First Annual Gala Presents Prestigious Community Service Awards & New Endowments

The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties will present its first annual gala on November 17 to honor top philanthropists and community leaders with special awards, and to create new charitable endowment funds on behalf of each winner.

“We’re excited about the phenomenal growth and increasing community impact we’ve had in our 24-year history,” said Nicole Acosta, who was named President and CEO of the foundation in May 2023 following the retirement of Amy Owen, who served as CEO for 12 years. “It’s time to create a new tradition for the Community Foundation to honor individuals and organizations who change our community for the better.”

The event, entitled Roots & Legacies, will soon announce three awards to be presented: Philanthropist of the Year, Changemaker of the Year, and the Nonprofit Achievement Award.

“The Philanthropist of the Year award will recognize an individual who has demonstrated exceptional generosity, outstanding civic and philanthropic responsibility, and has provided exemplary leadership in advancing giving in our community,” explained Acosta.

The Changemaker of the Year award will honor an individual or organization that has directly influenced and advanced systemic change or innovation through leadership or volunteerism within the community, and the Nonprofit Achievement Award will recognize an organization in Loudoun or Northern Fauquier that has created internal service-delivery, organizational systems innovation or growth leading to increased impact within the community.

Acosta said the winners of each award will be announced later this summer. Each winner will have the opportunity to name a $10,000 charitable endowment fund and recommend the fund’s charitable purpose. The endowment funds will be established by the Community Foundation with funding from event sponsors.

Root & Legacies, which will take place at the Middelburg Barn at the historic Fox Chase Farm, will feature each of the award winners and highlight their work in the Loudoun and Northern Fauquier community.

“The Community Foundation got its start in Middleburg, and it’s only fitting that this inaugural event takes place where we planted our roots,” said Acosta. “The Middleburg Barn is the perfect venue for us to provide our attendees with an elegant dining and beverage experience. Just like our work is hyper-focused on our local community, we’ll feature local wine, local talent, and local leadership during our event.”

The event will include music, a plated dinner, local wine, celebratory awards, and an auction to raise funds for the Community Foundation’s work. For more information about the Roots and Legacies event or the Community Foundation, visit