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‘Marketplace Party’ Offers Free Insurance Enrollment, Flu Shots

: Governor Terry McAuliffe at the Greater Prince William Community Health Center’s Evergreen office in Manassas, announcing that   Virginia is one of four states to have been awarded a $9.3 million federal grant to help people get insured during the open enrollment period for Health Insurance Marketplace, Nov. 15-Feb. 15.

Governor Terry McAuliffe at the Greater Prince William Community Health Center’s Evergreen office in Manassas.

The Greater Prince William Community Health Center will kick off its second annual “Marketplace Party” with Affordable Care Act open enrollment walk-in services on Saturday, November 15, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The all-day enrollment services are free and open to the public, held at the new Evergreen Health Center located at 9705 Liberia Avenue, Suite 201, Manassas, Virginia.

Certified Application Counselors (CAC) will be available to help individuals and families understand insurance eligibility requirements and to enroll in the plan of their choice. CACs can also explain IRS tax penalties for not enrolling and monthly insurance plan premiums. Bilingual (Spanish) CACs will also enroll and renew eligible individuals and families in Medicaid.

The day-long event will also feature education sessions, flu shots, Center tours and free lunch for the whole family. Free flu shots will be given to all individuals who complete the enrollment process. “We are working with our community partners across the state so that more residents realize the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, helping them to secure the peace of mind that comes with health care coverage for their families,” said Frank J. Principi, Executive Director of the Center. “We want more of our working families to have affordable access to quality care, keeping children in school and their parents at work.”

In addition to the Marketplace Party, the Health Center, a non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with locations in Woodridge and Manassas, will offer enrollment assistance by appointment throughout the open enrollment period, which runs Nov. 15, 2014 through Feb. 15, 2015. Last year, the Center assisted more than 7,000 individuals with health coverage during the first annual open enrollment period. The Center’s staff speaks English and Spanish.

More information about the Greater Prince William Community Health Center is available at or Marketplace Party updates are posted at To schedule a medical or dental appointment with one of the Center’s doctors, call 703-680-7950.

George Mason Green Job Networking Fair

The public, alumni and students are welcome to attend George Mason University’s second annual Green Job Networking Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Nov. 10 in the Johnson Center’s Dewberry Hall on George Mason’s Fairfax campus.

Mason’s Office of Sustainability and University Career Services are teaming up to host major employers including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and environmentally friendly businesses and nonprofits.

Organizers recommend registering, dressing for success and bringing a resume — not only to possibly find a career, but to find a purpose.

“Creating solutions for a more sustainable world and Earth contributes to the greater good and enables our students to make a meaningful difference in the world,” says Margaret Lo, Office of Sustainability director.

Christine Cruzvergara, director of University Career Services in the Division of University Life, says attendees should research green industry trends even before they arrive. “Be prepared with thoughtful questions about how these employers are playing a critical role in their contributions toward conserving energy, developing alternative energy, reducing pollution or recycling,” she says. 

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MOM’s Organic Market, Above Green, Walnut Hill Farm, Traderoots LLC, Fairfax County Farmers’ Markets, Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, Clean Fairfax and Earth Sangha also will be speaking on panels and answering questions.


Truck Driver Dies in Highway Crash

A tractor-trailer driver was killed in a crash late Friday on Interstate 95 in Prince William County. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

Virginia State Police responded to a two-vehicle crash Friday night (Nov. 7) in Prince William County. The crash occurred on Interstate 95 at the 149 mile marker.

 At 10:52 p.m., Virginia State Police received a call from a motorist about a disabled dump truck blocking the middle northbound lane of I-95 at the 149 mile marker. A trooper was immediately dispatched to assist the truck; however, within two minutes of the first call being received, a northbound tractor-trailer struck the dump truck. The impact of the crash caused both vehicles to overturn. 

 The driver of the tractor-trailer died at the scene. The driver of the dump truck was transported to Sentara Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The cause of the crash remains under investigation. The Virginia State Police Fairfax Division Crash Reconstruction Team and State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team responded to the scene to assist with the investigation. Northbound I-95 traffic was detoured off at Exit 148 onto Route 1 north. All I-95 lanes were reopened by 4:45 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 8).



Prince William Chamber’s “Meet the Media” Event Offers Businesses Strategies for Media Relations

On Wednesday, November 19, from 9 a.m.- noon, members and guests of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce will gather for a half-day seminar titled ”Meet the Media.”

The event will be held at the Wyndham Garden Manassas, located at 10800 Vandor Lane in Manassas, just off of Intest ate 66. Over breakfast, businesses will have the chance to mingle with members of the local news media before choosing to attend two out of the three offered breakout sessions where they can find out how to best develop relationships with represenatives of print, broadcast and online media outlets.

Comcast Spotlight is the Corporate Sponsor. Constant Contact is the Associate Sponsor.
Philip Lewis, with Comcast Spotlight, will speak during the opening session on the topic of “Controlling Your Message: How PR and Marketing Work Hand in Hand.” Lewis has over 20 years experience and has spent the past 13 years at Comcast Spotlight creating comprehensive advertising campaigns that maximize message impact with demographic and geographic precision.

“We want this to be an open dialogue between Chamber members and the publishers, reporters and editors who make decisions regarding what will and won’t be published. Look at this event as a time to ask your burning questions about how your organization can have greater success in interacting with print, online and broadcast media outlets,” says Chamber Event Director Andrea Whaley. 

After meeting media representatives, attendees will be encouraged to choose from the three breakout sessions: Print Media, Broadcast Media and Online Media. Media representatives such as David Culver from NBC4 and Sarah Lane from the Washington Post along with an array of reporters, PR consultants and marketing specialists will be on hand to offer expert advice.

Along with breakfast, attendees will also take away download information for the 2014 Media Guide containing contact information for over 25 different news media outlets, a hand-out with “PR Do’s & Don’ts” and a greater understanding of what the men and women in the media are looking for (and how to provide it).

Lewis says he looks forward to helping the businesses in attendance “meet” their modern day consumer and understand how to take advantage of their current advertising behaviors. The audience will learn what has changed over the past year or two in broadcast media outlets, strategies for controlling their message, how to reach a fragmented audience and when to use paid advertising and what to expect from it.

Anyone working or volunteering for a local business or not-for-profit organization is welcome and encouraged to attend. The cost is $35 for members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and $45 for non-members.

Interested parties can sign up online at or call 703-368-6600. Contact Andrea Whaley for more information at 571-765-1876 or email

News outlets participating to date include: Discovery Publications; Diverse CEO Magazine; Bull Run/Manassas/Old Bridge Observers; Prince WilliamTimes/Gainesville Times; Prince William Living Magazine; Asian Fortune Magazine; The Washington Post;;; and WRC-TV.

Cruise In Aims to Feed Hungry in Manassas

Devious Kustomz Car & Truck Club will be hosting our 2nd Annual Feed The Hungry Thanksgiving Food Drive on Nov. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hooters in Manassas.

We will be collecting non-perishable and canned goods for those who are less fortunate at Thanksgiving.

All food that is collected will go directly to SERVE of Manassas which is an organization that helps nearly 800 families at any given time with providing them with food.

Come join us at the cruise in and bring canned or non-perishable products to help feed the hungry. A good deed is never gone unnoticed. Please invite your friends and family.

Remember even if you bring 1 can of food, or donate cash towards the purchase of canned goods will be helpful.

This is a cruise in for all to attend rain or shine.

Red Carpet Showcase Features Rising Artists, Authors, Musicians

The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter Red Carpet Showcase Featuring Rising Artists, Authors and Musicians is a free event provided for the community each year to encourage literacy and exposure to the arts. It is also an opportunity to showcase emerging talent.

The 2014 Red Carpet Showcase will be Saturday, Dec. 6, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Prince William Association of Realtors Building, located at 4545 Daisy Reid Avenue in Woodbridge, VA. This is the Chapter’s fifth year hosting this event, and it is the Chapter’s 30th anniversary of service in the Prince William community.

The Showcase will feature the work of eight people from an artist and authors to a musician and singer. Many have Prince William area or Northern Virginia ties.

Artist: Leah Cobb a 10 year old from the Prince William community. Cobb loves art and has studied weekly with a private instructor for the past four years. She also has entrepreneurial experience, selling her artwork on greeting cards and mouse pads.

Musician: Andrea Dumas, a gospel singer whose debut album “Celebrate” was released this summer.


Danielle Lyle, a Woodbridge area high school senior, is an author and illustrator of the book,   We Are One, The Miraculous Story of Inge Auerbacher Child Survivor of the Holocaust, and her Doll. Lyle and Auerbacher were featured in a Washington Post article on June 12, 2014. The Holocaust Museum has filmed a TV commercial featuring Danielle and Inge to be aired soon.

Alma Haygood, author of a children’s book, Too Many Rules, is a retired Fairfax County Public Schools educator. Haygood’s book was written as a way to help parents and teachers show children the importance of listening and following directions. The book uses teaching rules and natural consequences to illustrate the importance of listening.

Grady W. Powell, Sr. of Brunswick, VA is the author of From Morning ’til Evening: The Autobiography of Grady W. Powell, Sr. This is the story of a man whose faith and family are truly his touchstones. He reflects on the deeper meaning of God, the importance of family, and the people he serves.

Sheryl Madison, poet and author of Real Life Poetry: Something for Even You, writes poetry about familiar, everyday situations. Madison is a Woodbridge, VA resident.

Kenrya Rankin Naasel is an award-winning author, journalist, editorial consultant, speaker and television commentator. Her latest book is Bet On Black: African-American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama.

Featured Guest: Corey Harris is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and band leader who has carved out his own niche in blues. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music. He resides in Richmond, VA.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. established the National Arts and Letters Commission with the purpose of supporting African-American women in the arts. Throughout its history, the Commission has been comprised of accomplished members of the sorority including Lena Horne, Nikki Giovanni, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Angela Bassett and Daphne Maxwell Reid.

The Prince William Alumnae Chapter Arts and Letters Committee’s goal is to expose and educate the community about the creative and performing arts. The programs developed are designed to promote awareness and appreciation for various forms of the arts.

Cox Honored at Potomac State College

President of Potomac State College of West Virginia University, Leonard Colelli, Ph.D. (far left), along with Alumni President Jennings Stickley, (far right) are pictured with Dolly Cox (second from right), Class of 1953, who was presented with the with the Distinguished Service Award during the annual Homecoming Banquet at the College. Cox resides in Dumfries, Va. Pat Hovis, a resident of Keyser, W.Va., introduced Cox to those in attendance.

Russian Dancers Guest Stars in ‘Nutcracker’ at the Hylton

Russian dancers fashion spokesmodels


"Irina Dvorovenko & Maxim Beloserkovsky, Stars of American Ballet Theatre.

“Irina Dvorovenko & Maxim Beloserkovsky, Stars of American Ballet Theatre.

The Northern Virginia Youth Ballet (NVYB) and its affiliate school, The Academy of Russian Ballet (ARB) are pleased to announce that International Ballet Super Stars Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky will guest in their eight annual production of “The Nutcracker” on Saturday, Nov. 29  at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Ms. Dvorovenko and Mr. Beloserkovsky are former Principal dancers with American Ballet Theatre (ABT) where they performed nearly all leading roles in the company’s classical and contemporary repertoire. Trained at the Kiev State Choreographic Institute in the USSR, they were Principal dancers with the Kiev State Ballet in Ukraine. Ms. Dvorovenko has received many awards and prizes from prestigious international competitions in Moscow, Japan, Jackson, Ukraine including “Anna Pavlova Prize” at the Moscow International Ballet Competition in 1992.

After immigrating to the U.S., they immediately joined ABT where they became famed for their dramatic artistry and technical purity on stage. They are spokesmodels and fashion designers for Bloch Dancewear USA and have modeled for Vogue Magazine among others. Most recently, Ms. Dvorovenko was a guest judge on the hit TV show, “So You Think You Can Dance?”. She will also be featured in the upcoming Starz Channel series, “Flesh and Bone”.

NVYB’s production of “The Nutcracker” is family friendly and adheres to tradition. Sets and backgrounds were produced in Russian theatres and costumes are either custom made in Russia and Europe or by an in-house design team. The 65 local performers joining Ms. Dvorovenko and Mr. Beloserkovsky onstage are students of ARB and range in age from three to eighteen. Dimtri Vistoropskiy and Ruslan Amrayev, Russian dancers trained at the A.V. Seleznev Choreographic Institute in Almaty, Kazakhstan, will also appear in the production as The Nutcracker and Snow King respectively.

NVYB and ARB provides talented area students with professional performing experience, original choreographic pieces, and community arts collaboration. Members of NVYB and students of ARB have placed top-12 at Youth America Grand Prix, been voted “Best Performing Arts Group in Prince William County”, have been accepted to acclaimed summer intensives around the country, received traineeship offers with professional companies, and received college scholarships. Two members have been invited to study full time at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia. In April 2013, three members of NVYB/ARB competed at the 2013 Dance Triumph Festival and Competition in Germany.

Tickets are $35.00 for adults, $25.00 for children, seniors, and military. Tickets may be purchased at For more information, visit .

Crows Nest Tour Registration Continues

A field day at Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve in Stafford County will be held Nov. 8, starting at 9 a.m. Participants will see various plants and wildlife while on a guided hike through the preserve’s wooded landscape. The guided hikes offer views of the freshwater tidal marsh and open water surrounding the preserve.
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 those who register.
Participants should wear casual clothes and comfortable shoes, and be prepared to walk up to 4 miles. The event 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 drainage basin. 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.

DCR manages the property as part of the state’s natural area preserve system, which was established in the 1980s to protect significant natural areas and rare-species habitat. Today, the system comprises 61 preserves totaling 55,352 acres.

Winter Shelter Open November to March 2015

The Prince William County Winter Shelter, operated by the Department of Social Services, will open Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. The shelter is located at 14730 Potomac Mills Road, in Woodbridge and operates overnight 7 days a week from 6:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. until March 31, 2015.

The shelter serves single individuals only and operates on a first-come first-served basis. Single women may be referred to an overflow program. The intake capacity of the Winter Shelter is 48 clients. The program provides shelter, meals, beds, showers, and referrals to supportive services.


During daytime hours Monday – Saturday at the Winter Shelter facility, the Department of Social Services partners with the Cooperative Council of Ministries to provide a “Drop -In Center” for homeless individuals. Services available include mental health referrals, case management services, life skills & career training, peer counseling, wellness information, health care referrals and employment assistance.


For more information about the Winter Shelter or Drop-In Center programs please call: 703-897-0199.

New Medical Director Stafford Hospital’s Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

Dr. Peter VanDerMeid Medical Director at Stafford Hospital's Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

Dr. Peter VanDerMeid Medical Director at Stafford Hospital’s Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

The Woodbridge Wound Healing Center for Stafford Hospital, which offers state-of-the-art treatment practices and protocols to reintroduce the body’s innate ability to heal, has appointed Peter VanDerMeid as medical director.

Dr. VanDerMeid will be responsible for reviewing patient care and results, evaluating new clinical products and providing oversight and guidance on policies and procedures. A member of the Healogics™ network, the Woodbridge Wound Healing Center of Stafford Hospital employs a rigorous scientific approach to explore, test, find and develop the clinically proven methods and technologies that help people heal faster and more completely than before.

A Stafford resident, Dr. VanDerMeid most recently served as Medical Director in Somerset, PA at Somerset Hosptial’s Wound Care Center.

Dr. VanDerMeid holds a Medical Degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA. He then did his family practice residency for the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir. He has practiced at two family medical care facilities in Virginia and is a Certified Wound Specialist.

The Woodbridge Wound Healing Center of Stafford Hospital is located at 14010 Smoketown Rd., Suite 103, Woodbridge, VA 22192. The center offers leading-edge treatments including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure therapies, bioengineered tissues and biosynthetics.

Chronic wounds affect more than 8 million people in the U.S. and the incidence is rising fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and the late effects of radiation therapy.


Anytime Fitness to Open in Stafford

Working out is about to get a lot easier. No more excuses about an inconvenient gym location or limited hours. Anytime Fitness is coming to Stafford.

Anytime Fitness franchisees, Alex Diaz and Brian Scanlon, confirmed that they have signed a lease for a 5,100 square-foot space at the Shoppes at North Stafford Shopping Center; located at 25 Tech Parkway. Construction will start in the next 6 – 8 weeks and be performed by Willow Brook Construction. The target date for the club’s grand opening is early 2015 with pre-sale promotions being announced in late 2014.

“What differentiates Anytime Fitness from other clubs is our focus on helping members get the results that they’re seeking,” said Scanlon. “Our gym will be small enough that we can provide personalized attention for all of our members. Whether weight-loss is your goal, or increased strength or improved balanced and flexibility – or a combination – we’re committed to helping you achieve those goals.”

Nationwide, the average Anytime Fitness club has about 800 members. The gyms are staffed roughly 8 hours a day, but members can access the club whenever they like – even during unstaffed hours – using a computerized key-fob system.

“We make it easy for our members to exercise whenever and however they like,” said Diaz. “We’ll have personal trainers available to help you learn how to use all of the equipment and to develop an individualized workout plan, if you like. We’ll also have a state-of-the-art video projection system that allows members to choose from dozens of video classes whenever it’s most convenient for them.”

Membership at one Anytime Fitness club gives members access to nearly 3,000 clubs worldwide at no extra charge.

The layout of every Anytime Fitness club is designed for quick and effective exercise. At the new club in Stafford, members will have full use of top-quality equipment and amenities, including:

• Circuit and resistance training machines
• Free weights
• Cardio equipment, including treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes
• Small group fitness classes, including a dedicated functional area space
• Private bathrooms, changing rooms and showers

Membership and pre-sale specials is will be announced through facebook at or call directly at (540) 877-6933.

Landfill Ready to Celebrate ‘Recycles Day’

Celebration to include games, prizes


The Prince William County Landfill will host its annual Prince William Recycles Day event on Saturday, October 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.   This free event will feature two performances by GoodLife Theatre’s Recycling Pirates. Plus, lots of fun games, prizes, face painting, free food, a recycled art contest, interactive equipment displays and landfill tours. 

The landfill is located at 14811 Dumfries Road, Manassas, VA and the landfill tour, which take place throughout the day, is always a favorite activity of attendees. The Recycling Pirates, a rollicking musical about puppets created from trash that sail the urban seas looking for things to recycle, reuse, reduce and repair will take the stage at 11 a.m. and noon.  

Prince William residents are encouraged to attend this family-friendly event to learn more about the importance of recycling, reuse and waste reduction in Prince William County and how that benefits the environment and the economy.  

This event is sponsored by Fortistar, Solid Waste Services, Broad Run Recycling, Charlie & Sons Trash & Recycling Services, SCS Engineers, Davis Industries and supported by donations from Aegis, AshBritt, American Disposal Services, Branch Daffan, Burke & Herbert Bank, Eastern Clearing, EnviroSoluntions, GBB, Glover Construction, Keep Prince William Beautiful, Madera Farm, National Paper Recycling, Patriot Disposal and Veolia Environmental Services.

The Prince William County Solid Waste Division has hosted a recycling education event since 1995. Prince William Recycles Day is the local celebration of America Recycles Day, which is officially November 15 each year. For more details on Prince William Recycles Day activities visit

Stonebridge Plans PetOberfest

Dogs to bark near Wegmans


Pets are about to take center stage in Woodbridge near Wegmans grocery store. 

The folks at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center shared this with us: 

Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center located at 14900 Potomac Town Place in Woodbridge is pleased to host the PetOberfest Event on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 from noon – 5 p.m. All are welcome to attend and enjoy free family and pet friendly activities. All pets in attendance must be leashed.

The PetOberfest is sponsored by NOVADog Magazine, Prince William SPCA and Unleashed by Petco and will feature activities including: pet rescues and adoptions; pet-related exhibitors, a fashion show, a pet parade, pet contests, children’s entertainment, store discounts, prizes, and much more (full schedule included below).

PetOberfest Main Stage Schedule

Noon: Mutts Gone Nuts
1pm: Learning Safari hosted by Leesburg Animal Park
2pm: Reptiles Alive
3pm: Fashion Show featuring animals available for adoption
4pm: Safari Bingo
4:30pm: Pet Parade & Contests – Must register no later than 4pm at the Information Tent.

PetOberfest Main Street Activities, Noon – 5 p.m.

• Prince William SPCA Pet Photos & Mobile Adoption Van
• Stonebridge merchant displays
• Pet-oriented exhibitors
• Local animal rescues and shelters
• Petting Zoo
• Moon Bounce
• Balloon Art
• Prizes

For complete event information, visit


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.

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