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St. Elmo's Brews Service Award

Alexandria's St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, 2300 Mt. Vernon Ave., is a winner of this year's Governor's Community Service and Volunteerism award for business,

St. Elmo's was one of 22 groups, individuals and families to be honored. Gayle Reuter, a member of the Potomac West Business Association, nominated St. Elmo's for the award.

"St. Elmo's, a wonderful little coffee shop that is owned by Nora Partlow and Scott Mitchell, has become much more to the Del Ray community of Alexandria. No matter what the cause, St. Elmo's is always there," Reuter said. "One of St. Elmo's proudest traditions is being a catalyst for local artists. They have provided many aspiring artists the opportunity to display their works or give live performances.

She said that St. Elmo's has raised over $7,000 for a new skateboard park, has hosted book fairs and fundraisers, and has donated over $500 in books to Network Preschool.

Mayor William D. Euille added his congratulations on the award. "St. Elmo's is the heart and soul of Del Ray," he said. "Who knew that a coffee shop could begin the series of events that has led to today's vibrancy and liveliness along the Avenue," Euille said.

Partlow was pleased by the recognition. "It was quite an honor," she said. "Scott and I both feel that we are and want to be an integral part of this community. When we opened St. Elmo's, we decided that we would focus our charity efforts primarily on children and that's what we have done. We respond to as many requests as we can and help other businesses in other ways. This is a small community and we love being part of it," she said.

Gov. Mark R. Warner presented the award last Wednesday night in Richmond.

"This event celebrates the generosity of Virginians and their efforts to enhance the lives of their neighbors, and affords us the opportunity to publicly thank them," Warner said.