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Living Legends 2016

Posted on | April 8, 2016 | No Comments

A Fun and Glamorous Night in a Stunning Venue

By Kris Gilbertson

If you haven’t yet stepped inside the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, put it on your list. The 10-story PTO atrium is breathtaking and if it makes you feel like a first-time tourist in NYC, go ahead and gawk. I did. It gave the guards a chuckle.

(standing L-R) Herman Boone, Bill Cleveland, Warden Foley, Congressman Don Beyer, Janet Barnet, Mayor Allison Silberberg, Ulysses James, Jodie Smolik, Steve Nearman, Councilwoman Del Pepper. (sitting L-R) Ruth Cleveland, Wanda Dowell, Elizabeth "Betsy" Anderson and Diane Charles. (Photo: Harry Merritt)

(standing L-R) Herman Boone, Bill Cleveland, Warden Foley, Congressman Don Beyer, Janet Barnet, Mayor Allison Silberberg, Ulysses James, Jodie Smolik, Steve Nearman, Councilwoman Del Pepper. (sitting L-R) Ruth Cleveland, Wanda Dowell, Elizabeth “Betsy” Anderson and Diane Charles. (Photo: Harry Merritt)

The evening of March 15 was still chilly with winter threatening to return, but the Living Legends of Alexandria 2016 reception on the PTO’s lower level was a site of warm hospitality, good conversation, and fine music. Some 300 Alexandrians, including Mayor Silberberg and Congressman Beyer, came to honor this year’s 12 Living Legends, and have a good time doing it.

Living Legends President Jennifer Ayres and Master of Ceremonies John Porter recognized each for his or her contributions to Alexandria. Over the years, these 12 Legends (actually 14, as there are two duos) have made vital contributions in wide-ranging areas:

• visual arts, music, and creative potential

• history and innovative science programs

• youth sports programs and civic engagement

• child abuse prevention and family support networks

• senior services

To read the profile of each 2016 Living Legend, go to the January issue of Zebra (thezebra.org) and search on 2016 Living Legends.

One of the group, Maestro Kim Allen Kluge, was unable to attend in person, but joined the party via a special video, “Live from Los Angeles.”

Music was provided by the George Washington Middle school orchestra (L-R) Leah Nickelsburg, Mia Lunati, Jonathon Morgan Petrini, Paul Ostesmann-Healey, Julie Mills-Cizek, Eliza Medearis, Noah Sapp, Thomas Haynes, Crispin Enges and Kristian Dillon (Photo: Harry Merritt)

Music was provided by the George Washington Middle school orchestra (L-R) Leah Nickelsburg, Mia Lunati, Jonathon Morgan Petrini, Paul Ostesmann-Healey, Julie Mills-Cizek, Eliza Medearis, Noah Sapp, Thomas Haynes, Crispin Enges and Kristian Dillon (Photo: Harry Merritt)

The night’s festivities included two auctions: One silent, with 47 items including food and wine, collectibles, art in many genres, theater and recreation experiences, and even an oil change. And one live (and quite lively) auction offered Nationals tickets with stadium parking, a drone, and a memorial brick.

In closing comments, Ayres remarked that the universal reaction when a new Legend is notified is gratitude to be chosen while still alive. “They feel that they are just doing what they were supposed to do,” she said. “They have a vision, they take action and responsibility, and they don’t need recognition—but they deserve it.”

Then she turned the audience loose on an array of offerings from five Alexandria restaurants presenting diverse cuisines, and background music provided by 12 musicians from the George Mason Middle School orchestra. The 2016 Living Legends were honored with a rousing good time.


 

Nina Tisara, the founder and guiding spirit of Living Legends of Alexandria (Photo: Harry Merritt)

Nina Tisara (Photo: Harry Merritt)

Living Legends of Alexandria, a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization, was founded in 2006 by artist-photographer Nina Tisara and dedicated to honoring individuals who are making significant contributions to the quality of life in Alexandria. Their stories are shared with children and adults to serve as role models. Special thanks go to the people and businesses who donated their time and products to make this night happen:

Alexandria Cupcake
The best tasting cupcakes, the highest quality ingredients.
1022 King Street
Alexandria 22314
703-299-9099
www.alexandriacupcake.com

Bistro de Soleil
Cuisine of the Sun Countries
1504 King Street
Alexandria 22314
571-312-2754

Chadwick’s
An Old Town institution since 1979 –
the favorite gathering spot of the locals.
203 The Strand
Alexandria 22314
703-836-4442
www.chadwicksrestaurants.com

Dishes of India
“An Indian standout in Alexandria” (Washington Post)
1510A Belle View Boulevard
Alexandria 22307
703-660-6085

Pork Barrel BBQ
Barbeque. Barbecue. BBQ. No matter how you spell it,
we haveit and you’ll love it.
2312 Mt. Vernon Avenue
Alexandria 22301
703-822-5699
bbqdelray.com

Parking for the event was donated by Colonial Parking (garage) and Speck-Caudron Investment Group (valet).

Thanks also to the Officers, Board, and multitude of volunteers without whom Living Legends could not do its important work.

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