Alexandria resident and lawyer Ludwig P. Gaines, was honored as one of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area’s 2002 Unsung Heroes. Gaines, a member of the city’s Planning Commission and Senior Vice President of the Alexandria based Government & Business Solutions, Inc., an information technology and management firm, was humbled by the award presented to him March 18.
“Service itself, the opportunity to help those in need and the chance to make the City of Alexandria a better place for all, is reward enough,” said Gaines. “I am truly humbled by this honor and accept it for all those I’ve been fortunate to help along the way. I am particularly proud to bring this distinction home to the City of Alexandria.”
Gaines was selected an Unsung Hero “for his outstanding contribution and dedicated service to his community” at an afternoon luncheon awards ceremony in the District sponsored by WBDC-TV (WB50) and its parent company, the Tribune Company. Gaines, one of eight Unsung Heroes so honored, was the only honoree from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Featured in the April 26, 2001, Alexandria Gazette Packet profile “A Life Built on Discipline, Dedication: Ludwig Gaines Making an Impact in City,” Gaines was selected by the Tribune Co. and WBDC-TV for his impressive, inspiring and numerous community service accomplishments and charitable endeavors. These include past and present service on a host of city, non-profit and community boards, commissions and organizations such as the city’s Planning Commission, Human Rights Commission, DASH/Alexandria Transit Board of Directors, Jury Commission, Landlord-Tenant Relations Board, the Recreation Needs Assessment Committee, Burke Library Re-use Task Force; and on non-profits such as Alexandria United Way Executive Committee, Alexandria Inova Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees, Alexandria NAACP Executive Committee, and the Alexandria Branch of the National Junior Tennis League (NJTL), among others.
Gaines, a graduate of the Howard University School of Law, was also recognized for his successful pro bono service to local community groups the Coalition to Save the Burke Branch Library and the Friends of the Freedmen’s Cemetery, on whose board he also sits. To his delight, Burke Library re-opened refurbished and renovated earlier this month, and also underway is the planning process for a fitting memorial at the current Freedmen’s Cemetery.
A self described change agent, Gaines impact in the City of Alexandria has been nothing less than extraordinary and a testament to his passion for public service and selflessness. Perhaps the most poignant example of this commitment has been Gaines involvement in, and generosity to, the Alexandria City Public Schools System and its students. Over the past year, Gaines, despite his busy work schedule, has logged over 200 hours as a substitute teacher, working first-hand with students throughout the city - including those enrolled in the school systems alternative education program designed to work back in students outside the academic mainstream.
Additionally, Gaines, who has sponsored essay contests for public school students through the Alexandria Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, has made plans to donate his substitute teacher earnings to Alexandria non-profits. A member of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, Gaines has selected the Alexandria Education Partnership to receive the $300 cash award he received as a 2002 Unsung Hero.