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prince william living December 2016

The premier lifestyle magazine of Prince William and Greater Manassas

Away for the Holidays PAGE 4

Finding Harmony with His Harmonica PAGE 10

Prince William Ice Center PAGE 20

You don't have to wait a whole month for more great information about your community. Simply visit, any time. There you can get daily updates on events, the arts, not-for-profits, dining and entertainment in your neighborhood. Look for PWL contests, events, local deals and more. Get involved by answering a survey, participating in a focus group or submitting a story or event. Stay plugged into what is happening and what is important to you!

Prince William Living is a lifestyle magazine, whose mission is to build a better community by promoting quality-of-life issues; including solid economic development, strong education and workforce development; supporting the arts community and encouraging volunteerism through our local not-for-profits.

Our average reader is 25-45, female, educated and married with children. Her household earns $150,000+, is engaged in the community and is likely to act on information read in Prince William Living. Her family enjoys finding activities and services available locally. 82% of PWL readers report acting on information in the magazine, to include visiting our advertisers.

table of contents December 2016 Vol. 6 No. 12

FEATURE STORY Away for the Holidays: Making It One to Remember..................................................4

IN EVERY ISSUE from the publisher...................................................3 on a high note Finding Harmony with His Harmonica................10


destinations O Christmas Tree.................................................12 giving back A Veteran’s Best Friend ......................................... 16 lifelong learning Orienteering: A True Outdoor Adventure Sport....................................................19 taking care of business Prince William Ice Center: Home of Ice Sports and Family Fun.....................20 family fun Creating Sentimental Holiday Crafts with Your Children...............................................22

10 Photo by Rob Jinks

local flavor Pupuseria Dona Azucena Serves Authentic Salvadorian Dishes in Manassas and Woodbridge...................................................28 calendar...............................................................32 advertiser index....................................................36


16 Photo by Amanda Causey Baity

health & wellness.................................................18 home & hearth.....................................................26 your finances........................................................30

prince william living December 2016 | 1

The premiere lifestyle magazine of Prince William and Greater Manassas

Prince William Living Publisher Rebecca Barnes Contributing Writers Amanda Causey Baity, Carla Christiano, Delia Engstrom, Joe Lowe, Olivia Overman, Tracy Shevlin, Dan Verner, Marianne Weaver, Bennett Whitlock Editor in Chief Kim Howard, CAE Copy Editors Apryl Motley, CAE and Peter Lineberry Photo Editor Amanda Causey Baity Photographers Amanda Causey Baity, Delia Engstrom, Amy Falkofske and Rob Jinks Director of Operations Amanda Causey Baity Account Executive Gina Palasi Graphic Design and Production Alison Dixon/Image Prep Studio Online Submission Manager Carole Keily 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.

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 you’d like our staff to cover? Contact Prince William Living editorial staff at (703) 232-1758, ext. 2, or at Advertising Prince William Living accepts display advertising. For complete advertising information, contact our sales staff at (703) 232-1758, ext. 3, or at Social Media

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© 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 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 Reprints and Back Issues: To order article reprints or request reprint permission, please visit the Prince William Living website: Order back issues by emailing Prince William Living Publisher Rebecca Barnes at For further information about Prince William Living, visit, or contact Prince William Living at (703) 232-1758. 2 | December 2016 prince william living


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from the publisher Planning Your Holiday Away


he upcoming holiday has many traditions and customs: trees and lights; stockings and gifts; and sometimes, getting away from it all. Our December feature, “Away for the Holidays: Making it One to Remember” by Olivia Overman, shares the stories of many in our community who travel to celebrate Christmas somewhere other than home. Learn about some of the ways they create their own traditions while traveling, beginning on page 4. Ready to create new family memories? “Creating Sentimental Holiday Crafts with Your Children,” our Family Fun feature by Amanda Causey Baity (page 22), shows us fun and useful crafts that you and your children can make and give as gifts. Having your child create a handmade ornament or other gift is priceless and will create traditions for generations to come. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, make sure you

are keeping safety in the forefront of your mind. Children can too easily get hurt, and the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue shares some tips on holiday safety in this month’s Health & Wellness column (page 18). There are only days left to finish your holiday shopping, so be sure to check out our new 2016 Holiday Gift Guide. With dozens of items in a variety of prices, this interactive publication will help you to zip through your gift-giving list. Best of all, everything is available right here in Prince William! Visit to keep your holiday shopping local this year. From the Prince William Living family to your family, happy holidays! Sincerely, Rebecca Barnes Prince William Living Publisher

prince william living December 2016 | 3

Away for the Holidays Making It One to Remember By Olivia Overman

4 | December 2016 prince william living


or most people, the holiday season is about surrounding yourself with the love and affection of family and friends, and for a lot of people today, this means traveling around the country and sometimes traveling overseas to spend time with loved ones. Whether you’re continuing family traditions or even starting new ones, preparation and plenty of planning are key to ensuring that those treasured traditions are not forgotten and those yet to be made are set to be remembered!

Keeping traditions alive takes work Logistics, logistics, logistics is the way to go when planning for a holiday season away from home. For somebody who travels to either the U.K. or Ireland most years over the holiday period, holiday traditions are important, but sometimes a little difficult to keep intact. Holiday cards are mailed at the beginning of December so as to arrive on time, and gifts are packed (with wrapping included separately) and shipped off to their overseas location. Packing and mailing gifts can be expensive, so the key is to think small in size and weight when purchasing gifts. It also helps if you purchase gifts throughout the year, so you are not hit with the expense of gifts and mailing costs all at once. Of course, there is also online order at retailers such as Amazon, which offer quick and easy ways to purchase a gift and have it delivered without any extra effort on your part.

overseas, the tradition of getting together on Christmas Day, sharing gifts, stories and laughs makes everything right in the world for just that one day. Forgotten are the missed birthdays, parties and celebrations because when family and friends are together over the holidays, it’s like you have never been away, and the conversations and the “craic” continue as they always have done. Holiday season stateside: For the Gillard family of Woodbridge, the tradition of making ornaments, even after the kids have grown up, continues to mark the holiday season. “We either make a trip to Michaels or get Popsicle® sticks before going to see grandparents in Gloucester, Va.,” said Paquita Gillard. “It’s a tradition the kids started when they were younger and [now] everyone still does it,” she said. For Julia King and her family, traveling to see her husband’s family in Sumerduck, Va. for Christmas Day marks the holiday, but not until the traditional family photo in the park has been taken and mailed. The canine members of the family are also not forgotten. While they do not travel with the family, the holidays are not the holidays until they get their toys. Emily Guerrero of Lake Ridge spends most New Year’s Eves skiing in Pennsylvania or West Virginia with family and friends. “My best friend lives in Chicago, and she normally flies in, and we’ll be joined by one or two other local friends and their families. Gathering with my friends and our children to ski is our own little holiday celebration,” Guerrero said.

Family traditions An Irish Christmas: Missing out on seeing family members on a regular basis means the holiday period is just that little bit more meaningful, so keeping family traditions alive during the holidays is important. A visit to Santa Claus in his grotto in Blarney with grandparents on Christmas Eve followed by midnight mass with the family and then early to bed for the children allows the toys requested from Santa to be delivered on time. Christmas morning sees a plethora of family members coming through the family house bringing stories of their lives since the last time we saw each other. For a family who has a number of members living

As with traveling overseas, Guerrero agrees with the theory that booking early is probably the best way to go, but has also benefitted from booking last-minute deals. “I’ve booked as early as 10 months in advance and as late as one month. I organize these as group trips with friends, so we typically rent a house or condo. That allows us to split costs and also make most of our meals, which saves money and is almost always better than the (continues on page 6) prince william living December 2016 | 5

(continued from page 5) food we find at or near the resorts. I’ll use sites like Armed Forces Vacation Club, HomeAway, Airbnb and Craigslist and deal directly with owners when I can. I tend to look for deals where there is snow, and plan that way, rather than limiting my search to one location,” she said. Speaking about traditions, Guerrero said, “Most of the time, the kids go their own way on the slopes. But for New Year’s Eve, we all gather at the rental home and have dinner together. We watch the countdowns on TV and see the ball drop together. Another tradition is writing down something that we want to let go of or move on from in the New Year, like a habit or thought that is holding you back, and then burning it in the fireplace. You can share it or keep it private.”

Advice for getting to where you need to go Travel agent Mackenzie Walsh of Classic Travel in Woodbridge said what we all know to be key, especially around the holiday season, and that is “to book early, as it is an expensive time of year to travel.” Asked whether she sees a lot of people traveling over this period, she said, “People travel [over the holidays] to get away from the cold weather and to go somewhere where the weather is nice.” “For many people instead of exchanging gifts, going on vacation is the tradition for the family,” Walsh continued. “A lot of people go to the Caribbean, and a lot of families go on allinclusive cruises over the period,” she said, “and we handle all the logistics.” Traveling by air: Traveling by air these days, whether it is alone or with children, is rarely fun, and traveling during the holidays can sometimes feel like it is more of a hassle than it’s worth. Planning early and packing appropriately can make travel less complicated and, perhaps, even enjoyable. First, book as early as possible to ensure you have your choice of seating assignments, especially when traveling with children. Most airlines allow you to pick your seats when booking your tickets, so take advantage of this. Second, make sure you have the correct size luggage, weighing within the stated airline weight limitations. Having to pay oversized baggage and excess weight fees is not the most ideal way to start a holiday vacation. Third, if possible, try to mail gifts ahead of time to your destination. If this is not an option, make sure gifts are not giftwrapped before placing them in your suitcase. If the transport authorities are concerned about what is in a wrapped gift, they will rip off the paper, and that will be a complete waste of your time and money. Expensive items like jewelry and electronics should always be carried on board in a carry-on suitcase. Finally, bring extra activities for the children and extra snacks just in case your holiday travel is delayed due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Unfortunately, Elizabeth Bebee of Woodbridge and her family have had their family plans adversely 6 | December 2016 prince william living

impacted by weather over the holiday season. “We often have delays…due to weather, and it can be stressful, which is why we don’t do it [travel to Chicago] every year,” she said. Traveling by car: “I choose places that I can drive to, such as Shawnee Mountain and the Camelback Resort in Pennsylvania and Snowshoe in West Virginia, which saves travel costs,” Guerrero said. Approximately 100 million Americans travel by car over the holiday season every year, with Thanksgiving being the busiest travel day. The holiday period between Christmas and New Year’s also sees a dramatic rise in the number of people traveling, so being aware of the busiest travel days is key to planning your travel. The American Automobile Association offers the following tips as key for getting to your destination safely: n Keep your gas tank at least 1/4 filled, doors locked, windows up, safety belts buckled and your children in properly installed safety seats. n Stay on main roads and highways. n Don’t pick up hitchhikers. n Pack a flashlight, first-aid kit, water and snacks. n When you stop for breaks, go into the restroom with your kids.

n Carry a cell phone with you at all times. n Don’t stop to help someone with car trouble. Instead, use your cell phone to alert police. n Always watch for suspicious characters and look for ways to avoid them. n Whenever you need to stop at night, choose a well-lighted, populated facility. Try to park where your vehicle can be seen.

Securing you and your home “We [think in terms of ] an environmental design strategy when dealing with [home] crime prevention,” said Sgt. Benjamin Grantham of the Prince William County Police Crime Prevention Unit. “Homes with bushes and trees blocking windows and doors and poor lighting are easy targets for criminals,” Grantham said. He continued by providing tips on how to make your house looks inhabited while you are away from home. These include having good lighting and visibility around the home, leaving a car in the driveway, getting neighbors to pick-up mail and taking care of the home in general. People have deliveries made to their houses, particularly over the holiday period, and this can attract criminals who “will go for the least resistance” when looking for something to steal. “When these [packages] are stolen, it is tough,” Grantham said. “Try to pick up packages at a delivery center or [have them] delivered to your workplace or make sure you must be there to sign for the packages.”

n Accommodation in pet-friendly hotels must be booked in advance. Many hotels have pet-friendly rooms on the lower level, but these can be limited. n The American Kennel Club recommends all vaccinations be up-to-date before taking pets on long trips. Also, carry a copy of the pet’s health records just in case. n A crate large enough for your pet to stand, turn and lie down in is key to a happy pet. It keeps the pet safe and can make him or her feel more secure. n For international travel, the rules and regulations about pets entering a foreign country must be reviewed before attempting to enter. Quarantine may not be what you were anticipating for your pet over the holidays.

Have A Happy Holiday! Wherever or whoever you spend the holiday season with, it is a perfect time to revisit traditions from holidays gone by or for even starting new traditions. The memories you create, whether making crafts with grandma and grandpa, opening presents on Christmas morning or catching up with friends over a little eggnog, will be memories your family will talk about for years to come. A graduate of American University’s School of Communication, Olivia Overman ( is a freelance writer for both online and print publications.

Another way to ensure your home does not appear empty is to leave your pets at home with a pet sitter. “Having the dogs there and somebody coming in and out during the day and evening helps,” Guerrero said. “My older dog, Buddha, hates kennels, so I keep them at home, and somebody stops by three to four times a day to feed, walk and play with them. Sometimes this will be friends and family, or more recently I’ve been hiring one of my son’s friends, who the dogs adore,” she said. When away from home for a period of time, peace of mind is essential when you leave your pets in somebody else’s care. From boarding facilities to pet sitters, there are numerous options available in the county for your beloved pet. People who travel with their pets, however, must understand the impact of having them travel with you:

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on a high note

Finding Harmony with His Harmonica By Carla Christiano | Photos by Rob Jinks


hen people ask Westminster at Lake Ridge resident Jack Hopkins if he has been playing the harmonica all his life, the 96-year-old Hopkins laughs and responds “Not yet.” Hopkins, who has been playing the harmonica for almost 90 years, shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Although his repertoire is big band and classical rather than the blues or bluegrass most people associate with the harmonica, he can belt out a mean tune on any one of the dozens he owns. A mention of “Begin the Beguine,” a 1930s-era song written by Cole Porter, gets tuneful blasts from the bespectacled former mechanical engineer, who is originally from Indiana. Hopkins estimates that he has 15 types of harmonicas, including one that is two feet long with 48 chords. Another, built by a friend, consists of two harmonicas, each with six chords. “Most people don’t realize there are that many kinds of harmonicas,” he said. “Most people only know about the little tin ones.” Although Hopkins now favors the Chordette-20 and chromatic harmonicas, he said he began playing on “a toy harmonica made out of plastic back when I was 5 or 6 that was in my Christmas stocking.” Like most harmonica players, he taught himself to play. “I found that I could get a scale out of it, and I thought if I could get a scale, I ought to be able to play a tune.” And play he did, stopping only during college and a stint as an Army radio operator during World War II. “In those days, the only harmonica manufacturers that I knew were in Germany, and we were battling Germany,” he said. I wasn’t sure if I could ever replace a harmonica if I lost one.” 10 | December 2016 prince william living

Hopkins’ collection includes this two-feet-long harmonica with 48 chords.

Jack Hopkins of Lake Ridge displays some of his large collection of harmonicas.

More of a challenge has been finding teachers. Hopkins recalled when he moved to the Mount Vernon area of Virginia with his wife and seven children in 1964, he contacted local music stores and schools but could not find a teacher. It wasn’t until he was 49 that he discovered a fiveday harmonica seminar in New York City. At the seminar, he discovered he had taught himself well and had not picked up bad habits. “It’s a matter of unraveling the secrets by yourself,” he said.

as a player, teacher, club leader, photographer and convention volunteer.” In 2005 Hopkins received the SPAH Award of Special Merit (now known as the Stan Harper Award of Special Merit) to acknowledge and honor his long-term special contributions to the harmonica community. “His contributions are indeed special as well because they are so generously given with a smile, a sense of humor and a unique view of life,” Wewers said. Hopkins is also a member of the harmonica club he helped form more than 30 years ago, the Capitol Harmonica Club, and is actively recruiting new members. “We used to have about 15 members, all of whom were fairly active,” Hopkins said. Now only he and a friend are left.

This tiny harmonica actually plays chords.

Don’t expect to see Hopkins at any open mics at your local coffee house. “I don’t go to coffee houses,” he said. Instead, you will find him accompanying the pianist every Sunday at his United Methodist Church. A long-time member of the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (SPAH) (, he does play at open mics during their harmonica conventions. “It was hard not to notice that he was very ardent in his support of SPAH and promoting the harmonica both locally and nationally,” said SPAH Historian Manfred Wewers. “In Jack’s case, it is not simply a case of longevity; he is actively involved

Despite a Facebook page, YouTube videos and magnetic signs on his car to advertise the club, he has not recruited any new members to play the classical music and standards he enjoys. “Younger harmonica players are not interested in that type of music,” he said. At Westminster he knows of only two other harmonica players, but it hasn’t worked out. “We’re always looking for new members, who like to play our type of music,” he said.

Carla Christiano ( is a native of Prince William County, admitted history geek and a technical writer for Unisys. Online Extra: Visit this story online in our ‘On a High Note’ section to watch a short clip of Hopkins making music with his collection. prince william living December 2016 | 11


O Christmas Tree By Dan Verner | Photos by Amy Falkofske


rtificial or live? Plastic or real? Most families who observe Christmas face these questions when choosing what kind of Christmas tree they want to put up in their homes for the holidays. Here’s what some Prince William residents had to say about their choices. Sherri Katoen said she preferred a live tree because of the natural look and smell. She and her husband always had live trees until one year when they put the trunk through the wall trying to get it up the stairs. Sheyna Burt said, “Many of my favorite things about the holidays involve the traditions, specifically, the tradition of good-natured family arguments about which kind of tree to get, how tall it should be, how to attach it to the car, how to rearrange the furniture…” Neal Roseberry prefers a live tree: “Bringing greenery into the house in the cold of winter brings me more joy and warmth than assembling a man-made version that sits in a box in the attic. No matter how much you decorate and light an artificial tree, it is still an artificial tree trying to be real.”

Harlan Tree Farm in Nokesville

Suz Macdowell goes a live tree one better, putting up one for the birds outside. “We hang suet, bird seed, cranberry and peanut

Some people, like Laura Dowling, have found that live trees and cats don’t mix. “We had to change to an artificial tree, so I could

12 | December 2016 prince william living

butter ‘cupcakes’ on the tree. We also string popcorn and put that on as well.”

keep my Christmas ornaments from being smashed into oblivion by our cat,” she explained. Susan Briscoe sees the advantage of an artificial tree this way: “I keep mine up all year and redecorate it for each season or holiday.” Molly Grove found a solution to the dilemma of live versus artificial: “I use a ceramic tree since I travel the day of Christmas.” But Christmas didn’t always involve putting a tree up, live or artificial. The tradition began in the 16th century in Germany when the faithful brought decorated trees inside. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood, decorating them with evergreens and candles, predating artificial trees by 300 years. Then Germans came up with a tree in the late 19th century that was a piece of wood into which they stuck long feathers, and they brought these displays with them when they immigrated to this country. Martin Luther, struck by the beauty of stars shining through the evergreens, wanted to duplicate that scene and was supposedly the first to wire lighted candles to his tree. While both German and Irish immigrants brought Christmas trees with them to the U.S. in the 1830s, as late as the 1840s, most Americans regarded Christmas trees as pagan symbols. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert changed all that when they appeared in an issue of the Illustrated London News in 1846 with their children around a Christmas tree. Suddenly everyone had to have a Christmas tree, not only in Britain, but also in the U.S., especially on the fashion-conscious East Coast. Americans decorated their trees with homemade ornaments in the 19th century, adding strings of berries, nuts and popcorn dyed bright colors. Electric lights came later, and Christmas trees began to appear in town squares across the country. Christmas trees in the home became an American tradition, and it’s one that many local residents embrace fully. Those Prince William residents who favor live trees are fortunate to have two farms nearby. Jim Gehlsen of Nokesville started growing trees at Evergreen Acres 33 years ago and began selling them seven years later. He bought the undeveloped property in 1983 after he took a ride out in the country on a motorcycle and saw it for sale.

Jim Gehlsen of Evergreen Acres

The farm sells about 1,000 trees during a typical season, and it takes 10 to 15 years to grow their replacements. Four people work at the farm on weekends during the holiday season. “People prefer our trees to artificial ones because those trees are not the real deal,” Gehlsen commented. “They’re like having a plastic spouse.” Leslie Harlan of Harlan Tree Farm, also in Nokesville, has been growing trees on eight acres since 1989. “Tree farming takes less equipment,” he said, “and my biggest challenge is the weather.” His farm gives him something to do and “gets me out of the house,” he noted. “I like to stay busy, and the income from my farm helps pay my taxes.” Harlan sells 200-250 trees each season, and his family helps him, with two or three people working on the farm at any given time. “We can cut the tree, or our visitors can,” he explained. “We have three trailers pulled by an ATV to take people to the trees, and we usually make a fire in a barrel when it’s cold.” It takes anywhere from six to 12 years to grow a Christmas tree to the proper size, and Harlan believes people like real trees because they have a good time getting them.

“I mostly have white pine and Norway spruce,” he said, adding that the biggest challenge is shearing 20,000 pine trees in 35 days in June and July. Another challenge is keeping up with the pests.

For many of us, creating beautiful and meaningful memories with something green and alive in the dead of winter is an important part of the Christmas season. Local tree farmers are there making it happen.

Gehlsen continued, “We offer a wagon ride to the tree field and also hot mulled cider. We provide a tree shaker, tree baling and twine for people to tie their trees onto their cars. I enjoy seeing families have a good time, and although we give them bow saws to cut their trees, there hasn’t been more than a scratch in 25 years.”

Dan Verner ( is the author of several books and was named “Best Writer in Prince William County (Virginia)” for 2014 and 2015 by readers in a “Best of Prince William” poll taken by Prince William Today newspaper. Find out more about him at prince william living December 2016 | 13

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giving back

A Veteran’s Best Friend O

By Joe Lowe Photo provided by Semper K9

n a dark February morning in 2004, Christopher Baity was beginning work at Quantico Marine Base when the provost marshal, the base’s head of police, unexpectedly approached him. Baity, who was then working as a Marine Corps kennel master, took a breath as the purpose of the visit became clear; the provost marshal wanted to know Baity with SSD Rona K459 on the Tigris if he would go to Iraq on River during an OIF deployment in Iraq. a combat mission. Baity pondered the question briefly before making his decision. He would go. The decision put him on a dangerous path. He went on to serve on five combat deployments in the Middle East, where, among other things, he used dogs to search for enemy bombs and other explosives. And when he returned home, he faced bouts of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But Baity has no regrets. The decision he made that winter morning led to what he believes is his true calling, Semper K9.

A Mission to Giving Back Driven by a desire to give back to America’s post 9/11 veterans, Baity and his wife Amanda founded Semper K9 in 2014. The nonprofit seeks to heal the wounds of war by training service dogs to provide physical and emotional support to U.S. Armed Forces veterans and their families. These dogs enrich and restore lives by assisting their owners with overcoming daily challenges. The nonprofit gives those veterans 16 | December 2016 prince william living

with physical impairments dogs who can assist them with three or more duties to improve their health and mobility. Others affected by PTSD or related mental health difficulties benefit from dogs that help them recover emotionally and remain calm throughout painful times. Working with dogs comes easily to Baity. He grew up in a family who raised dogs professionally before beginning his career as a dog handler, which he has been doing for 15 years. He puts his knowledge to use on a rented property in eastern Prince William County, where he lives with Amanda and their four children. Although most of his waking hours are spent managing the nonprofit, Baity also helps support his family by working as security consultant, advising government agencies and other organizations about integrating service dogs into the workplace. “It’s very busy, but also very rewarding. I couldn’t ask for a better job or career,” said Baity, who is 35. His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. In September, he was awarded the Red Bandanna Award by the American Heroes Channel for being a “true champion of the veteran community.” The actions of Welles Remy Crowther, a civilian popularly known as “the man in the red bandanna,” who lost his life saving victims of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, inspired the award.

A Win-Win Situation Semper K9’s first class of service dogs, which Baity trained intensively for nine months, graduated in July and were paired with wounded service members and their families, many living within or near Prince William County. Russell Walters, a Marine Corps sergeant who served as a helicopter mechanic in Afghanistan and now suffers from PTSD, received a one-and-a-half-year-old dog named Buster. The silver lab has brought stability to the Woodbridge resident’s life by waking him from nightmares, reminding him to take medicine

Semper K9’s volunteers call themselves ‘Team Semper K9’ and have grown from a handful in 2015 to over 40 in less than a year. Photo by Amanda Causey Baity

and calming him during panic attacks. “Buster is just an all-around great dog,” Walters said. “He accompanies me to my medical appointments, and he is such a big part of my life. Without him, it wouldn’t be the same.” The benefits are mutual. For unwanted or rescue dogs facing euthanasia, Semper K9 training can mean survival. And motivated by this fact, Semper K9 attempts to work with dogs from shelters with high kill rates as much as possible—a fact not lost on veterans. “They [Semper K9] take animals that nobody wanted, and a lot of times our service members feel the same way,” explained George Lamb, a veteran who received help from Semper K9 to train his medical alert dog.

Local Connections Despite the fact that training a service dog costs approximately $20,000, Semper K9 provides dogs without charge, ensuring that money does not halt recovery. Being so generous doesn’t make the nonprofit’s job easy, but it works with help from Prince William County residents. “We have lots of support from the community,” said Amanda Baity, who co-founded Semper K9 and now serves as its director of operations. “Families, children, veterans—all kinds of people are making a difference.” In addition to partnerships with 15 local businesses and organizations, the organization counts on the support of more than 40 volunteers. They support Semper K9’s mission in a variety of ways, some of them helping to train dogs. Semper K9 has built a core team of seven co-workers who offer expertise in community relations and health care services among other services. Together, they plan to continue expanding Semper K9’s work.

Baity, pictured with Diesel a Czech Shepherd, was recently awarded American Heroes Channel’s Red Bandanna Hero of the Year for his work with Semper K9.

“In the next three years, we want to begin training 20-25 dogs a year,” said Amanda, who also pointed out that growth was not their only goal. “The need is there, but we want to maintain the quality of our services.” In the meantime, Semper K9 needs to find a new home. When the Baity’s one-year lease on their current property ends in August, they will be forced to relocate, but they are determined to keep Semper K9 in Prince William County, among those who have given it the most help. “We’re looking for a place where the owners are happy to support us and be a part of our mission,” Baity said.

How you can help Semper K9 welcomes all support. You can provide Semper K9 with training materials and supplies by visiting their Amazon. com wish list by searching for Semper K9 Wish List. To get involved or contact Semper K9, visit Joe Lowe ( 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 nonprofit in Washington, D.C. prince william living December 2016 | 17

health & wellness At Home or On the Road, Holiday Safety Tips for Kids Provided by the Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue


he holidays are a fun time of year with the anticipation of getting gifts, seeing family and being out of school. It is also an important time of year to be mindful of your children’s safety. Holiday decorations, traveling, and visiting new locations that may not be childproofed can put your children in danger. Below are some simple precautions that can help to make sure that your children have a fun and safe holiday. Childproofing Most parents understand the importance of childproofing their homes. In addition to the risks of holiday decorations, younger children can get into trouble if they visit a home during the holidays (or any time of year) that isn’t childproofed. In addition to not having safety locks on cabinets, gates on stairs, covers on electrical outlets, etc., they may also have prescription medications that aren’t in a child-resistant container. Things to be especially watchful for, and which you may want to ask about, include: • Do they have a pool? Does it have a fence with a selfclosing, self-latching gate? • Are there guns in the house? Are they stored unloaded in a locked box with the bullets locked separately? • Are there small objects, such as hard candy or nuts in candy dishes, where younger children can get them? • Are there gates on the stairs? • Are medications, poisons and household cleaners out of reach? • Do they have a pet that may harm the children? • If your child has food allergies, will they be serving that food? Toy Safety • Select safe toys to suit the age, abilities, skills, and interest level of the intended child. • Check toys regularly for small parts, breakage and potential hazards, including chipped or peeling paint. Damaged or dangerous toys should be repaired or thrown away. • Teach older children to keep their toys away from younger children. • When buying a bicycle, scooter, skates, or other sporting goods, also buy a helmet and appropriate safety pads. For more information on children and holiday safety, visit safety.htm.

18 | December 2016 prince william living

lifelong learning Orienteering: A True Outdoor Adventure Sport Story and photos by Delia Engstrom


ur daily commutes often find us stuck in traffic daydreaming about the weekend. We mentally map out ways to spend time with family and friends and squeeze in some stress-relieving exercise. We hope to enjoy some fresh air while exploring places we haven’t been before and put the reality of the work week in our rearview. Surprisingly, the easiest route to fulfilling all of those weekend plans is found by shelving our cell phones and giving up on our GPS. Destination: Orienteering! An outdoor adventure sport, orienteering is family friendly and requires nothing more than a map, a compass and a desire to be outside for a few hours. Map-reading skills and powers of observation are used to navigate the best ways to find checkpoints as participants walk, run, hike and scramble along their chosen routes. Although it sounds like the newest exercise craze to sweep the nation, orienteering has a nearly 50-year history here in Prince William County. It began in 1967 when the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Academy at Quantico introduced orienteering into their training curriculum, 80 years after orienteering first began as part of military training in Sweden. A few years after the introduction of orienteering at the academy, the Quantico Orienteering Club (QOC) formed to include interested individuals from outside of the base. Eventually severing ties with Marine Corps Base Quantico, the club evolved into a community-based, 501(c)(3) organization. Orienteering (known as “Land Nav”) is still part of the training of Marines and other branches of the military, while it also continues to grow as a popular sport across the country. The governing body for orienteering in the United States is Orienteering USA, now home to 55 clubs and more than 1,500 members across the country. One of the largest clubs with 450 active members, QOC is comprised of individual, family and junior group members from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland. QOC holds orienteering events all over the region, but Prince William County, home to nearly 50 of its club members, has remained a favorite orienteering location through the years. Current QOC Vice-President John Baker said, “It has some of the best terrain for beginner, intermediate and advanced orienteers of all ages.” Events are held regularly, both day and night, at Prince William Forest Park and Manassas National Battlefield Park. In November 2017, QOC will host a national level two-day event celebrating the beginnings of civilian orienteering, back where it all started, at Marine Corps Base Quantico. Regardless of ability and age, participants in orienteering will find their courses consist of a few commonalities. All will begin with a

All courses have some commonalities for participants, such as this control site to be visited and e-punched with your tool to record your visit.

starting point, have a series of control sites (marked on the course by an orange and white control flag) to be visited in order using an e-punch tool to record your visit, and a finish line. A colorful, detailed topographic map is provided to everyone and used to navigate to the control sites. Studying the different aspects of the map will help orienteers choose the best route between control sites. Magnetic north lines are marked to aid in compass use, and five-meter contour intervals of the land are marked in brown. Black signifies rock features, like cliffs and boulders, or man-made features, such as trails and fences. Blue depicts any water feature, including lakes, rivers and marshes. The colors yellow, white or green denote varying degrees of vegetation denseness that will be encountered. The starting point (a triangle), the control sites (circles) and finish (a double circle) are shown in magenta. Finally, distinguishing features of the control sites are shown through a variety of symbols. These maps aid orienteers in choosing their course, as the shortest distance between two points is rarely a straight line, especially if that line leads through a dense forest with low visibility. To those unsure of their navigational skills in the woods, Baker encourages newcomers to the sport: “Our events always feature complimentary beginner instruction with an experienced orienteer in a one-on-one or small group setting going over what to expect (continues on page 27) prince william living December 2016 | 19

taking care of business

Prince William Ice Center Home of Ice Sports and Family Fun By Tracy Shevlin | Photos by Delia Engstrom


hen it first opened in 1996, the Prince William Ice Center was a little-known facility in an unmarked metal warehouse building in Woodbridge, Virginia. Shortly after Pat Insley and Bill Hutzler purchased it in 2008, the facility collapsed during a blizzard in 2010 resulting in a total loss. Other owners might have closed permanently, but the center re-opened in September 2011 and has just celebrated its fifth anniversary in its state-of-the-art facility. Prince William Living spoke to Insley to learn more about the improved building, which houses two rinks and is home to a number of winter sports and activities. PWL: Following the roof collapse in 2010, did you consider closing the doors? Insley: We decided rather quickly to rebuild even though we had lost everything down to the dirt. We recognized that our facility was truly unique to the county and that it played an important role in our community. Working with the Prince William County government and our general contractor, R.W. Murray, we adopted an aggressive strategy to rebuild. It was a great lesson in learning about design and construction, as well as all of the new building codes. The new building is stronger, ADA compliant and able to withstand more severe weather. Since we were designing a completely new building, we decided that we wanted to be able to support a wider variety of ice sports than the typical area rink. We host the regular sports such as ice hockey, figure skating, and synchronized skating in addition to public skate sessions, lessons for all ages, and broomball on both of our rinks. Our NHL standard sized rink (85 feet by 200 feet) is also designed to host some special ice sports, in particular, curling and sled hockey. Our Olympic-sized rink (100 feet by 200 feet) is able to host national level events, including speed skating competitions, as well as “Theater on Ice� shows, our annual figure skating shows and competitions, and our junior hockey games. This rink also has event lighting, which is very popular during our evening public skates. 20 | December 2016 prince william living

Pat Insley, co-owner of Prince William Ice Center

PWL: It seems hockey has become more mainstream than it used to be. Have you observed that at the center? Insley: Yes, we are definitely seeing growth in the popularity of hockey as well as all of the ice sports hosted at PWIC. The NHL and the Washington Capitals have been very active in their efforts to bring hockey to our communities, and we are involved in many of these programs. Historically, cost has been one barrier to keeping youth out of hockey because parents were reluctant to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment for a sport that might not be a good fit for their child. Now, there are programs at PWIC and elsewhere that help families minimize costs. When we reopened in 2011, we committed to making hockey more accessible to local families by investing in 100 sets of starter equipment that can be rented by participants in our Learn

PWIC boasts two rinks: a NHL standard-sized rink (85 feet by 200 feet) which is also designed to host some special ice sports, in particular curling and sled hockey; and their Olympic-sized rink which is 100 feet by 200 feet.

to Play Hockey program run by the rink’s Potomac Hockey Academy. This is a great way for kids to try the sport without families having to make huge investments in equipment. Recently, the Washington Capitals also developed a free equipment program for children learning to play hockey. Partnering with Reebok/CCM and the NHL, eligible children 4-8 years old, who are new to hockey and participating in a Learn to Play Hockey program or similar training program, can get their first set of equipment free of charge, compliments of the Washington Capitals. We also offer our Try Hockey For Free and Try Skating For Free programs throughout the year to encourage people to learn to skate or learn to play hockey at no cost. These are unique opportunities for our local clubs to step up and help, and we get great support from the National Blades Synchronized Skating Club and the Potomac Patriots Hockey Club. We also have an extensive Learn to Skate and Learn to Play Hockey program of classes that we hold year-round for adults and children as young as four years old to begin their journey in skating and hockey.

PWIC hosts a free program recently developed by the Washington Capitals for children learning to play hockey.

Christmas” story time is scheduled for Dec. 17, but we also have eight other Snow & Story times scheduled December through March. Reservations are required and can be made online by clicking the reservations tab on our homepage. Groups and individuals are welcome.

PWL: Tell us about the other programming and events that are offered at the Prince William Ice Center.

We enjoy being active in the community and providing a location for our neighbors to meet. Because of the unique nature of our business, our facility is open until midnight almost every day. This allows more flexibility when reserving meeting space for the community. We are often asked to host bridal or baby showers and birthday parties. We just are not equipped to accommodate weddings, and yes, we have been asked about those, too.

Insley: We offer classes, camps and activities for all ages and skill levels. From youth hockey and co-ed adult hockey to figure skating and fundraisers, we also host a variety of community events at the center.

Additionally, we host a variety of regular events, such as community meetings and monthly Red Cross blood drives. To reserve space, please contact Maureen Brennan at mbrennan@

During the holidays, it’s an especially fun time at the center. We have special events for all ages. This year we present our annual holiday ice show on Dec. 11. For kids of all ages, Santa and Mrs. Claus join us for special skate sessions on Dec. 17.

Additional information on classes, events and programs can be found on our website at and on our Facebook page.

For toddlers and pre-schoolers, we offer Snow & Story times. During these sessions, toddlers and pre-schoolers play in dunes of shaved ice with toys and sleds for 40 minutes and then are treated to cookies, hot chocolate and a story. The “Night Before

Tracy Shevlin ( 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 December 2016 | 21

family fun Creating Sentimental Holiday Crafts with Your Children Story and Photos By Amanda Causey Baity


ne of my favorite parts of the holiday season is unpacking the decorations and reflecting on all the memories each piece brings. I love finding the kids’ projects from holidays past tucked away in the ornaments and decor. We have gingerbread men, homemade ornaments, handcrafted wreaths, and—my personal favorite—holiday photo projects. I love seeing how the kids have grown from year to year. Fingerprint crafts are another fun way to see how the kids have changed. They’re a great chance to capture a moment in time to create memories of creating art and making gifts. Having your child create a handmade gift is priceless. Gifting something to the family that will forever become part of their holiday décor is even better. Here are some great craft ideas, helpful crafting tips and display options for those festive fingerprint, handprint and footprint projects. (continues on page 24)

22 | December 2016 prince william living

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CRAFTS (continued from page 22)

Snowman Hand Ornament

Materials • Christmas balls (I used clear to add “snow” inside, but you can choose a solid color as well.) • White craft paint • Paint brush • Sharpie markers in a few colors Directions • Paint your child’s hand white with the paintbrush. • Carefully put the ornament in the palm of your child’s hand leaving their fingers flat. • Have your child slowly and gently close his/her fingers around the ornament. • Hold the top of the ornament and have the child open his/her fingers and lift the ornament from his/her hand. If you do not like how it turned out, quickly wipe clean with water and a paper towel or napkin; then start over. • Place the ornament on top of a cup or in an egg carton to dry. • Once dry, use sharpie markers to draw accents (i.e. arms, eyes, hat, etc.). Don’t press too hard or the paint will come off. • Be sure to include your child’s name and date at the bottom. • Here is a little poem you can write or type to go along with the ornament if it is a gift: These aren’t just five snowmen As anyone can see. I made them with my hand Which is a part of me. Now each year when you trim the tree You’ll look back and recall Christmas of 2016 When my hand was just this small! Crafting Tips • I use latex paint when making hand print art. The downside is that it is not washable from clothing and carpets and can even stain some hard surfaces. We always use a painter’s cloth from the hardware store with our projects. Another tip is to add a shower curtain liner underneath, which helps protect from spills. When you are done with your crafting, let any wet areas dry and fold/roll it up to store for next time. • If you are creating a paper design, be sure to think about the life expectancy of the project when you 24 | December 2016 prince william living

are selecting your paper product. Construction paper seems like the best material for most projects, but it does fade rather quickly. Depending upon the type of paint you use, it also easily cracks when it dries. I use a heavy cardstock for most of my painting projects unless it is canvas worthy. You can pick up multi-color cardstock and canvases at a reasonable price from your local craft supply store. • When creating finger/hand/footprint projects, you may be thinking that dipping into the paint is best. I prefer to use a paint brush to ensure the perfect coverage, and it also allows you to mix colors a bit if the project calls for that. Watch out for little hands getting paint everywhere and make sure you have crafting clothes! Amanda Causey Baity ( is Director of Operations for Prince William Living and Brides & Weddings magazines. She is a cookbook author and publishes her blog with family-friendly recipes, crafts and décor ideas. You can find out more at

Visit our Photo Library to browse, share and purchase photos from each magazine & popular events throughout our community.

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home & hearth How Much Energy Do Christmas Lights Use? By Amanda Causey Baity Do the electricity savings of LED lights versus incandescent lights make up for the added cost? Or is it purely a “warm and fuzzy feeling” to go green?

We have roots, where others have branches.

Traditional Incandescent Christmas Lights

The amount of energy used for Christmas lights is usually written on the box. A 100-bulb strand of mini Christmas lights that are 40 watts use .04 kWh (kilowatt-hour) per day and cost an average of 11 cents a month, if you have them on for one hour a day. Most people use about 20 strands of lights, and have their lights on for about six hours a day. Your approximate cost for 20 strands of lights during the holiday season is about $21 for the holiday season.

LED Christmas Lights: How much money do they save?

A 100-light strand of LEDs uses 8 watts (0.008 kW). You should be able to find the kilowatt-hours on any box of lights, especially the traditional kind as they can draw too much current if you connect too many together. Cost of electricity. The nationwide average is 11 cents per kWh, but can range from 9 cents in some states like Texas to 28 cents in Hawaii. Time used. How many days x how many hours per day do you plan to run the lights? Taking an average of 45 days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s and from sunset to bedtime is about six hours. So that’s 45 x 6 = 270 hours. Numbers: kW used x Cost/kWh = Your Cost You can run the numbers at: Using these numbers, it would be reasonable to say that each LED 100-light strand would save $1 in electricity per year or about $20 per average household. Costs will vary, but you can usually buy a set of 100 traditional lights for under $3 at the local megamart, while the cheapest 100 LEDs cost closer to $12. This means it would take nine years to break even from a purely an electrical savings basis. If you already have a set of traditional lights, you may not be able to justify throwing them out for a new set of LEDs, since even the LED lights are mostly made out of plastic that creates fossil fuels. Comparing a set of LED and incandescent light in terms of “light quality” shows that the brightness looks similar from a distance. Amanda Causey Baity ( is Director of Operations for Prince William Living and Brides & Weddings magazines. 26 | December 2016 prince william living


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LIFELONG LEARNING (continued from page 19) on your first course and explaining how to read our unique and detailed maps.” Beginners, junior orienteers or families can choose from shorter courses that stay on trails and require less navigational skill, while experienced orienteers can choose longer courses that are harder to navigate. During a recent QOC event, first-time orienteers Alex and Jess Lord chose the easiest course to complete with their dog, Hiccup. All three enjoyed partaking in a new activity, and after finding an elusive control point, Alex commented, “We’re enjoying being outdoors together, getting exercise and exploring a local park.” With events taking place September through May, there’s plenty of opportunities for all levels of orienteers to improve their navigational skills and enjoy the local area. The road to a fun-filled weekend leads to orienteering, even if your GPS takes you to work on Monday morning. Follow QOC at and find more information, including membership forms, at qoc.

Alex and Jess Lord and their dog, Hiccup, attend a recent QOC event.

Delia Engstrom ( is a writer, photographer and wife to a retired Marine. She enjoys exploring the parks in Prince William County with her family.

prince william living December 2016 | 27

local flavor

Pupuseria Dona Azucena

Serves Authentic Salvadorian Dishes in Manassas and Woodbridge By Marianne E. Weaver | Photos by Amanda Baity


he Hernandez family didn’t plan to open a chain of restaurants scattered throughout the capital region—there are restaurants in Silver Spring and Laurel, Md., as well as Woodbridge, Manassas, Herndon, Arlington, Alexandria and Stafford, Va.—but their customers have guided them in growing their mother’s side job into a full-time family business. “We emigrated from El Salvador to the United States in 1981— me, my dad and mom, two sisters and a brother,” recalled Eddie Hernandez, who co-owns Pupuseria Dona Azucena with his mother, after whom the restaurants are named. “By 1983, my parents were separated.” Living in an apartment in Silver Spring, he said his mother struggled to care for her children while holding down a full-time job to make ends meet. To supplement her regular income, she spent hours in their kitchen making pupusas to sell to other residents of the apartment building and spectators at the nearby soccer field. Pupusas (pronounced poo-poo-sus) are popular Salvadorian dishes made of a thick, corn tortilla filled with cheeses, refried beans and/or meat. Although the Hernandez pupusas were a hit among the growing Hispanic community living in and near their apartment building, Hernandez said one neighbor complained to management, kick-starting the search for an off-site kitchen. “We wanted a pupuseria like we had at home in El Salvador,” he said. Their vision wasn’t fancy or upscale, but rather a casual place with reasonable prices where families could afford to eat out. Nearby, a pizzeria had recently closed. The Silver Spring location, he said, was perfect. And the price was almost do-able. “We 28 | December 2016 prince william living

The Manassas location is on Liberia Avenue in the Davis Ford Crossing shopping center.

needed $25,000, so we called everyone we knew,” he said, recalling how everyone contributed funds to make the down payment on the vacant storefront. “Then we cleaned the place, put up a sign and gave out free food on opening day.” The customer base his mother built at the apartment complex and soccer field turned up at the opening. And they continued coming back regularly. That was in 1999. Later that year, the family opened its second location on Glebe Road in Arlington. “That is a very small place,” Hernandez said. “People would come to Arlington from Woodbridge. They would tell us they wanted us to open one near them.” In 2007 the family found an empty space and opened a pupuseria at 13574 Jefferson Davis Highway in Woodbridge. In 2012 they opened the Manassas pupuseria at 9884 Liberia Avenue. Although

Steak Tacos and Seafood Soup are just two of many options on the menu at Pupuseria Dona Azucena.

the locations vary a bit, he said they are all casual and very familyoriented. Tables in the Manassas location are covered with plastic table cloths. Although their take-out option is very popular among regulars on the go, at mealtimes all of the seats are full with singles, couples and families. “I’ve been to Pupuseria Dona twice,” said Tiffany Jones of Hampton, Va., who found the Manassas location on Yelp. “You walk in and seat yourself if you’re going to be eating in. As you order, you can see them making pupusas in the back, so they’re served fresh.” The food is fresh and inexpensive—pupusas range from $1.60 for pupusas stuffed with cheese, pork, beans, squash or chicken to $2.50 for the Pupusa Loca (everything pupusa), which is the most popular item on the menu at all of the restaurants. Entrees are slightly more expensive: Cane de Res Asada (steak platter with rice, salad and tortillas) is $10 and Sopa de Mariscos (seafood soup) is $13. Side items range from $1.75 for a corn tamale to $3 for Chicharron (fried pork). “My advice for customers would be to try everything and be adventurous,” said Jones. “The prices allow you to order something you’ve never had before, and if you don’t like it just go

ahead and order something else. You really can’t go wrong with the pupusa combinations.” Jim Kirkland, of Manassas Park, said he drove past the alwaysbusy Liberia location and decided to stop in. “The family of a young woman who works with our son was there having Sunday dinner. They are from El Salvador, and it’s their go-to restaurant in Manassas,” he said. “We visit monthly, and everything I’ve tried on the menu is good. I’d advise diners not to let the language barrier intimidate them and try some great food for a good price.” And don’t leave without dessert. Pupuseria Dona Azucena offers four choices: Budin de Pan (bread pudding), quesadilla (cheesecake), pastelitos de pina (pineapple pie) and Empanadas de Platano (plantain empanadas filled with milk pudding). Each serving costs $1.25. “People love our food,” Hernandez said. “We knew that if we kept the prices reasonable, they would come back.” Marianne Weaver ( is a freelance editor and writer. She earned a BA in English from the University of Pittsburgh and an MJ from Temple University. prince william living December 2016 | 29

your finances Volunteering May Cut Your Tax Bill By Bennett Whitlock, CRPC® Private Wealth Advisor


ifts given to charity and other expenses related to volunteering may be tax deductible. For the avid volunteer, the savings could be worth the effort to track expenses related to your charity work.

Transportation expenses

While you cannot deduct the time you spend on the road driving to and from volunteer events, you may be able to writeoff related expenses, such as parking, tolls and gas directly used in your charity work. It’s important to note that you cannot claim costs for car repairs, routine maintenance, registration fees, insurance or depreciation. If charity work requires you to travel, you may be able to write-off the amount spent on public transportation, taxi fare, airfare, meals and accommodations. Generally for all travel and driving expenses, the primary purpose of the trip must be to perform services for the charitable organization. A deduction may not be allowed if the trip also includes a significant amount of personal, recreation or vacation activities. If you’d like to include volunteerism as part of your tax strategy, keep reliable written records of your expenses, including the total amount incurred. With regard to driving expenses, keep track of the reason you drove and the date you used your car.





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If you need to make a purchase to perform your volunteer work, you may be able to claim the purchase as a tax deduction. For example, a committee member might deduct the cost of supplies needed to host an auction. Other expenses could be deductible depending on your situation. As you tabulate your costs, the amounts must be: • Unreimbursed. (If the organization has repaid you for an item, you may not claim it on your tax return.); • Directly connected with the volunteer services; • Expenses incurred only because of the volunteer services you gave; and • Unrelated to personal, living or family expenses (For example, childcare is not an eligible expense you can deduct.)

Financial contributions

Generally speaking, cash donations you make to a qualified charitable organization are deductible if you keep proper records and itemize deductions. Property you donate may be written off based on the fair market value of the asset at the time of the donation. Note: Special rules may apply to certain contributions. As you prepare for tax season, consult with your tax advisor. 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 or call 703-492-7732. 30 | December 2016 prince william living

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Winter Fest 2016 Join us for Santa’s Lake Ridge Parade followed by the Holiday Arts Market at Tackett’s Mill Shopping Center December 10th 11-3 p.m.


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Prince William Living Presents Breakfast with an Expert Thurs. Dec. 1 | 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 breakfastwithanexpert.

Ice Skating in Historic Manassas

9201 Center Street, Manassas Within one-minute walking distance from the VRE commuter train station, this outdoor skating facility offers family fun. With a quality sound system and premium lighting for nighttime skaters, come out and enjoy the county’s only outdoor ice skating rink. See the website for pricing, hours of operation and Historic Manassas shopping and restaurants across the street from the rink.

Holidays through the Ages at Rippon Lodge

Fri. Dec. 2, 9, 16 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. Dec. 3, 10, 17 | 1-8 p.m. Sun. Dec. 4, 11, 18 | 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Rippon Lodge 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge Visit Rippon Lodge and stroll through seasonal celebrations gone by. The historic house’s interior spaces will be dressed with holiday decorations from various time periods, with a special dedication to the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Guests should dress in appropriate attire and comfortable shoes for this walking tour. $5.00 per person, children under 6 are free.

Merry Old Town: Christmas Tree Lighting Fri. Dec. 2 | 5-8 p.m. Manassas Museum Lawn 9101 Prince William St., Manassas

The holiday fun begins at 5:30 p.m. with holiday music, and just after 6:00 p.m., Santa arrives at the Manassas Depot on the VRE train. The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Manassas Museum.

Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra featuring New York Voices Fri. Dec. 2 | 8 p.m. Hylton Performing Arts Center 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas Jazz up your holidays with the swinging beats and big band sounds of the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra and the dynamic vocal jazz quartet, New York Voices. $55, $47, $33. Youth Discount: Tickets for youth through grade 12 are half price.

City of Manassas 71st Annual Christmas Parade

Sat. Dec 3 | 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. Hylton Performing Arts Center 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas This hallmark event is celebrating its 71st year with the theme “Believe!” and sets the mood for the holiday season. Come early to get your spot. Details can be found at

Manassas Chorale: Rejoice and Be Merry!

Sat. Dec. 3 | 5 p.m. Hylton Performing Arts Center 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas Carols and popular songs of the season performed by 100 singers and the Chorale orchestra will jump-start your holiday season. Don’t miss one of the Chorale’s most popular concerts! Tickets: $20, $18 adults;

Gourmet Guys Give Back

Sun. Dec. 4 | 1-4 p.m. Linton Hall School 9535 Bristow Road, Bristow Amateur chefs will serve up their tastiest dishes for the chance to win prizes awarded by a panel of judges and/or the “People’s Choice Award.” Families welcome and encouraged to attend. Come hungry! Learn more and register at

Asaph Dance: Clara’s

Christmas and Handel’s Messiah

Sun. Dec. 4 | 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Hylton Performing Arts Center 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas Two of the most beloved Christmas traditions are presented on the same program. Based on the well-known “Nutcracker,” Clara’s Christmas is about a young girl who discovers the joy, hope and true meaning of Christmas. The performance also includes excerpts from Handel’s “The Messiah.” Tickets: $30 Adults, $20 Seniors 65+ and students 12 and under.


Sat. Dec. 10 | 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tackett’s Mill 2241 Tackett’s Mill Drive, Woodbridge Winterfest returns for a festival of winter fun in Occoquan, Woodbridge, Lake Ridge and Lorton with hot chocolate and Santa all day long. Learn more about WinterFest by visiting

Christmas Parade Sat. Dec. 10 | 12 p.m. Dumfries Town Hall 17755 Main Street, Dumfries Come watch the Christmas parade on Main Street in Dumfries. Return at 5:00 p.m. for the Christmas Tree Lighting.

Visit with Santa Sat. Dec. 10 | 2:30-4:30 p.m. Wed. Dec. 14 | 2:30-4:30 p.m. National Museum of the Marine Corps 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Quantico Enjoy Santa along with activities and crafts. And don’t miss Bunny and Lion’s “Holiday Adventure” Puppet Show! Please be in line by 4 p.m. Bring your camera!

CAPAC: Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity Sat. Dec. 10, Dec. 17 | 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. Sun. Dec. 11, Dec. 18 | 3:00 p.m. Hylton Performing Arts Center 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas Black Nativity is a soul-stirring musical production and is the signature theatrical

Have an event? Visit to submit details to our online calendar. 32 | December 2016 prince william living

Let Us Introduce Your Child to the World of the Arts 703-670-7884 “Leak Detection Specialist”

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(703) 878-1000 piece of acclaimed poet Langston Hughes. Hughes chronicles the original story of the Nativity through scripture, verse, music, and dance. Tickets: $20 in advance; $25 at the door.

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Manassas Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker

Sun. Dec. 11 | 12:30-4:30 p.m. La Table Provencale 13630 Lord Fairfax Highway, Boyce Join us for an afternoon of celebrating the traditions of Provence. Our holiday wine dinner will feature traditional and regional fare from the South of France. $135 per person; tax and gratuity included. Call 540837-1375 for reservations.

Thurs. Dec. 15 – Sun. Dec. 18 | 7:30 p.m. Sat. Dec. 17, Sun. Dec. 18 | 3 p.m. Tues. Dec. 20, Wed. Dec 21 | 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Dec 22, Fri. Dec. 23 | 3 p.m. Hylton Performing Arts Center 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas A holiday must-see tradition from the stunning opening scene to the Waltz of the Snowflakes, there’s something for all ages! This performance with live orchestra also features a special opening night Salute to the Military. Tickets: $65, $55, $45, $35, $25.

Prince William Living Network – After Hours

History in Your Hands: WWII-Era Marines

Christmas in Provence Wine Dinner at La Table Provencale

Tues. Dec. 13 | 5:30 – 7 p.m. Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar 15001 Potomac Branch Drive, Woodbridge 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

Sun. Dec. 18 | 1-3 p.m. National Museum of the Marine Corps 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Quantico History in Your Hands (HIYH) is a program for visitors of all ages who are blind or have low vision. To register, call 703-784-4469 or 703-296-8446.

Prince William Living’s Lunch with the Publisher

Wed. Dec. 21 | 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 premier 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

All events listed on Prince William Living’s online and print calendars are subject to change. Check with the venue to verify dates, times and locations. prince william living December 2016 | 33


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Do You Love Your Job? You Should.

2-for-1 Admission! Skate rental not included. Not valid on Friday night. Cannot be combined coupon per customer.

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Advertiser Index ACTS..............................................................................................36 Ameriprise–Whitlock Wealth Management................................30 Apple FCU.....................................................................................30 Beautiful Moments by Amy.........................................................36 Beitzell Fence Company.................................................................8 Beth Schomp-Life on Your Own Terms......................................35 British Swim School.....................................................................34 CASA..............................................................................................36 Competitive Edge.........................................................................18 Core Chiropractic..........................................................................14 Dance Etc.......................................................................................33 Dansk Day Spa..............................................................................34 Everest College.............................................................................35 Furr Roofing..................................................................................33 Give Back Prince William.............................................................36 Greater Prince William Community Health Center....................36 Habitat for Humanity....................................................................33 Historic Manassas.........................................................................15 Hometown Estate Planning.........................................................23 Hylton Planetarium.......................................................................15 Imagewerks...................................................................................36 Lake Ridge Rotary.........................................................................14 Madison Crescent...........................................................................8 Magnificent Belly Dance..............................................................36

36 | December 2016 prince william living

Manassas Chorale........................................................................15 Mark Gilvey Creative....................................................................36 Northern Virginia Community College.........................................9 Novant Health...............................................................................25 Okra’s ............................................................................................15 Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra...................................................31 Patriot Scuba.................................................................................34 Peggy and Bill Burke, Virginia Realty Partners, LLC..................26 Potomac Shores Golf Club.............................................................9 Prince William Courage................................................................36 Prince William Ice Center.............................................................35 Robert Jinks Photography...........................................................34 Semper K9.....................................................................................36 Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center..........................................9 Tackett’s Mill.................................................................................31 Tailored Living..............................................................................31 Top Line Catering + Events..........................................................15 Totally Vintage..............................................................................33 Tribute at Heritage Village.......................................................... C4 Vintage Moving & Storage....................................................31, 36 Westminster at Lake Ridge..........................................................23 WineStyles....................................................................................34 Wise Ways Consulting.................................................................18 Women’s Wedding Network........................................................34 Yellow Cab....................................................................................36




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Pick up a free copy of Prince William Living at one of the following fine locations: Chairman At-Large Appliance Connection Pick up a 13851 free copy of Prince William Living at one of the following fine locations: Corey A. Stewart Telegraph Road, Suite 101, Woodbridge McCoartAt-Large Administration Building Chairman Appliance Connection City of Manassas 1 County Complex Court, Prince William Corey A. Stewart 13851 Telegraph Road, Suite 101, Woodbridge 9027 Center Street, Manassas Brentsville District McCoart Administration Building City of Manassas Park City of Manassas Jeanine Complex Lawson Court, Prince William 1 County OneStreet, Park Center Court 9027 Center Manassas 9440 Innovation Drive, Manassas Manassas Park Brentsville District City of Manassas Park ColesLawson District Jeanine Prince William & Manassas One ParkDiscover Center Court Martin E. Nohe 10611 Balls Ford Road, Suite 110, Manassas 9440 Innovation Drive, Manassas 13476 Dumfries Road, Manassas Manassas Park Edward Kelly Leadership Center Coles District Potomac District Discover14715 Prince William &Manassas Manassas Bristow Road, Martin E. Nohe Maureen S. Caddigan, Vice Chair 10611 Balls Ford Road, Suite 110, Manassas 13476 Road, Manassas Dr. Dumfries A.J. Ferlazzo Building Historic Manassas Inc Edward Kelly Leadership Center 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Suite 145, Woodbridge Visitor’s Center at the Train Depot Potomac District 9431 West Street, Manassas 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas Gainesville District Vice Chair Maureen S. Caddigan, Manassas Park Dr.Pete A.J.Candland Ferlazzo Building Historic Manassas Inc City Schools 7001 Heritage VillageDrive, Plaza, Suite Suite 210, One Park Center Court, Suite A, Manassas Park 15941 Donald Curtis 145, Gainesville Woodbridge Visitor’s Center at the Train Depot

9431 West Street, Manassas Manassas Park – Parks and Recreation 99 Adams Street, Manassas

Manassas Park City Schools Center One ParkMason CenterEnterprise Court, Suite A, Manassas Park

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Campus, 15200 Neabsco Mills Road NorthernWoodbridge Virginia Community College Manassas Prince Campus, 6901 Association Sudley Roadof Realtors William Woodbridge 15200 Neabsco Mills Road 4545Campus, Daisy Reid Avenue, Woodbridge

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Neabsco District Ruth Anderson John D. Jenkins 2241-K Tackett’s Mill Drive, Woodbridge 4361 RidgewoodDistrict Center Drive, Prince William Woodbridge Frank J. Principi Occoquan District Dr.Anderson A.J. Ferlazzo Building Ruth 15941 Donald Drive, Suite 140, Woodbridge 2241-K Tackett’sCurtis Mill Drive, Woodbridge Prince William Ice Center

Woodbridge District Dale City 5180 Dale Boulevard, Frank J. Principi Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Suite 140, Woodbridge Prince William Ice Center 5180 Dale Boulevard, Dale City

Prince William Parks and Recreation Prince William Public Library System Prince William and Recreation 14418 Bristow Road, Parks Manassas 12964 Harbor Drive, Lake Ridge Prince William Public Library System 12993 Fitzwater Drive, Nokesville 14418 Bristow Road, Manassas 8051 Ashton Avenue, Manassas 12964 Harbor Drive, Lake Ridge 8601 Mathis Avenue, Manassas 12993 Fitzwater Drive, Nokesville 13065 Chinn Park Drive, Woodbridge 8051 Avenue, 4249 DaleAshton Boulevard, Dale Manassas City 18007 Dumfries Dumfries 8601 MathisShopping Avenue, Plaza, Manassas 4603 JamesChinn Madison Highway, 13065 Park Drive, Haymarket Woodbridge 2201 Opitz Boulevard, Woodbridge 4249 Dale Boulevard, Dale City

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prince william living December 2016 | 37

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Prince William Living December 2016  
Prince William Living December 2016  

The upcoming holiday has many traditions and customs: trees and lights; stockings and gifts; and sometimes, getting away from it all. Our De...