Barbara Varon Volunteer Award
Barbara Varon, a native of Germany, emigrated to America as an adult. She was devoted to her adopted land. As a world traveler who could speak several languages, she worked as a translator. Joining the Fairfax County Office of the General Registrar, she was committed to a voter registration outreach program to high school students. Using her linguistic skills, she wrote brochures and designed pamphlets to inform the voting public. Appointed to the Fairfax County Electoral Board, Barbara served as Vice Chairman and Chairman. Barbara and her husband Ben generously donated their time to many volunteer organizations and frequently made generous anonymous donations to those in need. Barbara fought for the rights and privileges of all citizens to participate in the electoral process. Friends, colleagues and admirers recall Barbara as courageous, elegant, gracious, caring, beloved and unselfish. The Board of Supervisors has memorialized her accomplishments through the Barbara Varon Volunteer Award to recognize volunteer efforts enriching Fairfax County.
Who Should be Nominated
- Live in Fairfax County.
- Demonstrate an appreciation for the diversity of our community's population.
- Exhibit patriotism by participating in electoral process educating others about the rights and privileges of all citizens to participate in electoral process, and/or participating in voter registration outreach.
How to Apply for the Award
Applications must include, in 350 words or less, the nominee's qualifications and the length of time served in each volunteer work. Please include the nominee's name, address, telephone number and email address on the application. Nominations must be received no later than the second Tuesday of June. Nominations will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors, and the award will be presented in October.
Presentations are open to public.
Mail your application to:
The Barbara Varon Volunteer Award
Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 318
Fairfax VA 22035
703-324-2953, TTY 711
Janice Yohai Awarded the 2014 Barbara Varon Volunteer Award
Oct. 29, 2014
In recognition for her years of community and exemplary volunteer work in Fairfax County, Ms. Janice Yohai was honored by the Board of Supervisors with the 2014 Barbara Varon Volunteer Award during its meeting Oct. 28, 2014. The award, named to honor the memory of Barbara Varon, former chairman of the Fairfax County Electoral Board, was established to recognize a Fairfax County resident’s dedication to improving the community through volunteer service.
This year’s Barbara Varon Volunteer Award recipient has been leading efforts to educate residents about Virginia’s voting process for several years. Her passion has been the student populations of Fairfax County. This past year, Ms. Yohai focused on helping George Mason University students. Those living in campus dorms were told of on-campus voting, while those living office campus (80% of the students) were told where and when to vote before Election Day so that their studies would not be interrupted. She solicited and trained more than 20 volunteers for this effort, managing the times, locations, and methods for greatest effect. She worked with other student organizations, helping register more than 1800 GMU student voters.
Ms. Yohai also initiated a successful community service program for Robinson High School Seniors. First she provided an hour-long training to 25 students about voter registration and voting in Virginia. Then, with further on-site training, these high school volunteers engaged GMU students about the Virginia voting process. Ms. Yohai coordinated students’ efforts for a Voter’s Guide publication which included the times/locations for early voting, ID requirements, and tips for voters for disabilities which was instrumental in the process.
This past year’s voter registration program was expanded by Ms. Yoai to include the Springfield and Chantilly campuses of the ITT Technical Institute, a student population previously overlooked in voter registration efforts. In particular, she helped develop the ITT Technical Institute Constitution Day program, for these students.
In the previous Presidential Election, Ms. Yohai’s volunteers developed a robust voter registration program at the NVCC Annandale Campus, in addition to the GMU campus. With 14 other trained voter registration volunteers, she registered 1500+ students attending NVCC from Fairfax and surrounding counties.
Janice Yohai’s volunteerism reflects her commitment and appreciation for Fairfax County’s diverse population and desire to have a positive impact on the community.
The award nominees must reside in Fairfax County, demonstrate an appreciation for the diversity of the community’s population, exhibit patriotism, show evidence of having a positive effect on the community and be known for encouraging others to do the same.
For more information about the award, contact Kathryn Segars, 703-324-2953, TTY 711, or visit the Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs.