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Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center doctor examines mind-body connection

Emergency Department physician Dr. Anoop Kumar has dedicated his life to helping people who are sick, scared and hurt.   

“I received my MD in 2007 and completed my training in Emergency Medicine in 2011. I like the clinical diversity of Emergency Medicine. I see young, old, female, male, many critically ill, some not so ill, medical, psychiatric, surgical, and social conditions. If one can bear to look, it’s [the Emergency Department] a window into the soul of society,” says Dr. Kumar.

While his goal is to help and heal the men, women, and children who enter through the doors of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, Dr. Kumar has always been concerned with more than physical ailments, saying, “The mind-body connection is real. There’s a lot of research pointing to that.”

That connection plays an integral part in his life, and it’s something he’s especially mindful of as he’s treating some of the region’s sickest patients. While being the answer to a patients’ prayers is a tremendous gift, it also carries with it an enormous amount of responsibility. That’s why Dr. Kumar has organized something for his co-workers at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. Every month, he leads a meditation session for the doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital.

Meditation is something he has had in his life since he was a child. “I grew up with meditation,” explains Dr. Kumar. “To start off meditating as a kid isn’t really meditating, it’s just noticing things around you. Noticing your thoughts, noticing your feelings.”

As a child, Anoop Kumar was surrounded by the teachings of Eastern philosophy. He says he came to recognize a common message woven through philosophy, science and spirituality- a message of well-being. It’s that message that helped inspire him to write his first book, “Michelangelo’s Medicine.”

“When I became a physician and completed my training in Emergency Medicine, I saw that all those years of thinking about health, healing and what it means to be human could lend an important context to healthcare,” he explains. “One of the main points I make in the book is the human being is not only a human body. For example, when we learn anatomy, we learn about organs. But organs alone don’t make a human being. We have to include other elements, like emotion, thought, intuition, desire and consciousness.”

Dr. Kumar isn’t a stranger to sharing his knowledge when it comes to the art of meditation. It was just about two years ago when he began corresponding with Deepak Chopra, known worldwide as a pioneer in mind-body medicine. “The statements he made about the mind several decades ago were often ridiculed, but today some of those same principles are taught in top institutions around the world. Interestingly, the period over which his career developed is the same period over which I was privately thinking about the same things.”

Since that time, Dr. Kumar has spoken at three of Chopra’s events. He says it’s been an invaluable experience, and while he’s gleaned a number of lessons from these events, one of the most important is simple: “I’ve learned to keep putting my ideas out there. There are no perfect ideas. If the ideas are good, they become refined and therefore more useful in the heat of the spotlight.”

Dr. Kumar’s latest idea is coming in the shape of a book on anxiety and how poorly managed anxiety and stress contributes to disease. In an effort to keep his healthcare colleagues from heading down that path, Dr. Kumar says he’ll continue offering his month meditation, which he hopes offers not only relief but empowerment to members of the team.

“There’s always a lot more to know, there’s always a lot more to experience,” he says. “And sometimes as we branch out and experience more things, the things that we already know get seen in a new context and new light and changes how we experience our lives.”

If you’re looking for a change or an employer who supports you, head over to sentaracareers.com. We’re looking for qualified candidates to join the team.

 

 



Don’t miss the Lake Ridge Chorale ‘Night’ Concert

Come out to see the stars! Lake Ridge Chorale presents “Night,” an evening of celestial choral selections featuring a large screen presentation of stunning astrophotography.

Friday, March 16th, 8:00 PM at Old Bridge United Methodist Church, 3966 Old Bridge Rd., Woodbridge, VA.

Your tax deductible donations support these local charities: ACTS, HUGS, Kara Foundation. For more information, visit our website at LakeRidgeChorale.org or call 703-878-1889.

Virginia may issue ‘Ashanti Alerts’ for missing adults

RICHMOND – The abduction and slaying of a 19-year-old Norfolk woman prompted General Assembly approval of legislation to create an Amber Alert-like system for “critically missing” adults.

The “Ashanti Alert” called for in HB 260, sponsored by Del. Jerrauld Jones, D-Norfolk, was approved by the Senate on Thursday and now awaits the signature of Gov. Ralph Northam to become law.

Ashanti Billie was abducted in 2017 from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, where she worked at a sandwich shop, and later found dead in Charlotte, North Carolina. Because Billie was an adult, she didn’t meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.

Once Ashanti went missing, we became more aware of other situations where something like this had happened but there was no mechanism in place,” said Jones, who represents the 89th House District, where Billie lived. “This is a public safety issue, not a partisan issue.”

Eric Brian Brown, described by authorities as a retired Navy veteran who worked at the base with Billie, has been charged with kidnapping in Virginia and in connection with her death in the Charlotte area.

Members of Billie’s family connected with Jones through their friend Kimberly Wimbish, who had worked with the delegate on his election campaign last year. They asked him to draft a bill to help those who currently don’t qualify for missing persons alerts.

Wimbish, who initially used Facebook to publicize the young woman’s disappearance, said the case raised awareness about missing adults, especially in the Norfolk area where people had connections to Billie.

“Everyone said she would give them her last. That she was always helpful and friendly,” said Wimbish, who serves as the family’s spokesperson. “We have to know and believe her kindness was taken for granted.”

Jones said the bill gives Virginia State Police the power to set criteria for the “critically missing adult alert.”

Currently, Virginia has three alerts for missing persons:

  • Amber Alerts and Endangered Missing Child Media Alerts, for missing persons under age 18.
  • Senior Alerts, sometimes called Silver Alerts, for persons 60 or older.

That leaves a gap for adults between 18 and 60 years old.

If approved by the governor, the Ashanti Alerts will be modeled on the Amber Alerts. An Amber Alert includes issuing emergency messages over public broadcasting networks, displaying electronic messages on highway signs and sending texts to all cellphones within range of the cellular carrier towers in the affected area.

Amber Alerts are also spread voluntarily by other state agencies, the news media and nonprofit organizations. For example, a program called A Child Is Missing can make 1,000 telephone calls with a recorded alert within a minute, according to Virginia’s Amber Alert Plan.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that Amber Alert systems nationwide have helped in the recovery of more than 540 children.

Last year, the General Assembly declared April 29 as “Missing Persons Day” to recognize the 600 Virginians missing at that time, and their families. Advocates are getting ready for the second annual Virginia Missing Persons Day.

24-year old veteran, business owner tells “what it takes to make it to the top when you started at the bottom”

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Four more 15-minute activities to do with the senior in your life

In our last article, we talked about four activities you can enjoy with the senior in your life to increase quality of life. We started off with conversation, sketching, reciting and singing. Here are four more ideas to try.

Stretching – If you have been caring for a senior for a while, chances are you know a little about their physical strengths and challenges. Put this knowledge to good use. Lead a little stretching session. You might be able to do whole body stretches (reach high up over the head, point palms to ceiling and gently wiggle the fingers) or focus on a particular body part, like the foot. Point the toes, flex the ankle, whatever feels good. Be sure to go slowly and ask your senior how each movement feels. The point is to loosen the muscles and to engage in conversation about sensations. Note, it is recommended you ask a physical therapist or doctor what kind of movements they would recommend before you engage in this activity.

Gift making – Giving makes most people feel good, and giving handmade gifts can feel even better. Help the senior in your life enjoy both. Put together some simple gifts for birthdays, holidays or just because. You might help your senior arrange items in a gift basket, wrap it and put a big bow on it. Or you could try creating a centerpiece using a candle, silk flowers and a plate. For some people, just wrapping a gift and tying a nice ribbon is enough. No matter what you choose, this activity is good for maintaining motor skills, and it can stimulate different kinds of conversation.

Cooking – For many seniors, cooking is a challenge. Manipulating utensils can be painful or awkward. Forgetting how to prepare food or operate the oven is often a problem, too. Let the senior in your life be part of the process by simplifying it. For example, take all the ingredients out for a sandwich and have your senior assemble it. Prepping for a party? Maybe your senior can dip strawberries in chocolate and set them up to dry. Maybe chopping carrots is too much, but peeling is fine. Whatever the case, safely involve your senior in short stints in the kitchen to increase their sense of independence as they use smaller muscle groups.  

Sensory games – Humans are grounded through the senses, and what we experience through them leaves a lasting impression. There are all sorts of ways you can use the senses to evoke memories, feelings and expression. Play an old album and talk about the time period the music reminds your senior of. Lightly spray some of their favorite perfume or cologne in the air and ask them what they like or remember about the smell. If your senior is an animal lover, arrange a short visit with a gentle dog, cat or therapy animal and encourage petting. Offer different foods for the senior in your care to sample. Listen to and watch reactions closely. All these short activities involving the senses can encourage word recall, stimulate conversation and provide enjoyment.

As we noted in our previous article, not all activities will be appropriate for all people. Consider what you know about the senior in your life and offer alternatives based on that. The more activities you do together, the more you will learn about their likes and dislikes and you will be able to offer more options. You’ll see that short bursts of activity can go a long way towards improving quality of life.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care serving Prince William and Fauquier counties.

If bill passes, Virginia jails and prisons must provide inmates with free feminine hygiene products

RICHMOND – The Senate joined the House Tuesday in unanimously approving a bill that requires Virginia jails and prisons to provide inmates with free feminine hygiene products such as pads and tampons.

If Gov. Ralph Northam signs it, House Bill 83 would take effect in July.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Kaye Kory, D-Fairfax, also received unanimous approval in the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee.

Other legislation this session to remove the sales tax on feminine hygiene products, along with bills for exemptions during the state’s three day tax-free period in August and year-round failed to advance past House committees.

“It’s appalling that this was ever even an issue,” said Katrina Reid, a supporter of HB 83.

Currently, the Virginia Department of Corrections and some local and regional jails offer pads to inmates for free; however, tampons must be purchased. The cost to prisons will be included in the department’s budget and was estimated at $33,769. The cost has yet to be determined for jails.

The State Board of Corrections will be responsible for creating the feminine hygiene policy in the correctional facilities. While some states, such as Colorado, offer unlimited menstrual supplies, others, such as Arizona, have a maximum number of free pads and tampons allowed per month. The board has not yet specified a preference.

 

VDOT “ramping” up work near Courthouse Road. Expect detours.

Brought to us by VDOT:

FREDERICKSBURG –  The Virginia Department of Transportation will close the Interstate 95 southbound on-ramp from Courthouse Road in Stafford County next week to allow crews to finish work on the temporary ramp.

Beginning the evening of Monday, March 5, crews will close the existing on-ramp from Courthouse Road to I-95 southbound to begin milling and paving the temporary ramp.

The existing on-ramp will close overnight Monday, March 5 through Thursday, March 8 from 7:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. the following morning. Traffic will then be shifted onto the new, temporary ramp starting early Friday, March 9. The on-ramp is the only ramp affected with this work. Traffic can still exit to Courthouse Road from I-95 southbound on these evenings.

The on-ramp will remain open during the day. There will be no impacts to traffic during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

Local traffic should use the most convenient alternate route to access I-95 southbound, including Route 1 to Exit 143/Garrisonville or Exit 136/Centreport Parkway. Detour signs will be placed along the interstate to guide drivers not familiar with the area.

The new ramp is parallel to the existing on-ramp. The temporary on-ramp is steeper than the existing one. Crews have extended the acceleration lane on I-95 southbound by approximately 600 feet to give drivers a longer distance to merge at interstate speeds.

Shifting traffic slightly onto the temporary ramp will provide space for crews to build bridge abutments as part of the new diverging diamond interchange. When construction is finished in 2020, traffic will enter and exit the interstate from new ramps branching off the relocated Courthouse Road.

Message boards and extra signage will be posted this week to warn motorists about the upcoming ramp closures and traffic shift.

Project Background

When the $185.3 million widening and interchange project is complete, Courthouse Road will intersect with Route 1 at Hospital Center Boulevard.

In summer 2020, Exit 140 will open with new bridges and ramps in a diverging diamond interchange (DDI). In a diverging diamond interchange, vehicles are briefly shifted to the opposite side of the road, controlled by traffic signals. The DDI improves safety by reducing the number of spots where vehicles could collide, and can handle more left-turn movements per hour, twice the capacity of a conventional interchange.

Additional project details are available online at www.virginiadot.org/exit140.

511Virginia

Motorists can find real-time information on lane closures, work zones, traffic and other incidents on 511Virginia.

Download the free mobile 511Virginia app for Apple and Android devices to stay connected, or visit www.511Virginia.org. Motorists also can reach 511Virginia by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia.

Expect traffic shifts on Route 1

Here’s what the VDOT press release has to say:

WOODBRIDGE – Route 1 traffic will be shifting onto new pavement Friday, March 2 and then Monday, March 5, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The northbound lanes between Mount Pleasant Drive and Dawson Beach Road will shift Friday beginning at 10 a.m.; the southbound lanes between Occoquan Road and Marys Way will shift Monday beginning at 10 a.m. Both shifts are weather permitting.

Drivers should expect delays and are asked to use caution when driving through the work zones.

The work is part of the Route 1 widening project, which is scheduled for completion in fall 2019.

Follow VDOT Northern Virginia on Twitter: @vadotnova



Stafford Hospital turns 9 today

Stafford Hospital is excited to announce it is celebrating its ninth birthday on Tuesday, February 27.

Since its grand opening, Stafford Hospital has been committed to providing quality healthcare and services to our patients. In nine years, we have delivered over 6,000 babies and cared for over 290,000 people in our Emergency Department as well as 50,000 inpatients.

We are proud to provide great benefits to our patients by offering the latest technology, including new Philips Ingenuity CT scanners, being one of ten Virginia hospitals designated as a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology (COEMIG) by the Surgical Review Corporation, and helping to establish Stafford County as a PulsePoint connected community. 

We are honored to be entrusted with the care of the community that has helped us become who we are today. We look forward to many more years of supporting health and wellness.

Want to talk to the Prince William police chief? Here’s your chance.

A public service announcement from the Prince William police:

Chief Barry Barnard of the Prince William County Police Department will host a “Conversation with the Chief” on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at Potomac View Elementary School located at 14601 Lamar Road in Woodbridge beginning at 7:00PM. We would like to extend an invitation to those who live in the community and the surrounding area to come out, meet the Chief, and engage in conversation. Chief Barnard will personally answer questions and discuss any topics of concern from residents. This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to get to know their Police Department and ask questions directly to the Chief and other police staff. Members from the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit and recruiters will also be on hand to answer questions and provide useful information regarding safety tips, neighborhood watches, and recruitment. The Chief plans to hold additional community engagement conversations at other locations across Prince William County this year. We look forward to seeing you and having a productive discussion.

Four 15-minute activities to do with the senior in your life

If you are a caregiver, this might sound familiar. You want to do meaningful activities with the senior in your life, but things get in the way. You get tired, or you don’t know if the senior in your care will like your suggestions. But seniors, like anyone else, sometimes need ideas or encouragement to take part in activities. The key is to get to know your senior and then simplify the process. You can opt for short activities that are meaningful but also support your senior’s cognitive and physical health. Here are some options for 15-minute activities designed to enhance quality of life.

Conversation – This might sound overly simplistic, but a directed conversation goes a long way towards increasing quality of life. Start by choosing a topic that you think would interest the senior in your care. Consider how you relate to that topic and start a conversation by relaying your experiences. Then ask open-ended questions (as opposed to questions that can be answered with yes or no). For example, if your senior enjoys history of their generation, talk about a show you saw on a particular event. Encourage your senior to explain more about it and get them to describe what it was like to experience that time period. Be curious and ask for details and clarification. It might be slow going, especially if the senior in your care is quiet, but take your time, listen closely and exhibit genuine interest. If it goes off track, no worries. In fifteen minutes, you have strengthened your senior’s communication, verbal and memory skills, as well as provided an opportunity for them to feel valued and respected.

Sketching – You don’t have to be an artist to sketch with the senior in your life. Grab two pencils and two pieces of paper. Play a game. Look at the same object and sketch it. Then have fun comparing the sketches. Or use a photo as inspiration. Not artistically inclined? Do some doodling. It’s a great way to enhance small motor skills and muscles without getting too sore. If arthritis is an issue, there may be ways to adapt this activity. Opt for large, simple objects to draw, bigger pieces of paper and easy-to-hold tools.

Reciting – Song lyrics, poems, stories…these are all great things to recite. As we get older, word recall is especially difficult. For some people, it becomes so difficult and such an embarrassment, they stop talking. Reciting brings words back into everyday vocabulary and serves as an easy mechanism to help seniors remember phrases and ideas that can later be worked into conversation. Don’t worry if your senior can’t remember all the words. Start with something easy. Help them fill in the blanks when needed.

Singing – Not only does song sooth the soul, it’s a great way to exercise the vocal cords, bring back memories of a different time, practice word recall and create a bond. Even if you don’t know all the words, hum along. Or ask the senior in your life to teach you the song. Out of tune? No worries. This is not a concert. It’s fifteen minutes of fun.

These are just some of the activities you can do with the senior in your life to turn your time together into memorable, meaningful experiences. Not everything will appeal to everyone, and not everyone will be able to do everything. The key is to learn about the senior in your life – their likes and dislikes – and introduce things to do that you might not normally. See what works, and enjoy the process together.

In Part II, we’ll talk about four more activities you can enjoy with the senior in your life. Stay tuned.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care serving Prince William and Fauquier counties.

Senate panel votes to ban ‘lunch shaming’ in Virginia

RICHMOND – A Senate committee Thursday unanimously approved a bill to prohibit “lunch shaming” – the practice of singling out students who owe the school cafeteria money or cannot pay for their lunch.

The Senate Education and Health Committee voted 15-0 in favor of House Bill 50, which would bar schools from giving students a hand stamp or wristband when their lunch account is empty, or ask students to do chores or throw away their meal if they cannot pay. The bill specifies that any concerns regarding students’ lunch debt must be taken up directly with their parents or guardians.

The bill, which unanimously passed the House last week and now goes to the full Senate, would address the concerns of parents like Adelle Settle, a mother in Prince William County. She started fundraising to help students settle lunch debts after hearing about the lunch shaming phenomenon on the radio. Last year, she helped raise over $20,000 for students with meal debt in Prince William.

“A child has no control over their family finances, and a child should have no involvement in the discussion between a school and the parent to collect for meal debt,” Settle said. “Our kids deserve to be treated equally and with compassion at school.”

The price of a school lunch in Virginia public elementary schools averages $1.88, but it can be as high as $3.05 in Loudoun County and $3 in Fairfax County and Falls Church, according to data from the Virginia Department of Education.

As in all states, schools in Virginia participate in a federal program that provides free or reduced-price lunches to children from low-income families. Eligibility depends on income and household size. A four-person household must have an annual income of $44,955 or less to qualify for free lunches.

Students who receive free lunches are not at risk of being shamed by school staff because their meals are provided by government funding; the students cannot incur debts. Of the 1.29 million students in Virginia’s public schools, almost 572,000 – or 44 percent – qualify for free and reduced-price lunches.

But lunch shaming can affect the remaining students who pay for their lunch out of pocket and occasionally may not have the money.

Reports of meal-debt shaming vary across the country but include practices such as stamping “I need lunch money” on students’ hands, asking students to wipe down tables or throwing away the lunch that can’t be paid for.

In Virginia, procedures handling school lunch debt vary by school district. Some school districts allow students a certain amount of debt before refusing to provide them with a standard meal. Other districts treat all students the same, regardless of whether they owe money.

“Students unable to pay for their meal at the time of meal service are allowed to charge a breakfast and lunch,” said Shawn Smith, director of government, policy and media relations for Chesterfield County Public Schools. “This may result in a debt to the student’s meal account with the expectation that the parent or guardian is responsible for full payment.”

Virginia’s strides to abolish lunch shaming aren’t the first. Last year, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., introduced a bill that would make it illegal to shame a student who doesn’t have lunch money.

*This story has been corrected. The original post misspelled the first name and misstated the title of Shawn Smith, the director of government, policy and media relations for Chesterfield County Public Schools. The article also incorrectly said Chesterfield County refuses to serve students who have a school-lunch debt or serves them an alternative meal.



Here are the 10 things seniors wished their caregivers knew

If you’ve spent time around seniors, you might have noticed some patterns in their basic needs. Many times, though, caregivers are inexperienced or they don’t know what to look for. And of course, caregivers tend to be younger than the seniors in their lives.

The challenge is that for most younger people, aging feels foreign, which make sense. They haven’t aged yet, so how can they know what it’s like to be a senior? If you are a caregiver especially, though, you need to understand seniors. And while every person is different, here are ten things most seniors wish their caregivers knew.

1.    I need to be with people, even if I don’t talk. Human beings are naturally social. But that doesn’t mean they always want to be verbal. Throw in feeling tired or introverted, and you come up with a quiet person. But silence doesn’t necessarily mean the senior in your life doesn’t want company. So long as nothing is wrong, being less vocal often means they just don’t feel like talking.


2.    I need you to know what I like. As we age, the things we used to enjoy may not be what we enjoy now. Food tastes different. Sensations feel different. Activities that used to be easy are now more difficult and might feel like work instead of play. While it’s okay to remind the senior in your life of things they used to enjoy, don’t push it. Pay attention to what they like right now and give them the opportunity to experience it.

3.    I need help keeping my balance. As we age, we tend to lose our balance more easily. There are many reasons for this. Muscle mass changes, weight changes, equilibrium changes…these all affect balance in seniors. Keep an eye on the senior in your life. Help them get to their walker if they use one. Lend an extra hand to help them feel more secure.

4.    I need you to go to the doctor’s office with me. If you’ve ever been confused by medical lingo, you can imagine what it might be like for a senior. Technology, terminology and procedures have changed, and it’s hard to keep up with those changes. Sometimes it can be difficult just getting through the office door, especially with medical or adaptive equipment and/or mobility challenges. You can help by accompanying the senior in your life to the doctor’s office. Be prepared to take notes, explain what is being said and lend a steadying hand.

5.    I need you to remind me to do certain things. This goes for seniors with and without dementia or Alzheimer’s. Seniors might need any number of reminders. From taking medicine to turning off the stove, the details in life can get overwhelming. If you see the senior in your life forgetting something, offer a gentle, kind reminder – never a reprimand.

6.    I need you to be patient. Seniors have lived longer lives. Their brains are filled with more details and experiences. Their bodies and their minds might move more slowly than we’re accustomed to, especially if we knew them earlier on in life. Expect that things will take more time. If you are on a schedule, leave enough time to account for their needs.

7.    I need you to treat me like an adult. The idea that you become a parent to your parent is somewhat of a myth. While it might feel that way sometimes, seniors are not children. They are older adults. They want respect, and they want to be as independent as possible. Being spoken to like they are children encourages dependence and is belittling, even if the speaker doesn’t mean it.  

8.    I need you to understand my fears. Between physical and psychological changes, as well as rapid changes in society and environments, the world can be a pretty scary place for many seniors. Fear of falling, fear of becoming a victim, fear of losing independence, fear of loneliness – all of these are common fears seniors experience. Help them understand the world around them and remind them of the support they have so they can feel more comfortable.

9.    I need you to understand why I get agitated. Whether it’s an uncomfortable sensation, fatigue, frustration with limitations or just pure aggravation, seniors can sometimes lose patience and lash out. Dementia and Alzheimer’s, along with personality traits, can add to that mix. Learn the warning signs. And if you need help understanding how to work with agitation, reach out to a professional.

10.    I need you to accept who I am. Caregivers have a tendency to want to fix things. But seniors don’t need to be fixed. They aren’t broken. They have lived a lifetime to become the person they are right now. They are who they are, and who they are is something special. Treat them that way.

Interestingly enough, most of these needs are shared by people of all ages. But for some reason, we look at seniors differently, as if being older means something separate from being a “normal” human. Remove that thought entirely. You’ll discover your relationship with the senior in your life will improve, and everyone’s lives will be enriched because of it.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care serving Prince William and Fauquier counties. 

Get autographs from sports, cinema legends, courtesy of P-Nats

From the Potomac Nationals press release:

Woodbridge, VA—The Potomac Nationals are excited to announce their complete Legends Autograph Series for the 2018 season featuring six celebrity autograph signing appearances at Pfitzner Stadium.

A total of eight celebs are set to be on hand at The Pfitz to meet and greet P-Nats fans and sign autographs during the Potomac Nationals’ 2018 campaign.

The P-Nats’ 2018 Legends Autograph Series will bring a combination of motion picture, television, and sports stars to Pfitzner Stadium on six dates in 2018.

Highlighting the Best Promotional Schedule in Minor League Baseball is the P-Nats’ 2018 Legends Autograph Series celebrity appearance schedule: 

-ROBERT WUHL, “Durham Bulls Pitching Coach, Larry Hockett” in Acclaimed Baseball Film, Bull Durham on Bull Durham 30th Anniversary Night (Saturday, June 23rd)

 -PHIL CHENIER and GHEORGHE MURESAN, Washington Bullets Legends of the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Washington Wizards Night (Friday, July 27th)

 -DIDI CONN, “Frenchy” in Legendary Musical, Grease and Grease 2 on Grease 40th Anniversary Night (Saturday, July 28th)  

 -CHAUNCEY LEOPARDI, “Squints” in Hallmark Kids Baseball Film, The Sandlot on The Sandlot 25th Anniversary Night (Saturday, August 4th)

 -COVELLI “COCO” CRISP, 2001 Potomac Cannons Outfielder and 2007 World Series Champion member of the Boston Red Sox on Potomac Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Day (Sunday, August 5th)

-JERRY “THE KING” LAWLER, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Famer and GRAND MASTER SEXAY (AKA BRIAN CHRISTOPHER LAWLER), WWE Legend for A Royal Night with The King (Friday, August 24th)

All autograph signings will be free to P-Nats fans as these celebrity appearance events are included with the price of admission to see the P-Nats play at The Pfitz.

Each celebrity will engage the P-Nats’ faithful during two public autograph signings during each appearance bisected by a ceremonial first pitch on the playing field.

Posed photography with P-Nats fans is at the discretion of each celebrity guest. 

The respective lines for celebrity autograph guests at Pfitzner Stadium will begin to form as soon as Season Ticket Holder gates open to Pfitzner Stadium. The general public may join the celebrity autograph guests line once gates to The Pfitz open to the public.  

The Potomac Nationals will sell 8×10 photos of the respective celebrities to be signed at the autograph table on the night of the celebrity appearance. 

The Legends Autograph Series gets underway on Saturday, June 23rd with a celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Bull Durham.

As part of the celebration, Bull Durham (1988) actor Robert Wuhl will be on hand. Wuhl, who played Larry Hockett, the pitching coach for the Bulls in the film, also appeared in the 1994 biopic Cobb, in which he played author, Al Stump, who spent time with Detroit Tigers’ Hall of Fame player Ty Cobb while putting together a biography chronicling Cobb’s life. Wuhl played roles in Batman (1989), Good Morning Vietnam (1987), and Blue Chips (1994). Most recently, he has become best known as the creator and star of the HBO television comedy series Arli$$ (1996-2002), where he played Arliss Michaels, the president of a sports agency.

In addition to Wuhl’s appearance on 6/23 and the celebration of Bull Durham, the first 1,250 to the game between the P-Nats and Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Royals) will receive a Victor Robles “Rob Job” bobblehead. It is also the first Scout Night of the season at Pfitzner Stadium.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm.

The autograph series continues with Washington Wizards Night on Friday, July 27th. Washington Wizards Night will feature a celebrity meet & greet and autograph signing with former Washington Bullets stars Phil Chenier and Gheorghe Muresan.

Chenier, who played for the Bullets franchise from 1971-1979 and claimed an NBA Championship in 1978, served as a television broadcaster for the Wizards from 1987 to 2017.

Muresan, drafted by the Bullets in 1993, played for four seasons with Washington. He is renowned for being tied with the late, Manute Bol, also a former Washington Bullet, for being the tallest player in NBA history at 7 feet, 7 inches. Muresan led the NBA in field goal percentage for both the 95-96 and 96-97 seasons.

Muresan also embarked on a film career that included him being featured in the motion picture, My Giant (1998) opposite comic legend and film star, Billy Crystal.

Washington Wizards Night will accompany the start to Wild Hair Weekend at Pfitzner Stadium. The first 1,000 fans through the gates that night will can take home an Anthony Rendon “Hat Hair.”

First pitch on Wizards Night between The Red, White, & Blue and the Carolina Mudcats (Milwaukee Brewers) is set for 7:05pm.

Saturday, July 28th, one night after Washington Wizards Night, Pfitzner Stadium will host a 40th anniversary celebration of Grease (1978), complete with a celebrity autograph appearance by Didi Conn, who played “Frenchy” in the classic film.

Conn has more TV credits to her name than she does on the big screen, but her performance as “Frenchy” in Grease is her most well-known role. With her appearance in Grease 2 (1982) and a cameo in the TV special Grease: Live (2016), she is the only actress to have appeared in all three editions of the franchise.

In addition to the celebration of Grease with Conn, the P-Nats will pay homage to the film with custom theme jerseys.

Also that night, the first 1,250 fans to the ballpark will receive a Bryce Harper “Real Slicked Back Hair” bobblehead, dressed in style to match the movie. Saturday, July 28th is also the third Scout Night of the season at Pfitzner Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm, as the P-Nats will once again host the Mudcats.

Just one week after Didi Conn visits The Pfitz, the P-Nats will welcome Chauncey Leopardi to the Home of the Potomac Nationals as part of a celebration to honor the movie, The Sandlot (1993).

Leopardi played Michael “Squints” Palledorous in the movie and had multiple memorable scenes in the film. The Sandlot celebration is scheduled for Saturday, August 4th, as Potomac hosts the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs), with first pitch scheduled for 6:35pm.

A TV and film actor from 1990-2013, Leopardi has appeared on TV shows such as Boy Meets World, Freaks and Geeks, and Gilmore Girls. His other movie credits include The Big Green (1995), and most recently, Coldwater (2013).

In addition, the first 1,250 fans to the ballpark will receive a “Squints” bobblehead. The P-Nats will wear custom Sandlot inspired theme jerseys. It will also be the final Scout Night of the 2018 season.

The run of celebrities to Woodbridge doesn’t stop, as the following day, Sunday, August 5th, former Major League Baseball veteran standout, Covelli “Coco” Crisp will be on hand for a meet & greet autograph appearance. Crisp, who played for the Potomac Cannons in 2001, will be inducted into the Potomac Baseball Hall of Fame that afternoon.

A World Series Champion with the Boston Red Sox in 2007 who also claimed an American League Championship in 2016 with the Cleveland Indians, Crisp played in the Big Leagues for 15 years. Crisp, drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 7th round of the 1999 MLB Draft, played for Boston, Cleveland (two tours), the Kansas City Royals, and the Oakland Athletics.

Crisp was traded by St. Louis to Cleveland on August 7th, 2002 to complete an earlier trade for pitcher, Chuck Finley.

The longtime outfielder led the American League with 49 stolen bases in 2011 and ranked as one of the best defensive outfielders throughout his career.

First pitch on Coco Crisp PBHOF Induction Day is at 1:05pm, as the Pelicans continue their visit at Pfitzner Stadium.

To round out the 2018 Legends Autograph Series, the P-Nats will welcome a pair of WWE legends on Friday, August 24th. Jerry “The King” Lawler, and his son, Brian Christopher Lawler, AKA “Grand Master Sexay,” will be on hand for “A Royal Night with the King.”

Lawler, “The King,” a WWE Hall of Famer inducted in 2007, has been involved in professional wrestling since 1970. Jerry Lawler has been with the WWE in either a full time or part time capacity since 2001.

Jerry “The King” Lawler currently fills in as a commentator on various WWE broadcasts.

Lawler is known for his famous feud with legendary entertainer, Andy Kauffman that captivated the masses and linked the pair forever. 

The younger Lawler, who joined the then WWF, now WWE, in 1997, became a cult like classic character as “Grand Master Sexay,” part of the tag team “Too Cool.” He appeared for various independent wrestling companies through 2011 and reappeared in the WWE in both 2011 and 2014.

First pitch for “A Royal Night with the King” is set for 7:05pm, as Potomac will play host to the Lynchburg Hillcats (Cleveland Indians).

Potomac Nationals Opening Day 2018 is set for Thursday, April 5th at Pfitzner Stadium as the Nationals host the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Royals).

First pitch for the P-Nats’ 2018 season opener is set for 7:05pm.

P-Nats’ 2018 ticket plans and group outings are currently available for purchase. For more information, or to purchase any of these plans, contact Potomac Nationals Director of Season Ticket and Group Ticket Sales, Alec Manriquez, by phone at 703-590-2311, ext. 221, or via e-mail at amanriquez@potomacnationals.com.

The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Carolina League affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Potomac Nationals have claimed five Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, 2010, and 2014) and nine CL Northern Division Championships. Sponsorship opportunities for the P-Nats’ 2018 season and beyond are available, as well as all-inclusive corporate picnic outings to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz. 2018 Potomac Nationals season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. For more information on Potomac Nationals 2018 season tickets, mini plans, group outings, picnic packages, fundraisers, and all things Red, White, and Blue, visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com, follow the P-Nats on Facebook (@PotomacNationals), Twitter (@PNats42), and Instagram (@pnats42), or call the Potomac Nationals’ Extreme Custom Collision Ticket Office at 703-590-2311.

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