Living Legends Series

Do You Know Someone You Think Should be an Alexandria Living Legend?

Eight Alexandrians were recognized in 2018 for their unique and impactful contributions to the Alexandria community: Gwen Lewis, Jason Ellis, Ann Dorman, Rick Dorman, Marion Moon, Charlie Euripides, and Florence King. Not pictured are Sherry Wilson Brown and Lori Morris. Photo by Steven Halperson / Tisara Photography

2019 Living Legends Nominations Now Open

Living Legends of Alexandria is now accepting nominations through September 30.

Maybe you know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to Alexandria’s quality of life, or an unsung hero who has impacted Alexandria in lasting ways? Has someone you know helped the disadvantaged, created or revitalized a public space, brought arts to new audiences, mentored children, improved lives of the needy?

This is your chance to help get them the recognition they rightly deserve.

What Happens if Chosen?

Once selected, each new Living Legend of Alexandria will be celebrated with a museum-quality photographic portrait, an interview with a professional print journalist and will have a segment in the 2019 video produced by an award-winning film company.

The newly selected group is then formally inducted as Living Legends at a ceremonial reception the following spring. As a permanent record of their extraordinary lives, their portraits are maintained by the Office of Historic Alexandria and the written profiles are recorded in the Library of Congress, the Library of Richmond, and displayed in City libraries.

Who Has Already Been Chosen?

Over 112 individuals have been selected and you should visit to see all the people who have been recognized already.

Nomination Forms and Upcoming Mixer Open to Public

To help you with your nominations – due September 30 – you are invited to a free celebration and question and answer session with Living Legends and Living Legends of Alexandria Board Members: September 6, ALX Community, 116 N. Lee Street, 6-8 pm. RSVP to [email protected].

Tips for helping your nominees get selected:

Focus on volunteer activities. Nominees are selected based on contributions outside of their paid employment.

Engage your nominee in the process. Let your nominee know you would like to nominate them. Meet with them at home if possible and have them pull out all their awards and certificates of accomplishment over a lifetime of service.

Provide specific detail. Dig up nominee accomplishments and awards, particularly including dates and titles. Awards can be big or small and are not mandatory, but can help to pinpoint the date and type of Legend-making contributions the individual has made to Alexandria.

Throw in the kitchen sink! No matter how well-known in the City, the selections committee can only go by what you the nominator(s) put on paper and submit to the committee. So, send us everything you have!

Re-nominate: We encourage re-nominations. if your nominee did not make it on other tries, apply the above tips, send much more information, and consider activities they have been involved in since their nomination.

Pay attention: Do you know someone who is “the youngest,” “the oldest,” “the first” in a category of giving back? Is there someone for whom you could craft a sentence that best describes how they stand out based on one or more exemplary and lasting contributions that that have significantly impacted Alexandria’s quality of life? (Mention all their contributions, but also focus in or one or two “sound bites.”)

Spread the word: Living Legends of Alexandria seeks a large pool of nominees so please spread the word to your places of worship, favorite nonprofits, advocacy groups, and extended families. Think especially of people who humbly contribute day after day who can and should be recognized.

Note: Nominees need not reside in the City of Alexandria, but they must satisfy either or both of the required criteria. Only single individuals or a team of two persons working together are eligible to be nominated.

Living Legends of Alexandria Nomination Criteria

Your nomination should include sufficient detailed information to show that your nominee meets one or both of the following criteria:

CRITERION 1: The Nominee has led the creation of something new or the redevelopment of something established that significantly and positively has impacted the quality of life in the City of Alexandria, and serves as an inspiration to others.

  • Describe what was created/redeveloped

• What dates or period(s) of time did this take place?

• What significant roles and contributions did the Nominee fulfill?

• Which communities were served?

• What was the impact, status, and sustainability of the creation or redevelopment?

• What legacy was created by the Nominee?

CRITERION 2: The Nominee has demonstrated noteworthy, substantial, sustained, and inspirational contributions that have significantly and positively impacted quality of life in the City of Alexandria, through a significant period of years of service in leadership and/or project management roles, including on boards, commissions, and committees.

• Describe the nature of Nominee’s contributions and their significance

• What were the Nominee’s service and capacities with boards, commissions, committees, civic or nonprofit organizations?

• What were the dates and lengths of contributions and service?

• Which communities were served?

• What was the impact of the Nominee’s contributions?

• Were contributions ongoing and beyond the Nominee’s job responsibilities?

• What legacy was created by the Nominee?

Nomination forms can be found at To learn more about the nominations process, the public is invited to a “Legends Mixer” on September 9th between 6:00 and 8:00pm at the new ALX Community co-working space, registration for which can be found here

Make sure to include your full contact information and that of your nominee. Please see for the full downloadable form. Forms can be mailed to PO Box 918, Alexandria, VA 22313 or emailed to [email protected].

Who Runs the Living Legends?

The Legends of Alexandria was started in 2006 as a dream of Nina Tisara, the award-winning Alexandria photographer and artist. Incorporated in 2007, the Legends organization chronicles in words and photographs the people whose vision and energy in their everyday and special activities have made and are currently making substantial contributions to the unique personality and quality of life in Alexandria.

Jennifer Ayers is the Board President, Peter Baldwin is Vice President, Donna Walker James is Treasurer, and other members include Audrey Davis, Tavares Floyd, Kone Fseha, Marcus Henderson, Florence King, Gregg Murphy, Jeff Peterson, Jeanne Theismann, and Fernando M. Torrez. Active Volunteers include Janet Barnett, Chair, Qualifications Committee, Linda Hafer, who handles the newsletter and Grants Committee, Bill Kehoe runs the traveling exhibit, and Brian Story is in charge of database transfer.

For more information, visit

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