Press Releases

Shocktober Opens its Doors for Three Nights in FEARbruary!

LEESBURG, Virginia – January 20, 2017 – Shocktober’s Paxton Manor will open its doors for its third annual My Bloody Valentine event, three nights in February the weekend before Valentine’s Day: Friday the 10th, Saturday the 11th and Sunday the 12th! It is Shocktober in … FEARbruary – think creepy clowns, scary dolls and a terrifying twist to your typical Valentine’s date! Doors open at 7pm and the last tickets are sold at 10pm on Friday and Saturday and 9pm on Sunday.

For a better time than ever, this year we have amazing community partnerships and sponsorships this including our own BLOOD red wine, “My Bloody Valentine Wine,” that is locally produced by Tarara Winery in collaboration with Shocktober, on sale this FEARbruary at our My Bloody Valentine 3-night event and Tarara Winery. Our hotel partner is: Comfort Suites in Leesburg, where we have a special My Bloody Valentine rate. We also thank Visit Loudoun, our tourism destination sponsor.

Dates: Friday, February 10th; Saturday, February 11th, and Sunday, February 12th  

 

Hours: Friday and Saturday: 7pm-10pm; Sunday: 7pm-9pm

 

Location: 601 Catoctin Circle, NE, Leesburg, Virginia 20176

 

Cost: ONLINE ONLY SPECIAL: $50 for 2 people “Couples Pass” for My Bloody Valentine at Paxton Manor; General Admission (online and at-the-door): $30 for one person. Group discounts available.

Although known for its frightening PG-13 tours among thrill-seekers and locals, all proceeds from Shocktober’s My Bloody Valentine benefit The Arc of Loudoun on Paxton Campus, an organization dedicated to serving people with disabilities and their families, as well as helping children of all abilities thrive in our community. 

Located in Leesburg, Virginia, the historic Paxton Campus has been serving children and families in need for 90 years. In 1967, a group of parents whose children had special needs formed The Arc of Loudoun, a 501(c)3 organization, to start a preschool for their children when no one else would.  Since then, the Paxton Campus has grown into a full-service organization with multiple programs that together provide an integrated and innovative learning environment for children of all ages and abilities.

For more information, visit www.shocktober.org or contact Rachel Roseberry, Communications Coordinator of Paxton Campus, at rroseberry@paxtoncampus.org or by phone at 703.777.1939.
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The Arc of Loudoun on Paxton Campus turns 50 with Big Changes in Store

Leesburg, Virginia, January 9, 2017 – The Arc of Loudoun is excited to announce that 2017 marks the 50th year we have been in Loudoun, serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In 1967, parents of children with disabilities founded The Arc of Loudoun because they had a vision to help their family members live ‘A Life Like Yours’. In 1922, Rachel Paxton also had a vision–she wanted her historic Leesburg property to be used to help the ‘needy children’ of Loudoun County. In December 2009, those two visions united and The Arc of Loudoun moved to the Paxton Campus. Since then we have become a full-service non-profit organization with multiple programs and services that together provide an integrated and innovative environment for people with disabilities throughout their lives.

Today, The Arc of Loudoun on Paxton Campus announces the resignation of Jennifer Lassiter, Executive Director, effective January 27. She has very kindly offered to assist with transitioning her responsibilities to our interim Executive Director, Melissa Heifetz, who is currently the Administrative Director of ALLY Advocacy Center. Melissa has been with The Arc of Loudoun since 2014 and has been an integral part of our team, growing our advocacy and supported employment programs, we look forward to having her continue to grow our programs in this 50th year. Melissa says, “I am honored and humbled to be given this responsibility. I fell in love with this campus from the moment I arrived as a volunteer several years ago and have continued to be impressed with the commitment and hard work of the staff and all the good that we accomplish together. I look forward to a bright future for all of our programs.”

Since 2000, Jennifer has been devoted to growing The Arc of Loudoun into the successful organization that it is today, moving the nonprofit’s major program, The Aurora School, from Purcellville to the Paxton Campus in Leesburg, and establishing three new programs since 2009: Open Door Learning Center, ALLY Advocacy Center and the STEP Up Program. She is a true visionary and her team recognizes her for her leadership, great work ethic, and commitment to meeting the needs of children with disabilities in Loudoun. On behalf of the Board of Directors and Staff on Paxton Campus, we would like to wish Jennifer the best of success and we are looking forward to continuing to work with her as she transitions into her next role in our community, as the Executive Director of the Paxton Memorial Trust. Jennifer says, “Working with the team at Paxton has been one of the greatest joys of my professional life. We have created something special here, and I’m proud of the impact we have had in helping the disability community in Loudoun County. I know I am leaving it in good hands, and I look forward to expanding our relationship in my new role.”

Lisa Herndon Broyhill, President of the Board of Directors of The Arc of Loudoun says, “On behalf of the Board of Directors, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Jennifer for her longtime leadership and vision, growing The Arc of Loudoun into the flourishing organization it is today. We would also like to inform our community that we will continue to move forward with our programs in 2017, celebrating The Arc of Loudoun’s 50th Anniversary.” She continues, “Our future is certain and our mission is clear: Paxton Campus maximizes the potential of children while supporting families and individuals with disabilities so that they may thrive in the community.” Fiftieth celebration festivities will continue throughout 2017, kicking off with The Arc of Loudoun’s Annual Meeting on Monday, February 27th from 6pm to 7:30pm. The Annual Meeting will take place in the ALLY Advocacy Center building on Paxton Campus, 601 Catoctin Circle, NE, Leesburg. Contact Rachel Roseberry to RSVP or for more information, rroseberry@paxtoncampus.org

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Shocktober Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation Grant for Tourism Marketing

 

Leesburg, Virginia, September 29, 2016 – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Shocktober received $10,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program grant fund. In total VTC awarded $927,000 for 43 tourism marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.

 

Shocktober received a $10,000 grant for its “Shocktober Takes Over October”. We have partners with Old Ox Brewery, in a collaborative brew: Oxorcist II; Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites for discount hotel rooms for our customers; and Visit Loudoun to help reach more customers inside and outside the Greater DC Area.

 

The grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars, and will ultimately impact at least 159 other statewide tourism entities. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 2:1 in order to support marketing projects. This funding cycle, the local partners will match the VTC grant dollars with more than $2.3 million, providing more than $3.2 million in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.

 

“The Marketing Leverage Grant program is designed to spur job creation, economic development, and visitor spending through new or enhanced tourism product,” said Governor McAuliffe. “These grants are proven to increase visitation by creating marketing partnerships and effective marketing programs.”

Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2015, tourism generated $23 billion in revenue, supported nearly 222,600 jobs and provided $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 5:1 return in tax revenue for Virginia, and the grant awards and matching funds provide a stimulus to localities seeking to increase tourism visitation and revenue.

Shocktober will proudly carry the Virginia is for Lovers logo on our marketing materials this season!

Shocktober is a seasonal event that brings thousands of people to Loudoun every Halloween season. Shocktober’s Paxton Manor is a haunted house tourism attraction open every weekend through the month of October. The 2015 Season was the sixth year that Shocktober has been open.  In 2015, Shocktober had over 10,000 people walk through its doors, generating over $300,000 for Paxton Campus, the nonprofit it serves.  We Scare Because We Care! Paxton Campus is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization that advocates for and provides direct service to adults and children with disabilities, as well as their families and caretakers, through its many programs: The Aurora School, Open Door Learning Center, ALLY Advocacy Center, STEP Up and Maggie’s Closet.  Paxton’s very low 5% overhead costs mean that almost 95 cents of every donated dollar goes back to our programs.

For more information, visit www.shocktober.org or contact Rachel Roseberry, Communications Coordinator of Paxton Campus, at rroseberry@paxtoncampus.org or by phone at 703.431.4279.

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Paxton Campus and Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Partner for Positive Interactions with Law Enforcement Initiative

Leesburg, Virginia, September 22, 2016 – The Arc of Loudoun, with a winning partnership with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, is helping lead the way forward in positive interactions with law enforcement and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The question of “What happens when the police are called?” has always caused anxiety for parents of children with intellectual and development disabilities. In a report published by the Center for Public Integrity, Virginia has recently been ranked #1 in the nation in school-based arrests, with children with disabilities disproportionately represented. At ALLY Advocacy Center on Paxton Campus, we have started to think prevention. As a result, the Positive Interactions with Law Enforcement “PILE” Initiative was created to approach this issue with a multi-faceted approach. We are focusing on: law enforcement training, parent training, developing safety curriculum for students with disabilities in school, training for adults with disabilities in the community, training for lawyers in the criminal justice system, and increased training for all First Responders.

Our latest step involves training the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office 911 Dispatchers. Sergeant Linda Cerniglia explains the collaboration, “We partnered up with Paxton Campus about 18 months ago. We run our CIT [Crisis Intervention Team] Deputies through Paxton, we have a guest speaker talking about what autism is and we are currently doing 911 dispatcher training – so that our law enforcement officers actually know how to react when they see someone with autism. Education is power. The more the law enforcement learns the better response we can give to citizens of Loudoun County.”

Two programs on Paxton Campus: ALLY Advocacy Center and The Aurora School have been integral in designing curricula for students with autism and other developmental disabilities, training materials for families and law enforcement. Kendra McDonald, Program Director at The Aurora School says, “We are teaching our students at The Aurora School on Paxton Campus how to interact with law enforcement officers and now we are teaching law enforcement on our students and ways to try to get information from our students. For example, our students are learning how to respond and convey their basic information such as their name, phone number and address, whether they are able to talk about it or whether they use sign language, their iPads, pictures or some kind of identification on them. And we are teaching the law enforcement officers how to seek out that information from people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.”

To help this charge, The Arc of Loudoun is pleased to announce it has received a $2,000 Pathways to Justice™ grant from its national organization, The Arc of the U.S.  Created by The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability® (NCCJD) in 2013, Pathways to Justice is a first-of-its kind training initiative. It strives to form strong and lasting partnerships between criminal justice and disability professionals that address service gaps encountered by people with disabilities and their families within the criminal justice arena. We have formed the county’s first Disability Response Team (DRT) to help coordinate a multidisciplinary training and be the point of contact when these types of cases come into the system. The members of the DRT include representatives from: the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Juvenile Detention Center, The Department of Juvenile Probation, The Public Defender’s Office, Family Advocates, Self-Advocates and Disability Advocates.
Melissa Heifetz is the Administrative Director of ALLY Advocacy Center on Paxton Campus and initiator of the PILE Program, “We want to collaborate with people on all sides of the criminal justice system. We have formed an amazing partnership with Sergeant Cerniglia and her team, where the CITs come to Paxton Campus once a month for a site visit. They learn how to identify and communicate with people with ID/DD. We also teach them how to deescalate crisis situations involving individuals with ID/DD.  Expanding on that, we have safety training for parents, we have developed a curriculum for the students at our school, and now are training the 911 dispatchers on how to receive calls from people with ID/DD or about someone with ID/DD.” Heifetz continues.  “Our next step is to train criminal attorneys to be aware that whether the individual is a defendant or a victim, they have rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and may need reasonable accommodations or modifications throughout the process.”

Paxton Campus is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization that advocates for and provides direct service to adults and children with disabilities, as well as their families and caretakers, through its many programs: The Aurora School, Open Door Learning Center, ALLY Advocacy Center, STEP Up and Maggie’s Closet.  Paxton’s very low 5% overhead costs mean that almost 95 cents of every donated dollar goes back to our programs.

For more information, visit www.paxtoncampus.org or contact Rachel Roseberry, Communications Coordinator of Paxton Campus, at rroseberry@paxtoncampus.org or by phone at 703.431.4279.

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Launch of Love-ABLE Product Line at Be Beauty

Leesburg, Virginia, April 5, 2016 – In recognition of Autism Awareness month, Paxton Campus and Be Beauty are partnering together for a launch party to introduce the new line of beauty and home products – Love-ABLE Products, made by the STEP Up Team, young adults with disabilities who are employees at Paxton Campus.

The Love-ABLE Product Launch Happy Hour is on Monday, April 11 from 5pm to 7pm at Be Beauty in Market Station in Leesburg.  Light hors d’ oeuvres and wine will be served. If someone needs childcare to attend the event, Paxton Campus will be hosting free childcare services with an RSVP to Katie Wilcox at kwilcox@paxtoncampus.org.

“We are trying to empower young adults with disabilities, who might not be successful in another environment, to become entrepreneurs and create their own businesses with whatever interests them,” says Katie Wilcox, Program Director for the STEP Up Program.

STEP Up (Supported Training and Employment Program) provides adults with disabilities with training and meaningful employment opportunities both on-campus and in the community.  We believe that ALL adults should be involved in meaningful jobs which they enjoy and that ALL adults are capable of thriving in the workforce when provided with the right supports.

Be Beauty is Downtown Leesburg’s only custom makeup studio, with makeup, skincare, nail care products and accessories for sale.

STEP Up will be launching two products at the event: Love-ABLE Bath Fizzies and Love-ABLE Room Deodorizer.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Be Beauty for this product launch, and look forward to many more fruitful partnerships with Loudoun businesses. Be Beauty will also be hosting a ‘Spa Day’ for some women with disabilities living in Loudoun later this month,” says Jennifer Lassiter, Executive Director of Paxton Campus.

To Read the Entire Press Release: CLICK HERE

PAXTON CAMPUS CELEBRATES INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS WEEK IN LOUDOUN COUNTY

Leesburg, Virginia – December 7, 2015 – Paxton Campus celebrates Inclusive Schools Week this week, and inclusion for all, by awarding nine different Loudoun County Public Schools BUDDY BENCHES to be installed on their schools’ playgrounds.

The Buddy Bench is a way to foster friendship and eliminate children being lonely on the playground.  The way the Buddy Bench works is that if a child is looking for someone to play with they can sit on the bench, which signals the other students to come over and invite them to join in and play. It’s a great way to teach kindness and inclusion.

“We were happily surprised by the creativity of the applications from the nine schools around the county that applied for Buddy Benches, and we are thrilled that we are funding all nine Buddy Benches, as inclusion is so important to us, here at Paxton Campus,” says Melissa Heifetz, Director of Advocacy at the ALLY Advocacy Center on Paxton Campus.

To Read the Entire Press Release: CLICK HERE

 

Shocktober’s Paxton Manor Opens its Award-Winning Haunted House on October 2nd

LEESBURG, Virginia – September 9, 2015 – Shocktober’s Paxton Manor will open its sixth season this year as an award-winning haunt. The 150+ team of dedicated volunteer actors and crew won Visit Loudoun’s Humanitarian Award this past spring. Paxton Manor is a 140-year old mansion located in Leesburg, Virginia, that has been transformed into a professional haunted house that raises funds for Paxton Campus, a nonprofit providing services to people with disabilities and their families living in Loudoun.

“We Scare Because We Care, is our motto” says Jennifer Lassiter, Executive Director of Paxton Campus. “Shocktober brings a diverse group of amazing volunteers: from our Board of Directors and staff, to people who love our cause and want to help, to haunt enthusiasts who love to scare people. Each volunteer contributes so much to the entire production.”

Shocktober is a major production that logged over 5,200 volunteer hours and raised over $200,000 for Paxton Campus in 2014. Since Shocktober’s inception the proceeds have helped Paxton Campus create two new programs: “A Life Like Yours” ALLY Advocacy Center, that fills the unmet needs of the community by providing free information, supports and services to people with disabilities and their families; as well as Supported Training and Employment Program (STEP Up), a job skills and training program for adults with disabilities.

To Read the Entire Press Release: CLICK HERE

 

Press Release from Kaleidoscope

Writer Jennifer Alves published in Kaleidoscope: Exploring the Experience of Disability through Literature and the Fine Arts

August 4, 2015 – The work of writer Jennifer Alves of Hamilton, Virginia, has been published in the current issue of Kaleidoscope: Exploring the Experience of Disability through Literature and the Fine Arts. Her personal essay, “Hiking the Appalachian Trail,” appears in issue number 71 of the magazine.  Her work was selected from among more than 350 submissions considered for publication.

As a child, Alves endured surgeries, radiation and experimental chemical therapy for a brain tumor as well as dealing with blindness and a learning disability. She speaks on behalf of cancer awareness and in addition to her writing, she designs mixed media pieces of art on canvas.

To Read the Entire Press Release: CLICK HERE

 

Open Door Learning Center turns Five 

Leesburg, Virginia – July 27, 2015 – On August 2, Paxton Campus’ Open Door Learning Center will celebrate its fifth anniversary.

Five years ago, Open Door Learning Center (ODLC) opened its doors for just one student. By 2013, 16 students were enrolled at ODLC. In the fall of 2015, ODLC will double in size when five highly qualified staff members welcome 32 students and five ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) students.

“It’s wonderful to see how much we’ve grown and see more people learning about our unique school. We’re so fortunate to have so many families in the community entrust our school with their child’s early education,” says Christine Favreaux, ODLC’s Administrative Director.

To Read the Entire Press Release: CLICK HERE

 

ALLY ADVOCACY CENTER ON PAXTON CAMPUS NAMES DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY

Leesburg, Virginia- July 9, 2015- The Board of Directors and staff of The Arc of Loudoun on the PAXTON CAMPUS are thrilled to announce the appointment of Melissa Heifetz as the Director of Advocacy for the ALLY “A Life Like Yours” Advocacy Center.

The ALLY Advocacy Center’s goal is to fill the unmet needs of the community by providing free information on disability rights, providing support and events for families and caretakers of those with disabilities, as well as the professionals who work with them.

“It is exciting to have someone of Melissa’s caliber as the Director of Advocacy to continue to push forward ALLY’s mission”, said Jennifer Lassiter, Executive Director of Paxton Campus. “Melissa is an irreplaceable gift to Paxton, and we are so lucky to have her talent, passion and expertise on our team.”

Melissa_headshot_edited

To read the entire Press Release- CLICK HERE 

 

OPEN DOOR LEARNING CENTER ON PAXTON CAMPUS OPENS AN ACCESSIBLE PLAYGROUND

Leesburg, Virginia – May 21, 2015 – On Friday, June 12, at 1:30pm, Open Door Learning Center (ODLC) will officially open its accessible playground during the preschool graduation program. ODLC is an accredited inclusive school for students, ages 2 to 7 years, with and without disabilities.

The accessible and inclusive playground was designed for children with and without developmental disabilities. The equipment was specifically chosen to incorporate different kinds of sensory movements: spinning, rocking, swinging, which are both calming and stimulating activities for children with developmental disabilities.

“What an exciting way to celebrate ODLC’s 5 year anniversary, by opening a playground designed to stimulate children’s imaginations, and create opportunities for children to develop social, physical and sensory skills while playing and exercising,” said Christine Favréaux, ODLC’s Administrative Director, “This playground exemplifies ODLC’s philosophy that children of all abilities benefit from being able to play and interact together, in an inclusive environment.”

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To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

 

Paxton Campus Trustees Recognize Autism Awareness Month

Leesburg, Va, April 24, 2015 – In recognition of Autism Awareness month, the trustees of the Margaret Paxton Memorial for Convalescent Children have made a big investment in the programs at Paxton Campus that serve children with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they look toward the promising future of the campus.  Trustee Melinda Hetzel presented a check for $100,000 to Paxton Campus’s Executive Director Jennifer Lassiter.

“It’s wonderful to have the support of the greater community behind Paxton and I can think of no better partner to be on this journey with than the trustees,” said Lassiter. “This money not only ensures the continued success of the current programs, it validates the trustees’ commitment to us as we prepare for our Barns of Paxton capital improvement project.”

The proposed $8 million Barns of Paxton capital improvement project will create opportunities for children and adults with disabilities through The Arts, Fitness and Wellness.

“The trustees have great confidence in the Barns of Paxton project and the tremendous impact it will have on the children of the greater Loudoun community”, said Hetzel. “Paxton’s programs have been so successful serving those with intellectual and developmental disabilities; the Barns will add a facility to serve children and adults with physical disabilities as well.”

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

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Meredith Lefforge, Paxton’s Director of Development; and Jennifer Lassiter, Paxton’s Executive Director pose with 3 student from The Aurora School and the $100,000 check from the Trustees.

 

 

Paxton Campus Teams with CycleLuv for Autism Awareness Class

Leesburg, Va, April 7, 2015 — In recognition of Autism Awareness month, CycleLuv indoor cycling studio is hosting not one, but TWO fundraising rides to benefit Paxton Campus on Sunday, April 19th at 4:00pm and 5:15pm.  The classes are one hour and cost $20/person at the door.  Reserve your bike at www.cycleluv.com.

“We would like to thank Iris for donating her time and studio to acknowledge the great work that Paxton Campus does for kids and young adults with autism,” said Jennifer Lassiter, Executive Director of Paxton Campus. “We hope to see two full classes on the 19th, filled with people pedaling for Paxton.”

Iris Kotmel, CycleLuv’s owner and class instructor, says people don’t need have a membership, experience or special equipment to attend the classes. “All you have to do is stay on the bike and do your best,” she said. “It’s about fun, fitness and helping Paxton’s kids.”

All of the proceeds from the two classes will benefit The Barns of Paxton, an $8 million, multi-building complex to offer specialized services for people with disabilities and their families. The historic stone barns on Paxton’s 17-acre property are being repurposed and incorporated with new construction to create a fitness center, performing arts stage and art gallery space, a behavior therapy clinic, and more.

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

 

Paxton Campus Launches “FUND the FUND” Campaign 

Leesburg, VA, February 3, 2015 – Paxton Campus announces a new initiative to “Fund the Fund”; an effort to replenish the Aaron Kisha Memorial Fund, which helps people with disabilities in financial need in the Loudoun County area.

Dedicated to the memory of a beloved Aurora School student, Aaron Kisha, Paxton Campus established the Fund to help any person with a disability that needs financial assistance on and off campus.  It pays for therapy, specialized camps and social opportunities that the families would otherwise not be able to afford.  It also “adopts” families during the holidays, purchasing items from their wish lists.  Each of these acts commemorates the happy, loving and giving spirit of Aaron Kisha.

Helping a Mother and Son Stay Together

“The Kisha Fund also provides financial support to families who have a loved one with a disability to meet basic needs—food, clothing, shelter, or utilities,” said Jennifer Lassiter, Executive Director of Paxton Campus.  “Families like Linda and Phillip, a mother and son both with a disability, who recently lost their home in Leesburg.”

A donation to the Kisha Fund today will prevent Linda and Phillip from becoming homeless by helping them get a permanent residence. They have lived independently for decades, they both have jobs, and they do what they can to stick together and to survive.  A temporary housing situation has been found for them, but they still need a permanent home that allows them to stay together as a family and to keep their jobs. They don’t drive, so they must stay in Leesburg close to their jobs and to their support system. With help from volunteers, Paxton Campus staff, case managers, and generous donors, Linda and Philip can get back on the path to independent living.

Linda Kisha, Aaron’s mom, is grateful to Paxton for all of the work done to help keep Aaron’s memory alive. “He would want other special children to be helped,” she said. “You all hold a very special place in our hearts.”

Donating to the Kisha Fund is a win-win because it’s also tax deductible. A simple act of generosity can make such a huge difference. To donate, please go to: www.paxtoncampus.org/kishafund and click on the DONATE button.

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

 

The Aurora School building on the Paxton Campus dedicated to “Butch” Miller 

Leesburg, Virginia – July 11, 2014 –  The Board of Directors and staff of The Arc of Loudoun as well the Trustees of the Margaret Paxton Memorial are thrilled to dedicate The Aurora School building to James E. “Butch” Miller, the Owner’s Representative for the Trust, which owns the Paxton Campus in Leesburg.  A newly-installed plaque installed on the building states, “In honor of J.E. “Butch” Miller, beloved friend of Paxton whose expertise, hard work, and generous spirit brought the dream of this building to life for the children.” The Arc of Loudoun signed a lease with the Paxton Trustees in February 2008, and began working with Butch to renovate the beautiful buildings on Campus to be accessible and updated to serve children with disabilities.  By the time The Aurora School moved to the Paxton Campus in December of 2009, Butch had worked diligently to convert the old gymnasium on Campus to a state-of-the-art school specifically designed for the Aurora students.  Jennifer Lassiter, Executive Director, believes “Naming the Aurora building for Butch was the best way we knew to demonstrate his lasting legacy at Paxton.”

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

 

James E. “Butch” Miller, the Owner’s Representative for the Trust, which owns the Paxton Campus in Leesburg.

James E. “Butch” Miller, the Owner’s Representative for the Trust, which owns the Paxton Campus in Leesburg.

Dedication of The Aurora School's Building G to Butch Miller

Dedication ceremony of The Aurora School’s Building G to Butch Miller. From left to right: Lisa Herndon Broyhill, President of the Board; Jennifer Lassiter, Executive Director; Scott Billigmeier, former Board Member; Mary Pellicano, Board Treasurer.

 

Book Club, Public Speaking Forum and Art Classes Create Social Opportunities and More for Adults with Disabilities in Loudoun!

LEESBURG, Virginia – July 1, 2014 – “A Life Like Yours” is the motto that Paxton Campus uses as the motivation to create opportunities for people with disabilities to have social opportunities, make friends, and have positive life experiences. Over the last six months we have partnered with various organizations to introduce three new programs in Loudoun: the Next Chapter Book Club, a book club for people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities; Speak Up!, a public speaking and advocacy group for adults with disabilities; and Expression Through Art, an adaptive art class for adults with disabilities. All three of these new programs have opened up new avenues for adults with disabilities to get out into our community, make friends and engage in creative events.

The book club started in February and has a core group of 10 adults who are reading a series of short stories together; discussing the stories; and sharing thoughts, ideas and experiences related to the stories. Many of the discussions are thought-provoking and poignant. The club meets twice a month on the first and third Mondays, usually at the Rust Library, though the venue sometimes changes led by the interests of the group. The Next Chapter Book Club was created through a joint partnership with Loudoun County Public Library, and with financial support from 100 Women Strong.

The public speaking program is Loudoun’s first public speaking group for people with disabilities. It has started in June and we hope it will continue to grow in numbers as the school year starts. The idea is to empower adults with disabilities through helping them share their stories, increase social opportunities, effectively communicate and advocate for systems change. Speak Up! was created through a joint collaboration with Loudoun ENDependence.

The art classes started in May and are taught by skilled art instructors and therapists. Each class provides new opportunities to try different mediums of art. Expression Through Art was created through a joint collaboration with Birds of a Feather Art School.

Paxton Campus offers other social opportunities for adults with disabilities monthly on our campus, such as dances, karaoke and bingo. If you or anyone you know may be interested in joining the Next Chapter Book Club, the Speak Up! program or Expression Through Art classes or learning more about our other activities and events, please contact Rachel Roseberry.

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

 

Paxton Campus Celebrates Autism Awareness Month

LEESBURG, VA 20176 – April 1, 2014 –  Today marks the beginning of Autism Awareness Month.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last week that the rates of autism in children have increased by 30% since their last projections.  That is 1 in 68 children; with autism being nearly five times more common in boys than girls.  These are staggering statistics and help elicit more awareness and research.

To help spread awareness and to kickoff this month, Paxton Campus is hosting a weekend of activities.  Friday is a night of music from 6pm-8pm, at Blossom & Bloom Thrift Shop during Leesburg’s First Friday. Saturday from 10am-2pm, is our inclusive preschool and kindergarten’s Open House.  Sunday from 1pm-4pm, is our Spring Festival, a community event for the whole family, with thousands of eggs, sports activities, music, and more!  We hope you will join us in one of these activities!

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

 

Paxton Celebrates Development Disability Awareness Month in March 

LEESBURG, Virginia – March 27, 2014 – March is national Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and Paxton Campus invites you to join us to help raise awareness about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Our event of the month is our Spring Fling, a dance and social opportunity for adults with disabilities is Friday, March 28.  This event was part of a larger planned Let’s Go Out with the national chapter of The Arc.  This one-day movement will serve to harness our collective power to gain allies, foster understanding, dispel myths and encourage people without disabilities to recognize that we’re not so different after all.

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

 

NEXT CHAPTER BOOK CLUB: BRANCH OPENS IN LOUDOUN FOR ADULTS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES

LEESBURG, Virginia – January 14, 2014 – In early February, a new book club will be starting in Loudoun County.  This book club is uniquely geared towards adults with intellectual and cognitive disabilities.  The initiative is being created through the Paxton Campus and Loudoun County Public Library, and with financial support from 100 Women Strong.

Next Chapter Book Club is a nation-wide program, with a style of facilitating each meeting that empowers and encourages people of all abilities to make friends, read and discuss stories together, and be in a community setting. Club members do not need to be able to read and may participate as much or as little as they want during the twice monthly club meetings.  Just like any other book club, members will choose the books they want to discuss, the place they want to meet, and how they want to structure their club.  This is the first chapter in the Loudoun County area.

We are seeking adult members for our book club and facilitators to help with the discussions.  The Book Club will have its first session on Monday, February 3rd at 6:30pm in the Teen Center at Rust Library in Leesburg.  The volunteer training will be held on Wednesday, January 22nd at 6:30pm in the ALLY Advocacy Building on Paxton Campus, 601 Catoctin Circle, NE, Leesburg, VA  20176.

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

 

MAGGIE’S CLOSET TURNS TWO!

LEESBURG, Virginia – November 25, 2013 – In ten days Maggie’s Closet, Loudoun County’s only free clothing store, will celebrate its second anniversary. Maggie’s Closet is located on the Paxton Campus in historic downtown Leesburg. Within a boutique-like setting, Maggie’s Closet provides quality clothing to families and individuals in-need at no cost and with no questions asked. Since its opening, Maggie’s Closet has served over 900 families and has given away more than 30,000 items of clothing.

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

 

PAXTON MANOR GETS A FACELIFT

LEESBURG, Virginia – November 11, 2013 – In mid-September, the Paxton Campus hired Cochran Stone Masonry to give Paxton Manor a bit of a facelift before thousands of patrons come through its doors in the 4th annual Shocktober Haunted Mansion event.  The masons repointed the chimneys and patched a crack in the tower.  Paxton Campus also had the Paxton Manor’s roof sealed.  These renovations are preventative maintenance steps to keep the mansion structurally sound.  The 32-room mansion was erected in 1872 and is approximately four times the size of Mount Vernon.

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

 

PAXTON MANOR’S SHOCKTOBER EVENT ENTERS ITS FOURTH YEAR

LEESBURG, Virginia – October 7, 2013 – Paxton Manor’s fourth annual Shocktober event started off with a scream this past weekend, with more than 700 people touring the haunted house over its opening weekend.

On this 17 acre property, guests can choose to tour four chilling and unique attractions including The Paxton Manor, The Haunted Well of Souls, The Funhouse, and lastly, The Last Ride – all offering their own frightening twist during this five-weekend-long event.

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

 

CONGRESSMAN FRANK WOLF TOURS PAXTON CAMPUS

 

Cunningham, Wolf and Lassiter

Darcy Cunningham, Director of Advocacy at Paxton Campus; Congressman Wolf and Jennifer Lassiter, Executive Director of Paxton Campus outside of The Aurora School. -Photo courtesy of Dan Scandling/Congressman Wolf’s Office.

On Thursday, August 8th, Congressman Wolf with his Chief Aide, Dan Scandling, toured Paxton Campus.

Congressman Wolf’s last visit was four years ago, during the groundbreaking ceremony for The Arc of Loudoun’s move to the Paxton Campus in Leesburg.  Since his last visit, Paxton has opened four buildings that are now running full-time programs.

The largest is The Aurora School, that has grown nearly three times in four years, with 35 students with intellectual disabilities enrolled to start classes at the beginning of the school year.

Paxton is also home to Open Door Learning Center, an inclusive preschool that serves children with and without disabilities; and “A Life Like Yours” (ALLY) Advocacy Center that provides free information on disability rights, guidance, support, events, and workshops to families and caretakers of those with disabilities and the professionals who work with them.  All of these programs provide opportunities for adults and children with disabilities and their families, as well as bettering the greater Loudoun community.

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

 

Paxton Campus Announces THE AURORA SCHOOL TURNING 10 YEARS OLD

On Friday, July 12, 2013, at 1:00PM, Paxton Campus’ The Aurora School will officially celebrate its 10th year anniversary.

Ten years ago, The Aurora School was founded by parents in cooperation with The Arc of Loudoun.  Aurora started as a very small school with only 3 students in Purcellville and now has grown to 30 students and 42 highly qualified staff, and this year we are hoping to grow even bigger!  In 2009, The Aurora School moved to the Paxton Campus in Leesburg and has been growing and thriving more each year.

There to help celebrate the school’s birthday will be Special Guest, Marcus Washington of the Washington Redskins; and music by a band from School of Rock led by a former student of Aurora, who will be playing a set to help liven up the party.  Any and all Friends of Paxton, Former Students of Aurora, and the greater community are welcome to join us in celebrating.

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

Paxton Campus creates a butterfly garden!

On Saturday, June 22nd, 2013, Paxton staff and volunteers from our community created a butterfly-shaped Monarch Waystation.

With generous donations of native plants (milkweed and nectar plants for monarchs and other pollinators) from Earth Sangha and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy (LWC); advice and plants from Ann Garvey of the LWC’s program on habitat restoration; and the hard work and determination of 15 creative and enthusiastic volunteers, we were able to create a beautiful garden. We want to thank you all for the support!

To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

Paxton Campus HAD ITS THIRD ANNUAL AUTISM AWARENESS WALK ON SUNDAY

On Sunday, April 7, 2013, at 12:00PM, Paxton Campus, joined by many members of the community, held its third annual Autism Awareness Walk. There to help celebrate were the Leesburg Police Department, who brought McGruff and the Barrel Train; Fetch, the Loudoun Hound mascot; and Brigatta White, of WholeME, who led a stretch before the Walk.  Paxton Campus would like to give a special thanks to Autism Speaks, for coming out and participating and providing food for this event.

After the Walk ended, a group of walkers, led by Jennifer Lassiter, the Executive Director of Paxton Campus, then walked to the Tally Ho to watch Puzzle Piece.  Puzzle Piece is an inspirational musical that looks into the life of a family dealing with Autism. It was written and directed by Tom Sweitzer of A Place to Be…  To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

Paxton Campus Announces Grand Opening of ALLY (“A Life Like Yours”) Advocacy Center

On Monday, February 26, 2013 at 6:00PM, Paxton Campus will officially open the doors the new ALLY (“A Life Like Yours”) Advocacy Center building.

This project was funded through a Community Development Block Grant from HUD and administered through Loudoun County. The ALLY Advocacy Center serves people with disabilities as well as their families with all aspects of life, including education, vocation, housing, quality of life, and healthcare… To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

Paxton Campus Announces Grand Opening of “Paxton Attraction” Campus Store

On Monday, October 22, 2012, at 2:00PM, Paxton Campus will officially open the doors to its brand new “Paxton Attraction” – a Campus store dedicated to serving Loudoun County families and individuals in need.

Known for creating opportunities for individuals of all abilities, the Paxton Attraction will be operated by young adults with disabilities furthering Paxton Campus’ mission to see its students thrive in the community…   To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE

Paxton Manor’s Shocktober Event Prepares for October Opening 2012

Paxton Manor’s annual Shocktober event is just over a month away, but the planning and preparations made throughout the summer have guaranteed that this year’s Shocktober will be the most terrifying yet.

When Shocktober officially begins on October 5th, guests will be able to tour three chilling and unique attractions including The Paxton Manor Inn, The Haunted Well of Souls, and lastly, The Funhouse – all offering their own frightening twist during this four-week-long event…    To read the entire Press Release – CLICK HERE