Living Legends of Alexandria, Virginia announced its selections for the newly inducted 2019 Living Legends. The 2019 Living Legends were vetted from an array of nominations that were submitted by the public and received through fall of last year.
These community leaders were chosen based on their having met one or both of two selection criteria as evidence of having improved the quality of life in the City of Alexandria by having:
- led the creation or redevelopment of something which wouldn’t have existed without their involvement; or
- demonstrated substantial and sustained contributions over a significant period of time.
Living Legends of Alexandria 2019
- Ronal Butler – Since 2002, Ronal Butler has served on the board of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, including five years as president from 2012-2017. He has also contributed his time and resources to the Campagna Center, Alexandria Rotary Club, Northern Virginia Urban League and the Ira Dorsey Scholarship Endowment Fund.
- Brooke Curran – In 2009, Brooke Curran founded RunningBrooke, a nonprofit that serves at-risk children by encouraging physical activity. To date, the organization has contributed more than $1.5 million to the local community through Move2Learn grants and scholarships and improvements to local schools and parks.
- James Henson – James Henson, a longtime member and officer of the Departmental Progressive Club, has worked to preserve the history of African Americans in Alexandria through his leadership in several community organizations. He was instrumental in the publication of the book “Change Agents, which details the influence of African Americans in the city’s history.
- Jane King – Jane King spearheaded the development and creation of the Alexandria Strategic Plan on Aging, which addressed the need for affordable housing, accessible transportation and workforce development for those over the age of 50. She served as chair of the Commission on Aging and is currently the chair of At Home Alexandria.
- Capt. Eugene “Red” McDaniel – Recognized as one of the most brutally tortured POWs during the Vietnam War, Capt. Eugene McDaniel returned to Alexandria following his release and founded Adult Companion Care to help provide quality home care for seniors. He also founded the Alexandria-based American Defense Institute to provide citizen education and leadership training for young Americans.
- Lawrence “Robbie” Robinson – Lawrence Robinson joined the Alexandria Elks Lodge #48 in 1968, where he led an annual oratorical contest for students and was recognized as Virginia State Association Elk of the Year in 2002. A member of the Departmental Progressive Club for more than 50 years, Robinson has spent many of those years serving as an officer of the club, including 12 as its president.
- Jason and Loren Yates – Since 1982, Jason and Loren Yates have been committed to improving the Braddock Metro/Del Ray community. Decades-long efforts have resulted in the transformation of abandoned buildings into Yates Corner, a lively retail destination, while Yates Automotive contributes to local charities through its monthly “Give Your 2 Cents” gas purchase program.
The public is invited to the 12th Annual Meet the Legends Reception on Thursday, March 14, 2019, at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial, at which time the 2019 Legends will be formally recognized and introduced to the public. Following a year-long exhibit in the Vola Lawson Lobby of City Hall, the photographic and written documentation of these Legends is transferred to the Office of Historic Alexandria, which takes possession of them as an archive for future generations.
The mission of Living Legends of Alexandria, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is to identify, honor and chronicle the lives of individuals who have made significant contributions to improve the quality of life in Alexandria. The project was conceived and the organization founded in 2006 by Living Legend Nina Tisara in order to create an enduring, documented record of the people whose vision and dedication made a positive, tangible difference to the quality of life in Alexandria.
We salute the 2019 distinguished Living Legends and thank them for their selfless contributions and service to the city of Alexandria, Virginia.