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2017 Grand Marshal
Community volunteer to serve as 2017 grand marshal
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This year's Halloween Parade Grand Marshal Joanie Dempsey has always given back to and made a difference in the Vienna community. She has volunteered with the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary for 25 years and has served as president of the Auxiliary for 18 years. In 2008, Dempsey was president of the Fairfax County Firefighters Auxiliary as well as the Auxiliary to the Virginia State Firefighters Association, in addition to being president of the Vienna Auxiliary, marking the first time that someone from Vienna, or Northern Virginia, was president of all three organizations at the same time. 

Dempsey worked as an EMT with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue until 2012. She has received the EMT award and Volunteer of the Year award for her hard work volunteering in the community, which has included providing emergency services during community events, assisting with Taste of Vienna and Sunday Bingo, and coordinating the VVFD's Canteen Program, which provides hydration and food to firefighters and other public safety personnel during long-term events.  

Dempsey helps raise money for brain cancer research as a volunteer at the Wiffle Ball World Series in Vienna every August. She was inducted into the Wiffle Ball World Series Hall of Fame in 2013. 
After graduating from the Emerging Leaders Institute in 2014, Dempsey began volunteering with Leadership Fairfax; she currently serves on the program committee. 

Dempsey makes cookies or other baked goods for many community events, including the Town Council Holiday Reception and Mayor's Volunteer Awards Program each spring. She assists the Parks and Recreation Department with the annual Lunch with Santa and for the past two years has provided dinners for Vienna Theatre Company productions held at the VVFD.

Dempsey graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1992. She received a master's degree in organizational management with a specialization in nursing administration from Ashford University in 2014. Throughout her career, Dempsey has worked in many areas of nursing, including providing long-term care at Fairfax Nursing Center and serving as director of nursing with the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office. She currently works at the Fairfax County Health Department.