Friday, October 25, 2013


On October 15, “Serve Our Willing Warriors” hosted our Inaugural Golf Tournament at Dominion Valley Country Club in Haymarket, VA.  All the proceeds of the fundraising event will go directly to the renovation of the “Bull Run Warrior Retreat” lodging house that is now underway. 

Player participation was so overwhelming that online registration had to be closed a week prior to the event. There were also a number of players who came to register the day of the tournament. We just couldn’t turn anyone away, so the final head count was 136 players!

SOWW President Shirley Dominick's foursome included one of our honored 
"Willing Warriors".

Some of our players wanted to remind everyone 
"Who and What" they are golfing for! 

As you can see by the pictures, everyone had a wonderful & patriotic time.


 Even a young non-Golfer had fun at the event and displayed her patriotic pride!

Immediately following play, a unique "Helicopter Golf Ball Drop" raffle was held at the practice range area, offering a “closest ball-to-pin” prize of $2500. 

Hundreds of numbered golf balls were dropped about 
100 feet over a flagstick.

There was time for everyone to mix and mingle at the luncheon afterwards.

During the luncheon, Mr. Jim Love was announced as the grand prize winner.  Upon receiving his award,  he immediately returned the $2500 check to SOWW. His gracious “pay-it-forward” action will be used towards the Bull Run Warrior Retreat house renovation.

Thank you very much Jim . . . 

You have set the bar high as a very generous example for our future tournaments!

Some of the many gracious and supportive sponsors for the tournament included;  
Agile Business Concepts, Data Tactics Corporation, Fulton Bank, OGSystems, Fairway Mortgage, and Sentara Healthcare.   

Other companies, including Keller Williams Realty, W. C. Ralston Architects, and   A1 FloodTech, fielded multiple foursomes in support of the event.  

As always, we are so(ww) grateful for your ongoing efforts on behalf of 
Serve Our Willing Warriors.

Many, many thanks to EVERYONE who attended and has helped us to get even closer to our goal of establishing the Bull Run Warrior Retreat!  
We hope you had as good a time as we did.  

(GOLFERS, this is an event you will NOT want to miss next year!)

NOTE:  Special thanks to our great photographers, Kelsy Dominick, Jessie Jacobsen, Joanne Hilliard and Carol Griffith,  for capturing the events of the day.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Taste of Autumn ~ Burnside Farms of Haymarket, VA

~ Burnside Farms's seasonal stand ~ 
A  roadside cornucopia of all the colors of the autumn harvest!

One of the pastoral delights of living in Haymarket is to see Burnside Farms' seasonal displays spring up along Highway 15 - just a little over three miles down the road from  Bull Run Warrior Retreat.  For anyone who has a love of fall colors and flavors, this farm stand by Dominion Valley is hard to beat.  Their offerings include loads of fresh, local organic produce, masses of mums, fresh-pressed apple cider, straw bales, and of course . . . PUMPKINS!

Burnside Farms' description on their FaceBook page is as idyllic as the setting itself:

"We have been in the flower business for 3 generations. On most days you can still meet the Grandmother, Mom and Son all together, working at the farm stand. We spend the spring summer and early fall harvesting beautiful blooms for our wholesale clients in our field and greenhouse operations. We also open to the public for special pick your own events, fall festivities and Christmas trees."

Burnside's own farm critters often make special appearances at the roadside stand.

The humble pumpkin -- elevated to an art form!

Mike, of Team Burnside, proudly holding up a jar of Burnside Farm's raw, local honey.  

 (I personally can attest to the fact that this is THE! BEST! HONEY! EVER!) 
Tip:  Add it to a coffee or latte for a smooth, sweet & positively addicting flavor .

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion." 
~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't miss out!  Burnside Farms will only be open until November 1st.  
Get your autumn goodies now!

Burnside Farms 4905 James Madison Hwy. Haymarket, VA 20169

Monday, October 14, 2013

Holy Trinity Catholic Church's Benefit 10K / 5K Fun Run for SOWW

 1st Inaugural 10K / 5K Fun Run 
To benefit our local combat-wounded "Willing Warriors"  this 
Veteran's Day! 

~ November 9, 2013 ~

~ What a Wonderful Reason to Run! ~

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Home Away From Home ~ Bull Run Warrior Retreat

We are thrilled to have a bit of new signage added to our impressive stone entryway at 

The new plaque on the left side of our entrance really sums up our vision for this retreat for 
our Willing Warriors + Families . . . 

 "A Home Away From Home" 

We continue to work hard everyday to make this vision happen.  
We would so(ww) love your help.  

Contact us at 

Find out how you can support this mission to establish the Bull Run Warrior Retreat where we can provide our wounded, ill and injured Warriors + Families with a peaceful, restorative getaway in scenic and historic Haymarket, VA.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Good Wine, Good Music + a Very Good Cause at Barrel Oak Winery

We have the perfect way to both commemorate and enjoy this upcoming 
Veteran's Day Weekend . . .   

Join Serve Our Willing Warriors for a special Wine Event at the beautiful Barrel Oak Winery.

The evening will benefit SOWW and the Bull Run Warrior Retreat in Haymarket, VA.

Come enjoy a lovely autumn evening of fine wine, classic rock-n-roll (performed by Envee) and a live auction.  

Most importantly -- be sure to raise your glass to toast our  
Willing Warriors + Families.
Let's all remember their service, their sacrifice and their 
Willing Warrior spirit!

November 9, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Americana Music Day at The Winery at La Grange

On Sunday, 29 September, “Serve Our Willing Warriors” (SOWW) was invited to participate in an Americana Music Day at The Winery at La Grange in Haymarket, Virginia. Members of SOWW manned a table with literature and information and talked to the guests about the establishment of the Bull Run Warrior Retreat on Waterfall Road, just a couple of miles from La Grange.  A visit to this beautiful vineyard property reminds us how fortunate we are to live in this area of fascinating history and breathtaking scenery.  We grow increasingly eager to share this region and all the local riches it has to offer with our Willing Warriors + Families.

The Winery at La Grange was formally launched in December 2005, a first for Prince William County, and opened it's historic doors to the public on Labor Day in 2006. The Winery’s property includes eight acres of vineyards, a restored manor house, circa 1790, and their production facility. The property, which had been originally carved out of Robert "King" Carter's Bull Run Tract in the 1600s and later became known as La Grange, is rich in history.

The beautiful fall day included a crowd of people with picnic baskets, good music and conversation, and of course, lots of great tasting wines. The musical selections were all chosen in celebration of American Folk Music with performances by The Harley String Band, The Stewart Sisters and Steve PotterKevin Potter, the Events Manager at La Grange, was a very gracious and helpful host. John Dominick, Vice President of SOWW discussed the retreat project with Kevin, a prior military service member, and it appears that the SOWW-La Grange relationship will continue to grow as the Bull Run Warrior Retreat project develops. 

Shirley Dominick with the winery's guests -- enjoying a perfect autumn afternoon.

 Shirley and daughter Kelsy share the vision of SOWW + Bull Run Warrior Retreat.

Now for all you oenophiles and history buffs out there -- a little additional research into La Grange's past has revealed some interesting folklore. Visitors to the property have often claimed to share their experiences with the friendly spirit of Benoni E. Harrison, who purchased the La Grange estate in 1837 and lived here until he died in 1869. 

Interestingly, our SOWW photographer inadvertently captured an image of what we believe is the Ghost of Benoni, when she snapped a picture of the La Grange vineyards (see below).  It appears the friendly ghost was used the ladder that workers left in the field to sit on to contemplate the events of the day.

(Awww . . . Just kidding!  Kelsy Dominick snapped the picture of her dad, John Dominick, taking in the beauty of the sunset in the vineyard.)

Papa Dominick recommends a visit to The Winery at La Grange to try some of its most popular wine, the “Benoni Red Blend”, named in honor of the Winery’s ghostly inhabitant.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Supervisor Pete Candland Visits Bull Run Warrior Retreat

Bull Run Warrior Retreat on a lovely autumn day . . .
On Saturday, September 28, John Dominick, VP of Serve Our Willing Warriors, hosted Gainesville District Supervisor Pete Candland for a tour of the Bull Run Warriors Retreat.  Accompanying John and Supervisor Candland were Alice Haddow, chief of staff to Supervisor Candland, and her husband, Mac, along with SOWW Fundraising Committee Chairman Rick Hendrix.

The retreat property, located in the foothills of the Bull Run Mountains, lies just two miles west of the well-traveled State Highway 15.  Like so many others who have visited the Bull Run Warrior Retreat property, Mr. Candland remarked that he always enjoyed the beauty of this particular area of Prince William County.  Our guests were very impressed with the size of the existing house, which is currently in the demolition + planning stages in preparation for the overall remodeling process. 

The retreat house renovation is expected to be completed by summer of 2014.   Preliminary meetings with county officials have already occurred to discuss the requirements for our Special Use Permit application.   The application will contain the long-range vision and property site plans, which will be presented to the County for final approval.

Mr. Candland was quick to offer his assistance in any way.  Rick Hendrix said, “I have known Pete for many years and I know he will be very helpful in helping us through this process.” 

John Dominick and Gainesville District Supervisor Pete Candland beside the soon-to-be-remodeled 11,000 square foot home on the Bull Run Warrior Retreat property in Haymarket, VA.

We are grateful to Supervisor Candland and Mr. and Mrs. Haddow for their visit and their support of our vision for a 'home away from home' for our wounded, ill and injured Willing Warriors + Families.

Stay tuned for more updates on the progress at Bull Run Warrior Retreat!