Dorothy “Punkin” Lee and Chuck Kuhn on Friday night were celebrated for their community contributions and civic leadership during the Loudoun Laurels Foundation gala Friday night at the Lansdowne Resort.
They join a roster of 27 other community leaders who have been selected as Loudoun Laureates since the program’s inception in 2008.
To support the development of future civic leaders, since 2013 the foundation has awarded college scholarships of $40,000 over four years to 23 Loudoun County high school graduates who are first generation college attendees. The gala also celebrated the three most recent scholars, Brian Potrales-Escobar and Wendy Ramirez, both of Park View High School, and Carla Marinez-Borja of Heritage High School.
Lee was the 2021 Loudoun Laurels honoree. She founded Journeymen Saddlers in Middleburg and has operated the business for 45 years. She is president of the Middleburg Business & Professional Association, chairwoman of the Middleburg Streetscape Committee and the Middleburg Beautification and Preservation Committee, and serves on the Middleburg Historic District Committee, Middleburg Arts Council, Upperville Horse Show, and the Middleburg Film Festival committees. She also is a board member of the National Sporting Library and the Middleburg Fall Races, a founding member of Christmas in Middleburg and coordinator of the Middleburg Arbor Day Celebration. Lee volunteers at Great Meadows events and is a member of The Hill School Alumni Association.
Lee is a third generation Middleburg resident in a family where a commitment to public service runs deep. Her father served as postmaster and helped found the volunteer fire company.
She noted the town’s legacy of service also was reflected in the roster of laureates, which included seven Middleburg residents before her name was added to the list.
“If there is one thing that can be said for Middleburg for certain, it is that we have a great community of volunteers—from church groups to town-appointed committees, to school participation, event planners and helpers, to folks just forming a group to help in another way, to just seeing someone in the Post Office and being asked to help with something. Plus saying no without a really good reason to is not an option in Middleburg. You will always find yourself somehow roped into the plan,” Lee said.
“We love where we live. We realize how lucky we are to be where we live. And we love to give back and are happy to give back to this very special Town of Middleburg that we all call home,” she said.
Businessman and philanthropist Chuck Kuhn was selected as the 2020 Loudoun Laurels honoree, but his induction was delayed because of the pandemic.
At the age of 16, while attending W.T. Woodson High School in Annandale, Kuhn created JK Moving Services. In 1982, he started his company in the basement of his childhood home with just two employees. Today, with more than JK Moving Services is one of the largest employers in Loudoun, and the largest independent moving company in North America. In 1997, Kuhn founded Capital Relocation Services, which provides global relocation services.
Kuhn has preserved more than 10,000 acres in Loudoun, Fauquier, and Frederick counties through the Virginia Conservation Easement Program. He also established the JK Community Farm, south of Round Hill, to provide fresh, organic produce to Loudoun Hunger Relief and other food pantries.
Kuhn said it was important to he and his family to give back to the community that provide the environment for his company to grow and thrive.
“Creating and growing a business in this county has been a fun and rewarding challenge. Giving back in this community has been far more fun and rewarding,” Kuhn said.
He and his wife, Stacy, live on Egypt Farm near Lincoln with their nine children.
Prior Loudoun Laurels honorees are Childs F. Burden, G. Kimball Hart, Eugene M. Scheel, Karen Hatcher Russell, Paul Ziluca, The Honorable Joe T. May, Lang and Judy Washburn, James P. Roberts, The Honorable Robert E. Sevila, Stanley Caulkins, Fred Drummond, Edgar B. Hatrick, Su Webb, Joe Boling, Dr. John H Cook III, Cate Magennis Wyatt, J. Hamilton Lambert, Margaret Morton, The Honorable Thomas D. Horne, The Honorable Betsy Davis, Bill Harrison, Fred and Karen Schaufeld, Al P. Van Huyck, Kristina Bouweiri and Di Cook.
For more information, go to loudounlaurels.org.