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Issue 80
Friday, August 27, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

Like so many of you, I am extremely thankful for the men and women of our Armed Forces who are bravely conducting the dangerous, humanitarian mission of the evacuation. Tragically, yesterday, some made the ultimate sacrifice. Their efforts should not be in vain.

I too have great concern for the Afghan refugees. The evacuation is just the first step of many for the refugees in establishing a safe and peaceful future. On Tuesday, August 24, along with 13 Mayors and County Chairs in Northern Virginia, I signed a statement issued by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission addressing concerns for the refugees and welcoming these new neighbors as they transition to a new life here in our region and across the United States. The next day, I was thrilled to learn the Department of Defense had authorized the use of the Marine Corps Base Quantico in our County to house these Afghan refugees, where I know they will be treated with compassion.
For those of you who can, and would like to help, the article immediately below provides information on how.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
How You Can Help
There are three resettlement agencies in Northern Virginia designated by the State Department to receive and place the newly arrived
Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIVs)holders. Each has provided the information outlining the assistance it needs and program overview.

Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services

 Ethiopian Community Development Council

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
The PWC Office of Emergency Management is actively monitoring state and federal repatriation and humanitarian efforts and is the County’s main point of contact for any related requests for assistance through the Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement (SMA). It has advised the following important reminders to members of the community who have inquired on how to help:

  • Cash is best: Financial donations to the three recognized resettlement agencies above will help these agencies maximize the assistance they can offer by meeting each family’s specific needs.
  • Donate physical goods responsibly: While cash is best, recognized relief organizations may request donations of certain household items or clothing. Donated physical goods should be new or gently used.
  • Be patient: Many individuals and families are volunteering their help, and there may not be volunteer opportunities for everyone immediately. Remember that the resettlement process can take 30-90 days, and there will be many opportunities and unmet needs in the months ahead as our new friends and neighbors adjust to their new life in our community.
Chair's Calendar
On the evening of August 20, Chair Wheeler joined police officers assigned to the Western District of the PWC Police Department for their roll call. From there, Chair Wheeler rode with Officer Carter until almost midnight. It was a very busy Friday evening and the variety of calls Officer Carter responded to ran the gamut.
"It was a privilege to watch the professionalism and dedication of Officer Carter, who has been with the force over a year. I am incredibly grateful for the work our Police Department does for the residents of Prince William county everyday."
Ann Wheeler
Chair At-Large Board of County supervisors
Regional Summit
Tuesday, August 24, Chair Wheeler participated in the 6th Annual Northern Virginia Regional Elected Leaders Summit. Business, government, and community leaders from across the region gathered for the event, which was held at George Mason University's Van Metre Hall and virtually simulcasted. NBC4's Northern Virginia Reporter, Drew Wilder moderated the discussion by Arlington County Board Vice Chair Katie Cristol, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Jeff McKay, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall, Chair Wheeler, and City of Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson. They discussed COVID-19's impact and the region's response, economic and workforce development, and housing in the Northern Virginia region.  The summits started in 2016 as a collaboration of Chambers of Commerce from across Northern Virginia.
COVID-19 & Vaccines
Understanding Variants
The news on COVID-19 is now dominated by the impact of variants. Viruses mutating is not new. It is why the flu vaccine is a little different each year. However, if you would like to have a deeper understanding of them specific to the pandemic, the Virginia Department of Health has a robust webpage dedicated to COVID-19 Variants. If you want a quick visual, using a simple analogy, of how variants work, you may want to watch the video below from the World Health Organization.
Full Approval
Monday, August 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization for individuals 12-15 years of age and for a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals (issue 79). Two days later, Wednesday, August 25, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum directing mandatory FDA approved COVID-19 vaccinations for service members. On Wednesday, August 24, Moderna announced it has completed its submission for full FDA approval of its vaccine for ages 18 and older.
Get the Shot
  • Visit PWHD's websiteFacebook page, or Twitter account for mobile clinic locations, dates, and times.
  • Visit to find COVID-19 vaccination by location.
  • Make a vaccine appointment by calling Virginia’s Call Center at 877-829-4682 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
  • Visit to schedule your vaccination appointment with the Prince William Health District.
  • Text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX).
If You Need to be Tested
If you think you may have COVID-19, ways you can be tested include:

The Uninsured and Underinsured can receive free testing at
The next meeting will be
Tuesday, September 7
2:00 pm and 7:30

The agenda and information on how to participate in Public Comment time for the September 7 meeting will be in the next issue.
An Important Anniversary
On Friday, September 10, at 9:30 am, the BOCS will host a remembrance service to mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks. The ceremony will be held at the September 11 Memorial Fountain near the PWC Government Complex located at 5 County Complex Court in Woodbridge. Twenty years ago on September 11, our country changed forever. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives when terrorists attacked our nation. PWC lost 22 residents, more than any other county in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. This ceremony will allow the public to honor the people that died in the terror attacks.
County News
The PWC Police Department will soon launch a new program utilizing small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, commonly known as “drones”. Over the past several years, the use of these systems has increased in law enforcement due to their ability to protect the community, as well as police officers. The PWC Police Department established a committee to explore best practices, policies, and procedures. During this process, the committee’s primary focus was to ensure policies and procedures were developed to protect civil liberties and the community’s right to privacy.

Only officers with FAA pilot certification and other necessary, rigorous training will deploy the systems. The Police Department will utilize them on search and rescue missions, locating missing and endangered persons, hostage or barricade situations, complex motor vehicle crash scene reconstruction, and crime scene documentation. They will never be used on routine patrol, random surveillance, immobilizing vehicles or suspects, or as a weapon or equipped with a weapon.
County Happenings
Staying Safe
If you are interested in starting a new Neighborhood Watch or are looking for a refresher class, join PWC Police Department Crime Prevention Unit for a Neighborhood Watch presentation on Tuesday, August 31, at 6:30 pm. The one hour event will be at the Department's Central District Station, 5036 Davis Ford Road in Woodbridge. Come out and learn how to work with PWC Police Department to make your neighborhood safer. For additional information on this presentation, email: You can learn more about the event here and all the Community Watch Programs here.
Have Fun and Help a Worthy Cause
The 11th Annual Kyle Wilson Softball Tournament will be held Saturday, September 3, through Sunday, September 5 at Valley View Sports Complex, 11930 Valley View Drive in Nolkesville. In 2007, PWC Firefighter Kyle Wilson gave his life while searching for occupants of a home fire in Woodbridge. The annual fundraising tournament is held to keep his memory alive and uphold his legacy of unselfish service to the community. There will be softball, homerun derby, and cornhole competitions! Food and beverages will be available. You can register your team here. If you can't attend, but want to support the fund-raiser, you can donate here.
This year, the funds raised by the tournament will go to the Ryland Strong Foundation. Last year, when he was 16, three-sport PWCS high school athlete, Ryland Harris was rushed to the hospital after having a seizure. Ryland’s diagnosis was a grade 4 glioblastoma. Following surgery at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., his treatment has included radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, as well as a clinical trial from the University of Florida.
Something for Everyone
Sunday, September 12, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm come out to the Hylton Performing Arts Center for PWC Art Council's Art's Alive! 2021. Admission is free and there will be something for everyone in the family. Multiple performance groups will be on four stages in 25-minute blocks rotating throughout the day. Visual arts will be on display and for sale. Creative writers and poets will provide readings, storytelling, book signings, and book sales. Free art activities, classes, and performances will be offered indoors and out! There will be food vendors, as well as fine artists and artisan goods for purchase. Still not sure? Check out the video below!
The PWC Arts Council is a membership organization within the PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. Their mission is to foster the creation, production and appreciation of the arts in the Greater Prince William Area through advocacy and education.
Community Fair
The PWC Police Department is sponsoring an inaugural Community Fair on Saturday, September 25, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Sean Connaughton Plaza, 1 County Complex Court in Woodbridge. The family-friendly event will feature food trucks, pet adoptions, fun activities, and live music! Numerous County public-safety agencies and other County government organizations will have displays. The many facets of police work in the county will be showcased and recruiters will be present to speak to anyone interested in a career as a police officer. Job applications will be accepted that day. Learn more about the Community Fair here.
Follow PWC Police Department's Facebook page and Twitter account to stay in the know about its various recruiting events.
County Kudos
Two PWC Companies Recognized
Congratulations to Ceres Nanosciences Inc. and MINOW Inc. on their 2021 Fire Awards! The annual celebration, held by Washington Business Journal and DC INNO, recognizes 50 Greater Washington innovators, entrepreneurs, and thriving companies that are blazing new paths and lighting up the ecosystem. Learn more about these two PWC companies below.
Ceres Nanosciences Inc. (issue 55) is a life sciences company in PWC's Innovation Park focused on incorporating its Nanotrap® particle technology, which overcomes common barriers into effective clinical diagnostics and research, into a range of products and workflows. Its recently completed 12,000-square-foot plant will create up to 50 new jobs in the engineering, advanced manufacturing, and materials sciences fields over the next three years. The facility's operations will enable production of more than 10 million COVID-19 tests per month.
Prince William Science Accelerator

Ceres was the first company to graduate from the Prince William Science Accelerator, the only public-private commercially available wet lab space in Northern Virginia. Located in Innovation Park, which is adjacent to George Mason University’s Science & Technology Campus, the 9,126-square-foot Accelerator has nine, excellently equipped, wet labs ranging from 440 to 1141 square feet. In January 2022, it will be joined in Innovation Park by the new 30,000 Northern Virginia Bioscience Center (issue 60) To learn more and see the Accelerator wet lab in action, watch the video below.
A Woodbridge startup, MINOW Inc. created a digital ecosystem that brings together Black founders with communities that support them, resources and capital providers looking to invest in them. So far, they have matched 109 Black founders with over $300,000 in new funding and business development opportunities and have built Rialto to do this at scale. Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, Rialto enables venture capitalists, incubators, accelerators, and consultants to organically find, collaborate with, and invest in Black founders. Think MINWO might be for you? Learn more about them at its upcoming Hustle Forward Summit 2021.
"MINWO is my passion for bringing wealth to my community turned into a business that's scalable. For years I've heard 'we can't find Black founders/engineers/designers/etc.' and MINWO is my way of shedding light on the many communities that I know exist and where we exude excellence."
Melanie Akwule
MINWO Founder and CEO
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 470,000 residents.