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Recent Happenings
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Scroll down to see recent meetings and other events....

 

Some August events not covered below:  On the left, Gary Zuercher tells us about photographing all the bridges of Paris over a five-year period.  In the center, four of the Rotarians at a social in Styron Square with live music.  And on the right, Dr. Vahagn Nazaryan speaking about his domain, the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute.

 

 

The August 15th meeting was a tribute to Kathy Edwards upon her retirement, to thank her for her leadership at An Achievable Dream, and to thank her for for her long partnership with the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club.

 

 

While she was visiting our club, Susan Z-W inducted Linda Ellis into the club.  For many years, Linda was the friend of our club at Peninsula Catholic High School, leading our Interact Club there.  Now, upon retiring from teaching, she has joined the club.

District 7600 Governor Susan Zachensky-Walthall, often called Susan Z-W, made her official visit to the club on August 8th.  She brought us a message from Rotary International President Barry Rassin, and something of her own Rotary story.  In honor of her visit three members of the club, Ray Spencer, Diane Hagemann, and Cathy Miller wore shoes to complement Susan's signature Converse Chucks.

Just before her visit with the club as a whole, DG Susan Z-W met with the club's Board of Directors to review the club's activities and goals.

 

 

July programs not previously mentioned include Michael Giardino talking about the present and future of the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport; and Courtney Gardner discussing the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, and in particular the Chagall exhibit now on display.

 

 

During July there was an emphasis on the Tennis Ball, our biggest fundraiser and biggest event.  The July 18th meeting was a Club Assembly solely devoted to it.  Here Jeff Stodghill and Cathy Miller promote sponsorships.

 

 

On the evening of June 29th, the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club held its Installation of Officers for the 2018-2019 Rotary Year at the home of Bill Ziglar in Poquoson.  Bill was sworn in as President by incoming District 7600 Governor Susan Zachensky-Walthall, and his officers and directors were sworn in by Past District Governor Diane Hagemann.  Included in the evening were good food and fellowship.  For more photographs, click here.

 

 

Programs during the month of June not already described below:  On the 6th, Brittany Lavalleur, a new liason for us at An Achievable Dream and the Tennis Ball, spoke to us about changes at AAD.  On the 13th, Jennifer McDaid talked about the history of the Norfolk Southern Railroad, especially as it applied to women working on the railroad.  And on the 27th Eileen Woll of the Sierra Club talked about drilling for oil offshore, and a rival alternative energy source, wind power.

 

 

We were visited by a former member on June 20th, Bill Harvey.  Or more properly, Dr. William R. Harvey, celebrating 40 years of being president of Hampton University.  His talk was at times personal and at times inspiring, as he reminisced about his career.

 

 

Some May meetings not mentioned below:  On May 3, Florence Kingston, Development Director of the City of Newport News, discussed some of the strategic projects being undertaken by the City.  On the 9th, Henry Morgan and Frank Edgar talked about their baseball team, the Peninsula Pilots.  And on May 30 Jeff Tanner, Dean of the Strome School of Business at ODU, avoided his day job and instead talked about horse racing and the history and traditions of the three most famous annual races.

 

 

Our May 23rd program was started by our own John Frantz giving us a thorough history and overview of the Peninsula Rotary Club Endowed Scholarship Fund at CNU, one of the Club's largest and most impressive projects.  His talk was followed by brief comments by Keith Roots, the administrator of the fund at CNU, and Kierra Perry, a past scholarship recipient.  Kierra spoke to our Club a little over a year ago about the rare disease she was living with.  This time she was a little older and a lot healthier.

 

 

On May 12, 2018 the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club, in partnership with the Warwick @ City Center Rotary Club, held a "Rise Against Hunger" meal-packaging event at the Victory Family YMCA in York County.  Rise Against Hunger is an organization that provides meals to millions of the most vulnerable around the world.?  For more photos and more information, click here.

 

 

On May 3rd a contingent from the Peninsula Club attended the Norfolk Tides baseball game.  The Rotary Polio Plus program was emphasized by the game, and a portion of each ticket price went to the fund.

 

 

April meetings not noted below include Sister David Ann Niski speaking about the Housing Development Corporation of Hampton Roads, Dr. Stephen Strehle talking about the secularization of America, and President Cathy leading a Club Assembly about the Club's own business.

 

 

John Quarstein, speaking to a packed house April 11, was a big hit as usual.  This time his topic was Hilton Village, its origin in the First World War, its long-lasting success, and its 100th birthday coming up.

 

 

Programs during March included Christina Kerby speaking about the Academies in the Hampton City School system, Amy Yarcich telling us about the availability of medicines, and Taylor Hart giving us insights into what the American Heart Association is doing.

 

 

For our March 28th meeting, high school students were almost as numerous as Rotarians.  It was our annual "career day" with students from Peninsula Catholic High School.  Each table included both Rotarians and students--and, led by suggested questions from moderator Adam Duncan, the tables discussed goals, heros, advice, and the future.

 

 

Programs presented in the month of February included our own Jeff Stodghill, who told us about an incident in his own life that presented an ethical dilemma; local sports entrepreneur Mike Vest talking about bringing first-class soccer to the Virginia Peninsula; and Judge Douglas Miller speaking about the U.S. Constitution, and how its interpretation affects our rights to privacy.

 

 

At the Charter Night ceremonies, a surprised Danny Carroll was awarded the Martin Gracey Award for Extraordinary Service.  The Martin Gracey Award is the highest honor that the club can bestow on any community leader.  Above, Danny is handed the award by President Cathy and two other members of the Martin Gracey Award Committee, Diane Hagemann and Tina Banks-Gray.

The Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club held its annual Charter Night celebration February 17th at the Hampton Yacht Club.  There was good food, good fellowship, and a certain amount of mayhem.  For many more photos, CLICK HERE.

 

 

February 17th and 18th the Peninsula Rotary Club sponsored two students from Peninsula Catholic High School to attend RYLA: the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, in Sussex County near Wakefield.  Our attendees were Sydney Kaloustian and Darcy McLane, who reported learning a lot about leadership skills, while having a lot of fun doing it.

 

 

Speakers we heard from in January were Dr. David Arrington on January 3rd, talking about getting yourself motivated; Kyle McMullin, Athletic Director for CNU, on January 24th; and Dr. Quentin Kidd, Dean of the College of Social Sciences at CNU, talking about current politics in Virginia on the 31st.

 

 

During the January 17th meeting, Lt. Michael Good was inducted into the club as our latest member.  Michael is the Commanding Officer of the Peninsula area forces of The Salvation Army.

 

 

Our annual bell-ringing for the Salvation Army was on December 20th.  In pairs, we "rang" in one-hour shifts throughout the day in two locations--one at the Sam's Club in Newport News, and one at the Walmart in Hampton.  The weather was kind to us this year, and business was brisk.

 

 

On December 13th our meeting was held at Cooper Elementary School and Star Achievers' Academy, in Hampton.  Star Achievers is a YMCA program aimed at enhancing the technically-oriented education at this school.

 

 

December 3rd was the date for our annual holiday party, held at the Millers' home.  With good food and good fellowship, a fine time was had by all.

 

 

November 18th was the date for the 25th annual Tennis Ball, benefitting An Achievable Dream.  Immediately above is the silent auction room, packed as usual with both merchandise and people. Above the silent auction photos are photos of the dining room, likewise packed.  At the top is a group comprising most of the Peninsula Rotary Club members that attended.

 

 

On the evening of November 14th there was an informal orientation for new members at Smoke Barbeque.  Jeff Brittain, Justin Wynings, Pete Hurst, Mike Good, and Mike Nelson were welcomed and given some background on the club and the parent organization.

 

 

Toward the end of October the annual drive for member participation in the Tennis Ball is nearing its final hours.  Since the Tennis Ball is our biggest event and our biggest fundraiser, the goal is for every member to participate in some way.  Here, John Frantz--chairman of the Tennis Ball Committee and chief cheerleader--is giving us an update on our "triple play" contest.  A Rotarian gets a triple play if he or she brings in a sponsorship, brings in an auction item, or volunteers to help in putting on the event.

 

 

The Peninsula Rotary Club, collaborating with the Warwick @ City Center Rotary Club, secured a $10,980 District Grant supporting two Peninsula programs--"Operation Warm," which provides schoolchildren with winter coats, and YMCA "Bright Beginnings," which outfits the kids with several other articles of clothing.  The photos above show Peninsula Rotarians John Frantz, Bill Ziglar, and Diane Hagemann, along with Mary Ellen Frantz, helping a local child shop for his clothes at Target.

 

 

Some notable events in July not mentioned below include a July 3rd talk by Ashby Kilgore about the Newport News school system, a July 24th Norfolk Tides baseball game held in support of the Rotary Polio Plus campaign, and the July 26th induction of Jeff Brittain as the newest member of the club.

 

 

On July 19th John, Kevin, Pat, and Diane--with the help of a hundred or so photographs--described their experience at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta.

 

 

On July 12th new District Governor John Padgett paid the club his official visit.  On the left we see DG John with the officers of the club.

 

 

 

 

On June 24th the installation of the 2017-2018 officers and directors of the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club was held at the Millers' home.  New president Cathy Miller was sworn in by District Governor Diane Hagemann.  Before and after the ceremony there was good food and good fellowship.

 

 

Programs during the month of June included Susan Borland from the Hampton Economic Development Authority, with a snapshot of the Hampton development scene; Jerri Wilson, Legislative Liason for the City of Newport News, with a report on how the legislative session in Richmond affected the City; and Linda Willims, Park Ranger from the Colonial National Historical Park, telling us all about the Battle of Yorktown.

 

 

At the close of the 2016-2017 Rotary Year, Dr. John Frantz was honored by being recognized as the Rotarian of the Year for his extraordinary service.

 

 

If you have never been to a Rotary International Convention, a glance at the photos above taken in Atlanta will tell you that it really is, well, international.

 

 

At the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, the Peninsula Club was well-represented.  Shown here are Pat Resto, DG Diane Hagemann, Mary Ellen Frantz, John Frantz, Drew Hagemann, and Kevin Yeargin.  The only member of the Peninsula contingent not shown here is the photographer, Nhu Quach (Kevin's wife).

 

 

Aside from Bryan Kersey shown below, our speakers during the month of May tended to be updaters.  Rebecca Kleinhample of the Virginia Living Museum gave us an update on her museum.  Mike Doucette of Riverside Regional Medical Center gave us an update on the many changes at the hospital.  And Mike Poplawski of the Newport News Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism gave us an update on improvements in the City's parks system.

 

 

At our May 10th meeting we heard from Bryan Kersey.  Bryan is a college basketball referee of renown, and as the Peninsula Club found out, he is also a raconteur of renown.  His wide-ranging talk covered coaches, players, the life of a referee of national status, and what it is like to get paid for being yelled at.  Also on May 10 we inducted our newest member, Keith Shockley.

 

 

Our meeting topics for the month of April, in addition to the visit to An Achievable Dream Academy, included Laurie Harrison speaking about EVMS and its efforts to reach out to the community, Lisa Wornom-Zahralddin representing the Peninsula Council on Workforce Development, and Steve Kast telling about his new job as head of the Peninsula United Way.

 

 

On April 26th DG Diane and President Diana inducted Justin Wynings and Pete Hurst into the club as our newest members.

 

 

On April 19th we visited An Achievable Dream Academy, which the Club has been supporting since its inception decades ago.  For more photos and more information, go to our Photo Albums page and click on "A visit to An Achievable Dream."

 

 

At the annual Christopher Newport University Scholarship Dinner, shown here are John Frantz, representing the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club; Rosemary Trible; Kierra Perry, Peninsula Rotary Endowed Scholarship recipient; Amber Reese, also a Peninsula Rotary Endowed Scholarship recipient; and Paul Trible, President of CNU.

 

 

This year April 4th was the date for the annual Summerville Leadership Conference at Christopher Newport University.  The conference is put on by the CNU Rotaract Club, which is co-sponsored by the Peninsula Rotary Club.  The focus of the conference was corporate responsibility.  Speakers included Dr. Michelle Kekeh and Jamie Edmonds of ODU, Diana Gulotta of Hampton Public Schools, and Jeff Clemons of Old Point National Bank (Diana and Jeff are Rotarians in the Peninsula Club).  44 students attended.  The photo on the left shows Jeff Clemons addressing the group, and the photo on the right shows the four speakers.

 

 

In addition to Kierra Perry, shown below, our club program speakers during the month of March included Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult giving us an update on his department, Past District Governor Stephen Beer relating his experiences on a recent Rotary trip to India, and Tiffany Ervin--North Carolina Rotarian, frequent speaker on behalf of Rotary International, and self-proclaimed Rotary Geek, talking about choosing the next generation of Rotarians.

 

 

Listening to someone talk about herself is usually boring, but our meeting on March 22nd was an exception to this rule.  Kierra Perry is a senior at Christopher Newport University, and a recipient of the Peninsula Rotary Club's endowed scholarship there.  She talked about living a difficult and precarious life with a rare and untreatable disease, and we Rotarians could see that she was living that life with uplifting spirit.

 

 

The 2017 RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) was held over the weekend of February18th through 20th in rural Sussex County.  RYLA aims at developing leadership skills in teenagers.  Above at the left is a panorama of a lot of RYLA teeshirts.  On the right is the Peninsula Club's attendee, Naima Sayani, a junior at Peninsula Catholic High School.

 

 

On February 18th, with the docks of the Hampton Yacht Club in the background, we had our Charter Night, the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club.  In the left photograph immediately above, President Diana is shown with two of the Charter Members--Charter President Howard Glenn, and Past President Bob Groome.  In the right photo immediately above are members recognized for having reached higher levels of their Paul Harris Fellowships.

 

 

On February 8th we welcomed our newest member, Mike Nelson.  On the left he is pinned by Chris Jones, Rotary Coordinator for Rise against Hunger. On the right are Mike, his wife Gretchen, Chris Jones, sponsor Patrick Tompkins, and District Governor Diane.

 

 

Thanks to a District 7600 grant, we were able to donate $5,000 toward the high ropes confidence course at the YMCA's Camp Kekoka.  Shown here are Cassie Leichty, Director of the camp, President Diana, and Danny Carroll, Executive Director of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA.

 

 

Three events were notable at the January 18th meeting:  Michael Shapiro of the Newport News Club talked about the "Adopt an Airman" program, member Charlie Edmonson returned after an extended illness, and we met one of our two CNU scholarship recipients, Kierra Perry--a senior majoring in cell biology.

 

 

On January 4th, after many weeks of scarce meetings because of holidays and off-site activities, it was good to get back to the normal routine of things--especially with as good a speaker as Howard Hoege of the Mariners' Museum.

 

 

On December 21st the Peninsula Rotary Club had its annual bell-ringing day.  In shifts, and from mid-morning into the evening, we rang the bell for the Salvation Army kettles in two locations--at Sam's Club in Newport News, and at Walmart in Hampton.  Above we see, from left, Scott Stolldorf, John Frantz, and Mary Ellen Frantz in Newport News, Richard Blackwell and Jeff Clemons in Hampton, and Pat Resto and Rob Carmines in Newport News.

 

 

At our December 14th meeting we were invaded by a group of fifth-graders from Tucker-Capps Fundamental Elementary School--their Select Choir, with some music of the season.  They were obviously trained and well-prepared, and we were greatly entertained.

 

 

Our club's annual holiday party was held December 9th at the home of Bill and Amy Ziglar.  Good holiday spirit, good food and drink, good friends, and good fellowship.

 

 

November 19th was the date for "The Tennis Ball" in support of An Achievable Dream.  This is the premier event in the Peninsula Rotary Club's year.  At the top is a sampling of some of the Rotarians present.  Below that is the main dining hall, and below the dining hall is the silent auction room.

 

 

On November 10th, District 7600 held its annual Foundation Banquet.  Among the activities at the banquet was the giving out of the previous Rotary year's District awards related to The Rotary Foundation.  The Peninsula Club was a big player there.  Five group photos were taken of the representatives of award-winning clubs--and in these five photos, our Pat Resto was front and center in four of them.  We won a District Service Award for the promotion of The Rotary Foundation; we got a Certificate of Appreciation for the financial support of the "End Polio Now" program; another Certificate of Appreciation was given us for our stellar average of $252.97 per capita in donations to The Rotary Foundation's Annual Fund; and we received banners for being a 100 Percent Foundation Giving Club and a 100 Percent Sustaining Member Club.

 

 

On November 9th our luncheon took place in the elegant dining room of The Chamberlin, overlooking Fort Monroe.  Long a luxury hotel, and a resting place for presidents and kings, the nine-story building is now a retirement community.  In addition to a delicious meal, we got a talk and a tour.  On the left is the rooftop garden, and on the right is the dining room.

 

During the September 28th meeting, Jim Probsdorfer, representing the District, presented the club with a $5,000 check, a Rotary District Grant for the building of a climbing and training tower at the YMCA's Camp Kekoka.  Shown here are Kevin Yeargin, Foundation Chair; Danny Carroll, Executive Director of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA; President Diana; and Jim.

 

 

The 2016 Rotary 7600 District Conference was held the 23rd through the 25th of September. The photo at the top shows Peninsula Club member Diane Hagemann, the District Governor, formally opening the conference.  The flags behind her are from all of the countries where the District's clubs are working.  John Frantz, in the first of the lower photos, took part in the opening flag ceremony by bringing in the Costa Rican flag.  The center photo is Pat Resto, the Conference Chair; while Diane was presiding, Pat was behind the scenes making everything work.  And on the right, it was no coincidence that more than half of the Sergeant-at-Arms team was from the Peninsula Club.

 

 

Winner of multiple journalism awards, veteran sportswriter David Teel was our speaker on September 14th.  His talk was a satisfying collection of evaluations, anecdotes, opinions, facts, and predictions in the world of sports.

 

 

On September 7th we had an "after hours" meeting at the Park Lane Tavern in Hampton.  There were casual drinks, casual food, and good fellowship.

 

 

July 13th was the date of the official visit to the club by the new District Governor of District 7600, Diane Hagemann.  The club was proud to once again welcome one of their own as District Governor.

 

 

Above left is President Diana presenting Immediate Past President Pat with flowers in appreciation of the multitude of awards won during her tenure.  On the right is a display of the awards won.

When the District awards for the Rotary year 2015-2016 were given out, the name of the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club was repeated monotonously.  The above photo shows Pat Resto in the group of club presidents who received the Governor's Circle Award.  Overall, our club received an impressive collection of the awards, including the Governor’s Circle Award, the Outstanding President Award, the Presidential Citation Award-Gold, the Best Club Website Award, the Club Bulletin Award, and the Outstanding Interact Club Award.

 

 

On a hot July 7th evening, we had a fun baseball time at a Coastal Plains League game between the Peninsula Pilots and the Wilmington Sharks.  Below left, Debi Waldeck, representing our club, throws out the first ball.  Below right shows War Memorial Stadium, the game, and (in the center foreground) the Peninsula Rotary contingent.  Above are most of the club's attendees, plus a brother-in-law, two sons, and a former member.

 

 

 

Our Installation of Officers party was held in the gracious home of Suki Pierce.  Above, District Governor Gary Chenault assists as soon-to-be District Governor Diane Hagemann swears in Diana Gulotta as the club's President for the Rotary Year 2016-2017.  Below, on the left is Pat getting the coveted "Immediate Past President" pin.  In the center are assembled many of the coming year's Board--Suki Pierce, Kevin Yeargin, Jeff Clemons, Pat Resto, Patrick Tompkins, Cathy Miller, Diana Gulotta, and Ray Spencer.  On the right, Debi Waldeck models her one-of-a-kind Rotary dress.

 

 

For more photos going back through the years, visit our History Pages.