Del Ray Doings

Del Ray Business Association Recognizes The Stars of Del Ray

Del Ray Business Association President Lauren Fisher with Star Award winners Amy Eggers, Patty Moran, Dennis Reeder, Jenna Gotch, Elsie Akinbobola, and Kate Moran. (DRBA photo)

Alexandria, VA – The Del Ray Business Association presented its annual Star Awards on Monday, Dec. 18, recognizing individuals who have gone above and beyond in their service to the Del Ray community:

OUTSTANDING SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: The Del Ray Business Association presented a Star Award for Outstanding Small Business Owner to Passionately Pets’ Jenna Gotch. “This quiet but consistent business owner started a side hustle 16 years ago in which she was able to grow into a successful full-time business,” said Dr. Lauren Fisher, president of the Del Ray Business Association. Fisher also cited Gotch’s creative collaborations with other small businesses, her support of local animal rescue organizations, and her volunteer work at Del Ray events, including founding the popular Del Ray Dog Fest in 2023. “She had a vision and executed it beautifully, providing another wonderful addition and reason to live in Del Ray,” said Fisher.

OUTSTANDING SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: The Del Ray Business Association also presented a Star Award for Outstanding Small Business Owner to Amy Eggers of Coldwell Banker Realty. “This business owner is a Del Ray native who is a small but mighty force,” said Fisher. “She is dedicated and caring and compassionate to the people she serves, to advocating and assisting other small businesses, and is committed to enhancing the overall experience of our community.” In addition to serving as a realtor, Eggers is the founder and CEO of the award-winning Del Ray Vintage Flea Market, a co-chair of Art on the Avenue, and the retail chair of the Del Ray Business Association.

OUTSTANDING CITY/GOVERNMENT SERVICE: The Del Ray Business Association presented its award for Outstanding City/Government Service to Mount Vernon Recreation Center Director Elsie Akinbobola. “No matter what we need, she is there for us,” said Del Ray Business Association board member Pat Miller, citing her support of events including Taste of Del Ray, Art on the Avenue, the Del Ray Halloween Parade, and more. “She is so dedicated to our community that friends joke that her fourth daughter is Alexandria.”

OUTSTANDING CITIZEN: The Del Ray Business Association presented its award for Outstanding Citizen to DC Road Runners’ Brian Danza, who serves as Race Director of the Alexandria Turkey Trot. “When Brian became the Race Director 12 years ago, we only had 3,500 runners registered for the Turkey Trot,” said Miller. “Brian has helped grow our neighborhood race into the Mid-Atlantic’s top Turkey Trot, with over 6,600 runners participating this year.”

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: The Del Ray Business Association presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Alexandria City High School Administrative Assistant to the Principal Patty Moran. Since moving to Del Ray in 1976, Moran has been so involved in the community that she is known as one of the original “Del Ray Divas.” Moran shares that commitment to volunteerism as the adviser to ACHS’ Key Club. “Our events would not happen without the support of the incredible students at Key Club,” said Reuter. “And Patty is right there working with them — she’s usually the first one at an event and the last one to leave.”

MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD: The Del Ray Business Association presented a special award to longtime business and property owner Dennis Reeder. “Dennis really believed in The Avenue,” said Reuter, noting that over 30 years ago, he was instrumental in organizing the first block party that later became Art on the Avenue, and his building was one of the first to house the Del Ray Artisans during their formation. “He has always supported his small business tenants, particularly during the pandemic,” said Reuter. “He invested in Del Ray, and has given back to our community in so many ways.”

The Del Ray Business Association also celebrated the Association’s accomplishments throughout 2023, including raising over $100,000 for local non-profits. “Many businesses have gone above and beyond their core operations to give back to society and make a positive difference in the lives of others,” said Fisher. “Whether it is through charitable donations, volunteer work, or sustainable business practices, the contributions of our small businesses are invaluable.”

The Del Ray Business Association represents the independently-owned restaurants, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. For more information, visit

Del Ray Docket

Feb. 1-8

Heart of Del Ray Voting

What business warms your heart when you think of them? Voting will take place Feb. 1-8 for the annual Heart of Del Ray award; the winner will be announced on Friday, Feb. 9.

Feb. 2-24

Visible Touch Art Exhibit

Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue

Artists explore visual and physical texture in 2D or 3D works in a wide range of mediums.

Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24

Del Ray Farmers’ Market

The Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, Oxford & Mount Vernon Avenues

8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This year-round market features fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheeses, bread, fresh pasta, baked goods, cut flowers and more.

Feb. 10

Del Ray Vintage & Flea Market

Mount Vernon & East Bellefonte Avenues

9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Find your treasure! Shop 50+ vendors selling vintage, antique, thrift, artisan, and more. For more information, visit

Feb. 24
Del Ray Citizens Association Chili Cook-Off
Commonwealth Academy
6 – 8 p.m.
Who makes the best chili in Del Ray? Enter your best recipe (or just sample!) during this neighborhood tradition, benefiting Alexandria Celebrates Women.

ICYMI: Looking to Help? Check Alexandria’s Volunteer Hotlist for January 2024

Eliza North

Eliza North is a British/American writer. She is currently a freelance reporter at Zebra Press. Eliza studied Social Sciences at Kensington and Chelsea College, and went on to earn her Bachelors in Psychology at the University of Kent in Canterbury England. She recently graduated from The University of Cambridge, earning her Masters degree in Creative Writing.

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