The Eastern Marching Band led the way as the Capitol Hill Community Foundation (CHCF) Community Awards Garden Party took over the gardens at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (301 A St. SE) Tuesday evening.
The band was there to, well, toot their own horn. Marching Band Director James Perry was honored with the Steve Cymrot “Spark” Award, recognizes individuals whose energy and imagination are so infectious that they give off sparks to inspire others. He directed an outdoor performance for the guests –and the neighbors– prior to the ceremony inside the sanctuary.
Kenn Allen and Maureen Shea accepted their award together. The couple have lived on the Hill and been members of St. Mark’s for 30 years. During that time they have worked on the restoration of the church itself and in building community around it. Shea has co-chaired St. Mark’s outreach to Afghan refugees via participation in Good Neighbors Capitol Hill.
The $25,000 Arnold F. Keller, Jr. Grant, created to support new initiatives or expand existing programs, was between Everybody Wins DC (EWDC) and Reach Incorporated, two nonprofits that engage students in reading while fostering positive relationships between elementary school students, teens and caring adults. The awards were accepted by the organization’s Executive Directors, Jodi Hutchinson for EWDC and Jennifer Cartland for Reach Inc.
The Franzén Award for the Arts, honoring John Franzén’s dedication to making Capitol Hill a cultural hub, will provide $10,000 each to the music programs at Eastern High School and the Eliot-Hine and Stuart-Hobson middle schools. The awards were jointly accepted by Eliot-Hine music director Sandra Jean, Eastern’s Director of Vocal Music Tedrick Bonds and Stuart Hobson’s music director Robert “B.J.’ Simmons, who spoke on behalf of the three.
The ceremony was emcee’d by Sandra Moscoco Mills and her son, Alex Mills, together filling in for indisposed CHCF board member Floyd Mills. “So, just pretend we are very tall and very handsome,” Moscoco told the crowd.
The Community Achievement Awards ceremony on May 23 is a fundraiser and open to the public. Read more about the community awards honorees here, and about the Keller and Franzén Grant recipients specifically here.