Reston, VA

Restonians broke from a 16-year-long tradition of celebrating Founder’s Day at Lake Anne Plaza this year.

With social distancing guidelines and a stay-at-home order in effect, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum encouraged residents to find ways to celebrate the birthday of Reston’s founder Bob Simon and the community’s founding.

Alexandra Campbell, the director of the trust and museum, said she was glad the community was able to find embody one of Reston’s founding principles — to live, work and play in the neighborhood — in a new but truly Restonian way.

“While we are sad we could not hold this event on the plaza and could not connect with the community face to face, it has been a reminder that we can enjoy Reston’s history every day in our own homes. The community reflected and celebrated Reston’s unique history with us in a variety of ways,” Campbell said.

Nonetheless, residents submitted videos uploaded social media posts showing how they celebrated Founder’s Day from home.

Foley Academy of Irish Dance, which was scheduled to perform during Founder’s Day, shared a performance from members at home.

Kristina Alcorn, author of “In His Own Words,” shared memories of her book project and friendship with Simon.

Reston Community Center also encouraged residents to enjoy a film created by Rebekah Wingert of Storycatcher Productions for Simon’s memorial in April 2016. The film was commissioned by Reston Community Center.

Nonprofit organization Cornerstones — which has been on the frontline of offering financial assistance and resources to people affected b yCOVID-10 — also wrote the following about Founder’s Day:

When Robert Simon founded Reston in 1964, his pioneering vision helped create a compassionate, thriving, and equitable community where everyone could live and work. Today, during this unprecedented economic and health crisis, our community’s resiliency and generosity remains a shining example of his legacy. We are proud to join the Reston Museum in celebrating Founder’s Day and thanking the many individuals, faith-based organizations, and community partners who have supported Cornerstones over the past 50 years. Our continued work together will help sustain neighbors hurting today and begin rebuilding stability, empowerment, and hope so everyone has a bright, healthy future in our community If you know someone who needs a hand-up, please encourage them to contact us at 571.323.9555 or visit cornerstonesva.org. We are ready to help!

Chuck Veatch, founding and current band member of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, described this year’s founder’s day as the “most unusual” in Reston’s history. He encourages Rsetonians to continue to take part in celebrating the day.

This is our 17th Founder’s Day and marks my 56th year living working playing and or serving in Reston. I will miss welcoming everyone in person to Founder’s Day this year but really want to see how each of us celebrates in this the most unusual Founder’s Day in our history.”

Photo via YouTube

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