Tysons Corner, VA

Next week, listeners can tune into another season of the Second Story podcast about homelessness.

The new season will premiere on Tuesday (Oct. 22), featuring stories of young adults and teens who overcame struggles of homelessness and abuse.

In the first episode, listeners will hear from a young woman named Bree who managed to escape an abusive relationship, Abigail Brougher, the podcast’s producer, said.

Second Story is a non-profit organization based out of Vienna that assists young people struggling with issues like homelessness, poverty or domestic issues.

The podcast was started to spread the organization’s message and educate the public on these issues within the community, Brougher said.

Bree’s story was chosen for the season premiere because Brougher said it set the tone for the rest of the season.

Bree took shelter with Second Story as a young mother and was later recruited to speak out about domestic violence on the podcast. Brougher said that Bree was “especially vulnerable” during this time in her life, and hearing her story will help people to acknowledge the issue of domestic violence.

Bree was forced to decide between homelessness or the constant threat of abuse, Brougher said. “It’s fairly common for young mothers to feel like they have to choose.”

Domestic Violence Awareness Month also happens to fall in October and calls attention to the issue that affects everyone, regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic status.

One in four women and one in nine men will be victims of domestic violence in their lives, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The podcasts tend to be around 30 minutes long, and new episodes will be available for free every Tuesday on Second Story’s website, as well as Spotify and Stitcher.

This season will consist of roughly nine episodes and feature various themes like domestic violence, PTSD and family trauma, Brougher said.

“Giving voice to this issue changes the narrative,” Brougher said.

Photo via 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!

Thursday (Oct. 10)

  • Design Lab: Drawing Treehouses — noon-1:30 p.m. at the Apple Store (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — This event will teach attendees how to design a treehouse on an iPad while keeping sustainability and the environment in mind. This is event is free and open to the public; iPads will be provided.
  • Stars & Stripes Benefit for the Troops — 7-11 p.m. at The Ritz-Carlton (1700 Tysons Blvd) — This prohibition themed networking gala will benefit the troops. Tickets start at $95 and include food, drink, raffles and activities. Attendees are encouraged to dress in 1920s attire.
  • Power of Pink Tysons — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Equinox (8065 Leesburg Pike) — Join Equinox for a lunch and workout fundraiser to benefit the Arlington Free Clinic and Breast Care for Washington DC, which helps local women fight breast cancer. This event is donation-based, and all of the proceeds will go towards the cause.

Saturday (Oct. 12)

  • Farm Day — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cherry Hill Farmhouse (312 Park Avenue) — The Cherry Hill Farmhouse will host the community and have activities including horse-drawn hayrides, a petting farm, pony rides, pumpkin painting, scarecrow making, live music, tours of the farmhouse and barn, blacksmith demonstrations and food. Admission is free but there may be fees for specific activities.
  • Halloween Window Painting Festival — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mr. Brown’s Park (223 Little Falls Street) —  The community is invited to pitch ideas for window painting. The event is free but those wishing to participate must email Marty Behr at [email protected] with a design idea for approval.
  • NAACP Candidates Forum — 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Vienna (450 Orchard Street NW) — This event allows the public to hear from Commonwealth’s Attorney and School Board At-Large candidates representing the NAACP. There will also be voter registration opportunities.

Sunday (Oct. 13)

  • Free Koren Language Lesson — 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Shilla Bakery (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — Anyone who speaks Korean or is interested in learning can join this free event to practice their language skills and get to know others curious about Korean language and culture.

Photo via Cherry Hill Historic Farm

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A refugee chef is planning to serve up traditional Afghan cuisine at Harth as part of a pop-up event series later this month in Tysons.

Hilton McLean Tysons Corner (7920 Jones Branch Drive) teamed up with Tables Without Borders on the limited dinner series featuring dishes by Chef Nejat Ahmadollah, which diners can experience with the tasting menu or a la carte, the Hilton press release said.

Some of the menu items will include:

  • Kabuli — braised rice with lamb topped with raisins and slivered carrots
  • Kadoo — baked pumpkin with yogurt sauce, garlic and mint
  • Chicken kabob with an Afghan spice blend and cilantro chutney

Ahmadollah, an asylum-seeker from Afghanistan, came to the U.S. with his wife and kids in 2015.

“I’m looking forward to sharing my passion and love for cooking and Afghan cuisine with guests at Hilton McLean,” Ahmadollah said in a press release.

To prepare for the pop-up event, Ahmadollah plans to work with Harth’s Executive Chef Philip Thompson to create a menu that will focus on locally-sourced and traditional Afghan ingredients, the press release said.

Hilton is promoting the event as part of its “Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals” — the hotel chain’s strategy of encouraging sustainable, global travel.

“By 2030, we plan to double our social impact investment and cut our environmental footprint by half,” the press release said. “We track, analyze and report our environmental and social impact at each of Hilton’s nearly 5,900 hotels.”

The dinners will take place from 5-10 p.m. on three Fridays — Oct. 18, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1.

Part of the proceeds from the dinners will benefit HIAS, a nonprofit focused on refugee resettlement and advocacy.

“Tables Without Borders enables me to showcase authentic dishes representative of my country’s history and timeless traditions while adding a modern twist,” Ahmadollah said.

Photo courtesy Hilton McLean Tysons Corner

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Taco Bamba is celebrating National Taco Day by challenging patrons to a contest raising money for Hurricane Dorian survivors.

This Friday (Oct. 4), each Taco Bamba location will host its second annual “Bambathon” competition to see which of the five locations in the D.C. and Northern Virginia areas will be able to sell the most tacos.

Anyone interested in participating can visit the two nearby Taco Bamba locations at Falls Church (2190 Pimmit Drive) and Vienna (164 W. Maple Avenue). Both locations are open from 8:30 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Each location that serves 1,500 or more tacos will donate $1,000 to World Central Kitchen’s mission in the Bahamas, according to a press release.

Wold Central Kitchen aims to ease the effect of poverty and hunger. They have served more than 250,000 meals to Hurricane Dorian survivers so far, according to the website. “Meals are being delivered to community centers, clinics, churches, and into local neighborhoods that have been isolated by the storm.”

Restaurant patrons can track the progress of each location on Taco Bamba’s Instagram.

Photo via Taco Bamba/Facebook

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A local organization is hosting a charity tailgate to help people who are experiencing homelessness and struggling youths.

The Tysons Partnership event will have live music from the Decades Band, beer and wine tents, a pop-up playground, arcade games, raffles and a speech from Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, according to the event page.

The event aims to raise funds for Second Story, a non-profit founded in Vienna that works to improve the lives of struggling young adults and people experiencing homelessness.

Tickets are on sale for $30 and include two complimentary drinks. The event will be held outside regardless of the weather.

Drew Sunderland, a spokesperson for Tysons Partnership, said that the organization tries to work with local nonprofits in the regional Tysons area or surrounding communities.

“Second Story was identified as a great partner that was in need,” Sunderland said, adding that their work has a real impact on the Tysons community.

The tailgate is part of the Tysons Partnership’s larger Season of Giving, which raised money for similar organizations, like Food for Others. This year’s other events included a 5k and a happy hour event. In years past, the event has attracted over 1,000 attendees, according to the website.

Second Story supports a variety of people including homeless teens, survivors of domestic abuse and young mothers in northern Virginia, according to their website. The organization matches at-risk youth with counseling, shelter, food or other forms of assistance based on their needs, free of charge.

Teens between the ages of 13 to 17 and young mothers can text TEENHELP to 855-11 if they would like assistance from the program.

The party will last from 5-8 p.m. in Valo park next Wednesday (Sept. 25).

Photo via Valo Park

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This weekend, bibliophiles can gather for a charity used book sale.

The McLean branch of the American Association of University Women is putting on a book sale that will provide scholarships for college students. This year marks the annual sale’s 50th anniversary.

Since the organization’s founding in 1969, the AAUW strives to assist with advocacy, education, philanthropy and research for women seeking higher education.

There will be a wide variety of genres available including philosophy, cookbooks, business, law, science, mathematics, travel, art, pets and animals and books in foreign languages, according to the event’s website. There will also be specialty and vintage books available for purchase.

For anyone not interested in books, there will also be a selection of DVDs.

Prices range from $10 to $200. Both cash and credit cards will be accepted.

The event will take place on Friday (Sept. 13) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday (Sept. 14) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday (Sept. 15) from noon-4 p.m at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue).

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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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!

Tuesday (Sept. 12)

  • Mayor at Your Service — 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall (127 S. Center Street) — Susan Shaw from the Virginia Department of Transportation along will join Town of Vienna Mayor Laurie DiRocco to discuss the I-66 expansion project near the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station. The event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday (Sept. 11)

  • Canvas Painting — 7-9:30 p.m. at Muse Fairfax (2920 District Avenue, Suite 100) — An instructor will teach attendees how to paint a road and nature scene. The event is $35 and open to all ages.
  • Yoga with Alyson — 10 a.m. at Caboose Tavern (520 Mill Street NE) — For $10, participants can take part in a yoga class. All experience levels are welcome and guests should bring their own mats.

Friday (Sept. 13)

  • DMV 2 Go Full-Service Bus — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Falls Church City Hall parking lot (300 Park Avenue) — The Department of Motor Vehicles will host a pop-up full-service office, helping people to obtain identification cards. The service will also help people apply for various licenses including fishing and hunting, driving permits, ordering disability placards and registering to vote.

Saturday (Sept. 14)

  • Red Cross Wilderness First Aid — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Campaign Pay It Forward (9893 Georgetown Pike, Suite 105 — This two-day training course prepares attendees for dangerous wilderness scenarios and how to take care of medical emergencies in the field. It costs $150 and everyone is welcome.
  • Vienna Quarterly Recycling Day — 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Northside Property Yard (600 Mill Street NE) — People can come and recycle unusual items such as chemicals, appliances or small electronics. No TVs or dangerous items will be accepted.
  • Comedy and Cocktails — 8 t0 10 p.m. at Falls Church Distillers (442 S. Washington Street A) — North American Comedy Distillery Tour will bring nationally known comedians to Falls Church for an evening of humor. Presale tickets start at $20.
  • 2019 Wolf Trap Ball: Singapore — 7 p.m. at Filene Center (1551 Trap Road) — This black-tie gala supports Wolf Trap’s arts and cultural foundation while allowing guests to enjoy a classy evening with Singapore Ambassadors Ashok Mirpuri and Gouri Mirpuri. Email Wolf Trap for tickets.

Sunday (Sept. 15)

  • Tysons Farmers Market — every Sunday through November from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at 1961 Chain Bridge Road — The weekly farmers market features local produce, meats, eggs, hot foods, baked goods and more. In addition to food, attendees can enjoy live music, cooking demonstrations and kids events. The market accepts SNAP and matching on all SNAP purchases.

Image via Wolf Trap

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School is back in session, and a local McDonald’s is hosting a fundraiser for public education.

The McDonald’s at 3009 Galls Road is donating 5% of their profits to charity now until Friday (Sept. 13). Each day — with the exception of the weekend and Monday — the proceeds will benefit a different school in the area.

The store will also offer students free ice cream cones from 3-5 p.m.

Community members can come to support specific schools on the days shown below.

  • Wednesday (Sept. 4) — Camelot Elementary School
  • Thursday (Sept. 5) — Stenwood Elementary School
  • Friday (Sept. 6) — Fairhill Elementary School
  • Tuesday (Sept. 10) — Pine Spring Elementary School
  • Wednesday (Sept. 11) — Woodburn Elementary School
  • Thursday (Sept. 12) — Jackson Middle School
  • Friday (Sept. 13) — Falls Church High School

“As owners of the restaurant and members of the community, we wish to honor the schools in our market area to celebrate,” a press release said, adding that the owner wants to use this event as an opportunity to celebrate the location’s recently remodeled building.

Photo via Moving Merrifield Forward

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The Food for Others annual 5K is set to take place this upcoming Saturday (Sept. 7).

The race will feature a fun run and prizes for participants while also benefiting local community members who cannot afford basic groceries, Alison Padget, a Food for Others spokesperson, said.

The race registration will begin at 8 a.m. at the Tysons Corner Center, just outside the L.L.Bean outlet. Tickets can be purchased online for $35 through Sept. 5 or $40 on the day of the event. 

Special guests will speak at the event, including Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, Padget said.

“People think of it as being wealthy areas,” she said. “But, there is something like 50,00 people [who] are food insecure.” 

As the sixth annual event, Padget added that she typically sees around 400 participants manage to raise around a $45,000 net profit for donation. For comparison, $35 will supply 15 families with eggs and milk.

According to the Food for Others website, the organization is part of Northern Virginia’s “safety net” for low-income families. They work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, local grocers and food drives to supply extra food for those in need.

Photo via Food for Others

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Belong! — a new nonprofit dedicated to helping Vienna’s underserved populations — officially launched yesterday (Wednesday).

The ribbon-cutting for the group was held in the Vienna Presbyterian Church (124 Park Street NE), which was part of the founding of the organization but a press release noted that Belong! will operate as a separate entity.

The organization is dedicated to promoting “spiritual, physical, and economic well-being, efforts will initially be focused on the Vienna Park/Cunningham Park neighborhoods,” according to the press release for the opening.

The group was founded out of discussions among Vienna residents in late 2017. The press release noted that one of the first aims of the project will be securing new partnerships with Cunningham Park Elementary School and other local churches and nonprofits.

“We are excited to welcome Belong! to Vienna and applaud its vision of empowering our residents” Mayor Laurie DiRocco said in the press release. “Their plans for local outreach mirror our town’s core values, and we’re grateful for their partnership.”

Photo courtesy Jeff Cruz/Belong!

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