Tysons, VA

A quartet of students from James Madison High School in Vienna have enlisted in the fight to find a cure for blood cancers.

Fairfax County Public Schools reported today (Wednesday) that Emery Stratman, Ella Stratman, Ainona Black-Planas, and Matthew Wilken have been accepted as candidates for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2021 Students of the Year campaign.

The LLS Students of the Year campaign is a leadership development program intended to support high school students as they prepare for college or a profession by teaching them skills in entrepreneurship, marketing, and project management.

Participants spend seven weeks working to raise funds for LLS and to increase awareness about blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma.

The students who raise the most funds as either an individual or a team by the end of the seven-week competition will be named Student(s) of the Year.

“Students participating in the Mid-Atlantic Region’s annual scholarship and fundraising challenge have been nominated for their leadership, passion to find a cure for blood cancers, and involvement in the community,” FCPS said.

The 2020 Students of the Year campaign raised over $2.7 million with more than 240 students and 35 teams participating, according to the campaign’s website.

The 2021 campaign will launch on Jan. 23, 2021 with a grand finale on Mar. 13.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has invested nearly $1.3 billion in blood cancer research. The nonprofit also provides free information and support services to patients and advocates for policies that would remove barriers to healthcare, according to the organization’s website.

According to Yale Medicine, blood cancers are caused by the excessive production of white blood cells in bone marrow. They account for about 10% of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. annually, and childhood leukemia makes up about 25% of all cancers in children.

Photo via Google Maps

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The novel coronavirus pandemic did not dampen Noel and Jasmine Bourroughs’ first summer running a mobile Kona Ice truck in Fairfax and the City of Falls Church.

In fact, their first season of operating the franchise was so successful they decided to expand. By next March, the couple anticipates opening two more trucks that serve Arlington and McLean.

“It is exciting,” Noel said. “I believe wholeheartedly in the company, and the company and I think it’s going to be a winner. “

For the Bourroughs, who live outside the City of Fairfax, the opportunities to support the community through shaved ice distinguished Kona from the other franchise options they mulled over this spring.

“The more I looked at it, the more I liked it,” Noel said. “The philosophy of the company is fantastic, and owning a business that has the flexibility to give back is satisfying.”

Some jobs limit opportunities for charitable work to allowing employees to participate in a company’s plans, he said. Kona, which has more than 1,600 trucks in 49 states, encourages franchise owners to donate to organizations close to home.

Since the company’s launch in June 2007, it has contributed more than $82 million to community organizations.

“I have the freedom to do as much charity as I can fit into my schedule,” he said.

The Bourroughs pledge to continue the mobile franchise’s tradition of donating thousands of dollars each year to local school groups, teams, and community organizations.

This season, which lasted from July 3 to mid-November, the Bourroughs parked outside an apartment complex at the request of the management and raised money to sponsor a cyclist in a Bike for Multiple Sclerosis event. Another Saturday morning, the couple raised several hundred dollars for two brothers in need of a bone marrow transplant.

“Noel and Jasmine share our commitment to giving back,” Kona Ice founder and president Tony Lamb said in a statement. “They want to have a positive influence on the people in their community, whether it’s new textbooks, sports uniforms or, simply, a smile. We are proud to have them on-board. Together, we are excited to make a difference in the lives of those around us.”

After the season ended two weekends ago, the Bourroughs are in planning mode for next year, although several franchise trucks have switched to cozy winter drinks. He has a good feeling about next season because of the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“If we can get that distributed early in the year, then we should be back on track for a lot of events that were cancelled from this year,” he said. “I’m very enthusiastic about that.”

This season, the truck put up signs reminding people to stay distanced, but the coolest safety-related change was the addition of a self-serve machine that dispenses 10 flavors that customers can mix. Customers insert their spoons into a handle that releases the syrup for a completely touch-free experience.

Those who want to learn more about the Kona Ice of Fairfax or book an event are encouraged to contact the Bourroughs by email at [email protected] or by phone at (703) 953-0114.

Image courtesy Jessica Tcholakov/All Points PR

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Monday Morning Notes

Attorney General William Barr’s McLean House Swarmed by Pro-Trump Protestors — “Protesters carrying Trump flags picketed Attorney General William Barr’s home on Saturday because they believe he isn’t doing enough to bring former Vice President Joe Biden to justice.” [Newsweek]

Junior League of Northern Virginia Announces Virtual Enchanted Forest — “The Junior League of Northern Virginia invites you to join us at the 20th annual The Enchanted Forest! Our holiday-themed signature fundraiser will take place virtually Nov. 21, 2020…” [JLNV]

Tysons-based MicroStrategy Bets Big on Bitcoin — “In volatile markets, you can use cash as offense or defense. MicroStrategy Inc., which recently had half-a-billion dollars in cash sitting around, thinks it can do both.” [Wall Street Journal]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Friday Morning Notes

Maryland Rejects Beltway Widening — The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission unanimously voted against widening the Capital Beltway, which Northern Virginia leaders have been hoping will help ease congestion around McLean [Maryland Matters]

Vienna-based Parcel Carrier LaserShip Launches Hunger Relief Program — “LaserShip launched the [Time of Need] program with a $10,000 charitable donation to Food for Others, a hunger relief organization in northern Virginia. As part of the commitment, LaserShip is providing delivery services to help Food for Others transport food from its warehouse to a distribution center in Annandale, Virginia. Food for Others feeds over 2,600 local families each week.” [LaserShip]

Vienna Students Participate in Virtual Army 10-Miler — “Teachers, staff members, parents and a student from the Madison High Pyramid completed the virtual Army 10 Miler this weekend, and put an FCPS twist on their walk.” [Patch]

Photo courtesy Craig Fingar

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For the first time in its 48-year history, Second Story is going online for its most important fundraiser.

Scheduled for Oct. 27, the 2020 Beacon of Hope Fundraiser will give supporters a look at how the Tysons-based nonprofit has adapted to the uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, whose impact has been felt most acutely by poor and marginalized communities like the youths and families that Second Story serves.

Taking the form of a video streamed live on YouTube from 12:30-1:00 p.m., the fundraiser will feature updates from Second Story CEO Judith Dittman on the organization’s current status and its plans for the future. Three youths will also talk about their involvement in the nonprofit’s programs, which provide housing, counseling, and other kinds of assistance to young people and families in need.

The planned virtual fundraiser will be a major change from Second Story’s traditional Beacon of Hope benefit, which is held in October every year and typically serves as the nonprofit’s largest fundraising event.

“This is such a new territory for us, but everyone’s been really working hard in making sure that people will understand what the needs are of the under-served population that we work with,” Second Story vice president of development Jade Leedham said.

The annual Beacon of Hope fundraiser is especially critical for Second Story this year, as the nonprofit attempts to fill more gaps in essential needs for its clients during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

While Second Story also serves Washington, D.C., and Maryland, it is primarily based in Northern Virginia with programs to support teenagers in crisis, and young adults and mothers experiencing homelessness. The nonprofit also has drop-in centers in the Culmore area of Falls Church, Annandale, and Springfield that provide after-school support to students.

Leedham says Second Story has seen a “huge” increase in the need for food. Distribution events held twice a week in Culmore have consistently drawn about 300 people per day, while a site in Springfield regularly gets 100 people coming each day.

Second Story has also been dropping off food for clients who are unable to attend the distribution events.

Other pressing issues include access to technology, as students risked being left out of schools’ shift to virtual learning, and rent support after about 70 percent of the youths in Second Story’s rapid re-housing program lost hours at their jobs or got laid off in the past year.

At the same time, Second Story has seen the number of people using its residential programs dip.

“[It’s] the nature of COVID,” Leedham said. “People are reluctant to leave or to go anywhere that’s not familiar to them or that they don’t know is safe or not.” Read More

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Friday Morning Notes

Halmar International Moving from Tysons to Baltimore — “Several of the current employees from Tysons Corner are expected to move into the positions in Baltimore.” [Baltimore Business Journal]

Fairfax Firefighters Host Virtual “Fill the Boot” — “Join #Providence @SupvPalchik in supporting the virtual #FairfaxCounty #FillTheBoot benefiting @MDAorg by donating here” [Twitter]

W&OD Trail Section in Falls Church Closed — “As of today, the section of trail from Little Falls St to Great Falls St is closed for work related to the dual trails project.” [Twitter]

Local Suicide Prevention Program Launched Fall Fundraiser Tonight — “Spring into fall with PRS by virtually joining us for our rescheduled annual signature benefit, Springtopia – A Season of Hope” [PRSinc.org]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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This October, beer fans and animal lovers can head over to Lost Dog Cafe to sip Solace Brewing Company’s Rescue Ale and support rescue efforts for dogs and cats.

The charity brew, which benefits the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, will hit shelves at Solace Brewery on Oct. 8 and will start being poured at all Lost Dog Cafe locations on Oct. 9. A portion of all sales of Rescue Ale will be donated to LDCRF.

There are five Lost Dog Cafe locations, with one in Dunn Loring (2729A Merrilee Drive) and one in McLean (1690A Anderson Road).

The brewery will host a distanced adoption event, and an online auction will offer winners a tour of the brewery as well as  pooch and beer-themed merchandise.

Lost Dog Cafe is a long-time supporter of the rescue and donates a portion of its revenue to support the care of animals rescued by LDCRF. Local breweries have brewed a Rescue Ale in support of LDCRF for the last four years, and this is Solace’s second year making the charity beer. Read More

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Monday Morning Notes

Tysons-based Credit Union Raises $585,000 for Military Veterans — “The PenFed Foundation joined over 75 community and business leaders to raise over $585,000 to support veterans and the military community at the 17th annual Military Heroes Golf Classic on Monday, September 21st.” [PenFed]

How Substantial Park Requirements May Challenge Walkability Goals in Tysons — “Parks can create what urban theorist Jane Jacobs called “border vacuums.” Border vacuums are long stretches of monotonous space separating potential destinations.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Behind the Scenes of Library Book Selection — “Have you ever imagined what goes into the library’s decision to buy a book? Collection Services is the department at Fairfax County Public Library that selects and orders library materials.” [Fairfax County]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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In lieu of rolling down the window to put some cash in a firefighter’s boot, those looking to help out their local Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary can get dinner at Chipotle on Maple Avenue today..

A portion of the proceeds from orders placed at the Chipotle at 213 Maple Avenue E. in Vienna today (Tuesday) between 5-9 p.m. will go to the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. If the event page is brought up on a smartphone or the cashier is told you’re there to support the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, 33% of the proceeds will be donated to the organization.

For those reticent to buy from the restaurant in-person, orders placed on Chipotle.com or through the Chipotle app for pickup can use the promo code FV32C9F.

Another fundraiser-for-dinner option is the Chick-Fil-A, which is having a mobile order fundraiser where those ordering from the Vienna location can have a portion of their order go to Flint Hill Elementary School if they mention it in the order.

Photo via Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Auxillary/Facebook

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&pizza Co-Founder Buys McLean Mansion — “Washington Wizards superstar Bradley Beal has sold his French Provincial-style McLean mansion to entrepreneur Steve Salis, the co-founder of &pizza, for $3.5 million.” [Washington Business Journal]

Virtual Fundraiser — “The McLean area branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is hosting an online fund-raiser to take the place of its 51st annual book sale, which was slated for September but has been canceled due to the public-health pandemic.” [Inside NoVa]

Former Lt. Gov. Dies — “John H. Hager, a moderate Republican who persevered over polio to serve as Virginia’s lieutenant governor and hold other key state and national posts, died Sunday. He was 83.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Inc. 5000 List — “The number of Greater Washington companies at the top of the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies fell precipitously in 2020, reversing a trend of growth from the previous few years’ lists… Vienna logistics firm Urgent.ly, which last year was Greater Washington’s highest-ranked firm at No. 12 on the list, dropped more than 200 spots to No. 221 in 2020.” [Washington Businss Journal]

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

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