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Reston Bicycle Club Raises Over $5,000 for Local Groups

As the year comes to a close, the Reston Bicycle Club topped $5,100 in donations to community projects that support bicycling.

“The Reston Bike club is proud to provide financial and member volunteer support to community initiatives that promote cycling for fun, exercise, and as a commuting alternative,” Club President Chip Magrogan said in a press release.

The club’s executive committee voted last week to donate to local bicycling organizations. Kelley Westenhoff, the vice-chairman of the Reston Bicycle Club, said the checks are in the mail.

TrailsforYouth.org, the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts and the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling will receive $1000 each, while $500 was donated to NOVA Cycling. Earlier this year, the club donated to the Be AMYazing Reston Youth Triathlon as well as the Reston Sprint Triathlon.

“2018 was our first year of formalizing donations with a grant application, etc. thus donations for past years are hard to track as they were on a more ‘as needed’ basis,” Westenhoff told Reston Now via email.

“That said, I’ve been on the board for two years, and was involved with some of the past donations, so I can say that this year’s total so far is the highest we’ve gone in a year — with the exception of some big projects we funded such as bike racks in Reston and the bike counter for [Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling],” Westenhoff added.

The club, founded in 1982, aims to promote bicycling around Reston and other nearby communities. Funding for philanthropy comes from club member dues and the club’s annual Century Ride, held in August.

Club membership includes social rides and training rides every day of the week from April through September and on weekends year-round. Membership costs $25 annually.

Photo via Facebook

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Reston Restaurant Collecting Warm Clothing for Homeless Veterans

(Updated 4:50 p.m.) As it starts to get colder, some veterans and families around the region don’t have a home to take shelter in.

The Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant in the Reston Town Center is collecting unused, or gently used, sweaters and sweat pants as part of a “Sweats 4 Vets” program.

“We do have a homeless problem in Reston,” said Joe Becker, general manager at Not Your Average Joe’s. “It’s not front page news, but if you look around it’s there.”

Becker said the collection is a partnership with Northwest Federal Credit Union.

“Every fall, going into winter, we collect [sweat-clothes] for veterans,” said Becker. “We have hypothermia shelters in the area that we get these clothes out to.”

The collection is starting to fill up, and Becker’s goal is to have it overflowing. Normally the clothing is collected at the beginning of December, but Becker said the weather made him want to keep collecting for a few more weeks to get more sweat-clothes.

“It’s halfway full, so it’s getting up there,” said Robert DeSilva, a manager at Not Your Average Joe’s. “We prefer new items, but we will take slightly used [sweat-clothes] in all sizes and cuts.”

DeSilva said the collection will continue for two more weeks before the clothing is donated to local shelters.

“There’s plenty of veterans on hard times right now,” DeSilva said. “We need to take care of those who have taken care of us.”

Photo via Not Your Average Joe’s

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Music and a coat drive — The Reston Chorale will perform George Frideric Handel’s Messiah tonight at 7:30 p.m. at St. John Neumann Church. Locals are encouraged to bring new or gently used coats or new hats, gloves, scarves or socks, which will fill Cornerstone’s Coat Closet, to receive $5 off of the ticket. [Reston Chorale]

Holiday fire safety PSA — The county’s Fire and Rescue Department has safety tips for open-flame candles for Hanukkah celebrations. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Design Review Board meeting — The Reston Association’s Design Review Board will meet tonight at 7 p.m. to review pending applications. [Reston Association]

 

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Letter: Praise for Crafthouse’s Donations to California Wildfire Aid

This letter was submitted by Spencer Abraham. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. We publish article and opinion contributions of specific interest to the Reston community. Contributions may be edited for length or content.

As a resident of McLean whose family owns a retail store in Reston, I was extremely excited to read the Nov. 21 article in Reston Now entitled “Crafthouse Donates Part of Bottled Beer Sales to California Wildfire Aid.”

The article indicated that Reston’s Crafthouse brewery was donating 10 percent of all bottled beer sales through Dec. 15 to aid in the cleanup of the areas that were destroyed by the recent wildfires in California.

Although my home is in Northern Virginia, I attend college at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif. Fortunately, the area around my campus was not affected by the recent destruction, but we were close enough to smell the smoke from the fires and to understand, up close, just what damage had taken place.

A number of my friends from school live or have family members who live in the communities where the fires struck, and I know from them just how deadly they were and the incredible expense that will be incurred as the affected areas clean up after the infernos.

Therefore, it made me especially happy to read about the commitment made by Crafthouse and proud that businesses from my home area — a full continent from where the fires raged — were willing to help out. I salute Crafthouse and thank owner Evan Matz for his decision to help and the customers whose purchases and donations are providing the funds sent to California. Many thanks all around.

— Spencer Abraham

Photo via Crafthouse/Facebook

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Reston Historic Trust & Museum Begins ‘Giving Tuesday’ Goal to Get New Donors

Starting today on Giving Tuesday, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum is taking on a challenge to get 25 new donors in 25 days via an app.

Alexandra Campbell, the executive director of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, told Reston Now the museum partnered in October with RoundUp App, which lets users select nonprofits to give tax-deductible donations to.

RoundUp will give the museum a $1,000 bonus if 25 new donors sign up in the app between Nov. 27 and Dec. 21.

Three people have signed up so far and donated, she said.

The app can be used on computers or iOS and Android mobile devices.

“Donations are critical for us,” Campbell said. “Having individual donations supports our mission and helps us share Reston history with the community.”

The free museum relies on contributions from the community, which help fund the free educational and public programming.

While the museum has annual and lifetime membership programs, the app is a way to encourage smaller donations from individuals. “We’re trying to engage with the community in a different way with smaller donations,” Campbell said.

Social media and the email listserv are the focus for getting the word out about the app, she said, along with publicizing it at the museum’s big events. Campbell said she hopes the app grows as a funding source.

The museum is currently running a separate online campaign to raise money for a permanent exhibit featuring the Lakeside Pharmacy icons on Lake Anne’s Washington Plaza.

The GoFundMe donations will go toward cleaning, repairing and installing the icons, which were donated to the Reston Historic Trust & Museum.

Photo via iTunes store

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Tuesday Morning Notes

#GivingTuesday is today — In the spirit of season, The Connection has rounded up places to drop off clothing and food donations in the area. [The Connection]

Work off the Thanksgiving feast — Reston Runners plans to meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. for a 50-minute workout at the Onelife Fitness gym in Isaac Newton Square. [Reston Runners]

Ways to end “wishful recycling” — These five tips are meant to help residents stop throwing trash in the recycling bin. [Fairfax County]

Reston-based Virid makes Tech 100 list — The 2018 Northern Virginia Technology Council last week listed Virid, which provides eCommerce solutions for growing retail brands, in its top 100 tech companies of the year. [Northern Virginia Technology Council]

Flickr pool photo via Reston2020

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App Fighting Food Waste Looks to Expand Reach Around Reston

An organization combatting food insecurity with an app is looking to serve more people in and around Reston

Food Rescue US uses an app to target local sites around the country, including Victorville, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and New Haven, Conn.

Here’s how the app works — restaurants, grocers and food providers can list surplus food for donation. Then, volunteers follow directions in the app for picking up and dropping off the food to receiving agencies like food pantries and community kitchens, which indicate in the app what they need.

Kate Urbank, the D.C. site director for Food Rescue, told Reston Now that the D.C.-area community started in October 2016. Since then, the efforts have helped redistribute nearly one million pounds of food. “We get hundreds of pounds a day,” Urbank said, adding that donors include Capital One and Boeing.

Last year, Food Rescue started bringing food to the Embry Rucker Community Shelter from mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which has food prepared by FLIK Hospitality.

The Reston nonprofit Cornerstones (11150 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 210), which provides support for people in need of food, shelter, affordable housing and other services, helps to operate the shelter at 11975 Bowman Towne Drive.

Volunteers pick up food five days a week from Freddie Mac and then drop off at the shelter twice a week. As the site director, Urbank operates the app, determining the type of food, amount and proximity for volunteers to take to receiving locations.

The app has had the “hottest growth” in Northern Virginia, which currently has 50 active volunteers with five from Reston and two from Herndon, Urbank said.

“I’m very open to branching off the Northern Virginia piece,” Urbank said. “It’s so ripe.”

Urbank said that she met with Food for Others, an organization in Fairfax that helps distribute food., as she looks to expand the efforts in Northern Virginia. Last week, she hired a woman in Tysons who will help with community outreach in the area.

Ultimately, Food Rescue US aims to reach all 50 states, Urbank said.

Photo via iTunes store

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Reston Tech Consulting Firm Collects 500 Items for Food Drive

(Editor’s note: This story was updated Monday at 2 p.m. to clarify where the collected food items went.)

Giving Tuesday is right around the corner, and one Reston-based company got a head start.

The Goal, a technology-based consulting firm, collected more than 500 food items in its annual food drive, the company posted today (Nov. 26) on social media.

The food will go to the Reston Community Center’s Thanksgiving Food Drive to benefit Cornerstones, a local nonprofit organization. The items gathered by the employees, known as “Goalies,” include cans of yams, potatoes and Campbell soup.

Founded in 2002, The Goal is headquartered in Reston at 11921 Freedom Drive, Suite 920. The company’s services include software development, cybersecurity and data solutions.

The donation is meant to help people living in poverty, the company tweeted said.

Photo via The Goal/Instagram

This story has been updated.

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Toys for Tots Collection Starts on Thursday in Reston Town Center

A Toys for Tots drive is coming to town to bring presents to low-income kids.

Locals can drop off new, unwrapped toys in building lobbies around Reston Town Center this Thursday.

The charity toy drive benefits Toys for Tots and is held in partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s annual campaign. The drive runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 7.

On the final day, a special collection event will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the pavilion.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department began its toy drive last Monday (Nov. 19). The collection is part of the Annual National Capital Region Fire and EMS Departments’ 2018 Toys for Tots campaign.

Fire stations will accept checks made payable to “TOYS FOR TOTS” and new, unwrapped toy donations until Dec. 12.

The nearby stations are located at:

  • 1820 Wiehle Avenue, Reston
  • 2610 Reston Parkway, Herndon
  • 1117 Reston Avenue, Herndon

Last year, the department collected more than 14,000 toys, according to the website.

Photo via Marine Toys for Tots Foundation/Facebook

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Crafthouse Donates Part of Bottled Beer Sales to California Wildfire Aid

Crafthouse, a Northern Virginia-focused eatery, is helping families affected by the wildfires in California.

The three Crafthouse locations in Fairfax, Reston and Arlington will donate 10 percent of all bottled beer purchases to the American Red Cross, which has a fund set up for California wildfire aid.

Two wildfires burning across California this month have claimed at least 84 lives, and one of the fires is now the deadliest and most destructive one in the state’s history, according to news reports.

The restaurant posted on Facebook that the donations started last Thursday (Nov. 15) and will continue through Dec. 15.

Owner Evan Matz told Reston Now he got the idea after watching the news. “I felt so bad, and I wanted to be able to do something,” he said.

Matz said he has family near Calabasas, Calif. — they’re safe– and knows firsthand the displacement and destruction caused by natural disasters. He said his family had to move temporarily when Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 hurricane that struck the Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana, hit in 1992.

Patrons have started expressing support for the donations, Matz said. “Instead of the draft beer, they buy the bottles instead,” he said.

Crafthouse’s Reston spot is at 1888 Explorer Street.

Photos via Crafthouse/Facebook

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Thursday Morning Notes

Schools closed, Fairfax Connector continues normal service — Although Fairfax County Public Schools are closed today due to a wintry mix slowly descending onto the region, the Fairfax County connector will continue normal service today. [Fairfax Connector]

Vote on Reston Association budget expected tonight — The Board of Directors will vote on the final budget for the next year, as well as a planned $11 assessment increase. The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Other items on the budget include an update on the state of the environment in Reston and an executive session to discuss personnel and contractual matters. [Reston Association]

Another vote of note tonight — The Fairfax County Planning Commission is expected to vote on a plan by Woodfield Investments to replace a vacant office building at 1941 Roland Clarke Place with an apartment building. [Fairfax County Government]

A chance for gift giving — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is seeking donations for its annual Toys for Tots campaign beginning Nov. 19. All county fire stations will accept donations through Dec. 12. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Donations Sought for School Supplies and Backpack Drive

Fairfax County Public Schools has partnered with Collect for Kids, an umbrella organization for an annual school supply and backpack drive.

Donations are requested for the drive, which will provide supplies for students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals. Around 55,000 county students qualify for the program.

There are two ways to support the drive. Monetary donations are being collected online in order to purchase supply kits in bulk. Backpack donations can be dropped off at any Apple Federal Credit Union location in Fairfax County, Cornerstones, Britepaths and Western Fairfax Christian Ministries.

Monetary donations are accepted year-round and backpacks are accepted through August.

For more information, contact Kathy Ryan at 571-423-1206 or [email protected].

Photo by Cornerstones

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Reston Community Center Collects Formal Wear for Annual Dress Drive

As prom season approaches, Reston Community Center is participating in its 16th annual Diva Central Dress Drive.

Beginning today through Feb. 28, the center will collect gently-used formal wear, including dresses, shoes, jewelry, handbags, scarves, shawls and accessories, at its Hunters Woods and Lake Anne locations.

RCC is accepting donations between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. All donations are tax-deductible.

Donations should ideally be no older than five years old and dry cleaned before donation. If items cannot be dry cleaned, RCC staff should be notified during drop-off.

At a giveaway on March 24, dresses will be given to Reston-area middle and high school students. This year’s event will take place from noon to 6 p.m. at RCC Lake Anne (1609-A Washington Plaza).

Diva Central aims to promote self-confidence by providing dresses to students, including middle schoolers who participate in school dances.

Eileen Boone, RCC’s leisure and learning director, said the drive will help alleviate the financial burden often experienced by local teens as they prepare for school dances.

“We hope to lessen that financial burden by giving local teens the opportunity to create their entire prom or dance look for free,” she said.

For more information or to volunteer, contact LaTanja Jones, RCC’s Collaboration and Outreach Director at 703-390-6158 or  [email protected]gov.

Photo via Reston Community Center

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Protecting the Homeless This Winter — Fairfax County officials are encouraging people to call the county’s non-emergency phone number if they see someone at night who unsheltered and may be at risk of hypothermia. Police can be reached at 703-691-2131 where they will work with the individual and temporary shelter facilities to provide overnight shelter. [Fairfax County Government]

UPS Store in South Lakes Accepts Donations — The store on 11160 South Lakes Drive is taking tax deductible contributions for Wreaths Across America. Wreaths will be purchased that will be laid on the graves of veterans at Arlington National Cemetery and across the region. [94.7 FM]

Reston Association’s Elections Planning Begins — RA’s elections committee will meet today to plan the layout of next year’s Board of Directors election from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). Four of the nine-member body’s seats are open in the election. [Reston Association]

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