The Del Ray Business Association presented its annual Del Ray Star Awards on Dec. 18, to recognize key individuals who have gone above and beyond in their volunteer roles serving the Del Ray Business Association and Del Ray community.
The Del Ray Business Association presented its 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award to Carol Bailey. Bailey, who has lived in Del Ray since 1958, has been an integral part of Del Ray’s signature events from their inception, from managing the permitting process to day-of logistics. “There is no one like Carol Bailey, who was born and raised in Del Ray and who has literally dedicated her life to others and to Del Ray — first as an advocate for children with special needs and then for the last several decades working tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure every special event in Del Ray happens without a hitch,” said Del Ray Business Association Board Member Gayle Reuter. “Her dedication to Del Ray truly comes from her heart and always with a smile.”
The Business Awards were given to Paul Haire of Your Dog’s Best Friends and The Dog Store, and Karen Johnson of PawsGo. Haire, a long-time Del Ray business owner, was the inspiration behind the Del Ray Halloween Parade 21 years ago, and consistently supports community efforts and events in Del Ray. “Whenever we need something, Paul’s there,” said Reuter. Johnson was recognized for her tremendous efforts in building the Del Ray community; she was instrumental in launching the Del Ray Farmers’ Market 25 years ago, chairs the annual Taste of Del Ray, and has worked to build Del Ray as a dog-friendly community — while supporting animal welfare organizations and local businesses — through PawsGo.
The Citizen Award was presented to Jennifer Atkins, who works tirelessly to support the youth in our neighborhood as a past president of the Mount Vernon Community School PTA; the chair of the Mount Vernon Big Flea, the school’s largest fundraiser; and as a volunteer at community events, including as coordinator of the Kids Art Corner at Art on the Avenue.
The City/Government Award winner is Sergeant Daniel Briel of the Alexandria City Police Department, who is the Police Department’s liaison for special events. “We are so fortunate to work with a City that is literally partners with us in everything we do,” said Bailey. “Sgt. Briel is great about attending early morning planning meetings and often taking care of last minute requests, always with a positive ‘we can make this happen’ attitude.”
The Youth Award was presented to the T.C. Williams High School Key Club and T.C. Williams High School Leadership Team, for providing key support and energy for many of Del Ray’s events. “We have some of the most amazing students at T.C. Williams,” said Reuter. “For the Halloween parade, there were here from the moment of set-up until the last-minute tear-down, and were unbelievable.”
Outgoing Del Ray Business Association President Dennis Belmont also presented Presidential Awards, recognizing Mara Benner, Lauren Fisher, and Brian Story for their work on the Del Ray Business Association board.
The Del Ray Business Association represents the independently-owned restaurants, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.
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