Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News from Greater Falls Church

Celebrate Fairfax!, the annual Fairfax County fair, has come and gone, but the special honors for community volunteers are maintained year-round.

They’re called the “Lords and Ladies,” and each member of the Board of Supervisors selects a special Lord Fairfax and Lady Fairfax to represent their district during the fair and beyond. Fairfax County is named for Thomas, the sixth Lord Fairfax, who controlled the lands between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers early in the 1700s. Lord Fairfax moved to Virginia from England in 1735, and his cousin William later built an estate called Belvoir, near Mount Vernon. According to the 1992 edition of Fairfax County, Virginia: A History, Lord Fairfax and his relatives were the first family of Fairfax County, even before George and Martha Washington. So it is appropriate that the honored volunteers are called Lord and Lady Fairfax.

In Mason District, I was pleased to select two outstanding, and often unheralded, long-time community activists. Dave Conway’s quiet leadership is an asset to many groups in Mason District. As the longtime president of the Westlawn Civic Association, he ensures effective communication through regular newsletters and guest speakers at quarterly meetings. Dave and his wife, Kathy, have been Adopt-A-Highway volunteers for eight years, and often can be seen on the weekends keeping Route 50 spruced up. Dave also served on the Fairfax County Sign Task Force for two years.

So what does Dave do for fun? He has been active with the Falls Church Concert Band for the past 13 years, serving as president and vice president of the organization. Dave’s specialty is the trombone, and he and Kathy perform with the band at free summer concerts across Fairfax County. In fact, the Falls Church Concert Band will perform at the Mason District Park “Spotlight by Starlight” free concert this Sunday evening, June 15, at 7:30 p.m. Dave Conway is a steadfast proponent of his neighborhood, and is most deserving as Mason District’s Lord Fairfax for 2008.

Longtime Annandale resident Dr. Nancy Hall, is an incredible asset to her community. She was president of the Poe Middle School PTA, chaired the Annandale High School All-Night Graduation Celebration, heads the Royal Homeowners Association (and hosts a not-to-miss National Night Out picnic each August), and is on the Leadership Council of Ravensworth Baptist Church. Nancy is an original member of Mason District’s dialogue on diversity and, when it was time to create an identity for the group, it was Nancy’s suggestion of “Kaleidoscope” that was selected.

Nancy is Executive Director of the Shepherd’s Center of Annandale Springfield, which helps the elderly live independently. Nancy’s greatest volunteer outreach, however, is found in the Annandale Christian Community for Action, an entirely volunteer faith-based organization that, for 40 years, has provided child care, food, furniture, rental assistance, and more, to needy families in the Annandale, Bailey’s Crossroads, and Culmore communities of Mason District. Nancy just completed a second term as ACCA president. Nancy’s focus on giving neighbors in crisis a helping hand makes her a worthy Lady Fairfax for 2008.