Shining Brightly: Del Ray Business Association Recognizes its Stars

We raised tens of thousands of dollars for nonprofits this year," said outgoing DRBA President Sue Kovalsky.

The winners of the Del Ray Star Awards Bill Reagan (on left) with Gayle Reuter, winner Mike Anderson (center), winner William Johns, and Sue Kovalsky. (Photo: James Cullum)

Alexandria, VA – It’s been a banner year in Del Ray! Seriously, the place was full of banners announcing all sorts of events that were attended by thousands of people from all over, and on Monday, Dec. 16, the Del Ray Business Association recognized the shining stars of the community at its annual holiday party.

We raised tens of thousands of dollars for nonprofits this year. The Well Ray event was incredible. The Christmas tree/Menorah lighting this year -unbelievable,” said DRBA President Sue Kovalsky. “The Turkey Trot this year, which was our leading fundraiser for the Del Ray Business Association that helps us put on many of these events and raises funds and food for ALIVE, we had over 6000 registrants this year. It was the biggest race ever.” 

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The awards*, which were presented at Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap, are as follows:

Star Youth Award – William Jahns

Gayle Reuter with Del Ray Star William Jahns and Sue Kovalsky. (Photo: James Cullum)

Jahns, 14, was recognized for volunteering for most of his life at the Turkey Trot, and for helping set up at numerous community events.

City Star Award – Bill Reagan

(Left to right) Gayle Reuter, Bill Reagan, Jill Erber, and Sue Kovalsky. (Photo: James Cullum)

Reagan, the executive director of the Alexandria Small Business Development Center, received the award for his years of service to small businesses in the community.

Jill Erber, the founder and owner of Cheesetique, presented the award.

“Bill is one of the most supportive, kind, but stern taskmasters,” Erber said. “When times were tough, and I got stuck, and I didn’t know what to do my first call was always to Bill Reagan… You just deserve like 50 of these things because you are so amazing.” 

Reagan thanked the audience and said that he is around to help.

Thank you for this award and thank you all for being strong businesses in the city of Alexandria,” Reagan said. “You impress us every day with your capabilities and what you do and you’re doing these wonderful things for the community.” 

Star Business Award – Mike Anderson 

(Left to right) Gayle Reuter, Mike Anderson, and Sue Kovalsky. (Photo: James Cullum)

Mike Anderson’s award cabinet must be close to bursting, as he’s nearly won it all in Alexandria, including awards from the Chamber of Commerce to being named an Alexandria Living Legend. Most recently, Anderson was responsible for bringing a 38-foot-tall Christmas tree to Mount Vernon Avenue. He and his partner, Bill Blackburn, also donate 25 cents from every hamburger sale at their burger joint Holy Cow Del Ray to charity.

“He’s always the cheerleader, always saying things, always trying to figure out what can he do to help make things better,” said DRBA Committee Member Gayle Reuter. “You’ve donated 450,000 quarters to nonprofits. It’s like it never stops. He is giving every single day and brings such excitement, such positivity.”

Anderson, who has been doing business in Alexandria for 40 years, made sure to thank his wife, Donna, and then his hosts.

“Thank you very much. And we’re so proud to be part of this community. And it’s really a blessing to us,” Anderson said.

(*Citizen Star Award – Amy Shopkorn)