Park Authority

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Jai Cole
Executive Director

Department Resources

Park Authority Honors Volunteers at 2023 Elly Doyle Awards

Jummy Olabanji
News anchor Jummy Olabanji emcees the Elly Doyle Park Service Awards ceremony on Nov. 17. 

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board honored dozens of outstanding volunteers and philanthropists for their service and valuable contributions to parks at the annual Elly Doyle Park Service Awards Ceremony on Nov. 17. The evening’s event, emceed by NBC4 anchor and Fairfax County native Jummy Olabanji, was made especially meaningful with the attendance of former Park Board Chairman Elly Doyle.

“The Fairfax County Park Authority established these awards to honor and celebrate the individuals and organizations that help our park system thrive,” said Park Authority Board Chairman Kiel Stone. "Each award recognizes a distinct set of standards and characteristics – inspired by the legacy of service demonstrated by our former Chairman Elly Doyle – "that are vital to the success of our park system and all those who enjoy it." 

The 2023 Elly Park Service Awards honor remarkable stories of meaningful service with deep and lasting positive impact to the community, as well as on the lives of those directly affected by the contributions of each honoree. These individual stories and video tributes can be found on the Elly Doyle Park Service Awards website. The recipients of this year’s awards are:

Chairman’s Choice Award

This award recognizes recognize outstanding long-term service to and advocacy on behalf of the Park Authority and honors those whose efforts have provided a critical contribution to the agency and helped sustain and expand its nationally accredited facilities and programs. Recipients include:

  • Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust
  • Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross
  • William Bouie, Former Chairman, Fairfax County Park Authority Board

Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Awards

This award recognizes significant, tangible contributions made by individuals, organizations or businesses that help accomplish the Park Authority’s strategic priority to enhance diversity systemwide and foster a culture of inclusion in parks and/or within the surrounding community. Recipients are:

  • Colleen Cannon
  • Larry Newman

Harold L. Strickland Partnership and Collaboration Award

This award honors significant long-term accomplishments that provide the residents of Fairfax County with tangible examples of the benefits of partnerships and collaborations that help to sustain or grow service to the community, while reducing the need for Fairfax County Park Authority financial resources to accomplish the service delivery. This year’s recipient is The Analemma Society.

Sally Ormsby Environmental Stewardship Awards

This award recognizes individuals and organizations whose actions embody the spirit and values of stewardship and result in tangible environmental benefits. Recipients are:

  • The Fairfax Parks Coalition
  • The Fair Parks Initiative

Fairfax County Park Foundation Eakin Philanthropy Awards

The annual award recognizes individuals’ and organizations’ financial or in-kind contributions, which have significantly enhanced Fairfax County parks through the Foundation. This year’s recipients are:

  • Arlene Evans and Barry Dewberry
  • The Friends of Hidden Oaks Nature Center
  • The Morrisette Family and Interstate Moving, Relocation and Logistics

The 2023 Outstanding Volunteer Awards

More than 9,645 volunteers powered our parks in Fiscal Year 2023. They contributed 112,000 hours of volunteer service, taking on tasks FCPA is not staffed to do. They are a critical component in the success of the park system. Based on national statistics and measures, the tangible value of this manpower service is $3.5 million. This year’s recipients include: Harold Adams, Charles "Chuck" Basham, Diane Bierwirth, Celia Boertlein, Carol Burns, Robert Coblenz, Josefina "Jo" Doumbia, Kitisia "Kit" Grandin-Parker, Laura Handle, Junko "JK" Klimek, Erick Lermo, Eva Novak, Chris Reynolds, Sharon Sellers, Jamie Ogden, Stephanie Smith, Gene Sullivan, Bryan Tucillo, Sophie Wehmueller, Henry Wells, Christina Wenks and William "Bill" White.

Elly Doyle Park Service Awards

The Elly Doyle Park Service Awards are among the highest and distinguished honors bestowed by the Fairfax County Park Authority. Awardees in the following categories have exemplified, through their service and support of park programs, the very best attributes and qualities that help the Fairfax County park system thrive. This year’s recipients include:

  • Youth Award: Hiking Heroes
  • Special Recognition Award: Patrick Evans
  • Service Award: Early Detection Response Team

The annual Elly Doyle Park Service Awards program was instituted in 1988. Each year, the event is hosted by the Fairfax County Park Authority in partnership with the Fairfax County Park Foundation. For additional information about the awards program or this year’s awards recipients, please contact the Public Information Office at

See photos of the ceremony

The Fairfax County Park Foundation, a 501(c)(3), supports the Fairfax County Park Authority by raising private funds, obtaining grants, and creating partnerships that supplement tax dollars to meet our community’s needs for park land, facilities, and services. Visit the Park Foundation website or call them at 703-324-8582.

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