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Rotary’s Group Study Exchange Team to Tiawan

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Rotary District 7570’s Group Study Exchange Team began their adventures in Taiwan this week after a local send-off from area Rotary clubs.  Meet the team in this video and read on to learn about the GSE program. To discover more about Virginia’s Rotary District 7570, please visit their website and follow the team’s trip by liking the team’s Facebook group page.

You can also enjoy reports of their experience by following team member Tammy Yang’s vlog.


ABOUT THE TEAM MEMBERS

The Team Leader is Beverly Pitzer of Martinsville Uptown Rotary. Beverly is eager to connect with the GSE team members and help to make this the best learning experience and leadership development experience possible for both the visiting team and for their hosts in Taiwan. She is prepared to generously share of time and knowledge of the Rotary projects in her area that may be of service to their hosts in Taiwan, and she is hoping to learn and bring back ideas and best practices from their hosts’ home projects.

In her role as Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) & Fair Lending Officer at Carter Bank & Trust in Martinsville, Virginia, Beverly focuses her time and energy on understanding the communities’ needs across the bank’s footprint in Virginia and North Carolina. With this understanding, Beverly collaborates with colleagues at the bank on community development projects. These projects include: revitalization and stabilization, economic development, essential services, and affordable housing. This comes in the form of lending, donating, and serving in low and moderate income areas and distressed and under-served areas. In addition to Community Development, Beverly also focuses on Fair Lending, which is driven by the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Her work in Fair Lending includes a proactive approach to lending, investing, and serving all communities fairly.

Outside of her service and work in Rotary and Carter Bank & Trust, Beverly is involved in a number of other community organizations. She serves on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Henry County & Martinsville and is involved in the Community Impact Committee and Executive Committee. Beverly is active in the Bridges out of Poverty initiative in Martinsville/ Henry County/ Patrick County and is on the Implementation team for their first set of “Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World” classes. Additionally, Beverly serves on the E3 Advisory Council, a project of the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). Beverly is a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Martinsville, Virginia.

Blaine Elliott is a charter member of the Blue Ridge New Generations Rotary Club in Roanoke, Virginia and currently serves on the district conference committee. He is excited to join the GSE team and help make this experience meaningful for both the team and hosts in Taiwan. Blaine is currently owner of CaZiWa LLC, a real estate investment firm. Blaine’s firm is focused on investing in single family homes in the Roanoke Valley and surrounding areas and improving the homes and neighborhoods by providing quality, affordable housing for a growing community of people with the desire to rent rather than own. CaZiWa also provides a platform for investors who wish to enter the real estate investment asset class passively. Outside of his service work with Rotary, Blaine is an active member of his church, First United Methodist Church in Salem, Virginia. He is a member of the Genesis Praise Band on the drums and involved with the youth as an adult leader helping with everything from mission trips to leading the Senior High Sunday School Class.

Wendi Goods Everson serves as Senior Program Officer for Danville Regional Foundation (“DRF”), a private independent foundation whose mission is to revitalize the Dan River Region by making long term investments in economic development, education, health, and community capacity. At DRF, Everson focuses on community development and civic engagement. Everson holds a bachelor′s degree from Temple University, an MBA from Averett University, and a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University.  She is a Southeastern Council on Foundation Hull Fellow and graduate of the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Southside. She serves as a board member of River District Association and CIC Head Start. Everson is the 2014 recipient of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce Pace Award for Community Service. In her spare time, Wendi enjoys coaching youth basketball. She is the founder of the Virginia Owls youth basketball program where she mentors young athletes aspiring to play sports at the college level. Wendi is married to Jason and they have 3 children: Jada, Jenesis and Wesley.

Asia Malone is a member of the Rotary Club of Bristol Virginia-Tennessee. She serves on the Public Relations Committee and as Co-Chair of the Rotaract Committee. Asia is the Chief of Staff for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mountain Empire. She handles the day-to-day management of personnel and insures all staff issues are addressed properly. The Boys & Girls Club is an after-school program that provides life enhancing opportunities for children and teenagers who may not have access to life developing resources. Outside of her service/work in Rotary and The Boys & Girls Club, Asia is involved in several community organizations. She serves on the United Way of Southwest Virginia Early Childhood Success Council, is an active Reading Buddy for the Reading Buddies Bristol Tennessee/Virginia, and serves on the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee. Asia is a member of New Hope Baptist Church.

Tammy Yang serves as the general manager of Sake House Japanese Restaurant located in Blacksburg, Virginia. Though she has many roles, her main focus is becoming a community icon for their establishment. Yang is currently a member of the South Main Merchants Association in Blacksburg. She also serves in the Blacksburg Junior Women’s Club (BJWC). Yang is sponsored by the Montgomery County Rotary Club. As a Taiwanese American, she is eager to learn more of her family’s origins on the GSE trip to Taiwan. She is also hoping to view how other businesses provide different interactions with their community by building lasting connections and strong networks. By viewing their examples of collaborating with other businesses to help better their community, she can learn about different business models and opportunities that can be implemented in her community.

ABOUT THE GSE PROGRAM

The Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for young business and professional men and women in their initial years of professional life. Rotary districts in different countries are paired to send and receive professional study groups of four to six non-Rotarian team members and one Rotarian team leader to travel for four to six weeks, staying in the homes of Rotarians when possible.

Launched in 1965, this dynamic program has built a successful track record at the personal, community, and international level. With good planning, a goal-driven itinerary, and active participation of dedicated Rotarians, a GSE can be an exceptional educational experience for both the visiting GSE team and local Rotarians.

Goals and Objectives

The GSE program is designed to develop professional and leadership skills among young adults, so that they can address the needs of their communities and an increasingly global workplace. GSE participants follow an extensive and rigorous program of international travel and team activities.

  • Vocational visits
    • Provide opportunities to observe vocations as practiced in another country
    • Impact team members’ long-term careers through exchange of ideas in their respective fields
  • Cultural experiences
    • Allow participants to study another country and its people, language, and institutions through experiences in an organized and meaningful host program
    • Promote an appreciation of cultural diversity worldwide
  • Fellowship opportunities
    • Encourage team members and hosts to meet, communicate, and live with each other in a spirit of fellowship and goodwill
    • Consider each other’s problems, aspirations, and community concerns
    • Foster lasting friendships and international understanding
  • Rotarian involvement
    • Offers Rotarians specific, practical, and meaningful opportunities for international service by providing young, formative professionals a different perspective of their vocation in another country and culture

Learn more about Rotary International at https://www.rotary.org

“Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”


A WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event?

Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren/Town Tip videos post on Facebook and YouTube. They are also shared with Royal Examiner online (most are distributed in their daily email blast to thousands of local residents). Sign up for Royal Examiner Email Alerts HERE and check out the “WHAT MATTERS Warren” tab under “Features.”

Visit www.whatmattersw2.com “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit,  WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that she started this year to enable people to have the benefit of a tax deduction for their donations through her fundraising matches.

Here is the Current Match Campaign for the children of Bunyade school project (in Uganda, Africa).

WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by her real estate business (THANK YOU CLIENTS AND SUPPORTERS for making that possible!). Every cent donated goes to the cause. Beth focuses her support on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Uganda with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Local News

Warren County community COVID pivoting response highlights

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WHAT MATTERS Warren — Though world is filled with controversy and new realities in the face of COVID-19, many small businesses, citizens and community leaders are choosing to look for new ways to serve others and brighten days.  Enjoy this three minute video highlight featuring three such endeavors. George McIntyre and Katie Tewell discuss their newly expanded Apple House donut outreach which has prompted shipments of nearly 17,000 donuts since early April (and approximately 1,500 donated).  The Warren County Parks and Recreation department has pivoted and is now providing complimentary activity-filled “Stay Home and Stay Active” boxes every week for local children. Also, as a way to keep her team employed and our community safe, “Alterations by Millie” has filled the void of the canceled prom and wedding season by transitioning to creating colorful custom face masks for the community.

These are no doubt uncertain times, but one thing is again certain: The people of Front Royal/Warren County, as always, are proving that we can find ways to overcome challenges, embrace the silver linings in challenging situations and touch the lives of others in large and small ways.  If you know of an endeavor that should be highlighted, please share with others or contact us for a video to showcase the many ways that our community will not just survive but will find new ways to thrive throughout this global transition.


WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Local News

Stay safe and support local business by purchasing masks through “Alterations by Millie” in Front Royal

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WHAT MATTERS Warren–Support local business and give the gift of stylish safety! ”Alterations by Millie” is offering our community custom machine-washable masks at $5 each, or five for $20, through curbside pick-up (or priority shipping) at 201-E Jackson Street, Front Royal. Check out their Facebook page to view the 37 designs available. Choose to customize masks or select from dozens already made and available for immediate pickup or shipment. For custom orders, customers are invited to choose from head elastic, ear loops or ties. To place an order, call 540-671-7672 or pop by the office at 201-E Jackson Street (located one block from Main Street).

Millie and team offer matching baby/mother masks, sports themed masks, solid color masks, child-friendly masks and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to support a local business owner who has pivoted her business to keep her employees working during the COVID crisis. Prom and wedding seasons have been canceled, but Millie and team are hard at work to fill a need in our local community and beyond by putting their skills to use.

Support local business and give the gift of stylish safety to yourself and others. Consider buying masks to keep in your car to give to friends you see when you are venturing out and about. Or contact your family to offer a gift of custom masks for children who may be more likely to wear masks if they are “cool!” Make having to wear masks less of a drag by sporting custom face coverings while supporting a local entrepreneur and her dedicated team in the process!


WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Community Events

Warren County Parks and Recreation serving community through “Stay Home & Stay Active” boxes

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WHAT MATTERS Warren–Warren County Parks and Recreation is serving the quarantined community despite their inability to offer typical classes and programming. They invite local families to join the nearly 100 others who are participating in their newly launched “Stay Home & Stay Active” initiative which provides citizens with creative activity boxes that can be picked up weekly via curbside delivery at the Warren County Community Center. Each box features an indoor activity, outdoor activity, creative/science activity, virtual road trip, and a family event for each day of the week (M-F).

The boxes are free and limited to the first 50 registrants, although to date Warren County has agreed to extend offerings to serve each family that has applied for a box. Over 98 children were served last week through this interactive program, and the staff hopes to expand to create senior citizen boxes in the near future. There’s a limit of one box per household and at least one child under the age of 12 years old must reside at the residence. Parks and Rec gathers information about other children in the homes participating and attempts to provide extra supplies to serve the entire family (at a first come first serve basis).

“I am super pumped to have the opportunity to network with other Recreation professionals throughout the country and develop this at-home program,” said Robin Richardson, Assistant Director. She developed the program based on online research with a group she’s involved with that connects professionals who serve communities like she and her staff do, “I am also proud of my staff for their creativity and use of limited resources during this time.”

Richardson says the county of Warren has been extremely supportive of this endeavor to continue to serve the children of our community. Dan Lenz, Director of Parks and Recreation, said, “The Warren County Parks and Recreation staff are very excited to be offering this special activity for the youth in our community during this crisis. We look forward to helping families in the future with additional programs and activities.”

The community has also warmly embraced the project. Donations for boxes have been received by C & C’s Frozen Treats, The Apple House, the Rotary Club of Front Royal, McDonalds and Walmart. Parks and Rec will gladly accept monetary donations, items for the boxes or other creative support by community businesses and organizations.

There is a new box each week, and families can sign up beginning Tuesday of the prior week (registration deadline is Thursday by noon of the week prior to delivery). Registered families are instructed to stop by the Community Center office at 538 Villa Avenue to pick up the box kits in a safe, drive-by fashion. Registration is available by visiting parksandrecreation.warrencountyva.net. For more information, contact the Warren County Community Center by phone at (540) 635-1021 or via email at wcccinfo@warrencountyva.net.


WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Community Events

Young Life Upper Blue Ridge is offering local teens virtual fun and connection during quarantine

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WHAT MATTERS Warren–Attention parents of middle and high schoolers! Young Life Upper Blue Ridge – Warren County is offering some good old fashioned entertainment on Instagram and through Zoom for your quarantined youth! Are you tired of endless hours of video games or snapchatting and wishing your teens could connect with friends and mentors for wholesome fun throughout these weeks of solitude?

Follow Young Life on Instagram and Facebook for some entertaining opportunities to spend some of their screen time with hilarious and inspirational Young Life Director, Stephen Marut and the Young Life team. On Thursdays at 7:17 p.m. on Instagram Live, your high school kiddos can laugh along with their friends and engage in “Virtual Club.” Middle schoolers can pass some time joining together virtually on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. for a Kahoot Zoom call!

Contact Stephen at spmarut@gmail.com for a link to the zoom call, or send a Facebook message through visiting Young Life Upper Blue Ridge – Warren County’s Facebook page.

About Young Life:

Young Life leaders are working with over two million young people, right in their own neighborhoods, all around the world showing them how much God cares about them by showing up in their world and sharing the message of God’s love through Jesus in ways and words they could understand and relate to. Find out more about Young Life online.


WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Real Estate

Part 7 of 7: Top 5 real estate tips for people considering becoming a realtor

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This 7 part series is accompanied by BETHvids featuring tips regarding buying, selling and the real estate industry in general.


Top 5 real estate tips for people considering becoming a realtor:

  1. Look into online real estate classes and take the plunge–enroll in an affordable course and start taking action in exploring the industry, instead of dreaming about “one day.”  Even if you don’t become an active Realtor, you’ll learn a great deal in the 60 hour course, and you’ll discover if the industry feels like a right fit for you. Moseley Real Estate School is my favorite, and the course is under $300.  I’m proud to have been the very first Realtor to ever join the Blue Ridge Association of Realtors after taking an online course back in 2002.  Before that year, most agents took the course in person–I took mine from Moseley on dial up Internet service!
  2. Make a budget and seriously consider the expenses involved in holding an active real estate license. Contact your local Association of Realtors and ask them questions about the process and investment required in starting a career in real estate.  The fees involved in joining a local board of Realtors, enrolling in the multiple listing service, charges associated with joining a brokerage, and general start up expenses will shock you.  Yes, real estate commissions look great “on paper” but be sure to fully explore the true cost (financially, emotionally and mentally) of beginning a career in real estate.  I’d suggest having 6 months or more of savings to allow time for your career to take off. For almost the entire first year I was a Realtor, I was embarrassed to attend office meetings because my business was slow to take off–patience, persistence and doing things differently than others is the key to success.
  3. Start following local top producers who have a good reputation and learn from those already successful in the industry. Sign up for free online newsletters or courses from professional Realtor trainers and get a feel for the industry from the inside before you dive in. Tom Ferry, Brian Buffini, Gary Keller and many others offer free online tips and have written books you can soak up to learn inside scoop about the industry.
  4. Begin researching available local, regional and online real estate brokerages while exploring which office seems like the best fit for you. Email or call brokers and start interviewing them.  Compare their offerings to new agents, including their willingness to invest in start-up costs. Be sure to ask about training opportunities, mentorship availability, the possibility of having “duty time” (answering the phone or working at the front desk to get leads), and company lead generating/sharing.
  5. Start a database (with email and physical addresses) of friends, family and community contacts so you’ll have people to reach out to when you launch your career. It will be important to notify your circle (and expand it) for your best chances of hitting the ground running. And even if you choose to not become a Realtor, at least you’ll have your Christmas card list ready and can get your cards out around Thanksgiving this year!

Beth Waller, Associate Broker at KW Solutions – Keller Williams Realty
Local Office: 27 Cloud Street Front Royal, VA 22630
Direct: 540-671-6145
Northern Virginia Office: 8100 Ashton Ave #103 Manassas VA 20109
Office: 703-330-2222
Licensed in VA

Beth’s websites: Bethwaller.kw.com and whatmattersw2.com

To learn more about my real estate sales or nonprofit (WHAT MATTERS), to book a time to utilize my free community meeting space (“Open House” in the Middle of Main building on Main Street), to schedule a no-cost social media video to promote your business/group or cause, or to discuss my listing your property (which makes all of my charity efforts possible), visit my website at www.whatmattersw2.com or give me a call at 540-671-6145!

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Real Estate

Part 6 of 7: Top 5 real estate tips for active realtors

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This 7 part series is accompanied by BETHvids featuring tips regarding buying, selling and the real estate industry in general.


Top 5 real estate tips for active realtors:

  1. Connect with clients online by starting an online newsletter, blog posting schedule, opening a business Facebook page or making timely posts on your existing websites and social media. Ask for likes on your Facebook page, update your Linked In profile and jump into the popular world of Instagram if you haven’t already.
  2. Contact past clients and ask for referrals you can utilize in advertising–sites like Realtor.com, Zillow and more have templates that make asking easy with the click of a button–you can even have a drawing for a gift card for clients who submit reviews to motivate them to take a few minutes of their downtime to send in a review.
  3. Send emails or hand written notes to clients, friends and colleagues to check in with your sphere and send them your best wishes during these times.  Also reach out to old leads and follow up with buyers/sellers who have dropped off the radar with a kind “thinking of you” message.
  4. Take time to dive into the latest and greatest technology available, especially that which will help you take the lead in this shifting market…I remember I was the first Realtor to be featured locally for embracing virtual tours (back in 2005ish when they were merely scrolling photos set to music). Being a leader in new strategies and emerging technology can set you apart from the competition. A great way to learn what’s new and hip is by doing some good old-fashioned online “stalking” of top producers in other parts of the country and start experimenting with a strategy you discover that no one else is doing locally.
  5. Invest in online training (most is quite inexpensive) and get designations and extra certifications in areas in which you want to specialize.  Work on continuing education credits to get them out of the way before crunch time when they are due. Consider enrolling in your broker’s license (even if you never intend on running an office)–the added credibility of being an Associate Broker is well worth the 180 hours and approximately $800 invested.

Beth Waller, Associate Broker at KW Solutions – Keller Williams Realty
Local Office: 27 Cloud Street Front Royal, VA 22630
Direct: 540-671-6145
Northern Virginia Office: 8100 Ashton Ave #103 Manassas VA 20109
Office: 703-330-2222
Licensed in VA

Beth’s websites: Bethwaller.kw.com and whatmattersw2.com

To learn more about my real estate sales or nonprofit (WHAT MATTERS), to book a time to utilize my free community meeting space (“Open House” in the Middle of Main building on Main Street), to schedule a no-cost social media video to promote your business/group or cause, or to discuss my listing your property (which makes all of my charity efforts possible), visit my website at www.whatmattersw2.com or give me a call at 540-671-6145!

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King Cartoons

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