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What’s Going on Around Reston This Weekend?

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • Get your costume and a warm towel ready for the 11th annual “Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip” on Saturday at Lake Anne Plaza. The event in Reston will kick off at noon. The dip will begin at 2 p.m.
  • Children between the ages of three and five can play with light and shadow during the Walker Nature Center’s Shadow Puppet Production on Saturday from 10-11 a.m. Registration is $6 for RA members and $8 for all others.
  • Let your inner sleuth free and dive into the selection of books available at the Reston Friends Mystery and Adventure Book Sale on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Reston Regional Library. The sale will continue on Sunday from 1-3:30 p.m.
  • In the mood for a movie and not a book? Experience the film “The Color Purple” on Saturday from 2-4 p.m. at Reston Regional Library. The screening is part of the library’s “book to movie” series.
  • Enjoy a free wine tasting at Chesapeake Chocolates at Lake Anne Plaza from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday. Ten percent of all sales will be donated to the polar dip.
  • In good deed opportunities this month, donate formal wear and accessories for the 16th annual Dive Central Dress Drive. Reston Community Center is accepting donations through Feb. 28 at its Hunters Woods and Lake Anne locations.
  • Join the South Lakes Chorus Department for the 13th year of Broadway Night. This year’s production, “Curtains Up Cabaret,” features more than 80 South Lakes High School students. Performances are scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Little Theatre at SLHS. Tickets are $15 at the door.
  • Check out the recurring art exhibit “Paulina Peavy: A message to Paulina” this weekend at the Greater Reston Arts Center. Peavy was a trained artist who believed an alien controlled her brush after she attended a seance in 1932. Peavy’s mediums include paper, paintings, films, texts and numerous masks.

File photo.

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Save the Date: Virginia Polar Dip Returns to Lake Anne

Get your costume and a warm towel ready for the 11th annual Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip on Feb. 3 at Lake Anne Plaza.

Proceeds from the event will help send children with life-threatening illnesses and their families for a retreat in Casco, Maine. Camp Sunshine’s fundraising goal is $100,000 for this year, enough to send 40 families from the area to attend the camp.

The community event draws hundreds of spectators to Lake Anne Plaza to watch “dippers” take plunges into the lake in the middle of the winter.

Eight other Polar Dips will take place nationwide this year. The initiative was founded in 2008 by the Toth family of Oakton, whose daughter, Jennifer, battled cancer. She first attended Camp Sunshine in 1996.

The event in Reston will kick off at noon. The dip will begin at 2 p.m. Participants who raise at least $100 will receive an “I DID IT” event shirt.

For more information, visit the event website. Participants can register online.

File photo by Don Renner

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Friday Morning Notes

Date Announced for 2018 Polar Plunge — The 11th annual Virginia Polar Dip at Lake Anne will take place Saturday, Feb. 3. [Lake Anne Plaza/Facebook]

Boston Properties Residential Project Nears Completion — Designed as a gateway to Reston Town Center, The Signature apartments on Freedom Drive and New Dominion Drive are set to become available in January. The 508-unit project will include two towers, two six-story buildings, a specialty grocer and 4,600 square feet of retail. [Washington Business Journal]

Children Left in Car Rescued by Police — The Fairfax County Police Department says a 26-year-old Falls Church woman brought her three children (ages 5, 6 and 7) to work but left them in the car because she didn’t want to bring them inside. FCPD was called to the scene and got the kids out of the car. They were taken to the hospital for treatment of heat exhaustion, and their mother was hit with three counts of felony child abuse. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Fairfax County Promotes Domestic Violence Awareness Month — On a monthly basis, domestic violence hotlines in Fairfax County receive 200 calls and victims request 75 family abuse protective orders. The county is encouraging residents to help prevent and end domestic violence by volunteering with the county’s Office of Women and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Volunteers work on special events, help run a 24-hour hotline, among other duties. [Fairfax County Government/Facebook]

Fairfax County Worker Found Not Guilty in Fatal Stabbing — Kempton Bonds, 20, was found not guilty Wednesday of fatally stabbing 35-year-old Tyonne Johns, a caterer at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly. Bonds was working as a seasonal employee with the Fairfax County Park Authority when the incident occurred last year, according to officials. [FOX 5]

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Lake Anne Polar Plunge Raises $75K for Camp Sunshine

The water in Lake Anne was 38 degrees Saturday, but that didn’t stop nearly 200 people from making a “splash” for charity.

The 10th annual Virginia Polar Dip at Lake Anne raised $75,000 for Camp Sunshine, organizers announced at the conclusion of the day’s festivities. A total of 198 people, many dressed in colorful costumes, leapt from the dock to show their support of the cause.

The dry onlookers cheered from the plaza as plungers — some solo, some in groups; some tentatively, some with backflips and cannonballs — took the chilly dive.

Curtis Ellor of Reston had participated in the event every year since its inception, but was forced to miss it last year after an operation. He was excited to get back into the water, continuing the tradition of diving along with his guitar.

“It’s wonderful,” Ellor said. “[It’s] for the kids.”

Virginia Polar Dip -- Feb. 11, 2017One of those kids was Mathias, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when he was 11 and died at the age of 13. Team Mathias, represented by a large group of jumpers from around Loudoun and Fairfax counties, has participated in the event for four years and has raised thousands of dollars for Camp Sunshine.

“Team Mathias’s mission is to support cancer families, siblings and parents — we do care packages for them,” said Emily Kelly of Herndon. “This year we raised almost $5,000 [for the plunge].”

Kelly said the event is a special chance to help kids and families who need a pick-me-up while battling a life-threatening illness.

“It’s special, it really is,” she said. “This is why we do this.”

Virginia Polar Dip -- Feb. 11, 2017Lake Anne Plaza merchants banded together during the event. Some, including Lake Anne Brew House and Kalypso’s, participated in the plunge itself. They and many others also offered specials throughout the day and donated a portion of the proceeds to the cause.

Organizers said the money raised from this year’s event will support an entire week of services at Camp Sunshine, which is located in Casco, Maine. It is the only year-round program in the nation designed to serve the entire family.

The $75,000 raised this year brings the total amount raised during the event’s 10 years to nearly $700,000.

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Friday Morning Notes

Sidewalk in Reston

Thousands of Jobs Added in County — The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority says 160 U.S.-based and 34 foreign-based companies worked with them to add about 7,500 jobs in 2016. [Fairfax County EDA]

Reston Association Committees Meet Next Week — The calendar for Reston Association next week includes meetings of the Board Operations Committee, Environmental Advisory Committee and Community Engagement Advisory Committee, as well as the Design Review Board panel. [Reston Association]

Seniors Invited to See ‘Age of Love’ — Reston Community Center will host a showing of “Age of Love” for people 55 and up next Friday. The film is described as “comic and poignant.” Dessert and a discussion will follow. [Reston Community Center]

Polar Plunge is Next Weekend — Don’t forget, the 10th annual “Freezin’ for a Reason” Virginia Polar Dip is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11 at Lake Anne Plaza. There is still time to get involved, or to just make plans to attend. [Lake Anne Plaza]

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Virginia Polar Dip Set to Take Place at Lake Anne Next Month

R2016 Virginia Polar Dip/Credit: David Madison Photographyeston residents can don costumes and get “ice, ice, crazy” during an annual charity event next month.

This year’s Virginia Polar Dip is slated to take place at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne on Feb. 11. The benefit helps raise money to send children with life-threatening illnesses and their families to Camp Sunshine in Maine.

This year’s goal is to raise $100,000, which would be enough to send about 40 area families to the camp, organizers said. The Reston event is held in conjunction with other Polar Dip plunges across the U.S.

In previous years, participants have worn wetsuits, superhero getups and pirate costumes as they leapt in the lake. But they don’t need to fully submerge themselves: attendees can also participate by just dunking their toes in the water during the so-called “Chicken Dip.” Participants who raise $100 or more for the cause will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

Registration on the day of the event is scheduled to begin at noon. The event itself will begin about two hours later.

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Photos: Ninth Annual Freezin’ For a Reason

Was that you in the superhero costume, flinging yourself into Lake Anne on Saturday for a good cause?

About 200 brave participants took part in the ninth annual Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip.

The event raised nearly $100,000 for Camp Sunshine, a summer camp in Maine for children with life-threatening illnesses. The money raised from this year’s jump will enable 50 families from the Mid-Atlantic region to take part in Camp Sunshine.

The event was founded by the Toth family of Oakton, whose daughter suffered from childhood cancer and was enriched by her Camp Sunshine experience.

There are several Polar Dips held annually for the cause nationwide.

Photos courtesy of David Madison Photography.

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Still Time to Freeze for a Reason at Lake Anne

Virginia Polar Dip 2014

Only one week left to decide if you are going to jump into a possibly very icy Lake Anne. The 9th Annual Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip takes place Saturday, Feb. 6 at Lake Anne Plaza.

The event raises money to send children to Camp Sunshine, an overnight camp in Maine for kids suffering from the effects of life-threatening illnesses.

Closer to home, the Virginia Polar Dip is a popular community event, drawing hundreds of spectators to Lake Anne Plaza to witness the “dippers” — some of them in whacky costumes — plunge into the lake in the middle of winter.

The event kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with music by Danny DJ, family friendly activities, and other warmup fun hosted by WASH-FM radio personality Chili Amar. The dip begins at 2 p.m.

Sign up to dip — or support a dipper — on the Virginia Polar Dip website.

Last year’s event raised more than $100,000. This year’s goal is to raise $125,000, which will enable about 50 Mid-Atlantic families to attend Camp Sunshine.

The local event, one of nine Polar Dips nationwide, was founded in 2008 by the Toth family of Oakton, whose daughter, Jennifer, battled cancer.

The event participation has increased over the years, climbing from 33 jumpers in 2008 to 338 in 2015.

Organizers said they are hoping at least 350 dippers will register this year. Participants can do the full dip or just do the “chicken dip,” and stick a toe in the cold lake. Through pledges or self-sponsorship, each participant will raise/donate a minimum of $100 for the opportunity to plunge into Lake Anne, as well as receive a commemorative “I DID IT” event shirt. 

In addition to the dip, Lake Anne Merchants will be hosting a variety of activities and promotions in there stores:

  • PetMAC Pet Nutrition Center — Donating 40 percent of all sales that day to Camp Sunshine, food excluded.
  • Chesapeake Chocolates, Wine, Gifts, and More — Hosting a wine tasting, selling hot chocolate, and featuring chocolate polar bears along with their regular menu of fine chocolates.
  • Small Change Consignment — Giving away hats, gloves, mittens, & scarves to all jumpers, and will hold its annual  one-day-only, half-price toy sale to coincide with the event.
  • Kalypso’s Sports Tavern —  Donating 10 percent of sales from 1 to 4 p.m. on the day of the jump. Kalypso’s will also be holding a raffle for a big screen HDTV on Super Bowl Sunday and proceeds will go to Freezin’ for a Reason.

.Photo: Virginia Polar Dip 2014/Credit: Tim Regan

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Save the Date: Virginia Polar Dip Returns to Lake Anne Feb. 6

Virginia Polar Dip 2014Get your costume and a really, really warm towel ready as the 9th Annual Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip is set for Lake Anne Plaza on Feb. 6.

The event raises money to send children to Camp Sunshine, an overnight camp in Maine for kids suffering from the effects of life-threatening illnesses.

Closer to home, the Virginia Polar Dip is a popular community event, drawing hundreds of spectators to Lake Anne Plaza to witness the “dippers” — some of them in whacky costumes — plunge into the lake in the middle of winter.

The event kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with music by Danny DJ, family friendly activities, and other warmup fun hosted by WASH-FM radio personality Chili Amar. The dip begins at 2 p.m.

Last year’s event raised more than $100,000. This year’s goal is to raise $125,000, which will enable about 50 Mid-Atlantic families to attend Camp Sunshine.

The local event, one of nine Polar Dips nationwide, was founded in 2008 by the Toth family of Oakton, whose daughter, Jennifer, battled cancer.

The event participation has increased over the years, climbing from 33 jumpers in 2008 to 338 in 2015.

Organizers said they are hoping at least 350 dippers will register this year. Participants can do the full dip or just do the “chicken dip,” and stick a toe in the cold lake. Through pledges or self-sponsorship, each participant will raise/donate a minimum of $100 for the opportunity to plunge into Lake Anne, as well as receive a commemorative “I DID IT” event shirt. 

In addition to the dip, Lake Anne Merchants will be hosting a variety of activities and promotions in there stores:

PetMAC Pet Nutrition Center — Donating 40 percent of all sales that day to Camp Sunshine, food excluded.

Chesapeake Chocolates, Wine, Gifts, and More — Hosting a wine tasting, selling hot chocolate, and featuring chocolate polar bears along with their regular menu of fine chocolates.

Small Change Consignment — Giving away hats, gloves, mittens, & scarves to all jumpers, and will hold its annual  one-day-only, half-price toy sale to coincide with the event.

Kalypso’s Sports Tavern —  Donating 10 percent of sales from 1 to 4 p.m. on the day of the jump. Kalypso’s will also be holding a raffle for a big screen HDTV on Super Bowl Sunday and proceeds will go to Freezin’ for a Reason.

For more information and to register, visit the 2016 Virginia Polar Dip website.

Virginia Polar Dip 2014/Credit: Tim Regan

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Hundreds Plunge Into Lake Anne at Virginia Polar Dip

More than 330 people plunged into 33-degree waters on Saturday at the eighth annual Freezin’ for  Reason Virginia Polar Dip at Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza.

The event raised more than $100,000 for Camp Sunshine, a Maine sleepaway summer camp for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

To take the plunge, participants donated at least $100. This year, jumpers raised a record-setting $111,000, which is enough to send 56 families to the camp.

On Friday night, event organizers used chainsaws to carve a square-shaped hole in the four-inch ice that covered Lake Anne. Despite daytime temperatures in the mid-40s, the hole was again frozen over by noon Saturday. Shortly before the 2 p.m. starting time, divers in cold-water wetsuits spent fifteen minutes clearing the ice.

Then, kids and adults — some wearing viking costumes, superhero getups, and swimwear — lined up on Lake Anne Plaza’s dock to take the plunge. Which each splash, the crowd of more than 400 people cheered and clapped.

After emerging from the lake, the jumpers were given a hot towel and invited inside the Reston Community Center to regain feeling in their fingers and toes.

Jumper and Fairfax resident Tammy Sankner, 44, whose team raised more than $1,600, says she took the plunge for her children.

“Our kids are cancer kids, so we formed a team to show our kids we’d do anything for them,” says Sankner.

Scott Doeden, a 43-year-old from Stephens City, Va., plunged into the frigid waters dressed as a tutu-wearing Batman.

“The water is a shock,” says Deoden. “I didn’t really panic, but I thought, I gotta get out, now.”

“Team Viking” captain Duff Means, 37, of Sterling, says Saturday marked his family’s fifth time jumping. Means, whose team raised $1,530, described the experience as diving head-first into a slushie.

“I’m always happy to support Camp Sunshine,” he says.

The last to leap into Lake Anne was Virginia Polar Dip founder Gail Toth, who helped start the local event after her daughter attended the camp.

“The whole community, all of Reston and the surrounding area, has been so supportive of the event and it has grown so much,” says Toth. “It’s really inspiring to see how generous people are and how much they really want to help.”

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Not That Freezing for Freezin’ for a Reason

Jumpers get ready to hit icy Lake Anne in 2012/file photoFor eight years, Restonians have jumped into Lake Anne in early February for a good cause.

The annual Virginia Polar Dip  — where participants pledge a minimum of $100 to jump — raises money for Camp Sunshine, a Maine summer overnight experience for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Some years, it is a balmy 40-50 degrees. Other years, organizers have had to chain saw through the ice to get to the water.

This year, it looks like it will be the former. The forecast calls for partly cloudy a high of 50 degrees. The water, however, will be around freezing.

The festivities on Lake Anne Plaza begin at noon, with the jumps beginning at 2 p.m.

Last year’s Virginia Polar Dip raised more than $85,000. This year’s goal is to top $100,000, which will allow 50 families from the Mid-Atlantic area to attend Camp Sunshine. As of Thursday, there was nearly $70,000 in pledges.

For more information about the event or to register to participate, visit the event’s home page. Spectators are welcome free of charge.

Photo: Jumpers at an icy Lake Anne at the 2012 Virginia Polar Dip/file photo

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Pictures: 7th Annual Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip

Would you jump into a 34-degree lake?

More than 250 people did on Saturday at the 7th Annual Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip at Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza.

The event, organized by the Toth family of Oakton, raises money for Camp Sunshine in Maine, a sleepaway camp for children with cancer and their families.

Adults, children and costumed teams all paid at least $100 to make a splash and hit the water in front of a cheering crowd. Crews had to use chainsaws to cut a “swimming hole” in the six-inch-thick ice.

Organizers said the event said $87,424 – a record amount that will help send 44 area families to Camp Sunshine.

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Who is Ready to Freeze for Reason Saturday?

Reston's Mike Collins and sons participate in 6th Annual Virginia Polar Dip at Lake Anne/File photo

People may have been skating over Reston’s frozen lakes the last few days — but now is their chance to jump in one of them.

Crews are hard at work cutting a hole at Lake Anne Plaza big enough for participants in the 7th annual Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip to make a very cold splash this weekend.

Will you be one of them? The good news is Saturday’s forecast is for temperatures close to 50 degrees. Alas, the water will still be freezing.

Virginia Polar Dip events begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Lake Anne Plaza.  Dippers will get started at 2 p.m.. The event benefits Camp Sunshine, a summer camp in Maine for children (and their families) with life-threatening illnesses.

The Virginia Polar Dip was started in 2008 by the Toth family of Oakton, whose daughter, Jennifer, had attended Camp Sunshine after a battle with cancer at age 3 (she is in her 20s now and doing great).

Last year, intrepid Reston-area participants — many of whom are in wacky costumes — raised more than $70,000 to aid the campers. This year, the goal is to raise $100,000, which will help 50 Mid-Atlantic residents to attend Camp Sunshins. Reston Association president Ken Knueven will be among the high-profile residents taking the plunge.

To jump in the lake, participants have to pay a minimum $100 donation. You can also opt for the “chicken dip” and just dangle your toes in the water.

The event is emceed by 97.1 WASH-FM morning show radio personality Chilli Amar.

The event is sponsored by Lake Anne, David Madison Photography, Reston Association, Reston Community Center, Spotted MP Marketing & Public Relations, Jasmine Café, Fairfax Christian School, Tropical Smoothie Café, 97.1 WASH-FM, and Sheraton Reston Hotel.

For more information or to register to participate, visit www.freezinforareason.com.

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Save The Date: Freezin’ For a Reason Feb. 1

Freezin' for a Reason 2013/File Photo

Who wants to jump in the lake for a good cause?

The 7th annual Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip returns to Lake Anne on Feb. 1. The event benefits Camp Sunshine, a summer camp for children (and their families) with life-threatening illnesses.

Last year, intrepid Reston-area participants — many of whom are in wacky costumes — raised more than $70,000 to aid the campers.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Event start time is 1 p.m. Jumping begins at the dock at 2 p.m. Registered participants can take a full jump  or a “Chicken Dip” (feet only).
  • $100 minimum donation to plunge.  Free to spectators.  Rain or Shine (will be rescheduled if major snow storm is forecast).
  • The event is emceed by 97.1 WASH-FM morning show radio personality Chilli Amar.

The Virginia Polar Dip was started in 2008 by the Toth family of Oakton, whose daughter, Jennifer, had attended Camp Sunshine after a battle with cancer at age 3 (she is in her 20s now and doing great).

Since 2008, 682 people have participated in the Virginia Polar Dip — one of 11 Polar Dips held around the country — to raise more than $306,000 for the camp.  The camp organizes 11 polar dips on the East Coast each year.

This year’s goal is to raise $100,000, which will allow 50 families from the Mid-Atlantic area to attend Camp Sunshine in Maine.

For more information about the event or to register to participate, visit www.freezinforareason.com or become a Facebook Fan (Virginia Polar Dip) and view pictures from previous dips.

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