The Georgetown Business Association (GBA) honored community members and businesses who made a substantial positive impact on the Georgetown community at the 2012 annual meeting and holiday soiree Wednesday night.
Molly Quigley (Clyde's Restaurant Group) presented one of two Art Schultz Communitarian Awards to David Abrams for his "selfless" work on behalf of Friends of Rose Park.
Abrams told Patch that "it is an honor" to receive the "gracious" award from the GBA.
"Rose Park is my front yard and my back yard," Abrams said. "I love doing what I do there."
In presenting the Joe Pozell Public Safety Award, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Ed Solomon (Wedding Creations) said Officers Antonial Atkins and Kathryn Fitzgerald both go "over and beyond the call of duty," as officers in the Metropolitan Police Department. Second District Commander Michael Reese stood in the background smiling broadly as his officers accepted the gratitude of the community they serve.
In a touching moment, Incoming Vice President Janine Schoonover (JSW Group) read an email from Zubair Popal that he sent when he learned he would be honored with the Business Person of the Yeard Award.
Popal, a native of Afghanistan, and his family claimed political assylum in the United States many years ago. They settled in Virginia and his children attended Georgetown University and George Washington University. In 2003 he opened Cafe Bonaparte and soon he will open his second Georgetown restaurant (and third DC restaurant) Malmaison.
In his email to Schoonover he said he is "proud to live in a land of opportunity."
Upon accepting the award he credited his family for much of his success.
"They have done most of the work and I have been just the moral support," Popal said.
And in an impromptu moment of support, the GBA recognized Maj. David Alexander with a standing ovation. Alexander, stationed at Ft. Belvoir, attended with his father Samuel Alexander, who grew up in Georgetown, just a few houses down from Solomon's store.
The Alexander family owned a rental property many years ago that they once rented to a young, single John F. Kennedy. Perhaps fittingly, Solomon met the Alexanders at Martin's Tavern just the night before. Kennedy was a frequent diner at the neighborhood tavern.
The evening continued after the award ceremony with drinks and music.
The 2012 award winners are:
Joe Pozell Public Safety Award
Office Antonial Atkins
Officer Kathryn Fitzgerald
Art Schultz Communitarian Award
Terry Bell (Friends of Book Hill Park)
David Abrams (Friends of Rose Park)
Business of the Year Award
The Georgetown Club
Business Person of the Year Award
Zubair Popal (Cafe Bonaparte)
Lifetime Achievement Award
Linda Greenan ()