Like the profusion of spring flowers blossoming around Mason District, my column this week is a potpourri of thoughts and opportunities:
Volunteer Fairfax will honor outstanding volunteers in the county tomorrow morning at a breakfast ceremony at The Waterford in Springfield. This year’s 117 honored volunteers have contributed more than 205,000 hours of service to Northern Virginia, the equivalent of a $4.5 million donation to area nonprofit organizations. Stan Garnett of Annandale is this year’s Mason District Community Champion. Stan staffs a Traveler’s Aid post at Dulles International Airport, is a Meals on Wheels driver, and serves on the Broyhill Crest Civic Association’s Neighbor to Neighbor program. Stan also serves on the Global Child Nutrition Foundation board, extending his professional service to volunteer advocacy for feeding children. Thank you, Stan!
There still is time to volunteer for the Culmore Cleanup, celebrating its 10th year this Saturday with an energetic mission to pick up litter in and around Culmore/Bailey’s Crossroads. From small beginnings, the event now brings dozens of volunteers, young and old, to the Woodrow Wilson Library, 6101 Knollwood Drive, Falls Church, where safety vests, trash bags, and maps are distributed to teams who work all morning to make our community gleam. Teams start off at 9 a.m., and finish by noon. Lunch for the volunteers will be provided by Moe’s Southwest Grill, dessert by the City Diner, and water and orange juice by the Coca-Cola Company.
Congratulations to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, which graduated its 132nd academy class last Friday. Twenty-eight new firefighters and EMS personnel completed an arduous six-month course at the Fire Academy, received their permanent black helmets, and went right to work. Two of the new graduates are assigned to Station 28 at Seven Corners; one new recruit is assigned to Station 10 at Bailey’s Crossroads.
Congratulations also to employees of the Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) who participated in the department’s seventh annual award ceremony earlier this month. DPSC personnel consider themselves the first of the first responders, the folks who get the 911 calls first, and dispatch fire or police, depending on the caller’s need. It often is a tense, emotional job, and Fairfax County DPSC personnel are always there, always ready … 24/7/365.
The Fairfax County Commission for Women is seeking a high school or college student interested in serving on the Commission from September 2012 through May 2014. The student will be a voting member of the Commission, and will aid members in gaining perspectives about issues facing young women today. Applicants must be Fairfax County residents attending school in Fairfax County. Resumes and statements describing why they wish to serve on the Commission must be submitted to fairfaxcounty.gov/cfw by May 15.
The current Art in the Mason District Government Center program features the watercolors of local artist Brenda Griffin. A self-taught artist specializing in realism, Brenda attended a class at the Smithsonian, which inspired her to paint with more expression. Her unique perspective includes two “Windows on Cape Cod,” featuring antique window frames with watercolors replacing the original glass panes. Her affection for the water continues in several iterations of Assateague Island ponies in their native habitat. The show continues through May.
Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org