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Donna Manz

Stories by Donna

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Taste of Vienna Serves Up Food and Fun

Sponsored by Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, the annual food-fest draws hundreds throughout the day.

The 2015 Taste of Vienna was the chilliest food-fest since its inception – and cloudy, as well - but the weather did not appear to keep away local and not-so-local folks from coming by to sample signature dishes of popular restaurants, and, if you were a kid, to bounce in the bounce house.

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Vienna Rotary Honors ‘Service Above Self’ Recipients

Awards presented to outstanding VPD, VVFD and town employees.

The Rotary Club of Vienna awarded 2014 M. Jane Seeman Service Above Self awards to outstanding members of the Vienna Police Department, Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, and Town of Vienna staff on April 22.

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Greater Vienna Optimists Honor Local High School Juniors

Youth Awards of Excellence renamed in honor of founder TR Cook.

The Optimists’ slogan is, “bringing out the best in kids.” On April 15, the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna recognized outstanding high school juniors from George C. Marshall, James Madison, and Oakton high schools at its newly-renamed TR Cook Awards of Excellence presentation at Madison.

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Historic Vienna, Inc. Used-book Sale Draws Hundreds of Buyers

When the Vienna Community Center opened at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 18, book lovers moved in, snaking their way around the hallway.

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Vienna Volunteers Honored

Individuals, businesses, recognized for contributions to community.

More than 35 volunteers were recognized for their contributions to the Vienna community at the 14th Annual Mayor’s Volunteer Reception held on April 14 at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department’s Flame Room.

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Shepherd’s Center Volunteers Honored

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna (SCOV), Executive Director Michelle Scott honored SCOV’s 237 volunteers, recognizing outstanding contributions with a pin presentation to several of the service organization’s members.

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Vienna Idol Returns for Fourth Year

Auditions open to vocalists and musicians through May.

Growing bigger every year with stakes growing higher, as well, Vienna Idol kicked off its qualifying rounds – auditions – in early April. Local musical talent is vying for a $1,000 grand prize in 2015.

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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.

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Springtime Events Popping Up in Vienna

From flowers to festival to family fun, there’s something for everyone.

The Egg Roll on the lawn of Freeman House typically marks the start of Vienna’s springtime events. That’s this weekend. April gets a bit more jam-packed with family fun and Memorial Day weekend flaunts one of Northern Virginia’s biggest events, the Rotary Club’s ViVa! Vienna! covering the three-day weekend.

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Vienna Shop Vandalized, $100,000 Damage

Postnet suffered the loss of its equipment and infrastructure in store rampage.

When Postnet locked its doors on the evening of Feb. 5, none of the staff could have imagined the destruction its employees would bear witness to the next morning. A vandal, apparently holding a grudge against employees, trashed the printing shop during the night, wrecking all the shop’s equipment – from $44,000 digital presses to the coffee maker and microwave – to the tune of more than $100,000.

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Vienna Celebrates 125 Years of Incorporation

Community turns out for birthday party on Feb. 28.

The Town of Vienna, in partnership with Historic Vienna, Inc., celebrated the town’s 125th incorporation anniversary, calling it a “birthday” ceremony, on closed-down Church Street and the grounds of Freeman House on Saturday, Feb. 28.

‘Sweetest’ Pets of Vienna

Vienna pet-parents talk about the special bonds they share with family pets – living or in-memory.

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Local Chef Takes Kids Around the World

Marilena Leavitt preaches and teaches the basics of the Mediterranean diet to Culinaria teens.

”How to Feed a Growing Kid” sounds like the name of a Judy Blume tween novel. It’s not … it’s a mission that impassions professional chef Marilena Leavitt, mother of three, and Culinaria Cooking School’s kids’-cooking class instructor. It’s not enough to prepare healthful meals for kids; you have to make something healthful that they will eat. That’s what Leavitt teaches and espouses in classes and in life.

A 700-year-old Legacy Comes to Vienna

Local entrepreneur bottling family’s Greek olive oil, putting it out to market.

A Vienna man has lassoed his dream, bringing to Vienna – and the U.S. – the legacy of 11 ancestral generations of Greek men and women --- olive oil extracted from Spartan olive trees 700 years old. Pericles “Perry” Konstas left a career as a CEO in 2014 to produce and export olive oil made from his family’s olive groves outside Sparta, Greece.

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Pet Food and Adoption Center Opens at Reston’s Lake Anne

PetMac merges animal rescue and good nutrition in shop.

When PetMAC owner Cindy Williams moved her pet supply and adoption center to Reston’s Lake Anne, she took her business philosophy of community outreach and high-quality inventory to a lakeside shopping center abundant with small locally-owned businesses.

Vienna in 2015: Community Leaders Share Their Outlook

Political and business representatives address issues facing community in new year.

What’s on the horizon for the Vienna-Oakton community in 2015? What issues will local officials and business people address in the new year? Community leaders share their outlook for Vienna-Oakton in 2015.

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Vienna Celebrates the Season

Vienna’s holiday season runs through New Year’s Eve. The social highlight is the second annual First Night Vienna celebration, sponsored and hosted by the Vienna Business Association and the Town of Vienna Department of Parks and Recreation. The family-friendly five-hour festival offers free entertainment at five venues.

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2014 in Vienna: A Year in Review

Year of loss and successes.

This year started off on a sad note for the Vienna area. M. Jane Seeman, then mayor, died of lung cancer on Feb. 23, 2014, and the community mourned the loss of a friend and Vienna’s most dedicated supporter.

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‘Santa Run’ Brings Joy to Vienna Neighborhoods

Vienna fire department volunteers cruise through community with Santa and candy canes.

When Santa Claus cruises through Vienna-area neighborhoods on an antique fire truck, siren and holiday music blaring through loudspeakers, when North Pole elves dress up as Vienna Volunteer Fire Department [VVFD] EMTs handing out candy canes and dog biscuits, it marks the season of VVFD’s annual week-long Santa Run in the days running up to Christmas.

Oakton Resident Helps Older Cats Find Forever Homes

County shelter volunteer Stefani Sacripante maintains Facebook page dedicated to shelter pets.

Stefani Sacripante of Oakton is a trained chef teaching at Culinaria Cooking School, a mother of school-aged children, a college student in art history, and a volunteer with the Fairfax County Animal Shelter (FCAS)

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Last-minute Gift Ideas Make the Season Bright

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … and Chanukah and New Year’s Eve …. Here are ideas to wrap up your gift-giving opportunity for the season, from gifts under the tree to hostess gifts. Gifts of food are always welcomed so we’ve included sweets and savories, as well, for parties or “thank-you” acknowledgements. There’s a plethora of community restaurants, as well as Culinaria Cooking School, that offer gift certificates, so, start dropping hints now.

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One-of-a-kind Gifts on Display in Vienna

Every Thanksgiving weekend, the Vienna Community Center hosts the three-day juried holiday craft show presented by the Northern Virginia Handcrafters' Guild.

Hometown Girl Really Makes Good

Danielle Talamantes goes from Vienna to NYC’s Metropolitan Opera.

Danielle Talamantes’ life story sounds like a Hallmark made-for-TV movie. Local girl sings in community, takes her voice to next level in international competitions, is discovered by agent of New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

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The Best Holiday Gifts in the Vienna Area

Holiday gift guide features locally-owned businesses with high-quality merchandise and friendly customer service.

Why, yes, you can shop online or at the mall for holiday gifts …. or, you can get personalized, friendly service and distinctive, high-quality goods by supporting your Vienna-Oakton small businesses, typically owned by local people who give back to the community.

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Vienna Gets Festive

Holiday activities abound in December.

The Vienna area, from James Madison High School to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, offers a diversity of holiday fun for all ages. Some are free; most are not.

Early Voter Turnout Steady in Vienna

At Wolftrap Elementary School the morning of election day, Nov. 4, voters came in a steady stream, but no large crowds at a single time.

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Restaurants Serve ‘Themed’ Dinners

If the abundance of hosted “themed” dinners, particularly those paired with complementary wines, are an indication of popularity, one may then conclude that themed dinners are quite in vogue now.

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Bellini Salon Hosts ‘Princess and Firefighter Party’

Transformation for girls and boys donated by Bellini staff.

The Bellini Salon of Vienna welcomes children 14 and under to become either a “princess” for a day, or firefighter, at its “Princess and Firefighter Party” to benefit the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.

A Thurber Carnival’ Comes to Town

Vienna Theatre Company presents 15 of James Thurber’s most-recognized scenes.

With every production, the Vienna Theatre Company stretches its comfort zone. In this fall, 2014, production, VTC draws on a series of scenes based on The New Yorker (mostly) short pieces and cartoons of American humorist James Thurber.

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Little Free Library, in Memory of M. Jane Seeman, Dedicated on Town Green

As a book-lover, Vienna’s late mayor volunteered more than 3,000 hours at Patrick Henry Library.

Vienna’s late mayor, M. Jane Seeman, loved books, loved reading, loved Patrick Henry Library where she volunteered more than 3,000 hours.

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Family Fun Day for ‘Growing Hope’ Draws Big Turnout on Town Green

Live music, activities, food and fun raises funds for families of children with cancer.

The Vienna Town Green rung out with joyful sounds, from children’s laughter to live pop music, on Saturday, Sept. 27, as the Optimists of Greater Vienna hosted its 9th Annual Family Fun Day and Fun Walk for “Growing Hope.”

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Fall Family Fun Abounds in Vienna

Myriad of events make the crisp season festive.

When the air turns crisp and the leaves burst into color, it’s fall in Northern Virginia.

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Irish Food, Drink and Hospitality Come to Tysons

Paddy Barry’s Irish Pub and Restaurant hosts kin and friends at grand opening celebration.

For all the Irish and the not-so-Irish in the Vienna-Tysons area who have wished for an authentic Irish pub in the community, your wish has come true.

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Vienna Stands Above the Rest

Year-round activities and events create small-town feel and sense of community.

Laurie DiRocco was voted in as Vienna’s new mayor this year. Months before her death, former Mayor M. Jane Seeman had previously announced she would not run for re-election in 2014. The Connection chatted with Mayor DiRocco about Vienna, what makes it special and what issues confront the town.

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Middle Eastern Food Festival Returns for 22nd Year

Festival hosted by Holy TransfiguratiMelkite Greek-Catholic Church features, food and sweets, family activities and traditional culture.

Food and festival-lovers alert! The annual Labor Day weekend Middle Eastern Food Festival is upon the McLean/Vienna area once again. And if you’ve wondered how a Northern Virginia foodfest can go through 200 pounds of lamb, 400 pounds of beef, 450 pounds of chicken, 180 pounds of butter and 12,000 pieces of sweets, this is your opportunity to find out.

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Vienna is Where Softball Holds High Court

Pure Performance Softball Training Center coaches girls and young women on softball techniques and strategy.

Tucked away in a concrete industrial park on Mill Street is a unique training facility for women and girls.

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Vienna Youth Players Present Musical

‘Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?’ opens Aug. 1, runs for two weekends.

For children who studied in Catholic school in the 1950s and 60s, a burning question that perplexed young minds was, “do black patent leather shoes really reflect up?”

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Ice Cream Social At Freeman House

Historic Vienna, Inc. hosts family summer fun with games and ice cream.

Historic Vienna, Inc. takes its mission to preserve and promote Vienna’s colorful history seriously.

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Caffe Amouri Celebrates Birthday

Live music, activities for children and hotdogs draw community.

Business and nonprofit interwove on Saturday, July 19, when Caffi Amouri celebrated its fourth anniversary in business with a benefit on behalf of the Lamb Center, a faith-backed charity that serves the poor and the poor-in-spirit locally.

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Vienna Arts Society Presents Heroes Healing Wall

Troops on the mend from Fort Belvoir compose multi-media puzzle pieces.

The newest exhibition of the Vienna Arts Society is a trifecta of purpose

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Vienna’s 4th of July Celebration Draws Thousands

Sunny skies, breeze set stage for celebration.

The weather could not have cooperated more had the Town of Vienna scripted and directed it for the town’s annual 4th of July celebration.

Vienna Author Launches Next Thriller

Mark Gilleo takes his reader on a suspenseful journey of intrigue in “Favors and Lies.”

Mark Gilleo’s world embraces private detectives, bail bondsmen, hackers, madams, and murder.

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Optimists Honor Local Officers

Vienna Police Officer Patrick Kiley and Fairfax County Officer Philip C. Stone recognized.

On June 18, the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna honored Town of Vienna Police Officer Patrick J. Kiley and Fairfax County Police Officer PFC Philip C. Stone, Fair Oaks District, with its “Charles A. Robinson Jr. Respect for the Law” awards.

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Vienna Celebrates the 4th with Festival, Fireworks, Fun

The Town of Vienna’s annual 4th of July small-town festival and fireworks is one of the characteristics of Vienna that give it, well, its small-town feel.

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Vienna Rotary Installs New Leadership Team

Members who put ‘service above self’ honored.

When the Rotary Club of Vienna passed the torch from the 2013-14 “leadership team” to the 2014-15 “leadership team,” it did so in style.

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Annual HVI Book Sale Draws Buyers from Vienna, Region

Two-day sale raises money for Historic Vienna, Inc. programs and exhibits.

What has 30,000 used books selling for $2 and less, two weekend days of book fair, and funds exhibits and historical programming throughout the year? The Historic Vienna, Inc. [HVI] annual book sale.

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Pets Blessed in Vienna

Antioch Christian Church’s annual pet blessing draws the living and those alive in memory only.

Every year since Pastor Randy Beeman came to Antioch Christian Church in Vienna four years ago, he has set aside a June Sunday to bestow grace on the family pets of the area who come for the church’s “Blessing of the Animals.”

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Community Pays Tribute to Late Mayor

Official portrait unveiled, state capitol flag and memorial resolution given to family.

Town of Vienna officials and staff and invited guests paid tribute to Vienna’s late mayor, M. Jane Seeman, on June 2 in Town Hall chambers.

Sophia Manicone Named Vienna Idol

Vienna Idol raised over $13,000 for the Khristin Kyllo Memorial Fund.

Of more than 35 contestants auditioning for Vienna Idol throughout the spring, it came down to six finalists competing on the Town Green Friday night, June 6.

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Vienna Elementary Honors Retiring Teachers

Terry Love and Linda Camacho leave the school after decades teaching there.

Staff, students and parents of the Vienna Elementary School [VES] community came together on May 19 to say goodbye to two long-time VES teachers retiring this year.

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