Upcoming Charity Pitch Contest in Reston to Benefit At-Risk Kids

A charity event later this month in Reston invites guests to hear from keynote speakers and vote for their favorite non-profit presentation.

Together We Give is an annual event that donates money to a local charity supporting kids. The fourth annual event will take place this year on Thursday (Oct. 17) from 6:30-9 p.m at the Leidos Conference Center (11951 Freedom Drive). Tickets cost $25.

The exact organization receiving the grant money will be decided that evening by attendees following pitches from Heeling House, Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect and Kids R First. Funding will come from audience donations and ticket sales, according to the event page.

The keynote speech will be given by Victoria Vrana of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the event Facebook page said.

Together We Give is organized by Giving Circle of Hope, a Reston-based organization that focuses on small nonprofits in the Northern Virginia area.

Image via Giving Circle of Hope

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LA Fitness to Open in Herndon Centre by Early 2020

LA Fitness plans to open in Herndon by early 2020, according to a company representative.

The gym, which has more than 700 clubs around the country and Canada, is set to open on Feb. 1 in the Herndon Centre. A company representative told Reston Now the gym could open earlier depending on the speediness of construction and weather.

A number of new businesses are opening in the redeveloped center. Sprouts Farmers Market, an organic grocer, opened its doors earlier this week and IHOP plans to open on Oct. 10. No word yet on when MOD Pizza is expected to open.

The gym is currently seeking partnerships with local businesses to promote the new club. Members can enroll online to take advantage of pre-opening rates.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Global Marketing Agency Signs Lease with Comstock’s Reston Station

A new global performance marketing agency is expanding its US-based operations by opening its fourth global site in Reston.

Sandstorm Digital LLC plans to take up office space at Comstock’s Reston Station. 

The company, which has offices in the Middle East and Europe, is expanding its global footprint to cater to the North American market, company officials wrote in a statement. The location is the company’s first in the United States.

Sandstorm Digital’s clients include Ferrari, Pizza Hut, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Al-Jalila Foundation, FedEx and Sky News.

 “The strategic expansion into the US market marks a new milestone in our growth story. The area has a thriving and innovative tech community and a workforce that is second to none,” wrote Omar Kattan, the company’s global chief strategy officer.

Reston is uniquely positioned to help the country grow in the Dulles Technology Corridor, said Tala Kattan, managing partner of U.S. operations. 

Sandstorm offers digital marketing services, including Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, paid advertising, and content development.

The company will be located at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza, suite 600. 

Photo via Sandstorm/Facebook

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Commuter Alert: Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station Closed This Weekend

A portion of the Silver Line will be closed between the Wiehle-Reston East and Spring Hill Station this weekend (Oct. 5-6).

The closure is one effect as crews work on connections between phase one and two of the Silver Line project.

Metrobus plans to provide free shuttles during regular Metrorail hours for commuters.

Trains will operate on regular weekend intervals between every 12 and 15 minutes between the Spring Hill and New Carrolton stations.

Customers traveling to and from Benning Road, Capitol Heights, Addison Road, Morgan Boulevard and largo Town Center must use Blue Line trains to commute.

Other service changes throughout the system are listed online.

Photo via Fairfax Connector

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Del. Ken Plum: We Will be Watching You

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is an opinion column by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

For the second week in a row my column opens with a reference to sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg who spoke to the United Nations Climate Action Summit last week after having sailed across the Atlantic on a zero-emissions sailboat. Her message was hard hitting. As she had said to a Congressional committee, it was not necessary that she speak for a long period of time for the scientists had already spoken in the numerous reports on climate change that had been written. As a leader who had inspired weekly sit-ins outside the Swedish Parliament resulting in a growing movement of youth climate activists holding their own protests in more than 100 cities worldwide her message was clear to the world leaders: “We will be watching you…How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight!”

Gun violence is an issue about which young people have become increasingly concerned as well. A student who was at the high school in Parkland, Florida, when there was the mass shooting there has been quoted in the Washington Post as saying that “You see these shootings on TV every day and very little happening around it. It’s painful to watch. And I think it’s been really hard for me and many other students and people that we work with to find hope in this time.” Once again, the young people are watching.

Students from the high school in Parkland have formed an organization called March for Our Lives whose very name indicates the seriousness with which they are approaching the issue of gun violence. They have more than 100 chapters nationwide. Their proposed plan to combat gun violence, “A Peace Plan for a Safer America,” goes well beyond the limited measures being debated in the adult world. Their plan creates a national licensing program with a gun registry, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, a waiting period for gun purchases, and a mandatory buy-back of assault weapons. Their program may seem extreme to many, but it deserves careful attention for it is written by young people who have the experience of having survived a mass shooting where their friends around them did not survive. Once again, we can expect that these young people and others will be watching what we adults do about this issue if indeed anything is done.

Many years ago I worked in a manufacturing plant in the Shenandoah Valley with a man who as a devout member of the Brethren Church. He would regularly remind me that we should live our lives as though someone is watching us for we could be sure that someone is watching us and observing our ethics, honesty and sincerity. We may be able to talk a good game, but those observing our behavior can learn more about us than we may care for them to know. In the political world these days there is way too much talk and too little action on critical life and death issues. Young people are watching and are calling us out!

File photo

 

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Newcomers’ Bus Tour Coming Soon — Reston Association will offer a bus tour for newcomers to Reston on Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes a tour, which is limited to new Reston Association property owners within the last year, and an open house. [Reston Association]

Bollywood Dance Fitness Tonight — Enjoy a free Bollywood dance fitness class inspired by popular music and Indian movies. No experience is necessary. The class runs from 6:30-8 p.m. at Reston Regional Library. [Reston Regional Library]

Absentee Voting Underway — In-person absentee-voting is available at various locations in the county. Several satellite locations are also available.  [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Jay Westcott

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