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Volunteer Fairfax awards celebrate those going above, beyond

Event also celebrated 50th anniversary of county's volunteer organization

Volunteer Fairfax, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, on May 9 honored outstanding community members at its annual Volunteer Service Awards.

The packed event, held at the Country Club of Fairfax, drew praise from many elected officials in attendance.

Fairfax County strives to ensure that people of all ages have opportunities, said U.S. Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-11th), and Volunteer Fairfax, which began as the Voluntary Action Center, contributes toward that goal.

“We’re a resilient, volunteering, caring community,” Connolly said. “Volunteers and Volunteer Fairfax are really worth celebrating.”

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay (D), who read a proclamation from the board honoring Volunteer Fairfax, said volunteers are “selfless leaders who care about other people.”

All 10 county supervisors nominated Community Champions for their service. Those honored were:

• Robbie Mosley, nominated by Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay (D) for his work as a financial coach with Britepaths, financial educator for eighth-graders at Junior Achievement’s Finance Park and truck driver for United Communities.

• Tom McCook, selected by Supervisor James Walkinshaw (D-Braddock) for his volunteer work with the Kings Park West Civic Association and the Friends of Royal Lake leadership team.

• Angie Guevara, chosen by Supervisor Jimmy Bierman (D-Dranesville) for her volunteer efforts with Reston Strong, McLean Bible Church, Herndon Winter Market and the Lake Homes recreation committee.

• Hasan Shah, put forward by Supervisor Rodney Lusk (D-Franconia) for helping resurrect the dormant Monticello Woods Civic Association and his work with the Lewis High School mentor program, Chairman’s Task Force on Equity and Opportunity, Advisory Social Services Board, Lake Accotink Task Force and U.S. Marine Corps.

• Dr. Eric Goplerud, nominated by Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill) for founding Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, serving as a member of the Fairfax Environmental Quality Advisory Council and representing Fairfax County on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Air and Climate Public Advisory Commission.

• Cathy Hosek, chosen by Supervisor Daniel Storck (D-Mount Vernon) for her service as co-chairman of Ventures in Community, chairman of the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens’ Associations’ Education Committee and member of Fairfax County Public Schools’ Facilities Planning and Advisory Council.

• Nancy Hall, selected by Supervisor Andres Jimenez (D-Mason) for her work as executive-board secretary for 4 Public Education, trustee at Little River Church of Christ and Financial Committee member at Annandale Christian Community for Action.

• Carrie Conley, picked by Supervisor Dalia Palchik (D-Providence) for enhancing the Kingsley Commons community-garden space and helping establish Hands on Harvests’ newest demonstration vegetable garden.

• Isabella Solano, chosen by Supervisor Patrick Herrity (R-Springfield) for creating a non-profit group, Herralink, which connects high-school students with retirement-home residents, especially those who do not receive guests regularly.

• Patti Cooksey, nominated by Supervisor Kathy Smith (D-Sully) for her work with Family Pass, Shelter House, St. Mark Catholic Church, Vale Club and the S4G Steering Committee.

Volunteer Fairfax also bestowed the following competitive honors:

• The Rising Star Award went to Anthony Amos. Others nominated were Andrea Booher, Abby Grosvenor, Kimberly Sopko and Thomas Ye.

• The Volunteer Manager Award went to Jeffrey Katz of Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The other nominees were Amy Tristan of the English Empowerment Center, Julie Dixon of Capital Caring Health and Victoria Younes of Kaiser Permanente.

• The Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Michael Mixon. Others who were nominated included Arlette Clayton, Erika Rabidoux, Watkins Gray and Monica Craven.

• The Volunteer Program of the Year Award was bestowed upon Food for Neighbors. Other nominees were Capital Caring Health Volunteer Program, Rebuilding Together Express, Rustic Love and Together We Rise Against Hunger.

• The Outstanding Corporate Citizen of the Year Award was given to Able Moving & Storage. The other nominees were Apple Federal Credit Union and Brightspot.

Volunteer Fairfax also honored two more people.

Jeff Bentley, president and CEO of Northwest Federal Credit Union, was named Executive Leader of the Year and Eileen Ellsworth, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.