SERVE Returns to Its Roots Volunteers and Staff Gather to Remember, Reminisce and Look Ahead

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

It felt like old home week as more than 70 friends – board, staff and volunteers – gathered at the Saint Benedict Monastery in Bristow on Sept. 23 to celebrate their connection to SERVE.  Northern Virginia Family Service hosted the SERVE Founder’s reception to honor those individuals and organizations within the community who have the longest history of supporting SERVE.  The event was held at the monastery as a tribute to the Benedictine Sisters, who contributed the first $75 that enabled SERVE to incorporate as a nonprofit organization.


Attendees were able to reminisce about days gone by with Rob Heltzel of Heltzel Mortgage, who chaired SERVE’s board for many years, and Gail Cline, former executive director who returned from South Carolina to join the event. Other founders and volunteers in attendance included Grace Shultz from Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church; Al Haight from IBM (retired); SERVE’s first shelter director Sylvia Haydash; and one of SERVE’s founding and most dedicated volunteers, Doris Topping. Doris passed away in 1998, but was represented by members of Manassas Presbyterian Church.

Sen. Charles Colgan, whose wife Agnes was one of SERVE’s finest advocates and supporters, briefed attendees on how SERVE was cut from the final version of the Commonwealth’s budget this year. As a result, Northern Virginia Family Service has launched a $750,000 campaign to match a generous grant from the Hylton Family Foundation to retire the debt on the SERVE Campus. It is estimated that when the mortgage is paid off, NVFS will be able to dedicate approximately $6,000 more a month into progams at SERVE.

The event was sponsored by Vulcan Materials, Metro Sign and Design, Heltzel Mortgage, and Peebles Department Store. Steve Johnson, managing partner of UNOs Manassas, who provided food for the reception, and Jim Hester of Continental Events Center, provided the music.


IMG_5864To learn more about SERVE’s important role in the local community, or to purchase tickets and sponsorships for the 40th Anniversary Celebration, please



Leave A Reply