Saturday of JJ weekend featured the annual awards luncheon and an address by Ray Buckley, the President of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, which is the DNC’s State Chairs organization. For a number of years, each Congressional District Democratic Committee has given a “grassroots” award to a volunteer party activist. This year’s winners were Tom Kimbrell (1st), Bob Martin (2nd), Deloris Thomas (3rd), Mary Harwell (4th), Lorene Martin (5th), Hall Dull & Warren Campbell (6th), Aaron Markel and Ginnie Downie (7th), Bridget Murphy & Todd Smyth (8th), Becky Gunn and Searah Williams (9th), Ellen Cantor & Tom and Susan Johnson (11th). The Committees of the year were Alexandria, Williamsburg, and Bristol. The Black Caucus’ William P. Robinson, Sr. Award went to Eva Teig Hardy. The Tom Whipple – Party Service Award was given to Arlington’s own Charlie Conrad, and was well deserved. This year, they also gave the first Innovation Awards to the Historic Triangle Democratic Committees of Williamsburg, Poquoson, James City County, and York County for working together and to Bristol for activites including efforts in connection with that region’s “border bash.” I was happy to see the folks from Bristol be recognized because that is almost as far away from Richmond as you can get and still be in Virginia. Congratulations to all.