Friday, July 29, 2011

Thank you!

We raised $600 Together for the Ride for Ryan Fundraiser. Thank you so much for participation.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

First Stop on the Ride For Ryan.....The Franklin Inn

The First Stop before the Ride for Ryan begins is Tuesday, July 26, at the Franklin Inn Mexican Restaurant. Bring this coupon to the Inn for lunch or dinner and 20% of your bill will be donated to the Ryan Diviney Special Needs Trust.  You can enjoy a nice meal and help a family in need. Why are we doing this? Read on....

One of our regular Franklin Inn patrons and a good friend, John Maletta, is spearheading the Ride for Ryan to  benefit the medical needs of Ryan Diviney. The Ride is made up of a group of Clarion friends touched by the needs of the Diviney family. These men will be cycling 320-miles on the rail trail from Pittsburgh-to-Washington, DC the first week of August fueled by pledges from family and friends. All of the funds raised will assist the Diviney family with medical bills for their son, Ryan, who was a victim of senseless violence.

Maletta and John (Cibula) attended Clarion University with Ryan's father, Ken Diviney.  Twenty-year-old Ryan was a scholar student at West Virginia University. In November of 2009, he was savagely beaten and left for dead in a convenience store parking lot in Morgantown. Ryan is currently in an eyes-open coma with serious brain damage.

Maletta explains, "The past twenty months have been a living hell for Ken and his family. It is tremendously painful to watch them go through this life altering experience. Ken has had to quit his job in order to be Ryan's full-time caretaker. The Diviney's medical insurance doesn't even come close to covering their medical expenses for Ryan's treatments and their medical debt is mounting."

When Maletta approached us and asked if there was anything we could do through the Inn to help get the word out about his ride and the situation with the Diviney family, we of course, agreed. So, the first stop in preparation for the Ride for Ryan will be at the Franklin Inn on Tuesday, July 26.  Bring this coupon to the Inn (click here), and we'll donate 20% of your bill to Ryan Diviney's Special Needs Trust. This money will go directly to paying for Ryan's medical needs.

If you can't visit the Franklin Inn on Tuesday, July 26th, you can send your donation directly to:

Ryan Diviney Special Needs Trust
℅ Ashburn Village Sports Pavilion
20585 Ashburn Village Boulevard
Ashburn, VA 20147
NOTE: Please make checks payable to: Ryan Diviney SNT and put "Ride for Ryan" in the memo section of your check.

You can learn more about Ryan's story by viewing his web site at

Thank you for your support.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Franklin Inn has Our Own Zorro!

Brendon (left) at the Holy Grail 2011 Tournament.
You’ve probably met Brendon Beatty during one of your visits to the Franklin Inn.  He’s been with us for several years and can be seen mostly serving and sometimes even cooking (probably because he likes the shiny sharp objects in the kitchen!) This soft spoken server has another side unrelated to food….he’s a master swordsman.  That’s right! He is the Franklin Inn’s very own Zorro!

Brendon is actually a Champion Fencer, Master Swordsman, and USFCA Certified Instructor with years of experience in tournament competition and teaching others.  He is the former coach of the then Championship winning Taylor Allderdice Fencing Team (My Alma mater by the way!). He continues to share his knowledge and history of the sport he loves through his Corsair School of Arms.

Leanne at the Tiger Fencing,
Women's Foil Competition.
Corsair stands for Club of Renaissance Swordsmanship and Interpretive Reenactment.  Corsair provides both Sport Fencing and Historical Fencing (Dueling) with period weapons. I told you he’s our Zorro! I visited one of his practices and was surprised to see that it was multi-generational not just kids and teens.  I should also note that Corsair is not just for the boys. In fact, another Franklin Inner is also involved and receiving accolades: Leanne Woods looks sweet and smiley when she is serving you a margarita but she is a worthy opponent as evidenced by her progress in the sport. In their last competition at the Holy Grail 2011 Tournament the Corsair Team entered with a Mixed Saber Team and won first place. Corsair will be competing again July 30th at the 2011 Keystone Tournament Games in Hershey, PA. Good Luck Brendon, Leanne and the rest of Team Corsair.
Brendon's dad, Vince (middle)
During my visit to Corsair’s practice, I was warmly welcomed by Brendon’s father, Vince.  He enthusiastically explained what we were observing, the various weapons used and the history of fencing (like why fencers wear white...see for the answer to that and some cool fencing facts). I was hooked and intrigued by the eloquence of this sport and how it reminded me of one of my favorite childhood authors, Dumas, whose stories brought romantic ideals alive for me…the struggle between good and evil, the triumph of truth, forgiveness, noble intentions, honor and true love. Hoping to live vicariously through my children, I just about begged them to be my three little musketeers and give fencing a try.  Alexandre who? The Count of What? They’re in a “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” reading world. My mention of the Princess Bride and Zorro was also met with a blank stare. I switched tactics and told Joey that he would learn to battle like a Jedi with his light saber and reminded the girls of how much they loved the Barbie and the Musketeers movie.  That sparked some interest!

Corsair Saber Team at Holy Grail 2011.
Setting aside the romantic notions of the classics or images of modern pop movie heroes engaged in battle; fencing in reality is a great sport to stay fit mentally and physically.  You’ll also learn hand eye coordination, balance, stamina, agility, and what "En garde" really means.  Consider visiting Brendon to find out more about fencing. You will be fascinated by his and his father's fencing knowledge. Corsair currently meets at Heritage Church just a block south of the Franklin Inn.  Most recently, practices are held on Monday and Thursday nights but the schedule does change occasionally, so contact Brendon for updated days and times. He can be reached at or Feel free to ask Brendon about Corsair next time you visit the Franklin Inn as well.  He's at the restaurant at some point (pun intended) most days of the week.