Marion Moon Fondly Remembered at Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Awards Banquet May 17 

Alexandria Living Legend 2018 Marion Moon, the driving force behind Alexandria Sportsman’s Club, died unexpectedly on April 1, 2024 at her home in Old Town. She was 82. Photo courtesy Living Legends of Alexandria

Alexandria, VA – It was that time of year again. The Alexandria Sportsman‘s Club gathered at the Westin Alexandria for its 67th Annual Awards Banquet. Over 200 guests began arriving at the elegant hotel for a night of partying, schmoozing, dining, and basking in the glow of their children receiving athletic awards. Adults who serve the high school sports community were also feted that evening. 

But there was something noticeably different this year. Something noticeably absent. The driving force behind this monumental effort was missing. Living Legend Marion Moon, the architect of the organization, had passed away unexpectedly on Easter evening April 1, a mere six and a half weeks earlier.  

Right to left: Jim and Ginny Henderson, brother of Marion Moon and his wife. Photo: Lucelle O’ O’Flaherty

“What I realized is that Marion was the heart and soul of the Sportsman’s Club,” Secretary Jeanne Jacob told Zebra. Jacob was suddenly thrust into the role of unofficial chair. “Marion not only provided the matching grant of $20,000 a year for scholarships. But she also helped us find speakers, she was the president of the club, she brought in Eddie George, the Heisman Trophy winner, to speak. How many people can bring a Heisman Trophy winner to Alexandria?”  

The Club had to battle twin surprises. The first was the sudden loss of Marion Moon. But it also had to move the banquet up two weeks because one of the schools scheduled its graduation on the same date. Jacob scrambled to meet the deadline. 

Major General (Retired) Arnold Fields with Tom Hughes. Photo: Lucelle O’ O’Flaherty

The Alexandria Sportsman’s Club was founded in 1947. Its mission is to support the city’s student athletes and to celebrate local sports history and fellowship. In 1956 the club inaugurated the annual high school awards banquet as its premiere event.  

Assistant Track Coach Ross Devore; Giuliana Viglione; Joe Shepard; Tina Shepard; ACHS Track Athlete Auborn Shepard; Susie Saffelle, married to Coach Mike Hughes. Photo: Lucelle O’ O’Flaherty
ACHS Softball Group – Alli Goetz (citywide softball award), Coach Jenn Dorsey, Hannah Kidd (softball scholarship), Coach Katie Frawley, Emily Brennan (softball scholarship), and Coach Jenny Waters. Photo: Lucelle O’ O’Flaherty

Marion Moon was honored posthumously with the William Hershberger Civic Award. Organization President Jerry Whitmire noted that Moon had never received that award and now it was time. Moon, a lifelong resident of Alexandria, was remembered as a “philanthropic leader who generously supported numerous nonprofit organizations,” especially the city’s underserved youth. 

“We may not see Marion again but she is still a very vital part of this club. She was transformative,” Whitmire told Zebra.  

Zebra caught up with Vice Mayor Amy Jackson before she dashed off for the second event of the evening. 

Scholarship Group: Front – Wyatt Moore, Nina Jenkins. Rania Shuster, Cassidy Pyke, Emily Mikolop, Emily Brennan, Lia Fitzgerald, Hannah Kidd, Sarah Finamore, Caroline Miller. Back – Michael Nolan, Auborn Shepard, Aidan O’Brien-Gonzalez, Niko Hales, Benji Chader, Kye Robinson, Samuel Wilson Hamilton. Photo: Lucelle O’ O’Flaherty
Living Legend Patty Moran, Sponsor Realtor Kerry Adams, Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Secretary Jeanne Jacob, Vice Mayor Amy Jackson, Gerry Frank. Photo: Lucelle O’ O’Flaherty

I’ve been coming to this for a long time. It is about the youth, the athletes, it’s also about their next steps. It’s not just our public school but our private schools as well. You have all four high schools represented. This culminates the entire city right here with our greatest student athletes.” 

Thirty-two city high school athletes won awards, representing all four Alexandria high schools, including the three private ones. Twenty seniors received scholarships. See full list of winners below. 

Katharine Dombrowski and her husband traveled all the way from California for this Marion Moon recognition. Dombrowski met Moon at a trade show years ago and they went on to cultivate a 43-year friendship. Dombrowksi flew east in March to be by Moon’s bedside as she was recovering from surgery for a broken elbow. 

Alexandria City High School Softball athletes Allison Goetz and Alisha Jackson. Photo: Lucelle O’ O’Flaherty

“The shock of it is the hardest because Marion was so full of life, she had so much more to do, so much more to give, “Dombrowski shared in an interview after dinner. “However, I am one of her trustees and the giving will continue for many many years. Marion’s been extraordinarily generous to her charities and the organizations that meant so much to her.” 

Whitmire reflected on the hardships of Marion Moon’s life. Moon grew up in the projects of Nashville, moved to Alexandria at age 10, married, had two sons, and then divorced. Despite all that, Whitmire recalled, “she built a thriving career.” Tragically both sons predeceased Moon. 

Reverand James Gibson received the Sportsman of the Year Freddie Jackson Memorial Award for his years of playing, coaching, and announcing games. He is currently the longtime sports announcer at ACHS. Photo: Lucelle O’ O’Flaherty
Recreation Department Athlete of the Year – 6th graders River Washington and Delray Waters, also presented with bicycles. Photo: Lucelle O’ O’Flaherty

“One of the most amazing things about Marion, she didn’t put a name on anything. She was involved in so many groups, the list is ridiculously long. She was a big person and paying it forward.” 


Alexandria City High School Awardees: Top row left to right: Alisha Jackson, Alli Goetz, Bridie Wendling, Kye Robinson, Maria McLemore, Grace Metzler, Rachel Cotton. Bottom row left to right: Marianne Diawara, Jolan Foronda, Mac Coulby. Photo: Amanda Johnson

2024 ASC ATHLETES OF THE YEAR – All four city high schools are represented. College destinations are listed for seniors. 

Alexandria City High School 


Aidan O’Brien-Gonzalez 


Basketball – Boys 

Kye Wesley Robinson – University of Mary Washington 


Crew – Girls 

Nardos Fenta 


Dive – Girls 

Maria McLemore 


Dive – Boys 

Mac Coulby 


Field Hockey 

Grace Meltzer – Hobart And William Smith College 


Rugby – Girls 

Marianne Livingstone – North Carolina State University 


Rugby – Boys 

Michael Nolan 



Allison Goetz 


Swimming – Girls 

Rachel Cotton 


Swimming – Boys 

Jolan Foronda 


Track and Field – Girls 

Alisha Jackson 



Bridget (Bridie) Wendling – Virginia Tech 


St. Stephens & St. Agnes Upper School 


Cross Country – Girls 

Lauren Scott 



Carter Stimson 



Jacob Foti – Christopher Newport University 


Ice Hockey 

Trey Knott 


Lacrosse – Girls 

Mason Mantey – Cornell University 


Soccer – Boys 

Colton Jensen – New York University 


Track and Field – Boys 

Bradley Cruthirds – Davidson College 



James Blackman – George Mason University 


Bishop Ireton High School 


Basketball – Girls 

Nyla Brooks 



Ellie McNulty – North Carolina State University 


Crew – Boys 

Henry Boudreau 


Tennis – Boys 

Ben Phelps 


Episcopal High School 



Max Yang 


Cross Country – Boys 

Wyatt Moore – University of Edinburgh – Scotland 


Lacrosse – Boys 

Grayson Falk – Bucknell University 


Soccer – Girls 

Emily Garrard – Dartmouth University 


Squash – Girls 

Piper Ogden 


Squash – Boys 

Tilford Griggs 


Tennis – Girls 

Campbell Shelby 




Alexandria High School 


Emily Brennan 

Benji Chader 

Lia Natalie Estrella Fitzgerald 

Niko Hales 

Hannah Kidd 

Emily Mikolop 

Kyra Grace Nebolsine 

Michael Nolan 

Aiden O’Brien 

Cassidy Pyke 

Kye Wesley Robinson 

Auborn Shepard 

Rania Shuster 


Bishop Ireton High School 


Sarah Finamore 

Samuel Wilson Hamilton 

Nina Jenkins 

Caroline Miller 


Episcopal High School 

Emily Garrard 

Wyatt Moore 


St. Stephens & St. Agnes Upper School 

Mason Mantey 


2024 Special Recognition Awards 

ASC Hall of Fame Inductee – Jim Worden Jr. 

William Hershberger Civic Award – Marion Moon – posthumous 

Sportsman of the Year – Reverand James Gibson 

Coach of the Year – Kesha Walton and Tom Noone – Bishop Ireton High School 

Alexandria Recreation Department Athletes of the Year –Public Schools 6th graders River Washington and Delray Waters. Each won a bicycle. 


Master of Ceremonies – Ryan Fannon 

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