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Happy Birthday, RCC!

This May, Reston Community Center reaches the age of 45. It’s a warmup milestone to the half century mark that is in our future. What I reflect on as it rolls up on the calendar, is how vital RCC has become to Reston’s quality of life.

When we opened the doors in Hunters Woods Village Center in 1979, Reston was a significantly smaller community, but one that was growing rapidly. Its population jumped from 11,250 to 34,065 over the decade between 1970 and 1980. This burgeoning and bustling community desperately needed the 50,000 square feet that RCC Hunters Woods offered for all its extracurricular activities.

Board and staff teams from 1979 to now have continued a tradition of welcoming people to RCC facilities and simultaneously extending programs and services beyond the original walls at Hunters Woods. RCC Lake Anne opened in 1999 and expanded in 2009. RCC summer calendars have included offsite concerts and entertainment all over the community since the 1990s. Soon, RCC on Wheels will roll into Reston neighborhoods.

Through the years, there have been just two marketing tag lines for RCC: “Bringing People Together” and “Enriching Lives. Building Community.” They both express the essence of why people wanted a “Reston Community Center” and what it’s been our pleasure to accomplish for 45 years. All of us are grateful and proud to come to work every day to put smiles on people’s faces and make them glad to be part of the Reston experience.

As we turn to the future, we embrace the vibrant diversity of Reston and the imagination of its people. Building community continues to be a group effort involving RCC’s many partner organizations. The people of this great place are living Bob Simon’s dream, and we are thrilled to share it. Here’s to all of our tomorrows!

Leila Gordon, Executive Director


Leila Gordon began her career at RCC in 1983; she became the agency’s Performing Arts Director in 1984 and led that department through many expansions. In 2008, she was appointed executive director.

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