Blog posts tagged in fairfax

Mount Vernon is fun for the whole family

Posted by on in Travel & Tourism

b2ap3_thumbnail_visit-mt-vernon.JPGIf you’re looking for fun for the whole family during your trip to Washington, D.C. and Fairfax County, Virginia, look no further than George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the home of our nation’s first president.  And there’s a great reason to visit during your stay in the national capital region: Mount Vernon has a special offer just for WPFG attendees and volunteers. Save 30% on your tickets when you present your WPFG credentials.

Just minutes from downtown D.C., you can step back in time for a tour Geore Washington’s Mansion and its beautifulgardens and grounds. Learn more about Washington’s life and legacy in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, with 25 galleries and theaters—including a theater where it snows every day of the year. And, get a taste for life on an 18th-century plantation at the Pioneer Farm site.

Start your journey by downloading the Mount Vernon app, your one-stop shop. On the app, you’ll find interesting tours, a plant finder feature that shows what plants are in bloom on the estate, fun facts about Washington, and more.  

While you’re at the app store, be sure to get our newest offering, the Agent 711: Revolutionary Spy Adventure app (launching in late June). Does your pre-teen or teenager want to solve mysteries? This app is for them. Agent 711 lets you solve ciphers, decode messages, and tackle challenges as you explore Mount Vernon’s grounds. Using Mount Vernon’s estate-wide free wifi and iBeacon sensors, players get new messages when they near certain locations on the estate. Once a player’s completed all eight challenges, they will receive a personal message from Washington and a special prize.

If you’re traveling with young children, make sure to pick up a Mount Vernon Adventure Map inside the Ford Orientation Center. Kids can use the map to  solve  puzzles while learning fun facts about George Washington and his home. Once the young adventurers solve the puzzle on the map, they can claim a special prize at the gift shop.

Your littlest explorers won’t want to miss a stop at the  Hands-on-History Center in the Education Center where history comes alive for children ages 8 and under. In Hands-on-History, Mount Vernon’s tiniest tourists can  play with colonial era toys, color patriotic images, and dress up like our nation’s first president and first First Lady. Mount Vernon also offers Story Time on weekdays and storytelling on the weekends.

Animals played an important role during Washington’s time, and they continue to delight and educate visitors today.  While roaming the estate see heritage breed sheep, cattle, pigs, and chickens—the same types of animals Washington would have known in his lifetime. Make sure to stop by the Pioneer Farm to see horses tread wheat in the 16-sided treading barn!

When your kids are ready to run around and roam, take them to the east lawn overlooking the Potomac River. You’ll enjoy the same beautiful view the Washingtons enjoyed more than two centuries ago. River cruises are also available every day, showing you the view from a different perspective.

Located in Mount Vernon, Virginia, our first president’s house is roughly 16 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information visit:  


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Volunteer Recruitment Well Underway for Next Summer's World Police & Fire Games

Posted by on in Road To The Games

The 2015 World Police & Fire Games will feature 12,000 public safety athletes from 70 countries taking part in 61 sports in 53 area venues.  And it will take approximately 4,000 VOLUNTEERS backing them up to make it all happen.  The very good news is that over 1,200 VOLUNTEERS have already registered with many more on the way.  You can still be a part of this amazing event and help welcome the world to Fairfax County and the National Capital Region.

VOLUNTEER opportunities exist in multiple areas of interest including, Games Ambassadors, Special Events, Venues and Competition, PR and Marketing, Operations and more.  During the Games, the volunteers will be looked upon to provide dozens of roles and functions...everything from welcoming athletes, family and guests, assisting our sports coordinators at each competition venue, to helping behind the scenes with technology, medical, protocol, communications and marketing. We are also looking for sport specific volunteers with tasks that range from the posting and dissemination of competition results to line judges and officials.

"Our volunteers are the heart and soul of this event, both during the Games next summer and over the course of the next several months as we plan for these competitions," said Kim Palmese, Director, Workforce for Fairfax 2015. The recruitment phase kicked off earlier this fall, as the Fairfax 2015 staff relied heavily on the high number of volunteers needed to help man the World Police & Fire Games information booth, assisting with the junior ultimate fire fighter competition and several other tasks at events held throughout Fairfax County and the region.

"Words cannot express the gratitude that we have for our public safety officials, but actions can," Palmese said. "It is because of this that we encourage all area residents to volunteer and support the public safety officials who have dedicated their lives to serving us and our community. “Join us in support of our everyday Heroes and welcome the world to Fairfax County and the National Capital Region!”


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Fairfax 2015 Announces Launch of Proud Host Program

Posted by on in Road To The Games

b2ap3_thumbnail_newsletter-0914-proudhost.jpgFairfax 2015 has announced the official launch of their Proud Host Program, a platform designed to engage the entire area business community in support of next summer’s World Police & Fire Games. Targeted toward community businesses, associations and organizations looking to support the work of our First Responders, the Proud Host opportunity delivers a true participatory program that offers various levels of benefits and engagement with the Games and our hero athletes.

“Community Champions come in all shapes and sizes and this program opens the doors for all who wish to participate in the Games and honor our heroes both locally and from around the world.” said Bill Knight, Fairfax 2015 President and CEO.

“The Proud host program truly is an all-inclusive community initiative as it offers various levels of commitment - for organizations of all sizes as well as individual contributors,” said Lisa Huffman, Director of Corporate Development.  “We’ve designed these packages to be highly attractive to a broad constituency; essentially offering ‘something for everyone.’”

The Proud Host initiative is a companion to the World Police and Fire Games Official Partner Program which is aimed at companies seeking maximum visibility and full integration into the lead up and launch of the Games.  Official Partners will have full access to the expansive and loyal First Responder market through unique and engaging ownership opportunities.

“There are many ways for the public to get involved with next summer’s competition said Mike O’Brien, Fairfax 2015 Vice President of Corporate Development.  “Our objective is to offer organizations the best possible platform to achieve their business or organizational goals.”

For information on the Proud Host Program, please contact Lisa Huffman at or call 703-324-2477.

For information on the Official Partner Program, please contact Mike O’Brien at or call 703-324-2480.

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VOLUNTEER Search Now Underway for Next Summer’s WPFG

Posted by on in Road To The Games

b2ap3_thumbnail_newsletter-0914-volunteers.jpgYou might think that 12,000 police officers and firefighters all gathered in one place would be enough to handle any potential situation that might arise; but when the World Police & Fire Games comes to Fairfax County next summer, that number will fall short by about three or four thousand.  

What could possibly be needed over and above that throng?

The answer is: VOLUNTEERS.

When the 2015 World Police & Fire Games turns Northern Virginia into the largest athletic playground the area has ever seen, a virtual army of VOLUNTEERS will be necessary to ensure that the 61 different individual, team and tactical events spread across 53 venues in ten days will come off without a hitch.  To facilitate that need, Fairfax 2015, the non-profit organization established to manage the Games, has formally launched its VOLUNTEER drive with an eye toward that lofty objective.  

“Our VOLUNTEERS will be the backbone, heart and soul of our event, both during the Games next summer and over the course of the next 10 months leading up to the Games,” said Kim Palmese, Director, Workforce for Fairfax 2015.  “We will look to these individuals for dozens of roles and functions … everything from welcoming visitors, transporting athletes and assisting our sports coordinators at each competition venue to helping behind the scenes with technology, medical, protocol, communication, marketing, even the posting and dissemination of competition results.”

The rewards, Palmese says, will surely transcend the time devoted.  “The World Police & Fire Games offers our VOLUNTEERS the opportunity to inspire, celebrate and honor those public safety officials who give so much to us every day of the year,” she said.  “This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play a major role in one of the largest, multi-sport, multi-venue events the world has ever seen.”

According to Palmese, VOLUNTEER opportunities are available immediately.  While college and university interns are already contributing their time, talents and capabilities for real-world experience and school credits, supporting needs are very much prevalent throughout every division within the Fairfax 2015 corporate office.  Additionally, Fairfax 2015 will create their own series of proprietary promotional events and participate in a series of external, existing events, virtually all of which require VOLUNTEER support.

“Words cannot express the gratitude that we have for our public safety officials, but actions can,” Palmese said. “As such, we encourage all area residents to VOLUNTEER and support the public safety officials who have dedicated their lives to serving us and our community.”

To VOLUNTEER, please contact Kim Palmese at or visit

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Baseball Great Cal Ripken Jr Joins Fairfax 2015 Honorary Board

Posted by on in Road To The Games

b2ap3_thumbnail_cal-ripkenjr.jpgPlease welcome the 'Iron Man' himself, Cal Ripken Jr to the Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games Honorary Board of Directors.

One of the true legends of baseball, Cal Ripken, Jr. began his professional baseball career in 1978, made it to the majors in 1981, and quickly set a new standard for shortstops. Big, strong, and durable, he displayed power at the plate, grace in the field, and unrivaled perseverance. He earned AL Rookie of the Year honors in 1982, won the MVP award in 1983 and 1991, and received a Gold Glove in 1991 and 1992. In 1995, Cal broke Lou Gehrig's major league record for consecutive games played (2,130). The next year, he surpassed Japanese great Sachio Kinugasa's streak of 2,215 straight games. Cal voluntarily ended his streak on September 20, 1998, after playing 2,632 consecutive games. During this 17-year span, Cal amassed 3,184 hits, including 431 home runs. He holds many major league records, including most home runs by a shortstop and highest single season fielding percentage by a shortstop (.996). He retired from baseball in October 2001 after 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles.

Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 with the third highest voting percentage in history, Cal Ripken, Jr. is baseball's all-time Iron Man. Now Cal is using the platform that baseball has provided him to help grow the game he loves worldwide. Today, he is Chairman and CEO of Ripken Baseball, which owns and operates minor league clubs, world-class youth baseball facilities, a memorabilia company, and a management and design company that builds state-of-the-art athletic complexes. In 2001, Cal and his brother Bill established the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, in memory of their father.

Cal's role as an ambassador for the game was taken to a new level in August 2007, when he was named American Public Diplomacy Envoy by the U.S. State Department. In this role, he has traveled worldwide teaching baseball to children and representing the United States. His most recent trip in 2011 was to Japan, visiting with kids who had been affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

Over the years Cal has also become a best-selling author. His past works include The Only Way I Know, Play Baseball The Ripken Way (with his brother Bill), Parenting Young Athletes The Ripken Way, Get in the Game: Eight Elements of Perseverance that Make the Difference, and The Longest Season, a children's book. His first novel, Hothead, hit bookstores in 2011 and reached #5 on the NY Times Best Seller List. Co-authored with Baltimore Sun columnist Kevin Cowherd, this book was the first in a series of baseball themed novels for middle grade kids. The second book in the series, Super-Sized Slugger, hit the shelves in March 2012.

Cal hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM, and serves as a Studio Analyst for TBS Sports during the Major League Baseball playoffs.

Cal resides in Maryland with his wife, Kelly, and has two children, Rachel and Ryan.

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Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce to Benefit World Police & Fire Games at Casino Night

Posted by on in Press Releases

b2ap3_thumbnail_casinonightbenefit.jpgVIENNA, Va., - On Friday night, February 28, the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce will host Casino Night, from 6:30 until 10:30 p.m. at Westwood Country Club.  Sponsored by Rees Broome, PC, the event will feature $25,000 in ‘gaming cash,’ redeemable for raffle tickets and prizes. 

Partial proceeds will benefit Fairfax 2015, the non-profit host organization staffed by a dynamic coalition of experienced event professionals and public safety officials, responsible for administering the Games.

The evening will feature a full slate of table games including blackjack, poker, roulette and craps, as well as a silent auction.

Tickets, $80 in advance and $90 at the door, are available through the Tysons Regional Chamber web site at or by calling 703-281-1333. Westwood Country Club is located at 800 Maple Ave E, Vienna, VA.

For additional information on the World Police and Fire Games, visit or call (202) 480-WPFG (9734).


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Casino Night Benefiting the Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games

Posted by on in Road To The Games

b2ap3_thumbnail_casinonightbenefit.jpgThe Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Casino Night on 28 February 2014 from 6:30P - 10:30P. The event will be held at the Westwood Country Club located at 800 Maple Ave E in Vienna, VA. 

Enjoy a fun-filled night where everyone is a winner! In addition to casino game tables, also featured is a live and silent auction, raffle prizes, food from local restaurants and a cash bar.  A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games.

Advance Sale Tickets $80 

At the Door: $90

Price includes food, 1 drink ticket, $25K in gaming cash and 20 raffle tickets

For more information and to purchase tickets:


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Fairfax 2015 Receives Final Approval For Sports Program

Posted by on in Road To The Games
b2ap3_thumbnail_frontpage-finalsportslist.jpgLast week the Planning Team for the Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games hosted meetings with the WPFG Federation. One of the main purposes of these talks is to obtain approval for planned venues, sports program, schedules as well as the overall plan for the Games.
Fairfax 2015 has been working extremely hard over the past 10 months on a number of changes to improve the athlete experience. Venues have been upgraded, changes to the sports program and a robust accommodations plan with superior athlete benefits. 
Your 2015 Planning Team is pleased to announce the following WPFG Federation approved sports updates:
SPORTS GROUPINGS: Adjustments will be made to the website ( ) to display the sports reflective of the WPFG Registration System. As a result, our sports number will be adjusted to 61 instead of the previously mentioned 40. Most of the sports will remain grouped in the social network area due to the cross-competitive nature of the events. 
SPORTS TITLES: Several sports will be renamed. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will be listed as Submission Grappling. This new sport for the WPFG will be hosted by both the 2015 and 2017 Games. Other sports will be relabeled for consistency. 
PROGRAM CHANGE: Earlier this year a review was performed of the sports program to create a final list to present the Federation. As a result, the previously announced sports program with the addition of Baseball has been approved.  No other changes to the sports program will be made from this point forward. The final sports list for Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games is as follows:
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BEHIND THE SCENES: Red vs Blue Sports Icons

Posted by on in Website Tutorials & Updates

We answer an athlete's question from our website describing the difference between the new RED vs BLUE sports icons as related to the 2015 World Police & Fire Games. 

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HOW TO: Change Your Website Profile Cover Photo

Posted by on in Website Tutorials & Updates

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Capital Bikeshare - The Inexpensive Fun Way To Get Around Washington, D.C. and Surrounding Areas

Posted by on in Travel & Tourism

b2ap3_thumbnail_blog-bikeshare.jpgSo you're traveling to the Washington, D.C. area and looking for a unique and healthy way to see the hundreds of tourist attractions around town. We've got the inexpensive and fun way to do it! Capital Bikeshare - the first and one of the largest bike sharing systems in the United States is right here in the National Capital Region.

Capital Bikeshare (also abbreviated CaBi) is a bicycle sharing system that serves Washington, D.C.; Arlington County, Virginia; and the city of Alexandria, Virginia. Its 201 stations and 1,800-plus bicycles are owned by these local governments and operated in a public-private partnership with Alta Bicycle Share.

Opened in September 2010, the system was the largest bike sharing service in the United States until New York City's Citi Bike began operations in May 2013. In its first 22 months (September 2010 to June 2012), Capital Bikeshare enrolled more than 24,000 annual members and 2,800 monthly members, sold more than 180,000 24-hour and 3-day passes, and recorded 2.3 million trips. In the system's second year (September 2011 to September 2012), users took 1,851,857 trips. In 2013, Montgomery County, Maryland signed a contract to add 50 stations by the end of the year.

Capital Bikeshare has five payment options. Casual riders may purchase a 24-hour pass ($7) or a 3-day pass ($15) at any bike station. After swiping a credit card at the station's kiosk, a rider gets a code to unlock a bike. Riders may also sign up online for monthly ($25), annual ($75), or annual installment ($84, paid in monthly increments of $7) passes; these riders are mailed an RFID key that can unlock bikes without entering a code.

Any rider may take unlimited trips of up to 30 minutes, as measured from the time the bike is withdrawn from a dock to the time it is returned. Longer trips incur fees for each additional half-hour on a scale that rises from $1.50 to $8.00. This pricing structure is designed to encourage short trips from place to place instead of longer leisure rides. If a destination station is full, riders can use the kiosk to get 15 more free minutes to return the bike to another location.

A replacement fee of $1,000 is charged to the credit card on file if a rented bike is not returned within 24 hours.


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Pink Heals Tour Makes Athlete's Village Appearance

Posted by on in Road To The Games

b2ap3_thumbnail_thumb-pinkhealstour.jpgFairfax County Firefighters were on hand to support women battling cancer. The event was held at the proposed Athlete's Village for the 2015 World Police & Fire Games - the Reston Town Center.  

Both firefighters and law enforcement officers joined the national Guardians of the Ribbon, Pink Heals Tour and the local chapter right here in Virginia. The Pink Heals is a national nonprofit with this motto: Supporting Women, Raising Awareness. The focus of the group is on women survivors; however, support is given to all women battling all types of cancers. 

Pink fire engines, fire trucks, and police cruisers, along with Fairfax County firefighters and police officers, will don pink t-shirts to show solidarity during the event.

Those affected by cancer in any form were able to to autograph or sign the pink fire trucks on display. 

For more information on the Pink Heals Tour go to :



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Fairfax County Virginia Accepts World Police & Fire Games Flag in Belfast

Posted by on in Press Releases

Belfast, Ireland (Aug. 12) – Fairfax 2015, the organizing committee for the next World Police & Fire Games, received the official flag of the Games at an elec
tric and emotional closing ceremony attended by thousands of athletes and volunteers. The transfer of the flag marks the official handoff of the biennial games from Belfast to the National Capital Region in 2015.

We wish to thank the federation for providing Fairfax County the opportunity to host the world in 2015,” said Lt. Bruce Blechl of the Fairfax Police Department.

The World Police & Fire Games is one of the largest multi-sport, multi-venue amateur athletic events in the world, second only to the Olympics. The Games feature competitions ranging from weightlifting to darts and draw more than 12,000 competitors from police, fire and public safety agencies worldwide in more 70 countries. 

In addition to the flag, the Flame of Hope symbol of the Special Olympics was carried by an athlete and a member of the Law Enforcement Torch Run team and ceremoniously handed over to a representative from Fairfax to begin the journey to its new home. Participants widely praised Belfast and Northern Ireland for hosting the best and “friendliest games ever,” Blechl said.

The 2013 Games in Belfast featured a group of about 60 men and women from the National Capital Region among a large contingent of American competitors. The USA garnered the most medals with 346, followed by Spain with 257 and the UK with 203. Host Northern Ireland earned 120 medals.

Fairfax County Police officers Mike Tucker and Mark Kidd won gold medals in the darts competition, defeating dart throwers from around the world in ‘501’ doubles. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue firefighter Sam Gray won a silver medal in 2000-meter indoor rowing and bronze in 8K mountain running.

The spirit of the WPFG, just concluded in Belfast, is one of camaraderie and sportsmanship among members of law enforcement and first-responder agencies from around the world. The Games encourage volunteerism and good citizenship, and serve to educate young people on the benefits of sports and physical fitness. The Games are designed to build new partnerships between public safety agencies, businesses and communities.



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Bill Knight Appointed President & CEO of 2015 World Police & Fire Games

Posted by on in Press Releases

b2ap3_thumbnail_knight.jpgFAIRFAX, Va., – The Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games Board of Directors recently announced that it has appointed Bill Knight as President & CEO. 

With 25 years in the sports industry and over 20 years of executive leadership primarily with major international event management and consulting groups, Mr. Knight brings a new strategic focus and proven team success to the Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games (WPFG). 

Previous to this appointment, Mr. Knight operated a consulting practice in Atlanta, GA. He served as Vice President of Venue Operations for World Cup USA in 1994, and as the General Manager for all venues and events in Athens, GA for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.. He also served as Vice President, Business Operations for the Atlanta Super Bowl XXXIV Host Committee prior to starting his own business. Mr. Knight holds a Masters of Sport Management from Ohio University and a Bachelors in Business from Wake Forest. 

“We are fortunate indeed to have Mr. Knight lead the team of Fairfax’s 2015 Games,” said Barry Biggar, CEO for Visit Fairfax. “His passion for sports, his exceptional experience, his comprehensive understanding of these types of mega events and what they mean to a community, as well as his commitment to ensure the 2015 World Police and Fire Games are the best ever, are all critical to their success. It is now time to escalate and expand on the exceptional work the current team in place has already done and Mr. Knight is clearly the person to do that.” 

Knight commented, "This international event is a great gift to our community. It presents a tremendous opportunity to foster regional partnerships, stimulate economic growth and showcase the amenities the National Capital Region has to offer. I am thrilled to join the team in welcoming the world's public safety heroes and look forward to helping make the 2015 World Games truly memorable." 

About The World Police & Fire Games
The World Police & Fire Games are the second largest multi-sport event in the world, surpassed only by the Summer Olympic Games. The event draws more than 12,000 athletes from police, fire and other public safety agencies representing 70 different countries to compete in 1,600 medal events across 40 sports. Fairfax 2015 is a nonprofit 501(c)3 established to organize, manage and operate all activities related to hosting the 2015 Games which will take place throughout the National Capital Region June 26 to July 5, 2015. Visit for more information. 

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