We wish to feature and congratulate two of our long-time USE members who have recently been honored for their service as Market Masters at the Reston Farmer’s Market at Lake Anne Village Center. John and Fran Lovaas have received the Elly Doyle Park Service Award from the Fairfax County Park Authority. The award is named after for Park Authority Board Chair Ellamae Doyle in recognition for outstanding service contributions over a given year.
In their case though, it’s been many years of volunteer service. John has managed the Reston Farmer’s Market for 22 years, with his wife Fran joining him for 16 years. (Keith Strange was also honored for his 10 years of service.)
Every Saturday from April through December, John and Fran are stationed at Lake Anne Plaza between 8 a.m. and noon. They know the vendors well, having found and brought in many of them.
Besides the vendors, they also work with local organizations like Cornerstones, which helps low-income families in Northern Virginia use their SNAP benefits to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables; and space is provided at the market for other non-profit groups to engage, educate and inform marketgoers.
Ever mindful of the community as a whole, vendors gather food that is left over at the end of the market morning and bring it to local shelters, minimizing waste and feeding those in need. John and Fran are making efforts to move market shoppers away from using plastic bags by providing reusable mesh bags, thus decreasing plastic waste as well.
As noted in the above photo, Virginia Living magazine has named the Reston Farmers Market as Best in Northern Virginia, and it is frequently mentioned elsewhere as among the best in the region, so you know that says that John and Fran Lovaas having been doing something right for a very long time.
Pictured above left to right: Keith and Anne Strange and Fran and John Lovaas with the banner naming Reston Farmers Market the best in Northern Virginia. Photo property of John Lovaas.