Only truly special and deserving people receive the James D. McDonnell Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Service, and the 2002 recipient is Dick Frank of Centreville's Gate Post Estates community.
The award is presented each year by the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) in honor of the late Jim McDonnell of Virginia Run who served the local community so tirelessly. Frank, too, served his community with distinction until he succumbed to cancer, last month, at age 66.
Before giving the award, Monday night, to Frank's widow, Sue, during the WFCCA's quarterly meeting, WFCCA member Carol Hawn said that, this year, the members received "more nominations than we had in the past — and they were all for the same person."
"I wish Dick Frank were here for this meeting," said the WFCCA's Jim Hart. But he noted he was sure that Frank, McDonnell and the late Rick Korink (also a past WFCCA member) "had this meeting on their calendar and are watching over us tonight."
Explaining how McDonnell "gave to his community in an unselfish way," Hart said Frank did likewise, devoting countless hours for the good of the community and exemplifying the qualities that the McDonnell award honors.
Not only was Frank one of the WFCCA's founders, he also served as its president, as well as a member and chairman of its land-use committee. He also served as the committee's transportation chairman and the Sully District transportation commissioner.
"He genuinely wanted to help the community," said Hart. "He believed that, through meetings like this, we could reach consensus. His leadership and his example of fairness and credibility will be long remembered. And the fact that no other nominations were made speaks volumes."
Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) said that, if Frank were present, he probably wouldn't let the WFCCA honor him because he never sought personal glory. "But it's very appropriate and is a way we can thank him," said Frey. "This is well-deserved and long overdue."
Added Sue Frank: "He was an informal individual, but I really appreciate this. And I know Jim McDonnell and Rick Korink are with him, too."