The 2004 Best of Reston Awards of Community Service were presented to eight businesses and individuals Thursday night at the 13th annual black-tie gala at the Hyatt Regency Reston.
The awards, given to those Restonians that display the greatest committment to public service, are the biggest fundraiser for Reston Interfaith, a local non-profit organization that runs the homeless shelter, the food pantry, and programs for needy children.
Nearly 600 people attended the gala Thursday, dressed in tuxedos and evening gowns, helping to raise a total of $115,300 for Reston Interfaith, said Kerrie Wilson, the organization’s executive director.
Many of Reston’s business, civic and political leaders spoke at the event, praising Reston Interfaith’s commitment to helping the poor and under-privileged members of the region.
“This is a strong community and it’s made even stronger by Reston Interfaith,” said Joe Watson, chairman of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and CEO of StrategicHire.
Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston) said the community members being honored with the Best of Reston awards exemplify what makes Reston different from elsewhere.
“Virginia’s a different kind of place and Reston is a different kind of place,” he said. “Reston’s the kind of place the rest of Virginia ought to be.”
Most of the Best of Reston Awards recipients, the majority of whom are used to working behind the scenes, said they were humbled by the attention and urged other members of the community to get involved.
“There is a place for everyone in volunteer work,” said Nancy Susco, director of Reston Hospital’s surgical unit and a 2004 Best of Reston recipient. “You just have to find your niche and pursue it and you won’t be disappointed with the outcome.”
In addition to Susco, the 2004 Best of Reston recipients were Karen Connell Cleveland, MillerMusmar CPAs, Whole Foods, Dick and Janet Hays, Linda Miller and Ellen Graves.