It was night to celebrate Middleburg’s successes, including The Christmas Sleigh being featured in Country Living as one of the nation’s two best Christmas shops and several new businesses in town — Atelier Design & Decor, Chloe’s of Middleburg, Greenheart Juice Bar, Southerly House, Purple Cherry Architects, La Hacienda, Wild Hare Cidery, Northwest Federal Credit Union, Old Ox Brewery and Atlantic Union Bank. But it was also a night to remember those we had lost, including Vince Perricone, Pauline Wisdom and Sam Coleman.
The awards ceremony, held Dec. 10 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church’s Parish House, was also an opportunity to recognize departing board members Bob Ball, Natalie Lacaze, Olivia Rogers and Alex Fleming for their service.
One highlight of the evening was the awarding of the Leven Powell Award, named for Middleburg’s founder. Mary Kay Garwood received the award for her service to the community at The Pink Box, where she served as director.
“She was there to be helpful, answer questions and just share her warmth and hospitality with locals and visitors alike,” said Punkin Lee, president of the Middleburg Business and Professional Association. “Mary Kay dedicated too many hours to count and provided exceptional service for 24 years as director of The Pink Box and 27 years on The Pink Box Advisory Committee.”
MBPA also recognized Oktoberfest and Art in the ‘Burg with an Event of the Year Award for this year’s incredibly successful event. “Everyone loves a party, and the town threw a really big one in September,” said Lee.
Another fixture in the Middleburg community recognized at the meeting was The Tack Box, which received the Over 50 Award for 72 years of operations in Middleburg. “This store serves our community, but its products and goods are shipped all over the country as well as internationally,” Lee said.
Receiving the Customer Service Award was Ruth Costello of BB&T. “She greets you with a smile and is genuinely happy to see you and, of course, has that dog treat at ready for your pooch,” Lee said.
Also receiving an award was Tim Cole, who received the Community Resilience Award for the dedication he has shown to the community throughout his career, first at the Middleburg Community Center and later adding the Town of Middleburg to his repertoire. “As Middleburg is Tim’s home turf, we always know everything will look fantastic,” Lee said.
The Middleburg Business and Professional Association also recognized Helen MacMahon with the Power of One Award for her community organizing on behalf of Sam Coleman, Middleburg’s beloved FedEx courier. When Sam was diagnosed with lymphoma, Helen started a GoFundMe to raise funds for his healthcare needs.
“When she heard about Sam Coleman’s diagnosis, she wanted to do something and with a bit of prodding from her mom, she launched a GoFundMe campaign with hope that whatever amount raised would help the Coleman family’s financial burden,” Lee said. “To say the least, the project took off and jumped to $20,000 in the blink of an eye and ended up raising just shy of $72,000.”
Sadly, Sam passed away on Saturday. He was “surrounded by much of his family after a day with his good friend on a peaceful drive through the Middleburg area,” Helen wrote on the GoFundMe page this week.
Funeral Services for Sam will be be held this Saturday, Dec. 14, at First Baptist Church of Sterling, located at 21449 Potomac View Rd. in Sterling, Virginia. The viewing is at 10 a.m. and the service is at 11 a.m. with repast immediately following. All are welcome.
“For 30 years, Sam, our FedEx man, delivered and picked up in our town, and along his journey, he made so many friends,” said Lee in honoring Sam with MBPA’s Town Figure Award.
“A good day, every day, he always gave us,” she added. “When you saw the van heading towards you, you knew you were going to get a wave and that smile, almost infectious as you instantly felt better, happier.”