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Montclair Man GEICO Volunteer of the Year

GEICO senior vice president Seth Ingall (left) congratulates Keith Scott after Scott was named 2014 Volunteer of the Year.

GEICO senior vice president Seth Ingall (left) congratulates Keith Scott after Scott was named 2014 Volunteer of the Year.

$30,000 raised for Children’s National Medical Center


Keith Scott of Montclair  has earned GEICO’s 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award.

Scott, a systems analyst, led GEICO’s Children’s Hospital fundraising campaign at the Fredericksburg regional office. Since he began co-chairing this campaign in 2013, Scott and fellow associates have helped raise more than $30,000 for Children’s National Medical Center. GEICO donated an additional $1,000 to the cause in honor of Scott’s efforts.

“We get creative and host many events, including a basket raffle, water balloon toss, penny wars, snack-o-rama and much more,” Scott said. “It’s amazing to see how much support our associates give, all to benefit the children.”

Through Keith’s leadership, the number of GEICO associates who participated in Fredericksburg’s annual March for Babies walk has doubled, and fundraising increased.

Scott has embraced volunteering since joining the GEICO family in 2002. In addition to his work with Children’s Hospital, Scott has led fundraising efforts for March of Dimes, where GEICO’s contributions grew by more than 200 percent and the number of associates in the annual March for Babies walk in Fredericksburg doubled. Scott also recruited a record 200 GEICO associates and their families as volunteers for GEICO’s All Star Friday Night to benefit the Special Olympics.

Nancy Pierce, GEICO’s regional vice president in Fredericksburg, said that Scott serves as a true inspiration to his fellow associates. “Keith has an unwavering dedication to make a difference, and no challenge is too great for him,” Pierce said. “It is a great honor to provide Keith with this recognition because he has no doubt helped to touch many lives.”

Start-up Business Expo Held at NOVA Woodbridge

“Your business plan doesn’t have to be some big, elaborate, 30-page document”


The Prince William Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated held its first business building workshop, on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 at the Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge campus.

The Chapter’s Economic Development Committee, partnered with the Delta Education and Public Service Foundation of Prince William County, and the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College, sponsored a free event with the theme and the goal: “Come with your Dreams … Leave with a Plan”.

The event was exemplary of the outpouring of community support from more than 20 local businesses and sponsors such as the NAACP- Prince William Chapter and the National Coalition of 100 Black Woman of Prince William County.

The morning presenters included Mr. Carl Knoblock, District Director Richmond Small Business Administration (SBA); Mr. George Harben, Director Prince William County Economic Development Office of Existing Business; Ms. Sonja Caison, successful business owner and Women’s Business Center (WBC) Assistant Director.

Mr. Knoblock’s told seminar participants, “You have to stay competitive. Change is going to happen. You always have to be ready.”

He identified four stages of a business: Pre –“kick the tires”; start up- less than three years in business; growth and mature or possibly getting out of business. While the SBA provides assistance to small business owners at all stages, he recommended that business owners know the stage their business in because the assistance the SBA provides differs based on the stage.

Wilson Tarpey, owner of My Mind on Sports, identified his business as being in the start phase. He attended the workshop because he wants to move his business to the growth phase. Based on the information provided, Tarpey noted, “I learned the SBA is there to help me, it’s a great resource.”

Market research and Marketing Opportunities in Prince William County was the focus of the presentation given by Mr. Harben. He shared examples of the rich data mining opportunities available to business owners on the County’s Economic Development website. Currently, he admitted, the data can be a little difficult to find, but the information can be quite valuable to businesses in the Prince William market. He also noted the site is being revised to make it easier to navigate.

Mr. Harben also shared with would be Prince William County vendors and service providers the importance of registering as county vendor.

“It is incumbent on you to register with us,” he explained, “if you’re not registered and you want to do business with the County, get registered. It is a very simple process.”

Frances Walker, an attendee in the pre/”kick the tire phase” of starting a business, noted that even though fellow entrepreneurs may do research on their own, the workshop information was important. “There are resources and research available to us here in this area that we may not have discovered,” she said.

In keeping with the theme, “Come with your Dreams … Leave with a Plan”, Ms. Sonja Caison presented, Building Your Business Plan. Ms. Caison provided a business plan template resources like and even Microsoft Word. She also provided workshop guests with the five parts of a business plan: Executive Summary, Mission Statement, Marketing Plan, Organizational Matters; Financial Plan.

Although the WBC’s primary outreach is to organizations that primarily serve women, Caison noted, “We have clients male and female, all demographics, so everyone’s welcome at the organization (WBC).

The business plan outline and tips that Ms. Caison shared also provided Tarpey with this insight, “Your business plan doesn’t have to be some big, elaborate, 30-page document. It just has to stay true to your business.” For business woman Marlo Watson, the business plan session, “confirmed the importance of a business plan and the need to identify your target market.”

Workshop attendees were able to select from seven different topics presented by subject matter experts.

Session included:

Successful Small Business Franchising – Ms. Miriam L. Brewer, Senior Director of Education and Diversity for the International Franchise Association

Contracting 101- Mr. Al Thomas founder Thomas Solutions Incorporated, a small business government contractor

Veterans Business Building –Ms. Chanel Bankston-Carter, Director, of Strategic Outreach at the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Legal/LLC- Attorney Kiah D. Spinks;

Affordable Health Care/Small Business – Ms. Melissa Herd, Health Insurance Specialist Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; below – Ms. Kathleen Driver, owner and Chief Business Coach of Mind Your Business, LLC provides a breakout session on the importance of Branding & Social Media to business building.

The overall feedback from the attendees was positive. Ms. Robin Benson, a future non-profit entrepreneur, expressed her appreciation stating: “Thank you for having this wonderful event. The speakers have been right on point, what was presented was very current and very applicable to what we’re doing.”

The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a sisterhood of women, actively engaged in programs of public service. This commitment is demonstrated by sponsoring a myriad of community projects for the public good. For more information please visit us a

Manassas Plans Public Utilities Day Oct. 11


Open-House-2011-4On Sat., Oct. 11, the City of Manassas Utilities and Public Works department is hosting their annual Public Utilities Day event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their facility at 8500 Public Works Drive in Manassas. 

The event features free tours of the facility, various utility displays, electric city, water shed, sewer shed and digger derrick demonstrations, kids’ activities, raffle prizes, a barbecue lunch by Virginia Barbecue, ice cream by Nathan’s and Miss Lyn balloonist. For more information, go to, or contact Ana Davis 703-257-8276.

“Public Utilities Day is a popular event where families get a behind-the-scenes look at how their utilities work¬¬–from watching our electric city demonstration and learning all about safety to understanding the life cycle of water and how to save money on their utility bills,” said Mike Moon, director of public works and utilities for the City of Manassas.

This marks 101 years of reliable service from the City of Manassas Public Works/Utilities Department. Children’s activities include: a pumpkin patch, moon bounce, bucket truck rides and hay rides.


Pastor, Fire Chief Do Ice Bucket Challenge

Pastor Connie Thomson

Pastor Connie Thomson

Besides both being community leaders, what do Connie Thomson, Pastor of River of Grace Lutheran Church, Manassas, VA and Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief, Kevin McGee have in common? Both recently received the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge”.

On Sunday, August 17, 2014, on the front lawn of River of Grace Lutheran Church, Pastor Connie Thomson was the first to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge.

When Jeff Stamp, member of River of Grace, was asked by Pastor Thomson why he chose her for the challenge, he told her it’s because she is always encouraging others to get out of their comfort zones.

Pastor Thomson said she believes “life happens when we get out of comfort zones because that is when we stop counting on ourselves and God can work with us.” Pastor Connie Thomson also said she accepted the challenge “because it was fun for the congregation and because she wanted people suffering from ALS to know that there are people standing with them spiritually and emotionally.”

Before being doused with the icy water, Pastor Thomson named her choices of people to receive the challenge. Pastor Thomson named two fellow pastors: Kate Davidson of Columbia, Maryland, John Stevens from Oregon City, Oregon, “because why should the East Coast have all the fun”, Jim Hedrick, member of River of Grace, and Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee. McGee was invited to River of Grace to receive the challenge with Pastor Thomson and he accepted.

Chief Kevin McGee said he accepted the challenge because, “it is a great opportunity to bring more awareness to this terrible and debilitating disease so society can develop better treatments. Chief McGee went on to say that receiving the ice bucket challenge “is a small price to pay in comparison to what the people with ALS suffer every day.” While still dripping with icy water, Pastor Connie Thomson appeared to eagerly drench Chief McGee with an equally icy bucket of water.

The “Ice Bucket Challenge” was originated by “Team Frate Train”, friends of Peter Frates who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2012. In addition to receiving the “ice bucket challenge”, Pastor Connie Thomson and Fire Chief McGee will be making contributions to the ALS Association.

The “ice bucket challenge” total donations has reached $22.9 million, 12 times the amount raised last year according to the ALS Association.

The Learning Experience Collects Backpacks for Charity

The Learning Experience (TLE) in Woodbridge, Va., conducted a back-to-school drive leading up to its ‘Back-to-School Bash’ on August 9 to donate school supplies to Operation Home Front, a local nonprofit organization.

In total, the TLE Woodbridge collected 15 backpacks filled with supplies for donation. The Back-to-School Bash was open to the community and included activities such as a large water slide for the kids, games and prizes.

All-in-part of the academy’s first-of-its-kind philanthropy program and curriculum at the preschool level, children enrolled at TLE are no strangers to philanthropic work. TLE students are taught how philanthropy’s core tenants of selflessness, generosity and giving can be applied to their classroom, home life, and community for years to come, and participate each month in philanthropic activities such as the school supplies donation project partnering with nonprofit organizations.

For additional information, visit

Woodbridge NARFE Chapter Recognized After Raising Over $15,000 for Alzheimer’s Research

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) Association recently recognized its Woodbridge Chapter 1270 as the top chapter in the Nation for raising Alzheimer’s funds at NARFE’s 33 National Convention in Orlando, Fla.

During Fiscal 2014 the Chapter raised over $15,800 for Alzheimer’s Research. Over the past eight years, the chapter has raised about $100,000 for Alzheimer’s Research.

Jim Little, Chapter 1270 President, said that the accomplishment was the result of a lot of hard work by chapter members and support from the community.

The Chapter has sponsored an annual fashion show and a paper shredding day to raise most of the funds.

NARFE’s Virginia Federation of Chapters once again was the top Federation, raising over $75,000.

Virginia has consistently been the top fund raiser for NARFE Alzheimer’s Research, raising over a million dollars since NARFE started raising funds in 1985. All funds raised by NARFE for Alzheimer’s goes directly to research projects.

Since 1985 NARFE has raised $11 million and funded 63 Alzheimer’s research projects.

Yoga Space ‘Infused with Hawaiian Spirit’ Opening in Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Eva Morgan says she’s opening Woodbridge’s first combination hot yoga & fitness studio, spa, nutrition & wellness center.

She’s the director and owner of Hot Yoga Spa Nutrition & Wellness Center located near the intersection of Smoketown Road and Prince William Parkway and will open in October.

A graduate of Gar-Field Senior High School, Morgan is a certified Laser Aesthetician and Thai Yoga Massage practitioner. While running a business in Fairfax County, she was voted “Best in Fairfax 2013.” Morgan says she closed that business in November, 2013 in preparation of opening the Woodbridge location.

The new space in Woodbridge is “infused with the Hawaiian spirit of Aloha, where you could practice various styles of hot yoga (Bikram, vinyasa flow, hatha, power, yin), fitness (hot pilates, hot barre, Zumba, hot hula and others), receive spa treatments (facial, massages, Thai yoga massage, body scrubs, far-infrared sauna, oxygen bar), nutrition (nutrition consultations, grocery store tours & kitchen consultations) and wellness services (acupuncture, herbalist consultations and Reiki),” penned Morgan.

Morgan started practicing hot yoga in 2010 and became a Yoga Alliance certified hot yoga teacher in 2013.

Morgan grew up in eastern Prince William County and then moved to Hawaii. She returned to the area in 2011.

Hot Yoga Spa Nutrition & Wellness Center is located at 3310 Noble Pond Way #108 in Woodbridge. For more information go to or call 571-989-1668.

4th Annual IWALK for ACTS Set to Help Families in Need


ACTS of Prince William and Image Church are partnering with the Potomac Nationals to host the 4th Annual IWALK for ACTS on Saturday, October 18 at Pfitzner Stadium (7 County Complex Ct, Woodbridge). Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the 5K walk starts at 10 a.m. Registration is $20/individual or $50/family. Proceeds benefit ACTS of Prince William County. To register for IWALK, visit or e-mail for more information.

Following the walk, the community can enjoy a free family festival from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Attendees will enjoy food vendors, clowns and various performances, and kids activities such as face painting, moon bounces, carnival games, crafts, and much more.

The mission of ACTS of Prince William County is to provide relief, foster hope and promote self-sufficiency for our Prince William area neighbors in crisis due to hunger, homelessness and interpersonal violence. For more information about ACTS, visit

“We anticipate that 90% of the gross proceeds will go to support ACTS programs. To date we have raised roughly $20,000 in sponsorships,” said Sara Jennings-May, an ACTS spokesperson. 

Image Church meets at 13900 Church Hill Drive in Woodbridge on Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m. For more information, visit

Freedom Museum Plans Hangar Dance

The Freedom Museum, a 501 c, (3) organization, is pleased to announce that it will hold its 2nd Annual 1940’s style Hangar Dinner and Dance on October 11, 2014 on the grounds of the Manassas Airport.

The evening start at 6:30 PM and end at 11 p.m. A buffet dinner, swing music (40’s style), dancing, silent auction, and other activities will provide an enjoyable evening.

In keeping with the event’s theme of “A Salute to our Heroes,” the Museum will host some Wounded Warriors and active duty service members, and give a car away to a needy vet. All this and more are all included in the $80 per person price. A cash bar will be available.

Attendees are encouraged to come in period dress, military uniform, or business casual suit. The proceeds from the event will go toward the Museum’s Building Fund.

The dinner dance will be held at the Manassas Regional Airport, 10600 Harry J. Parrish Blvd. in Manassas, Va. The tickets can be bought at the Museum, located in the Terminal Building of the Airport, or using the Museum’s web site at For further information, pleasecall 703-393-0660.

Woodbridge Community Choir Seeks Singers

Calling all singers! The Woodbridge Community Choir is starting rehearsals for its Holiday Concert season on Monday, August 25, at the Lutheran Church of the Covenant, 15008 Cloverdale Road, Dale City.

Registration starts at 7:00 PM, and rehearsals continue every Monday from 7:30 – 9:45 PM. Registration is $35. No auditions are required! For more information, please see or call 703-491-1820.

Shoes Being Collected for Needy

MANASSAS, Va. – During its “No Shoes/New Shoes” program, now underway, the local nonprofit humanitarian organization the House of Mercy is asking for donations of new shoes for school-age children in need.

Under the program, in its fourth year, the agency gives new shoes in time for the school year to children of its clients, who earn low income and cannot afford to buy new shoes. The organization is requesting new pairs of school-appropriate shoes for kids ages 5 to 17.

As part of the program, which ends Aug. 22, House of Mercy has placed donation collection boxes in schools and businesses throughout Manassas and Gainesville, including M&T Bank’s Manassas branch, a program partner.

House of Mercy’s program goal is to receive 500 pairs of shoes. The agency also accepts gift cards, checks and cash donations, which can be made at the House of Mercy, located at 8170 Flannery Court in Manassas. Gift cards and checks can be mailed.

For more information about the House of Mercy and its “No Shoes/New Shoes” program, email or call 703-659-1636.

Woodbridge Water Facility Recognized

The Prince William County Service Authority’s H.L. Mooney Advanced Water Reclamation Facility has won the Platinum Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).

This prestigious award goes to NACWA member public utilities that have operated without a permit violation for five consecutive years. There were just 17 first-time platinum award winners nationwide this year.

The Service Authority was recognized at the NACWA’s Summer Conference and 44th Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon on July 15, 2014.

“This is a big deal,” said Service Authority General Manager Dean Dickey. “To operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for five years in all kinds of weather and not be in violation is really remarkable. And it’s a testament to the staff’s professionalism and dedication to their jobs.”

“It’s a significant achievement to go five years in full compliance with our permit,” added Process Engineer Maureen O’Shaughnessy. “It takes daily attention to the plant and to the effluent quality. Everybody has to work together to keep things running smoothly and to be that consistent.”

Each month, the Service Authority issues reports to the Commonwealth of Virginia, which runs the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) created by the Environmental Protection Agency. The system tracks everything from phosphorus and nitrogen limits to dissolved oxygen minimums, which have an impact on aquatic life.

O’Shaughnessy said the Mooney AWRF frequently does better than the standards set by the NPDES. For example, in 2013 phosphorus levels of the treated effluent averaged 70 parts per billion, less than half of the limit of 180 parts per billion. Too much phosphorus can cause an unhealthy buildup of algae growth in the Potomac River and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay. The water treated by Mooney AWRF goes to the Neabsco Creek, a tributary of the Potomac.

Dickey said the award is especially impressive considering the rigorous limitations on nitrogen output placed on wastewater plants located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

“Our staff should not only be proud of their accomplishment, but also for doing something extra special for the environment,” Dickey said.

Children Graduate Program with Improved Civics Skills, Community Knowledge

BRISTOW, Va. — Leadership Prince William graduated 28 students from its new Youth Leadership Prince William summer program. Hosted on the campus of Youth For Tomorrow in Bristow, the 2-week leadership program included students from public schools in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park as well as private schools.

Based on the success of Leadership Prince William’s adult program, the summer youth program provided skill development activities and mentoring from Leadership Prince William alumni and community partners. In addition to working on their individual skills and abilities, students completed a variety of team projects and learned about key aspects of their community. Topics included: Education, Health, Local History, Human Services, Economic Development, Public Safety, Tourism, Government, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and more.

During their commencement ceremony, students showcased what they learned through the program and how they will use those skills moving forward. “Leadership Prince William has been a great impact on me,” said student graduate Josh Kaniho of Osbourn High School. “This program has taught me how to listen more and correctly apply the leadership skills I have acquired in the program.  Leadership Prince William has taken me to places that I did not even know existed. It has also helped me to realize my personality traits and what I need to work on to improve myself.”

This year’s inaugural class was made possible by the support of Micron Technology, Youth For Tomorrow, the City of Manassas, Comcast, ImageWerks, Kohl’s of Haymarket and Manassas, Okra’s Cajun Creole and dozens of adult alumni from Leadership Prince William.  Micron provided initial funding for the youth program, while Youth For Tomorrow provided funding and facilities for use by Youth Leadership Prince William during the two-week camp.

Don Shaw to Run for Virginia House of Delegates

GAINESVILLE, Va. -– Don Shaw announced his candidacy for the 13th House of Delegates District seat on Tuesday, July 22. The district covers portions of the Brentsville, Coles, Gainesville and Occoquan Magisterial Districts in Prince William County, as well as all of the city of Manassas Park. The election will take place in November 2015.

“After having given the situation a lot of thought,” Shaw said, “I have decided I can make a greater impact in Richmond by working to advance responsible economic legislation and mainstream social policies in the General Assembly. I look forward to serving the constituents of the 13th House District.”

Shaw is currently operations director for a disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) in Alexandria. He holds a Masters of Public Administration degree, and his postgraduate education is in public policy. Shaw is an American Legion Life Member, PTSA Vice President and member of the Ruritans. He is a retired Senior Master Sergeant. He also served almost eight years as a senior manager in the Department of Defense. He is a proud husband and father of three children, all of whom attended public schools in Prince William County.

For more information on Shaw’s campaign, visit or on Facebook at

Ted ‘The Million Dollar Man’ DiBiase Coming to P-Nats Game on Saturday

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — WWE Hall-of-Famer Ted “The Million Dollar Man” DiBiase will make a special appearance at Pfitzner Stadium on Saturday, July 26th. DiBiase will be on hand to take pictures, sign autographs, throw out the first pitch and challenge a fan to give out $10,000.

DiBiase achieved championship success in a number of wrestling promotions, holding thirty titles during his professional wrestling career. Among other accolades in the WWF, DiBiase was the first WWF North American Heavyweight Champion, a three-time WWF Tag Team Champion (with Irwin R. Schyster) and the 1988 King of the Ring. DiBiase also created his own championship, the Million Dollar Championship.

He was well known for his cutting-edge “bad guy” promos, which were often concluded with his trademark evil laugh; DiBiase has been described by WWE as the organization’s “most despised villain” during the late 1980s. DiBiase frequently main-evented WWE Pay-Per-Views, including WrestleManias IV and IX, and the first ever SummerSlam in 1988. He has been cited as one of the finest in-ring technicians in history. DiBiase headlined the 2010 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, being inducted by his sons, Ted and Brett.

Gates for Saturday’s game against the Carolina Mudcats open at 5 p.m. with the first pitch coming at 6:35 p.m. In addition to DiBiase, Saturday night’s festivities will include a pre-game live band, Michael Taylor jersey pillows to the first 1,000 fans, post-game fireworks and a post-game movie plus campout on the field.

Kolb, of Manassas, Named to Salisbury University Dean’s List

Ryan Kolb of Manassas, was named to the Dean’s List at Salisbury University for the spring 2014 semester.

At Salisbury University some 8,600 students in 43 undergraduate and 15 graduate programs pursue liberal arts and professional degrees. Located on the Eastern Shore 30 miles from the Atlantic Ocean and 20 miles from the Chesapeake Bay, Salisbury is 2 ½ hours from Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Norfolk, and Wilmington, DE.

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

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 email 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 or visit our website at


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

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