Each month, one of my favorite people on the DC Council, At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds, gives out awards recognizing members of the DC community who "make an extraordinary impact to the quality of life and general well-being of the residents of the District of Columbia." Recipients are nominated by other DC residents, and selected by CM Bonds' office. This month, Petworth's own Paul Ruppert was one of the three recipient's of the Community Cornerstone awards.
From CM Bonds' email, here are the recipients and why they were chosen:
Loretta Carter Hanes
Ms. Loretta Carter Hanes has worked her entire life as a community activist in the District of Columbia. Ms. Hanes championed the District's Emancipation Day holiday growing it from a grassroots to today's citywide celebration. Thanks to her work, each year we all recognize and remember April 16, 1862 as the day 3,100 slaves were emancipated in the District of Columbia. Ms. Hanes also co-founded Reading Is Fundamental, a volunteer-run literacy and book giveaway program that has touched the lives of thousands of local children. Thank you Ms. Hanes for a lifetime of service to all District residents.
Paul Ruppert is the owner of many beloved neighborhood businesses including Crane & Turtle, Petworth Citizen, Room 11 and Upshur Street Books. Mr. Ruppert has committed his work to building cultural hubs in the District's neighborhoods that brings community together. He has a love for DC in his blood.
A sixth generation Washingtonian, he and his family has made a cultural and economic impact on the District. Thank you Mr. Ruppert for your commitment to enhancing our city's culture and neighborhoods.
Patsy Mose Fletcher
Patsy Mose Fletcher serves as the Neighborhood Heritage Coordinator at the District's Historic Preservation Office and the author of the new book Historically African American Leisure Destinations Around Washington, DC.
Ms. Fletcher has spent her career working to preserve and celebrate the District's unique cultural history. She primary works with neighborhood associations engaged in studying their communities and developing materials that document their local history. Thank you Ms. Fletcher for working to ensure that we all can treasure the unique history of the District of Columbia.
Chris Smith is the Chairman and CEO of WC Smith and Co-Founder of THEARC. For over three decades, Mr. Smith has led his company to make a substantial positive impact upon the District of Columbia, particularly in the development of high quality affordable housing. Among many successful projects, Mr. Smith is responsible for the Sheridan Station development and Parklands renovation in Ward 8.
Through his leadership, THEARC was constructed in 2005 and has touched the lives of thousands as a community cultural center. Mr. Smith is currently working on expanding the facility to offer increased programs. Thank you Mr. Smith for creating vibrant homes for so many District residents.
Images courtesy CM Anita Bonds' office.