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Drive to collect items for domestic violence shelters across the Shenandoah Valley

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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 www.responseva.org​.

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: http://domesticviolencestatistics.org/domestic-violence-statistics

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Community Events

WATCH: American Legion Community Band 2018 Christmas Concert

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Photo and video by Mike McCool, Royal Examiner

The American Legion Community Band presented its annual Christmas Concert on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at 7:30 pm in the R-MA Boggs Chapel in Front Royal.  It was a free concert although a love offering was collected totaling $785 for the local C-CAP charity. There was music to please everyone, including traditional carols, a beautiful chorale and light-hearted selections delighting kids and grown-ups alike. The Royal Examiner’s camera was there to capture the event.  Now take time, watch and welcome Christmas with the celebration of music presented by the American Legion Band.

The American Legion Community Band performs at a variety of concerts and community festivals throughout the year. All performances are free and open to the public. Their repertoire is both versatile and traditional with works ranging from classical to popular, marches and operatic overtures to modern works for band. The band is sponsored by the Giles B. Cook Post #53 of the American Legion.

We spoke with the Conductors Ed Richards, Ron Dye and Kristen Fristoe after the concert.

Also there was a special guest in the audience. All he said was his name was “Nick”.

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Community Events

WATCH: Randolph-Macon Academy’s 2018 Christmas Concert

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Photo and video by Mike McCool, Royal Examiner

The Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA) Christmas Band Concert was on Sunday, December 16th at 4:00 pm. This free concert took place in Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus.

The Royal Examiner’s camera was there to capture the event. Sitting in the balcony in Boggs Chapel provides a birds-eye view, but the sound is wonderful. It’s quite a distance to the stage and the camera might jump and the microphone may not capture the sounds as it really is – but it was enjoyable, so sit back and enjoy this Christmas moment.

The Virginia 091 Air Force Junior ROTC band consistently wins awards throughout the East Coast; most recently, the band won first place for junior/senior high school bands in the 93rd Alsatia Mummer’s Parade held in Hagerstown, Maryland on October 27th.

We spoke with RMA BandMaster Ed Richards after the concert.

Reminder that the American Legion Community Band will present its annual Christmas Concert on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at 7:30 pm in the R-MA Chapel in Front Royal.  It will be a free concert although a love offering will be collected for the local C-CAP charity. There will be music to please everyone, including traditional carols, a beautiful chorale and light-hearted selections sure to delight kids and grown-ups alike. Take time to enjoy the beauty of the season and welcome Christmas with the celebration of music.

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Community Events

Coat Drive: Give the gift of warmth this season

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Union Bank & Trust will be holding a coat & blanket drive accepting all donations at their branch location (473 South Street) from December 10 to January 31. Gently worn or new coats, blankets, gloves and hats will be accepted. All donations will be given to the Front Royal Thermal Shelter to distribute to those in need. Help someone stay warm this season!

Front Royal Thermal Shelter in a non-denominational, non-profit, volunteer run shelter providing overnight shelter to adult homeless citizens. For further information, please call Kathy Leonard at 540-551-2641 or email KathyLeonardHL@gmail.com.

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Community Events

EVENT UPDATE: Annual Christmas Festival & Parade to be held on December 2nd

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2019 Christmas Parade Front Royal Virginia

Due to weather, the Front Royal Christmas Festival and Parade has been postponed until Sunday, December 2nd.  The times of the events remain the same.

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Community Events

Eleven courthouse chimes mark 100th anniversary of World War I’s end

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Veteran’s Day 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I begins in Front Royal, as it did across the nation, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – the date and time when the armistice ended the most horrific war mankind at the time had experienced. Photos/Roger Bianchini

The 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War was marked Sunday, November 11, as the Warren County Courthouse clock chimed 11 times – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – and American Legion Post 53 Vice-Commander Clarence Hartsell began a quiet, 45-minute ceremony.

A relatively small crowd of about 60 gathered in the courthouse grounds, most of them veterans. Many wore distinctive Legion caps, and others were wrapped in coats against the 45-degree weather, depicting their service of record. Despite the first cold snap of the season, skies were blue and brilliant sunshine provided some warmth for speakers and spectators alike.

The Sunday ceremony’s attendance was obviously affected by its clash with regular church services throughout the area and this year, being a Sunday observance of Veterans Day, no school bands were available.  However on this 100th anniversary of the end of the first great global conflict of the 20th Century, organizers felt it important to mark the occasion on the precise date and time of the armistice that halted a war so horrific in its modern weaponry and casualty count that it was for a short time believed to be a war that would end widespread human warfare.

For whom the bell tolls…

Commemorative wreaths were laid at memorial sites on opposite sides of the courthouse forecourt saluting town and county service personnel who’d given their lives in America’s wars, while others honored all of those who fought in World War I, the “war to end all wars.”

Appropriately, the Giles B. Cook Post 53 of the American Legion introduced U.S. Marine Corps veteran William Sealock, a Front Royal Town Councilor, whose military record included active duty in five combat zones, including those in Vietnam and the Middle East, who said he was there to honor all veterans of all wars.

Sealock described himself, born in 1944, as a “war baby”, offspring of a Gold Star mother. He came of a military family whose members served, some dying, in World War II, and in later American wars.

He revealed he was wounded on the battlefield in South Vietnam but cited one of his duties as a Marine Corps “grunt” as a career highlight – it was as a mailman for the troops during “Operation Starlight” in which 42 marines died.

Vietnam vet and Front Royal Town Councilman William Sealock recalled a personal and emotional side of the experience of war.

The mail carrier brought brief moments of joy to those caught up in the heat of battle and the soldier who delivered welcome news from home declared he had “no apology for being a ‘grunt’  performing this duty. Sealock rose through the ranks to retire as a Chief Warrant Officer and returned to civilian life as a Defense Department contractor. After serving on the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority Board of Directors, he was elected to Town Council in 2016. (To see and listen to Sealock’s approximately 15-minute welcoming address, guest speaker Larry Funk, and a complete video of the ceremony, go to the Royal Examiner video presentation accompanying this article)

Hartsell called for a moment’s silence for those who died in battle while guest speaker Funk, Post 53 commander, honored “every man and woman who has honorably served their country in every war since the Revolutionary War.”

A salute to those who have served as taps is sounded to bring this Veterans Day ceremony to a close.

He noted that while the “war to end all wars” – World War I – did not live up to its reputation, it did lead to the formation of the American Legion which then, and to this day, is in the business of alleviating the stresses of Americans returning from active duty. He noted that homelessness is most prevalent today among veterans and he offered a cure: employment. He asked potential employers to give major consideration to employing veterans, particularly those who have been wounded in service.

“Give them who gave us our precious freedoms a shot at the American dream,” he implored.

Among organizations represented at the 2018 annual ceremony, apart from various other officers of the American Legion, were: Jeff Cook, Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1860;  Dennis Henline, Exalted Ruler, Fraternal Order of the Elks, 2382; Richard Crawford, Veteran’s Chairman, Elks, 2382; and Wayne Sealock, Governor, Lodge 829, Loyal Order of the Moose.

Opening prayer and benediction were by Cindy Kokernak while John Kokernak sounded “Taps” to end the ceremony.  This year just one dog was in attendance, Cody, accompanied by his pal Stephen Kurtz.

Giles B. Cook American Legion Post 53 Commander Larry Funk delivered the keynote address.

(Our contributing writer, Malcolm Barr Sr., is a veteran of the Royal Air Force, and his son, Malcolm  Barr Jr., is an Iraq war vet who served 10 years with the U.S. Air Force and represents a contracting company in military intelligence adjacent to Langley AFB in Virginia. Barr Sr. recollects attending every Armistice Day (now Veterans Day in the U.S.) since emigrating from the UK in 1955, often more recently with a canine companion representing the “dogs of war”)

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Community Events

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month… never forget.

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The Giles B. Cook Post 53 of the American Legion held its Veterans Day ceremony on the Warren County Courthouse lawn on Sunday, November 11th. This date marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

The Royal Examiner’s camera was there to capture the moment and to honor all veterans. Special remarks were made by William Sealock, a Marine veteran and current Town Councilman and by Larry Funk, a US Army veteran, retired Warren County Deputy Sheriff and current Commander of the Post 53.

William Sealock, Marine veteran and current Town Councilman makes the opening remarks and shares his memories.

Larry Funk, US Army veteran, retired Warren County Deputy Sheriff and current Commander of Post 53 delivers the Veterans Day 2018 message.

Laying of the wreaths.

As taps was being played and the wreaths were being laid at the Memorials, the audience was reverent and honored our fallen veterans.

Originally called Armistice Day, commemorating the signing of the agreement that ended World War I at 11:00 A.M., November 11, 1918, this federal holiday was changed to Veterans Day in 1954. At that time, it became a day to honor all the men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United States.

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness.

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Upcoming Events

Dec
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3:00 pm St. Luke Community Clinic Annual... @ St. Luke Community Clinic
St. Luke Community Clinic Annual... @ St. Luke Community Clinic
Dec 20 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
St. Luke Community Clinic Annual Holiday Open House @ St. Luke Community Clinic
STOP IN FOR A FOR HOLIDAY COOKIES AND TREATS, MEET THE STAFF, AND TOUR THE CLINIC!
6:30 pm Oil painting for the non painter @ Strokes of Creativity
Oil painting for the non painter @ Strokes of Creativity
Dec 20 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Oil painting for the non painter @ Strokes of Creativity
Come join Gloria Howarton, self taught artist, and explore the rich medium of oil painting. This is a 4 week Thursday Evening Class from 6:30-9:00 pm. The dates are 12/06/2018, 12/13/2018 , 12/20/2018 and 1/3/2019[...]
Dec
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10:00 am Paper Sculpture Party: Koi Fish @ Art in the Valley
Paper Sculpture Party: Koi Fish @ Art in the Valley
Dec 24 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Paper Sculpture Party: Koi Fish @ Art in the Valley
Create your own 5″ x 7″ koi fish paper sculpture with your friends! Schedule your own party for up to 8 people (3-person minimum). No drawing skills are necessary. Artist Tiffany Budzisz will walk you[...]
2:00 pm Annual Community Christmas Dinner @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptarment
Annual Community Christmas Dinner @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptarment
Dec 24 @ 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Annual Community Christmas Dinner @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptarment
This is the fourth year of the Annual Community Christmas Dinner being held! It is on Christmas Eve, December 24th from 2 to 7pm at Front Royal Volunteer Fire Dept. A hot meal is provided with turkey[...]
Dec
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9:00 am 2019 Dare to Dream Grant Applica... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2019 Dare to Dream Grant Applica... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 25 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
2019 Dare to Dream Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Now Accepting Applications for 2019 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a profession, start a non-profit, anything[...]