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Dot: Business Manager, Richard C. Lessard Architects/Holland Lessard Group; Headwaters Foundation Starfish Mentor; Rapp Nature Camp Board Member and Secretary; volunteer coordinator at Rapp at Home; former board member, Headwaters and volunteer coordinator for Taste of Rappahannock; volunteer for After School Program and for READ program at Rappahannock County Elementary School; organizing committee for Christmas in Little Washington; and former volunteer at the Food Pantry.

Rick: Architect, Lessard Collaborative, Sperryville; board member, Rapp Center for Education; board chair, Northern Piedmont Community Foundation; Headwaters Starfish Mentor; volunteered professional architectural services for RappFLOW, CCLC, Food Pantry, and RCPS (security foyers); past chair and board member, Rappahannock Water and Sewer Authority; past volunteer for RCES After School Program and READ program.

Dot and Rick have lived full time in Sperryville since 2007.

Motivating Spark:

Dot: I have always been inspired by JFK's words, "For of those to whom much is given, much is required."  

Rick: Like Dot, I was inspired by JFK. Another critical influence was a life-threatening experience I faced many years ago. It made me realize one has only a finite time to contribute. 

Proudest Achievement:

Dot: That is hard to narrow down but would have to say coordinating the Taste of Rappahannock for several years. I was always surrounded by a team of dedicated volunteers and we consistently raised significant funds for programs that benefited Rappahannock students. I am proud to be part of that legacy.

Rick: As chair of the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation's Board, I am very proud that we have been able to provide funding for a variety of very worthwhile community and non-profit organization projects, especially during this time of COVID-19.  

Foothills Forum is an independent, community-supported nonprofit tackling the need for in-depth research and reporting on Rappahannock County issues.

The group has an agreement with Rappahannock Media, owner of the Rappahannock News, to present this series and other award-winning reporting projects. More at foothills-forum.org.

Biggest Challenge:

Dot: COVID-19 has proven to be a huge challenge because we cannot get together with our young mentee and we have had to scale back in other areas of service as well. Thankfully, technology allows us to carry on, but one misses the personal face-to-face interaction.

Rick: The biggest challenge in volunteering is to find and motivate others to participate. I have always found that once engaged, most volunteers realize they get back so much more than they give. 

Why It Matters:

Dot: Through civic organizations and individual volunteering, Rappahannock County benefits from a wealth of services that are provided to all age groups and all socio-economic levels that are not provided elsewhere. Through my volunteering, I hope I am inspiring a younger generation to continue this tradition of service.

Rick: Volunteer services matter because the government will not or cannot take care of all the needs in our community. If you could put a price tag on the collective value of the volunteer efforts in our community, I am sure it would be significant, and in many ways even priceless.

Favorite Rappahannock Treasure

Dot: Our home at Kilby Farm, the land, our wonderful neighbors, the critters who call it home, all of this nurtures my soul every day. And to complete the circle, it is because of this that I want to give back to others.

Rick: I treasure the beauty and serenity of our county and the wonderfully generous people who give so freely of their time and talents.

— Bob Hurley for Foothills Forum


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