In Fairfax County’s long history (the county was created in 1742), a few names stand out.
George Washington may have been Fairfax County’s most illustrious and significant resident, but England’s Fairfax family played a significant role in the early history of our now-burgeoning locality. According to Fairfax County, Virginia, A History, the Fairfax family “exercised powerful influence on the affairs of Fairfax County. Until the time of the Revolution, they were, even before the Washingtons, the first family of Fairfax County.” Thomas, fifth Lord Fairfax, and his son Thomas, sixth Lord Fairfax, controlled the proprietary patent, or land grant from the king, and Lord Fairfax arrived in 1735 to ensure the boundaries were properly surveyed.
So it is not surprising that the Board of Supervisors, in the mid-1980s, when seeking an appropriate title to honor outstanding citizens, chose to call these honored volunteers “Lord and Lady Fairfax.” The designation carries with it no special duties or responsibilities, and definitely not any land, but it does provide an opportunity to say “thanks” for service to the community. Every year since 1984, each Supervisor selects appropriate recipients who are honored at a Board of Supervisors meeting and also at a dinner just prior to the Celebrate Fairfax! weekend.
Kevin and Suzanne Holland, Mason District’s Lord and Lady Fairfax this year, are a husband and wife team who toil quietly as volunteers, but who make a difference to our quality of life each and every day. Kevin, an EMT and Volunteer Fire Chief at busy Bailey’s Crossroads Station 10, personally serves more than 350 volunteer hours every year. As Membership Recruiter, he increased volunteer membership by 50 percent, and doubled volunteer service hours. Kevin is a founding member of the Friends of Hidden oaks Nature Center, and organized the Certified Community Wildlife Habitat initiative in Mason District. He even persuaded me to make my backyard into a wildlife habitat! Kevin also delivers Meals on Wheels, works with youth through Rotary Club programs, and holds many leadership positions in Boy Scouting.
Suzanne Holland is the distaff side of this terrific twosome. Suzanne works full-time for the Fairfax County Park Authority as a program specialist for Hidden Oaks Nature Center. She also volunteers her own time to help children and their families learn about the natural world. Suzanne might be found teaching children about roly-polys in Nature Playce at Hidden Oaks, and launching delicate tagged monarch butterflies on their migration to Mexico. She mentors Boy Scouts for Nature and Reptile and Amphibian Study merit badges, and participated in the Befriend-A-Child Mentor program.
For their outstanding volunteer work in all parts of our community, serving young and old alike, Kevin and Suzanne Holland are worthy recipients of the titles “Lord and Lady Fairfax” for 2009.