Congratulations to our 2021 Winners
Patricia Amaya serves as custodial supervisor of the Alexandria Library. According to her many nominations, throughout her 13-years at the Library, her welcoming manner, her volunteer efforts and her care for the Library’s patrons and staff has made her invaluable to our City.
Patricia has consistently gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic to make the Libraries a safe place to work as a staff member and to visit as a patron. Offering her language and customer service skills to people in line waiting for the vaccine, she has also assisted community members seeking COVID testing, and those waiting to make vaccine appointments.
Taking in donations of fabric and purchasing other supplies, Patricia volunteered to coordinate the library staff’s mask- making initiative. The results have been washable face masks that have been dispersed among Library staff and to Volunteer Alexandria.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gaynelle Bowden Diaz has worked tirelessly in ensuring that Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) residents receive updated information on COVID-19 and COVID testing and vaccinations. This is in addition to making sure residents have access to masks as well as cleaning products, toiletries, hand sanitizer and food. She remains in constant touch with donating organizations to refer residents for groceries and other items.
Gaynelle has worked closely with senior residents at the Ladrey and Annie B. Rose residential sites to ensure our invaluable older populations are receiving COVID-19 testing information while she connects them to resources and assists with vaccine registration and appointments.
Gaynelle reaches out personally to those in the underserved populations who have been hesitant about getting the vaccine When items have been in short supply, she has used her ingenuity to locate enough of whatever the needs have been for ARHA residents and Alexandria seniors.
Anne Gaddy, M.D. immediately took on the formidable task of leading the Alexandria Health Department’s Incident Command structure, with Anne taking the lead as Operations Section Chief – having oversight of all Department COVID-19 response activities.
Throughout the pandemic, Anne has actually held many roles, but over the past five months, she has conceptualized, organized, and led the Alexandria Health Department’s vaccine team, resulting in tens of thousands of vaccinations so far.
Beyond her leadership role, Anne also is critical to the implementation of the work. She manages vaccine inventory and has developed critical systems to planning and organizing the clinic events -- working 12-16-hour days, seven days a week
Anne has developed procedures and managed teams to handle all details to ensure that residents have the safest and best experience possible in a time of unprecedented fear and concern.
Whether it was welcoming Korean War veterans’ Honor Flights, collecting personal protective equipment or gathering COVID supplies for local police departments, Gee-Hyun McNease has been tireless in her efforts. Gee has contributed thousands of hours to these organizations operating in and around Alexandria.
Most recently, while working at the Defense Logistics Agency during the COVID pandemic, the Agency identified a need for personnel to deploy forward in support of military forces operating in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. Gee immediately submitted her name and was deployed. She is part of a team that serves as the nation’s combat logistics support and is responsible for managing the global supply chain for U.S. Troops. The team’s primary focus is coordinating for COVID-19 vaccines for all Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Department of Defense Civilians operating in the Middle East.
Gee and her team have performed the courageous work of ensuring the safety of all US forces operating in the Middle East during the pandemic. She is described as ‘an amazing person who embodies the selfless service that this award represents.’
Cicely Woodrow serves as the chief fiscal officer for the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office. Following her tradition of volunteering for numerous non-profits prior to the pandemic, Cicely has stepped up even more during these last months.
Last year, she began helping collecting donations of housewares and performing contactless food deliveries for the Lazarus House.
In January, as soon as there was a call for volunteers to help administer the vaccine, Cicely immediately volunteered. In the past two months, she has already volunteered at vaccine sites six weekends.
Cicely’s efforts during the pandemic include thinking of ways to recognize and thank those working at the William Truesdale Detention Center. Deputies, health care workers, food service personnel and civilians can work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – work that cannot stop – despite a pandemic. Behind the scenes and anonymously, Cicely has found ways to thank them and encourage them for their tireless efforts.
Allison Cryor DiNardo
Alyia Smith Parker
In a special virtual Awards program Monday, March 29, 2021, five local women serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic were chosen to receive the Celebrate Women Award.
This past year, many women have worked and volunteered an exceptional number of hours on the front lines – delivering mail and packages, ensuring our food supply, teaching our children, caring for our health and safety, and many other efforts helping the Alexandria community battle COVID-19.
To honor women who have gone above and beyond during this crisis, Alexandria Celebrates Women was proud to host the first Celebrate Women Awards. The event helped close out Women’s History Month and benefited the Alexandria Domestic Violence Safe House – a place for women and their families. Many of its temporary residents have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them are single mothers.
The shelter also provides emergency housing and food at a confidential location for Alexandria women and their children who have been abused or who are threatened with abuse.
When women and their families are able to leave the shelter, there is a need for housewares -- silverware, pots and pans, dishes. You can help by clicking here to purchase goods through our Target registry.
The 2021 Celebrate Women Awards was presented as a free online event – thanks to the generosity of our program sponsors. The winners were highlighted through biographical videos. The program also featured Virginia Delegate Charniele Herring and Alexandria City Councilwomen Del Pepper.
For a replay of the Awards program, please click here.