2016 Man/Woman of the Year

2016 Awardees:

George Allin, Arlington Host Lions Sandy Bushue, Optimists Club
With 45 years as a member of this club and nearly perfect attendance, it is with pleasure we nominate this individual for Service Club Man of the year.

This members is a retire Colonel in the US Army, having fought in the Battle of the Bulge and other theaters, and has lived in Arlington for fifty plus year.

He is a quiet yet gentle and friendly gentlemen – you talk with him a while and you might earn a smile.  He is serious and dedicated to whatever task is in front of him.

He was president of our club in 1976-78 and through the years he has served in other offices and on various committees.

He has won several awards from our club, including the Melvin Jones Fellowship.

He was with the Arlington County School system as a school bus coordinator, a volunteer with the USO, and he spent 20 years volunteering at National Airport information desk as well as with the Virginia Arlington Hospital front desk of the old emergency room.

He volunteered countless hours with our club at the Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center reading and recording glasses to be sent overseas to give away to the needy.

Most recently on October 8, 2016, he was honored with the inaugural TITAN AWARD from the Arlington Host Lions Club.  This award was given to three gentlemen at the Lions 80th Birthday celebration.

It is for these reasons and more that the Arlington Host Lions Club proudly nominated and now we recognize George R. Allin, Jr as the ISCC Man of the year.

For more than 20 years, this woman, a small businesswoman in the rail transportation industry, has given her time and talents to support Arlington youth, mentor colleagues, and build a better community.

Since 1997, she has been a member of this club, which supports youth sports and scholarship programs.

She is a hands-on member working with the Christmas tree sales, publicity, recruits speakers and new members, and has served multiple terms on the Board of Directors.  She has also served as the Club’s first female president and as District Lt. Governor.

In addition to her club work, she also volunteers her time with commissions and advisory committees.  She uses her expertise in the transportation industry to serve the community and region such as the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, the Norther Virginia Transportation Authority, the Arlington County Transportation Advisory Committee and was a subject matter expert for Arlingtonians for Sensible Transit.

She cheerfully takes on jobs big and small in the Club and the larger community.  Her efforts have helped thousands of kids participate in sports and over one hundred kids receive scholarships.  Her transportation issue experience has informed decision-making in Arlington and Virginia.  And her mentoring and advice have helped many individuals find more fulfillment in their lives. This woman’s leadership is an example and an inspiration to  our community.

The Arlington Optimist Club is pleased to nominate and now we recognize Sandy Bushue as the ISCC Woman of the Year.


2015 awardees: Marion Spraggins and Richard Knight

The Arlington Optimist Club nominated Richard Knight for 2015 Man of the Year. Richard has served the Arlington Community since the early 1980s as an Optimist Club member, a member of the Fairlington Condominium Association Board, and a Vestryman and Building and Grounds Committee member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

Richard has practiced law (Estates, Trusts, and Wills) in Arlington County since 1972 and is a long-time Arlington resident. He has been a member of the Arlington Optimist Club for more than 30 years. Since 2000, he has chaired the Oratorical Scholarship contest which has over 400 participants each year. Students compose and deliver speeches on a topic assigned by Optimist International, giving them valuable public speaking experience. Richard works with teachers who publicize the contest and recruits judges for three school contests and an Arlington-wide contest.   At the Arlington-wide contest, finalists from each school contest compete and the winners are awarded scholarships.   First place winners compete at the Zone Oratorical Contest.   Over the 15 years that Richard has run the contest, several students have won zone, district and state contests and Arlington students have been awarded more than $30,000 in scholarships.

Richard also serves on the Optimist Christmas Tree Sales Committee, the Optimist Club’s primary fundraiser. Ten years ago, to solve the problem of Club members having difficulty unloading heavy trees, he recommended a partnership with Phoenix House (a drug rehabilitation facility.) So on tree delivery days, residents of Phoenix House unload trees and the Club makes a monetary donation for each participant and donates a tree to Phoenix House.   Richard also uses his legal skills to ensure that the tree lot is compliant with all Arlington County regulations and obtains necessary permits. Tree sales fund Arlington youth sports (benefitting over 7,000 kids annually on soccer, baseball, hockey, ultimate frisbee, and rifle teams) and scholarships (more than $30,000 annually.) In addition to the Oratorical Contest and work with Phoenix House, Richard has served several terms on the Optimist Board of Directors and is currently a Vice President.

Richard’s other volunteer specialty is buildings and grounds.   Since 1994, Richard has served on St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Building and Grounds Committee, which manages contractors and contracts for maintaining the church. He also served two three-year terms on the Vestry, the church’s governing body.

For more than thirty years, Marion Spraggins has been a strong figure in the community she lives and serves. She is known for being an action-oriented committed leader, organizer, educator, with integrity and is spiritually grounded. She is a wife, daughter, and a great and caring mother, touted as the best grand-mother ever and by many, a great friend. In addition to her over 22 year membership in the ISCC, she is a member of the Arlington, VA Chapter of the Links, Incorporated.

The Links is a “a group of friends committed to civic, educational, and cultural activities, with the singular purpose of serving community needs for the improvement of life and the pursuit of excellence.” As a member, Marion is highly regarded and respected for her action and results-oriented approach and commitment to service. Members are required to volunteer 48 hours each year but in the last two years, Marion served more than 550 hours.

She has been involved with award winning programs, transforming the lives of thousands of children and adults in Arlington and Alexandria including:

  • Multi-Cultural Night to appreciate cultural differences and “Star Gazing” as an introduction to STEM at Hoffman Boston Elementary School.
  • First Robotics “STEM” initiative expanded to Thomas Jefferson Middle School yielding a 3rd place award in a Chicago competition.
  • Financial empowerment workshops to improve the financial portfolio of hundreds of women and up-lift their families.
  • Financial and networking support to college-bound students pursuing the arts.
  • Heart Health workshops to educate on the number one killer of women of color – heart disease- touching over 500 women in 2014 alone.
  • Financial support to provide supplies to developing countries and fight Ebola.

Evaluated applications to award three Community Partnership Grants.

Other community service:
Delta Sigma Theta organization for 50 years
Retired Principal from Washington Lee High School after 33 years educating Arlington students where Virginia Standards of Learning test scores improved across the board.

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