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prince william living July 2016
The premiere lifestyle magazine of Prince William and Greater Manassas
Live Local Music in PW PAGE 4
A Bassoonist for All Seasons PAGE 10
A Modern Heart in Historic Manassas PAGE 12
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table of contents July 2016 Vol. 6 No. 7
FEATURE STORY The Rise of Live Local Music in Prince William........................................................4
DEPARTMENTS from the publisher...................................................3 on a high note A Bassoonist for All Seasons..................................10
destinations A Modern Heart in Historic Manassas..................12 giving back Comfort Cases: Filling Backpacks with Love for Foster Care Children ....................................... 16 taking care of business Blooming Secrets: A Gardenerâ€™s Secret Weapon......................................................20 family fun Patriotic Produce...................................................22 lifelong learning The SkillSource Group, Inc..................................27
12 Photo by Rob Jinks
local flavor Birch Kitchen & Bar.............................................28 calendar...............................................................32 advertiser index....................................................36
COLUMNS health & wellness.................................................18 home & hearth.....................................................26 your finances........................................................30
28 Photo by Delia Engstrom
prince william living July 2016 | 1
The premiere lifestyle magazine of Prince William and Greater Manassas
Prince William Living Publisher Rebecca Barnes firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Writers Amanda Causey Baity, Carla Christiano, Delia Engstrom, Amy Falkfoske, Helena Kennedy, Joe Lowe, Ann Marie Maher, Elizabeth Papageorge, CMT, NCTMB, Tracy Shevlin, Bennett Whitlock Editor in Chief Kim Howard, CAE email@example.com Copy Editor Apryl Motley Photo Editor Amanda Causey Baity Photographers Amanda Causey Baity, Delia Engstrom, Amy Falkofske & Rob Jinks Marketing Director Amanda Causey Baity Graphic Design and Production Alison Dixon/Image Prep Studio Online Submission Manager Carole Keily Advertising Account Executive Michelle Geenty Prince William Living, the premiere lifestyle magazine of Prince William and Greater Manassas, is published monthly by Prince William Living, Inc. The opinions expressed in the magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Prince William Living. ÂŠ Copyright 2016 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. Subscription rate is $15 (Continental U.S.) for one year. Change of address notices should be sent to Prince William Living Publisher Rebecca Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 emailing Prince William Living Publisher Rebecca Barnes at email@example.com. For further information about Prince William Living, visit www.princewilliamliving.com, or contact Prince William Living at (703) 232-1758. 2 | July 2016 prince william living
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. 3 Efax: (703) 563-9185 Editorial Have a story youâ€™d like our staff to cover? Contact Prince William Living editorial staff at (703) 232-1758, ext. 2, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Advertising Prince William Living accepts display advertising. For complete advertising information, contact our sales staff at (703) 232-1758, ext. 3, or at email@example.com. Social Media
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from the publisher Home Grown Music and Entertainment
or If you’ve been in Prince William and Greater Manassas for a while, you know that many times you had to leave the area to find live music. You will be pleased to know that the music scene is here to stay in Prince William. Many venues now carry live music regularly, and in several styles to suit your mood. Find out what’s new and readily available in our July feature “The Rise of Live Local Music in Prince William” page 4. Classical music is still widely available if that is more your style. Meet Michelle Rupert, a “Bassoonist for All Seasons” page 10. Dan Verner introduces us to Rupert, who was guest conductor for the Prince William County Middle School All-District Band in 2015 and is an accomplished Bassoon player who plays for the Manassas Choral. A great place to go for music and more is Downtown Historic Manassas. Joe Lowe takes us for a quick tour in “A Modern Heart in Historic Manassas” page 12. Full of history, art, food and entertainment, Lowe shows us some of the new things Historic Manassas has to offer. “This is an exciting time for us,” said Debbie Haight, executive director of Historic Manassas, Inc. “The decades of hard work spent revitalizing the Manassas historic downtown are paying off spectacularly. And our downtown— once boarded-up and ignored—is now a vibrant arts and cultural district that is constantly growing and diversifying.”
If you are still looking for things to do this summer check out this month’s Family Fun, “Patriotic Produce” by Amanda Baity, page 22 to learn all the great summer time treats you can make with Watermelon. And, review our print calendar of events on page 32, or online at princewilliamliving.com/events for fun things to do in July. And don’t forget our ongoing contest #friendsofpwl. From June 1 to July 31, 2016, we will be spreading the word about Prince William Living and asking for your help! Visit our #friendsofpwl web page at http://princewilliamliving.com/friendsofpwl/ for contest details. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, where we’ll recognize the person who currently has the most points. Then, at the end of the contest period, we’ll tally up the points to find the BEST Friends of Prince William Living. We will recognize anyone with more than 100 points at our Friends of PWL event, which will bring together our PWL friends, new and old, to build connections with other area business and community leaders. Thank you for being a friend! Sincerely, Rebecca Barnes Prince William Living Publisher
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The Rise of Live Local Music in Prince William By Amy Falkofske
4 | July 2016 prince william living
Photo by Amy Falkofske
f opera, ballet, plays or classical music is what you crave, you’ll find that at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. If you like orchestra, big band or other types of dance music, you can find that at the Harris Pavilion. But what if rock music is your scene? Well, your choices of where to go for that are varied and growing in Prince William. The area is experiencing a growth spurt in live rock bands and venues for hearing them. “Here in Northern Virginia, there’s been kind of a renaissance of live music that you couldn’t find a whole lot just 10 or 15 years ago,” said Kevin Malone, proprietor of Malone’s of Manassas. “The music scene in Prince William County is growing and maturing,” said Ron Miner, owner and general manager of Lion & Bull in Haymarket.
The Venues The pride of Prince William is Jiffy Lube Live, which has hosted countless nationally and internationally known artists and groups. “We are very fortunate to be in such a thriving and growing community like Prince William County. It is our hope that through our eclectic concert lineup, we bring local music fans and out of town music fans together,” said Matt Rogers, general manager of Jiffy Lube Live. But even Rogers admits that Jiffy Lube isn’t the only game in town. “Prince William County certainly has a love for live music. There is a constant demand for musicians to play local restaurants and bars. It seems like anywhere you go on the weekends there is a live band or someone with an acoustic guitar,” Rogers said. Dave Mascatello, agent, manager and promoter with Planetary Music, says that Malone’s of Manassas and Lion & Bull in Haymarket are hot spots for live music. “I would say Malone’s is the number one spot in Manassas at this point, and then in Haymarket, it’s Lion & Bull,” Mascatello said. Malone’s is a pub right in the center of Historic Downtown Manassas. Its building is a historic destination, the old Manassas Presbyterian Church built in 1874. Malone’s has retained the church’s original sandstone and a stained-glass window, among other elements. It hosts live bands Friday and Saturday nights and an open mic night on Thursdays. Malone said that he’s found a pool of talent from the open mic nights. Lynn Winston, who does marketing for Malone’s, said that hosting open mic nights and live bands is a great opportunity for local talent. “[Malone’s is] giving the local talent the opportunity to demonstrate, and to perform, and to build,” Winston said.
Several venues in Prince William offer live music, many of which feature local musicians. Malones is located in Downtown Historic Manassas.
Malone and Winston called the genre of music that Malone’s hosts a combination of classic rock and some of the more alternative modern music, but point out that the music you’ll hear there is diverse. “If you didn’t like today, come back tomorrow,” Malone said of the restaurant’s live music offerings. Malone also talked of the revitalization of Historic Downtown Manassas and how live music is a part of that. “Before, they had little hole in the wall places trying to make a few bucks. It seems to me that with us, Zandra’s, CJ Finz, Mackey’s and Philadelphia Tavern, we have more choices now. Everybody’s trying to do some live music,” he said. He also spoke of the positive effect that the live music is having on getting people who may not have been into Historic Manassas in a while to come back. “I hear a lot of very positive feedback from people that haven’t been to Manassas in a long time. They come here in the summer time, and they notice that there’s somebody playing here, there’s somebody playing there, and there’s somebody playing over there. The music is different from place to place,” Malone said. (continues on page 6) prince william living July 2016 | 5
(continued from page 5) The Lion & Bull in Haymarket, which has been in business since 2009, is unique in that it was designed to host live bands. “Lion & Bull was the first restaurant/venue set up for live music in Prince William County. We have a stage, internal sound system and use certified sound technicians, so the bands sound as good as if they were at Jiffy Lube Live or other first rate music venues. We did not ‘add’ music as an afterthought, but designed the interior specifically for professional musicians,” Miner said. Lion & Bull is a popular venue receiving about 25 to 30 requests from bands a week to perform there. Miner says they try to mix up the types of music being performed to accommodate their patrons. They have many touring groups come through but are committed to bands in Prince William. “We are dedicated to keeping live music alive in PWC and bringing in the best musicians in the area,” he said. Lion & Bull also had an open mic night for about eight months a couple of years ago that kind of morphed into karaoke, according to Miner. Now people either, “show up and sing, or play and sing,” he said. In terms of the restaurants in Historic Manassas, both Malone and Mascatello point to Zandra’s, Philadelphia Tavern and Mackey’s as being places you can go to hear live music. Malone adds CJ Finz into the mix, and Mascatello points out that El Cactus and Okra’s also offer live music in Old Town. And so far, that’s just the west side of the county. Electric Palm in Woodbridge is “a really good spot in the summer,” according to Mascatello. There’s also Ornery Beer
Company and Public House in Woodbridge. Madigan’s Waterfront restaurant in Occoquan also hosts live bands.
The Bands Prince William is overflowing with talent, and therefore it would be impossible to talk to all the good bands in our area. Mascatello estimates that the two most popular bands in the Prince William area are The Fringe Benefits Band and Livin’ the Dream. Lead singer, Julianna Smith says the music of The Fringe Benefits Band is “eclectic,” a combination of classic rock and Motown, and is about “us inciting fun in others.” “We play anything people will dance to,” she said. The Fringe Benefits Band considers Lion & Bull their home court, but they often play at Malone’s as well. They’ve played all over the county in Gainesville, Manassas, Haymarket and Woodbridge and out of the county as well in Centreville and Chantilly. Of the music scene in Prince William, Smith said, “It’s starting to really take off. More places are starting to get their license to actually have live bands. More of the places that traditionally brought artists in from the outside of this area are starting to find more local residents, local talent that also draws a big crowd. You’re starting to see an uptick in local bands.” Another popular band in this area is Livin’ the Dream (LTD). “From Johnny Cash to Jason Mraz or Lynyrd Skynyrd to Stevie Wonder, LTD plays popular music from all genres—pop, country, classic rock, hard rock, reggae and Motown—over the span of the last 65 years; they do not discriminate. Our sets also
Hylton Performing Arts Center entertains, educates, and enriches the Northern Virginia community by providing diverse and accessible arts experiences in state-of-the art venues. 6 | July 2016 prince william living
Photo by Amy Falkofske
Shades of Gray plays at Malones after the CASA Retro Dance Party.
include Sublime, Zack Brown, Poison, Journey, Jessie J, Florida Georgia Line, Michael Jackson, Van Halen and many many more. We have well over 200 songs we could play in any given set,” said Shawn Morgal, the band’s lead singer and rhythm guitar player. LTD also frequents Lion & Bull and Malone’s, but also plays at Giuseppe’s in Haymarket, Tin Cannon Brewing Company in Gainesville and Hard Time Café in Manassas, to name a few. LTD also has an acoustic version of their band called LTD Lite that often plays at The Winery at La Grange. “PWC has been blessed with some excellent talent in the live music scene. We have many friends that also play, and we support each other on a regular basis,” Morgal said. Morgal said that LTD considers The Fringe Benefits Band one of those friends and like their “brother/sister band.” One Hot Mess, another popular band in this area, hails from Haymarket and plays classic rock. Virginia Blend is a Gainesville band that plays rock and country. Six Shades of Gray hails from Gainesville as well and classifies themselves as a classic rock, soul and country band. Harlen Simple, also popular in this area, is, according to its website, a “live rock band with hard hitting vocals, driving rhythm, thumping bass lines, and unmistakable riffs.” And those are only a few of the bands you’ll find playing on any given weekend in Prince William, and the numbers are growing. The future seems bright for live music in this area. “This area is going to pick up when it comes to live music and entertainment… It’s really cool how you can walk from one
bar to the next [in Manassas] and see music, like you can go to Malone’s and you can go to Philadelphia Tavern and you go to Mackey’s, you can go to Zandra’s, you can go to Okra’s, you can go to El Cactus, they all do live music,” Mascatello said. “The music scene will only continue to grow as the county continues growing. Hopefully the concerts that we bring here inspire county residents, especially young people, to pick up an instrument, join a band and chase their dreams,” Rogers said. If you’re looking to check out any of these venues or bands, here’s just a few of the performances happening this month: 7/9
Livin’ The Dream
7/15 Livin’ The Dream (fundraising event for
Battlefield Garden & Stone Sweet Julia Grace Foundation) Center
Lion & Bull
7/30 Fringe Benefits
Amy Falkofske (email@example.com) is a freelance writer and the owner/photographer of Beautiful Moments by Amy Photography. She is working on an MA in film-television with a concentration in script writing from Regent University. She lives in Bristow with her husband and two sons. prince william living July 2016 | 7
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on a high note
A Bassoonist for All Seasons By Dan Verner | Photo by Amy Falkofske
he pre-concert run-through for the orchestra and Manassas Chorale at the Hylton Performing Arts Center has gone well, but bassoonist Michelle Rupert is not pleased. Her reeds are acting up. She plucks the carefully crafted double reed from the bocal of her Fox 601 and places it between her lips, moistening the recalcitrant reed and keeping it playable. She says, “It’s all about the reeds. They can make a bad instrument sound better and a good instrument sound bad. “I use Glotin cane, which comes from France, to make my reeds. They are very temperamental. Everything from the temperature of the water they are soaked in to the humidity level outside affects the way they play. I usually keep several of them at different stages in my case. Two weeks ago, my reed sounded wonderful at home, but by the time I got to rehearsal, it was sharp and wouldn’t play quietly. Bottom line: double reeds are a pain!”
School Band Sows the Seeds of Musical Passion Rupert fell in love with band when she began playing the saxophone at age 10. She told her parents that one day she was going to be an elementary school band director. “Like many other bassoonists, I started playing the bassoon as a secondary instrument. When I auditioned for the high school band, the director noticed that I played the sax with a double lip embouchure, and he asked me if I would learn the bassoon. I agreed and was able to play sax in the jazz band and bassoon in the symphonic band.” “It really wasn’t until my senior year in college that I started to consider myself a bassoonist rather than a saxophonist. Because my saxophone background was in jazz, my college lessons had a strictly classical focus. I quickly realized that not only could I not play a scale without swinging it, I really didn’t enjoy classical sax. So I dropped the sax lessons and focused on the bassoon,” she said.
The Student Becomes the Teacher “My love for teaching and ‘music making’ brought me to Dogwood Elementary School in Reston, where I have been the band director for the past six years. Previously, I taught at Lake Anne Elementary and Herndon High School. I do enjoy playing very much, but I love teaching and seeing kids get excited when they begin to ‘really’ make music even more. I still remember how much I loved it when I was their age. Many of my students are now professional musicians. 10 | July 2016 prince william living
Gene Rittenhouse. I loved that it was a Christian group and, before every performance we gathered as a group (like a sports huddle) and thanked God for the gift of our musical abilities and asked that we be able to spread His word through our music. I played with them in Carnegie Hall for a couple of years. My favorite experience from that time was playing John Rutter’s ‘Magnificat’ under his direction.” Rupert has also enjoyed performing with such ensembles as the Shenandoah Valley Philharmonic, Roanoke Symphony, Rockbridge Symphony, Riverside Wind Symphony, Capital Wind Symphony and Brevard Music Center Orchestra. “My most embarrassing moment came at a concert my freshman year at JMU. The conductor acknowledged me at the end of a concert and had me stand up. I guess I had never actually been told the correct way to hold a bassoon, so I wasn’t holding it by the bottom. The bell came off in my hand and the bassoon landed with a thud. The audience’s gasp is clearly audible on the cassette tape. The silver lining is that I have used that tape a number of times to teach my students the proper way to carry a bassoon!” “I would tell a beginning bassoonist that it is really important to get private lessons immediately. Students often come to me because they are frustrated. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the problem is the instrument or the reed—not the player.”
When she is not teaching school, Michelle Rupert lends her musical talent to many organizations.
“There really is no such thing as a typical day for a teacher. One of the challenges I face is that I work at a Title 1 school and that comes with inherent difficulties. Kids who are hungry have trouble concentrating. And that can sometimes manifest as behavior trouble in a classroom setting. For most of my students, English is their second language. Although I have enough Spanish to speak to the kids in class (or have the kids translate for me), I have to use a parent liaison to communicate with parents and must have any permission forms, emails and concert information translated.
Most Embarrassing Moment Becomes a Lesson “My favorite group to play with was definitely The New England Youth Ensemble, which was started by Dr. Virginia-
Rupert was the guest conductor for the Prince William County Middle School All District Band in 2007 and 2015, the Prince William County Eighth Grade All County Band in 2011, acted as the Assistant Conductor of the Manassas Symphony Orchestra from 2009 – 2012, and teaches at the Bocal Majority Double Reed Camp. She teaches private lessons, serves as a woodwind coach of The Capitol Symphonic Youth Orchestras, and performs with various groups throughout Northern Virginia, including the Manassas Chorale. Rupert attended Chantilly High School before receiving a Bachelor of Music in education from James Madison University and a Master of Arts in conducting from George Mason University, under the tutelage of Professor Anthony Maiello. Michelle Rupert not only teaches and performs; she also works to educate people about the bassoon and the music it can produce in the hands of the right player. And she is that right player. Dan Verner (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the author of several books and was named “Best Writer in Prince William County (Virginia) for 2014 and 2015 by readers of Prince William Today newspaper. Find out more about him at danverner.com. prince william living July 2016 | 11
Photo by Delia Engstrom
A Modern Heart in Historic Manassas By Joe Lowe
Photo by Rob Jinks
anassas may have one foot in the past, but time doesn’t stand still in its historic downtown. Over the last few years, the city’s Victorian-era center has flourished thanks to the arrival of new businesses and restaurants, a crowded event calendar and an impressive museum system. Manassas’ storied past dates beyond the Civil War to a time when the town consisted of four structures, known collectively as Tudor Hall. Notwithstanding its size, the town’s enviable location at the intersection of two regional train lines held enormous strategic value, causing Union and Confederate armies to famously clash twice nearby. In the decades that followed, the junction proved a valuable economic asset as well and helped usher in a period of sustained growth during which much of Manssasas’s celebrated downtown was built. Efforts to rejuvenate this historic center have paid off handsomely. As renovation projects have brought old buildings back to life, the Manassas downtown area has won the Great American Main Street Award and recognition as a Virginia Main Street Town. “This is an exciting time for us,” said Debbie Haight, executive director of Historic Manassas, Inc. “The decades of hard work spent revitalizing the Manassas historic downtown are paying off spectacularly. And our downtown—once boarded-up and ignored—is now a vibrant arts and cultural district that is constantly growing and diversifying.” With so much progress in recent years, it’s likely that Historic Downtown Manassas will surprise first-time and repeat visitors alike. Here are six reasons you won’t regret—and probably won’t forget—a trip down Manassas’s thriving memory lane.
1. History in the Air Manassas’s remarkable history lives on in vivid style thanks to the city’s excellent museum system. The system is composed of 12 | July 2016 prince william living
Historic Manassas offers family-friendly events and historical educational experiences for all ages.
eight distinct units, which range from its modern 7,000-squarefoot headquarters to the Liberia Plantation, a restored nineteenth-century farm house, where Abraham Lincoln conferred with Union General Irvin McDowell in 1862. The museum will be buzzing with exciting in- and outdoor activities in 2016. Spring-time bike tours offer riders a chance soak up the greening landscape while exploring Manassas’ Civil War encampments, local parks, and historic crossroads. Meanwhile, visitors to the Liberia Plantation can take Hard Hat Tours to get a behind-the-scenes look at Manassas’ oldest house, including its rarely opened attic and basement, as well as recently discovered Civil War graffiti. Admission to the museum, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Mondays between Labor and Memorial Days, is free. For details and updates, check the museum’s website at manassasmuseum.org.
Photo by Delia Engstrom
Photo by Amanda Baity
CJ Finz Raw Bar & Grille showcases oysters on the half shell.
Street art is just one way that artists decorate Downtown Historic Manassas through its Artful Manassas Initiative.
2. Activities for All
empty buildings downtown,” said Haight. New arrivals include Mariachis, a taqueria; The Bone, a barbeque pit; Zandra’s, a tapas bar; and CJ Finz Raw Bar & Grille. Despite the buzz generated by these new restaurants, local fixtures like Carmello’s, Katerina’s Greek Cuisine, Mackey’s American Pub, Malone’s, The Philadelphia Tavern, City Tavern, Deli Depot, El Cactus, and Okra’s Louisiana Bistro, Monza, Old Towne Sports Pub, Foster’s Grille, George Richa’s Old Town Caterer & Deli and Siam Classic Thai Restaurant are thriving and continue to serve up resident favorites.
Historic Downtown Manassas may be old, but that doesn’t stop the city from having fun, and its event calendar is packed with a head-spinning range of activities. For history buffs, there’s the Civil War weekend and parade; for shoppers, the Hop Around Downtown Easter celebration; for wine lovers, the Wine and Jazz Festival; for train aficionados, the Heritage Railway Festival; for music enthusiasts, the Summer Sounds Concert Series. And that is just a sampling of what’s available. “Manassas holds the largest Fourth of July fireworks display in Northern Virginia, gallery walks, historic tours and much more,” said Kristina Smith, events coordinator for Historic Manassas, Inc. Check out the city’s online event calendar at visitmanassas.org/events for the full list of activities, festivals and parades.
3. Produce for the Picking “For those who enjoy farm-fresh food, our city’s award-winning Farmers Market visitmanassas.org/listings/farmers-market offers up an impressive selection of local organic veggies and fruit three times a week during summer months,” said Erin Beckman, visitor center manager for Historic Manassas Inc. After picking up a quart of juicy strawberries or a pound of carrots, consider sticking around to check out some of the market’s other activities. Staff from the Manassas Museum is usually on hand to give historic demonstrations or lead family-orientated activities, and Master Gardener Volunteers are often there as well to provide budding gardeners with useful tips and tricks. Kid-accompanied moms and dads will be happy to learn that children-friendly activities are also available. From April to November, the Farmers Market is held Tuesdays and Thursdays in Manassas’ Harris Pavilion and Saturdays in Parking Lot B behind the Pavilion. Thursday and Saturday hours are 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; on Tuesday the market is held from 5 to 8 p.m.
4. A Feast for Foodies “Manassas’ food scene keeps expanding as new restaurants fill
5. Cheers! For those who want to wet their whistles, the options in Historic Downtown Manassas have never been better. The city’s historic center is home to two local beer-makers, Heritage Brewing and Bad Wolf Brewing Company, both of which opened in the last two years. If you’re in the mood for something a little stronger, try KO Distilling Manassas’s first spirit-producing distillery since Prohibition. KO offers guided tours of its distillery, which produces gin, white whiskey, bourbon and rye whiskey.
6. Street Canvas History won’t be the only thing filling the streets of historic Manassas this summer. The city’s second annual Banner Art Project will be on display with local artwork hanging from nearly 70 lamp posts throughout downtown. And street posts aren’t the only places to look for art. Talented local artists have used their creative skills to decorate fire hydrants, benches, doorways and alleyways as part of the Artful Manassas Initiative visitmanassas. org/artful-manassas. If you’re ready for more art, step inside The Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas center-for-the-arts.org to check out current exhibitions. Joe Lowe (email@example.com) lives with his wife and daughter in Gainesville. After working for many years with the National Park and Forest Services, he is now employed with an environmental non-profit in Washington, D.C. prince william living July 2016 | 13
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prince william living July 2016 | 15
Filling Backpacks with Love for Foster Care Children By Carla Christiano
Photo provided by Comfort Cases
magine having to carry what you own in a trash bag. For thousands of kids in foster care nationwide that’s their daily reality. “Think of a young child entering foster care and being handed a trash bag—that immediately sets them up for failure because they are told that’s what they’re worth. They’re not worth any more than trash,” said Terri Aufmet Stevens, Comfort Cases board member and a Virginia chapter organizer. Founded about five years ago by Rob Scheer of Rockville, Md., Comfort Cases is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides backpacks or duffle bags filled with the “essentials of daily life” for children entering foster care in Virginia, DC and Maryland. Aufmet Stevens, who lives in Bristow, said her daughter Emily, who is also a board member, inspired their involvement about four years ago after hearing founder Scheer’s story. A Stonewall Jackson High School graduate, Scheer himself went through foster care. As a result of that experience, Scheer and his husband decided to adopt their four children from foster care. “When each one of them walked through the door with a trash bag, he knew it was time to put an end to children being given trash bags,” Aufmet Stevens said. When she and her daughter saw his video explaining the origins of Comfort Cases, they knew that they had to get involved. “We want to make sure that it isn’t happening in our area,” Aufmet Stevens said. Comfort Cases has no paid staff and relies only on volunteers. Aufmet Stevens said Girl Scout troops, baseball teams and the Dominion Woman’s club have all gathered the needed items and filled the backpacks. The Gainesville-Haymarket Rotary club has held golf tournaments to raise money for them as well each year. Since 2012, these groups of volunteers have filled 5,000 backpacks at bi-annual packing parties. “We put together backpacks that are 16 | July 2016 prince william living
Comfort cases has no paid staff and relies only on volunteers.
filled with pajamas, a blanket, stuffed animal, a toy or a coloring book, a book, and a hygiene kit so that they have their own soap, shampoo, and whatnot,” Aufmet Stevens said. The backpacks are based on age and gender. “That way a five-year-old doesn’t get something meant for a teenager,” she said. “Generally, we have about 200 people show up at the packing party. It’s a lot of fun. It’s inspiring to see children getting so involved in doing this. They often write notes of encouragement for the children to put in the cases,” Aufmet Stevens said. One such group of volunteers is Girl Scout Troop 1476 in western Prince William, who was searching for a troop project when they discovered Comfort Cases a few years ago, according to co-leader Kristine Westphal. “We thought that it would be a great thing because the girls could see they were helping
Photo provided by Comfort Cases
Since 2012, volunteers have filled 5,000 backpacks at bi-annual packing parties to donate to children in foster care.
children right here in the community and they could actively be involved,” she said. The 20 now-middle schoolers have collected toiletries, blankets and pajamas as well as helped fill the backpacks at packing parties. “My Girl Scouts identify with being able to help kids their own age and knowing that they are helping people in their own community. They are proud of themselves when they go and help,” Westphal said. Comfort Cases distributes the packed backpacks through Social Services. “They’ve been wonderful to work with,” Aufmet Stevens said. Comfort Cases also works with SERVE to provide backpacks to children in homeless shelters so they have what they need to start over. “Any agency that contacts us for a child in need, we’ll give them Comfort Cases,” she said. Although Aufmet Stevens’ group provides Comfort Cases to children in the northern Virginia area including Fairfax, Loudoun, Stafford and Prince William counties, they have even gone to Front Royal to deliver Comfort Cases. “We’ll go anywhere that there is a child in need,” she said.
As of April 18, 2016:
How to Help
n City of Manassas: There are 17 children in foster care—with the youngest being 1 year old and the oldest being 18. The average length of a child in foster care is 12-14 months.
This May, “Coins for Cases” launched at sites around the county to collect money to purchase supplies. Starting in July, various businesses will have drop boxes to collect supplies as well. You can find Comfort Cases on Facebook or go to comfortcases.org/. Carla Christiano (email@example.com) is a native of Prince William County, admitted history geek and a technical writer for Unisys.
n In Virginia: There are 5,163 children in foster care. n In Prince William County: There are 104 children in foster care—with the youngest being 6 months and the oldest being 19.
n City of Manassas Park has 4 children in foster care. State and Prince William County statistics provided by Phyllis Jennings-Holt, Chief of Adult, Child, and Family Services of Prince William County Department of Social Services. City of Manassas statistics provided by Melanie Trabosh, Service Program Manager of the Department of Family Service for the City of Manassas. Manassas Park statistics were provided by Randi Knights, Director of Department of Social Services for the City of Manassas Park.
prince william living July 2016 | 17
The Key to the Right Massage By Elizabeth Papageorge, CMT, NCTMB
lients often wonder what type of massage is best for them. Most day spas and massage therapists offer a variety of massage techniques. However, there are three standard types of massages that are a great place to start. The Swedish massage is, for many people, the most appropriate “go to” massage, even if they have been longtime massage clients. This type of massage focuses on relaxation and has flowing strokes that can have a gentler or medium-firm touch. For stress relief and restorative wellbeing, the Swedish technique is a great choice. With a therapeutic massage, the overall focus and time is spent on relaxation, but it also includes specialized work that assists in areas where a client has more tension. A variety of methods and pressure are used to address those specific areas where clients feel more tension. Many people, whose goal is relaxation but who have areas of tension to address, choose this massage. The deep tissue is an individualized massage that people choose for varying reasons. Some people choose this technique because they want to experience deeper overall pressure to feel the benefit. Others choose the massage because they are experiencing very tight, and at times painful, areas that do not relax easily or without more stimulation. It can also be used to discover and address tense muscle patterns. The therapist draws on many different techniques that he or she has learned to release problematic areas. As with any massage, communication is the key, and it is important that you let your therapist know whether you are uncomfortable with the amount of pressure or technique. You should keep in mind that accepting too much pressure can work against you and is unnecessary. You can get great results while working within your tolerance level. Notice what works for you and realize that at different times you may want a different approach. Any massage is the right massage as long as it is beneficial and restorative to you. Elizabeth Papageorge, CMT, NCTMB (info@danskdayspa. com) is a massage therapist at Dansk Day Spa at Occoquan.
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Blooming Secrets A Gardener’s Secret Weapon By Tracy Shevlin
Provided by Blooming Secrets
ohn Toepfer and Susan Brandt are the brother and sister team behind Blooming Secrets.com. Toepfer is a gardening expert and Brandt, a marketing guru. By combining their expertise in the Blooming Secrets, they help all levels of gardeners succeed. Inspired by an unlikely source, Brandt explains that subscription sites in the fashion industry created a workable business model for their gardening business. Prince William Living caught up with Brandt to discuss their novel approach to a gardening business. PWL: While most people would associate gardening stores with a physical location, can you explain how Blooming Secrets works as an online format? Brandt: When new customers log onto BloomingSecrets.com, they can take a short quiz to help determine their needs as well as their likes and dislikes. The quiz is easy and uses pictures to help people identify the plants and flowers they like and what environment they have. We use their answers to develop personalized selections for them based on their physical space, location, and level of experience gardening. We also have a free membership forum where customers can ask specific questions and share their garden photos. For example, in the forum, they might ask what else would grow with the Amaryllis in their garden. We provide customers the personalized service of a traditional store but the convenience of being able to do it all online. The
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top two reasons that people don’t garden are that they don’t know how to get started or they don’t think that they have time. By using our personalized suggestions, people have fun, feel more successful and achieve better results for their efforts.
PWL: How does being an online vendor impact what you do as a gardening business owner? Brandt: Being an online vendor allows us to draw customers from all over the country. As merchants, we need to keep abreast of national trends in gardening as well as those local to our area. Among national trends are scatter gardens, specialized gardens to attract bees and butterflies and edibles. While some customers have traditional gardens, there is also a trend toward small space gardening, within many national trends, even edibles. People can grow several herbs or types of lettuce in a single container. There are also new products in edibles, such as â€œurban grow kits.â€? They include everything needed to grow peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, including soil and organic seeds, and they are designed to be grown in small spaces. Interestingly, the trends are not just geographic. Other demographics have an effect on our business as well. One example would be the preferences millennials customer have for bold colors and their fondness for growing plants that their parents did not grow.
Brandt: About six months after we started our site, Amazon approached us about putting our products on its site. It was very nice to be noticed by such a large organization. Amazon gets a percentage of our sales, but like other marketing decisions, we evaluate the return for cost. It works for us for several reasons. First, as an additional marketing channel, it provides us exposure to a large number of targeted buyers. Many customers feel safer purchasing online with Amazon. They know and trust Amazon. Secondly, we are able to fulfil the orders ourselves, which allows us quality control. Plants are perishable, and we wouldnâ€™t like to sacrifice quality for quantity. PWL: Being an online retailer rather than a store front operation, how does Blooming Secrets manage to stay connected to the community? Brandt: We stay connected to the community through our blog and membership forum. In our forum, we interact with customers and learn about their personal gardens. People can upload photos and ask questions as well.
Also, because we are an online vendor, all of our marketing is online, whether it is maintaining our blog, using social media or placing ads or advertising on Google. Facebook plays an important role in our marketing. On Facebook we have over 28,000 followers. We post our own content but also share related articles on our page. We also maintain a store site on Amazon.
Additionally, we donate a portion of each sale to several organizations that share some of our core values. We are serious in our commitment to helping others appreciate the many benefits of nature conservancy and gardening. As part of each transaction, we let our customers to choose which organizations they would like to support from the following organizations: National Park Foundation, National Gardening Association, American Horticultural Society, Audubon, National Garden Clubs and the Nature Conservancy.
PWL: Can you explain more about how online advertising works?
For additional information on personalized gardening, visit bloomingsecrets.com.
Brandt: Depending on the methods you use, you can advertise online and pay on a cost per thousand (CPM) or pay per click. We also utilize retargeting, so if you have visited our page on Facebook, you might see our advertisement on another site that has advertising (such as a media site). PWL: Can you tell us more about your relationship with Amazon?
Tracy Shevlin (email@example.com) is a native Virginian and long-time Manassas area resident. She is a graduate of George Mason University where she is also an office manager. Follow her on twitter @nvalady1. prince william living July 2016 | 21
Patriotic Produce By Amanda Causey Baity
here’s nothing better than biting into a juicy piece of fresh watermelon on a hot, summer day. Most of you who have Independence Day celebrations have a watermelon on the menu, but this patriotic produce is an all summer long addition in my family. Picking up a watermelon on our way to a family outing is a fond memory I have as a child. When my oldest son first tried a bite, he hated it! Devastated, I constantly tried to find new ways for him to eat one of my favorite summertime traditions. He loved watermelon flavored candies and drinks, so I started getting creative. Here are some different ways to incorporate watermelon into your picnics, parties and dinners all summer. Just a side note, he loves to eat watermelon now…once he saw me using it while making these tasty snacks.
Watermelon Sorbet Ingredients • 1/2 cup cold water • 5 cups seedless watermelon, cut into chunks then frozen • 1 1/4 cup frozen strawberries • 3/4 cup sugar • 2 tbsp. lemon juice (or according to taste) Directions Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. 22 | July 2016 prince william living
Enjoy sorbet immediately or place in a Tupperware container and freeze until you are ready to enjoy. Remove from the freezer and let soften for about 5 minutes before enjoying.
Watermelon Popsicles Ingredients • 19 oz. cubed seedless watermelon (about 3 1/2 cups) • 5 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk • 13 oz. kiwi (about 6 medium) • 1 tbsp. mini chocolate chips Directions Add watermelon, 2 tbsp. granulated sugar and lemon juice to a blender and blend until well pureed. Skim off foam and then carefully pour into 10 popsicle molds filling each about 2/3 full. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over tops. Then using a popsicle stick, gently push down to immerse chips (push towards sides so you can see them once the freeze). Wipe sides clean as needed. Cover with the lid and insert popsicles sticks. Freeze 3 1/2 hours. During last 30 minutes of popsicles freezing, whisk together coconut milk with 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar until sugar has dissolved; chill 30 minutes. (continues on page 24)
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PRODUCE (continued from page 22)
Remove popsicles from freezer, remove lid and carefully pour a tablespoon of coconut milk into an even layer over watermelon layer. Clean sides as necessary. Return to freezer, uncovered, and chill 45 minutes.
Directions Add watermelon to a blender and pulse until well pureed (there should be about 4 cups). Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.
Meanwhile, cut tops from kiwi and use a spoon to scoop flesh from kiwi while leaving skins. Transfer kiwi to blender along with 2 tbsp. granulated sugar. Pulse until well pureed. Force mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl using a rubber spatula to remove seeds. Chill kiwi mixture 30 minutes.
In a large pitcher, whisk together water, lemon juice and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Stir in pureed watermelon. Stir in ice and mint (alternately add ice and mint directly to individual cups and pour lemonade over). Store in refrigerator. Add vodka for the adult version.
Remove popsicles from freezer and carefully pour about 1 tbsp. kiwi mixture over coconut layer. Return to freezer and chill until popsicles are solid - about 2 - 3 hours.
*If you don’t have time to chill the ingredients, then just use more ice in place of some of the water.
To remove popsicles from molds, turn tray to the side and run plastic molds under warm water for several seconds. Then slowly pull from molds.
Amanda Causey Baity (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Prince William Living’s marketing director and photo editor. She lives on a farm (vandorenfarms.com) in Manassas with her family.
Watermelon Lemonade Ingredients • 6 cups cubed seedless watermelon, chilled (2 lbs. after peeling)* • 4 cups cold water • 3/4 cup fresh strained lemon juice, chilled • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (more or less to taste) • Ice and fresh mint for serving
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home & hearth Curb Appeal By Peggy Burke
We have roots, where others have branches.
urb appeal is potential buyers’ first impression of your house. Think of it as “eye candy.” You want them to like your house and want it before they even go inside. First, look at it from a buyer’s point of view. Colorful flowers, freshly cut grass, painted shutters and doors are attractive to a buyer. Too many times a realtor pulls up, and the buyers say, “I don’t think we will look at this one.” They never see all of the beautiful inside updates you have spent time and money on in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, it may be your neighbors’ houses that become the turnoff. Cars parked in front of the house or other houses on the street can be a deterrent. Sometimes there is a cure, and sometimes there is not anything you can do. Before you get ready to put your house on the market, check your surroundings. If you are not putting your house on the market, you may be able to help your neighbor by doing the same things you would do if you were selling. Check your property often. Do a quarterly or monthly walk around inside and outside your house. Walk your fence line and check for weeds or broken slats. Take a good look at your roof when you come home to make sure that there are no missing shingles or discoloration. Is your front door mat in need of replacement? Get a new one. Does your mailbox show signs of rust? Replace it and the support. Make sure that you have a front door key and that it works easily in the lock. Check out the outdoor lighting for bulb replacement, or you might find newer lights more appealing. Does your driveway or sidewalk need repairs? If you have children or pets, be sure to pick up after them. Make this type of maintenance a best practice and engage your family to help with keeping an eye on things at all times. All of these suggestions are crucial when trying to sell your house, and they all show pride of ownership (even for tenants). Driving home to a well kept yard and house will always contribute more than you can imagine to your own good mental health. Peggy Burke, SRES, CNE (email@example.com) is an associate broker/owner of Virginia Realty Partners, LLC.
26 | July 2016 prince william living
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lifelong learning The SkillSource Group Inc.
Helping Job Seekers and Employers for Free By Helena Tavares Kennedy Finding a job during tough times is often hard to do, causing potential employees to reach out to head hunters or recruiters to help them obtain what few jobs may be available in their particular area of expertise. On the other hand, employers often have to pay headhunters a fee for finding top quality candidates for the most in demand positions or hire a human resources professional or recruiter to help them fill their open positions with top quality candidates. So how can an organization help both? That’s where nonprofit organization, The Skillsource Group Inc., comes in. According to Executive Director David Hunn, “Our primary focus is to bring employers and jobseekers together, helping employers find and hire the best candidates and for jobseekers to be successful in finding employment and growing a career, all while earning wages that will support sustaining a family.”
How It All Began SkillSource Group has actually been around for a while. “In 2001, with the creation of the Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board, board members wanted to create a non-profit organization that supported local and regional workforce efforts that could bring additional resources to a local workforce effort,” Hunn said. The board hired Hunn in 2002 to help create and build the nonprofit, and he has been there ever since. From the beginning, the Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board worked closely with local government agencies to help with the implementation and integration of Skillforce Group activities with ongoing workforce services. The board works specifically with Fairfax, Loudon, and Prince William Counties; the cities of Fairfax, Falls Church, and Manassas and Manassas Park.
Once becoming a formal IRS approved non-profit in 2006, the organization was up and running. George Harben, the director of existing business for Prince William County Department of Economic Development, helps connect companies in Prince William to SkillSource. “SkillSource helps companies that don’t have large human resource departments find the people they need. Not all companies have a big HR department to go out and find people.”
What SkillSource Offers One of the tools employers can use is the SkillSource database of resumes, where they can search resumes for specific skills, languages, and so on. SkillSource also counsels people who are seeking jobs by offering tips on ways to improve resumes and the use of their computers and printers as well as hosting job fairs. “SkillSource tries to match jobs with people and people with jobs, and it’s great that it’s free for both employers and employees,” Harben said. Kristi Sargent, who has worked as Prince William SkillSource Center manager for over six years, said, “If you walk into a SkillSource Center, you are looking to find something good. Looking for a job is a full-time job, and our centers are the connection between you and the employers hiring.” She encourages people to come in, communicate their needs to the staff and take advantage of all the free resources and opportunities that the center has to offer, such as free e-employment classes, free computer usage including printing, faxing and scanning, and the expertise of highly trained staff. One Prince William County resident who has taken advantage of SkillSource Group’s service, Mr. Thomas, was laid off from his job as a principal installation specialist of fiber optics in 2014. He was referred to SkillSource’s Northern Virginia J4VETS program for training services and job development geared towards veterans. He took advantage of the many resources available to him in the program. Mr. Thomas obtained in-demand IT certifications (Security +, Cisco Certified Network Associate, and ITIL Foundation) through J4VETS that landed him a position as a senior network administrator with a starting salary that was a 22.4 percent increase in pay. (continues on page 33) prince william living July 2016 | 27
Birch Kitchen & Bar Story and Photos By Delia Engstrom
ocally sourced ingredients and a modern farmhouse feel are always in season at Birch Kitchen & Bar, the first farmto-table restaurant in western Prince William County. Open for nearly a year, the restaurant is getting a reputation as a gathering place for families and friends to enjoy fresh food in a relaxed, but upscale setting. Although they are newcomers to the restaurant business, the owners of Birch have long embraced the concept of sustainable farming and healthy eating. Raised in an agrarian lifestyle as kids, they were also conscientious of food choices when later raising their children. After noticing the increasing popularity of the county’s weekly farmer’s markets, they decided to link consumers to farm fresh offerings seven days a week by way of a farmhouse style eatery. Thus the seeds of the future Birch Kitchen & Bar were planted in Bristow. Owner Murad Pandit believes that “Birch is just a natural extension of the farmer’s market.” Customers unfamiliar with the farm-to-table concept are pleasantly surprised to learn that nearly 75 percent of Birch’s menu ingredients, from meats to produce, originate from carefully selected farms within a 150-mile radius. It is widely considered that restaurants following this model help not only support other local businesses while reducing their carbon footprint, but serve the highest quality items. Deliveries from the fields are made directly to the kitchen, where chefs then deliver that freshness straight to the palates of their already devoted patrons. If normal menu items can’t be sourced locally, they are pulled from the menu in order to keep Birch’s farm fresh branding consistent. The chefs at Birch Kitchen & Bar believe in letting the ingredients speak for themselves, with minimal use of frying in oil or butter. In fact there is no deep fryer in the kitchen. On a recent visit, Montclair resident Rachel Kristy commented on the full flavored 28 | July 2016 prince william living
Cheese-stuffed mushrooms and peppers are just one dish customers can savor.
strawberry-basil vinaigrette that accompanied a salad and learned each batch of was comprised of over three pounds of fresh strawberries. General Manager Nancy Skipper remarked that “sauces and dressings are made in the beginning of the day and menu items are not prepared in advance or wrapped and reused the following day.” Although preparing menu items in bulk would be a time saving measure, it’s a shortcut the staff is not willing to take if it means sacrificing freshness. For example, meats are not frozen, but instead are carefully selected and arrive ready to be skillfully prepared into offerings, such as the popular Birch Burger. Grassfed and organic beef is topped with savory mushrooms and onions, crisp greens, herb aioli and tomato and cheese. Served with housemade potato chips, it’s a menu staple.
Birch Kitchen & Bar serves a modern twist of classic Americana dishes. The style is a blend of Modern American and Rustic European styles. Many recipes date back to colonial Virginia.
Located in the Linton Hall corridor, nestled between the beltway and Shenandoah, Birch brings the best of both worlds to the neighborhoods of Bristow. It combines “the simplified bounties of the rustic outdoors and the modern sensibilities of a cosmopolitan city,” says Pandit. Visitors to Birch can enjoy the modern farmhouse décor indoors or dine on the patio. Saturday nights find local musicians entertaining patrons from 8-11 p.m. Dinner is served until 9 p.m. those evenings, but appetizers continue to be served while the bar remains open. Children eat free off the kids menu with a paying adult on Mondays, 6-8 p.m. Storytelling and comfortable beanbags are provided in the private back dining room, and face painting and balloon animals entertain even the youngest diners. For those individuals who want to enjoy thoughtfully prepared meals at home, even if their own busy schedules don’t permit cooking them, there is now a take-away menu available. Birch offers a choice of soup or salad, one of four entrees, with two sides, and dessert to bring farm fresh food straight to your dining table at home. Current choices include popular menu items like braised bison short ribs and eggplant parmesan. Six hours advance notice is requested, and food will be packed in microwaveable containers to reheat if needed.
Offering seasonally available food dictates there is a menu overhaul twice a year, and smaller changes are made quarterly. While your favorite menu item might not stick around forever, your taste buds will be tempted year round because the dedication to presenting familiar food with a new twist and a commitment to a healthy and harmonious lifestyle remains on the menu. Birch Kitchen & Bar is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Sunday. Happy hour, complete with local brews on tap, takes place Monday through Friday, 4-7 p.m. and Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. Appetizers are $3 off each day during happy hour. Visit Birch at the Bristow Commons shopping center at 9110 Devlin Road in Bristow to see why they’ve already won the Open Table Diner’s Choice Awards for 2016. Make your mouth water by viewing their menu online at birchkitchenbar.com or call 703-468-4630 to place orders or make reservations.
Delia Engstrom (email@example.com) is a writer and photographer who enjoys visiting new restaurants in Prince William County while on date nights with her husband. prince william living July 2016 | 29
your finances A Challenge for the Times – Money and Memory Issues By Bennett Whitlock, CRPC® Private Wealth Advisor
he increasing prevalence of dementia diagnoses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is affecting more families in America. Family members must confront a wide range of issues, from determining when someone is no longer capable of driving to identifying suitable caregiving options and managing financial affairs.
Looking for signs
As a person’s inability to manage finances becomes more evident, other family members need to approach this issue delicately. One important step that should happen well in advance is to designate a person or persons as “power of attorney.” A general power of attorney gives the designated person the ability to act as principal for another, including opening or closing financial accounts. By having a durable power of attorney designated in advance, family members won’t need to seek court approval to establish a guardianship over financial affairs.
Planning steps to consider
If a person who is beginning to face issues related to dementia is working with a financial advisor, that professional should be contacted, and a meeting can be held to discuss the circumstances. Determine sources of income, including Social Security and pensions, and make sure a structure is in place so that all payments are directed to the right accounts. To the extent that automatic bill paying can be established, this will make things easier for the individual and caregivers. Insurance is another major area to consider. Be sure all life, health, long-term care and disability insurance policies are identified and proper beneficiaries are named. Make certain the right coverage is in place to meet the needs of the individual, who is sure to require additional medical attention in the years ahead.
Prepare for the costs of caregiving
Careful planning is also needed to prepare for expenses related to ongoing care which will become more significant. A plan should be put in place, including making arrangements for in-home care or moving to a facility that can provide the necessary level of support as the condition worsens. If adult children are concerned about issues with their parents, it may be beneficial to get the conversation started soon. Consulting with a financial advisor and an attorney familiar with elder law issues may also be helpful. Bennett Whitlock, CRPC ®, is a private wealth advisor and managing director with Whitlock Wealth Management, a franchise of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Learn more at WhitlockWealth.com or call 703-492-7732. 30 | July 2016 prince william living
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calendar First Friday
July 1 | 6 -9 p.m. Historic Downtown Manassas Come out and enjoy the shops and restaurants in Historic Downtown Manassas.
July 4 | 3 -10 p.m. Historic Downtown Manassas Celebrate America this Independence Day with one of the largest fireworks displays in Northern Virginia! It’s an allAmerican party in Historic Downtown Manassas sponsored by the City of Manassas and Historic Manassas Inc.
Breakfast with an Expert July 7 | 8 a.m. PWAR 4545 Daisy Reid Avenue, Suite 150, Woodbridge Join us for a cup of coffee, a bagel and information from an expert who will give you actionable advice you can put to work immediately in your business. RSVP princewilliamliving.com/ breakfastwithanexpert.
July 9 | 10:30 a.m. Prince William Forest Park 18100 Park Headquarters Road, Triangle Keep Prince William Beautiful will be coming to Prince William Forest Park to discuss recycling basics. $7 per vehicle.
Prince William County World War II Weekend at Rippon Lodge July 9 - 10 | 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Rippon Lodge 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge Learn about daily life of soldiers in the European and Pacific Theatres from living historians portraying Axis and Allied soldiers. $5 suggested donation.
Prince William Living Network – After Hours July 12 | 5:30 - 7 p.m. Monza, 9405 Battle Street, Manassas Join our Network! Meet the people behind the award-winning magazine, Prince William Living. Enjoy non-alcoholic beverages and light appetizers. Start a tab and make plans to stay for dinner! RSVP princewilliamliving.com/network.
Reptiles and Amphibians of Virginia
July 16 | 7 - 9p.m. Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Road, Bristow Join naturalist and reptile expert Tony Bulmer on Friday evening for a lecture on the native reptiles and amphibians that call Virginia home. Learn why having these species in your yard and our parks is a good thing. The lecture will be held at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre and will include guest appearances by some of our local reptilian residents. Cost is $5 per person. Call for more information 703-365-7895
Prince William Living’s Lunch with the Publisher
July 20 | 11:30 a.m. Prince William Chamber of Commerce 9720 Capital Court #203, Manassas Are you an advertiser with Prince William Living or interested in becoming one? Meet the people behind greater Prince William’s premiere lifestyle magazine, as you learn about: Getting your press releases published, Tying into the power of our social media presence. Visibility packages that increase your reach to targeted consumers. Tips on how to focus on your message. Lunch Provided by Okra’s. RSVP at princewilliamliving.com/ lunchwiththepublisher
155th Anniversary Commemoration of First Manassas July 23 | 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Manassas National Battlefield Park 12521 Lee Highway, Manassas The 155th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) will be commemorated with a variety of
historian-led walking tours and living history demonstrations.
“In Much Need of Service:” Civil War Hospitals of First Manassas Bus Tour July 23 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Ben Lomond Historic Site 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas Commemorating the 155th Anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas, join us as we visit the hospitals of Manassas and learn about medicine at the beginning of the Civil War. $80 per person; lunch included. Reservations required, 703-367-7872.
Ghost Hunting 101
July 30 | 7 p.m. – July 31 | 12 a.m. Ben Lomond Historic Site 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas Many local residents claim that the Ben Lomond house and grounds are haunted by spirits from the past. $100 per person for seminar and investigation, $40 for just the seminar; reservations required 703-367-7872.
Independent Empowerment Center 9th Annual ADA Celebration
July 23 |10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Harris Pavilion, 9201 Center St, Manassas IEC will hold its 9th ADA Celebration. There will be music, food to purchase, a Silent Auction, a raffle, the t-shirt design t-shirt’s t-shirt for sale ($15) and much more.
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Have an event? Visit princewilliamliving.com/events to submit details to our online calendar. 32 | July 2016 prince william living
SKILLSOURCE (continued from page 27)
SkillSource Group has a variety of programs, some with certain eligibility requirements. For example, “for Federal workforce programs, there are certain eligibility requirements in place, such as low educational attainment or recently unemployed. Other programs are targeted for specific populations, such as veterans, like the one Mr. Thomas used to find his new job, adults with a disability, and jobseekers with a criminal background or other employment obstacles,” Hunn said. “Our largest program, by both spending and jobseeker participation, is the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Adult and Dislocated Worker program; SkillSource is on track to serve hundreds of jobseekers this year meeting these eligibility requirements and is assisting these jobseekers with additional skills training, certifications earned and job search assistance,” Hunn said. Sam Hill, campus provost at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) said, “SkillSource also provides data and information on skills trends and business needs that the college can act on to keep our educational and training current and responsive to the needs of the community.”
Connecting Thousands of People According to Hunn, “The SkillSource Group oversees two workforce centers in Prince William County; the largest is located at 13370 Minnieville Road, Woodbridge, 22192. The second center is located on the NOVA Manassas Campus in Parrish Hall. In total, the Prince William Workforce Center has 38 employees and is expected to have over 14,000 jobseeker visits during the July – June fiscal year with another 300 visits at the center on the NOVA Manassas Campus. Within that total, SkillSource and its partners have enrolled nearly 270 jobseekers into our Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs, targeting low skilled adults or workers who have lost their jobs for assistance in finding new employment.”
What may surprise you is that because SkillSource Group is part of a larger state and national network, they must follow “rigorous state and national standards and are closely monitored to assure compliance and measurements of their outcomes,” Hunn said. Tough times several years ago led to peak season at SkillSource Group. Over 100,000 jobseeker visits were recorded to the center during the economic recession in 2011. Those numbers have gradually declined since then as the regional economy improved. Statistically, data also shows that the more education and skills that jobseekers have, the shorter their unemployment would likely last, but those with fewer skills or less education, unemployment could last much longer.
How They Do It So how does SkillSource provide all these programs and services to connect employees and employers? According to Dunn, “The SkillSource Group and the Northern Virginia Workforce Development Board receive funding to operate our centers and provide services from Congress and the U.S. Department of Labor, passed through the Governor of Virginia. We also actively compete for additional grants and contracts from federal and state partner agencies to provide even more services to our Northern Virginia customers. Our services are free and are part of a public service to the Northern Virginia community.” However, SkillSource is a non-profit organization, not government organization, so contributions from the community are always welcome. You can donate securely online at https://donatenow. networkforgood.org/1437337.
Helena Tavares Kennedy (email@example.com) is a freelance writer and nonprofit communications director who has lived in Manassas for over 15 years.
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