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Purcellville Blog: Purcellville decorates town with locally made artwork

For the second year, local artisans have decorated holiday ornaments which are on display around the town of Purcellville.

Honoring our own American heroes, Green Expo, Loudoun’s Lure

Flag retirement ceremony: Boy Scout Troop 950 presents its ninth annual Sept. 11 flag retirement ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 11, at the Cascades Fire Station, beginning at 7 p.m. The evening includes an appreciation of fallen heroes and a respectful retirement of worn or soiled flags. Community members who’ve attended the event in the past say that there’s barely a dry eye in the crowd by the end of the ceremony. A reception will be held at the fire station afterward. All area residents are invited to attend this free meeting. For more information, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

We remember: For the fourth consecutive year, Ellie Kim, the operator of the Chick-fil-A at Sugarland Crossing, presents a Sept. 11 tribute honoring some of our local heroes—the members of the Sterling Fire and Rescue units based in Sterling Park and Cascades. These units were among the many D.C. area responders involved in the rescue efforts at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. The event, in the parking lot of the Sugarland Crossing shopping center, includes a flag ceremony presented by Boy Scout Troop 572 led by Scott McCrae and music by area high school bands.

The celebration is also a fundraiser for the Sterling Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad. Sterling District Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio is spearheading the fundraising efforts. Business owners can contact his office at 703-777-0204 for directions on providing financial support to the fire and rescue units. In addition, the Chick-fil-A store will be donating a portion of its income from the evening of Sept. 11 to the fire and rescue departments. The Chick-fil-A is located adjacent to route 7 at 46920 Community Plaza. For more information, call 703-444-1901.

Green Expo: The Cascades Green Team presents the third annual Cascades Green Expo on Sunday, Sept. 12, from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Stone House community center, located at the corner of Cascades Parkway and Cutwater Place. This year’s expo offers a new “Treasure-from-Trash Artwork Celebration” featuring artwork made by youngsters from things normally tossed in the trash. To participate in the display, young artists up to 18 years of age can bring their creations to the Cascades Community Association by Thursday, Sept. 9. Art specifications and submission details can be found at online at cascadesva.com and in the July and August issues of the “Cascades Current.” The artwork must be picked up by Sunday, Sept. 12.

The Green Expo is designed to provide area residents with an array of information, including tips on gardening, lawn care and environmentally-friendly home products, as well as background on renewable energy sources, water conservation, clean drinking water, “green” schools and lower energy bills. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 703-406-0820.

Loudoun’s lure: The CountrySide Women’s Club kicks off a new meeting year on Friday, Sept. 10, with a presentation on “The Lure of Loudoun” by Beth Friedmann of the Loudoun Museum. The session takes place at the Parkway Pool meeting room on Algonkian Parkway. The coffee and social time begins at 9:30 a.m.; the meeting gets underway at 10 a.m. For more information, call 703-430-2776.

The Dock at Lansdowne and Not Your Average Joes

River Creek/Lansdowne by Joe Motheral
The Pajama Party in Lansdowne Town Center
Last year I had asked Scott Wills, one of the owners of The Dock, a restaurant in Lansdowne Town Center, how they were doing during the turn down in the economy. He had said then that they were about five percent off from the year before because of fewer customers and the ones who dined there ordered less expensive items on the menu. I spoke to him this past Sunday morning and he said, ’that trend continues..’ He did say that discounts and coupons which he has posted in a number of publications have helped. Tapping his head he said, “Customers are smart. They go for the deals”
It so happened that the Sunday brunch at the Dock was designated ‘Pajama Day’. If you showed up in your pajamas you would be awarded a gift certificate to be used later, equal to what you spent for the brunch. I was tempted to run home and dig out some old pj’s. Even Scott to keep in tune with his guests wore his pajamas along with a bathrobe.
Out on the terrace, Marika Luiso, visiting here from New Zealand, said the food was great and the people friendly. But she defied convention by wearing her native costume: blue jeans and blouse.
Adam Hernandez, assistant general Manager of Not Your Average Joes said that their sales for the year had been impacted by the snow storms in January when they had to shut down on weekends, their busiest time. But he said, “Other than that we are doing well and have been looking at more property.” This restaurant is a chain based in Massachusetts and they are considering additional restaurants in the area.

Sugarland takes care of its students

Sugarland resident Maureen Peterson and members of the area's New Life Assembly of God produced a “Back-to-School Clothing Give-away” in late August that provided more than 90 boxes of clothing, coats, shoes, belts, hats and gloves for those in need.

The clothing, in sizes for newborns through adults, was collected by Peterson from friends, family and church members – and from donations from area yard sales that took place from April through August.

“When I went to yard sales, people were very generous and very receptive to what I was saying,” Peterson told me. “On the best Saturday, I hit seven yard sales and four called me back.”

As the donations came in, Peterson organized them by size and gender at her house. The entire collection was brought to the church the evening before the give-away.

The Sugarland Run Homeowners Association and the church spread the news of the event throughout the community. On the morning of the give-away, people began arriving an hour before the advertised starting time.

The clothing donations, sorted by type, were set up in the church parking lot. Most people who came to look at the clothing left with at least two bags of clothes.

Pastor David Carter estimated that several hundred people or more were in attendance, due to the amount of clothing that was distributed. At one point, he counted about 50 people looking through the clothing.

According to Pastor Carter, quite a few of the attendees had the same question: “Is this really free?”

The pastor praised Peterson for her hard work on the project. “Her organizational skills are top notch,” he said.

“That made it better. People got things quickly. We were able to entertain more people coming and going.”

Peterson was very grateful for the help she received from the church community. The give-away project staff included Vickie Berens, Pastor David Carter, Diane Carter, Cindy Hughart, Tyrena Lewis, Lora Lansinger, Brian On, Brian Peterson, Cody Peterson, Nick Peterson, Cindy Pitman, Austin Sanders, Loretta Sanders, Matt Sanders, Ron Sanders and others.

The give-away was the biggest project of its kind that the church had ever undertaken.

"It overwhelmed us, as far as the response," Pastor Carter said. "Hopefully, in the future, we can have more things like this," he added.

For anyone thinking of taking on a similar project, Peterson has some advice: “You definitely need space to sort and store things.”

She said that she relied strongly on a sense of purpose for the project. "I felt that it was a need and, as long as I kept that in mind, things went well."

"There were some nights that I was tired, some nights when I was folding [clothes] on hardly any energy," she said.

According to Peterson, the hard work was well worth the effort. "If the parents have clothes for the kids to go to school, they can use their money to buy school supplies."

She looked back at the project with laughter in her voice. "It was a lot of fun," she said.

An Honest Mechanic or a Movie Theater?

For those of you who know the Cardone family, you know we have a pretty bad track record with cars. When they are not exploding in the driveway, they suffer incessant tire blow outs and what seems like endless mechanical repairs.

We took our car to the dealership for a few simple items and were told we needed a myriad of repairs. While some fell into the category of simple maintenance, others were a surprise and the cost was shocking. Instead of simply agreeing, we decided to get a second opinion.

We took the car to Virginia Tire & Auto in South Riding (next to McDonalds).. They completed the necessary work for half the price and completely disagreed with some of the “recommended” repairs that were made by the dealership. The mechanic (Jay) and the manager (Alan) were both professional and friendly and it was a great experience.

When all of the “tire places” were being built in South Riding it seemed excessive and unnecessary. We all know, what we really wanted was a movie theater! I can honestly tell you I feel as though I have found an honest mechanic right here in South Riding. With our track record, this trumps the need for a local place to catch a new release any day!

It’s important to add that there are two other establishments in the same location, Hogan & Son’s and Main Street Car Wash & Lube. We have heard glowing reviews for both. For the consumer, this means you really can’t go wrong by staying in the neighborhood. Having all three seems to keep pricing competitive and fair. So now we're all set with our car repair and maintenance needs? How about that movie theater?

Virginia Tire & Auto of South Riding (703) 327-1766
Main Street Car Wash & Lube (703) 327-7780
Hogan & Sons (703) 327-2280

BWHS Marching Band Will Fly to London to Entertain the World

The Briar Woods High School Falcon Regiment is set to become a global sensation flying to London to star in one of the World’s greatest street spectaculars – The New Year’s Day Parade in London.

The band has been selected from hundreds of hopefuls to make the momentous Trans-Atlantic trip at the turn of the year and feature in the historic 25th Anniversary parade.

Band Director Duane Minnick travelled to the UK capital last week to finalize arrangements and meet former Lord Mayor of Westminster, Deputy Lieutenant and Parade Goodwill Ambassador, Councilor Robert Davis DL.The 2010 parade was featured on more than 500 stations worldwide attracting huge critical acclaim and a massive audience.

“It is wonderful to give the World a window to our traditional pageant,” said Executive Director Bob Bone.

“And I am delighted that these talented young people will feature to the full. They come highly recommended with our International Selection Panel singing their praises.”

More than 8,000 performers from a number of nations will gather in London to create a fitting high point to the traditional turn of the year celebrations.

Around 520,000 spectators packed the center of London on January 1st to marvel at this year’s event – and even more are expected for the musical ‘milestone’ spectacular marking the arrival of 2011.

The historic route passes some of London’s finest iconic sites including The Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly Circus, The National Gallery, Trafalgar Sq, Downing St, The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

Nelson Earns Eagle Scout Rank, The Giving Grill, Retiring the Flag

Eagle Scout: MacKenzie W.J. Nelson of Sterling, a member of Boy Scout Troop 2970 sponsored by Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church in Ashburn and Boy Scout Troop 1164 sponsored by the Sterling Park Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

MacKe, an incoming freshman at Park View High School, earned the Eagle honor while an 8th grade student at Sterling Middle School. His Eagle leadership project focused on constructing an outdoor classroom to support the Sterling Middle School Naturalist Club, an effort that included building a team of more than 100 young people and adults and raising more than $1300 in funding. The construction project required the leveling of a 20 x 30-foot space adjacent to a pond and nature area, the building and installation of nine benches in an amphitheater arrangement and the construction of a 60 x 4-foot path from a school entrance to the outdoor classroom.

MacKe and his family have been residents of Sterling for the past seven years. Before moving to Loudoun, the Nelsons lived in Korea while on a military assignment. MacKe’s future goals include attending Brigham Young University and becoming a veterinarian.

Food bank fundraiser: Members of the Cascades Women’s Book Club are challenging members of other area book clubs to head to Reston on Thursday, Aug. 26, for lunch at the Giving Grill hosted by Whole Foods Market. The store, with a little help from the local Y.M.C.A. Youth Group, is holding an outdoor cookout from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. as a fundraiser for the Loudoun Interfaith Relief food pantry. The food for the event has been donated; all proceeds will go directly to the Loudoun food project.

Thursday’s Giving Grill features hamburgers, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, sausage and other items. The lunch will be available at a modest cost; diners are invited to donate additional funds to help Loudoun Interfaith Relief aid the community. Here’s something to think about as you consider a donation: for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, Loudoun Interfaith Relief provided food for 66,789 individuals – a 43% increase in assistance over the previous year. Watch for future Loudoun food bank fundraisers – Whole Foods/Reston holds a couple of them each year. For more information, call 703-736-0600.

Retiring the flag: Boy Scout Troop 950, chartered by the Community Lutheran Church in Cascades, is looking for worn, torn, faded or badly soiled flags to be retired during its ninth annual Sept. 11th Flag Retirement Ceremony. Beginning this week, flags for retirement can be dropped off at the fire station in Cascades (Engine Company 18). Other arrangements for flag drop-offs can be made by sending an email message to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The flag retirement ceremony takes place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, at the Cascades Fire Station on Middlefield, between Cascades Parkway and Potomac View Road. A reception follows at the fire station. The entire community is invited to attend this uplifting and emotional ceremony designed to honor the fallen.

Ballet Classes for Children at Carver Center in Purcellville


Operation Homefront: hard at work on Nokes Boulevard

If you really want to know about the most helpful organizations in any town, it never hurts to ask a quilter. More than likely, the local stitchers have already made and donated at least one quilt for each good cause in the neighborhood.

CountrySide Quilter Becky Lowe is no exception. She brought a love of sewing with her when she went to work at Operation Homefront – and soon found herself in the role of unofficial liaison between that organization and the CountrySide Quilters.

From a home base in San Antonio, Texas, Operation Homefront provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of deployed service members and wounded warriors. The organization was formed shortly after 9/11 and currently includes 23 chapters serving 32 states and the District of Columbia. The majority of the organization’s support – 75 percent – goes to the nation’s lowest-paid service members, those in the E1-E6 enlisted ranks.

The DC area chapter of Operation Homefront has been based on Nokes Boulevard for the past two years, thanks to DRS Technical Services, a defense contractor with a global presence. The chapter is one of the organization’s largest, covering all of the major military medical facilities in the area, as well as the local families of deployed personnel.

At Becky’s suggestion, the CountrySide Quilters embarked on a summer project to provide baby items to be used for the baby showers that Operation Homefront gives for the families of deployed troops. For the past few months, the quilters have made and collected handmade quilts, receiving blankets, bibs and burp cloths. The quilters plan to continue to collect these items, as well as any knitted or crocheted baby goods, throughout the year.

With school days close at hand, Operation Homefront is currently collecting, assembling and distributing more than 3,000 backpacks destined for military families. This week, a group of wounded warriors and 30 employees from the local office of Verisign will volunteer their time for this project. Donations of items or cash are still needed; call 703-421-9033 to make arrangements to drop off a donation between now and noon on Saturday, Aug. 21.

The Operation Homefront program prides itself on its low overhead and high staff efficiency. Overall, 95 cents of every $1.00 raised goes directly to the service members the organization was created to help.

The DC area office on Nokes Boulevard does all of its work with a staff of less than three full-time people and 10 volunteers.

“We have to be really lean and mean and rely on volunteer help,” said Kellie Boyle, Operation Homefront’s Director of Development.

The organization is in need of skilled volunteers who can help with computer systems, graphic design, keeping up with social media, writing newsletters and more. Less-skilled volunteers can help in a variety of areas, including special events, where there are many things to load, serve and pack.

Monetary donations are also needed. According to Boyle, requests for assistance from military families are up 400% this year – a result of the economy, continued deployments and the return of wounded warriors.

Operation Homefront is one of the nation’s few charities that provides service members with cash, not loans, for temporary assistance designed to help them get back on their feet. The majority of requests the organization receives are for food. There are also requests for utilities and other expenses that the government may reimburse, but cannot do so quickly.

“We can turnaround a request in 24 hours,” Boyle said. “We’ve been known to send someone to look at a car that’s broken down on the side of the road.”

To donate time or money, go online to http://www.operationhomefront.net/dcmetro or call 703-421-9033.

Look out for the Street Trees

Homes in South Riding come in different shapes, sizes, ages and locations. Though there are differences, one thing all of our streets have in common are the required trees your builder plants before the roads can be turned over to Loudoun County for maintenance. These trees provide shade and support the ecological development while replacing trees lost during the building process. They usually make things look better too.

On occasion homeowners will see issues crop up regarding street trees. For example, sidewalks in older sections of the neighborhood are cracking due to roots breaking through the concrete. Limbs sometimes hang low enough to become dangerous next to walkways. Trees become diseased, or even die without proper intervention. Street trees located on common ground are maintained by the community; however, homeowners should water the trees in front of their homes during drier seasons. Street trees planted on personal property (this happens if there’s no sidewalk or median strip) are the sole responsibility of the homeowner—so really once in the ground they’re YOUR trees.. Questions or issues regarding street trees can be addressed by calling the Town Hall at 703-327-4390.

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