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Awardees Angling for a Photo with Chair Randall

Featured Article

Celebrating Community Heroes:

Loudoun Cares Honors Volunteers for Exceptional Service

Article by Emily Long

Photography by Alex Mangione

Originally published in Leesburg Lifestyle

Volunteering is a great way to explore how you can help your community. In a heartfelt ceremony that resonated with a spirit of gratitude and admiration, Loudoun County gathered in May to pay tribute to those unsung heroes who embody selflessness and servant-hearted commitment to volunteering. Among the recipients of this year's prestigious awards are individuals and teams who serve as a beacon of hope, reminding us how volunteerism can help foster a stronger, more connected society.

Loudoun Cares, a local non-profit, hosts the annual event, which is sponsored by local businesses who share a mission to pour back into the communities they serve. This year’s event took place at Marie De Fleur in Lansdowne Woods. The President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Tony Howard emceed the ceremony and County Chair Phylis J. Randall honored the local faith community as well as volunteerism in her keynote. Sterling Volunteer Fire Company Chief David Short also spoke to the continuing great need and importance of volunteering.

The evening concluded on a bitter-sweet note with the announcement of the retirement of Valerie Pisierra, the Executive Director of Loudoun Cares at the end of this month. Valerie has served as ED since 2016 and has been an integral force for giving and volunteerism throughout Loudoun County. Valerie’s leadership helped unite and align Loudoun County residents to help those in need across hundreds of non-profits. “Working together with a collaborative spirit and strong relationships is the only way to make a lasting difference,” she said. The awards included:

Judy Hines Service of a Lifetime Award to Capt. Richard Payne, Retired, for his tireless efforts with the Knights of Columbus and the Loudoun County Commission on Aging.

Outstanding Adult Volunteer Award to Deatema Abdul-Latif and DeeDee Schrader, recognized for their invaluable contributions to APAH-Loudoun View and A Bright Spot respectively.

Outstanding Adult Volunteer Team Award to The Dulles Eagle Cam Team from Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, whose collaborative efforts enriched our understanding of local wildlife.

Outstanding Senior Public Safety Award to Debra Farrar of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary Unit, for her commitment to public safety.

Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award to Sheila Green-Singleton, for her work with Women Giving Back.

Outstanding Senior Volunteer Team Award to The Loudoun Medicare Counseling Team, for assisting seniors navigate their healthcare options.

Outstanding Volunteer Team Award to Sensory Santa, a heartwarming initiative by The Arc of Loudoun, ensuring inclusivity and joy during the holiday season.

Outstanding Veteran Volunteer Award to David Chinn, for his service with Loudoun Habitat for Humanity.

Outstanding Volunteer Project Award to Wegmans – Leesburg/Sterling, recognized for their partnership with Loudoun Hunger Relief, addressing food insecurity in our community.

Outstanding Volunteer Project Leader Award to Mike Wilkins, whose leadership with Loudoun County Commission on Aging has made a lasting impact on seniors' lives.

Outstanding Youth Innovator Award to Prakhya Koya, whose initiative Leap4u showcases the power of youth in driving positive change.

Outstanding Youth Volunteer Team Award to The Girl emPower Summit Committee, empowering young women through the Loudoun Coalition on Women and Girls.

Gabriella Miller Youth Volunteer Award to Nicole Smith, for her dedication to Women Giving Back.

Outstanding Corporate Volunteer Team Award to Abaco Cares, recognized for their partnership with Women Giving Back, demonstrating the importance of corporate social responsibility.

Looking to be acclaimed as next year's hero? Browse the Loudoun Cares Volunteer Center at for opportunities. 

  • Kappa Alpha Psi Dulles-Leesburg Alumni - Recipients of the Chairperson Recognition Award
  • Valerie Pisierra and Chair Randall
  • Awardees Angling for a Photo with Chair Randall