Living Legends Series

The 2014 Living Legends Nominees

Following are the 26 nominees for the 2014 Living Legends of Alexandria. Click here to view photographs of each nominee courtesy of Nina Tisara/Living Legends of Alexandria.

Mike Anderson’s philanthropic contributions to the community date back to the 1980s when his Shooter McGee’s “Alexandria Autumn 10K” raised more than $50,000 for Special Olympics. Today, in an innovative partnership with ACT for Alexandria, Anderson gives back to more than 75 local nonprofits by donating 25 cents for every burger sold at Holy Cow restaurant.

Char McCargo Bah has a passion for African American history and genealogy, most particularly in Alexandria. She had a pivotal role in the publication of African Americans of Alexandria, Virginia – Beacons of Light in the Twentieth Century, which she co-authored with four other volunteers.

Rose Berler served on the board of directors of the Alexandria Hospital Corporation from 1978-86, continuing her affiliation from 1986-97 with what became the Alexandria Health Services Corporation. The first woman appointed to the Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority, she served as vice chair from 1974-79 and as chair from 1979-83.

As a result of Glenn Eugster‘s efforts, Fort Ward Park is a better and more esthetically attractive site. The maintenance and horticulture facilities are gone, more than 60 unmarked graves and numerous cultural artifacts have been identified and a formalized commitment to a park management process is in place.

One of his many philanthropic activities, Lee Fifer joined the board of the Carpenter’s Shelter in 1994 when it was on the verge of going out of business. His first assignment was to lead a fundraising effort where, with the help of many others, he raised $600,000 in six months. He chaired the board for ten years and still serves to this day.

At the same time that he was building his own business, the Snack Bar Restaurant, Charles “Tony” Gee was encouraging other local businesses to get started and to grow. While at his King Street location, he helped organize 84 Alexandria business owners and became the founding president of the Old Town Business Association.

Richard (Rick) Glassco has served as treasurer of ALIVE! (Alexandrians Involved Ecumenically) for 23 years. Since its founding in 1969, ALIVE! has grown from an all-volunteer organization to one with volunteers from 40 faith communities, approximately 14 employees and a 1.3 million dollar budget.

Gila S. Harris’ volunteer work swung into high gear the year she retired in 1994 when the City Council appointed her to the Equal Opportunity Commission, Alexandria’s official anti-poverty agency. Harris is the longest serving member, having been there 19 years. At the same time, she became a significant fundraiser for the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria.

For over 30 years, Ramona K. Hatten has been involved in community service in Alexandria. She was an Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority (ARHA) commissioner from 1982 to 1990, and instrumental in the formation of the Alexandria Resident Council (ARC) to assure public housing resident input into ARHA decisions affecting them.

Wayne Hulehan has been active in civic affairs since moving to Alexandria in 1971, receiving the Tommy Thompson Award for lifetime service to Boy Scouts of the National Capital Area. Many of his charitable causes are related to the fight to cure cancer.

A member of the Alexandria Commission for Women from 1997 to 2013, Susan B. Kellom now serves on the board of the Friends of the Alexandria Commission for Women. She served on the Alexandria Youth Policy Commission from 1997 to 2003 and as a member of the Alexandria Human Rights Commission from 1985 to 1997, including two terms as chair.

As Music Director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra for 25 years, Kim Allen Kluge contributes to the rich cultural fabric of Alexandria through his outstanding artistic leadership and a strong connection to the local community. Passionate about music education, in 2003, he founded the Children’s Arts Festival.

Perhaps best known for her tenure on the Alexandria school board during 2002-03 and 2003-06 (when she became the first minority women to serve as vice chair), Gwendolyn Hubbard Lewis was widely admired for her ability to steer the board through critical educational and personnel issues.

A passionate “boater,” Lorraine Lloyd wanted to showcase Alexandria’s waterfront and seaport history. In 2000, she volunteered to create and organize Alexandria’s first “Parade of Lights” boat parade. Today’s Parade of Lights is one of Alexandria’s holiday hallmarks and has attracted regional and national media.

Gregory L. (Gregg) Murphy led the merger of Alexandria Hospital into the INOVA Healthcare System. This merger gave Alexandria Hospital the financial stability to fund a new cancer center, a cardiac rehabilitation facility, and an $80 million expansion of the out-patient surgery center and the Emergency Department, which now serves nearly double the 50,000 patients it accommodated annually in the 1990s.

Since 32 years ago when Gary Oelze opened The Birchmere in Arlandria, it has been at the center of business activity in the area. For the past 11 years, Oelze and the Birchmere have hosted the Carpenter’s Shelter Cook-Off.

Frederic “Fred” Parker was ahead of his time when he and his brother, Jim, founded the Hard Times Café in 1980 on upper King Street. It now serves as an anchor for what has become a very vibrant area of Old Town and draws chili lovers nationally and internationally.

Known best for revitalizing the Del Ray business community with her business partner Scott Mitchell, through the establishment of St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub, Nora Partlow is often thought of as the “Mayor” of Del Ray. Besides making St. Elmo’s a community gathering place, Partlow mentors her young employees and showcases and promotes local artists and musicians.

James S. (Jim) Roberts has been an indefatigable advocate for children’s literacy since 1996 when he joined with other members of Alexandria’s faith-based communities to create the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium. Roberts was instrumental in seeing that children who struggled to master basic reading skills were matched with caring, competent volunteer tutors. He has served as treasurer and president of the board, a position he still holds.

For over 30 years, Tricia Rodgers has been a volunteer with programs that help to improve the lives of Alexandrians. For the past three years, Rodgers has served as co-chair, and now chair, of the Alexandria Childhood Obesity Action Network (A-COAN), a group whose mission is to reduce the number of Alexandria children who are overweight and obese.

James B. (Jim) Singerling’s civic involvement in Alexandria has included serving on the board of the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association and two terms on the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce board. He’s served on the board of First Night Alexandria and held all officers’ chairs on the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Board, where he is now a trustee emeritus.

Jodie Smolik, director of the Winkler Preserve, helped save the 44.5-acre sanctuary and living classroom from destruction. Working around the Thanksgiving holiday, Smolik rallied the school community, parents and children, to come out in force against the city council’s plan to approve a proposed ramp off I-395, which would have destroyed a third of the preserve.

Shirley N. Tyler worked to bring about what became the Four Mile Run Flood Control Project by the US Army Corp of Engineers. She was appointed to the Alexandria School Board in 1973 and, from 1980 to 1982, served as the first African American female chairperson. She was instrumental in creating racial harmony during the redistricting of Alexandria City Public Schools.

Converse (Connie) West successfully completed certification courses offered at the Alexandria Police Academy and now regularly gives eight hours a week. He has logged over 5,200 volunteer hours of service with the Alexandria Police Department, the equivalent of nearly three full-time years.

A veteran of World War II and a 34-year career with the CIA, William (Bill) Willis began volunteering at Carpenter’s Shelter in 1981 and continues to do so today at age 90. In 1981, he also began volunteer service with ALIVE! and served as its president in 1984-85.

Donnan (Donnie) Chancellor Wintermute’s philanthropic achievements have had a major impact on the quality of life in Alexandria. Along with currently serving as vice president of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra board of trustees, she was the 2013 honorary chair for The Historic Alexandria Homes Tour sponsored by Twig, the Junior Auxiliary of Inova Alexandria Hospital.

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