Free tax preparation will be available again this year through the AARP Tax Aide at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Front Royal, Monday and Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 15th. To make an appointment, please call 540-635-5859.
Town Talk: A conversation with Ken Knesh, Principal at Warren County HS, Holiday Craft-Vendor Bazaar and more
In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Ken Knesh, Principal at Warren County High School. On December 11, 2021, WCHS will be hosting a Holiday Craft and Vendor Bazaar from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. The school is located at 155 Westminster Drive in Front Royal.
Come out and start your holiday shopping at this event and help support the parents ‘Cat Pack’ programs and the 35 local vendors. Free admission and parking.
Some vendors include Avery Hess, Apron Love, Betts & Coop Boutique, Cardshop Bakers, Chantill’s Cupboard, Collectively Emily, ColorStreet, Darling Daughters Crafts, Dot Dot Smile, Essential Bodywear, Facial Aloe’s, Farmasi, Freshie Start, Malena’s Closet, Mama Bears Canned Goods, Norwex, Pampered Chef, Paparazzi, Park Lane Jewelry, Peace Pillows, and Scentsy.
Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com
Bryan Charles Duncan (1976 – 2021)
Bryan Charles Duncan, 45, of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, November 29, 2021, at his home.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, December 19, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. at Maddox Funeral Home with Sammy Campbell officiating. Inurnment will be private.
Bryan was born July 13, 1976, in Manassas, Virginia son of Charles Raymond Duncan, Jr. of Haymarket and Cindy Sherwood Cook of Front Royal. He was an electrician by trade.
Surviving with his parents are his step-father, Bruce F. Cook, Sr. of Front Royal; one son, Nathaniel Duncan of Front Royal; two daughters, Kylie Duncan of West Virginia and Adriana Nesbitt of Front Royal; two brothers, George Raymond Hardy of Spotsylvania and Bruce F. Cook, Jr. of Front Royal; one sister, Monica Lea Cook of Front Royal; two nephews, Jordan and Jackson; and two nieces, Sheyenne and Savanah.
He was preceded in death by his son Bryan Xavier Duncan.
Mitchel “Mitch” T. Coffey (1938 – 2021)
Mitchel “Mitch” T. Coffey, 83, passed away on November 29, 2021. Mitch was preceded in death by his son Gregory and is survived by his wife of 63 years, Doris McLean Coffey, for whom his undying love and devotion was a shining example to us all; daughter, Darlene (John); grandchildren, James (Angela) and Tiffany; and great-granddaughter, Virginia Louise.
As an only child from the rural mountains of North Carolina, Mitch married his childhood sweetheart and took a job with AT&T, where he worked his way up to make a career spanning more than three decades. They had two children, Darlene Michele and Gregory Scott, and moved to Virginia where Mitch commuted to work in the District of Columbia until his retirement in Warrenton, Virginia.
Mitch enjoyed “loafing” about the country with Doris in their RV, purchased for touring his own mother and mother-in-law around this great country. He was one of the founding members of the Association of Snowmobile Softies (A.S.S.). This group, spanning multiple generations and decades, shared a passion for snowmobiling, but more importantly a passion for mentorship and comradery that is incredibly rare. Both Darlene and Greg were avid water skiers, and the family enjoyed many summers out on Lake Anna and the lakes in Canada with family and friends.
A graveside service is scheduled for 11:00 am on December 18, 2021, at Little Georgetown Cemetery in Broad Run, Virginia, immediately followed by a Celebration of Life at the Inn at Vint Hill in Warrenton, Virginia, from 12:00 – 4:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Blue Ridge Hospice, the Fauquier Food Bank, or the Fauquier SPCA.
US Senator Mark Warner comments on diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after the Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, China:
“I applaud President Biden’s decision to impose a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. A diplomatic boycott of the Games sends a powerful message to the Chinese Communist Party that the United States will not turn a blind eye to the CCP’s increasing aggression globally and its disturbing human rights abuses, a list that is long and growing and includes vast and systematic repression of Uyghurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang; cultural destruction in Tibet; the silencing of those deemed threatening to the CCP, such as tennis player Peng Shuai, and companies and individuals around the world who do not adhere to the CCP’s narrative; escalating threats against the people of Taiwan; and the destruction of democratic freedoms in Hong Kong.”
Campus food pantry offerings improved thanks to Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation grant
Pantries helping those of our students suffering from food insecurity will be better stocked thanks to a $6,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, which worked in partnership with the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE).
The grant will allow the college to increase and diversify its offerings of fresh, healthy fare, particularly fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheese and milk; purchase refrigerators and freezers to ensure safe food storage and allow for the pantry to stock frozen meals and meal kits; and allow for increased distribution of hygiene items to be placed in campus bathrooms.
Both the Fauquier and Middletown campuses have food pantries, which are open to all students regardless of income. Food insecurity represents a significant challenge for many students. A fall 2020 survey of all 23 community colleges in Virginia conducted by the Hope Center revealed that one-third of students are faced with food insecurity. Furthermore, 63 percent do not apply for public benefits because they are unaware of their eligibility. By providing students with the resources needed to succeed, Anthem is creating equal access to economic mobility.
Anthem awarded a total of $100,000 to community colleges across the state to provide flexible funds for supporting hunger relief efforts and connecting students to sustaining public benefits.
“LFCC has been a wonderful partner in meeting the needs of all students. We are inspired by the college’s efforts to address food insecurity and realize this is critical to helping students reach graduation,” stated Dr. Jennifer Gentry, Virginia Community College System vice chancellor and VFCCE executive director.
“We’re very excited about this grant from Anthem; it will allow us to expand what is offered at our pantry – which is open to everyone,” said Kaitlyn Lambert, assistant director of financial aid at LFCC. “We had not been able to provide fresh, healthy foods previously, so most of our supplies were grab-and-go items like canned soup, snacks, breakfast bars, etc.
“Student feedback showed a desire for healthy and fresh food for their families, so we have been working towards expanding since then. We have even been in touch with local businesses and community gardens to expand our offerings and build strong relationships with our community partners. With this new funding, we are also hoping to offer mini meal prep sessions with recipe cards, so students learn how to prepare the fresh foods with the resources available. We have learned that some students only have access to a microwave, a plug-in griddle, or other small appliances so we wanted to share a variety of options.”
Faculty, staff, community members, student clubs and even students themselves have also provided donations to the food pantries and to food and hygiene stations on our campuses. Phi Theta Kappa is doing a Feeding Your Success Supply Drive, and Student Life donated a fridge to a Fauquier Campus Success Station, where students can heat up meals, grab snacks and get health and hygiene products.
An LFCC employee donated money so the Middletown Campus could get a refrigerator for the pantry, and both PTK and the Stem Club have donated items, according to Viviane Meder, coordinator of both TRIO and disability services.
“In addition to shelf-stable items, we try to keep in stock other necessary items, such as hygiene products, clothing, face masks and diapers,” she said. “Kaitlyn and I both firmly believe that if students need something, we try to make it happen without requiring a lot of forms, or process, which can deter students from taking advantage of services they need.”
This marks the third consecutive year that the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation has partnered with the VFCCE to address food insecurity; by supporting hunger relief, Anthem is helping students finish college, pursue fulfilling careers, and build healthier futures.
Founded in 1970, Lord Fairfax Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. LFCC offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. LFCC also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. LFCC serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lord Fairfax Community College. Lord Fairfax Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. LFCC also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation: Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS): Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve approximately 250,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.
The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) is a supporting arm of Virginia’s 23 community colleges. It works to broaden educational access, promote student success, and provide innovative solutions to workforce needs. To ensure access to high quality, affordable education, the VFCCE provides statewide leadership in raising funds for community college education, supplementing the activities of the 23 individual colleges, and advocating for major system-wide initiatives that could not be undertaken by any single college. For more information, please visit vfcce.org.
Winchester SPCA announces their “Empty the Shelters – Holiday Hope” event
BISSELL Pet Foundation is bringing hope to homeless pets across the country this holiday season with its “Empty the Shelters – Holiday Hope” event December 7 – 12, 2021.
The Winchester SPCA is one of more than 200 participating shelters across the country reducing adoption fees to help pets find their adoptive families. Approved applicants can adopt for just $25 during this year’s Empty the Shelters event.
Come meet your new best friend at the Winchester SPCA adoption center (111 Featherbed Lane, Winchester, VA 22601). We’re open Tuesday to Friday, 10AM to 5PM, and weekends by appointment.