Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sully District’s Royal Family

Father and daughter honored for volunteering.
By Janet Weinstein, Centre View
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Volunteering at the Fairfax Fair in the summertime’s blazing heat may not sound like an ideal way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but for Andrew Levy and his 5-year old daughter Gabrielle, it’s normal. And, on top of that, they were all smiles.

So, when it was time to make the choice for the annual title of Sully District’s Lord and Lady on June 2, Sully District’s Supervisor Michael Frey and his staff were convinced the pair from Centreville was perfect.

"I first became aware of Gabrielle Levy and her father, Andrew, when talking to the folks at the Fall for Fairfax. Then, I read a cute article in a local newspaper about their work. When I was going through the options for the Lord and Lady title, I knew they were the most deserving not only because of their extensive volunteering hours, but they also sent out a message that you’re never too young to give back to your community," said Frey.

Over 50 hours a year of volunteer service in the community and all-around model citizens are the basic requirements to be eligible for the title.

Andrew Levy, as a father of two — Gabrielle, 5, and Aiden, 3 — with wife, Eva Beth, felt that the immersion of volunteering into his children’s upbringing was key. "Volunteering has been built into our family. We do lots of hours together as a family, like the Fall for Fairfax and the Fairfax Fair," said Levy. "Now, with Gabrielle, it’s become not a case of ‘daddy volunteering,’ but instead, it’s her who is initiating it.

"Not only has Gabrielle been known to initiate her own work, but she has also made it her duty to motivate others. "I’ve been telling all of my friends about volunteering, like lots of people around the neighborhood, "said Gabrielle. An advocate of helping out, she has been active in the community since the age of 2.

SINCE ACQUIRING the crown, Gabrielle and her family have received many emails from children and parents around the area who want to join in helping. "It’s great. Folks from all over the community have been writing us, asking how to get involved. The title has been nothing but a positive impact," said Levy.

Toddler Aiden has also began to dig his roots into volunteering. "Sometimes, when Gabrielle is making cards in the morning at the kitchen table for troops overseas, she will leave her materials there when she goes to school. Then, Aiden will wake up from his nap and come to the table to make his own. " said Levy.

When the title of Sully District’s Lord and Lady were announced, friends and co-workers of Levy at IBM had no idea. "[Levy] didn’t tell me about the honor at first, he was shy about it. Then, when I heard, I was very excited for them. Working with the family at the Fairfax Fair has been great. They are so involved with the community, it’s very impressive," said fellow co-chair of merchandise at the Fairfax Fair, Ginny Biggs.

At the end of the day, the title is more then just a title. As Supervisor Michael Frey said: "Volunteers don’t volunteer for recognition; they do it to make the community a better place to work, live and raise a family. This is mainly a way for the community to take a moment out and say ‘thank you’."

Source: http://connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=315966&paper=62&cat=104

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