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Issue 146

Friday, January 6, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

A new year is upon us and with it lots of exciting things are happening in Prince William County. Our new County Executive, Chris Shorter (County News issue 138), has entered his new role and joined me for an event this week (Chair's Calendar below). Later this month, newly hired Planning Director Mark Buenavista (County News issue 144), will be stepping into his role.

There will also be changes to the Board of County Supervisors. On Tuesday, February 21, the Gainesville Magisterial District will hold a special election for its newly vacated Board seat (County News issue 145). Additionally, this is the day County staff will present the Board the proposed FY2024 Budget.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Sign Unveiling

Tuesday, December 20, Chair Wheeler participated in unveiling the UVA Health Haymarket Medical Center's (County News issue 73) new sign (County Happenings issue 145). Additional guest speakers at the event were Babur B. Lateef, MD, (left of Chair Wheeler in right photo) UVA Health System Board Chair and PWC School Board Chair, K. Craig Kent, MD, (right of Chair Wheeler in right photo) Chief Executive Officer, UVA Health and Executive Vice President, Health Affairs, and Mary Frances Southerland, JD, MBA, (far right of Chair Wheeler in right photo) Chief Administrative Officer, UVA Health,

"I am thrilled that UVA Health will continue to be a valued partner in addressing needs and providing world-class healthcare right in our own backyard."

Ann Wheeler

Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors

Celebration and Anniversary

Sunday, December 18, Chair Wheeler's Office attended the Chabad Lubavitch of Greater Gainesville and Manassas Grand Menorah Lighting by Rabbi Perlstein, Fire Truck Gelt Drop, and 10-year anniversary celebration.

Rosie's Gaming Topping Out Ceremony

Thursday, January 5, Chair Wheeler attended The Rose Gaming Resort (Chair's Calendar issue 99) Topping-Out ceremony, where the last steel beam is installed. Jack Sours, Churchill Downs Incorporated, parent company of The Rose Gaming Resort, Corporate Vice President of Gamin Jack sours (left photo) spoke at the event. Also attending (right photo left to right) Shaun Peet, Dumfries Town Council, Andrea Bailey, Potomac Magisterial District Supervisor, Caetrina Peterson, Dumfries Town Council, Derrick Wood Dumfries Mayor, and Keith Rogers Jr., Dumfries Town Manager.

When It's Completed

When the $400 million resort is completed it will provide 500 new jobs and $11.1 million in local revenue. The destination complex will include a luxury hotel, eight restaurants and bars a cultural venue, a space for meetings and events, a park with over 80 acres of open public space, 2+ miles of hiking and fitness trails, historical preservation sites, sport areas, playgrounds, and a dog park.

Crisis Facility Tour

Thursday, January 5, Chair Wheeler toured the ongoing construction of the Crisis Receiving Center (CRC) in Woodbridge (Chair's Calendar issue 126) with special guest Secretary John Littel (front row, third from right in left photo), Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Potomac Magisterial District Supervisor Andrea Bailey (right of Chair Wheeler in right photo), and County Executive Chris Shorter (left of Chair Wheeler in right photo) also attended the event.

The CRC will provide a Crisis Stabilization Unit, a trauma treatment program, and 23-hour monitoring for those in the middle of a mental health crisis. It will be a place where citizens and police officers can bring people experiencing mental health crises or substance use disorders, instead of jails or emergency rooms. 

Next Meeting

Tuesday, January 10

2:00 pm

Annual Organizational Meeting

For Public Comment Time options visit SpeakUp! Prince WilliamRemote speakers must sign-up by 5:00 pm on Monday, January 9. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.

View the Agenda
Register to Speak Remotely

County News

Landfill Program Temporarily Closed

The PWC Solid Waste Division is transitioning its Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and Electronics Recycling program at the Landfill to a new contractor. During this time, the program is temporarily closed and is anticipated to reopen in March 2023. Options for recycling some electronic items can be found using your zip code in the online Earth911 search engine. You can find ways to reduce your HHW from the EPA here.

Test Kit Distribution Ending

PWC government is ending its free COVID-19 Test Kit Distribution program on Saturday, January 14, while quantities last. Prior to visiting, Individuals are encouraged to first call the public library branch to see if quantities still remain.

Additional Information on Test Kits

  • Residential households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 free at-home tests from the United States Postal Service
  • Some COVID-19 test kit expiration dates have been extended. Learn where to find the expiration date on various brands and if it has been extended here.

Save Money and Be Fit

Just in time to help with fitness New Year's resolutions, through January 31 the PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism is offering a 20% off winter sale on 2023 memberships at the Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center and Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center. The facilities offer fitness classes, swimming, heated spas, weight rooms, racquetball, basketball and more. Existing customers who sign up for continuous draft will be locked into the 20% rate. Learn more here.

Volunteers Needed

The PWC Continuum of Care is seeking volunteers for its 2023 Point-In-Time (PIT) Count Wednesday, January 25, 7:00 pm through Thursday, January 26, 9:00 am. The PIT Count is a literal count of persons experiencing homelessness that occurs annually and is a requirement for agencies receiving federal funding for programs serving homeless persons.

Register here to attend the virtual volunteer training on Wednesday, January 18, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, or Saturday, January 21, 9:30 am to 11:30 am. After registering for your virtual training session, you will be prompted to provide additional information, such as your preferred “shift” for the PIT Count.

Volunteer Information

All volunteers will receive training and be provided supplies and equipment to ensure a safe and successful count. Volunteers will also be matched with a Team Lead with prior street outreach experience and is familiar with the areas being surveyed, which are predetermined.

Application Window Open

Through Friday, January 27, applications are being accepted for the Prince William Parks Foundation (County News issue 117) and PWC Parks, Recreation & Tourism Count Me In scholarship program (County Kudos issue 131). The program provides eligible PWC families a $200 voucher for each age-appropriate child for Summer Camp programs. last Summer, the program helped 103 children experience summer camp. Learn more and how to apply here.


Find out how to properly recycle your holiday greenery and defective lights in the County Holiday Information section of issue 145.

County Happenings

Celebration and Awards

Saturday, January 14, at 10:00 am, the PWC Human Rights Commission is hosting Universal Human Rights Day at the at the McCoart Administration Building, 1 County Complex Court. A highlight of the celebration will be the annual presentation of the Human Rights Awards to members of the community. Mindy Weinstein, Washington Field Office Director, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the guest speaker. The event will include light refreshments, is free, and open to the public.

Some History

This year’s theme, “Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All,” was chosen to remind everyone of the initial mission of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world. It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948, as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It set out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

Informational Meeting

Kiwanis International, a global community dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time, has opened Kiwanis Club of Haymarket! Kiwanis clubs have built all-access playgrounds, restocked libraries, created food pantries, bought medical equipment, hosted diversity fairs, stuffed school backpacks and more. Local projects are based on the needs of the community. Key Club for high school students helps to create the next generation of community leaders and Aktion for adults with disabilities helps members find purpose and self-worth. Learn more about the new club and how it can help kids in the Haymarket-Gainesville area at an informational meeting Thursday, January 12 at 6:30 pm at Out of the Blue restaurant. 

About Kiwanis

Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 by a group of businessmen in Detroit, Michigan. Originally called the Supreme Lodge Benevolent Order of Brothers, the name changed to Kiwanis a year later. The name “Kiwanis” was coined from an American Indian expression, “Nunc Kee-wanis,” which means, “We trade.” In the early years, members focused on business networking but in 1919, the organization changed its focus to service — specifically service to children. In 1920, the motto of Kiwanis became “We Build.” It remained the motto until 2005, when members voted to change it to “Serving the children of the world.”

Every year Kiwanis members:

  • Stage more than 150,000 service projects.
  • Devote more than six million hours of service.
  • Raise nearly $100 million.

Monthly Workshop

Sunday, January 15, 3:00 pm to 3:55 pm, the PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism is hosting a Mind-Body Educational Workshop at the Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center. The session will be offered monthly and is free to members of the Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center and Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center. Non-members can attend for a drop-in fee of $12.

Annual Symposium

Saturday, March 25, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, the PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism is hosting the Eighth Annual Prince William/Manassas History Symposium at the Old Manassas Courthouse. PWC has many different layers to its history, and many individuals have shaped the County’s complex past. This year's program, Historic Communities of Change, will look at some of these early pioneers in County history and how we still see their impact on the diverse and inclusive PWC community we enjoy today. Admission is $10 for the all day symposium. Spaces are limited, registration is required.

Topics Covered in Lectures Will Include:

  • Parson Weems and his Washington Anecdotes
  • Jim Robinson of Manassas
  • George Carr Round
  • Railroads of Prince William County
  • The Community of Thoroughfare

County Kudos

State Victory Caps a Great Season

Congratulations to Woodbridge's Freedom High School football team on its first state title in school history with a 48-14 win over James Madison High School in the Virginia High School League Class 6 state football championship. This caps off an undefeated season for the Eagles. For the players, this game and the season were ones that they will never forget. Photo credit to Monet Anderson, @LadyBroadcaster.

“It feels great. After all the battles you fight on the field and all the ones you fight off, [the championship] solidifies what you’ve been doing. I couldn’t be more proud and happier.”

Darryl Overton

, Freedom High Football Head Coach

Interview with Hi Def High School

Successful Year Reducing Food Waste and Hunger

In 2022, Northern Virginia Food Rescue (NOVA-FR, Regional News issue 99) distributed over 2.5 million pounds of food into our community, the equivalent of over 2 million meals! This has been the work of 341 volunteers rescuing food from 164 donors and delivering it to 462 food distribution partners throughout Fairfax, Fauquier, and Prince William Counties.

While NOVA-FR Food Rescue Heroes are vital to its efforts, financial support provided by foundations, businesses, and individuals allows it to coordinate those rescue efforts. If you would like to support reducing food waste, hunger, and greenhouse gas emissions, there are several ways to donate

Amazon Smile is an easy, no cost way to support NOVA-FR. Simply choose NOVA-FR as your Amazon Smile organization here. then shop at Smile Amazon, and NOVA-FR will receive a .5% donation for all qualifying purchases. 

It All Started in PWC

In October of 2018, the Action in Community Through Service (ACTS) Board approved the new Prince William Food Rescue (PWFR) program (Hometown Hero News issue 26), and it officially launched in August 2019. Just a few months later, COVID-19 drastically changed the food insecurity landscape and the Food Rescue Hero app, which addresses the disconnect between food waste and hunger, become vital for our community.

Just eighteen months after launching, PWFR had rescued over 1.2 million pounds of food, redirected another 13 million pounds, and completed over 3,000 direct food deliveries to shut-in families. NOVA-FR was launched on March 14, 2021. In November 2021, Fairfax Food Rescue was launched and in May 2022 Fauquier Food Rescue was launched. 

Helpful Links


How to Get Vaccinated (including boosters):

How to get tested:


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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