RICHMOND, Va. -- Allen & Allen, the oldest and largest law firm in Virginia, honored the recipients of its "Hometown Heroes" awards at Tuesday's Flying Squirrels game in Richmond.
Folks nominated local heroes who inspire positive change in and around the communities Allen & Allen serves: Richmond, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, and the surrounding areas.
“We’re honored to recognize the special people in our communities who are making a difference on an individual basis,” Allen & Allen President Edward Allen said. “For over 100 years Allen & Allen has been inspired by the people we have helped. Today, we recognize the heroes around us—those you might not hear about. These are everyday people who devote their time, energy, and talents to improving our communities.”
Allen said it is important to recognize heroes "who commit daily to the service of others.”
Crystal Holmes, a 2018 Hometown Hero, shared what it means to receive this honor.
"What it means to me to be an Allen and Allen Hometown Hero, is that it really feels good to be recognized and know that I am helping out the community and to give my daughters a positive role model in their life," Holmes said.
Holmes organizes volunteers and contributions to support area schools in Amelia County.
The firm has honored more than 400 people since the program's inception in 2010.
The winning 2018 Allen & Allen HOMETOWN HEROES are:
1. Myra Anderson, an advocate for literacy and mental health awareness in Charlottesville.
2. Tony Brown, the founder of a Greene County food pantry who organizes student volunteers who deliver Meals-on-Wheels.
3. Mark Casper, the director of Tech for Troops Project, helping veterans with computer training, job skills, and emotional support.
4. Duron Chavis, an advocate for food justice who teaches urban gardeners how to fight food deserts by growing their own produce.
5. Kelly Chenault, founder of the ALEX Project, puts volunteers in classrooms to support teachers and help at-risk students excel.
6. Darlene Chinn, a volunteer with Veterans Helping Veterans Now who works to improve the lives of those who served.
7. Hassan Fountain, an advocate for literacy who has delivered over 46,000 books to children in low-income areas.
8. Kenneth Frenier, a retired Colonial Heights Firefighter who now volunteers to lead Red Cross disaster response.
9. Lynn Frohnapfel, a teacher for more than 20 years who serves as an advocate for Special Education students.
10. Danielle Gilbert, who organizes mentoring, financial literacy, and career skills training for women in underserved communities.
11. Crystal Holmes, a community role model in Amelia County who organizes volunteers and contributions to support area schools.
12. Mary James, an advocate for veterans’ mental health and founder of COVER, one of the first private counseling agencies for veterans.
13. Randy Johnson, founder of God’s Pit Crew, who provides crisis response and comfort supplies to families and communities in need.
14. Cindy Maynard, a childhood cancer research advocate who provides comfort items for kids in treatment and support for families.
15. Frank McCarty, a humanitarian who organizes an annual oyster roast to benefit Fredericksburg residents with significant medical needs.
16. Amanda Eaddy Oliver, a champion for teen girls who organizes mentorship programs that teach mutual support and encouragement.
17. Fred Orelove, a dedicated volunteer with Greater Richmond Scan who works to help children whose lives have been impacted by trauma.
18. Bradley Smith, who provides training days at Quantico for Sunshine Kids, a group for children with terminal cancer.
19. Mike Thompson, a 50-year EMS volunteer with Southside Virginia Emergency Crew and last year’s Crewman of the Year.
20. Dorothy Tompkins, founder of Georgia’s Healing House, an addiction recovery home for women in Charlottesville.