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Virginia Community Hall Of Fame

 

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Virginia Community Hall of Fame Members

Besse Brown Cooper, Sullivan County, Virginia. Winning Centenarian: For nearly two years she was the oldest person on planet earth. She died in 2013 at the age of 116. She was born right here in Sullivan County and was in the first graduating class from ETSU in 1916. She became a teacher after graduation. By Debbie Davis

Dan Brown, Alexandria, Virginia. Winning Samaritan: Disabled veteran volunteers as a veterans service officer to help others obtain needed resources, while struggling with his own serious issues. By Christie Rachal

Jeff Andrews, Richmond Virginia, Winning Citizen: Jeff lived a life of intense criminal activity for 15 years. He covered the entire United States, Mexico, Africa, Europe, basically the globe, selling diamonds, stealing cars, building fake companies, you name it. After turning himself in in the early ’80’s Jeff found God and became a noteworthy and dedicated Christian. He is a very popular speaker in Virginia and is a deacon in his church. He has been following Christ for nearly 20 years, giving his testimony at prisons, churches, and any function that requests his presence. He has held the same job, a very respectable position in a software company, for over 20 years. By Jesse Stretch

Jesse Stretch, Fredericksburg, Virginia. Winning Educator: He is a good researcher who provides interesting reading and maintains my interest. By Douglas O. Wall

Kate Hall, Richmond, Virginia. Winning Mother: Kate Hall, mother of three, role model to thousands, has a lot to brag about.  But one of the many things that so many people love about her is that she doesn’t.  Formerly an HR professional, Kate took the entrepreneurial bull by the horns and founded RichmondMom.com, a website dedicated to moms in the Richmond community.  On her site you can not only find some pretty great deals for local businesses, but you can read posts by moms in the community, as well as posts by Kate herself.  She has a powerful Twitter presence, and has also written a book for children about Richmond’s history.  It’s called Richmond Rocks! and it’s been a real hit. By Elizabeth Downing Johnson

Marisol Lambert, Midlothian, Virginia. Winning Educator: Marisol is a nursery school teacher and is a true “winner within us” due to the impact she has on pre-K level children. She is able to spark an interest in learning which is so vital as children prepare for school. By Jeremy Hellman

Mary McClellan, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Winning Teacher: She does so much for children in Hampton Roads area with severe/profound disabilities, and other special needs, but she keeps getting passed over for her hard work and dedication, and commitment to her profession. Her style of teaching is infectious, and onlookers and fellow co-workers want to be a part of whatever she is doing. The results of Mrs. McClellan’s teaching shine brightly in the faces of her students. By Phyllis Rivers

Mort Sajadian, Lynchburg, Virginia. Winning Benefactor: Owner/CEO and Founder of the kids museum, “Amazement Square”. Recently Amazement Square received the highest National Medal of Honor from First Lady Michelle Obama on May 18, 2015.  A community leader, Mort Sajadian has been an strong influence on this city’s museum for working with the community and the city schools.  This achievement took years of work and dedication. I have been to the museum myself and it is a wonderful atmosphere from ages anywhere from Pre-K up to Middle School for them to learn different aspects of Science, Art, Reading, Math and Culture/Social Studies.  By Kemia Hashemzadeh.

Timmy “Mini” Tyrell, Manassas, Virginia, Winning Athlete: He is 6 years old and decided in 2010 that he wanted to help children with cancer after his friend was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After witnessing her battle & hearing the adults discuss the hardships her parents were suffering financially, Mini wanted to start raising money through his go kart racing in order to help others like her. This idea became a reality in the fall of 2010, after Inspired Athletes came to watch Mini race at Old Dominion Speedway. What became apparent to Inspired Athletes was Mini’s compassionate nature and his ability to not only draw his inspiration from those around him, but become a source of inspiration himself. Inspired Athletes decided to highlight Mini’s talents by including him as one of their Featured Athletes. With the help of Inspired Athletes, Mini’s Mission “Burn Rubber to Help Another” was born. From March 2011 to July 2011 Mini’s Mission has raised over $5,500, with 100% of Mini’s Mission donations going to The Jeffrey Virostek Memorial Fund which distributes money to various groups that benefit families fighting childhood cancers. On Mother’s Day 2011, Mini presented The Jeffrey Virostek Fund with a check for $3,541.92, in front of a crowd of over 800 people! Mini plans to continue fundraising throughout his 2011 race season. Mini has a race every Saturday night from March through December and occasionally he races on Sundays. Additionally, Mini organized his School’s “Change for Change” campaign, where kids and faculty put loose change in buckets. As part of the “Change for Change” campaign, Mini conducted a Q&A session with a Kindergarten Class to explain why he was raising money. He broadcast “live” on the school television show on two separate occasions, and he raised $810 in just two weeks.Mini is having a positive impact on others and is a star in our community.. By Tina Tyrrell