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Celebrating the Best of Reston

More than 650 people came to honor this year’s Best of Reston award winners last Thursday night.

Quoting Albert Schweitzer, the Rev. James Papile, in the convocation, said, “I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

And with that, the 14th Annual Best of Reston Gala was underway.

Dedicated to serving Reston, a crowd of more than 650 people, happy people, gathered at the Hyatt Regency Thursday night to honor a select group for its outstanding community service.

The event also helps raise money for Reston Interfaith, who was presented a check for $126,000. Northrup Grumman and Reston Hospital Center were the signature sponsors for the event and the benefit. The full list of sponsors also included dozens of community groups, businesses and individuals.

The winners were honored for their contributions to the Reston community.

Jack and Laurie Corkey have spent countless hours helping the hungry, the elderly and the sick, volunteering for numerous charitable causes.

Thirty-year Reston resident Dee Cotton, who founded the AARP chapter in Reston, has worked tirelessly on behalf of seniors and affordable housing.

Nancy Davis, who was a founding board member of the Reston Community Center, made helping Reston central to her spare time, including many fundraising efforts and beautification projects in Reston.

Equity Office of Reston Town Center has regularly donated the use of the center’s pavilion, streets and parking lots to local and regional nonprofits to help raise visibility and money for important charitable causes.

Kids R First, an all-volunteer nonprofit, has worked several years to ensure that area children never go without needed school supplies.

The Reston Times, covering the community since 1965, has not only covered the news but has also been committed to helping the community through pro bono advertising and editorial support.

The Reston Association’s natural resources manager of 22 years, Claudia Thompson-Deahl, has consistently served as Reston’s environmental conscience. She has been responsible for bringing several significant environmental honors to Reston.

The ceremony’s highlight was the presentation of awards by Reston Interfaith and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce to the award winners.

“They do what they do without thought of recognition,” said Mary Bogle Malzhan, chairperson for Reston Interfaith.

“So don’t think that we recognize you because you need it, but because we, your neighbors, need to give it to you,” Malzhan said.

To the numerous sponsors and contributors of the event, Donna Miller, chair of the chamber, said, “It shows you’ve put your money where your heart is.”

— Jason Hartke