Mother’s Day came to Reston just over a week ahead of time this year.
Last Thursday’s Best of Reston award ceremony honored individuals and businesses who have made significant volunteer contributions to the community. But the award winners were not the only people honored at the event: there were also the award winners’ mothers.
"I don’t know how you did such a fantastic job raising us nine kids, at 39 years of age, even after our father died," said Reston urologist Janice Arnold. Arnold was honored for her work speaking to men throughout the metropolitan area on issues surrounding prostate cancer. She also organizes an annual prostate cancer symposium, in cooperation with the American Cancer Society.
Arnold’s mother, Annie L. Arnold, came up from Atlanta for the ceremony, which took place at the Reston Hyatt. The mother and daughter sat together at the banquet, along with other friends and family members.
"I am so proud," Annie Arnold said. "She has always been a go-getter. Whenever she resolves to do something, she goes for the gold."
Like Arnold, longtime Restonian Ann Rodriguez, who received the award for her numerous contributions to Reston’s business and cultural arenas, included her mother in her award acceptance speech.
"One day, when I was a girl, I walked into the room when my mother was talking to my brother," Rodriguez said. "She said if you receive a compliment, say, ‘Oh, thank you. Everything I am or aspire to be, I owe to my mother.’"
After making the rounds, talking to various people at the dinner, award-winner Juan Pacheco made his way back to his table, where he was sitting with his mother and various family and friends. "This is where the cool people are sitting," Pacheco said. His mother, Prancito Pacheco, said it felt "great" to be there.
Six hundred and thirty-eight people attended the dinner, jointly sponsored by Reston Interfaith and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. The dinner raised $121,915 for Reston Interfaith. The total was higher than last year’s $113,000, and met the organizers’ $120,000 goal.