Volunteer Alexandria announces 2017 ‘Heart of Alexandria’ winners


By Missy Schrott | mschrott@alextimes.com

This past week, Volunteer Alexandria announced the winners of its 2017 Volunteer Awards. Four local volunteers and one group will be presented the awards at the 23rd Annual “Volunteers are the Heart of Alexandria” ceremony on Oct. 19.

“These awards shine a well-deserved light on those who give of themselves and their time in service to the community and others,” Volunteer Alexandria Board President David Chamowitz said, in a statement.

Julie Jakopic, president of iLead Strategies, will receive the Marian Van Landingham Lifetime Achievement Award. For the past 25 years, she has volunteered with organizations that focus on helping Alexandria’s women, low income and special needs citizens.

Eleanor Lindeman and Donna Reuss will both receive the Grassroots Volunteer Service Award. Lindeman is a former T.C. Williams High School teacher who now dedicates her time to INOVA Alexandria Hospital. Reuss volunteers at several local organizations, including the Alexandria American Legion Post 24.

Denise Mackie-Smith will receive the RSVP Northern Virginia Service Award. She dedicates her time to the RSVP program and the Alexandria Commission on Aging.

The Youth Volunteer Service Award will be given to The Bryce Project. The teenagers behind the project have donated more than 4,000 hours of service at several local organizations since its establishment in 2012.

“Julie, Donna, Eleanor, Denise, and the teenagers from the Bryce Project are being recognized by our nonprofit partners and the community for their outstanding volunteer service and leadership within the Alexandria community,” said Marion Brunken, Executive Director of Volunteer Alexandria. “They have gone above and beyond the call of duty. These awards are being given in appreciation of their hard work and dedication to organizations within Alexandria.”

NBC4’s Julie Carey will present the awards at the ceremony. It will take place at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 19. Tickets can be purchased online for $50.