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:
Safe At Hope 2023: The Un4gettable Series – a few players help announce!
Safe At Home – The Un4gettable Series – Community Day will be held on May 27th, 2023, at Bing Crosby Stadium, from 1PM to 5PM. The event will feature three timed exhibition baseball games featuring various athletes from our Warren County baseball community, along with games for children, a 50/50 raffle, and concessions. Warren County and Skyline High School students will also be supporting the event assisting with stands and entry. Entry to the event is $5 (plus fees) for adults and children 13 and under are free.
- Game 1 – Front Royal Little League
- Game 2 – Athletes from the current WCPS Baseball Programs
- Game 3 – WCHS Alumni vs SHS Alumni
This year’s event will be held in memory of Skyline High School students, Harlee Hire and Nathan Jenkins, with proceeds going toward scholarships for athletes from Warren County and Skyline High Schools and the House of Hope. House of Hope is a program, based in Front Royal, for homeless men who are ready and committed to making a permanent change in their lives. They offer shelter, food and guidance developing a proactive plan with each client to re-enter society as a productive citizen with stable housing.
Watch this video to hear straight from a few Skyline High School and Warren County High School athletes and Coach Settle!
Randolph-Macon Academy Radio Stations (WA4RMA) joins Winlink Wednesday Century Club
On Wednesday, May 3, the Randolph-Macon Academy Amateur Radio Station (WA4RMA) became the 188th station to join the Winlink Wednesday Century Club signifying that the club station participated in Winlink Wednesday for 100 weeks. It recognizes the substantial commitment required to achieve this milestone. Cadet Jordan Avery, sent out the 100th Winlink check in message with a weather report to the net control station KN4LQN. Each week, more than 700 messages are received from more than 500 individual participants worldwide. Winlink Wednesday has been operating continuously since August 24, 2016, when it enjoyed a total of just 16 participants. May 3, 2023 was the net’s 347th week of operation, with 727 messages from 564 unique participants. Each week, there is a scheduled message type to send which is advertised on the web and through a message sent out by the net control station, KN4LQN.
Winlink Global Radio email is a network of amateur radio and authorized government stations that provide worldwide radio email using radio pathways where the internet is not present. The system is built, operated and administered entirely by licensed “Ham” volunteers. It supports email with attachments, position reporting, weather and information bulletins, and is well-known for its role in interoperable emergency and disaster relief communications. In fact R-MA’s ham station participates in several Winlink nets in Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, Ontario Canada, California, Ohio, and Kentucky throughout the week. Practicing these messages enables amateurs to communicate accurately and quickly should an emergency event occur.
Randolph-Macon Academy offers an amateur radio intramural where students learn about amateur radio and prepare to pass their amateur radio license, and exam if desired. Past activities have included radio licensing preparation, antenna setup, soldering, and participation in the school club roundup which is a contest to see how many stations world-wide a school club station can contact within a 5 day period.
There are many activities a licensed operator can participate in including general conversations, contesting, operation from national parks (Parks on the Air), digital modes such as FT-8, operating on satellite frequencies, or even contacting the amateur station on the International Space Station. R-MA’s station has already received slow scan TV images transmitted from the Russian Service module. For service minded operators, they can join Amateur Radio Emergency Service®, become a SKYWARN® Weather Spotter for the National Weather Service, or join other local groups that support the community. Both Stephen Pederson (KN4IOU) and guest Greg Butler (KW6GB) volunteer with the Warren County Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Group (Warren County EmComm), supporting Warren County’s Office of Emergency Management.
Witness 100th message being sent:
Greg Butler explains how amateur radio is applied in our local community:
Concern Hotline named beneficiary of Ride with Rotary
Rotary Club of Warren County is excited to announce their beneficiary for the Ride with Rotary 2023 is Concern Hotline! Watch this video with Executive Director, Rusty Holland, as he shares a little about who the Concern Hotline is and what they offer to Warren County and surrounding counties.
Learn more about Concern Hotline: www.concernhotline.org
Concern Hotline is a free 24/7/365 anonymous information & referral, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention hotline serving the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
For Concern Hotline calls, dial any of these local numbers:
- CLARKE, FREDERICK, WINCHESTER COUNTY – 540-667-0145
- SHENANDOAH COUNTY – 540-459-4742
- PAGE COUNTY – 540-743-3733
- WARREN COUNTY – 540-635-4357
Ride with Rotary 2nd Annual Bike Event
- April 29th – Check in starts at 8am Rockland Park
- Register Today!
- Interested in being a sponsor? Call Jen Avery at 540-683-0790 to learn about sponsorship options.
Boots & Bourbon Fundraiser success helps purchase possibly two book vending machines
The Rotary Club of Warren County hosted the first ever Boots & Bourbon fundraiser last weekend. The event was a great success bringing in approximately $28,000 to help purchase book vending machines for potentially two of our local public elementary schools in Warren County.
Thank you to everyone who attended the event. There were activities to enjoy such as cake walk, mechanical bull riding, 50/50 (with a $2,000 pot), auction items, line dancing, and more! Folks dressed in country western attire and posed for fun photos throughout the night. Congratulations to Mike S., our winner of the 50/50, drawn by the Warren County Public Schools Superintendent, Chris Ballenger.
Huge shout-out to the Front Royal Fire & Rescue Department for allowing the use of the banquet hall for this event. Check out the photos and video to see how the hall was absolutely transformed to a scene out of the wild wild west. Decorations were amazing, BBQ meal was delicious, and the desserts were the best. Thank you to everyone who made this event one to remember!
For full album with videos, Click Here
Pumpkin faces on Serenity Farm
Thank you to the wonderful community of Warren County! You came through in a big way for some local rescue farm animals at Serenity Farm in Berryville. By donating your fall pumpkins, you gave these special animals an unforgettable treat!
Serenity Farm is a sanctuary for a variety of animals who have struggled in one way or another. There are senior animals who are no longer wanted, living out their final days in peace and calm. There are baby animals who were rejected by mama who were bottle fed by owner and head farmer, Jo Bighouse. There are chickens, ducks, and turkeys who grew up and were no longer cute and cuddly, so became unwanted. Serenity Farm has welcomed all of these misfits and created a family!
If you visit www.serenityfarmva.com, you will learn more about this magical place and most likely fall in love! There are three donkeys who are absolutely adorable. Sheep and goats who run up to kiss you! Tours are welcome. Volunteering is welcome. Petting and loving on the animals is welcome. Donations are welcome. The farm is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization.
Thank you again to our amazing community. How did this pumpkin feeding happen? Jen Avery (a local Realtor & community supporter) and her kids posted on Facebook about the farm and the idea for pumpkins. The community response was truly heartwarming! As a thank you, please enjoy these photos and videos. The animals are grateful!
Please note: Jen will be taking another trip out on November 14. If you have pumpkins with no paint or mold, please text 540-683-0790. We can make a plan to share with the animals!
Boots & Bourbon with Rotary Club of Warren County
Join us for an unforgettable country western evening at Boots & Bourbon, brought to you by the Rotary Club of Warren County. Round up your favorite cowboy/cowgirl attire including boots for wearin’ as you are tastin’ bourbon with your local Front Royal “partners!” Yeehaw! Join the Facebook Event Page for updates.
- DATE: November 5, 2022
- TIME: 6pm to 10pm
- LOCATION: Front Royal Volunteer Fire & Rescue (221 N Commerce Ave, Front Royal, VA 22630)
- BENEFICIARY: We will purchase a BOOK VENDING MACHINE for local elementary school!
What to expect:
- MECHANICAL BULL RIDING
- FOOD BY SHAFFER’S BBQ
- WESTERN THEMED GAMES
- OPEN BAR & MORE!
Tickets on sale now:
- $75.00 per ticket
- $125 VIP Private Tasting Experience
- Only 200 tickets available, so buy your ticket ASAP
For tickets, see your favorite Rotary Club of Warren County member, or:
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- phone: 540.671.6166