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Providence Says 'Thank You"

Council recognizes community service and citizen advocacy.

The Providence District Council held its annual Community Service Award presentation and holiday party last Tuesday evening at the Dunn Loring Administrative Center. Certificates of Appreciation were presented to state Del. Steve Shannon (D-35), State Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-34) and U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), and a posthumous Community Service Award was accepted by Fay Fahs on behalf of her late husband Jim Fahs.

Becky Cate, head of the Providence District Council, presented the awards. Jim Fahs was being recognized, she said, for his "outstanding community service and participation," including his roles in Boy Scouts, as a civic association officer and as an elder in the Fairfax Presbyterian Church.

"We should have given this award many years ago to Jim," said Cate.

"He had very large shoes, and I'm doing what I can to fill them," said Allie Felder, who took over Fahs's role in Boy Scouts. Fahs had been merit badge dean and had sat on the Scouts' District Council.

Anne Pastorkovich, who knew Fahs from the Fairlee Workgroup and other community organizations, said their shared interest in bicycle advocacy had brought them together.

SHE POINTED OUT that Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence) had wanted to present the award, but had a previous engagement. Smyth, Pastorkovich reported, had said she would always remember Fahs showing up at meetings in a Scouts uniform.

As she handed awards to Shannon and Devolites Davis, Cate thanked them for their advocacy of citizen interests with regard to the proposed developments at MetroWest and Hunter Mill, as well as the preservation of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

She commended U.S. Rep. Davis for drawing attention to the need for buffer zones along the W&OD and for helping to open up the decision process for the MetroWest project to the public.

"You are the eyes and ears for us," Davis told the citizens gathered there. "I don't mind hearing from you, even if you disagree with me."

His wife, Devolites Davis, agreed but added that, as a politician, "you always hear from people who don't like what you're doing." She said she appreciated getting some positive recognition on this occasion.

Shannon said that, although a number of the issues of interest to people in the room fell outside his jurisdiction, this would not stop him from pushing those issues. He said he believes a politician "serves the people, not the issues."