Local Volunteers Recognized

Local Volunteers Recognized

Mayor Michael O'Reilly recognized more than 300 volunteers on April 17. Each had committed at least 100 hours of their time last year to make Herndon a better place to live.

In addition to O'Reilly and council members present to recognize the volunteers, Virginia Williams — mother of Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams — spoke about the importance of volunteers in the community.

State Sen. Janet Howell (D-32) and Del. Tom Rust (R-86) were also present.

"It is awe inspiring how many people we have that are willing to step up and help our community," said O'Reilly after the event.

Along with recognizing the 300-plus community volunteers, O'Reilly also announced this year's winners of the Distinguished Service Award. This year's recipients were Jerry Carter, Chris Griffin and Guy Masters.

Criteria for the Distinguished Service Award include: the candidates must have displayed extensive communitywide volunteer support; demonstrated a willingness to assume multiple responsibilities; provided leadership; and a long-term dedication to the community through their volunteer support.

CARTER FIRST MOVED to Herndon in 1988 and immediately became active in the community through the Herndon Optimist Club. Now, with more than 15 years of active membership and volunteer support, he has held multiple leadership positions including treasurer, vice president and president.

Over the years, Carter has been an assistant coach and coach for both boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball and football. Currently he is a basketball league referee.

Carter also serves on the Athletic Council of Fairfax County as the Herndon representative.

Currently he is best known as the vice president of sports, overseeing six sports leagues involving more than 3,000 youth and their parents. Carter provides oversight to Optimist sports activities, schedules the allocation of ball fields, gym space as well as providing oversight of all officials.

In addition to his involvement with sport he also assists with the Herndon High School All Night Grad Celebration Casino, provides volunteer support for the Friday Night Live and supports other community programs on behalf of the Town of Herndon.

GRIFFIN FIRST BECAME involved in town as the owner of Griffin-Owens and Associates Nationwide Insurance company.

After establishing her business, Griffin quickly became involved in the community and with organizations that contribute to the quality of life in Herndon.

Since then she has spent many hours leading charitable drives and pursuing grant requests that have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for Herndon nonprofits and national charities.

Most recently, under her leadership as president, Vecinos Unidos/Neighbors United Inc. received another grant for the creation of a Youth Safe Haven in town to benefit the area's youth.

Griffin is the vice president of community outreach for, and is on the executive committee of, the Herndon Dulles Chamber of Commerce, co-chair of the Downtown Business Council and is a member of the Council for the Arts of Herndon board.

In addition she was selected as the Herndon Dulles Business and Professional Woman of the Year in 2003.

Griffin also serves as a tutor at the Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center helping children with homework through the Vecinos Unidos after-school homework assistance program.

MASTERS HAS DEDICATED more than 30 years of volunteer support to the community, dating back to the early 1970s.

For many years he was an active member and officer of the Greater Herndon Jaycees where he assisted with many Herndon community events such as the homecoming parade, 4th of July celebration, Halloween Haunted House, Children’s Christmas Parties and many other activities.

Masters joined the Herndon Police Citizens Support team in 1977 looking for a means to expand his volunteer time in the community as well as provide support to the Herndon Police Department.

In the past 25 years, Masters has volunteered more than 300 hours annually to the support team including continuing to assist with such events as the Herndon Festival, Homecoming Parade, Community Day and any other special events associated with traffic control.

More importantly, Masters has worked to build and develop the Citizens Support Team by successfully recruiting and working to retain high-caliber members to the team.

He patrols the streets of Herndon in his personal vehicle looking for suspicious activity or simply helping a stranded motorist.

Masters has organized the Support Team car show which has become an annual town event and now serves as the president of the Support Team.

Upon his retirement from the federal government, he has volunteered for additional duties and serves as a member of the Herndon Crime Prevention Council.