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 1,800+ Volunteers and over 39,000 Hours Served, Valued at over $1,240,000

Every year, thousands of people decide to donate their time and talents to help others and our community. Volunteers are the Heart of Alexandria celebrating volunteers who gave their time and expertise to make our City a better place for all of us in 2023. VolALX recognizes and honors the work of volunteers and businesses that supported Alexandria's nonprofit organizations and community. Volunteers give vital assistance in fulfilling our mission and we could not do what we do without the help of those who donate their time, talents, and skills. Review a full list of all nominees and awardees. 

Thank you to the 1,800+ volunteers! View a full list. 

Register to attend the brunch ceremony (FULL)

This year's Marian Van Landingham Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Patricia (Tricia) Rodgers. Tricia has been a consistent advocate for economic security and health equity her entire life, using policy, systems change, and programs to make a difference. Tricia devotes countless hours to improving the health and wellbeing of people who live in our community through both her direct actions, and by serving as a trusted advisor and mentor to key leaders in the City. Tricia has been committed to this work for 40 years, and she continues to be an outspoken volunteer and advocate, pressing for better community conditions for all residents. Read more about Tricia's contribution. Thank you, Tricia, and congratulations!

This year's Joan White Grassroots Volunteer Service Award goes to Kendra Burlingame, who volunteers with the SCAN of Northern Virginia - Alexandria/Arlington CASA Program. Kendra has forever changed six children’s lives as she advocated for their best interests in court, with child welfare, in school, and with their caregivers. She visited children wherever they were placed, sometimes two hours away, because she knew that changing placements can be frightening, and it helped to see that familiar face that promised to stick with them until they reached permanency. Part of an advocate’s job requires that they maintain objectivity—not always an easy thing to do when a child has been hurt. Kendra remains judgment-free regardless of the acting-out behaviors so common for our children who have experienced trauma. While other adults see the negatives, Kendra always finds the positives because every child should have the opportunity to be their best self. Each of those six children was set up to succeed in school, which will improve their outcomes as adults. Her open-mindedness reminds stakeholders not to judge individuals by their worst moments or actions during the lowest point in their lives. Congratulations and thank you, Kendra for caring! Learn more about Kendra.

The Youth Volunteer Service Award goes to Maddy Sleeter, who volunteers with the Friends of the Mt. Vernon Trail. Maddy volunteers every Saturday, and she is a consistent and dependable volunteer. Due to her commitment to the organization, she officially became their first Youth Volunteer Leader in the organization. This has elevated her to have leadership responsibilities during volunteer events such as managing other volunteers and overseeing the safety of volunteers working on the Mount Vernon Trail. Maddy has served as a role model for other youth who come to volunteer events. Since she started volunteering, the agency has seen an increase in the number of youth volunteers attending events and giving back to the Mount Vernon Trail. Congratulations and thank you, Maddy, for serving! Learn more about Maddy.

The RSVP Volunteer Service Award goes to the Capital Caring Health Team, Mary Emerick, Laura Robertson, and Mary Beth Cockerham. All three support the agency's mission to provide compassionate and comprehensive advanced illness care, ensuring patients and families experience quality of life, dignity, and support throughout their healthcare journey. They do so through various tasks including spending time with patients in their final moments, utilizing their skills and unwavering compassion to advocate for and support hospice patients, assisting with administrative tasks, and actively participating in the recruitment of additional volunteers through interviews. Congratulations and thank you for helping people in need. More details about each person.

The Business Philanthropist of the Year Award goes to Mary Wadland, The Zebra Press. The paper is an ALL GOOD NEWS printed tabloid, and is the city’s largest publication with 30,000 doorstep-delivered copies to residences and businesses all over town. The paper has been serving Alexandria for years, promoting important causes to help others in Alexandria. Their only good news bring smiles to people and organizations. Contributions like the Zebra’s are vital for agencies like Volunteer Alexandria to engage others in service and share details about our community. Mary Wadland and her team have donated their skills and time to edit stories, create ads, and post events on their online paper. Mary has donated over $30,000 annually to VolALX alone encouraging people to volunteer for an organization in Alexandria. The Zebra Press has been an example of being a good corporate citizen and Mary has shown how business can give back to a community it serves. We appreciate you! CONGRATULATIONS and thank you for serving to make a difference!

We are excited to share that VolALX has been approved as an official Certifying Organization for the President's Volunteer Service Award. Congratulations to the volunteers receiving a medal.

The Teens Gold Medal (11-15 years old, 100+  hours) will be given to Willow Groehn, 252 hours served and Corey Hess-Nelson, 243 hours served. Both volunteered with the Alexandria Library System. 

The Adult Gold Medal (26+ years old, 500+ hours) will be given to Laura Kopelson, who volunteered 567 hours with Alexandria Library; Helen Morris, 1920 hours and Janet Fleetwood, 768 hours both volunteered with Alexandria Seaport Foundation; Nancy Lee, who volunteered 670 hours with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria; Annabelle Manyo-Hicks, 580 hours and Lydia Guirguis, 1094 hours both volunteered with the City of Alexandria Sexual Assault Center; and Judd Isbell served 538 hours with the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail. Thank you! Review full list of all medalists.

This event is sponsored by    

City of Alexandria, CommonWealth One Federal Credit Union, Dominion Energy, T.J. Fannons & Sons, Kevin Greenlief,

KWC Certified Public Accountants, Wegman's, and The Zebra Press

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