Putting The Splish In Your Splash
Aug01

Putting The Splish In Your Splash

BY CRYSTAL SCHELLE KNOXVILLE, Md. – Since 1972, River and Trail Outfitters has maintained a place where families can get on the water for some good, old-fashioned clean fun. John Gonano, general manager, came into the business by marriage 15 years ago. His wife, Natasha Baihly, is the daughter of owners Lee and Eunsook “Grace” Baihly. Today, the family still runs the business and keeps its focus on family as well as safety. “Our mission statement is that we want people to have memories to last a lifetime,” Gonano said. “We want people to remember their time with us, and say ‘Remember when ….’ At the end of the day, that’s our ultimate goal.” Annually, River and Trail Outfitters welcome about 25,000 visitors, which includes the campgrounds as well as their other sports. When it comes to people having a good time, Gonano said there are several principles that go into making sure their time with River and Trail Outfitters. The first principle is safety because, he said, “because you don’t have any fun if it’s not safe.” Also, caring for the environment; quality customer service; and to always be respectful to others. “We hope that when people come out with any of us have a good time and want to come back every year,” he said. Out on the water The mainstay of River & Trail Outfitters is the company’s water adventures. Visitors have the option for trips that vary in not only the vessel the person is riding in, but at which body of water. White water rafting finds those who want an adrenaline rush to go on rapids on the Potomac and Shenandoah and rivers; North Branch Dam Release in Bloomington, Md.; and Savage River Dam Release, also in Bloomington. “I would recommend that our whitewater rafting is great for novices,” Gonano said. “You have a trained guide in every raft. Rafts are more stable than other kinds of boats. In many ways, that’s the best trip for beginners.” Other water activities for those who want to do a little paddling including the option of canoe or kayak rentals. Those looking for a guided tour can do that we well. Those who want a little bit more added to their experience, River and Trail offers food and paddle tours – such as Boat & Brew Tours; Water to Wine Tours; Foodie Float Tours and Shuttle/Land Tours. For the water lover who is looking for something on the more relaxing side, there is tubing. Tours include the mellow Shenandoah River; the more beginner whitewater tubing on Antietam Creek as well as the whitewater of the Potomac River...

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Get Pampered In Style
Aug01

Get Pampered In Style

By CRYSTAL SCHELLE MARTINSBURG – I’m notorious for not taking the time for a little self-pampering. That’s why on a recent summer day I decided that my haggard nails needed some TLC. I decided to head over to Q-Nails & Spa in Martinsburg. Located next to Boost Mobile on Foxcroft Avenue, there was more than ample parking. I was warmly greeted by the front desk receptionist who directed me to Donna Duangdara, the store manager. What impressed me the most was not only the friendly greeting, but how the space felt – bright, light and welcoming. Behind the front desk are two curved countertops for those wanting to get their nails done. Further back in the space are a row of large chairs on each wall for those looking for a pedicure. And I couldn’t help but notice the two beautiful chandeliers glistening in the afternoon sun. It told me that I was there to be pampered. It has been years since I took the time to get my nails done. So, when Donna asked me if I wanted tips, I excitedly said yes. I always thought tips looked classy, and it had been more than 10 years since I even had a set on my fingers. After looking through several books of colors for my nails, I decided on a nice pale pink. It felt summery and reminded me of cotton candy. Donna said when it comes to colors it varies in what’s popular. Some like the bright colors but ombre is popular right now. When I chose my color, Donna recommended using Dipping Powder to do my nails. It was a first for me, but I liked the benefits of it. Dipping Powder is lightweight and durable, and I especially liked that the process would be odor free. I also liked that it promised to maintain strong nails as well as contains vitamin E and calcium. While Donna started to prepare my hands for the manicure, I noticed that it was busy for a Thursday afternoon. I liked the energy in the room as people chatted while their feet soaked or picked out the color for their own nails. Donna came to the area by way of California, then Arkansas – which she considers home – before she and moved to Winchester, Va., to be with her fiancé. With more than a decade under her belt for working in a salon, it showed. She was gentle with my hands and gauged my talkativeness to keep me engaged while she worked on my nails. But she wasn’t only doing my nails, she was also balancing being a manger....

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Creating beauty inside and out
Aug01

Creating beauty inside and out

by Bonnie Williamson There’s an old cliché that says, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Cynthia Lloyd, the creator of Handcrafted Bath and Body Emporium, is the embodiment of that quote. In addition, she is distributing her “lemonade” to all who seek it. Handcrafted Bath and Body Emporium is a new online site on Facebook offering products to make its customers have healthier skin and hair, using natural ingredients, all of them made by Lloyd in her Charles Town, West Virginia, home kitchen. She started her business in March. Lloyd’s products are also available at Effleurage Spa and Boutique in Charles Town and local craft and vendor events. Still, more on those products later. The story behind them is almost miraculous. First, concerning attaining beauty on the inside, Lloyd, 54, started working on her doctorate in theology online at age 50, a far different approach to a career than following in her family’s farming tradition. “Doing that online is a lot harder than it appears,” she says, smiling. “But I got it and became a certified Christian counselor and life coach.” She says becoming more aware of her spirituality also gave her more appreciation for all things natural. It also helped her deal with her ensuing health problems. Because of bulging discs and degeneration in her back, Lloyd has had more than 10 back surgeries in the past 10 years and faces more surgery in the future. “After having numerous spinal/back surgeries, I found that I could no longer do a lot of the things that I used to do. Given my new limitations, I was looking for something different that would be fun, but easier on me, as well as helping me serve others,” Lloyd says. Lloyd saw posts and ads online about making natural soaps and bath products. She says it made her reexamine the products she used in her own life. “In everyday items in my home, I saw that so many of them had so many chemicals and other ingredients that are bad for your skin or health. I decided that I could produce something that would be better for myself and my family to use. I believed I could make products that are much more natural than many of the items that I had used. So, my journey began,” Lloyd says. She started research and came up with formulas for soaps that would be as chemical-free as possible and have ingredients that would help with sensitive, dry, or itchy skin. “Those formulas include among other things organic colloidal oatmeal, goat’s milk, and Vitamin E. I gave some of my products to a friend...

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Sending Our Little Ones Off With a Smile
Aug01

Sending Our Little Ones Off With a Smile

The Berkeley County BackPack Program is an on-going program that feeds over 600 students weekly, and the mission of the BackPack Program is to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations by providing bags of non-perishable food to take home from school. During the summer months when school is out of session, the Program feeds nearly 200 students every other week. This program is vital to ensure that the next generation has an opportunity to succeed regardless of their economic status. In the Fall of 2010, it was brought to the attention of several mothers in the area that a program like this was desperately needed in Berkeley County. The Berkeley County BackPack Program was launched in November 2010. The Program began feeding 36 children at one school. Today, nine years later, we are serving over 600 students each week. Every week, a team of volunteers meet at a facility on Foxcroft Avenue in Martinsburg to organize, sort, bag, inventory, and deliver the food bags to the schools for the students so they have food to eat over the weekends while not in school. During the summer months, the food bags are picked up by the families at our facility every other week. It is supported by a variety of credible studies that students who are not properly nourished perform poorly in school. Our challenge is to ensure that every schoolchild in Berkeley County is prepared to learn by having his or her nutritional needs met. Even with the gradually improving economy, many families are struggling to provide enough food for their children. One in six Berkeley County children live with food insecurity, which means that approximately 4,340 children locally do not always know where they will find their next meal. The cycle of poverty in our community can be mitigated through education, but children must be fed in order to be ready to learn. How can you help? The BackPack Program is a 100% volunteer organization, which is solely funded by donations from local individuals, businesses and churches, as well as fundraisers and grants. Monetary donations are always needed to help with the purchase of food for the students. Donations can be made online at www.feedbcwvkids.org or mailed to P.O. Box 2153, Hedgesville WV 25427. Non-perishable food donations can be made at the schools we service and drop boxes located around the county listed on our website. Attend our Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction Fundraiser on Sunday, September 8th from noon to 3pm at Tomahawk Intermediate School, Hedgesville. Join us for spaghetti, salad, rolls, desserts...

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Dancers find the right fit at Encore
Jun01

Dancers find the right fit at Encore

by Bonnie Williamson To dance is to move one’s feet or body rhythmically in a pattern of steps, especially to the accompaniment of music. It comes in many forms, one being ballet. Ballet involves complicated choreography and its performances are found throughout the world. However, most people don’t think ballet or other forms of dance are being taught in some place like West Virginia, the home of country roads and farms. A dance apparel shop for those dancers seems like an even more far-fetched idea. Well, those people are wrong. Despite the fact that dance had always been a part of her life, Mercedes Prohaska never thought of having her own dance apparel shop or being co-owner of a dance school in the tiny West Virginia town of Shepherdstown. “I have been a teacher and dance mom for more than 20 years,” Prohaska says, smiling. “But dance was on the back burner for a while. I had a government job in Washington, DC, but I wanted more flexibility in my life. I wanted to be closer to home,” Prohaska says. Her daughter Harlee became involved with dance, taking lessons at a local dance school in Shepherdstown, three times a week. There, Prohaska became friends with one of the teachers, Emily Romine. When the school relocated and left the area, Prohaska kept hearing from the community that Shepherdstown needed a dance school. “People knew us. They wanted a dance school they could trust. We decided to make a fresh start on our own. Have high quality teachers. We took over the former dance studio space and started the Shepherdstown School of dance in 2003.” Shepherdstown School of Dance offers classes in ballet, jazz/modern, and tap. The school currently has 75 students. “We are committed to keep the art and discipline of classical dance alive in our community,” says Romine. The school eventually moved to 400 Princess St., but something was missing. “There was no store in the area where dancers could buy the clothes and supplies they needed. They had to travel to Hagerstown and Frederick in Maryland,” Prohaska says. So in 2011, Encore Apparel in Motion moved to 108 East Washington St., next door to Shepherdstown School of Dance. Still, there is no pressure for the dance students to shop at Encore. “They can shop anywhere they like,” says Romine. “But every time I walk through the store, well I love everything.” Encore has a wide assortment of leotards for children and adults and even gymnastics leotards. There are Capezio tights, dance skirts, dance bags, tap shoes, character shoes for recitals and many other dance supplies all colorfully displayed....

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Luke Loy Shares His Many Talents with His Customers and the Community
Jun01

Luke Loy Shares His Many Talents with His Customers and the Community

by Bonnie Williamson Luke Loy has been using his talents with hair and cosmetics to make his clients at Hair by Luke beautiful for the past 25 years. “But I want to help people who come to me to be beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. I want them to have better lives and encourage them every day,” Loy says. Making things beautiful also includes renovating his 1893 home in Martinsburg, West Virginia, that houses Hair by Luke. “I’ve always loved decorating. I want that beauty to also be a part of the people who come to my salon. They are walking billboards of my work,” Loy says, smiling. Making others feel good about themselves helps Loy, too. “It makes me feel good about what I chose as my career. I am a Master Stylist with a gift for designing styles and color just right for my customers. When life gets you down, come in and see me,” he says. Loy says he has very high expectations when it comes to goals for both himself and his clients. He strives to make his customers as comfortable as possible. He talks to them, listens to them, and even gives them inspirational quotes he has lived by all his life. He also doesn’t let his customers be swayed by many of the fads taking place in the hair styling world, like having their hair dyed in different colors like pink and blue. “The colors fade too fast. Not attractive and not good for the hair,” Loy says. Loy also doesn’t have any set hours. “I’m here for the customer’s convenience, not mine,” he says. Originally from Leetown, West Virginia, Loy received his training at the International Beauty School of Martinsburg. He tried massage therapy for a while, starting one of the first massage therapy businesses in Berkeley County West Virginia. Along the way in his career, for six years Loy was involved with the TLC television reality series, “Gypsy Sisters” and “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.” Both shows, based on those made in the United Kingdom, follow the little-known gypsy culture of the Romanichel and Roma gypsies. Those involved have their shining moments, outrageous parties, huge dresses and big attitudes. Viewers saw coming of age parties, arranged marriages, purification ceremonies and a Veil of Darkness wedding ritual. Gypsies have their own customs and superstitions vital to the survival of their mysterious culture. The shows explored the unique and ancient traditions that have shaped and defined the Gypsy community for hundreds of years. There are only about one million gypsies in the United States. “I got to know...

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