Senior Services of Alexandria will recognize two Alexandria families at its annual Generation-to-Generation Gala for their long-term commitment to giving back in the local community. The families to be honored are: Jack Taylor and his son John, and the Charity family. SSA will also present its special Community Service award to Gant and Fran Redmon in recognition of their commitment to service and leadership in Alexandria.
“This year’s honorees exemplify the dedication of giving back to the Alexandria community through multiple generations,” said Lynnwood Campbell, SSA’s board chair. “They serve as pillars in the community by making a difference in the lives of many.”
Jack Taylor came to Alexandria in 1973 when he and Frank Page acquired Alexandria Toyota. Jack became the sole owner of the dealership in 1984 and continues to serve as president today. He has been a tireless supporter of many local charities, as well as the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research. Alexandria’s children have also been a high priority for Jack, as evidenced by his involvement with the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria for more than 24 years, contributing more than $1.5 million through car donations, matching funds and direct contributions. He has also been an outstanding support of Capital Caring, raising over a million dollars for the hospice organization.
John Taylor was raised in Alexandria, and after attending Christopher Newport University, he joined his father at Alexandria Toyota, becoming general manager in 2016. John has continued his father’s tradition of giving back to the community through his support of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, and also through his commitment to veteran’s causes. This interest began in 2013 when he worked with a childhood friend, Brendan O’Toole, as he completed a 3,600 mile run across the nation in support of veterans with an Alexandria Toyota RV as a rolling base camp.
William Charity, the 100-year-old patriarch of a four-generation family with deep roots in Alexandria, is an example of strength, perseverance and unconditional love for his family, the Alexandria community, and the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Will served the public for 52 years as a taxi driver and continues to receive correspondence from former clients whose lives he impacted through a giving heart. His daughter, Diane (DeeDee) Marshall inherited the tradition of service to others from watching her mother and father’s work in the community. She sings in the Women’s Ecumenical Choir of the DMV and participates in local cancer walks. She is a member of the Sisters with a Purpose and Jesus Cares ministries at Ebenezer Baptist Church and volunteers with Alexandria’s Voter Registration Office.
Will Charity’s sister Marjorie Burts and her husband Albert grew up in Alexandria, attending historic Parker-Gray High School. Marjorie is the oldest member of the Women’s Ecumenical Choir of the DMV, and received a Certificate of Recognition for her support of the choir. Albert is a military veteran, and served in the Korean War with the Third Infantry Division. He and Marjorie are known for creating a space for family and friends to grow and support one another. Their daughter, Kendra Gleaton, joins her mother and cousin DeeDee in the choir, and she serves as the administrator of the Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Children and Youth Ministry. Kendra volunteers with the March of Dimes, Alexandria Cancer walk, the Salvation Army and the church’s distribution of backpacks and school supplies. She and DeeDee are both certified Red Cross disaster workers.
Gant and Fran Redmon, recipients of the special Community Service award, have been residents of Alexandria for over 55 years. They met in the fourth grade and were married in 1958 after 11 years of courtship. Gant is the managing partner in the law firm of Redmon, Peyton & Braswell LLP, and Fran worked as a couture fashion model and at the legendary Woodward & Lothrop department store before retiring and devoting her time to her work in the arts community. They are active supporters of an incredible number of local non-profit and civic organizations, setting the gold standard for leadership and service.
Over the years, Gant and Fran have worked together in support of the Alexandria Bar Association and the Alexandria Rotary Club, and were named Living Legends of Alexandria in 2011. Gant is a past president of Alexandria Rotary and past chair of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, and has served on numerous boards including the American Cancer Society. He is currently chairman of the Goodwin House Foundation. Gant served as chair of the Alexandria 2000 and Beyond Task Force and as general counsel for the Desert Storm Homecoming Foundation. He is the recipient of the 2016 Annie B. Rose Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alexandria Commission on Aging.
Fran has also served on numerous boards, and is well known for her support of the arts community. She has worked with the boards of the Alexandria Symphony, Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, the Performing Arts Association of Alexandria, Wolf Trap Associates and the Torpedo Factory Arts Center. She was a patron for the American Showcase Theater (now Metro Stage) and Alexandria Harmonizers and participated in the selection by the Art-in-Architecture Commission of “Lady Justice” for the Alexandria Federal Courthouse.
SSA’s Generation-to-Generation Gala will take place on Saturday, March 4 at the Alexandria Mark Center Hilton. Call 703-836-4414 ext 110 or go to www.seniorservicesalex.org for more information about sponsorship opportunities and to buy tickets.