Best of Reston Gala Raises $540K for Cornerstones

Restonians came out to honor their own Thursday at the 2015 Best of Reston Awards for Community Service at the Hyatt Regency Reston.

The 24th annual event, chaired this year by developers Boston PropertiesComstock, and The JBG Companies, benefits Cornerstones, which uses the money to benefit those facing homelessness in our community.

The 2015 event raised about $540,000, which will enable Cornerstones to help those in the community facing homelessness.

The annual awards honor individuals and businesses in Reston who have made a strong contribution to Reston.

While most of the award winners were announced at a January ceremony, there was a surprise category on Thursday. Lynn Lilienthal was honored with the Robert E. Simon Lifetime Community Achievement Award. The Simon award has been given to a small, select few since it began in 2009.

Lilienthal and her husband, Phil, have been Reston residents since 1968. Lynn Lilienthal founded PALS child care center and has been an active volunteer and leader with the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, Cornerstones and many other organizations.

“It is important to keep giving back to the community,” said Lilienthal, who was a Best of Reston honoree in 1998. “It’s a lot of fun.”

The other 2015 honorees include:

Larry Butler — Individual Community Leader 

Butler, Reston Association’s Senior Director of Parks and Recreation, has used his passion for the outdoors in volunteer work that includes the Reston Triathlon, the Reston Sprint Triathlon and the Reston Kids Triathlon. The latter event offers scholarships to 50 kids in need to get involved in the sport.

“His can-do attitude, insight and advice, and leadership in making connections across the community create the added value in every event or activity in which Larry is involved,” the Best of Reston committee said.

Fran Steinbauer — Individual Community Leader

Steinbauer is an original Restonian, serving as founder Bob Simon’s civil engineer in the planning of the community more than 50 years ago. He has served on the board of Reston Association, Cornerstones, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and the former Reston Homeowners Association.

“His home is Reston and he has put his heart into it,” Best of Reston organizers said.

Leidos — Corporate Business Leader

New science and tech corporation Leidos opened its headquarters at Reston Town Center less than two years ago, but has quickly become immersed in the community, working with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life; the American Heart Association’s Run Your Heart Out, Reston; Habitat for Humanity; Greater Reston Arts Center and Initiative for Public Art Reston, among others.

Maximus — Corporate Business Leader

Maximus’ corporate headquarters is in Reston, where it supports Herndon-Reston FISH’s work to help those in need, FACETS, The Women’s Center and the Washington Redskins Foundation, among others.

Maid Bright — Small Business Leader

Maid Bright, a family-run house cleaning business, supported the community by providing dinners to the county hypothermia shelter; cleaning homes free of charge for cancer patients and families moving to transitional housing; participating in Cornerstones’ Help the Homeless Walk; and donating $20,000 for Syrian refugees.

His Hidden Treasures — Civic/Community Organization Leader

Lois and Troy Hughes founded this nonprofit ministry that helps people work their way out of homelessness and grow self-esteem in newly furnished homes. His Hidden Treasures helps transform transitional housing into personalized homes, with restored and donated furniture, as well as brand-new beds for clients.

Casey Veatch — Vade Bolton-Anne Rodriguez Legacy Award

Veatch, a native Restonian, is a business leader with Veatch Commercial Real Estate who also gives back in a variety of capacities, helping Cornerstones, Leadership Fairfax, his church, and youth sports teams.

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