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This issue is one of the most exciting that we've put together in a long time. It's not that issues past aren't chock full of great content, but the month the content centers on you, our readers, and your relationship with the businesses within our community.

The concept of family favorites has been in the minds our staff for years, but it takes a lot of work to execute. We're grateful for the outpouring of support from the greater Fredericksburg community in highlighting the businesses and services that love, value and recommend. Every year, our area contracts and expands with influxes of new people coming and those in transit going. This issue will serve as a prime guide and starting point for those new to the community and expose those who have been here to providers that may not have considered. It's a true win-win.

While you're thumbing through the Family Favorites, don't forget to read the departments this month. I think you'll find them humorous, timely and helpful.

In her Family Chatter column, Mary Becelia shares a story of what happened when she tries to explain how teens use Instagram to a friend. The dialogue is comical, yet very relatable if you're a parent of a teen.

Our Family Money column explores when and how to use wholesalers—like Costco and BJs—to get the most for your money, and when you should just stack a few coupons at the grocery store instead.

Elaine Stone makes a case for getting away and going off the grid in her Family Values column. In our age of easy access —cell phone, Facebook, Instagram and others — it's important to take time to be alone with family. I'm a connected guy, and when I hear someone mention not tweeting, posting or answering a call or text for a weekend or more, I think of Ron Swanson in Season 6 of Parks & Rec when he went off the grid. Makes me chuckle a bit, but I see the importance, and I hope you will, too.

I hope you have an amazing and memorable summer. Thank you for your continued support of our magazine and the businesses and services that shape and influence our community.

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Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.