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Fauquier Times | March 25, 2020


Cabin fever sparks golf craze

By Peter Brewington Times S aff Wri er

Jimmy Mauro was a busy man Tuesday morning. Maybe even a little bit frantic.

The general manager at South Wales Golf Course in Jeffersonton is processing a huge uptick in tee times while educating his golfers about strict new precautions in these coronavirus-stricken times.

Only one person at a time is allowed to enter the South Wales clubhouse. Customers can only make snack bar purchases before they head out to play. Only one person at a time is allowed to use the bathroom. Carts are being sanitized religiously.

“We want to be extra, extra careful. Everyone six feet apart. We’re Cloroxing all carts, wiping the handles, you name it,” said Mauro.

But at least the course is open, which was the question of the day for Virginia golf courses Monday afternoon when Gov. Ralph Northam declared that all recreation facilities, including bowling alleys, movie theaters and fitness centers, must close. Courses have closed randomly in some areas. Three Prince William County public golf courses, Forest Greens, Prince William and Lake Ridge, are closed through March 31. Fairfax County also closed its public courses.

Those closings only drive more golfers to courses like South Wales, Stonewall Jackson Golf Course in

FILE PHOTO With public golf courses closing in Prince William and Fairfax counties, area golf course owners are relieved to be open. Tee times are way up.

Gainesville or Bull Run Golf Club in Haymarket.

“Oh yeah, it’s busier. We’re averaging 140 right now. On a normal day we do 100 to 130,” said Kyle Backers, Stonewall’s head golf pro. “We had 160 the other day. People are stuck at home and want to get out. They want a break, that’s what’s going on,” said Mike Tate, general manager at Bull Run.

Technically the only course in Fauquier County, the private Fauquier Springs Country Club, is also taking steps. “We are still open. We are still able to offer everything to our membership with strict guidelines and precautions,” said general manager Shawn Rogers.

South Wales had 93 people last Friday, a banner turnout.

“It’s getting so busy now. We’re the only public golf course in two counties, Culpeper and Fauquier,” said Mauro. “Golf is the only safe place around. People don’t have any place to go. They’re getting cabin fever.”

COVID-19 cancels

Harpole’s dream hike

By Peter Brewington Times S aff Wri er

COURTESY PHOTO Fauquier County's Doug Harpole calorie loads during his 2018 Appalachian Trail hike. After completing the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail in 2018, Doug Harpole of Amissville used 2019 to work on house projects, have knee surgery and bask in the warmth of his amazing feat.

For Harpole, the second leg of the triple crown of distance hikes beckoned next month as he planned to hike the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, which winds from Campo, Calif., on the Mexican border to British Columbia.

Harpole was set to leave April 15 to fly to San Diego. Just last week he learned the PCT was closed for through-hikers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, dashing his plans.

The biggest problem was re-supply of food and water, and the ability to get rides into towns, especially in California.

“You think you’re safe out there, but you’ve got to come into town eventually,” Harpole said.

“I was feeling strong, ready to go. I was upping miles, talking to the doctor about my knee and hiking 8 to 10 miles with a full pack,” said Harpole, 59, who was recently fitted with a high-tech, ultra-light knee brace. “Now I gotta find something to do. I’m still young. There are trails out there, and they’ll be there again,” said the Texas native.

His daughter, Natalie, works as a horse trail guide in New Zealand, and he may go hike the 1,864-mile national trail called the Te Araroa there this December.

He says his wife, Susan, is happy to have him home. “Oh yeah, especially with this virus. She did not want me out there,” said Harpole, who noted the Appalachian Trail is also closed.

Spring sports likely wiped out

By Peter Brewington Times S aff Wri er

Gov. Ralph Northam’s announcement closing all Virginia schools for the rest of the year appears to effectively end high school spring sports for 2020.

“We’re in shock right now,” said Kettle Run activities director Paul Frye. “Any plan we had to get going after spring break is out the door now. We did have a plan in place to get going then. Now we’re not allowed to do anything.”

The Virginia High School League (VHSL) scheduled a crisis management team meeting Tuesday to consider lastditch possibilities to help salvage the season, so stay tuned.

FILE PHOTO With school cancelled the rest of the year, spring sports look unlikely to happen, ending the careers of seniors.

You can still hike, play tennis, pickleball

No, washing your hands 15 times a day isn’t aerobic exercise.

But hiking, tennis and pickleball all burn calories, and all are still available in some form locally and in Fauquier County.

Hiking has become more popular than ever. Parking lots were overflowing Sunday at Sky Meadows State Park, with similar issues along Skyline Drive. Access roads to the popular Old Rag trail were closed down at times this past weekend due to volume. Tennis still an option that allows for exercise at a safe distance. Gary Rzepecki of Fauquier County Parks and Rec says the tennis court at Vint Hill park by the community center is open for play as long as fewer than 10 people are playing.

Currently, schools do not allow use of their tennis courts, but some hope that policy could change. “The last word we got from the schools is no recreational activities could take place at the schools,” Rzepecki said. Pickleball is also being played at the one court at Academy Hill Park in Warrenton, where devoted players are connecting through texts to meet while staying under the 10-person limit.

Want more? visit Fauquier.com

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With many folks suffering from vision loss, “Reading Club”has been adapted toprovide opportunities to listento great stories. March is National Eye Awareness Month

If you want to learn more about vision loss among seniors, check out our March Newsletter at www.hiddenspringsseniorliving.com

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Staff Reports

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation has created an Emergency Response Fund. The fund has been established to assist 501(c)(3) nonprofits or public service entities that provide a community service and are experiencing a hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis, a press release reads.

NPCF Executive Director Jane Bowling-Wilson said in the release, “We knew that a local philanthropic response was critical and we wanted to be prepared … These are unprecedented times and we are assessing how we can help daily.”

To apply, agencies may compose an email letter addressed to NPCF, Emergency Response Fund, and send it to: need@npcf.org. The letter should provide: • The organization’s name, EIN number, address and contact information. • The short-term implications for the organization due to the COVID-19 crisis and the anticipated long-term (three months or more) effects on the organization. • A simple budget that highlights the need for funding. Funding amounts will vary and NPCF staff members recognize that funding needs may change.

If awarded, organizations may reapply in one month, or sooner if there are extenuating circumstances.

The NPCF will respond to funding requests within one week of the request. Agencies may email jbwilson@npcf.org or call 540-349-0631, ext.1 or 3, with questions.

Because this is an evolving situation, the press release states, award amounts and further criteria will be adjusted as needed. The press release states that the fund “will operate in partnership with local governments, schools, other foundations and the private sector to address current and emerging needs and will work to strategically fill gaps in support.

“… In addition to health concerns, the pandemic for many will result in loss of income and limited access to food, supplies and education. Public emergencies such as this tend to be disproportionate in their impacts. We are deeply aware that the needs for some in our community will be critical ... We must invest in each other, now more than ever, to provide support for others and alleviate the community-wide effects of this historic crisis.”

Bowling-Wilson added, “Thanks to the PATH Foundation and several donors for kick-starting this community funding!”

Information for donors and nonprofits may be accessed at www.npcr.org.

Give Local Piedmont is May 5

Tuesday, May 5, will be the seventh annual Northern Piedmont Community Foundation Give Local Piedmont, a one-day online giving event.

The annual fundraising event “allows individuals to improve their community quickly and easily” and “promotes giving generously to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that make our region stronger,” according to a Northern Piedmont Community Foundation announcement. The online giving event also “fosters friendly competition through prizes and bonus incentives to raise more money than is actually donated,” according to the announcement.

Anyone can participate with a donation of $10 or more. Nonprofits must register before April 17 to participate. Donors may pre-schedule donations beginning April 21. For more information, visit givelocalpiedmont.org or email communityservices@npcf.org. The Warrenton Volunteer Fire Company, which has provided more than a century of service to the citizens of Warrenton and Fauquier County, is launching its annual fundraising event. The fundraising drive is being accomplished through the mail. Chief Jason Koglin wrote in a press release, “We are mailing a letter to each resident and property owner requesting financial support. Because of your support of our annual letter drive, we no longer have to go door to door or call for donations. As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, your donation is tax-deductible.”

The WVFC is a mostly volunteer organization with more than 140 members and relies heavily on donations, grants and fundraising events to fund their lifesaving work. The WVFC provides fire prevention, protection services and emergency medical services to the Town of Warrenton as well as surrounding communities in Fauquier County.

For more information about the organization, visit www.warrentonfire.org. WVFD looks for donations

Appleton Campbell provides essential services including plumbing, heating, cooling, air quality and electrical. Our priorities are to: • Protect the comfort and sanitation of your home. • Protect the health of customers. • Protect the wellbeing of our employees. As a community there have been many challenges we’ve faced together during the many years Appleton Campbell has been in business. This is another one, but it is one we will rise to. We are well-prepared to meet these challenges, and together we will be able to keep your home running while also putting health and safety at the forefront of everything we do. Appleton Campbell’s March special has been extended to the end of April - $29 inspection of any service we offer as well as further discounts on new heating/cooling systems. Please feel free to contact us at 540-347-0765 or send a text/email at appletoncampbell.com Sincerely, Mike Appleton, President P.S. There is a lot of uncertainty and misinformation about the virus on social media. If you want factual information about the virus or updates, we suggest checking the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website: www.cdc.gov