The annual fundraiser will take place on the Plaza at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) from 8-11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9. Proceeds will benefit Food for Others, a Merrifield-based nonprofit that collects and distributes food for people in need.
Interested runners can register online at $35 for the 5K or $30 for the fun run. There are also options to enter both races at a 15% discount or participate as a virtual runner through Sept. 16.
“With your $35 race registration, you provide 21 families with a gallon of milk, 7 students with weekend meal packs, or 1 family with 3.5 days worth of meals,” Tysons Corner Center said.
After exceeding its $90,000 fundraising goal last year, Food for Others anticipates getting about 550 participants this year and aims to raise $100,000. As of yesterday (Wednesday), the organization had reached $42,347, according to the event registration page.
In addition to the registration fees, the funds come from donations and sponsorships.
In addition to the races, the event will feature food and drinks from local vendors like Nothing Bundt Cakes, Compass Coffee, 29 Diner and Wawa. The nonprofit Forever Changed Animal Rescue will have dogs on site available for adoption.
Founded in 1995, Food for Others provides food for over 3,000 households and 3,700 students on average every week.
With the area seeing an increased need for food assistance since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the nonprofit expanded its warehouse at 2938 Prosperity Avenue with a new grocery market where clients can pick out their food. The market officially opened on Feb. 9.
Nearly 81,000 people in Fairfax County identify as food insecure, according to Food for Others. In addition to having its central warehouse, the nonprofit distributes food through neighborhood and mobile sites, community partners, and a program that gives meals to students for the weekend.
“We’ve received such passionate and heartfelt support from our community,” Food for Others Executive Director Annie Turner said. “Hosting our 10th Annual 5K is a testament to the incredible community, volunteers, and partners we have — driven by our shared passion for helping our neighbors…Together, we have made such a positive impact and we are looking forward to many more years ahead.
A staple of Reston’s sports scene is embarking on a post-pandemic return.
The Reston Triathlon returns for its 37th year on Sept. 10 after a three-year pause.
The Olympic distance sporting event — known by some as the Reston Triathlon World Championship — was put on pause after the previous nonprofit that managed the event announced that it was no longer able to sustain the event financially and logistically.
Following the 2021 announcement, the CORE Foundation took over the event, which first started in 1984. The event opens with a 1,500-meter, open water swim in Lake Audubon, followed by a 25-mile bicycle ride and a 10K run on area paths.
“We are absolutely thrilled to see the return of the Reston Triathlon and are grateful for the outpouring of support from the athletes and partners to restore this community tradition,” CORE Foundation CEO Taralyn Tharp Kohler said.
Registration is now open online.
CORE Foundation is a nonprofit organization that will use funds from the triathlon for fundraising efforts. The organization aims to support charitable projects that address societal needs, build community and enable positive change, according to a press release.
The Pimmit Hills neighborhood has officially reached the “let’s put on a show” stage of its battle against a planned Washington Gas pipeline.
Faced with escalating legal fees, residents have banded together to stage a “Protect Pimmit Hills Hoedown” benefit concert from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday (June 3) as a fundraiser for four of their neighbors who were sued by the utility company.
The concert will be held at Pimmit Barn (1845 Cherri Drive) with “limited” food available for sale from the food truck, The Big Cheese. Providing the music will be the Pimmit Hillbillies, a band that neighborhood residents formed for this occasion.
“We hope this concert helps reinforce our community spirit by getting neighbors out and meeting each other to join fight this project that affects us all,” resident guitarist Tom Gillespie said. “We will bond over great tunes, grilled cheese sandwiches, and chocolate chip cookies while we talk about our ongoing pipeline battle.”
Filed by Washington Gas on March 3, 2022, the lawsuit challenges a Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals ruling that a special exception permit and 2232 review are required for the natural gas pipeline, the last phase of the Strip 1 Tysons project to upgrade about five miles of pipe from Tyco Road to Pimmit Drive.
A bench trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court had been scheduled for April 25 and 26, but the judge postponed it to the first week of September after the Virginia Supreme Court voided the zoning ordinance that guided the BZA’s decision, according to Christina Chen Zinner, one of the Pimmit Hills residents involved in the case.
Because of the trial delay, Zinner and her fellow defendants shared earlier this month that they need to raise an additional $20,000 to cover their legal costs, which have climbed to $45,000. With the help of a recent neighborhood pizza party, they’ve made progress on that goal, raising $38,700 through Gofundme.
The Pimmit Hillbillies hope to finish the job. The band emerged from a virtual meeting, where residents brainstormed fundraising ideas.
“Knowing that I like to sing and play guitar, and compose my own songs, [my wife Stephanie] challenged me during the meeting to compose a protest song to help us promote our Gofundme drive,” Gillespie recalled. “I feel so passionate about fighting this pipeline that the lyrics and notes just flowed out of me.” Read More
Taste of Vienna has reached the decade mark.
The Vienna Volunteer Fire Department’s annual fundraiser will shine a spotlight on local restaurants for a 10th year this Saturday (April 29) from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. — coincidentally the same day as Taste of Annandale’s comeback.
First launched in April 2012, the Town of Vienna festival had a successful return last year after a two-year hiatus during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As one of the earliest of the spring festivals each year, the Taste of Vienna always has a great turn out and 2022 was no exception,” said Taste of Vienna Chair Reagan Clyne with the VVFD. “The weather was perfect and after two years of the pandemic, everyone was eager to be outside and together once again enjoying a beloved local event.”
According to Clyne, the 2022 Taste of Vienna raised nearly $20,000 for the volunteer fire department, which will use the funds to buy a new fire engine and support its general operations, including other events.
Located in the VVFD back parking lot at 400 Center Street South, the 2023 festival has lined up 27 food and non-alcoholic beverage vendors, including five food trucks. Also featured will be a beer and wine tent with Caboose Brewery, Dynasty Brewing Company, Vienna Vinter and Norm’s Beer & Wine.
There will be a bounce house and face painting to keep kids entertained throughout the day, along with family-friendly live music:
- 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. — Five Leaf Clovers
- 12:30-1:45 p.m. — Duck Chuck Goose
- 2-3:15 p.m. — Gunsmoke and Cheap Perfume
- 3:30-4:45 p.m. — (After)Math
- 5-6:15 p.m. — Orbiting Zero
- 6:30-8 p.m. — The Coozies
The overall event is free, but tickets for the alcohol tent and the bounce house will cost $30 and $7, respectively.
Clyne notes that Taste of Vienna is always held regardless of the weather. The fire department hopes that this year’s event will beat last year’s fundraising total.
“We are aiming to exceed that total this year and we have a great lineup that will help us do just that,” Clyne said.
(Updated at 5:25 p.m.) McLean Central Park is getting a new playground, but the exact design will depend on whether a group of local moms can raise nearly $400,000 by the end of this year.
Ideally, the facility will have a rubberized surface to cushion the ground, tot lot fencing, additional seating and plenty of shiny, modern equipment, including an adaptive tandem swing and other elements accessible to people with disabilities.
But the vision of an inclusive playground reminiscent of the one at Clemyjontri Park exceeds the $279,361 that the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) has budgeted for the project as part of an overhaul of the 28-acre park at 1468 Dolley Madison Blvd.
To close the funding gap, a group of volunteering parents formed the McLean Central Park Playground Team and launched a community fundraising campaign in early March.
“We were all extremely passionate about making sure that this was an inclusive playground for all different types of abilities and ages,” said Jessica Wu, who joined the team last year. “…Clemyjontri is amazing. It’s a wonderful, wonderful playground and we’re so lucky to have it right in our backyard here, but McLean Central Park, that’s our central park, right? That’s the heart of McLean.”
While the fundraiser is just getting underway, it continues a years-long advocacy effort that began in a McLean Facebook group, when Cara Schantz, a McLean native, expressed disappointment with the playground options for young kids after moving back to the area from Arlington County.
She wasn’t alone in her dissatisfaction, as others chimed in with their own experiences, shaped in part by having more time to take their kids to local parks during the early months of the Covid pandemic, fellow original team member Ang Golder recalls.
Clemyjontri has been lauded for accommodating kids with physical and developmental disabilities, but its uniqueness makes it a regional draw, which can mean crowds, the parents told FFXnow. Many other playgrounds belong to schools, making them off-limits when classes are in session.
When Schantz and Golder learned the park authority was developing a concept for new facilities at McLean Central, they saw an opportunity to advocate for improvements to the existing playground for school-aged kids and tot lot.
Installed in 1998 and 2002, respectively, the playground and tot lot are on opposite ends of the park, inconveniencing families with kids of different ages.
“It makes no sense that the playgrounds are like…two or three blocks apart,” Schantz said.
Initially, the FCPA presented a concept for the park in spring 2021 that left both facilities in their existing locations and replaced the school-aged playground, which is at the end of its useful life, according to spokesperson Benjamin Boxer. Read More
Len Forkas, a Reston-based businessman, is skiing to the North Pole in a few weeks to break the ice on support for kids with cancer.
The 63-year-old — who is described as an “ultra-endurance athlete” — plans to ski 60 miles to the North Pole in order to raise money for Hopecam, a nonprofit organization he founded that connects children undergoing cancer treatment with their friends.
“I know some people think I’m crazy,” Forkas said. “But I think of myself as crazy about Hopecam’s kids. I hope I’ve convinced everybody that I’ll go to any length to support them.”
For Forkas, the trek is will bring him one step closer to his goal of completing the Explorer’s Grand Slam, a physical challenge that includes a trek to the North Pole, the South Pole, and all the highest mountain peaks on each of the seven continents, known as the Seven Summits.
So far, Forkas has travelled to five of the Seven Summits. He hopes to check off this physical challenge by August 2024 in time for his 65th birthday.
He plans to fly to a Norwegian village at the end of the month to meet the expedition team. They will then fly to a temporary camp in the Arctic Ocean.
Forkas founded Hopecam through personal struggle.
In 2002, his son, Matt, was diagnosed with leukemia. Forkas received permission from Fairfax County Public Schools to install a webcam in the classroom of a school in Great Falls to make sure Matt could participate. He began competing in ultra-endurance sports at the time of his son’s diagnosis.
“The exercise helped me cope with the stress of Matt’s illness,” he said. Matt, now 30, survived the bout of illness.
Forkas hopes to raise $60,000 for the nonprofit organization by matching the 60 miles he will ski to the North Pole. So far, the campaign has raised over $10,500, as of this morning.
With Hopecam, kids are provided with a tablet computer with a webcam, internet access if it’s unavailable, and assistance to work with the school so they can take part in some classroom activities and see their friends.
The nonprofit organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It aims to overcome the social isolation that kids often experience while they receive cancer treatment.
“His North Pole journey presents a timely opportunity to showcase this noteworthy occasion,” Brett Fox, Hopecam’s development director, said.
Though they won’t appear among the best director nominees at the Oscars this Sunday (March 12), female and gender non-conforming filmmakers will be celebrated tonight (Wednesday) at the Mosaic District.
With doors opening at 6 p.m., the festival will screen seven short films from 7-9 p.m. The screenings will be preceded by a “social hour” with light hors d’oeuvres, drinks and a raffle, according to the event page.
All proceeds will go to Girls on the Run Northern Virginia (GOTR NOVA), a nonprofit based in Fairfax that offers running programs designed to teach girls life skills like teamwork and self-confidence.
“We love hosting Lunafest each year because it allows us to bring our community together to celebrate new perspectives and be inspired by the ideas of what our program participants could become and achieve,” GOTR NOVA Development Manager Catherine Reeves Keller said. “All of the proceeds from the event go back to GOTR NOVA to fund our programming and empower our participants.”
Lunafest was created in 2001 by Luna, a brand of Clif Bar & Company that makes a nutrition bar targeted toward women. Since then, the festival says it has raised over $7 million for nonprofits, featured 175 filmmakers, and hosted over 2,900 screenings in the U.S. and Canada.
The festival lineup includes a mix of live-action and animated films:
Reclaim Your Water: Natasha Smith — As a member of the Ebony Beach Club, Natasha Smith surfs, skates, and makes her own waves.
Miss Chelove: From Java to the Streets of D.C. — As she paints a mural, artist Cita Sadeli (aka Miss Chelove) opens up about her life, her cultural heritage, and how she fell in love with grafti in the 1980s.
Pete — The true story of Pete Barma explores gender identity, Little League Baseball, the people who inspire change by being themselves, and the superheroes who champion that change.
This Is Beth — As celebrated rock climber Beth Rodden grapples with her body image, she rediscovers the love of her sport… and herself.
More Than I Want to Remember — After her southeastern Congo village is bombed, 14-year-old Mugeni sets out on a remarkable solo journey across the globe, determined to reunite with her lost loved ones and lift up the Banyamulenge people.
Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night — All cards are on the table when Noor, a queer Pakistani Muslim woman, brings her Puerto Rican girlfriend, Luz, home for the rst time on the family’s annual game night.
Swimming Through — Amid a brutal Chicago winter and the global pandemic, Deirdre, Helen, and Jennefer’s friendship grows as they commit to a daily sunrise plunge together in Lake Michigan.
Tickets to the festival cost $30 and can be purchased online.
Northern Virginia leaders are taking steps to assist victims of the earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria in early February.
In an effort organized by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), elected leaders plan to announce a local aid program to collect funds that will be used to purchase food packages for those affected by the disaster.
In a release, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay said the profound loss of life in Turkey and Syria is heartbreaking.
”But I’m proud to be a part of a community that rallies together to help those in need both regionally and internationally,” McKay said.
The goal is to raise $25,000, according to NVRC Executive Director Robert Lazaro Jr. The money will be used to purchase more than eight tons of food. Each package contains 30 pounds of food and costs $45.
“We are working with [the nongovernmental organization Embrace Relief] that is purchasing food packages in Turkey which in turn are distributed to area residents,” Lazaro said in a release.
NVRC Chair John Chapman said residents and businesses have always stepped up to help those in need. Previously, the region collaborated on a winter clothes drive that sent tons of blankets, coats, socks and gloves to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion.
“This time is no different. I urge folks to visit the website to make a donation to provide food to those families tragically impacted by the earthquake,” said Chapman.
Members of Fairfax County’s Virginia Task Force 1 search and rescue team were deployed to Turkey and Syria after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit on Feb. 6, killing thousands of people and displacing millions. As of yesterday (Wednesday), the death toll reached roughly 51,000 people.
The task force, which was part of a national response team assembled by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), returned to Fairfax County on Feb. 20 after 11 days of searching for survivors.
Leaders will officially announce the program at the Fairfax County Government Center Forum on Friday (March 3) at 3 p.m. In the meantime, the commission has set up a link to collect donations for the victims.
Photo via VA-TF1/Twitter
(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) The family of the man who died after being dragged by a Metro train at the Dunn Loring station yesterday (Wednesday) has launched a Gofundme to cover their memorial service expenses.
The daughter, who organized the fundraiser, told FOX5 that her dad’s dog, Daisy, is a service animal and was wearing a service animal vest when her leash got caught in the doors of the train — contradicting the Metro Transit Police Department’s initial statement that the dog “does not appear to be a service animal.”
“We tragically lost my father today in a train accident. As he was exiting the train the doors closed while his service dog was still inside. The train took off and my father was taken with it,” the Gofundme page says. “We want to raise money to be able to have a nice service and have him cremated. My father loved his grand children and his dog more than anything and he was such an amazing ‘PanPaw.'”
The fundraiser has a set goal of $3,000.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority confirmed this afternoon that Daisy is indeed a service dog in a statement first reported by NBC4’s Adam Tuss.
“The dog found by MTPD officers, now identified as Daisy, had a sweater vest on when she was initially found, covering a harness that read service dog,” a spokesperson said. “Again, we send our condolences and sympathies to the family of Mr. Riley.”
Just this morning, WMATA told FFXnow that its police department “found the dog without ID and did not find any vest or markers to indicate the dog was a service animal.”
In a statement yesterday, Metro Police said they received a report shortly before 1:30 p.m. that a person had been hit by a train at the Dunn Loring station.
Based on the preliminary investigation, Riley had exited the train, but the doors closed on his dog’s leash before the animal was able to deboard. When the train started moving, Riley got pulled along the platform and onto the tracks.
Riley was transported to a hospital, where he died. Daisy was found unharmed on the train at the West Falls Church Metro station.
The police department said the train operator had conducted two “safe door checks” before moving the vehicle.
Camp Sunshine’s 15th polar dip — Freezin’ for a Reason — will return to Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza on Feb. 11 for a final hurrah.
Beginning at noon, spectators will gather to watch registered participants plunge into the lake — or take a “chicken dip” with just toes — to raise funds for Camp Sunshine, a nonprofit that organizes retreats for families who have kids with life-threatening illnesses.
“The Virginia Polar Dip has a unique aspect that adds to the fun,” Gail Toth, event founder and organizer, said. “We have a one-hour succession of splashes that brings plenty of cheers and laughter from the crowd of spectators.”
The event is the final dip after Toth and the team anticipate reaching their fundraising goal. Organizers hope to raise $100,000 for the charity in an effort to reach a $1 million target set when the event began in 2008.
Online event registration is open. On-site registration begins at noon on the day of the event, followed by the beginning of the polar dip at 2 p.m.
The fundraising model encourages registered participants to raise or donate a minimum of $100 to plunge into the frigid waters of the lake. Participants receive an event t-shirt.
The event was started by the Toth family, who took part in Camp Sunshine in 1996 when their 3-year-old daughter was a cancer patient. The family brought the event to Virginia to support other local families after they took part in a dip in New Jersey.
The inaugural Virginia event in 2008 brought 2,199 dippers to the lake.
Event organizers note that Reston Association does not maintain the lake for swimming standards. Typically, swimming is not allowed in Lake Anne.