BOYCE, VA – With our car sitting in the parking lot occupied by a dog named Goose, how appropriate it was to be greeted by a high-flying bird named Goose, the first of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center’s “ambassadors” on display at the center’s Grand Opening of its “Wildlife Walk” over the past weekend.
The “Walk”, planned, or perhaps only dreamed of six years ago, provides an outdoor viewing area of a dozen or more small animals and large birds, the first being Goose, a Peregrine Falcon, described as being arguably the fastest animal on earth – clocked at over 200 mph in dives while hunting smaller and less speedy prey. Goose, the bird, not the dog, broke his “fingers”, possibly in one such flight six years ago, and was turned in to the BRWC hospital where he found a permanent and safe home following his injuries.
“Home” is where Dr. Jennifer Riley, DVM, treats up to 2,000 animals, reptiles and birds per year, most of which are eventually released to their previous habitat, all fixed up and ready to go again. Just a few, by comparison, wind up as permanent residents at the million-dollar facility on Island Farm Road in Boyce, and these are what more than 200 visitors saw and were greeted by last weekend.
A second version of the grand opening of the “The Wildlife Walk” is scheduled this coming weekend, May 1 and 2. Admission is free.
A longtime resident of the Center is a handsome, elderly “ambassador” named Jefferson, a Bald Eagle, introduced this day by Kelly Bailey of Stephens City, one of 12 docents at the Boyce facility. America’s national bird, Bailey said, survived three surgeries for injuries received when he hit a utility pole. The medical attention was successful, but Jefferson still couldn’t fly so, 10 years ago, had found himself a home.
It appeared that the new outdoor refuge had been a gleam in the eye of the Center’s manager for education and research, Jennifer Burghoffer. She was one of two senior staffers on hand to greet attendees, the other being Executive Director Annie Bradfield, new to the job with, like veteran staff member Burghoffer, a fondness for birds and education of the public. Bradfield began her new duties about six months ago.
While BRWC tends all animals native to Virginia, the Center has one spectacular “outsider” a long way from home. She is Snow, an Arctic Fox, a popular Number 8 on the list of 12 “ambassadors,” currently a white ball of fluff sound asleep when we reached her home. She, too, is a longtime resident – nine years – and among the most popular. A year or so ago I was fortunate to see her being taken for a doggy-style walk outside her lofty and comfortable cage.
Number 2 among the animals on display was Vega who gives local residents a closer look at what many see mostly from afar, the ubiquitous Turkey Vulture. Docent Heather Shank-Givens said Vega was admitted to the hospital in 2019 suffering from gunshot wounds. Turkey Vultures, as well as all native birds, are federally protected and shooting them is illegal. Among other injuries, Vega lost an eye and suffers from lead poisoning. While non-releasable, Vega makes a good case against hunters of any animals and birds using lead ammunition which Dr. Riley lustily and regularly preaches against in the Northern Valley area.
Future visitors will view close-up the animals they mostly see dead on our highways and byways, the Virginia Opossums. My accompanying colleague and mission photographer Roger Bianchini recently argued over the name during my January visit to turn in an injured dove.
“Why was I taught to call them Possums if there’s an ‘O’ in the name – it wouldn’t be a silent ‘O’ first letter, would it?” argued Bianchini. We took the opportunity to settle the issue while being greeted by Bradfield, Burghoffer and others on duty in the front office. The result was a tie – we were both correct. There are Opossums native to this area; the Possums my colleague described were cousins of the local guys, living in far-away Australia.
Closer to home, visitors were fascinated by a solitary Virginia Box Turtle enjoying an afternoon swim in the enclosure’s pond; and attempts were made to out stare an inquisitive Screech Owl named Dopey, and so ended one of the area’s most enjoyable shows, courtesy “The Ambassadors.”
Advance reservations, due to the pandemic, are required. To sign up, visit the BRWC website: blueridgewildlifectr.org
Benefit for Mason Ryder: Local Front Royal boy in need of liver transplant
Let’s help Mason, a local 8-year-old boy who lives here in Front Royal!
Please watch this video to meet Mason and his family. Learn a little about his journey with Dyskeratosis Congenita and get excited about the upcoming fundraiser. Mason has been recommended for liver transplant pre screening, and we all need to support the best we can:
To learn more, visit: Mason Ryder’s Journey with Dyskeratosis Congenita
Event: June 19, 2021
Time: 3 pm to 8 pm
Location: 1481 Hazard Mill Rd, Bentonville VA 22610
More Info: Facebook Event Page
- Raffle Items, Live Music, Lego Auction (made by Mason)
- Hot Dogs or Hamburgers | 2 Sides – BYOB – tickets $10.00
- Raffle Tickets – $1.00 each | Drawings will be announced starting at 7pm
- Cornhole Tournament – $10.00 entry fee
- Call Pam Coyle for details: 540-233-2597
If you can not attend and still want to donate, click this link: Mason’s GoFundMe
Family Fun Day is this Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the Gazebo
Yes, there will be a 2021 Family Fun Day – and it will be this Saturday, May 8, 2021, at the Gazebo in downtown Front Royal. The activities will start at 10:00 am till 6:00 pm.
Family Fun Day is a family-friendly, alcohol-free event, hosted in Front Royal, Virginia, by C & C Frozen Treats. Family Fun Day is an official 501c3 nonprofit and will be happy to accept your tax-deductible donation to help fund this year’s event.
If you love and support the community of Front Royal and the surrounding areas, we encourage you to come out and bring your family and friends to enjoy this community-building event with an antique car show, kid’s events, and of course ICE CREAM! Let’s not forget that Nina will be boiling crawfish! Don’t miss the fun!
This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of May 7th
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! We are continuing to practice “6 Foot Social Distancing” with 30% capacity reserved seating in all auditoriums.
Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Friday, May 7:
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: $10
- Child (under 12): $7
- Military: $8
- Student (college): $8
- Senior: $8
- Matinees, All Seating: $7
- “Finding You”
- “A Quiet Place: Part II”
- “Spirit Untamed”
Martin’s crew doing their part to Keep Virginia Beautiful
In celebration of Arbor Day and as part of The GIANT Company’s commitment to making a difference in its local communities, several MARTIN’S team members and their families spent Friday morning volunteering with Keep Virginia Beautiful on restoration and tree planting efforts at Shenandoah River State Park.
Empty Bowl Supper 2021 “TO GO” was a great success
Empty Bowl Supper 2021 “TO GO” event crossed the finish line bringing in an approximate net of 13K to the House of Hope! Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this year amazing. Main Street/Downtown merchants made this year extra special by displaying bowls ahead of time. Thank you to the following downtown participants:
- C & C Frozen Treats
- Turnmeyer Galleries
- White Picket Fence
- Manor Line Market
- House of Fabrics
- Royal Oaks Computers
- I Want Candy
- DL Campus Coffee
- Mountain Trails
- Down Home Comfort Bakery
- Royal Blends Nutrition
- Gourmet Delights
- Main Street Travel
- Downtown Market
Scott and Pam Turnmeyer shared, “We enjoyed setting up outside and being part of the Empty Bowl Supper event. It was great to see so many of our friends and customers and reach new ones.” House of Fabrics commented, “We only have about 5 bowls left. New people came in and now know where we are!”
The music at the gazebo was fantastic. First band was Passage Creek Rising. Passage Creek Rising has played for several years for the supper and is truly loved. This year a second band played for the second half of the day,
JWX: The Jarreau Williams Experience. There was dancing in the streets!
A huge thank you to Explore Art & Clay, Arline Link who organized the completion of approximately 250 bowls this year. The people from the community who volunteered to paint, ROCKED IT! Please note, we do have some leftovers. They will be for sale for $25.00 at Explore Art & Clay. The bowls are an excellent gift idea – unique custom bowls that help to support a solution to homelessness in our community!
Thank you to all of the soup donors; The soups were delicious! People have explained how nice it was to enjoy the soups at home with enough for a husband and wife to dine on for two meals! There were a few cancellations due to a Covid-19 outbreak, so the soup list shrunk a little. However, there was plenty of soup still for all to enjoy! Thank you to the following soup donors:
- Blue Wing Frog – Vegan Butternut Squash
- Soul Mountain Restaurant – Tomato Basil
- The Mill Restaurant – Cream of Broccoli, Beef Vegetable, Chili, Loaded Potato, and White Bean Chicken The Apple House – Loaded Baked Potato
- Mountain Home – Chestnut Apple Soup
- Manor Line Market – Smoked Pulled Beef Chili
- Paladin Bar & Grill – Brunswick Stew
- The Blue Door Kitchen & Inn – Ribolitta (sausage, beans, vegetables)
- Downtown Catering – Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato | Cream of Cauliflower
- Daily Grind – White Bean Chili
- Royal Spice – Chicken Storg (chicken, beans, noodles)
- El Maguey – Aztec (rice, Chicken, vegetables)
- Try Thai – Coconut and Tofu
A monumental thank you to our sponsors. We want to take a moment to say thank you to our sponsors from 2020. It was so unfortunate that the event was cancelled due to the pandemic, but your sponsorship dollars helped us keep the doors open at the House of Hope through such a difficult time. Your support is sincerely appreciated.
This year’s 2021 sponsorship lineup:
- Explore Art & Clay – Arline Link
- MayAnne and Joe Biggs
- Sigrid Hepp-Dax
- Rotary Club of Warren County
- No Doubt Accounting
- Ticket Sponsor Ellen Aders – State Farm
- Rotary Club of Front Royal
- Jo Ellen McNeal
- Dave and Carol Hardy
- Jennifer Avery, Realtor
- Blue Ink Original
- Marlow Motors Co.
- Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
IN KIND Sponsors:
- Scott Turnmeyer Photography
- Downtown Market
- Ladies of Bethel United Methodist Church
- Kira Tomlin and her amazing cookie kids
Thank you again to our wonderful community of Warren County. We thank you for your support through the Empty Bowl Supper and pledge to keep updates coming on the growth of the House of Hope program. Be sure to follow us on Facebook as we look to celebrate our success with all! Occasionally needs are posted. You just might have that extra microwave we might need for a graduate! Let’s stay connected:
Linden Volunteer Fire Department presents Captain’s Choice/Best Ball Golf Tournament
Please join us for the Captain’s Choice/Best Ball Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the Linden Volunteer Fire Department. The event will be held Saturday, May 15, 2021, at Bowling Green Country Club South (768 Bowling View Road, Front Royal, VA 22630).
The cost is $340 per foursome. The entry fee covers the green and cart fee, along with a gourmet boxed lunch. Cash or checks only — please no credit cards.
The schedule is as follows:
- Check-in: 7:30 a.m.
- Shotgun start: 8:30 a.m.
- Longest Drive
- Closest to the Pin
- Additional Goofy Ball Contest: $20 per team
- Magic Putts: $20 per team
- 50/50 Raffle: $1.00 per ticket
Proceeds are to benefit the Linden Volunteer Fire Department. Advanced reservations are appreciated by May 12th.
Register by phone by calling Jody at 703-409-4439, or send your player/contact information in our Online Contact Form. For each member of your team, send us your 1) Name 2) Phone and 3) Email in the “comment” section.
Thanks for your support of the Linden Volunteer Fire Department!