Reston, VA

Lovers of independent films can check out the Vidi Space Film Festival in Reston this weekend, which features films and panels from celebrities.

The festival which will take place on Saturday (Feb. 22) at Bow Tie Cinemas (11940 Market Street) was originally created to “encapsulate all haunted, unknown and supernatural things,” according to the event page.

Independent filmmakers were invited to submit their independent films through the end of 2019, the website said, and the films will be judged in various categories. They will receive awards for things like best actor and best experimental feature.

“As filmmakers ourselves, our mission is to promote independent filmmakers and provide a platform for a new audience to appreciate your work,” the event page said.

Tickets start at around $100 for a day pass and tickets for individual films start at $10.

Tomorrow (Feb. 22)

Stuff the Bus (9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) — At this charity event, people can go to Fox mill Giant (2551 John Milton Drive) in Herndon and donate food toward families in need through Helping Hungry Kids.

Dazzle Dance — Hit the Red Carpet (6 to 8 p.m. ) — Families in Reston can attend a gala at Life Time Athletic (1757 Business Center Drive) where they will be treated with appetizers, a DJ and a red carpet. Tickets are $20 and kids under four are free.

Jazz Pianist Quentin Walston (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.) — Lake Anne Coffee House & Wine Bar (1612 Washington Plaza) will host a concert for people featuring this upcoming artist. People are invited to come to try a selection of wine and enjoy the free music.

Sunday (Feb. 23)

Empower Hip Hop Dance Class for Dancers with Special Needs (4 to 9 p.m.) — Monsters Dance will host a hip-hop dance class for those with special needs at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents Street). “In keeping with Monsters’ mission to provide dancers with real opportunities, these unique eMpower classes allow dancers with special needs the chance to express themselves in a fun and safe environment,” the event listing said.

Photo via Lake Anne Coffee House & Wine Bar/Facebook

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Runners and exercise enthusiasts can take part in the sixth annual For the Love of It 10K this Saturday.

Beginning at 8 a.m. outside South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive), participants can compete to make it across the finish line first, according to the website.

There will be awards for the first three male and female participants to finish the race as well as other awards in various age categories, the site said.

After the race, attendees can enjoy Valentine’s Day-themed treats, refreshments and photo opportunities. People who preregister will receive a long sleeve t-shirt.

A course map can be found onlineRegistration fees range from $45-50 now that early bird pricing has ended.

Tomorrow (Saturday)

  • Ukelele Jam Session (10:30 a.m.) — At Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) kids are invited to a performance by the Northern Virginia Ukulele Society and have a chance to learn about rhythm. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Groundhog’s Shadow (10:30 to 11:30 a.m.) — The Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive) invites young kids to learn about groundhogs, make puppets and make weather predictions. Tickets are $6 for RA members.
  • Annual Freezin’ for a Reason (2-5 p.m.) — This charity event raises money for Camp Sunshine, which serves kids with life-threatening illnesses. This event is donation based and anyone who raises over $100 will receive a t-shirt. Participants can gather at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road).

Sunday (Feb. 2)

  • Kickstart Your Sweat Life (8-10 a.m.) — Lululemon at Reston Town Center (11957 Market Street) offers free sweat sessions every week. Refreshments will be provided.
  • Super Bowl Watch Party (5:30-10 p.m.) — The Lake Anne Brew House (11401 North Shore Drive) invites people to come to view the SuperBowl. Tickets are $25 and include an unlimited nacho bar and other snacks. Drinks are available separately on-site. This event 21+.

Photo via For the Love of it 10k/Facebook

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People can take a plunge into ice-cold water to fundraise at the upcoming 2020 Virginia Polar Dip.

The charity event is set to take place Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Lake Anne from 2-5 p.m. People will be able to take turns jumping into the lake.

Each participant is expected to help raise money that will send kids and their families to Camp Sunshine, which serves kids with life-threatening illnesses. The camp is located in Maine.

This year, event organizers hope to raise $100,000, which would sponsor 40 families in the D.C.-area, according to the event page.

Each participant that raises more than $100 will receive a t-shirt.

For people who don’t want to fully jump into cold water, the “Chicken Dip” will let people only dip their feet in, according to the event page.

Image via Manor Works Painting/Facebook

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The last holiday festivities of the season will wrap-up with the Post-Holiday Ugly Sweater Fundraiser Party on Jan. 4.

People are invited to come and bring non-perishable food for the South Lakes High Food Pantry to the Lake Ann Brew House (11401 North Shore Drive). The event is set to run from 1-4 p.m., and people are encouraged to dress in their festive sweaters.

Every drink purchased will donate a dollar to the cause.

Tomorrow (Jan. 4)

  • Lake Anne Brew House Saturday Beer Run (9:45 a.m.) — People are welcome to gather in front of Lake Anne Brew House (11424 W. Washington Plaza) and run, jog or walk a lap or two before meeting at the brewhouse for beer, coffee and breakfast pretzels.
  • Winter Bird Count (7 a.m. until 2 p.m.) — At the Walker Nature House (11450 Glade Drive), people can join in the effort to count local birds and enjoy a free lunch. This event is for adults only, and people are asked to register.
  • Herndon Community Center Open House (7 a.m. until 6 p.m.) — The Herndon Community Center will celebrate its 40th anniversary with free admission all day. There will be activities for all ages between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Sunday (Jan. 5)

  • Tea Time (1 and 4 p.m.) — This monthly event invites people to the Elden Tea Shop (714 Pine Street) to enjoy tea, scones and pastries. Tickets are $18.50.
  • Sunday Funday (1-4 p.m.) — The Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) will host events for kids and their families. Though activities vary, families can expect to participate in either crafts, a scavenger hunt or another project for kids ages 5-12.
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With Cyber Monday behind us, Giving Tuesday is in full swing. During this charitable day of giving, we would love to know how and if you plan to take part.

The movement was created in 2012 to encourage people to give back to their communities after a weekend of consumerism.

Let us know how you plan to participate in the poll below.

Photo via Kat Yukawa/Unsplash

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Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna, a nonprofit that supports aging in place, recently expanded its programs to help seniors in Herndon and Reston.

The group assists the seniors by providing free rides, social outreach and other resources. The group decided to expand around October, a spokesperson told Reston Now.

Susan Garvey, the executive director of the center, lives in the area and noticed a lack of free resources for the elderly community, the spokesperson said.

“The uptick in ride requests have been promising,” the spokesperson said, adding that people who answer the phones are kept busy. “It was a wise step to take.”

The group announced its expansion to Reston and Herndon in its quarterly newsletter, which was published this fall.

Shepherd’s Center receives its funding from donations, fundraisers and corporate sponsors. Anyone who wishes to donate to the center can do so online.

Seniors or others interested in free rides, programs for veterans and various resources can call the center at 703-281-0538.

Photo via Sheperd’s Center/Facebook

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As winter approaches, Cornerstones in Reston asks the community to come forward and donate cold-weather gear for those in need.

The annual Winter Coat Closet Charity Drive, which started on Thursday (Nov. 14), collects new or lightly used jackets, hats, scarves and gloves for men, women and children.

People who want to donate or are in need of winter clothing can stop by the Hunter Mill District Supervisor’s Office (1801 Cameron Glen Drive) and ask for the community room on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The location will be collecting jackets until Jan. 16, but those in need can come collect gear through March 14.

Kids’ coats, as well as men’s XXL sizes, are in high demand, according to the drive’s website.

Anyone wanting to volunteer their time can contact Morgan Grant, Community Resource Coordinator, at 571-323-3674.

Photo via Unsplash 

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Monday Morning Notes

Updates on Route 7 Widening — “In September, crews continued installing storm sewer between Amanda Drive and Baron Cameron Avenue. Work also continued in the median to construct temporary eastbound lanes between Reston Avenue and Amanda Drive/Markell Court.[Virginia Department of Transportation]

Herndon Town Council Community Round Table This Wednesday — The council is hosting a roundtable to give citizens a chance to engage with council members informally on Wednesday (Oct. 23) from 7-9 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church (651 Dranesville Road). [Herndon Town Council]

A New HVAC System for a Local Family — “One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, Ashburn, joined Lennox’s Nationwide “Feel the Love” social responsibility campaign for the 2nd year in a row to assist a family in need. Installers from One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning volunteered their time to help the community as part of this program.” [Fairfax County Times]

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Breast cancer survivors will model top name brands to raise funds and awareness at Reston Town Center next week.

The Runway to the Cure Fashion Show will take place on Saturday (Oct. 19) from 6-9 p.m. at 11900 Market Street and will mark the event’s third year. Tickets are donation-based but event organizers recommend a $25 donation.

Attendees will have the chance to participate in a raffle and silent auction as well. Raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20.

The money raised from the event will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Step Sisters organization, both of which help women battling breast cancer.

Event sponsors include Scout and Molly’s Boutique, Hyatt Reston, Reston Town Center, Reston Hospital Center and Washington Radiology.

People who have questions or want to donate items for the auctions can call Jane Abraham at 703-362-5860.

Photos via Runway to the Cure/Facebook

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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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An upcoming walk aims to raise money to assist people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Take Steps, a national organization, plans to host charity walk on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Woodland Park Crossing (12960 Highland Crossing Drive) starting at 10 a.m.

All of the funds will go toward research for cures, patient advocacy and community education, according to the website.

There will be food and music at the event, a press release said, adding that the walk is also dog and family-friendly.

Participants can register as a team, an individual or as a “free agent” to join another team. During registration, participants can donate money and start a sponsorship campaign so their friends can donate as well.

“Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract,” according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Though similar, ulcerative colitis only affects the inner lining of the large intestine, according to the site.

Over three million men and women are affected by the illnesses around the United States, according to the foundation.

Photo via Take Steps

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The yearly Susco charity races are around the corner.

On Saturday (Sept. 21), the Susco family will host their 12th annual 8k and 2k in remembrance of their son, Tim, who died of a brain aneurysm in 2007.

All proceeds will go toward brain aneurysm research and organ donation awareness. The event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the cause so far alongside the Washington Regional Transplant Community, according to a press release.

The races will begin at South Lakes High School (Gate 1, Seahawks Drive) around 8:30 a.m., regardless of weather conditions.

Registration for the event is $20 for participants doing a 2K and $45 for people who want to run the full 8K.

Anyone who cannot attend the event but wants to support the cause can donate online.

Photo via Susco 8K and 2K: Running With Tim/Facebook

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New Trail Cycling Studio is hosting a charity ride to celebrate six months of business at Lake Anne Plaza.

On Saturday, May 18, the business will host its “Ride for a Cause” from 7:30 a.m. to noon. All proceeds from rides will go to local non-profit organizations.

“New Trail is about community and helping other people,” owner Liz Kamp said. “Whether we’re helping someone get healthy or we’re improving a local organization, I want to make sure that New Trail is improving the lives of people around us.”

The event kicks off with six 30-minute rides in the morning. New Trail’s coaches will choose a different organization to benefit from each ride. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase leading up to the event in order to raise funds for each organization.

Riders of all levels are welcome to join for all or one of the rides, but bikes must be booked in advance. Fundraising credits are available online.

As a bonus, any individual or business sponsoring a ride with a mile-to-dollar match will earn a free private ride for up to 20 people.

Giveaways and refreshments are also planned for riders. So far, the lineup is as follows:

Photo courtesy Liz Kamp

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Diners at Not Your Average Joe’s on select days in March can help raise money for a nonprofit that combats student hunger.

On the four Tuesdays in March, the restaurant (1845 Fountain Drive) will donate 15 percent of bills for diners who ask to have their meals support Helping Hungry Kids.

The nonprofit gives food packages to more than 400 elementary school students in Northern Virginia who don’t have enough food on the weekends.

Most of the 12 elementary schools that receive the packs are ones in Reston and Herndon, which include:

  • Clearview
  • Coates
  • Dogwood
  • Terraset
  • Aldrin
  • Armstrong
  • Forest Edge
  • Lake Anne
  • Hunters Woods

Each pack, which contains non-perishable food for two breakfasts, two dinners and several snacks, costs about $6, according to the nonprofit’s website.

File photo

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The finalists were recently announced for the 2019 Best of Reston Awards.

A reception hosted by Cornerstones, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and SOS International LLC (SOSi) on Tuesday (Feb. 19) unveiled the honorees.

An awards gala will take place on April 4 to celebrate the honorees:

SOSi presented Cornerstones with a $50,000 check at the event. The community nonprofit also received a $100,000 check from Bob and Lisa Van Hoecke.

Started nearly three decades ago, the annual Best of Reston Awards recognize individuals, businesses and community groups that have helped Reston and Herndon through philanthropy and volunteering.

The gala on April 4 is set to be held at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents Street).

Photo via Chip McCrea Photography

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