Alexandria Drive-In’s Kelly Grant wins Volunteer Alexandria’s business philanthropist of the year award

Kelly Grant made it happen.

On Tuesday, Grant, the chief operating officer of the ALX Community coworking office in Old Town, received Volunteer Alexandria‘s business philanthropist of the year award.

Last year, after five months of an exhausting pandemic, Grant struck oil after launching the Alexandria Drive-In. The effort raised more than $100,000, with more than 12,000 people safely seeing movies on the big screen again. Proceeds from the films went to ACT for Alexandria, the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria and Athena Rapid Response.

“It’s incredibly moving to watch the power of community make lasting impacts in our city,” Grant said. “Keep an eye out for ALX Community’s future community initiatives, as we continue to serve and support the wonderful people, small businesses, and communities that make Alexandria the place we love and call home.”

The Drive-In has since gone into its second season.

Volunteer Alexandria presented the following awards:

The Joan White Volunteer Service Award

  • Cynthia Chin – Mentor and Creative Director volunteer with Space of her Own. Cynthia has used her creativity and passion to empower and inspire girls and her experience as an Asian-American woman to spread a message of acceptance; from mentor to board member, co-program manager, and creative director, her volunteer service has been instrumental in enhancing and expanding youth programs in Alexandria
  • Phyllis and Anthony Johnson – Volunteers for the West End Food pantry. Both volunteers replaced senior volunteers during COVID and worked every Monday night so the pantry can stay open during the pandemic and hungry families could be fed
  • John Perlman – Volunteers for the food program and delivers groceries and serves on the Early Childhood committee for ALIVE!
  • Charlotte Martinsson – Serves on ALIVE!’s executive board, volunteers for several programs – Food, Family Assistance, and for the Quarantine Food Program.

Emergency Preparedness Volunteer Service Award

  • Bridget Donohue – Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteer for the Alexandria Health Department; answered Information Line Call Center
  • Paul Mazzuca – Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) for the Alexandria Health Department

Above & Beyond Recognition During a Time of COVID Award

  • Allen Brooks, The Garden and Building Momentum – Co-founder of the drive-in movies, which allowed families to enjoy movies and agencies to receive unrestricted money
  • Holly Batal – Volunteered for Safehouse and hotline for the Alexandria Domestic Violence Program. Holly is passionate, committed, and driven about assisting victims experiencing violence
  • Kobi Carter – Teacher, tutor, translator, interpreter, registration assistant, and Zoom coach for the Literacy Council of NoVa
  • Elyse Demaray – Writer and researcher for grants and the newsletter that help tell the story for Community Lodgings
  • Haywon Kim – Volunteered with Learn & PlayGroup as co-facilitator for the group of children with the Center for Alexandria’s Children
  • Mike Mixon – RSVP Northern Virginia volunteer who works with the American Red Cross to assist with disasters
  • Maria Sanchez-Carlo – Volunteered with the Groceries to Go and Friendly Visitor program with Senior Services of Alexandria
  • Kenneth Tieu – Mentor for high school students with the Dream Project
  • Mike Zito – Mentor for high school students

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