The Del Ray Business Association handed out its Star Awards Monday at a holiday luncheon at Los Tios Grill.
The awards honor members of the community who went above and beyond in their service to the neighborhood, including those who helped put together events like the Taste of Del Ray, First Thursdays and Art on the Avenue.
The group honored two members of Alexandria city staff who are preparing to retire—Deputy Planning Director Barbara Ross and Transportation Superintendent Jim Neurohr.
“Barbara has always been helpful to the Del Ray businesses that have had issues or questions with their permits,” said DRBA President Maria Wasowski, who first met Ross in the 1990s. “She’s the first person to stop, think and assess when everyone else is just getting emotional. And I’ve been amazed at how available she is.”
Ross is retiring for a second time. She first stepped away from the Planning Department in 2004 after more than 11 years with the city, but eventually made her way back. Jan. 8 will be her final day.
John Reynolds of John Reynolds Design and Production Services received a Star Award for chairing November’s Alexandria Turkey Trot, the biggest annual fundraiser for the DRBA.
Volunteers Stacy Biddinger and Justin Knoernschild also received Star Awards for their help coordinating neighborhood events.
Longtime DRBA officer Gayle Reuter received a special award for her decades of service to the association. She recalled bringing her children, who are now in their 20s, in their strollers to businesses on Mount Vernon Avenue asking shopkeepers and restaurant owners to get involved.
“From that minute on, I’ve been hooked,” she said.
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