Because of changes to local grocery stores’ policies in the last two years, donations that have come from shoppers signing up to donate a portion of their purchase to schools have almost disappeared. According to Drew PTA President Evan Thomas, grocery store donations accounted for $22,700 of the PTA’s $30,000 budget in the 2012-2013 school year.
This year, the PTA projects $495 in revenue from the two stores that it has received money from, Harris Teeter and Safeway.
A manager at Harris Teeter said their program hasn’t changed, but schools are no longer allowed to sign up shoppers on the way in, which has hamstrung participation, Thomas said. According to a manager at Safeway, the chain was just purchased, and in the lengthy negotiations over the past two years, the “program has changed some.” According to Safeway’s website, donations through its eScrip program aren’t taken from credit card purchases.
Thomas doesn’t begrudge the grocery stores, he said, but the fiscal reality of the PTA’s current budget is inescapable.
“We felt fortunate that we were able to work within the program as we were before those changes were made,” he told ARLnow.com today. “It’s just a reality of where we are, and we’re just trying to look for ways to move forward and fundraising without doing it on the backs of our families.”
The PTA has responded by hosting a Spring Fair next Saturday, May 16, to draw families to the school and raise a few thousand dollars.
The fair will take place on the school’s grounds (3500 23rd Street S.) from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There will be foods from a variety of food trucks, a moon bounce, a cake walk game, and raffles. There will also be carnival style games, with the price of participation going to the Drew PTA.
“We’re really hoping the Spring Fair can serve as a signature event so we can have a little more certainty going into each year to allocate comfortably,” Thomas said.
The PTA has received help from its counterpart at Nottingham Elementary School in North Arlington. The Nottingham PTA has chipped in $1,500 to offset costs and provided mentorship and support — Drew is hoping to model the Spring Fair after Nottingham’s annual MayFest.
As for the drastic downturn in PTA revenue, Thomas said purchases the group has made in the past, like smartboards for classrooms and a climbing wall, will no longer be feasible. Thomas said 65 percent of Drew students are on a free or reduced lunch program. APS spokesman Frank Bellavia said it’s one of nine schools in the county that have at least 40 percent of its students receiving free or reduced lunches.
Image, top, courtesy Drew Model School PTA. Photo, bottom, via Google Maps
A pair of Yorktown High School students, and flying projectile enthusiasts, are hosting a two-day, free dodgeball tournament next weekend.
The tournament starts at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 25 and runs all day, both days, at Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road). Adults, teenagers and children are welcome, and will be split into divisions based on age. There are divisions for 11 and younger, 14 and under, 17 and under and 18 and over.
The tournament is the brainchild of Yorktown students Patrick Wallace and Hayden Kickbush. While the tournament is free, Wallace and Kickbush are asking for attendees to donate what they can to fund the tournament and raise money for physical education equipment for D.C. area schools in need. They have set up an online fundraising page, and have already raised $1,325 of a stated $9,000 goal.
The boys got the idea for the tournament from a trip to Hawaii, where one of them saw a community dodgeball tournament and was inspired, according to the tournament’s website.
“We experienced a heartwarming community and a tournament based on good morals and having a good time,” the website reads. “We were so moved by the experience that we wanted to replicate the same thing here in the Arlington area. Arlington Dodgeball aims to have a very community friendly tournament while also giving back to the community.”
According to Wallace’s father, Marc, the boys have received nonprofit approval by the IRS, so all donations are tax-deductible. The tournament itself will cost about $7,000 to run, Wallace said. If there is money left over, the boys will determine which school in the area will receive the donated equipment.
Photo via Arlington Dodgeball
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, best known for his “You might be a redneck if…” bit, is coming to Arlington on April 12 for a reflux disease and esophageal cancer awareness fundraiser.
The fundraiser will include stand-up comedy from Foxworthy and an opening act, determined by a nationwide competition, and it’s called “No Laughing Matter.” The event will be at the Crystal Gateway Marriott (1700 Jefferson Davis Highway) at 7:00 p.m., and tickets are on sale for between $79 and $790.
The fundraiser aims to educate people on the link between acid reflux disease and esophageal cancer, and it’s sponsored by the Esophageal Cancer Action Network.
Along with the chance to hear Foxworthy’s routine, attendees will get access to an open bar of beer and wine, “light fare” at their table and the chance to win prizes like a walk-on role on HBO’s “Veep” and a tour of the White House’s west wing.
VIP tickets are available for the chance to take photos and mingle with Foxworthy — plus get an additional 90 minutes of open bar — for $200.
Photo via JeffFoxworthy.com
From 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 2057 Wilson Blvd, any customer who mentions the Arlington-based The Reading Connection will have 25 percent of their order donated to the nonprofit.
“The Reading Connection is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children and families, who are living in shelters,” Reading Connection board of directors member Lynn Cannon told ARLnow.com, “by helping them create and sustain literacy-rich environments and motivation for reading.”
The Ballston-based nonprofit has partnered with the Mexican food chain, which has agreed to donate 25 percent of gross sales over the three-hour period. Many similar fundraisers involve a retailer donating 10 percent or so of gross sales but, Cannon said, “The folks at Cal Tor have been really nice to work with and very generous.”
The money will go toward funding readalongs at homeless shelters and community centers, buying books for children, parent literacy workshops and training for family support workers who promote the importance of reading.
This Friday afternoon, an Arlington family is hosting an ice skating fundraiser to help fund childhood cancer research, in memory of the daughter they lost to the disease.
Ellen and Tom Blair lost their daughter, Catherine Elizabeth Blair, in 2011 to neuroblastoma, a deadly cancer that mostly affects children younger than 5 years old, according to the Mayo Clinic. In her memory, they started the Catherine Elizabeth Blair Foundation to provide grants to researchers searching for a cure for the disease that kills more than 60 percent of those afflicted.
Friday’s event, Skate for Catherine, is the foundation’s largest fundraiser, now in its fourth years. From 1:30-3:00 p.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (627 N. Glebe Road), attendees will skate on the ice and participate in raffles for prizes like an iPad mini or a package of tickets to Capitals, Wizards and D.C. United games.
“Even though the reason is serious, the event is a lot of fun,” Ellen Blair says in the foundation’s promotional video, embedded above. “Catherine would have loved it. It’s a skating party with food, music, lots of prizes and your friends will be there.”
Tickets for the event are $20 and include skate rental and refreshments. The deadline for purchasing online is today (Wednesday), but tickets can be purchased at the door. Blair told ARLnow.com this morning that the event typically sells out, so online purchasing is strongly encouraged.
Fire Works Pizza in Courthouse (2350 Clarendon Blvd) will be staying open all night tonight as part of a military veteran’s 24 hour cancer fundraiser.
The Stand Up To Cancer 24 Hour Stand-In event will kick off at 4:26 p.m. and will run through Wednesday afternoon. It will feature late night movies, bar bites buffet, popcorn, ping pong, pizza, cornhole and other fun activities for the wee hours.
There will also be a silent auction featuring VIP Caps tickets, signed hockey sticks and more.
(Alcohol will be served until 2:00 a.m. and pizza until 3:00 a.m. A complimentary movie bar bites buffet will be provided but there will not be full restaurant service overnight.)
The event is being hosted by Pat Malone, a retired Air Force veteran, and timed to coincide with the first anniversary of Pat’s successful, seven hour operation to remove a malignant tumor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.
After months of radiation, rehabilitation and physical therapy, Malone is currently cancer-free with the strong desire to both raise money for cancer research and to honor and highlight the dedicated work of his military and civilian medical team at the John P. Murtha Cancer Center at Walter Reed.
Pat is hoping to raise $5,000 during the fundraiser. Fire Works is offering to match up worth of $1,000 of donations from dine-in guests. All donations will benefit Stand Up To Cancer’s collaborative cancer research programs.
The preceding was a promoted post sponsored by Fire Works Pizza.
Arts Center Gets Warhol Grant — The Arlington Arts Center has received a $70,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. “Funding from the Foundation will increase AAC’s capacity to support and present the work of new artists and spur the development of new initiatives and exhibitions,” AAC said in a press release. “Programming support of this scale makes new programs possible, like one for rising curators, while also furthering the ongoing work of the arts center.”
Bicycle Billboard Towers Sought — The Washington Area Bicyclist Association and BikeArlington are seeking bike ambassadors for a safety campaign. Volunteers will ride around Arlington while towing a large, wheeled billboard that tells drivers to pass bikes with at least three feet of space. The sign also encourages all road users to be predictable, alert and lawful. [WABA]
Arlington Couple Get Baby Wish Times Three — The Washington Post’s “This Life” feature profiles an Arlington couple who had trouble conceiving a child when, all of a sudden, fate blessed them with three via various means. [Washington Post]
Voting Machines May Go Old School — As part of a state-wide switch, Arlington election officials are considering replacing all touch screen voting machines with digital optical scan machines in time for the 2016 presidential election. The new machines will utilize what is fundamentally an old-school voting method: scanning paper ballots, which then leaves a paper trail for recounts. [InsideNova]
Jane Goodall to Speak at Marymount Benefit — Famed primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall will speak at a benefit event for Arlington’s Marymount University this spring. The event is taking place at DAR Constitution Hall on Friday, April 17. Ticket proceeds will “help establish a fund at Marymount that will enhance the work of volunteerism and community engagement.” [Marymount University]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Noormustafa “Noor” Shaikh, a 40 year old Stafford, Va. resident, was still in critical condition as of Friday afternoon, we’re told. He suffered numerous injuries last Tuesday when a Fairfax woman allegedly ran him over with her SUV, as he tried to prevent her from leaving the parking lot of his automotive business on the 3600 block of Columbia Pike.
Alexandra Mendez, 39, was arrested the next morning and charged with aggravated malicious wounding. She was also charged with hit and run for allegedly striking two cars in the parking lot, which prompted Shaikh — a co-owner of MK Auto Sales and Service — to try to stop her from leaving.
Shaikh was run over by the SUV’s tires and suffered at least eight significant injuries — including multiple rib fractures, liver laceration, bruised lungs, a leg fracture, spine fractures and facial fractures — according to a family friend who contacted ARLnow.com but did not wish to be identified by name.
“He’s awake and aware but can’t talk because he’s on a respirator full time,” the friend said of Shaikh’s condition. “He still has to undergo more surgeries.”
A group of friends and coworkers have set up an online fundraising campaign for Shaikh, who is better known by his nickname, Noor. So far the “For Noor” GoFundMe campaign has raised $895, but it is seeking more money to help provide for Noor’s wife and three sons.
Said the friend: “His wife, Durdana, is trying to keep his spirits up. She tough and hanging in there. She [is] with him all day… always keeping a watchful eye on him. As for the kids they are aware he was hurt, but they do not the extent for his injuries. Makes it easier for them. They all keep asking when their dad is coming home.”
The online fundraiser set up to help Bill and Sarah Barkes — the survivors of the fatal house fire from earlier this month — has reached more than $70,000 in donations, but at least one scam artist appears to be trying to profit from the family’s pain.
According to an update on the Barkes family’s GoFundMe page, a Craigslist post was made by someone posing as a relative of the family under the guise of “collecting money through Paypal.”
The GoFundMe page is maintained by Joy Chadwick, the sister of the mother who died in the blaze trying to save one of her daughters, Emily, who also died. Chadwick has been updating the nearly 1,000 people who have donated to the cause in the two weeks since the fire. Chadwick wrote yesterday that Sarah was released from the hospital after more than a week in intensive care.
“[Bill Barkes] said the doctors were very excited about how fast Sarah was healing and at the this time no surgery is needed,” Chadwick wrote last week. “He said she is working hard on her physical therapy. If she continues with this progress she might be able to leave the hospital by Saturday. She is excited that some of her teachers are coming to visit her today.”
Chadwick wrote the family still has “not decided where they will live.” The cat that was missing after the fire was found and is currently living with Chadwick’s other sister, according to the page.
An Arlington County breast cancer charity is organizing a “B.F.F.” — “Breast Friends Forever” — fundraiser in Rosslyn next week.
Beer and appetizers will be served, The event is free to register for, but a donation is highly encouraged.
Proceeds from the event help the fund pay for “free mammograms, sonograms, biopsies, medical devices, and [breast cancer] medications” for uninsured men and women in Arlington and Falls Church.
McGowan was an Arlington resident and mother of seven children who succumbed to breast cancer in 1997. Her niece, Jaimie, will be at the happy hour — which doubles as a young professional networking event — encouraging those in attendance to find a “breast friend” to “buddy up with and remind each other to get annual mammographies.”
(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) An online fundraising drive has raised more than $18,000 to support the Barkes family, the victims of the fatal house fire in South Arlington on Tuesday.
The GoFundMe campaign is up to $18,650 as of 5:00 p.m., with nearly 250 people donating since the campaign launched on Wednesday.
The money raised will help the survivors, Bill and his daughter Sarah, who were both hurt in the fire. Bill’s wife, Mary, and eight-year-old daughter Emily died in the blaze.
“They have lost everything,” the GoFundMe page says. “Their family required two incomes and now they have one. Please make a donation. Anything and everything will help. If you can’t give please say a prayer for Sarah and Billy.”
The page was started by Joy Chadwick, Mary’s sister, who wrote an update to the drive’s blog three hours ago:
“We are at the hospital now with Sarah,” the page says. “She has just had her bandages changed. They have to sedate her in order to change her bandages. Thankfully today she will be moved out of intensive care unit to a regular room. She will still have to stay in the hospital a couple of days. Her arms are wrapped from her shoulders to her fingers. She is being very brave. We are working on their living arrangements. Again thank you so much for everything. Please help us get the word out and share this on your page. God Bless you all.”
The Arlington County Fire Department is still investigating the fire, a process that is expected to take a few weeks. There were no working smoke detectors in the home at the time of the fire, an ACFD spokeswoman said.
Photo via GoFundMe
Arlington’s top chefs beat out the county’s best firehouse cooks at a reality TV-style charity competition fought in Clarendon Wednesday night.
Professional cooks won two out of three “Golden Eggplants” awarded at the Arlington Food Assistance Center‘s third annual Chiefs vs. Chefs benefit.
Given ingredients found in AFAC pantries that serve a growing number of hungry Arlington residents, Arlington County Fire Department Lt. Richard Slusher and Firefighter Anthony Westfall of Station 4 in Clarendon took the first award of the night. They whipped up potato and zucchini latkes with a Mediterranean salsa and lemon-basil sour cream. The firehouse cooks bested chef Tim Ma of the Virginia Square eatery Water & Wall. Ma made a hot dog salad with avocado, corn, fish sauce and palm sugar.
“[The latkes] were elegant, well-seasoned and artful,” judge David Guas of Bayou Bakery said after he announced his vote by hoisting a red sign with a fire hat. “Do you have any more?”
Making a vegetarian chili with crispy chicken confit, chefs Kate Jansen and Tracy O’Grady of the Ballston restaurant Willow won the soup round of the food fight. They beat out Capt. Bosephus “Bo” Bennett of ACFD headquarters and Firefighter David Harrison of Station 5, who made a fall harvest root vegetable soup topped with curry whipped cream.
“It’s creamy and delicious, and the texture is lovely,” ruled judge Shannon Overmiller of Alexandria’s Majestic Cafe.
Bennett, a 14-year veteran of the department, said county firefighters were honored to help AFAC fundraise for needy people.
“It’s for the cause. That’s what we’re here for,” he said, noting that firefighters on calls regularly refer people with empty refrigerators to AFAC’s 18 food distribution sites across the county.
The nonprofit has seen a 40 percent uptick in the number of families it serves, executive director Charles Meng said. AFAC gave food to 1,452 families on average every week from Sept. 2012 to Sept. 2013. At the end of last month, that average had risen to 2,036 families every week.
“The number of families we’re seeing is just going up,” Meng said, explaining that Arlington residents say they’re struggling after sequestration cuts and reductions to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
The competition showed that simple foods can be turned into delicious dishes, Capt. Claude Conde of Station 9 said.
“If you use some imagination, you can get some good, healthy meals out of basic ingredients.”
Conde and Firefighter Joaquin Ibarra of Station 1 competed in the competition’s last round, making an entree of creamy risotto with chicken thighs and eggplant. They faced off against chefs William Morris and Peter Smith of Vermilion in Alexandria, who made a rolled chicken ballotine with chicken mousse, tomato ragu with corn and sweet potato, and charred onion.
The Vermilion chefs won the final Golden Eggplant of the night, after the judges ruled the ACFD dish to be under-seasoned.
AFAC, which is primarily run through donations, raised more than $45,00 from the event, Meng said. He said he was happy to highlight the firehouse-cooking tradition.
ACFD Chief James Schwartz explained why firefighters are such good cooks.
“The secret of firehouse cooking is you either cook or clean up. Either you’re a cook when you get here, or you learn fast,” he said.
Cherry Trees Planted at Library — As part of its Neighborhood Tree Planting Program, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Japan-America Society of Washington planted three cherry trees in front of Arlington Central Library yesterday. The program “is an effort to celebrate and share the gift of cherry blossom trees throughout the DC-metro region… and helps create new National Cherry Blossom Festival traditions beyond the Tidal Basin,” festival organizers said in a statement. [Facebook]
Whole Foods Deli, Chicken Counter Stay Closed — The main grocery store and much of the prepared foods sections at the Clarendon Whole Foods (2700 Wilson Blvd) are open following Tuesday’s fire, but county officials say the market deli and chicken counter will stay closed until the health inspector approves its reopening.
County to Consider Privatizing Volunteer Agency — Changes may be coming to Volunteer Arlington, the county’s volunteer agency. Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan is establishing a new advisory task force “to look into whether Arlington’s volunteer office is the right business model to meet community needs.” The task force will consider whether outsourcing Volunteer Arlington “would enhance volunteer activity in the community.” [Arlington County]
Restaurant Exceeds Kickstarter Goal — SER, the winner of Ballston’s Restaurant Challenge, has exceeded its $15,000 Kickstarter goal. The Spanish comfort food restaurant, coming to 1110 N. Glebe Road in Ballston, has so far raised $17,145. It also received a $245,000 interest-free loan as the prize for winning the Restaurant Challenge. [Kickstarter]
Arlington GOP Blasts Olympic Bid — Arlington Republicans do not share Democratic officials’ enthusiasm for the regional bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. “It’s not a great idea,” said local GOP chairman Matt Wavro, citing costs and security concerns. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Rob Cannon
Metro Work This Weekend — Arlington’s Metro lines will be impacted by significant maintenance work this weekend. Riders on the Orange Line should expect trains to run every 24 minutes, while trains on the Blue Line will run every 20 minutes. The Yellow Line, meanwhile, will only run between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square. [WMATA]
Bracket Room Expanding to DCA — Bracket Room, the upscale sports bar in Clarendon that opened last summer, is expanding with locations in Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport. “The two new restaurants will mirror the Arlington location’s upscale, stylish environment complete with infinity-edge televisions making it the ideal spot to grab a meal and watch a game while waiting for a flight,” according to a press release. No word on an opening date. [PRWeb]
Library Lit Ball Will Have 007 Theme — Library boosters Friends of the Arlington Public Library are planning a James Bond theme for the group’s second annual “Lit Up Ball” fundraiser. The event will take place Saturday, Oct. 18 at Artisphere and will benefit the library’s early literacy initiatives. Tickets are $30. [Friends of the Arlington Public Library]
Clarendon Apple Store Camper — Someone is already camping in front of the Clarendon Apple Store, in anticipation of tomorrow morning’s launch of the iPhone 6. [Twitter]
Diners at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Crystal City (2231 Crystal Drive) Monday night had some especially muscular, familiar-looking waiters.
Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris and other team stars donned aprons and name tags for the second annual Blitz For The Better Celebrity Waiter Night fundraiser.
Raising funds “to provide opportunities, support and resources to children and families in need in the Washington, D.C. area,” according to the team blog, the event was organized by Blitz for the Better founder and Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.
Morris, caught on camera (above) by TMZ Sports outside the event, participated along with tight end Niles Paul, safety Ryan Clark, and fullback Darrel Young, and a number of linebackers and linemen: Jackson Jeffcoat, Gabe Miller, Adam Hayward, Shawn Lauvao and Braxston Cave.