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A What Matters Warren Interview with local musician John Kovac

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WHAT MATTERS Warren Interview:

John Kovac, a local musician, can entertain you at local restaurants, teach you how to make your own harp, or make music with you at his local musician gatherings (at WHAT MATTERS Open House on Main Street)!

About John:

“I am available for bookings, providing either solo harp music or a string band for weddings, corporate or special events.

As a harpmaker, I have constructed well over 200 folk harps such as those seen in the picture to the right. I play each and believe that I learn something after building every one. I’m constantly experimenting and never try to do the same thing twice.

I’ve lectured about harpbuilding at the Library of Congress, and have been invited to perform at 3 international harp conferences. I’ve authored two articles about harp construction in harp journals. My designs have been reproduced in kits, videos, and books.”

Visit www.johnkovac.com to learn more or to order one of his books!

Hear John play locally from 6:30pm to 8:00pm

  • Mondays: Try Thai
  • Thursdays: Jaliscos
  • Fridays and Saturdays: Thunwa Thai
  • Sundays: Tacqueria Guadalajara (near Costco)

John Kovac – Harpmaker
148 High Spruce Road | Front Royal, VA 22630
kovac.jg@gmail.com
(540) 635-2534


A WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event?

Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren/Town Tip videos post on Facebook and YouTube. They are also shared with Royal Examiner online (most are distributed in their daily email blast to thousands of local residents). Sign up for Royal Examiner Email Alerts HERE and check out the “WHAT MATTERS Warren” tab under “Features.”

Visit www.whatmattersw2.com “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid.

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Local harpist and inventor, John Kovac, is using quarantine time to create interesting gadgets

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Front Royal resident and harpist John Kovac has been making the most of his time indoors by using his free time to embrace his clever creative nature. He’s developed a prototype for a qwerty piano keyboard he’s calling a “Tunietype.” He’s also expanded his crafty solar-powered mechanical art collection to include perpetual motion and anti-gravity devices.

In this video, he’ll share several of his unique creations and Beth will test out the ease of his keyboard invention by attempting to play “We are the World” for the first time. His mini and full-sized qwerty keyboards attach to piano keyboards and allow users to type the notes computer-style.

It enables anyone who knows the alphabet to successfully play without any knowledge of musical notes. The entertaining gadget allows aspiring piano players to hunt, peck, and play a tune as if they are typing on a computer.

John has been well-known in Warren County for decades and (pre-COVID) was seen playing at local restaurants weekly and performing at festivals. He’s constructed over 200 harps, has lectured about harp building at the Library of Congress, performed at three international harp conferences, authored articles in harp journals, and has written several books.

Visit www.johnkovac.com to learn more and check out the prior WHAT MATTERS Warren video from 2018 featuring John’s harp-making talent.

He’s available for bookings to provide either solo harp music or a string band for weddings, corporate or special events. Other videos about his Tunietype and solar-powered devices are found on his YouTube channel.

WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Local News

Warren County community COVID pivoting response highlights

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WHAT MATTERS Warren — Though world is filled with controversy and new realities in the face of COVID-19, many small businesses, citizens and community leaders are choosing to look for new ways to serve others and brighten days.  Enjoy this three minute video highlight featuring three such endeavors. George McIntyre and Katie Tewell discuss their newly expanded Apple House donut outreach which has prompted shipments of nearly 17,000 donuts since early April (and approximately 1,500 donated).  The Warren County Parks and Recreation department has pivoted and is now providing complimentary activity-filled “Stay Home and Stay Active” boxes every week for local children. Also, as a way to keep her team employed and our community safe, “Alterations by Millie” has filled the void of the canceled prom and wedding season by transitioning to creating colorful custom face masks for the community.

These are no doubt uncertain times, but one thing is again certain: The people of Front Royal/Warren County, as always, are proving that we can find ways to overcome challenges, embrace the silver linings in challenging situations and touch the lives of others in large and small ways.  If you know of an endeavor that should be highlighted, please share with others or contact us for a video to showcase the many ways that our community will not just survive but will find new ways to thrive throughout this global transition.


WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Local News

Stay safe and support local business by purchasing masks through “Alterations by Millie” in Front Royal

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WHAT MATTERS Warren–Support local business and give the gift of stylish safety! ”Alterations by Millie” is offering our community custom machine-washable masks at $5 each, or five for $20, through curbside pick-up (or priority shipping) at 201-E Jackson Street, Front Royal. Check out their Facebook page to view the 37 designs available. Choose to customize masks or select from dozens already made and available for immediate pickup or shipment. For custom orders, customers are invited to choose from head elastic, ear loops or ties. To place an order, call 540-671-7672 or pop by the office at 201-E Jackson Street (located one block from Main Street).

Millie and team offer matching baby/mother masks, sports themed masks, solid color masks, child-friendly masks and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to support a local business owner who has pivoted her business to keep her employees working during the COVID crisis. Prom and wedding seasons have been canceled, but Millie and team are hard at work to fill a need in our local community and beyond by putting their skills to use.

Support local business and give the gift of stylish safety to yourself and others. Consider buying masks to keep in your car to give to friends you see when you are venturing out and about. Or contact your family to offer a gift of custom masks for children who may be more likely to wear masks if they are “cool!” Make having to wear masks less of a drag by sporting custom face coverings while supporting a local entrepreneur and her dedicated team in the process!


WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Community Events

Warren County Parks and Recreation serving community through “Stay Home & Stay Active” boxes

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WHAT MATTERS Warren–Warren County Parks and Recreation is serving the quarantined community despite their inability to offer typical classes and programming. They invite local families to join the nearly 100 others who are participating in their newly launched “Stay Home & Stay Active” initiative which provides citizens with creative activity boxes that can be picked up weekly via curbside delivery at the Warren County Community Center. Each box features an indoor activity, outdoor activity, creative/science activity, virtual road trip, and a family event for each day of the week (M-F).

The boxes are free and limited to the first 50 registrants, although to date Warren County has agreed to extend offerings to serve each family that has applied for a box. Over 98 children were served last week through this interactive program, and the staff hopes to expand to create senior citizen boxes in the near future. There’s a limit of one box per household and at least one child under the age of 12 years old must reside at the residence. Parks and Rec gathers information about other children in the homes participating and attempts to provide extra supplies to serve the entire family (at a first come first serve basis).

“I am super pumped to have the opportunity to network with other Recreation professionals throughout the country and develop this at-home program,” said Robin Richardson, Assistant Director. She developed the program based on online research with a group she’s involved with that connects professionals who serve communities like she and her staff do, “I am also proud of my staff for their creativity and use of limited resources during this time.”

Richardson says the county of Warren has been extremely supportive of this endeavor to continue to serve the children of our community. Dan Lenz, Director of Parks and Recreation, said, “The Warren County Parks and Recreation staff are very excited to be offering this special activity for the youth in our community during this crisis. We look forward to helping families in the future with additional programs and activities.”

The community has also warmly embraced the project. Donations for boxes have been received by C & C’s Frozen Treats, The Apple House, the Rotary Club of Front Royal, McDonalds and Walmart. Parks and Rec will gladly accept monetary donations, items for the boxes or other creative support by community businesses and organizations.

There is a new box each week, and families can sign up beginning Tuesday of the prior week (registration deadline is Thursday by noon of the week prior to delivery). Registered families are instructed to stop by the Community Center office at 538 Villa Avenue to pick up the box kits in a safe, drive-by fashion. Registration is available by visiting parksandrecreation.warrencountyva.net. For more information, contact the Warren County Community Center by phone at (540) 635-1021 or via email at wcccinfo@warrencountyva.net.


WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Community Events

Young Life Upper Blue Ridge is offering local teens virtual fun and connection during quarantine

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WHAT MATTERS Warren–Attention parents of middle and high schoolers! Young Life Upper Blue Ridge – Warren County is offering some good old fashioned entertainment on Instagram and through Zoom for your quarantined youth! Are you tired of endless hours of video games or snapchatting and wishing your teens could connect with friends and mentors for wholesome fun throughout these weeks of solitude?

Follow Young Life on Instagram and Facebook for some entertaining opportunities to spend some of their screen time with hilarious and inspirational Young Life Director, Stephen Marut and the Young Life team. On Thursdays at 7:17 p.m. on Instagram Live, your high school kiddos can laugh along with their friends and engage in “Virtual Club.” Middle schoolers can pass some time joining together virtually on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. for a Kahoot Zoom call!

Contact Stephen at spmarut@gmail.com for a link to the zoom call, or send a Facebook message through visiting Young Life Upper Blue Ridge – Warren County’s Facebook page.

About Young Life:

Young Life leaders are working with over two million young people, right in their own neighborhoods, all around the world showing them how much God cares about them by showing up in their world and sharing the message of God’s love through Jesus in ways and words they could understand and relate to. Find out more about Young Life online.


WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Real Estate

Part 7 of 7: Top 5 real estate tips for people considering becoming a realtor

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This 7 part series is accompanied by BETHvids featuring tips regarding buying, selling and the real estate industry in general.


Top 5 real estate tips for people considering becoming a realtor:

  1. Look into online real estate classes and take the plunge–enroll in an affordable course and start taking action in exploring the industry, instead of dreaming about “one day.”  Even if you don’t become an active Realtor, you’ll learn a great deal in the 60 hour course, and you’ll discover if the industry feels like a right fit for you. Moseley Real Estate School is my favorite, and the course is under $300.  I’m proud to have been the very first Realtor to ever join the Blue Ridge Association of Realtors after taking an online course back in 2002.  Before that year, most agents took the course in person–I took mine from Moseley on dial up Internet service!
  2. Make a budget and seriously consider the expenses involved in holding an active real estate license. Contact your local Association of Realtors and ask them questions about the process and investment required in starting a career in real estate.  The fees involved in joining a local board of Realtors, enrolling in the multiple listing service, charges associated with joining a brokerage, and general start up expenses will shock you.  Yes, real estate commissions look great “on paper” but be sure to fully explore the true cost (financially, emotionally and mentally) of beginning a career in real estate.  I’d suggest having 6 months or more of savings to allow time for your career to take off. For almost the entire first year I was a Realtor, I was embarrassed to attend office meetings because my business was slow to take off–patience, persistence and doing things differently than others is the key to success.
  3. Start following local top producers who have a good reputation and learn from those already successful in the industry. Sign up for free online newsletters or courses from professional Realtor trainers and get a feel for the industry from the inside before you dive in. Tom Ferry, Brian Buffini, Gary Keller and many others offer free online tips and have written books you can soak up to learn inside scoop about the industry.
  4. Begin researching available local, regional and online real estate brokerages while exploring which office seems like the best fit for you. Email or call brokers and start interviewing them.  Compare their offerings to new agents, including their willingness to invest in start-up costs. Be sure to ask about training opportunities, mentorship availability, the possibility of having “duty time” (answering the phone or working at the front desk to get leads), and company lead generating/sharing.
  5. Start a database (with email and physical addresses) of friends, family and community contacts so you’ll have people to reach out to when you launch your career. It will be important to notify your circle (and expand it) for your best chances of hitting the ground running. And even if you choose to not become a Realtor, at least you’ll have your Christmas card list ready and can get your cards out around Thanksgiving this year!

Beth Waller, Associate Broker at KW Solutions – Keller Williams Realty
Local Office: 27 Cloud Street Front Royal, VA 22630
Direct: 540-671-6145
Northern Virginia Office: 8100 Ashton Ave #103 Manassas VA 20109
Office: 703-330-2222
Licensed in VA

Beth’s websites: Bethwaller.kw.com and whatmattersw2.com

To learn more about my real estate sales or nonprofit (WHAT MATTERS), to book a time to utilize my free community meeting space (“Open House” in the Middle of Main building on Main Street), to schedule a no-cost social media video to promote your business/group or cause, or to discuss my listing your property (which makes all of my charity efforts possible), visit my website at www.whatmattersw2.com or give me a call at 540-671-6145!

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Front Royal
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Sunny
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Feels like: 55°F
Wind: 1mph N
Humidity: 62%
Pressure: 30.35"Hg
UV index: 1
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