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by ARLnow.com — July 28, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,529 0

Crystal City Twilighter 5K on July 25, 2015 (photo courtesy Crystal City BID)

Fundraiser for Arlington Store Owner — The owner of Maley’s Music (2499 N. Harrison Street) has been hospitalized with a rare disease, just weeks after his wife suffered a debilitating stroke. That has prompted the couple’s daughter to start an online fundraiser to help the family pay its expenses. [Facebook, GoFundMe]

Arlington’s Inaccessible Bus Stops — About two thirds of Arlington’s 1,100 bus stops are not fully compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Metro estimates that the average cost of upgrading a bus stop to ADA standards is $10,000. [Washington Post]

USS Arlington Readies for Deployment — More than two years after its commissioning, the USS Arlington is getting ready for deployment. The ship has a 40 year expected lifespan in active naval service. [InsideNova]

Photo courtesy Crystal City BID

by Heather Mongilio — June 19, 2015 at 2:30 pm 311 0

ZERO8Hundreds of runners will celebrate Father’s Day in Pentagon City with a race to help end prostate cancer.

The annual Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, hosted by Zero- The End of Prostate Cancer on Sunday, is a series of four events, with a four-mile run/walk, kids race, a one mile fun run and a “virtual” option for those who don’t want to wake up early.

“This series is a great chance for men, women, children, and families of all ages to increase awareness and raise funds to end a disease that affects one in seven fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, grandfathers, partners and friends,” said Jamie Bearse, the CEO of Zero in a statement.

The event starts with the Superhero Dash, a short sprint for kids ages nine and younger, at 8:15 a.m. Kids can dress up as their favorite superheroes and will receive capes.

The four mile walk/run starts at 8:30 a.m. and will take runners from Pentagon Row courtyard (1101 S. Joyce St.) down Army Navy Drive to S. Adams Street. Runners will turn around at S. Adams Street and finish at Pentagon Row. Participants can select and put on a tie shortly after the one mile mark at the “Tie One of for Dad” transition area (at S. Nash Street).

There will be awards for the top three male and female finishers, top three survivor finishers and top three male and female finishers in each age group.

This year, people can help support the end of prostate cancer from their beds by wearing a “Snooze for Dudes” t-shirt and posting a picture to social media.

Participants can register as an individual or as team. Registration is $40 for the four-mile race, $20 for the one-mile walk, $20 for the Superhero Dash and $35 for Snooze for Dudes.

The race will also feature the “Courage Wall,” a chalkboard wall where people can write what they wish they had the courage to be or do. The wall was created by Del Ray local Nancy Belmont and has since gone viral.

“The run/walk aims to bring together survivors, patients, families, friends and many in the community to raise funds for prostate cancer, and share hope and passion, and the Courage Wall will help us to do that,” said Amanda Pini, the marketing and communications coordinator for the race.

S. Joyce Street, between 15th Street S. and Army Navy Drive, and Army Navy Drive, between S. Joyce Street and 25th Street S., will be closed from 7-11 a.m. as a result of the race.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — June 9, 2015 at 9:15 am 1,300 0

Storm clouds over Arlington and D.C. (Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen)

Arlington Expects ‘Speedy’ Election Returns — The Democratic primary for Arlington County Board and the 45th Virginia House of Delegates district is taking place today, utilizing Arlington County’s new optical scanners. The county issued a press release on Monday promising that “changes should result in speedier reporting of unofficial results on election night.” Polls close at 7:00 p.m. and the first results are expected to be reported on the county website around 7:30.

Reminder: Candidate Essays — If you haven’t cast your ballot yet, you can peruse the “why should you vote for me” essays written by the six Democratic County Board candidates: Andrew SchneiderBruce Wiljanen, Katie Cristol, James Lander, Peter Fallon, Christian Dorsey.

Working Group to Discuss S. Arlington School Site — Following the County Board’s scuttling of plans for an elementary school next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School, the Arlington School Board has created a working group to help decide the location for a new South Arlington elementary school. Former School Board candidate Greg Greeley was appointed chairman of the group, which is charged with creating a final report by November. The School Board is expected to take action on the new school on Dec. 15. [InsideNova]

Swimming Fundraiser Planned — The swim teams from four private clubs are coming together for a fundraiser on Sunday, June 28. Teams from Arlington Forest Club, Donaldson Run, Overlee and Washington Golf and Country Club will swim laps to raise money for the Arlington-based Marjorie Hughes Fund for Children. The fund helps low-income children obtain medical care and medications. [GoFundMe]

Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen

by Karen Goff — June 5, 2015 at 10:15 am 1,162 0

(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) An Arlington resident will take off on a 3,000-mile cycling race from Oceanside, Calif., to Annapolis next week.

Frank Fumich will ride more that 250 miles a day, since the Race Across America (RAAM), one of the most grueling athletic events around even for an endurance athlete like Fumich, must be completed in 12 days.

He is doing it in the hopes of raising thousands for a local man he does not know that well, but can really use his help.

Fumich, 47 has raised about half of his $30,000 goal to help Ryan Diviney, who suffered severe brain damage after a fight at West Virginia University in 2009.

Ryan Diviney, who was born in Reston, is cared for full-time by his father, Ken, in their Ashburn home. That care costs about $2 million annually, Ken Diviney said. Much of it is paid for by the family’s insurance, but there are still tens of thousands of dollars left uncovered.

Fumich, who also attended WVU, said he heard of the Diviney’s story a little over a year ago — shortly after he raised more than $75,000 to aid victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Fumich ran 78 miles in 19 hours — representing three marathons for the three spectators who were killed on April 15, 2003. He then ran the money up to Boston.

“My plan was to run to Morgantown (W.Va.) from Northern Virginia,” said Fumich. “But it was too close to another race. But I knew I wanted to do something to help. I told Ken I was going to to the RAAM. I thought he would think I am crazy.”

Said Ken Diviney: “I did [think he was crazy].”

But he is also already very grateful.

“This helps enormously,” he said. “[The money] is a substantial amount that can help us in two ways. We put away money for Ryan’s longterm comfort and care and also help us in the short term with something he needs, like a therapeutic massaging chair.”

Fumich said Ken Diviney “has not left Ryan’s side since that day in 2009.”

In November of 2009, Ryan was a 20-year-old sophomore who had earned an academic scholarship at WVU. Ken Diviney said his son was attacked by two other men (who later served jail time for the incident), suffering a fractured skull, a broken jaw, and bleeding of the brain.

Ryan had a third of skull removed in surgery to control the brain swelling and has suffered numerous complications. He has been a vegetative state since.

Ken works with Ryan, now 25, every day to keep his body and muscles moving. he also cares for his hygiene needs and feeds him via feeding tube.

“It’s relentless,” says Ken Diviney. “It never really ends. I try to keep his body in motion six to eight hours a day.”

Fumich, a father of 5-year-old twins, says being a dad has made him more empathetic. He said taking on an athletic feat like the RAAM for a worthy cause will make the miles worthwhile.

“It feels good to help someone,” he said. “When I was reintroduced to [the Diviney’s] story from a friend, I couldn’t help but be struck hard by the difference in our lives and how just a few seconds sent our destinies in completely different directions.”

“I knew I was going to do something to help Ryan and his family, and this is it. Every time I hit “the wall” and feel the urge to quit, I’m going to think of how hard Ryan has continued to fight, and how hard his dad Ken and family continue to push onward.”

by Ethan Rothstein — May 6, 2015 at 4:35 pm 2,744 0

Drew Model School grocery store revenue (image courtesy Drew Model School PTA)The Drew Model School Parent Teacher Association is throwing its first Spring Fair next weekend, in hopes of closing a $22,000 funding gap.

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.

Drew School (Photo via Google Maps)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

by Ethan Rothstein — April 16, 2015 at 11:00 am 907 0

Arlington Dodgeball Tournament photo (via atowndodgeball)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.

Registration for the tournament is limited and filling up fast, Wallace said, so individuals or teams should register as soon as possible to ensure a spot.

Photo via Arlington Dodgeball

by Ethan Rothstein — March 20, 2015 at 1:30 pm 1,160 0

Jeff Foxworthy (photo via JeffFoxworthy.com)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

by Ethan Rothstein — March 19, 2015 at 3:30 pm 470 0

California Tortilla in Courthouse reopensEveryone who buys a burrito or quesadilla from the California Tortilla in Courthouse tonight can help an at-risk child learn to read.

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.

File photo

by Ethan Rothstein — March 4, 2015 at 11:30 am 816 0

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.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — February 10, 2015 at 5:00 am 875 0

Stand Up 2 Cancer Banner

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.

More information is available at the fundraiser’s Facebook page and Stand Up To Cancer page. The event is being co-sponsored by Sysco Foods and Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.

The preceding was a promoted post sponsored by Fire Works Pizza.

by ARLnow.com — February 6, 2015 at 9:05 am 1,717 0

Birds in a tree in winter (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

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

by ARLnow.com — February 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm 3,347 0

Noormustafa "Noor" Shaikh (courtesy photo)Friends and coworkers of a man critically injured in a parking lot hit-and-run on Columbia Pike are raising money to help his family.

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.”

Courtesy photo

 

by Ethan Rothstein — November 17, 2014 at 2:30 pm 1,778 0

Fatal S. Emerson Street fire (photo via Fox  5)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.

by Ethan Rothstein — November 13, 2014 at 11:15 am 369 0

UberOffices in RosslynAn Arlington County breast cancer charity is organizing a “B.F.F.” — “Breast Friends Forever” — fundraiser in Rosslyn next week.

The Sharon McGowan Breast Health Fund is holding the happy hour fundraiser at the ÜberOffices coworking space, at 1400 Key Blvd, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20.

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.”

by Ethan Rothstein — November 6, 2014 at 5:00 pm 3,602 0

Fire victim Mary Barkes and daughter (photo via GoFundMe)(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

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