Springtime also is celebration time for many Mason District residents and organizations. Congratulations are in order for:
• Glen Forest Elementary School in Bailey’s Crossroads, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary on April 18. Hundreds of students, parents, and family members gathered in the school gym for speeches, music, and stories about Glen Forest through the years. Tama Eliff, who attended Glen Forest as a child and now is on the staff there, responded to some questions from students: there was a playground but it wasn’t as varied when she was a student; there were no computers; and the gym didn’t exist then, either!
• The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area celebrated its 60th Anniversary at George Mason Regional Library in April. Longtime League members provided a history of Fairfax County through the years. When the Fairfax Chapter started in 1948, most of the area was rural, with many dairy farms still in existence. You had to pay a poll tax to be eligible to vote, and schools were segregated. Seven Corners Shopping Center had not yet been built, and George Mason University (the first branch was in Bailey’s Crossroads) wasn’t even a gleam in the founders’ eyes. The League’s anniversary will be observed with displays at several public libraries during the next several months.
• The annual Volunteer Fairfax awards for exceptional volunteer service were handed out at a breakfast ceremony last week attended by hundreds of volunteers of all ages. Each magisterial district selected a “Community Champion” who is dedicated to improving life in the county and beyond. I was pleased to select Bel Air resident Mary Weaver as Mason District’s “Community Champion.” Mary is active in her civic association’s Neighborhood Watch, and is a Volunteer in Police Service (VIPS) at the Mason District Police Station. Throughout the year, she assists with data entry, research, outreach and community event coordination. But it is around the holiday season that Mary really shines – as Mrs. Claus (in costume) to help with the Police Department’s “Santa’s Ride” toy collection effort. Congratulations, Mary, and thank you for your efforts on behalf of our community.
There are many opportunities to volunteer, and one of the most popular events will happen this Saturday when the sixth annual Culmore Cleanup kicks off at 9 a.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Library, 6101 Knollwood Drive in Falls Church. Volunteers should report to the library to receive trash bags, a specially designed T-shirt, gloves, and be assigned to a team. Volunteers from local businesses, churches, and nonprofits will be joined by local residents to clean up trash and other debris along Route 7 and Patrick Henry Drive, all the way to Columbia Pike. Following the cleanup, scheduled to last until noon, participants will return to the library for pizza and door prizes. The cleanup is organized by Alternative House, Bailey’s Beautification Alliance, Culmore Family Resource Center, Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center, the Woodrow Wilson Library, and my office. Sponsors include the Rotary Club of Bailey’s Crossroads, Security One Bank, Pollo Campero, and Wachovia Bank. Staff from the Hidden Oaks Nature Center will host a wildlife presentation for the volunteers. To pre-register for the cleanup, please call the library at 703/820-8774.