Around F.C.

Community News & Notes: June 29 — July 5

Giant Food Round up at Register to Benefit FCEF Fund

Giant Food is, once again, partnering with the Falls Church Education Foundation (FCEF) on a program to help support children facing food insecurity.  Through July 27, everyone who shops at Giant Food will be invited to “Round Up at the Register”  and donate the round up amount of their grocery purchase to FCEF. Shoppers can also donate online through Giant Delivers and Giant Pickup or by using FLEX points that are converted to grocery dollars. FCEF asks for help to spread the word to ensure that this program is a great success. The funds will be provided directly to FCEF for use to address food insecurity in the school community through the Family Assistance Fund. FCCPS is pleased to partner with Giant Food in the fight against childhood hunger.

Call for “Made in Virginia” Submissions

Virginia Living Magazine is celebrating the commodities made in the state by accepting nominations for Made in Virginia Awards. The nominations are open to any Virginia-based business whose products are manufactured in-state and will be available for retail purchase Nov. 1 — Dec. 31, 2023, at minimum. Categories include food, drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), style and beauty, and home and lifestyle. The winners will be featured in the December 2023 issue. The deadline for submissions is July 7 and winners will be notified in mid-July. Questions may be directed to Vayda Tarleton at 

Arlington Civitans Host Open Air Flea Market

From 7 a.m. — 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 1, The Civitan Open Air Flea Market, one of Northern Virginia’s largest and oldest public flea markets, will be located in the I-66 garage in North Arlington adjacent to Washington-Lee high school and the Arlington Planetarium at 15th and North Quincy Streets, in Arlington, Virginia.

The Arlington Flea Market has become the “mother” of all flea markets in the local community.

Here one will find over 150 vendors selling a variety of goods ranging from books, clothes, furniture, garden tools, household goods, jewelry, shoes, toys, records and much more. 

Every dollar made at the Arlington Flea Market, from the sale of the rental spaces to vendors and the monies made from the sale of refreshments, goes to support the causes espoused by Civitans.

A grand turnout for Cameron VanSteyn’s fourth birthday party was assembled for this beginning of summer photo at a local park last week. (Courtesy Photo)

Assistance League Celebrates Another Successful Year

Assistance League of Northern Virginia recently capped off another successful year with a celebratory luncheon at a local restaurant.  In addition to enjoying the good food, members relished the camaraderie of great friends while reflecting on their impressive accomplishments over the past 12 months.  At this event, the chapter also thanked the outgoing members of the board and welcomed the new board members, and recognized some of the marvelous members who contributed to those successes. 

The Assistance League provided two awards originated by the National Assistance League.  The continuing president, Gina Glenn, received the Ann Banning Award for her leadership during the past two years in guiding the many ways the chapter has expanded.  Carol Tether received the Ada Edwards Laughlin Award for her past service as a board member and sustained commitment to the chapter more recently in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ capacity.

The nonprofit also recognized six other members with chapter awards for their contributions to its achievements.  Three members were recognized as Shining Stars for their dedication to a particular program or issue:  Betsy Brand, Janet Fortney, and Carrie Sawicki.  Two newer members, Josephine Johnson and Debbie Doody, received Supernova Awards for their willingness to begin helping with various programs with great enthusiasm almost as soon as they became members.  Also, Doug Ross was recognized as an Unsung Hero for the many improvements he has made to organize and update the chapter’s website.

At last Tuesday’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Italian Cafe, Mary Beth Avedesian (left), vice president of the Hoffman company and the principal developer of the 9.7 acre West End project, spoke and shared comments with the Chamber’s Andrew Painter (center) and Bob Young, chair of the city’s Economic Development Authority. Avedesian reported that the project is ahead of schedule. (News-Press Photo)

July 2 Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks

Join the City on Sunday, July 2, for free family fun, music, and fireworks at Meridian High School (121 Mustang Alley). With the completion of the new high school building and the ongoing construction, we encourage spectators to arrive early and use public transportation. Fireworks are scheduled to start at approximately 9:20 p.m.

At 6 p.m., gates will open. Spectators are strongly encouraged to use Metro and other forms of public transportation. Metro will have free parking at the West Falls Church Station on July 2. There is no general onsite parking.  Accessible parking will be across from the Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School.Visitors should not park in private parking lots with posted “No Parking – Towing Enforced” signs. Many businesses enforce parking restrictions on weekends and holidays and may tow without notice.

Snacks will be available for purchase. Alcohol, smoking, glass containers, fireworks of any kind, pets, and chairs with sharp or pointed legs are prohibited.

At 7 p.m., live music Uncle Jesse will be performed. 

At 9:20 p.m., the fireworks will be on display. The main seating area is the lawn/track at the Meridian High School Stadium. Please bring your own blanket or chairs. Overflow seating is in the Virginia Tech lot. Please be advised that the high school building may obstruct this view of the fireworks. Be sure to arrive early to save your spot in the main area.

Lane closures will be in effect to ensure pedestrian safety. 

Five Excellence in Arts Scholarships Awarded

Falls Church Arts recently announced that five recipients of its first “Excellence In Art” scholarship grants have been chosen. These $1,000 awards are going to local high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding artistic talent and dedication to study and are choosing to pursue their artistic endeavors in higher learning. Applications came in from high schools across the local region, with four different schools being represented by the awardees. Through programs like this, Falls Church Arts continues to instill an appreciation for the visual arts in the community and, with these awards to high school seniors, Falls Church Arts champions the dedication of those considering a future in the arts.

“Street Life: Real Life Reimagined” at FC Arts

Thirty-seven artists’ impressions of street life are featured in the all-media exhibition Street Life: Real Life Reimagined, on view at Falls Church Arts gallery from July 1 — August 13. The show will open on Saturday, July 1, with a reception from 7 p.m. — 9 p.m. The Juror’s Choice Award will be presented at that time. Participating artists will be on hand to answer questions about their process or inspiration. Members of the public are invited.

Juror Adam Odomore described the 42-piece show as a “marriage of styles and media that range from abstraction to still life, sculpture, figurative, and landscape art. It is all at once bustling with energy like a crescendo yet contemplative and mellow like base movements in a symphony. In short, it is a show that speaks to the humanness of creation and the possibilities that can be when artists are free to contemplate and interpret a theme broadly. Ultimately, Street Life is real life.”

July Public Meetings Coming Soon 

Come join a city board or commission meeting and get to know the issues being discussed in the community and enjoy the A/C in city facilities. July offers a variety of opportunities to stop in for a meeting and dip out of the summer sun.

Join the Aurora House Citizen’s Advisory Committee to hear updates on what’s happening at the house this summer. Take a stroll over to the library to observe the Board of Trustees meeting. Whether coming in to just cool down, or ending up so enthralled to apply and serve on a board, everyone is always welcome at the city’s public meetings. The city’s calendar,, hosts a number of other meetings that one can attend as well, so check it out for more information.

Virginia Dream FC Earns Tie Against Alexandria Reds

In a rematch of the game on  May 20, Virginia Dream FC hosted its cross county rivals, the Alexandria Reds, at Meridian High School. Virginia Dream FC tied the defending conference champions on a dramatic late game goal by Demetrius Shepard-Lewis ending the game at 2-2. They were rewarded in the seventh minute when Paul Bangura scored on a shot from 18 yards out, past the diving Reds goalkeeper.

The second half started in the same manner as the first with Virginia Dream creating momentum and chance after chance.  Both teams had multiple opportunities to score, but possession favored the Dream. Virginia Dream FC’s next home game is this Saturday June 24 at 7 p.m. against Annapolis Blues.

Help Fairfax County Parks Collect Food Scraps

Be an environmental hero and compost. Drop-off food scraps at any of the 10 Fairfax County Park Authority Farmers Markets ( before July 1 and get a free countertop compost bin.

Additionally, market-goers that drop-off scraps before July 1 will be entered into a drawing to win a free bag of compost.

As they enter the summer season, Fairfax County Park’s goal is to collect four tons (8,000 lbs.) of food scraps during the month of June. 

Perch Houses Launches New Co-living Service for Women

Perch Houses has created a unique co-living service for 55+ women in spacious suburban homes. 

Perch Houses leases single family homes and rents out individual bedrooms to qualifying, compatibility-matched women. They provide affordable rent, shared utilities and services, and community support through co-living. Perch Houses manages marketing and renter acquisition, renter compatibility matching, and lease management.

Perch Houses was developed in the Healthworx Venture Studio in early 2023. After a successful launch in the DMV area, Perch Houses will bring affordable living with community for 55+ women to other major metropolitan areas in the United States. 

Arlington Firefighters Sign With County Since 1975

The Arlington Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association, Local 2800 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, and Arlington County have signed their first collective bargaining agreement since 1975, the culmination of a multi-year effort that began with the repeal of the statewide ban on local government collective bargaining in 2020.

The three-year agreement effective July 1, ushers in multiple improvements and protections including:

-Improved benefits for firefighters disabled or killed in the line of duty and their families

-The implementation of a step and grade pay scale

-Health and safety improvements

-A committee structure to enhance labor-management collaboration

-The introduction of neutral mediators and arbitrators to resolve grievances and disputes

In an economy characterized by a tight labor market and persistent inflation, both the union and the county have pledged to work collaboratively to improve firefighter salaries over the next three years. In its most recent budget guidance to the county manager, the county board directed the manager to work with the county’s police and fire unions on pay enhancements to address recruitment and retention problems in public safety.