Our Minds Matter (OMM), formerly the Josh Anderson Foundation (JAF), was founded in 2012 in Vienna, VA with the vision to end teen suicide. The Foundation was named after Josh Anderson, who died by suicide in 2009 at the age of seventeen. Josh was what you might call a “typical” teenager and had his whole life ahead of him. The Foundation’s goals are to equip teens with mental health education, resources and support so they never die by suicide.
On Friday, December 9th, OMM will be celebrating their 10 year anniversary at their Our Bright Night event and The Belt Team is honored to be one of the sponsors.
“10 years is an amazing milestone, and we’re excited to celebrate on December 9th at the Showroom in Washington, D.C. with the partners and supporters who have gotten us to where we are today — including The Belt Team at Keller Williams. We started in 5 clubs in Fairfax County, VA — and now we’re in 140 schools in the DMV and throughout the country! It’s amazing to see so many dedicated teenage students promoting mental health at their schools, and prioritizing their own mental health. OMM has built the platform and structure over this past decade — but it’s the students who make the difference every day within their school communities.”
Lauren Anderson, Executive Director
If you are interested in attending Our Bright Night and supporting this wonderful foundation, tickets are still available. Visit their event website HERE to find out more details about the event, how to purchase tickets and/or become a sponsor. Also take some time to read about OMM’s mission and values and how they are making an amazing impact on our teens and community at www.ourmindsmatter.org.
Now that Fall is here, it’s time to get out, celebrate and find that perfect pumpkin! Before you go, be sure to read below about some favorite Fall Festivals and pumpkin patches in the Northern Virginia area (and a little beyond). Let us know in the comments if you have any to add! Oh how we love fall in Virginia….
Open September 24 – October 30th. Tons of activities, fun and food! Visit their website to purchase tickets (tickets include access to the bounce houses, games, train ride, petting zoo and a free pumpkin for each paid child’s ticket). Extras (like balloon and face painting, animal feed, etc) can be purchased at a reduced cost).
Open October 1st – October 31st. Includes a pumpkin patch, moon bounce, giant “scarecrow”, haunted buses, straw mazes and more! They also have decorative gourds, face pumpkins, cornstalks, mini hay bales, straw, and various other Halloween décor.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Open September 24th – November 8th. World-famous hayride, corny Conundrum, slides and more. Visit their website for more details and purchase tickets.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (5 p.m. in November), last entry one hour before closing. Festival open Thursday through Monday weekly. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday (except Tues, Nov 8th) but Market is open daily.
Open October 1st – October 31st. Enjoy a pumpkin patch with Halloween-inspired backdrops, Halloween decorations, apples, gourds, hot chocolate, apple cider donuts and more! Pony rides offered Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Open September 17th – November 6th. Fall Fest is full of family activities…hill slides, Kiddie zip line, pony rides, hay maze, moon bounces, wagon rides, pedal carts, weekend entertainment and more. Visit their website to see additional activities offered on weekends and Columbus Day and to get ticket information.
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday & Thursday (closed Tuesdays). 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. OR 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (and Columbus Day).
Open September 24th – October 30th. “Whether you are here to find the perfect pumpkin for carving Jack-o-lanterns, to find your way through our 10-acre corn maze, or to take in the scenery of our grounds while the kids enjoy all of our activities, our fun farm has something for everyone!” General admission information on their website.
Open October 1st -October 31st. Many activities to choose from! Including…picking pumpkins, corn maze, pig races, cider pressing demonstrations, roasting marshmallows, barn animals, wagon rides and more! Visit their website for all activities (some offered on weekends only) and tickets information.
Hours: Daily 10am-5pm, weekends 9am-5pm (last entry to pick your own at 4pm)
It’s that time of year again…time to start planning your leaf-peeping for the fall! If you are a fan of fall like we are, you’ll be excited to know that SmokyMountains.com has released it’s annual interactive fall foliage prediction map!
The 2022 Fall Foliage Map is the ultimate visual planning guide to the annual progressive changing of the leaves. While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.
“What started as a fun side-project quickly became the most respected nationwide fall leaf map and one of the best fall resources in the country,” says David Angotti, the map’s creator, to Travel + Leisure’s Stacey Leasca. “Now, tens of millions of people use our map each year to plan vacations, weddings and photography trips.”
According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia generally peaks between October 10th and 31st but can vary year to year based on things like temperatures, rain, wind, etc. As seen on the map below, between October 24th and the 31st is predicted to be peak for much of Virginia this year.
Some top spots to view fall colors in Virginia include:
Why do leaves change their color? Both chlorophyll and carotenoids are present in the chloroplasts of leaf cells throughout the growing season. During this time, chlorophyll is produced and broken down, and leaves appear green. As days get shorter, chlorophyll production slows down until it stops. The green color is no longer visible, and other pigments present (carotenoids) with the chlorophyll are then revealed. During autumn, bright light and excess plant sugars produce anthocyanins within leaf cells.
Why do leaves fall? In order to cope with the harsh winter temperatures, trees slowly close off the veins that carry water and nutrients to and from the leaves with a layer of new cells that form at the base of the leaf stem, protecting the limbs and body of the tree. Once this process is done, water and nutrients no longer flow to and from the leaf enabling the leaf to die and weaken at the stem, eventually falling gracefully to the ground.
What happens to fallen leaves? When leaves fall to the ground, they begin to break down and eventually create a rich humus on the forest floor that absorbs dew and rainfall. This nutrient rich ‘sponge’ acts as a continual source of nutrients and water for trees and plants, helping to promote life and plant health in the next spring season.
Fall Foliage Report – (800) 424-LOVE (begins mid-late September each year)
Since 2010, the Keller Williams McLean/Great Falls annual RED Day has consistently supported local charities with large annual contributions.
This year, our goal is $20,000. We are asking you to help us with a tax-deductible financial contribution.
Please consider a gift of any amount to help the Falls Church/McLean Children’s Center provide much-needed resources for their programs that prepare young children, particularly those in need, for school. Our KW Cares McLean/Great Falls fund will MATCH the first $10,000 donated.
Ulta Beauty is coming this Spring! 👏👏👏 Located at 8350 Leesburg Pike/Pike 7 Plaza (across Rte 7 from The Boro), Ulta Beauty will be in the location of the old Performance Bike shop. It is based in Illinois and is one of the nation’s largest beauty retailers with over 25,000 products featuring more than 600 brands and we are excited that it will be here in Tysons soon!
Ulta Beauty is just one many companies recognizing the incredible growth and opportunity here in Tysons. They call it “America’s Next Great City” for a reason! Tyson’s is a 4 square mile area that is experiencing unprecedented growth and development. The master plan is for Tysons to be THE place to live, work & play.
To think that it was once rural farmland…us natives remember when Tysons 1 Mall was built, and the many corporations that have moved their headquarters here over the years (including Capital One and Hilton). With the expansion of the Silver Line Metro adding 4 stops in Tysons, access has become easier for everyone to come and enjoy all of the shopping, restaurants and events that make it a major Hot Spot!
More to come on America’s Next Great City🇺🇸
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