Herndon-Reston FISH, Inc

In This Issue
President's Report
Holiday Basket Program
10th Annual FISH Fling Gala
Donations to FISH
Volunteer Spotlight
Thanks to our Major Supporters
The People We Help
Meet our Interim Executive Director
Bargain Loft

President's Report 

The Tenth Annual Fling Gala, our first one at the Dulles Hyatt,
is shaping up to be an elegant evening with scrumptious food and live music provided by the Franklin Connection. We honor this year's Star Fish: Jocelyn Colao, Mike & Jane Drewes, Diane Mandel, Chuck Veatch and CDW. Please join us in celebrating these outstanding FISH supporters. Make your reservations for the March 14th event.

FISH had a phenomenal end of year. The Bargain Loft achieved their best month ever and donations from individuals and grants are doing well. Our fabulous volunteers make this happen under the direction of Lisa Groves, Interim Executive Director, and April Elliot and Barbara Williams, the Bargain Loft co-managers. 

Many thanks to those who worked on and supported the Holiday Basket program. Special kudos to Mia Merin who Chairs the program and the many volunteers who contributed their time. 

Members of the Board of Directors have been working with Lisa on our strategic goals and getting our policies & procedures compiled. Our goal is to have all documentation available online so that volunteers can readily access the information. We hope to have a preliminary version available by early summer.  

Personal thanks to all who supported our family as we dealt with my granddaughter's critical condition. I am delighted to report that she is recovering amazingly, thanks to great medical care and healing energy and prayers from so many.  

Janet Hyman  


Holiday Basket Program

A picture of children who helped with donations at the United Christian Parish in Reston. Photo by Kelly Gorman


Thanks to Mia Merin, the Holiday Assistance Coordinator, and her assistant Ellen Scheinfeld, 451 families and seniors were provided food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The total number of people helped was 1,396. At Christmas, recipients received a $25 gift card and toys were distributed to 202 children. We were able to help a number of walk-ins to the United Christian Parish in Reston. The effort was possible with the help of 100 volunteers who assisted with collecting and sorting food, making baskets, and sorting and wrapping holiday gifts. Special thanks to CDW, the United Christian Parish,
Fairfax County Motorcycle Patrol Group, Boy Scout Troops from Reston, Kings Chapel Church in Burke, 
 HOPE! Worldwide Church, and Leslie Kane with Mary Kay Cosmetics.

10th Annual FISH Fling Gala

We are almost ready for the 10th annual FISH Fling Gala. The FISH Fling is our primary fundraising event and we hope you will attend. The fling will be held at the Hyatt Dulles Hotel this year and a fun evening of dinner, dancing, raffles, and auctions has been planned. If you have not received an invitation, please call Herndon-Reston FISH at 571-267-2977 or email fish@herndonrestonfish.org and one will be sent to you. At the event we recognize volunteers who have contributed to the success of FISH. Below are our 2015 Star Fish honorees. Please join us in recognizing their contributions. 

Jocelyn Colao has been a volunteer pricer at the Bargain Loft for over 20 years. Although she can do it all, Jocelyn specializes in identifying, cleaning, pricing, and displaying donated linens. Her careful handling of vintage lace and fragile fabrics greatly increases their value. In addition to her work with donated linens, Jocelyn's lifetime of traveling makes her an indispensable part of our pricing team. The years she lived in Europe and Africa make her a great resource when identifying unusual and valuable donations. We are very lucky to have a volunteer as dedicated as Jocelyn. 

Jane and Mike Drewes were long-time Reston residents who volunteered in the community in many capacities. In 2007 they moved to Shepherdstown WV but continued to drive to Reston for volunteer activities. They started volunteering for FISH in 2006, the year of the first FISH Fling Gala and Fundraiser. Jane designed the decorations and they built our huge FISH sign that has been used behind the band at every Fling Gala. All of this was done at no cost to FISH. Mike created an auction check-out program that greatly accelerates the check-out process and has been used at many charitable events. Congratulations to Jane and Mike for their outstanding service for Herndon-Reston FISH! 

Diane Mandel manages the huge tasks of establishing and maintaining the schedule of Assistance Workers who handle the client requests for financial assistance from FISH. These volunteers make FISH's "Instant" help a reality. Diane makes certain the volunteers are trained and ready to take calls and she serves as a phone volunteer herself. Prior to becoming a FISH volunteer, Diane worked as a Physical Therapist. Diane states, "I love what FISH does and what it stands for" and she finds her involvement very fulfilling in her retirement years. 

Chuck Veatch, owner of Charles A. Veatch & Associates, provided three storage units for FISH free of charge for many years. It is Chuck's good fortune that his storage facility is located near the new Weihle Avenue Silver Line Station. In the near future, we will see tall buildings where we used to keep our seasonal merchandise. We are all very appreciative for this contribution and other charitable works he does. Chuck states that, "It has been my pleasure to support the non profits in Reston through the years". 

CDW has been a FISH Fling sponsor since 2008, and has provided many fabulous electronic products for our games and for both our silent and live auctions.  Donated products include cameras, iPads, laptop computers, Kindles, and televisions of all sizes and levels of sophistication. CDW is a leading provider of integrated information technology solutions in the U.S. and Canada. A Fortune 500 company, CDW was founded in 1984 and employs more than 6,900 workers. In 2013, the company generated net sales of more than $10.7 billion. We greatly appreciate their long-term association with FISH.     

Donations to FISH




In addition to the FISH Fling and proceeds from the Bargain Loft thrift store, FISH depends on donations from grants, individuals, organizations, and other non-profits. Last year individuals and organizations provided about 30% of our income. Above are two examples that demonstrate the generosity of the community to support FISH.


On the left, Lisa Groves accepts a check from Kathleen Allen of DaVita Dialysis in Herndon. Others in the picture are patients and staff. On the right, volunteers hand out hot chocolate provided by Panera Bread in the Woodland Park Shopping Center in Herndon. From left: Janie Odlen, Shashank Sharma, Rachel Ramey and Carey Ramey. Myers Public Relations, LLC, arranged for FISH to receive donations during the arrival of Santa Claus to the shopping center. Without support from groups such as these, FISH would not be able to help so many in our community.



FISH is a member of the following campaigns: 


United Way Campaign No. 8359

UW Logo

Combined Federal Campaign No. 83534

 CFC Logo

Volunteer Spotlight


Evea Newsom started working for FISH in 2000 as a volunteer at the Bargain Loft. For 10 years she worked on researching and pricing antiques that were donated to the Loft and she was co-manager for a year. Evea has served on the FISH Board three times and she is currently Chair of the Personnel Committee. She also writes letters acknowledging donations, assists at the FISH Financial Workshops and represents FISH at special events. In talking with Evea she stated,  "The FISH volunteers with whom I've worked are extraordinary people committed to helping our neighbors in need. FISH has a very low overhead because we have many dedicated volunteers.  Consequently, most of our income goes to our neighbors in Reston and Herndon and that is very important to me." 

Thanks to Our Major  Supporters

Thanks to the following groups and individuals for recent contributions of $1,000 or more to
Herndon-Reston FISH   

America's Charities

Anne Jachimowski

Babette Husson

Berton and Barbara Kramer

Bradley Farm Homeowners Assoc.

CDW Corporate

Celeste and Gustav Rueffert

Community Foundation for the Nat'l. Cap. Region

DaVita Dialysis

ExxonMobil Foundation

Fairfax County Reston Community Center

Fairfax County Community Funding Pool

Haze Hanna

John and Hilda Arnold Foundation

John Edward Fowler Memorial Foundation

JV Schiro Zavela Foundation

Ken and Jane Plum

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church

National Rural Telecommunications Corp.

Nelson J. and Katherine Friant Post Foundation

Philip L. Graham Fund

Robert and Annette Reed

Sandra Alexander

St. Anne's Episcopal Church

St. John Neuman Church

St. Joseph's Catholic Church

St. Mark Catholic Church

The Closet

United Christian Parish

United Way of Natl. Capital Area  

Volkswagen Group of America  

The People We Help


 A woman who is a disabled veteran and mother of 3 children was in imminent danger of losing her utility service. She fell behind with her rent and utility payments after missing time from work 

as a result of orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation. FISH paid the utility bill in full and avoided the loss of service.


A father of four requested help with past due rent. He had lost his job several months earlier (he had been employed 14 years with the same company) and had exhausted his unemployment insurance and savings. He recently had accepted two part- time jobs but needed help paying his back rent. FISH paid the balance and the family should be self-sufficient going forward.


A 53 year old man was assaulted and badly beaten - so much so that he had seizures and severe cognitive problems. As a result of his injuries, he is unable to work. Unfortunately, because of his  cognitive disability, he failed to renew his Medicaid coverage and subsequently lost his benefits. The social worker handling his case asked if FISH would pay for his medications this month while she was in the process of filing the necessary papers to help him once again receive Medicaid coverage. FISH paid for all of his monthly medications 

Meet our Interim Executive Director

Lisa Groves with Santa at an event for FISH 


We are pleased to welcome Lisa Groves as our Interim Executive Director for Herndon-Reston FISH. Lisa knows the organization well and started as a volunteer in 2005. She earned a BS degree in Systems Engineering from University of Virginia and an MBA from the Darden School at UVA. She spent 14 years working internationally in financial services and strategic and management consulting. For FISH, she has participated as a Board member, designed and coordinated FISH Fling Galas, and supported marketing for the organization. As a long time Reston resident, Lisa has shared her talents with many organizations and continues to demonstrate a commitment to our area. "I look forward to helping FISH help others, and working with the FISH board, volunteers, and supporters. I believe in partnering with local nonprofit organizations to provide the most value to all families and individuals," remarked Lisa.


The Bargain Loft

The Bargain Loft was beautifully decorated for the holidays and, yes, we were able to increase our sales at the Christmas Store over sales from all previous years. This year we sold $17,000 of holiday merchandise.Thank you for your donations and support of the Bargain Loft.

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The Bargain Loft sells on eBay!


under the name