Community Events

Community Events
Drive to collect items for domestic violence shelters across the Shenandoah Valley
February 14, 2018

FRONT ROYAL – A ​student led Destination Imagination Outreach team ​Full Hearts ​ is running a drive throughout the month of February to collect items needed by Domestic Violence Shelters in surrounding areas of the Shenandoah Valley.

WHAT: Full Hearts will place donation boxes in various stores and businesses across the Shenandoah Valley. The list of items needed include: Women/Children socks & slippers (all sizes), toiletries (full size), feminine hygiene, laundry detergent/softener, twin sheets and blankets, dish detergent, kitchen trash bags, salt and pepper shakers, ziplock bags, toilet paper/paper towels.

All products MUST be new The items will be divided among four domestic violence shelters: Response, Potter’s House, Laurel Center, and Choices.

WHO: Response, INC. – “Response is Shenandoah County’s only agency assisting those affected by sexual and domestic violence, and child abuse. We began as a grassroots organization in 1980, formed by concerned citizens to aid victims of domestic violence and their children.

In 1994 Response was given space at the Shenandoah County Farm, to operate a 14-bed shelter. In 1997 Response received funding to implement a court advocacy program. in 1999 Response added a sexual assault program. In 2000 Response received funding to begin providing prevention and intervention to teens. As we outgrew our space, we began searching for a larger building. In 2001 we purchased a large home in the county and opened a 28-bed shelter and were awarded funding to begin providing services to children. In 2005 Response began the Child Assault Prevention Project in Shenandoah County Schools.” For more information about Response, Inc., please visit​.

The Potter’s House- A place of rest, refuge, and restoration. A traditional housing program for women and children that serves both people leaving bad situations and women and children needing housing.

The Laurel House: Intervention for Domestic and Sexual Violence – “The Laurel Center empowers victims of domestic and sexual violence by providing emergency housing, advocacy, support services, and education. We reach out to our community through education and awareness programs.”

Choices – “Choices is the Council on Domestic Violence for Page County, Inc. Confidential services are provided free of charge to any individual who is, or has been: a) Involved in a situation of physical, verbal, or emotional abuse. b) A victim of sexual abuse or rape. We are a non-profit organization funded solely through State, Federal, and Private grants, donations, community support and the United Way of Page County.”

WHERE: A variety of businesses in the Shenandoah Valley including: Strasburg- Strasburg Community Library Food Lion Recreational Center Winchester- YDC War Memorial Building Shenandoah University Spiritual Life Front Royal- Selah Theatre Project Lester And Mowery’s Pharmacy Community Center Luray- Page County libraries in Shenandoah County and Luray Luray Chamber Of Commerce

WHEN: The drive will last through the month of February. Domestic Violence Statistics:

● Every day in the U.S, more than three women are murdered by their husband or boyfriend.
● Studies show that up to 10 million children witness domestic abuse annually.
● Every 9 seconds in the U.S., a woman is assaulted or beaten.
● Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern. Stats via:


Community Events
South Warren Volunteer Fire Department Spaghetti Dinner
February 13, 2018

South Warren VFD in Bentonville will be having it’s Annual Winter Spaghetti Dinner! Menu includes, Spaghetti, Salad, Roll, Dessert, Coffee or Iced Tea. Dinner cost is by donation.

All proceeds support the Fire Department! Music begins at 4 pm with the SBG’s followed by Annie & Mac & George. So bring the family for a nice meal and some entertainment! Dinners are eat in or to go.

When: February 17 (Saturday) 4 pm – 7 pm

Where: South Warren Volunteer Fire Department
3330 Stonewall Jackson Hwy
Bentonville, Virginia 22610

Community Events
Lord Fairfax Community College welcomes Disney Institute to Middletown, VA
January 18, 2018

Middletown – For the eighth straight year, Disney Institute is bringing its renowned professional development course, Disney’s Approach to Employee Engagement, to Middletown on March 29, 2018. Sponsored by Lord Fairfax Community College Workforce Solutions, the one-day event will help area professionals explore how to adapt training strategies that ensure employees are confident in their roles by creating a holistic plan that drives employee engagement. This day of Disney Institute training uses business insights and time-tested examples from Disney parks and resorts worldwide to inspire individuals and organizations to enhance their own customer experience using Disney principles as their guide.

Disney’s Approach to Employee Engagement gives participants the chance to explore how corporate culture insights and time-tested examples from Disney parks and resorts worldwide can provide relevant illustrations and engaging stories to help organizations deliver the type of long-term results they are capable of delivering.

The Disney Institute at LFCC has been a big draw, with more than 1,300 participants from 13 states participating in prior institutes. Last year saw the biggest crowd ever, with 244 attendees.

Early Bird Registration is $445 and includes all course materials as well as lunch and light snacks. Price goes up to $495 after February 15, 2018. Employers, ask us about BOGO – Buy One Get One Free & Group Ticket Pricing. For more information or to register, call 540-868-7021 or visit

About Disney Institute
As the trusted, authoritative voice on the Disney approach to customer experience, Disney Institute uses business insights and time-tested examples from Disney parks and resorts worldwide to inspire individuals and organizations to enhance their own customer experience using Disney principles as their guide. For nearly three decades, Disney Institute has helped professionals discover ways to positively impact their
organizations and the customer they serve through immersion in leadership, service and employee engagement. Unique to Disney Institute is the opportunity to go behind the scenes in a “living laboratory” to observe firsthand how Disney methodologies are operationalized and how they can be adapted and applied to any work environment.
To learn more, visit or call 321-939-4600.

Community Events
Peter Muhlenberg, the ‘Fighting Parson’ to be celebrated by local pastors and citizens Saturday
January 18, 2018

Abel Johnson, as portrayed by Larry W. Johnson.

WOODSTOCK, VA. – The Rev. Larry Wilson Johnson will lead prayers of thanksgiving and remembrance at the Peter Muhlenberg statues at the courthouse in Woodstock  at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20.

Johnson, a descendant of several great grandfathers who fought in the Revolutionary War, will be joined by local pastors and citizens. The public is invited to attend.

This is the 242th anniversary of the day when  300 Shenandoah Valley men assembled at the intersection of the court house to go to war on January 21, 1776. Their leader was the Rev. Col. Peter Muhlenberg a young Lutheran/Anglican pastor who was asked by Patrick Henry and General George Washington to form a regiment and join in the fight for American Freedom.

Peter would become known as the “fighting parson.” The story of the sermon he gave that day is recorded in history books worldwide. Muhlenberg and his regiment were at Valley Forge the following year, 1777-78 during a most awful and deadly winter where nearly 3,000 soldiers died of starvation and disease. He was with Washington when British General Cornwallis surrendered at York Town, Virginia in October1781. This ended the war and secured American Independence.

This is the fourth year Johnson and others have assembled to mark this historic day. The Rev. Larry W. Johnson is a past president of the Col. James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. For information call Johnson at 540.454.4129. Johnson is known for his presentations on Revolutionary War History, which can be found on his website.

Historical Background

The Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, 242 years ago,  on Jan. 21, 1776, incited 300 men of his congregations in the Shenandoah Valley to join the American Revolution. He was a minister serving at least seven churches in the Valley at Woodstock, Strasburg, Shenandoah County and what would become Page County.

The Rev. Muhlenberg first received a commission as a Colonel in George Washington’s Army and served until the end of the War when British forces at Yorktown under Lord General Cornwallis surrendered. Earlier he was with Washington at Valley Forge. He is especially remembered for the sermon he delivered on 21 January, 1776, in his Woodstock Church, where he preached from Ecclesiastes the Third Chapter, which starts with “To everything there is a season….” After reading the eighth verse, “a time for war, and a time for peace,” he declared, “and this is the time for war.” With this he whipped off his clerical robe to reveal his Revolutionary War uniform.

General Washington, his good friend, had asked him personally to take this commission so Muhlenberg joined him in what would become the most epic war ever fought for freedom. The Rev. Muhlenberg rose to the rank of Major General and is a role model for ministers and all Patriotic Americans today.

Community Events Health
Sign-up underway for Type 2 Diabetes prevention class to be held in Front Royal
January 17, 2018

FRONT ROYAL – Do you need to lose weight to improve your health?  Has your doctor said that you are pre-diabetic and need to make some changes? Would you like to learn how to cook healthy meals? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you need to sign up for the two Prevent T2 Diabetes Prevention Programs beginning on January 25 in Front Royal. The group will meet from noon-1 p.m. at the Warren County Government Center, 220 North Commerce St.  For the first four months, the group will meet weekly, and then transition to bi-weekly, then  monthly meetings for a total of 12 months.

Class members will learn how to make diet  changes  and increase physical activity, as well as learn tips  best practices from others who have been  successful. Participants will receive a cookbook, weekly recipes and food samples, physical activity and food diaries, as well as other incentive items to help stay motivated and on the right track. The program is free for uninsured individuals or those receiving Medicaid benefits. Others may enroll for $90, and some scholarships are available.

Preregistration is required; the deadline to register is January 19. Class size is limited, so sign up soon. For questions and to register contact Rebecca Davis at or call 540-665-5699.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services, or other accommodation to participate in this activity, please notify Rebecca Davis, Virginia Cooperative Extension – Frederick County Office, at 540-665-5699/TDD* during business hours of Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. *TDD number is 800-828-1120.

Virginia Cooperative Extension Programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state and local governments.

Community Events
Thermal Shelter planning meeting slated for Thursday evening
January 10, 2018

FRONT ROYAL –  A meeting to discuss the creation of a thermal shelter for the homeless of Front Royal and Warren County will be held Thursday, Jan. 11 at  6:30 PM at the New Hope Bible Church at 80 N. Lake Ave, Front Royal.

Kathy Leonard, homeless liaison for the effort, said, “We are gathering the forces to make this thing happen! If you would like to be part of the solution, join us!”

In a Facebook posting advertising the meeting, Leonard wrote, “Please feel free to forward this to anyone and everyone that you think may be willing to help. Your attendance to this meeting does not commit your participation. But, you will have opportunities to commit your participation.”

Please bring your calendars, schedules, notebooks and decision makers. This will be both an informational meeting and a working meeting. It’s COLD

For more information about the meeting, or ways in which you may help the homeless or volunteer,  contact Kathy Leonard  at

Community Events
Samuels Public Library Adult Programming February 1-15, 2017
January 3, 2018

General Education Development
Samuels Public Library invites you to register and attend the General Education Development course. This course will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 A.M-12:30 P.M (except on school holidays or closings). The GED course is completely free. Let this course be the stepping stone to your success.

English as a Second Language
Samuels Public Library invites you to register and attend the English as a Second Language course. This course will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. The ESL course is completely free. Learning English will not only enhance your quality of life but open many doors and present new opportunities

Hello Computer
Samuels Public Library invites you to attend our beginning computer class for total computer novices. It is a four week course that covers turning on a computer, using a mouse, setting up email and using the internet. Classes are held on Tuesdays from 1:00pm-2:00pm.

Exploring Computers
Samuel Public Library invites you to attend our intermediate computer class and improve your skills. Each month explore a new computer program or application in a safe, friendly environment with other intermediate users. Classes are held on Thursdays at 1:00pm-2:00pm

Genealogy Nuts: Shake Your Family Tree
Samuels Public Library invites you to a workshop for beginning to advanced genealogists. Discover your family roots with a team of genealogists who together have researched more than 50,000 names. Classes are held Wednesday nights at 6:00pm.

Microsoft Office Workshop
Samuels Public Library invites you to come out and attend our Microsoft Office Workshop that is designed to help patrons become better acquainted with Microsoft office applications. This class meets every 1st Saturday of the month from 1:30pm – 4:30pm. Class will be Saturday, February 3rd.

The History of Front Royal: World War I
Samuels Public Library invites you to come out and join us on Thursday, February 8th at 6:00 pm as local historian Patrick Farris presents a program on life and the impact of World War I in Warren County including a rare glimpse into the lives of African Americans who participated in the war.

Genealogy workshop
Interested in learning about your family’s history? Samuels Public Library invites you to come out Tuesday, February 13th at 6:00pm to learn about the library’s genealogy resources. Check out what online databases the library has to offer, what print resources we have in our very own Virginia history room, and how to start a search for those new to genealogy! Already done extensive research? Feel free to stop by and share your stories! This class meets on the second Tuesday of every month.

Advanced PowerPoint
Samuels Public Library invites you to come out and join us for an advanced class on Microsoft PowerPoint on Saturdays, February 10th & 17th from 1:00pm-3:00pm. The purpose of this class is to introduce how to use common transition and animation effects in a PowerPoint presentation.

Community Events
National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Jan 9th
January 2, 2018

Across the country on January 9, citizens take the lead on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

Law Enforcement Officers of every rank and file have chosen a profession that puts their life on the line every day for their communities. They’ve answered a call to public service that is demanding and often unappreciated. On National Law Enforcement Day, we have an opportunity to thank them for their service and offer a token of respect.


There are several ways to show your support. Send a note of thanks to your local, county or state police agency. Wear blue, turn your social media channels blue or shine a blue porch light to show your support. Find more ideas at Concerns of Police Survivors and share your support using #NationalLawEnforcementAppreciationDay to share on social media.


National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was founded in 2015 to thank officers across the country for all the daily sacrifices they make for their communities. Concerns of Police Survivors, the FBI National Academy Associates, the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chief of Police, the Officer Down Memorial Page, Law Enforcement United, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, International Conference of Police Chaplains, National Troopers Coalition only name a few of the long list of organizations supporting inaugural day of National Law Enforcement Officers Appreciation Day. Since then, nationwide many more organizations have joined forces to support National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.) to spread encouragement and respect


Community Events
Blue Ridge Wildlife Center invites public to Jan. 13 Open House
December 29, 2017

The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center in Clarke Co. will host an Open House Jan. 13. Photos/Dara Bailey Design

The two-year-old, state of the art, Blue Ridge Wildlife Center at Boyce in Clarke County will be open to the general public for the first time on Saturday, January 13 from noon to 3 p.m. Members of the public are invited to the Open House to learn about what goes on day-to-day behind the scenes of this amazing new hospital, only the second of its kind in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

A full time veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Riley, treats some 1,000 animals each year. While most are returned to the wild, those whose injuries are more severe are provided permanent shelter at the center. The facility has a $400,000 annual budget and occupies 17 acres of grass and trees immune to the traffic noise of nearby Route 50.

Waiting to welcome visitors to the Open House will be Wildlife Ambassadors such as Jefferson, the American bald eagle; Beeker, a striped skunk; an eastern screech owl named Dopey; Arctic Fox Snow; and a variety of other foxes, squirrels, turtles, possums; and even a black snake called Slim.

Above, Jefferson, the American Bald Eagle; below Rocket, the flying squirrel (he thinks he’s an eagle) – the pair will be among animals ‘meeting and greeting’ the public at Open House.


Jefferson is one of several raptors housed at the facility that were injured by collisions with vehicular traffic and left unable to fly after their treatment. All, or most, of the animals are used in an extensive educational program conducted in the Bradley Learning Center, as well as off site at schools and clubs in Clarke, Warren and other neighboring counties.

Hillary Davidson, the newly appointed executive director, who boasts an injured owl as a family pet, advises to call ahead (540) 837-9000 if the weather looks dicey, and for directions; or online visit Blue Ridge Wildlife Center.

The wildlife center/hospital is about a half-hour drive from Front Royal.

Education is a big part of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center – here, Heather Sparks shows young visitors an Eastern Screech Owl.


Community Events Local News
Little Caesars Love Kitchen to serve public lunch at Winchester Rescue Mission on Friday
December 27, 2017

The Little Caesars Love Kitchen will make a stop in Winchester on Friday, Dec. 29 at the Winchester Rescue Mission. / Courtesy photo.

WINCHESTER, VA – The Little Caesars Love Kitchen will roll into the Winchester Rescue Mission on Friday, December 29, to serve a free pizza lunch to community members.

The big-rig doubles as a mobile kitchen and travels across the United States, feeding the hungry and homeless, as well as disaster survivors.

Little Caesars local franchise owners donate the resources necessary to make each Love Kitchen serving a success. An estimated 50,000 franchisees, their employees and corporate colleagues have volunteered over the years to support the program in their local communities.

Brandan Thomas, Executive Director of the Winchester Rescue Mission, said, “It’s a real treat to have Little Caesars come out and support us. It shows the guys the community is behind them.”

The pizza chain reached out to the nonprofit organization that serves homeless men after they “saw the work we were doing and wanted to partner with what we were already accomplishing, “ Thomas said in a Wednesday interview.

The Mission doesn’t typically serve lunch, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help spread the message of love to those in need. Free pizza will be served at noon at 435 N. Cameron Street. Everyone is welcome to eat.

The Winchester Rescue Mission serves between 2,500 and 3,000 meals each month.  Dinner is served at 5:00 p.m. daily and is open to any man, woman, or child who is in need of a meal.

“Our nightly dinners continue to grow,” Thomas said.  “We pride ourselves on being a safe and welcoming environment for everyone in our community.  We have very generous volunteers who’ve been able to keep up with the high demand this winter.”

As word of the Love Kitchen is spreading throughout the area, members of the community have stepped forward to offer additional help.  Some have donated sodas to be served with the pizza.

Others have brought new coats to the facility to give to the residents.  Items needed include: warm socks, gloves, hats, coats,  and gift cards to purchase items.  A list of the Mission’s most needed items can be found here: Current Mission needs.   Donated items can be dropped off at 435 N. Cameron Street between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

More information about the Winchester Rescue Mission,  which has been serving the community since 1974, is available at

A chief goal of Thomas’ is to educate the public about the issue of homelessness.  Often, he says, the public tends to view a homeless person as lazy, drug-addicted or worse.  It is more likely that the person has experienced one or more circumstances that combine to contribute to homelessness.

Many Americans these days are only a paycheck or two away from dire circumstances, and the loss of a job, or having an illness without sick-days to provide for missed work hours can be enough to create homelessness.

“These people are no different than you or I, “ Thomas said in the interview.  “They are often the victim of multiple circumstances.”

While no solid figures were available for the current homeless population in Winchester-Frederick County, a count last year put the number somewhere north of 200.

In addition to his role of nearly two years at the Mission, Thomas serves as Pastor of the Canvas Church, which meets at the Virginia Ave. Elementary School.  In fact, he relocated to the city of Winchester to begin the church.

Little Caesars has two trucks in operation, which are in service 365 days a year. The restaurants on wheels have served more than three million people, according to the corporate website.

The Love Kitchen has been recognized for its charitable efforts, receiving The President’s Volunteer Action Award Citation from former Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The Reagan administration also awarded the Love Kitchen a Presidential Citation for Private Sector Initiatives.