Submitted by Jay Hollowell
Franklin (Frankie) Edmondson, MCR, Portsmouth Commissioner of the Revenue and a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth Virginia, was recognized at the Virginia Municipal League’s annual virtual conference as a recipient of an individual Local Champion Award.
Commissioner Edmondson, in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Portsmouth, Virginia, recorded a personal COVID-19 YouTube message to fellow Rotarians and to the community at large. Frankie’s message encouraged everyone to stay healthy and safe and to remain engaged with their local leaders during the pandemic. He ensured us that the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue would remain a Resource and Recovery Center to address questions and concerns from citizens and businesses during these very challenging times.
Tony Goodwin, immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth, interviewed Commissioner Edmondson for the YouTube message. The message can be found HERE.
The VML’s Local Champion Award is based on a personal and genuine outreach to the community. Commissioner Edmondson’s message sought to ease public concerns and fears about the availability of services during the pandemic and to remain connected with local citizens.
“I am very honored by this award,” stated Commissioner Edmondson, “but even more grateful to our true local champions – the first responders, healthcare workers, assisted living staff, teachers, bankers, just to name a few – that continue to serve our community during very challenging times.”
submitted by Jennifer Daknis
The Warwick at City Center club recently recognized several members for their contributions to The Rotary Foundation. Anne Wozniak was recognized as first time Paul Harris Fellow and Kevin O’Connell was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow + 3 for his on-going commitment to the Foundation.
< Photo left to right: President Sharon Martin, Davetta Rinehart, Michael Gleason, Wozniak and Leslie Borwick
In addition, as People of Action, several club members volunteered to pack food at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, helping to ensure families have the food they need during this difficult time.
Photo 3 – left to right: Priscilla Bele, President Sharon Martin, Allen Kemp, Leslie Borwick, Roberta Thayer-Smith, Yvette Chase, Judi Hines and Wozniak.
NEW HONORARY MEMBER - Will Hoskins!
Will Hoskins was the 4th Rotarian to receive the esteemed Honorary Member recognition at our breakfast meeting this past Wednesday. Will has been a mainstay at the Warwick Club for LOTS of years. He joined Rotary in 1974, and was Club President in 1979-80. Because of his leadership, the club supported a GSE team visit to Japan, sent one of our Rotarians to operate a dental clinic in Haiti, and participated in several service projects with the VLM. Will remained very active and resigned after 46 years at the end of June 2020. During this time, his quiet presence was counted on to take the lead on numerous service projects and fundraisers. He never said NO. Will personifies what being a Rotarian is all about, “Service Above Self”. Will and Pat were always counted on to attend our social events through the years.
Will joins a small list of fellow Honorary Members including David Peebles, Raymond Suttle Sr., and Gordon Gentry.
Will Hoskins pictured with President Sharon Martin.
PEOPLE OF ACTION! We had another successful and productive year supporting the Salvation Army! We started with our festive bell ringing on November 28 at Sam’s Club in Newport News.
Next our Club adopted a family of 8 (two parents and six children ages 3 to 11 years old) from the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program. We have had a lot of members participate individually in the Angel Tree Program and Toys for Tots in the past and this project allowed us to bless a family together as a Club. Club members chose items to buy from the children's wish list. In addition, $500, a 2020 Bacon Bash donation from Old Point National Bank, was directed towards fulfilling any remaining needs of this adopted family. $200 was used to purchase a grocery store gift card for the parents. Because of the generosity of the Club and its members the children received all the items on their wish list including clothes, shoes, bikes or scooters, and various games. We wish our Angel Tree family a Merry Christmas!
On several occasions we also volunteered in the Salvation Army's warehouse by ‘shopping’ from the donated toys and clothes to ensure all the families received gifts to open on Christmas morning.
Although we were unable to donate the dozen or so bikes to the Salvation Army as in years past from our Bikes for Success Program, Club member Baljit Gill purchased one for a deserving child this Christmas.
Newport News Club:
Recently the club got together at the Salvation Army warehouse for bag night where rows of folded and labeled bags are placed and organized to be filled with toys. It's one of the many service projects the club participates in yearly and puts them in the Christmas spirit. They also helped the Salvation Army in bell ringing in front of the Patrick Henry Mall.
South Hill Club:
Members of South Hill Rotary Club and South Hill Lions Club delivered cards and items to The Hundley Center in South Hill so every person in the facility would get Christmas cards for four days and little goodies for those who may have a need. Betty DeOrnellas (far right) with Hundley Center accepted the donations. They hope it will brighten their day and bring smiles during the holiday season. Also pictured: Lion Otis Thomas, Lion and Rotarian Randy Cash and Lion and Rotarian Lisa Clary.
Goochland Rotarians and other volunteers assisted the Goochland Christmas Mother on Saturday, December 12th. Club Rotarians assembled at the Old Middle School in Goochland and distributed 164 gift boxes and gifts cards to vulnerable families in the county.
Members felt it was quite moving to see families so excited to receive the gift boxes and gift cards knowing that this will make their holiday brighter.
Thanks to the following Rotarians: Joy Kline; Jay Shively; Jan Kenney; Tom Winfree; Wayne Dementi; Kristin Kelly (and daughter), Marc Jones (could not be there so Marc's wife Elizabeth was there); Adeeb Hamzey; Kavis Winston; Delbert Horn (and wife Karen); John Aaron (and his friend).
James City County and Satellite Clubs:
by Neva Lynde
Six-year-old Elle Smith is pictured here with new James City County Satellite club member Chris Kostyrka. Elle’s mother is Kathy Keene Smith, another new club member. Both Kathy and Chris rang the bell a few days before they were inducted on December 8th. They are realtors and work partners. During the bell-ringing, Chris commented that so many passersby gave Elle $20 bills to stuff in the red kettle that they lost count! She’s adorable and very personable.
Rotary encourages family participation in club meetings and service projects making it easier for members with young families to attend and encourage prospective members with young families to become Rotarians.
Neva adds, today I received an email from Allan Geddes (first President of the James City County Club and one of five charter members who are still active Rotarians) in response to last week’s email about the Angel Tree effort.
“Neva - It was oh-so many years ago that our club received a request from the "Army" for ringers. Never having done this, I volunteered and was assigned to one of the "big box" stores on a Thursday morning. I arrived, got my apron on, and was ready to do my "good deed". First customer! A "senior" lady! She saw me, stopped, and began to fumble in her purse. She pulled out a $20 bill and put it in my kettle. I thanked her and commented on her generosity (!).
She explained. It was the first year of the war, she said. She had gone to San Francisco with her brand new husband as he was shipping out to the South Pacific. She, with a lot of wives, stood on the dock to see them off. She did not have the heart to tell him that she did not have enough money to get home. She went to the "Army" for help. They gave her a bus ticket home and a few dollars for food - and requested that she pay them back when she had the chance. And she had been paying them back ever since. I was "hooked" and have been ever since . That is my story, and I am proud of it! Many thanks for the opportunity. – Allan”
Allan was President of the JCC Club from the time the club was chartered Feb 5, 1987 to June 30, 1987, as well as the following Rotary Year July 1, 1987 to June 30). He was also Governor of District 7600, 1993-1994.
Short Pump Club:
The Short Pump Rotary team volunteered outside of Hobby Lobby ringing bells for the Salvation Army’s annual red kettle holiday fundraiser. A beautiful Saturday spent on community service, spreading holiday cheer in support of a great cause. Thanks to the many generous Short Pumpians who stopped by the famous red kettle to donate!
Short Pump Rotary also completed its 8th and 9th grocery shopping trips this week to support the Gayton Church Food Pantry. With over $2,000 raised in its recent fundraising drive, the club will be able to help stock the shelves at the food pantry throughout the holiday season.
And finally, the club donated toys to support a family holiday event being organized by the local non-profit Better2getherRVA, which supports families dealing with complex medical issues. Approximately 70 families attended the event which featured a “socially distanced” visit from Santa among other fun activities.
The Hanover Club also participated in Salvation Army Bell Ringing at the Ashland Walmart Store, a tradition of over 33 years. They were able to raise over $1,000 in the kettles they manned. The details were in the local newspaper.
Ten years ago the Rotary Club donated equipment to Wilcks Lake Park near the library. Rotarian Kerby Moore, who was president at the time, recently snapped these pictures of children playing on it. Good to see children playing on Rotary-donated exercise equipment! One of those gifts that keeps on giving!
The Rotary Club of Norfolk, ODU Rotaract Club and Norfolk Collegiate Interact Club received a thank-you video for providing masks to the incoming students of the Eastern Virginia Medical School.
"Thank you for keeping them and our community safe during COVID-19. We're all in this together!" See the video HERE.
The Fluvanna Club sent a thank you message to all those who helped with their Food Drive. Read it HERE.
“Of all the hundred and one ways in which men can make themselves useful to society, undoubtedly the most available and often the most effective are within the sphere of their own occupation.” – Paul P. Harris
January is vocational service month in Rotary. Every January, Rotarians are encouraged to focus on Rotary’s Vocational Service theme. Discussions within your club on vocational service can lead to projects that not only develop the ethical consciousness and vocational skills of Rotarians but also the talents within their communities. Vocational Service Month is an opportunity to begin year-long vocational service activities, ranging from Rotary discussions to awards to community projects. Vocational Service calls on us to empower others by using our unique skills and expertise to address community needs and help others discover new professional opportunities and interests. This is a great opportunity to leverage vocational service in your club projects and activities. Devote a meeting in January to examine the second Avenue of Service, including The Four-Way Test and The Declaration of Rotarians in Business and Professions. After expanding members' awareness, solicit their input in planning projects for the remainder of the year. Here are some suggestions you can incorporate vocational service in your club activities:
1. Host a club meeting and share about your profession; take time to learn about fellow members’ occupations.
2. Introduce a "mini-classifications talk" series in which each member gives a two-minute talk on his or her vocation. Spotlight one member during meetings until everyone has made a presentation. The purpose of these talks is to promote vocational awareness among Rotarians and help them recognize the worthiness of all useful occupations.
3. Present a vocational award to someone in the community who has exemplified outstanding professional achievement while maintaining very high ethical standards. Promote the presentation within the community, and consider making it an annual January event.
4. Invite experts to give a presentation on the vocational needs of the community and develop a project in response to those needs. Possible projects could focus on developing character, providing career information to youth, mentoring small businesses, or organizing workshops that provide employees with new skills.
5. Encourage club members to put their vocational skills to work as a Rotary Volunteer. Volunteer opportunities are available on ProjectLINK, a valuable resource that lists many vocational projects that clubs and districts can also choose to support financially or with donated goods. ProjectLINK also includes examples of successful vocational service projects that Rotary clubs can model as they plan their own activities.
Attention Club Presidents and President-Elects:
The Virtual Presidential Retreat and Pre-Pets is being held virtually on Saturday, January 16, 2021 from 9am to 1pm. Registration deadline is January 13. Please go to DACdb to register.
Katina Moss, RYLA Chair, email@example.com