Nancy Wilson.Nancy Wilson remembers how much she and her husband, William “Bill” Vesey, used to enjoy hiking the trails in vacation destinations, like Switzerland, as well as those here in Fairfax County. “Bill was a versatile athlete. He loved to run at Wakefield Park,” she said. “He also enjoyed riding his bicycle on the trail to Mt. Vernon.”

Today, the Alexandria retiree keeps Bill close to her heart by wearing their wedding rings on a chain around her neck. Twenty-five years in to their 27-year marriage, Bill became ill with ALS. When he passed away in September 2010, Nancy wanted to do something positive in his memory.

“I wanted to give our friends two charitable opportunities in lieu of giving flowers,” she said. “The Muscular Dystrophy Association was one, because they provided great support to us during Bill's illness. My mother, who is 92 and loves to walk at Green Spring Gardens, came up with the idea of the Fairfax County parks as the other choice.”

Wilson Vesey.Given Bill’s passion for fitness and park trails, it seemed to be a natural fit. So when Nancy discovered the trails fund on our website, she was thrilled. She knew it was something that would have meant a lot to Bill. What she didn’t know was the trails fund was new, and as a result of her efforts to promote the fund in her husband’s memory, she helped generate more than $6,000 for Fairfax County trail building, beautification and maintenance.

“I think it’s a great, great use of taxpayer dollars,” she said. “Enhancements to existing trails and expansions where possible would benefit people of all ages and abilities. Supporting trail building and care will always be high on my list of charitable activities.”

It’s another way for Nancy to keep Bill close to her heart.