The annual Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards, presented by Volunteer Fairfax, honor individuals, groups and organizations that have given outstanding volunteer service through a broad range of activities and programs. At an awards ceremony Friday in Springfield, this year’s honorees were honored in 19 categories, ranging from youth volunteer to senior volunteer and many in between.
Among the award recipients were 10 community champions, one from each county district chosen by that district’s supervisor. Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins chose to honor Maria and Raul Garza-Chapa, supporters of Reston Community Center programs that serve active seniors.
Seven volunteers at the Reston Regional Library were also honored with Benchmark 250 awards, marking 250 hours of volunteer service. Recognized were Diane Brown, Hank Brown, Wendell Driggers, Mark McGowan, Paul Toxie, Nicholas Wenri and Tom Wright.
“Volunteerism is valuable and vital to our community here,” said Elise Neil-Bengtson, Volunteer Fairfax CEO. “We have over 41,000 hours put in by over 15,000 volunteers, and the value of that in the community is over $1 million. That’s huge, but it goes beyond that.”
For a full list of award winners and nominees, visit the Volunteer Fairfax website.
Photos of Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (Hunter Mill District) with Maria and Raul Garza-Chapa (top), and Carolina Calderon (bottom) via Volunteer Fairfax/Facebook
Metro Station Saw Long Lines for Women’s March — Many attendees of the Women’s March on Washington this past weekend took the Silver Line to get to D.C., and that resulted in some massive crowds at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. Photos shared on social media showed the huge turnout Saturday morning. [Patch]
Volunteer Group Prepping for Future Disasters — Every part of Fairfax County will soon have its own Community Resiliency Group, which would be activated to help recover from disasters such as floods, earthquakes or chemical spills. Nearly 200 people have registered to be part of the volunteer group in the Hunter Mill District, and many participated in a Volunteer Fairfax/Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management seminar earlier this month to learn more. [Reston Connection]
Motorcycle Crash in Sterling Leads to Reston Man’s Arrest — James E. Basham, 30, of Reston, was charged with driving under the influence and carrying a firearm while intoxicated. [Loudoun Times-Mirror]
Reston-Based Startup Gets National Recognition — ScienceLogic, headquartered on Parkridge Boulevard, has been named one of Business Insider’s “18 hottest under-the-radar startups to watch in 2017.” The business helps companies locate and monitor IT assets in their own data center or in the cloud. [Business Insider]
Reminder: Submitting Events — As a reminder to those who are planning events in Reston, the best way to submit events to us is via our event calendar. Sending a press release is usually not necessary. [Reston Now]
Metro to Operate on Saturday Schedule for MLK Day — Trains and buses will be moving at different times than usual Monday as the federal holiday is observed. [WMATA]
Traffic Management Solutions Firm Sets Up in Herndon — All Traffic Solutions plans to add 25 employees and create up to 86 new jobs over the next three years, and invest more than $100,000 in its new headquarters at Worldgate Centre. [Fairfax County EDA]
Nominations Open for Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards — The deadline to submit applications to honor outstanding volunteers in any organization, club, school, library or neighborhood is Feb. 3. [Volunteer Fairfax]
Silver Alert Issued for Woman Last Seen in Fairfax County — Police are looking for 80-year-old Catherine Hemlepp, pictured here. She is believed to be in a maroon 2017 Ford Escape, with Pennsylvania license plate WR9679P. She was last seen wearing an orange vest, flowered pants and a white hat. She and her husband were traveling from Pennsylvania to South Carolina when they became separated Tuesday. [Virginia State Police/Twitter]
Among the 2014 Service Award Winners:
Adult Over 250 Hours — Ashleigh Soloff
Reston Association Special Events Coordinator Ashleigh Soloff also serves as a volunteer Auxiliary Police Officer at the Fairfax County Police’s Sully District Station.
Volunteering since 2004, she has taken on a variety of administrative duties. Among them: streamlining the countywide auxiliary police records system and facilitating a monthly auxiliary police meeting, providing support to patrol officers on the street.
FCPD says Soloff’s dedication was tested when a drunk driver struck the cruiser she and another officer occupied while driving a patrol shift.
“APO Soloff remained calm and professional as she assisted the patrol officer in arresting the driver for hit and run drunk driving,” Lt, James Krause said in Soloff’s nomination. “This continuous level of commitment has provided leadership and positive examples many fellow APOs look up to and aspire toward.”
Rising Star — Nicholas Hartigan
Nicholas Hartigan started the Reston Young Professionals, an organization that provides opportunities for community service, networking, and leadership to young people living in and around Reston.
Through his role with the Reston Young Professionals, he has coordinated groups of volunteers looking for a opportunities to give back to the community. RYP has helped with a variety of events in the Reston community including cleanup days, backpack and coat drives.
Hartigan “is consistently encouraging members to suggest and lead volunteer events, instilling his passion for volunteerism in others,” Volunteer Fairfax said,
Reston’s Lynn Lilienthal, a board member of the Reston Historic Trust, calls Hartigan “one of the new pioneers and leaders of Reston.”
“I believe that Nicholas has all the right instincts for being a part of this community and assisting other to join in as well,” she said. “Accepting responsibility, becoming part of the fabric of the community through work in our social organizations is fabulous to see in others.”
Hunter Mill Community Champions — Amy’s Amigos
Amy’s Amigo is a nonprofit founded five years ago by now-South Lakes High School seniors Kacey Hirshfeld, Hannah Becker and Olivia Wolfe. The girls wanted to give back in memory of their friend Amy Boyle, a Hunters Wood Elementary classmate who died of brain cancer.
One of the group’s main fundraisers has been the Be Amyazing Youth Triathlon, which will hold its fourth annual race May 11.
Proceeds from the popular Reston event are donated to the Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation.
Photo: Ashleigh Soloff/Credit: Volunteer Fairfax