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Issue 182

Friday, October 13, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

As the sun sinks lower in the sky and the leaves begin their vibrant transformation, Prince William County welcomes the magic of autumn. The air grows crisper, and the landscape transforms into a breathtaking canvas of reds, yellows, and oranges. It's the season for sweaters, scarves, and pumpkin spice. A time when our County comes alive with a rich tapestry of experiences waiting to be explored!

There are countless ways to embrace the spirit of fall in Prince William County. From leisurely strolls through our charming towns to exhilarating outdoor adventures, our community offers something for everyone. Along with the happenings shared below in this issue and recent The Wheeler Report issues, you can find a wide-variety of options in PWC Department of Parks and Recreation's Things to do in October and Halloween Fun with Prince William Parks, as well as at Visit PWC Events.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Park Opening

Saturday, October 7, Chair Wheeler spoke at the Rollins Ford Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony (Opening Letter issue 181).

Located off Vint Hill Road in Nokesville, Rollins Ford Park features a basketball court, three dog parks, a custom farm-themed destination playground, two picnic pavilions, grass fields (for soccer and lacrosse), a comfort station, walking trails and a water bottle filling station along with water fountains, including one for pets.

Board of Directors

Wednesday, October 11, Chair Wheeler participated in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Board of Directors monthly meeting.


Thursday, October 12, Chair Wheeler participated in the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) monthly meeting. You can view a recap of the meeting here. Prior to the NVTA meeting, Chair Wheeler participated in the Finance Committee meeting.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, October 17, 2:00 pm

Work Session

NOTE: Due to the meeting being held at the Development Services Building, only in-person Public Comment Time is available and speakers can sign up at the meeting.

Important Meeting Information

The Work Session will be held at the Development Services Building at 5 County Complex Court, in rooms 202A and 202B. At the session the BOCS will hear presentations on:

View the Agenda

Tuesday, October 10, BOCS

Commendations and Proclamations

Commended in memoriam and showed appreciation to John C. Schofield for his many years of dedicated service to the residents, businesses, and visitors of PWC

See County Kudos below to learn about Mr. Schofield's contributions.

Commended Westminster at Lake Ridge 30th Anniversary

You can learn more about Westminster at Lake Ridge in Chair's Calendar section of issue 181.

The Westminster at Lake Ridge is comprised of 235 apartments and cottages, 40 assisted living spaces, and 60 skilled nursing care beds. The residents and staff embrace the volunteer spirit by mentoring students at Rockledge Elementary School and creating a candy striper program to provide additional resources to those in their health care center. The community partners with local recycling and reuse organizations to prioritize sustainability efforts. In 2015 it created the Kreider Professional Development Endowment Fund and has provided over 80 academic scholarships and more than 20 employees have received assistance applying for United States citizenship. 

Friends, residents, family and staff members of Westminster at Lake Ridge accepted the commendation.

Commended the work and role of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in our community

DSPs play an essential role in our community by providing vital care and support to veterans, senior citizens, and individuals of all ages with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities. By providing a wide range of services, such as personal care, assistance with daily living and community activities, employment support, companionship, and medical assistance, they contribute significantly to the independence and dignity of those they serve. DSPs go above and beyond in their duties, often forming deep bonds with their clients and their families, creating a sense of trust, security, and stability in the lives of those they assist.

Proclaimed October National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October 2023 marks the 78th anniversary of National Disability

Employment Awareness Month, with the theme “Advancing Access and Equity." The unemployment rate for working-age people with disabilities is currently about twice as high as it is for persons without disabilities. Federal Disabilities Act and other disability rights laws on the state and local level enable the rights and freedom of disabled individuals to work and earn a living.

Didlake's Assistant Vice President of Rehabilitation Services Emily Theimer, and Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy Dr. Rachel Payne accepted the commendation and proclamation.

Proclaimed October Crime Prevention Month

October 2023 is the 40th anniversary of Crime Prevention Month which has important themes of police-community partnerships, neighborhood safety, awareness, and cooperation are important themes.

One persistent problem is larcenies from vehicles. Personal property including firearms, purses, wallets, money and credit cards, work identification cards and badges, as well as phones, tablets and laptops are regularly reported stolen from vehicles, most of which were unlocked in driveways, open garages, residential parking lots, and streets.

You can help larcenies from vehicles by practicing TLC:

Take Out Valuables

Lock Your Vehicle, Garage, and Home

Call the Police to Report Suspicious or Illegal Activity

Members of PWC Police Department accepted the proclamation.

Proclaimed October Domestic Violence Awareness Month

While most intimate-partner violence victims are women, anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, regardless of age, race, gender, or position in the family. In addition to physical injuries, domestic violence can lead to anxiety, depression, and feelings of helplessness. Children who are witnesses have resulting trauma that can translate to behavioral and medical problems that can affect them for the rest of their lives.


The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney and agencies like the Office Of Criminal Justice Services (both in Department Talks and Tours issue 101), are among many government entities that have specialized programs and personnel to help the community handle instances of Domestic Violence. Additionally, community partners like ACTS Domestic Violence Services, continue to be at the forefront of community healing from domestic violence.

Over one-third of homicides occurring in Virginia are related to domestic violence, with women likely to be killed at the hands of an intimate partner, and men more likely to be killed as a bystander!

Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Kristi Caturano and Action in The Community Through Service’s Gwendolyn D'Aiutolo, Magdelena Perez, Monica Rocha, and Scarleth Davila accepted the proclamation.

County News

Do it the Safe and Legal Way

Saturday, October 28, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the PWC Police Department and the Manassas City Police Department are joining the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and community groups in the nationwide Prescription Drug “Take-Back" Day, so you can dispose of unused or expired medications in a safe and legal way.

Collection Sites:

Items accepted:

  • Prescription and over-the-counter solid-dosage medications (i.e., tablets and capsules)
  • Vape pens and e-cigarettes AFTER batteries have been removed.

Items NOT accepted:

  • Intravenous solutions, injectables, needles, hydrogen peroxide, compressed cylinders (asthma inhalers, for example), iodine-containing medications, and thermometers
  • Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine

To protect your privacy, prior to turning in medications, either:

  • Peel off the label
  • Use a permanent marker to blacken out personal information

Gee-whiz Numbers

PWC Department of Development Services Small Business Project Management Program (Economic Development issue 63), a BOCS initiative to support small business owners, startups, and entrepreneurs, has surpassed 2,000 customers, marking an important milestone for the program. In addition, it supported 45 customers ‘Open for Business’ in August, which is the highest monthly volume on record for August, since it launched five years ago. As of October 2, over 228 businesses have opened in 2023.  

PWC Department of Social Services needs help for the annual Point-in-Time count of persons experiencing homelessness required by HUD annually on the third week of January. Volunteers will conduct surveys with persons actively experiencing homelessness at specific locations, known as “encampments,” in PWC and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

Visit here to learn more about volunteer requirements and responsibilities, as well as to register for the PIT Count. When completing the registration, select the date you would like to attend training first, and then you will be prompted to provide additional information, such as your preferred “shift.” For questions, email the Prince William County Department of Social Services Homeless 

Services Team at [email protected].

Learn About Critical Resources for Those in Need

Wednesday, October 25, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, the Prince William Area Continuum of Care (CoC) is hosting a Hypothermia Services Information. The session will provide a virtual overview of hypothermia services available in our area, which is crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable residents during the winter months. Register here to attend.

Additional Details

The overview will include information on shelters, emergency response protocols, and outreach programs. The following agencies will be presenting during the meeting:

Paddles Up

The PWC Department of Parks and Recreation has recently dedicated six new Pickleball Courts at Ben Lomond Regional Park in Manassas. Courts are open from dawn until dusk, available on a first come, first serve basis. If you are looking to get involved in what's been dubbed the fastest growing sport in American, there are a total of 30 pickleball courts throughout the County.


PWC's third annual 5K Walk for Mental Health (Events for a Cause issue 179) to educate, advocate and dispel myths and stigma around mental illness will be Sunday, October 15, 10:00 am to 2pm at Prince William Forest Park in Triangle. The event will have a host of community programs on site sharing resources to inform and assist those in need. In addition, personal testimonies, plenty of food vendors, entertainment, and more.

County Kudos

Making an Impact

Mr. Schofield began his career with PWC as Deputy Planning Director in 1984. Over the next two and half decades, he served as Chief of Transportation, Planning Director, Senior Assistant to the County Executive, and Assistant Public Works Director. He retired in 2009, after serving for 15 years as Marketing and Research Director in the Office of Economic Development. In 1968, Mr. Schofield married his college sweetheart Sandra and welcomed his only child, Heather Carlton Schofield, in 1969.

Officials of the County government to whom Mr. Schofield reported, and

the employees who worked with or for him, describe him as a visionary. He is acknowledged as the “idea man” for many projects which will continue to benefit Prince William County for years to come.

Many friends and family of John C. Schofield, including his daughter Heather (front center left of Chair Wheeler) accepted the commendation.

Some of the most important projects Mr. Schofield was deeply involved include:

  • The location of George Mason University’s Prince William Campus, and forming the partnership among the University, the County and the City of Manassas to build and operate the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center.
  • The design and marketing of Innovation Park from land acquisition and subdivision, to recruiting businesses and the installation of infrastructure, to the design of its buffers and landscaping.
  • The formation of the Northern Virginia government partnership now known as the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation District Commission (PRTC), providing regional and local bus service.
  • The PRTC work with the Northern Virginia Transportation District Commission to create and operate the Virginia Railway Express.
  • The design, financing, and construction of the Prince William Parkway, a major traffic improvement in Northern Virginia, and one that further unites Prince William into one community.

Prince William County named a street Schofield Way and in 2009 GMU named a recreation field in his honor!

County Happenings

Annual Awards

Thursday, October 19, at 6:30 pm, the 2023 John J. Jenkins Good Scout Awards celebration will be held Old Hickory Golf Course in Woodbridge. The awards are presented to members of our community who, in their daily lives, exemplify the ideals of the Boy Scouts of America as expressed in the Scout Oath and Law. Learn more and become involved here.

Recipients are chosen for their outstanding community service, as well as the respect and esteem given by their colleagues.

Family-friendly Halloween Event

The Bull Run Mountain Conservancy is hosting its annual Halloween Safari Friday, October 20, and Friday, October 27, at Leopold's Preserve. One of its largest events of the year, this is a non-scary nighttime hike through the preserve. Volunteers along the trail dress as animals and perform fun interactive skits that help participants learn more about nature. After the hike, enjoy a bonfire and live music in the parking lot.

This event is family-friendly, and costumes are encouraged! Participants are encouraged to bring a flashlight and good walking shoes. Pre-registration is required and costs $10 per person. Pre-register here for October 20 and here for October 27. Hikes have timed entries between 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Movie Night

Saturday, October 21, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, PWC Parks and Recreation is hosting Family Movie in the Park at Veterans park in Woodbridge. The movie will begin at sunset. Please bring your own lawn chairs or blankets for seating. Come early and get a good seat! The event is FREE, but all participants must pre-register for a ticket to the movie. A parent must attend with children under the age of 16.

About the Movie

Elemental is about a city where fire, water, land, and air residents live together. There a fiery young woman and a go-with-the-flow guy discover something elemental: how much they have in common.

Fitness with a Twist

Monday, October 23, through Friday, October 27, PWC Parks and Recreation is hosting a series of Glow in the Dark Week Fitness Classes. Participants are encouraged to wear white or bright colors then add tons of glow bracelets and necklaces to get into the spirit. Classes are free for passholders of Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center and/or Chinn Aquatics & Fitness Center. There is a $12 drop-in free for non-members. Check out all the dates and times here.


  • Monday, October 23, 6:00 pm to 6:55 pm, Yoga
  • Tuesday, October 24, 6:00 pm to 6:55 pm, Zumba
  • Wednesday, October 25, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, Xtreme Hip Hop Step/The Uptake
  • Wednesday, October 25, 6:30 pm to 7:25 pm, Hip Hop Step
  • Thursday, October 26, 5:30 pm to 6:25 pm, Zumba
  • Friday, October 27, 4:45 pm to 5:40 pm, Chair Yoga

All classes will be held at the Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center.

Event Postponed

Due to a very stormy forecast, Keep Prince William Beautiful has postponed tomorrow's Fall Fundraiser (County Happenings issue 178) to Spring 2024. All tickets purchased will be honored in the spring; more information will follow. Please reach out to [email protected] with any possible questions.

Helpful PWC Links

Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 482,000 residents. 
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