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Recent Happenings
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On April 13th we had a Rise Against Hunger event at the Victory Family YMCA in York County.  The event was co-sponsored by the Peninsula Rotary Club and the Warwick at City Center Rotary Club.  The photo on the left shows Ned and Scott Spencer helping to set up the afternoon by unloading bulk packages of the ingredients to be used.  On the right is the assembled group of participants.  We rounded up 90 volunteers to pack 15,336 meals in a couple of hours.

 

  

Our Rotary Foundation Global Grant in Costa Rica is progressing well, as we found out during a visit April 10th through April 13th.  Above on the left Ray Spencer of the Peninsula Club, along with two from the local farming community, looked at a field with a newly-renovated irrigation system using efficient drip pipes instead of spraying. On the right the farmer is picking tomatoes to give to his benefactors, the Peninsula Club from the USA and the Heredia Club there in Costa Rica.  The project was made possible by our $43,000 economic development grant.

During the morning of April 12th in Santa Barbara, Costa Rica, there was a meeting of all the stakeholders in our irrigation renovation project.  Both participating Rotary Clubs were represented, benefitting farmers were there, the Mayor of the town of Santa Barbara joined us, as did people from the several national government agencies who are helping, and the Minister of Agriculture of Costa Rica.  Ray Spencer spoke at the conclusion of the meeting, and he is shown in the photo to the right above, waiting as Robert Gifford of the Heredia Club translates to the Spanish-speaking audience.  For more photos and a lot more information, CLICK HERE.

 

 

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On April 8th the Rotaract 757 Club received its charter, making it an official Rotaract club in District 7600.  Rotaract is an organization of young people, aged 18 through 30, and this club is the first Rotaract club in District 7600 that is not directly linked with a college or university.  Shown above are club officers, and behind them are representatives of the four Rotary clubs that sponsor the club and guided its inception.

 

 

Speakers during the month of March included Virginia Staley telling us about Habitat for Humanity on the Peninsula; William Mann of the Peninsula Council for Workforce Development; Past District Governor Stephen Beer relating his recent Rotary trip to Ghana; and and Dr. William Donaldson, Assistant Professor of Management at CNU, explaining the theory of systems and systems management.

 

 

Events of February 2019 not shown below include Tami Farinholt discussing the Newport News Green Foundation, the tag-team of Donna Gagnon and Kirsten Soistmann giving a thorough and practical talk about cardiology, and an eye-opening talk and tour of the Goodwill Industries facilities in central Hampton.

 

 

This year's RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) was held over the weekend of February 16th and 17th.  The Peninsula Club sent two delegates, Michael Bowman and Myles Quach-Yeargin.  By the time the event wrapped up the crowd of teenagers was tired, but happy and inspired.

 

 

The evening of February 16th brought us our annual Charter Night, celebrating the club's 42nd birthday.  This year's honored guests included District 7600 Governor Susan Zachensky-Walthall; and Henry Morgan, owner of the Peninsula Pilots and this year's recipient of the Martin Gracey Award for Extraordinary Service.  The photo at the top shows DG Susan, Foundation Chair Kevin Yeargin, and President Bill Ziglar, with three of the members who this year achieved status as Paul Harris Fellows or added to their tally of PHF honors: Jeff Brittain, Joan Aaron, and Patrick Tompkins.

 

 

Our speakers during January were (left to right) Amy Jordan, Director of Economic Development for James City County; Dr. Thomas Clark, Bariatric surgeon and expert on weight loss; Beth Willis talking about Opportunity Zone funds from a tax point of view; Bianca Neff, Rotary Peace Scholar and crusader for change; and our own (President-Elect) Jeff Brittain, discussing his visit with remote Amazonian tribes.  It was a good month of speakers.

 

 

January 12th and 19th were work days at the Smiles and Giggles day care center in Hampton.  Done in partnership with the Warwick at City Center Rotary Club and "Smart Beginnings," a non-profit support group for early childhood development, this project performed a variety of "fix-up" tasks for the center.  The first photo on the left shows Danny Carroll painting; the second photo shows Ned and Scott Spencer fence-mending; the third shows two more Spencers, Hillary and Noelle, cleaning windows; the fourth shows Bill Ziglar getting a doorbell ready to install; and the photo on the right shows Mike Nelson, Cathy Miller, and John Frantz all painting.

 

 

Work has begun!  After many delays, mostly waiting for government approvals, our $42,000 Rotary Foundation Global Grant is underway.  This economic development grant provides upgrades for the irrigation system used by a cooperative of small farms in the area of Santa Barbara, Costa Rica.  The photograph in the center is a little of the several kilometers of pipes that will be installed under the grant.  The construction photos on the left and the right show the beginnings of the filter house, which will shelter the large (and expensive) sand filters that will clean the irrigation water so that it does not clog the new and water-saving drip irrigation systems at the farms.

 

 

We wrapped up our calendar year December 19th by, in two-person shifts, ringing the bell for The Salvation Army.  We were ringing both at the Hampton Walmart and the Newport News Sam's Club.  Shown here, on the left are Scott Stolldorf and Bill Ziglar at Sam's Club with L. J. Richman adding moral support, and on the right Charlie Edmonson and Howard Waters at Walmart.

 

 

December 12th, temporarily without our usual meeting room, we packed into a small space to hear Sonia Alcantara-Antoine, the almost-new Director of the Newport News Public Library system.

 

 

 

 On the evening of December 5th we had our holiday party at the Riverwalk Restaurant, on the James in Yorktown.  This started our seasonal cheer.

 

 

On December 5th we were joined by Terri Rolan and Maggie O'Brien, two local authors who used some innovative techniques to bring out a book about the wild west.

 

 

Our November 28th meeting was held at Thomas Nelson community College, hosted by the President, Dr. John T. Dever.  The left photo immediately above is Dr. Dever.  The right photo shows Patrick Tompkins, Club member and Provost of the Historic Triangle campus of TNCC; Dr. Dever; Teresa Bearisto, this year's recipient of the Club's TNCC scholarship; and Bill Ziglar, Club President.

 

 

November 17 was the Saturday night of the 26th annual Tennis Ball, the biggest night of the year for us.  At the top is the dining area for this sold-out event, and immediately above are most of the Peninsula Club Rotarians who attended.  For more photos of this event, click here.

 

 

Programs during the month of October included Ronald Goldberg of TNCC, talking about his book about the 100 most influential Americans in history; Bob McKenna, President and CEO of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce; Mary Bunting, City Manager of the City of Hampton; Dr. Coyt Hargis, Deputy Director of the Directorate of International Affairs and POLAD at Air Combat Command, Langley AFB; and Renae Myles, a project manager for Newport News Shipbuilding.

 

 

Kevin Yeargin has become the latest Club member in the Paul Harris Society, an elite group that generously gives to the Rotary Foundation.

 

 

Some September happenings:  On the 5th, Eoghan Miller of the Newport News City Manager's office talked about the One City Marathon.  On the 11th we, jointly with the Warwick Club at City Center, participated in a "Bright Beginnings" event, helping underpriviledged children get clothing and school supplies for the new school year; on the 19th, Donna Tighe spoke about the Peninsula Food Bank; on the 26th Britta Ayres discussed the Choice Neighborhood Initiative for Newport News' east end; and beginning on the 28th Peninsula Rotarian Pat Resto, along with her colleagues at Walgreens, administered free flu shots at the District 7600 Conference in Williamsburg.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Amy Jordan is the Director for Economic Development for James City County

On April 8th the Rotaract 757 club received its charter, making it an official Rotaract Club in District 7600.  Rotaract is an organization of young people, aged 18 through 30, and this club is the first in District 7600 that is not directly linked to a college or university.  Shown above are club officers, and behind them are members of the four local Rotary clubs that sponsor the club and guided its inception.

 

On April 8th the Rotaract 757 club received its charter, making it an official Rotaract Club in District 7600.  Rotaract is an organization of young people, aged 18 through 30, and this club is the first in District 7600 that is not directly linked to a college or university.  Shown above are club officers, and behind them are members of the four local Rotary clubs that sponsor the club and guided its inception.

 

On April 8th the Rotaract 757 club received its charter, making it an official Rotaract Club in District 7600.  Rotaract is an organization of young people, aged 18 through 30, and this club is the first in District 7600 that is not directly linked to a college or university.  Shown above are club officers, and behind them are members of the four local Rotary clubs that sponsor the club and guided its inception.