The community’s best were honored Thursday evening during the 26th annual Best of Reston Awards Gala, a partnership between Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.
Twenty-two finalists for the awards were announced earlier this year, and honorees at the gala included:
- Small Business Leader Award: The CST Group
- Civic/Community Organization Awards: Women Giving Back, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
- Large Business Service Award: Odin, Feldman and Pittleman, P.C.
- Individual Community Leader Award: Bill Keefe
- Family Service Award: Vincent and Gillian Sescoe
In addition, the Vade Bolton-Ann Rodriguez Legacy Award, presented for only the third time since its inception, went to Herb Williams-Baffoe. According to Cornerstones, the award “honors acts of volunteerism and leadership that motivate and inspire a new generation of leaders and create a legacy of service. Herb was recognized because he inspires us all, and shows the power of believing in our youth and what that does for their self-belief.”
The Robert E. Simon Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Vicky Wingert “for her lifetime commitment to Reston values, for cementing the legacy of Bob Simon and for capturing the history and future of Reston,” according to Cornerstones.
A check for more than $515,000, representing funds raised through this year’s Best of Reston, was presented to Cornerstones to support the organization’s strategies of starting individuals on a pathway to sustainable living-wage employment, and to identify and address other barriers to move from surviving to living prosperous, healthy lives.
“Cornerstones counts on your support of its work to stabilize those who are struggling, empower those who may not have a voice, and bring hope to our community,” said Charlene Wheeless, Bechtel principal vice president and a 2016 Best of Reston honoree who co-chaired the event along with Doug Bushee. “Now more than ever we need organizations who work to ensure everyone has access to food, shelter and opportunities for a stronger future.”
Kerrie Wilson, Cornerstones CEO, said community support has helped the organization made great strides toward curtailing homelessness.
“We believe that our job is to end homelessness — not just manage it — by developing housing that is affordable for people over their lifetime,” Wilson said. “We are so grateful for the incredible support that helps Cornerstones and its partners to reduce homelessness in our community by 47 percent in the past eight years.”
For more photos from Thursday evening’s gala, visit photographer Chip McCrea’s website.
Photos courtesy Chip McCrea Photography