ACT’s 20th Anniversary

Together is a great place to be!

In the fall of 2002, a small group of Alexandrians came together to decide how best to stimulate philanthropic giving to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our community. One of several catalysts was the availability of an initial sum of money from the family of Norma L. Steuerle, a generous, long-time Alexandria resident. Mrs. Steuerle was tragically killed on September 11, 2001, onboard the plane which struck the Pentagon.

Mrs. Steuerle’s husband, Eugene (Gene) Steuerle and his two daughters did not want Norma’s life to be defined by a single tragedy. They wanted to keep her memory and her commitment to serving others alive. The family believed one of the ways they could do this was to create a charity that would have a lasting impression on the community.

The family banded together with several other influential Alexandrians who were also looking to make a difference.

“When these individuals came together, we clicked. It wasn’t pure luck, we had a lot of good things going, but serendipity came to help us out. It was synergy.”

Gene Steuerle

Read more about the Steuerle Family’s donation.

After careful consideration, the group determined that a community foundation focused on Alexandria would be the right vehicle to make a deep, long-lasting impact. In the beginning, the foundation was a subsidiary of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, which had similar affiliates in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. In 2004, the foundation became its own entity, the Alexandria Community Trust, which was rebranded as ACT for Alexandria in 2009.

Our founders believed in the potential of what people could achieve when they work together. That idea has grown into a lasting community institution for which we can all be proud. After 20 years of connecting people, resources, and ideas, that spirit still inspires our work today and is what will propel us on the road ahead.

“We wanted to see if there was a way that we could take that money and set it aside to do something good, to help in a larger way in Alexandria. We explored a number of options, talked to a number of people, and found that a community foundation would be a way to do that.”

John Porter, in an interview with the Alexandria Times (May 23, 2014) commemorating ACT’s 10th Anniversary

Upcoming Anniversary Events

Join us in celebrating ACT’s history and impact in Alexandria.

20th Anniversary Community Celebration, June 8, 11 am – 2 pm

Canal Center Plaza

Register Here



“ACT would not be here today without the visionary voices who ignited a spark in our community. We thank them for their thoughtful leadership – and all those who continue to fuel ACT’s important mission.”

Heather Peeler, President & CEO, ACT for Alexandria

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