Reston Association Honors Top Volunteers in Special Awards Ceremony

Nearly 1,400 volunteers contributed more than 24,000 hours of time to Reston Association’s volunteer program in 2016.

All that work was honored during a ceremony Thursday evening at The Lake House, and the most outstanding of those volunteers were specifically recognized as winners of the 2017 Volunteer Reston Service Awards.

Honorees were:

  • Volunteer of the Year: Leanna Kirkland

Kirkland was honored for her work serving in a wide variety of volunteer roles, including at the Multicultural Festival, Spring Festival, Nature House 5K, the Martin Luther King Day of Service, Halloween House and Trick-or-Treat Trail, and Maker Faire NOVA.

  • Youth Volunteer of the Year: Emily McGrath

A student at South Lakes High School, McGrath was honored for her contributions to the Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committee.

  • Youth Group Volunteer of the Year: Chantilly High School Key Club

The club participated in nearly all Habitat Heroes events during 2016, and worked to clean up Snakeden Branch Upper. They also volunteered their efforts to the Martin Luther King Day of Service

  • Adult Group Volunteer of the Year: RA volunteer photographers (William O’Brien, Kristina Alcorn, LeRoy Wallin, Colena Turner and Anna Kulyk)

The volunteer photographers were celebrated for their work to help document and provide exposure for numerous Reston Association programs and events.

  • Family Volunteer of the Year: Charlie and Julie Bond

The Bonds help maintain the grounds and building at the Walker Nature Center, and they provide seasonal displays for the Nature House each year.

  • Group Volunteer of the Year: Natural Areas Assessment Team (Mike Horton, Don Coram, Farideh Mirmirani and Doug Britt)

The team was honored for giving their time to inspect and assess the health of Reston’s open space.

  • Community Partner of the Year: U.S. Geological Survey

USGS hosts Reston Association’s Science Summer Camp, which had 60 children in attendance in 2016.

  • Community Volunteer of the Year: Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee (Tara Cranford Teague, Mary Shedlock, Tyrone Gillum, Michael Batt, Elaine Killoran, Aaron Diamond and David Nielsen)

The committee was recognized for its effort to collect feedback, identify and engage facility users, research best practices and present comprehensive findings to the Board of Directors.

In addition, Reston Association Board of Directors members whose time on the board recently ended — Dannielle LaRosa, Ellen Graves, Lucinda Shannon and Jeff Thomas — were also recognized for their service.

“Volunteering and community service are deeply rooted in our community’s core values thanks to our founder Robert E. Simon Jr.,” said Cate Fulkerson, Reston Association CEO. “Every year, hundreds of volunteers support RA’s mission by serving on the RA Board of Directors, one of our many advisory committees and work groups, helping with special events and programs or participating in cleanup projects at Reston lakes, in neighborhoods or along pathways. Volunteers are truly the backbone of Reston.”

Anyone interested in learning more about Volunteer Reston should contact Ha Brock at [email protected] or 703-435-7986.

Images in gallery at top courtesy Reston Association/Sean Bahrami

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