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Town Talk

Town Talk: A conversation with Tammy Sharpe, Phoenix Project – Women’s Wellness Workshop



In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with the Phoenix Project Executive Director Tammy Sharpe. The Phoenix Project is a non-profit focused on helping people learn to choose to stand against domestic violence and offers education for the public as well as services for victims and survivors.

The Phoenix Project has partnered with the Front Royal Women’s Resource Center to offer a free Women’s Wellness workshop on January 28, 2023. This is a virtual event on Zoom, starting at 9:00 am. Click here to register or to find out more information.

Be one of the first 50 to sign up and receive a “goodie bag” filled with workshop items, information, and so much more. Pick up the week of the workshop at Phoenix Project.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, or topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to

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Town Talk

Front Royal Welcomes New Councilman Glenn Wood: A Journey from Campaign to Council



A Fresh Perspective on Local Governance.

Glenn Wood, the newly elected councilman of Front Royal, sat down with Mike McCool in the Royal Examiner studio to discuss his recent election journey and his vision for the town. Having knocked on over 2,000 doors during his campaign, Wood brings a fresh perspective, fueled by direct community interactions, to the local government.

From Door-to-Door Campaigning to Council Chambers

Glenn Wood’s election campaign was marked by an extensive door-to-door outreach, engaging with a significant portion of Front Royal’s residents. This hands-on approach allowed him to gather first-hand insights into the community’s concerns and aspirations. Wood’s campaign emphasized personal connection, leaving notes for those he missed showing a dedication to reach every constituent.

Planning for a Collaborative Future

With a history of service on the Planning Commission, Wood aims to leverage his experience to address Front Royal’s growth and development challenges. He plans to continue serving on the Planning Commission for another year, subject to council approval, to provide stability and insight into the town’s planning and zoning initiatives. He focuses on fostering housing development and handling the challenges of the town’s continuous growth.

Working Together for a Unified Community

Wood emphasizes the importance of collaboration between the town and county, highlighting the mutual benefits of a unified approach. He recognizes the need for joint efforts in areas like water and sewer services, job creation, and retail development. His vision includes tackling challenges collaboratively, aiming for win-win scenarios for the town and the county.

Youth Engagement and Social Development

A key project Wood is excited about is the development of the Santmyers Youth Center, a venture that aims to provide a space for the socialization and development of Front Royal’s youth. This project, spearheaded by Reaching Out Now, reflects Wood’s commitment to creating opportunities for the younger generation, especially in the aftermath of the social disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Gratitude and Looking Forward

In his closing remarks, Wood expressed his gratitude to his supporters, including his wife Amy, campaign manager Tom Eshelman, friends, family, and the voters of Front Royal. He emphasized his commitment to being an accessible and responsive council member, inviting ongoing community input as he embarks on his term.


Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to

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Town Talk

A Warm Embrace: The Community’s Effort to Shelter and Support the Homeless



Local Organizations and Volunteers Rally for Thermal Shelter’s Winter Mission.

As the chill of winter approaches, the community gears up for a vital mission: providing warmth and support to those in need. The Thermal Shelter, a beacon of hope for the homeless, is set to open its doors again, reflecting a story of compassion, collaboration, and community effort.

This year, the shelter anticipates an early opening on December 2nd, coinciding with the festive spirit of the Christmas parade. Compared to last year, an extension of service to 18 weeks indicates a deeper commitment to aiding the homeless during the colder months.

The shelter, located at the Front Royal Presbyterian Church, has been a haven of safety and comfort. The church’s ample space and welcoming environment have been crucial in sustaining this initiative. However, challenges like adequate volunteer availability, especially for tasks like laundry, remain a pressing need. The shelter calls for community members to volunteer time for essential services, emphasizing the need for weekend volunteers.

The community’s involvement doesn’t end there. Local organizations like the Front Royal Rotary, Masons, and various churches have pledged support through meal provisions and volunteer work. The Elks, often working behind the scenes, have been instrumental in their contributions. Their efforts highlight the shelter’s significance in fostering a spirit of unity and social responsibility within the community.

Financial donations, always a necessity, are encouraged. The shelter, undergoing a name change to ‘Hope and Rest Temporary Shelter’ (HARTS), aims to broaden its mission beyond just thermal assistance. This rebranding symbolizes the shelter’s aspirations to potentially include summer cooling services, reflecting an evolving and expanding community role.

The shelter’s operation is not just providing a roof and a warm meal. It’s about holistic support, addressing various needs of the homeless. Collaborations with the Department of Social Services (DSS) help connect individuals with essential services like Medicaid and SNAP. Efforts extend to providing tents and sleeping bags during warmer months, signifying a year-round commitment to the unhoused.

Despite the challenges, there’s a sense of optimism and determination. The shelter, now in its several years of operation, has witnessed increasing community involvement and support. Last year, it served 85 individuals, and with predictions of a colder winter, the numbers are expected to rise. This underscores the shelter’s critical role in the community, especially in times of hardship.

As the shelter prepares to open its doors, it stands as a testament to the power of community effort and compassion. It’s more than just a shelter; it’s a symbol of hope and a reminder of our collective responsibility to support those in need. In the season of giving, the community’s embrace of the shelter’s mission exemplifies the true spirit of togetherness and compassion.

For more information, visit

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to

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Town Talk

Shop, Win, and Celebrate: Front Royal’s 12 Days of Christmas Shopping Extravaganza



Local Businesses Unite for a Festive Shopping Adventure with Exciting Prizes!

Welcome to Front Royal’s holiday season highlight – the “12 Days of Christmas” shopping event! From December 2nd to 14th, twelve cherished local businesses are joining forces to sprinkle extra cheer and excitement into your Christmas shopping. This isn’t just about finding the perfect gifts; it’s a chance to win big while supporting your favorite local shops!

The concept is simple yet thrilling. For every $25 spent at any of the participating stores, shoppers earn an entry into a grand draw. But there’s more – spend over $25; each additional $5 gets you another entry. Imagine spending $35 and snagging three chances to win!

To get your entries, just take your receipts to the Visitors Center. The anticipation will peak on December 15th, when twelve lucky winners will be drawn, each walking away with a gift from one of the businesses.

Who are these generous businesses? They’re the heart and soul of Front Royal’s shopping scene:

  1. Main Street Geek – A haven for all things geeky.
  2. Dusty’s – Where vintage meets modern flair.
  3. Ole Timers – A touch of nostalgia in every purchase.
  4. Penny Lane Hair Co – Styling Front Royal, one haircut at a time.
  5. Front Royal Wines – For the wine enthusiasts.
  6. Main Street Mill – A delightful blend of history and taste.
  7. Fleetwood Vintage – Where the past is always in style.
  8. Mountain Trails – Gear up for your next adventure.
  9. Buckle & Belle Boutique – Chic and trendy fashion finds.
  10. Down Home Comfort Bakery – Sweet treats that feel like home.
  11. Dogwood Decor – For that unique home aesthetic.
  12. White Picket Fence – Classic charm for every home.

But the festive season in Front Royal isn’t limited to shopping. Mark your calendars for more upcoming events! November 24th is Local Comic Book Shop Day – a must for comic fans. The following day, November 25th, is Shop Small Day, celebrating our local businesses. December starts with a bang with the Christmas parade and Merry Market on the 2nd.

Don’t miss the grand opening of Penny Lane Hair Co on December 8th, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. For a dash of holiday magic, join the community for Pictures with Santa at the Gazebo on December 9th, sponsored by Warren County Rotary, White Picket Fence, and Penny Lane Hair Co.

The “12 Days of Christmas” event is more than a shopping spree; it’s a community celebration. By participating, you’re not just bagging a chance to win delightful prizes but also supporting the local businesses that define the unique character of Front Royal. So, let’s step out, shop, and make this holiday season memorable!

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to

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Community Events

Warren County’s One-Stop Community Resource Fair: A Gateway to Local Services and Volunteer Opportunities



Connecting Community Members to a Wealth of Resources and Volunteer Opportunities in Front Royal.

The Warren County Department of Social Services is gearing up for its One-Stop Community Resource Fair on December 6th from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Warren County Community Center at 538 Villa Avenue in Front Royal. Meghan Bowers, the job developer for the Department of Social Services in Front Royal, shares insights into this much-anticipated event that aims to connect community members with a wide array of local services and volunteer opportunities.

Following the success of a recent job fair, which saw numerous connections made between job seekers and various businesses, the Department of Social Services is enthusiastic about the upcoming resource fair. The job fair, featuring on-the-spot interviews, catered to diverse employment sectors like construction, warehousing, and electrical apprenticeship programs.

The One-Stop Community Resource Fair is set to host about 20 organizations. This event is for those in need and individuals seeking volunteer opportunities or looking to support others. It’s a chance to discover the array of services available in the community, from rental support and therapeutic horsemanship to low-cost medical services and fire safety.

Organizations like Blue Ridge Housing offer rental and down payment support. Valley Health will provide free blood pressure screenings and information about food assistance and hot meal programs. The fair is also a great platform for veterans seeking guidance on benefits and resources.

For those looking to give back to the community, this fair is an ideal place to connect with organizations in need of volunteers. It’s an opportunity to meet decision-makers from various groups and find a volunteering role that suits your interests and skills.

The One-Stop Community Resource Fair in Warren County is more than just an event – it’s a shining example of the community’s spirit of giving and supporting one another. Whether you’re seeking assistance, looking to volunteer, or simply curious about the services available in your community, this fair is a valuable resource. It’s an embodiment of Front Royal and Warren County’s commitment to being a community that reaches out and helps those in need.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Meghan Bowers at 540-635-3430, ext 3354.

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Community Events

“White Christmas” Warms Hearts: St. John’s Drama Club Celebrates 15 Seasons



A Timeless Classic with a Twist this Winter.

As the chill of winter approaches, a beloved musical promises to bring warmth and cheer to Front Royal. St. John’s Drama Club is set to enchant audiences with their rendition of “White Christmas,” a heartwarming tribute as they celebrate a landmark 15th theatrical season.

The stage will shine bright with the talents of Gregory Naccash as Bob Wallace and Matt Clark embodying Phil Davis. The duo is paired with Avery Lamonaco and Elizabeth Shukler, who will be captivating audiences as Betty and Judy.

Local Talents Take Center Stage

Over a decade and a half, St. John’s Drama Club has been an integral part of the Front Royal arts scene, producing classics that have become community favorites. “Sherlock Holmes,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and “Cinderella” are just a few from their illustrious portfolio. This season, their selection of “White Christmas” serves as both a festive treat and a testament to the timeless appeal of musical theater.

Though many are familiar with the movie version, this play adaptation of “White Christmas” brings a refreshing perspective without compromising the beloved melodies of Irving Berlin. Fans can look forward to classics like “Blue Skies,” “Sisters,” and the iconic title track, “White Christmas.”

The stage will shine bright with the talents of Gregory Naccash as Bob Wallace and Matt Clark embodying Phil Davis. The duo is paired with Avery Lo Monaco and Elizabeth Schueckler, who will be captivating audiences as Betty and Judy.

Jazz Tunes and Toe-Tapping Choreography

This year’s musical journey is especially captivating under the seasoned direction of Alex Clark, the club’s new music director. Having once been a student in the club’s debut show, it’s his inaugural year in this role. The cast is navigating the nuanced world of jazz. For many, it’s a novel musical venture, and with over 50 members syncing harmonies and steps, the outcome is truly enchanting.

The dance sequences, choreographed by the renowned Susan Schwartz, promise to be a visual delight. Schwartz, a key figure in local dance circles, has shaped the club’s dance routines over the years.

Community at the Heart of Performance

St. John’s Drama Club is not just about performances; it’s about nurturing talent, community engagement, and a shared love for the arts. Many club members have embarked on personal artistic journeys, from childhood to adolescence, finding their voice and passion along the way.

The upcoming performances at Skyline High School, starting November 11th, are designed to be accessible to everyone. From affordable ticket pricing to special family rates for matinees, the club ensures that everyone has a chance to partake in the magic.


Saturday, November 11 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 12 at 3:00 pm
Friday, November 17 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 18 at 1:30 pm
Saturday, November 18 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 19 at 3:00 pm

Location: Skyline High School, 151 Skyline Vista Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630

Ticket Prices:

$10.00 for adults
$7.00 for students
$7.00 for seniors (65 and over)
$5.00 for children (12 and under)

There is also a $40 per family matinee special for the matinee performances (parents and minor children only, please).

For more information or to purchase tickets to the show, click here.


About St. John’s Drama Club:

In the autumn of 2008, St. John’s Drama Club was founded by proactive homeschooling parents who had a rich background in theater. Recognizing a gap in drama education within their community, especially among homeschooled children, they took the initiative to bridge this gap. While the club’s roots were anchored in addressing the needs of homeschooled students, its doors were opened wide to welcome students from all educational backgrounds, whether homeschooled, public schooled, or private schooled. The Drama Club operates under the auspices of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Front Royal, VA, and is an integral component of the St. John’s Youth Group.

Our Mission:

  • Nurturing Talent & Creating Magic: We aim to provide a platform where all passionate teenagers can unite to bring heartwarming, family-friendly dramatic productions to life on stage.
  • Cultivating Skills & Building Community: Our club serves as a space where teens can gather regularly, not only to hone their acting skills and appreciate the nuances of drama but also to forge strong bonds, socialize, and relish dramatic presentations collectively.
  • Upholding Virtue & Celebrating Faith: At the heart of our club is the principle of fostering personal growth in virtue and faith. We believe in ensuring that all our endeavors and performances resonate with our core belief and shine to the glory of God.
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Town Talk

Town Talk: A conversation with Michal Ashby and Erin Rooney, Samuels Public Library – November Activities



November Brings an Exciting Array of Programs for Patrons of All Ages.

The atmosphere was nothing short of electric at the Royal Examiner studio when Erin Rooney and Machal Ashby, affectionately termed the “library ladies,” dropped by to discuss the tantalizing programs lined up for Samuels Public Library in November.

While Samuels Public Library consistently offers a range of recurring events, such as book clubs and genealogy meetups, this month’s unique offerings are sure to pique the interest of Warren County residents.

First on the list is an intriguing virtual program titled “Eggnog, Fruitcake, and Holiday Treats.” Hosted by members of the Friends of the Library organization, this session will unveil cherished family recipes perfect for the holiday season. Patrons can expect to learn about old-fashioned aged eggnog, traditional fruitcakes, and other festive delicacies. With registrations on, the session promises to turn a regular Thursday evening on November 9th into a delightful culinary adventure.

For history enthusiasts and the perpetually curious, there’s a riveting presentation on “Jasper Ridge: Documenting a 13,000-Year-Old Archaeological Site near Front Royal.” Taking center stage on Saturday, November 18th, this talk will transport attendees back in time, introducing them to the newly discovered part of the Flint Run and Thunderbird complex in Warren County. The unique Jasper stone outcroppings and their significance in crafting ancient tools will be a focal point. Moreover, attendees are invited to bring artifacts from their properties for identification – a veritable treasure hunt experience.

While these are the spotlight events, there’s no shortage of activities for the younger patrons. In a nod to the month’s theme, gardening programs are available, including “Wee Sprouts” for preschoolers and “Elementary Green Thumbs,” focusing on the wonders of multicolored calico corn. Art enthusiasts can look forward to “Aspiring Artists” on November 4th, which promises to add a touch of creativity to the holiday season.

Additionally, the air of festivity will not be confined to November alone. Erin dropped a tantalizing hint about a grand holiday open house slated for December 16th at Samuels Public Library. A day dedicated to crafts, stories, Christmas music, and other festivities awaits patrons.

To top it off, the library is also hosting a Holiday Writing Contest. The crescendo of entries promises a compelling anthology, which is expected to be an award-winning piece, given the collaboration with National Media Services and the Royal Oak Bookstore.

With such a vibrant array of events and activities, it’s evident that the Samuels Library is not just a haven for books but a bustling community hub.

For a complete listing of all the activities at Samuels Public Library, click here to visit their website.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Mountain Creative Consulting

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Jamboree LLC

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Arc of Warren County

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal, VA
7:11 am4:51 pm EST
Feels like: 27°F
Wind: 3mph S
Humidity: 62%
Pressure: 30.12"Hg
UV index: 0
50°F / 43°F
64°F / 45°F
59°F / 41°F

Upcoming Events

10:00 am A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 2 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Explore the rich natural history of trees guided by a Virginia Master Naturalist. Discover the tips and tricks of basic tree identification and the tree-mendous roles that trees play in our environment.[...]
10:00 am Kris Kringle Market @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Kris Kringle Market @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Dec 2 @ 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Kris Kringle Market @ Trinity Lutheran Church
The Trinity Lutheran Church Kringle Market will take place on Saturday, December 2, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The Kringle Market is centrally located in the Newtown–Stephensburg Historic District in the Trinity Lutheran[...]
10:00 am SPCA Thrift Shop Grand Reopening @ WASPCA Thrift Shop
SPCA Thrift Shop Grand Reopening @ WASPCA Thrift Shop
Dec 2 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
SPCA Thrift Shop Grand Reopening @ WASPCA Thrift Shop
After months of renovations and hard work, the Winchester Area SPCA is thrilled to welcome you back to its thrift store, where every purchase supports the mission of caring for and finding loving homes for[...]
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Dec 2 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
3:00 pm Valley Chorale “Once Upon a Chri... @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Valley Chorale “Once Upon a Chri... @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Dec 3 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Valley Chorale "Once Upon a Christmas" Concert @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Join The Valley Chorale for a family-friendly concert featuring favorite carols, hymns and songs of the Christmas season!
5:30 pm Free Holiday Meal @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Free Holiday Meal @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Dec 6 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Free Holiday Meal @ Trinity Lutheran Church
If one has read the Surgeon General’s 2023 report on America’s epidemic of loneliness and crisis of disconnection, one can then understand the significance that a Holiday Meal can have on the community at large. [...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 6 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]