Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church


Each spring, members of the Board of Supervisors select outstanding residents for recognition of their service to the community. Community Champions were honored at an April 25 breakfast sponsored by Volunteer Fairfax. On June 3, the Board will honor the “Lords and Ladies Fairfax,” as part of the annual Celebrate Fairfax, also known as the Fairfax Fair.

Mason District’s Community Champion this year is Mary Patricia “Pat” Daniels, a longtime Lincolnia resident who volunteers her time to the non-profit Lifelong Learning Institute of Northern Virginia Community College (LLI/NOVA). Pat’s advocacy for lifelong learning is infectious. Her enthusiasm for nearly any subject is boundless, and she brings a common sense attitude to the learning process. Pat is the curriculum committee member who coordinates many formal class presentations for older adults and also works with a technology tutor to offer seminars empowering seniors to conquer their fear of technology and feel smart again! Detail oriented, Pat serves our growing older population with grace and sensitivity. For information about LLI/NOVA activities, log on to http://llinova.org.

Longtime Annandale resident Jan Reitman is Mason District’s 2014 Lord Fairfax. Jan contributes time and energy to diverse projects of broad benefit to our community. Representing Mason District on the Fairfax County Trails and Sidewalks Committee since 2008, Jan is a ceaseless advocate for expansion of an interconnecting system of sidewalks, parkland trails, and bike lanes. Jan also served on the Connectivity Subgroup for the Seven Corners Task Force.

Jan is a Certified Application Counselor for the Affordable Care Act, and volunteered with Northern Virginia Family Services to help low-income residents obtain health insurance through the HealthCare.gov Marketplace. He also worked with the Inova Juniper Program and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission to enroll low-income, HIV-positive patients in need of health insurance. Jan is retired from the Defense Logistics Agency, where he served as Director for Environment, Safety, and Occupational Health. He and his wife, Judi, reside in Annandale where they raised three children.

Terry O’Hara Lavoie, Mason District’s Lady Fairfax, has worked in the field of philanthropy for more than 20 years, and is co-founder of the Bailey’s Crossroads Health Access Partnership, a multi-faith collaborative to increase access to healthcare without duplicating efforts already underway by other non-profits. The resulting Culmore Clinic, opened in 2007, supports nearly 1200 patient visits and leverages more than $1.3 million in donated services and time to individuals without access to regular health care. It is a labor of love, and a testament to Terry’s ability to bring together disparate resources to serve a common goal. Terry and her husband, Jack, are active volunteers with the Mason District Little League. They reside in the Parklawn area of Mason District with their school age son and daughter.

Pat, Jan, and Terry are outstanding examples of the volunteer spirit alive and well in Fairfax County. They help make Fairfax County a great place to live, work, play, learn, worship, and yes, volunteer. Congratulations!

 Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov.


 Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov.


  • Penny Gross

    Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be e-mailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov