FRONT ROYAL – On Saturday, October 6th, the Board of Directors of the Warren County Educational Endowment (WCEE) celebrated reaching $1 million in investments. According to Endowment President Doug Stanley, “Since 1994, it has been our goal to grow the corpus or principal of the endowment to $1,000,000 which would generate an estimated $50,000+ per year in grants to support public education in Warren County. The corpus of the endowment is invested, and the income is used to directly assist in promoting creative efforts to foster educational excellence for the children of Warren County.” Stanley also noted that, to date, the Endowment has awarded 135 grants totaling $454,428.67, and a new round is planned for later this month to give out an additional $45,000.
As of August of this year, the Endowment stands at approximately $1,005,000. At the Endowment celebration Stanley, on behalf of the Board, current and former members, thanked all those in attendance for their support and contributions that have allowed the Endowment to reach this milestone stating, “Today we celebrate reaching this once distant milestone. Ttomorrow we roll up our sleeves and start to work on the next goal that our Board has set – $2.5 million for 2025.” To reach the next milestone, Stanley outlined a number of potential opportunities including:
- Continue the annual fund drive and golf tournament fundraisers
- Ask individual donors to consider making a bequest in their will for the Endowment.
- Ask individual donors to consider donating their 401k withdrawal directly to the Endowment.
- Consider donations of stock to avoid taking the capital gains tax hit while taking the full donation.
- Encourage representatives of local business or industry to support the Endowment.
On behalf of the Endowment, Stanley thanked all of the Endowment’s supporters, large and small, for their steadfast support of the Endowment over the past 20+ years and for investing in the future of Front Royal-Warren County the youth of the community.
Stanley noted that the Endowment also celebrated the contributions of John LaBarca who recently passed away. LaBarca was well-known in the community, having originally been involved in leading the team that selected the site and constructed the DuPont manufacturing facility in the 1970’s. After plant start-up, he was assigned as Assistant Plant Manager through 1985, at which time he became the Plant Manager at the Moberly plant in Missouri. He returned to Front Royal in 1990 as Plant Manager and remained in that position until his retirement in 2004.
According to founding member and long-time Board member John Marlow, “John has truly been the heart and soul of our organization. Much of the success of the Warren County Educational Endowment can be credited to the vision and efforts of John LaBarca. I do not believe that the highly successful ‘Project Lead the Way’ would even exist in Warren County without his leadership.”
Former Warren County Public Schools Superintendent Pamela McInnis added, “John LaBarca has always been a champion of education. He has made a significant, positive impact on Warren County Public Schools. John was a founding member of the Warren County Educational Endowment and through his leadership, guidance, and active participation, the Endowment has supported public schools and has played an important part in improving the educational experience for children in Warren County. Our Project Lead the Way Program’s success and expansion have been the result of John LaBarca’s leadership in engaging businesses and industry to become involved in educating the youth of their community. We will be forever grateful for his interest and assistance.”
Doug Stanley added, “John was a fixture of this organization since its inception. As a representative of local industry, John brought credibility to the organization. He truly understood the connection between education and the workforce. He brought institutional knowledge to each and every meeting and has been instrumental in helping the Endowment grow from a start-up organization to one with a corpus of over $1 million.”
The Endowment is a catalyst in improving the education and learning environment in Warren County Public Schools. Sometimes private support of public efforts is necessary to incubate an idea or a new approach that helps students compete in a global marketplace, instills passion for life-long learning, and sparks a vision to strive for success. Programs funded by the Endowment are sponsored by the public school system and are consistent with its mission and direction. They are intended to initiate sustained improvement in the fundamental capability of the school system and enhance the attractiveness of the community through the promotion of educational excellence.
Persons interested in supporting the Endowment can contact the Endowment at wceducationalendowment.org.
Front Royal Police Department seeking help in finding missing person, 18-year-old Zander Ward
The Front Royal Police Department is seeking assistance in attempting to locate a missing adult, Zander Benjamin Ward. Ward was reported missing on Monday, October 25th where he left his residence in the 1000 block of Goodview Drive, on foot, around 2:00 PM.
Ward was last seen wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, white t-shirt, and dark sweat pants. Ward was seen at Sheetz in Front Royal on October 25th around 3:00 PM.
Ward was allegedly seen later, around 4:00 PM, walking between the north and south fork bridges in Front Royal, VA.
Anyone with information as to Ward’s whereabouts is asked to please contact Det. D.L. Fogle with the Front Royal Police Department at 540-635-2111.
- NAME: Zander Benjamin Ward
- AGE: 18 years old
- RACE: White
- HEIGHT: 5’ 09”
- EYES: Brown
- HAIR: Auburn
Last Known Information:
- Last seen walking between north & south fork bridges, in Front Royal, October 25, 2021 around 4:00 PM.
Stephens City United Methodist Church food pantry update
Food Pantry operates on site at Stephens City United Methodist Church (SCUMC). We are located in downtown Stephens City, at 5291 Main Street. Take Interstate I-81, exit 307, and go west two blocks to the traffic light (intersection of 277 and US 11). Turn right (north), and the church is two blocks on your left. Parking is available in the rear of the building.
We are currently offering drive-through pickup to our food pantry clients. We continue to follow CDC guidelines for safe handling and proper sanitizing. Volunteers are placing pre-packaged food, produce and cleaning and hygiene supplies into the cars of clients in the church parking lot.
We are taking basic information on a clipboard and entering that information into the computer system.
We are open from 11 am to 2 pm every Tuesday of the month. Families may now receive food and hygiene supplies as frequently as 2 times per month.
We have seen a small increase in new families, but not an extreme upswing overall. Please spread the word of our offering. We are happy to serve!
This organization is an equal opportunity provider. For more information, contact Kim DeGroot at email@example.com.
Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Patient of the Week: Eastern Copperhead
Thank you, K2C Wildlife Encounters, LLC for rescuing this Eastern Copperhead that was accidentally injured by a tractor.
This snake suffered an incredibly painful fracture that was open to the environment and at high risk of infection. He was very lucky that this fracture occurred at the very end of the body.
Our team was able to anesthetize the snake and amputate the tail tip so that this site could be cleaned and closed, increasing his likelihood of survival.
If all goes well, this snake will be recovering with us over the next 7 months or so before being released back at its found location in the spring.
Remember, there is no such thing as a bad snake! Copperheads eat the rodents (and their ticks) that spread disease and their venom is used to treat cancer.
Despite a lengthy transport on bumpy roads and having our staff restrain him in a tube and poke him with injectable anesthetics, this snake never showed signs of aggression.
Venomous snakes like copperheads should be handled very carefully and only by trained individuals with proper equipment. Please do not attempt to handle or illegally harass/kill these snakes as that is the best way to get bitten. Though many bites are dry (no venom injected), some are not and you should always seek medical attention if bitten.
As for all wildlife, giving them plenty of space is the best way keep yourself and the animal safe.
United Way Day of Caring 2021
The United Way has a scaled-down version of Day of Caring planned for Friday, November 5th, 2021. The organization has several great projects planned, including several to benefit local non-profits.
Here are some highlights for this year’s Day of Caring:
- Approximately 25 DECA students from Warren County High School volunteering
- Projects planned for five county non-profits
- Cleaning up parks in Warren County
Valley Health and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative are sponsors for this year’s event.
Since 1950, the United Way has worked to advance the common good in Front Royal-Warren County. The community wins when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, and when people are healthy. The United Way’s goal is to create long-lasting change by addressing the underlying causes of the challenges we face. Living United means being part of the change!
To donate to the United Way in order for us to continue to meet the most pressing needs in our community, please visit the following link: frontroyalunitedway.org/donate. To reach the United Way offices in Front Royal-Warren County (134-B Peyton Street, Front Royal, VA, 22630), please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540-635-3636.
Wakefield Country Day School welcomes the world!
Gutentag! Hola! Ciao! XieXie! Hello! Wakefield Country Day School is known for welcoming students from several surrounding counties, including Rappahannock, Fauquier, Prince William, Culpeper and Warren. This year, WCDS also welcomes a dozen high school students from Germany, Italy, China and Spain — as well as DC and NYC!
Several of these students will complete their high school careers here, while others are on a one-year exchange program. Natalia, from Spain, loves drawing, history and literature, and wants to become a journalist. It was the Journalism Program at WCDS that drew her to Rappahannock, and its annual trip to NYC and the New York Times! Jonah, from Germany, loves math and physics, and was most interested in joining the WCDS Jazz Ensemble as a trombonist. Alessia joins us from Italy. She loves travel and learning about new cultures and hopes to attend college in the States. Jeannel is from the Queens, NYC. In a meeting with Dr. Cameron Webb, she was inspired to become a dermatologist, and has dug into her chemistry classes.
While these students have added both culturally and academically to the student body at WCDS, it is also important to show them our beautiful surrounding counties. Be on the lookout for this group as they tour our surrounding counties of Rappahannock, Warren, Culpeper and Fauquier this Fall.
Halloween Grams by the Skyline Middle School Interact Club
Kids are making a difference by supporting our community. Kudos to the Skyline Middle School Interact students who have organized a fundraiser to benefit the Humane Society of Warren County: Halloween Grams! They will be sold at school to bring a little extra fun to Halloween and help our local furry friends. Well done kids!
The Rotary Club of Warren County is proud to sponsor the Interact Club at Skyline Middle School. The kids get to meet on a regular basis to discuss our community and brainstorm project ideas on how to support local causes or identify needs. If you have a middle school child at Skyline Middle School and think the Rotary Interact program sounds like a fit, let us know!