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Councilmember Allen Hosts Festive Brickies

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID shutdown, the Ward 6 Brickie Awards were back—once again in person.

At Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) on Dec.7, DC Councilmember Charles Allen presented the 16th Annual Brickie Awards. The festive holiday celebration honored the Ward 6 neighbors, organizations, groups, and businesses that “make our ward a great place to call home.”

On December 7, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen emceed the 2022 Brickie Awards at Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital. Photo: Celeste McCall
The legendary John “Peter Bug” Matthews, who operates his shoe repair academy and grills some mean barbecue, also attended the Brickies. He was an awardee in 2017. Photo: Celeste McCall

The Brickies—inscribed on actual bricks–were awarded in five categories: neighbor, DC community organization, business, public service, and civic pride. Bricks, as Allen pointed out, represent foundation and solidarity.

Before each Brickie presentation, a short video described each honoree’s accomplishments.

Jerome Jeffries, the beloved “Mayor of Tenth Street,” received the 2022 Neighbor Award for going “beyond and above” to keep his block clean and his neighbors safe. A DC native and military veteran, Jerome was cited for single -handedly sweeping up 35 bags of leaves and making his neighborhood more livable and pleasant. He was also praised for his friendly interactions with children and adults each day.

The 2022 Community Service Award was bestowed on Friends of Southwest DC, a lively group of volunteers who raise funds to support 16 organizations that “make a difference” in education, community development and charitable projects. The group provides educational support to youths through scholarships and other programs, as well as enhancing the neighborhood’s physical and social environment.

The Queen Vic British Pub, a popular Atlas District watering hole/restaurant, garnered the 2022 Brickies Business Award. Photo: Celeste McCall

The 2022 Business Award went to popular Atlas District watering hole/restaurant the Queen Vic British Pub (1206 H St. NE). Besides providing good food and drink and a lively venue for World Cup viewing, the pub was cited for its ongoing involvement in local charities, including the Humane Rescue Alliance, an organization which matches abused or abandoned pets with loving families. The pub was also cited for creating “streeteries” on H Street during the COVID pandemic and working with other H Street businesses to make the lively nightlife corridor cleaner and safer.

Councilmember Allen presented the 2022 Public Service Award to Nathaniel “Skip” Green, who has coached and mentored more than 600 kids in Southwest DC. Photo: Celeste McCall

Nathaniel “Coach Skip” Green garnered the 2022 Public Service Award. His decades of faithful community service includes coaching youths in Southwest in various sports—from basketball to baseball to pickleball. So far, “Skip” has mentored more than 600 kids. Coach Green was praised for “giving of himself” around the clock to engender an impactful relationship with hundreds of youths.

Last but not least—number five—was the 2022 Civic Pride Award, bestowed on the Save Mott’s Market. When the corner store at 233 12th St. SE—at the east end of Gessford Court–closed last year, a group of some 40 Capitol Hill residents banded together to purchase the space, which dates back to 1916. They developed and executed a plan to bring new life to the shuttered market space. In accepting the award, Mike Skinner of nearby Walter Street SE noted that Capitol Hill’s disappearing corner stores like Mott’s once served as the “glue that held neighborhoods together–a key component of neighbor life.”

At the 2022 Brickies Award, Councilmember Allen presented the Civic Pride Award to Mott’s Neighborhood Market LLC President Mike Skinner, for the group’s work to save Mott’s Market. Photo: Celeste McCall

“This brings out the best in our community,” said Allen of the Mott’s effort as he emceed the event. “Neighbors banding together.” The same could be said of all the 2022 Brickie recipients.

Former Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, who conceived the Brickies, was recognized by Allen at the well-attended fete. Wells, who now heads the DC Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE), was seen chatting with veteran journalist and WAMU political analyst Tom Sherwood. We also saw Hill legend Peterbug (John Matthews), who instructs local kids at his shoe repair shop and  occasionally grills some great barbecue at 13th and E Streets SE. The site was added to the DC Historic Sites in November of this year.

Veteran journalist/political analyst Tom Sherwood and former Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells chatted at the 2022 Brickie Awards. Photo: Celeste McCall

Guests socialized, imbibed and nibbled on victuals—including pizza, soft pretzels, donuts, sodas, wine and beer–provided by Capitol Hill purveyors. The many generous sponsors included Atlas Brew Works, A Baked Joint, Breakthru Beverage, DC Brau, District Doughnut, Harry’s Reserve, Hill’s Kitchen, Little Pearl, Naval Lodge 4; Pascal, Weiss & Hirao; The Pretzel Bakery, Republic National Distributing Company, Schneider’s on Capitol Hill, Tropical Smoothie Café, Tunnicliff’s Tavern, We the Pizza, and the Hill Rag.

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