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Honoring Monroe

New award, given to Woodlawn senior Weaver, commemorates Arlington’s former board chair.

Almost one year after his death, Arlington County honored former County Board Chair Charles Monroe with a community service award named for him.

At the Jan. 10 Board meeting, Dana Lewis, chair of the Multicultural Advisory Commission, was joined by Monroe’s widow Barbara Monroe, as they presented the first annual Charles Monroe Commitment Award to Camille Weaver, a senior at H.B Woodlawn.

“The commission developed this award to honor Charles Monroe,” said Lewis, “not only for his service to the community, but also for those qualities and traits taht made him the person who he was.”

As a board member and an Arlington resident, she said, Monroe was “really concerned about young people,” which made the award to Weaver especially appropriate.

An honors student at Woodlawn, Weaver volunteers at her parish work camp, soup kitchens and local homeless organizations, Lewis said, while maintaining a 3.8 grade-point average, working full-time and applying to colleges.

“I’m a bit surprised, honestly, that I’m here,” Weaver said. “But it’s a privilege to be here to commemorate a great man. I truly believe [Charles Monroe] was a role model, not just for me … but for every Arlingtonian.”

The award came on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Monroe’s death on Jan. 11, 2003, during a County Board meeting. The anniversary is “a difficult day for us,” said Barbara Monroe.

But being able to celebrate his legacy lightened the load a bit, she said.