Clarke Observer August 2016

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FEATURES Stone’s Chapel Steeped in Clarke County History

2016 .

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By Betsy Arnett


Beaumont House Design: Telling Your Love Story in Flowers


By Claire Stuart

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Julie Wheeler Abrera of Beaumont House Designs. Photo by Amanda K Photography.

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4 5 6 12 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 22

Aging in Place As the Crow Flies Around Clarke County Fall into Clarke County Cruise In: A Great Berryville Bash Clarke Studio Tour Create N Take Woman’s Club Turns 100 Real Estate Lakeside Dining ACFF Best of Fest Valley Health’s New Cancer Center



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David Lillard, Editor/Publisher Jennifer Welliver, Associate Publisher Aundrea Humphreys, Art Director Hali Taylor, Proofreader

CONTRIBUTORS Karen Cifala Jess Clawson Wendy Gooditis Victoria Kidd Doug Pifer JiJi Russell Claire Stuart

COVER PHOTO Amanda K Photography


Advertising Information 540-398-1450 (Mon-Fri, 9-5)

Hats Off To The Women’s Club of Clarke County We often hear it said that things were simpler a hundred years ago. In some ways, that’s true. Parents didn’t spend time each day driving kids to soccer and dance and extracurricular activities. Households didn’t spend upwards of $400 a month for cable, cell phones, internet, and other connectivity. And the list goes on. On the other hand, if you got an infection there was no access to antibiotics; if the breadwinner in the family — usually the dad — died, there was no social safety net. There were no income and few service programs to assist the elderly in their final years, for which most people didn’t live long enough to qualify for anyway. Yes, life was simpler because everyone knew the hand they’d been dealt, then lived with it. A lot has changed over a century. One constant has been the Women’s Club of Clarke County. The club may have changed over the years to adapt to the needs and cultural changes of the times, but their motto and purpose has remained consistent: “Not what we give, but what we share.” Like many effective civic organizations, it combines elements of a social group with a commitment to service, like the scholarship fund started in 1931 which continues today. In these odd political times, we hear talk of

American Exceptionalism — the idea that the United States is somehow different than all other nations of the world. The conversation typically focuses on individualism, manifest destiny, and other concepts that, in fact, we share with many cultures worldwide. What often gets overlooked is how social and service organizations are woven into the fabric of life in America. History shows us we didn’t invent these organizations, but we adopted them and innovated them to an extent that now nonprofit groups and social organizations from around the world look to the U.S. for ideas on how small groups of concerned citizens play such special roles in our daily lives. As life has become more complex, their role has become even more essential. The Women’s Club of Clarke County is a treasured example. The group celebrates its hundredth birthday November 1. We’d like to say Happy Birthday and thanks to the club. And while we’re at it, thanks to everyone who stays involved in community life with the group of their choice. Giving of ourselves, learning about the world around us, and sharing with others — that’s something we can all truly be proud of.


The Observer prints signed letters-to-the-editor of uniquely local interest. Letters containing personal attacks or polarizing language will not be published. Letters may be edited. Send letters to the editor of 300 or fewer words to:

THE OBSERVER 540-440-1373



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Aging in Place

What is a Medicaid Qualified Annuity? By Karen Cifala

Being the bearer of serious news is always hard, especially when the subjects are about aging, money, and death. Oh, and I forgot, taxes. I want readers to know that I am NOT always this somber — sometimes you have to just shake your head and smile. As cartoonist Roz Chast reminds us in her graphic memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, life can be full of heartbreak, denial, guilt, and just plain stubbornness, and no matter

what you do, it never feels like you are doing enough to make things better. I love meeting new people with new ideas that might actually help someone. I recently met Tim Procita from Northwestern Mutual at a NAS (Network for Aging Support) meeting — meets once a month at Westminster Canterbury. He piqued my interest in this thing called a Medicaid Qualified Annuity. Tim says that this type of annuity can get around

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the Medicaid threshold of having assets of $2000 or less, and is designed to prevent the healthy spouse from becoming destitute. I thought, Wow, this Medicaid Qualified Annuity might be a perfect tool for spouses like my mom and dad. Here is a good example of where a Medicaid Qualified Annuity might work for a couple: One spouse needs to be in a long-term care facility or a nursing home, and the other is relatively healthy and can still live alone. This annuity can help preserve their joint assets without having to pay out-of-pocket for the spouse that needs care. Sounds too good, right? Read on. Once the spouse is admitted to the longterm care facility, the Medicaid Qualified Annuity can be set up, making the spouse in the care facility eligible for Medicaid. To make it clearer, consider this: A couple has $250,000 of CD’s at a bank, and the wife has $100,000 in an IRA, and they jointly own a car and house. The joint CDs and IRA would be rolled over into the Medicaid Qualified Annuity, subsequently taking the care facility spouse’s name off the CD and IRA. In most states the purchase of an annuity is not considered to be a transfer for purposes of eligibility for Medicaid — it is considered a purchase of an investment. This makes it a “non-countable income stream,” and as long as the income is in the name of the healthy spouse, it doesn’t create an issue. Easy, right? Read on: There is always a hitch somewhere. There are 4 qualifiers that

make the investment into the Medicaid Qualified Annuity a Non-Transferred annuity: • The annuity must be irrevocable, and you will not have the right to take the funds out. •

You must receive back at least what you put into the annuity.

If the annuity is purchased with a term, it must be shorter than your life expectancy.

The state must be named the remainder beneficiary up to the amount that Medicaid paid on the behalf of the other spouse.

An annuity is a contract with an insurance company in which the owner pays a certain amount of money to the company and the company sends the owner a monthly check for the rest of his or her life. With the Medicaid Qualified Annuity, I believe whatever monies left in the annuity account upon the death of the “healthy” spouse are bequeathed back to the state. Really? Whatever for? The easiest answer is that the state Medicaid program that is paying $10,000 or more to the care facility for the other spouse would like some money back, and Medicaid will be reimbursed up to the amount of the Medicaid paid for either spouse. Henceforth, the state is the “primary beneficiary” for the Medicaid Qualified Annuity and the family heirs are second in line. I asked Tim why everyone wouldn’t do this if it’s such a good thing. One reason people don’t take advantage more often is that there are a couple of downsides. One downside

is that a Medicaid bed must be available to the care facility spouse (which are sometimes limited and have waiting lists); also Medicaid dictates where and what kind of care will be received by the “in care” spouse. Even though this article is designed to introduce you to a very powerful planning tool for spouses, it has to be used in the right circumstances. To get the full picture and to truly identify your personal needs, consult with an elder law attorney before making any decisions. They will be able to help you strategize and help you make the best decisions for you and your spouse before you fall off the moving sidewalk called life. Thank you, Tim Procita, for introducing me to this helpful planning tool. Tim is a CFP/CLU Financial Advisor, and works hand-in-hand with many of the elder law attorneys in our area. Feel free to contact him at Northwestern Mutual by phone (304) 671-4551 or by email Karen Cifala is a realtor for Remax Roots in Berryville. Contact her on her cell 303-817-9374 or by email should you have any real estate questions or just want to suggest another article to write about.


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Scoping For Deer

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Since the beginning of June, we started seeing a doe and fawn in our fenced upper hayfield again. Often we saw the doe and fawn together in the field. Many times we saw the fawn in there alone. Sometimes we looked out in time to watch the doe jump the fence to join her fawn. Whenever the doe cleared the fence, the fawn always ran up to her. It would nurse and then run about in circles. But when the doe jumped out, the fawn stayed inside the fence. Would we have another fawn living full-time on our field this summer, too, we wondered? The mother, a small doe, looked and acted very much like the deer that stayed in our hayfield last summer and fall. Having lived inside the paddock from the time she was a fawn until just after the big January snowfall, the little hayfield deer evidently decided this was a safe place to give birth. This year, in July, a tractor passed close by our fence while cutting hay in the neighboring field. I watched the startled doe run across the field with her equally scared fawn scampering close behind her. The doe sailed over the fence, but the spotted youngster pulled up short, too big to squeeze through the woven wire and unable to jump out. In early August the man who cut our field saw the fawn run back and forth inside the fence,

well away from his tractor. Then the fawn hid in the thick trees growing among some rocks in the middle of the field. In the meantime, I’ve decided to update my long outdated optical equipment. The deer have been great subjects for me to watch through my new Vortex Viper HD spotting scope. What a difference it has made! I added an attachment to mount my cell phone to the eyepiece so I could take pictures on the phone through the scope. By sheer accident, I took a series of close-ups of the deer on the “live” phone-camera setting that recorded the flick of a tail, twist of an ear, or turn of a head. In one frame the fawn runs back and forth inside the fence while the doe grazes peacefully on the other side. These first blundering efforts at cell phone photography through a spotting scope were crude at best. Still, they represent moments in nature in a unique way. As a life-long observer and illustrator of deer, I’m still learning new things about them through the spotting scope. Yesterday after a downpour, several deer came out into the field to graze, I zoomed in on a doe nursing her tail-wagging, late season fawn. The hungry fawn’s head-butting efforts nearly knocked the doe off her feet. She terminated the nursing by deftly stepping over her fawn’s back, leaving it with a “milk moustache.”

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Around Clarke County Promote your event in TO Send notices by the 1st of the preceding month to Keep event descriptions to 125 words, following the format of these pages. One or two CMYK photos, saved as tiff or jpg at 200 dpi, are always welcome.



Music in the Park

Rose Hill Park. Downtown Berryville. ElderBerrys/ Folk, Blues, Celtic, Pop. 6:30– 8pm. Bring a picnic and join us for great music. For information call 540-955-4001.


/17 Nothin’ Fancy

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Come out to celebrate the induction of Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame! We are delighted to be working with local legend Frank Jurney to host their Hall of Fame tour with two dates at Barns of Rose Hill. Jordan Springs Market will have their delicious BBQ for sale at both shows! Doors open at 7pm. Show starts at 8. $25 per person. 12 and under free. For information visit


Student Art Workshop

Acrylic Painting with Robert Ballard. Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Free Art Workshops for middle & high school students! This is a great opportunity to learn from a working artist plus ask questions about embarking on a

career in the arts. Workshop runs from 12–3. For information visit


/18 Bluemont Fair

47th Annual. Rt. 734, Snickersville Turnpike, Bluemont, VA. 10am–5pm Saturday and Sunday. Rain or Shine. Old fashioned family fun at a “Green” Country Fair featuring traditional crafts (juried), local art & authors, craft & farming demonstrations, music: traditional, blues & country, 10k race, free Children’s Fair, farm animals, Llamas & Alpacas, Quilt Display, Colonial Blacksmith, homemade food, NEW!! Interactive Indian Village ($3 donation), pie-baking/picklemaking contest, antiques & collectables, local wine-tasting, breweries & gourmet treats, Historic Slide Show, bee-keepers & hives, model railroad display & antique caboose, pre-Civil War Country Store, Farmer’s Market, and more, set in this historic village in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. No Pets! $5 Adults. Under 10 Free. Free Parking. For information or call 540-554-2367.


Writers and Writing

Blandy State Arboretum of Virginia. 400 Blandy Farm Ln. Boyce. 1:30–3:30pm.

The Natural World of Winniethe-Pooh. Author Kathryn Aalto leads us on a literary and cultural journey through A.A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood, where Christopher Robin and friends shared so many adventures. Book signing and refreshments follow. $25 FOSA Members and UVa Alumni. $30 nonmembers. $45 Member and Alumni family. $50 nonmember family. For information and to register visit blandy.virginia. edu/our-foundation/online_ payments or by phone at 540837-1758 Ext. 287.


/25 Watermelon Park Fest

3322 Locke’s Mill Rd, Berryville. Watermelon Park Fest is a family-friendly music festival created by Shepherds Ford Productions that is located on the Shenandoah River just outside of Berryville, VA. Festivities include Concerts, Dances, Workshops, Band & Pickin’ Contests, Kid’s Activities, Open Jams, Food & Craft Vendors, and more! Featuring David Grisman, Sam Bush, The O’Connor Band, Town Mountain, and many others. For tickets and information visit


–25 Art Exhibit Duvall Designs Gallery.

Pat Donohue will perform at the Barns of Rose Hill on September 30.

2053 Millwood Rd. Millwood. The final weekend to view the work of internationally exhibited artist CMDupre’. For more information visit or call (540) 336-9631. 24 Stone’s Chapel Gathering 4138 Crums Church Road. 11am. 6th annual Fall Gathering and Open House at historic Stone’s Chapel. The

Gathering will begin with a short program in the Chapel sanctuary, then will continue with a covered dish luncheon. The Stone’s Chapel Memorial Association will provide meat and beverages. Everyone else is invited to bring a side dish, salad or dessert to share. For information visit

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10 South Greenway Avenue, Boyce •


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Zombie 5k Chase

Clarke County Parks and Recreation. 255 Al Smith Circle. Berryville. 4pm. Zombies Wanted. Open to the first 200 Participants. Awards to Top 3 Male and Female Racers. Prizes for Costume Contest and Zombies. Don’t Miss the Zombie Parade. For information call 450-955-5140.


Pat Donohue

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Grammy winning fingerpicker Pat Donohue’s devotion to acoustic guitar has made him an American standard. Pat entertains fans with intricate finger-picking, easy wit, and nimble interpretations of old blues, swing, R&B and original tunes. Chet Atkins called Pat “one of the greatest finger pickers in the world today”; Leo Kottke called his playing “haunting.” Pat is certainly one of the most listened to finger pickers in the world. As a songwriter and guitarist for the “Guys AllStar Shoe Band” of Minnesota Public Radio’s A Prairie Home Companion, Pat got to show off his savvy licks and distinctive original songs to millions of listeners each week. “A masterful guitarist and talented singersongwriter of the blues, folk, and jazz… Donohue is a natu-

ral entertainer who possesses bundles of charm and wit.” — Los Angeles Times. Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8. $15 in advance. $20 at the door. 12 and under free. For information



Art Show

Through October 9. The Mill at Carter Hall. 2611 Millwood Road. Millwood. Featuring the art of Sara Schneidman and many others. For information call 540-837-2384 or visit


Art at the Mill

Through October 16. Burwell Morgan Mill. 15 Tannery Lane. Millwood. Sunday through Friday 12–5, Saturday 10–6. Over 1000 original works of art by 175 artists. Admission $5 adults. $3 seniors. Stud ents free. For information call 540-837-1799 or visit


/2 Studio Art Tour

Various locations throughout Clarke County. This free event will feature 30 local artists and includes 22 stops on a self guided tour around Clarke. Studios are open from

10–5 each day. For information visit


VFW Membership Meeting

425 S. Buckmarsh Street. Berryville. 7pm. VFW Post 9760 will hold its monthly membership meeting. Prospective members are invited to attend and bring evidence of qualifying service. VFW Post Auxiliary meets same day at the same place and time. This is a nonsmoking post. Contact phone numbers (540) 532-8015 or (540) 955-2295.


Art Opening

Duvall Designs Gallery. 4–6pm. Winchester artists Neil and Kerry Stavely whose work is becoming sought after and commissioned by collectors around the region. Their work will be in the Gallery all the month of October. For more information visit or call (540) 336-9631.


tours, and more. $10 per car. For information visit www. or call 540837-1758 extention 224.


Fire Prevention Week Open House.

John Enders Fire Department. 9 South Buckmarsh Street. Berryville. There will be refreshments, fire truck rides, and equipment displays including the helicopter from HealthNet 1–4pm.


Fall Film Series

Where to Invade Next. Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Presented by Barns of Rose Hill and Magic

Lantern Theater. Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore’s latest film takes him to various nations in Europe and Africa as a one-man “invader,” gathering ideas and practices that the US might adopt. From Italy (generous vacations) to Iceland (strong female presence in government and business), Moore alternately informs and amuses in his usual style. Our Fall Film Series is sponsored by Hobert & Kerr PC. Rated R. 120 minutes. Doors open at 3pm. Show starts at 4. $8 per person. $5 for Magic Lantern and BORH members. For information visit

47th Annual September 17 & 18 10am to 5pm

/9 Arborfest

Blandy State Arboretum of Virginia. 400 Blandy Farm Ln. Boyce. 9–4:30. Rain or Shine. Fall festival and plant sale. Native plants and trees, hayrides, kids activities, guided


Interactive Indian Village

Flint Napping • Trading Post • Painted Ponies Exhibits • Dancing • Music • Veterans’ Tribute


Children’s Fair • Rock Climbing Wall Scavenger Hunt • Square Dancing 10k Race • Historic Slideshows Pickle & Pie Contest • Pony Rides Wagon Rides to Boulder Crest

Craft Demos

Railroad History

Wood Turning • Paper Making Pottery Throwing • Basket Weaving Wood Carving • Local Beekeepers Spinning & Weaving


Train Station Exhibit • Historic Caboose Model Railroad Display

And of Course...

Juried Crafts • Art Show & Sale Antiques & Flea Market • Farm Market Homemade Baked Goods

Local & Traditional Fair Food Great Live Music • Local Authors Wine Tasting & Beer Garden Quilt Display • Farm Animals ...and More!

Historic Bluemont - In the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Route 734 off Route 7, Loudoun County, Virginia Admission: $5 Children Under 10: Free Indian Village: $3 Donation 540-554-2367 Reduce Plastic: Bring Your Own Bag!

No Pets Allowed



Stone’s Chapel, Steeped In Clarke County History Story and photos by Betsy Arnett

Larry Hardesty began cutting grass at the cemetery next to Stone’s Chapel when he was thirteen years old. Fifty some years later, he is cutting the cemetery’s grass again. However, his pay has dropped considerably. Back in 1960, he received $8. Today, as president of the Stone’s Chapel Memorial Association, he does it for free. “The gas for the mower costs more than I got paid back then,” Larry laughs. In the late 1950s, the cemetery was in rough shape. According to Larry, it was covered in berry vines and even had a couple of locust trees growing up between headstones. The cemetery was a “community cemetery,” made up of mostly family plots. The families, who were not necessarily members of Stone’s Chapel Presbyterian Church, were responsible for maintaining the cemetery. As families died off or folks left the area, the cemetery fell into disrepair. To care for the cemetery, M.W. Jones and several other remaining family members formed the Clarke County Cemetery Association in 1958. At the time, several plots were surrounded by wrought iron fences. Most of the families agreed to sell the fences and donate the money to the Cemetery Association. Today, the only plot with its original wrought iron fence is the Jones family plot. Larry became president of the Cemetery Association in 1993, when his father who had been president for many years, passed away.

Stone’s Chapel Presbyterian Church closed in 2000 and, over the next several years, the building began to deteriorate. One day in 2009, Larry met with the guy who then cut the cemetery grass to discuss removing some brush. “We were standing in front of the Chapel,” Larry remembers. “I looked up through one of the tower windows and thought, ‘I never noticed that ceiling was blue.’ I realized I wasn’t looking at a ceiling. It was sky. The tower roof was missing!” Larry called the Shenandoah Presbytery office in Harrisonburg the next day. Using money remaining in Stone’s Chapel Presbyterian Church

accounts, the Presbytery reroofed the tower and made other repairs, including treating the floors for powder post beetles. When the church first closed, the Presbytery had offered it to the Cemetery Association, but wanted to put too many restrictions on the property’s use. After the Cemetery Association turned them down, they put the property up for sale but had no takers. In 2010, Reverend Thomas Rhine, the Presbytery’s representative, approached Larry with a proposal. If Larry could form a nonprofit organization with an endowment fund sufficient to care for the Chapel,

the Presbytery would give them the Chapel, no strings attached. The Cemetery Association was dissolved, its remaining assets transferred, and Stone’s Chapel Memorial Association was born. “I thought once we got the nonprofit formed, transferring ownership would be quick and simple,” Larry recalls. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The only deed recorded for the Chapel was in 1793, when Jacob Stone and his wife Barbara conveyed the property jointly to the “trustees of the Lutheran and Calvinist societies.” Long before the Stones conveyed the property to the Lutheran and Calvinist


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churches, it had been a place of worship. By 1785, a log structure stood on the site, known as “Steinkirche” by the area’s German-speaking Lutherans. The earliest recorded reference to Presbyterian use of the Chapel was the appointment of Reverend J.C. Leach by the Winchester Presbytery in 1824 to preach at “Stone’s Meeting House.” The cornerstone of the current brick chapel reads “1848” but it is uncertain exactly who built the building. Most likely, construction was a joint effort between Presbyterian and Lutheran congregations. Anecdotal evidence suggests that bricks for the chapel were fired at the Glendale plantation just across Old Charles Town Road. As the Lutheran population

of Clarke County dwindled, Presbyterians became the exclusive users of Stone’s Chapel. By 1888, when Stone’s Chapel Presbyterian Church was formally organized as a separate congregation, the chapel was presumed to belong to the Presbyterians. However, no new deed had been ever recorded. In order for the Shenandoah Presbytery to transfer Stone’s Chapel to the Memorial Association, they first had to prove they owned it. “The Presbytery had to go to court and have a judge determine that the chapel belonged to them,” Larry says. “Then they could give it to us.” In November 2012, two years after agreeing to the transfer, Stone’s Chapel Memorial Association received the deed to the chapel. Since then, the Association has been raising money to restore the chapel. Fundraising efforts began with soliciting donations from former members and friends, including passing a collection plate at chapel events. So far, a new roof has been installed, mortar on the back of the tower repointed, water damage to the interior plaster repaired and the interior repainted. Larry estimates that there is another $80,000 worth of repairs needed, including repairing and painting the windows, repointing the bricks, and a new electrical panel. “That doesn’t count repairs

to the cemetery,” Larry notes. On September 10, the Memorial Association held a benefit concert with Kevin Dunn, an Elvis tribute artist, at John Enders Fire Hall. Larry hopes that the event will raise awareness about the chapel, as well as some needed funds. The Memorial Association would like to lease the chapel to a congregation, continuing the building’s traditional use as a place of worship. However, they need to install a bathroom, which will entail digging a well and installing an alternative septic system. In the meantime, the chapel is available for daily event rentals. The public will have two opportunities to see the chapel this year. The Memorial Association’s annual Fall Gathering is Saturday, September 24, starting at 11am. Following a short program, there will be a potluck luncheon. A main dish will be provided. Everyone is invited to bring a salad, side dish or dessert. In December, the chapel will host its 4th annual Candlelight Christmas Service on Sunday, December 11, at 6:00pm. For more information about Stone’s Chapel and these events, visit Betsy Arnett is an historic preservationist, writer and award-winning photographer. She is the current chair of the Clarke County Historic Preservation Commission and lives in Boyce.

Josephine School Community Museum Book Club “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson Sunday, October 9

3 – 5pm

“A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.” #1 New York Times Bestseller and Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • Washington Post • Boston Globe • Seattle Times • Esquire • Time

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BATTLETOWN AnimAl CliniC Serving the community for over 30 years. 3823 Lord Fairfax Hwy, 1/2 mile north of Berryville

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Beaumont House Design: Telling your love story with flowers By Claire Stuart

Whether it’s a single lovely bloom, a bouquet, or a whole garden, flowers have a certain magic that elicits smiles and happiness, and there’s no happier occasion for flowers than a wedding. As a floral designer specializing in weddings and events, Julie Wheeler Abrera

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radiates enthusiasm when she talks about her work. She understands how important flowers are to a bride and believes that every bride “needs to feel amazing and wonderful with everyone on her team of wedding vendors.” Growing up in Berryville,

Abrera always loved flowers and trees. “Gardening is in my DNA,” she says. “Mom was an avid gardener — Dad, too. But at 18, I never would have thought that I’d be doing this.” Actually, Abrera took a vastly different path before returning to her figurative and literal

roots. For 20 years, she lived in Alexandria, working in management of nonprofits involved with humanitarian projects like affordable housing and school nutrition programs. She was proud of her work, yet felt that something was lacking in her life.

Pondering a career change, Abrera thought about how she had always enjoyed working with flowers. It could be possible to make people happy while bringing herself the joy that creative people seek in their work. She decided to take some classes at FlowerSchool New York while still working, “to see if I could seriously do this for a career.” FlowerSchool New York offers floral design classes on a host of topics, from beginner’s level through the latest new design styles for experienced professionals. Intensive workshops are taught by top floral designers from all around the world. “It’s a wonderful place to hone your skills,” said Abrera, “and discover the things you are good at.” Abrera came away convinced that she could be successful, and launched her own studio, Beaumont House Design, in 2013. The first wedding she booked was for a friend of a friend in Alexandria. She recalls that she felt tremendous


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pressure to make her flowers live up to the bride’s expectations, and she was happy to report that the bride loved them. Her business has continued to grow through brides referring her to friends and through social media. She does a lot of networking, building relationships with photographers, wedding planners, caterers and other wedding vendors. She joined the Ashburn chapter of the Rising Tide Society, a national online creative commu-

nity with local chapters. They offer business webinars, educational opportunities, and ideas for creative entrepreneurs, and they meet in person once a month. Abrera enjoys the challenge of constantly stretching herself to learn more. “Working with flowers, you are always learning new things and practicing,” she reported. “You have never completely mastered it.” She recently attended a workshop in Bethesda

learning a new technique for making flower crowns. She follows Ponderosa and Thyme, an Oregon fine-art wedding and event floral boutique online. She was so taken with a picture of a bouquet they posted that she contacted them. When it was announced that they were giving a workshop, she quickly grabbed a spot before they sold out and flew out to Oregon to participate. Abrera loves creating everything from wrist corsages to floral arches. She shared a photo of a stunningly beautiful arch made for a wedding, using a trellis base covered with chicken wire, into which the flowers were placed. “I did one with eight or nine hundred individual blooms,” she said. “Each bloom is in a flower pick with water to keep it fresh.” She also loves to teach. She has held wreath-making workshops and looks forward to doing some flower crown workshops. Some of her flowers are gathered from her own cutting garden, which she started just this year. She pointed out a stack of seed catalogs and noted that she is taking what she learned this year into her planning for next year. She also enjoys foraging for wild flowers and green accent plants in the fields near her Clarke County home. “I always keep clippers and a basket in the car,” she declared.

Other flowers are purchased, and she buys as many locallysourced flowers as possible. Additional flowers come from a wholesaler in Baltimore, where flowers from all around the world are available. She buys a lot of flowers from Greenstone Fields in Purcelville, where they raise over 90 varieties of flowers and something beautiful is available throughout the growing seasons. “Greenstone Fields raises their flowers using organic methods,” she said. She noted that this is especially important for weddings, so that the clients will not have to be concerned about pesticides on the flowers. Of course, Abrera admits that production work can be stressful, particularly on the wedding day. “I might have 20

centerpieces to pack and load safely,” she explained. “My husband Richard helps me with deliveries. He is the vice president of logistics!” Abrera likes to form a relationship with every bride-tobe, inviting her to bring her ideas, lists of favorite flowers, and dreams of what she wants her special day to look like. She reports that she has never experienced a “Bridezilla.” “All the brides I have worked with have been wonderful and appreciative. I love to present the bouquet to the bride. I want to be her personal connection with the flowers. When the bride says, ‘It’s what I imagined,’ it makes me float!” Visit her website at or call 703-8013529; studio hours by appointment.


STOP LOOKING UP. Even if weekend projects have you down, don’t stop looking up for overhead power lines. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative reminds you to be safe and stay clear of all utility lines.

Fall Into Clarke County for The Arts, OR ST HI







See What’s Coming Up at

CONTACT INFO 95 Chalmers Court | Berryville, VA | 22611 | P: 540-955-2004

Aaron Riddle Photography (

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The Clarke County Studio Tour

October 1st & 2nd 2016 10 am - 5 pm Special thanks to the following sponsors: Bank of Clarke County, Barns of Rose Hill, Berryville Main Street, Clarke County Historical Society, Fire House Gallery, Geo's Joy Herbal Medicine, Loudoun Mutual Insurance, Social Graces Dance Studio, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Waypoint House Bed and Breakfast

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Clarke County, Virginia

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Oct. 8 & 9 | 9 - 4:30 Rain or Shine Fall Festival & Plant Sale Native Plants • Small Trees Hayrides • Kids’ Activities Guided Tours $10 per car 540-837-1758 Ext 224

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The Mill aT CarTer hall arT Show October 1-9 • 10am-5pm

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Art at the Mill Octobe r 1 -1 6 , 201 6

Burwell- Morgan Mill 15 Tanne ry Lane, Millwood, Virginia 22646 Hours: Sundays-Fridays 12-5; Saturdays 10-6 Admission: $5-adults, $3-seniors, students free Over 1,000 original artworks by 175 artists Information: 540.955.2600 Burwell-Morgan Mill: 540.837.1799

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SEPTEMBE R 201 6 News from Berryville Main Street

Cruise In: A Great Berryville Bash Photos by Sandy Williams

Sandy Williams Photography, Berryville,



On Saturday, August 26th, over 200 cars rolled into Berryville to enjoy Berryville Main Streets first annual Summer’s End Cruise In. There were specials all over town for lunch and coupons for retail businesses that stayed open late for the event. Mitzie Myers, owner of Jane’s Lunch said, “I have never seen so many people in my restaurant and downtown enjoying themselves.” Many folks also commented on how great the music was, provided by D.J Bret Fuller, owner of Big Daddy’s Automotive. Berryville Main Street would like to thank the many businesses in town that

helped to sponsor the event, especially Bank of Clarke County, Blossman Gas and Trip’s Auto Sales. Along with business sponsorships, local police officers and a dedicated team of volunteers dove in and helped springboard this first time event. One name in particular needs to mentioned: Mary Liz McCauley who has set up many Cruise Ins and car shows. A Berryville resident who works for the Bank of Clarke County, Mary Liz jumped in with both feet at the first phone call and showed us how it’s done! We also had Peoples Choice Awards for first, second, and

third place prizes for the most popular car. First place went to the owners of Family Run Trash Service who had a Shelby Mustang named Jack Pot. Second place went to Dickie and Sally Wolfe for a 1933 Dodge Sedan Delivery Car. Third place went to Wayne Armbrust for a 1966 Ford Cobra. Great food, toe tapping music, and of course pristine classic and antique cars were a winning formula for a great day in downtown Berryville. Thanks to all who came, and if you missed it, see you next year for Berryville Main Streets, second annual Summer’s End Cruise In!


S EPTE M BE R 201 6

Time for the Clarke County Studio Tour By Liam Harrison

Mark your calendars for the Clarke County Studio Tour on Saturday October and Sunday October 2. This self-guided, free family-friendly tour will take visitors through the Clarke County countryside and the towns of Berryville, Bluemont, Boyce, Millwood, and White Post. The tour offers a diverse group of 30 artists and 22 different locations. The artist studios will be open 10am–5pm each day. Most artists will be doing demonstrations, offering refreshments, and have items for sale. Locations will be marked by a tour sign at the location. On the tour you will see woodworkers, furniture makers, fine artists in watercolor, pastels, acrylics, and oil painting, pottery, a variety of sculpture, fiber art, jewelers, floral design, antique upcycled/repurposed items, art in nature, and hand carved gilded work. The following 30 artists are participating on the tour: Julie Abrera, Gale BowmanHarlow, Scott Carpenter, Tim Chambers, Mizue Croswell, Christy Dunkle, Jay and Peggy Duvall, Constance Fisher, Norma Fredrickson, Malcolm Harlow, Diane Harrison, Liam Harrison, Russ Harrison, Jeff Headley and Steve Hamilton, Hip and Humble - Julie Ashby

& Steve Scott, Dave Hickman, Sue Hickman, Ron Light, Carl Maples, George Maxwell, Tia Maggio, Julie Miles, Peter Miller, Keith Patterson, Kellie Patterson, Nancy Polo, Rachel Rogers, Mikisa Shaajhante, Bruce Smallwood, René Locklear White-Feather. Peter Miller, a frame maker on the tour, was key in helping revive the tour. A Connecticut native who moved to the area and opened his shop on Main Street in Berryville was amazed at the number of artists and artisans in the county. Peter started in January by pulling in a key group of artists, shop owners, citizens, and staff working on tourism in the town and county. After receiving all the responses from artists, the group was surprised by how many newcomers and the variety there is in the area that will be opening their studios. The Clarke County Studio Tour organization, headed by Miller, hopes to highlight the abundant creative talent that resides in Clarke County. Also, the group wants to help promote tourism which will benefit the county as a whole. The Clarke County visitor’s center at the Barns of Rose Hill is the center point of the tour, providing information on the area and tour, brochures, and

a viewing of the raffle items beginning mid-September. The center will have extended hours that weekend from 10am–4pm on Saturday and 10am–3pm on Sunday. Diane Harrison, a Berryville potter, helped run the previous tours in the county. She said that this tour goes above and beyond any that we have had in the past. The quality and the variety of skilled artists and artisans is amazing. “It has been a great pleasure to work with the group to get this one off the ground and to meet so many new artists to the area,” she said. A number of the artists are also participating in the new Top of Virginia Artisan Trail kicking off in September. This will help to give tourists and locals an idea of what a treasure of artistic talent Clarke County has to offer. A Passport Program gives each tour visitor a chance at one of many artist-donated items which will be on display starting September 16 at Barns of Rose Hill. Visitors will pick up a passport at their first stop. At each stop, the passport will be stamped marking where you have been. When a participant is finished with their tour, they turn in the passport at their last stop to be entered into the raffle. You must have visited at least one tour stop to be eligible for the raffle. Winners will be drawn the following week. A website allows visitors to preview artists with links to their websites and maps are available so that you can plan the route. The site is also phone friendly, and ties into Google Maps. You may also download the PDF brochure if you want to ‘go green’. The website address is clarkecountystudiotour. You may also access the tour Facebook page directly from the site for posts highlighting artists on the tour and updated information.

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Do Something For Yourself at Create N Take By Claire Stuart

(540) 450-8110 VAOBSERVER.COM

In today’s world, when so much time is spent working, both in and out of the home, it’s important to take some time out to do something nice for ourselves. It’s rewarding to take a break and create something beautiful, learn a new skill or refresh an old one, especially when you can do it with a group of friends. Now there’s a place to do just that at Create N Take in Berryville. Jennifer Otey comes from a family of crafters. She crochets, draws, paints, and jumps into any do-it-yourself project that catches her eye. She loves to make things and teach others, and her new little shop where people can get together and be creative is her dream come true. Whether you would like to learn to weave, knit, make a rustic sign, paint on glass, tie a fancy bow, or even make a pair of moccasins, there is a class for you at Create N Take. And if you are getting ready for a wedding, a photography session or just want a new look, there are

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even makeup workshops. Otey is joined by nearly a dozen highly qualified teachers with specialties including fiber arts, interior design, photography, floral design, jewelry making, makeup, and more. Otey explained that most classes are completed in one session. “You will learn a skill that you can use at home or you will leave with something you made in class.” Some classes, like oil painting, will be a series, starting with beginning level and working up. All materials are supplied in most classes, but in some cases you may bring your own for a lower cost. Classes are offered for all ages, from toddlers to adults, and art classes for home schoolers are available. Earliest classes begin at 10am, and classes are held throughout the day and into evenings.

Private classes can be arranged for churches, organizations and other groups, with places available for eight to ten participants, unless more room is required for a particular craft. “We also do birthday parties,” said Otey. “We are not limiting ourselves. You can even ask for a special class, and we will hold it if we have a teacher for it.” It is necessary to sign up and pay for most classes 48 hours in advance so that supplies will be available. You can sign up for classes that don’t require supplies (Fiber Night, Coloring Night) at the last minute, as long as there is space. For details on classes, see the web site. More teachers and classes are going to be added, so check the web site for updates. Create N Take is located at 30 West Main Street in Berryville. Web site:

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S EPTE M BE R 201 6

A Very Special Aniversary The Woman’s Club of Clarke County Turns 100 By Edith Welliver

Just as Rosie the Riveter became a symbol for American women after World War II of all they could accomplish, women in the post-Civil War period discovered that they were able to launch new initiatives, and they did so in a big way. Across the growing nation they organized as the National Federation of Women’s Clubs. The intent was to recruit the combined strength of women of all creeds, stations, races, and interests. By 1894 the Woman’s Club of Richmond was creating a public library and an art museum. In 1907 a Lynchburg group invited other community clubs to join a federation, and the idea of a State alliance caught on in Clarke County. About forty representatives from Wycliffe and White Post and elsewhere rallied around Miss Annie Moore and Mrs. John D. Richardson at the Courthouse in Berryville to establish the Women’s Club of Clarke County on November 1, 1916, exactly a century ago. Three years later, with a membership of nearly a hundred women, they were able to welcome the sixty delegates of the State Federation with plans for the numerous projects they hoped to initiate. Clarke County’s motto, which members value and cite to this day, was “Not what we give, but what we share.”

The Constitutional structure of the clubs established four “departments”, among which the members might choose as areas for collective action. With co-education on the rise nationally, Education, through schooling and through lectures, reading, and service, was a primary purpose of the Federation everywhere. Art and Literature promotion was to be a fruit of this “intellectual improvement.” The Civic department made a “united effort for the welfare of the community.” And the Philanthropic department never lacked for challenges through times when a 25 cent dues increase or a $10 club donation represented sacrificial sharing. Early projects of the Clarke County club reflect the standard of living in rural America between the World Wars and during the Great Depression. The women considered it a success when their pressure led to abandoning the common dipper at the Berryville school in favor of individual drinking cups. They campaigned to eliminate privies, for rat extermination, for fly traps, and for a ban on in-town pig pens. Volunteers maintained a Better Baby Clinic. City beautification involved more gardening, trees, bird feeders, park space, playgrounds, cleaner streets, and fewer large billboards. A

Junior Woman’s Club formed separately for a while to carry on work as charter members of the original club aged. Both World Wars required women’s efforts on the homefront. The club encouraged, for example, Victory Gardens, a War Bond rally, knitting and bandage-making for the Red Cross, paper and metal salvage drives, work for veterans and war-wounded, and eventually CARE aid for war-torn Europe, in addition to keeping life as stable and normal as possible for upset families and communites during the manpower shortage. After World War II, in 1955, the Virginia Federation’s Northern District representatives met in Berryville. Club members have since expanded the contact beyond the county with bus trips to Washington, DC’s Mall memorials and museums. There has been generational turn-over in the club, but its sharing goals are not lost. The “social enjoyment” purpose mentioned in the Constitution no longer entails hats, gloves, and selective membership; things are open to all and much more relaxed. But among the monthly meetings on informative topics this year are interspersed a May spring luncheon at a Winchester restaurant and a soup and sandwich luncheon

in October. The educational philanthropic scholarship fund, begun in 1931, continues, now directed to a Clarke County High School student who plans to study nursing. Choosing two 2016 winners, Trisha Vergara and Chloe Peyton, the club doubled their normal benevolence. Both young women were introduced at the club’s July business meeting. Seven Committees and five or six officers carry on the club’s business each month, meeting at the Berryville Baptist Church’s fellowship hall. Marggie Legard (Mrs. Sam Legard)

is their president. Newcomers are welcome, normally on second Thursdays at 2pm (except for 12:30 on luncheon days), for the business session, program, and refreshment time. There is no August meeting because people are busy with their Civic engagement at the County Fair. November 1 this year is special for the approximately 50 members of the Women’s Club of Clarke County — for ten more women than were in the 1916 charter group — as they now observe the Centennial Celebration of the proud, shared, history behind them.


The Family Trust Numismatic 18 N. Church Street. • Berryville, VA 22611 (Across the Street from the Berryville Post Office)



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It’s true – probably the best thing about being a real estate agent is the opportunity to see into so many houses, of all different sizes, ages, decors, and architectural styles. I have had the privilege of meandering through some of the grandest, biggest, oldest, or most historical structures in the area, among others. I have stood in rooms wherein that rich, maybe a little musty perfume of age ignites my imagination to create tableaus of what life in these rooms might have looked like a century or two ago. The ancient scraps of wallpaper, the crumbling spots of lath and plaster, the antique linoleum rugs, the wavy glass in the windows, all transport me to other times. Often these houses have been added onto, so one walks from 1840 through a doorway to 1950, and then down a dark hallway into 1970.

Those time travels are fun too, though sometimes aesthetically jarring. I traverse a large room with wide board floors and gracious fireplaces to a tiny room with tiny windows and narrow board floors to a medium-sized room with metal windows and a vinyl floor. Once in a while, though, there is a house where those leaps in time have been smoothed, and the edges of the transitions carefully honed, so that by the time I have walked through the 150 years of house, I am almost convinced that the huge refrigerator has been in that kitchen since it was built! The house in the center of Duck Pond is such a house. This 39-acre property, outside of Boyce in the middle of horse farm country, is that rare kind of place where time stops at whatever point you wish to visit in the last 150 years. Its renovation has been so gentle

that any turbulence in the time continuum is undetectable. The house appears to be in miniature as I approach on the long drive, but as I get close, it grows in size. The porch is wide and gracious and wraps around three sides. The owner says it catches all the breezes in the summer, and I believe it. A pretty portico reaches across the curve of the driveway, and the view from the porch is one of fields, fences, and trees. The duck pond for which the property is named is in one of the front fields, and does occasionally host families of ducks. Entering the house is almost like entering a sanctuary. The perfect symmetry and large size of the front rooms seem to me a bit Jeffersonian. Angled fireplaces and tall windows, wide board floors and antique light fixtures place me in 1870, when this part of the


S EPTE M BE R 201 6

house was built. The aura of the house is one of stillness, and utter serenity. Through a doorway and up the solid old stairs are three charming bedrooms, with beadboard closets and a shared bathroom which looks as though it has always been there. I stop on the landing going downstairs, transfixed by the lovely window and nearby detail in the woodwork. And the views out of every window are green and inviting. On through a doorway into the last of the original rooms, then into the kitchen. The cabinets, half of them handmade by local artisan Jay Duvall, echo the mood and architecture of the house perfectly, and the eating area is dazzling with the light coming through the wall of windows, winsomely designed to suggest gothic arches. Through another door, seamlessly entering an earlier time period, into the original part of the house, with another staircase up to office and extra room. The master suite is on the main level at the absolute back of the house, full of windows (with faithfully old-fashioned woodwork) and tranquility. I have to go outside and be in the spaces I see from the windows. So many doors to so many porches! I stop on the steps to the side yard and just soak in the atmosphere, listening to the fountain and a sleepy bird, admiring the exuberant plantings. Finally I’m able to move, and we walk out to the handsome barn to admire its adorable equine occupants. With four stalls and all the amenities and space in the barn, a run-in shed, board fencing, multiple paddocks, and its own trail system, the 39-acre Duck Pond is heaven for a horse owner and her/his horses. So the house is entrancing. And one of the reasons is its architecture, which is Gothic Revival. I am told that it is one of a very few Gothic Revival houses in Clarke County. Some-

how, that wave which was very popular in other parts of the country in the mid 1800’s, parted and rolled around Clarke County. I’m guessing that’s because not a lot of houses were being built here at the time, because it was so settled already. Out west where land was being claimed and built on, and in the northeast where communities of vacation homes were being built for the first time, Gothic Revival thrived, and is visible in whole communities today. What is Gothic Revival anyway? Well, in churches and university buildings, it’s the fancy, huge, elaborately decorated stone, with steep roof pitches and lots of pointed arches and lancet windows. In houses, the most common elements of it are a prominent gable over the front entrance at the center of the house, and pointed arches, either along porches, or in doorways and windows. Most of the time, there is elaborate gingerbread giving the distinctive “wedding cake” appearance. (Not so on Duck Pond – simple and restful lines, I’m glad to say.) The Pennsylvania Architectural Field Guide informs me: “The Gothic Revival style in America was advanced by architects Alexander Jackson Davis and especially Andrew Jackson Downing, authors of influential house plan books, Rural Residences (1837), Cottage Residences (1842), and The Architecture of Country Houses (1850). This style was promoted as an appropriate design for rural settings, with its complex and irregular shapes and forms fitting well into the natural landscape. Thus, the Gothic Revival style was often chosen for country homes and houses in rural or small town settings.” The house at Duck Pond is a gentle version of this style. It has a fairly steep central gable with a dormer on each side providing symmetry. There are details throughout

the house (some old, some new) which imply the gothic pointed arch – the wall of windows in the kitchen, the lovely stained-glass detail in the upper kitchen cabinets. The diamond-paned windows upstairs and the handsome woodwork throughout add to the gothic impression. There are a lot of reasons to love Duck Pond, and it is on the market and ready for new owners. If those new owners are looking for seclusion and stillness, they will find it here. If they are looking for a private playground for their horses, dogs, or other beasts, or for busy, adventurous children, they will find it here. Duck Pond stands ready to beguile. Wendy Gooditis is a real estate agent on the Chip Schutte Real Estate Team with ReMax Roots at 101 East Main St., Berryville, VA 22611, phone (540)955-0911. Wendy would be happy to answer any questions you may have about real estate, and can be reached at gooditis@ or at (540)533-0840.

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Lakeside Dining in the Shenandoah Valley— Region’s 117 It’s a wonderful time to live in the Shenandoah Valley! Everywhere you look, there are new shops, businesses, and restaurants taking advantage of the gorgeous scenery and providing wonderful goods and services to the generous people who call this corner of Virginia home. One of the most exciting additions lately has been Region’s 117. The spectacular new restaurant is located just a short distance down 522 South, about 15 minutes from Winchester, at the Lake Frederick Shenandoah Lodge. The Lodge was recently unveiled to Lake Frederick residents, members and guests. Region’s 117 is the jewel of the

36,000 square foot masterpiece, which has a stunning veranda with a view of Lake Frederick — in fact it’s the only lakeside dining available in the area! The interior of the restaurant is exquisite — with exposed wooden beams along the ceiling (with “Oh Shenandoah” in elegant script burned into the wood), handsome blond woodwork throughout, gorgeous furniture appointed with plush couches, plump pillows and streamlined chairs surrounding a four-sided glass enclosed fireplace, inviting guests in to sit awhile. The interior design firm Design Lines based out of Denver, who designs all of Shea Homes’ projects, paid

close attention to the style of the region when crafting the club’s interior. Some of the art, sculptures, and furniture dotted around the restaurant and lodge hails from Cleveland Art, a specialty store that utilizes repurposed, reclaimed and reused local industrial machinery and surplus. “The wheels on the bar carts in Region’s 117 were from the Remington Gun Factory which dates back to the Civil War era,” Club General Manager Barrie Holt explained. “It was really important for us to honor and showcase the local environment when we were constructing the restaurant space.” The Inglenook bar at Region’s 117 features comfortable seating around the magnificent four-sided fireplace. It’s the perfect place to gather with friends for a drink before a delicious dinner. Located behind the bar is The Paddock, a private dining suite perfect for a private meeting or an intimate get together with friends. Perhaps the most spectacular feature of Region’s 117 is the views of Lake Frederick. As the only venue for lakeside dining in the Valley, a visit to Region’s 117 is truly a unique experience. The large windows allow guests inside to see out onto the expansive Veranda. If you’re lucky enough to grab a seat outside, and the weather cooperates, the Veranda is the best seat in the house to take in the fresh Virginia air and enjoy the uninterrupted views of the lake. And with autumn almost upon us, the scenery promises to be simply breathtaking! A Virginia native, executive chef Scott Bilstad brings a passion for local ingredients to every dish he creates at Region’s 117. Most of the ingredients used are locally-sourced, within 117 miles of the restaurant. Some vegetables and herbs

are harvested even closer, just steps from the front door! “We will be planting a culinary garden onsite and harvesting our own thyme, parsley, basil, and rosemary as well as tomato, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. One thing I love to do is pickling — anything and everything,” Bilstad said. Region’s 117’s menu will change seasonally, giving Bilstad the freedom to compose new and interesting recipes based on what’s in season locally, especially on the artisan pizzas made in the on-site woodfired oven. He’s excited for next year’s apple season when he can use apples from the on-site orchard being planted. “Look for a specialty apple dessert or two, for sure!” Bilstad said. Carol and Vernard Bennett,

who retired here five years ago from New Jersey, are excited to add Region’s 117 to their idyllic area. “We are looking forward to having such a beautiful place to dine so close,” Mrs. Bennett explains. So next time instead of driving past Lake Frederick Drive, do yourself a favor and turn in. Spend some time at Region’s 117 on the Veranda with good company, enjoying a fresh, farm to table meal, overlooking the gorgeous lake — your loved ones — and taste buds — will thank you! Region’s 117 is open to the public Wednesday – Saturday from 11:30am to 9:00pm and Sundays for brunch from 11am to 3pm. For more information on Region’s 117, please visit


S EPTE M BE R 201 6

ACFF Brings Best of Fest to Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, VA Islands of Creation film screening & discussion with Smithsonian ecologist Bill McShea

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VAOBSERVER.COM In Loving Memory of Paula Costello

It is hard to believe its been one year ago, September 6, since you were called home to Heaven. We miss you. Love, all your family and friends.

The American Conservation Film Festival shares some of its most popular films from the preceding year’s festival at ‘Best of Fest’ screening events around the region, and, for the first time, ACFF is coming to Berryville, on Wednesday, September 28, 2016. The 2015 Broadcast Award-winning film Islands of Creation, created by filmmakers and biologists Nate Dappen and Neil Losin and distributed by the Smithsonian Channel, will be this Best of Fest’s feature film, followed by a brief discussion and Q and A with Dr. Bill McShea, a wildlife ecologist for the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. Islands of Creation follows biologist Albert Uy in the Solomon Islands as he attempts to “catch evolution in the act of creating a new species,” specifically a native bird called flycatchers. He depends on local guides to help him explore the wild habitat, collect data, and provide valuable observational skills. A visually beautiful film, it speaks to the spirit of human curiosity, collaboration, and discovery. It runs 46 minutes long. Previews of a few films from the upcoming 2016 Festival will also be shown. The American

Conservation Film Festival is in its 14th season of presenting films from a diverse group of conservation filmmakers from around the world. This year’s festival, running October 21-23 and October 28-30 in Shepherdstown, W.Va., offers 35 films on topics ranging from the value and history of seeds to work by conservation legends like E.O. Wilson to the effects of humanproduced sound in the oceans to very personal stories about protecting homelands, cultures, and wildlife. The films are often accompanied by their filmmakers or subject matter experts to lead discussions and share personal experiences. Additionally, ACFF offers family programming and a Conservation Filmmaker Workshop to aspiring and seasoned filmmakers. More on the festival at For this event, there is general admission of $5 per person and drinks will be available for purchase. Doors open at 6pm, films begin at 7pm. Seating is limited, so please purchase your ticket at Contact: Jennifer Lee at jennifer@, 540-539-615

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SEPTEMBE R 201 6 Valley Health Celebrates Dedication of New Cancer Center

Freestanding Facility at WMC Provides Hopeful Home for Comprehensive Cancer Care

After five years of planning, fundraising and construction, Valley Health has dedicated its new regional cancer treatment facility at Winchester Medical Center (WMC). Hundreds

of local officials, Valley Health trustees, physicians, staff and volunteers, donors, patients and area residents gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the new building,

which embodies the community support that made it possible, as well as the expertise, compassion and healing power found inside. “This beautiful new center

will benefit cancer patients, their families and our staff, functionally and aesthetically, by providing a bright, hopeful environment for those who, together, fight this disease,” said Valley Health System President and CEO Mark H. Merrill. On a lakeside site adjoining the Diagnostic Center on the north side of the WMC campus, the 52,000 square foot state-ofthe-art facility houses nearly every outpatient service a patient with cancer might need, including chemotherapy and radiation treatment areas, physician practices for surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, consult space for cancer patient navigators, nutrition counseling, integrative care and a clinical research office. Upstairs, a skywalk connects to the Diagnostic Center, where patients can access medical imaging, lab services and genetic counseling. A 70-seat meeting space makes cancer team conferences and patient, family and staff education more

convenient. The building’s siting and design capitalizes on natural light, expansive outdoor views and an impressive wheelchair-accessible healing garden with rocking chairs overlooking the water. “Cancer care has long been a vital service for us and for the communities we serve throughout our region,” said Winchester Medical Center President Grady W. “Skip” Philips, III. “This center enables our patients to conveniently access the entire spectrum of cancer services under one roof and have a more seamless, coordinated treatment experience from diagnostic services to surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, nutrition counseling, and integrative care. We have invested in state-of-the-art technology and continue to expand our established team with new cancer specialists who are drawn to our comprehensive program and vision for the future,” Philips adds. “This will be a wonderful place for our


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multidisciplinary team to work and our patients and families to be supported throughout treatment and recovery.” Physician practices within the new center are Shenandoah Oncology (radiation oncologists and medical oncologists/ hematologists), Valley Health Surgical Oncology (surgical oncologists, also thoracic surgeon, interventional pulmonologist and gynecological oncologists), and Valley Health Breast Center. The Cancer Center’s radiation oncology suite has two new Varian TrueBeam™ linear accelerators and an enhanced radiation treatment planning system. In the medical oncology department, the infusion/ chemotherapy area is spacious, with recliners overlooking the healing garden and lake and other comforting features for patients who may spend much of the day tethered to their intravenous treatment. The $28.5 million project was approved by the Valley Health System Board contingent on the WMC Foundation’s success with an ambitious $10 million capital campaign. Successful it has been: more than 1,700 individuals and businesses have made donations of all sizes totaling $10.2 million to date. “Our organization had not conducted a capital campaign for more than 50 years,” Merrill noted. “With strong leadership from Jimmy Wilkins, Harry Byrd, Bill Buettin and

Jason Aikens, the WMC Foundation received a phenomenal response from area businesses and individual donors, as well as our own Valley Health ‘family’-- the Winchester Medical Center Auxiliary, our trustees, physicians and employees.”

The largest single gift was an $800,000 pledge from the Winchester Medical Center Auxiliary. A $500,000 in-kind donation from Trex Co., Inc., made possible a striking pergola and extensive decking in the Trex Healing Garden, which provides

Private Parties and Corporate Events

Reserve our private dining room now for your Holiday parties!

Monday Night Surf & Turf!

Includes a 5oz. filet mignon, 5oz.crab cake, 2 shrimp, seasoned vegetables and your choice of mashed potatoes or a baked potato. $19.95

Happy Hour 3–8pm Monday through Saturday

Handcrafted drinks and delicious features in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Check out our new Happy Hour menu!

Creekside Shopping Center 3111 Valley Avenue • Winchester


both a peaceful outdoor destination for patients, families and staff and beautiful views from the lobby, treatment areas and conference room along the building’s south side. “I hope those who have made a donation to this Center have an opportunity to see the inspiring space created through their gifts,” said Merrill. For radiation oncologist Bruce Flax, MD, co-medical director of oncology services at WMC, the new Center provides a more pleasant environment, but he’s most excited about its functional beauty. “Putting our program under one roof will ensure closer collaboration between services and reduce patient and family stress. We are now providing less invasive and more precise treatments for brain, lung, head and neck and GI cancer, and we have

dedicated space for a full-time cancer nutritionist. Even the communal waiting room, with its soaring ceiling and beautiful view, will reduce fear and encourage a sense of community during a difficult time.” The new Cancer Center is located at 400 Campus Boulevard, Winchester. The facility will open to patients on Monday, August 29. Radiation Oncology’s move to the new Center will occur in late September to accommodate coordination of care for individual patients receiving radiation therapy. Valley Health, based in Winchester, Virginia, is a not-for-profit health system serving a population of over 450,000 in northwest Virginia, West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, and southwest Maryland. Visit