To many of us, the new year is an excuse to finally get motivated to work out and lose weight. Working out regularly is easier said than done because, for so many of us, it’s incredibly difficult to get, and then keep, the motivation to continue working out.
Here are some helpful hints from the Department of Parks and Recreation staff at the Manassas Park Community Center in regards to getting past the intimidation of working out, finding the motivation to work out, and keeping that motivation!
1. Set a goal to inspire you and keep you motivated
Whether you’re trying to advance professionally or looking to start working out, having clear goals help you stay focused and motivated especially during periods where you feel like you’ve plateaued. Operations/Aquatics Supervisor Sarah Barnett says even though she began working out as a student, she finds it harder and harder to stay motivated as a mom with a full-time job.
“I attended college on a running scholarship and felt like I was sort of getting paid to run,” she shares, “But now I find the best way to stay motivated is to sign up for a race or a marathon, and that forces me to stay motivated.”
2. Find someone to keep you accountable
Having a friend or hiring a personal trainer can really help you get the most out of your workouts. They can help ensure you’re using proper form, inspire you to try a new exercise, and help motivate you to steadily and safely push yourself to get you closer to your goal. One of the most important advantages of working out with somebody is that they can help keep you focused.
“I need an accountability partner as a motivator so I work out with a trainer,” says Jacqueline Tyre-Perry, Recreation Specialist for School Age Programs. Tyre-Perry knows she will be tempted to take shortcuts if she does not have that extra person tracking her progress. “Seeing results also motivates me, but the best motivator for me is definitely a trainer. When they say, ‘Give me five more reps!’ you know they’re pushing you while cheering you on.”
3. Work out in a group setting to motivate you to keep coming back
Working out with friends isn’t only great for accountability, but it makes the gym and working out fun instead of a chore. Park Manager AJ Tibbs says he began working out a couple of years ago because he wanted to get healthier, but now he likes going to the gym because he has tons of friends there.
“Now, working out has become a hobby for me,” Tibbs says, “Life is too short, you really got to have fun while you can. I love going to the gym because I like to socialize there while I work out with weights.”
Marketing Manager Jason Shriner says he never worked out when he was younger. A former baker, he remembers watching a . Following this rule will keep you from overindulging (french fries take a lot of effort to make!) but you will also know exactly what you are eating.
However, he realized that eating healthy isn’t enough to have a healthy lifestyle. He remembers hearing a story on the radio where a 30-year-old nurse had a heart attack. “When I heard that story, I was about two years from turning 30, and I thought to myself, ‘If a nurse has a heart attack, what chance does a baker have?’” Shriner recalls.
He started working out on his own at a gym, but he really started to love working out when he took boot camp at the Community Center – his first group exercise class.
“I like working out in a group setting like boot camp because you never feel alone. Everybody is giving their all right next to you! Honestly, some of my favorite times are when the instructor does the craziest exercise, and we all just start laughing because we think it’s impossible – but then we try it together and succeed!”
4. Use working out as a chance to recharge your mind
“When I work out, I like to be alone so I can just think,” says Jay Swisher, City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks recreation director. Swisher began working out as a school athlete to compete on the field, to be more competitive, and to enhance his sports abilities. “This led to a real interest in fitness and nutrition, which I studied in college. My interest in working out began as physical, but as I have grown older, my interest has become more mental as I use working out as my excuse to decompress and de-stress.”
To get the most mental benefit out of your workout, find a routine and a setting that works for you. Try jogging through a park, such as Signal Hill Park, to take in all the beautiful green scenery and sunshine. Once you find that perfect mix of scenery, routine, and music, you’ll naturally be drawn to working out.
5. Track your workout to measure your progress and use technology to help keep you accountable
When you start working out over several months, it’s easy to lose track of how much weight you’ve been lifting or how long you’ve been running three miles. Using a notetaking or fitness app on your smartphone can help keep you on target with your fitness goals. When you notice you haven’t increased your weights in three weeks, it could motivate you to add an extra five pounds.
Speaking of technology, if you prefer working out on your own getting a fitness device can also help you stay motivated.
“My Apple watch was a Christmas gift from 2015, and it came with an app to help you track your workouts,” says Amelia Powell, Customer Service Supervisor. “The watch buzzed everyday reminding me to exercise. All those buzzes finally took their toll, and finally, on February 8th, I began running,” she said.
Reminders aren’t the only feature you can expect from fitness devices. Apps can also help you keep track of health metrics such as heart rate, exercise frequency, and calories consumed. Plus, the app can make sure you achieve your daily goals.
“The app gives you completed circles each day you complete your workout. I have met my current fitness goal, but I still like seeing those completed circles on my watch. In fact, those completed circles keep me motivated to continue working out,” Powell explained.
Once you begin working out, you will find your own reasons to stay motivated just as the some of the staff members at Parks and Recreation have. We wish you much success with your fitness goals, and remember the Manassas Park Community Center offers group exercise classes such as Zumba or boot camp as well as qualified and certified personal fitness trainers to help you meet all of your fitness needs. Here’s to a healthy 2017!
The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs.
This year. the 71st Annual Manassas Christmas Parade on December 2 featured two outstanding citizens as its . John O. Gregory, veteran, accomplished businessman and pillar of the community, will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal. Robin Perkins, who served as treasurer for the City of Manassas for over 18 years is this year’s Woman of the Year. Both are longtime Manassas residents who are passionate about giving back to their communities.
Grand Marshal John O. Gregory
Lifelong Manassas resident John O. Gregory has dedicated himself to his community and his country well over his lifetime. He served in both the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy and is a veteran of World War II. He also served as Commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars for 6 terms.
Gregory literally helped build the community in Manassas as founder of Gregory Construction Company, a design-build firm. He designed and built over 2000 community projects, including elementary and high schools, churches and religious buildings. He was one of the founders of Prince William Hospital and served on its Board of Directors for many years. He also co-founded and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for a local bank, Security Bank, which is now part of BB&T Banking System.
Former President George H.W. Bush invited Gregory to the White House in 1988 and remarked, “You are the perfect example of the “1000 Points of Light” for your volunteer service.” Gregory has supported many volunteer causes through the Lions Clubs International, including serving as International Director for Lions Clubs for 3 years. He was recognized for his good works when he received the Melvin Jones Award for Service and the Ambassador of Good Will.
Gregory also raised his family in Manassas and now has two granddaughters and one grandson. His grandchildren frequently accompany him to his lifelong church, Bethel Lutheran Church in Manassas.
Woman of the Year Robin Perkins
Robin Perkins has made a career of giving back. She started as a volunteer for the Treasurer’s Office a few days a week. She was first elected back in 1997 when tax records were kept on a binary card system. Perkins helped create the original tax database for residents. Her career was spent handling the City of Manassas’ investment portfolio, collecting taxes and paying invoices. She was a public servant for over 35 years, having been re-elected 4 times before retiring.
A Manassas local, Perkins raised her family here after graduating from Osbourn High School. Although her career as a civil servant came to a close, she’s not done being active in her community. This mom of two and grandmother of three enjoys giving back to her community as a scout leader, youth bowling director, volunteer for Manassas City Schools and scouting cookie mom. She also serves on the board of the Manassas Rotary Club.
Sponsored Post Manassas office vacancy rates fall below 5-year average
FY 2016 3rd Quarter Commercial Report
Office vacancy rates across the region remain high, but Manassas has fallen to a low of 7.5 percent. This is significantly below the 5-year average of 10.6 percent. Rental rates fell during the quarter to $18.80 but are expected to rebound; the average over the last five years has been $19.68.
The retail market remains strong as development and relocation interest grows from prospective developers and businesses. At the close of the 3rd quarter, rates hit a 2016 high of $22.80 while vacancy was just over 5 percent.
The 4.5 percent vacancy rate in the City is consistent with neighboring communities. With average rental rates of $9.38, and new product entering the market, the City will be at a competitive advantage-offering new, Class A Flex space at a lower price than others.
The Economic Development Office maintains an inventory of available commercial space which can be found on the City webpage at www.manassasva.gov/ED or call 703-257-8881.
Sponsored Post Ignoring small plumbing issues causes buckets of trouble
If you wait until an emergency to contact a plumber, you could be left shivering in the shower or cleaning up a flooded room. Call a plumber at the first sign of a plumbing problem to avoid costly consequences.
5 signs you need a plumber
1. A funny smell: A musty smell or the odor of mildew points to water damage somewhere in the home.
2. Ceiling or wall stains: Yellow, brown or copper stains come from leaky pipes in the wall. These telltale blemishes, paired with a sagging ceiling, is a recipe for disaster.
3. Rust: Look for signs of rust around pipes, fuse boxes or appliances.
4. Damaged floors: Pay attention to the floors, especially in the bathroom and kitchen, to make sure there isn’t any water damage. Signs of water damage include spongy, stained or buckling floors.
5. Dripping faucet: A slow drip might not seem like a huge deal, but can be a drain on your wallet when the water bill arrives.
Risks of DIY plumbing
You may be tempted to fix the plumbing problem yourself, especially since the internet is overflowing with DIY plumbing tutorials, but be mindful of your experience level. A bad DIY plumbing job could be catastrophic. Before getting started, ask yourself the following questions:
— Do I have the right tools for the job?
— Have I done anything like this project before?
— Do I have the time to do this project right even if there are unforeseen complications? (Consider whether you’re taking your kitchen or only bathroom out of commission.)
If you decide to DIY a plumbing job, then follow this key advice from Ben Kelley, director of residential operations for CroppMetcalfe.
“Always shut off the main water supply valve before getting started, or if your home allows, you can isolate certain areas,” Kelley says. “Watching videos online helps, too, so you know how it’s done prior to trying.”
If you get in over your head and find yourself in hot water, put down the tools and pick up the phone. CroppMetcalfe has serviced the Washington, D.C., metro area since 1979. You’ll be plumb pleased with the service provided by our 5-star plumbing technicians.
Sponsored Post Open House: 182 Washington Street, Occoquan, Va.
182 Washington Street, Occoquan, Va. 22125
Neighborhood: Historic Occoquan
Listing Price: $495,000
Open Sunday, December 11th from 2 -4 p.m.
This beautiful townhouse is steps from HISTORIC OCCOQUAN, across the street from Mom’s Apple Pies, and three blocks from Mill Street and the Occoquan River.
This home has a brand new two-zone HVAC and cedar roof. Currently configured as three-bedroom home, the basement bedroom can be easily restored to a 4th bedroom, and is currently used as music/media room.
Beautiful kitchen with family room and private deck nearby for amazing entertaining. The garage is workman’s paradise. Six miles to Lorton VRE Station. Home warranty provided.
GO TO https://youtu.be/bF_r4-AxuXs TO SEE VIDEO.
Sponsored Post Earn a Degree or Certificate in Less time with NOVA Weekend College @ the Woodbridge Campus
Beginning in the spring 2017 semester, Northern Virginia Community College students can finish a semester’s worth of classes in only 14 weeks through the NOVA Weekend College @ the Woodbridge Campus.
NOVA Weekend College @ The Woodbridge Campus enables students to take an entire semester of classes in only two days. Adult learners who are busy balancing full-time jobs and family responsibilities can enroll in a 12-credit schedule of Friday and Saturday morning classes, with an option of selecting from a wide variety of classes needed to earn a degree or certification.
This new, innovative approach to accommodate those with busy schedules offers flexible, hybrid (half classroom & half online) courses that meet at 9 a.m. and/or 11 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with classes ending at 12:30 p.m. The rest of the work and class interaction is done at home using the internet.
“NOVA Weekend College @ the Woodbridge Campus offers a flexible schedule for busy working adults to take a full course load in only two mornings per week,” said Provost of the Woodbridge Campus, Dr. Sam Hill. “This new initiative provides an amazing opportunity for busy people in our region to earn a degree or certificate at a much faster pace, to advance and to become an expert in their chosen profession.”
Sponsored Post Your guide to Christmas festivities in Manassas
The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Manassas, as the town gears up for its annual festivities to be held this weekend, starting Friday, December 2nd. From the lighting of the community tree, to the parade, to Santa and Mrs. Claus, to merchant open houses, you won’t want to miss a moment.
“Merry Old Town” Christmas tree lighting
Enjoy some good, old-fashioned celebrating on the Manassas Museum Lawn with a . Hear holiday music from Jason Paul Curtis on the lawn from 5:15 to 6 p.m. Santa will arrive at the VRE station just after 6 p.m. He and Mrs. Claus will light the tree. Also, enjoy entertainment from local high school students in Osbourn Park Madrigals and Osbourn High School’s Center Stage. This event is sponsored by .
71st Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade
Bring the whole family out for the second day of celebration in historic downtown Manassas. The parade will start on December 3 at 10 a.m., with marching bands, floats and Santa’s sleigh, which will be pulled by a Miller Toyota vehicle this year. General Manager of parade sponsor Miller Toyota, Ken Shepard, is excited to be a part of the event. He says, “Christmas brings out the little kid in all of us. Just to see the civic groups, the bands…it’s a great way to kick off what should be a family friendly month.”
This year’s parade is also sponsored by Stanley Martin, a local builder who enjoys supporting the community they helped build. Truett Young, VP of Land at Stanley Martin has lived in Manassas for over 18 years and has fond memories of bringing his own children to the Manassas Christmas Parade. “Old Town Manassas is a wonderful experience,” said Young. “Definitely bring your kids. It’s a great family event.”
This year, Santa will collect toys for needy children in the Manassas area prior to the parade. Bring a new, unopened toy to donate, and brighten up a child’s Christmas.
Free carriage rides downtown
You can tour historic downtown in a from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 4. Carriage rides are free and will leave from the Manassas Train Depot. Get in the holiday spirit as you take in the sounds and sights of the season. Historic downtown will be fully decorated for Christmas. Carriage rides are sponsored by Historic Manassas, Inc., a nonprofit playing a leadership role in the community and helping to revitalize historic downtown Manassas.
Merchants’ Open House
Sunday December 4 at noon, many of the merchants downtown will open their doors with refreshments and specials. Joanne Wunderly, owner of The Things I Love, will open her doors a bit earlier at 11 a.m. with lots of refreshments and live musical entertainment. “I will have 21 themed Christmas trees, each depicting Christmas across the globe, such as New York, Russia, New Orleans, Norway, etc.,” Wunderly says.
“It is a really nice weekend, with so much going on. People of all ages can find something to enjoy, and it definitely is not like your cookie cutter, mall-type Christmas events at all. It is my favorite weekend of the year in Old Town, and sometimes I find it very emotional.”
Sponsored Post How a love for animals and a vet degree spawned a career as a Prince William County Police officer
This is the fourth of six stories in our series that will examine the unique assignments within the Prince William County Police Department.
When Assistant Chief Dawn Harman was growing up in Prince William County, she imagined a very different career path. Harman majored in veterinary science in college and was once with the Animal Control Unit of the Prince William County Police Department. Now Harman’s days are filled with duties that help keep the Prince William County Police Department a well-oiled machine.
All in a Day
Harman’s day may start with a series of meetings or just a clearing of ongoing matters on the desk in her office. She may also be called to Roll Call to speak on issues affecting the department.
Currently, this means fielding concerns about the heightened dangers of police work.
“People never call us when they are having their best day,” explained Harman. “The only difference between a cop and someone else is they [the perpetrators] have made a bad decision or had something bad happen to them.”
Harman wants those that are considering law enforcement as a career to know that public perception is hyped by media.
“People have always been fascinated with law enforcement,” she said, noting that officers are scrutinized every day by people with cell phone cameras, written about on blogs, and featured on social media. It is important to keep a sense of balance, remembering that the people they serve are no different than they are.
Up in the Ranks
From hiring to patrol to promotion, there is a sense of dedication, thoroughness, and fraternity, Harman said. While some also call the career a passion or a calling, Harman noted, “I think this is like any other job. You need skills.” Academy for new recruits is held in January and July. Harman said that through that process you can see who has skills and who will make the cut.
Also needed is the ability to take on opportunity. There are always job openings in different units, leading to some great opportunities. Harman knows this firsthand. Starting as an animal control officer, she moved up through different positions and ranks while juggling family and career, working in crime prevention and as Western District Commander while with the department.
Meeting the challenges of the job can definitely mean promotion. Others pay attention to rank, and Harman can remember considering it a big deal. Promotions are completely elective and based on consideration of skills as well.
“We try to balance everything the best we can,” Harman said about the promotion process, noting that they work with several different evaluation styles adjusting for issues, such as test anxiety.
When asked about rank, Harman called sergeant the toughest. The sergeant is no longer just ‘one of the troops,’ and a friendly detachment becomes necessary.
“It’s not the same relationship. You have to hold people accountable now,” she said. “You have to be straight forward. Some people aren’t comfortable with it.”
There are sacrifices, too. Officers work set shifts, but family events and holidays may be missed because there’s a need in the department. Many people forgo certain positions or promotions because of the demands of both family and career. Harman shared that, while she has a great support system, she chose not to work in Criminal Investigations so she was not on call in the evenings.
“Challenges had to coincide with where I was with my family at the time,” she said.
Communication was big on Harman’s list of skills for which the department seeks. Good listening skills and the ability to ask constructive questions are important. The goal is to serve the community well. A successful encounter with the public includes the feeling that everyone is treated as a human being.
“You absolutely have to be an effective communicator, or you’re part of the problem,” she said.
Harman pointed out that some people want to be in Law Enforcement for power. “We
don’t want that.”
In the Community
Harman said that the people of Prince William County are very supportive of their police department, some even bringing food to officers earlier in the year after a fatal shooting of an officer.
“It’s a little morale boost,” she said.
This positive relationship may be directly related to the professional attitude that is widespread through the Prince William County Police Department, including by Harman, who has found the career to be very rewarding.
“I’d encourage people to go into the profession.”
For more information on career opportunities with the Prince William County Police Department, visit www.joinpwcpd.org
Read more from our series
Sponsored Post Sponsors Believe in the Greater Manassas Christmas Parade
The first Saturday of December will be something special, as it has been for the past 70 years: Crowds will gather in Historic Old Town Manassas to enjoy colorful floats, marching bands and, of course, Santa Claus at the Greater Manassas Christmas Parade. It takes dedicated volunteers, many hours and amazing sponsors to bring this community event down the streets of Manassas.
This year, the parade has taken on the theme “Believe.” The theme fits right in with the commitment of two of the parade’s sponsors that are showing they truly do believe in their community.
As a member of the Stanley Martin family, Truett Young, VP of Land, understands about supporting the community. For over 50 years, the company’s values of giving back and putting customers first have been a cornerstone of the Stanley Martin brand. So, they knew they had a good fit with the significant commitment they made to the Christmas Parade.
Even though December can be quite busy, Young said Stanley Martin was very interested in sponsoring the parade. They feel connected to Manassas, having developed communities in the area, including Heritage Crossing, which is made up of townhomes, and Bradly Square, a mix of townhomes and single-family detached homes.
Their newest community will be Manassas Gateway, a mix of townhomes and condos. Manassas Gateway is being built behind the DMV office off Godwin and Route 28. Models are open at the two existing communities, and model homes will be available in the new community fall of next year.
Young lived in Manassas for over 18 years and began bringing his own children when his oldest were only two or three.
“My kids have always enjoyed going to the parade to see the bands and horses and floats, and of course Santa Claus.” When asked about his favorite part of the parade, Young said it always varies because there is so much to see.
While the Young family, now full of teenagers and school-age kids, relocated to Haymarket, they still make it to the parade every year.
“Old Town Manassas is a wonderful experience,” said Young. “Definitely bring your kids. It’s a great family event.”
Over at Miller Toyota, the mood is festive. Employees are decorating a brand new Toyota Tacoma that will be towing Santa through downtown Manassas on parade day. Several employees plan to hand out candy to the crowd as well.
General Manager Ken Shepard said it’s the chilly December day that is part of the fun.
“Christmas brings out the little kid in all of us. Just to see the civic groups, the bands…it’s a great way to kick off what should be a family friendly month.”
With over 40 years of helping neighbors find the best vehicles in Manassas, Miller Toyota upgraded to a new facility next to the Prince William Medical Center about three years ago. Shepherd noted this was also when the dealership began to be able to do more in the community, such as supporting local education and area nonprofits.
“As a local dealership we want to support the community. We’re trying to do more of these things,” said Shepherd.
As a member of the Manassas community, Shepherd was introduced to the Manassas parades through a Veteran’s Day parade. After finding out more about the Greater Manassas Christmas Parade, Shepherd was hooked.
“I said ‘We just need to be part of this. This is a great thing.’”
- Manassas Park Community Center
- Address: 99 Adams Street
- Phone: 703-335-8872
- Website: http://www.manassasparkcommunitycenter.com/index.php
The bright red, orange, and yellow leaves are falling off the trees, and the days are growing shorter and shorter. There is a chill in the air as fall decorations are taken down to be replaced by holiday decorations. Most of us have already seen holiday decorations in the stores.
You know, the holiday decorations you pretend you don’t see before Halloween, and well, before we know it, we will be in full holiday mode.
Instead of stressing about the holidays, why not plan to join us here at the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) for a variety of holiday events and programs.
The holiday fun begins here at the Community Center on Thursday, December 1, from 7 pm – 8:30 pm for the Dough Ornament Workshop. Plan to be here to decorate and take home your own dough ornament. The staff at MPCC will supply all the materials; you supply all the creativity! Register for the workshop – it’s only $3 per ornament!
On Thursday, December 8th from 7 pm – 8:30 pm, the MPCC will be hosting our annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party. We will have fun building and decorating with lots of sweet treats. Families will need to pre-register at least three days in advance! The cost for this event is just $5 per gingerbread kit.
Then on Saturday, December 10th at 5:45 pm, we will have our annual Light Parade. This amazing display of lights on wheels will be sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Our annual parade of lights is a crowd favorite among residents living in Manassas Park and surrounding areas.
Residents decorate their cars with festive holiday themes, and as the sun sets, the lights on the cars glow and the parade begins. The cost to participate is only $10 per car. The parade starts at the Carondelet Drive intersection and ends at the Manassas Park Community Center. Participants are still needed; please contact Kaitlyn Collier if you would like to participate.
And, this year, we are announcing something new: It’s our first annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Celebration. It will immediately follow the Light Parade. At the Tree Lighting, there will be pictures with Santa, pictures with snow princesses, kid’s activities, and light refreshments for all who attend.
And the best part of this event is that it is absolutely FREE to attend. The MPCC staff is so excited to present this additional event and are hoping the weather cooperates! No ice or snow, please!
The following Saturday, December 17 from 9am-11am, bring the kids to the Community Center for Breakfast with Santa! There will be pancakes, photos, games, crafts, and lots of fun. Children of all ages are invited, and the cost is just $5 per person. Children under the age of 2 are included in their parent’s registration.
Later that same day (December 17) from 11:30 am-12:30 pm is Santa Paws where you can bring your puppy for pictures with Santa! It only costs $5 per pup!
You will have to enter through the patio located behind the Community Center. Don’t worry; there will be signs up directing you and your furry friends so that you won’t miss the fun.
With all of these fantastic holiday events scheduled here at the Manassas Park Community Center, let us handle the stress while you get into the holiday spirit. We’re looking forward to seeing you at Manassas Park Community Center throughout the month of December.
The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, Va.
Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.
Sponsored Post A personal trainer fights for her own wellness
- Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center
- Address: 2300 Opitz Blvd, Woodbridge, VA 22191
- Phone: (703) 523-1000
- Website: https://www.sentara.com/woodbridge-virginia/hospitalslocations/locations/sentara-northern-virginia-medical-center.aspx
Karlene Matthes leads an active life. A personal trainer and massage therapist, she teaches boxing, cardio kickboxing and is committed to a life focused on health and wellness.
If there’s a challenge, she’s up for it, and she wants to help others rise and overcome their challenges, too. She’s built a successful career out of it.
Life was going well for Karlene, so when she went for her regular gynecology checkup, she was shocked by what her doctor told her. Karlene was diagnosed with Stage III Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, a type of cancer which tends to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer, especially in the later stages.
Her doctor referred her for a consultation with Dr. Negar Golesorkhi, a Sentara Medical Group surgeon with advanced training in breast surgical oncology. Dr. Golesorkhi helped Karlene understand her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment options. She recommended a combination of therapies including chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy.
“Everything started echoing,” said Karlene. “But I felt like Dr. Golesorkhi would have canceled the rest of her appointments if that’s what I needed to understand the challenge in front of me. She loves each of her patients.”
“I needed a week to just scream and be mad [at the cancer],” said Karlene. “I never felt like a victim. With Sentara, I felt like a member of my own healthcare team. They validated me and respected my wishes and knowledge.”
When Karlene went in for her next appointment, she was ready to begin chemotherapy.
In addition to the highly qualified, compassionate team at Sentara, Karlene had another secret weapon—her daughter, Rachel. An EMT/paramedic in Fairfax County, Rachel became her caretaker, champion, and trusted partner in the fight. And although chemotherapy can be exhausting, Karlene refused to be sidelined by it. Throughout her treatment, she maintained her active lifestyle; riding her red Harley Davidson, running, and continuing to work with her clients. Halfway through her treatment, she even indulged in a vacation to Aruba.
Karlene didn’t slow down, but she certainly had her share of challenges. She developed neuropathy, a common side effect of chemotherapy that is typically characterized by tingling, pain, and numbness in the hands and feet. Karlene also had touches of something commonly referred to as “chemo brain,” a mental fog causing temporary thinking and memory problems following cancer treatment.
Following eight rounds of chemotherapy, Karlene was scheduled for surgery. True to her passion for fitness and physical activity, the day before her surgery Karlene went on an 8-hour hike at Old Rag Mountain, a popular hiking destination in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park to prepare herself mentally and emotionally.
Her surgery the next day at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center went exactly as planned. However, anticipating the final leg of her journey caused her to panic. Again, Dr. Golesorkhi’s
reassurance and patience gave Karlene time to prepare for radiation therapy. Karlene completed treatment and is happy to report that she has been in remission ever since.
“Cancer itself isn’t a blessing, but it comes with a lot of blessings,” said Karlene. “It was so reassuring to know I had Dr. Golesorkhi and the entire Sentara Healthcare team. Their compassion is overwhelming. It was so reassuring.”
Sponsored Post Introducing corporate and non-profit rental packages at Manassas Park Community Center
As you begin planning for your corporate holiday party, you ask yourself several questions: Will there be a dress code? What kind of food will be served? Will there be a theme? It seems like the list is endless! After all, most businesses do not have professional party planners, so for the person who actually plans the holiday party, the task can feel daunting.
Luckily there is an easy solution – and it is conveniently located right in Manassas Park. The Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) is ready to meet all of your special event needs with its spacious banquet hall and numerous meeting rooms available to rent.
Amelia Powell, Customer Service Supervisor at MPCC says she is the concierge for the venue of endless possibilities.
“We really make it easy to rent space here. From our clean facilities, to our knowledge of area vendors, we can help you make your corporate or non-profit holiday party or event the best one yet,” Powell said.
“We hope you notice the extra efforts we put forth to maintain a clean, safe, and professional atmosphere,” she added, “In addition, one of my favorite features that sets us apart from other venues in the area, are our knowledgeable instructors who can help you develop teambuilding exercises as part of your event.”
“A few years ago, a sorority rented the facility and wanted a dance floor, so we worked with them to provide one, and now a dance floor is part of the packages offered here,” Powell said.
“One of the first things I tell people who are interested in renting space at MPCC is to make a timeline. The details will be the difference between a good event and a great event, and we will work with you to make sure you stay on top of the little details so that you have a great corporate event here,” she added.
There are three separate corporate and non-profit rental banquet hall packages at MPCC to maximize your company’s needs.
The first package is called “The Formal Piece” where your company would rent the full banquet hall for four hours. It’s the perfect package for holiday parties, training, and large luncheons. The banquet hall seats 230 people and includes the caterer’s kitchen and the pre-function area.
The second package is called “Smart Casual” and includes half the banquet hall, caterer’s kitchen, and pre-function area for six hours. Half the banquet hall provides seating for 115 people. You also get a wireless mic, projector, and a podium making this package perfect for half-day conferences, lunch-and-learns, or training.
This “Smart Casual” package is perfect for holiday parties and events where you want to announce or call attention to staff who have exceeded your expectations. “This is the package businesses use when they want to take advantage of our instructor’s team building exercises,” Powell further pointed out.
The third package is called “Argyle Style” where you would rent the full banquet hall for four hours, and is great for holiday parties, celebrations, or casual events allowing for your company’s fun side.
“This plan includes a dance floor and activity tables and was added after the sorority’s event I mentioned earlier,” Powell stated.
The Argyle Style package is perfect for company parties where the employees’ spouses and families are invited, as it includes a 12’ X 12’ dance floor, seating for 230 people, caterer’s kitchen, and pre-function area.
The caterer’s kitchen, included in all three packages, is 1,082 square feet with a six-burner gas range, convection ovens, warming ovens, ice machines, and stainless steel tables. There are several add-ons available for each of the packages including additional hours, childcare for up to 30 children, alcohol on–site, and audio-visual amenities.
Drum roll please!
This year, MPCC is introducing a new Non-Profit Scholarship.
“There are so many excellent non-profit organizations in the area who do not have the budget for renting a large space, so we thought why not help those who help others by providing the rental space and offer a specific Non-Profit Scholarship to help pay for that space,” Powell said.
“If you know of a non-profit looking for space for their annual gala or fundraiser, please let them know about this scholarship,” she added.
Renting banquet space at the Manassas Park Community Center is the best solution for area companies who are looking for that perfect venue for a fun corporate event where all of the people involved will mingle actively during the company’s holiday celebration. In addition to the banquet hall packages, there are also multi-purpose room and conference room options presenting affordable solutions for smaller organizations. If your company is looking for a one- or two-day retreat, there is also a package that takes advantage of the facility’s robust recreational amenities
“We have the perfect space to suit any company or corporate event you are planning,” Powell summarized. Call the Manassas Park Community Center today at 703-335-8872 and ask for Amelia Powell, your concierge for the venue with endless possibilities.
The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.
Sponsored Post Plan your Prince William historic holiday events with tours, seasonal music, cider, and Santa Claus
It is the time of year time to start thinking of plans for the holidays, scheduling family trips, booking airline tickets, and creating delicious menus for hungry guests. During the last few months of 2016, consider bringing family and friends to one or more of our historic sites to participate in our special and unique holiday programs.
After the Greater Manassas Christmas Parade, come by and enjoy Lunch with Santa Claus at the Old Manassas Courthouse! On Saturday, December 3, families may partake in a delicious lunch, have a chance to meet Santa Claus, and directly deliver your “wish list” to him.
Kids may make a historic holiday craft before or after their meeting with Santa. If possible, please participate in our efforts to support Toys for Tots by bringing a new, unwrapped toy for donation. Lunch with Santa runs from 1 – 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 3; admission is $20 for ages 6 and up, $10 for ages 5 and below. Call 703-792-4754 for reservations. (Reservations are required as space is limited). The event will take place at the Old Manassas Courthouse, 9248 Lee Avenue in Manassas.
Holidays through the Ages returns to Rippon Lodge Historic Site in December. The historic house’s interior spaces shall be dressed with holiday decorations from various time periods, with a special dedication to the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Visit each weekend for these holiday-only tours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, December 2 – 4, 9 – 11, and 16 – 18.
Tours begin on the hour on the front porch. Tour times are 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Fridays and Sundays); 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. (Saturdays); $5 per person, children under six are free. The Rippon Lodge Historic Site is located at 15520 Blackburn Road in Woodbridge. Call 703-499-9812 for more information.
On Saturday evenings (5 p.m.-8 p.m.) enjoy colorful outdoor lights and tree displays decorated for the season by local schools, art studios and organizations, live seasonal or period music by local schools and guitarists, and holiday songs sung by school choirs. Children’s crafts, light refreshments, a warm beverage, and shopping for unique Rippon Lodge merchandise round out a wonderful holiday tour.
Reservations strongly recommended for groups larger than four guests.
If you love seasonal music, then join us on Saturday, December 10 for two special Holiday Concerts at Brentsville’s Historic Union Church. Enjoy classic, seasonal music performed by the Brentsville District High School. A nice cup of hot cider and cookies by a warm bonfire round out this special event.
Concerts are Free and open to the public from 5 p.m. -7 p.m. Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, 12229 Bristow Road, Bristow. 703-365-7895.
You better watch out! You better not cry! The one and only Santa Claus comes to Rippon Lodge Historic Site on Saturday, December 10. This visit is for one afternoon only!
Be on your best behavior and keep your name on the “Nice” list. Parents will be given special “Things Santa Should Know” cards upon arrival. Bring your camera for pictures!
With large numbers of excited tots expected, we ask parents bring plenty of snacks and extra activities for young children. Admission is from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.; $2 per child. Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, 703-499-9812.
We look forward to your visit to one of our great historical locations during this holiday season! For more information about our programs, please call the sites or call 703-792-4754.
Sponsored Post Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra Presents: How to ‘Handel’ the ‘Messiah’ sing-along without being disowned by your family
The rules are simple.
Handel’s inimitable Messiah Oratorio is just a few months short of its 275th birthday, and it continues to delight audiences around the world. Countless orchestras and vocalists have gathered to celebrate the season with this perennial favorite, often with a significant audience participation component. Will you be ready when sing along time comes? Just in case, we are pleased to provide you with this summation of centuries’ worth of rules for “Handeling” the time-honored tradition of the “Messiah” Sing-Along.
Rule 1: Do Your Vocal Warm-ups in the Car on the Way to the Performance
You can’t belt out “For unto Us a Child Is Born” with a tense larynx. On the other hand, repeating in the concert hall “fluffy floppy puppy” and “Sally saw Silvester stacking silver saucers side by side” might be alarming to your fellow concert-goers.
Your best bet is to warm up in the car using exercises like humming up and down a scale or singing “Don’t Stop Believin’” at the top of your lungs.
Rule 2: Pick the Right Performance
To get the most out of a “Messiah” Sing-Along, you need support and lots of it. You need a well-prepared orchestra, dynamite soloists, and a chorus of pros to help you negotiate those tricky passages.
Fortunately for you, that’s precisely the kind of support system you’ll find on Friday, December 16, 2016, 7:30 PM, at First Baptist Church, 13600 Minnieville Road, Woodbridge, and again on Saturday, December 17, 2016, 7:30 PM, at Grace United Methodist Church, 9750 Wellington Road, Manassas.
Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra and featured choruses from First Baptist, Grace UMC, All Saints Catholic Church, and New Dominion Choraliers will be there for you; you don’t have to go it alone. Admission is free, though donations will be accepted gratefully.
Rule 3: Sit Next to a Ringer
Watch for someone walking confidently into the concert. Likely, he or she will be wearing an artfully disheveled scarf and carrying a marked-up, dog-eared copy of the Messiah score.
This is how you will know that this is not his or her first rodeo. Follow that person into the audience. Befriend the singer. Imitate him or her fiercely.
Rule 4: When in Doubt, Mouth the Word “Watermelon”
No need to panic if you’ve lost your place in the score! Scientists are not sure why this is true, but mouthing “watermelon” is the perfect choral faking device. It also works well if intonation is not your forte.
Rule 5: Employ the Art of Misdirection
You may not be able to sing your way out of a paper bag, but that doesn’t have to be common knowledge.
Rock an obnoxious holiday sweater. If it’s loud enough, no one will notice that you are completely tone deaf. If your sweater game is weak, study up on puns, carefully dropping one at the end of each chorus.
Saying things like “That one was too hot to Handel” will result in the kind of groans that will erase any memory of what you just did to “And He Shall Purify.”
To address the younger audience members giving you side-eye about your not-quite-baritone baritone, try saying “The club can’t even Handel me right now.” That should shut them up.
Rule 6: Have Fun
An OBCO Sing Along is about the community coming together in song. It is impossible to leave without feeling joy, inspiration, and the fullness that comes from artistic satisfaction … and post-concert cider and cookies.
An OBCO Sing Along is about the community coming together in song. It is impossible to leave without feeling joy, inspiration, and the fullness that comes from artistic satisfaction … and post-concert cider and cookies.
Sponsored Post This Santa Claus missed just one Manassas parade in 28 years
While the participants in the Greater Manassas Christmas Parade can vary some each year, one thing always remains the same — Santa. Joe Nelson has served as Santa in the parade for the past 28 years. He has a very specific job description he says, “To collect hugs from children and to listen to things they want for Christmas — but mostly collect hugs, which I’m very good at doing.”
Over the years, Nelson has worked with several coordinators.
“As it starts to come together each year you start to think ‘This is going to be a lot of fun.’ The city of Manassas really knows how to hold a parade,” he said.
Nelson noted how much work goes into the parade and that every year, this work is done by an all-volunteer crew.
“They are all volunteers — no pay — and to watch them put so much effort into it…that’s what I feel most proud of. We’re all volunteers doing something good because we love our city,” he said.
The 71st Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December, 3. Nelson has only missed one year of the past 28 and proudly wears the full Santa costume each year. He’s seen all weather from sun to snow and everything in between. He loves taking the route and sees memories along each street.
“I feel so privileged to be Santa. The house I grew up in is right along the parade route. I can remember like it was yesterday, being a little kid and looking up and Santa being so tall and ominous,” Nelson shared. “I am surrounded by memories as I play Santa. It can almost make this grown man cry.”
Nelson certainly spreads the holiday joy with a personal touch, as he knows and calls out many names along the route. “It is amazing the aura Santa has. I have never lost that thrill, and knowing I can do that for kids…it’s a big job to be able to do that.”
The tree lighting ceremony is the night before the parade, and Martin encourages everyone to attend this, as well as the parade.
“It’s the kickoff of the holiday season, and Manassas does it as good as anybody,” said Nelson. “I don’t think Manassas looks any better than during that time. The city just shines.”
As the chair, Olson encourages everyone to attend. “Bring your friends and family for a fun-filled morning in Historic Manassas.”
You never know, Santa just might call out your name.
For more information about the parade route, participants and sponsors, visit www.gmchristmasparade.org or the www.facebook.com/Greater-
Sponsored Post Open House: 13537 Princedale Drive, Woodbridge, VA
13537 Princedale Drive, Woodbridge VA 22193
Neighborhood: Dale City
Listing Price: $334,900
Open House: Sunday, November 20 from 2-5 p.m.
Completely remodeled and move-in ready! This stunning single-family home boasts three finished levels with 4 bedrooms, 3 full and 1 half baths.
Watch the children walk to school from your oversized country style front porch.
With a more traditional floor plan featuring enhanced crown moldings, brand new front door, six-panel interior doors and wainscoting; the trim package in this home is luxurious and amazing.
Neutral decor, appropriated room size top of the line ceiling fan, recessed lighting package and brand new light hardwood floors give this family room it’s sought after updated look.
Upgraded tiled baths, to include state of the art stainless steel appliance package in kitchen, granite counter tops, new cabinetry, breakfast bar in kitchen opens to dining room with new fixture, newer windows thought-out as well breathtaking double door french doors on two levels.
The full finished walk-out basement offers tons of storage with two walk-in finished closets, nice sized laundry room 4th bedroom and full bath; all opening to a large fully fenced backyard with storage shed.
This home has great curb appeal and no HOA! Come see everything this great home has to offer at our OPEN HOUSE THIS SUNDAY, November 20th from 2-5 p.m.
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for their 2017 Business Awards from November 16-December 21, 2016. Each year the Chamber’s Business Awards are held to honor “business excellence” among the members of the Chamber, representing Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. Industry-specific categories like the Tech Company of the Yearand the Government Contractor of the Year rotate to allow the Chamber to shine the spotlight on varying industry segments within the community.
“Our members do outstanding work, day in and day out; contributing so much to this community that often goes unnoticed. Our Business Awards allow us to give them the kudos they deserve,” says Chamber Director of Marketing & Communications Andrea Whaley. “Businesses can self-nominate or individuals may choose to nominate someone with whom they do business. I cannot think of a single professional who does not take pride in being recommended to others based on the quality of their services. I encourage everyone to think hard about a local business that has wow-ed you in the last year. A nomination for a Chamber award is a great way to say ‘thank you.’”
Nomination forms are available online at pwchamber.org/events/business-awards/. Business people and Prince William County/Manassas area residents are encouraged to nominate their favorite local businesses. Winners will be chosen by the Business Award Selection Committee, comprised of members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Nominations containing testimonials or stories are typically well-received.
- Excellence in Small Business Award (1-10 Employees)
- Business Excellence Award (11 + Employees)
- Emerging Business of the Year
- Innovative Practice/Partnership of the Year
- Community Outreach Award
- Government Contractor of the Year
- Outstanding Professional Service Award
- Tech Company of the Year
- Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Awards: Awarded to 2 not-for-profit organizations making a demonstrable contribution to the quality of life in the Greater Prince William region. Each award is accompanied by a check for $1,000 to continue the winner’s work. Awards are given in 2 sub-categories: Arts & Education or Health & Human Services. (Please note: In 2017 the Agnes Colgan Community Service Awards will be given out at a separate event highlighting the outstanding contributions of local not-for-profit organizations on April 4, 2017)
Business Award winners will be announced during the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Business Awards dinner on February 28, 2017, 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. For more information or to purchase tickets to the awards dinner, call the Chamber at 703-368-6600.
Sponsored Post How a Manassas Christmas Parade comes together
What goes into making a great parade? The City of Manassas knows, and so do the Christmas Parade committee members who experience firsthand the love and devotion it takes to put on this popular event now in its 71st year.
This year’s 71st Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade is the culmination of months of preparation, years of history and teamwork, and a volunteer force that’s committed to retaining the tradition in the city.
The parade will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 10 a.m., and this year’s theme is “Believe.”
Sponsoring this year are Stanley Martin, Miller Toyota, the City of Manassas, Mix 107.3 and Volunteer Prince William. Countless volunteers have been working behind the scenes since last year to create the magic this parade brings to the city.
“It’s a great committee. Most of the people on our committee have been involved for a long time,” said committee chair Mark Olson.
Olson has worked on the parade for 20 years and shared a great deal of history about the event. “It’s featured TV and movie stars over the years. They had people from the TV series Emergency. Ed Asner was there last year,” he said.
The parade also has a long-standing history of prominent, annual Grand Marshals. This year’s Grand Marshal is Manassas’ own John O. Gregory. Gregory is a WWII veteran who served in both the Navy and the Coast Guard and is a lifelong resident of Manassas. He is the founder of Gregory Construction Company, a founder of Prince William Hospital, a co-founder of Security Bank (now part of BB&T) and a leader in Lions Club International, as well as local and state-level Republican committees.
Olson shared that the parade hasn’t changed much over the years. It remains the largest parade in Northern Virginia and continues to feature civic organizations, churches, schools, marching bands, animal groups and more as it has since the beginning.
“I really think its strong point is consistency,” said Olson. “It has a real hometown feel to usher in the holiday season.”
John Martin served as the parade committee chair for 15 years and has been involved with the parade for more than 20 years. When asked about the biggest difference for him between then and now he laughed and said, “knowing what I was doing.”
“We try to keep the participants to 100 units, but weather can play a factor too,” said Martin. “The first year I participated there must have been 50,000 people there.” But he noted the weather has always played a major role in the number of attendees, as well.
Over the years, they’ve kept many of the same participants and units, but he recalled many changes in communications. The event has become more and more dependent upon electronics, he said. He also recounted the units involved over the years and noted that Bull Run Kiwanis and the Manassas Rotary Club have supported the parade throughout his involvement and well before.
“The Center for the Arts puts a wonderful float in every year,” he said.
Over the last year, art has truly blossomed in historic downtown Manassas. Sculptures, painted benches, artful fire hydrants, bricks and more have added color to the downtown district. One of the largest art projects is back for a third year – the banner art contest.
With the 2016 banners coming down for the holidays, the 2017 application has been released by Historic Manassas, Inc. Artists are encouraged to submit up to three pieces of original artwork to be juried for a space on one of 60+ banners. Last year, the selection committee had to jury over 130 original pieces, each one unique.
“Each year we get more and more entries and it’s becoming difficult to only select 60. We hope to expand our footprint for the 2017 season to extend down Center Street towards the Sports Pub,” said HMI Executive Director, Debbie Haight.
The banners have brought a large art interest to downtown Manassas. For the 2016 contest, banners were extended to cross over Grant Avenue on Center Street as well as along the underpass on Grant Avenue. This past year was also a first year for sculptures in the City. Teaming up with Northern Virginia Community College at Woodbridge, a sculpture class designed 10 original pieces to be placed on display downtown. In 2017, a new class of students will replace the current sculptures with new sculptures.
Each year the Banner Art Contest awards the number one winning banner a cash prize of $1,000. This year, that winner was Jill Brabant for her piece Town Hall Impression which hung on the corner of West and Center Street. A People’s Choice winner is also selected each year in November at the Fall Gallery Walk with a cash prize of $500. Last week, Janet M. Hansen Martinet received the People’s Choice for her piece Dogwood Spirit Mist which was displayed on Center Street.
Applications and additional information for the 2017 Banner Art Contest can be found on HMI’s website at . Applications and artwork are due no later than January 20, 2017. The 2017 banners will go up in early April leading up to the City of Manassas’ first three-day art show in May.
Sponsored Post How Habitat for Humanity will help a local Navy Veteran
Navy Veteran Thomas Mersich served from 1951 – 1955 as an Aviation Ordnance man. Later, he lived in New Jersey where he built airplane cockpits and flight simulators. Thomas’ varied career included a stint as a machinist and toolmaker, grounds keeping for a wealthy gentleman, and testing milk on a dairy farm. At one point he owned his own dairy farm.
Thomas moved to Virginia in 1972. He rented a room in Chantilly for $12 a week before purchasing his home in Manassas that he continues to live in today. His final career was with the U.S. Postal Service. An amateur painter, Thomas painted a mural inside the Sudley Road post office location in Manassas.
How Habitat for Humanity will help a local Navy Veteran
Now in his eighties, Thomas is no longer physically able to accomplish all the maintenance tasks needed at his home. And, with limited retirement income, he welcomes a hand up from Habitat for Humanity Prince William County. Habitat is replacing two flat roofs and will paint the exterior of the home. Next, interior ceilings in two rooms need to be repaired because they’ve been compromised by water leaks. Lastly, all of the kitchen cabinets will be replaced.
Habitat for Humanity volunteers started construction at the project on November 3 and will continue their work Thursday through Saturday of each week through the middle of December.
How you can help a local Navy Veteran
Habitat’s Home Repair programs, including its Critical Home Repairs for Veterans program, rely on the support of your donations and volunteer time. Your generous donations make it possible for us to purchase the needed materials and tools for repairs. Your volunteer hours help us save money on labor. Please partner with us on this Navy Veteran’s project in Manassas! To give and to volunteer, click the links below.