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Girl of Destiny 2020 Awards – A celebration of leadership, service, and empowerment

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This weekend Reaching Out Now held the Girl of Destiny Luau Awards Ceremony. The girls and their families gathered to celebrate, enjoy delicious food by Chef Devin Smith, and wish the graduating 8th graders good luck as they move into leadership roles in 9th grade! There were several tears shed when remembering how far the girls have come.

Watch this video to hear some of the kind words shared by Samantha Barber (Founder and President) and Marlena Conner (Board Member & Mentor Liaison) as they present the awards. Michelle Rutledge (Board Member & Community Outreach) shares the opening prayer and recognizes Samantha for her hard work and dedication. The video also features Kendallee Walker (Samantha Barber’s daughter) as she addresses the group regarding a “Note on Leadership”, Anne Cobb (Vice President) reads a special letter from Dr. Michelle Edwards written to the girls, and closing prayer by Judith James:

To learn more about Reaching Out Now and programs, please visit: www.reachingoutnow.org

Special thanks was given to all of the community supporters who have helped Reaching Out Now throughout the year. Extra shout-out to the Front Royal Women’s Resource Center and Rotary Club of Warren County represented by Jen Avery at the ceremony. Thank you to Royal Examiner for helping to spread the word about Reaching Out Now.

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Community Events

Online auction to support St Luke Community Clinic

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Fundraisers have been difficult for our local non-profits this year. Please consider participating in St Luke Community Clinic – Online Auction starting September 21. Watch this video to learn more. Visit St. Luke’s site to see all items available!

Any items that would like to be viewed in person can be done in a private viewing by calling St. Luke Community Clinic at 540-636-4325. They will be happy to arrange a time for you to come look at any item you are interested in. The auction starts on Monday, September 21, 2020, at 7:00 am and ends on September 26, 2020, at 6:00 pm.

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Samuels Public Library – bringing people, information, and ideas together

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Library Director Michelle Ross joined Samuels Public Library on July 1, 2020.

On July 1, 2020, Michelle Ross became our new Library Director at Samuels Public Library. Michelle came here from Charleston, West Virginia, where she had a well-established record of leadership, success and community focus with a passion for excellent library services, programs and events. Michelle holds a Master of Library & Information Science Degree from the University of Pittsburgh and was named the 2020 recipient of the Linda G. Wright Award for excellence in Library Service in Kanawha County, West Virginia, where she served as the Sissonville Branch Manager.

“My professional philosophy is that libraries should be the heart of their communities and Samuels Public Library is a perfect example. I am thrilled about the opportunity to lead such a talented and dedicated staff.”

She said the pandemic required closing the library to the public from mid-March until mid-June following the Governor’s Executive Orders.

“But during that time we found ways to continue serving our patrons. We offered curbside pickup; we created new visual programs that included craft kits patrons could pick up to take home; we added new online resources, and while we were closed we took actions to ensure the library’s readiness for reopening, cleaning, painting and making sure our patrons could observe social distancing requirements. During the period we were closed we had 1,651 curbside pickups (from May 4 until June 30), with 10,400 items checked out, along with 188 craft kits, 26 by adults, and 162 by kids. We also offered 72 virtual programs.” As she said,” it takes more than a pandemic to keep a good library down.”

The library has now reopened, operating on its regular schedule; however, meeting rooms are still not available.  Masks are required for all patrons over the age of 10, and furniture has been rearranged to encourage social distancing.  Returns and donations are quarantined for 5 days. High-touch areas are sanitized frequently.  Curbside service is still available, and programs continue to be delivered virtually.

Epilogue Bookstore is open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 am until 4 pm.

The library has offered numerous virtual programs. You can now read digital magazines at RBDigital, for example. Other virtual programs and apps include OverDrive (ebooks and audiobooks), Hoopla (movies, TV, ebooks, audiobooks, music, and comics), Rocket Languages, Peterson’s Career Prep, Cricket Media (preK-8th grade ebooks), Universal Class (500+ online courses), and Freegal Music.

It also offers adult services: “Books and Beyond Discussion,” offered the first Wednesday of every month at 10 am; and “Photography and Beyond,” offered on Saturdays at 10 am. (“What the Tech!” is not offered as a virtual program.)

Michelle also reminded us that this is Library Sign-up Month, so if you do not have a library card, or have misplaced your card, this is the month to take advantage of that. And finally this month the library is celebrating SAMICON, a comic book and “geek” convention for all ages. This year it is a virtual celebration, with a scavenger hunt each week to celebrate local merchants. She encourages all to join the fun.

For additional information, you can contact her at mross@samuelslibrary.net or 540-635-3153 ext. 110.

Written by Hank Ecton

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Rotary Roadside Clean Up helping our community look beautiful

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This weekend, members and family of the Rotary Club of Warren County gathered on Kendrick Lane, in Front Royal, Virginia, to clean up the roadside. Clean up was done cautiously with face masks and spacing, but a small sense of “getting back to normal” was felt for those who participated. Working together to help the community hasn’t felt so good in a while!

Thank you to Rotary for helping our community look beautiful. Now let’s all chip in and keep it looking this good always! #RotaryClubofWarrenCounty #WarrenStrong

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FRWRC Center Stage: Joanne Zarrillo Cherefko & Fragmented Roots

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Welcome to FRWRC Center Stage with Joanne Zarrillo Cherefko, poet and award winning educator.

Watch this episode to learn about the Who, What, Why, and Where of her new book, Fragmented Roots. Joanne wrote this collection of poetry prior to COVID-19, but you will be amazed by how many of these poems touch your current life situation.

“Fragmented Roots is part love letter, part primal scream, and altogether transcendent.” – Rich Follett

  • Book available on Amazon
  • Find Joanne on Facebook
  • Visit Joanne’s website for more about Fragmented Roots and her other work

FRWRC-Front Royal Women’s Resource Center

#CenterStage #WomenEmpoweringWomen #FRWRC

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Community Events

UPDATE: Main Street ART WALK has moved to August 30 from 12pm – 5pm

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Welcome to FRWRC Center Stage with Teresa Henry and Cynthia Smithlin, owners of Downtown Market.

With a lot of hard work and family team effort, these two women have created a dream come true for many of our local arts and small business owners. Teresa and Cynthia have a size range of space available to fit everyone’s needs. They LOVE to watch artisans grow!

Watch this episode to learn the Who, What, Why behind the Downtown Market and hear about what kind of dedication it takes from these two women to keep the momentum going!

Main Street ART WALK: Teresa and Cynthia have worked along side others on Main Street to put together the Main Street Art Walk on August 30, from 12pm – 5pm (watch the event link for updates), and are inviting artists back on September 5 from 3pm – 7pm as well. This special event is an effort to follow social distancing guidelines and safety regulations for COVID-19, while bringing a little activity to Main Street highlighting our amazing LOCAL talent!

Teresa Henry of Strokes of Creativity
Cynthia Smithlin of Bright New Image Vinyls & Antiques

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FRWRC Center Stage: New Warren County resources app

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FRWRC CENTER STAGE featuring Warren County Community Liaison, Michelle Smeltzer.

Watch this video to learn all about who, what, why, and where behind this amazing app that Michelle has created. The app will help our entire community locate valuable resources about our public schools, fire stations, location of Blessing Boxes, St. Luke, CCAP, where to find a donated meal for dinner, and so much more! Michelle will take us on a tour:

Get the app by going to your app store on your device and typing in: WARREN COUNTY VA RESOURCES

Special thanks to the Rotary Club of Warren County and to our local Social Services Department for helping fund this useful tool.

Michelle Smeltzer
Warren County Community Liaison
FRWRC-Front Royal Women’s Resource Center

#CenterStage #WomenEmpoweringWomen #FRWRC

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