The Takoma Foundation presented the 2016 Azalea Awards at the Celebrate Takoma festival on May 14, 2016. Congratulations to these individuals for going above and beyond to make a difference in our community!
Yvonne is founder of Knock on Wood and has been teaching greater Takoma residents to shuffle and flap since 1994.
Busy combines superhuman energy with a commitment to bringing music and dance to Takoma Park and surrounding areas.
Victoria brings classical music to her Takoma neighbors through her work with the Takoma Ensemble, Capital City Symphony, and National Philharmonic.
Joel uses audio description to make the arts—including live performances, film/television, and museum exhibits—accessible for people who are blind or have low vision.
The friendly manager of Old Town’s Ace Hardware, Eric goes out of his way to accommodate his customers’ often quirky needs and supports local organizations.
Antonio teaches dance in local schools and at his own Takoma Break Dancing School.
As owner of Silver Spring’s Rainbow Laundromat, Nok combines business with community service with “while-you-wash” tutoring.
Danny is chef and co-owner of Republic, where the menu, décor, and even the name pay homage to Takoma Park.
Brian coaches soccer and cross country at Takoma Park Middle School in addition to running the popular Ski Club.
Mike moved mountains to create a winter recreational basketball league for 7th-grade girls.
MaryBeth and Howard can coach soccer girls into soccer women to rule the world.
Michele and Kate coach the girls on their team in self-confidence as well as in soccer.
Helen has served for many years as coach or captain of various kids’ basketball, outdoor and indoor soccer, and tennis teams and is a commissioner of Takoma Soccer.
Holly is an instrumental music teacher at Takoma Park Middle School and maestro extraordinaire. She works wonders with our children at one of their most challenging stages, consistently earning “superior” ratings and wowing competition judges with her ensembles.
Lynne shows up with compassion and kindness wherever she is needed at Takoma Park Elementary School—classroom, lunchroom, or playground—to make a difference for her students.
Krishni Patrick brings her enthusiasm for math, science, and technology to every child at Piney Branch Elementary.
Samir Paul, 2016 Rising Star Teacher of the Year and himself a Blair alumnus, teaches computer science and runs a computer science mentoring program at Montgomery Blair High School.
Lori and John produce entertaining videos to educate people about environmental practices, which they also model in their everyday activities.
Paul is an environmental scientist who serves on the Committee on the Environment and has provided guidance on many Takoma Park initiatives including the Safe Grow ordinance.
Rita and Paul transformed an overgrown city-owned lot from an eyesore into a neighborhood garden spot.
Abby is Takoma Park Elementary’s beloved guidance counselor, who makes every child in the school feel special while meeting their emotional—and, often, physical—needs.
Jennifer leads her Girl Scout Troop 1273 in myriad community service activities, in addition to selling cookies.
In her role as Takoma Park Middle School counselor, Carmen is friendly, approachable, and engages with students and their families to support their success.
Margaret has risen to the forefront of tenant rights and affordable housing reform in her own Hampshire Towers community and throughout Takoma Park.
The unofficial “mayor” of his East Silver Spring neighborhood, Tim lends his talents to many worthy causes.
Denise mentors children and parents in her Essex House community and serves on the tenants’ association board.
Keith is active on many different fronts—from community involvement through CHEER, to preserving and cleaning up the McLaughlin woods, to green energy.
Jane works behind the scenes in Hodges Heights, organizing activities such as Earth Day cleanup and mosquito control.
As PTSA president at Montgomery Blair High School, Ray has worked to promote student achievement and community involvement.
Vanessa conducts Spanish literacy and other parent education and empowerment programs at New Hampshire Estates and other local elementary schools.
Year in, year out, Amy spends countless hours volunteering at events and working behind the scenes for the Takoma Park Elementary PTA.
Ellen focuses on cybersafety, security, “digital citizenship,” and other technology issues at Piney Branch Elementary and across the county.
Katya was presented with an Azalea award for her years of service to the community and contribution to schools and PTAs.
Cindy has served for many years on the City’s Environment and Recreation committees and was instrumental in preserving the woods behind the old McLaughlin school.
Lichelle is a model of generous, optimistic leadership in her Pinecrest neighborhood, the kind that makes Takoma Park a special place to live.
Lorraine helps protect the integrity of Montgomery County’s largest historic district and the greater community.
In addition to her work on various other fronts, Charlotte heads up the Go Mom Go community of single moms.
Tara and Gene became unlikely partners a year ago to rescue Takoma Park’s iconic July 4th parade.
Colleen organizes weekly intergenerational game nights as well as one-time intergenerational play events.
With her work on summer lunch-and-learn programs, city committees, and Lifelong Takoma, Doris exemplifies what one active citizen can do to help many.
Mary Ann is the founder and director of Takoma Porch, which brings local musicians to Old Town front porches for a multi-stage music festival.