- Alvarez LeCesne is our new Membership Chairperson and Transaction Coordinator. Alvarez has long been active in the Reston Community and is well known and beloved by many. We feel we are so lucky to have him with us.
- New Birthday program initiated by Alvarez starting in July of this year. Each month we have sent out a list of members who have birthdays in that month. We encourage other members to acknowledge these members in some way – whatever way seems right for you – a phone call, a quick text, an email, an e-card, or with a card delivered by good old snail mail via our US Postal Service. We’ve had great feedback so far. Members seem to like the idea of being remembered on their special day!
- We are pleased to welcome Joanna Faust as our new Outreach Coordinator. She is already working with the USE Board and will be taking charge and working to enhance our community connections, online, within the Reston community and within our membership.
- We’ve had two Virtual Meet-and-Greet Gatherings: Following our successful startup in September and subsequent meeting in November via Zoom, we hope to continue this possibly as a monthly practice and hope more and more members will join us.
Our meetups have been small so far, but lively, with lots of thoughts, feelings, opinions and ideas being shared. Those who joined in seemed to have a very good time.
We feel it is so important to keep this connection with members since, unfortunately, we had to cancel our September 18th Fall Picnic due to the surge of the COVID Delta variant at that time. As long as we are kept at a distance from one another by COVID, we will keep trying to stay in touch as best we can.
Small Groups Come Together in Person
Thanks to Cheri Wubbels’ initiatives we are bringing small groups of members together, safely, just a few people at a time – with fantastic results!
- Meet-ups at a jazz festival and at the Reston Multicultural Festival. In late summer, several USE members came together and enjoyed each other’s company as well as splendid displays of talent at Lake Anne Plaza. First at a small jazz concert and then at the Annual Reston Multicultural Festival, where we were treated to Spanish flamenco dancers, Irish dancers, Indian dancers and a cappella singers. There were craft activities for kids, crafts for sale, food for sale and so much more.
Pictured USE members on break during jazz festival at Lake Anne: Brenda LeCesne, Kathy Bush and Gail Vogel
- These small fortuitous meetings have spawned a walking group, a group that plans to send out cards to members who may be ill or just need some cheer. And multiple ideas are hatching for new activities for members to explore. USE is slowly come back to life after its COVID slumbers. Such a good feeling!
Walkers pictured in photo: Joanne Williams, Beth Balmer, Gerald Rankine-Galloway and Gail Vogel.
These activities are falling under the umbrella of the Care Committee, and we will see and hear more from them as they attempt to be available to members who might need extra help, such as with rides or errands or maybe just with some good company.
- A Thanksgiving meal together. USE has invited any members who will be alone on Thanksgiving to come join together at noon that day in Reston’s Silver Diner. Their large open area at the back seems perfect for our need to spread out safely. They have a new air filtration system and there should be few other diners. Overall, our members should feel safe attending. And, of course, all who join us should be vaccinated. We have already had several responses and feel we will have a congenial group and family feeling among USE friends on Thanksgiving Day!
YOU CAN STILL JOIN US! Just contact Cheri Wubbels or Kathy Bush through email@example.com.
FOCUS ON MEMBERS
- Above and Beyond During COVID: One of our members, Mark Menzer, has transported groceries and prescriptions for several USE members who could not get out to shop for themselves. At some points he had more requests than he had time to cover. But he continued on, quietly helping his fellow USE members. He may still be doing so for a few people in these succeeding months since then.
- Cheri Wubbels reports that Norbert Pink has come through for her many, many times, doing such things as fixing a bathroom faucet and setting up her printer and a new router when she was having trouble with her computer. He has been invaluable to her.
- Meanwhile, Cheri has been taking a good friend who was once a USE member for medical appointments and minor surgery.
- USE members Lesa Schmidt and Joanne Williams, among others, turned out to help a long-time member before, during and after the time of her recent hip replacement surgery, doing things that included caring for her cat, doing household chores, as well as some shopping and providing rides.
- Alvarez and Brenda LeCesne were honored by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors as Lord and Lady Fairfax from the Hunter Mill District for 2021.
Alvarez and Brenda were acknowledged in a ceremony on September 28th in recognition of their service to the Reston community and Fairfax County over the past 45 years!
We in Reston USE should be very proud that one of our own and his wife have both been so honored and so well deserving of this recognition.
Alvarez is currently the Membership Chairperson and Transaction Coordinator on the Reston USE Board of Directors.
- Because of initiatives by Gar Young, USE has recently become affiliation with the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. And the good news is that as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, we can have the benefit of membership, along with other nonprofits, free of charge. This gives us the opportunity to share experiences and support with other local nonprofits as well as benefit from the support and expertise of local business leaders.
Gar has also been acting as co-president of USE along with Kathy Bush these last many months. Without the publication of our newsletter, mostly due to COVID-19, members may not be aware of this change in Gar’s status on the board from an At-Large position. Gar has been serving on our Board of Directors since 2019.
We regret the recent lack of communication, especially since Gar will be leaving the USE board at the end of this year. He says he has things in his life that require his full attention but he promises that he may be back with us when the time is right. We hope so. He has been a beneficial and dynamic member of the USE Board Team.
Welcome New Members!
We’d like to welcome some of our newest USE members, especially those who joined us as COVID struck and slowed things to a standstill in USE and, indeed, all over the country. They are:
|Jan Bradshaw||Gary McMullin|
|Jerry Harasty||Joanne Williams|
|Sarah Selvaraj-Dsouza||Janet Zhou|
|Sandra Clark||Karen Mantyla|
|Joanna Faust||Rohith Rao|
However belated our message, you are all so very welcome to Reston USE, and we look forward to knowing you and having you as an active and appreciated member of USE.
Quoting a message from Stephen Bennett, who manages our T&T hOurworld database:
“We all have gotten hammered by COVID. Still, your time bank is in the top 50 for activity, so no need to underestimate how well you are doing to have anything going on at all. So, BRAVO! Whatever you are doing is working to sustain.”
FROM THE USE BOARD – A REMINDER:
USE Board meetings are OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS AT ALL TIMES. Nowadays, we meet every month on the second Tuesday at 7pm. Right now, we meet virtually via Zoom, so it’s a breeze to just pop in and see how we work and maybe offer some ideas or suggestions. USE is YOUR organization. Send an email to Kathy Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a link to any meeting.