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by RestonNow.com — May 19, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

The big event this weekend is the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which will bring tens of thousands to Reston Town Center  beginning tonight. The kickoff party is from 6-9 p.m. tonight; tickets are $50. The event itself is the next two days, with admission a $5 suggested donation for adults. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

But there is plenty else going on in the area this weekend too. Here is just a sampling of what’s available to you, your family and friends in the coming days:

  • Reston’s Relay for Life event will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). The luminaria ceremony is set for 9 p.m. Saturday, with the event to continue through the night and wrap up at 7 a.m. Sunday.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center. The Pink Armoire Fashion Truck will be in attendance this week.
  • Lake Anne is also hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
  • The Habitat Heroes program seeks volunteers to cut back the large invasive bush honeysuckle that has taken over the field edge at Sunrise Valley Rec Area (10805 Oldfield Drive), Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • There will be a bird walk Sunday from 7:30-10:30 a.m. at Stratton Woods Park. Meet at the Polo Fields Recreation Area.
  • Reston Association will host an open house at The Lake House on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • The 18th annual Teachers and Students Exhibit remains on display at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center-Lake Anne (1609 Washington Plaza N.) through June 5.
  • Live music at Reston Town Center this weekend will include a performance from 6-10 p.m. tonight at Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) and both tonight and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.).
  • Lucky Dog Animal Rescue will have an adoption event at PetSmart (11860 Spectrum Center) from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.
  • This week at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive), Frying Pan Farm Park will visit Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon; and “First Ladies and Scandals in the City” will be presented Saturday from 1-3 p.m.
  • The My Health Matters 5K/1-mile Walk and Free Health Fair is slated for Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the 505 Building at Herndon Square (505 Huntmar Park Drive).
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from Medicated Sunfish. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.
  • Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music from 7-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night.
  • Matt Waller will play at The Tasting Room Wine Bar (1816 Library St.) from 8-11 p.m. Saturday.

by Dave Emke — April 28, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Nearly 1,400 volunteers contributed more than 24,000 hours of time to Reston Association’s volunteer program in 2016.

All that work was honored during a ceremony Thursday evening at The Lake House, and the most outstanding of those volunteers were specifically recognized as winners of the 2017 Volunteer Reston Service Awards.

Honorees were:

  • Volunteer of the Year: Leanna Kirkland

Kirkland was honored for her work serving in a wide variety of volunteer roles, including at the Multicultural Festival, Spring Festival, Nature House 5K, the Martin Luther King Day of Service, Halloween House and Trick-or-Treat Trail, and Maker Faire NOVA.

  • Youth Volunteer of the Year: Emily McGrath

A student at South Lakes High School, McGrath was honored for her contributions to the Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committee.

  • Youth Group Volunteer of the Year: Chantilly High School Key Club

The club participated in nearly all Habitat Heroes events during 2016, and worked to clean up Snakeden Branch Upper. They also volunteered their efforts to the Martin Luther King Day of Service

  • Adult Group Volunteer of the Year: RA volunteer photographers (William O’Brien, Kristina Alcorn, LeRoy Wallin, Colena Turner and Anna Kulyk)

The volunteer photographers were celebrated for their work to help document and provide exposure for numerous Reston Association programs and events.

  • Family Volunteer of the Year: Charlie and Julie Bond

The Bonds help maintain the grounds and building at the Walker Nature Center, and they provide seasonal displays for the Nature House each year.

  • Group Volunteer of the Year: Natural Areas Assessment Team (Mike Horton, Don Coram, Farideh Mirmirani and Doug Britt)

The team was honored for giving their time to inspect and assess the health of Reston’s open space.

  • Community Partner of the Year: U.S. Geological Survey

USGS hosts Reston Association’s Science Summer Camp, which had 60 children in attendance in 2016.

  • Community Volunteer of the Year: Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee (Tara Cranford Teague, Mary Shedlock, Tyrone Gillum, Michael Batt, Elaine Killoran, Aaron Diamond and David Nielsen)

The committee was recognized for its effort to collect feedback, identify and engage facility users, research best practices and present comprehensive findings to the Board of Directors.

In addition, Reston Association Board of Directors members whose time on the board recently ended — Dannielle LaRosa, Ellen Graves, Lucinda Shannon and Jeff Thomas — were also recognized for their service.

“Volunteering and community service are deeply rooted in our community’s core values thanks to our founder Robert E. Simon Jr.,” said Cate Fulkerson, Reston Association CEO. “Every year, hundreds of volunteers support RA’s mission by serving on the RA Board of Directors, one of our many advisory committees and work groups, helping with special events and programs or participating in cleanup projects at Reston lakes, in neighborhoods or along pathways. Volunteers are truly the backbone of Reston.”

Anyone interested in learning more about Volunteer Reston should contact Ha Brock at [email protected] or 703-435-7986.

Images in gallery at top courtesy Reston Association/Sean Bahrami

by RestonNow.com — April 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm 3 Comments

Hundreds of volunteers are needed for the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival next month.

Organizers are recruiting 500 people to help with essential tasks such as artist hospitality, greeting festival visitors, promoting Greater Reston Arts Center, encouraging creativity at the Family Art Park and more. Time commitments range from a few hours to an entire day.

Information about volunteer opportunities is available at the Greater Reston Arts Center website.

Volunteers will receive a festival T-shirt and a program with restaurant coupons. Students may also receive community service hours. Individuals, teams of co-workers, friends and families are encouraged to participate, organizers say.

The event at Reston Town Center will begin with a kickoff party Friday, May 19 from 6-9 p.m., featuring complimentary food and wine along with the opportunity to mingle with artists and other dignitaries. Tickets are $50.

The festival itself will follow the next two days, with admission a $5 suggested donation for adults. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 20; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 21.

All interior streets of the Town Center will be reserved for pedestrians only, leaving an 11-block art walk. Boston Properties’ parking fees will be waived during the event, including during the kickoff party Friday.

Photo courtesy Greater Reston Arts Center

by Dave Emke — April 27, 2017 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

Top Reston Volunteers to Be Honored — An awards ceremony to recognize individuals, families, groups and businesses who make a significant contribution to the Reston community through volunteer service will be held tonight from 6:30-9 p.m. at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.). [Reston Association]

Meeting on Glade Drive Bike Lanes Tonight — The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will host a community meeting tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. at Hunters Woods Elementary School (2401 Colts Neck Road) to discuss potential changes to Glade Drive, including the addition of bike lanes and sharrows. [Reston Now]

Fairfax Corner Art Festival (Sponsored) — Fairfax Corner will transform into an outdoor art showcase during the 2nd Annual Fairfax Corner Art Festival this weekend. Monument Corner Drive will feature more than 100 national and international artists, arranged in pop-up gallery style and filled with all mediums of fine art. Admission is free and it’s taking place this Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 4100 Monument Corner Drive, Fairfax. [Howard Alan Events]

Reston Couples Find Business Success with Mat — Gerald and Michelle Zingraf, along with Ben and Camille Arneberg, have made about 6,000 sales of their new product, TerraMat, since February. The ergonomic anti-fatigue desk mat is designed to provide exercise, stretching and therapeutic massage for the feet of those who spend hours at a time standing at a desk. [Fairfax County EDA]

Red’s Table Has New Top Chef — Adam Stein has left Red’s Table to open his own D.C. restaurant, The Eleanor. Kevin Ettenson, 28, is the new executive chef at Red’s Table (11150 South Lakes Drive). Among his plans are an emphasis on housemade pastas and an expanded late-night menu. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

by Dave Emke — April 26, 2017 at 11:30 am 3 Comments

Numerous county residents were honored recently for their dedication to servitude for the benefit of the community at large.

The annual Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards, presented by Volunteer Fairfax, honor individuals, groups and organizations that have given outstanding volunteer service through a broad range of activities and programs. At an awards ceremony Friday in Springfield, this year’s honorees were honored in 19 categories, ranging from youth volunteer to senior volunteer and many in between.

Among the award recipients were 10 community champions, one from each county district chosen by that district’s supervisor. Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins chose to honor Maria and Raul Garza-Chapa, supporters of Reston Community Center programs that serve active seniors.

Carolina Calderon received the Intégrate Volunteer award for her work with Cornerstones. The award recognizes the contributions of a bilingual Hispanic volunteer.

Seven volunteers at the Reston Regional Library were also honored with Benchmark 250 awards, marking 250 hours of volunteer service. Recognized were Diane Brown, Hank Brown, Wendell Driggers, Mark McGowan, Paul Toxie, Nicholas Wenri and Tom Wright.

“Volunteerism is valuable and vital to our community here,” said Elise Neil-Bengtson, Volunteer Fairfax CEO. “We have over 41,000 hours put in by over 15,000 volunteers, and the value of that in the community is over $1 million. That’s huge, but it goes beyond that.”

For a full list of award winners and nominees, visit the Volunteer Fairfax website.

Photos of Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (Hunter Mill District) with Maria and Raul Garza-Chapa (top), and Carolina Calderon (bottom) via Volunteer Fairfax/Facebook

by Dave Emke — April 24, 2017 at 11:30 am 2 Comments

For 23 students from South Lakes High School, spring break was a chance to travel to an exotic place — and also to help make the world a better place.

The students traveled to Ecuador during this month’s break to participate in a Fairfax County Public Schools service learning trip. Working with nonprofit organization Me to We, the students helped build classrooms in an indigenous community.

The SLHS students made up nearly half of the 48 total FCPS students on the trip. They were accompanied by SLHS Spanish teachers Sandra Rebello, Ana Viamonte and Kirsten Hope.

The students spent two days doing construction work at a school in the remote Amazon Basin village of Kanambu.

“Students who attend this school come from many communities and many have to walk over 6 hours to get to school,” Rebello said. “Students who live far away will stay at the school for the week and return home every Friday.”

Local students who traveled there were able to see the boarding accommodations of the school, which Rebello said were “extremely poor,” with no beds. About 400 students attend the school.

In addition to their work on the service project, local students spent a few days in Baños de Agua Santa, a town with 60 waterfalls. They were able to swim in thermal baths, Rebello said. Students also visited the equator and Yunguilla, a sustainable development community in the cloud forest.

“Our Seahawks were amazing and represented our school well,” Rebello said of the trip.

by RestonNow.com — April 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

It looks like it might be a rainy weekend, but the good news is there are plenty of indoor activities scheduled in Reston. And forecasters say the rain isn’t going to hit until later Saturday, so there still should be a good opportunity to enjoy the outdoors too.

Here is just a sampling of what there is to do in Reston and the surrounding area this weekend:

  • The Reduced Shakespeare Company will perform “Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play” tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $25 for Reston residents and $50 for non-residents.
  • Reston Association’s Habitat Heroes program will participate in an Earth Day activity Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon. They will be removing invasive species and planting native species to help the long-term restoration project at the Wainwright Recreation Area.
  • Herndon High School (700 Bennett St.) will present “Guys and Dolls” for three performances this weekend: tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. Tickets are $15.
  • The opening reception for “Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) is 5-7 p.m. Saturday. The exhibit will be on display through August.
  • Saturday is Record Store Day, and there will be plenty of offers to mark the day at Right On Records (731 Elden St., Herndon).
  • The Reston-Herndon Little League Opening Day parade and celebration is Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Reston Town Center. The Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents will participate as part of the league’s new partnership with the Nats.
  • Mayflowers Floral Studio (11959 Market St.) will host classes in tulip selection, arranging and care this Saturday and next, from 2-3:30 p.m. each day.
  • Other events at Reston Town Center this weekend will include live music at World of Beer (1888 Explorer St.) tonight and Saturday, Earth Day celebrations Saturday from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. at Greater Reston Arts Center and in Town Square Park, and exercise in the pavilion Sunday from 11 a.m. to noon.
  • First Blooms” by artist Dorothy Donahey remains on exhibit at Reston Art Gallery and Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.), which is open from noon to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
  • The art exhibit “A Respite from Chaos” will remain on display at Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza N.) through the month of April.
  • The Reston Tour d’Art, a guided bicycle tour of the community’s outdoor art, is slated for Saturday from 9:30-11:30 a.m., beginning at the Lake Newport tennis courts (11452 Baron Cameron Ave.). The event is free, but registration is required.
  • NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) is performing “Boeing, Boeing,” and the show has been extended through May 7. Performances this weekend are tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m., along with 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $35-$55.
  • The Blue Street Blues Band will perform tonight from 7-10 p.m. at Café Montemarte (1625 Washington Plaza N.).
  • Award-winning author Hena Khan will be reading from her new book, “Amina’s Voice,” from 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday at Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.)
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from Sista Pat & One Vibe. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.
  • Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music from 7-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night in April. In addition, legendary local DJ Cerphe Colwell will be signing copies of his new book from 3-5 p.m. Saturday.

by RestonNow.com — April 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm 3 Comments

The annual Spring Festival is coming soon to the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive), and volunteers are needed to help manage the day’s festivities.

The free event is slated for 1-5 p.m. Saturday, May 6. It will feature entertainment, live animals, craft-making for kids, displays and information from local environmental groups, canoeing and kayaking on Lake Audubon, fishing, a native plant sale by Nature by Design, and more.

Entertainment, sponsored by Reston Community Center, will include shows by The Goodlife Theater, Mad Science and Wildlife Ambassadors. Acoustic music will also be provided by The Stewart Sisters, Song Garden and Hickory Grove.

Attendees are encouraged to park along Glade and Soapstone drives, or at Glade Pool.

Volunteers, ages 13 and up, are needed for 2 1/2-hour shifts during the day. Tasks will include working the registration table, performing as a mascot, selling concessions, helping with crafts and more. For more information and to receive a volunteer application, contact Ha Brock, Reston Association volunteer supervisor, at [email protected] or 703-435-7986.

File photo of 2016 Spring Festival courtesy Volunteer Reston

by RestonNow.com — April 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Volunteer Reston organized work at the Walker Nature Center earlier this week in celebration of Earth Day, and more events are planned for this weekend.

On Monday, volunteers teamed with the Nature Center to plant 100 native wildflowers, ferns and shrubs in the gardens. Volunteers also woodchipped sections of the Nature Center’s main teaching trail. Participating organizations included Starbucks and Sure Secure Solutions.

The Nature House is open Monday and Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

On Earth Day itself, Saturday, children ages 5-12 are invited to the Walker Nature Center to take part in an Earth Day Fun program from 11 a.m. to noon. Kids will participate in recycling games, eco-friendly crafts and more. Registration, which must be done by Friday at 5 p.m., can be done through WebTracby emailing [email protected] or by calling 703-476-9689.

Reston Association’s Habitat Heroes program will also participate in an Earth Day activity Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon. They will be removing invasive species and planting native species to help the long-term restoration project at the Wainwright Recreation Area.

Photo via Volunteer Reston/Sean Bahrami on Facebook

by RestonNow.com — March 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm 2 Comments

Volunteer Reston Arbor Day 2017/Courtesy: Volunteer Reston

Arbor Day may not officially be until the end of April, but that didn’t stop volunteers in Reston from marking the event a little early.

Friday morning at the Old Trail Natural Area, 70 volunteers and Reston Association staff participated in the community’s an Arbor Day tree planting. The event was a collaboration between Volunteer Reston and the National Wildlife Federation.

According to volunteer supervisor Ha Brock, RA celebrates Arbor Day earlier in the spring so it can stand alone from other Earth Day festivities in the community.

“A big thank you to all our volunteers,” Brock said. “Our work would not be possible without the work of our dedicated volunteers.”

A video showcasing the morning’s work is available on the Volunteer Reston Facebook page.

by RestonNow.com — March 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

Lake Fairfax/Fairfax County Park AuthorityThe Fairfax County Park Authority is looking for 30 volunteers to assist in a watershed cleanup event at Lake Fairfax Park.

The event at Lake Fairfax Park is one of nine around the county scheduled for 9-11:30 a.m. April 1. The cleanup effort is a partnership between the Park Authority and The Nature Conservancy to attempt to prevent trash from reaching the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary.

Snacks, giveaways and other incentives will be offered to volunteers.

For more details or to register, visit the Fairfax County Park Authority website.

Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority

by Dave Emke — March 13, 2017 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

Morning Notes

More Speak Out Against Paid Parking — The owner of Obi Sushi says sales are down about a third since Boston Properties initiated paid parking at Reston Town Center. Meanwhile, the president of the Reston Citizens Association says it’s just one more sore spot to a community battling an increasing cost of living. [Washington Post]

Retired Detective’s Story Gains AttentionAs we reported, retired Fairfax County Police Department detective Bruce Wiley took care of a 17-year-old intruder at his Beaver Circle home last week using no more than a flashlight and a baton. Since, he has shared further details about the incident with Washington television stations. “I was lucky that he didn’t have a gun,” he told one. [Fox 5 DC/WJLA]

Nominations Still Open for Reston Volunteer Awards — Candidates for Reston Association’s Volunteer Service Awards can still be nominated until Friday. The awards recognize individuals, families, groups and businesses that make a significant contribution to the community through volunteer service. [Reston Association]

SLHS Baseball Star Continues His Success — Jared Abelson, a 2015 South Lakes High School graduate, picked up two hits for Macalester College in a game over the weekend against Marian University in the Tucson Invitational. The sophomore is batting .478 through six games this season. [Macalester College Athletics]

by Dave Emke — February 23, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Morning Notes

Girl Scout to Help Repair Bridge — Sathiya Kannan of Reston plans to work on a bridge on Alexandria’s Mount Vernon Trail as a Silver Award Project. She will be part of a team of National Park Service volunteers on March 25. Additional help is sought. [Connection Newspapers]

Questions on County Budget Proposal Being Accepted — County Executive Ed Long will participate in an online discussion about his proposed FY 2018 budget at 3 p.m. Friday. Residents are being invited to submit questions in advance. [Fairfax County]

Cecilia Capece/INMEDReston Woman Named Humanitarian Group’s Director — Cecilia Capece (pictured) is the new executive director of the INMED Opportunity Center. According to a press release, her role with the Sterling-based organization will be to “focus on developing partnerships to expand INMED’s ability to serve low-income communities in Loudoun County to protect children from the immediate and irreversible harm of abuse, neglect, violence, homelessness and instability and to equip them for self-sufficiency and success.” [INMED Opportunity Center]

Herndon Reston Softball Seeks Players, Coaches, Umps — The girls’ fast-pitch softball league season begins March 3-4 with player tryouts and evaluations. Practices start in mid-March, and opening day is April 1.  [Herndon Reston Youth Softball]

by RestonNow.com — February 3, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

Reston Association volunteers (via RA)

Reston Association is expanding its Volunteer Reston Service Awards in 2017 to include more recognition categories. Nominations opened Jan. 27 and can be made through March 17.

RA’s service awards recognize individuals, families, groups and businesses that make a significant contribution to the community through volunteer service.

The 2017 awards winners will be announced at a special ceremony during National Volunteer Week, Thursday, April 27, from 6:30-9 p.m. at The Lake House.

Every year, hundreds of Reston volunteers give their time to make a difference in the lives of those around them. RA volunteers participate in community cleanup and environmental events; take shifts at community events and festivals; serve on the RA Board of Directors, advisory committees and working groups; and others provide daily operational support to the association.

Completed nomination forms should be brought to the RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive) and left for Ha Brock, RA’s volunteer supervisor. They can also be mailed in or emailed to [email protected].

Photo via Reston Association

by RestonNow.com — January 25, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

YMCA Fairfax County Reston recently received an $1,850 donation from SpeedPro Imaging Northern Virginia to support its youth programming.

Roman Blazauskas, president of SpeedPro Imaging Northern Virginia, said in a press release that the funds will help support the Y’s efforts to help less fortunate youth attend preschool and day camp.

“There is only one YMCA in Fairfax County serving 10,000 individuals and throughout the year, many at-risk local youth and families apply for financial assistance to participate in the Y’s early learning programs, sports, STEM activities, child care, and summer camps at little or no cost.”

SpeedPro NOVA’s program serves as the cornerstone of its overall community relations efforts, which includes volunteerism and sponsorships. Recognizing this commitment, Blazauskas was honored as Volunteer of the Year by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce in 2016.

The company also recently announced it will make Loudoun Habitat for Humanity its 2017 Charitable Partner.

“Having a stable home and fixed address is life-changing for families, including their furry friends,” Blazauskas said. “Habitat makes that happen, and we look forward to supporting their work this year.”

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