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Prince William on patrol: ‘This Job is About Integrity’

Sponsored by the Prince William County Police Department, this is the second of six stories in our series that will examine the unique assignments within the Prince William County Police Department.

It’s morning, and in various stations across Prince William County, police officers sit in roll call, waiting for their daily assignments.

The morning roll call is important for patrol officers like Kimberly Walton and Borys Vargas heading out to the streets. Roll call is a chance to catch up on incidents from the previous shift.

Roll call might tell them what they could encounter throughout the day. Roll call, though, can’t possibly prepare them for the various challenges that get thrown their way.

Vargas gives examples of a busy day. The list includes everything from animal-related calls like getting bats out of a building to investigating bank robberies. The first call could be a parent requesting an officer talk to the kids about not wanting to go to school, and the next call may be about a murder suspect on the west end of the county.

The next shift may include property crimes, traffic stops, and arrests. The officers must take extreme caution and practice safety during arrests. They do encounter gangs in the area. The Police Department even has a special gang unit.

“Every day is unpredictable,” said Vargas. “But It’s always good that when something happens like a bank robbery, you can make a difference.”


Walton’s area includes Leesylvania, Hoadly, Triangle, Dumfries and Cardinal Drive to the Stafford County line. Walton and other officers may be called to work in other areas if they are having a busy day.

Walton says the feel from the communities she serves is positive. “They love us,” she says. “They come up, shake our hands.” She believes this is partly due to the respect and courtesy she and other officers show the public. “You don’t have to be a social butterfly, but you have to have tact and be respectful,” she says.

Walton says that as a kid, she always felt a positive connection with the police, and it was these types of interactions that helped her decide in high school that she wanted to make a difference as a police officer.

Walton enjoys working high priority cases and doing her job with integrity. She also likes the fact she is having fun.

With a laugh, Walton adds another reason why the job is still a blast: “using the sirens.”


Vargas’ motivation was a bit different. Vargas felt going into police work was the best way to use the skills he learned in the military. He says the application process is demanding, but worth it.

Vargas appreciates the schedule. He works 10-hour shifts that consists of five days on, four days off, five days on, four days off, five days on, five days off, giving a nice stretch of time off to decompress.

He also finds reward in doing the best he can as a representative of the county every shift. “When you put on this uniform, you represent the whole county,” he says. “You have to take that very seriously.”

The Road to Becoming an Officer

For those interested in joining the force, the easiest part of the application process, Vargas says, is the ability to apply online. He tells potential applicants to be thorough and honest. “You don’t want people to think you’re trying to hide anything,” he says. “This job is about integrity.”


Vargas also says to follow up with phone calls. “If you do that, it looks like you’re interested.”

After the initial application, there is a stringent background check going back 10 years. There are written tests, physical tests, medical and psychological tests. Patience is not just a virtue in this case. It’s a necessity.

It can take up to six months to get hired. If the applicant is in the military, it could take longer because the applicant might have moved frequently prior to applying.

Vargas explains that the background check includes an investigator talking to the applicant’s former neighbors. Frequent moves means more neighbors to interview, possibly around the country.

Applicants must be 21 years old upon graduation of the academy. A college degree can increase salary. But, Vargas says, a degree is not necessary. Many officers come in with just a high school diploma.
The department is always looking for bilingual applicants.

Women are also encouraged to apply. “You can’t discriminate,” Vargas says, regarding female officers. “They go in and respond to the call just like anyone else.”


Applicants making it through the process can look forward to six months of academy training with pay and benefits. Then it’s time to hit the streets.

Walton’s advice to new recruits? “Learn from your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re not 100% sure, ask. And always try to do your best.”

Vargas has some advice as well. “If you think you can make a difference, apply.”

For more information on careers with the Prince William County Police Department, visit the career pages on their website.

Read more from our series

Prince William County Police detectives chosen to work for a higher cause

Prince William County Police Digital Forensics team puts heart, soul, and mind into solving cases

How a love for animals and a vet degree spawned a career as a Prince William County Police officer


George Mason Ph.D. candidates meets Habitat for Humanity, public works, spruce up county lot

Ph.D. candidates studying at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government partnered with Habitat for Humanity Prince William County and the Prince William County Department of Public Works last weekend. The students are members of the Association for Public Policy Ph.D. Students (APPS) group.

So, you know what they say about Ph.D. candidates?

You know you’re one of them when the concept of free time scares you.

On Friday, September 9, and in their spare time, the APPS group cleared vegetation on a 1.5 acre, vacant, County-owned parcel near the Brighton Commons condominiums in Manassas.

PHD Candidates cleared brush & vegitation

The students cut back limbs and branches on cedar trees and overgrown scrub brush. They removed litter and debris from the site. And, they installed a “no loitering, no dumping” sign to discourage unwanted activity in the area.

GMU PHD candidates trim trees

Furthermore, you know you’re a Ph.D. candidate…

when you find taking notes in a park relaxing.

All kidding aside, we hope the group found their work with Habitat to be a much-needed break from the rigors of their studies. Student members included Katrina Dunlap, Hong Zhang, Angie Gill, Josh Lee, Mo Ogutimein, Kirk Heffelmire and Simi Fasehun. And, we’re hugely grateful for the time they took from their busy schedules to help us out on our Community Development project.


Habitat for Humanity Prince William County regularly partners with the Prince William County Public Works Department in its Community Development work. Tim Hughes, an Engineering Assistant with Prince William County’s Environmental Services Division, coordinates the work sites with Habitat.

Tim Hughes team leads GMU PHD candidates

Community Development projects are part of Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization program (NR). The NR program engages the residents of neighborhoods and other community partners to revive neighborhoods and make them safe, inviting places to live. Community development projects impact many residents. They improve the health and well-being of residents by revitalizing public areas, removing blight, improving water quality and generally giving residents improved access to public areas and a better sense of well-being and safety.

GMU PHD Candidates plant bushes

If you’d like to participate in a Habitat for Humanity Community Development project, or you know of one that should take place, please contact us at 703-369-6708 or programs@habitatpwc.org.

And, if you’d like more Ph.D. student jokes, head to http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/by-others/grad-student-jokes-from-jnoakes/#know.

Prince William Chamber presents ‘Direct Access’: A municipal gameshow-style event

The Prince William Chamber of Commerce has changed the name of one long-time event and added a fun new twist. Formerly known as State of Prince William, the newly formatted Direct Access: A Conversation with Local Leaders will be held on Thursday, September 29 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Red Rose Event Center (9705 Liberia Avenue, Suite 101; Manassas, VA 20110). Tickets to the luncheon are $40 for members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and $55 for non-members. All are welcome.

State of Prince William has always been a popular event for us, offering our members a look at how the three municipalities we serve—Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park—work together. Direct Access represents a change in format aimed at making the event more interactive. Audience members can expect to not only gain insight but also to find answers for their concerns in real time,” says Chamber President & CEO Debbie Jones. She went on to say that the business community has a “responsibility to work side-by-side with local governments to improve the economic climate and enhance the local quality of life if they want to see their businesses thrive.”


So what is Direct Access? In simplest terms, it is a conversation between the business community and top local elected officials sitting on the “celebrity panel.” This year’s panelists are Chairman Corey Stewart of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, Mayor Hal Parrish of the City of Manassas and Mayor Frank Jones of the City of Manassas Park. The program is modeled after the old game show, “What’s My Line?” Guided by host Jim Aram– a member of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and co-owner of Advantage Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation — audience members will trade questions with the panel on subjects such as challenges to business growth, economic development, workforce development and quality of life issues. In turn the panelists will ask questions to find out more about the audience member’s role in the community and how local government can better serve the community. Participants will have the chance to win prizes for bringing their questions to the panel.

Chamber Director of Government Relations, Brendon Shaw, likens the program to a town hall meeting saying, “We want our members to have fun with this event. That’s why we have added the gameshow-style theme this year. We also want our members to take ownership of this program because this is their Chamber and their community.  Submit questions that you want our panelists to answer. Whether you are a business owner, community volunteer, or an employee who also happens to live nearby, Direct Access provides an opportunity for you to get involved in the political process in a new and interesting way.”

Shaw is accepting questions for the celebrity panel prior to the event. Questions will be selected to represent a broad array of interests and perspectives. Potential registrants should email their questions to bshaw@pwchamber.org. Event registration is available online at PWChamber.org or by calling 703-368-6600.

Sponsors for Direct Access: A Conversation with Local Leaders include: Novant Health UVA Health System; QMT Windchimes; Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, PC; Dewberry; InsideNOVA-Prince William and Transurban (the Prince William Chamber’s Advocacy Vision Partner).  

 This promoted post is paid for by the Prince William Chamber of Commerce.

Competitive Edge helps battle childhood obesity

When people think of a sports training center, many images might come to mind, none of which include children who are overweight. About 18 percent of children suffer from childhood obesity, a statistic that has increased by 5% since 2013.

Competitive Edge Athletic Performance Center in Woodbridge, Virginia is doing something about it, giving kids a fun way to address their health, without the stigma.

A Program that Works

Ashley Than, a strength coach at Competitive Edge, has a Bachelor’s in Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science from Virginia Commonwealth University. Through her education and training, she has become familiar with the national issue of childhood obesity and has dedicated her professional life to helping children overcome it.

Every day at Competitive Edge, Than helps children gain confidence and live healthier, more active lives. She says every day is different for her at work, but she is usually in the weight room.

“I warm up the athletes and run them through their workouts, making sure they are working as hard as they can, doing the exercise right, and getting the most of their lifts. Other days I am coaching Tennis, working on techniques, gameplay, and speed and agility on the court,” she said.

During the school year, Than works with homeschool PE days, when they keep home school children active. Their workouts begin with a run, followed by dynamic warm-ups, followed by a workout like circuit training or obstacle courses. These PE sessions are designed to be fun. The workouts are interspersed with games to keep kids engaged.

Changing the Trend

Than sees the top causes of childhood obesity as poor diet (overeating, limited access to nutritional foods), sedentary lifestyle (playing video games or watching too much television) and genetic factors (race, ethnicity, age, heredity and fat cell development).

Obesity in children can cause lifelong illness. According to Than, children’s risk of developing diabetes rises exponentially if they are obese.

“Being obese makes the child more at risk for metabolic syndrome, which is a set of health conditions that can lead to heart disease, stroke and, of course, diabetes,” Than said. “If a child has any risk factors in adolescence, they will never lose them as they grow into an adult.”

Childhood obesity makes people more susceptible to weight gain, and it makes it more difficult to maintain weight loss as an adult, as well as increases the risk for developing weight-related diseases, said Than.

Making good food choices is imperative. Schools are part of the equation.

Regarding school lunches, Than doesn’t believe schools offer the healthiest options but says they have come a long way over the years.

“You know, back when I was in school, I remember eating pizza, fries and burgers, foods with very little nutritional value. Nowadays, the school systems are starting to implement higher standards for school lunches and including healthier options like whole-wheat pasta, wraps, salads, and fruits.”

She pointed out that schools are now following the Choose My Plate program, which is a great way to introduce healthy eating to children.

For families struggling with childhood obesity, Than’s advice is to begin making lifestyle changes as a family. She advises making small, gradual changes, like cutting back on TV and electronics usage, going for walks and incorporating more outdoor activities.

She also advises implementing good portion control and using the tools at Choose My Plate to make healthier eating choices. “Motivation will be the key thing here,” said Than. “In my experience, the kids won’t want to move or leave the house. Be creative. Definitely, don’t force them into anything. Encourage them.”

Find more information about Competitive Edge’s innovative programs at www.competitiveedgeva.com.

Manassas Façade, Landscape grants encourage business owners to reinvest in properties

With its historic heart and modern beat, Manassas has a charm all its own.  

It is a place where Fortune 500 companies and small entrepreneurial businesses alike, can thrive and grow.   There is an authenticity that allures those searching for a place to call home, a place to establish roots and positively contribute to the fabric of what makes Manassas so special.  

Manassas has become “the place to be.”  It would be easy to sit back and bask in the glow of this success but the City realizes that it cannot rest its economic future based solely on market factors.  It must make the retention and expansion of its existing business community a priority; they are the lifeblood of Manassas. 

For many years the City has strategically used its business incentives program to both encourage the expansion of existing businesses as well as attract new companies.   Tax deferrals, abatements and other offsets have been used as a way to encourage job creation and capital investment by the private sector.   These programs have been targeted mostly at expansion and new investment with companies needing to add employees, build or lease additional space and purchase new equipment.  For those businesses that wanted to make investments in cosmetic repairs to their buildings or beautify their properties with enhanced landscaping, the City had nothing to offer.

As part of City Council’s strategic initiatives to enhance economic opportunity and a sense of place, two new incentive programs have been created as part of the FY2017 Budget.  The new programs allow the City to support its existing business community and to show them the appreciation held for their role in making Manassas special.  

With the adoption of the budget, City Council approved expanding its incentives to include two pilot incentive programs; a Façade Improvement Grant Program and a Landscape Improvement Grant Program.  These incentives will assist with the exterior renovations and landscaping of existing commercial or industrial properties and require no expansion.  

The new initiatives are designed to encourage business owners to reinvest in properties throughout the City and serve as a redevelopment tool intended to bring new life to older structures.  Each pilot program has been allocated $50,000 and property owners must agree to invest $2 for every $1 the City invests.

Attractive building facades and landscapes can have a significant effect on the value and marketability of surrounding areas, and drive up foot traffic as a result.  In addition to achieving the City’s goals of supporting local businesses and improving the appearance of the community, similar programs in other localities have resulted in increased property values and spurred adjacent property owners to make similar investments regardless of whether or not grant funding is involved.  Rising property values and successful businesses provide a return on investment to the City through enhanced tax revenues.

The City’s incentive package is tailored to meet the individual needs of the applicant, based upon specific criteria.  For additional information on the program please go to www.manassascity.org/incentives or contact the City’s Economic Development Department at 703-257-8881.

18 Holes of Opportunity is not your average golf tournament

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How the right in-home care reduces hospital readmissions

Mrs. Dorothy Bologna was born in Manhattan in 1929, in a strong community where she says everybody helped everybody.

But by the time she needed help, she says, “There was nobody left.” Her family had all died or gone to college and moved to areas where they studied. So she moved to the Gainesville area eight years ago to be near her daughter.

All seemed to be going well until Bologna had a fall and ended up in the hospital. Her hospital stay was followed by a stay in Gainesville Rehab for several weeks.

She says they worked on her leg strength. “I wasn’t using them,” Bologna said. “They felt like jelly.

Discharge orders and readmission

For many patients, the trip home from the hospital does not last long. According to the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, for some common conditions treated in hospitals, as many as one in  patients is readmitted within 30 days of discharge. And according to the New England Journal of Medicine, as many as one in seven patients undergoing major surgeries are readmitted within 30 days. Roughly 80% of hospital readmissions are for patients 65 years of age and older.

Readmission takes a toll on patients, their families and hospitals. Readmission means that patients are sicker. Readmissions cost Medicare alone an estimated $17.5 billion a year. And with the Affordable Care Act, hospitals receive reduced federal funding based on readmission rates.

Dr. J. Douglas Wall, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Novant Health UVA Health System says, “While we don’t have specific statistics on how many people have to return to the hospital because they don’t/can’t follow the discharge orders, it is one of the most common reasons why patients are readmitted to the hospital. Patients sometimes do not understand the orders or don’t fully follow the instructions. They may be unable to carry out all elements of what their discharge follow-up needs to be, whether those are follow-up appointments, instructions, diet modifications, etc.”

Novant Health UVA Health Systems strives to reduce the amount of people who are readmitted to the hospital. That’s why they have been taking the simple but effective step of calling patients post-discharge to check on them. They ensure patients have made their follow-up appointments, see if they have taken their medications and if not, find out what is preventing them from doing so. They ask if there are barriers to obtaining the right medications, either physical or financial, and screen for those prior to patients leaving the hospital.

Wall says asking questions and getting patients to explain their own discharge orders prior to discharge is a “way of helping the patients to drive home with more than a piece of paper.” They aim to solicit their understanding of healthcare and staying well.

Wall says if a patient needs financial help, case managers can determine what type of assistance is available. In some cases, they recommend home health care.

When more is needed



Providers of home care, Home Instead Senior Care® in Manassas says about one out of every five seniors is readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of initially being discharged. A home care provider often can give the kind of assistance needed to ensure patients are following discharge orders by ensuring patients are taking their medications correctly, accompanying them to medical appointments, cooking them healthy meals and more. The results? Not only are patients healthier, they are less likely to be readmitted for the same reason.

Caregivers at Home Instead Senior Care® are not medical providers, but they are fully trained, bonded and insured. Through the practical care they offer, more seniors live at home instead of in nursing facilities and do not face hospital readmission.

In a study of seniors with congestive heart failure (CHF), a common diagnosis resulting in readmission, by providing home services to seniors in Henrico Doctors’ Hospital of Richmond, VA, Home Instead saw a 35-percent improvement upon the hospital’s overall CHF readmissions rate (16.9 percent); 59- and 58-percent improvements over those of its parent company (19.9 percent and 19.8 percent, respectively); and a 97-percent improvement upon national readmission estimates for Medicare enrollees with CHF (24.6 percent.)

Bologna uses caregivers from Home Instead Senior Care®. She says Home Instead has been wonderful to her. “I’m home with great care,” she says. “I’m very blessed.” If Bologna needs something delivered, like her special order walker with handbrakes, a seat and a basket, Home Instead makes sure she gets what she needs on time. Caregivers do light cleaning, offer entertainment and companionship and ensure she is following discharge orders. And caregivers are “great cooks,” Bologna says. “They know how to save leftovers.”

Toni Adams is one of Bologna’s caregivers. Bologna says, “She’s the kind of person who makes you feel better and likes it.”

“I love elderly people,” Adams says. If it’s not in your heart, you might as well not do it.”

What’s one of Bologna’s favorite things about her Home Instead caregivers? “They make you laugh,” she says. “And that’s the best medicine. It’s priceless.”

Bologna has not been readmitted for the same injuries and continues to improve.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas.

Swing Dance the Night Away at Rippon Lodge’s WWII Canteen

During World War II, canteens were more than just used for transporting water.

The term was used in various buildings across the U.S. and in the European Theatre that served as entertainment locals for service men (and women) to go and listen to great music, get home cooked food, non-alcoholic beverages, and perhaps rub shoulders with famous motion picture and theater stars, musicians and even former presidents.

In America, there were many canteens, including one in Washington D.C. However, the two most recognized were the Stage Door Canteen in New York City, and the Hollywood Canteen in Los Angeles, Calif. 

The Stage Door Canteen opened on March 2, 1942. Operated and managed by the American Theatre Wing, the canteen was located in a theater basement on 44th Street, and could hold 500 people. After a successful opening, the canteen was constantly occupied by servicemen and women dancing or listening to live band music, playing card games, pool, or getting served sandwiches from actors like Helen Hayes and Walter Pidgeon. 

Because of the success of the canteen in New York, Hollywood decided to make a film about it starring such recognizable actors like Katherine Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Jane Cowl, Katherine Cornell, Tallulah Bankhead, Helen Hayes, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Sam Jaffe and Paul Muni.

On the west coast, the Hollywood Canteen opened up in October 1943, and was located on Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood. Again, it offered food, dancing and entertainment for servicemen, usually on their way overseas, and was even open to Allies Forces. 

All it required to be admitted was a military uniform. Everything inside was free of charge. This canteen had Hollywood involved from the beginning. Betty Davis was the driving force, and volunteered a great deal of time and money toward the project, serving as president of the canteen. 

Along with John Garfield and Jules Stiles, the building where the canteen was going to be housed received a complete overhaul. It was run completely by volunteers, largely from the entertainment industry, a total of 3,000. Stars like Rita Hayworth, Buster Keaton, Marline Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Frank Sinatra, and band leaders like Bennie Goodman could be serving food, speaking with soldiers, or even dancing or playing cards. 

By September of 1943, it had seen its millionth serviceman walk through its doors. The luck fellow got a kiss from Betty Grable and was escorted all night by Marline Dietrich. By the time it closed, it had seen over three million servicemen.

On September 10, from 7 to 10 p.m., Rippon Lodge Historic Site honors this wonderful history by hosting its own Canteen for one night. In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, this is the second of three events this year recognizing the importance of and sacrifices our service men and women gave during World War II. 

Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided, live music by the Saint Thom Cats, appearances by WWII soldiers, military vehicles, the Americans During Wartime Museum, and much more. Come dressed up in your active military uniform or your best 1940s inspired outfit and dance in front of the historic lodge under the stars. 

There is no need to know how to swing dance! Let your feet move to the beat. 

Tickets are $30, with discounts for active military. Call (703) 499-9812 to purchase tickets before Saturday, September 10, or at the door with a major credit card (Visa/MasterCard accepted).

6th Annual Bands, Brews and Barbeque features more breweries than ever

Are you a fan of local craft beer, delicious barbecue and live music? Come out to the 6th Annual Bands, Brews, and Barbecue on September 10 from 12-6 p.m. on the Manassas Museum Lawn. Tickets are $35 for tasters and $10 for designated drivers. Tasters will receive a complimentary tasting glass, tastings from 25+ breweries, a full day of live music, and access to purchase delicious barbecue and other foods. Entrance to the festival will be in the Train Depot parking lot and enter onto West Street where attendees will have their first sample of delicious brews. Walk along Prince William Street to find delicious food options and finish on the museum lawn where you can continue sampling delicious beers and shop local crafters.

The entrance to the festival will be in the Train Depot parking lot and enter onto West Street where attendees will have their first sample of delicious brews. Walk along Prince William Street to find delicious food options and finish on the museum lawn where you can continue sampling delicious beers and shop local crafters.

The festival will feature a line up of three live acts to entertain you as you find your favorite beers. Enjoy performances from Skribe, Harlen Simple, and Brickyard Road throughout the afternoon. Bring out your blankets and chairs to secure a spot on the lawn for a close up performance.

Attendees can also sign up for a free cornhole tournament for a chance to win growlers, gift cards to local breweries, and gift cards to the shops and restaurants in historic downtown Manassas. The tournament will begin at 1 p.m. so make sure you get there early to secure your spot.

This year’s festival has expanded to incorporate the most breweries we have ever had! Including local breweries, Heritage and BadWolf, all of our featured breweries are coming from Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and North Carolina. This might be the festival where you find your new favorite brew and start planning a trip to visit the brewery. If beer isn’t your favorite, both Bold Rock and Cobbler Mountain will be featuring their award winning ciders.

Ticket prices will go up the day of the event, so get yours here today! There will be free parking on event day in the parking garage on Prince William Street and Main Street as well as surrounding commuter lots. Go to www.visitmanassas.org for a full list of breweries and other upcoming events in the City of Manassas.

This post is written and sponsored by the City of Manassas.

Local leaders tour Home Instead Manassas, learn importance of in-home care

Local leaders were invited to come and tour Home Senior Care in Manassas

Jack St. Clair, co-owner Home Instead Senior Care Manassas

My name is Jack St. Clair, and I am the owner of Home Instead Senior Care located in Manassas and also the one located in Herndon.

Today, what we did is what we call a “meet a Home Instead Senior Care Senior” where we invited senators and delegates from the State of Virginia to come and meet not only us, my wife and I and our office staff but also our caregivers and their clients for them to see what exactly home care is.

They’re used to seeing nursing homes and assisted living facilities which are brick and mortar buildings, but they’re not used to seeing a facility like ours where we have an administration office in this location serving more than 220 clients in their own homes.

Jacquline St. Clair — co-owner Home Instead Senior Care Manassas

It’s almost like having guests from out of town come in your home, and so, we took what we already have in our office and just spruced it up a bit and took some time, about a month ago, to invite folks to this event knowing that folks are out of session right now.

So we invited in representatives and the local officials. We gave tours today; we showed people our office.

Jack St. Clair

Surveys show that 93% of seniors want to age and die in their own home. So, we are part of the solution to that, and that is by providing much-needed companionship, help, or personal care services to seniors who do want to remain in their own homes.

We have a wide range of clients. We have clients who maybe just need us for a few hours a week, and then we have clients who are actively dying utilizing hospice services who have us come in 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help them age in their own home and eventually pass away in their own home.

We want to be part of that solution. If their wish is to stay in their own home, we want to be able to meet that wish and to be part of that.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas.

‘Chamber Classic: 18 Holes of Opportunity’ is not the golf tournament you’ve come to expect

If you have played in a few golf tournaments, then by now you probably know what to expect: Foursomes of people who already know each other enjoying a day out of the office. 

If you’re lucky then you play on one of the foursomes that always win. But even if you don’t win the tournament you have to admit that a bad day on the course is better than a good day at your desk, right?

On September 19 the Prince William Chamber of Commerce introduces the inaugural Chamber Classic: 18 Holes of Opportunity at Old Hickory Golf Club (11921 Chanceford Drive; Woodbridge, VA 22192). This 18-hole golf tournament puts a unique spin on the typical community golf tournament by mixing up the teams in a four-person scramble to maximize the potential benefits to your bottom line.

Says Prince William Chamber Chairman C.C. Bartholomew, a local realtor and golf enthusiast, “The Chamber Classic provides an exciting business networking opportunity. By mixing up the foursomes, we are encouraging players to forge new business relationships while enjoying a day on the course. The hope is that local business leaders, young professionals, and entrepreneurs will come together to play a round of golf and leave with connections that will empower them to grow or improve their businesses in some way.”

Chamber Classic Logo

Interested participants are encouraged to register up to four players with the understanding that a max of two of those “teammates” will end up playing together. Several participating companies have already registered three or four singles for maximum networking impact.

Information about the tournament, along with registration, is available online at PWchamber.org or by calling the Prince William Chamber of Commerce at 703-368-6600. Entry to the Chamber Classic is $150 per player. The deadline to register is Friday, September 9. Download registration packet here.

Prizes include a Sandals vacation for two, Visa Gift Cards ranging from $25-$100 and a set of Calloway irons.

The Chamber Classic is sponsored by Heltzel Mortgage; C.C. Bartholomew, Keller Williams Solutions; Kensington Vanguard; East to West Embroidery & Design; Elite Golf; R.W. Murray Company; APT Impact, Inc. and Sandra Dugan of Cruise Planners.

To become a sponsor, contact Chamber Event Coordinator Kaitlyn Britton at kbritton@pwchamber.org.

Victim seeks witnesses of September 2015 assault in Dale City

The victim of an assault is looking for witnesses who may have seen the crime take place.

A white man pushed a short, brown-haired, Latina female to the ground and kicked her chest on Gideon Dr on the afternoon of September 15, 2015.

The incident occurred on Gideon Drive in Dale City. The victim was walking in the direction of Potomac Mills mall.

The victim suffers from a misaligned spine following the attack.

The victim asks any witnesses to contact the Prince William County Magistrate Office to provide details about what they saw.

Potential witnesses have until September 15, 2016 to contact authorities before the statute of limitations in this case expires.

The victim can be reached at 571-477-8399.

This Promoted Post is paid for by the victim.

Creating Results’ Prince William County base helped it grow into a national company

  • Creating Results Strategic Marketing
  • Address: 14000 Crown Court Woodbridge, VA 22193
  • Phone: 703-494-7888
  • Website: http://creatingresults.com/

When people think marketing and advertising, many things might come to mind, but Baby Boomers and seniors probably are not in the mix.

That’s precisely what makes Creating Results so special. With verticals in senior living, real estate, hospitality, education, retail, healthcare and 55+ housing, Creating Results is crashing through the traditional walls of marketing and advertising and reinventing the industry to motivate one of the largest demographics with discretionary income.

And they are doing it primarily from their offices in Prince William County.


It’s About Location

Co-owner Todd Harff said they chose Prince William County because “Prince William County offers a unique mix of ease of doing business as well as the best quality of life in the D.C. Metro area. There is access to cultural activities, good schools, outdoor activities [and] less traffic.”

Harff also said their Woodbridge location is convenient for their team members, who commute from Fairfax, Stafford and Front Royal. And Though they are based in Prince William County, they have customers all across the country, as well as in Mexico and Canada.

Their work knows no geographic bounds. With easy access to three major airports, Harff, who is located in the New England office, has no problem coming to the main office in Woodbridge, nor does anyone on the team have major challenges arranging flights to the other states and countries where Creating Results does business.

Prince William County also has the demographics and verticals that match Harff’s market. About 32,000 seniors live in the county. There are more than 70 senior living communities, including independent living, assisted living, continuing care and more in Prince William, and the residential real estate market is strong.

With state of the art hospitals and healthcare centers like Sentara and Novant UVA Health, Prince William County was the perfect place to set up shop. Prince William County, being a travel destination, has a superb hospitality industry catering to visitors from within the states and overseas.

This all adds up to success for the company seeking to work with these industries. Locally, Creating Results has provided services for the Potomac Health Foundation, Westminster of Lake Ridge, Discover Prince William and Manassas and more.


It’s About Niche and Growth

It all began with an idea. Creating Results carefully chose their niche in the marketing and advertising world. Many agencies focus on advertising to young people, but Harff wanted to something other than what run-of-the-mill agencies offered.

The Pew Research Center reports there are 74.9 million Boomers (ages 51 to 69) in the U.S., and 50 percent of the U.S. population will be over the age of 50 by 2017. Yet, this is a largely ignored segment of the population, at least in the advertising world. This is Creating Results’ market, the niche they chose.

“That has proven to be the most important decision in our business,” Harff said.

Harff’s wife, Judy, ran a successful boutique design agency. In 2003, the couple combined forces and began working out of the home with only the two of them and what he called “zero revenue.” Now their revenue is about 4 million per year. They have 12 full-time team members and a variety of freelancers.

In the next five years, they expect to see growth as demand for advertising that caters to Boomers increases. Harff said they plan to grow in a way that makes sense for the requirements of the clients and the team. They feel their niche will give them tremendous opportunity for some time, as younger Baby Boomers are still in the workforce and have different needs from those who just retired.


It’s About the Tools

Creating Results’ continued growth also relies on data they collect through studies. One study is called “Social Silver Surfers,” which looks at Boomers’ online website and social media preferences.

“We ask, what are they doing and what is working well? What frustrates them? How do they want to interact with companies online and in social media?” said Harff.

Results of these studies are guiding Creating Results into the future.

Another tool the company uses is big data, which they have access to as a Google Partner. Creating Results has the ability to pinpoint people who are likely prospects and find others who are like them through social media and online behaviors. They can produce customized search results based on past behaviors of users.

They have the ability to know what people are doing online. They know what people search for, who their friends are. They can serve up different information on sites based on previous visits. Remarketing, sponsored content, native content – these are all ways to get in front of targeted audiences.

“We like to think of it as being close to prospects, but not creepy,” Harff said.

It’s About Teamwork

For Creating Results, it has been a major challenge, but also a triumph, finding just the right people to help achieve their mission.

“I always recognize it’s good to be lucky, and picking a niche was critical, but so was finding the right people. Lots of people want jobs, but we sort through applicants to find who is aligned with our culture,” Harff said.

“In this regard, our Prince William County location serves us especially well as it affords us immediate access to a highly-educated, highly-skilled, dynamic and innovative workforce,” said Harff.

The average tenure for employees with the company is over eight years.

“People come to work with us and are excited to be part of that team and grow with us,” Harff said.

Creating Results is looking to evolve over the next 10 years and is seeking team members who are excited about helping them do just that. Currently, Creating Results is hiring a Media Marketing Associate and Client Services Director. For more information, visit their website www.creatingresults.com

This promoted post is written by Potomac Local under an agreement with Prince William County Department of Economic Development to showcase business in the region.

Upgraded kitchen, electronics, dining room floor make this a must-see home in Manassas

  • Ian Lovejoy Crossroads Realtors
  • Address: 9216 Center Street Manassas, VA 20110
  • Phone: 571-762-8387
  • Website: http://lovejoyrg.com/

Pride and dedication: What the Olympics mean to us at Manassas Park Parks and Recreation

Manassas Park Community Center

Have you been watching the Olympics in Rio on TV? Have you lost track of just how many gold medals Michael Phelps has won? (To date, he has won 32 gold medals!)

You hear the same type of stories about the Olympic athletes during every Olympics—the sacrifice, the dedication, the perseverance, and the never-ending support of friends, family, and countrymen to enable the Olympic athletes to perform at the highest levels as the world watches.

The official symbol of the Olympics are the five interlocking colored rings, representing the continents of North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia. So when you hear an announcer exclaim that the world is watching, it is a safe bet that the world IS watching the Olympics!

Watching the Olympics really does get you excited about sports, and the Parks and Recreation staff at the Manassas Park Community Center is excited about the Olympics too. Here’s what some of the staff said when asked what the Olympics means to them:

Sue Jurjevic, Senior Recreation Specialist, says, “I am always impressed by the gifts and talents of the athletes, and I do believe that their commitment to their sport does show when they compete.

Tony Thomas, Recreation Services Supervisor, says, “To me, it means pride and dedication. The amount of pride you feel for your country competing in athletics is exhilarating. And I chose dedication because the athletes train year-round, for almost their entire lives to compete at this level. The Olympics also brings a sense of togetherness. Regardless of cultural differences or political views, most Americans put that to the side and cheer on the athletes representing our country!”

Sarah Barnett, Operations,and Aquatics Manager says, As I have gotten older, I have found that my taste in Olympic sports has broadened to not only Track and Gymnastics but also to Swimming and Diving. This past week, I have been glued to the TV at 8 p.m. to watch the gymnastics and swimming competitions. I made watching the Olympics a family affair and even allowed my young daughters to stay up past their bedtimes to watch. My oldest daughter loves watching swimming while cheering on Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky. Meanwhile, my youngest is already begging me to put her in Soccer AND gymnastics! I am not surprised that my girls would fall in love with sports by watching the Olympics. I fell in love with Gymnastics as a child by watching the Olympics.”

Amelia Powell, Customer Service Supervisor, says, “I’ve been staying up until midnight watching the Olympics because I am hooked on cheering for our athletes. I love it all and I admire the athletes so much. They work so hard training their whole lives for these games, and it gives me such pride in our country that there is no way I can turn my TV off when the Olympics are on!”

Annette Starr, an Administrative Assistant, says, “Every time the Olympics comes around I love to watch it. It’s like a ‘coffee break’ from all the other things going on in the news. And when I watch it I always come away wanting to try a new sport. Like the first time I saw the rowing team, I wanted to try rowing. And believe it or not, I actually tried running (although not at these outstanding athlete’s levels). Some of the others sports that peaked my interest: bicycling, swimming, volleyball, archery, and (this year) air rifle. Once you try these different sports you realize how talented and hardworking these athletes are. So when I see them up on the stand receiving their well-earned medals, I certainly feel proud and in awe of their accomplishments.”

Maria Bosack, Writer/Content Specialist, says, “One of the girls in my neighborhood was such a good swimmer that her family moved to Florida so she could train with a famous coach in the hopes of making the Olympic team. Every family in our neighborhood was glued to their TV’s when she competed. We screamed so loudly with pure adoration and delight hoping she could hear us! She never won a medal, but to us, that didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered is that she was there, she competed, she persevered, she made it to the Olympics! I will NEVER stop cheering for the American teams in the Olympics.”

What would you say that the Olympics mean to you? 

Would you respond like the Parks and Recreation staff at the community center did? The staff really admired the athletes, were excited to see the intense level of competition and felt proud to be American—and that is exactly what the Olympics guiding principle is a quote by Baron de Coubertin: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

Thank you to our U.S. Olympic athletes who have fought hard and have won making us so very proud.

Kids and parents who are exposed to swimming and other sports they have fallen in love with while watching the Olympics will find athletic programs and classes that they can participate in at the Manassas Park Community Center. There are swim lessons, beginner gymnastics classes, sports conditioning, sports leagues including basketball, and so much more. There are athletic programs available for all ages and skill levels, just give us a call for more information!

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.

Prince William County Police detectives chosen to work for a higher cause

Sponsored by the Prince William County Police Department, this is the first of six stories in our series that will examine the unique assignments within the Prince William County Police Department.

Special Victims Bureaus aren’t just creations of Primetime TV.

In the Prince William County Police Department, Detective Matthew Newbauer works with a group of detectives dedicated to the public they serve. These are the detectives of the Special Victims Unit, trained to solve cases ranging from sexual crimes against women and children to physical abuse of the elderly.

Newbauer, who has been in law enforcement for nine years, said that while his job is not TV style police work, it isn’t a boring nine-to-five, either.

There is a lot going on in the Special Victims Unit. In addition to the cases reported by patrol officers, reports may come in from Child Protective Services or a mandatory reporter, such as a caregiver or medical professional.

Newbauer has already assisted in 40 cases of his own this year. The detectives in Newbauer’s fast-paced unit work together in every aspect of these sensitive cases, including the collection of evidence, writing search warrants and interviewing witnesses.

“Each detective handles their own assigned cases and also assists others in the same manner,” Newbauer said. “It’s truly a group effort to ensure that each case is properly and thoroughly investigated.”


Forensic interviews are different

The Bureau has 20 detectives and four supervisors working these challenging cases, and they are cross-trained to work in both the Special Victims Unit and Physical Abuse Unit of the Bureau. Criminal justice training of all types is utilized including cyber crime and domestic violence investigation to forensic child interviewing. Newbauer aids his co-workers, using his skill as a child forensic interviewer.

Forensic interviews are different from other types of interviews, such as those for property crime cases. The interviewer must connect with the victim, and ask questions like, “Can you help me understand what you remember about your experience?” With children, who are interviewed in a special room with more comfortable chairs and a flip chart with markers to draw with, the approach must be even more subtle. Being questioned by the police “is an event they’ll remember for the rest of their lives,” Newbauer said. “There’s a weight to that that goes beyond a nine-to-five job.”

These detectives don’t do this work for any fame or the thrill of carrying a badge and a gun. These detectives have chosen to work for a higher cause.

According to Newbauer, “There is a sacred responsibility to anyone who enters this profession to maintain the highest standard of ethics while working harder than they ever thought they could to serve their community. This is not a profession for those who feel entitled to recognition. This is a profession for those few people who desire to commit their lives for the highest cause of service and to protect people from those who prey upon the innocent.”

Part of a professional family

In return, the Detective and his colleagues are rewarded by being part of a professional family fighting together to help victims during what might be the most difficult moments in their lives.

When asked to give an example, Newbauer shared pieces of his most memorable case. While he could not reveal specifics, he spoke of one witness’s bravery.

The witness looked past the “personal ramifications” to make sure the child victim was identified and treated. “I wasn’t the hero of this case; that witness was. We should all aspire to be that person and do the right thing even when it’s scary. That’s true courage.”


The capacity for compassion and empathy

The Detective had a few words of advice for those interested in the profession: “I would tell them that first of all, you have to have the capacity for compassion and empathy for those that have endured abuse. You have to shake off any victim-blaming mentality that our culture supports and be prepared to truly listen to the story of a victim.”

Detectives must get over the shock of what comes along with the investigations.

He also shared the need for a bit of Zen.

“Because of the nature of these investigations,” he said, “it is vital that you come to work prepared to uncover “Because of the nature of these investigations,” he said, “it is vital that you come to work prepared to uncover truth, and you leave work prepared to rediscover yourself. Work-life balance is essential; it will help you be the best investigator at work and the best parent/spouse/partner at home.”

“The most rewarding aspect of my job is when I complete an investigation and I know that the hard work and countless hours I’ve put into the case has helped a defenseless person escape their abuser and find a little bit of justice,” Newbauer said. “If that’s something that motivates you, then this is your calling.”

The Prince William County Police Department continually seeks qualified applicants for Police Officer I and Certified Officers. Apply today at joinpwcpd.org

Read more from our series

How a love for animals and a vet degree spawned a career as a Prince William County Police officer

Prince William on patrol: ‘This Job is About Integrity’

Prince William County Police Digital Forensics team puts heart, soul, and mind into solving cases

How a love for animals and a vet degree spawned a career as a Prince William County Police officer


Manassas Park Community Center Fall Program Preview!

How can you find out about the great programs and classes offered at the Manassas Park Community Center?

Well, you can check out the Fall 2016 Manassas Park MOSAIC available August 15! it’s the best way to find out about the fantastic programs offered at the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC). Some of our classes and programs are brand new, while others are back by popular demand because they are patron favorites.

Why use the term MOSAIC instead of the word directory?

The word mosaic refers to a picture or pattern produced by arranging together small colored pieces of hard material, such as stone, tile, or glass. The MOSAIC lists all the programs and classes offered at MPCC for all ages. There are sports leagues for kids (ages preschool to teen), swim lessons, American Sign language classes for adults, therapeutic programs, and programs especially for seniors. All of the classes and programs offered combine to produce a large picture (a mosaic) of a community interacting, learning, and having fun at the Community Center.

If you haven’t been to the Manassas Park Community Center, it really is worth the trip. Whether you walk or drive, as you approach the Community Center, you will notice several baseball fields, corn hole structures, basketball hoops, picnic tables, and a dog park. There are colorful, fresh flowers planted outside the main entrance, and there is more than ample parking for all guests.

Once inside, you are immediately greeted by friendly staff members who will direct you to the program you are signed up for. And if you haven’t signed up yet, they will be more than happy to assist you!

Do you like Zumba classes? Our Zumba classes have been so popular, starting in the fall there will be Zumba classes offered for all age levels! Zumba Jr. (ages 4-6) and Zumba Kids (ages 7-11) start 9/9.

What about a cooking class? Even better, a cooking class for kids? Well the MPCC has new cooking classes for school age kids and even preschoolers! Lil Sprouts Cooking Class (ages 3-5) and Lil Sprouts Just a Taste (Kindergarten – 8 years old) start 9/12.

What else is new? We’ll have a ballet class for preschoolers, journaling and breakdance classes for teens, and a co-ed volleyball league and pickleball class for adults and seniors! Be sure to check the MOSAIC on the 15th for more details, cost, dates, and times.

Don’t forget to check out our popular fall special events! Take a look in the MOSAIC (right next to the program index) for the exciting events coming up at the Community Center.

Fall yard sale

The fall yard sale is scheduled on Saturday, September 17 from 8:00 am-12:30 pm. There is no cost to check out one of the busiest yard sales in the area. Individuals who want to sell their treasures can bring their items to this annual bargain hunter’s paradise. Vendor space is available for only $7 and vendors must pre-register by September 16th. Space goes quickly so be sure to come register at the Manassas Park Community Center as early as next week!

The Fall Arts & Crafts Festival

The Fall Arts & Crafts Festival will be held on Saturday, October 15 from 10:00am-3:00 pm. This festival is free to attend, but if you want to reserve a table, it will cost $20.00 per space. Since space for this popular event is limited, please contact Kaitlyn Collier to reserve your space starting next week at K.Collier@manassasparkv.gov. You will find lots of handcrafted, one-of-a-kind arts, crafts, antiques, décor, and jewelry for any budget or style.

Floating Gourd Night

On Friday, October 21 from 7:00pm-8:30pm, there is a truly amazing program that kids always love. It is the Floating Gourd Night! MPCC staff has added some fun to pumpkin picking by creating a pumpkin patch right in the indoor pool. After some swim time, kids can decorate the gourds – talk about some unique and amazing holiday decorations! This event only costs $5 per person.

Trunk or Treat

How does the MPCC celebrate Halloween? Well, come to the Trunk or Treat event on October 31 and you will see ghosts, monsters, superheroes, and princesses’ trick or treating! Decorated vehicles will line the parking lot with their trunks open and hand out candy to all the trick or treaters from 5:30-7:30pm. There is no cost to attend—it’s totally free for both kids and the volunteers who want to hand out candy. It’s a safe and fun where to celebrate Halloween!

As you think about the rich, descriptive word mosaic, you realize that the word more than adequately describes all the amazing programs happening this fall at the Manassas Park Community Center. Be sure to grab your copy of the Manassas Park Community Center Fall 2016 Mosaic on August 15 and sign up for a class!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility 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.

King’s Highway tells the story of George Washington and the French travels during the Revolutionary War

Long before European settlers arrived in Northern Virginia Native Americans traveled numerous waterways in the region.

The few paths around the area frequently followed high ridges between the rivers and creeks. In this area, the trail was commonly referred to as The Potomac Path by early provincials in the area, and they were charged by the General Assembly to keep their “highways clear of vegetation. “

By the end of the 17th century, this road was formally known as the Potomac Path, established to travel the most “convenient wayes to the Church, to the Court, to James Towne and from County to County.” As communities expanded, the route became the artery of Prince William County – Churches and Chapels were established along its way, as were public tobacco warehouses, businesses, and courthouses.

By 1755 the Fry & Jefferson Map identified the road as the “King’s Highway” and mail service was transported along the route. For generations, this road was little better than a rough path, wide enough for a few wagons. It connected rural estates and small homesteads, to small communities dotting the eastern seaboard.

During the Revolutionary War, the road in what today is eastern Prince William County would gain new significance. In 1781 the Comte de Rochambeau arrived from England with reinforcements of ground troops to support the American War effort.

The plan was to converge on Yorktown and end the war. Most troops traveled by boat, but General Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau, their staff, the artillery, and baggage begin to move south on the Kings Highway to Yorktown.

They would arrive in Yorktown in mid-October and lend a hand to the siege. A year later, having won the war, the French would travel the same route north to Boston on their way home.

Small sections of this road still exist through Prince William County and Northern Virginia and are undergoing preservation efforts from the county’s Historic Preservation Division and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

This route tells the story of our history beyond the travels of General Washington and the French during the Revolutionary War. It was traveled by Native Americans, ordinary citizens, and some of the most extraordinary individuals in our history.

And in the future, we hope that you experience these same pathways that our ancestors did.

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