In case you are wondering … yes, the July 4 celebration is on! The rain possibility reminds us why the Soldiers Home campus is so beautiful and green for Independence Day, but don’t let it prevent you from having fun. Weather forecasters are saying we might catch some breaks as we get closer to fireworks time. Come on out! See you there.
Rain made a brief appearance, but puffy clouds, some sunshine and loads of fun carried the day at the Friends of the Soldiers Home’s fourth annual Spring Fling on May 7. A record number of Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington veterans participated in this year’s event, making it extra special. Lots of families and many children from the community joined in the fun. Cecily, Herb Spice and the Cinnamonstix and Balance, the George Washington University ballet group, all turned in great performances. Children enjoyed organized games, face painting and running free in the driving range, kicking balls. President Lincoln’s Cottage and Christian Family Montessori School also held fun activities for kids. Food vendors DC Slices, Galang Indonesian, Captain Cookie and RockSalt were top notch, and the nature walk with Philip Blair as always was a good time.
None of this would have been possible without our sponsors — DCCX, Anheuser Busch, Annie’s Hardware and Crossfit Petworth. Thank you for your support for this wonderful event! We are also grateful to our great partners for this event — Nam Knights Capital Chapter, Points of Light, Travis Manion Foundation and Petworth News. Above all we are grateful to the residents and staff of the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington for welcoming all through their gate and giving such great support to the event. We will see you at the next festival — and it is just around the corner — July 4th!
More photos after the jump Continue reading
*** Updated May 4, 2016 ***
Rains will be ending in time for friends and neighbors to gather with distinguished veterans at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. this Saturday, May 7, from noon to 5pm. The forecast for Spring Fling is cloudy skies and 74-degree temperatures on the beautiful green expanse of the driving range, where we will gather on the Home’s beautiful 250-acre campus. (Enter Rock Creek Church Road and Randolph Streets.)
We are grateful to all of our sponsors for this year’s event — Anheuser-Busch, DCCX, Annie’s Hardware, Crossfit Petworth, AFRH, Nam Knights Capital Chapter, Points of Light, Travis Manion Foundation and Petworth News.
Friends of the Soldiers Home is proud to announce the final lineup for this year’s Fling, the fourth annual.
Leading off at 12:30 will be the superb jazz vocalist Cecily, back for her second Fling. She promises she will perform her new cover, “Been to the Moon,” which you can preview here: http://bit.ly/26OMiCm
At 1:30, geologist Philip Blair will lead a nature walk and point out fascinating features of the grounds that many people never realize are there. Phil’s walk-and-talk is always a popular feature of the Fling.
Herb Spice will pick up his saxophone at 1:30 and, along with the Cinnamonstix, fill the driving range with the sounds of smooth jazz. Please come on out on the dance floor under the big tent where Herb will play, and take a twirl!
Late arrivers don’t panic — Cecily and Herb will perform additional sets at 2:15 and 3:30, respectively.
Meanwhile, FOSH has a special treat at 3pm. Balance: The GW Ballet Group, will make a first appearance at the Fling. These dancers from George Washington University are making a special trip to the Soldiers Home, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that they will be performing a 20-minute routine.
Bring your appetites with you. Food offerings will have a little bit of everything, as Captain Cookie returns for his fourth consecutive Fling with his famous ice cream sandwiched between home-made cookies. Joining Captain Cookie will be main-course food trucks that include DC Slices, Nom Nom Gourmet and RockSalt. There will be a variety of beer choices, and Soldiers Home residents will operate a water stand.
Kids will have fun running on the vast open space of the driving range. But, there are organized activities as well, including kickball at 1pm, relay races at 2:15pm and capture the flag and soccer at 3:30pm.
We will have face painting throughout the event. President Lincoln’s Cottage (located on campus) will be on the driving range with a craft table for kids, and Christian Family Montessori School (located on the grounds of St. Paul’s Rock Creek Church Cemetery across the street from the Home) will be at the Fling to host a corn hole toss game.
Bring a lawn chair and a blanket and make yourselves comfortable. The festival is free if you walk or bicycle in. If you drive and park, there is a $10 donation for FOSH per carload. Leave your pets at home.
If you would like to spend 90 minutes of your day volunteering while you enjoy the Fling, you can sign up here: http://vols.pt/x8Q46B
We can’t wait to see you — come on out for Spring Fling 2016 and enjoy some time with neighbors, friends and distinguished Home residents who served their country so well. See you on Saturday!
October’s Saloon Night might well be considered the best one yet. We had over 55 residents show up for two entertainment groups. The evening kicked off with Resident Waymon Lucas playing the guitar and singing, and then halfway through the evening, our surprise guest performers the Georgetown Phantoms stopped by for some acapella fun. They were so entertaining they received a standing ovation at the end of the night! Residents and volunteers alike were transfixed by all the songs, including crowd favorite “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough”.
The short video below highlights the Georgetown Phantoms.
(Dancing to the sweet music at the October Saloon Night.)
The Friends of the Soldiers Home is in full planning mode for October 4th up at the Armed Forces Retirement Home!
See the Save the Date flyer below for Fall Fun Fest and click here for an early look at the line up of activities for the day. Stay tuned to our site for more information, we’ll post updates as we get them.
Here is information to register for the golf tournaments – there is one for the military and one for the community – if anyone is interested in participating in them, they can do by filling out the military registration form or the community registration form.
We’ll see you on the 4th!
July’s Saloon Night was a blast with Alan Bjerga playing guitar and singing everyone’s favorite: patriotic tunes! Residents had a ball singing along to sheet music and standing tall for the National Anthem. This is the third year Alan has played for the residents in July and he’s always a huge hit! This month the weather was perfect for sitting both outside and in!
Story and photos by Mary Bucci.
Friends of the Soldiers Home partnered with Bloomberg to take 25 veterans to The 2014 National Veterans Day Concert Nov. 9 in Alexandria, Va. Soldiers Home residents particularly enjoyed Deana Martin, the daughter of Dean Martin, who ran through some of her father’s classics, such as “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes.” Spanish tenor Sergi Gimenez Carreras was also a hit with numbers such as “O Sole Mio (de Capua).” CNN’s Jake Tapper handled hosting duties at the event presented by the Medical Music Group Chorale and Symphony Orchestra. Bloomberg supplied transportation, helped with volunteers and treated all the veterans to lunch at TGI Fridays before the show. As we prepared to celebrate Veterans Day, Friends was grateful to have had an opportunity to show appreciation to the men and women who have served. We thank Bloomberg for making it possible.
Photos by Victoria Cerullo and John Hughes
Friends of the Soldiers Home is proud to announce that The Edelweiss Band will be performing Bavarian dance and bier drinking music at the Oktoberfest Tent during Fall Fun Fest on Oct. 5, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, the Bavarian and Austrian Dance Company will be on hand to get everyone out of their seats and dancing at this wonderful event!
The Edelweiss Band began in 1969 when its founder and previous leader, Lothar Steschner, played Bavarian and Austrian waltzes and polkas at the Schnitzelbank Restaurant in Wheaton, Maryland. The band has since expanded and played numerous events at the German and French Embassies, Freedom Plaza and numerous other locations.
The Bavarian and Austrian Dance Company performs at events throughout the region. Notably, the troupe performed at the 2012 Oktoberfest at the Armed Forces Retirement Home to great audience enjoyment.
Fall Fun Fest runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5 at the Armed Forces Retirement Home campus in Washington, D.C. The Oktoberfest Tent portion of the festivities will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to the fun under the tent, the day’s activities include a car show, golf tournaments, beer and bourbon tasting at Lincoln’s Cottage, a fishing rodeo at the ponds, military displays and much more!
Before we formed Friends of the Soldiers Home, we were aware of newspaper clippings from 100 years ago about veterans and citizens gathering together for weekend concerts at the Home. Later this month, the past is new again.
The Murrieta Valley, California High School Band and Color Guard, with about 80 members, will perform patriotic music at the Armed Forces Retirement Home on the Saturday of Memorial Weekend, May 24, at 1:30 p.m. The free outdoor concert is open to the public. It will occur on the plaza in front of the Scott Building on the campus inside the main gate at Upshur Street and Rock Creek Church Road N.W. in Washington D.C.
The band will celebrate the heroes of World War II, D-Day and the Greatest Generation with songs such as John Philip Sousa’s Power and Glory, Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan, and America The Beautiful.
We are thrilled that the band could work in a a stop for the veterans and the community, as also during the weekend it will march in the Memorial Day parade downtown and perform at the Air Force Memorial. We thank Music Celebrations International and the Armed Forces Retirement Home for working with us to make this happen.
And that’s not all! Later in the weekend, on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, Lincoln’s Cottage plans a 10 a.m. wreath laying followed by cemetery tours. Information on that event is here: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e97ji1ky144a9650&llr=6nwbdqcab
About a dozen Friends of the Soldiers Home volunteers invaded the Defenders’ Inn on the Soldiers’ Home campus for the first time in 2014 on Jan. 7. The Friends brought some friends — the outstanding blues/rock band Nobody’s Business. About 50 residents came down to the Inn for Saloon Night With Friends, and a wonderful, raucous time was had by all. There was dancing! Not too long ago there was still barb wire on the fence between the Soldiers’ Home and the surrounding neighborhood. Now community members and veterans were swinging and swaying with one another. Oh my. Aren’t we off to a wonderful start in 2014?