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Potomac Radiation Oncology Center donates wine

 

Potomac Radiation Oncology Center (PROC), a service of Inova and Sentara Healthcare, recently donated a Wine Picnic Basket to the Sentara Northern Virginia Cancer Support Group for the upcoming Relay for Life for Eastern Prince William County fundraiser.

Dr. Susan Boylan, along with members of the PROC staff, presented the basket to Lannie Milam, a member of the team and a cancer survivor who underwent treatment at the Center.

Sponsored by The American Cancer Society, The Relay for Life is an organized overnight community fundraising walk and the world’s largest fundraising event to end cancer. Teams of people camp out around a track and members of each team take turns walking around the track. The event includes food, games and activities that build camaraderie and get the entire community involved. The Relay for Life for Eastern Prince William County is May 16th from noon to 2:00 a.m. at Garfield High School in Woodbridge.

For more information on The Relay for Life for Eastern Prince William County, please contact Rachel Serio at (703)937-1909 or email rachel.serio@cancer.org or visit the Relay for Life for Eastern Prince William County’s web page by clicking here. For more information on Potomac Radiation Oncology Center, please call (703) 670-3349 or visit PotomacRadiationOncology.com.

Dumfries to celebrate 266 years on May 9

On May 9, the Town of Dumfries will be hosting a celebration for their 266th Charter Day at Merchant Park.

The celebration will run for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will be a colonial cooking demonstration, crafts, games, and a Revolutionary War medical exhibit, as well as a performance from the Dumfries Elementary School choir.

charter Day 2015

Stafford hosts groundbreaking at George Washington’s childhood home

Stafford County helped the George Washington Foundation celebrate a groundbreaking for the reconstruction of George Washington’s boyhood home on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at Ferry Farm in Stafford County. The reconstruction of the home site is the first effort of an expansion that will eventually include a visitor’s center. The home will give visitors, young and old alike, a glimpse into the daily life of the boy who would become the Father of our Country. 

At the ceremony, Chairman of the Stafford Board of Supervisors Gary Snellings introduced Supervisor Bob Thomas, in whose district Washington’s boyhood home lies. Mr. Thomas presented the foundation with a check for $470,000, a donation from Stafford. The money will be used to construct a new entrance into Ferry Farm, aligned with the intersection with Ferry Road, across Route 3 from the Foundation’s site. The entrance improvements include construction of a left turn lane from westbound Route 3 into the new entrance for Ferry Farm, a right turn lane from eastbound Route 3 into the facility, and installation of the fourth leg of the signalized intersection. Improvements to this intersection are being designed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The intersection improvements, with a cost estimated at $3.1 million, are funded in large part by the County, and include an additional left turn lane and vehicle storage area on southbound Ferry Road and an extension of the right turn lane from westbound Route 3 onto northbound Ferry Road.

Stafford was able to make the $470,000 donation without spending any tax dollars from citizens due to proceeds resulting from an agreement with the Kenmore Foundation, the precursor to the George Washington Foundation, in 2000. Stafford agreed to convey Ferry Farm and Accakeek Furnace to the Kenmore Foundation, in exchange for reimbursement for the expenses the County had incurred while owning the properties. The Kenmore Foundation paid half the money in 2000 and purchased a U.S. Treasury STRIPS that was worth $409,000 upon its maturity this year. The balance of the $409,000 came from an additional donation of $61,000 from Stafford’s Tourism Fund to bring the total available to $470,000. The County will apply for matching state revenue sharing funds for the additional $470,000 to meet the $940,000 cost of the road improvements. These funds are available to localities that provide money upfront and are not subject to competition with other projects.

Stafford shares a close partnership with the George Washington Foundation in the preservation of Ferry Farm. Ferry Farm was the first real driver of economic tourism in Stafford and its example prompted the establishment of Stafford’s Civil War Park, the Belmont Ferry Farm Trail, and Government Island, home of the stone used to build the White House and the U.S. Capitol. Because Stafford’s historic attractions bring thousands of visitors to Stafford County every year, enriching its economy and spawning jobs and more business, the County commissioned a study of the proposed expansion of Ferry Farm and its impact on Stafford County. The results show that the expansion would produce an additional $100,000 visitors to Stafford County, spending approximately $22 million locally. Ferry Farm is an anchor to Stafford’s historic tourism.

Stafford high schools provide local entertainment

Mountain View, North Stafford and Stafford high schools will be providing residents with local theatrical entertainment in the coming weeks.

Mountain View High School Presents “The Wizard of Oz”

Imagine a world over the rainbow! That’s what happens when a little Kansas farm girl, Dorothy Gale, and her dog Toto are blown away in a tornado and land in a fairyland named Oz. There she meets a very unusual cast of characters – the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion, and together they go on a quest to see the Wizard of Oz, each of them seeking what they want most in life. Do they reach their goal? Can they defeat the Wicked Witch? Follow the yellow brick road to Mountain View High School and find out.

May 7, 8 and 9 at 7:00 pm

Matinee Saturday May 9th at 1:00 pm

Tickets $8 Children, Students and Seniors. $10 Adults

SCPS employees free with ID

North Stafford High School Presents: The Cabaret: A Night on Broadway

Join us as our North Stafford High School Choir and Drama program presents The Cabaret:  A Night on Broadway on April 30 through May 2 beginning at 7:00 PM each evening in our auditorium.

Enjoy a night of amazing choreography and beautiful singing as we perform our way through some of your favorite Broadway hits:  Grease, Footloose, Hairspray, Dreamgirls, Les Miserables, Wicked and more!

Tickets will go on sale for $5.00 at the school during lunch on April 27-29 or $10.00 at the door.

The Stafford High School Fine Arts Department presents

Into the Woods

Thursday and Friday, April 30 and May 1 at 7pm

Saturday, May 2 at 7pm

Stafford High School Auditorium

$7 Children, Students & Sr. Citizens; $10 Adults 

Special Children’s Performance on May 2 at 1pm

$5 Children, Students & Sr. Citizens; $7 Adults

Take a memorable journey to see the Stafford High School Fine Arts Department present Into the Woods. In a fantastical storybook world where a childless baker and his wife attempt to reverse their family curse by journeying into the woods, where they encounter Rapunzel (and her witchly “mother”), Cinderella, Jack (of Beanstalk fame), Little Red Riding Hood and other classic fairy tale characters, and they all must learn the responsibility that comes with getting what you want. With witty humor and strange personalities guiding these intertwined stories, Into the Woods is an enchanting tale that you won’t want to miss!

Community yard sale at Potomac Woods Senior Apartments

Community Yard Sale! Come Sell or Shop.

On Saturday May 9, the residents of Potomac Woods Senior Apartments are hosting a large community yard sale. Please come out to support the senior residents and enjoy browsing the best yard sale in Prince William County!!

If you have thought of having a yard sale, this is a great place to come and sell! All you have to do is sign up for a table by April 28th (Spaces are free & limited).

For more information or to register for a space to sell your own yard-sale items:
Call Camille Young at (703) 491-9710
Or email potomacwoods@equitymgmt.com
(Sellers: Only Yard-Sale items please! No new merchandise. Bring your own table.)

Please pass the word about the sale to other potential sellers & shoppers!

Saturday, May 9
9am – 1pm

Location:
Potomac Woods Senior Apartments
2001 Southampton St,
Woodbridge, VA 22191

Woodbridge High School to show ‘Toy Story 3’ on school lawn

The Woodbridge Senior High School Class of 2015 is back at it again this year, showing Toy Story 3 at the 2nd annual “Screen on the Green.”

The event includes food, games, face painting, character meet and greets, and of course, a movie on the field.

Gates open at 6 p.m. and the movie will begin at sunset, about 8 p.m.

Bring your friends & family out for some wholesome fun and entertainment May 9.

Piney Branch Elementary Students ‘plant it’ for Arbor Day

Third-grade students at Piney Branch Elementary School in Prince William County connected with nature in a fun and memorable way during an Arbor Day celebration to culminate their learning experience with Dominion’s “Project Plant It!”

The educational program was established in 2007 by Dominion Resources, parent company of Dominion Virginia Power, to teach children about trees and the environment. Teachers got a kit of instructional tools that included innovative math and science lesson plans, posters, certificates and other classroom materials. Each participating student received a redbud tree seedling to plant at home for Arbor Day, April 24.

During the event at Piney Branch Elementary, students sang songs about trees and planted dogwoods with assistance from Dominion foresters. The event took place in the school’s outdoor classroom that was built by Dominion volunteers.

This year, more than 44,000 elementary students in six states, including all of the third-graders in Prince William County, were enrolled in the program. For more information about “Project Plant It!,” projectplantit.com. The website also includes educational games and videos about trees.

Submit news and photos to Potomac Local. 

Sickle Cell Walk-a-Thon (FASCA) Fredericksburg Area Sickle Cell Association

Fredericksburg Area Sickle Cell Association will host The 2015 Sickle Cell Walk-a-Thon in the streets of Downtown Historical Fredericksburg on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Pre-registration 8:45 am Walk starts at 9:00am. Refreshments and T-Shirts will be given out to walkers.

The walk will begin at The Historical Shiloh Baptist Church (New Site) 525 Princess Ann Street, Fredericksburg.

We ask participation from Prince William County Residents, Stafford County Residents, Fairfax County Residents and surrounding County to come out and participate in this Historical Event.

Gabe Dietrichson, 12, of Dumfries scores 1st in rockfish tournament

Gabe Dietriechson (12 years old), of Dumfries soared to first place in the Special Angler National Rankings after his win at the April 18th Colonial Yacht Club Spring Trophy Season Rockfish Tournament.

Gabe landed a 19.9 lb 35.75” rockfish to seal his first place win in the Special Angler Division and lead his Rebecca-E team to a whopping 800 point windfall. Gabe was fishing with his father Douglas aboard the 42’ “Rebecca-E“ , an Evans styled vessel, flagged out of Cobb Island, Md.

The team was hosted by the extremely capable Captain Jeff Hammett and his crew that included his wife Kim, daughter Rebecca, and 1st mate Russ.

Two other families with special needs children were also aboard that included friends of the Dietrichsons (Ron and Alex Mendoza of Woodbridge). The team competed against a fleet of roughly 35 other boats targeting the spawning rockfish. The tournament featured five Special Anglers with two returning National Champions.

The day provided magnificent weather and calm seas, but a later than usual spawn of the stripers produced hard to come by catches. Although many anglers were doing fishing dances to bring on the schools, Gabe went to the “fishing prayer.”

Per his father Douglas, “Gabe said a second fishing prayer just 30 minutes before he reeled in the big fish. He said the second prayer worked, because on that one, he closed his eyes.”

Submit news and photos to Potomac Local.

‘Lightning Under the Lights’ games May 2 at Woodbridge Senior High School

The Dale City “LIGHTNING” Track Club (DCTC) is hosting “Lightning Under the Lights” 2015 DCTC Relay Games, on Saturday, May 2, 2015, at Woodbridge Senior High School.

The meet will highlight athletes from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, competing in several relays and 100m and 1600m events. The goal of the DCTC Relay Games is to offer athletes a fun track event and allow coaches to continue developing and training their athletes in a competition setting.

“DCTC is excited about hosting our first track meet and wanted the event to resemble the famous Penn Relays Games,” stated Head Coach Monte Evans. “Our meet will give the young athletes an opportunity to work together as relays teams, run under the lights at night, and have a good time.”

DCTC introduces kids of all abilities to sprinting, hurdles, distance running and field events such as the shot put, turbo javelin toss and long jump. DCTC promotes good sportsmanship, nutrition motivates our athletes to improve their physical conditioning, and instills leadership skills to help our youth build a positive self-image. DCTC has roughly 125 youth athletes registered for the Spring track season.

To register your track team or for more information on the Lightning Under the Lights Relay Games go to dalecitytrack.org.

Stafford sheriff presents Speaker Howell with award

Stafford County Sheriff Charles Jett presents an award to Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford).  [submitted]

Stafford County Sheriff Charles Jett presents an award to Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford).
[submitted]

The Virginia Sheriffs Association on Thursday presented Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) with the 2015 Outstanding Legislative Service Award. The award was presented to Speaker Howell by Stafford County Sheriff Charles Jett at the 2015 Sheriffs’ Association spring conference in Roanoke.

“I am honored to be recognized by the Sheriffs’ Association and grateful for all that they do as part of Virginia’s law enforcement and public safety community. It’s an even greater privilege to be presented this award by Sheriff Jett, a man whom I respect and admire greatly,” said Howell. 

“All across Virginia, sheriffs and their deputies work to keep our neighborhoods and communities safe. In the General Assembly, I have worked to provide them with the tools and resources they need to complete their mission. I am proud of what we’ve been able to do, including this year’s work to fund a pay raise and salary compression adjustment for our deputies. Thank you to the Sheriffs’ Association for this tremendous honor.”

“It’s been a privilege to work so closely with Speaker Howell over the years and I am very proud to present him with the 2015 Outstanding Legislative Service Award,” said Jett. “Bill understands the issues important to the law enforcement community and has consistently advocated on our behalf in the General Assembly. Congratulations to Speaker Howell on this well-deserved recognition.”

Speaking about the announcement, Virginia Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director John Jones said, “Bill Howell has always been a friend to sheriffs and the entire law enforcement community. His work in the House of Delegates has helped make Virginia a safer place and we’re proud to recognize him as the only recipient of our 2015 Outstanding Legislative Service Award.”

Hylton Center raises $209K at season gala in Manassas

The Hylton Performing Arts Center celebrated its 5th Anniversary Season Gala on the evening of Saturday, April 11, 2015. This highly-anticipated annual benefit event supports the Hylton Center’s mission to entertain, educate and enrich the Northern Virginia community by providing diverse and accessible arts experiences in state-of-the-art venues. The event raised more than $209,000 in funds for the Sen. Charles J. Colgan Community Arts Benefit Fund, which enables Resident Arts Partners and Affiliate Arts Organizations to perform at the Hylton Center at greatly reduced rates and consider it their artistic home.

The 5th Anniversary Gala honored William Reeder, dean of George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, which includes the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Reeder plans to retire this May after serving as dean since 2001, and will continue teaching at Mason.

The gala also honored Novant Health, which has served as the Hylton Presents Season Sponsor for the past five performance seasons since the Hylton Center opened in 2010, and will continue its sponsorship for the 2015-2016 season. Melissa Robson, president of Novant Health, accepted the awards on the organization’s behalf.

Both honorees received an award of appreciation for their service to the Prince William County and City of Manassas communities and to the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Briana Sewell, a representative for Congressman Gerry Connolly, presented each with a certificate and entered them into the Congressional Record.

Co-chaired by Randall Edwards and Rich Seraydarian, the gala began with a formal reception in the Didlake Grand Foyer featuring music by jazz students from George Mason University School of Music, followed by a dinner on the Merchant Hall stage and tributes to the honorees by Rick Davis, executive director of the Hylton Center; Ángel Cabrera, president of George Mason University; and others. The evening concluded with dancing in the Didlake Grand Foyer, featuring The Barry Gurley Quartet, and a jazz cabaret in the Gregory Family Theater by The Darden Purcell Quartet with vocal jazz students from Mason’s School of Music. Catering was provided by RSVP Catering and wines were provided by WineStyles of Montclair.

 

Prince William school earns Green Ribbon award

A Prince William County elementary school was honored this week, along with three other Virginia schools, as national 2015 Green Ribbon School award winners. The U.S. Department of Education program recognizes energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly schools that promote environmental awareness, community engagement and student wellness. 
 
Coles Elementary School partnered with the private sector and non-profit organizations to create nine school gardens watered with recycled water. The school nutrition program includes “no paper days” and dining by natural light on “lights off Fridays.”
 
The other winning schools are: 
  • Bassett High School, Henry County 
  • Crozet Elementary School, Albemarle County 
  • The Steward School, a suburban Richmond private school 
 
“The earth-friendly practices and hands-on environmental learning experiences woven into the instructional programs of these schools provide opportunities for students to make a difference as young people today and in the future as thoughtful and engaged citizens,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said.
 
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Managing Director of the White House Council of Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss announced the winners as part of Earth Day celebrations. Nationally 58 schools, 14 school districts and nine postsecondary institutions — including the University of Virginia — were honored and will receive green display banners and be invited to send a delegation to a June recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C.
 
The Green Ribbon School program was created in 2011. 

Stafford student awarded $50,000 scholarship

A North Stafford High School senior was selected out of hundreds of applicants for one of three $50,000 “Greens for Grads” scholarships. 

The scholarship is a part of the McDonald’s Family Restaurants of Greater Washington, D.C., Educates Scholarship Program. The scholarship program is for high school seniors who are planning to enroll as full-time undergraduate students at a college or university.

 This year, the McDonald’s Educates Scholarship Program offered two levels of scholarship awards. The General Level scholarship encompasses 60 scholarships in the amounts of $5,000 or $1,500 each. The Greens for Grads Level scholarship includes three scholarships in the amount of $50,000 each.

Precious Mathis won one of the $50,000 scholarships. 

She was told at the school in a surprise announcement on Monday, April 20. 

Jazz instrumentalist Paul Reisler performs at Hylton Center May 16

Enjoy an intimate concert of great folk-jazz sounds when world-class songwriter and instrumentalist Paul Reisler performs at the Hylton Performing Arts Center’s Gregory Family Theater on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 8 p.m.

Guests will enjoy sitting at café tables as they take in an impressive musical fusion featuring Reisler’s inspiring songs and instrumentals, as well as Lea Morris’ “soul-folk” blend of gospel, jazz, country and R&B music, and Marshall Keys’ versatile saxophone style. 

With more than 3,500 concerts and 50 albums to his name, Paul Reisler has dedicated his musical career to sharing his songwriting talents with audiences of all ages. Reisler is the founder and director of the Kid Pan Alley™ Children’s Songwriting Project, a program that works with children in the creative process of songwriting, and has resulted in more than 2,500 songs that have been written with more than 35,000 children across the country. The project has released three CDs featuring collaborations with such world-class guest artists such as Sissy Spacek, Amy Grant and the band Cracker, among others. “The group of artists Mr. Reisler brought together are each extraordinarily talented, and the program was a beautiful melding of their artistry,” said the late Maestro Lorin Maazel and his wife, Dietlinde Maazel, founders of the Castleton Festival in Rappahannock County, Va. In addition to his work with Kid Pan Alley, Reisler was the co-founder and leader of Trapezoid, one of the nation’s most popular and influential acoustic bands, for more than 25 years; The Washington Post called the group “the finest folk group in America.” He currently leads the band Paul Reisler and A Thousand Questions. 

Program will be announced from the stage. 

This performance is partially supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts

and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets for PAUL REISLER are $25 for adults, $10 for youth through grade 12. Family Friendly: performance suitable for families with children. Visit the ticket office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit HyltonCenter.org. The Hylton Performing Arts Center is located on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Va., 20110. Free parking is available in the lot next to the Hylton Center. For more information, please visit HyltonCenter.org. Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/HyltonCenter and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @Hylton_PAC.

Rosanne Cash to perform at Hylton Center June 26

The Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas welcomes a singer-songwriter the Library of Congress called “one of the most compelling figures in popular music” when Grammy Award-winning musician and storyteller Rosanne Cash makes her first appearance on the Hylton Center’s Merchant Hall stage on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 8 p.m. as a Hylton Center Extra!

In “The River & The Thread In Concert,” Cash performs songs from her recent three Grammy Award-winning album, “The River & The Thread,” a musical travelogue that connects her personal and family history and heritage to the people, places, events and culture of the American South; she will also perform chart-topping hits from throughout her career. Written with her longtime collaborator, producer, guitarist and husband John Leventhal, “The River & The Thread” reflects Cash’s journeys throughout the Southern landscape, with stops to William Faulkner’s house; Dockery Farms, the plantation where Howlin’ Wolf and Charley Patton worked and sang; her father’s boyhood home in Dyess, Ark.; the Sun Records Studio in Memphis; and the Mississippi Delta, with its memories of the birth of the Civil Rights era and the haunting gravesite of the great bluesman Robert Johnson.

“I went back to where I was born, and these songs started arriving in me,” Cash has said of her travels that shaped the album. “All these things happened that made me feel a deeper connection to the South than I ever had. We started finding these great stories, and the melodies that went with those experiences. I feel this record ties past and present together through all those people and places in the South I knew and thought I had left behind.”

“The River & The Thread” won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Americana Album and the song “A Feather’s Not a Bird” won the Grammy Awards for Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song. USA Today called the album “captivating … haunting … the finest of her career.”

As part of country music’s legendary Cash and Carter families, Cash takes great pride in her lineage, but has spent more than three decades carving out her own place in music history. Her distinctive voice and rich sound that straddles country, folk, rock, blues and American roots music is perfect to tell stories of heartbreak and healing through her poignant and passionate songs. Throughout her career, Cash has released 15 albums and four books, including the best-selling memoir, “Composed.” She has earned four Grammy Awards and 12 nominations,the Americana Honors and Awards’ Album of the Year Award and 21 Top 40 hits, including 11 No. 1 singles. For more information about Rosanne Cash, please visit http://rosannecash.com.

Guided wetlands hike at Crow’s Nest preserve in Stafford May 2

A field day at Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve in Stafford County will be Saturday, May 2, starting at 9 a.m. Participants will see various plant life while on a guided hike through wetlands and rolling landscape. 

The field day is free, but reservations are required. Call 804-786-7951 to reserve a spot. The event is limited to 80, and reservations are first-come, first-served. Driving directions will be provided to registrants.
 
Participants should wear casual clothes and comfortable shoes and expect to walk up to 4 miles. The field day will take place rain or shine.
 
Crow’s Nest is a peninsula between Accokeek and Potomac creeks. The 2,872-acre preserve contains mature hardwood forest and some of the best examples of diverse, intact wetlands in the Potomac River region. It supports habitat for a variety of species, including bald eagles, migratory birds, the federally endangered short-nosed sturgeon and 22 plant species important to Virginia’s Coastal Plain. 

Crow’s Nest was designated a natural area preserve in 2009 and is co-owned by Stafford County and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Stafford Anytime Fitness offers ‘free workout Saturdays” in May

Get ready for some outdoor fitness fun! Anytime Fitness of Stafford is hosting fun-infused exercises like tug-of-war and relay races at Fredericksburg Christian School – Stafford Campus, located at 101 Shepherds Way, Stafford, VA at 8 a.m. every Saturday during the month of May.

The five consecutive “Free Workout Saturdays” will be led by certified personal trainers and are designed for people of every fitness level. They are open to all adults, not just Anytime Fitness members. The concept, inspired by grassroots efforts of a few Anytime Fitness clubs that regularly offer free outdoor “boot camps,” has grown into a nationwide campaign to promote physical fitness.

“We want our community to be as healthy and active as possible – and we hope that the Free Workout Saturdays will show folks that exercise can be fun,” said Alex Diaz, co-owner of Anytime Fitness. “We hope this is the jumpstart and motivation to continue their own healthier lifestyle journeys.”

Anytime Fitness in Stafford is one of more than 1,000 Anytime Fitness clubs across the U.S. that will host the free outdoor exercise sessions.

Virginians for the Arts to give $50K to local arts groups

Virginians for the Arts (VFTA), in partnership with Dominion Resources, is proud to announce the 5th Annual Dominion ArtStars Awards. The 2015 awards will celebrate arts and education in the community, recognizing arts organizations that best demonstrate and advance the synergy of arts and education. These awards emphasize the contributions of arts organizations through their partnership and collaboration with schools across the Commonwealth.

“The Dominion ArtStars Awards offer arts organizations in Virginia the opportunity to be recognized on a statewide platform,” said VFTA Executive Director Petrina Jones. “We are grateful for Dominion’s continued partnership with VFTA to celebrate the meaningful social and economic impact of the arts and appreciate Dominion’s commitment to helping the environment, critical community needs, and education.”

“Dominion is pleased to partner with VFTA in honoring these exceptional arts programs across the Commonwealth,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. “We value their contributions toward building vibrant communities and driving a stronger economy.”

Applicants may select one program serving Pre-K through 12th Grade students for consideration in the following categories:

Shining Star Award ($5,000). VFTA and Dominion will present one Shining Star Award to a Virginia organization with (i) a qualifying arts and education program in existence for six or more years and (ii) an annual budget of $1 million or higher.

Regional Shining Star Awards ($5,000 each). VFTA and Dominion will present five regional Shining Star Awards, one in each region to an arts organization with (i) a qualifying arts and education program in existence for six or more years and (ii) with an annual budget of less than $1 million. 

Rising Star Awards ($1,000 each). VFTA and Dominion will present two Rising Star Awards, each to a Virginia organization with a qualifying arts and education program in existence for three to five years, regardless of annual budgets. 

Virginians for the Arts will accept entries beginning April 16th and ending June 19th by email at artstars@vaforarts.org . Applicants must be 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations headquartered in Virginia. Judging will occur over the summer and award winners will be announced in September with official recognition to follow. Entry forms are available at www.VaForArts.org. 

Student winners announced for STEM competition at GMU

George Mason University hosted a crowd of more than 800 from nearly 50 K-12 schools at its Fairfax campus for the 4th annual School Environmental Action Showcase (SEAS) April 9. Each year, SEAS provides an opportunity for regional K-12 students to compete in events that showcase their talents using science and technology to solve environmental problems.

“This event is a fun and educational way to develop budding engineers and future scientists that could help solve our environmental problems,” said Dr. Cynthia Smith, George Mason organizer and K-12 Education Director for the Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC).

Students from Alexandria City, Arlington, Falls Church City, and Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William County Public Schools competed in science and engineering competitions and engaged in inquiry-based STEM activities.

In the KidWind Challenge, 60 middle and high school students competed by testing the energy output and design of their wind turbines and demonstrating their knowledge of wind energy and engineering. The top three teams in each division qualify to compete in the KidWind Eastern Regional Finals at James Madison University on April 25, 2015. The teams include: Lanier Middle School, Kenmore Middle School, and Piney Branch Elementary School; and Massanutten Technical Center, Alleghany High School, and Fauquier High School.

Students also participated in Caring for Our Watersheds, an environmental, educational competition that encourages innovative ideas to help improve local watersheds. Top winners George Washington Middle School, Lanier Middle School, and Kenmore Middle School took home a combined $6,000 in cash prizes from the competition.

In addition, several schools participated in the environmental Showcase, presenting their projects to improve the sustainability of their community. The Fairfax County Federation of Teachers presented the “Dynamic Young Visionaries” award to two schools for demonstrating outstanding environmental stewardship with innovative and collaborative problem-solving strategies: Hollin Meadows Elementary School and Longfellow Middle School.

Two new events this year included a recycled mascot competition, which yielded creative and inspiring designs made completely of recycled materials, and a tour for high school students interested in the George Mason’s STEM offerings.

The 2015 SEAS was hosted jointly hosted by Mason’s Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center, NoVA Outside, and Earth Force and coordinated with the James Madison University Center for Wind Energy. A 4-VA Grant, which fosters collaboration among Virginia universities, supported outreach and community engagement for the event.

Partnering organizations included: City of Alexandria, Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Audubon Naturalist Society, BMW, Environmental Protection Agency, Fairfax Co. Dept. of Public Works and Environmental Services, Fairfax Co. Park Authority, GMU Honey Bee Initiative, GMU Upcycling Club, Gulf Branch Nature Center, iSchool for the Future, Manassas National Battlefield Park, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, Operation Patriotic STEM, Project Learning Tree, Society of American Military Engineers, Sweet Virginia Foundation, The Nature Generation, Thompson Creek Window Company, and US Fish and Wildlife Service.           

Mt. Zion historic park opens for “Eyewitness to War” tours

The historic 1851 Mt. Zion Baptist Church, sitting alongside Rt. 50 east of Gilbert’s Corner, will open its doors to the public on the 4th Sundays of the month beginning on April 26th, from 1p.m. to 5p.m.  It will be open each fourth Sunday of the month through October.

Used as a place of worship by members of the Old School Baptists from 1851 until 1980, Mt. Zion Church and its adjoining cemetery witnessed fighting during the Civil War, but also served in the aftermath of battle as a hospital for the wounded and as a final resting place for some who fought in the war.  It’s also known as the first, and frequent, meeting site of Confederate guerilla fighter John Singleton Mosby and his Rangers, and saw intermittent use as a barracks and prison during the war. 

As in past years, the 4th Sunday programs will highlight the Civil War history of the church, but visitors will also hear of its early beginnings as a place of worship in the Aldie community.  Local historian Wynne Saffer will share the church’s history, as well as that of the adjacent cemetery.  Volunteer Jim Cromer will be on hand to interpret the use of the site as a field hospital after the cavalry battles of Aldie, Middleburg and Upperville in June of 1863, and historic graffiti found on sections of the interior walls will be on view.  According to Site Manager Tracy J. Gillespie, “Mt. Zion is one of several sites where soldiers from both North and South spent time, recuperating from wounds or illness. Perhaps as a way to say ‘I was here and I mattered,’ they sometimes signed their names and regiment affiliation on the walls.”  Mt. Zion is one of five sites featured on the Northern Virginia Civil War Graffiti Trail.

Admission to the fourth Sunday programs & tours is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. 

For more information, contact Tracy J. Gillespie at tgillespie@nvrpa.org or call her at Aldie Mill Historic Park, 703-327-9777. Mt. Zion Historic Park is owned and operated by NOVA Parks.  For more information, visit www.NOVAParks.com.

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