Tysons, VA

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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A few local organizations are working to help people struggling financially.

In Fairfax County, around 56,000 people face food insecurity, according to Feeding America, which means that roughly 5% of the population struggles to feed themselves and their families.

Females from ages 25 to 34 are the largest group living in poverty in Fairfax County, according to data from Data USA.

Food For Others in Merrifield and SHARE of McLean are two organizations working have holiday donation drives.

SHARE of McLean began serving the community in 1967 and continues to fight food insecurity, helping people obtain clean and functional clothing, assisting with holiday celebrations for those in need and hosting fundraising events.

In November, SHARE of McLean collected holiday wishes from people who qualified for assistance. Many of the people who requested assistance included families with young children under 3 years old, and the group is now calling on the community to help put together care packages or donate.

The organization also released a list of high priority food items in December 2019, which include canned fruit, cereals, dry beans, pasta, vegetable oil, coffee and tea.

People seeking assistance with food or clothing can visit the center (1367 Chain Bridge Road) and must either bring a photo ID and piece of mail. Hours of operation are Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. until noon. The center will be closed during the week of Dec. 23.

Meanwhile, Food For Others also supports the community with food supplement programs.

Tomorrow, and every Thursday, people registered can come to the corner of Ellison and Irving streets in Falls Church at 5:45 p.m. to pick up food. 

NoVA residents may also show up at the organization’s warehouse (2938 Prosperity Avenue) from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those who think they may be eligible for help can bring a photo ID and piece of mail to register or receive a referral before their visit.

Britepaths in Fairfax is another organization that assists people struggling with poverty and food insecurity. Though the majority of clients are referred to them by social workers, people can also request assistance individually.

Photo via Food for Others/Facebook

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People will have the chance to take a sneak peek at historic and luxurious homes around McLean in a few days.

The Woman’s Club of McLean is hosting its annual Holiday Home Tour with several properties near Ballantrae Farm this Thursday (Dec. 5). Tours will take place from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., starting at the Trinity United Methodist Church (1205 Dolley Madison Blvd).

This year’s event will highlight a roughly six-acre estate, along with two nearby homes.

The main estate was built in 1925 and has been renovated since. The surrounding grounds feature tennis courts, a swimming pool, a soccer field and a treehouse, according to a press release, which added that guests will also be able to see the Little Ballantrae farmhouse located on the property.

The two other homes included with the tour sit on Benjamin Street and were built around 2010.

The homes provide an example of “casual elegance with a nod to traditional southern living,” the owner said.

The yard attached to the properties also qualifies as a National Wildlife Sanctuary, according to a press release.

After guests tour the homes, they can return to the church to shop from a selection of local holiday vendors featuring crafts, freshly baked goods and holiday decorations.

Tickets cost $30 online and in advance or $35 a the door. If people want to purchase tickets in person beforehand, they can visit Mesmeralda’s (1339 Chain Bridge Road), Karin’s Florist (527 E. Maple Ave) or Great Dogs of Great Falls (9859 Old Georgetown Pike). All proceeds will benefit local charities and the Woman’s Club of McLean.

A shuttle to the homes is included in the ticket price for admission.

Photos via Woman’s Club of McLean

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Now that Thanksgiving is over, many people are beginning to put up holiday decorations — including Christmas trees.

There are several places around the Tysons area that carry a variety of tree types to fit the needs of decorators.

McLean

Saint John’s Academy is hosting a Christmas tree sale for people who want their purchase to benefit a good cause. Until Dec. 22, Saint John the Beloved Catholic Church (6420 Linway Terrace) will be selling trees Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Tree prices start at $50. Garland and wreaths will also be available.  All proceeds will benefit students at the church’s school, according to the website.

The Trinity United Methodist Church (1205 Dolley Madison Blvd) will also be selling trees. Hours of operation are Thursdays and Fridays from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sundays from 12 until 6 p.m. Proceeds from this sale will benefit the church’s youth group and Boy Scout Troop 869.

Merrifield 

The Merrifield Garden Center (8132 Lee Hwy) offers shoppers eight different types of Christmas trees, including Scotch Pine, White Pine, Blue Spruce, Douglas Fir, Nobile Spruce, Turkish Fir and Fraiser Fir as well as artificial trees.

The center is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. The store also has locations in Fair Oaks and Gainsville, according to the website.

The Home Depot in Merrifield (2815 Merrilee Drive) has a selection of fake trees that customers can pick up at the store or order online for home delivery. Though they do not have live trees available at individual stores, they will ship them for free from a storage warehouse for free, according to the website.

Photo via Annie Spratt/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!

Tysons Reporter also complied a list of the upcoming holiday events, for those seeking festivities.

Tuesday (Nov. 26)

  • LGBTQIA+ Night — at 6:30 p.m. at Victory Comics (586 S. Washington Street) — This gives people a chance to gather and talk about LGBTQIA+ characters in comics and hear from illustrator Melanie Gillman.
  • Salsa Classes — 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. at The Palladium (1524 Spring Hill Road) — This free event allows people to come by and take a free salsa lesson from Cecilia Villalobos at 8 p.m. before the opportunity for social dance.

Wednesday (Nov. 27)

  • Trivia Night — 7 to 9 p.m. at City Works Eatery and Pour House (1640 N. Capital One Drive) — Community members are invited to stop by for an evening of trivia. Prizes will be awarded to winners and topics vary. This event is free.
  • Comedy Cornucopia — 7:30 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 E. Maple Avenue) — This comedy event invites people to gather and enjoy some humor while raising money for Food for Others. Tickets range from $10-15. Comedy content may contain adult material and anyone 17 or under should be accompanied by an adult.

Thursday (Nov. 28)

  • Live Music with Nick Tierra — 6 to 8 p.m. at Settle Down Easy Brewing (2822 Fairfax Drive) — This event will allow people to gather and enjoy a drink while listening to live music from Nick Tierra. There is no admission fee for this event.

Saturday (Nov. 30)

  • Beer, Wine and Cider Festival — 1 until 6 p.m. at the Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — This event offers guests a chance to try over 50 different drinks before the Biergarten closes and relocates. Tickets are $10 online or $20 at the event.

Photo via Tysons Biergarten/Facebook

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The Pennywise Thrift Shop found a new home in Vienna — just around the corner from its previous location.

The shop originally resided nearf the corner of Church and Mill streets, but was forced to move after a fire ravaged the 100-year old building in January. The new location (214 Dominion Road NE) has been open for roughly a month and offers slightly more retail space, Mary Coulombe, a shop spokesperson said.

The shop sells a variety of everyday items including clothes, kitchen items, books, shoes, glassware and small furniture.

The shop is run by the Church of the Holy Comforter, and all of the proceeds go to charities, Coulombe said, adding, “We are here as a mission.”

This year marks the thrift shop’s 57th anniversary, Coulombe said. Another staff member told Tysons Reporter that the new location will be the thrift shop’s home for at least the next couple of years.

The shop plans to celebrate its new spot with a grand re-opening ceremony on Saturday (Nov. 23) from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Pennywise Thrift Shop is open from Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The shop is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

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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 (Nov. 12)

  • Mayor @ Your Service — 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall (127 S. Center Street) — Mayor Laurie DiRocco is set to chat with Victor Hoskins, the president of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, tonight about the future of Fairfax County economic development.

Wednesday (Nov. 13)

Thursday (Nov. 14)

  • Women in Technology Job Fair — 4 to 7 p.m. at Sheraton Tysons Hotel (8661 Leesburg Pike) — Women in the STEM industry are invited to attend this free event if they are currently seeking a job. Registration is still open for applicants and hiring companies.
  • Professional Networking Night — 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tea with Mrs. B (136 W Jefferson Street) — This event allows people across the community to network and meet new people. Tickets are $10 and include drinks and appetizers.
  • Trace Bundy — 6:30 p.m. at Wolf Trap (1635 Trap Road) — Folk singer and guitarist Trace Bundy will take the stage for a performance. He is known for his harmonics, looping and multiple caps, according to the event website. Tickets start at $27.

Friday (Nov. 15)

  • Tree Lighting — 6 to 9 p.m. at The Plaza (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — The public is welcome to watch as the Christmas tree at Tysons Corner Center be decorated with lights. There will be live music from Kris Allen at this free event.
  • Bright Lights in the Little City Community Celebration — 7 to 10:30 p.m. at The State Theatre (220 N. Washington Street) —  The Falls Church event will include food and dessert, live music by The Grandsons and an online auction. Tickets are $85.
  • Improvicon — 7:30 p.m. at 1st Stage  Tysons (1524 Spring Hill Road) — This event will feature several improv groups throughout Northern Virginia. General admission tickets can be purchased for $15.

Sunday (Nov.17)

  • 5K Turkey Trot — 8 a.m. Central Park (Tysons Blvd and Galleria Drive) — This 5K, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tysons Corner, invites community members to participate to raise money for local charities. Until Nov. 15, tickets are $35 and will go up to $40 after that. Tickets include food and swag. The first three women and men to place will receive cash prizes.

Photo via Tysons Corner Center/Facebook

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A Vienna family is raising a furry friend before he moves to New York — in search of a larger purpose.

Jennifer and Ellie Butler, a mother and daughter pair, volunteered to foster a dog under Guiding Eyes, a New York-based organization that pairs guide dogs with people who need them.

Percy, a black labrador, arrived at their doorstep in May when he was just a little over 12-weeks-old and now is in the midst of by-weekly general training, the Butlers said.

The family decided to participate in the program after a suggestion from 18-year-old Ellie, who offered to take on the primary responsibility for Percy. Ellie was inspired by the documentary “Pick of the Litter,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer said the pair splits up the work. Jennifer brings Percy to work and Ellie takes care of him after she gets off from Flint Hill High School at 3 p.m.

Once a week, Percy will attend doggie school and has the chance to play with about a dozen other local guide dogs in training, Jennifer said. Percy is a “very good boy” because he listens to commands, stays in his crate at night, doesn’t eat before he is given permission and doesn’t bark, she added.

“You could tell people already worked with him by the time we got him,” Jennifer said.

Guiding Eyes provides guide dogs to those in need — free of charge, according to their website. They also cover all of the costs for foster families except for the food, Jennifer said.

Going forward, Percy will move to New York sometime this summer for specialized training.

He will take an aptitude test to determine what his path will be, Jennifer said, adding that she could see him helping law enforcement because of his strong nose or assisting children because of his calm personality.

“I think he’d do well with just about anyone as long as they love him,” Ellie said.

The love given to Percy from the Butlers has been reciprocal, the family said.

“I’ve always been a little shy until I got this dog. You have to speak out for the dog since they don’t have a voice,” Ellie said. “I learned to speak up and be more outgoing.”

Ellie hopes to foster another Guiding Eyes dog in the future, she said.

“With Percy leaving, I thought at the beginning, ‘Oh it’s going to be fine,'” Jennifer said.  “But we’ve grown to love him.”

Photo courtesy Guiding Eyes

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People in McLean and Tysons have the chance to help others through a series of upcoming donation drives.

With the holiday season approaching, Toys for Tots has set up a drop-off area for toy donations in Tysons, while Soles4Souls will collect gently used shoes in McLean.

Toys for Tots is organized through the United States Marine Corps to help struggling families afford Christmas gifts for their children. Around 97% of proceeds go to families in need, according to the website. The remaining 3% covers administrative costs.

Anyone wishing to donate toys can bring them to Meineke Car Care Center (1524 Spring Hill Road). The last day for donations to Toys for Tots is Dec. 12.

Soles4Souls is a non-profit based in Nashville that fights poverty, according to its website.

Shoes will be accepted at the Joy Deevy Relator Office (6849 Old Dominion Drive, Suite 400) until Dec. 1.

Photo via Toys4Tots/Facebook

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