Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

The Lords and Ladies of Fairfax County have been selected, and the 20 outstanding recipients will be honored by the Board of Supervisors at its meeting on Tuesday, in advance of the Celebrate Fairfax! Festival, to be held on June 7, 8 and 9 at the Fairfax County Government Center. The Lords and Ladies were established in 1984 to recognize outstanding achievements, heroism, or volunteer service of Fairfax County citizens. The honorary title also commemorates the family for which Fairfax County was named. Thomas, the sixth Lord Fairfax, Baron of Cameron and proprietor of the Northern Neck, generally is recognized as the founder of what now is Fairfax County. I was pleased to select Frank Sellers and Jo Hodgin as Mason District’s Lord and Lady Fairfax for 2013.

Frank Sellers has served on the Bailey’s Crossroads/Seven Corners Revitalization Corporation (BCRC) for nearly 15 years, serving as president of BCRC since 2005. Under Frank’s leadership, BCRC led the community support to replan Bailey’s Crossroads, spearheaded Columbia Pike’s beautification, and helped win new crosswalks, sidewalks, and traffic lights to improve pedestrian safety. Frank recently founded the Bailey’s Business Breakfasts, a series of public affairs events with local and national speakers. A realtor and former television news anchor residing in the Falls Church area of Mason District, Frank Sellers uses his extensive expertise in business and communications to improve and enhance the quality of life in our vibrant and diverse community, and richly deserves to be Mason District’s Lord Fairfax for 2013.

Jo Hodgin believes that the arts are not optional – they are essential to a vibrant community. Director of Planning and Initiatives at the Wolf Trap Foundation, Jo also chairs the Grants Committee of the Arts Council of Fairfax County, which uses its competitive grants program to challenge artists and arts organizations to excel in their artistic disciplines. She advocated for the arts as a member of the Tysons Task Force and serves on the countywide Master Arts Plan Task Force. Each year since 2003, Jo and her husband, Larry, have led a team from Annandale’s St. Albans Episcopal Church to partner with Nuestra Pequenas Rosas Home for Girls in Honduras, working to move girls from poverty and abuse, to college, work, and a better life. Jo’s passion and compassion make her an excellent Lady Fairfax for Mason District.

One student from each magisterial district also is selected by Celebrate Fairfax! to receive a Community Spirit Scholarship at a breakfast reception on June 8 during the fair. Representing Mason District is J.E.B. Stuart High School senior Xhama Vyas, whose volunteer activities include being a volunteer Candy Striper at INOVA Alexandria Hospital, member of the high school Rotary Club, French Club, and Future Business Leaders of America. Xhama attended the Virginia Governor’s School for the Humanities at Radford University in 2012, and received first place in the Science Fair for physics. Congratulations, Xhama!