There is a 99.9 percent chance that you’ve seen this smiling face around town. While she’s all of five feet, one (and a half!) inches tall, she has a giant personality that is in the business of bringing the community of Alexandria together in more ways than one. Say hello to Brittany Patterson-Hill!
Brittany is more than just involved in our community, she embodies the spirit of community. As the vice president of local real estate firm The Patterson Group, she is the go-to market expert, posting regularly here on Stylebook about everything from real estate trends to restaurant openings. What you may not know is that she is also a dedicated volunteer, spending her time as a board member to four local organizations.
This past year was a huge one for Brittany as she was the chair of Junior Friends, the fundraising arm of the local non-profit organization The Campagna Center. Read on to learn more about The Campagna Center, Junior Friends, and how to get involved. Britt will walk you through it all!
The Campagna Center is clearly very near and dear to your heart. Can you tell us a little bit more about it and it’s impact on Alexandria?
The Campagna Center equips 2,000 local children, teens, and adults by offering a range of educational and social development programs, such as early childhood education, health and nutrition awareness, before- and after-school programs, tutoring, career and college readiness planning, and classes for English language learners. The Campagna Center allows moms and dads to work a full day and know their kids are in safe hands. It allows T.C. Williams teens to see the inside of a college campus and set their minds on going to college (often the first person in their family to go to college), and it teaches adults English to encourage parents and children to speak and read in English at home.
You had a super busy year as the chair of Junior Friends. Please elaborate on the Junior Friends and how the group helps the Campagna Center.
The Junior Friends of TCC (The Campagna Center) is the fundraising arm for the center. We plan two major events a year, which raise around $600,000 for TCC. However, the word fundraising often scares people off. We have incredible leadership and direction under President and CEO Dr. Tammy Mann and Chief Development Officer Joy Myers.
You’ve been a Junior Friend for a while! Can you walk us through your experience?
I walked into a Junior Friend interest meeting sometime in my early 20s; made it through one meeting and high-tailed it out of there so fast my head could have spun around. I went back several years later. I was more mature in my career, felt a little more in control of my life, and was finally finding time to give back to my favorite community. Initially, a large group of women you don’t know can be overwhelming. However, I joined for two reasons: 1) I wanted to make like-minded friends, and 2) I wanted to give time to an organization that was actually impacting lives and where I could see and feel the impact. What I have found is that this group of women is absolutely incredible. They are selfless, self-starters, committed, and, man, as a group, we are STRONG. Aside from raising much needed funds for TCC, I have found a group of women I can truly call my best friends. And when best friends get together for a mission, you had better watch out!!
What are some of the fundraising events in Alexandria that Junior Friends organize?
Junior Friends plan The Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, the first weekend in December, and Bright Futures. Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend is made up of several events including Taste of Scotland, Heather and Greens sales, Homes Tours, and, of course, the Parade!! Bright Futures is a single evening event on the patio of United Way in Old Town, which is attended by 300 people for a dinner, dancing, a wonderful program, and silent and live auctions.
Bright Futures was just a few weeks ago and it was awesome! Do you guys hit your fundraising goal? How much money did that event raise?
Because of the generous support of the TCC community, we exceeded our goal! In one single evening we raised almost $300,000.
How can locals get involved in Junior Friends?
Junior Friends takes the summer off. We’ll be back in action the second week in September! There will be an interest meeting before our first general membership meeting. That date has not been finalized yet, but anyone looking to join please email me and we’ll get you the details!
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