Newsletter

Alexandria, VA (Sept. 11, 2022) – After a seven-year hiatus, Get Your Rear in Gear 5K is returning to Alexandria! On Sunday, October 9, runners, walkers, volunteers, colorectal cancer survivors, and caregivers will gather at Occoquan Regional Park in the fight against colorectal cancer, the nation’s No. 2 cancer killer. Get Your Rear in Gear – Alexandria is a family-friendly 5K run/walk to raise awareness and encourage screening for this largely preventable cancer. Opening ceremonies kick off at 8:30 a.m. with the timed 5K starting at 9:00 a.m. The course begins and ends in Lorton at Occoquan Regional Park. Along with the timed 5K, there is a Kid’s Fun Run, followed by music, snacks, and runner awards.

Get Your Rear in Gear events are held annually in nearly 40 communities across North America, including Alexandria. The city previously hosted the event from 2009 – 2015, and is back this fall with returning volunteer Local Event Director, colorectal cancer survivor Cheryl Alston.

Alston was diagnosed with Stage II colorectal cancer when she got her first colonoscopy at age 56. She had experienced stomach aches and vomiting for some time, and while the diagnosis hit her hard she responded well to oral chemo. She has remained cancer-free since 2014.

For Alston, the cause is personal. “The phrase ‘Get Your Rear in Gear’ means to me that you need to get up, and move in ALL aspects: physical fitness, healthy eating, being seen and screened and to engage others about colon cancer. I want to give back to the community by telling my story and educating and engaging others about colorectal cancer.”

Get Your Rear in Gear is an opportunity to celebrate survivors, support caregivers, and remember those who left us too soon. Visit the giant inflatable colon to see what your doctor sees during a colonoscopy. Stroll the Blue Mile and see celebratory tributes to those lost and messages honoring survivors of colon and rectal cancer. The event educates the public and raises funds for colon cancer screening and prevention. Money raised is kept local to the Alexandria area for these purposes. Registration information is available at ColonCancerCoalition.org/Alexandria.

“Coming together as a community is the best part of the Get Your Rear in Gear event,” says Colon Cancer Coalition President, Chris Evans. “Early detection of colorectal cancer is key to effective treatment of this disease that affects 1 out of 24 people. Get Your Rear in Gear events raise awareness by educating everyone about the symptoms of colorectal cancer, encouraging folks to learn their family health history, and scheduling routine screenings.”

COLON CANCER FACTS
1 in 24 Americans will be diagnosed with colon or rectal (colorectal) cancer during their lifetime.
51% of adults 50-54 have not been screened.
Colonoscopy screening can prevent colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is now the most common cause of cancer death in men younger than 50.
1 in 5 colorectal cancer patients are 20-54 years old.
Adults born in the 1990s have 2x the risk of colon and 4x the risk of rectal cancer than those born in 1950.
In 2021, the recommended age for routine cancer screenings was lowered from 50 to 45.

Information about volunteering, fundraising, sponsoring the event or forming a team can also be found at ColonCancerCoalition.org/Alexandria.

About the Colon Cancer Coalition / Get Your Rear in Gear®
The Colon Cancer Coalition is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging screening and raising awareness of colorectal cancer. The organization’s signature Get Your Rear in Gear® event series is volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. Annually, the Colon Cancer Coalition works to distribute over $1 million dollars to communities across the United States to build and sustain programs that (1) encourage early prevention & screening, (2) provide public education and awareness, (3) fund research to improve the quality of life for patients both young and old, and (4) provide support for those living with this disease. By making the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy a part of everyday language, we believe we can overcome the fear and decrease deaths from this largely preventable cancer. For more information visit ColonCancerCoalition.org.

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The Taste is Back in Alexandria’s Old Town North Neighborhood
Join this local community for an evening of food and music

Alexandria, VA – September 19, 2022 – Experience the best of Alexandria’s Old Town North neighborhood at the Taste of Old Town North, on Thursday, September 29, from 4:00 – 8:00 pm in Montgomery Park, located at 901 North Royal Street, Alexandria, VA.

The Taste offers a great opportunity to visit this sophisticated, urban community with a small town vibe located next to the Potomac River waterfront.
Join Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson who will officially open and welcome visitors to the Taste. The event is free, kid- and pet-friendly, offers the opportunity to sample delicious food from local restaurants and vendors from the Old Town North Farmers’ and Artisans’ Markets, listen to live music and watch instructor-led Wellness demos.

“The Taste of Old Town North showcases what makes this community so unique,” says Wilson. “This Alexandria neighborhood offers an urban lifestyle with a strong focus on the arts, activities for all ages, unique local businesses and waterfront access, blended with the feel of a small-town.”

Visitors to the Taste can sample food from Yunnan by Potomac, Cafe 44, Hank’s Oyster Bar, Lost Dog Cafe and other local restaurants while listening to the sounds of Sally and the Mander and The Three Man Soul Machine. Music begins at 5:30 pm.

“Grateful Pup and I are grateful to be part of the Old Town North Community,” says Laura Norfolk, CAE, CMP, owner of Grateful Pup dog treats. “It is such a dog- and neighbor-friendly community. I can’t wait for what’s to come with the Arts District.”

The Taste of Old Town North is presented by the Old Town North Community Partnership, the City of Alexandria and Annual Event Season Sponsor Hilco Redevelopment International with additional support from TideLock, Canal Center, Trammell-Crowe (developers of the Alexan Florence) the Old Town North Alliance, Sport and Health Old Town and NOTICe.

“The Old Town North Alliance is delighted to support our partner, the Old Town North Community Partnership, in bringing the Taste of Old Town North once again to Montgomery Park, the heart of our community, says Agnes Artemel, president, The Old Town North Alliance. “The Taste highlights our unique restaurants and businesses, and brings the neighborhood together in a family-friendly celebration.”

On street parking is available in the Old Town North neighborhood or the public parking lot located at 625 North Washington Street.
“We always enjoy the Taste of Old Town North,” said Maggie Dunne, general manager, Lost Dog Cafe-Alexandria.

The rain date for the Taste of Old Town North is Friday, September 30th, 4:00 – 8:00 pm.

“The Old Town North Community Partnership is so pleased to have the support of Hilco Redevelopment International as we continue to focus on creating a vibrant, walkable community for all those who work, live, and own small businesses here,” said Margaret Townsend, president, Old Town North Community Partnership.

For more information, contact [email protected] or call 571-218-2161

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By: ACHS Band Boosters

September 8, 2022

Alexandria City High School Marching Band Annual Tag Day will be 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sep. 10. Tag Day is the biggest single day fundraising drive of the year.

ACHS Marching Titan Band members will go out into the community to request donations. The money raised is for band students in grades 9 through 12 to provide: uniforms, equipment, private lessons, new/maintenance of instruments and scholarships.

All donations are appreciated and tax deductible. Please consider giving online at https://www.mightycause.com/organization/Achstitansbandboosters or by using the QR code included.

Donations can also be mailed to: Alexandria City High School Band Boosters, P.O. Box 3452, Alexandria, VA 22302.

Titan supporters may also effortlessly contribute to the band year-round when shopping on Amazon. Go to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/54-1678262 and Amazon will donate to the Alexandria City High School Band, at no cost to you.

Alexandria City High School Band is a 3-Time Virginia Honor Band: 1989, 2020, 2022. They are also 8-Time Virginia Blue Ribbon School Award winners: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022. The ACHS Marching Titan Band will participate in its first competition for this year on Sep. 17, in Woodbridge.

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By: 395 Express Lanes

August 25, 2022

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Transurban, operator of the 495, 95 and 395 Express Lanes, today announced the south-facing, reversible HOV ramp connecting the 395 Express Lanes to Seminary Road in Alexandria will convert to a standard express lane, or High Occupancy Toll, ramp on Friday, September 9.

Converting the ramp will offer vehicles who are traveling with fewer than three people the option to pay a toll to exit to Seminary Road from the northbound 395 Express Lanes, or to enter the southbound Lanes from Seminary Road.

Dynamic message signs currently installed on Seminary Road will display real-time toll prices to destinations available from the ramp beginning September 9.

Vanpool and carpool customers with an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV ON, buses and motorcycles will continue to enjoy toll-free use of the ramp.

Work to replace the ramp’s on-road HOV regulatory signage and pavement markers with Express Lanes regulatory visuals will require temporary lane closures and shifts. Overnight work along the Express Lanes corridor is scheduled to begin the weekend of August 26 and a temporary traffic shift on Seminary Road is scheduled for August 29 and 30.

The ramp’s HOV-3+ restriction has been in effect since the 395 Express Lanes opened in November 2019. It is the only ramp along the Express Lanes corridor closed to toll-paying customers.

The ramp conversion project is being delivered in partnership by VDOT and Transurban. VDOT is providing oversight, while Transurban is responsible for design, implementation and maintenance.

The first public information meeting about the potential ramp conversion was held in December 2019, however, the project was put on hold in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. VDOT later held another virtual public meeting in December 2021. Following the public comment period, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the conversion in January 2022.

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By: BRG Communications

August 23, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va., August 18, 2022 – Following a period of sustained growth and recognition among industry leaders, BRG Communications announced the promotions of Shannon McDaniel and Laurie Mobley to Executive Vice President. These promotions come on the heels of growing 44% over the last two years and pacing to deliver another 35% increase in 2022 (based on performance through Q2). The agency also recently celebrated BRG’s 20th anniversary, was certified as a Great Place to Work® and was named 2022 Best Boutique Agency by PRSA with a Silver Anvil award.

McDaniel and Mobley have been valued members of the BRG team for 20 and 12 years, respectively. McDaniel, brings his expertise in the brand reputation, public awareness, and corporate social responsibility (CSR), advising clients in industry and professional organizations, corporate foundations, and non-profits, while Mobley brings deep healthcare expertise to BRG, leading key consumer health and advocacy initiatives as well as supporting device, pharmaceutical, and medical society clients. In their new roles, they will continue to grow and provide strategic counsel to their clients focused on safety, health and wellness, mentor team members, and lend their expertise to support the BRG president and CEO to deliver on the agency’s strategic vision.

“It would not be possible to look back over the last 20 years without seeing the tremendous contributions of both Shannon and Laurie in the growth and evolution of our agency,” said president and CEO, Jane Barwis. “As we look ahead, these promotions are part of our strategic vision to continue to best serve our clients and ensure our staff meaningful work in a welcoming workplace.”

Further bolstering the senior leadership team, BRG also welcomes back Lucy McDonald Spratlin as Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. Spratlin, who previously worked at BRG from 2003 – 2009 returns with more than a decade of additional experience in cause marketing, leading partnership strategy, and execution for a wide range of national nonprofits and brands. Most recently she served as the Vice President of Client Services at For Momentum where she was responsible for recruiting, training, and managing account teams and developing agency systems. Spratlin will support BRG with growth-focused initiatives including the creation and implementation of mission-critical agency processes. Her return is a clear step for BRG, as the agency continues to scale its operations and make strategic hires across the board in preparation for its future endeavors.

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WASHINGTON — Company E, Washington, DC’s leading contemporary repertory dance company, will return its catered-to-kids performance of ‘To Sail Around the Sun’ to the Kennedy Center on National Dance Day, September 17th.

Through dance, live music and storytelling, ‘To Sail Around the Sun’ takes the audience on one child’s journey to gather all four seasons before dinner time.

The show travels beneath the springtime waves of the Australian shores, the summertime rainforests of Argentina, the autumn leaves of Japan, and the wintry snows of Kazakhstan. Set to Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” and performed by a live string quartet (of the musical organization Sound Impact), the show is designed for families and children of all ages.

“An aural and visual feast, ‘To Sail Around the Sun’ is wonderfully inventive,” Jennifer Perry of Broadway World said in a 2017 review. “Certainly, it’s true that any young child could learn this science lesson in a classroom, but at Kennedy Center the lesson is presented in a way that also enchanted this adult.”

‘To Sail Around the Sun’ was originally created in 2017 by Paul Gordon Emerson, Kathryn Pilkington, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Robert J. Priore and Alicia Canterna. Co-Artistic Director Kathryn Pilkington oversaw the 2022 re-staging of the show.

Company E recently performed ‘To Sail Around the Sun’ in Richmond, Virginia and at DC Public Schools (DCPS). One DCPS teacher said of the show: “[The students] loved the diversity and inclusivity of the characters and roles. They loved seeing the emotions of the music and dancers.”

The September 17th performances at the Kennedy Center will feature eight Company E dancers alongside Sound Impact’s live string quartet. Additionally, special guest Amikaeyla Gaston, who played Mother Earth in the 2017 staging, will return to the Kennedy Center in her original role.

Join Company E on National Dance Day to celebrate movement, music, and the planet we call home.

Showtimes: September 17 at 11am and 2pm EST, in the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater.

About Company E

Using science as a source and art as an inspiration, Company E engages audiences and cultures around the globe and at home with art and education programs described as “breathtaking” by The Washington Post.

The Washington, DC-based contemporary repertory dance company, dance education and interdisciplinary arts organization emphasizes international collaborations with the great choreographers, dancers, composers, film-makers and artists at work today.

Globally, members of Company E serve as cultural diplomats through engagement with missions around the world and the U.S. Department of State. At home, Company E has been commissioned six times by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts since 2012. The company works with Washington Performing Arts on school-time arts education programming and runs an in-house school for dance: The Movement Center. 

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By: OAR

August 8, 2022

Alexandria, Virginia- OAR is a local non-profit that supports individuals impacted by the criminal legal system on their journey to rejoining their community and families. The organization is now raising money for the state’s first gender-responsive re-entry program.

Individuals who identify as female have a different set of needs and different reentry experiences from those who identify as male. For example, the majority of women who experience incarceration are primary caregivers to minor children and a crucial part of the re-entry process requires supporting their needs as the head of a family. They are also much more likely than their male-identifying counterparts to have experienced a long history of abuse prior to incarceration. Therefore, tailored services that address that trauma lead to the best outcomes.

Unfortunately, this critical care is scarce or unavailable. A recent assessment of gender-responsive policies and practices in the City of Alexandria found a dearth of gender responsive care in the area. OAR’s new program seeks to fill that void. It will provide gender-responsive and liberation-minded therapeutic services, including individual and group psychotherapy, tailored case management plans, and family reunification support to female-identifying individuals who are coming home to Alexandria, Arlington, and the City Falls Church after experiencing incarceration. Some participants may also enroll in a guaranteed basic income pilot program that provides a monthly stipend over the course of 5 months.

“Women coming out of incarceration have typically suffered multiple lifetime traumas that can disrupt successful reintegration into their families and communities,” says Katy Steinbruck, a 22-year member of the OAR collective who is spearheading the program. “By using innovative support plans that address the distinct pathways to incarceration and rehabilitation experienced by those who identify as female, we can provide our participants with the services that actually meet their needs.”

OAR’s program has enrolled 20 women since its launch on April 19th of this year and is regularly fielding requests to take on more. To that end, OAR is seeking additional grant funding to expand the number of participants this program can serve. It must raise $6,000 by August 12 in order to qualify for a $100,000 grant from the Gannett Foundation. Donations can be made until 9PM (EST) on August 12 at the website linked in[more info], below. Additionally, information on how to provide ongoing donations to the program, or any of OAR’s other programs, can be found at OAR’s general website: www.oaronline.org.

 

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A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) prevented an Alexandria, Va., resident from bringing his loaded handgun onto his flight this morning, July 25. It was the 16th gun detected by TSA officers at the airport so far this year.

The 9mm gun was loaded with nine bullets plus one in the chamber and was detected via the X-ray machine as the man was entering the security checkpoint with his carry-on items. A TSA officer spotted the gun in the man’s laptop bag. TSA officials notified the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police who confiscated the gun and cited the man on a weapons charge.

The man told officials that he had gone to a firing range with his gun a few days prior to his scheduled flight and then placed the loaded gun into his laptop bag. He said that he forgot it was packed with his laptop on the day he was ticketed to fly.

“All passengers are responsible for all items in their carry-on bags and their checked baggage,” said John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Every time we fly we must inspect these bags thoroughly to ensure we are not bringing any prohibited items to the airport. And every time we fly we receive multiple reminders to leave firearms at home. Each time responsible gun owners see this reminder they must confirm that they positively know where that firearm actually is – safely locked and secured.

“If you own a firearm, it is your responsibility to know the laws, rules and regulations when it comes time to traveling with your gun, and you must know where the firearm is at all times,” Busch said. “Bringing a firearm with you to the airport security checkpoint is a violation of Virginia law. You will be referred to local law enforcement for potential charges and you will also face a financial civil penalty.”

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a handgun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual may lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and passengers should do their homework to make sure that they are not violating any local firearm laws. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Nationwide, TSA officers detected 5,972 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year. Of the guns caught by TSA in 2022, about 86 percent were loaded.

 

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By: Visit Alexandria

December 9, 2019

A record number of 60 boats competed for prizes in ten categories at the 20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on Saturday, December 7, 2019. Thousands of locals and visitors came out to experience one of the region’s most beloved holiday traditions at Alexandria’s historic waterfront. The mile-long parade was led by Alexandria’s fireboat Vigilant and Washington, D.C.’s fireboat John Glenn, and closed with Alexandria’s tall ship Providence.

Best of Alexandria Show was awarded to Anamchara and Captain Steve Preda who presented the theme “Peace” featuring a rotating lighted globe, glowing doves and a peace sign. Best Powerboat went to A Blast and Captain Steve Gwensberg for the theme “Carol of the Bells” featuring music, animated lights and a lively crew waving lighted sticks. Best Sailboat was awarded to Tuesday and Captain Joe Landa who presented the theme “Under the Sea” featuring delicate jellyfish, animated lights and crew dressed as sea creatures. Other notable entries include Best Theme winner Escape Plan and Captain Timothy Smith for “A World Series Christmas” featuring Washington Nationals flags, World Series trophy and baby shark costume; Thinking Outside the Christmas Box winner Letter of Marque and Captain Walter Weiss for the spectacular “Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights;” and Best Spirit of America winner Dark Star and Captain Doug Savage for “Go for the Moon: Merry Astronautical Christmas” featuring a live astronaut repelling down a rocket then greeting Santa at the bottom. Find a complete list of winners below.

2019 Winners

  • Best of Alexandria Show: “Peace,” Anamchara, Captain Steve Preda
  • Best Powerboat: “Carol of the Bells,” A Blast, Captain Steve Gwensberg
  • Best Sailboat: “Under the Sea,” Tuesday, Captain Joe Landa
  • Thinking Outside the Christmas Box: “Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights,” Letter of Marque, Captain Walter Weiss
  • Most Holiday Cheer: “Christmas on the Potomac,” Kairos, Captain Tipper Williams Bradford
  • Best Theme: “A World Series Christmas,” Escape Plan, Captain Timothy Smith
  • Best Spirit of America: “Go for the Moon: Merry Astronautical Christmas,” Dark Star, Captain Doug Savage
  • Most Spirited Crew: “Disco Christmas,” Moondance, Captain David Huebner
  • Hardiest Soul: “Santa Goes Fishin’ with Buddy the Elf,” Canoe See Me?, Captain Adam Cope
  • Best Try: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” American Girl, Captain John Gaydos

A slideshow of the winners can be found on VisitAlexandriaVA.com/boatparade.

The parade’s dockside festivities included a pop-up beer garden from Alexandria’s award-winning Port City Brewing Company and holiday music and giveaways from 97.1 WASH-FM. Hands-on activities from independently owned Alexandria businesses included a Letters to Santa postcard station from paper goods boutique Penny Post, holiday ornament craft from AR Workshop Alexandria and bookmark making with Old Town Books. Guests enjoyed polpette (Italian meatballs) from Pizzeria Paradiso and a hot chocolate bar from Dolci Gelati. On the Alexandria City Marina, Riverside Taco Company hosted a Parade Day Patio Party with hot cider and bottomless bites included in admission. At 3:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived by fireboat at the Alexandria City Marina to take photos with children and families at the annual Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Festival.

The Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights is part of Alexandria’s biggest holiday weekend which also features events of the Campagna Center’s Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, and is part of a Potomac River holiday tradition with the District’s Holiday Boat Parade taking place the same evening at 7 p.m. at The Wharf in Washington, D.C.

By: City of Alexandria

December 3, 2019

Alexandria’s History Museum at the Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St.
7-9 p.m.
Free for members of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington; $5 for non-members.

Join us in Old Town Alexandria each second Friday of the month for a concert sponsored by The Folklore Society of Greater Washington (FSGW) and The Office of Historic Alexandria. Locations will rotate between Lloyd House (220 North Washington Street), and the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum (201 South Washington Street).

Friday, December 13, 2019, at the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum, come celebrate the holidays with the tuneful playing and melodious singing of Quercus. For years David McKindley-Ward (banjo, guitar, voice) and Marty Frye (flute, fiddle) have been steeping themselves in the D.C.-Baltimore area’s lauded Irish music community, like a good pot of Barry’s tea. Apart from craic of the finest quality, Marty and David seek to cultivate a musical sensitivity that does justice to the masterful touch of the old players, while being honest to their own creative instincts.

Please note that December’s concert will begin an hour later than usual, with the performance scheduled 7-9 p.m.

The Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum is located at 201 South Washington Street. Great music with a suggested donation for the musicians. Free for members of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington; $5 for non-members. Beer and wine for sale; light refreshments available as well.

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