February 2015

  Living Legends of Alexandria  

February 2015


In This Issue:




March 19, 2015, 6-9 PM

Meet the Legends Reception

PTO Madison Building

April 22, 2015




Prints Available

You’ve seen them exhibited at City Hall.
Now you can have your own Portrait of a Legend
(or give one as a gift).

Custom Framed Prints

Signed by the Artist

16×16: $325; 11×11: $250

Smaller print sizes and Gift Certificates Available.

Call 703-838-8098 for details.



LLA Logo Golf Shirts & Caps

Wear your support for Living Legends over your heart (and on your head)! Order your LLA Logo Golf Shirts ($45) and caps ($25) today. Download an Order Form.



Holy Cow Donations!

Remember to support Living Legends when get your burgers at Holy Cow Burger Joint, 2312 Mt. Vernon Avenue.

In an innovative partnership with ACT for Alexandria, 2014 Living Legend Mike Anderson gives back to more than 75 local nonprofits by donating $.25 for every burger sold at Holy Cow, Del Ray’s Gourmet Burger Joint. Living Legends is #045 on the list. And yes, they serve veggie-burgers.



Board of Directors


Joe Shumard

Vice President

Bill Kehoe


Mary Anne Weber


Rodger Stephens


Audrey Davis

Linda Hafer

A. Melvin Miller

Pam St. Clair

Director Emeritus

Nina Tisara



Connect with us on Social Media

Follow us on Twitter @Alexlvnglegends

Find us on Facebook: Living Legends of Alexandria


Message from the President

The terrible weather of the third week in February caused the cancellation of many of the most important events of the celebration of the 283rd birthday of George Washington. I’m glad however to report that the Breakfast sponsored by the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association went on (indoors) as planned. Five of this year’s Legends were able to attend: Kathleen Baker, Alice Morgan, Fred Parker, Joyce Rawlings and Nina Tisara. They all received honorary memberships in the Association.

I hope you are planning to attend the “Meet the Legends” reception being held at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on Thursday, March 19, 2015. This is a very special reception because in addition to honoring six exceptional individuals as Living Legends, we are also honoring Nina Tisara, our founder, for her exemplary work over many years in Alexandria. Any of you who know Nina can appreciate how hard we had to work to convince her to accept this well-deserved accolade. As always, this reception is an opportunity to meet and honor some of the most significant contributors to our community. Please visit alexandrialegends.org to purchase your tickets.

Joseph Shumard, President




2015 Living Legend of Alexandria Gayle Reuter

By Kevin Jahns

Gayle Reuter

Photo by Steven Halperson, TISARA Photography.

You won’t go far in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood before seeing signs of Gayle Reuter. If it’s a rare quiet day, you might see her on her front porch just off “The Avenue” or at a local restaurant or business – always with a smile and a friendly greeting. More likely you will see her working, always managing to make a difference in the wonderful neighborhood she helped create. If it’s one of the many great events in Del Ray, it’s guaranteed that Reuter is one of the volunteers at the helm. With a walkie-talkie in hand or in (friend, neighbor and local Realtor) Jen Walker’s electric car, she manages volunteers, sets up tables and tents, hangs signs, wrangles dignitaries, hauls trash and whatever else needs to be done. She’s involved in all the advance work, one of the first to arrive for set up and the last to leave.

Born in Montgomery, Ala. as the daughter of an Air Force Officer, Reuter had the opportunity to experience many geographic areas. After living in Montgomery, Chicago and Paris to name a few, her father eventually ended up stationed at Andrew’s Air Force base in Prince George’s County, Md. where she received most of her schooling. With the exception of Kirksville, Mo. where she earned a BS in Law Enforcement at Truman State University, Reuter has lived in the Washington, D.C. area ever since.

Her search for a small town atmosphere eventually drew Reuter and her husband to the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria in 1983. She quickly met friends and neighbors and knew that she had found her home. It was in Del Ray where Reuter started her family, welcoming her two daughters, Mary and Polly. Seeing the potential in Del Ray, Reuter immediately began working with other residents to revitalize the neighborhood.

Read the full article here:


Meet the Legends Reception: Register Today

Join us Thursday, March 19, 6-9 p.m., Patent & Trademark Office, 600 Dulany Street, for our premier event introducing the nominees and the Legend “Class of 2015.” Register today.

Exterior of building. Courtesy photo.



Legends in the News

Jay Johnson receives Fire Safety Award

Jay Johnson

Photo by Steven Halperson, TISARA Photography.

The Fire Safety Commendation Award and Medal were presented to President Thomas Y. (Jay) Johnson, Jr. of the Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., at the George Washington Chapter meeting of the Sons of the American Revolution on January 10, 2015. The presentation was made by President Dwight E. Whitney, Ph.D., SAR George Washington Chapter, at the banquet luncheon meeting held at the Belle Haven Country Club. The award is presented in recognition of accomplishments and/or outstanding contributions to protect human life and property by preventing injuries or casualties due to fires. Johnson has personally led the revitalization of Alexandria’s fire/rescue volunteer program for the past 30 years, and also implemented the AVFD Support Unit 202 response vehicle that assisted the Alexandria Fire Department firefighters and medics during the 2010 blizzard and other major storms. Johnson was named a Living Legend of Alexandria in 2013.

Heart of the Community Award presented to John Porter

John Porter (left) and Mark Eisenhour,

Chair of the Board of Trustees at Hopkins House.

Photo by Steven Halperson, TISARA Photography

John Porter, former Assistant Superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools and longtime school principal, current executive director of ACT for Alexandria and 2010 Living Legend of Alexandria received the prestigious Heart of the Community Award from Hopkins House, a historic nonprofit institution that provides high-quality early care and education and career pathways programs throughout the metropolitan DC area. Porter received the Helen Miller Community Heart Award for his distinguished service as an educator and community leader for more than 40 years. “I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” he said upon hearing of his selection. “We are so lucky to have Hopkins House here and I am so excited to be receiving this award. There are many other hard working individuals in this community deserving of this award and I am just so humbled.”

David Speck Honored with Spirit Award

David Speck

Photo by Steven Halperson, TISARA Photography.

2010 Living Legend of Alexandria David Speck, Managing Director-Investments with the Speck-Caudron Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, has been honored by the firm with the Wells Fargo Advisors Spirit Award. The award pays tribute to Speck’s long-standing commitment to his clients, colleagues and community, as well as his role as an exemplar of the highest professional standards and industry best practices.

Lynnwood Campbell receives Ben Lynt Award

Lynwood Cambell

Photo by Nina Tisara, LLA

2011 Living Legend Lynnwood Campbell was presented the Reverend Ben Lynt Distinguished Service Award at the George Washington Birthday Breakfast. The award is named in honor of Rev. Lynt who served as pastor of Alexandria’s Second Presbyterian Church for 44 years and is presented annually to an Alexandria citizen, business or municipal leader.


Commonwealth Academy Students Interview the Legends

Photo courtesy of Commonwealth Academy

Commonwealth Academy students made such an impression on Living Legends of Alexandria Founder Nina Tisara at last April’s Day of Remembrance at Market Square that she asked them if they would help chronicle the lives of the 2015 Legends. The interviews are now completed and we are excited to see the final product—a video that will be aired for the first time at the Meet the Legends reception on March 19. In the photo, 2015 Legend Gayle Reuter is seen being interviewed in the art classroom.


Getting Around

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra concert on Sunday, February 15, at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial was the first occasion for viewing the 2015 Legend Traveling Exhibition.The photographs were displayed again at the Breakfast Meeting of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association. Five of this year’s Legends attended the Breakfast; Kathleen Baker, Alice Morgan, Fred Parker, Joyce Rawlings, and Nina Tisara were recognized and applauded.

  Living Legends of Alexandria |
400 North Washington Street | Suite 300 |
Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: 703.683.4035 |