The Connection Newspapers, like many local news organizations across the country, has been hit with a drop-off in advertising during the pandemic. Now, with the network of local papers on its last legs, the Alexandria Gazette Packet has gotten a groundswell of support from the community it’s covered for around 200 years.

The GoFundMe fundraiser aimed at helping to save the paper has earned $10,982 of its $50,000 goal since it launched on Christmas Eve.

The fundraiser has received support from 174 donors, from an anonymous $500 donation to donations as small as $5.

The Alexandria Gazette Packet, which has a lineage dating back to the Virginia Journal’s founding in 1784, is part of the Connection Newspapers network covering Northern Virginia and part of Maryland. The paper has covered everything from breaking news to local community profiles and has several featured editions throughout the year on things like local pets or a newcomer’s guide to the city.

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After working as close partners through the pandemic, the City of Alexandria and community non-profit ACT for Alexandria have come together to launch a new program called the Alexandria Resilience Fund.

The new fund focuses on allocating funding to organizations dedicated to addressing the racial inequalities exhibited in coronavirus’ impact. The fund looks specifically to support nonprofits that have histories of supporting marginalized communities in Alexandria.

The Fund made grants up to $50,000 to 57 organizations from October to December 30, 2020.

“The City of Alexandria has designated CARES Act funding to establish the Alexandria Resilience Fund, in partnership with ACT for Alexandria,” ACT for Alexandria said on its website. “This effort builds on the significant investment and support provided by the ACT Now COVID-19 Response Fund.  This new Fund will support the health and sustainability of local nonprofit organizations that are addressing ongoing and emerging human service needs of City residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

ACT for Alexandria listed additional criteria for the fund on its website:

  • Nonprofit must have the immediate ability to carry out proposed programs/services.
  • Nonprofit must be able to demonstrate how the grant request addresses direct costs incurred due to COVID-19.
  • Nonprofit must demonstrate how this funding request will impact City of Alexandria residents who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • Nonprofit must be committed to addressing racial equity and demonstrate deep, trusted relationships with communities that have been marginalized and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

So far, the Resilience Fund has raised a little over $1 million, with a goal of $1.5 million.

The ACT Now COVID-19 Response Fund has now re-branded as the Alexandria Resilience Fund., which is distributing money into our community to support the many needs this crisis has created,” Mayor Justin Wilson said in his newsletter. “Please join me in supporting this fundraising effort.”

Image via ACT for Alexandria

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Morning Notes

Beyer Calls Trump ‘Super Spreader in Chief’ — “The Super-Spreader-In-Chief strikes again. From coast to coast he visits American communities spreading dangerous aversion to science and public health precautions. He brings large groups of people together under unsafe conditions in state after state, and this is what results.” [Twitter]

Halloween Weekend Events in Alexandria — “While Alexandria police are not planning to close down Lee Street for the annual Halloween party, there are lots of activities Halloween weekend.” [Alexandria Living]

ACT for Alexandria’s #ArtsALX Fundraiser Extended to Nov. 6 — “We are still fundraising to save the arts! 100% of donations will directly support artists in Alexandria. Donation portals open thru Friday, Nov. 6.” [Twitter]

Two Alexandria Restaurants Make Washingtonian’s List for Cozy Escapes — “The Yates family went above and beyond when reimagining the outdoor space at Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap during the pandemic. The 5,200 square-foot set-up has cabanas–hung with Moroccan lanterns–for parties of ten or less; pergolas glowing with string lights; and a new beer garden ringed around a fire pit… Pick (at Del Ray’s Evening Star Cafe) between two homey outdoor areas at this Alexandria mainstay: the Front Porch, where you can sip a bourbon slush by a fire-pit table, and the new, roomy Back Yard.” [Washingtonian]

ALIVE! Hosting Food Distribution Event on Halloween — “The event will be held at two drive-through sites: the parking lots of John Adams Elementary (5651 Rayburn Ave.) and Cora Kelly Elementary (3600 Commonwealth Ave.). Residents can pick up food at either location from 8:30-10:30 a.m. or until supplies last.” [Zebra]

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Gets Pets Displaced by Zeta — “We are so glad we were able to welcome a group of dogs and cats from @LASPCA last night. In preparation for the landfall of Hurricane Zeta, The Louisiana SCPA needed to make extra room in their shelter so they could help animals displaced by the storm.” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy skies (during the day) . High 53F. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph. A few clouds from time to time (in the evening). Low 37F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Deputy Clerk — “The Deputy Clerk (Grade 7) is assigned operational responsibilities and ensures court’s instructions are executed and legal papers are prepared with accuracy and in accordance with appropriate policies and procedures.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria has identified hundreds of families, older adults and kids with disabilities who are eligible to receive gifts in the Fund for Alexandria’s Child Holiday Sharing Program.

The deadline to send in gift cards and donations is November 13, and all contributions are tax-deductible.

“The holiday time can be stressful for those experiencing financial or emotional stress,” according to the city. “This is especially true for low-income families, older adults and children in foster care.”

The city identified 450 families, 100 older adults and adults with disabilities, and 120 kids in foster care who will benefit from the annual program.

“We’ve made some changes this year to keep people safe,” said Fund Coordinator Krystal Fenwick. “But one thing hasn’t changed — Our community needs to reach out and support people in need, especially during this holiday season.”

The Fund for Alexandria’s Child is asking for the following no-contact participation:

  • Sponsor children and teens in foster care, older adults and adults with disabilities, or a family by providing gift cards to designated grocery stores and businesses (learn more about guidelines around sponsorships)
  • Make a donation by credit card online to meet unfulfilled needs or wishes
  • Make a donation via check payable to “The Fund for Alexandria’s Child” or to the “DCHS Senior Fund” and mail to: Holiday Sharing Program, 2525 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301
  • Ask family, friends and colleagues to join you in sponsoring
  • Ask an employer to match your contribution
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With limited public performances, shuttered galleries and cancelled events, the Alexandria art scene has been hit hard this year.

On Saturday (October 24), the Alexandria Arts Alliance and ACT for Alexandria will host a virtual fundraiser for arts organizations and artists in the city.

“We knew as the weather gets colder, gathering will become more challenging,” said Alexandria Arts Alliance Board President Melinda Kernc. “There is amazing and inspirational art happening all around us, and we want Alexandria residents to experience it, even if they are staying home. These artists and arts organizations desperately need support from the community they serve so well. This entertaining, collaborative showcase provides a way to ensure the arts will emerge strong when the pandemic subsides.”

The event, which will raise funds for dozens of organizations, will be live streamed Saturday at 7 p.m. on the Alexandria Arts Alliance Facebook page. The event will include Guests will include an appearance by the mayor, a Saturday Night Live cast member and video vignettes from 23 Alexandria-based artists and arts organizations.

Additionally, Homegrown Restaurant Group (Holy Cow, Pork Barrel BBQ, The Sushi Bar, Sweet Fire Donna’s, Tequila & Taco, and Whiskey & Oyster) will donate 10% from its take-out orders that night if customers mention the event.

The following artist organizations will be featured:

  • Alexandria Choral Society
  • Alexandria Citizens Band
  • Alexandria Film Festival
  • Alexandria Harmonizers
  • Alexandria Singers
  • Alexandria Symphony Orchestra
  • Art on the Avenue
  • Arts on the Horizon
  • ArtSpire VA
  • Brave Spirits
  • Del Ray Artisans
  • Eclipse Chamber Orchestra
  • Fantastical Glass
  • Karen Fitzgerald Art
  • Lisa Schumaier
  • Local Motion Project
  • Metropolitan School of the Arts
  • MetroStage
  • QuinTango
  • The Art League
  • UpCycle Creative Reuse Center
  • Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association
  • Yellow Door Concert Series

Wow! Just WOW! We are so grateful for the ACT donors who have pledged $14,000 in matching funds to save #artsALX!

Posted by Alexandria Arts Alliance on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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Morning Notes

U.S. Secretary of Education Commends ACPS Superintendent for Sending Child to Private School — “How great that Superintendent Hutchings is able to make this choice for his child. Every family in Alexandria, VA, and across the entire country, should have the same freedom to choose where, when and how their kids learn.” [Twitter]

Beyer Says Trump Lying About Health Care Plan — “rump has no health plan. He’s been lying for five years, always saying there’s this amazing plan just around the corner. Meanwhile he’s suing to get the health law that protects Americans with preexisting conditions struck down by the Supreme Court.” [Twitter]

City Wins Grant to Add WiFi and Seating to Four Mile Run Park Plaza — “Alexandria was one of just 10 cities to receive the award.” [City of Alexandria]

City Releases Guidance for Trick-Or-Treaters — “The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge residents to choose lower risk Halloween and Dia de los Muertos activities this year to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 outbreaks. There are many alternative options to celebrate Halloween and Dia de los Muertos while also maintaining a lower level risk of spreading COVID-19.” [City of Alexandria]

Virtual Fundraiser for Artists on October 24 — “ACT 4 #ArtsALX was inspired by the need for artists to share their work given the difficulty of performing, teaching and holding exhibits in the time of COVID-19. The lack of revenue from performances, classes and exhibitions has led to critical financial problems for the arts. Most artists and organizations have had to cancel seasons and indoor events for the foreseeable future, transitioning to smaller, outdoor events and virtual presentations.”

Today’s Weather — “Mainly sunny (during the day). High 73F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. A mostly clear sky (in the evening). Low 54F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Keyboards/Guitar Teacher — “3+ years teaching experience on keyboards/guitar. Multi-instrumentalist a plus. Experience working with children as young as 6 years old. Ability to pass a standard background check and sign a code of conduct.” [Facebook]

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Image may contain: 4 people, sky, shoes and outdoor

Alexandria’s Latino population has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, and an annual 5K to support them is going virtual.

From October 8-26, nonprofit Casa Chirilagua will conduct its virtual 5k run and walk to help support students and families impacted by COVID-19, virtual schooling and unemployment.

Participants will need to download the atlasGO app to track progress and win prizes.

Registration costs $25 and participants are asked to go outside to run or walk.

“We can not track your activity indoors,” notes the website for the 5k. “It is difficult to catch the right satellite signal indoors. For the optimal accuracy please add your activity manually if you are running on a treadmill or if you are walking in a building.”

NOT CANCELLED! While we won't be together today in person for our annual 5K, we can still be together virtually with the…

Posted by Casa Chirilagua on Thursday, October 8, 2020

Challenge: Can you complete the Casa Virtual 5K while pushing a double stroller with kids? Our Executive Director,…

Posted by Casa Chirilagua on Thursday, October 1, 2020

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says Trump Should Not Reject Strict FDA Guidelines for COVID Vaccines — “Political interference with vaccine development and an open feud with FDA can only further damage the public’s already growing safety concerns. Once again, lives may depend on Trump shutting his mouth and letting scientists do their jobs.” [Twitter]

Pizzeria Paradiso Closing in Old Town — “Like many restaurants in Old Town, Pizzeria Paradiso closed when the coronavirus pandemic reached Alexandria. Unfortunately, the beloved pizza restaurant will not be reopening, the owner announced this week.” [Alexandria Living]

Carlyle Farmers’ Market Today from 3-7 P.M. — “Free to the Public; Produce, Meats, Food, and Beverage sales are welcomed. What to Bring? Face Mask and your Social Distancing Etiquette.” [Facebook]

Lee-Fendall House Hosting Virtual Speakeasy Fundraiser — “Enjoy a night of speakeasy-style fun , without leaving your living room! Join us for this special night to support the Lee-Fendall House Museum’s vital work in historic preservation and education – one where you can keep on dancing, break out the booze, and have a ball.” [Visit Alexandria]

Alexandria Sheriff’s Deputy Reads ‘Lost And Found’ — “Chief Deputy Candra Callicott offers her encouragement to young students and the sweet story “Lost and Found” about a boy and a penguin.” [Facebook]

Alexandria Country Day School Hosting Virtual Open House — “ACDS’s small-size and ability to adapt quickly allowed us to open in September with in-person learning under a hybrid model. Join our Head of School, Division Heads, current parents and middle school students to learn more about our student-centered program.” [Patch]

Free Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic on Saturday — “This clinic will be open to adults and adolescents age 12 and over, with a maximum of four people per vehicle.” [City of Alexandria]

Today’s Weather — “Overcast (during the day). High 74F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.Rain showers in the evening will evolve into a more steady rain overnight. Low 63F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 70%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Alexandria Assistant City Manager for Public Private Partnerships — “As a member of the City Manager’s Senior Leadership Team, the Assistant City Manager for Public Private Partnerships reports to the City Manager and a Deputy City Manager and is responsible for leading the overall public private partnership (P3) initiatives for the City primarily via capital project planning and financing, leveraging of City assets and resources to implement City infrastructure and facilities, economic development related public sector and private sector projects, as well as facilitating the development and implementation of alternative service delivery strategies.” [Indeed]

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ALIVE! exceeded its fundraising goal for its first-ever virtual walkathon earlier this month, and came within striking distance of what the nonprofit usually raises for what has traditionally been an in-person event.

The StepALIVE! Walkathon exceeded its $60,000 goal by raising $69,690. Individuals or teams walked five miles at the leisure anytime between September 11-13, and for the first time the 39th annual event was held virtually. The event usually raises $80,000.

“We were very pleased and we were a little bit surprised because we had no idea what to expect,” ALIVE! Executive Director Jennifer Ayers told ALXnow. “I think people really wanted a way to participate in something in a different kind of way.”

Proceeds from the event will go toward support ALIVE!’s family assistance program, which helps families pay for rent and other bills.

Ayers said that the nonprofit is currently looking at how to engage the public with more virtual events.

“Thanks again to the Alexandria community,” Ayers said. “We’ve seen our support growing, which means a lot because our need is growing. We are just continuing to see our numbers of people in need rise, and all of the support that we received helps us do what we do every day, including provide rent for people in need.”

94 year old Lee Bolger, mother of Sally Gardner at Fairlington United Methodist Church, walking for ALIVE!

Posted by ALIVE on Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Congratulations to this year's StepALIVE! WINNERS!WINNER – Congregation with the Most Dollars Raised and Recipient of…

Posted by ALIVE on Friday, September 18, 2020

Image via ALIVE!/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Virginia Tech Announces Advisory Board for Innovation Campus — “The board consists of company leaders along with several tech pioneers. Members include Sanju Bansal, founder and CEO of Hunch Analytics; Dave Calhoun, president and CEO of Boeing; Ted Colbert, executive vice president of Boeing; Joe DeSimone, professor at Stanford University and executive chairman and co-founder of Carbon; Lynne Doughtie, former chairman and CEO of KPMG; Regina Dugan, CEO of Wellcome Leap; Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm; Russ Ramsey, board chair of Greater Washington Partnership; Kathy Warden, CEO, of Northrop Grumman Corporation; Glenn Youngkin, co-chief executive officer of The Carlyle Group.” [Patch]

Beyer: Trump and Republicans Should Feel Same Urgency With COVID-19 as Ginsburg Replacement — “Imagine if Donald Trump and Senate Republicans felt this urgency about responding to a pandemic that has now killed over 200,000 Americans. 4 months ago the House passed a bill to help American families and boost the economy. Mitch McConnell said he didn’t feel any ‘urgency.'” [Twitter]

Volunteers Honored in Virtual Ceremony — “On Saturday, August 29, New Hope Housing (NHH) – an Alexandria nonprofit that helps homeless families and individuals – recognized a group of volunteers at its Annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast.” [Zebra]

Little Theatre of Alexandria Auditioning for ‘A Christmas Carol’ — “LTA’s A Christmas Carol for 2020 will be the most unique ever. It will feature live, virtual, and animated elements. We are looking for a family who can portray Mr. Cratchit, Mrs. Cratchit, and Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim will also portray Turkey Boy and Boy Scrooge. These three characters will participate in Zoom rehearsals in October and three rehearsals at LTA in early November, with a taping date of Saturday, November 15.” [Facebook]

Tall Ship Providence Gets Repaired — “Our Providence team has had a very busy weekend! While in the boat yard, they have sanded the hull to prepare it for a new coat of paint and performed other routine maintenance in preparation for the scheduled Coast Guard inspection.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Sunny skies (during the day). High 72F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Clear skies (at night). Low 54F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Global Trade Group Command Media Manager — “Manage of Global Trade Group (GTG) Command Media throughout the lifecycle of drafting to final posting in the corporate electronic library. Reviews draft policies and procedures submitted by corporate trade segments/functions and non-trade functions to ensure alignment with corporate GTG trade-related command media. Recommends changes to ensure alignment with GTG trade policies and procedures. Maintains GTG
records relating to trade policies and procedures, tracks status of all command media submitted to GTG by the Policy Review Board (PRB) and ensures suspense deadlines are met.” [Indeed]

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