Springfield Two McLean residents were recognized for their efforts going above and beyond with their time Friday, April 27 at the 20th annual Volunteer Fairfax Service Awards. Fateh Nasir, a senior at McLean High School and Julie Clemente, president of the board of the Friends of Clemyjontri Park were both spotlighted during the ceremony.
Nasir was recognized for his volunteer efforts at the Lewinsvile Adult Day Care Center, which offers recreational and therapeutic activities for seniors. The center aims to provide a full and well-rounded life for adults suffering from dementia, and Nasir’s efforts have been a major part of those efforts .
"Fateh’s passion to help others is constantly demonstrated in the lives that he continues to touch here at LADC," said Mariellen Combs, the certified therapeutic recreation specialist at the center. "We feel that wherever his path will lead him, Fateh will have a very bright, rewarding and happy future."
Nasir assists with recreational activities, serving lunch, playing cards as well as talking and listening to the patients. He is known around the center for being an exceptional reader for many of the clients there.
Clemente was awarded the At Large Community Champion, each of which was chosen by a district Supervisor. As president of the Friends of Clemyjontri Park, Clemente’s efforts have been vital to the state’s first all-accessible playground.
The park was made possible by an 18.5-acre donation from Adele Lebowitz and her family in 2000. Lebowitz put a few conditions on her donation: it has to be accessible to all, there had to be a carousel and it had to be built within five years.
Julie Clemente and her husband Dan got involved, founding the 501(c)3 Friends of Clemyjontri Park to help the efforts. Last year, the park opened the Liberty Swing, which allows all children, even if they are in a wheelchair, to ride.
"Public parks and playgrounds aren’t all built this way," said Julie Clemente. "We recommend that everyone else in the country do what Fairfax County does so well, which is to ensure we have a place where everyone is recognized for what they can do, not what they can’t do."
Julie Clemente’s efforts helped raise more than $100,000 last year to purchase the swing and make other improvements around the park.