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Community Events

Phoenix Project Fundraiser – Paint Party “The Lotus Flower”



Enjoy this video of participants painting beautiful lotus flowers during the Phoenix Project paint party. The lotus flower was chosen very specifically for this fun evening fundraiser. The great Chinese Philosopher Confucius stated, “I have a love for the Lotus, while growing in mud it still remains unstained.” What a great thought. Some of us might have beginnings or situations that feel like we are living in murky waters. It’s a hopeful feeling to reach for the “state of the lotus!” The lotus is pure, awakened, happy, loving, compassionate, open and free.

Learn more about the Phoenix Project and their mission:

Phoenix Project
222 S Royal Ave. | Front Royal, VA 22630
Office: 540-635-2302
HOTLINE: 540-635-2300 (The hotline is answered 24/7)

Community Events

Bringing HOPE to Appalachia



See the hope, joy, and appreciation in their smiles as they open their HOPE boxes.

Local small business owners, Ellen Aders of State Farm and Jennifer Avery of Jenspiration LLC & NextHome Realty Select prepare for a second trip to the mountains of our neighboring state, Kentucky. In 2012, HOPE for Appalachia launched its first adventure to bring HOPE to children in our most distressed region of America with just one team visiting 3 schools. This year there will be over 200 people on 7 teams visiting 30 school in 7 counties.

Watch this video to see part of the journey to Appalachia and meet some of the children (and a few seniors) who took part in the 2018 HOPE for Appalachia trip. See the hope, joy, and appreciation in their smiles as they open their HOPE boxes.

Learn about the children and families in the Appalachia region:

In February 2009, Diane Sawyer recorded an ABC News documentary titled: A Hidden America – Children of the Mountains. In this documentary, Diane interviews numerous children and families who have remained hidden in the hills of Appalachia. These families struggle with drug abuse, depression, early death, cancer, toothlessness, and alcoholism. Poverty we can’t imagine. In ways, they have been left behind.

Help stuff HOPE boxes:

This year 100 boxes will be stuffed and sent on the trip to Appalachia from Front Royal. If you are interested in donating items for HOPE boxes, please reference the attached list of items. All items are welcome and appreciated, highlighted indicate greatest need. Girls in 6th-8th grade. All items are requested by April 6th.

Drop off site: Aders Insurance, Ellen Aders
23 Church St, Front Royal, VA 22630
Office number: 540-635-3336

OR Call Jen Avery at 540-683-0790 to help make other arrangements.
*HOPE for Appalachia is a 5013C Non-Profit organization

Hope Boxes Basic Items In Each Box
PK to 2nd Grade 3rd to 5th Grade 6th – 8th Grade
Toothpaste Toothpaste Toothpaste
Socks ( Boys/Girls – Medium) Socks (Boys/Girls – Large) Socks (mens/womens)
Comb/Brush Comb/Brush Comb/Brush
Chapstick Chapstick Chapstick
Pencils Pencils Pencils
Sharpeners Sharpeners Sharpeners
Erasers Erasers Erasers
Crayons Crayons Colored Pencils
Markers Markers Ballpoint pens
Glue Sticks Elmers Glue Highlighters
Character Bodywash Character Bodywash Bodywash Deodorant
Hair bows/Ties Hair bows/Ties Hair bows/Ties
Small Toys Small Toys Small notebook
Shampoo/conditioner Shampoo/conditioner Shampoo/conditioner
**Items highlighted are what we really need! And, our 100 boxes are for little girls
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Community Events

Humane Society’s ‘Waggin’ for Dragons’ fundraiser makes a comeback



Dragon boat teams paddle for the finish line and Humane Society fundraising immortality. Courtesy Photos/HSWC

The “Waggin’ for Dragons” longboat race is scheduled for August 3 and the sponsoring body, the Humane Society of Warren County (HSWC) is recruiting teams to take part in the event.

“Waggin’ for Dragons,” until last year when the event was cancelled due to organizational issues, has been the top HSWC fundraiser for a number of years. It has averaged about $40,000 net income annually towards operation of the Julia Wagner Animal Shelter, a haven for abandoned, abused, homeless and neglected domestic animals in the local area.

Registration for the boat race, that in past years has attracted hundreds, perhaps thousands, of onlookers to riverside vantage points, can be accomplished by visiting, according to Shelter Executive Director Meghan Bowers.  The last race winner, in 2017, was Bill Powers’ State Farm Insurance Company’s 21-person team of paddlers.

The logo for this year’s race featuring a photo of the last winning team from State Farm Insurance Co.

That field included teams representing the Town of Front Royal and Warren County, the latter edged out in the final strokes, among a dozen or more community and corporate groups that raced the 200 meter course to the delight of on-shore spectators.

The mid-summer event centers on the main fork of the Shenandoah River at the Front Royal Golf Course boat landing to which free bus transportation is provided.

Dragon boat racing originated in China many years ago and caught on as a fund-raiser for non-profit groups in North America starting in the 1970s. This reporter, on a visit to British Columbia last year, noted that almost every city and town in Canada, with access to a waterway, does a “Waggin’ for Dragons” event. They are staged, as is the Front Royal race, by a Montreal-based organization.

Paddlers surge forward in their quest for victory in a recent “Waggin’ for Dragons” boat race.

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Community Events

This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of March 14th



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 14:

•  Thursday – 6:00 & 8:45
•  Friday – 6:00 & 8:45
•  Sat & Sun – 12:30, 3:15, 6:00 & 8:45
•  Mon-Wed – 6:00 & 8:45
Rated PG-13  |  Run Time: 2 hours 5 min

•  Thursday – 6:05 & 8:55
•  Friday – 6:05 & 8:55
•  Sat & Sun – 12:35, 3:20, 6:05 & 8:55
•  Mon-Wed – 6:05 & 8:55
Rated PG-13  |  Run Time: 1 hour 50 min

•  Thursday – 6:10 & 9:00
•  Friday – 6:10 & 9:00
•  Sat & Sun – 12:40, 3:25, 6:10 & 9:00
•  Mon-Wed – 6:10 & 9:00
Rated PG  |  Run Time: 1 hour 25 min

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:

  • “Dumbo”
  • “Pet Sematary”
  • “Unplanned”
  • “Shazam”
  • “Breakthrough”
  • “Avengers: Endgame”
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Community Events

Troop 53 annual mulch sale



Troop 53

Spring is approaching and Troop 53 is preparing for our annual mulch fundraiser. The funds raised will help support troop activities and send our Boy Scouts to summer camp where they learn valuable skills in leadership, outdoors, and many more through the scouting program.

We will be accepting pre-orders through April 4, 2019 so please place your order to reserve the quantities needed before we sell out. All pick up orders will be available for pick up on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at the Front Royal Volunteer Fire and Rescue and deliveries will be made the same day.

The mulch bags are 3 cubic feet (larger than standard 2CF bags at the big box stores) shredded hardwood in a dark brown color and pricing is:

  • $3.95 per bag for pick up
  • $4.45 per bag for delivery

Orders may be placed via:

  • Email the completed order form to
  • Text 540-692-9110 with name, address, number, email, and qty.
  • Mail the completed order form to Troop 53 Mulch c/o Britton Bowman, 162 Ascalon Dr, Middletown, VA 22645
  • Call 540-692-9110; If we are unable to answer right away, please leave a detailed message with name, number, address, and qty and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

New this year: We are accepting payments via credit/debit card with a 4% fee to cover the processing charges. Email, text, or call if you wish to pay via credit/debit card.

Thank you for all your support of our troop and we look forward to seeing you on April the 6th.

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Community Events

Author Alex Rossino to sign copies of his book at Royal Oak Bookshop



Alexander B. Rossino Book Signing

Six Days in September: A Novel of Lee’s Army in Maryland, by Alex Rossino. Photos courtesy of

Author Alex Rossino will be signing copies of his book Six Days in September: A Novel of Lee’s Army in Maryland.

The event is from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sunday, March 31st at the Royal Oak Bookshop (207 S. Royal Avenue, Front Royal, VA). For more information, visit

Alex Rossino’s Six Days in September is a gripping, fast-paced account of Robert E. Lee’s 1862 campaign to win Southern independence by carrying the war north into Maryland. The thrust across the Potomac River triggered a determined Federal response when Gen. George McClellan led the reorganized and often defeated Army of the Potomac out of Washington’s defenses in pursuit of a victory on Union soil. The resulting battles of South Mountain and Sharpsburg (Antietam) wreaked havoc on both armies, witnessed the bloodiest day in American history, and changed the course of the entire Civil War.

Deeply researched and written with close attention to the actual events, Rossino’s seamless weaving of history and fiction transports readers into the minds of the Southern generals, the torn hearts of beleaguered civilians, and the ranks of Lee’s long-suffering soldiers who endured the agonizing horrors of Civil War combat. Six Days in September is a panoramic, sweeping account of the complex and decisive Maryland Campaign that altered the destiny of our nation.

Alexander B. Rossino.

About the Author: Award-winning author and historian Alexander B. Rossino is a resident of Boonsboro, Maryland. He is the author of Hitler Strikes Poland: Blitzkrieg, Ideology, and Atrocity, an acclaimed history of the racial-political policies implemented by the Third Reich during its 1939 invasion of the Polish Republic. He worked at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum from 1994 to 2003 and is the author of nearly a dozen scholarly articles and book reviews. His interest in the American Civil War dates from childhood and he long wished to write a book on it that transcended the rigid boundaries of academic history. Six Days in September represents that combination of interest and desire.

About Savas Beatie LLC: Savas Beatie LLC is a leading military and general history publishing company. Read more about Six Days in September.

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Community Events

Another sellout anticipated for Front Royal opera



Performers Nicholas Carratura, Mellissa Jean Chavez, Eliot Matheny, and Lindsay Espinosa. / File photo

Impresario David Freese and restaurateur Vincenzo Belvia of Front Royal’s “Osteria 510 Italian Kitchen” announced the opening of a third operatic season in the town this week – Friday evenings, March 29 and April 5.

Described by Til Turner, a former staff member at Middletown’s now closed Wayside Theatre, as “hilarious”, the current attraction is “Elixir of Love,” not one of the world’s best known operas, according to Freese who, with others, was not immediately familiar with the plot line but surmised “some kind of love potion” and “a lot of fun!” He came back later with the information that it is “a light-hearted romantic romp, based on the tale of Tristan and Isolde.”

Already the presentation is receiving a lot of attention and early reservations (540-631-1101) are encouraged. To date, all operatic performances have resulted in SRO crowds.

As a diversion from “opera night” this summer, Freese announced “a night of Broadway tunes” in May. This production is in response to many requests since the musical comedy fare was first mooted a year or so ago.

Favorite local stars Melissa Chavez, soprano, and Nick Carratura, tenor, as well as Elliot Matheny, will be joined by two as yet unnamed operatic virtuosos in “Elixir.” Accompanist is the ever-popular and talented Jan Wagner of Shenandoah University. The evening includes a four-course dinner as well as the show which begins on both nights at 6 p.m.

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