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Businesses Beautify the Corridor

Mary Thonen Beautification Awards Given Out

Businesses up and down Richmond Highway have beautified their properties and it hasn't gone unnoticed.

The Southeast Fairfax Development Corportation has announced the winners in the Mary Thonen Beautification Award competition and the winners run the gamut from motels to apartments to fast food restaurants.

This annual award, presented by the SFDC Board of Directors was created to honor long-serving SFDC board member Mary Thonen. This year’s award is of special significance because Mary Thonen died in May of this year. While this award was created in her honor, now it will serve as a memoriam to her life and the hard work and dedication she showed in her service to the Mount Vernon and Lee communities.

The Mary Thonen Beautification Award recognizes local businesses and property owners for their contributions to Richmond Highway beautification in the form of landscape improvements. While SFDC and Fairfax County have improved the highway’s center medians, it is up to individual business owners to landscape in front of their businesses and along the service drive medians.

THIS YEAR'S CONTINUED winners include The Travelers Motel, Huntington Gateway Luxury Apartments and Townhomes, Montebello Luxury Condominiums, Belle Haven Towers, Cherry Arms Apartments, Mount Vernon Square Apartments, South Meadows Condominiums, Holly, Woods and Vine, Engleside Shopping Center and Taco Bell. New winners this year are Shoneys Restaurant and Lockheed Exxon Station. Mr. Kleen Car Wash receives an award after receiving an honorable mention in 2001.

The SFDC encourages honorable mention winners to aspire for an award next year; they are: Hampton Inn Hotel, Penn Daw McDonalds, Fairview Wendy’s, Beacon Hill Cat Hospital, Beacon Mall, Comfort Inn Mount Vernon, Meadow Woods Apartments, Ryland Homes’ Mt. Zephyr, Rorers Produce, SkyView Apartments and Woodlawn McDonalds.

While the SFDC does not have specific minimum qualifications for nominees, winners generally have landscaped both their storefront area and their service drive medians with a mixture of trees, shrubs and colorful annual plantings.