At our previous meeting, Felicia Hart, Director of the Front Royal/Warren County Tourism Community Development, presented an update on tourism in the Town of Front Royal Projects, which was very enlightening.
As Felicia noted, tourism revenue continues to grow. Tourism remains a critical contributor to our local economy in 2019, as it did in 2018. While we may complain about all of the “Leaf Peepers,” they contribute to our economy and save us a lot of money in the long run, so we can put up with the long lines on the weekends because that is money in our pockets. She said that in 2018 tourism revenue for our town and county reached more than $151,300,393, a 4.9 percent increase over 2017. This meant that tourism supported jobs totaling 1,706, while local tourism-related taxes were $2,922,849. This had a major impact on each of us and on our pocketbooks. Each of the 40,003 households in our town and county paid almost $200 less in state and local taxes because of tourism.
She noted that we are now part of the Appalachian Mural Trail Program, with the appearance of a local mural off of Main Street now. We are also offering incentives to the thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail, who are stopping in town, taking pictures at the mural. They then can receive benefits from our local merchants. It is a win-win for all of us.
As part of the town’s development program, we are also able to offer incentives to start-up businesses. As a result, zoning permits are up over past years, as are applications for business licenses.
Our community is also involved in a community-block-grants program. We will spend approximately $219,680 for development of the town plaza; $640,00 for the facade improvement program; $400,000 on the Royal Shenandoah Greenway; $28,500 for our Streetscape Improvement Design; $56,500 for parking and alley improvements; $162,000 for new signage (and they look great); and $44,400 for Branding and Marketing, including ads in Southern Living, Golf, and Blue Ridge Outdoors magazines. As she noted, the return on our investment was tremendous – for $130,000 we received more than $1.6 million.
We have also updated the town’s website, become active on social media, prepared a Visitors’ Center Guide, built lighted sign boxes in the downtown area; constructed slat wall installations for brochures; and are constructing a new Kiosk outside the Visitor’s Center, all completed or to be completed by the end of 2019.
Our invitation to our visitors is “Come Play in Our Backyard,” and Felicia has worked tirelessly to be sure they are welcomed. For her complete program and to learn more about the Rotary Club of Warren County, please go to www.warrencountyrotary.org or watch here:
Phoenix Project benefits from Tattoo Raffle by OHPMC
Last weekend on Saturday the Ohana Pride Shenandoah County held a rally to benefit the Phoenix Project. Several members gathered for a bike parade and raffle. During social distancing times, it is really difficult to host events and fundraisers that non-profits count on. Please consider your non-profits in these unusual times. Out of the box fundraising ideas are welcomed!
Watch this video to see the OHPMC crew introduction, ride, interview with Tammy Sharpe at Phoenix Project, and live raffle drawing. Thank you to everyone in the community for your support and encouragement!
Important note from Tammy: The community can help the Phoenix Project by spreading the word about their work. Their tag line is, “A communities response to domestic violence.” They are well trained and ready to help. Never hesitate to call. You can make a difference.
The hotline is answered 24/7
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!
Join the Rotary Safari Adventure 2020 Gala!
Join us for a Rotary Safari Adventure: May 9, 2020 | 6pm – 9pm | Lord Fairfax College – Corron Center
Experience a safari-themed mystery dinner with Rotary celebrating cultures around the world. This event raises money for the Warren County Samuels Public Library. Dress in a Safari theme or evening attire. Tickets can be purchased here or from any member of the Warren County Rotary Club. Tickets are $75 per guest for dinner and cash bar to include a silent auction, live auction, 50/50, music and dancing with DJ Skyhigh and surprises!
The House of Hope presents Empty Bowl Supper 2020
Empty Bowl Supper 2020 – this is a family friendly event! Enjoy gourmet soups prepared and donated by several of our local restaurants. You don’t want to miss these delicious soups and fun entertainment to benefit the House of Hope. The event will be held Thursday, March 26, from 5pm to 7pm, at the Front Royal Fire Department.
With your ticket purchase, take your pick of a variety of handcrafted beautiful bowls painted just for this special event! Use it for dinner and take it home to keep. This year we have had more groups and friends of the community than ever chip in and help paint bowls with Arline Link at The Kiln Doctor/Explore Art & Clay. Thank you!
- Soul Mountain
- The Mill
- Blue Wing Frog
- Blue Door
- The Apple House
- El Maguey
- Downtown Catering
- MC for the night: Michael Williams of MDUM Chaufeur Service
- Live Music: Passage Creek Rising
- Maybe some face painting for kids!
- We will have themed baskets available too. Buy raffle tickets and have a chance to win your favorite!
- Tickets are available online through this Facebook event. You may also purchase at No Doubt Accounting or The Kiln Doctor.
- Last minute kind of person? No problem! Available at the door or call 540-636-6753.
- Adult Tickets $30.00 | Students $15.00 | Kids (6 & Under) $5
Empty Bowl Supper SPONSORSHIP:
GOLD $1,000 | SILVER $500 | BRONZE $250
We are looking for sponsors! This year we are offering an extra special benefit to GOLD sponsorship levels. A SPOTLIGHT VIDEO🎬! Jen Avery will come out and create a short video clip that will be played the night of the event and shared on social media. Really fun way to help bring awareness to both House of Hope and your business or cause.
“WE BELIEVE IN YOU!” – shout out 📣
All sponsorship levels are invited to be part of the inspiring “We Believe In You!” shout out video. This video will also be played the night of the event. In addition, Jen will bring the video to the House of Hope and show the men. What an awesome way to show community support and inspiration! Sometimes just to know someone cares is motivation enough.
Call Jen Avery, Jenspiration!, anytime to discuss: 540-683-0790
ALL FUNDS RAISED WILL BENEFIT THE HOUSE OF HOPE.
- The House of Hope is the only residential rehabilitation program serving men in Warren County, Virginia. Opening the door to hope and housing. Learn more here.
- House of Hope, a 501(c)(3) organization
- If you prefer to DONATE, click here.
Thank you for your support in any way! Please like our Facebook page to stay current on Empty Bowl Supper updates and sponsor shout-outs!
Rotary Club of Warren County: Christa Shifflett presents a powerful new approach
Christa Shifflett, from the Warren Coalition, presented a program on Wednesday, in which she laid out the need for mentoring of students under a program that the Coalition has developed. Quite often, she pointed out, there is a residual effect when young people witness violence, abuse, or any number of other traumatic events, and this has a long term bearing on their development and life. Under this development, which she referred to as ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences), the trauma follows the child throughout his or her life. According to one study on rats, this effect is found in the genes. This means that the boy or girl could even have a reaction as a result of something a parent might have suffered, as well as abuse they may have suffered or witnessed.
One of the primary needs is for mentors for these children, who are about 11 years old. The mentors would meet with the child at lunch for about an hour, one day a week. These children may have been abused or have witnessed abuse. This has had a major effect on their development as they grew up, and has short circuited many of the developmental processes that would have occurred. She compared these children to groundhogs, who, when they pop up out of their holes, look around in all directions to sense danger and make sure they are safe. These children often do the same–they are constantly looking around, often standing with their back to the wall, not willing or able to sit still in their seats, constantly moving. This is because they don’t feel safe. But often this isn’t recognized and the kids are yelled at or sent to the principal. They don’t sit still because they are constantly looking out because they sense danger or they don’t feel safe, and they are punished.
Shifflett noted that studies of the brain at age 3 for children from a nourishing environment, and kids without that type of environment, have shown quite different development. But this is not only the case with children in school situations–she works in the jail two times a week, and can see the effects on these adults who have experienced the traumas as a child, with exactly the same situation and the same results.
These effects are real. Whether they are the result of heredity, or of childhood abuse or childhood trauma, it affects life choices, actions, and health. Shifflett pointed out that as adults, many have a life expectancy 20 years less than the average. This is why it is so important to reach out to these children (as well as the adults), to let them know that someone cares, by mentoring them and letting them know that they can have a better future. As she admitted, this was an hour and a half program in 20 minutes and this write-up only scratches the surface of her presentation.
For the complete program and to learn more about Rotary Club of Warren County, please go to www.warrrencountyrotary.org.
Warren County Middle School Interact Club Induction Ceremony
On Tuesday, February 25, the Warren County Middle School had their Interact Club Induction Ceremony. Doug Stanley, Warren County Administrator and Club of Front Royal Rotarian, lead the ceremony by introducing the students. He noted that among these students will be tomorrow’s leaders, business professionals, doctors, lawyers and more. What a crew! Club of Front Royal President Brett Hrbek helped welcome the young Interact Club members by presenting the Interact pin with Stanley.
In conclusion, the students followed Stanley as he recited their pledge as official Interact Club members. They all promised to live by the Rotary code of conduct and remember the Rotary motto, Service Above Self. Watch the video to see the students in action:
Warren County Middle School Interact is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Front Royal, lead by teacher Jennifer Stanley.