PBA Honors Lohr, Varmecky for Lifetime Service

The Purcellville Business Association held its final meeting of the year and annual awards ceremony Wednesday night at the Loudoun Golf and Country Club in Purcellville

The Business of the Year award went to Chick-Fil-A, a popular eating spot in the Purcellville Gateway shopping center. Franchise owner Scott Payne accepted the award.

The PBA Non-Profit Award went to the Ryan Bartel Foundation, founded by the parents of a Woodgrove High School teenager who committed suicide three years ago. His mother, Suzie Bartel, told the group she and her husband had decided to set up the foundation to help other parents and young people facing similar situations.

Youth was a big focus of the evening. The PBA honored Janet Clarke, a former Town Council member and former county supervisor, with a community award for her work in starting the Teen Center, in 2005, attracting a large cadre of middle students and many parent volunteers to the Purcellville roller skating rink.

A second Community Award went to Phil Message, who began as a volunteer, and took over management of the Teen Center from Clarke and expanded its programs. The Town Council has decided to end the skating rink lease with Message, and has contracted with another firm to manage activities there.

Sentiment was strong for the three final awardees, all of whom were well-known figures in the community.

Betty Wiley, doyenne of the Purcellville arts scene, received the third Community Award, which was given jointly in her honor and and that of her late husband, Jim “Doc” Wiley. The retired dentist and former town councilman died earlier this year.

The Life Achievement Awards went to two longtime town leaders.

Steve Varmecky, retired Loudoun marketing and business teacher at Loudoun Valley High School, was honored for his long teaching career and nurture of students. BPA President Tim Doozan announced the evening’s Silent Auction had raised $2,000 in scholarship funds for a Valley senior. Varmecky had initiated the program several years ago.

The last awardee was former Town Manager Rob Lohr, who retired in July. Lohr was cited for his years of assistance to the business community, received a standing ovation.

The President’s Award, granted to a member of the organization, went to PBA Treasurer Tony Hudimac for his service throughout the town and to the business community.

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