Each weekday, host Janet Michael hosts thirty minutes of conversation on topics such as tourism, business, events, healthcare, education, law enforcement, history, local government and more. Guests are recorded (mostly) in advance, some via computer and s
Our conversation for United Way Day featured United Way Northern Shenandoah Valley's CEO, Kaycee Childress and her guest, Tori Babbington. Tori is the managing attorney for rural programs with Just Neighbors. Just Neighbors is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization dedicated to serving and supporting the immigrant community of Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Tori discussed her organization's mission to provide free legal representation to non-citizens earning under 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. She highlighted the complexities and lengthy process of the immigration system, often taking many months or years, particularly for temporary residents or undocumented individuals. Tori emphasized the need for a bipartisan effort to reform the current immigration system, as a significant portion of their clients do not have a clear pathway for legal status. We discussed the issue of veteran deportation and the challenges faced by deported veterans who have made significant contributions to the country. Tori explained the challenges faced by one of her clients currently in the asylum application process, which included waiting for almost two years for a decision (still pending) and dealing with an under-resourced system with a backlog of over 100,000 cases. Tori highlighted the financial difficulties faced by families in the immigration process, including the cost of application fees. She also noted the negative effects of the delay in approvals, such as preventing family reunification processes. Tori discussed the various ways people can get involved with the nonprofit organization Just Neighbors. She emphasized the importance of their partnership with Braddock Street United Methodist Church, and Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area. She highlighted the power of these interactions, noting that they connect diverse community members. She also mentioned the availability of both in-person and remote volunteer opportunities, making clear that bilingualism is not mandatory. She further explained that their website offers a consultation request form and that clients can call their office, with bilingual staff available. Learn more about their organization, upcoming Immigration 101 sessions, as well as walk-in clinics on their website: https://www.justneighbors.org/ and follow them on Facebook.
Our conversation today with Jeff Alban, Artistic Director and Steve Hommowun, First Tenor with Blue Ridge Singers gave us all the details for their upcoming Christmas concert Series - On Christmas Night. We met up prior to a rehearsal at Front Royal Presbyterian Church - you can hear part of that rehearsal at the end of the conversation. We talked about what goes into creating the choirs sound, the audience experience, and the learning curves for each of the three venues. The concerts are free to attend, although a $15 free will offering is appreciated. The concerts will take place: Sunday, December 3rd at 3:00pm at First Baptist Church Winchester, VA Friday, December 8th at 7:30pm at Front Royal Presbyterian Church Sunday, December 10th at 3:00pm at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville
Our conversation for The Valley Business Today with Shayla Rickard, Business Retention Manager for Frederick County Economic Development Authority featured Mary Sullivan. Mary is the Project Coordinator for the Valley Internship Experience Workgroup (VIEW) of Virginia Talent + Opportunity Program (VTOP). VTOP is a program aimed at connecting students with companies through internships - paid and unpaid. Mary explained that the program's goal is to help businesses access talent and retain graduates, while also providing students with work experience. The program is funded by the General Assembly and is open to all types of businesses, from small sole proprietorships to large corporations. Mary encouraged interested parties to visit the program's website: https://virginiatop.org/ where they can access free resources such as an employer readiness toolkit and online courses. She also encouraged students and parents to reach out to their college career services departments or high school career and technical education personnel for more information. Shayla emphasized the value of the website as a resource for those who may feel uncomfortable asking questions. Shayla gave details for an upcoming virtual event, led by Mary that will provide background information about the program with a Q&A session to follow. The event is free to attend and will be held on Friday, December 8, 2023 at 10am. Click here for details and to register. Mary emphasized the importance of businesses investing time in the program and highlighted the availability of resources to ensure a positive experience for all involved. We also learned about a staffing agency resource (available to businesses with 250 or fewer employees) that handles HR tasks such as job postings and payroll. There is also a matching funds program for smaller businesses that requires completion of their free online course about developing an internship program.
Today's conversation for Tourism Tuesday with Justin Kerns from Winchester/Frederick County Convention & Visitor's Bureau also featured Andy Gail from Literacy Volunteers and Donnie McGhee from The Ivy Chest. The group gave many of the details for the Winchester Winter Village that will kick off in Old Town Winchester on December 8, 2023, and run through December 10, 2023. The event will resemble a traditional European Christmas market with food and crafts vendors located throughout the Old Town Walking Mall. Many shops will be fully decked out for the holidays and offering specials for shoppers young and old. On Friday, December 8th enjoy a grown-up good time with the Second Annual Santa Crawl in the evening to benefit Froggy's Closet. On Saturday, December 9th and Sunday, December 10th bring out the whole family to enjoy a tented Santa's Village area with Santa, elves, crafts, and even an appearance by the Grinch! Take a complimentary horse-drawn wagon ride from Shenandoah Carriage Company on Saturday between 3-6pm to enjoy the beautiful Old Town lights and displays. Horse-drawn wagon rides will be complimentary and first-come first served and handled by the carriage company staff. There will be live caroling and music, demonstrative vendors, and you can grab a warm serving of gluhwein, a traditional hot mulled spiced red wine, from a participating restaurant and carry it with you as you shop. Several restaurants will also be offering kinderpunch, a warm spiced cider just for kids! If you know of someone who needs a special message of hope, good wish, or prayer, stop by the Wishing Tree area near the Godfrey Miller Center, write out a wish for them, and place it on the tree. This will be an open-air market and will be free for everyone to attend! For more information, download a map, or find other things to do in and around Winchester, visit: https://visitwinchesterva.com/ WINTER VILLAGE HOURS: Friday, December 8, 4-8pm (including a 5-9pm Santa Crawl to benefit Froggy's Closet) Santa Crawl info and how to get tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/199021756569484 Saturday, December 9, 11-8pm (Kinder Village with Santa 12-5, carriage rides 3-6pm) Sunday, December 10, 11-4pm(Kinder Village with Santa 12-4)
Our conversation today with Misty Weaver was twofold. As a local real estate agent with the Dream Weaver Team, Misty gave us a few tips and some insight into the local market. In the second segment, we talked about her role as publisher of OldTownist magazine. We discussed the current state of the real estate market & Misty clarified common misconceptions about the market, including the impact of holidays, interest rates, and sales volume on prices. She explained that despite lower sales, prices were still rising due to high demand. Misty also addressed the issue of high interest rates, suggesting that buyers consider the potential advantages of purchasing a house now rather than waiting for rates to drop, as the current equity could offset the higher interest rate in the future. She also dispelled the myth that clients only need a lawyer for legal paperwork and highlighted the valuable services real estate agents provide, such as property preparation and negotiation. Learn more about Misty, Katie, and Justin on their website: https://www.dreamweaverteam.com/ and follow them on Facebook for great information about the real estate market in our area. We also learned that the Oldtownist magazine, a free, local publication focused on the Winchester/Frederick County market, was conceived with the goal of promoting businesses and the community. The magazine, which is available both in print and online, has become a valuable resource for visitors and potential residents of the area, providing information about local restaurants, shops, and other amenities. Misty also noted that the magazine has helped her real estate business by showcasing the local community and its features. She shared that they have an events page, a feature on a different nonprofit each month, and a list of places where people can give back. She emphasized the importance of spreading awareness about these events and organizations, as well as the interconnectedness of the community. You can pick up a printed copy at many locations around Old Town Winchester including the Espresso Bar & Cafe and The Hideaway Cafe. You can also subscribe to have the free publication emailed to you each month. Visit their website for the current issue and follow them on Facebook for updates.
Our conversation today for part two of a "Shop Small Saturday" edition of The Valley Today with Carl Knoblock, Virginia District Director of the Small Business Administration featured two small business owners. First, we talked with Sue Haynes, owner of Clementine Vintage about what shopping small means to her as a business owner, and how it impacts our community. We talked a bit about the products she carries and how she discovers them. Clementine Vintage is located at 148 E. King Street in Strasburg. They are open Wednesday - Saturday from noon til 6pm and on Sunday from noon til 5pm. Follow them on Facebook to learn about new products and upcoming events. In the second segment, we talked with Cristi Coryell, owner of The ButterCup in Woodstock about what shopping small means to her as a business owner and the personal struggles and successes she's experienced. The ButterCup is located at 120 S. Main Street in Woodstock. They are open on Wednesdays from 11am - 7pm, Thursdays from 11am - 6pm, Fridays from 11am - 5pm, Saturdays from 11am - 4pm, and Sundays from 11am - 3pm. Follow them on Facebook to learn about new products and upcoming events. Carl also gave details for the Small Business Person of the Year awards and talked about what they look for in the nominations. You can find more details here: https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week/small-business-person-year Applications will be accepted until December 7, 2023.
Our conversation for The Valley Business Today featured Cynthia Schneider, CEO of Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, to recap their recent Economic Summit and talk about several upcoming events. Cynthia told us about the upcoming policymakers event on December 19, 2023, at Winchester Country Club. The event is an opportunity to welcome new representatives and provide a platform to share regional legislative priorities. We also discussed the chamber's legislative priorities for 2024, which include transportation and infrastructure, workforce solutions, and government collaboration. Additionally, Cynthia gave us dates and a few details about the State of the Chamber event happening on January 23, 2024, and the Greater Good Awards on March 7, 2024. Nominations for GGA will open the first week in December. Applications will also open for their Business Leadership Program that week. Learn more about chamber membership and all the events we discussed today on their website: https://www.regionalchamber.biz/
Our conversation today with Gina Hilliard and Edison Emmons from Luray/Page Chamber of Commerce gave us all the details for their 8th Annual Holiday Festival. This is a FREE event for all to attend! Families can come and enjoy Santa's workshop with lots of crafts the kid can take home, write a letter to Santa and leave it in the mailbox, make a Christmas card, and take home some reindeer food. Enjoy festive cookies, popcorn, hot cocoa, holiday punch, and s'mores by the firepit. Take a barrel train ride or enjoy the live holiday music. Bring the whole family and get your picture taken with Santa for a $5 cash donation or canned food donation. The proceeds will benefit Page One and Page Paws. Get a headstart on your Holiday shopping at the Holiday Market featuring over 30 vendors. We also talked about their Shop Small in Page County campaign that kicks off on November 25 and runs through December 17, 2023. When you shop or dine locally, send a picture of your receipt by email to email@example.com, or drop it off in person at 18 Campbell Street, Luray, to be entered to win a $500 shopping spree. Each receipt equals one entry, even for online purchases. Each entry must include your name, phone number, and a copy of the receipt. Receipts are due to by Sunday, December 17th, at 5pm. The drawing will take place live on Facebook on Monday, December 18, 2023. For more information follow Luray Page Chamber on Facebook, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540-743-3915.
Our conversation today for a "Shop Small Saturday" edition of The Valley Today with Carl Knoblock, Virginia District Director of the Small Business Administration featured two small business owners. First, we talked with Victoria Kidd Armstrong, owner of The Hideaway Cafe about what shopping small means to her as a business owner and the power of community. Repeatedly named Winchester's best coffeehouse, Hideaway Cafe sits as a welcome center of sorts, greeting folks visiting Winchester's beautiful Old Town pedestrian walking mall. Located at the intersection of West Cork and South Loudoun (right next to Cork Street Tavern), the café has become the community's living room. The comfortable and welcoming café is an ideal setting for grabbing a quick lunch, enjoying time with friends, settling behind a laptop to work, or holding a casual business meeting over some of the best coffee in town. In addition to offering award-winning coffees and fine teas, Hideaway offers a variety of sandwiches, pastries, breakfast goods, coffee-based cocktails, and more. Stay up to date on events by following them on Facebook. In the second segment, we talked with Christine Patrick, owner of Winchester Book Gallery about what shopping small means to her as a business owner and how the community shapes the way she operates her business and the inventory she carries. The Winchester Book Gallery is a 51-year old, independent, locally-owned bookstore serving the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. As a cornerstone of our community, they offer new books, Local Art, Cards, Book Fairs, and Special Orders. The Book Gallery regularly hosts book signings, book clubs, and community nights. In addition, they offer everyday discounts for teachers and book clubs. The Winchester Book Gallery inspires, informs and amuses customers with compelling book selections and a diverse selection of other merchandise. Stay up to date on events by following them on Facebook. Carl also gave details for the Small Business Person of the Year awards and talked about what they look for in the nominations. You can find more details here: https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week/small-business-person-year Applications will be accepted until December 7, 2023.
Our conversation today covered several food-related topics as we chatted with several Virginia Cooperative Extension agents about their various programs. Karen Poff, Senior Extension Agent, Family & Consumer Science, Virginia Cooperative Extension office is based in the Warren County office, but serves all five surrounding counties. She also manages the Northern Shenandoah Valley Financial Education Program. Hannah Copp, is an Associate Extension Agent in Family and Consumer Sciences, focusing on food, nutrition, & health. Joanne Royaltey is a Program Associate with Frederick County Cooperative Extension, and an Extension Master Gardener. Karen gave details about the Super Pantry program. The Super Pantry program is a six-week course during which families receive instruction about food preparation, basic budgeting, food safety, and other life skills. Super Pantry offers low-income families the tools to improve nutrition, overall health, and self-sufficiency. In addition, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank provides families with food boxes for the duration of the program. Super Pantry is a collaborative effort between the Food Bank, the Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the Smart Choices Nutrition Education Program (SCNEP). A registered dietician from the Virginia Cooperative Extension teaches each session. For more information about the program, reach out to Kimberly Costa, FNP Program Assistant via phone 540-665-5699 or email email@example.com Hannah gave us some insight into the food and nutrition programs she offers and talked about the benefits of food preservation. Joanne talked about the positive impact gardening - no matter the size - can have on food insecurity. She encouraged anyone interested in starting a community garden to reach out to extension for advice. She explained that community gardens do well in our region as they offer so many benefits: Beautifying the landscape Making fresh produce accessible Promoting healthier lifestyles Cleaning up the environment Building stronger communities Providing educational opportunities Increasing wellness Below are several links that the group shared where you can find more information on the topics we discussed today. Blue Ridge Area Food Bank- Food Finder map: https://foodfinder.brafb.org/ SNAP/EBT Retailers: https://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ebt_card/ebt_retailers.cgi SNAP/EBT accepting farmers markets: https://vafma.org/virginia-markets/ or https://eatsmartmovemoreva.org/shop/farmers-markets/ Free Market Fridays offers free, fresh produce at Page County's three community gardens CCAP Community Garden in Warren County Valley Health's Growing Community Garden
As part of our community health partnership with Valley Health, we talked today with Jason Craig, Director of Community Health for Valley Health. Our conversation was live on the Camping for Hunger bus. Jason explained what Community Health looks like and talked about the social determinants from housing and food insecurity to transportation issues that can affect a persons physical health. It was an eye-opening conversation that encouraged everyone listening to be more engaged in their community. Listen to other conversations in our Community Health series by clicking here: https://bit.ly/VHhealthpod
Our conversation today began with Andrea Cosans, Director of Winchester CCAP to talk about her organization, specifically the three "freedges" that she has located in Winchester & Frederick County. She explained what they are, how they work, and the value & convenience they bring to those wishing to donate food as well as receive food in our area. She also talked of the great need for volunteers in a wide range of capacities. Learn more about Winchester CCAP on their website: https://www.ccapwinchester.org/ and by following them on Facebook. In the second segment, I ran through a list of food pantries across the Shenandoah Valley. This was, by no means a complete list. You can access more resources on the United Way NSV website by clicking here. You can download their Community Resource Directory by clicking here. Please check their websites or social media to confirm their hours and any restrictions they may have as things may have changed since this show aired. We're going to start off with the Winchester Rescue Mission. They are located at 435 North Cameron Street, and they serve meals every day of the week, every week of the year at their Cafe on Cameron. Lunch is served every day from 11:30am until 12:30pm. Dinner is served from 5:30pm until 6:30pm. You're also welcome to take a to-go meal. Those are available at noon and at 6pm each day. Their food pantry is open Monday through Friday from 10am until 11am. Their food distribution is open to anyone in the community needing food for themselves and their families. The community meals are open to the Winchester community. If you want more information about Winchester Rescue Mission, head over to their website at winrescue. org. There they have a wish list, of items that they always need for donations. I'm sure they're always looking for volunteers as well. And you can follow them on Facebook. Braddock Street United Methodist Church offers a hot meal every Monday night at 6pm. They are located at 115 Wolfe Street in downtown Winchester. Highland Food Pantry is located at 446 Highland Avenue, Winchester. They are in the lower level of the Highland Memorial Presbyterian Church. They are open on Tuesdays from 9am until 11am and from 6pm until 7:30pm. Follow them on Facebook for updates. Stephens City United Methodist Church, located at 5291 Main Street, Stephens City has a drive-thru pantry on Tuesdays from 11am until 2pm in their parking lot. It is open to residents of Frederick County, Winchester, and Front Royal. You can receive food every other week, and some of that food includes frozen meats, chilled dairy products, fresh produce, pet food, and cleaning and hygiene items, in addition to canned and boxed goods. Victory Church Food Bank and the Olive Branch Food Pantry at 2870 Middle Road also provides a drive-thru service. They are open on Wednesdays from 9:30am until noon. Hayfield Assembly of God on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month offers a food pantry from 9am until 11am. They are located at 5118 Northwestern Turnpike in Gore. Welltown United Methodist Church at 1444 Welltown Road in Clearbrook offers a food pantry on Thursdays from 5:30pm until 7pm. Emmanuel United Methodist Church at 2732 Martinsburg Pike in Stephenson every Monday from 4:30pm until 5:30pm. They offer hot meals and a food pantry. Laurel Ridge Community College operates a food pantry for its students. It is open Monday through Friday from 8am until 7pm. You can head to the TRIO office which is in room 606 of Cornerstone Hall. Do a little self-service shopping or you can fill out an online order form, and select your pickup date and time. You can also find a list of other food pantries on their website: https://laurelridge.edu/foodpantry/ FISH of Clarke County is located at 36 East Main Street in Berryville. They are open on Tuesdays from 8am until 10am and on Wednesdays from 8am until 11am. Follow them on Facebook for updates. Go to the back door of the building to access their food pantry. The Christ Episcopal Church in Millwood, located at 843 Bishop Meade Road operates its food pantry on the first Friday of the month from 1pm until 3pm. They also have a special first Saturday of the month from 9am until 11am for seniors and clients with special needs. Bread of Life at Woodstock Presbyterian Church is located at 156 South Muhlenberg Street in Woodstock. They are open on the third Tuesday and the third Thursday from 1pm to 4pm for their food pantry. The Compassion Cupboard at 533 Burgess Street in Strasburg is open on the third Tuesday of the month from 9am until Noon, and from 1pm until 3pm. Loaves and Fishes Pantry at Manor Memorial UMC is open on the third Thursday of the month from 1pm until 5pm. They are located at 9320 North Congress Street in New Market. Loaves and Fishes in Front Royal is located at 613 North Royal Avenue. They're open on Tuesdays from 1pm until 3pm, and on Thursdays and Fridays from 9am until 1pm. Front Royal Salvation Army has a food pantry that operates Monday through Friday from 9am until Noon and from 1:30pm until 3:30pm. They are closed on Wednesdays. They're located at 357 Cloud Street. As a side note, their kettle kickoff is on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at 12:30 at WalMart in Riverton Commons. You can register to ring and give them a little bit of volunteer support during the holidays. In Page County, Page One has two locations. We just talked to Page One last month on the show. Page One - Luray is located at 35 North Bank Street. They are open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8:30am until 11am. They also offer delivery for homebound residents. Their second location, Page One - Shenandoah is Located at 600 Comer Lane. They are open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30am until 2:30pm. They do not offer delivery but can bring your food to the curb if needed.
We recorded today's conversation in Jennifer Hall's office (Sr. Director of Community Investment for United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley) at Valley Assistance Network (VAN). Joining us to share a few stories about their clients and the situations they encounter was Yoli De Leon, Interim Manager at VAN. We talked a bit about the population that VAN serves - mainly ALICE (Asset Limited. Income Constrained. Employed) and the types of services they're able to provide through their network of partner agencies. Yoli told us about several of the clients she's currently helping and what that process looks like. Jennifer explained how the ALICE Emergency Fund works and shared several examples of ways they've been able to help people out of an unforeseen emergency to move them towards economic stability. This week is ALICE Awareness Week and there are several opportunities for the public to learn about challenges and solutions to serve this population. Learn more and donate on the United Way website: https://www.unitedwaynsv.org/aliceawareness and follow them on Facebook to see videos with an ALICE story. You can donate to my Facebook fundraiser here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/1067379364261751/10225553412848445/
Today's conversation took place in two parts in two different locations on Saturday morning. In the first segment, we spent some time with Melinda Topham from JustServe.org and a few of the youth volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who came to Winchester CCAP to help pack Thanksgiving boxes, sort diapers and be personal shoppers during CCAP's Saturday free food giveaway. In the second segment, Shannon Ganoe & Melinda Topham from JustServe.org were joined by Melinda's 17-year-old son Zachary, her daughter Heather, and Heather's friend, Nicole. We talked about the ease of using the JustServe app to find volunteer opportunities, the group gave examples of organizations that are looking for volunteers, and the "kids" told us about their experiences doing service projects. Melinda also gave details for the Light the World Community Christmas Celebration featuring live music, art, giving, and nativities from around the world. The event will take place on Friday, December 1, 2023 from 6pm - 8:30pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (399 Apple Pie Ridge Road.) The celebration is open to the public and free to attend. Melinda told us about the "giving poster" that will be highlighted at the event. You can view that by clicking here.
The conversation today with Kaycee Childress, CEO, and Jennifer Hall, Sr. Director of Community Investment of United Way Northern Shenandoah Valley featured a discussion about the ALICE (Asset Limited. Income Constrained. Employed) report, with Jennifer providing details about its origins and scope. The ALICE report, which started in Virginia in 2017, has become a statewide initiative and expanded to multiple states across the country. The three discussed the challenges faced by 'ALICE' families, who are typically low-income, working-class individuals often employed in service sector jobs. They emphasized that these families are frequently struggling to make ends meet due to wages not keeping up with the cost of living. Kaycee highlighted the role of these families in various industries, noting that they are often relying on multiple jobs without benefits to support their families. The discussion also touched on the findings of the ALICE report, which provides detailed data on the prevalence of ALICE families in different localities and demographic groups. The report reveals that single mothers are particularly vulnerable to being below the ALICE threshold. Janet and Jennifer also discussed the housing situation in the Shenandoah Valley, noting that many individuals seek help from the Valley Assistance Network (VAN) for housing-related issues. They aim to connect families with existing community resources to determine their eligibility since high rental costs can make some families ineligible for government programs. The ALICE Emergency Fund was also mentioned as a resource to assist families with housing costs. Jennifer shared the case of a single mom named Renee who had been living in a motel with her kids for over a year after their landlord sold their house. Despite working two jobs, Renee struggled with transportation and the high cost of living in the motel. She was able to get a Section-8 housing voucher, but finding a place that would accept it proved challenging. The team managed to secure a new place for Renee, but she needed $4,000 for the security deposit and first month's rent. Eight agencies helped to cover the cost, with Renee contributing some herself. Janet highlighted the hardships faced by those living in such conditions, including limited access to cooking facilities and laundry. The team also discussed the difficulties of navigating the various agencies and funding sources involved. Once Renee moved into her new place, she faced additional challenges, including the need for furniture and kitchenware. Janet and Jennifer discussed the financial struggles faced by many members of their community. They emphasized the importance of empathy and understanding towards those who may be struggling financially. The group also discussed ways to help, including donations and volunteering. Jennifer highlighted the impact that small donations could have, such as preventing a family from falling into poverty. Janet encouraged listeners to donate to the ALICE Emergency Fund during ALICE Awareness Week. Jennifer confirmed that all funds donated to this specific fund go directly to supporting families in need. Learn more about ALICE, ALICE Awareness Week, and how you can help your community through donations to United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley here: https://www.unitedwaynsv.org/
Our conversation today with Guy Curtis, Director of Marketing for Laurel Ridge Community College welcomed Katherine Werner, a content and digital marketing specialist at Laurel Ridge Community College. Katherine shared her personal story as a transfer student from Laurel Ridge, emphasizing the pivotal role the college played in her academic and career success. The discussion highlighted the benefits of Laurel Ridge's transfer program, which provides a stepping stone for students who may not be ready for or able to afford a four-year college. Katherine's firsthand experience makes her a valuable asset to the marketing team, helping to effectively engage prospective students. Guy highlighted the team's goal to showcase the college's programs and services, and Katherine's role in this effort, particularly in digital content and social media. They discussed the misconceptions and benefits of attending a community college, such as Laurel Ridge, and how it provides a cost-effective and quality education. Katherine also clarified that her role as a content and digital marketing specialist involves more than just taking photos, but also includes data analysis and strategic planning. Janet and Guy discussed the open registration for Laurel Ridge Community College's spring semester and the diverse target markets they are trying to reach. They addressed the misconception that a 4-year school is the only path after high school and stressed the importance of considering vocational training. Guy highlighted the college's fast-track programs and reminded listeners that enrollment for the spring semester remains open until January 16 2024. They also acknowledged the changing landscape of education, with more mid-adults opting for skill upgrades or degree programs. Guy also pointed out the college's reach beyond Middletown, with online class offerings available to students across the Shenandoah Valley. Guy highlighted several upcoming information sessions for their fast-track programs in November, December, and January, which can be joined online or in person. These sessions provide information on the programs themselves, what to expect as a student, funding options, and how to make the transition to a new career while maintaining a full-time job. Learn more here: https://laurelridge.edu/
Our conversation today with Kit Redmer, Communications Director for the City of Winchester included Kenny Johnson, the city's Transportation Operations Manager to give details about WinReady, a microtransit system being rolled out this coming spring. WinReady is a new initiative that is expected to have a significant positive impact on public transit users, particularly students and families, across Winchester. The service will allow people to travel on-demand from point to point using an app or via phone reservations. The new system would be an overhaul of the current one and Kenny explained that it's especially suitable for the size of Winchester, with many trips expected to take only 10 or 15 minutes. The new system uses the same fleet of buses, covers the entire city of Winchester, and will run from 6am to 8pm on weekdays and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays. All public transit in Winchester is free to ride until July 1, 2024. Kenny told us about the changes coming to the existing bus routes when this new initiative rolls out - likely in March 2024 - and the decrease in wait times at bus stops due to the new "loop system." Kit emphasized the radical change this service represents and encouraged community members to provide feedback through a focus group on the city's website. Learn more about WinReady, find upcoming public information sessions, and sign up for the city's newsletter on their website: https://www.winchesterva.gov/
Our conversation today for Tourism Tuesday with Kary Haun from Shenandoah County Tourism featured Vicki Ruckman, Secretary and Event Coordinator for the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail, and Ashley Proctor, Director of Events and Group Sales for Shenandoah Caverns. Vicki gave us some background for The Shenandoah Cup and explained how the judging works and what attendees can expect at the event on Friday, November 10, 2023, at The Yellow Barn at Shenandoah Caverns. Tickets are $75/person and can be purchased by clicking here. Ashley told us about the many updates and renovations that have happened at The Yellow Barn in the last year and talked about the flexibility that all of their spaces offer for weddings, family gatherings, and corporate events. She also gave details for Shenandoah UnCorked which happens on Saturday, November 11, 2023. You can learn more about the event and purchase tickets by clicking here. Kary gave us details for Star in the Valley's Christmas Market and reminded listeners that November's Shenandoah County Tour will take place at the Shenandoah Caverns Family of Attractions. Learn more about that by clicking here. Find a full list of events on their new website: https://visitshenandoahcounty.com/
Our conversation today with Cori Pence, Communications Specialist with Northwestern Community Services Board Prevention & Wellness Services is part of a year-long partnership with Northwestern Community Services Board highlighting eight different dimensions of wellness. Their "Rooted in" campaign is in its third year with 2023's message: Rooted in Wellness. They encourage community members to get involved by participating in a monthly challenge, attending a Lunch and Learn session, or accessing resources on their website. The goals of the campaign are to deliver the following messages of wellness: • To raise awareness about how being mentally well impacts not only one part of who we are; • To encourage community members to become mentally well; • To foster connection and resilience in our communities by emphasizing wellness. This month we recapped two of the wellness topics we've covered in-depth: Social Wellness and Financial Wellness. We met up at Flour & Water to talk about how we incorporate things into our lives to improve both of these wellness categories. We gave tips and tricks for getting out of the house, making new friends, and saving money. You can find more details, resources, and information about social and financial wellness on their website: https://www.nwcsbwellness.com/rooted-in-wellness-campaign “Rooted in Wellness” is a collaborative project. Prevention and Wellness works closely with local coalitions to reach each community in their service area. These include Family Youth Initiative, Page Alliance for Community Action, Warren Coalition, and Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition. In addition, the campaign hopes to bring awareness to 2 statewide initiatives: Activate Your Wellness and Lock and Talk Virginia. Each month there will be a call to action with tips, activities, and education to build up a specific dimension of wellness. There are various ways to engage in the campaign including through social media. Stay up-to-date by following @NWCSBWellness on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for infographics, photos, resources, and quotes. As this campaign is yearlong, be sure to visit nwcsbwellness.com regularly for updates and schedule of monthly activities. Share posts and include the hashtag #NWRootedinWellness. Get involved. Be creative. Take photos that reflect what wellness means to you and tag @NWCSBWellness on social media with the hashtag #NWPhotoVoiceChallenge. Implement #NWRootedinWellness into your everyday life this year. Yard signs with wellness messages are also available as part of this effort. Reach out if you are interested in displaying a FREE sign by emailing PreventionandWellness@nwcsb.com See signs? Take a picture and be sure to tag @NWCSBWellness and use the hashtag #NWRootedinWellness. Click here to listen to prior conversations about the Rooted in Wellness campaign.
We recorded today's episode at The Hideaway Cafe with guest host Olivia Hilton to go behind the mic for my 2000th consecutive episode. Olivia asked questions about how guests are chosen, what kind of time goes into editing the show for air, and several other questions that I'm often asked about the show. Join us tonight as we celebrate: https://www.facebook.com/events/24067413979573764/
Our conversation for The Valley Business Today with Niki Foster from Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce gave us details for several chamber & community events happening in the coming weeks. We talked about the kickoff of the latest leadership class and learned about two new businesses that will host a ribbon cutting. Blue Ridge Arts Council has opened its workshop to prep for Deck the Halls. She also reminded us that the Town of Front Royal will host their 235th birthday party on Saturday, November 18, 2023. We also spent some time talking about the importance of shopping local and shopping small and the return on investment it gives to the community. Before we wrapped up our conversation, we talked a bit about the Christmas Parade and Merry Market that will happen on Saturday, December 2, 2023. You can find more information including parade and vendor applications on their website: https://www.frontroyalchamber.com/ and by following them on Facebook.
Our conversation for Tourism Tuesday - Winchester/Frederick County edition - with Justin Kerns from Winchester/Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau was FULL of things to do in the coming weeks. We discussed: Winchester Little Theatre performs The Humans from November 10-25, 2023. The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (The MSV) will feature Garden Lights from November 16 through December 3, 2023. Now through February 18, 2024, Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross is on display. Virginia Gourd Show and Sale happens November 11-12, 2023, from 10am - 5pm with free admission to the show. See a full list of events happening at The MSV on their event calendar: https://www.themsv.org/upcoming-events/ The Shenandoah Arts Council is hosting its annual Veterans Art Show, featuring art from local veterans at Mosaic Church (134 N. Loudoun St. Old Town Walking Mall) on November 4 -5 and November 10-11 from 1:30pm - 4pm. Admission is free and artists receive 100% of sales. Shenandoah Conservatory performs Rent on Thursday, November 16 & Friday, November 17 at 7:30pm, Saturday, November 18 at 2:30pm and 7:30pm, and on Sunday, November 19 at 2:30pm. They also host a wide variety of performances across our community, see the full list here: https://www.su.edu/performs/ The Godfrey Miller Center hosts several events throughout the month geared mostly towards seniors. They offer family-friendly events and workshops as well. Learn more here: https://godfreymillercenter.org/ For the runners: the Battlefield Half Marathon happens on November 4, 2023, at 8am and the Thanksgiving Day 5K and Fun Run happens on November 23, 2023, at 8am. Winchester Winter Village will take place on the Old Town Walking Mall from December 8-10, 2023. Celebrate our 2000th consecutive episode on Friday, November 3, 2023, from 4pm - 7pm at The Hideaway Cafe, then enjoy First Friday as you explore the Old Town Walking Mall before taking in Arts Chorale of Winchester's Fall Concert featuring Gabriel Faure' “Requiem” and Patrick M. O'Shea “A Psalm of Life”. Find even MORE events here: https://visitwinchesterva.com/events/
Our conversation today with Tyler Hinkle, Shenandoah County's Planner is part of an ongoing series following the work on Shenandoah 2045 - Shenandoah County's comprehensive plan. The planning process will unfold over the course of four years with the majority of the community collaboration occurring from 2020-2022, with input in 2023-2024. Joining Tyler & I today was McKenzie Allen, an associate planner to discuss Chapter Four: Economic Development. Chapter 4: Economic Development Provides a vision and objectives to protect and enhance aspects such as the potential new industrial and commercial developments in the County and its Towns expansion and growth of existing businesses and corporations in the County and its Towns tourism economy and potential to expand and build upon it such as encouraging winery/brewery development along spirit trails collaborative measures for how businesses, corporations, agricultural and tourism businesses, and local and regional governments and non-profit organizations can work together to assist each other for mutual benefit You can find the chapter overview below and view the entire plan in various forms here: https://shenandoahcountyva.us/2045plan/ For more information about the planning process, visit their website: https://shenandoahcountyva.us/future/ and follow them on Facebook. You can listen to my previous conversations with Tyler about Shenandoah 2045 by clicking here.
Our conversation for United Way Day featured United Way Northern Shenandoah Valley's CEO, Kaycee Childress and Dr. Yolanda Barbier Gibson, VP for Student Affairs at Shenandoah University and this year's Campaign Chair, to discuss the annual campaign. The theme for this year's campaign is "Be the Change. Empowering with Passion to make the Impossible Happen." The pair explained how the campaign works, its importance, and where the money goes. We discussed workplace campaigns, and how individuals can make donations. Kaycee told us how some local businesses create events for their staff to participate in and raise funds. Yolanda gave us quite an eye-opening rundown of how far a small donation can go to make a big impact in our community. Learn more on their website: https://www.unitedwaynsv.org/give
Our conversation today at the Espresso Bar & Cafe with Eve Stanley, Founder and Artistic Director of ARTEINMOVIMENTO Dance Company gave details for how her nonprofit started and where she hopes it will grow. Joining us were two of her dancers, Becca Hopkins & Lainey Griffin who both shared their experiences working with Eve, their plans for the future, and talked about their excitement for their upcoming performances. They will perform Walking Artwork at the American Shakespeare Center Blackfriars Theater in Staunton on Sunday, October 29, 2023 with a performance at 7pm and 8:30pm. You can also live stream the event. Tickets are available on their website by clicking here. Eve told us about several other performances they have scheduled in the coming months. She also shared details for their Inspire by Dance Giving Campaign. Learn more about it here. Stay in the know about performances, volunteer opportunities, and how you can support ARTEINMOVIMENTO Dance Company by following them on Instagram and YouTube, and visit their website: https://www.arteinmovimento.info/
Our conversation for The Valley Business Today featured Cynthia Schneider, CEO of Top of Virginia Regional Chamber and her guest, Scott Harvard, CEO of First Bank. The pair gave details for the chamber's Economic Summit happening on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 from 8:30am - 12pm at Shenandoah University. The Economic Summit gives the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber members a chance to forecast their business through insight from national, state, and local experts. The event kicks off with a talk from Stephen Edwards, CEO of Virginia Port Authority, followed by a panel discussion featuring local businesses. The keynote speaker for the event, Renee Haltom, Regional Executive and VP of Research Communications for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond will speak about the regional economy and the Fed's view of what's happening in the region. Tickets should be purchased in advance on the chamber's website. They are $35 for chamber members & affiliate members, $45 for non-members.
Our conversation today with Victoria Kidd Armstrong at The Hideaway Cafe gave us a bit of insight into the community she's created around her business. We talked about their coffees, of course, but also their full bar menu with an award-winning bartender that was added in recent years. She gave details about several upcoming events and explained that post-pandemic they will be offering even more fun, inclusive things to do at the coffeehouse. Victoria has also offered up her space to host my 2000th consecutive episode celebration on Friday, November 3, 2023, from 4pm - 7pm. If you've ever been a guest or co-host on the show OR are a listener - swing by and celebrate with us for a bit! Get more details on our Facebook event page. The Hideaway Cafe is located at 141 S. Loudoun Street at the corner of the Old Town Walking Mall in Downtown Winchester. They are closed on Tuesdays, but are open on Mondays from 9am - 2pm; Wednesdays - Saturdays from 9am - 5pm, and on Sundays from 9am - 4pm. Though she told us those hours could be expanding in the near future. Follow them on Facebook for a complete list of upcoming events and to stay in the know about all the great things happening at The Hideaway Cafe.
Our conversation today featured Justin Proctor and Mike Shotton, committee members representing ACES - Advisory Committee for Environmental Sustainability for the Town of Front Royal. Mike gave a bit of history for the group and talked about their goals. Justin explained that small, individual changes can have a significant impact on our environment. The pair gave details about several upcoming events and projects. They will host a tree giveaway on Veterans Day (November 11, 2023) at the gazebo on Main Street in Front Royal from 10am -2pm. Justin also told us about their "Dark Skies" project and gave a few tips for downshielding your outdoor lighting while still maintaining the security it provides. We also discussed the possibility of a new trail coming to the area. Mike encouraged listeners to attend one of their monthly meetings for more information and/or to get involved. The group meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 5:30pm - 7pm at Vibrissa on Main Street in Front Royal.
Our conversation today for Extension Office Friday featured 4-H Extension Agents from three of our surrounding counties discussing the uniqueness of each county's program and the importance of addressing community needs. The group discussed the diverse opportunities available through 4-H and stressed that 4-H is not strictly focused on livestock, but offers a range of activities including leadership, citizenship, community service, food and nutrition, health projects, public speaking, and shooting education. They highlighted the program's adaptability, with options for homeschool clubs and in-school programs. They acknowledged the challenges of reaching all types of families and kids in their respective areas. Carol Nansel is the 4-H Agent for Shenandoah County. She shared that the recent livestock show was very successful, crossing over half a million dollars in sales and donations, the most they've ever had. Carol also explained that while the enrollment period is in October, people can join 4-H at any time of year, although there might be some restrictions in certain counties. She also specified the age range for 4-H, which is from 5 to 19. Learn more about Shenandoah County 4-H by calling their office: 540-459-6140, visiting their website, and by following them on Facebook. Spring Vasey is the 4-H Agent for Frederick County. She gave an overview of the wide range of hands-on learning experiences offered by 4-H, including agriculture, STEM, healthy living, and civic engagement. She emphasized how 4-H allows young people to develop critical life skills, explore their interests, and even fail forward in a safe space. Learn more about Frederick County 4-H by calling their office: 540-665-5699, visiting their website, and by following them on Facebook. Meagan Dyer is the 4-H Agent for Page County. She talked about the accessibility of clubs in her county, emphasizing that children can join clubs that align with their interests, even if they are far from home. She shared that several kids drive across the county for clubs that are more in line with their interests, even though there are clubs closer to their homes. Meagan also boasted of the strong community support for 4-H, with businesses and individuals often willing to contribute their time, expertise, or resources. Learn more about Page County 4-H by calling their office: 540-778-5794, visiting their website, and by following them on Facebook.
As part of our community health partnership with Valley Health, we talked with Dr. Jim VanKirk, a board-certified palliative care specialist and Medical Director of Valley Health's palliative care program. Dr. VanKirk explained the role of palliative medicine, which is to work with patients with serious (possibly life-threatening) illnesses and help alleviate burdensome symptoms, while the patient is still pursuing aggressive treatments. He clarified that hospice care is a later stage of palliative medicine, often when the patient stops further life-prolonging therapies and focuses on comfort. Dr. Jeff Harris joined Dr. VanKirk to talk about advance care planning. Dr. Harris is part of a volunteer group of retired physicians who offer their (free) consultative services to help families work through the details of setting up medical directives. Dr. Harris discussed the importance of discussing end-of-life plans with patients through the use of an Advance Directive, such as '5 Wishes'. He explained the benefits of walking through this document with individuals, including the opportunity to discuss other practical and emotional considerations. He also noted that the hospital provides support for these discussions through volunteers and meeting space, with no charge to patients. Dr. Harris emphasized the value of having conversations about end-of-life wishes ahead of time, which can help prevent disagreements among family members and make the process easier for everyone involved. He also highlighted the importance of having these wishes legally documented, such as through the 5 Wishes form recognized by Valley Health. He explained that 5 Wishes was chosen for its wide recognition across multiple states, making it more likely for an individual's wishes to be honored regardless of where they are. People interested in discussing healthcare decisions can call 540-536-5437 to book a one-hour meeting with one of the four specialists.
Our conversation for The Valley Business Today featured Scott Fink, owner of 5-Star Executive Chauffeuring, and Michael Williams, President of Rotary Club of Warren County. Scott and Michael became friends through operating similar businesses, and Michael recently partnered with Scott for an event Rotary was hosting. Scott gave us a bit of background on how his business started and how much it's grown, emphasizing the convenience and comfort of their service, particularly for airport runs, and highlighted his ability to cater to clients' preferences and anxieties. He told us about his fleet and the geographic area that he covers. We discussed the challenges faced by small business owners, with a particular focus on managing adversity and adapting to unexpected situations. Scott emphasized the importance of having a support system. To learn and/or book your ride with 5-Star Executive Chauffeuring, on their website/app and follow them on Facebook.
Our conversation for Tourism Tuesday - Luray/Page edition - with Edison Emmons from Luray/Page Chamber of Commerce took us to Pretty on Y'all to meet owner, Catalina Cenchich. Catalina told us how she and her mother moved their business from Pittsburgh to Luray and their lifelong love of all things artistic. We talked about the many, many options that people of all ages have when they come to the crafting studio and she gave details for hosting events and private parties. Pretty on Y'all is open on Wednesdays from 10am - 6pm, Thursdays & Fridays from 10am - 7pm, Saturdays from 10am - 6pm, and Sundays from 12pm - 4pm. They are typically closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but are available by appointment and for private events. Pretty on Y'all is located at 58 W. Main Street, Suite E, in Luray and can be reached via phone (540) 274-4105 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow them on Facebook, or visit their website for more information.
Our conversation today with Captain Ann Hawk from the Front Royal Corps of Salvation Army included many details about their Angel Tree program, their Red Kettle Kickoff plans, and their upcoming Thanksgiving Meal. Capt. Hawk explained that they are currently accepting applications from families to participate in their Angel Tree program. She told us about the requirements and we spent time talking about the children who receive them and the ideal types of gifts that can be purchased. She told us that a previous kettle location MAY be returning this year. She hopes to announce that and the kickoff date in the coming weeks. The date to kickoff their kettle campaign is November 18, 2023. She reminded listeners that they can sign up to volunteer at https://www.registertoring.com/ Before we wrapped up our conversation, Capt. Hawk gave details for their Thanksgiving Meal and encouraged listeners to donate items for the dinner. Learn more on their website: https://frontroyal.salvationarmypotomac.org/frontroyal/ and stay up to date on all their events, and news by following them on their Facebook page(s): Front Royal Salvation Army: https://www.facebook.com/salvationarmyfrontroyal Front Royal Salvation Army Family (Thrift) Store: https://www.facebook.com/doingthemostgood Front Royal Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club: https://www.facebook.com/TSABGCFR
There were newbies on the show today to talk about Frederick County Public School's FFA Fruit & Meat Sale. Pre-orders are currently being taken until October 27 with pickup at various schools on December 3-4, 2023. Joining me for the conversation with all the details were: Devon Smith, an Ag teacher at Millbrook High School, Caroline Fox, a sophomore at Millbrook High School, Braelyn Durbin, a senior at James Wood High School, and Kaydan Shonaker, a senior at Sherando High School. The group explained how the fruit and meat sales work and why they're an important fundraiser. We talked about the variety of options for each school and learned about some of the "extras" they each offer. They also shared how they came to be involved in FFA. If you'd like to place an order, follow any of the links below and please share on your socials to help boost sales for their organization. James Wood High School FFA on Facebook Sherando High School FFA Facebook Group Millbrook High School FFA on Facebook Frederick County Middle School FFA on Facebook Aylor Middle School FFA on Facebook Byrd Middle School FFA Order Form James Wood Middle School FFA on Facebook
Our conversation today with Guy Curtis, Director of Marketing for Laurel Ridge Community College gave details about the new Fauquier Trades Center set to open in a few months on their Fauquier campus. Joining us to talk about their trades programs were Donna Comer who serves as a Program Manager at Laurel Ridge Workforce Solutions and Fauquier County Economic Development Coordinator, plus AnnaJane Cribbs, also a Program Manager at Laurel Ridge Workforce Solutions. The group discussed the newly opened Fauquier Skilled Trades Center and Donna explained the role Fauquier County played in its establishment. They highlighted the new building with labs for skill-based programs like welding and construction project management, noting an increase in student interest and the potential for future employers. They also discussed the hands-on nature of the labs and the equipment available, plus plans to expand the popular welding program to the Fauquier campus. Donna highlighted the demand for welding skills in various industries and how learning to weld can increase job opportunities. She gave an overview of the types of welding classes offered that cater to both casual enthusiasts and career-driven individuals. AnnaJane reminded listeners about the funding opportunities for skilled trade classes in Virginia, including Fast Forward Funding and G3 Funding. These programs significantly reduce the cost of tuition for Virginia residents and offer financial assistance for those interested in pursuing welding (or any of their trades) as a career. Guy gave details for upcoming information sessions at the Fauquier campus on January 18, 2024, from 3:30pm to 6:30pm, and another at the Middletown campus on February 24, 2023, from 9am to 12pm. These sessions allow visitors to learn about programs and facilities, so Guy encouraged attendees to bring family or friends interested in these areas. Learn more on their website by clicking here.
Our conversation for The Valley Business Today - Luray/Page County edition - with Edison Emmons from Luray/Page Chamber of Commerce featured Justin Horn, Executive Director for Page One of Page County. Justin explained the services they offer, the history of the organization, and the other nonprofits that have spawned from Page One. He talked about the huge need within Page County. He encouraged listeners to support the organization in multiple ways that included volunteering, donating food, donating items to their thrift stores, as well as monetary donations that help them assist residents in a variety of situations. Learn more on their website: https://www.vapageone.org/ Page One has been serving the Luray/Page County community since 1977. They were organized by individuals and churches who had compassion for meeting the human needs in the community. To fund their family assistance program, they operate three thrift stores - two in Luray and the other in Shenandoah. The income from these stores and financial contributions by churches, businesses, and individuals allow Page One the means to provide those essential services to needy families. The sale items are donations from estates and yard sales including clothes, household goods, books, toys, furniture, and jewelry. Follow the thrift stores on Facebook. In 1979 the Page One Board of Directors approved a location in the southern end of Page County to help serve needy families in that area. They also service clients with financial assistance (rent, water, fuel, and electricity) as well as a food pantry. Family Assistance (Main Office) Hours: 8:30am – 11am Luray Food Pantry (35 North Bank Street, Luray / 540-743-4863) Hours: Mon/Tue/Thur 8:30am – 11am Shenandoah Thrift Store, Food Pantry & Family Assistance (600 Comer Lane, Shenandoah / 540-652-8780 Thrift Store Hours: Mon - Fri 10am – 3pm / Saturdays 9am – 12pm Food Pantry Hours: Mon/Wed/Fri 10am – 3pm Family Assistance Hours: CLOSED Page One Thrift Boutique (1 Cave Street, Luray / 540-743-4357 New with tag & slightly worn clothing, Household Items, Furniture Department NEW Arrivals Added Daily Hours: Mon - Fri 8am – 4pm / Saturdays: 8am – 2pm Page One Treasures Thrift Store (42 West Main Street, Luray / 540-743-4357 Hours: Tue – Fri 8:30am – 4pm / Saturday 8:30am - 2pm
Our conversation for Tourism Tuesday - Old Town Winchester edition - featured Jenny McDonald from the City of Winchester to talk about several events happening in October, November, and December. Jenny filled us in on HalloWinchester and talked about how many things there are to do for visitors of any age. We discussed First Friday happening on November 3, 2023, and Día de los Muertos also happening the first week in November at the Taylor Pavilion. It is hosted by Shenandoah University in partnership with Arte Libre and Old Town Winchester. Also happening in November is WINdependent Weekend (November 24-26, 2023) and the Holiday Parade on Monday, November 27 at 7pm with Santa lighting the tree in Old Town immediately after the parade. Jenny also shared a few details for the Winchester Winter Village in Old Town happening December 8-10, 2023, on the Old Town Walking Mall. Stay up to date on events by visiting their website: EnjoyOTW.com and by following them on Facebook.
Our conversation today with Stacy McFarland, Executive Director for the Greater Shenandoah Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross was FULL of information. Stacy educated us on several different programs and services offered by her organization and explained her chapter's coverage area: Washington County, MD, the five counties in the Eastern Panhandle of WV, and all of the top of Virginia including Shenandoah, Page, Warren, and Clarke Counties plus the City of Winchester. We talked about being "Red Cross Ready" for any situation whether it impacts your home and family or your workplace and business. She gave details for their Ready Rating program and explained that any business with ten or more employees is required by OSHA to have an emergency preparedness plan in place. You can find templates and checklists for those here: https://www.readyrating.org/ Stacy also reminded us that checklists and apps are also available on their website to help you be prepared for a short or long-term emergency. This week kicks off Fire Prevention Week (October 8-14, 2023) so Stacy also reminded us that they still have free smoke detectors for area residents. You can call 844-216-8286 and they will come to your home and install several smoke alarms to make sure that your home is properly sounded in case of a fire. Stacy also gave an update on the critical need for blood donations. In August they were 35,000 donations short of simply maintaining their blood supply. She explained why blood donations are important, educated us on the treatment of Sickle Cell Disease, and encouraged everyone in our black and brown communities to consider a blood donation. We discussed how blood drives work and the number of volunteers needed to make them successful. In addition to "on location" blood drives, the Greater Shenandoah Valley chapter hosts a blood drive at their location (561 Fortress Drive, Winchester, VA) every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Before we wrapped our conversation, we talked a bit about the value of volunteers from helping with intake and cookie distribution at blood drives, to being boots on the ground in disaster situations. Stacy also encouraged community members to consider serving on her board. Ideally, she would like to have representatives from each of our localities. As a board member, you would basically be a Red Cross ambassador. Stacy explained that duties include speaking to groups (And their circle of influence) about the Red Cross, the importance of blood donations, and why is critical to have Red Cross in our community. If you're interested and would like to talk more with Stacy about it, send her an email. You can find a WEALTH of information on their website: https://www.redcross.org/
For today's show, I met up with Winter Brooks at Espresso Bar Cafe to have a conversation about the Stephens City Out of the Darkness Community Walk. Winter serves as the co-chair for this year's suicide prevention walk, now in it's ninth year, as well as Executive Board Team Chairperson for the Virginia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She gave us details about the walk happening on Saturday, October 14, 2023. The event opens at 9am with the walk getting officially underway at 10am. There will be an opening ceremony at Sherando High School's football field with the walk continuing into Sherando Park. We talked about the significance of the honor beads and the camaraderie that happens at the event, plus she told me about all the resource partners who will be on hand to offer valuable information. Winter also gave details about several new activities that have been added this year and told us about the two new Hope Benches that they've recently acquired. Stay up to date on local activities and fundraisers and get to know other event participants by joining the event Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/324693571478203. Raise $150 by 10/14/2023 and receive an official Out of the Darkness T-shirt! Register or donate at afsp.org/stephenscity. Are you in a crisis? Call or text 988 or text TALK to 741741
Our conversation for Traffic Safety Thursday with Lt. Warren Gosnell from Frederick County Sheriff's Office covered several different topics. He recently attended a conference in Tennessee where he earned a certification through the University of Tennessee's Master Public Information Officer course. He explained what types of things they covered during the class and gave some insight into the protocols that go into disseminating information to the public. We talked about how he took on the role of Public Information Officer (in addition to his traffic duties) and some of the challenges he's faced. We also discussed a few situations he faced on his trip. He encouraged listeners to be educated on laws if you're traveling to other states and gave advice as to where to find such information. To hear more conversations in this series, click here.
Our conversation for The Valley Business Today with Niki Foster from Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce included James Jackson and Catherine McKay from Bungalow Furniture & Home Decor. The pair recently opened their shop on Main Street in Front Royal and gave us a bit of background about how the idea happened and what types of things you can find in their shop. We talked about the journey of the furniture they feature and talked about their experience with refinishing and staging homes that all led up to their opening in September. They are located at 530 E. Main Street in Front Royal and are open Wednesday through Saturday 10am - 6pm and Sundays Noon til 5pm. Follow them on Facebook for updates.
Our conversation today for Tourism Tuesday with Kary Haun from Shenandoah County Tourism featured Janel Laravie, owner and proprietor of Wolf Gap Vineyard & Winery. Janel explained how she & her husband came to own the nearly 20-year-old vineyard and told us about the experience they've had so far. We talked about the grapes they grow which produce the outstanding wines they offer. She told us about updates and improvements they've made since taking over nearly two years ago including a new, beautifully constructed and the conversion of the barn to a much larger winemaking facility. We discussed the events she's held and she told us about the experiences she hopes people enjoy when visiting the vineyard for an event or for a tasting. She also gave details for the 2023 Shenandoah Cup in which they will participate. The Shenandoah Cup draws attention to the Shenandoah Valley AVA highlighting the superior growing conditions for wine grapes and the resulting wines that are being made. Wine submitted for judging must be at least 85% Shenandoah Valley AVA wines and produced by one of their members. Learn more about the event and purchase tickets on their website: https://www.shenandoahvalleywinetrail.com/ Wolf Gap Vineyard & Winery is located at 123 Stout Road in Edinburg, VA. Full tasting reservations are a guided tasting of 9 wines for $15. They are open Friday – Sunday with reservations available on the hour from noon til 5pm. Learn more on their website: https://wolfgapvineyard.com/ and by following them on Facebook and on Instagram. Wolf Gap Vineyard and Winery will also host the October Shenandoah County Tour on October 25, 2023. Learn more and register here. Before we wrapped up our conversation, Kary gave us details for American Fright Night which happens when American Celebration on Parade at Shenandoah Caverns turns into a 40,000-square-foot haunted attraction on weekends in October. Click here to learn more. She also told us about Oktoberfest happening at Bryce Resort on October 14, 2023, from noon til 5pm. Learn more here. For a complete listing of events and happenings throughout Shenandoah County, visit their website: https://visitshenandoahcounty.com/events/
Our conversation today with Cori Pence, Communications Specialist with Northwestern Community Services Board Prevention & Wellness Services is part of a year-long partnership with Northwestern Community Services Board highlighting eight different dimensions of wellness. Their "Rooted in" campaign is in its third year with 2023's message: Rooted in Wellness. They encourage community members to get involved by participating in a monthly challenge, attending a Lunch and Learn session, or accessing resources on their website. The goals of the campaign are to deliver the following messages of wellness: • To raise awareness about how being mentally well impacts not only one part of who we are; • To encourage community members to become mentally well; • To foster connection and resilience in our communities by emphasizing wellness. This month we recapped two of the wellness topics we've covered in-depth: Environmental Wellness and Physical Wellness. We met up at Flour & Water to talk about how we incorporate things into our schedule to improve both of these wellness categories. We gave tips and tricks for getting out of the house, changing your scenery, and giving yourself permission to take care of yourself. You can find more details, resources, and information about environmental and physical wellness on their website: https://www.nwcsbwellness.com/rooted-in-wellness-campaign “Rooted in Wellness” is a collaborative project. Prevention and Wellness works closely with local coalitions to reach each community in their service area. These include Family Youth Initiative, Page Alliance for Community Action, Warren Coalition, and Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition. In addition, the campaign hopes to bring awareness to 2 statewide initiatives: Activate Your Wellness and Lock and Talk Virginia. Each month there will be a call to action with tips, activities, and education to build up a specific dimension of wellness. There are various ways to engage in the campaign including through social media. Stay up-to-date by following @NWCSBWellness on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for infographics, photos, resources, and quotes. As this campaign is yearlong, be sure to visit nwcsbwellness.com regularly for updates and schedule of monthly activities. Share posts and include the hashtag #NWRootedinWellness. Get involved. Be creative. Take photos that reflect what wellness means to you and tag @NWCSBWellness on social media with the hashtag #NWPhotoVoiceChallenge. Implement #NWRootedinWellness into your everyday life this year. Yard signs with wellness messages are also available as part of this effort. Reach out if you are interested in displaying a FREE sign by emailing PreventionandWellness@nwcsb.com See signs? Take a picture and be sure to tag @NWCSBWellness and use the hashtag #NWRootedinWellness. Click here to listen to prior conversations about the Rooted in Wellness campaign.
Our conversation today with Sandi Webster, Board President for Family Promise Northern Shenandoah Valley and Robin Russell, program coordinator, gave some insight into the homeless family crisis in our community. We talked about the need, learned the organization's history, how we can help individually and as a community, and got details for their upcoming Night Without a Bed. Family Promise NSV is a faith-based, non-profit, registered tax-exempt charitable organization managed by a volunteer board of directors. They are one of more than 200 affliates in 43 states in the nationwide Family Promise network. They are working to address the crisis of family housing instability and homelessness. Family Promise NSV serves families with children who are experiencing homelessness and those who are unstably housed and at imment risk of becoming homeless. Program participants MUST have at least one child under the age of 18 living with them. They also accept single females who are pregnant (with or without other children) and single moms, single dads, two-parent, and grandparent-led families. Families in their program MUST follow program rules and be committed to becoming self-sufficient. Family Promise NSV provides the tools and guidance to help families improve their income, learn budgeting, household management, and parenting skills. Case management services and other resources, are also offered to help them overcome their housing crisis and maintain housing stability. The Family Promise program is voluntary, so it is up to the families to put the tools and guidance into action. Learn more about how you can help on their website: https://www.familypromisensv.org/ and follow them on Facebook.
Our conversation today with Chris Konyar, Director of Winchester City Parks took place under the pavilion at Christianson FamilyLand. Chris talked about the six new pickleball courts recently completed and opened in the FamilyLand area. He explained the popularity of the sport and the need for additional courts in the park. Chris also gave an update on the Preston Field construction and talked about the Winchester Parks Foundation. The foundation was set up to facilitate additional improvements within the park, like the Dog Park. We also talked about the upgrade to the indoor fitness room and he invited listeners to attend open houses that will be scheduled in the coming months. We also discussed two upcoming trips, the PB&J Club, free swim lessons for beginners, as well as their Spooky Fun event happening Friday, October 20, 2023, from 6pm - 8pm at the Rotary and Exchange Pavilions in Jim Barnett Park. Enjoy games, crafts, music, dancing, seasonal treats, and more (while supplies last)! Participate in a Costume Contest and take a stroll on the new Spooky Fun Trail, if you dare! Be sure to bring a flashlight! In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Rec Center. Before we wrapped up our conversation, we talked about the Annual Holiday Parade in Old Town Winchester. The Holiday Parade will be held Monday, November 27 at 7pm with Santa lighting the tree in Old Town immediately after the parade. Entry applications for the 2023 Holiday Parade are available now online ONLY. Remember to review Parade Rules and Guidelines carefully before registering. Entries must be submitted no later than 12Noon on November 6th, 2023 for consideration. Participation is not guaranteed. Click here for the online application. Stay up to date on events and programs from Winchester City Parks by following them on Facebook and signing up for their email newsletter.
Our conversation for The Valley Business Today with Top of Virginia Regional Chamber's CEO Cynthia Schneider included Melinda Topham from JustServe.org to talk about the upcoming Community Connect & Serve event happening on Thursday, September 28, 2023, from 5pm - 7pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints located at 399 Apple Pie Ridge Road, Winchester. Cynthia gave us a recap of a few recent chamber events such as Hob Nob in the Valley & Valor Awards. She also gave a few details for the Economic Summit they're hosting on November 15, 2023. Melinda walked us through how the event will work, and who should attend, plus we discussed the value of volunteerism in our community.
Our conversation today for Tourism Tuesday - Winchester/Frederick County edition - with Renee Bayliss from Winchester/Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau also included Dave Cole, Deputy National Commander of the North-South Skirmish Association. Dave told us about the organization and explained the shooting competitions they host. There are national competitions twice a year in addition to regional skirmishes and recruitment skirmishes. The 148th National Skirmish happens October 6-8, 2023, with various competitions throughout the weekend. Spectators are welcome and admission is free. Gainesboro Ruritan will be on site providing food. The competition takes place at Fort Shenandoah, located off 522N at 480 Chalybeate Springs Rd. in Winchester. Member units compete in live-fire matches with original or authentic reproduction Civil War-period muskets, carbines, breech-loading rifles, revolvers, mortars, and cannons. Participating teams shoot at breakable targets in several timed events. The teams with the lowest cumulative times win medals or other awards. Learn more on their website: http://www.n-ssa.org/ and follow them on Facebook. Before we wrapped up, Renee reminded listeners to check the calendar on their website for a full list of fall festivals, and local events: https://visitwinchesterva.com/events/
Our conversation today with Andy Gail, Executive Director for Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area gave us an update on several of their adult learning programs as well as details about the wide variety of topics they cover through classes and tutoring. Andy also gave a few statistics about how many books they're sending to children in the city of Winchester, Frederick & Clarke Counties through their partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. The program was developed in 1995 by Dolly for her hometown of Sevier County, Tennessee. She wanted every preschool child to have their own library of books. Learn more about it here: https://imaginationlibrary.com/ As part of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, sponsorships finance the cost of books and mailing. From the day they are born, children who are registered for the program receive a book every month until their fifth birthday. Preschoolers currently living in the City of Winchester, the County of Frederick, or the County of Clarke may enter the program at any time and begin receiving an age-appropriate book every month until their fifth birthday. Families with preschool children who move into the city are eligible to register and become part of the program. If a family has more than one preschool-age child, each child may participate and receive his/her own library. Learn more about how to register your child or become a sponsor of the program by clicking here. Andy gave us details for several events that are happening in the coming week including Alamo Winchester Film Club's Lost Weekend XVI Film Festival happening at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema from Thursday, September 28 through Sunday, October 1, 2023. During the event, Film Club will host a silent auction whose proceeds will benefit the Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area. Learn more about the event by clicking here. Oktoberfest kicks off in Old Town Winchester on September 29, 2023, from 5pm - 10pm. It's the biggest fundraiser of the year for LVWA that features local & regional breweries and live entertainment. Ticket prices will be $30 until the day of the event, and $40 at the gate. Learn more about the event by clicking here. Stay in the know about programs & events for Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area by visiting their website: https://lvwa.org/ and following them on Facebook.
Our conversation for United Way Day with Kaycee Childress, CEO of United Way Northern Shenandoah Valley featured Cindy Marzullo, Development Director for The Laurel Center. Kaycee gave us a few details about Day of Caring which was underway as the show aired with over 800 volunteers working on dozens of projects across the Shenandoah Valley for non-profits and their clients in need. Learn more about Day of Caring here. Cindy gave us some background and history of the organization and talked about several of the programs they offer to victims of domestic violence. She reminded us that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and told us of several events The Laurel Center will be hosting throughout the month. On Thursday, October 5, 2023, they will host their Candlelight Vigil at the Winchester/Frederick County Joint Judicial Center (Cameron Street Side) from 7pm - 8pm. The event will honor those lost and celebrate survivors through song, speech, poetry, and inspirational survivor stories. CIndy encouraged listeners to join The Laurel Center by lighting a candle to bring awareness to domestic violence in our community. Find more information on their Facebook page. On Saturday, October 7, 2023, they will host their 16th Annual Walk and Wag to End Domestic Violence. This event will take place at the beautiful 2-mile walk around Chet Hobert Park in Berryville, VA. This is a dog-friendly event, so bring your four-legged friend along. Cindy encouraged listeners who don't have a pet to also come out to enjoy the nice fall weather and support survivors of domestic and sexual violence in our community. Tickets are $25 for an individual walker, $125 for a Team (up to 6 walkers), and children under 5 walk for free. There will be donuts, coffee, door prizes, & a dog costume contest! Click here to get your tickets. All proceeds benefit the individuals and families who use The Laurel Center services. Cindy also reminded us that October 19 is "Purple Thursday" where people should wear purple to raise awareness about domestic violence. Learn more about The Laurel Center on their website: https://thelaurelcenter.org and by following them on Facebook. Their 24/7 hotline is 540-667-6466
As part of our community health partnership with Valley Health, this month, we talked with Dr. Devin Flaherty, Director of Surgical Oncology for Valley Health, and Dr. Jorge Posadas, a general surgeon with Valley Health Surgical Partners to learn more about their use of the da Vinci® Xi™ Surgical System. The pair explained the vast and various types of surgeries that are being performed at Valley Health with the assistance of robotics including bariatric surgery, acute care surgery, appendicitis, acute gallbladder surgery, perforated ulcers, surgery for obstruction, bowel obstruction, general surgical oncology, urologic oncology, colorectal surgery, and gynecologic procedures like pelvic floor disorders. We discussed the benefits that range from smaller incisions, decreased recovery time, surgeons can get to hard-to-reach areas, decreased pain, decreased risk of infection, more precise/better accuracy, and decreased complications which all lead to improved outcomes. Dr. Flaherty explained how surgeons are trained to use the da Vinci® Xi™ Surgical System and talked about how having this advanced surgical option is invaluable in recruiting trained & talented physicians. Listen to other conversations in our Community Health series by clicking here: https://bit.ly/VHhealthpod