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Donna Manz

Stories by Donna

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The Vienna Arts Society’s “Healing Wall” Honors Hospitalized Troops

Soldiers in treatment for PTSD at Fort Belvoir paint expressive puzzle pieces with guidance from VAS artist volunteers.

‘From Dawn to Dusk’ Exhibition Opens at Vienna Arts Center

Photographer Julie Cochran artist of the month.

Vienna artist.

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ViVa! Vienna! Ending on a Sunny Note

From subdued during Sunday's rain to crowded and busy on a hot, sunny Memorial Day.

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Summer Fun for Everyone

From holiday celebrations to weekly community activities, the Vienna area offers a diversity of amusements.

Summer Fun in Vienna.

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Enjoying Taste of Vienna

VVFD’s annual food festival supports the fire station while offering a variety of foods to guests.

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Making Science and Technology Fun for Students

Stemtree focuses on one-to-one customized STEM programs in Vienna center.

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Local Hindus Celebrate ‘Holi,’ the Festival of Colors

Smearing the colors of spring on one another is a highlight of the occasion of welcoming springtime.

Local Hindus Celebrate ‘Holi,’ the Festival of Colors

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Spring is ‘Springing’ in Vienna, Oakton Area

A look at some of area’s most-anticipated events.

Spring in Vienna 2017

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Vienna Casino Night Gala Draws Hundreds of Party-goers

Vienna Rotary hosts gaming tables and foods of the world.

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Monte Carlo Vienna-style

Vienna Rotary hosts Casino Night and Taste of the World on March 11.

Are ya’ feeling lucky?

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Pure Pasty Competes in World Pasty Championship

Vienna “pasty” chefs take their specialties to competition to the place where pasties were born.

Vienna’s The Pure Pasty Co. is off to Cornwall, England, to compete in the World Pasty Championship on Saturday, March 4.

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Pioneering Change For Autism

University of Virginia seminar studies tension between “The Science & Lived Experience of Autism.”

Despite a recent surge in attention and research over the past decade about autism, controversy exists.

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Vienna DaddyDaughter Dance Honors Young Girls and Their Special Date

Vienna Woman’s Club fundraiser benefits local students.

Vienna-area girls from preschool through sixth grade celebrated Valentine’s Day at a DaddyDaughter Dance hosted by the Vienna Woman’s Club on Feb. 3.

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Gifts for the Heart in Vienna

Valentine’s Day gifts for every member of your family are found in Vienna shops.

Valentine’s Day … Some celebrate it as a special moment between beloveds … for others, it is a family celebration, with children as a central component.

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Living the Life in the Dead of Winter

Winter fun guide explores opportunities for getting out of the house.

Yes, it’s cold ... and there remains the possibility of snowfall for another six weeks (remember last March?).

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Vienna: Giving Voice to the Voiceless, Hope to the Helpless

Community volunteers share their work to support animal rescue efforts programs.

Most pet parents embrace their non-human family members as, well, as “family.” While the most common family pets are dogs and cats, there are people who count themselves as custodians of other creatures, from rabbits and snakes to rodents and birds.

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Vienna: Viewpoints

What Is Your New Year’s Resolution?

Vienna, what is your 2017 New Year's resolution?

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Santa Run Takes Over Vienna Neighborhoods

Antique fire truck brings Santa and his elves to Vienna streets in annual tradition.

It’s December ... it’s cold and blustery; it’s dark late afternoon … it’s time for the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department’s annual one-week Santa Run through the streets of Vienna.

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Vienna: Santa Joins Area Families for Lunch

More than 230 people bought tickets for annual Vienna event.

The annual lunch with Santa was held at the Vienna volunteer fire station this year as the community center is out of commission while being remodeled. With support from the Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation Department, Santa and his elves joined more than 230 guests at a lunch in his honor on Dec. 3.

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Vienna: Winter Walk of Lights Brings Holiday Magic to Life

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens decorates its 100-plus acres with lighted scenes.

The Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens off Beulah Road in Vienna runs to Jan. 8. First timed entry is at 5:30 p.m.; the last is 9:30 p.m.

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Vienna Celebrates Holidays Small-town Style

Church Street Holiday Stroll lights up with Santa, music, fun; draws hundreds of families.

The Vienna Volunteer Fire Department’s antique fire truck carried Santa along Center Street and onto Church Street, its siren blaring as it made its way to the Christmas tree at the corner of Church and Mill streets. Santa, Mayor Laurie DiRocco, State Senator Chap Petersen, and Del. Mark Keam joined together to light the tree as milling guests applauded.

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Vienna: Thanksgiving Viewpoints

What Are You Most Thankful For?

“Thankful for eight years with the Obama Family as our First Family. What a kind, loving, moral family. They will be truly missed. Thankful for my husband of a blessed 46 years together. Thankful for a wonderful daughter and her family and especially my grandchildren. Thankful for nature around me. Thankful for my dear friends. Thankful for art and music that takes away pain. Thankful for the Vienna Community.”

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Vienna: Stronger Together in Vienna

Community rallies in support of inclusion and kindness

A young mother living in a bombed-out German town in early 1942 fled with her children to a less-dangerous home in Germany, seeking safety and refuge. Eventually, in 1952, they made their way to the United States.

Gifts from the Heart

From ‘things’ to to experiences, gifts come in all kinds of packaging.

The Vienna-Oakton Connection offers its readers “part 1” of gift ideas, from small community businesses with personalized service to gifts that benefit the spirit of the heart.

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Holiday Season Kicks Off

Events in Vienna-Oakton serve children and adults, welcome the spirit of giving.

The festive season, of sparkling lights and aromatic baked sweets, of craft bazaars and seasonal holiday music, of good-will and selfless spirit, is upon us.

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Vienna Halloween Parade Draws Thousands of Spectators

70th annual parade focused on the 1940s in 75-minute most-loved event.

By early morning on Oct. 26, Maple Avenue was lined with blankets, chairs, even tenting, to mark spectator-places along the halloween parade route between Branch Road and Center Street.

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Vienna Partnership to Save Pets

Vienna Vintner and Wolf Trap Animal Rescue raising funds to build a rescue shelter and animal hospital in Merrifield.

A FUNdraiser was held on behalf of Wolf Trap Animal Rescue, a local vet-and-volunteer-run animal rescue team. Organized and coordinated by Jordan Rice, daughter of JDA custom home builder Dennis Rice, the fundraiser included appetizers donated by local restaurants and a diversity of high-quality wines donated by Vienna Vintner.

Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Hosts Open House

Annual event promotes home fire safety with fun events for children.

The open house hosted by the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department in recognition of fire prevention week is, traditionally, a popular community event that draws hundreds of children and their parents throughout the day. On Oct. 15, VVFD held another of its annual fire prevention fairs to bring attention to fire safety in the home, and to show the community a fun time.

Vienna: Optimists Host Family Fun Day on Town Green

Club’s annual fundraising campaign on behalf of Growing Hope netted about $32,000.

The Optimist Club of Greater Vienna – once again – raised more than $32,00 from its annual “Growing Hope” fundraising campaign on behalf of families facing childhood cancer .

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Vienna: Cops and Kids Draws Community Together

Fun-filled day featured activities, prizes, music, pizza – and a helicopter.

Clear sunny skies and mild temperatures have a way of bringing out the families to community events. The Vienna Police Department could not have ordered a more perfect Sunday afternoon for the launch of a new Vienna tradition, Cops and Kids Fun Run --- and fun day.

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Vienna: Falling into Fall with Fairs and Fun

From Oktoberfest celebration to a wintry block party, there’s a fun event for any age.

Fall marks the start of the festive season, the fair season, from holiday-themed events to traditional seasonal events.

Vienna: Chillin’ on Church Draws Hundreds to Block Party

Second seasonal party on Church Street to become Vienna tradition.

The second seasonal Chillin’ on Church block party drew in hundreds more guests than the debut party in June. Church Street lit up with music, games, food, and neighbors meeting neighbors.

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Vienna Looking Forward to New Look

From community center to Marco Polo, change comes to Vienna.

Vienna doesn’t change much … and that’s the way the Vienna zip codes like it --- a small-town feel, family-focused. There’s not much in the way of crime unless an unlocked vehicle break-in counts. The annual Halloween parade, Oktoberfest, Church Street Stroll, and ViVa! Vienna! are traditions that don’t die.

Vienna Snapshot: Country Fair Draws Hundreds to Church Street

Sweltering heat did not deter families from activities and games on grounds of Freeman House.

If smiles, wonderment, laughter, photo ops, and crowds are an indication of success, by that standard the debut Historic Vienna, Inc. Freeman House “country fair” on Aug. 20 was a booming celebration of country life.

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When Vienna Was Still a Small Town

John Becci recalls growing up in town before it boomed.

John Becci’s step-mother, Milly, still lives in the house on Branch Road that the Becci children, now adults, grew up in decades ago. John Becci’s dad, Aldo, who bought that home from Yeonas builders in 1956, died in 2014. His mom died of cancer in 1978, the year John graduated from James Madison High School.

Old-time Country Fair Comes to Vienna

Historic Vienna, Inc. hosts free activities reminiscent of an earlier time.

Step into a Norman Rockwell painting on Aug. 20 as Historic Vienna, Inc. hosts a country fair with a myriad of activities, at no charge, for families. The debut “Vienna’s Country Fair” takes over the Freeman House end of the Vienna Town Green from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20. HVI refers to the fair as a “return to a simpler time.”

Vienna History Revisited at Freeman Store

Connie Stuntz chatted about ‘This Was Vienna, Virginia’ to friends and fans.

Connie Stuntz was born in Falls Church in 1923 and moved to Vienna after she and Mayo Stuntz were married in 1947.

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Vienna: Putting Their Money Where Their Heart Is

Vienna siblings raise funds for children rescued from child labor and human trafficking.

Vienna siblings Medhnaa Saran, 12, and her younger brother Kushaan, 11, are on a mission to help children halfway across the world, victims of child labor and trafficking, to be safe and to get an education.

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Vienna: Big Splash on Town Green Made a Big Splash

Hundreds of kids and parents turned out for water fun.

The Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation Department picked the ideal sultry summer day – July 31 - for its first-ever Big Splash on the Town Green.

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Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Vienna

Vienna Youth Players bring Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash musical to life.

The Vienna Youth Players have interpreted Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash Broadway musical, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” with an era twist. Turning its back on the traditional biblical setting of the play, the VYP has set its upcoming production as a 1920s period-piece in a nod to the timelessness of the story’s essence of friendship, steadfastness, and betrayal.

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Summer Activities in Vienna and Reston Abound.

When the children – or their parents – tire of the local swim clubs, parents look for alternative community attractions and events.

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A Tea in Vienna with a Taste of History

Clothed in the dress of her day – mid-1800s, Ms. Elizabeth Cady Stanton greeted her guests demurely at a “tea” on Sunday, July 3, in the parlor of Freeman Store and Museum.

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Vienna Hawks Finish a Perfect Season

Fifth and sixth graders smothered competition throughout lacrosse season.

Fox 5 Zip Trip Comes to Vienna

Morning program broadcast live from Town Green and Church Street.

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Vienna: Pet Adoption Expo Finds Forever-Homes for Homeless Animals

Organized and sponsored by the Vienna Arts Society, adoption event pulled together adoptables and families looking for a furry family member.

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Vienna: Chillin’ on Church Block Party Draws Crowds

Debut block party on Church Street and Town Green sponsored by Town of Vienna Parks and Rec offers live music, food, fun.

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Vienna Bike Rodeo Kicks Off ‘Bike/Walk to School Week’

Annual kids’ obstacle course embraces safe biking.

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2016 Vienna Idol Voted by Community on Town Green

Brian Bui pulled the most cash-votes to take the title.

It took 45 auditions, months of preparation and community outreach, and dozens of sponsors and volunteers to come down to this moment: Vienna Idol 2016 finals.

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Vienna: Some Are Hidden Gems, Others Star in Local Businesses

Throughout Vienna, small shops are loaded with a big fan-base.

From one end of Vienna to the other, there are small businesses loaded with a loyal customer-base who may not be famous – yet – in the community.

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ViVa! Vienna! Returns Memorial Day Weekend

Rides, food, entertainment, kids’ activities and Memorial Day tribute celebrate community spirit.

What has 300-plus craft and merchandise vendors, dozens of carnival-food kiosks, non-stop entertainment on multiple stages, more than 20 amusement rides for kids, and takes over the historic Church Street corridor for three days? The annual Memorial Day weekend festival, hosted by the Rotary Club of Vienna, ViVa! Vienna! does.