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Donna Manz

Stories by Donna

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Summer Fun for Everyone

From holiday celebrations to weekly community activities, the Vienna area offers a diversity of amusements.

Summer Fun in Vienna.

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Making Science and Technology Fun for Students

Stemtree focuses on one-to-one customized STEM programs in Vienna center.

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Vienna: Giving Voice to the Voiceless, Hope to the Helpless

Community volunteers share their work to support animal rescue efforts programs.

Most pet parents embrace their non-human family members as, well, as “family.” While the most common family pets are dogs and cats, there are people who count themselves as custodians of other creatures, from rabbits and snakes to rodents and birds.

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Vienna: Viewpoints

What Is Your New Year’s Resolution?

Vienna, what is your 2017 New Year's resolution?

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Vienna: Santa Joins Area Families for Lunch

More than 230 people bought tickets for annual Vienna event.

The annual lunch with Santa was held at the Vienna volunteer fire station this year as the community center is out of commission while being remodeled. With support from the Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation Department, Santa and his elves joined more than 230 guests at a lunch in his honor on Dec. 3.

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Vienna: Winter Walk of Lights Brings Holiday Magic to Life

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens decorates its 100-plus acres with lighted scenes.

The Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens off Beulah Road in Vienna runs to Jan. 8. First timed entry is at 5:30 p.m.; the last is 9:30 p.m.

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Vienna Celebrates Holidays Small-town Style

Church Street Holiday Stroll lights up with Santa, music, fun; draws hundreds of families.

The Vienna Volunteer Fire Department’s antique fire truck carried Santa along Center Street and onto Church Street, its siren blaring as it made its way to the Christmas tree at the corner of Church and Mill streets. Santa, Mayor Laurie DiRocco, State Senator Chap Petersen, and Del. Mark Keam joined together to light the tree as milling guests applauded.

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McLean: Middle Eastern Food Festival Draws Hundreds

Annual Labor Day weekend event features Arabic food and sweets.

It was only a matter of minutes before the parking lot of Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek-Catholic Church on Lewinsville Road filled to overflow on Sept. 5.

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Taste of Vienna Serves Up Food and Family Fun on April 25

Thirty restaurants bring their signature dishes to grounds of Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.

Thirty local restaurants have signed up to participate in the 4th Annual Taste of Vienna celebration, coming up on April 25, on the grounds of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department [VVFD]. Taste of Vienna is sponsored and hosted by the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.

In Search of ‘Game Changing’ Ideas

Local legislators reflect on social issues addressed by Virginia General Assembly in 2014.

At a presentation hosted by SALT [Social Action Linking Together) on March 22, more than 50 community activists gathered to hear local legislators offer brief comments on social progress in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 2014 General Assembly session. The presentation was hosted at American Legion 180.

Healthful Meal Ideas for Seniors

Dietician/chef creates meals that are nutrient-dense and easy to prepare.

Shirley Martin of Vienna has a pacemaker and is on warfarin, a blood thinner, and Vitamin K, found in dark leafy greens, can lessen the effectiveness of warfarin. Martin also has high cholesterol. "I have to be concerned about eating too many greens while I’m on warfarin or too many fats," said Martin. "I also try to keep from gaining weight."

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Halloween Parade Steps Off on Oct. 23

Pre-parade entertainment on Town Green new in 2013.

Vienna’s longest-running and most-anticipated annual event—the 67th Vienna Halloween parade—steps off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23. One hundred-plus groups, clubs, bands and floats take over Maple Avenue between Berry and Center streets.

VVFD Auctions Date With Firefighter

Men and women of Vienna fire department fuel fundraiser.

“The idea, initially, made people [firefighters and EMTs] hesitant, but when they realized it wasn’t a real date, but actually a group dinner, we got a lot more interest and support from them.” - VVFD President Anthony Stancampiano

Elevation Burger Takes the Hamburger Higher

New restaurant features grass-fed, free-range and organic beef.

There are hamburgers and then there are hamburgers freshly-ground from humanely-raised, grass-fed, free-range beef … it’s also USDA-certified organic.

From Rail to Trail at Freeman Museum

Museum traces history of the railroad passing through Vienna in the 18th and 19th centuries.

“These are trains that used to be alive a long time ago. … Now, they’re abandoned, now they’re scrap.” —Five-year-old Charlie Wilkins, Reston

Fire Department Auxiliary Hosts Craft Fair, Taste of Vienna

Crafts show launches VVFD’s spring schedule of events.

Vienna Volunteer Fire Department [VVFD] hosts community-wide public events and fundraising events.

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Neil Simon’s ‘Proposals’ Presented in Vienna

Vienna Theatre Company presents a light-hearted glimpse into family relationships

At home in the Vienna Community Center, the community theatre draws local thespians and artistic and technical crew

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Marshall High is the Face of Fairfax County

Upwards of 90 countries represented by student population.

The schools that feed into George C. Marshall High School are the academic home to children from all over the world.

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Talents Galore at ‘Arts by George!’

The 7th annual George Mason University ‘Arts by George!’ to be held on Saturday, Sept. 29.

A bevy of incredible talent is set to entertain as the seventh annual George Mason University "Arts by George!" is coming on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. Arts by George! will take place in the de Laski Performing Arts Building on Mason’s Fairfax Campus, as well as Harris Theater and a tented plaza next to the performing arts building.

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L’Auberge Chez Francois Grows a Garden, a Brasserie

Great Falls culinary icon integrates nature and heritage in classic French cuisine.

Washington’s iconic culinary destination, L’Auberge Chez Francois, is as much a cultural experience as it is a dining venue.

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Kids’ Music Program Brightens Summer

Wolf Trap’s Theatre-in-the-Woods presents song, dance and puppetry.

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts isn’t just for adults. Its education outreach programs feature performances for young children, from kiddie-rock music to classical ballet and global performing arts.

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A $1,000 ‘Thank-you’

Bazin’s waiter gets big tip for service.

Michael Manetti wasn’t doing anything he does not normally do when serving the party of 12 at Bazin’s on Church Friday night. He says he was there when they needed him, not when they didn’t. Manetti knows when to be unobtrusive. When the party’s host signed off on the bill, Manetti got the shock of his professional career. He was given a $1,000 tip.

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Summer’s in Session in Vienna

Fun abounds throughout town.

From toddler to teen, 20-something to Social Security, there are activities and events in Vienna to please any age demographic. Most, unbelievably, are free.

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Vintage Baseball Game Draws Fans, History Buffs

Baseball played by 1864 rules comes to Vienna.

A Mid-Atlantic Vintage baseball tournament and living history exhibition on June 23 continued Vienna’s sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War.

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Vienna Brings Out Its Heavy Equipment

Annual Public Works Day draws hundreds of children.

The dream to climb aboard construction and heavy-duty equipment and emergency vehicles came true for hundreds of children on May 24.

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Hits Vienna

The Pure Pasty Co. makes celebration cake.

It took a four-month period, two pounds each of butter, flour and sugar, eight pounds of mixed dried fruit, home-made marzipan and fondant, brandy and artistic finesse to create the spectacular Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee cake at The Pure Pasty Co. on Church Street.

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Concerts on the Green Kick Off Summer

Free performances run two to three times a week.

The Town of Vienna concert series on the Town Green kicked off on May 11 when the U.S. Navy’s own Sea Chanters performed to a crowd-covered lawn.

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ViVa! Vienna! Launches Summer with Fun, Food and Marketplace

Three-day Memorial Day weekend festival hits town on May 26.

It’s back, and more fun-filled and family-friendly than ever … It’s the annual three-day ViVa! Vienna! Memorial Day weekend festival sponsored by the Vienna Rotary Club, abundant with more than 325 vendors, all-day free live entertainment and 24 kid-friendly amusement rides. The Historic Church Street corridor closes down completely on May 27 and 28 when the area hums with festival life. On May 26, opening day of ViVa! Vienna!, Church Street remains open. Only amusement rides and the food court are operational on opening day.

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‘Ticket to Art’ Benefits Vienna Arts Society, American Legion

Annual art raffle and silent auction on May 19.

"Ticket to Art," the May 19 fundraiser hosted by the Vienna Arts Society [VAS], has partnered with American Legion Post 180 of Vienna this year. The purchase of a $125 "ticket" to art entitles raffle winners to choose an original art piece valued between $150 and $650.

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Vienna Idol Celebrates a Local Life with Music

Caffe Amouri and Whole Foods sponsor music competition to benefit Khristin Kyllo Memorial Fund.

As fiercely-competitive as she was in the sports arena, Khristin Kyllo was equally as fiercely-loyal to her friends and family. When she died suddenly in December 2010, in her dorm room at Princeton, her friends and classmates rallied around the family of the former James Madison High School softball and basketball standout.

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Vienna Teen a Robowiz

Local team scores big in robotics in international competition.

Neeraj Prasad, a Vienna 13-year-old 7th-grader, loves science and technology so much so that he lives for science and technology.

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History Revisited in Vienna

Freeman Store Historical Plaque unveiled.

More than 100 members of the Vienna-area community and a cast of local dignitaries took part in the program at Freeman Store on April 21 at which the plaque commemorating Freeman Store’s historical designation in the Commonwealth was unveiled.

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Baby Boomers and Beyond Health Fair Debuts in Vienna

Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna and the Town of Vienna partner to host wellness exhibitions.

"Baby Boomers and Beyond" were introduced to the broad diversity of health and wellness services offered in the Vienna area at the health fair sponsored by the Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna [SCOV] and the Town of Vienna Department of Parks and Recreation. From health care navigation to dancing to Latin music, the four-hour exhibition on April 21 at the Vienna Community Center focused on the wellness needs of the area’s senior population.

Freeman Store Unveils Historic Designation

Church Street building recognized for role in Civil War.

Historic Vienna, Inc. volunteers, Town officials and other Fairfax County elected officials will gather at Freeman Store on April 21, 2 to 3 p.m., to unveil the plaque designating Freeman Store’s historic status. U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, Virginia Senator Chap Petersen, Del. Mark Keam and Mayor M.

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‘The Fantasticks’ Plays in Vienna

Longest-running musical in country opens April 20 for three weekends.

The longest-running show in New York City – 50 years old and going strong – comes to Vienna on April 20. It’s not the off-Broadway edition, but, it’s the next best thing. "The Fantasticks," as brought to life by the Vienna Theatre Company [VTC], opens for three weekends at the Vienna Community Center with evening and matinee performances. The storyline centers on the chicanery used by two fathers to "match" their children in marriage

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Hilton McLean Hosts Wedding Giveaway

Ten couple vie for free wedding package, honeymoon in Barbados.

On April 4 at the Hilton McLean, ten couples vied to win a wedding package valued at $28,000. And all each couple had to do was to convince a panel of judges, through video or live performance, that they deserved to win the contest. An earlier essay competition narrowed the finalists to ten.

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Marking History on Lawyers Road

Hunter Mill Defense League unveils State Historic Marker.

On Saturday, April 7, the Hunter Mill Defense League [HMDL] unveiled a State Historic Marker commemorating the November 26, 1861, skirmish between Union troops, the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry, and Confederate troops, the 1st North Carolina Cavalry, serving under General J.E.B. Stuart.

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Alegria Opens at Church Street

Patrick and Julie Bazin’s Mexican restaurant features small plates, specialty tacos and tequila.

There aren’t many restaurants that have patrons waiting outside for the restaurant’s door to open for the first time to the public. It’s even rarer when the restaurant advertised no opening date until the day prior to opening. But nothing is surprising when the restaurant is the eagerly-awaited Alegria, the Mexican taco and small-plate margarita café owned and run by Vienna’s own Patrick and Julie Bazin. On April 5, Alegria welcomed its first customers, opening five minutes early from its scheduled time.

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Vienna Egg Hunt Draws Hundreds

Finding, decorating and rolling eggs keep children busy on grounds of Freeman House.

Amid great fanfare, a rather large fuzzy, furry Easter bunny arrived at Freeman House grounds on March 31, kicking off the annual Easter egg hunt and roll sponsored by the Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation and Historic Vienna, Inc.

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Freedom Hill Elementary Hosts International Day

School celebrates the global diversity of its student body.

Freedom Hill Elementary School [FHES] celebrated the diversity of its student population with an enthusiastically-attended International Day on March 30.

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Spring Flings in Vienna

Guide to spring activities from egg hunts to Town Green Concerts.

As "they" say, "spring has sprung." With spring comes mild temperatures, farmers’ rain to nurture the flowers, and the launch of seasonal activities, from egg hunts to the Windover Walk on the Hill. The U.S. Navy’s own "Sea Chanters" kick off the Town Green concert series on May 11.

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Del. Keam Holds Town Meeting

Vienna-area residents voice concerns about issues impacting region.

More than 40 local residents listened to Del. Mark Keam’s overview of the General Assembly session at his March 24 Town Hall Meeting at the Vienna Town Hall, and the questions they posed afterward hit hot-button issues.

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Showing Love for Classmate

Thoreau students donate hair in honor of cancer patient.

Thoreau Middle School students came together in a school-wide benefit on Friday night, girls with long hair having their crowns of glory snipped and donated to be used as wigs for girls undergoing chemotherapy.

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Chamber Honors Local Schools’ Talents

Annual event honors academics, arts and sciences.

The ViennaTysons Regional Chamber of Commerce [VTRCC] honored Vienna-area schools at its annual Youth and Education Luncheon on March 15 at the Westin Tysons Corner.

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Celtic Arts Festival Features Music and More

Vienna Choral Society drew more than 500 guests to four hours of Celtic inspiration.

If the crowds were a indication – and they usually are – the premiere Celtic Arts Festival on March 17 hosted by the Vienna Choral Society [VCS] at Vienna Elementary School was a smash hit. Throughout the four-hour program on St. Patrick’s Day, more than 500 guests listened to music on two stages, ate Cornish pasties sold by The Pure Pasty Company, and browsed through vendors’ stalls.

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Creating a ‘Forever Gift’ for Family

Semi-annual VVFD fundraiser brings together scrapbookers.

"Scrapbooking is the modern-day quilting circle," says Vienna resident and scrapbooker Judy Barto.

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Maverick Mosaics Hosts Student Exhibition

Retrospective included floral and animal compositions.

On March 9, Maverick Mosaics hosted a reception to highlight mosaic art pieces composed by students in 2011.

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Monte Carlo Takes Over Vienna

Chamber of Commerce casino night draws hundreds to Westwood Country Club.

The "glitterati" of the Vienna area and their out-of-town friends came out for Monte Carlo-style fun at Westwood Country Club on March 3.

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Colvin Run Mill Turns Sap to Syrup

In February, mill presented two maple syrup boil-downs to public.

Colvin Run Mill is not in Vermont nor are its maple trees "sugar" maple, but the park’s demonstration of a maple syrup boil-down harkens back to the simple ways of country living.

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Finding Winter Fun, Vienna-Style

Cold-weather activities abound if you know where to look.

It’s not just the children who need fun winter activities … grown-ups, families, everyone looks for things to do when it’s dark by 6 p.m. and cold outside.