Braddock District Citizen of the Year Award


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

June 3, 2004

 

Braddock District Citizen of the Year Award

 

The Braddock District Council has announced the recipients of this year’s Braddock District Citizen of the Year Award. For the first time in the award’s 13-year history, it is being given to co-recipients – Vernon B. Sones of Chapel Square West and Ray Steele of Fairfax Villa.

The award will be presented at the BDC’s annual picnic, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8. The picnic will be held at the office of Supervisor Sharon Bulova, 9002 Burke Lake Road (Kings Park Library building) in Burke.

Sones is being honored, among other things, for his long service to the Chapel Square West Community Association. He is an original owner, charter member of the CSWCA and has served on the board of directors 17 times, including 15 times as president. “During those years,” according to the nomination form, “Vernon dedicated himself to protecting the CSWCA parkland environment by working with homeowners on several projects, including hauling steel baskets and 10 tons of rock to erect erosion barriers along the creek, securing no-cost materials for stairway improvements and improving signage.”

Sones represented the CSWCA on the BDC for many years and ensured that residents were informed about Braddock District issues and initiatives. In conjunction with Supervisor Bulova’s office, he created a task force to address traffic calming measures for Chapel Square West neighborhoods. Sones is also active in his church, scouting and with local schools. In addition, he and his wife Helga have adopted five military men and women serving in Iraq for correspondence and CARE packages for the duration of their tours of duty.

Ray Steele is being honored “for many years of active participation and sustained contributions of volunteer endeavor at the neighborhood level, the Braddock District level and the Fairfax County level,” according to the nomination form.

The nomination went on to say that Steele served as the “spark plug to reinvigorate a then-dormant Fairfax Villa/Cavalier Woods Civic Association.” Serving as president, he took active steps to reinstitute regular meetings to keep his neighbors informed of issues of concern.

He re-established annual community events and neighborhood clean-ups. He led a community effort to get the Virginia Department of Transportation to repave the streets in Fairfax Villa.

At the Braddock District level, Steele was an original member of the then Annandale District Planning Horizons Task Force, providing recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding the Comprehensive Plan. He has continued on the Annual Plan Review Task Force and most recently shepherded development of the Cloisters subdivision, where he was responsible for preserving a portion of the historic Manassas Gap railroad, dating from the Civil War era.

At the county level, Steele has served as Supervisor Bulova’s representative on the Fairfax County Human Services Council. He has also represented his community association on the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations, serving as co-chair of the Federation’s Land Use Committee and then as chair of the Human Services Committee. Steele is active in Civitan and has served as a volunteer teacher’s aide at Fairfax Villa Elementary School for young people in the Mildly Mentally Retarded Student Program.

The Citizen of the Year Award was first presented in 1992, and winners have included Park Authority Chair Winnie Shapiro, businessman R. Warren Eisenhower and Bob Mizer, volunteer liaison and CERT coordinator for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

For additional information, contact Colin A. Campbell in the Braddock District office at 703-425-9300, TTY 703-978-7973, or via e-mail at colin.campbell@fairfaxcounty.gov.


 

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