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Burke Award Recipients Honored For Selfless Public Service

Jane Lee and Carlyle "Connie" Ring became the 22nd recipients of the Esther Dashiell Taylor Burke Award.

Surrounded by their four children and spouses, eight grandchildren, and a host of friends and well-wishers, the Rings accepted the city honor at the headquarters of the Alexandria Chapter of The American Red Cross during ceremonies March 17.

Presented to those who have contributed outstanding philanthropic and humanitarian service to the Alexandria Community in the great Red Cross tradition, the award is named in honor of the founder of the Alexandria Chapter and its first chairperson.

In accepting the recognition, Connie Ring said, "There must be something in the water here to make people want to do for Alexandria." Jane Lee Ring buttressed his assessment by noting, "We are put on this earth to serve others and we are fortunate enough to be able to do that."

Both Connie and Jane Lee indicated they were particularly honored to be chosen with all the possible nominees available. Jane Lee said, "All the previous recipients have been outstanding people. I am very humbled by being selected."

Although they were nominated by Patricia Lewis for their service with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, both have been involved with a myriad community activities over the years. It was noted that they, as individuals and as a couple, "have made Alexandria a better place to live."

At the ceremony Lewis said, "Jane has always been there for anything and anybody to help in any way she can. We support each other."

PUBLIC SERVICE

In addition to the symphony, Jane Lee has been involved with the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Junior Auxiliary of the Alexandria Hospital, and the League of Women Voters. She is also a past chair of the Alexandria Republican City Committee and, along with her husband, is an active participant in Carpenters Shelter.

Connie was a member of Alexandria City Council from 1979 to 1988 and is currently Vice Chair of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. He is also active with the symphony and the Westminster Presbyterian Church.

As a lawyer, he has been involved with developing, drafting and advocating passage of Uniform State Laws, most notably Article 4-A of the Uniform Commercial Code which benefits citizens nationwide. Connie has served as an advisor on legal matters to citizens who cannot afford legal services.

The 50-plus attendees were reminded that both have not only been politically active throughout their lives, but also have willingly supported others in the political arena.

It was noted, "Jane still gets up at 4 a.m. to open the polls on election day. And she does all the other necessary chores to make the system work. The city, and those that have called it home over the last four decades have benefitted immeasurably from the selfless devotion and enthusiasm of Jane and Connie Ring."

The award was presented by Glenn Zauber, Chairman, Alexandria Red Cross Board of Directors, making the Rings the 28th and 29th Alexandrians so honored since its inception in 1981. Other speakers at the event were Alexandria Mayor Kerry Donley and Hunt Burke, who explained the history of the award.