I am very honored to have been elected as this year’s president of Vale Club. During this sure-to-be unique year, our organization continues to provide each of us with a variety of social and educational opportunities, whether in-person or virtually. We embrace a mission that calls on us to enrich lives and strengthen communities, and we recognize that this role is more important than ever.
Our Outreach Committee is chaired by Patti Cooksey (Family PASS) and co-chaired by Ann Marquis (Helping Hungry Kids). During the summer months, both reached out to our members; the results were heartwarming.
Following is a letter received from Family Preservation and Strengthening Services (Family PASS):
“Dear Vale Club Members, I want to express my deepest appreciation to the Vale Club members for all their support for Family PASS. The work Vale Club volunteers have done and the donations to our pantry and our families are really part of the heart of Family PASS. Your support has helped us grow, especially during these very trying times, as we›ve added 58 new families to our already current families of 37. It›s going to be a long slog through the end of this year, but I know, with your help, we will all get through it. You are a truly amazing organization - and the amount of support we have received from you is overwhelming. But you know what they say; if you want something done right, get a woman to do it. My very deepest appreciation to all of you, Pat Kearns”
Following is an excerpt of Ann Marquis’s thank you to membership:
“I would like to thank you again for your generous contributions to Helping Hungry Kids (HHK) with groceries and checks. Vale Club donated approximately $3000.00 for bags of food for the weekends this summer. I was told that without Vale Club’s help HHK would have had to cease their operation for the summer and part of the fall.”
As autumn approaches, our attention includes the upcoming elections. One hundred years ago on Aug. 26, 1920, women in the United States finally and legally were entitled to vote. For the upcoming Nov. 3, 2020 General Elections, voter enthusiasm appears to be at record levels with turnout predicted to be the highest in a century. Thank you Mary Valder for providing us with a League Of Women Voters’ informational flyer so we can view the options on how and when does one register to vote, as well as the options on voting before or on Election Day. See pg. 8. We will get through this outbreak. We may be physically distanced, but all of us are close at heart. Should you have any questions, recommendations, or creative ideas, do not hesitate to contact me.
Fondly, Susan Wrigley, President, Vale Club
While the pandemic has sidelined all Vale Club activities, other than virtual ones, I am happy to report that FVS has continued forward progress on the expansion/renovation of our Schoolhouse parking lot. Feedback from our members has made it clear that this project is vital to being able to fully utilize our facility, once it is safe to do so. MISSION: MORE PARKING, SAFER, MORE EFFICIENT TRAFFIC FLOW.
To add more parking spaces, the “footprint” of the parking area will be slightly expanded to the east, west, north and south. Parking spaces designated by wheel stops will increase from 23 to 53. Timber and steel edging will formally designate the edges of the space. A center parking “bay” will include 2 rows of 13 spaces each, facing in towards each other. A landscaped “island” at the north end will designate a safe turn around area, ensuring smoother traffic flow and fewer back up conflicts. New gravel will be laid to cover the entire lower lot.
Other necessary steps include grading/leveling the land, relocation of split rail fences, addressing drainage issues, and eventually, installation of new grass and plants to soften and tie together the design. Elizabeth’s inventive phased installation plan ensures the work remains strictly within Fairfax County permitting codes.
WHY NOW? You may wonder why we are moving forward with a large improvement like this, when there is so much uncertainty about when we can resume normal activity. But since we are unable to conduct in person events at the Schoolhouse at least until 2021, this is the perfect time to get the job done, with no disruption to our normal schedule.
HOW ARE WE PAYING FOR THIS? A few ways… Every 7-8 years, FVS spends money to re-gravel our parking lot and that item was built into the long term planning for the next 2 years. Those funds are now allocated towards the larger project. The $40 check each of you writes to FVS at the beginning of every membership year covers part of it. FVS receives some income from rentals to organizations like Vale Arts and Beyond the Barn Door. Funds raised by Vale Club activities you support all year long…events like Fall Fair, Chili Cook-off and Bunco…also help cover these large projects. SCHOOLHOUSE PARKING LOT UPDATE And lastly, thanks to very conservative budgeting over the last 5 years, FVS has surplus funds that were being held in anticipation of just this type of project.
OUR TEAM AND PROGRESS TO DATE: Led by Elizabeth Fribush, and meeting via Zoom, the “Parking Lot Committee” also includes FVS President Lindsey Iacovino, FVS VP of Buildings and Grounds, Debi Dicks, and Mary Colombi, former FVS VP of Historic Preservation. Elizabeth has used her extensive experience as a landscape architect to create a design that will make the most efficient use of the available space, while maintaining the beauty and historic nature of the property. Treasurer Julie McGraw has reviewed the proposed budget and assures us that we are on solid ground financially, to accomplish the multi-phase project, and not create a pressing need for immediate fundraising.
WHAT’S BEEN DONE SO FAR: Environmental engineers have surveyed our property and will be further engaged to do a “stakeout” of the project at the appropriate time. Detailed plans have been duplicated in large format and used to solicit bids from several gravel and landscape companies. We hope to finalize agreements with several different contractors in the next few weeks.
LOOKING FORWARD: The FVS Board members are excited that we are able to make this investment in the improvement of our property that will benefit all Vale Club members for years to come. We have all been saddened by the necessary cancellation of so many fun Vale Club gatherings. But when it’s once again safe to reunite at our historic little Schoolhouse on the hill, we look forward to welcoming you back with safer, more convenient and efficient parking. I’m counting the days!!
Lindsey Iacovino, President, FVS
Vale Club is dedicated to enriching the lives of women in the Vale community. Our goal is to provide our members with a variety of social, educational, and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. The majority of our members live within the Oakton community. We have multiple member activities each month, primarily scheduled from September through May, with a few Special Interest Groups meeting during the summer months ...s
A brief history of The Vale Schoolhouse as recorded by the Fairfax County Public Schools of Yesteryear and Today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Vale Schoolhouse, at the corner of Vale and Fox Mill Roads in Oakton, VA, was built c.1884 as a one-room public school. A second room was added in 1912. The school closed in 1931 when many Fairfax County schools were consolidated ...read more
Friends of Vale Schoolhouse, Inc. is Vale Clubs 501(C)3 charity for the maintenance and preservation of the historic Schoolhouse property which was placed on the VA Landmarks Register and the National Register ... read more
Most Vale Club activities are being held via ZOOM. You can access Vale Club’s zoom in one of two ways—Sign-UpGenius (SUG) from the Welcome page or, by clicking on the link which will be contained in the general meeting notices each month. The Calendar of Events is subject to change depending on the status of COVID-19. We plan to secure speakers for our ZOOM general meetings. If you have ideas on great speakers willing to donate their time, please let me know by phone (202-257-3043) or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, as always, for working through these challenging times with us!
Pam Guffain Vale Club Vice President
Life isn’t always a sunshiny day, but our friendships in the Vale Club help sustain us through the rough times. When you hear of a member who could use a visit, a card, or other help and support, please let me know. As your Sunshine Chair I’ll make sure our members receive the Tender Loving Care they need. Thanks to all for keeping in touch with me on behalf of our members. And may our year be filled with “blue sky and sunshine” days. Sunshine Chair is Diane Durbin.