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Planted Trees, Rain Barrels Funded as Part of Water Grant

Virginia American Water Awards $7,500 in Environmental Grants To Protect Local Water Resources

Through its annual environmental grant program, Virginia American Water awarded grants to four nonprofits who are conducting water resources protection projects that benefit the local watershed. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling $7,500 for their projects. The following organizations are the 2014 recipients:
• The Prince William Conservation Alliance in Woodbridge will receive $1,500 for a tree planting program at the Prince William County Dog Park on Minnieville Road. The project is intended to help prevent erosion and slow storm water runoff to Neabsco Creek, improve community appearance in a very visible location, and improve wildlife habitat.
• Friends of the Occoquan (FOTO) will receive $2,000 for a water conservation program using rain barrels. FOTO will use the funds to purchase rain barrels and conduct workshops to educate community members on the beneficial use of rain barrels for watering gardens.
• Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR), is receiving $1,000 for an erosion control project on the road leading to the canoe access point. Rocks will be installed to prevent soil erosion.
• Indiana University, in Kokomo, IN is partnering with Virginia American Water in a characterization study of E. coli in the Appomattox River. The University will receive $3,000 to study the source of pathogens. Intake river water samples will be analyzed under base flow and high flow conditions using molecular techniques and cultivation methods.

“We are very proud to support the efforts of local organizations that share our commitment to watershed and environmental protection,” said Virginia American Water President William R. Walsh. “This assistance to our community partners leverages local resources and capabilities to make a positive impact on the environment.”

Established in 2005, American Water’s Environmental Grant Program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies in the local communities the company serves.

Virginia American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to more than 370,000 people. Founded in 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. Headquartered in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,600 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 40 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.

Merrimac Master Naturalist Program to Teach Importance of Maintaining Local Ecosystems

Registration opened for the 2014 Master Naturalist session on July 1. Master Naturalists are people who want to make a difference by helping maintain the quality of our natural areas and local ecosystems.

Participants receive 60 hours of training, including classes and field trips covering amphibians, birds, plants, wetlands and more. An additional eight hours of education and 40 hours of volunteer service is required for certification. Participating with the Merrimac Farm Master Naturalists is a fun way to learn more about nature nearby, improve your community and meet new friends.

Charlie Grymes, Prince William Conservation Alliance Chairman and Merrimac Farm Master Naturalist, thinks the program is terrific, saying “The more you know about your local places, the more interesting they are. This is a great opportunity to discover nature close to home.”

No previous experience is needed.

“The most important qualification for potential Master Naturalists is a desire to learn more about wildlife habitats and contribute to your local environment through volunteer service,” said master naturalist Judy Gallagher

The $200 program fee covers all classes and supplies. Registration is open until the class maximum of 12 participants is reached. For more information, including how to apply, check online at pwconserve.org/masternaturalist. email naturalist@pwconserve.org or call us at 703-490-5200.

Archie Catalfamo Joins Linton Hall School as Assistant Principal

Archie Catalfamo, Assistant Principal - Linton Hall School

Archie Catalfamo, Assistant Principal – Linton Hall School

Liz Poole, Principal is pleased to announce that Archie Catalfamo joined Linton Hall School as Assistant Principal effective July 1, 2014.

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Catalfamo join the Linton Hall School Family,” said Mrs. Poole. “We know that his vast experience and knowledge will serve the students and faculty of Linton Hall School well as we continue growing the Linton Hall School community and building upon our success”.

Catalfamo comes to Linton Hall School from Highland School in Warrenton, Virginia, where he served as Associate Director of Advancement, and Director of Annual Fund & Alumni Programs, roles he has held since 2011. Catalfamo managed Highland’s school development office and directed public relations and marketing for the Upper School Admission team, among other duties.

He taught history in the Midwest (Colorado and Wisconsin), and joined Highland’s faculty in 2001, working in roles of increasing responsibility, from history teacher to History Department Chair (2003-2004) to Co-Head of Upper School (2005)/Dean of Students (2004-2006). He served in coaching positions for cross country, lacrosse and Model United Nations.

Catalfamo left Highland in 2007 to pursue founding a national college consulting firm, Collegiate Transitions Consulting Group, LLC in Culpeper, Virginia. In 2009, he joined Middleburg Academy Middleburg, Virginia as Director of Admission and Marketing before returning to Highland.

“We have been so impressed by all of the Linton Hall School students who have matriculated to Highland School over the years. They are altruistic, creative, compassionate, and eager to take advantage of the academic and co-curricular opportunities offered. It is an honor to join a school and community that is so warm, welcoming, and committed to nurturing the spirits of young people” stated Catalfamo.

Catalfamo is a graduate of Kent School in Kent, Connecticut (1990), Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (B.A. degree, 1994, Teacher Licensure, Secondary Social Studies, 1997), and Georgetown University in Washington, DC (M. A. degree, 2004, Liberal Studies-International Affairs).

He and his wife Megan have two children and currently reside in Culpeper.Linton Hall School is a co-educational Catholic school serving pre-school through 8th grade.. Situated on a 110-acre campus in Bristow, the school remains true to the 1,500-year old Benedictine tradition of educating the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. For more information about Linton Hall School and its programs, please call 703-368-3157, e-mail lhs@lintonhall.edu or visit our website at lintonhall.edu.


NOVA College Info Desk Agent Honored

On June 25, 2014 The Rotary Club of Lake Ridge Virginia awarded Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge information desk commander, Lando Lowe the 2014 Unsung Hero award.

The prestigious award, which is presented at the organization’s annual Installation Dinner in June is intended to give recognition to a person or group of persons who typically are “under the radar” but whose contributions and service to the community personify Rotary International’s motto of Service Above Self.

Eligible candidates must live or work in Prince William County and must not be someone who is regularly recognized, or has the opportunity to be honored/recognized, via other channels. Nominators are asked to describe how the person is of service to the community – either through his/her job or as a volunteer– in a role that has gone unrecognized, and in such a way as to demonstrate selflessness and dedication to service.

An excerpt from his nomination described Mr. Lowe “…as the welcoming beacon for NOVA Woodbridge, Lando provides the nitty-gritty information and service that is required and then supplements that service with a skill set and care that makes him an unsung hero. He has exerted influence on The Arts, Athletics, Student activities, and most of all the NOVA Woodbridge campus and the Prince William Community in a way that cannot be measured.”

Outgoing President Mary Beth Michos’ final act in her position as club leader was presenting the plaque and $500 cash prize to Mr. Lowe, whom she described as “… a fine young man who has gone above and beyond his designated role at NVCC to make the lives of students better.”

Runner up Ron Perriera, General Manager of Lake Ridge Parks and Recreation Association was nominated for his superlative efforts in getting the McCoart to Occoquan Trail approved.

About The Rotary Club of Lake Ridge Virginia

The Rotary Club of Lake Ridge Virginia was chartered in 1988 and supports a remarkable variety of humanitarian and educational service projects that touch the lives of both local and international communities. The Club meets every Wednesday at 7:30am at Westminster at Lake Ridge.

Soroptimist International of Manassas Installs officers

Soroptimist International of Manassas installed officers for 2014-15. Deborah Mackes, Soroptimist International of the South Atlantic Regional Secretary performed the installation ceremony. Incoming officers are Cheryl Walter, President, Dede Rutherford, Vice President, Julie Kowalski, Secretary, Barbara Pendulik, Treasurer, Sue Brown, Director, Vicki Latimer, Director and Margaret Glick Dyer, Parliamentarian.

Soroptimist International of Manassas is dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls. More information about the club is available at www.simanassas.org.

Meeting of the Prince William Wildflower Society Monday, July 21

Janet Davis of Hill House Nursery will present on Native Groundcovers at the July 21 meeting of the Prince William Wildflower Society, a chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society. The meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. on the lower level of Bull Run UU Church, 9350 Main St, Manassas, VA 20110. Door prizes awarded and refreshments served. For more information, call 703-368-2898 or visit www.vnps.org/princewilliamwildflowersociety. This meeting is free and open to the general public. All are welcome.

Mallory, Quinn Appointed New Roles at Stafford Schools

STAFFORD, Va. — At their meeting on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, the Stafford County School Board approved the appointment of Cessy Mallory as the assistant principal in charge of athletics and activities at Stafford High School.  She began her career as a professional educator in 2002 teaching special education classes in Prince William County.

She is currently a health and physical education teacher and department chair at Mountain View High School.  Ms. Mallory has been with Stafford County Schools for nine years and in addition to her current duties as department chair, she has served as a principal intern and managed responsibilities for attendance, in school suspension, expanded recognition opportunities for students and has served as an interim activities director.

Ms. Mallory holds a bachelor’s of science degree in sociology and pre-law from Longwood University.  She also earned a master’s of science degree in physical education from Pittsburg State University and a master’s of education in educational leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Also during this meeting, the School Board approved the appointment of Dr. Christopher Quinn to the position of Director of Instructional Services.  Dr. Quinn has been a part of the Stafford Schools community since 2005 and will maintain his role as a major contributor to the school division’s instructional leadership.

“We appreciate Dr. Quinn’s great knowledge of learning strategies and will rely on his considerable talents and experience as we continue to move the school division forward to even greater success in the area of instructional services,” stated Superintendent Bruce Benson.

Dr. Quinn earned his bachelor of arts degree in history and master’s degree in secondary education from Augusta State University in Georgia.  He is a proud graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo where he earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership.


Prince William GOP Members Complete ‘Day of Summer Service’

WOODBRIDGE, VA – Prince William Republicans performed community service activities around Prince William County this past Saturday for a “Day of Summer Service,” which is part of a new Prince William Republican Committee Community Service Initiative. The day consisted of Prince William Republicans serving as volunteers during the Bull Run Warrior Retreat 2nd Annual “Ride for Warriors Poker Run” in Haymarket and as volunteers preparing and serving a meal at the ACTS Homeless Shelter in Dumfries.

“Our ‘Day of Summer Service’ was a great opportunity for Prince William County Republicans to get out in the community to serve wounded warriors and fellow County residents who are in need,” said Chairman Bill Card, who is serving his second two-year term as Chairman of the Prince William Republican Committee. “Our Initiative’s theme, ‘Committed To Service,’ is a reflection of our principles – community involvement and servant leadership.”

“Republicans are for efficient limited government, but we firmly believe in community service, volunteerism and charity as a solution to many of our community’s problems,” said Vice Chairman D.J. Jordan, who manages the Community Service Initiative. “Our Party is full of very compassionate and generous people, and this Community Service Initiative is a great avenue for us to live out our values.”

The 2nd Annual Serving our Willing Warriors “Ride for Warriors Poker Run” at the Bull Run Warrior Retreat was a fundraiser event for the construction of a retreat facility that will be used by wounded, ill and injured military personnel residing at nearby hospitals, along with their families. Prince William Republicans assisted with parking, concessions, hosting, event guidance, and other volunteer jobs. Later that evening, Prince William Republicans prepared and served dinner to ACTS Homeless Shelter residents and staff. In all, 30 individuals, including Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman and Del. David Ramadan (R-87), participated in the day’s events.

In February, the Prince William Republican Committee announced its new Community Service Initiative during its annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. So far, the Committee has conducted two food bank collections for Streetlight Ministries in Woodbridge (February/June), a clothing collection for the B.A.R.N. transitional housing in Bristow, led by the Bull Run Women’s Club (March), a collection for SERVE, Inc in Manassas (April), and assistance with Supervisor Pete Candland’s ‘Walk for Prince William’, which benefited five County food banks (May). The Committee is planning a back-to-school backpack service event in August.

Any Prince William County resident is welcome to participate in the Prince William County Republican Committee community service projects, regardless of their political affiliation. For more information about the Committee, visit pwcgop.org.

David E. Baldo, of Woodbridge, Awarded Bachelor of Science Degree

Keystone College celebrated its 143rd commencement during ceremonies on the college’s campus in La Plume, Pa., on Saturday, May 17. Degrees were conferred upon 338 students.

Keystone President Dr. David L. Coppola presided over the ceremony. Accomplished entrepreneur, philanthropist and Keystone alumnus, David L. Turock ’77, provided the keynote address. Outstanding graduates Melissa Cruise, Scranton, and Amanda Mathis, Factoryville, also addressed their classmates. Dr. Thea Harrington, provost and dean of the college, and Thomas “Tim” Speicher ’72, chair of Keystone’s board of trustees, conferred the degrees to the graduates.

The following local student received a degree:

Bachelor of Science: David E. Baldo, Woodbridge.

Founded in 1868, Keystone College is an independent, co-educational college that provides distinctive undergraduate programs grounded in a competitive learning environment that fosters integrity, curiosity, and civility. Located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Keystone offers over 40 degree options in liberal arts and sciences based programs. For more information on Keystone College, visit www.keystone.edu.

Eco-themed Worship Services Help Make St. Francis of Assisi Parish GreenFaith Certified

TRIANGLE, Va. – New Jersey-based GreenFaith, a nationally acclaimed interfaith environmental coalition, has certified Triangle, Va.-based St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church as a “GreenFaith Sanctuary” and faith-based environmental leader.

“Saint Francis of Assisi has shown deep commitment and leadership,” said Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s Executive Director. “They have made significant changes to lessen their environmental footprint, and to inspire and educate their community about one of the most important issues of our time. They are an inspiration for church communities all across the country.”

In 2012, St. Francis of Assisi Parish was accepted into – and was the first house of worship in Virginia to participate in – the GreenFaith Certification Program, the country’s first interfaith environmental certification program.

Churches, synagogues, mosques and temples gain recognition as environmental leaders when they earn GreenFaith certification by carrying out more than two dozen environmental activities in two years.

From eco-themed worship services and religious education on the environment, to reducing consumption in their buildings and engaging in environmental justice activities, participants “green” their communities from top to bottom.

When a congregation completes the program, GreenFaith officially acknowledges them as a “GreenFaith Sanctuary” and religious environmental leader.

“By definition as Franciscans, we’re obligated to be good stewards of God’s creation,” said Fr. Kevin Downey, O.F.M., pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. “Going through the GreenFaith Certification Program has not only energized the parish and school in this responsibility, but the ripple effect has been such that it has also greatly impacted the individual thinking and personal practices of our parishioners.”

When St. Francis of Assisi Parish and School began the GreenFaith program, they audited their facilities and programs using templates GreenFaith provides and created an action plan.

They “greened” their facilities, saving energy and water, and established non-toxic cleaning and maintenance practices. They reduced paper usage and increased recycling, had energy-efficient windows installed in the parish school, and offered healthy, sustainable food and canning workshops. They even made use of composting bins, planted gardens, and became a National Wildlife Federation® Certified Wildlife Habitat™ site, among many other actions.

They advocated for access to safe water and sanitation for developing countries and participated in legislative advocacy, including a campaign to address environmental concerns on the George Washington National Forest.

They created newsletters and eco-reflections and distributed numerous resources to the community on an assortment of environmental topics, including waste and composting; Pope Francis on the culture of waste; a Franciscan approach to ecology; the importance of local and organic eating; green cleaning tips; researching safe cosmetics, and many others.

They published timely church bulletin and school newsletter eco-tips on such topics as water conservation, energy-efficient washing machines, unplugging from technology, using reusable grocery bags, “phantom” power usage, simplifying one’s life, cleaning out dryer lint, keeping cool in the summer by preparing no-cook meals, addressing one’s carbon and water footprint, and fixing water leaks promptly.

The parish incorporated Catholic social teaching on the environment into Masses and other parish celebrations, hosted interfaith events and guest speakers, and provided education, classes and activities for children, teens and adults, in addition to launching an annual St. Francis Earth Day, participating in two fair trade global bazaars, as well as taking class field trips to a local landfill.

As a result, the parish and school experienced the renewed conviction and satisfaction that comes from a deep commitment to caring for creation.

“This was a huge parish and school team effort, and we have many people to thank for this certification,” said Downey. “This GreenFaith honor is a great milestone for us, as this culmination is not an end, but a motivation for all we have planned going forward.”

Founded in 1992, GreenFaith (www.greenfaith.org) inspires, educates and mobilizes people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership. For more information on the GreenFaith Certification Program, contact Stacey Kennealy at skennealy@greenfaith.org or 732.565.7740, ext. 303.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (www.stfrncis.org) is part of the Diocese of Arlington and was established in 1957. For more information on the GreenFaith certification at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, call the parish office at 703.221.4044.

Manassas Animal Adoption Center Receives Highest Inspection Rating Possible

In May 2014, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Division of Animal & Food Industry Services conducted an unscheduled inspection of the Manassas Animal Adoption Center to evaluate the quality of the facility and animal care.  The Adoption Center, managed by Manassas City Police Department’s Animal Control Services Division, received the highest rating possible.

The annual inspection, which was based on criteria such as space and holding standards, food and water availability and storage, and animal treatment and welfare, resulted in no significant findings with regard to facility management or animal welfare.  Significant findings are those that might lead to animal suffering, insufficient care, or in critical cases, egregious suffering, injury, or death.  In his comments, the inspector went so far as to state he found the shelter to be “immaculate,” “very orderly,” and under a “high standard of management.”

Sgt. Christine Perry, who oversees the operation of the Animal Adoption Center, responded to the inspection results by commenting, “We are delighted with the results of this year’s inspection, particularly because of the stringent standards to which we were held by the state’s chief veterinarian.  I am extremely proud of the shelter’s competent staff and the hard work they put into maintaining the shelter and caring for the animals every day.”

The VDACS inspection results came shortly after the Manassas City Police Department as a whole was awarded the highest law enforcement accreditation status possible – CALEA’s “Gold Standard, with Excellence” – back in March of 2014, and were not the only reason the shelter has been in the news for doing good deeds in the past several months.  In 2013, the Animal Adoption Center partnered with a local business to hold a Zumba fundraiser that raised money for the shelter, and consistently participates in community events.  Animal Control Services also maximizes the use of social media to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership and runs a weekly bulletin called “Take Me Home Tuesday” (#TakeMeHomeTuesday or #tmht), which highlights shelter animals in need of new homes.  For information about the Manassas Animal Adoption Center, please call 703-257-2420 or visit www.manassascity.org/animals.

City Residents Getting New Trash Cans

Beginning the week of June 16, City of Manassas residents will receive brand new trash carts for their household trash needs. These carts will be used in conjunction with existing recycling carts that City residents currently use. Delivering these new carts to City residents is in an effort to beautify City of Manassas neighborhoods with uniform containers for waste and recycling.

Single-family homeowners should expect the delivery of a 96-gallon cart and townhome owners will receive a 65-gallon cart over the next few weeks. Residents will still be able to use their own trash containers with these carts as long as they are hard sided and have tight fitting lids attached. Carts should be set out curbside no earlier than 6 p.m. the day before trash pick up and should be taken in no later than 9 p.m. the day of trash pick up.

For more information on this program or to read the City Ordinance on refuse and recycling, visit www.manassascity.org/trash.

Small Named Manassas Economic Development Director

City Manager William Patrick Pate announced the appointment of Patrick J. Small as Economic Development Director for the City of Manassas. Small was selected from a highly qualified pool of applicants to run the Economic Development function for the City of Manassas. He will join the City staff on Aug. 11, 2014.

“The City is growing, becoming a destination of choice and having Patrick fill this much needed position is a great plus for future Economic Development for the City of Manassas,” said City Manager William Patrick Pate. “With Patrick’s previous experience, I know he will hit the ground running to work with existing and new businesses in Manassas.”

Prior to his appointment as Economic Development Director, Small worked as Director of Economic Development for the City of Portsmouth, Virginia. While there he created a business retention program, calling on more than 1,500 businesses annually. He was also responsible for the sale and redevelopment of waterfront property vacant for more than 25 years in Portsmouth.

Previous experience includes serving as Assistant County Administrator for Isle of Wight County, Virginia and prior to that as Director of Economic Development for Isle of Wight County. He has also served as Director of Economic Development in Lancaster County, Virginia and Taylor County, Florida. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs from Florida State University.

“I’m looking forward to becoming an active member of the community and working with our existing and prospective businesses to help Manassas grow and prosper,” said Patrick Small. “My family and I are excited about relocating to the area.”

Stafford’s Celebration Stage Opens June 25

STAFFORD, Va. — The Stafford Board of Supervisors and Stafford’s 350th Blue Ribbon Committee are announcing the grand opening of Celebration Stage at Pratt Park on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. The event will include a family festival, a ribbon cutting and live performances to herald an artistic renaissance for Stafford County. The stage was built in honor of Stafford’s 350th anniversary this year and is Stafford’s first covered amphitheater. It will be able to host performing arts, theatrical and dance events, concerts, movies and other large-scale events, contributing to Stafford’s economic development and tourism efforts.

“The 350th Anniversary Blue Ribbon Committee set out to leave a lasting mark with our commemoration this year, and Celebration Stage will help create that legacy in Stafford,” said Harry Crisp, Chairman of the 350th Anniversary Blue Ribbon Committee. “The stage will nurture artistic expression and help us foster community spirit among our residents.”

The evening’s festivities will begin at 5:00 p.m. at Pratt Park, 120 River Road, with a family festival that will feature a number of attractions including delicious food vendors, live animals, and “Golfzilla,” a large scale golf arena modeled after what is arguably the world’s most popular monster. The official opening of Celebration Stage will begin at 7:00 p.m. with a special ribbon cutting ceremony. Live performances will follow that include various bands such as an exciting African American Ensemble. The stage is outdoors, and visitors should bring comfortable chairs and blankets on which to sit.

The schedule for the day follows:

Scheduled Performances:

7:00 p.m. – National Anthem

7:05 p.m. – Grand Opening – Ribbon Cutting

7:15 p.m. – The Believers – Bluegrass

7:35 p.m. – Riverside Center – Children’s Theatre

7:45 p.m. – Winding Creek African Ensemble

7:55 p.m. – Mt. Hope Baptist Choir

8:05 p.m. – Stafford Dance Center

8:15 p.m. – Stage Door Productions

Food Vendors:

Beach Fries

Family Pizzeria

McCoy’s BBQ, LLC

Poppa Bear’s Kettle Korn

Scotty’s Hot Dogs

Celebration Stage was sponsored by the Stafford Board of Supervisors and Stafford businesses Atlantic Builders, Earls True Value Hardware, and Henderson Productions.

Stafford’s 350th Anniversary Blue Ribbon Committee has planned a year-long series of events to celebrate the County’s special anniversary. Thousands of folks around the community have attended many of these events, including the special launch of the celebration on January 4 and the May 3-4 Founders Day parade and activities. Other events are ongoing throughout the year including the special 350th Lecture Series by the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

For more information on the 350th Anniversary events and other activities, please visit


John Harper, First African American Elected to Prince William County School Board, to be Honored

MANASSAS, Va. – On Sunday, June 22, 2014, Virginia Leadership Institute (VLI) will honor and recognize the achievements of Mr. John Harper, the first African American elected to serve on the Prince William County School Board. This event will bring together supporters of minority political and community leadership initiatives to network and share information on increasing diversity in elected and appointed offices, as well as community leadership.

“The Virginia Leadership Institute is proud to continue its mission of bringing diversity to Virginia’s political landscape by celebrating trailblazers across the Commonwealth,” said Virginia Leadership Institute founder and CEO Krysta Jones. In February, VLI hosted a Trailblazers Reception in Richmond, honoring Dr. William Ferguson Reid, the first African American elected to the Virginia General Assembly.

Mr. Harper will share his experiences with politics and civic engagement, followed by a networking social. The reception will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Northern Virginia Community College Manassas Campus (6901 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA – Howsman Hall Room 216). To RSVP, email pwcevents@virginialead.org or call 703-969-9647 for more information.

About Virginia Leadership Institute : Virginia Leadership Institute (VLI) aims to increase the number of black elected and appointed officials in the Commonwealth of Virginia through political training, mentoring, and networking opportunities. Since its inception in 2006, VLI staff and volunteers have trained and consulted with over 200 future candidates and campaign professionals in skills ranging from fundraising, communications, field operations, and community leadership. To date, 19 have filed to run for office, six have been elected, and nine have been appointed to boards and commissions. To learn more about VLI, please visit virginialead.org


Benedictine Sisters of Virginia Celebrate the Circle of Love Community Picnic

BRISTOW, Va. — Hosted by the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, the Circle of Love picnic is held each year on the grounds of Saint Benedict Monastery. The Circle of Love picnic once again brought together friends, family, young and old. Over 200 people were in attendance Saturday and guests enjoyed an afternoon of good food, entertainment and fun activities.

Food prepared by the Knights of Columbus, George Brent Council #5332 included burgers, chicken and hot dogs and all the fixings of a traditional family barbeque. Greg Dodson provided hours of great music with a mix of county, rock and folk tunes.

Children played games, jumped on the moon-bounce and had face-painting. Many people strolled the beautiful grounds and wandered through the Master’s Gardener’s lovely gardens. For those seeking solace or prayer, they visited the tranquil Place of Peace, while others enjoyed the serenity of the Forgiveness Garden, the meditation space of the Peace Silos or took a walk on the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth.

The ministries of the Benedictine Sisters were out in full force with tables set up around the Circle of Love. Each guest was given a Benedictine Passport to get validated at each of the ministry tables which included Linton Hall School, BEACON for Adult Literacy, Saint Gertrude High School, Benedictine Pastoral Center and Transitional Housing BARN. Once fully validated, they were entered into a drawing for an IPad Mini. There was also a silent auction and raffle baskets with items donated from local sponsors.

The Benedictine Sisters of Virginia are a community of women living the Rule of Benedict, supporting one another in their mutual search for God and ministering to the needs of the Church in Virginia since 1868. Their daily monastic life is comprised of communal prayer, meaningful ministry and the sharing of life in common. Praying the psalms, or the Liturgy of the Hours, at morning, midday and evening, they bring the needs of our world to the timeless praise of God.

For more information about the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia and their ministries, visit www.osbva.org.

Happy 25th Birthday to Woodbridge’s Leesylvania State Park

Celebrate Leesylvania State Park’s 25th Anniversary with our weekend filled with awesome events and entertainment. Be sure to pick up a scavenger hunt list, the more things you find or do the more cool prizes you are able to acquire.

On June 27th at 8:30 p.m. will be the first of our Picnic and a Movie series where you get to stay past closing hours and watch Disney’s A Bugs Life on a big screen under the stars. So bring a blanket and lawn chair and join us as a misfit ant goes looking for some “warrior” bugs to save his colony from greedy grasshoppers. Picnic and a Movie Series are sponsored by NOVEC (Northern Virginia Electric Cooprerative).

The following day June 28th at 6:00 p.m. we will have our speech and cake cutting ceremony followed by the Anthony James Band and fireworks. Our Music at the Marina is back for another series at Leesylvania State Park! This popular Virginia outdoor concert series is a good time for the entire family. The performances are right on the Potomac River. Bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic while listening to the music. Music at the Marina Concert series is sponsored by Steve’s Auto Repair (http://stevesautorepairva.com) and Friends of Leesylvania State Park.

After all that cake make sure to come out on Sunday for our Totally Retro Run! It’s a totally tubular 5k walk/run that celebrates Leesylvania State Park’s opening in 1989, 25 years ago. Travel back in time with us to the days of big hair, neon colors, leg warmers, and headbands. Dress up as your favorite celebrity, cartoon character, or in your most fabulous outfit from the 1980’s to run, walk, or bebop to the finish line. There will be some gnarly awards for first place, most colorful and most 80s outfit, etc. Sponsored by the Friends of Leesylvania State Park.

Please register at the Customer Service Center at 800-933-7275.

Entry Fees:
February 1- April 30, 2014 $15
May 1 – June 27, 2014 $20
Day of Walk/Run $25 (cash or check)
Here are the shows coming up, you won’t want to miss:
Music at the Marina -7-8:30pm
Sam’O and the JFC – July 26th
United State Navy Band – Cruisers – August 23rd

Picnic and a Movie – 8:30pm
DisneyNature: Wings of Life – July 25th
Disney’s Wall-E – August 22nd

For additional information please call the Visitor Center at (703)583-6904 or check out our website at www.virginiastateparks.gov .

Centennial Garden Club Turns Attention to Prince William County Schools’ Greenhouse

Marie Balboni, chairman of Centennial GC youth gardening, and club member Bonnie Timko reached out to the students of Independent Hill School in Prince William County, Va.

Independent Hill School is a special education school within Prince William County Public Schools. The facility serves special needs students from kindergarten to age 22 throughout the county.

The school received a greenhouse in the mid 1980’s from IBM. By working in the greenhouse, the students develop skills which give them the ability to work in the community.

The green house is loved by them. Some students are only able to put soil into the pots, place seeds, water the plants, and/or make signs. The tasks are individualized by their teacher in regards to capability.

Marie and Bonnie met with Eastern Gault, green house teacher, and asked her for a wish list of what she could use for the students and the green house. Centennial members provided the following wish list items:

• Container pots for plants all sizes – (even used ones)- hanging basket pots
• Water hose 75 feet – with two wands
• A shovel to help move compost to areas around the green house
• Empty spools of thread
• A bird house
• Screens to place over large soil containers to help catch the soil
• Large trays to place small plants on for their sale this spring

New Troopers Hit Streets

RICHMOND, Va. – On Monday (June 9, 2014), 44 new Virginia State Police troopers will begin their career on patrol in counties and along interstates across the Commonwealth. On Friday (June 6, 2014), the members of the 121st Basic Session graduates from the Virginia State Police Academy in Richmond.

The 44 graduates began their rigorous 37-week training session in December 2013. During that time, the new troopers received instruction in more than 100 different subjects spanning hundreds of hours. Academy training included such areas as crime scene investigation, survival Spanish, judicial procedures, self defense, cultural diversity and firearms.

The graduates’ final phase of training begins Monday when the new troopers report to their respective duty assignments. Each trooper will spend a minimum of six weeks with a field training officer learning his or her new patrol area and day-to-day duties.

From Stafford County, Trooper Julio C. Julio, 38, reports Monday to King George County for his first patrol assignment.

From Prince William County, Trooper R. Blake Hasty begins his career with state police on patrol in Hanover County. The 22-year-old Nokesville native sought out a career as a trooper because, “I wanted to begin my career of public service with a job that involves ensuring the safety of the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

As the need for highly-skilled and capable law enforcement officers increases, the Department continues to seek qualified applicants for the trooper and commercial vehicle enforcement officer positions. All interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Virginia State Police Recruitment Office visit the Department’s website www.vsp.virginia.gov.

Manassas Streetscape Project Recognized

MANASSAS, Va. — The City of Manassas has received the Award of Excellence from the Virginia Downtown Development Association for the Main Street Streetscapes project completed in October 2013. This project widened narrow sidewalks on Main Street to allow for outdoor dining and improved pedestrian access. Brick crosswalks were added to intersections and 19 trees were planted to enhance the beauty of the street.

“My wife and I love the outside dining and pedestrian friendly nature of Historic Downtown Manassas,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. “We hope that residents and visitors will take advantage of our revitalized downtown and enjoy some outside dining and shopping, or take in a summer concert.”

The City’s Public Works Department worked with contractor Rhodeside and Harwell to complete the project on time and on budget. This project was part of the City’s Capital Improvement Program and complemented an earlier streetscape along Battle Street and the City Square Walkway project.

This award recognizes excellence in physical design projects and planning related to revitalization districts such as streetscapes, public improvements, window displays, parking areas, wayfinding, parks and preservation, and design guidelines. The Virginia Downtown Development Association is an independentassociation that focuses on the importance of Virginia’s downtowns and supports and promotes leadership in downtown revitalization throughout the Commonwealth.

Maria Schuller, 88, Needs Volunteers to Help Remove Mold from her Manassas Park Home

Maria Schuller is an 88-year-old  retired widow who lives in the Manassas Park home that she and her late husband purchased in 1956.

Maria’s leaky roof has caused mold to form in her home, in addition to drywall and floor damage. Maria just paid for a new roof and because of that expense, is unable to afford the other repairs that are greatly needed in her home.

We have three days of mold remediation that must be done in order to begin the other repairs at Schuller’s home, but we do not have enough volunteers signed up to finish the job.

We need volunteers (age 21+) to help us with mold remediation on June 12, 13 and 14.

Because of the nature of the work, a required mold remediation awareness session will be held on June 10 at 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in the Habitat office (9300 West Courthouse Rd., Suite 105, Manassas). Please sign up for one of these classes on the volunteer calendar. After the class we will sign you up for the work day(s) of your choice.

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