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OCCOQUAN CRAFT SHOW

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CONFIDENCE THROUGH CREATIVITY

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A FRIEND BY ANY OTHER NAME

prince william living September 2011

The premiere lifestyle magazine of Prince William and Greater Manassas

www.princewilliamliving.com


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table of contents September 2011 Vol. 1 No. 9

FEATURES Making the Grade..................................................4

4 DEPARTMENTS from the publisher..................................................3 advertiser index ....................................................3 destinations Occoquan Craft Show ..........................................10 family fun Old Dominion Karting ........................................12 local flavor Occoquan’s Madigan’s Waterfront Restaurant ......14

10 Photo courtesy Jennifer Garnett

giving back Literacy Volunteers of AmericaPrince William, Inc. ............................................16 going places OMG @ QMT windchimes ................................18 on a high note Confidence rough Creativity ............................20 tambourines and elephants A Friend by Any Other Name ..............................23 calendar ..............................................................25 distribution sites ................................................29

12 Photo courtesy Allison Perrin

prince william living September 2011 | 1


The premiere lifestyle magazine of Prince William and Greater Manassas

Prince William Living Editor in Chief and Publisher Elizabeth Kirkland ekirkland@princewilliamliving.com Prince William Living President Rebecca Barnes rbarnes@princewilliamliving.com Contributing Writers Dennis Chang, Carla Christiano, Audrey Harman, Boyd Lillard, Olivia Overman, Casey Rives, Linda Ross Pugel and DeeDee Corbitt Sauter Copy Assistant Marya Wright Unrath Photography Katherine Cantolina, Jennifer Garnett, Allison Perrin, Casey Rives and Tamar Wilsher-Rivas Graphic Design and Production Alison Dixon/Image Prep Studio Senior Advertising Account Executive Eileen Classick-Terry Advertising Account Executives Yahaira M. Stewart and Patty Tracy Prince William Living, the premiere lifestyle magazine of Prince William and Greater Manassas, is published monthly by Prince William Living, Inc. e opinions expressed in the magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Prince William Living. © Copyright 2011 by Prince William Living, Inc. All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced or translated without written permission. Visit the Prince William Living website at www.princewilliamliving.com for reprint permission.

Prince William Living 4491 Cheshire Station Plaza, PMB 55 Dale City, VA 22193 Phone: (703) 232-1758 Efax: (703) 563-9185 Editorial offices: (703) 232-1758, ext. 2 Efax: (703) 563-9185 Advertising offices: (703) 232-1758, ext. 1 Efax: (703) 563-9185 Editorial Have a story you’d like our staff to cover? Contact Prince William Living Editor in Chief and Publisher Elizabeth Kirkland, either by phone at (703) 232-1758, ext. 2, or by email at ekirkland@princewilliamliving.com. Advertising Prince William Living accepts display advertising. For complete advertising information, please contact Rebecca Barnes, Prince William Living president, either by phone at (703) 232-1758, ext. 1, or by email at rbarnes@princewilliamliving.com. Distribution If you are your business’ decision maker and you have a waiting room or other place your customers and employees would appreciate finding a copy of Prince William Living, please call Prince William Living President Rebecca Barnes and ask about how your business can become a free distribution site for Prince William Living. Rebecca can be reached by phone at (703) 232-1758, ext. 1, or by email at rbarnes@princewilliamliving.com. By becoming a distributor of Prince William Living, your business will be mentioned on the Prince William Living website and in future issues of Prince William Living. Social Media

Subscription rate is $12 (U.S.), one year. International subscribers add $12 each year. Change of address notices should be sent to Prince William Living President Rebecca Barnes. Reprints and Back Issues: To order article reprints or request reprint permission, please visit the Prince William Living website: www.princewilliamliving.com. Order back issues by calling Prince William Living President Rebecca Barnes at (703) 232-1758, ext. 1. For further information about Prince William Living, visit www.princewilliamliving.com, or contact Prince William Living at (703) 232-1758.

2 | September 2011 prince william living

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from the publisher

With the heat and (hopefully) the earthquakes of August now behind us, it’s back-to-school for the kids and for the teachers of Prince William and Greater Manassas. And while September may be a month that is deplored by many students and adored by most parents, with so many wonderful educational opportunities and options in the area, both students and parents alike have reason to rejoice. Read all about these options in Olivia Overman’s article, “Making the Grade” (page 4). Looking for some way to celebrate September? Why not check out the Occoquan Craft Show, which is scheduled this year for Sept. 25–26. (Read about it in this month’s Destinations article by Audrey Harman—page 10.) Or, visit the Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas for some gokart racing excitement. Writers Boyd Lillard and Audrey Harman share all the details about go-karting fun at the Old Dominion Speedway in this month’s Family Fun article—page 12.

Advertiser Index

Still not satisfied with September? Why not get away from it all by visiting Madigan’s restaurant Read about their American fare in this month’s Local Flavor, by Carla Christiano. Want to give back to your community? Why not volunteer to help with the Literacy Volunteers of America – Prince William, Inc.? Read about them in this month’s Giving Back article, by Linda Ross Pugel (page 16). You’ll find all this and more inside this month’s issue of Prince William Living. We hope you enjoy it.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Kirkland Prince William Living Editor in Chief and Publisher

Mason’s Lawn and Landscape ........................................28

Ameriprise Financial........................................................23

Okra’s ................................................................................13

Bargain Relo ....................................................................28

Peggy and Bill Burke, Long & Foster Realtors ................8

Dansk Day Spa at Occoquan ..........................................28

Pink Lipstick Women Empowered ..................................28

Dina ..................................................................................28

Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School ..........28

Edgemoor Art Studio ......................................................28

Potomac Place ....................................................................8

Heartbeats Infant Nursing Services................................26

Prince William Chamber of Commerce ..........................22

HomeCleaners4You ........................................................28

Prince William Ice Center ................................................26

I-95 Business Parks Management ....................................9

Sassy Gifts ........................................................................28

lia sophia ..........................................................................28

State Farm/Sandi Bausman ............................................23

Lil Bit of Posh....................................................................28

Statements Salon ............................................................C4

Lustine Automall..............................................................C2

Tidy Maid House Cleaning ..............................................28

Mary Kay/Marti Hall ........................................................28

US Logoworks ..................................................................28

Minnieland..........................................................................7

Washington Square Associates ......................................28

prince william living September 2011 | 3


Prince William and Greater Manassas Offering Students More Options than Just Reading, Writing and Arithmetic By Olivia Overman, Contributing Writer

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hat all-important time when your most precious little one has to begin school is nearing and you need to find the perfect school where he or she is most likely to thrive and begin down the path to a successful future. Don’t be alarmed; the options are numerous in Prince William County. From the public school systems of Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park to private schools like St. omas Aquinas, Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School, Prince William Academy and Bristow Montessori School, each child has many opportunities available to them to help them grow into well-educated, well-rounded adults. And, if none of these options suit your child, there is also the homeschooling option, for which there is a lot of support in the county.

Public Schools “Over the last couple of years, the school districts in Prince William County, Manassas Park and the City of Manassas have really pooled their resources and have really done some neat things,” said Dr. Bruce McDade, superintendent of the Manassas Park School system. “It started with the Governor’s School and then we all said ‘hey, there are a lot of things we can do together.’” Irene Cromer, spokesperson for Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS), echoed that sentiment. “One important thing to point out for Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, and Manassas Park Public Schools is that they collaborate,” she said. e largest school system of the three districts, Prince William County Public Schools, will have a total of 92 schools open for the 2011-2012 school year. is year the school district has 4 | September 2011 prince william living

added three new schools, including one high school and two elementary schools, in Nokesville. About 80,000 students are enrolled in Prince William County Public Schools this year; last year, enrollment was 79,115. Prince William County Public Schools Superintendent Steven L. Walts recently named 42 Prince William County Public Schools as “Schools of Excellence” based on the 2009-2010 school year performance. According to the Prince William County Public Schools website, “a School of Excellence must be fully accredited by the state, make Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind Act, and achieve an overall score of 90 out of 100 points on PWCS Strategic Plan-based measures.” e City of Manassas, with nine schools including five elementary, one intermediate, one middle school, one high school and one alternative school, is the next largest school system. “Last year we had 7,000 enrolled students,” said Almeta Radford, public relations specialist for the City of Manassas Public Schools. High school students have numerous opportunities within the City of Manassas school system, including the opportunity to take part in a dual enrollment program, which is run in conjunction with Northern Virginia Community College. e program allows students to earn credits toward their high school diplomas. In addition to the dual enrollment program offered by the City of Manassas Public Schools, the school system also has a partnership with Junior ROTC. “is program is comparable to the armed forces reservist program,” explained Radford. She added, “We also have had numerous students involved in sports teams that maybe didn’t win state, but went to state. ese


Photo courtesy VMDO Architects/Sam Kittner

students were recognized by the school board before school let out.” Manassas Park Public School system is the smallest of the three public school districts in the area and is comprised of four schools: Cougar Elementary provides schooling for pre-k through second grade; Manassas Park Elementary is made up of grades three through five; Manassas Park Middle School is for grades six through eight; and grades nine through 12 are located at Manassas Park High School. is fall, enrollment at Manassas Park Public Schools has topped 3,000. In the late ‘90s, Manassas Park Public Schools was near the bottom, McDade recalled. “Fifteen years later it is near the top in terms of teachers and facilities and education provided,” he said. McDade was appointed superintendent of Manassas Park Public Schools in December 2010. “I am intrigued by their story,” he said. “e buildings are really fabulous, with the high school set up to accommodate instructional programming with encore classes on the first floor and core classes held on second and third floors.” Encore classes provide students the opportunity to “explore” subjects such as music, art, photography, computers and technology. In a statement released by Manassas Park Public Schools, McDade stated, “My goal is that we will be a differentiated school system. ere are 47 countries and 34 languages represented in the school system’s 2,900 students...you teach (them) through differentiation,” he said. Differentiation is based on the premise that one size does not fit all. McDade, Cromer and Radford talk proudly about the achievement of establishing the Governor’s School as well as some of the special programs, such as the robotics and SeaPerch programs that are now available in the three school systems.

Special Programs in Public Schools “Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, and Manassas Park Public Schools…collaborated (with PWCS leading the effort) to establish an academic year Governor’s School on the campus of George Mason University in Prince William County—the first and only Governor’s School in partnership with a four-year university,” said Cromer of the Prince William County Public School system. “ere are 19 Governor’s Schools in the Commonwealth and there is only one that is affiliated with a four-year institution,” said McDade. “Most others are affiliated with a community college.” e Governor’s School offers selected juniors and seniors from Manassas City, Manassas Park, and Prince William County an advanced and intensive program in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. “e program is a half-day program for the selected students who are bussed to the GMU Prince William County campus,” said McDade. Five students were selected from Manassas Park, 10 from the City of Manassas and 40 from Prince William County for the 2010-2011 school year. “We are excited to start the second year of Governor’s School,” he said. e Governor’s School provides a university-setting learning environment to serve the needs of academically talented and highly motivated learners. Committees in each of the three districts must approve all students. It is extremely competitive, especially in Manassas Park, said McDade, as only five students from that district are selected to attend the school each year. ose lucky enough to be selected for the two-year program can earn both high school and college credits in science and math. (continues on page 6) prince william living September 2011 | 5


(continued from page 5) Another very important and extremely popular special program in all three school districts is the robotics program.

Photo courtesy VMDO Architects/Sam Kittner

“is program is really booming,” said Cromer. “We began with one high school robotics team a few years back, and now have several schools with teams that compete at the international level. We then included robotics in the middle school curriculum, and have award-winning middle school robotics teams. Now we are introducing robotics at the elementary school level as a club activity.” e robotics program also includes an underwater program called SeaPerch, in which students from all three public school districts are allowed to take part. “It cuts across school divisions,” said McDade. “It’s part of the systemic solutions platform by which we are able to work together.” e underwater program was introduced to county schools three years ago and is offered thanks to funding assistance of business partners. McDade is extremely proud of the fact that “this year the (SeaPerch) competition between four high schools was held at the Manassas Park Community Center,” he said. “Business partners have helped expand robotics by providing funding for expansion of after-school club offerings to include FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) in 38 elementary schools, VEX robotics in 22 middle and high schools, and FIRST robotics in three high schools,” Cromer said. “Support of time, money, and resources from business partners have allowed PWCS to double the program impact over the past two years.” e curriculum developed for the FLL program crosses academic boundaries by addressing 85 of Virginia’s Standards of Learning in four core areas. e (FLL) is a program created to get children interested in and excited about science, research and technology. It involves children working in teams and eventually building a robot that carries out some sort of a mission within a certain time limit. e FLL tournament takes place once a year. is year the tournament was held on Saturday, May 14, at Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, where 450 fourth- and fifth-graders participated at the first FIRST LEGO League Fun Day.

Private School Options ere are more and more private schools opening up in the county, providing more and more options for parents and their children. St. omas Aquinas has an approximate enrollment of 520 students in Pre-K through eighth grade. e school, located at 13750 Mary’s Way in Woodbridge, is a Catholic elementary school run by the Dominican Sisters of the St. Cecilia Congregation of Nashville, Tenn. “e intention of the Aquinas faculty and staff is to encourage students to stretch their minds through not only a challenging curriculum, but through providing an environment that instills the learning of essential moral values,” said Veronica Prudencio, development director at St. Aquinas. “is allows students to reach their fullest potential and instills the desire to contribute the most

6 | September 2011 prince william living

they can to society while considering others needs. “At Aquinas we understand that all students vary in their needs at different times,” Prudencio continued. Special programs are included in the curriculum to help each child reach their full potential individually. Such programs include the St. Albert the Great Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program, a program the school partnered with the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) to pilot and implement. It is available for fifth through eighth grade students who pass the entrance test. e Math Enrichment and Student Support (MESS) program is a program for students gifted in mathematics but who did not qualify for the STEM program. MESS is available to students in grades five through eight. “Many different educational tools are utilized including computers, calculators, games, and manipulatives,” said Prudencio. “e student support component of MESS helps students who are struggling with a particular math concept. Acceptance into this program is based on teacher recommendations, Math and Terra Nova test scores, a student contract and parental consent. Students work in small groups to successfully master difficult math concepts.” Middle school students who score in the 95th percentile or higher at St. omas Aquinas are invited into join the Language Arts Enrichment Program. Other programs include the resource program and a household program. In the household program, children visit local nursing homes, organize food pantry drives, develop interviewing skills, and participate in classes on etiquette and manners. St. omas Aquinas has been honored by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) Program as one of Virginia’s Top 100 Schools. Both the teachers and students have been commended for their many accomplishments and achievements. Located on Commission Court in Lake Ridge, Prince William Academy, with an enrollment of about 150, is a small private school that provides an education for preschoolers through eighth


Special programs oered by the school include foreign language programs (Arabic, Spanish, Mandarin French are oered to students in preschool through ďŹ fth grade). “All of our language programs are taught by native speakers,â€? Reyes said. î “e school also oers an advanced mathematics curriculum for students. Art, physical education, music, chorus and computer technology are also oered at Prince William Academy, as is a formal computer program, which begins in the ďŹ rst grade. “By third grade our students are completing 20 page PowerPoint presentations with animation, voice recordings, graphs, and pictures,â€? said Reyes. Voted “Best in Woodbridge: Private and Parochial Schoolsâ€? by the U.S. Local Business Association four years in a row, the school is said to encourage a family atmosphere and expects parents to take an active role in their child’s education.

Bioethics is a required course of study at Pope John Paul the Great that trains students how to think and reason through critical medical and ethical issues of the 21st century. î “e process and substance of the curriculum is intended to help students learn how to make wise personal decisions for themselves, as well as to enable them to responsibly promote ethical policies and practices which advance the common good and bring about greater respect and dignity for the human person. î “e Options Program at Pope John Paul the Great provides an opportunity for students with cognitive impairments and/or signiďŹ cant learning disabilities who cannot access the general curriculum to, as Cole put it, “grow socially, spiritually, and academically alongside their peers in a Catholic environment.â€? Pope John Paul the Great involves parents and the community as it grows and is holding its ďŹ rst-ever 5K run to beneďŹ t the Options Program on Saturday, Nov. 19. Other ways adults can get involved (continues on page 8)

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Another school serving preschool and elementary school children is Bristow Montessori School, which is located on Devlin Road in Bristow. It oers programs for children ages six weeks all through third grade, and currently has an enrollment of more than 100. Only a year old, the school boasted a “technology and global focus...in addition to music, sports, dance and art enrichment, this year we are adding yoga as well as Chinese and Spanish,â€? said Sameer Patel, managing director for the school.

“We’ve researched but have not found another school in Virginia with the House System,� said Cole.

I

Like other private schools, registration at Prince William Academy entails an application process that includes taking a tour of the facility, meeting the director and submitting paperwork. In some cases, an assessment is conducted.

include a four-year bioethics curriculum, an Options Program, and a recently introduced House System—a system that has roots in traditional British boarding schools where building a sense of family structure is key for success.

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grade. î “e school oers a low student-to-teacher ratio, with a 15:1 ratio in their elementary classes, though, added Meaghan Reyes, director and teacher at Prince William Academy, “we try to limit that number to 10 students.â€? î “e school’s junior kindergarten student-to-teacher ratio is 10:1 and the preschool ratio is 8:1.

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Patel said Bristow Montessori School is “a complement to the public school option. We are here to give parents an alternative that might be a better ďŹ t for their children. Our children, through the Montessori system, learn to be independent, caring, thoughtful and curious world citizens.â€? When it comes to private high schools, one option to consider is Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School. î “e school, based in Dumfries, has been open for three years. î “e high school serves students in grades nine through 12 has an enrollment of approximately 600. î “e application process at Pope John Paul the Great includes a placement test for freshman, an application for admission, a recommendation from the school principal of a student’s current school, as well as a recommendation from a current teacher, and school transcripts. “Once accepted, we help students get ready for school by registering them for classes, sports, activities and more,â€? explained Jennifer Cole, the high schools’ director of admissions and marketing. Some of the special programs that are on oer in the school

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prince william living September 2011 | 7


(continued from page 7) with the school is through the mini-courses oered to adults throughout the year.

Homeschooling Sometimes neither private or public schools are a good option for students. For some, homeschooling is the answer. “Parents in the county can ďŹ le to home school their children by having a high school diploma or a four-year degree,â€? explained Wanda Sloper, owner of the Reach Homeschool Group. “Some families also home school under religious exception and that is another option. Once you get an intent form to home-school, it lists the options that you must meet to ďŹ le to home school.â€? Many parents who home school also have the opportunity to partner with a school in the public school system. Also, “depending on the school, some will allow homeschoolers to attend part-time,â€? said Sloper. î “e strength of homeschooling is seen when parents and families work together. “Home school families work well with other parents—they are like one big family, everyone supports each other,â€? Sloper said. “Home school kids are also involved in many organizations, are very active in drama, sports, arts, music and dance.â€?

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In terms of monitoring and accountability, Sloper said parents are responsible for their own child’s education. “Each year there is accountability by testing. î “is shows the school board the progress of (the) child. Most home school children score very well on testing.â€? î “e beneďŹ ts of homeschooling are many, according to Sloper, when compared to the traditional schooling system—from the obvious smaller class size with one-on-one teaching, to the exibility of traveling when they want to, to vacationing on opeak times, to pursuing what students are interested in. î “ese are just some of the many education options available to parents in the community. î “ey are numerous, but for those little ones starting out on their life’s journey, it is worth taking the time and doing the research into what is available in the county.

A graduate of American University’s School of Communication, Olivia Overman has written articles for a number of online and print publications. She lives with her husband and son in Woodbridge. Overman can be reached by email at ooverman@princewilliamliving.com. Author Boyd Lillard studied religion at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va. He has worked as a contributing writer and editor in the nonprofit field and currently resides in Dale City.

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destinations

OccOquan craft ShOw Still Drawing a Crowd after More than 25 Years

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By Audrey Harman, Contributing Writer

he Occoquan Arts and Crafts Show is one of the most successful and popular events of its kind in Northern Virginia and along the East Coast. e more than 25-yearold tradition is held in the streets of the picturesque riverside town of historic Occoquan. e show takes place over a Saturday and a Sunday in both the spring and the fall and is a conglomerate of street vendors who’ve come to sell their one-of-a-kind handicrafts, food tents, commercial merchandise, original musical acts and Occoquan’s own shop merchants. e whole craft show gives off a vibe somewhere between a street market and a carnival with the hustle and bustle of crowds, boat tours along the Occoquan River, and the smell of funnel cakes wafting through the air. e town shuts its own streets down to car traffic for the show to allow the vendors to occupy five whole streets of the small but historically rich town. e Occoquan Arts and Crafts Show not only supplies a space for the vendors to travel to and occupy for four days a year, but also brings revenue and people into the town. Pat omas, the coordinator of the Occoquan Arts and Crafts Show, said, “e craft show brings a feeling of unity and awareness to the town.” Despite the influx of people and the tents lining the streets, Linda Caldwell, owner of the Coffee House of Occoquan, has a very realistic attitude towards the fact that the crowd is in town for the craft fair and not necessarily for the shops at the time. e Coffee House of Occoquan has stayed open for 15 years of the craft show weekends, hosting live music in an outdoor seating area behind the establishment. is spring was no exception, and they drew a nicesized audience on Sunday, that enjoyed the music and the chance

10 | September 2011 prince william living

Festival goers line up for refreshments from Wild Bill's Olde Fashioned Soda Pop Co.

to sit down. Caldwell views the craft show as a nice way of advertising the town, usually bringing a number of people who had attended the craft show back to Occoquan in the months that follow. Before the craft show, many attendees didn’t the town existed, she said, and “couldn’t even say Occoquan until they finally got here.” A fair number of the craft show attendees and vendors return within the few months between shows, and they also tell their friends to stop in if they’re looking for a day trip or a place to buy a unique gift. Many vendors, like Betty Paget, of Betty’s Tropical Design, come


Photos courtesy Jen Garnett

A selection of pieces from Roger Young Pottery.

Pat Thomas, Craft Show Director, takes a moment outside the Town Hall of Historic Occoquan.

from all over the U.S. Paget has been traveling from Daytona Beach, Fla., since 1993 with her hand-designed T-shirts, aprons, and canine outfits, all of which sport cute and witty sayings. Despite the recent economic decline nationwide and the climbing gas prices, she still considers the Occoquan Arts and Crafts Show to be fun and said that the “loyal bunch” of people who support her business make the trip there worth her while.

with Sunday morning church and other events also held in the area. e show this year also seemed more popular with young families, as there were more children being introduced to the experience than in the past few years.

Both Paget and Caldwell expressed that everyone who is involved with the craft show, whether vendors, patrons or shop merchants, develop some really great friendships throughout the years. e patrons and those participating in the show account for the longstanding success and continuation of the event. e Occoquan Spring Craft Show took place this year June 4–5, and started with a beautiful sunny, but breezy Saturday, and ended on a slightly overcast, but pleasant Sunday, and despite the threat of rain, not a drop affected the show all weekend. e weather remained pleasant enough for those attending to enjoy hours on the streets admiring crafters’ merchandise. e show offers a little something for everyone, with items from clothing and jewelry to lawn ornaments, and more. Several of the vendors agreed that the crowd remained steady through the weekend, despite competing

Anyone who is a fan of the craft show atmosphere should not miss the Occoquan Fall Craft Show, which will take place Sept. 25–26, especially if it is anything like the spring show was. e fall show, being closer to the holidays, always brings in a larger crowd, with attendees in search of the perfect gift for their loved ones. If you love a craft show environment but you aren’t a crafter yourself, the town is always in need of volunteers for the event. Visit www.occoquancraftshow.com to find out information about becoming a volunteer, and be sure to check out the signs located at the town’s entrances for the upcoming events.

Author Audrey Harman graduated this past spring from Hollins University with a B.A. in English and Spanish. She resides with her family in Woodbridge.

prince william living September 2011 | 11


family fun

Old dOminiOn Karting e Fast Track to Racing Excitement By Boyd Lillard and Audrey Harman, Contributing Writers

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ave you ever peeked in on your kid while he was in his room, and spied him “air driving?” You know, while he’s got that pretend steering wheel in his hand and is in hot pursuit of the bad guys? Or, have you seen that gleam in your child’s eye as you start up the family car, which tells you they would give up childhood in a second just to get behind the wheel and in command of that motorized beast? Maybe you find yourself “air driving” as you tune in weekly to NASCAR on FOX each weekend. Whether you’re a kid or much older, you can satisfy that “need for speed” by racing go-karts competitively at the Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas. e speedway holds go-kart races each Sunday afternoon for competitors ranging in age from five to adult. Getting a nice chuckle at the mention of go-karts? Images of the “golf n’ go” you visited on that beach vacation last month come to mind? Let’s just say this is a little different. Competitors are broken 12 | September 2011 prince william living

up between two classes: Sprint Karts and Champ Karts, with subdivisions within the classes based on weight maximums and minimums for karts, drivers and age. Each competitor must pay for a seasonal membership for the Old Dominion Kart series. In addition, competitors must pay a fee to enter a race. is shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the history of the Old Dominion Speedway. Since 1952, when owner Al Gore had the dirt track paved and turned to a .375 mile track where first roadsters, then modifieds, and now stockcars race competitively, it has been a widely respected school to hone racing skills. Today, Old Dominion Speedway is a site for NASCAR shorttrack racing. “Old Dominion Speedway including the Old Dominion Kart Series attracts racers and fans from a 250-mile circumference,” said Old Dominion Speedway owner Steve Britt. Approximately 100


patience, and a continual review of personal performance to seek improvement. Yes, there is a competitive spirit, but there is a surprising amount of camaraderie among racers, often helping each other with parts and setup before a race.”

Photos courtesy Allison Perrin

No one exemplifies the character-building that kart racing can provide more than sprint class kart racer Timmy Tyrrell. e sevenyear-old Tyrrell, or “Mini,” as he is known on the track, began racing in 2009, and uses his racing to raise money for children and families of children who have cancer.

racers gear up each Sunday to speed around a 25-foot wide and 0.3-mile long track, sitting on the infield of the auto track, to attain the coveted Series Championship trophy. e competitive nature of go-karting has ignited interest in more serious racing. “It is almost unheard of for a professional racecar driver, in any category; NASCAR, Formula 1, ALMS, Indy car, etc., to not have grown up NOT racing karts. Every single professional driver I know began karting—every single one. Also, most professional racecar drivers use karts in the off-season to stay sharp and in shape,” said Lisa Chapman of Chapman Enterprises, who works with the kart racing program. Karts, used competitively, have different specifications than the ones used for amusement. Racing karts are not as heavy as the ones that are used non-competitively; their lighter frames support engines with a tuning for higher horsepower. Safety is very important as well. Many competitors are required to wear rib protectors, and it is recommended for all racers. Additional gear required for racers includes helmets, neck braces, jackets of specified fabrics, and gloves. ere is even a requirement on hair length for safety reasons. Additionally, karts, prior to racing, have to undergo a technical inspection. Inspectors are primarily checking to see if the competitors’ karts meet the requirements to race in the class for which they are registered. Inspectors may also be checking for safety reasons. With all the safety requirements and potentially dangerous nature of racing, one may wonder how much of a family activity this can be. “Kart racing is an activity that everyone in the family can participate in—fathers and mothers can race their kids and in many cases the kids are actually faster,” said Chapman. “Racing karts levels the competitive playing field so that anyone can win, regardless of age. is makes it truly fun for everyone involved. Dad and mom don’t have to “take it easy” —they have to keep up.” Chapman said karting is a good activity because of the character traits that kids develop as racers. “ey develop drive, focus,

Tyrrell's inspiration for racing for the cause came from watching a friend who was suffering from brain cancer. “I saw her, and I was so concerned and I said ‘Dad, I want to do something about this,’’’ recalled Tyrrell. With individual donations and a local businessman donating for every race he wins, Tyrrell has raised more than $6,000 dollars to help those in need. While Tyrrell’s inspiration to race is wise beyond his years, the reason he likes to race is simple. “I love wheels, and I love to drive,’’ he said. “is is what I’m doing for a living. I’ll go to big cars, and then I will be an announcer. If you’ve got the “need for speed,” want to push the “pedal to the metal” and train to become the next NASCAR family, the Old Dominion Speedway may just be the place for you and yours. You can learn more about competitive go-karting, the current schedule, and classes by visiting the Old Dominion Speedway website at www.olddominionspeedway.com.

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prince william living September 2011 | 13


local flavor

Occoquan’s madigan’s waterfront restaurant ‘American Fare, with a Heavy Emphasis on Seafood’ By Carla Christiano, Contributing Writer

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ou would expect with a name like Madigan’s to find an Irish pub located, perhaps, in a local mall. But Madigan’s in historic Occoquan is no plastic plaid watering-hole. It’s a place where you can watch Ospreys fly down the Occoquan River or wave to local fishermen as they motor their boats along the tree-lined shore. You can hear the traffic whiz by over the Route 123 Bridge and be grateful that it’s not you, as you savor your lunch or dinner on the deck, feeling the warm sun on your face and smelling the sweet aroma of fish frying from the kitchen. At the intersection of Washington and Mill Streets in Occoquan, Madigan’s Waterfront restaurant is housed in a weathered, bluish-gray building that looks more like a New England boat warehouse than an upscale dining establishment. It is a giantsized building, towering above most of the clapboard clothing stores and gingerbread-trimmed tourist shops that hug the street along the quiet river. Unlike those buildings, it lacks any pedigreed history or ghost stories to tantalize tourists. Once the site of the Sea Sea & Co. restaurant, Madigan’s is a family-owned business that is literally next door to the heart of the community, Mamie Davis Park, and offers some of the best views in town from its plant-lined windows. 14 | September 2011 prince william living


Photos courtesy Cathy Madigan

Madigan's is no plastic plaid watering hole. It's a place where you can watch Ospreys fly down the Occoquan or wave to local fishermen as they motor their boats near the shoreline.

American Fare and Seafood “Some people are confused when they hear the name Madigan’s. ey think they are getting an Irish pub, but it really is our name,” said Cathy Madigan. She and her husband Chris run the restaurant together. He focuses mostly on the dining room downstairs and the occasional golf tournament, and she focuses on the event space upstairs, even working as the restaurant’s event coordinator to ensure that events go smoothly. When asked to describe her restaurant, Madigan said it is “American fare with a heavy emphasis on seafood.” According to Cathy, both she and her husband “have been working in restaurants off and on since we were 16 years old.” Natives of Alexandria, Va., they moved to Prince William County about 18 years ago and opened their first restaurant in Lake Ridge about 12 years ago. at restaurant, also called Madigan’s, “was on a much smaller scale” than their current restaurant, and, she noted, “that restaurant was more like a Cheers bar.” ey closed that restaurant when Sea Sea & Co. closed and they could move to that location. With the new building in Occoquan, the family was able to greatly expand their business. Opening in 2005, the restaurant is a full-service operation. Open every day of the year but anksgiving and Christmas, it offers an expansive wine list and everything from sandwiches and pasta to steaks and, of course, fish and seafood. But the Madigans didn’t just stop with the restaurant. ey also have an award-winning reception area upstairs that can handle up to 140 people, which Cathy said is

booked just about every weekend for such private events as wedding receptions and Christmas parties. A tiki bar downstairs, open from April 1 to October 31 can accommodate up to about 100 people while offering music on the weekends and other activities during the week. Madigan’s also has a dock behind the restaurant where customers can park their boats while they grab a bite to eat or catch up with friends at the bar. And, a wooden deck just off the dining room that can accommodate up to 200 people is open any time of year—or at least when the weather is nice. “Being in Occoquan has greatly helped our business,” said Cathy. “People want to come here and escape their troubles. ey come here for the beautiful views. It’s like a relaxing vacation-like experience where they can sit and just look at the water,” she said. It’s no surprise, then, that summer is their busiest time of year. People flock to the outside deck to eat crab cakes based on an Eastern shore recipe, and shrimp and crab nachos. “People just love them,” Cathy said. e restaurant’s most popular appetizer is the crab dip, which is served with seasoned flat bread and tortilla strips, and the most asked-for sandwich is the crab cake sandwich. Madigan’s customer Allie Guidry said that what she likes most about Madigan’s are the crab cakes and Jambalaya; for customer Abigail Gray, it is the big fish sandwich, which she describes as (continues on page 24) prince william living September 2011 | 15


giving back

literacy Volunteers of americaPrince william, inc. By Linda Ross Pugel, Contributing Writer

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alking into the office of the Literacy Volunteers of America – Prince William, Inc. (LVA-PW), visitors will see numerous awards hanging on the wall, but what might first catch their eye is a painting of a student and tutor, done by a former volunteer. e painting is a clear representation of the mission of the LVA-PW.

Founded in 1991 by local librarian Dona Swanson, the nonprofit organization teaches adults to read. “We are helping people attain literacy goals and teaching approximately 600 a year to read,” said Kim Sells, the organization’s executive director. Sells explained that Swanson was working in a library when a patron continually asked her to help them learn to read. After some training, Swanson got together with friends and started teaching people to read. Program Coordinator Kitsie Morris said that the 501(c)(3) organization is all about reading, writing, speaking and listening. “It encompasses native speakers, ESL and people who need to focus on reading and writing,” she said. Morris explained that there is a wide range of students who need literacy assistance. “Much of this comes in the form of retired teachers who volunteer their time as tutors,” she said.

e citizenship class is “very exciting and very needed,” according to Morris. She explained that the people who attend this class have completely relocated their families. “Many of them are professionals who have relocated because of political tension in their own countries. ey have decided that they want to start over in the U.S.” e citizenship class is usually made up of about 15 people. is fall the class will be led by a newly trained tutor.

Vicki Gross, development coordinator for the nonprofit, explained that the LVA-PW offers a wide range of training. “We have several ESL classes, general educational development (GED) preparatory classes, writing classes and a citizenship class.”

Sells noted that they also offer a class for people trying to get into Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). Potential students must take a writing entrance exam. “NOVA refers their students to us,” she said. “We hold writing improvement classes for students.”

16 | September 2011 prince william living


All tutoring within the LVA-PW is done strictly by volunteers. ere are currently 272 active volunteers with LVA-PW. “It takes a special teacher who can tutor with confidence and excitement,” said Morris. “It’s not something that you can assign to someone.” ere are no specific qualifications to become a tutor; however, a tutor training workshop, consisting of 10 hours of instruction on how to teach and work with adults, is required. ere are five training opportunities offered each year, and they are always held on a Saturdays. “We teach them about what our programs are, and what is expected of a tutor,” said Sells. Morris added, “We give them a resource book and a textbook, and the actual tools to take into the classroom.” After an assessment, tutors are matched with students, and are then required to volunteer for a minimum of two hours a week. Finding a venue to meet is rarely a concern, as businesses have opened up their offices to volunteers and students to come in and work. e LVA-PW office has two classrooms that are always booked, according to Morris. Several area churches and public libraries also offer spaces for groups to meet. “You can walk into a (county) library at any time, and see one of our tutors working with a student,” added Gross. She noted that the Manassas Red Cross has also provided classrooms for them to work in. A few businesses in the Manassas Red Cross’ Dale City location have also shared their space with tutors and students. One of LVA-PW’s most popular programs is “English Conversation.” e 90-minute classes are held every Wednesday from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., and on Wednesday evenings from 7 until 8:30 at the Chinn Park Regional Library in Lake Ridge. “e library asked us to start that,” said Gross. e classes typically have 20 to 25 people at any given time. Classes break into small groups of four or five, which gives everyone the opportunity to speak. “We try to make it so that it’s a very safe environment,” said Morris. She explained that the staff tries to go out and observe classes and see what is going on, as it’s more difficult to observe one-on-one. Gross noted that some students are very loyal about going to the conversation classes. She said that some were scared to talk to neighbors. “Now, because of going to the conversation class, they will talk to people,” she said. Morris added, “it gives them a confidence to go out. Sometimes people make friends and connections in the community, and it’s a little less scary that way.” She said that it’s almost a sense of relief for some students as they meet people from their own country who speak their native language. English conversation classes will start being offered at Potomac Library in the fall. All classes are free, with open enrollment. “While we do provide small groups and classes, our focus is on one-on-one tutoring,” said Gross. She noted that a few tutors have been with the organization since the beginning. “Our head trainer

for the tutor training workshops has been here since the beginning,” she said. “She is also a reading specialist in the county school system.” In the fall, the LVA-PW offers small mathematics and computer courses are geared toward enabling successful completion of the GED. Sometimes, at the request of employers, tutors will go into workplaces and help employees improve their English-speaking skills. is has been a great benefit to numerous adults who have needed to learn to read in order to succeed in their positions. One local company had the desire to promote one of its employees to a managerial position, but needed the individual to have greater English-speaking skills. “A tutor worked with them for about a year to help toward the promotion,” Sells said. “It’s amazing how generous and giving our volunteers are.” e trio at the LVA-PW office complement each other well. Sells, who has been with the organization for nearly 10 years, and Gross, who has been with the organization for two, handle GED-related programs. Morris, who has now been with the organization for a year, handles the ESL side of the LVA-PW. “We all have a specific job to do,” said Morris. “It’s real life. We know exactly who our students are and what they need.” Gross said that they are extremely proud of their volunteers, but equally as proud of the students. “ey work hard and they come back to thank us,” she said. “ey may not have gotten a good job without coming to us to improve their reading and writing skills.” But LVA-PW doesn’t just teach adults. “It filters down when you make education a priority. It becomes a priority in the home and with the children,” said Sells. Morris enjoys hearing the stories from current and past students, and finds many of them heartwarming. e LVA-PW celebrated its 20th anniversary on the evening of June 1 with a wide range of county representatives in attendance. According to Sells, five of the seven members of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors came. “We also had a (continues on page 22)

prince william living September 2011 | 17


going places

Omg @ qmt windchimes By Dennis Chang, Contributing Writer

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hoes scuffling on dusty concrete, I’m led into a dim warehouse where shelves of aluminum tubes reach for the sky. To the left we pass a row of table saws littered with trashed tubes, partially assembled wind chimes, and an assembly for sounding individual tubes. “We don’t want any pictures of this place because we don’t want competitors to see our process,” says VP Patty Baisden with a chuckle. Meandering between forklifts and assorted tools, the warehouse has the hushed air of a clandestine operation. “And…we’re here!” Baisden announces. e sight in itself is nothing spectacular: two wheeled carts laden with rows of hanging wind chimes. But right away I can tell that there’s something different about these chimes. Powder-coated a deep green hue, the tubes are over a foot long and unusually robust. Heavt too, I notice, fingering them. “Go ahead,” she says, “give ‘em a ring.”

Est. 1986 In the early ’80s a college graduate hit the Florida craft show circuit in hopes of starting his own business. Camping in the back of his van between shows, Mike rone was a small vendor with big dreams. Initially selling jewelry and sunglasses, he began to notice that it was the wind chime vendors who usually gathered a crowd at their booths, so he switched to selling wind chimes and never looked back. For a short while he had a supplier of wind chimes, but when that source failed he began to manufacture them himself in Florida. In 1986, QMT Windchimes was born. “Yeah, he was using the chains back then,” Baisden says, almost disparagingly. rone’s first chimes look rough; small unpolished aluminum tubes hung by an array of thin metal chains. I run my hands through them, hearing the traditional soft clinking wind chime sound, albeit in somewhat dead, muffled tones. Clearly he had a long way to go. In 1989, rone moved to Manassas Park after renting an office suite to host his operations. He expanded to one adjacent suite 18 | September 2011 prince william living

and then two, before buying up the building and tearing down the dividing walls to make space for a warehouse. Running the wholesale craft show circuit in Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas and Atlanta and developing his wind chimes all the while, he slowly but surely grew to become a well-established distributor of wind chimes throughout the nation. Today, QMT Windchimes’ Corinthian Bells line is one of the best-selling wind chimes in the world.

Changing Hands In 2005 Mike was looking to retire and sold his company to its current owner, Jamie Baisden. Previously the director of Rockingham Construction in Manassas, Jamie left it all behind to take over QMT Windchimes. “(rone) and Jamie were good friends and had lunches together to discuss different issues with their businesses,” says Patty. Running QMT took some getting used to. e coordination of shipping supplies between towns was often hindered by accidents and unexpected circumstances. “We had some trucks that didn’t make it,” says Patty. One time they discovered the night before that they had made a mistake in shipping and had to send supplies overnight to Indianapolis. “So we had to…pack it up within two to three hours. To any given show we’ll have six given setups; it’s a lot of chimes.” Patty tells of the learning curve behind planning the trade shows, “Sometimes my boys come back to me and say, “Why did you put me at that hotel? ere were no restaurants and I couldn’t eat…” But over the years of setting up at these trade shows it has come together and at this point, says Patty, “We pretty much know the logistics of (each) city.”

The Chimes When asked about what separates QMT wind chimes from the competition, Patty replies without hesitation, “e sound. It’s the true note and we tune every pipe on every chime before it’s assembled.”


Photo courtesy Tamar Wilsher-Rivas

She tells the story of when a blind piano tuner came in to examine their wind chimes. “He selected a wind chime and he was very impressed. He listened to all the chimes in the booth. If I can get a blind piano tuner to be impressed with my wind chimes because of the sound quality, they must sound pretty good.”

downturn. Exporting to Australia, England, Ireland, Bermuda, Mexico and Canada, they are this year entering the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade program—a highly selective Virginia government program designed to increase Virginia’s international trade.

In fact, the incredible popularity of the chimes has resulted in QMT employees finding their wind chimes in the most unexpected locations. QMT’s chimes have been spotted at a Buddhist temple in Vietnam, in a Lonestar music video, and at a hospital where Jamie was visiting. “It’s always fun to go on vacation and try to find (our chimes),” Patty says.

“e biggest challenge has been making it through the economy in the last four years,” says Jamie. As companies are disappearing and cutting their budgets, holding onto sales has proved to be a challenge. Despite the difficulties, though, QMT is still going strong, advertising at tradeshows and always working hard to sell to more clients, put out more products, and satisfy their customers.

Giving Back to the Community

“ere are people out there who feel very strongly about wind chimes, and we aim to please them,” Patty says.

QMT’s new line of wind chimes is their bright pink “For the Girls” line, of which 50 percent of the proceeds are donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. is is a line that will run indefinitely as a not-for-profit on their website to help raise breast cancer awareness and research funding. “In the future we want to be able to do treatment, we want to do prevention, we want to be able to help people do fundraisers,” Patty says. QMT has high hopes for this new line, which, with its introduction, has generated a great deal of excitement. “We introduced them at a (Prince William County) Chamber of Commerce meal, had we had 40 of them in our trunk we could have started making sales.”

Exeunt With a light tentative push of the hand, these chimes sing. In an instant, the weary warehouse ambiance is made lively by their warm rich lows and crystal clear highs. Patty watches with pride; I, with astonishment. “Wow…” I find myself saying as the last traces of resonance gently pulse away. “And these are wind chimes?” Author Dennis Chang is an English major at Virginia Tech. He resides in Fairfax.

Growing and Thriving Today, QMT Windchimes is well-established worldwide and is a growing, thriving company despite the recent economic

Author Audrey Harman graduated this past spring from Hollins University with a B.A. in English and Spanish. She resides with her family in Woodbridge. prince william living September 2011 | 19


on a high note

Confidence through

creatiVity

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By Casey Rives, Contributing Writer

uth Johnsen has always had a love for children and a passion for art. She wanted to use her skills to inspire children and provide the resources they needed to become unique individuals. Johnsen decided to become an art teacher and taught at local area schools for many years until she realized she wanted to give children more freedom to learn.

advertising an open house so I just had to check it out,” said Heather Garvie, of Lake Ridge. “Within five seconds of opening up her front door, I knew I’d be signing my children up for classes. Her studio was inviting, her ideas are fresh and her temperament fits the bill to work with children.”

“I wanted to teach art, but art isn’t Ruth Johnson about themes or telling a child to draw a specific animal, it’s about individual freedom,” she explained. “If you tell a child to paint a fish but they hate fish, then they aren’t going to enjoy art.” Johnsen is the owner and founder of Edgemoor Art Studio in Lake Ridge. “ere is no right or wrong way to create art—it’s about expression and the outcome’s beauty is in the artist’s eyes,” she said.

“My children are constantly collecting things like rocks, extra pieces of papers and flowers so they can make something with them,” said Garvie. “e first time my son met (Johnsen) at her open house, he ‘accidently’ mixed together a bunch of different paints that weren’t exactly meant to be mixed together. While I was nearly dying and thinking of how to apologize, Ruth was down on her knees talking to him calmly and letting him know it was OK, and showing him how to use the paints.”

Johnsen opened up the living room of her townhome in June 2010 to create the beginnings of Edgemoor Art Studio.

Johnsen shares a special bond with all of her students and believes a comfortable and loving environment is the perfect place for inspiration.

Expanding the Business

“I tell the children all the time, ‘I love your work,’ and I tell them ‘I love you,’” said Johnsen. “ey want to know they are appreciated and cared for because so many of them come to the studio for the first time and look intimidated but my goal is to give them that confidence. ey all wait for their hug from Ms. Ruth at the end of the day—we are an art family.”

“People thought I was truly crazy. I took everything out of the middle floor of my house and put in tables, chairs, paints and art materials. is studio was in the middle of my house,” explained Johnsen. Johnsen soon realized that the need for art classes was large and that many people appreciated her idea to teach children creativity, and moved her studio to 12616 Lake Ridge Drive in Woodbridge in January 2011. While new customers arrive everyday for open studio or to enroll their children in classes, many are returning customers from when the studio was only a small space in Johnsen’s home. “When Ruth ran her studio out of her home, I saw her sign 20 | September 2011 prince william living

Creativity Flows Garvie believes the classes have helped her children to engage their imaginations and work well on collaborative projects with others.

Education through Art Edgemoor Art Studio isn’t only a place for children to visit for fun, but it also is a unique place that allows education through art. Johnsen teaches art classes, workshops, camps and even phonics classes, which use interactive learning to teach children how to read. “Art helps so much with cognitive skills and math skills. When you


Interacting with Nature To help children interact, the classes often go outside to explore natural surroundings. In addition, Johnsen brings different animals to the classroom so children can explore shadows or see how live animals move their arms, legs and heads. “I have one student who brings a guinea pig every Friday, and most recently, I’m getting a parrot!” exclaimed Johnsen. “His name will be Picasso and he can sit on my shoulder while I teach.” Children in Johnsen’s art classes are encouraged to think outside of the box and their ideas are always supported. Johnsen hopes that children gain a sense of confidence from her class and feel empowerment through their ideas or art.

Photos courtesy Casey Rives

“Creating artwork gives kids a sense of accomplishment, which is important,” said 19-year-old Virginia Commonwealth University student Tommy Kiesner, who often helps Johnsen teach her classes. “Ruth helps the kids make each project their own and she lets the kids develop a style at an early age. We teach the kids that art has no boundaries or limitations—if you can think it, you can create it!”

help a child visualize something, it’s much easier for them to learn,” explained Johnsen. “I have seen teaching that stops a child from learning—they don’t want to learn anymore. Children love to learn but you have to give them the ability of free thinking. I tell them, ‘I’m going to teach you something and then you can add to it.’” e classes also teach art history, but tackle the ideas from a unique perspective. “I don’t show them a Monet painting and say, ‘now create your own,’” Said Johnsen. “Instead, I explain to them what impressionism is, I show them trees outside and light brush strokes. After they try and after they create their own art, then I say, ‘now let me show you how Monet approached this.’” As a single mother, Johnsen was unable to afford television, so she resorted to art as a way to teach her son and allow him to have fun. “My son, Kane Erickson, is probably one of the most creative people I know. He even has some of his original work on exhibit at a gallery in Richmond, Va.,” said Johnsen. “When he was little, I would put an apple on the table and shine a flashlight on it. I’d let him look at all the shadows it made and it became much more than just an apple.” Johnsen’s students have art journals to take home and assignments to complete. One recent assignment was to draw a machine which can groom a dog top to bottom. e goal of each assignment is to allow children to become individuals and use their imagination however they choose. “My favorite part of art class is learning how to draw new things,” said seven-year-old Brady Colbert, a student at Marshall Elementary School in Manassas. “I’ve made masks, pastel paintings and sculptures from recycled materials or clay. I like art classes because I can be creative and learn new things.”

Cinnamon Colbert, of Manassas, who has two children enrolled in classes at Edgemoor Art Studio, said Johnsen is “energetic, knowledgeable, patient and loving. She added, “Since taking art classes, my son has been able to look at an object and break it down in steps to recreate himself. Prior to classes he was very frustrated that he couldn’t ‘draw.’ He now has an art gallery wall in his bedroom and is very proud.”

Confidence in Art Edgemoor Art Studio teaches leadership, self confidence and creative thinking skills. Students are sure to leave feeling like a true artist and a respected individual. Johnsen even offers an adult class to teach parents how to relax, be creative and have fun. “You have to be creative and draw things from within yourself; art is something you have to continue as an adult,” said Johnsen. While there are no current plans to expand or open more studios, Edgemoor Art Studio still remains a popular choice for parents in the county who want a well-rounded child that is both motivated and creative. Classes and workshops are available everyday and camps are available during the summertime. Children and parents are even invited to stop by for an un-instructed open studio session which lasts an hour; all supplies for the session are provided. For class schedules and registration information, visit the studio online at www.edgemoorartstudio.com, or contact Ruth Johnsen by phone at (703) 490-2355. “I tell the children they can do anything,” said Johnsen. “My passion through the arts is for children to go into the world motivated and educated.” Writer Casey Rives, who resides in Haymarket, is a graduate of George Mason University. She can be reached by email at crives@princewilliamliving.com. prince william living September 2011 | 21


(continued from page 17) honored as student of the year, and volunteer of the year went to Jodi Tibbs. “It was a very successful evening,” said Gross. “ere were several standing ovations. Connolly’s office presented us with a congressional record.” While the LVA-PW has official office hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through ursday), they are open for appointments on weekends and evenings. Most people hear about the organization by word of mouth, or find out about it on the Web, according to Morris.

representative from Congressman Gerry Connolly’s staff, Dr. Sam Hill, provost at NOVA, and Dick Murphy, director of the Prince William County Library System.” e event, attended by approximately 250 people, was held at the VFW Hall in Dale City. Members of the Forest Park High School orchestra were also invited to perform. Two tutors of the year were honored at the June 1 event: Chris Rosen, who has been volunteering for three years, and Wayne Doran, who has given his time for seven years. Maria Figueroa was

LVA-PW is actively looking for tutors, and the next opportunity for tutor training is Saturday, September 24, at the A.J. Ferlazzo building located in Woodbridge. For more information on tutoring or to take advantage of the literacy programs that the LVA-PW offers, visit www.lvapw.org, or call (703) 670-5702.

Linda Ross Pugel is a 30-year resident of Prince William County, and currently resides in the Lake Ridge area with her husband and son. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College. Ross Pugel can be reached by email at lpugel@princewilliamliving.com.

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tambourines and elephants a friend by any Other name… By DeeDee Corbitt Sauter Recently, my husband, George, and I were discussing possible laptop options and prices after dinner. George mentioned that his buddy Daniel recommended a particular brand. Upon hearing this, I burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter that left me gasping for air. Just then the phone rang and I breathlessly relayed my recent conversation to my friend. Her giggles could be heard through the phone. Not to doubt Daniel, I will take his recommendation to heart. He seems reliable, but I can’t be completely sure. My husband is a very kind man. Granted, his priorities in cleaning and organizing do not always match mine, but everyone who has ever met him describes him as nice. I have known him for more than 20 years and though he has changed and grown over that time, as most people do, he remains consistent in his collection of friends. A finite number of people are considered his friends; he likes most people but rarely actively seeks anyone’s company. Not everyone is like that. I was once talking to an acquaintance about random things. Since I can’t remember the topic, I can only assume it isn’t that important. At some point, I was talking to her about my friends and what I liked about them or some such nonsense when she asked me an interesting question. I have pondered this ever since…. “What about your friends you have never met? What do you do for them?” Friends I have never met? Like a pen pal? Why would I do anything for them? How would I become friends with them? Almost ashamed and definitely confused, I admitted that I knew all of my friends personally and had hung out with each of them several times. She was equally astounded. She didn’t understand how I could limit myself personally by only “friending” people I have met. The whole conversation was insane. My head hurt. Apparently there is a whole world of friends not yet met inside the Internet. Often, they are

not even in the same state, so meeting them is difficult. When I asked her how she knew that the people she now called “close friends” were honest without malintent, considering what is said online could be a series of well choreographed lies, she had no answer. She was still stuck on the fact that I personally knew all my friends. I know; I am strange. In fact, I am so strange that there are even some people I know but with whom I do not want to remain friends. But I digress. To return to my husband and to give a little background: He is a man who has also historically met all of his friends. I encourage him to go out and relax with them but it’s not his personality and there is no need to push it. George takes the VRE train every day. He stands in the same spot on the same platform at the same time every morning. This is how he met Daniel. Daniel maintains a similar routine and their paths cross daily at the station. Daniel is different and has a large number of friends as well as hobbies. He shares his thoughts, opinions about anything—his new purchases, his vacations and his job. He is generally satisfied with life and is happily married. He likes to spend time with his friends on the weekend. Overall, there is very little he doesn’t know and very little he doesn’t share.

happens to be loud and gregarious, making a mark on the world around him and pulling us into his circle by simply telling great stories. But they have never formally met. They have never shaken hands, we have never been to their place, and our children have never met. Learning and relying on Daniel was a slow and natural process and seemed normal until George and I had the laptop discussion. Then it took me back to that conversation I had long ago. Guess what. You can have friends you have never met. DeeDee Corbitt Sauter is a resident of Prince William County. Her column, “Tambourines and Elephants,” appears monthly in Prince William Living. Will your money last? With a retirement plan it can. Bennett Whitlock III, CRPC® Financial Advisor Whitlock & Associates A financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. 12848 Harbor Drive, Suite 101 Lake Ridge, VA 22192 (703) 492.7732 ameripriseadvisors.com/bennett.c.whitlock

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So when Daniel talked about this particular laptop, his confidence and strong opinion along with a list of data points can make one pause and seriously consider this product. Thankfully there is a Daniel to help us. The thing is, Daniel and my husband have never actually spoken to each other. George has gleaned all this information passively, just by waiting for a commuter train. This is what caused me to ball up in the fetal position and giggle hysterically earlier. Daniel and my husband cross paths daily and we have come to learn all about Daniel and his life. Daniel just

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(continued from page 15) “large enough for two.” While not offered during the summer, wine dinners are also very popular at Madigan’s. Six times a year, the restaurant offers customers wine and food pairings, and invites speakers to talk about the particular featured wine or region. Cathy said she still has customers asking about a memorable roasted parsnip and white chocolate bisque that was served at this year’s February dinner, which featured chocolate.

Madigan’s and the Community What sets Madigan’s apart from a lot of restaurants in Prince William County is how committed they are to the local community and to supporting local schools and libraries. Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta noted that Madigan’s “is very cooperative with the town on a wide range of events we have held.” e restaurant was involved in the Taste of the Town, the Occoquan Historical Society gala, and even the launch of Porta’s book. “ey have great prices and their food and wine are great,” Porta said. And, he added, Madigan’s is the best place in town to hold sizable events. ey are very flexible and offer customers a wide range of choices for events. While primarily a seafood restaurant, they can offer a variety of menus. “If you want just desserts, they can do that,” he said.

Porta considers Madigan’s one of the anchors of the town. In fact, Madigan’s was one of only two restaurants in Occoquan that stayed open throughout the snowstorms in 2010, ging town residents who’d lost power someplace to go. One of the reasons Porta enjoys working with Madigan’s, he said, is because of Cathy. “She is very easy to work with and very accommodating,” he said. Leo Smith, of the Carefree Boat Club, who rents slips from Madigan’s, credits Madigan’s for increasing the recreational opportunities in Occoquan—including bringing his boat club to the town. As for plans for the future, Cathy said she wants to stay put right where they are. “We want to just stay here and make everyone happy,” she said. “We want to keep doing what we are doing.” For more information about Madigan’s Waterfront Restaurant, visit www.madiganswaterfront.com.

Carla Christiano, a native of Prince William County, works as a technical writer and editor for Unisys. She holds an M.A. degree in English from George Mason University.

A Taste of Madigan’s… On the Water t first glance, you may not notice the bright red and yellow sign announcing the “Carefree Boat Club” on the side of Madigan’s restaurant, but if you head to the Madigan’s tiki bar, there is no mistaking the sign on boats tied up at the docks in back.

A

Just what is the Carefree Boat Club? According to Leo Smith, membership director of the Occoquan Club, “It’s boating without owning.” Members pay a fee, which can range up to $5,000 per year depending on their level of membership, how many years they commit for, and the size of the boat. (According to the Fairfax Yacht club website, boat slips alone can rent for $2,000 to $5,000 per year.) The boat club handles insurance, does all boat maintenance and repairs, and trains members in boat safety and navigation. Members can motor on the Sea Ray boats the Occoquan club offers as well as use boats at any of the other 16 clubs in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The Occoquan club started at the Pilot House Marina in 2002. Smith, who has been an Occoquan resident for 12 years and is on its town council, said he was looking for ways to increase business in Occoquan. In 2009, with the help of Madigan’s management, he moved the club to Occoquan and now rents slips from the restaurant. According to Smith, most of the Occoquan club members are from Prince William and Fairfax Counties. He says his members love coming to Occoquan where they can stroll the streets and enjoy the eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, and unique history. Then they can visit Madigan’s, where they can enjoy music on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. “People work too many hours,” Smith said. His club offers its members an opportunity “to enjoy the water without all the work.” “I tell my members there’s nothing like getting a hunk of cheese, a bottle of wine and a baguette, then dropping anchor somewhere and just staring at the water,” Smith says. For more information about the Carefree Boat Club of Occoquan, call (703) 217-6699, or visit http://carefreeboats.com.

24 | September 2011 prince william living


September 3, 6:30–8 p.m. Loy E. Harris Pavilion 9201 Center Street | Manassas Visit the website of the Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas/Prince William County at www.center-for-thearts.org/summersounds or call (703) 330-2787 for details.

An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia September 4 Manassas Museum 9101 Prince William Street | Manassas is exhibition challenges visitors to interpret events from the Union, Confederate and African-American perspectives to better understand the social and cultural legacies of the war. For more information about this event, please contact the Manassas Museum at (703) 368-1873.

Pied Piper Children’s Theatre Auditions for “Jack and the Giant” September 9 & 10, callbacks on the 11th Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas/Prince William County Auditions by appointment only. To arrange audition time and obtain information call (703) 330-2787.

Family Day at the National Museum of the Marine Corps September 10, Noon–3 p.m. 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway | Triangle Activities include quill pen writing, tri-corn hat making and learning about the Revolutionary War thru uniforms and artifacts. For information, call (703) 221-8430.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Greater Prince William 14th Annual Evening Under the Stars September 10, 7–11 p.m. Loy E. Harris Pavilion 9201 Center Street | Manassas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Greater Prince William is planning its 14th annual Evening Under the Stars, one of the most glamorous events in Prince William. is is the signature fundraiser for CASA, an organization serving more than 425 abused, neglected and abandoned children in Greater Prince William each year. is romantic, black tie optional event is held on the second Saturday of September. is grand community tradition is expected to draw nearly 1,000 attendees again this year. Businesses and civic organizations are invited to consider a sponsorship. Sponsorships range from $1,000 to $10,000 and come with many benefits for the sponsor not the least of which is to provide abused children with the help they so deserve. Families, friends and neighbors are encouraged to come together to sponsor a reserved table for 10 for just $850. Individual tickets for general seating are $75. For more information, visit www.casaofgpw.org, or call the CASA office at (703) 330-8145. For more information or to sponsor, purchase tickets or volunteer, visit CASA’s website at www.casaofgpw.org or call the CASA office at (703) 330-8145.

september

Washington Scottish Pipe Band Concert

calendar Asaph Dance Ensemble: Citywide Worship Night September 11, 6 p.m. Hylton Performing Arts Center Merchant Hall 10960 George Mason Circle | Manassas Community worship night of contemporary Christian music and classical ballet commemmorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Led by Australian music producer Russell Frager and the Life Church music team and featuring the Asaph Dance Ensemble. Free Tickets are available at the Hylton Center box office or by contacting e Life Church at (703) 330-0881.

Crossroads 17.75K

September 17, 7 a.m. Intersection of Vanburen Road and Route 234 Dumfries e most in-your-face race, Crossroads 17.75K will be held on September 17 at 7 a.m., when runners navigate the challenging hills and trails of Prince William Forest on the way to the National Museum of the Marine Corps. e distance commemorates the year the Marine Corps was founded and equates to 11.03 miles. All finishers get early access to the museum. e Crossroads 17.75K (11.03 Miles) race is a timed, competitive course open to ages 10 and up. Race registration will close on September 16, or when the race field has reached max capacity. Cost to participate in the race: $50 plus processing fee. Shuttle Bus services will be provided, please visit www.marinemarathon.com for additional information.

Bands, Brews and Barbeque Festival

September 17, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Old Town Manassas Battle Street | Manassas, Va. is event will feature the best barbecue Old Town Manassas has to offer, with a variety of brews, a local BBQ Competition, live entertainment, and more. On a day that hosts two additional events in Old Town Manassas (the Antique Car Show and the Old World Festival), the community will get a three-in-one adventure that the whole family will enjoy. Cost: $10 for nontasters; $20 for tasters (advanced tickets); $25 for early entry tasters (online only). Tickets will go up $5 the day of the event. Early entry tickets will only be available online and will be taken off the website the week prior to the event. For information about participating as a vendor for this event or to purchase tickets, visit http://historicmanassas.mymediaroom.com/ wire/events/viewevent.aspx?id=11222. To become a sponsor or to obtain additional information on this event, contact Sarah McHugh, either by phone at (703) 361-6599, ext. 102, or by email at smchugh@historicmanassasinc.org.

(continues on page 27) prince william living September 2011 | 25


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September 17, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Manassas Museum Parking Lot 9101 Prince William Street | Manassas For more information, visit http://musclecarsofamerica.com/ permalink.php?id=155.

Old World Festival September 17, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Loy E. Harris Pavilion and roughout Town 9201 Center Street | Manassas Enjoy the food, sounds and crafts of the Old World Festival, featuring ethnic foods from Greece, Eastern Europe, Russia, Lebanon and the U.S. Food tickets sold, event free and open to the public. For more information, visit the event website at www.harrispavilion.com.

Hylton Presents: The Flying Karamazov Brothers September 17, 8 p.m. Hylton Performing Arts Center Merchant Hall 10960 George Mason Circle | Manassas ey aren’t Russian. ey aren’t brothers. And they certainly don’t fly. Misnomers aside, this zany foursome presents an unforgettable spectacle of music, comedy, dance, theater, and, not least of all, juggling. And boy, do they juggle—everything from bowling balls to chainsaws—and with a bit of philosophy thrown in for good measure…and good laughs. For more information, call the Hylton Performing Arts Center Box Offcie at (703) 993-7759, or visit www.hyltoncenter.org. Cost: $28, $36, $44. Limited Student Tickets Available on September 6.

Haymarket Day 2011 September 17, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. (Rain date: September 18) Washington Street | Haymarket Join the people of the Town of Haymarket for their 21st Haymarket Day. A parade, juried craft show and music are just a few of the things scheduled for the day. Admission is free. Visit www.townofhaymarket.org for more information.

The Occoquan Fall Arts & Crafts Show September 24, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Occoquan, Va. For more information visit www.occoquancraftshow.com.

Chili Cookoff September 24, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Loy E. Harris Pavilion 9201 Center Street | Manassas Enter your chili to win trophies. Visit http://harrispavilion.com/ chili-cOOKOff_application%2007.pdf for information and an application. Have an event you’d like to publicize? For consideration, email calendar@princewilliamliving.com.

september

34th Annual Edgar Rohr Memorial Antique Car Meet

calendar Leesylvania Kids’ Fishing Tournament

October 1, 9–11 a.m. Leesylvania State Park (Marina in Lot 1) 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Dr. | Woodbridge, VA 22191 Dumfries Join the kids’ fishing tournament and see what you can catch. Some fishing equipment will be on hand to borrow, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. For additional information call (703) 730-8205

ACTS Help the Homeless Walk

October 1, Registration opens at 9 a.m.; Mini-walk begins at 10:30 a.m. ACTS Homeless Shelter 17866 Main Street | Dumfries More than 125 community members, ACTS employees and program participants of ACTS are expected to participate in this Mini‐Walk, part of the 2011 Help the Homeless Program, which will raise awareness about homelessness in our nation’s capital. Funds will benefit ACTS, whose mission is to alleviate hunger, homelessness, and domestic violence, and to help people achieve self-sufficiency in the Prince William area. Register by visiting http://bit.ly/kdira5. Registration fee: $20 for youth (ages 25 and younger), $30 for adults. Registration fee includes 2011 Help the Homeless Program T‐shirt.

29th Annual Manassas Fall Jubilee October 1, 2011 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Historic Old Town Manassas | Manassas Visit Historic Old Town Manassas to see artisans and crafters at work and to buy handmade jewelry, woodcrafts, photography, children’s clothing, and other unique arts and crafts.

2011 Fall Caregivers’ Conference Practical Caregiving: What to do When It’s Time October 15, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. City of Manassas Park Community Center 99 Adams Street | Manassas Topics include: e Caregiving Years, by Denise Brown, dementia care, and legal issues for Families. For more information about programs and services, please call (703) 792-4031.

Chips4Charity

October 21, 6:30-11:00 p.m. Harbour View Event Center 13200 Marina Way | Woodbridge Enjoy an evening of games and entertainment co-hosted by the Greater Prince William Community Health Center, Lake Ridge Rotary, and Woodbridge Rotary. All proceeds will benefit these organizations’ causes in our community. For more information, visit http://chips4charity.org.

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Minnieland at Heathcote 15040 Heathcote Blvd | Gainesville

City of Manassas 9027 Center St. | Manassas

Minnieland at Heritage Hunt 7101 Heritage Village Plaza | Gainesville

Prince William Public Library System–Potomac Community Library 2201 Opitz Boulevard | Woodbridge

Clairmont School and Childcare Center 3551 Waterway Drive | Dumfries

Minnieland at Montclair 5101 Waterway Drive | Montclair

Prince William County Tourist Information Center 200 Mill Street | Occoquan

Constance S. Bourne Law Office Elder & Disability Law 7915 Lake Manassas Drive | Gainesville

Minnieland at Occoquan 12908 Occoquan Road | Woodbridge

Safeway 2042 Daniel Stuart Square | Woodbridge

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Safeway 4215 Cheshire Station Plaza | Dale City

Minnieland at Technology Drive 9511 Technology Drive | Manassas

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Shopper’s Food and Pharmacy 9540 Liberia Ave | Manassas

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Northern Virginia Community College Manassas Campus | 6901 Sudley Road

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Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School 17700 Dominican Drive | Dumfries

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Prince William Public Library System–Independent Hill Neighborhood Library 14418 Bristow Road | Manassas

Stratford University 14349 Gideon Drive | Woodbridge

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Prince William Public Library System–Dumfries Neighborhood Library 18007 Dumfries Shopping Plaza | Dumfries Prince William Public Library System– Gainesvilrhood Neighborhood Library 4603 James Madison Highway | Haymarket

Town of Haymarket 15000 Washington Street | Haymarket Town of Occoquan Town Hall | 314 Mill Street | Occoquan Town of Dumfries 17755 Main Street | Dumfries Town of Quantico 415 Broadway Street | Quantico Wawa 15809 Jefferson Davis Highway | Woodbridge 13355 Minnieville Road | Woodbridge 2051 Daniel Stewart Square | Woodbridge 14461 Lee Highway | Gainesville Wegmans 8297 Stonewall Shops Square | Gainesville 14801 Dining Way | Woodbridge

Prince William Public Library System–Dale City Neighborhood Library 4249 Dale Blvd | Dale City

prince william living September 2011 | 29


Prince William Living September 2011  

Prince William Living, the premiere lifestyle magazine of Prince William and Greater Manassas.