exciting new membership was created based on member feedback and proven demand over the last couple years. Until now our only Active Adult membership option was our Senior Passport membership which is only $30/year. However, this membership is only available for individuals 65 years and older.

As the senior programming became increasingly popular requests to expand our membership offerings also grew. The result was the creation of the new Active Adult membership.

Trying to stay fit? The Active Adult membership includes a number of wellness based classes!

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Senior Strength and Stretch offers a challenging workout that is low impact, but still meets your fitness needs.

Mixed gentle yoga focuses on your core and improves balance with easy-going, gentle yoga poses.

Aquasize is a water based exercise class that offers muscle toning in a low impact environment.

One of our most popular programs is Pickleball which is described as a combination of tennis and badminton.

Looking to learn something new or meet new people? Going Global is an opportunity to experience the diversity within our communities where you can learn about a variety of cultures through photos, stories, and food.

Piano/keyboard lessons offer a chance to explore your musical side whether you’re a beginner or a novice.

If you’re crafty, Social Knitting and Crafting for a Cause are two programs where you can learn to knit or crochet while creating projects for yourself or others to donate. The monthly senior potluck allows you to reconnect with friends in a casual environment.

Easy Gourmet is a hands-on cooking class where you learn to make quick and easy fourfive ingredient recipes.

Road Trip 66 State-to-State is a program where you can experience the diversity of our own country – think of it as a domestic Going Global! All of these programs and more are included in the new Active Adult membership!

Come meet our Senior Recreation Specialist, Bethiah Shuemaker, who has been at the forefront of creating all new senior programs for spring!

We hope to see you soon here at the Manassas Park Community Center!

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