Community News & Notes

‘Riders’ Take the Stage at the Alden

As part of the Alden Theatre’s Professional Artist Series, Riders in the Sky will perform on Saturday, Jan. 17 at 2 p.m., and again at 8 p.m.

These Grammy-winning, modern-day cowboys will present musical comedy onstage at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean). Tickets cost $30. For more information, call the center at 703-790-0123.

Contellessa Named General Manager

Suzanne Cotellessa, a certified planner, zoning administrator and arborist, has been selected as the General Manager of the City of Falls Church Department of Development Services. Development Services includes the Planning, Zoning and Urban Forestry divisions. Cotellessa replaces Elizabeth Friel, who was a Falls Church General Manager for nine years before relocating in May 2008. Cotellessa has been Planning Division Chief for the City of Fairfax since 2007 and was Director of Community Development for the Town of Duck, N.C., from 2003-2007. She previously held positions in the City of Fairfax as Planning Division Chief, Zoning Administrator, and Planner.

“I was drawn to Falls Church by the challenges and opportunities involved in weaving quality redevelopment projects into the historic fabric of the community, working with an active citizen base and a committed professional staff,” Contellessa said.

Artist’s Sketches on Display at Stacy’s Coffee

Lake Barcroft artist Nancy Garcia is presenting her show “Painterly Pencils” at Stacy’s Coffee Parlor (709 W. Broad St., Falls Church) during the month of January. All of Garcia’s work depicts animal and people in colored and graphite pencil sketches. For more information, call the parlor at 703-538-6266.

NN_vantagefitness.jpgNERA Begins Raffle Ticket Sales

The Falls Church-based Naval Enlisted Reserve Association (NERA) is selling tickets now through May 14 for their 2009 Raffle to win a Harley-Davidson 2009 Electra Glide Classic. Included in the prize is a stay in Washington, D.C. over Memorial Day Weekend. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold and cost $100 each. A drawing will be held on May 14.

NERA, which is a non-profit association, will use the proceeds from the raffle to promote the rights of Enlisted Reservists in the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. To purchase a ticket(s), visit or mail/drop a check to the NERA office (6703 Farragut Ave., Falls Church). For more information, call 703-534-1329.

MLK Celebration ‘Embraces the Dream’

The 6th Annual Martin Luther King Celebration, “Embracing the Dream: Elevating our Nation,” will take place on Sunday, Jan. 18 from 3 – 5 p.m. at McLean Community Center’s Alden Theatre (1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean). The program features a guest speaker, live entertainment and a barbeque dinner reception to follow program. General admission costs $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 10 and under and includes a dinner reception with the artists.

Rev. Dr. Robert Cheeks, Jr., pastor over at Shiloh Baptist Church in McLean will serve as the Master of Ceremonies and Rev. Todd Brown, pastor from First Baptist Church Chesterbrook in McLean will be the program’s guest speaker. Live entertainment will be presented by Saxophonist J. Plunky Branch, Tom Teasley and Charles Williams. Tickets to the event can be purchased at the Alden Theatre box office, which is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 – 9 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from noon – 9 p.m. For more information, call 703-790-0123.

New Exhibits Debut in McLean with Reception

On Thursday, Jan. 15, the McLean Project for the Arts (1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean) will hold an opening reception for three new exhibits from 7 – 9 p.m. The Emerson Gallery will unveil “Cellular Perspectives” by Betsy Stewart and Patrick Craig, two mid-career painters from Washington explore enlarged biological imagery.

In the Atrium Gallery, visitors can gaze at “Comfort Zone” paintings by Michele Montalbano, whose interior room-scapes use oil painting techniques to make color pop. Tom Wagner’s “Spaces and Places” will occupy the Ramp Gallery with post-industrial landscapes that combine painting, photography and drawing. To see previews of the artists’ works, visit For more information on the reception, call 703-790-1953.

F.C. Kiwanis Little League Kicks off Registration

Falls Church Kiwanis Little League will continue registration for spring season for boys and girls ages 5 – 12 at the Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St., Falls Church) on Wednesday, Jan. 21 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Those interested can also register online at, where there’s more information on winter training opportunities. The league also offers a Challengers Program for individuals with special needs.

Doggy Kitchen Caters Canine Celeb’s Bash

Falls Church-based Organic Doggy Kitchen (ODK) will be catering for a local canine star, The Amazing Leroy, for his sixth birthday party to be held at the Fairfax Railroad Museum (11200 Fairfax Station Rd., Fairfax Station) on Saturday, Jan. 10 from 4 – 6 p.m. More than 20 canine attendees will join in celebration. Guests will include fellow cast members from CBS’ “Greatest American Dog,” Andrew, a Maltese from Stafford, Va., and Elvis, a Jack Russel Terrier who’ll be traveling all the way from the Big Apple.

The ODK will provide custom-made treats for this red-carpet event, which include a pumpkin-flavored, two-tiered doggy birthday cake, hand-twisted pretzels, yogurt-dipped biscotti, dog biscuits in a variety of flavors and much more. Four-legged party animals will enter through a red carpet “Walk of Fame” including “paw-parazzi” photographers. For more information, call Tomoko Kawasumi, the head canine chef, at 703-532-7387.

McLean’s Robert Frank Named ‘Top Accountant’

McLean’s Robert H. Frank, CPA, managing partner of Frank & Company, p.c., was named one of the Washington, D.C.-area’s top 160 financial professionals by Washingtonian. The magazine surveyed hundreds of local financial planners, wealth managers, accountants and estate planners to ask whom they trusted with their money.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by Washingtonian as one of the top local financial services professionals. The honor is especially gratifying because it comes from my peers,” Frank said.

Frank is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
and licensed in Virginia, California and Texas. He serves on numerous
national and local nonprofit boards. McLean-based Frank & Company, p.c., is an accounting firm founded nearly 30 years ago that assists its clients with improving their
financial performance.

Vantage Raises $6,500 for Adopt-a-Family

Falls Church-based Vantage Fitness’ members and staff donated over $6,500 in gifts, supplies and funds for the Second Annual Homestretch Holiday Adopt-a-Family Program. Vantage Fitness Director of Community Outreach, Marina El-Ghoul oversaw the successful program by teaming up with staff to identifying families in need, gather donations and deliver gifts to the selected family. Homestretch Inc., also based in Falls Church, works to supply stable housing for needy families with children under the age of 18. For more information on Homestretch, visit

F.C.’s Kearns Sells ‘O-Balm-A’ Lip Balm

Mary Kearns of Falls Church, Chief Developer of Herban Lifestyle, has announced that her company will be offering a limited edition lip balm in honor of the inauguration. Proceeds made from “O-Balm-A Mocha Macadamia” Lip Balm will benefit Feeding America, formerly known as Second Harvest. For more information, visit

Bird Enthusiasts Unite to Count Waterfowl

On Sunday, Jan. 18, birders of all skill levels are invited to join up to count waterfowl in Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William counties, including the Potomac and Occoquan watersheds. Novice birders will be paired with expert bird enthusiasts. Hosted by the Annandale-based Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, Larry Cartwright is the volunteer compiler for this year’s waterfowl count.

Studies have revealed that some waterfowl species are facing population decline and habitat loss. Counting for conservation and collecting important scientific data about trends in our local waterfowl population can help protect the threatened species of tomorrow. For more information and to join the team, e-mail or call 703-256-6895.