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Capitol Hill Community Foundation Awards Ceremony

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.

Perry directs a performance of the Eastern High School Marching Band for garden party attendees, outside St. Mark’s Capitol Hill. Photo: E.O’Gorek/CCN

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.

In accepting his award, noted political commentator Bill Press joked that now, when he is introduced as an “award-winning” commentator, “it will be true.” Press is the host of the Bill Press Podcast and of “Talk of the Hill,” a series of live conversations with noted public figures that made its debut at the Hill Center in 2012, with a live conversation between Press and Brian Lamb, founder of C-SPAN.
Noted political commentator Bill Press said he could finally be described as “award-winning”.
Maureen Shea and Kenn Allen, longtime members of St. Mark’s, accept the award.

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.

Music Directors Robert “B.J.” Simmons of Stuart Hobson and Sara Jean of Eliot HIne with Eastern High Vocal Director Tedrick Bonds. The three are joint recipients of the CHCF Franzén Grant for the Arts.

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.

Alex Mills and his mom, Sandra Moscoco Mills, stepped in to emcee the event.

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.

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