Man and Women of the Year
by KRISTEN ARMSTRONG,Staff Writer
|With nearly 30 member organizations in the
Inter-Service Club Council of Arlington, the county has an abundance of
people willing to volunteer their time and help the community, but there
are two people who go above and beyond.
Arlington Host Lions Club member Shawn Kelley and Arlington Area Zonta Club member Blanche Anderson are recognized as models of service within their organizations, and recently received the Man and Woman of the Year Awards at the Inter-Service Club Council's 53rd annual luncheon.
Initiated in 1958, the objective of the award is “to publicly recognize those individuals who make significant contributions to their organization and/or community.”
“It's quite an honor to be recognized by your peers,” Kelley said at the event. “Everyone in this room gives their time freely.”
For Kelley, a 26-year veteran of the Arlington County Fire Department, service has been a way of life.
An enthusiastic member of the Arlington Host Lions, Kelley has been coordinator of the club's Sight and Hearing Van, volunteered in the eyeglass recycling program and delivered food baskets with the Salvation Army.
He also has been recognized by the Arlington County Office of Volunteers for his more than 250 hours of service, and he plays an active role in Leadership Arlington.
“I've been giving back to the community ever since I could,” he said. “I love Arlington County.”
A member of the Zonta Club for more than 17 years, service has been a major part of Anderson's life, as well.
Anderson has been very involved in the club, serving as president, vice-president and secretary, among other roles over the years. She is well-known for her commitment to selling more than 250 White House ornaments a year to help support Zonta Club initiatives.
“If Blanche has not already sold you an ornament, you are in a small crowd!” said last year's Woman of the Year Debbie Powers, who presented the award at the luncheon.
Outside of the Zonta Club, Anderson spent her working life in public service organizations, serving more than 30 years as public-service division chief for Arlington County Public Library.
She also is involved in Leadership Arlington and is an active volunteer at the Arlington Presbyterian Church.
In addition to honoring Kelley and Anderson, the event's guest speaker, Arlington County Clerk of the Court David Bell, asked everyone to recognize two other people who were dedicated to giving back to the community: chief deputy sheriff Dennis Webb and former chief judge of the Arlington Circuit Court William Winston. Both passed away recently.
“The sense of service in both men went beyond their working lives,” Bell said. “The community's loss cannot be measured.”
But Bell was optimistic about the service-oriented nature of the community, especially in the younger generation.
“The motivation to impact and improve the human condition is alive,” he said.
From left: John Hilton of the Inter-Service Club Council, Man of the Year winner Shawn Kelley, guest speaker David Bell, and John Karinshak of the Inter-Service Club Council, gather for a picture at the event.