The WHAT MATTERS community meeting space, “Open House: Meet in the Middle” (213 E. Main Street next to the Daily Grind) will again serve as a meeting place for community members seeking positivism in this time of controversy for our town and county. At 7pm on Tuesday, 9/24/19, Police Chief Kayle Magalis, Mayor Matt Tederick and Beth Medved Waller invite all to join them and other community leaders and citizens as we engage in another hour of positive reflections and hope. In the first “Conversation of Hope” held at “Open House” in June, the Chief shared a fitting quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
During the first June gathering, dozens of community members gathered to share positive comments about moving forward and embracing the good qualities, people and vitality that Warren County has to offer. Here are some of the uplifting words filled with compassion shared during our brief time together during the June 7th “Conversation”:
…Tragedy doesn’t define our community; we have made it through other controversial times, the new police department is an example of the success of a dream 20+ years in the making, don’t feed the beast, negativity breeds negativity, buy local support local, this time shouldn’t change our opinion about what a blessing it is to live here, we must heal relationships with friends and the community because we are hurt and need to acknowledge our pain and rebuild, the term “keep it simple, stupid” can be used to find ways to work together, we must combat darkness with light and stay in the light, we need to be the people we are supposed to be no matter what, we will never stop all the negativity but love will lead us, people who have businesses and work here must be a part of the healing and rebuilding, be a part of the solution, people choose to move here for scenery, values and there are people who stay here for the same reason, this too shall pass, Front Royal is loved for the people, volunteering, service and beauty, shine a light on the great people here and count our blessings, go to prayer and good will prevail, this is a perfect storm for renewal and revival and to come together, a community that doesn’t hide from their faith survives—run to God and add prayer to meetings, lean on God, healing is best when focused on others and for others, be compassionate…
July’s “Conversation of Hope” was also inspiring as guests reminisced and shared hope for positive change in our community. Police Chief, Kahle Magalis, encouraged us to focus on the wellness of the community, not just the sickness, and suggested that the new hospital progress can remind us to do just that. He also said that he’s very pleased with the working relationship the FR Police Department and the WC Sheriff’s office have in trying to embrace collaboration and cooperation. It was discussed that some of our current issues are bringing things to light that need to be addressed and that dealing with those issues will have a positive impact. In addition, attendees spent much of the time reminiscing about favorite FR/WC memories from the old days of every weekend Skyline Drive traffic & picnics in the park, the Sesquicentennial pageant event in 1986, the Red Stock and Volleys that the hospital hosted, and our hope that another community-wide event could materialize (perhaps a canoe event). It was a heartwarming gathering!
In August we met and again had a fantastic turnout of positive-spirited neighbors. Attendees included a business owner who fell in love with the kind people of our community & and decided to make this her home and place to build her business after just one week of visiting the area years ago. Another participant was a five year resident who volunteers in the school and has started a nonprofit as well as an out of towner who attends church here and has a great love for the valley. Comments included positive feedback about the school system, about the giving & caring individuals in our community, a reference to George Jefferson’s “moving on up” (and encouragement to focus on the positive and move forward without delay by sharing concern but finding solutions and moving on), the acknowledgement that we have a strong sense of community that’s full of characters and memories and that we have so much potential and good energy. It was expressed that this is a good time to be forced to confront what we love and value and to picture the past and what’s good about the area. One guest said, “let it go if you can’t do anything about it.” The mayor expressed his strong desire to see the Afton Inn restored and George McIntyre discussed the LOVE sign series project he’s spearheading.
“This too shall pass” was again uttered as well as the fact that our community has so much to offer as a busy, active and unique area (full of outdoor assets and beauty) where people care about each other and don’t let tragedy define us. Niki Foster of the FR/WC Chamber of Commerce encouraged everyone to share the wonderful things we see and be louder than the ugly noise. Representatives of area clergy were in attendance and said they want to support and serve, especially in these times we are facing. Someone said we are passed the ugly and are on the verge of being beautiful again.
Please join us Tuesday, September 24th, at 7pm, to share and witness more encouraging conversations.
George McIntyre, Craig Laird and FRIBA also announce the next upcoming opportunity to meet to continue the “Save our Town” video series that began in May with a strong attendance. On September 26th and October 24th from 11:30-1pm, the Front Royal Independent Business Alliance will again host a free screening in the series featuring Becky McCray and Deb Brown from SaveYour.Town. The video series is held at the WHAT MATTERS Community Meeting Space, Open House: Meet in the Middle (213 E. Main St. & adjacent to the Daily Grind Coffee Shop).
“Too often, pessimists shoot down your ideas. But you have great ideas, a vision of what your town could be. How do you start making things happen? Learn the practical steps you can take to change attitudes, draw a crowd of supporters, improve the environment and create more connections, no matter what the pessimists say or do,” said McCray.
The video series is designed to show our community new ways to work together towards positive change. There is no charge to attend this screening and a lively discussion is planned to follow. The Apple House will provide brown bag lunches for $5 and complimentary coffee/tea/water is available at Open House. The gathering will begin at 11:30 and video will start promptly at noon. “Together we’ll work through the process to make your town more Idea Friendly. We’ll show you how to Gather Your Crowd, Make Connections and Take Small Steps. It all adds up to creating the kind of town you want to live in,” said Brown.
Learn more about Brown and McCray here.
*Please note that these gatherings will be ones of positivity, not negativity. Politics and current events will not be discussed—instead we will remind ourselves why we love our community and provide an opportunity to briefly join together those who care together in the spirit of hope…
Belle Grove Plantation to postpone opening for 2020 season, Of Ale and History Beer Fest canceled
Belle Grove Plantation will delay opening for the 2020 season until Friday, April 24. This is in response to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Executive Order 53, that states “Closure of all public access to recreational and entertainment businesses, effective 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020 until 11:59 p.m., Thursday, April 23, 2020…[including]…Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers…” We are closely monitoring news and guidance regarding COVID-19 from health and government officials; please check www.bellegrove.org for updates before planning your visit.
There is ongoing uncertainty of this public health crisis and likelihood that large gatherings of people will be discouraged, if not prohibited, by the time of the May 9, 2020 “Of Ale and History” Beer Festival at Belle Grove. We have, therefore, come to the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Beer Fest and expect to resume this great tradition in 2021. “Of Ale and History” Beer Fest is the longest running beer festival in Virginia and would have celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. It is an annual highlight to welcome the community onto the Belle Grove property and to support the craft beer industry as well as local food and merchandise vendors. However, the safety of our guests and participants are of upmost importance.
We continue to plan for a robust and joyful Belle Grove Wine Fest on August 29, 2020. Events such as the Beer Fest and Wine Fest are crucial fundraisers for our non-profit museum, and we appreciate the longstanding support we have received from attendees and sponsors.
Belle Grove’s website will include updates on additional special events to take place in 2020. The Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association GardenFest scheduled for June 6, 2020 has been canceled. Farm to Fork Shenandoah, a bicycle event planned by Wrenegade Sports for September 13, 2020 will be postponed until September 12, 2021.
Visit www.bellegrove.org for content about the historic site. Additional news will be also shared on Belle Grove’s social media streams at:
The Board of Directors and staff of Belle Grove Plantation thank the health care workers and essential businesses for their continued hard work during this challenging time. We send our well wishes to you all.
About Belle Grove—Belle Grove Plantation is located off Route 11 at 336 Belle Grove Road just south of Middletown, Virginia 22645 and is conveniently located to I-81 (use exit 302) and I-66. Belle Grove Plantation is a non-profit historic house museum that is a National Trust for Historic Preservation historic site (www.savingplaces.org). Belle Grove is also one of the partners in Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park (www.nps.gov/cebe).
Community Earth Day Celebration canceled but the support continues
Governor Northam has closed schools for the remainder of the school year. Thus, we will be cancelling our Community Earth Day Celebration. Thank you to those who have signed on to support the Community Earth Day Celebration! We will try again next year.
We had requested 50 Shortleaf Pine Trees from the Virginia Department of Forestry to plant in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day this year. Those trees have all been adopted and will now have a forever home. I will contact the tree adopters as soon as I hear from the Department of Forestry with a plan.
If you wanted a Shortleaf Pine or maybe another type of tree and you missed one of our 50, no worries… Here is another chance to help improve Warren County’s color on the map below. Check out the VA Department of Forestry’s Nursery Page.
More resourceful links:
May you all stay safe in the healing green glow of a pine tree!
Environmental Science, Ecology, Green Team
Social solidarity during physical distancing
An Invitation from Liz Gibbs of SPACE:
Our tagline has never felt more true… we’re in this together. While most of us are practicing physical distancing, we feel that it is more important than ever to also practice social solidarity.
Join us in a Virtual SPACE Gathering this Friday via Zoom from 6-7pm EST. Just like our in-person SPACE gatherings, we will be focused on connecting over our shared humanity and that which unites us.
Bring stories of hope, compassion, generosity, etc. to share with the group. Whether it’s a kind gesture you received from a neighbor, an uplifting story you read on social media, a philosophical insight on our shared experience or a change in perspective this crisis has revealed for you, all stories of hope and solidarity are welcome. Don’t feel like sharing? Just come and listen!
This virus sucks – there’s no doubt about that. And a lot of what’s happening is out of our control. As with every hardship we face in life that we don’t (consciously) choose – death, heartbreak, health problems, etc. – it’s so important to find perspective. To me, this means we control what we can.
- We can control our perspective, how we respond and what we pay attention to.
- We can choose to shift our attention from loneliness to connection.
- From fear to hope.
- From judgment to compassion.
- From scarcity to generosity.
Let us take this opportunity to connect and celebrate the innate kindness, compassion and generosity of our human family during these tough times.
Hope to see you there!
- Date: Friday, March 20, 2020
- Time: 6pm EST
- Location: Online – Click Here
- Cost: FREE
This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of March 19th
Are you looking for the full movie-going experience without having to wait in the long lines that often accompany that experience? Then look no further because Royal Cinemas movie theatre is the answer. Get the whole gang together and enjoy a movie! Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Thursday, March 19:
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: $9
- Child (under 12): $6
- Military: $7
- Student (college): $7
- Senior: $7
- Matinees, All Seating: $6
Other movies coming soon to Royal Cinemas:
- “A Quiet Place Part II”
- “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway”
- “Trolls: World Tour”
- “Black Widow”
Annual Spring Bazaar at Skyline High School
The Skyline High School Community Based Instruction Program (CBI) is hosting the 2nd Annual CBI Spring Bazaar in the high school cafeteria, April 4th, from 9am – 2pm! There will be many vendors participating, ranging from arts & crafts, home-based businesses to concessions, SOUPS and more.
This event benefits the Skyline High School Community Based Instruction Program (CBI). The Skyline High School CBI is designed for students that need instruction in functional and daily living skills. Community Based Instruction is educational instruction in naturally occurring community environments providing students “real life experiences”. The goal is to provide a variety of hands on learning opportunities at all age levels to help students acquire the skills to live in the world today. This fundraiser helps to raise funds for activities, field trips, and the basics to keep this program running!
CANCELED: St. Catty’s Day at the SPCA
In regard to the previous Press Release below, the SPCA is cancelling the St. Catty’s Day event due to an abundance of caution regarding COVID19 and large gatherings. Thank you.
Celebrate St. Catty’s Day at the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties! Stop by the pet adoption center, located at 111 Featherbed Lane in Winchester, between 10AM and 5PM, on Tuesday, March 17. Learn how you can help to save the lives of itty bitty kittens, apply to become a Kitten Warrior, or adopt a cat for $17.
Current and newly approved fosters will enjoy “Green with Gratefulness” activities. All applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
For more information, contact Marie at email@example.com or call 540-662-8616.