Frank Hughes and Mary Hefner are taking on big challenges this summer. The owners of Chalk N’ More, a local educational store for teachers and parents in Central Park, are expanding their space to meet community demand. “Last year’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day in November outgrew our space,” says co-owner Hefner. “People had a difficult time finding a parking space and it was hard to move around the store to check out all the games.” Hefner, a former teacher of instructional technology, and Hughes, an entrepreneur, have always striven to create space for teachers, parents and kids to have fun. “We want to make learning play,” says Hefner and “customers are welcome to play games and stay as long as they want.”
But a new store double in size is not the only challenge the owners are taking on this year. Hefner and Hughes are expanding not only their physical space, but also their outreach to the community. Chalk N’ More will be hosting a series of family game nights this fall at many of the area libraries to allow library clients to experience the latest educational games. (see below for dates and locations) To kick off their family game night series, Hughes and Hefner are sponsoring a Family Game Night Fundraiser to fight Charcot Marie Tooth Disease (CMT) on Sunday, August 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. at The Foundry, 2324 Plank Road, behind Cowboy Jack’s.
Chalk N’ More is showcasing the latest educational games and will raffle them off at the end of the evening. This is a great way to try out the latest games for free.
CMT is one of the most commonly inherited genetic diseases, affecting an estimated 150,000 children and adults in the United States and 2.8 million people worldwide. CMT is a progressive, peripheral neuropathy that causes people to lose normal use of their hands, feet, legs and arms. It also causes chronic pain and fatigue and currently there is no cure. Thanks to CMTA’s STAR research program, the hope for a treatment is on the horizon.
“Now is a crucial time to raise research funds,” says Leigh Anne Van Doren, publisher of Fredericksburg Parent and Family, and organizer of the fundraiser. “The recent advances in understanding DNA and increases in computer power have made rare disease treatments possible within the next five to 10 years. There has never been a better time to make a real impact on diseases once thought hopeless.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled that Chalk N’ More has stepped up to help CMT find a cure. Since people with CMT don’t walk well, a game night is a brilliant way to include them in their own fundraising, rather than a walk or run.”
Van Doren’s husband and 18-yearold daughter live with CMT. “As a parent of a child with a disability and as a publisher for families, I think this is a wonderful way to create a fun, educational time for families and support the rare disease community. Thank you Frank and Mary!”
Family Game Nights in the Fall
August 14 • 4-6 pm - The Foundry
September 27 • 7 to 8 pm - England Run Library
October 1 • 1 to 2 pm - Salem Church Library
Fabulous Family Games That Will Save Your Summer
New Game Releases…
Kid Tested by Tabitha and Jamie Van Doren
Happy Salmon! By North Star Games. Chalk N’ More store co-owner Mary Hefner broke the ice with us by throwing us into this simple, fast-paced card game. We high-fived each other, pounded the table, traded places with each other and flipped our hands like salmon when our cards matched. It was a great way to switch us from bickering in the hot car on the way over to enjoying each other as a family in Chalk N’ More’s new space. The cards come in a cute salmon zipup bag. This game is for three to six players ages 6 and above.
Dr. Eureka By Blue Orange Games. Tabitha, the family’s resident scientist-nerd, loved this game. Dr. Eureka asks you to mix molecules from tube to tube without touching them with your bare hands. You win by transferring your molecules faster than your competitor. If your child is slated for science in the next school year, this is a great way to build important motor skills used in biology and chemistry. 1-4 players ages 8+.
Mega 4 In a Line by ECR4Kids. Chalk N’ More customer Laura Meryman put it on her wish list for her middle school principal because “it’s such a productive way for our kids to stay energized and engaged with positive energy. I think it would be great in our cafeteria.” Super way to get the wiggles out. All ages.