Tysons, VA

A 9-year-old in Vienna wants to help local businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic after they previously supported his fundraising efforts for young cancer patients.

Matteo Lambert began his philanthropic journey after working with the founder of Hopecam, which allows severely ill cancer patients to connect digitally with friends and fight social isolation.

After starting a fundraiser, Matteo and his father Brandon Lambert said eight key businesses in Vienna donated around $250 each for the cause.

Bu now that the COVID19 pandemic has taken a toll on small businesses, Matteo wants to support them during their time of need.

Matteo set up a GoFundMe on March 17 to pay back the businesses for their original donations. So far, the campaign has raised over $1,420 out of the $2,020 goal.

The businesses that will benefit from the fundraiser include:

Brandon said his son had no fundraising experience before he began helping Hopecam and has learned a lot from the experience.

Now, Matteo communicates with donors almost exclusively on his own without too much extra help from adults.

Besides the GoFundMe campaign, Matteo and his father have their own non-profit called Off the Charts Club and have been featured on several other news outlets and podcasts.

Off the Charts Club empowers youth leadership and helps kids to lead their best lives despite any diagnosis or disability, according to its website.

Because of the pandemic, which has taken an economic toll on local businesses and families, Matteo’s dad said the organization has put its fundraising on pause for the time being because they didn’t feel it was right to ask for money in such a challenging time.

Even if someone cannot help their community by donating money, Matteo suggested that people help by donating extra items to local homeless shelters or plant gardens.

“There are no age or size requirements on helping your community,” Matteo said.

Photos via GoFundMe

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To combat a nationwide shortage of medical supplies, Falls Chuch Distillers decided to switch focus and begin making their own hand sanitizer.

Branded “Aim High Hand Sanitizer,” owner Michael Paluzzi said the goal is to step up to help the community and keep his business afloat.

The distillery’s new production is drawing the attention of medical staff, who are willing to cross state lines for the product, according to Paluzzi.

For a first test batch, Paluzzi said he and his crew created 300 gallons, which was gone within the first five hours of the release, which started on Friday (March 20).

During the giveaway, he handed out tiny 5 oz. bottles for free to the public and sold half-gallon and one-gallon sized tubs at market value, according to a Facebook post.

At one point, there were more than 100 people standing in line for the supply, Paluzzi said, adding that he always walked first responders or anyone who identified as medical staff to the front of the line.

The first batch of sanitizer is supporting “at least a dozen” hospitals and doctors’ offices, several retirement homes and other government agencies, according to Paluzzi.

A few nurses from York, Pennsylvania even sent representatives to pick up hand sanitizer for them, he said. “I’m surprised they even knew about it,” Paluzzi said.

Curious about Paluzzi’s secret recipe?

Read More

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Updated 3/10/2020 — The NoVa TEEN Book Festival was canceled Tuesday (March 10) due to the recent spread of the coronavirus in the D.C. area. 

The NoVa TEEN Book Festival Committee said in a statement the festival will come to Marshall High School on March 20, 2021. 

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (March 10)

  • Fairfax County’s Chronic Pain Self-Management Program — 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Falls Church Senior Center (223 Little Falls Street) — At this workshop, people will learn how to manage pain, get better sleep, relieve stress and improve their lifestyles. This program is free and open to the public.

Wednesday (March 11)

  • Haycock Heritage Night 2020 — 6 to 8 p.m. Haycock Elementary School (6616 Haycock Road) — This event allows kids and their families to celebrate heritage with traditional clothing, dance, tell stories and eat favorite cuisine. This event will feature programming throughout the evening.
  • Food Truck Fundraiser — 6:45 to 8 p.m. at McLean High School (1633 Davidson Road) — The McLean High School Crew Team is raising funds for its team. The Rocklands Food Truck will be located near rower drop off, according to the event page.

Friday (March 13)

  • 5th and 6th Grader Glow Party — 7 to 9 p.m. at Old Firehouse Center (1440 Chain Bridge Road) — Kids can join for a glow stick party featuring a DJ, drinks and food. Tickets are $35 each or $25 McLean Community Center district residents.

Saturday (March 14)

  • Stuff the Truck — 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Giant (1454 Chain Bridge Road) — The New Dominion Women’s Club is calling for volunteers to assist with its donation center collecting food and clothing for people in the 22101 and 22102 zip codes.
  • NoVA Teen Book Festival — 9 a.m. until 5 p.m at George C. Marshall High School (7731 Leesburg Pike) — For the 7th year, this festival invites teens to read, interact with authors and hear from keynote speakers. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Sunday (March 15)

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream — 7 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — This production by the Traveling Players will tell the story of young lovers who escape into the forest, according to the event description. Tickets are $10.
  • 2020 Nowruz Festival — 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (8100 Tysons Corner Center) — This event celebrates the Persian New Year and will feature live performances all-day and booths selling traditional food and drink. Entry to this event is free.

Photo courtesy New Dominion Women’s Club/Lee’s Photography 

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Wednesday (March 4)

  • Wellness Wednesday — 4 to 7 p.m. at LATHER Fairfax (2910 District Ave) — This event lets people enjoy a drink while making a quartz crystal intention necklace. Registration is limited and people can RSVP online.

Thursday (March 5)

  • Beyond the Beltway 2020 — 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner (1700 Tysons Boulevard) — Attendees at this conference will get to hear from over a dozen speakers on topics including development, government spending, public safety and similar topics. Registration is $645 for non-members.
  • Raise Her Voice — Untold Stories of Women in the Workplace — noon to 2 p.m. at Maggiano’s Little Italy at Tysons Galleria (2001 International Drive) — To celebrate International Women’s Day, Maggiano’s is hosting a brunch where people can hear stories about women who have succeeded in the workplace and overcome obstacles. Tickets run for about $36. Speakers will include women in leadership from companies around Tysons.

Friday (March 6)

  • Tysons Library Friends Quarterly Book & Media Sale — 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Tysons Pimmit Regional Library (7584 Leesburg Pike) — People will have the chance to score deals on books and beef up their book collection. All books are under $5 and some are going to sell for less than $1. This event is taking place until Sunday (March 8).
  • Almost Queen — 7 to 9 p.m. at The State Theatre (220 N. Washington Street) — This four-person group wants to foster a love for Queen with covers from the original band. Advanced tickets are $25.

Saturday (March 7)

  • Capital Princess Ball — 6 to 10 p.m. at Westwood Country Club (800 Maple Avenue E.) —  This father-daughter dance is a charity function supporting adoptions and foster care. A pair of tickets cost $250 and include a buffet dinner.

Sunday (March 8)

  • Landscape Photography Workshop — 9 to 11 a.m. at REI Tysons (8209 Watson Street) —  All skill levels are invited to this workshop that teaches people photography basics. Tickets are $35 for non-members and all cameras, phones and devices are welcome.
  • QuinTango Concert — 8 to 11 p.m. at 1st Stage (1524 Spring Hill Road) — Fans of live music can gather to enjoy a tango quintet performance. Danging is encouraged and champagne will be served. Tickets are $25 -$30.

Photo via QuinTango Concert/Facebook

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

A local Vienna based charity, BRAWS, “works to bring dignity and empowerment to women and girls living in shelters by providing new, personally fitted undergarments and menstrual supplies.”

In addition to the wide reach this organization has, they also help our FCPS schools by stocking them with menstrual supplies in girls’ bathrooms.

They have volunteer opportunities throughout the year to donate your time with donation deliveries, event hosting and collection drives. You can also donate here.

Their biggest fundraising event, Mardi Braws, actually takes places this Friday night, February 28 at Westwood Country Club at 8 p.m.

There’s a massive silent auction, which you don’t need to attend to bid on, as well as a raffle. Lots of local businesses, the Capitals, The Nationals, the Wizards and more donate to this organization to help raise money. I am also sponsoring the event this year, along with fellow Tyson’s Reporter contributor, Brandy Schantz of the Schantz Group. A full list of the 2020 sponsors can be found here.

You can purchase tickets to attend the event at $100 each, bid on silent auction items, or just donate money or supplies.

Please consider checking out this wonderful local organization and supporting in any way you can.

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Wednesday (Feb. 19)

Thursday (Feb. 20)

  • b8ta Grand Opening — 7 to 9 p.m. at b8ta Tysons Corner (8086 Tysons Corner Center) —  A new store in Tysons Corner Center offers people the change to celebrate b8ta’s grand opening with champagne and appetizers. This event is free but RSVP is suggested.
  • WIT Connect — 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Valo Park Drive (7950 Jones Branch Drive) — This event from Women in Technology will allow people to learn about how technology is changing healthcare. Networking begins at 6 p.m. and the conference starts at 6:45 p.m. Tickets start at $45.

Friday (Feb. 21)

  • Storytime and Crafts with Local Children’s Author, Shelby! — 10 to 10:30 a.m. at Famille Cafe (700A W. Broad Street) — Families and kids can come and meet Shelby Hoefling, the author of recently published “Grandma’s in the Phone!” After the meet and greet, kids will be able to make crafts as well.

Saturday (Feb. 22)

  • Black History Forum — 2 p.m. at Justice High School (3301 Peace Valley Lane) —  This event will feature Alexandria’s first African-American Poet Laureate, KaNikki Jakarta. People will also be able to watch a trivia competition highlighting African-American Achievements in history, according to the website.

Sunday (Feb. 23)

  • Live Music with Blue Book Value — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Famille Cafe (700A W. Broad Street) — This NoVA band is known for their rock n’ roll, according to the event listing. They’ll be hosting a free performance for people hoping to enjoy some live entertainment.
  • Jazz Worship & Pancake Brunch — 10 a.m. Lewinsville Presbyterian Church (1724 Chain Bridge Road) — Everyone, regardless of church affiliation, is welcome to enjoy Jazz Worship Service and a Shrove Pancake Brunch. Breakfast quiches, casseroles and crepes will also be served.

Photo via Famille Cafe/Facebook

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After volunteering with Food for Others, Christine Kenny founded Fairfax Diapers in the Vienna area to help at-risk mothers in Fairfax County by supplying clean diapers.

Diaper insecurity is more prevalent than people realize, Kenny said. She hopes the organization will raise awareness and boost diaper donations.

“I have experienced people try to bargain with me at the food bank, willing to trade their food for diapers,” she said about her time spent volunteering with food banks around the area. “I have fielded calls from frantic new moms desperate for enough diapers to get them through the weekend.”

Organizations that offer diaper support for parents end up giving away roughly 10,000-12,000 diapers a month in Fairfax County, she told Tysons Reporter. Fairfax Diapers is run by Kenny, who is the director, and four other members.

Diapers collected through Fairfax Diapers will be given away locally through organizations such as Food for Others and the Fairfax County Visiting Nurses Association.

The Fairfax County Visiting Nurses Association will check in on around 300 new mothers per month, Kenny said.

Until Tuesday (Feb. 18), the group is hosting a drive at Crunch Fitness Tysons (8371 Leesburg Pike). Anyone who brings in a pack of diapers will receive a free day-pass to the studio and anyone who brings in a case will receive a complimentary pass for the week, according to Crunch’s Facebook page.

From March 2-6, the group will also be hosting a drive at Westbriar Elementary School in coordination with parents, teachers and the student council, according to Kenny.

Though the group does not have a website yet, since the project launched last June, Kenny said people can stay up-to-date by following Fairfax Diaper’s Facebook page.

Going forward, she is trying to find other organizations that want to host drives and form partnerships.

Photo via Fairfax Diapers/Facebook

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Wednesday (Feb. 5)

  • Tanya Tucker — 7:30 p.m. at The Barns at Wolf Trap (1635 Trap Road) — Tanya Tucker is known for her country style, according to Vist Fairfax, and has been nominated for several Grammy Awards. Guests can enjoy her music for an evening at this upcoming live performance. Tickets start at $47.

Thursday (Feb. 6)

  • Meditation Class — 8:30-9:30 a.m. at EKOE Health (254 N. Washington Street) — Women are invited to take part in a meditation session that will help them unwind and work on their breath. Comfortable clothes are encouraged.  Admission is $25 and all experience levels are welcome.

Saturday (Feb. 8)

  • Kojam Productions’ Tysons Camp Fair — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fashion Court in Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — This event invites people to check out options for extracurricular summer activities.  Representatives from multiple groups will be on-site to answer questions and the event page states it is the area’s biggest camp-related event. Admission is free and open to all.
  • Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana — 7 p.m. at The Alden, McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue) — This one-time performance from the New York-based troop allows people to experience the newest production by Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana. General Admission tickets are $40, but discounts are available.

Sunday (Feb. 9)

  • Women’s Club Fundraiser — 3-5 p.m. at Chain Bridge Cellars (1351 Chain Bridge Road) — Attendees over the age of 21 will have the chance to sample a variety of wines while benefiting the Dominion Women’s Club. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online.
  • NOVA Central Farm Markets — 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at George C. Marshall High School (7731 Leesburg Pike) — This farmers market invites people to stock up with fresh goods such as bread, produce and possibly meats. It is one of the few farmers markets available in the area year-round.
  • Cookie Decorating — 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Botanologica (817 W. Broad Street) — Attendees can learn how to work with wet icing in this interactive workshop. People will walk away with six cookies and all materials will be supplied by the hosts. Tickets are $85. No experience is needed for this three-hour class.

Photo courtesy McLean Community Center

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Jan. 6)

  • Daf Circle — 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Iranian-American Community Center (2236 C Gallows Road) — People from around the community are invited to come and make drum music with friends and other community members — no previous skill required. A $10 cash entry fee will be collected at the door.

Thursday (Jan. 9)

  • Fall Church Chamber Networking Breakfast — 8 to 9 a.m. at Original Pancake House (7395 Lee Hwy) — This event invites anyone interested in the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce to attend this meet and greet. No registration is required but attendees are expected to pay for their own meals.

Friday (Jan. 10)

  • Dining in the Dark — 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Greenhouse (2070 Chainbridge Road) — Ever wonder what it is like to remove one of your senses and let the others take control? At this event, you will be blindfolded by a waiter who will serve you a four-course meal along with a wine pairing for $99 while a DJ plays music.
  • Vision Board Workshop — 6 to 8 p.m. at BRAWS Office (114 Courthouse Road SW) — This event will teach attendees how to put together a vision board and help people design what they want their lives to look like. A $10 donation is suggested to benefit Bringing Resources to Women’s Shelters. Snacks, wine and supplies will be included. All are welcome.
  • (the) unRuly TheaTre pRojecT” — 6 to 8 p.m. at Bards Alley (110 Church Street NW) — This teen improv group will perform a free show for the public. No RSVP is required. “These talented teens make up the show as they go along, so that each show is completely new and hilarious,” according to the Facebook page.

Saturday (Jan. 11)

  • Children’s Clothing and Toy Swap — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Philip Catholic Church (7500 St. Phillips Court) — People are invited to gather at Hayden Hall and either donate or swap gently used or new items for kids. All items not claimed at the end of the event will be donated to families in need. The event will also accept bedding, strollers and bouncy swings.
  • Resolution Buster Bash — 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Settle Down Easy Brewing (2822 Fallfax Drive) — To celebrate the release of its new hard seltzer water, the brewery is hosting a party. The first 50 people to attend will receive a free pint glass with $1 off refills all day. There will also be food and various beer specials.

Sunday (Jan. 12)

  • Ski and Snowboard Waxing Workshop — 9 to 11 a.m. at REI (8209 Watson Street) — This winter, people can learn how to make their rides down the mountain go more smoothly with regular waxings. No prior experience is needed. This workshop is free and open to all.
  • Dog Adoption Event — noon to 3 p.m. at Chico’s Natural Pet Market (6349 Columbia Pike) — Anyone interested in adopting a furry friend can stop by to meet new friends in need of a home. Volunteers will be available to ask questions and the shelter is also looking for foster homes. This event is free and open to the public.

Image via Facebook

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With the launch of Second Story’s Together, We Do More campaign, the local organization hopes to maintain its purpose as a resource for kids and young adults facing hardships and abuse.

By the end of the three-year campaign, the organization plans to raise at least $4 million, according to its website.

Due to a lack of government funding and rising costs of services Jade Leedham, the vice president of development for Second Story, said that support from the community is key for the organization’s success.

“What we are trying to do is basically close the gap with rising cost,” she said.

The campaign officially launched in July at Second Story’s “Beacon of Hope Breakfast,” which Leedham said is the organization’s largest event of the year.

Within the first fiscal quarter of the fundraiser, Second Story managed to hit its initial goal of $430,000, according to Leedham.

Leedham came up with the idea for the campaign alongside Second Story’s CEO while discussing the future of the organization. They wanted to find the most efficient way to communicate with the public.

“From there it just kind of snowballed,” she said. 

Though the organization receives donations and requests for assistance throughout the year, Leedham said the holidays are a busy time for Second Story.

Anyone interested in donating and supporting the campaign can do so online.

Second Story also published a series of videos and testimonials, which the community can watch if they are curious about the organization’s impact.

Image via Second Story/Facebook

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