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Loudoun 100 to honor county’s everyday heroes

Facebook/The Loudoun100 Event
As a portrait photographer, Leesburg's Aliyah Dastour has the opportunity to converse with many Loudouners and hear stories about special projects they are doing in the community to make an impact.

Dastour was inspired by years of hearing these casual stories about people working behind the scenes – and decided she wanted to do something to share them with the public.

“A lot of people tell me casually about the amazing things they are doing, and no one knows about them. The more stories I heard, I made the decision to create this project to share with the community,” Dastour said.

Dastour's “passion project” --- the Loudoun 100 – was formed.

The idea is actually several years in the making. It's something Dastour has always wanted to do, and she is thrilled to see it come to fruition.

She put out a call for nominations for the Loudoun 100 starting in January of this year, and received 600 in four months. Dastour and her team at Alimond Photography read the applications one by one and slowly narrowed it down to 100.

“It was tough, there were so many awesome applications. There were lots of tears in the process of reading the amazing stories,” Dastour said.

They have since interviewed each of the 100 nominees – spanning all ages, races and gender - asking questions lik, “What does it mean to be a good person,” and, “What would you tell your 14-year-old self,” and, “Any thoughts or inspiration you would like to share with the community?”

These videos and photos will be compiled and presented at a special event honoring and revealing the Loudoun 100 on Sept. 12 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Leesburg's Projet Aviation on Sycolin Road.

The event is family-friendly, and Dastour hopes people of all ages will come and honor Loudoun's everyday heroes.

“I'd love for children to come and see people get recognized for the things they normally do to help our community go forward and get better,” she said.

Dastour is also creating a hard-bound book with photos and excerpts from conversations with Loudoun's 100 nominees.

“I hope to see it in gathering places around Loudoun as a conversation piece,” she said.

The book will be available to order online or can be purchased at the event Sept. 12.

While most of the event is privately funded, she is looking for sponsors who are also interested in this project.

She plans to recognize Loudoun's "amazing people" every year – although it will be different each time – so it does not become a competition.

“I hope we can come celebrate as a community the things we are doing. It will be a very nice event,” she said.

For more information and tickets to the event, visit The Loudoun100 on Facebook.

Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on Twitter at @KarenGGraham.


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