Reston, VA

UPDATED at 2 p.m. — Tysons Reporter received new information from area hospitals about current needs and shortages. At this time, area hospitals are NOT in need of homemade medical masks, according to the spokesperson from Reston Hospital Center

A Reston father and his two sons teamed up to make a group to help people who could be severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

After feeling bored in self-isolation, Colin, Hayden and their dad, Ray Whitney, researched how they could best assist their community and discovered a group called Caremongers out of Canada. After some guidance from its volunteers, the trio founded one of their own chapters for the Reston community.

Caremongers Reston VA is a group that writes letters and shares ideas with others on how to help and delivers groceries or medicine to people around the area who are elderly or immuno-compromised, according to Ray.

Ray said he founded the Facebook page for the group around March 18, and already, the group has helped roughly 40 people — and continues to grow its outreach efforts through a partnership with the United Christian Parish Reston, where the family attends services.

“Right now it’s really just me and my sons trying to push things through and get things set up,” Ray said.

The group said they were able to write a letter to a 100-year-old WWII veteran who celebrated his birthday on Sunday (March 22) without a group of friends due to health concerns.

Currently, Ray said Caremongers Reston isn’t accepting donations.

“This is a unique opportunity for everybody to help,” according to Ray, who added that everyone is in a position to do something, even if it’s digitally reaching out to someone who might feel lonely in self-isolation or quarantine.

For people posting on social media, the group is using the hashtag #SpreadLoveNotCOVID19 to promote thoughtfulness during this time. 

To protect themselves, the family is ensuring that they wear gloves during curbside deliveries, leaving the house only when they have to and making sure to practice social distancing — i.e. keeping 6 feet away from people — when they are out, Ray said.

Ray added that they are trying to be cautious but not fearful.

For kids, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that not every child will react the same way to stress from the pandemic and suggests that parents share facts with their kids and reassure them that they will be safe.

Colin is a 4th-grade student at Lake Anne Elementary and Ray said he is simply excited to be helping his community and that he seems to be handling everything okay. Hayden is currently a 9th-grade student at South Lakes High School.

“We are really proud of the fact he wants to step up and help people,” Ray said.

Photo courtesy Ray Whitney 

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An addiction treatment center for drugs and alcohol recently announced its plans to expand into the Reston area.

Sandstone Care specializes in addiction treatment and care for young adults and teens. The center plans to open its doors for patients this spring at 11415 S. Isaac Newton Square, according to its Facebook page.

“We’re excited to announce the opening of our Reston, VA office in early Spring 2020!” the post said. “Stay tuned for more information, including details of our upcoming Open House!”

Currently, Sandstone Care has locations in Colorado and D.C. for patients ages 13-30, according to its website. Outpatient care options include detox, teen residential treatment, extended care, sober living programs and more, according to the website.

Reston Now reached out to Sandstone about the upcoming location and is awaiting more details.

Photo via Sandstone Care/Facebook

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Love is in the air, and these local events can help people get in the Valentine’s Day spirit.

Here’s where to find themed events in Reston and Herndon this week.

Reston

People hoping to enjoy a professionally cooked meal at home can order a special take-out dinner for two from Founding Farmers. For $65, people can enjoy three courses with two sides, a rustic white boule, dessert and two unscented glass votive candles, according to the website.

People should order by today (Wednesday, Feb. 12,) at 3 p.m. and pick up the meal on Thursday (Feb. 13) between 2-7 p.m. at the Reston location (1904 Reston Metro Plaza).

Beer My Valentine at Lake Anne Brew House (11401 N. Shore Drive) on Friday (Feb. 14) offers people over the age of 21 a special flight and pretzel drizzled in chocolate from 4-10 p.m.

The 55+ VDay Ride and Coffee Hour in Reston will take place at the New Trail Cycling Studio (1641 N. Washington Plaza) from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Friday. Participants will be able to take an exercise class and then head to the Lake Anne Coffee House after to relax.

A Valentine’s Show at Café Montmartre (1625 Washington Plaza) will take place from 7:30-10:30 p.m. on Friday with an open mic and dancing. People interested can call 703-904-8080 for tickets.

Herndon

People with a sweet-tooth can attend the Valentine Cake Decorating Workshop at Amphora Bakery (294 Sunset Park Drive) in Herndon. For roughly $70, people can learn to bake and decorate a themed cake. This event will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday (Feb.13).

Parents’ Valentine’s Night Out allows Herndon parents to take a break by offering a babysitting service from 6-9:30 p.m. on Friday. The cost is $35 per child, and people can register online. This is an official event that’s sponsored by the town.

Valentine’s Day Singles Mixer in Herndon at Breakers Sky Lounge (2445 Centreville Road) lets people meet potential dates while playing pool, darts, and karaoke. This event is free and open to the public on Friday from 7-10 p.m.

The Valentine’s Winter Brew Fest will take place from 1-8 p.m. at Mile 20 (783 Station Street) on Saturday (Feb. 15), letting guests taste-test beers from several local breweries. Tickets are $18 per person, $27 for two people or $5 for entry and only one sample. There will be music, karaoke and booths from businesses at this event.

People with a passion for art can gather for a paint and sip event at Pinot’s Palette (12976 Highland Crossing Drive) from 6-8 p.m. on Friday. The theme will be Van Gogh. The event costs $40.

Photo by Laura Ockel/Unsplash

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After the mysterious horse beheading at Lake Anne Plaza back in September, the artist of the wooden sculpture said that he is in the process of building a replacement.

The new horse is almost complete and will be available for public viewing shortly, artist Marco Rando said, confirming that natural decay caused the damages.

The name for the upcoming piece is “Intent, The Wooden Horse” and includes pieces from the previous version for the sake of nostalgia — including the head, Rando said.

“The horse is a metaphor for the energy and work required to bring an idea into existence, and the heart is the symbol for creative passion fueling intent,” he said.

Rando, who currently works at South Lakes High School, said he received assistance throughout the project from his students, who helped to conceptualize the design and will create graphics for the horse’s heart.

“These students are in my STEAM Studio Art & Design classes. They have been given a real-world assignment to design, create and fabricate a public work of art for Boston Properties and Reston Town Center,” Rando said. “The students have collaborated to achieve exceptional work.”

Photos courtesy Marco Rando

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Nostalgia might just be a common theme at an upcoming game night hosted by the Reston Historic Trust & Museum.

At the Retro Game Night on Friday (Feb. 28), attendees can gather with friends and family to play a variety of games from 6-9 p.m. at 1639 Washington Plaza, according to a press release.

More than a dozen games provided by Staring Player Pop-Up will be available for guests, the press release said, adding that people are also welcome to bring their own games.

This event is free and open to all ages. Attendees will receive a “The Game of Reston” poster, according to the press release.

Photo courtesy Reston Historic Trust & Museum

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(Updated) In the holiday spirit, the Reston Town Center Holiday Performances this weekend are among several events bringing together people from around the community.

The free event tomorrow (Saturday) will feature two performances. People can listen to the Northern VA Ukulele Ensemble. The last performance of the season will feature Rick Landers playing guitar from 3-3:45 p.m.

The performances are set to take place between Market Street and Democracy Drive.

Tomorrow (Saturday)

  • 4th Annual Children’s Winter Wonderland (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) — The kids’ wonderland event will take place at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road). Families will be able to enjoy crafts, refreshments, face painting, games and a visit from Santa.
  • SBC December Gala (1-3 p.m.) — This event features ballet and musical performances at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for kids.
  • Cissa Paz Music (6:30-9:30 p.m.) — Artist Cissa Paz will perform Brazillian music at the Lake Anne Coffee House & Wine Bar (1612 N. Washington Plaza).
  • Christmas Party Ho-Ho-Hoedown (8 p.m.-midnight) — Sully’s Pour House (754 Elden Street) is hosting a holiday celebration with a white elephant gift exchange, raffle and an ugly sweater contest.

Sunday (Dec. 22)

  • Christmas Orchestra (9-10 a.m.) — This free event at the Herndon United Methodist (701 Bennett Street) gives community members a chance to listen to live instrumental music from their fellow community members.
  • Bootcamp, Brunch and Booze: Indoor Winter Series (9-11 a.m.) — This event features a workout from Fitness 2 Go along with brunch from LoKL Gourmet at 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive. Tickets are $25.
  • Storytime Social (11 a.m.) — Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) invites families to a reading of “Let the Children March.” This free event includes snacks and coffee for the adults.

Photo via Reston Community Center Facebook

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(Updated at 2 p.m.) A Vietnamese restaurant, gym and nail salon are planning to come to a new development in Reston.

Alo Vietnam will occupy a 1,746-square-foot space, according to Renaud Consulting. Other newcomers will include A+ Nails and F45, Josh Weiner, the senior vice president of the commercial real estate firm KLNB, told Reston Now.

The Faraday Park development consists of multifamily buildings with ground-floor retail at 1831 Michael Faraday Drive.

More from the consulting firm about the restaurant:

The group comprising the team of Alo Vietnam is made up of 4 partners, which includes 2 established local businessmen and 2 famous chefs from Vietnam. Together this group owns and operates 4 well-known restaurants in Saigon, Vietnam.

Alo Vietnam also has a wine and beer license pending for its Herndon location at 2321 Dulles Station Blvd, Suite C.

Photo via Alo Vietnam/Facebook

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Leidos Buys Hypersonic Weapons Contractor — “Leidos Holdings Inc. will ring in the holiday season with a new acquisition: The Reston company announced Tuesday it plans to purchase defense contractor Dynetics Inc. in a $1.65 billion cash deal.” [Washington Business Journal]

A Look at Reston’s Battle for Its Soul — “It’s been a fiasco–a rambling, wide-ranging dispute marked by bureaucratic false starts, allegations of manipulated photos, and the widespread belief that Reston as we knew it is slipping away.” [Washingtonian]

Reston Hospital Honored — “Reston Hospital Center this week earned a Top General Hospital designation from The Leapfrog Group, a watchdog organization that reviews heath care safety and quality across the U.S.” [Reston Patch]

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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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Reston will participate in an upcoming statewide survey to identify the community’s cultural and historic resources.

The program — which is called the Virginia Department of Historic Resources’ Survey —  is intended to identify the cultural and historical traits of local buildings built from 1961 to 1978 in order to add them to the National Register of Historic Places and Inventory of Historic Sites, according to Fairfax County.

The process will begin with a meeting on Dec. 17 at the Reston Community Center Lake Anne (1609-N Washington Plaza) around 7 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend this public meeting.

The survey will exclude the Lake Anne Village Center since it was already listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register in 2017.

When the project is completed, findings are expected to include a map and photos of all the buildings surveyed.

Photo via Fairfax County

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The restoration of Snakeden Branch Stream, which flows into Lake Audubon, is underway after crews broke ground on the project in early October.

The project spans 750 feet down the stream and will improve water quality, protect the ecosystem, improve wildlife habitat and remove invasive species around the area, according to the Fairfax County website.

Construction was originally slated to begin this summer but was delayed.

Surveys were done to ensure local endangered bat and foliage populations were not affected by the work.

The project should be completed by October 2020 and will cost around a million dollars, according to Fairfax County, which added the project will be funded by the Stormwater Service District.

Image via Fairfax County

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As work gears up on the new fire station in Reston, construction crews will soon tear down the current one.

The demolition on the old facility (1820 Wiehle Avenue) is expected to begin early this December, William Delaney, a spokesperson for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, said.

Construction is underway for a temporary station at 1800 Cameron Glen Drive to serve the community until the new facility is completed in 2021.

The existing location is too small and does not suit the needs of the community anymore, another spokesperson previously told Reston Now.

The new station will cost $14.8 million, double the size of the station and feature two stories with room for administrative offices, a dayroom, kitchen, storage and bunk rooms.

“I am sure there will be a grand re-opening ceremony when new station up and running,” Delaney said.

Image via Google Maps 

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The YMCA Fairfax County Reston is hosting a fundraising gala in celebration of its 20th anniversary.

This year’s annual gala will be held at the YMCA (12196 Sunset Hills Road) from 6-11 p.m. next Saturday (Nov. 16) and feature a dinner party, silent auction and after-party, according to the event page.

“Our mission ensures that no one is turned away from access to ‘Y’ programs and membership,” the page said.

Last year, the gala raised $280,000 for the center, according to the  YMCA’s website.

Individual tickets start at $150 and sponsorships start at $1,000.

Image via YMCA Fairfax County Reston

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Reston environmentalists received an award from Fairfax County last week.

The Reston Annual State of the Environment (RASER), a report compiled by nine people, won an Environmental Excellence Award from Fairfax County.

The report covers air, water, forests, meadows, wetlands, landscaping, urban agriculture, wildlife, hazardous materials, light and noise pollution and education in the Reston region, the Fairfax County website said. RASER was founded in 2017 and consists of professionals and citizen scientists who volunteer their time to synthesize the 325 data sources, the website said.

From the 2018 report, the group said Reston should focus on improving urban forests and community access to nature, which they say improves wellbeing for people in the area. The group sent in an application for the Biophilic Cities Network Program and drafted a pledge that residents can take to become more nature-friendly.

Based on other findings, they followed through on a biological diversity study in the area, called a BioBlitz, which cataloged more than 600 species of plants, animals and organisms.

“Through these and other actions, the RASER Working Group has established a strong foundation for the assessment and enhancement of Reston’s ecological resources and helped to create well-connected urban landscapes where nature and community members can thrive,” the Fairfax County website said.

In total, the report took volunteers more than 2,000 hours to complete, according to the website.

The nine members primarily responsible for compiling the report were invited to a ceremony on Tuesday (Oct. 22).

Photo via Fairfax County

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The Reston Town Center ice rink is set to return next week.

Next Friday (Nov. 8), the public will be able to enjoy the seasonal rink once again. The rink is located near the Reston Town Center Pavillion and will be open until March 15, 2020, according to the rink’s website.

The hours of operation are Monday-Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., Wednesday-Thursday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Admission prices range depending on age.

  • Adult admission: $10
  • Youth (under 12)/senior (55+)/military admission: $9
  • 10-person admission pack: $85

Skate rentals are available on-site and cost $6 on top of the admission price.

For those who don’t know how to skate, the center offers lessons throughout the season on Saturdays and Sundays for $125.

Photo via Facebook

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