Winners of 2016 Brickie Awards

The 10th Annual Awards Celebration is Dec. 1 at the Apollo

The 2016 Brickie Awards. (Photo: Charles Allen)

Local community leader Nicky Cymrot, Shaw Main Street, the Pretzel Bakery, the manager of King Greenleaf Rec Center and the Hill Rage newspaper took home awards in the 10th annual Ward 6 Brickie Awards this year.

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen will award the honors on Dec. 1 at the Apollo (600 H St. NE) during a free and public celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. The community nominated each of the recipients.

Former Ward 6 Councilmember and current Director of the Department of Energy and the Environment Tommy Wells started the awards in 2007 as a way to celebrate the people, places and organizations that make up Ward 6. 

Here are the winners in each of the five categories:

— 2016 Neighbor Award — Nicky Cymrot, president of the Capitol Hill Community foundation and president emeritus of the Hill Center Board of Directors.

Allen and the community recognized her for her nearly 50 years of work in the ward and help building up the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce (CHAMPS). She has also helped lead the Capitol Hill School Libraries Project, rebuild Eastern Market after the fire in 2007 and launch the Hill Center.

“Together with her late husband Steve, Nicky has been at the heart of nearly every major community project on Capitol Hill for decades,” Allen wrote in a statement. “Always the first to lend a hand and the last to take credit, Nicky Cymrot embodies the spirit of the Brickie Awards.”

— 2016 Community Organization Award — Shaw Main Streets and executive director Alex Padro. The main street received the 2016 Great American Main Street award and has helped revitalize the Shaw community. The organization has also helped preserve affordable housing in the area while also attracting new businesses.

“As a nationally recognized Great American Main Street, their work to bring economic revitalization to the Shaw neighborhood after decades of disinvestment while honoring Shaw’s rich cultural heritage is an exceptional accomplishment,” Allen wrote.

— 2016 Business Award — The Pretzel Bakery and owner Sean Haney. The bakery first opened in 2011 on 15th Street SE, and recently moved to 257 15th Street SE to expand the space. It now has a full café and catering for the Hilleast community. Haney and the bakery also invest time to help local schools and youth sports groups.

“Starting in a tiny store-front selling pretzels through a Dutch door, they have now grown to a full-service café and catering operation that partners with the Washington Nationals, the Verizon Center, and numerous bars around the District,” Allen wrote. “They not only make a mean pretzel dog, they are an important part of the Hill East community.”

— 2016 Public Service Award — Paul “South” Taylor, manager of DC Parks and Recreation King Greenleaf Rec Center (201 N St. SW). Community members know Taylor as a dedicated youth sports organizer and a native of the Southwest neighborhood. He also co-founded and runs the Southwest Community Unity Forum, which sponsors the annual Southwest Comm-Unity Day.

“From coaching youth sports teams to organizing community events to helping advocate for the needs of the Southwest neighborhood, he is a true public servant and we’re lucky to have him in Ward 6,” Allen wrote.

— 2016 Civic Pride Award — The Hill Rag newspaper. Celebrating its fortieth year in production, the Hill Rag serves as the first Capitol Hill and now Ward 6 community news source. It covers hyperlocal news for events, businesses, arts, the monthly Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) meetings, health and life tips and anything readers need to know about in the ward. With both a print and online presence now, it remains dedicated to reporting on and building up the community.

“Every neighborhood in America would be lucky to have the Hill Rag as their community newspaper,” Allen wrote. “Here in Ward 6, we are very fortunate to have the Hill Rag as the glue that binds us together.”