Tysons Corner, VA

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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A Vienna high school student is hosting a fashion show in Tysons Corner Center tomorrow (Friday) night to fundraise for a local nonprofit.

Kaela G., a freshman at James Madison High School, is the event coordinator for the fashion show at Lord and Taylor (7950 Tyson’s Corner Center).

Here is the fashion show’s event description:

Wondering what the hot summer vacation trends are? Can’t decide what to wear for that perfect date? Come see the Madison HS basketball players model the latest fashions and hear what a local nonprofit, Second Story, is doing in our community for at-risk teens.

The night will include models, DJ Squirrel, Raffles, Refreshments, and a private shopping event. All purchases made the night of the event will receive 15% off Cosmetics, and 30% off all other merchandise.

General admission is $20 and VIP admission, which includes preferred seating and automatic entry into a raffle for a skincare and cosmetic gift basket worth $200, is $40.

All ticket sales will get donated to the Second Story, a local nonprofit that provides safe havens for kids and their families.

People who can’t attend the event but still want to donate can purchase a donation ticket.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The fashion show runs from 7-9 p.m.

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A dream trip came true for a young girl from Falls Church because of the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Mid-Atlantic chapter.

Three-year-old Kathryn had a bone marrow transplant last year and wished to go to the Walt Disney World Resort. Earlier this year, she headed to Orlando to meet in person some of her favorite characters from the Disney Junior network.

“Her favorite show is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and she likes to repeat lines, sing along and dance while she watches the characters on TV,” Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic wrote to Tysons Reporter. “She was thrilled to meet Mickey Mouse three separate times on her trip, and she had a blast going on rides at the parks.”

Kathryn and her family stayed at the Give Kids The World Village, a resort for kids with critical illnesses and their families. While there, Kathryn celebrated her favorite holiday during the resort’s weekly Halloween night on Mondays in the middle of January. She also visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and practiced doing “magic” with her new wand at Universal Orlando.

“The wish transformed Kathryn’s life by giving her the opportunity to leave behind the stress of dealing with a critical illness and just enjoy being a kid,” according to Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic.

Photo courtesy Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic

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Women’s and safety organizations around McLean are coming together for a panel discussion on combatting local teen trafficking.

In 2017, Virginia ranked sixth in the number of human trafficking cases on federal court dockets. There were 33 active human trafficking cases, most of them in the Eastern District of Virginia, which includes Northern Virginia.

The panel presentation will be led by the Just Ask Prevention Project, a nonprofit based out of Tysons dedicated to combatting sex trafficking helmed by former Detective Bill Woolf. Woolf first became involved with the fight against sex trafficking after he discovered a young victim who was being trafficked by a gang.

The event is scheduled for next Tuesday (Feb. 19) at 7 p.m. at the McLean Presbyterian Church (1020 Balls Hill Road). The discussion is free and open to the public, though the website includes an option to donate to Just Ask Prevention.

The event is being co-hosted by the Women’s Club of McLean, the Safe Community Coalition and the New Dominion Women’s Club.

According to the event description:

“Trafficking and exploitation of teens is appallingly prevalent and underreported in Fairfax County. Help us eradicate this horrendous scourge by learning what makes children vulnerable, how to identify the signs of a possible victim, and what to do if you suspect a teen is being exploited.”

Photo via Facebook

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After the holiday rush of donations and food drives, supplies at food pantries can start to run dry. In an effort to combat the post-holiday slump, Fairfax County is hosting a Stuff the Bus event in McLean this weekend to support local nonprofit food pantries.

From 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., a bus will be located outside the Giant at 1454 Chain Bridge Road. The food and money collected will go to benefit Share, Inc.

On Feb. 2, another Stuff the Bus event will be held at the Walmart in Tysons at 1500 Cornerside Blvd.

The Stuff the Bus event has been an annual tradition in Fairfax for nine years. According to the website, last year’s event:

  • Collected more than 250,000 lbs. of food

  • Provided 170,000 meals to those in need

  • Received nearly $50,000 in monetary contributions

  • More than 5,000 community volunteers have contributed approximately 15,000 hours of service

  • Aided more than 32 local food pantries in their winter food collections

Photo via Fairfax County

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Morning Notes

Big Names Among Potential Galleria Tenants — “Tysons Galleria… is in advanced talks with Tiffany & Co., Apple Inc. and gourmet grocer Balducci’s, in addition to high-end movie theater chain iPic, to open in portions of the space, according to two sources with knowledge of the discussions.” [Washington Business Journal]

Possible Money Motivation in McLean Double Murder — “The newly unsealed search warrant reveals why Megan Hargan might have carried out the crime: Megan’s mother discovered someone had attempted to wire ‘large amounts’ of money from her bank account on the day before her slaying. Pamela Hargan notified her bank the transfer was fraudulent. On the day of the killings, a second transfer was initiated to send money to a title company that was handling the purchase of a home by Megan in West Virginia.” [Washington Post]

Huge Tysons Development Still Looking for Office Anchor — “The developer behind Scotts Run had courted Amazon and Apple in hopes of landing an anchor for its planned 8M SF Tysons development, but neither of those panned out. Cityline Partners now continues to search for a tenant to kick off construction on the project’s office component. Cityline is one of several developers with major Tysons office projects waiting in the wings, hoping to sign pre-leases before breaking ground.” [Bisnow]

FCPS Offering Sub Gigs for Furloughed Feds — “Fairfax County Public Schools, the largest school district in Virginia, is offering substitute teaching positions to federal employees furloughed during the government shutdown. The hiring event will take place Friday, Jan. 11, from 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. at the FCPS Administration Center, 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church.” [Patch]

Senators Press Administration on Tax Refunds — “Virginia Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-Va.) have sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking how Virginia taxpayers will be affected by the government shutdown, which has left the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) short-staffed and potentially unprepared for the beginning of the 2019 tax-filing season.” [Fairfax Times]

McLean Foundation Sets Grant Deadline — “The McLean Community Foundation has set a deadline of Feb. 1 for non-profit organizations seeking to apply for its next round of grant funding. The foundation recently awarded nearly $67,000 in grants, including funding to McLean Little League and the Old Firehouse Teen Center, among others.” [InsideNova]

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