When Sy Berdux retired from the Army as an officer, he didn't sit around, he started working for Boeing. When he retired from Boeing, he still didn't sit around.
Already involved as president of Southwood Civic Association, his involvement grew, especially after he received his second phone call from Rose Lambert, chief aide to Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald Hyland.
Berdux said, "It's a wonderful award. I've had tremendous support given to me over the years, from the community and from my church [Washington Farm Methodist]. I especially thank Becky Witsman and the SFDC (Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation) board members."
Witsman said, "Sy put in a tremendous amount of hours for SFDC."
said Tom Collins, SFDC board member. "When he was president, he re-planned the [Richmond] Highway; now we're seeing some of his plans come to fruition. He was also in the middle of the plans for the South County Center."
Lou Kobus, owner of Village Turf, has worked with Berdux on chamber, SFDC and Mount Vernon Coalition issues and said, "He's a tremendous man, very organized, focused and a consensus-taker. He's very supportive of the community."
Linda and Robert Slusser are good friends of the Berduxes and Linda said, "I love what he's done with the Route 1 Corridor."
BEFORE BERDUX received his award, Supervisor Gerry Hyland said, "Mount Vernon is a better place to live because of the efforts of the honoree. He is a committed, dedicated, able, caring, loving and efficient person who gets the job done.
"In the 16 years I've been privileged to represent this area, I can think of no other person who has done more for Mount Vernon and for Lee. He has left his handprints and footprints everywhere."
Hyland added, "If you look at what Sy has been involved in, especially on Route 1, there is a difference, and he has been a part of it. He was an incredibly active member of the Army Museum task force. There are few who can claim all he's done. And Sandy [Berdux], he could not have done it without you. Thank you for that."
Berdux received the award and said, "It's hard to believe that it was 16 years ago, when I first went to Gerry's office. I wanted street lights for Southwood. After that, I received a call from Rose asking me what I wanted to do for Mount Vernon."
Berdux said that he became a member of the council and then served as co-chair. His job at Boeing required him to travel, so his involvement was somewhat limited. When he retired from Boeing on July 1, 1995, he said that Lambert was on the phone to him on July 2. She asked if he would serve on the SFDC development board. He not only served on the board, but went on to serve as the organization's president for five years.
Berdux thanked all of his family, friends and neighbors who had come to support him, as well as the members of his church who attended the gala.