For Beverly Dickerson, volunteering in the community reminds her of the small town where she grew up. By serving as a contact person for many of the area's trail and conservation groups, the Oakton resident gets to know many people and run into friends at the supermarket or at a Fairfax for Horses meeting.
"I feel like I belong," said Dickerson of her involvement.
So when Dickerson received an award from the Hunter Mill Defense League (HMDL) recognizing her service, she was touched.
"I was very surprised and honored. The group's activities are very worthwhile," Dickerson said.
Last Friday, Oct. 24, HMDL recognized Dickerson and five other award recipients during their second annual community service awards reception. The reception, hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Tener, recognized people and groups who made significant contributions to Hunter Mill Road and the surrounding community.
"These individuals and organizations are helping us get to know our neighbors and take pride in the Hunter Mill Road corridor," said Jeannette Twomey, president of the HMDL, in a release. "These are outstanding examples of what we can do together to make a difference."
Dickerson received the Ron Stanton Citizen of the Year award, named after Ron Stanton, an active community member who died in 2001. HMDL recognized Dickerson's participation in parks, trails and environmental issues, through involvement in Fairfax for Horses and Fairfax Trails and Streams.
"It fits well with enjoying the outside and caring for the environment," said Dickerson of her involvement.
Dr. Alli Gularia, a Reston-based orthodontist and Vienna resident, was also recognized by HMDL. With her office staff, she cleaned up litter from a portion of Hunter Mill Road through the Adopt a Highway program.
"Every time they see that Adopt a Highway sign, hopefully they'll think twice about littering," said Gularia, who had been prompted to clean up the litter after seeing it collect due to the construction site at Hunter Mill Road near Chain Bridge Road.
Other award recipients were state Del. Vincent F. Callahan (R-34th), for initiating a traffic-calming study for Hunter Mill Road; Karen Washburn, Dranesville District commissioner with the Fairfax County History Commission, for providing historical expertise to HMDL; the Rev. Robert Pearson, pastor of the Cartersville Baptist Church, for his church's contributions to the community for 140 years; and the Hunter Mill Swim and Racquet Club Team, for being undefeated for five seasons and winning 25 meets and a division championship.