For her work helping – and in many cases leading – the Arlington County Civic Federation in taking the steps necessary to evolve into a “virtual” environment, Tina Worden has been presented with the 2021 Sun Gazette Cup, the county’s top honor in civic activism.
Worden, a delegate from the ShirlingtonDogs organization and longtime county resident, served during 2020-21 as the federation’s vice president.
“This year would not have worked without her efforts,” said Civic Federation president Allan Gajadhar, announcing the award at the federation’s June meeting. (The springtime Civic Federation awards banquet was canceled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.)
Like most organizations, the Civic Federation has been forced to eschew in-person gatherings since last March and move to an online platform.
“Meeting virtually led to many problems and challenges, and Tina identified and worked to resolve each one,” noted the awards citation.
Worden also aided in communications and coordinating programs with individual committees throughout the year.
With a background on the Arlington Commission for the Arts, Worden “has proven to be a determined advocate for the arts . . . [and] single-handedly revived the Civic Federation’s cultural-affairs committee,” said Angela Adams, director of Arlington Arts.
Worden was attending a child’s high-school graduation the night of the award announcement, so she formally received the Sun Gazette Cup on July 3 as the 2020-21 and 2021-22 Civic Federation boards met informally in Shirlington in a joint planning effort.
Asked what made the Civic Federation an important institution, Worden said it was the group’s independence and delegates’ desire to create a better community.
“Their passions and what they were concerned about really opened my eyes,” she said.
The annual Sun Gazette Cup recipient is determined by a Civic Federation committee. The award outlived two previous sponsors, being known from the late 1930s to the early 1980s as the Washington Star Cup and from then until the early 2000s as the Journal Newspapers Cup.
During the era of Sun Gazette sponsorship, which began in 2005, recipients have included Jacqueline Snelling, Patrick Smaldore, Gerald Auten, Lawrence Mayer, Roye Lowry, Stan Karson, Michael Kerley, Larry Finch, James Schroll, Herschel Kanter, Michael McMenamin, Martha Moore, Stefanie Pryor, Dennis Gerrity, Duke Banks and Sandy Newton.
“I’m so honored to be a part of this group of people,” Worden said.
The Civic Federation began life in 1916 as a coalition of six community groups, in an Arlington that was still essentially a sleepy, segregated Southern town. Today, the federation’s membership roster includes more than 60 organizations.