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Meet the mayor

Ashby Ponds community member receives praise for her work on behalf of seniors in Loudoun County

Created date

January 29th, 2015
Borad of Supervisors posing with a longtime volunteer and resident at Ashby Ponds

This Valentine’s Day, Charlotte Nurge is feeling the love. 

Recently, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors honored Charlotte for her 3,300-plus hours of volunteer work in the county, including her tireless effort to make a senior recreation center at Dulles South a reality.

Back home at Ponds, the Erickson Living community where Charlotte lives, she is lovingly referred to as “the mayor of Ashby Ponds,” for her devotion to the community, her tireless volunteer efforts, and her fun-loving 93-year-old spirit.

“I believe it’s important to make yourself a part of what’s going on around you,” she says. “You make your own life. It’s important to be active and show an interest in life.”

A woman of her word

For her part, Charlotte has done much more than simply show an interest in life. She’s jumped in feet first. 

Since 1998, Charlotte, a devoted volunteer, grandmother of five, and great-grandmother of six, volunteered her time with the Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging serving as the chairperson and member on the Commission on Aging. 

In this capacity, Charlotte brought to the board of supervisors a request to bring an Erickson Living community to Loudoun County. That request was approved, and Ashby Ponds opened its doors in 1998. Charlotte made sure she was one of the first residents.

“There is a real need for Ashby Ponds in Loudoun County,” says Charlotte. “Most of the new housing built in the area is big and perfect for younger families, but not for those of us who are getting older.”

In addition to championing the arrival of Erickson Living in Loudoun County, Charlotte also played an instrumental role in changing the criteria of the Loudoun County Tax Relief program to enhance benefits for seniors and provided significant activism and support of improved and increased transit options for seniors.

Charlotte was also instrumental in accelerating the planning and design process for the forthcoming Dulles South Senior Center.

“The new senior center has been a dream for years,” she says. “I appreciate the fact that the board recognizes the role of seniors in the county.”

Forever indebted

As a result of all her hard work, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors recently presented a resolution of commendation to Charlotte for her “extraordinary commitment and dedication to all her volunteer roles.”  

The resolution also states that Charlotte is “widely recognized and respected for her commitment to improving services for seniors” and her “wisdom, energy, and integrity.” In addition to the resolution, she was presented with a plaque naming the central recreation room at the Dulles South Senior Center “The Charlotte Nurge Recreation Room.”

“The senior center would not be a reality if it wasn’t for Charlotte and her leadership,” says Supervisor Matt Letourneau. 

“I’m shocked and surprised,” says Charlotte. “I’m thankful the board is making the senior center a reality.” 

Heralded at home

But Charlotte’s neighbors at Ashby Ponds are not surprised by the praise.

“I’ve known Charlotte as a fellow resident from the time she moved in,” says John Kraft. “And through her son, I knew of her work with community organizations prior to that time. My wife Dottie and I think she is a truly remarkable person.”

Neighbor Al Beyer agrees. 

“Charlotte is an inspiration to us all,” he says. “Her tireless energy; ceaseless efforts on behalf of seniors; and active involvement with governance, economic, and transportation issues affecting the community and county cause many of us ‘younger’ folks to view her with amazement. She is a leader and doer of the first order, and Ashby Ponds is immeasurably richer because of her.”

Since moving to Ashby Ponds, Charlotte has served as the chairman of the community service committee, dedicated to bringing both sides of every issue to their neighbors.

“Our goal is to do our best to present all available information on important issues, devoid of partisanship,” she says. “It’s also important to inform everyone of all the services available to them as residents of Loudoun County.”  

As a former employee of the Fairfax County school system, one of Charlotte’s favorite volunteer activities at Ashby Ponds is assisting with the school supply donation program. For the past five years, she has collected donations to purchase school supplies for elementary students in both Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.

“There is never a shortage of ways to help others,” she says. “Helping others helps yourself. I believe it is important as you age to get involved, to refuse to sit back and let life go on around you. 

“I don’t know what issue will come up next, but I know that I will continue to do my part.”