Week In Great Falls

Week In Great Falls

<sh>'Recollections Project' Completed

<bt>McLean and Great Falls Celebrate Virginia, a community organization celebrating the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, has completed a "Recollections Project" involving 100 people who live, or have lived, in the area. Their stories have been written up to form a 499-page book titled "Yesterday – 100 Recollections of McLean & Great Falls, Virginia."

A reception will be held on Sunday, April 29 at the McLean Community Center from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to thank the 100 residents who took the time to share their memories and memorabilia. Everyone is invited to attend the event and meet many of the personalities that helped form the McLean and Great Falls communities. Refreshments will be provided. For those interested in purchasing the book, it will be available for $40. After the reception it will be available at Mesmeralda's, The Hermitage and Langley Photo and Digital in McLean. For more information contact Carole Herrick 703-356-8223 or Barbara Smith at 703-757-0267.

<sh>Tax Relief Workshops

<bt>Supervisor Joan DuBois invites Dranesville senior citizens and disabled citizens to sign up for a one-on-one help session on applying for real estate tax relief. Staff from the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration will be on hand to aid seniors and disabled citizens in determining if they meet the qualifications for tax relief, and to aid them in their application. Appointments are available to meet with a counselor at the Supervisor's office in the McLean Governmental Center, located at 1437 Balls Hill Road, McLean, on Friday, April 13, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. To sign up, call the Dranesville supervisor's office at 703-356-0551. An additional session is available at the Herndon Senior Center on Monday, April 9, beginning at 1 p.m. The Herndon Senior Center is located at 873 Grace Street , Herndon. To sign up for the Herndon workshop, call 703-464-6200.

<sh>Great Falls Extreme Recruiting

<bt>The Great Falls Extreme, a competitive U-13 Girls ODSL Division 1 team is recruiting a few skilled, players for the Spring 2007 soccer season. The team practices on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. , and trains year-round. The team is currently in first place in the Dulles Sportsplex Indoor league. Nadir Moumen, a James Madison University two-time club champion, is the head coach. Contact team manager Donna Sanson at 703-801-8206 for more information.

<sh>Agreement Signed for Fire Station

<bt>The Board of Supervisors recently approved an agreement to allow the county to proceed with the design and construction of a new fire station in Great Falls. The agreement with the Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department provides for the transfer of the ownership of the property to the county, defines the financial commitment of the county and the volunteers, and describes the administrative and operational relationships between the county and the Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department. Funding for the county share of this project was approved as part of the 2006 Public Safety Bond.

Realizing the need for renovation, the Great Falls Fire Department volunteers began raising funds several years ago, and also completed some of the conceptual design work. However, they were unable to solicit sufficient funds to cover the projected cost to remodel and construct their station. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Great Falls volunteers and the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services determined that the most cost effective solution was to transfer ownership of the property to the county, demolish the current structure and build a new facility. Funding will come from the 2006 Public Safety Bond and Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department funds. The agreement provides for a joint operation similar to current agreements with the McLean Volunteer Fire Department and the Fair Oaks Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, both of which are tenants in county-owned facilities. The volunteers will continue to provide supplemental staffing and apparatus for the station.

"This is a win-win for the Great Falls community," said Supervisor Joan DuBois. "Everyone gets a much needed modern facility, and the volunteers gain additional space for their own and community activities. I would like to congratulate the leadership of the Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department for their cooperation in this effort, and look forward to working with the volunteers and the community as we proceed to final construction of the new station."

<sh>Historical Society Hosts Speaker

<bt>On Thursday, April 12, the Great Falls Historical Society will host guest speaker Susan Inskeep Gray, curator and visitor services manager with the City of Fairfax's Office of Historic Resources, at 7:30 p.m. at the Great Falls Library, located at 9830 Georgetown Pike. Registration and refreshments will begin at 7 p.m. at the Great Falls Library. Gray is responsible for the City of Fairfax historic collections, and for developing exhibitions and programs at Fairfax Museum, Ratcliffe-Allison House and Historic Blenheim. Gray will discuss "Love and Legacy: The Civil War Romance of Antonia Ford and Major Joseph C. Willard." When the War between the states broke out in 1861, 23-year-old Antonia Ford (1838-1871) was living a life of quiet comfort in Fairfax. Her father Edward Ford, whose family had long been established in the Old Dominion, was a prosperous merchant and the foremost citizen of the little community surrounding the county court house. Antonia Ford took advantage of the presence of federal officers under her roof to spy for the South. In recognition of her services, Jeb Stuart awarded her a commission as an honorary aide-de-camp. Federal agents placed Antonia Ford under arrest and imprisoned her in the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C. Ironically, the Union officer who had delivered her to the prison, Major Joseph Willard, had been quite taken with Antonia Ford before her arrest and had been courting her. During her confinement, Major Willard worked to win her release and in the wake of his eventual success proposed to, and married, Antonia Ford. Gray will talk about this Civil War romance. For more information about this and other Great Falls Historical Society programs, or to get directions and a map, visit www.gfhs.org.