Five individuals and three businesses/nonprofits who have had an impact on Reston through community service were announced as the honorees for the 2014 Best of Reston.
This year’s class will be honored at the 23rd annual gala on April 10 at the Hyatt Regency Reston. Reston founder Robert E. Simon — who will turn 100 in April — is a 2014 Best of Reston honorary chair. He set a goal last year of raising $1 million over 2013 and ’14.
The Best of Reston, sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith) brings together the business and nonprofit communities in a “true partnership,” says Karen Cleveland, co-chair of the event.
Last year’s event raised a record $467,000 to benefit Cornerstones, so the committee is well on the way to reaching its goal, said Best of Reston co-chair Casey Veatch.
The honorees were chosen by a volunteer committee. They were introduced at a reception at Google’s Reston offices Thursday. They are:
Individual Community Leaders
Carol Ann Bradley — The former educator has given back to the community through volunteer work with Global Camps Africa, Friends of the Reston Regional Library and the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, among others. She help found the mentoring organizations The Links, Inc., and Educators Then, Now and Forever. She has also served on the board of the Reston Community Center.
Jerry Ferguson — Ferguson is the director of Development and Outreach for Fairfax Public Access. He has donated many hours to produce and film videos to aid fundraising and public relations for organizations such as FACETS, Leadership Fairfax, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) and Cornerstones.
Cate Fulkerson –The Reston Association CEO is also the chair of Reston’s Character Counts! Coalition, chairs GRCC’s annual Ethics Day and is an Emerging Leaders Institute Mentor.
Bonnie Haukness — A Reston Realtor, Haukness chairs the annual Reston Home Tour to benefit the Reston Historic Trust. She also co-chairs the annual Capital Steps benefit for Cornerstones and was instrumental in establishing scholarships for campers at Reston Association summer camps, among other projects.
Davida Luehrs — Luehrs uses her life experience to aid the low-vision community. She has been a leader with the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Sterling Lions, the American Council of the Blind and the Visually Impaired People of Reston. She established the local VisionWalk and has raised more than $1 million since 2007. She also volunteers with the Boy and Girl Scouts, Herndon Middle and High School Bands and Reston Swim Team Association.
HomeAid Northern Virginia — This group was founded in 2001 by members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association. HomeAid helps renovate shelters, transitional and affordable housing and has completed 70 projects and helped more than 10,000 people.
Small Business Leader
Brennan & Waite, PLC — This legal firm, founded by husband and wife Matthew Brennan and the late Carol Waite, has supported GRCC, Habitat for Humanity, Let’s Help Kids, and other local organizations. Brennan has worked in the community to help other schools adopt and Ethics Day program, recruited candidates for Leadership Fairfax and funded scholarships so nonprofit leaders could participate.
Corporate Business Leader
Cooley, LLC — Large law firm Cooley, with offices at Reston Town Center, encourages employees to give back. The firm matches employee fundraising and cumulatively contributed more than $1 million last year. More than 466 Cooley lawyers have contributed more than 33,000 hours on 687 pro bono matters annually.
For Best of Reston sponsorship and ticket info, visit Cornerstones’ website.