City Council Proclaims 2023 as ‘The Twig Year’ for 90 Years of Service

First Council Meeting of the Year Recognizes Volunteer Organization of Loyalty


L-R: The Twig President Michele Cumberland, Council Member Canek Aguirre, Chair of 90-Year Celebration Kathy Hirsch, and Maryanne Beatty who arranged the Proclamation/photo by Laura Plaia

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Twig was officially recognized by the Alexandria City Council on Tuesday, January 10th as they celebrate 90 years of service to the Alexandria community. Councilman Canek Aguirre read the proclamation to a fully-packed room of Twig and community members Tuesday evening.

“We are honored that the City of Alexandria has issued a proclamation celebrating The Twig‘s 90th anniversary. The Twig has been serving the community since 1933 by supporting the INOVA Alexandria Hospital, a tradition of service that the membership is proud to carry forth in the years to come,” said Michele Cumberland, President of The Twig.

Official Proclamation Honoring The Twig for 90 Years of Service/ photo by Lucelle O’Flaherty

They were honored with a proclamation highlighting the all-volunteer organization. The Twig was founded in 1933 by a group of 24 young women led by Mrs. Julian Burke, with the sole purpose of raising funds to support Alexandria Hospital, now Inova Alexandria Hospital

“Thank you all so much for the great work you do in supporting the hospital. We are so indebted to all of you for decades of service to our hospital, and I know the hospital relies on you every day, and we really appreciate all you do,” Mayor Justin Wilson said.

The Twig members wait for the proclamation at the first City Council meeting of the new year./photo by Laura Plaia

Through many decades of service, The Twig has raised over $4.5 million to support the hospital.

The Twig, the Junior Auxiliary of Inova Alexandria Hospital, is an organization of 85 active and 70 sustaining members dedicated to providing financial aid, volunteer service, and support to Inova Alexandria Hospital. The group took its name, “The Twig,” from a contest entry by Mrs. Nellie Sommers Blackwell. The name describes the organization’s origin as a small branch of the “tree” which supports the hospital.

“Thank you to the City of Alexandria for proclaiming 2023 as The Twig year. The Twig is a group of hard-working volunteers that raises money for our community hospital, Inova Alexandria Hospital. I am honored to Chair the Twig 90th anniversary committee and look forward to celebrating throughout the year,” said Kathy Hirsch, The Twig 90th Anniversary Committee Chair.

The Twig stands before a crowd at the reading of the Proclamation./photo by Laura Plaia

To raise funds, The Twig operates a successful Thrift Shop, located at 106 N. Columbus St. in Old Town Alexandria. The Twig also hosts the annual Historic Alexandria Homes Tour, which is in its 81st year. The Together We Ignite Giving (T.W.I.G.) campaign was created during the Covid-19 pandemic to reach out to partners in the community who support The Twig’s mission. In addition to fundraising on behalf of the hospital, The Twig participates in numerous events to support hospital staff and the local community.

The Twig President, Michele Cumberland and the 90th Anniversary Committee Chair, Kathy Hirsch and several members of The Twig were present during the reading of the proclamation. This event officially kicked off a year of reflection and celebration of The Twig’s 90 years of dedication and service to the community of Alexandria.

For more information about The Twig, please send an email to [email protected]. They will also be having a Happy Hour on February 16th at the Lighthorse at 715 King Street. 

[SEE ALSO: New Skin-Care Pop-Up Opening in Alexandria February 3-26]


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