Scroll down to see recent meetings and other events....
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.
June 11th was a "work day" at the YMCA's Camp Kekoka, in Lancaster County. Shown here are two of Kevin Yeargin's family, Kevin, Joel Bundy, Ned Spencer, Ray Spencer, Bill Blanchard, and two of Ned's family. The inset at upper left is Ned, fastening metal hurricane straps. The task was to build a shelter for the archery stand. Also participating were members of theWest Point Rotary Club and the Kilmarnock Rotary Club.
Jeff Scott, General Manager of the Peninsula Pilots, talks to us June 8th about his team. The Pilots is in a non-professional league of college students, playing on their summer vacation. Three of the team members were present.
As the final event in an event-packed June first meeting, Virginia Rotary Day was celebrated by the cutting and serving of a cake. The day commemorates the anniversary of the 1913 founding of the Richmond Rotary Club, the first Rotary Club in Virginia. In the above photo Diana, assisted by Jim Probsdorfer, cuts the cake and serves it to the gathered Rotarians.
Also on the first of June, Past District Governor and current District Foundation Chair Jim Probsdorfer spoke to the club about The Rotary Foundation, what it does, and how it works.
In recognition of her skill in interviewing Rotary International President-Elect John Germ, the District awarded additional points to designate Diana Gulotta a Paul Harris Fellow Plus One. She was pinned on June first by Julie Franklin of the Huguenot Trail Club, as Jim Probsdorfer looks on.
May 25th found us at the Newport News Police Museum on Warwick Boulevard. Master Officer D. J. Pointer and the resident historian Mike Motley gave us information and yarns about our police department.
Mike Watkins and Heather McKeating of the Norfolk Tides did a tag-team presentation on May 18th about the Norfolk Tides baseball team, their goals, and their efforts of outreach to the community.
As part of the Career Day meeting, the Peninsula Catholic High School Interact Club was given a certificate of appreciation for their outstanding and consistent contributions to our club's international projects, and specifically for their support of the playground equipment project in Heredia, Costa Rica. Above, District 7600 Governor Gary Chenault presents the certificate to Interact Club faculty advisor Linda Ellis and three of the Interact Club officers.
April 27th was our annual Career Day. With Joe Johnson leading a room half filled with students from Peninsula Catholic High School, we Rotarians shared our experience with teen-agers to give advice on careers and career paths.
April 23rd saw the District 7600 Training Assembly, which orients and trains next year's club officers. In attendance were John Frantz, Diana Gulotta, Diane Hagemann, Bill Ziglar, Suki Pierce, and Kevin Yeargin.
On April 20th John Frantz welcomes Debi Waldeck into the club as the newest member.
On April 13th Diane inducted Kim Luckes into the club as a new member of the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club.
Abby Yoder, shown here with John Frantz, is the latest recipient of a scholarship from the Peninsula Rotary Club Endowed Scholarship Fund at Christopher Newport University. Abby is a junior, majoring in social work.
More inductions of new members! On April 6th we inducted Patrick Tompkins and Karanita Fuller.
On March 30th the club welcomed Bill Blanchard and Greg Milstead into the club as new members, and also welcomed Linda Neilson as an Honorary Member.
Pat Resto represented the Peninsula Club at a "Stop Hunger Now" event held at Menchville High School on March 22nd. More than 10,000 nutritious and shelf-stable meals were packaged for shipment to hungry people around the world.?
Pat and Diane are shown here on March 16th, welcoming our newest member into the club, Jordan Vallerga.
This year Charter Night was February 19th at the Hampton Yacht Club. This is the night we have a good time and celebrate our club's founding in 1976. Many members were honored this year, including Abe Firestone as Rotarian of the Year, and many first-time and multiple-time Paul Harris Fellows. All Charter Night photos here were taken by Nhu Quach.
On February 19th we celebrated the completion in Costa Rica of a project of the Peninsula Club-sponsored Interact Club of Peninsula Catholic High School. A complex play structure was installed at el Centro de Ensenanza Especial de Heredia, a school in Heredia, Costa Rica. The school specializes in the education of children with disabilities--the physically disabled, the mentally disabled, and those with multiple disabilities. Here, equipment that helps develop coordination and motor skills is more than just something fun to do at recess, it is part of the core mission of the school. A $4,200.00 donation, raised by the PCHS Interact Club, made the installation of this equipment possible. In this photograph standing on the left is Ray Spencer, representing the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club, and indirectly representing the Interact Club. Others shown are the school principal, a member of the Heredia School Board, and members of the Rotary Club of Heredia, Costa Rica.
The club sponsored three students to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) this year. The three-day function is held at a camp outside Wakefield, Virginia. Shown here are our delegates, Devon Trepp, Bryen Quachyeargin, and Julia MacMasters. Bryen goes to Tabb High School, and Devon and Julia go to Peninsula Catholic High School.
Shown here are some Rotarians at the blood drive on February 11th. The drive was jointly sponsored by the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club, Sentara, and The Links, Incorporated.
Recently there have been a lot of new faces at our meetings. For three of our February meetings, members are bringing guests who are, or might be, interested in joining our club.
Diane Hagemann, Peninsula Club Rotarian and District Governor-Elect, is in San Diego at the Rotary International Assembly. The R.I. Assembly gathers the incoming District Governors from around the world for orientation, training, and advice. The photo on the left shows Diane on the first day of the Assembly. On the right we see Diane, with her husband Drew, with John Germ, incoming Rotary International President, and his wife Judy.
On Saturday, January 16th, we paid our last respects to Cap Neilson at a memorial service in Williamsburg. Walter "Cap" Nielson, 1944-2016. Rotarian, Past President, Past District Governor, and friend. He will be sorely missed.
Amy Ritchie of An Achievable Dream presented Diana Gulotta a check for more than $14,000 on January 13th. The club is co-sponsor of the Tennis Ball, and this check was the club's portion of the proceeds of that event. Diana was this year's Tennis Ball Chair.
December 16th was our day of ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. We rang at two locations, in one-hour shifts from morning until evening. 31 of our members, plus some family members, participated in this annual event.
Our holiday celebration was held December 5th at the Williamsburg Golf Club. We had fine food, fine fellowship, fine weather, and a good festive spirit.
As they have done for the last several years at the Tennis Ball, the CNU Rotaract Club provided roving "BidPal" experts to help guests with the computerized bidding technology. Shown here is part of this year's Rotaract team.
November 21st was the night of the Tennis Ball, a benefit for An Achievable Dream. For more about this, the premier event in our calendar, go to our Photo Albums page.
On November 12th the District 7600 Rotary Foundation Awards Banquet was held. Here, Paul Szabo receives a collection of awards for his year as President. With him are Past District Foundation Chair Jim Probsdorfer, District Governor Gary Chenault, and Zone 33 Director-Elect Joe Mulkerrin. The awards we received are for giving more than $200 per member to the Rotary Foundation, for being an "EREY" club (Every Rotarian, Every Year), and having 100 percent of our members being Paul Harris Sustaining Members.
A more elaborate Military Appreciation Day is in the planning stages, but on this Veterans' Day we simply took a moment to recognize all the veterans who were present at the meeting. Shown here are Ray Spencer, Mike Kuhns (our speker, and a member of the Newport News Rotary), Joel Bundy, Debra Flores, Dick Summerville, Roger Wolfe, Rick Machamer, and Tom Morris.
On November 11th Mike Kuhns of the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce gave us his take on the economic state of the Peninsula.
Early on the morning of the first Wednesday of every month, the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club's Board of Directors meets for breakfast at the Lunch Bell in City Center. This photograph is of the November 4th meeting.
On October 24th we had a visit from a club favorite, historian John Quarstein. In detail, John told us about the final hours and minutes at the sinking of the USS Monitor during the Civil War, the heroic efforts to save most of the crew, and the ongoing work to preserve the ship's remains at the Mariner's Museum.
Our Rotary District 7600 is one of 29 Districts in Rotary International Zones 33-34. The Peninsula Club's Diane Hagemann attended the Zone's Governor-Elect training session in Destin, Florida. Shown here on the left is the District 7600 delegation--Jim Bynum, Diane, Stephen Beer, Gary Chenault, and John Padgett. On the right is Diane consulting with Rotary International President-Elect John Germ.
October 24th was World Polio Day. To promote awareness, the Peninsula Rotary Club set up a table at the Christopher Newport University homecoming football game. Shown here manning the table are Adam Duncan, Peter Johns, President Pat Resto, and Kevin Yeargin.
Our club's Roteract Club at Christopher Newport University had a conflict with World Polio Day (namely their homecoming festivities), and so had their own Purple Pinkie Day a few days earlier.
On October 7th, we not only heard from our scheduled speaker, entrepreneur Ed Mulbeck talking about bringing an Indian Motorcycle dealership to the Peninsula, but we met this year's recipient of our CNU scholarship, Emilee Burke, and we heard from Barbara Banks, an alumna of An Achievable Dream and current teacher there.
On September 23rd we had our first "Immunization Day." With Pat in her lab coat presiding, two pharmacy students explained about the flu immunization. And with two professional pharmacists in the club, anyone who wanted a flu shot could get one. On the right, Cathy Miller gives a shot to Rick Machamer.
On September 2nd we had our visit from the District 7600 Governor, Gary Chenault. He met early with the Board of Directors, and then was our program for the regular meeting.
On August 29th the club had an outing at the Langley Speedway. In addition to good racing, there was good food and good fellowship.
Elizabeth McCoury, recent past president now living in Seattle, returned to talk to us about life in the northeast corner of the U.S.
President Pat gives 92-year-old Abe Firestone a hug after he announced at the August 5th meeting that for health reasons he would no longer be coming to meetings. Long a favorite in the club, he will certainly be missed.
The Peninsula Club was well-represented at the District's Foundation and Grant Seminar on the first of August, with Kevin, Diane, Pat, and Joel attending. Kevin won one of the prizes in the "wackiest outfit" contest.
On July 29th President Pat pinned two new members--Suki Pierce, who migrated from being an honorary member to being an active member, and Helene Lippe.
In the center of this "lineup," Pat, as club president, happily accepts the banner of the District 7600 Governor Nominee. It comes to us, of course, because our Diane Hagemann is "on deck" to become next year's District Governor.
July 20th was Rotary Night at the Norfolk Tides game at Harbor Park. For every ticket sold, $4.00 went to support the Rotary International Polio Plus effort. This photo shows four of the 14 Peninsula Club Rotarians present.
Amy Ritchie of An Achievable Dream visited our July 8th meeting to kick off the 2015 Tennis Ball planning. She is shown here with Debra Flores, last year's Tennis Ball Chair, and Diana Gulotta, this year's Tennis Ball Chair.
At the officers' induction party, Immediate Past President Paul announced that Diana Gulotta was named the Rotarian of the Year for the 2014-2015 Rotary Year.
Pat Resto, 41st President of the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club, is sworn in by Gary Chenault, who in a few days will be our District Governor.
At each table at the new officers' induction party, there was a container of handmade flowers in the Rotary colors. All these flowers were made by Suki Pierce.
The party for the induction of the 2015-2016 officers was held June 27th at the Williamsburg Golf Club. In addition to our members, the event was attended by many Past District Governors.
On the morning of June 24th, members of the Peninsula Rotary Board of Directors met with staff of An Achievable Dream to talk about how the two organizations would work together at the next Tennis Ball.
On June 17th Past District Governor Jim Probsdorfer visited the club to present Suki Pierce with a crystal from The Rotary Foundation. The crystal was in recognition of the extraordinary service to Rotary and the Rotary Foundation given by Jim and Suki Pierce.
The photos above were taken at the annual scholarship luncheon at Christopher Newport University. On the left is Paul Trible with President-elect Pat, and on the right is this past year's scholarship recipient, Andrew Elgin, with President-Elect Pat. The scholarship comes from the proceeds of the Peninsula Rotary Club Endowed Scholarship Fund.
On our recent Costa Rica trip: On the left, we learn about the needs of an irrigation system serving small farmers. On the right, Danny Carroll greets a young burn victim at the National Children's Hospital. For more photographs, visit our Photo Albums page.
In early May we visited the Heredia Rotary Club in Costa Rica and looked at five possible projects. We were looking for a partner club in Costa Rica, and we were looking for our next project. We may have found both.
This photograph shows the cross-generational character of our club's activity. From left is Rachel Hildebrand, president of our Rotaract Club at Christopher Newport University, District Governor-Nominee Diane Hagemann, co-presidents Connor Burke and Terrie Dinh of the Interact Club of Peninsula Catholic High School, Linda Ellis, faculty advisor to the Interact Club, and Pat Resto, President-Elect of the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club.
Linda Ellis, faculty advisor to the Peninsula Rotary Club's Interact Club at Peninsula Catholic High School, is shown here accepting the Interact Presidential Citation. The citation is given by Rotary District 7600, which includes most of eastern Virginia.
April 22nd was our annual Career Day, with students from Peninsula Catholic High School joining us--and in fact the students may have outnumbered Rotarians. It was an interchange of ideas, with much of this year's discussion centering on success in a job interview.
On April 7th the CNU Rotaract Club, cosponsored by the Peninsula Rotary Club, held its annual Summerville Leadership Seminar. Joe Johnson and Diane Hagemann participated on the panel, which discussed leadership and the "generation gap" from their various points of view, and engaged the audience of Christopher Newport students in a dialog.
Kathleen (Kat) Briggs, of Colonial Webb Contractors, was inducted into the club as our newest member, and the fifth new member this Rotary Year. She is shown above along with Christine Felts, her sponsor, Paul Szabo, President, and Diane Hagemann, District Governor Nominee, who did the induction.
At this year's President-Elect Training Seminar (PETS), shown here are next Rotary year's District Governor-Elect Diane, next Rotary year's President-Elect Debra, next Rotary year's President Pat, and next Rotary year's District Governor Gary.
There were a number of members honored at the Charter Night celebration for increasing their Paul Harris Fellow level. Shown here are Tom Morris Jr., Glenn Morris, Cap Neilson, Debra Flores, John Frantz, Roger Wolfe, Art Dister, Danny Carroll, Kevin Yeargin, and Tom Morris III. Members who raised their PHF levels but are not pictured are David Miller, Pat Resto, Abe Firestone, Dwight Wolf, and Joan Aaron.
The Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club's 39th anniversary Charter Night was held Friday evening, February 20th, at the Hampton Yacht Club.
The Peninsula Rotary Club sponsored two Peninsula Catholic High School students, Lulu Elzein and Zack Abdallah, to attend RYLA--Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. This is a three-day event held in a rural setting in Sussex County, with activities that develop leadership, communication skills, problem solving, and citizenship.
A Club Assembly can be a routine event, occasionally not very exciting. The Club Assembly January 28 did not resemble a normal one. The presentation of the 2015-2016 slate of officers and directors, the photograph immediately above, was not too unusual. But at the same meeting Suki Pierce, wife of the late Jim Pierce, was brought into the club as an honorary member, in recognition of her and Jim's extraordinary work for the benefit of our club and of Rotary. To see this ceremony, and in appreciation of Suki and Jim, this Club Assembly was attended by the largest collection by far of Rotary elite ever to grace a meeting of the club. In addition to our District Governor Nominee, there were four Past District Governors from different Rotary districts, and no less than ten Past District Governors of District 7600. The photo at the top of this collection is Suki surrounded by this stellar group of well-wishers.
The site of our annual holiday party was the Williamsburg Winery. There was fellowship, good food, good beverages, Christmas trimmings, and a real fire.
Once again at our annual day of bell-ringing for The Salvation Army, we manned two stations. This time it was at Sam's Club in Newport News, and at the Wallmart in Hampton. In the left photo, at Sam's Club, are Tom Hunnicutt, MacDuff, Danny Carroll, Rob Carmines, and Roger Wolfe. Shown at Wallmart's are Larry Mercado and Diana Gulatta.
Our newest member is Bill Ziglar, of Chesapeake Masonry Corporation, inducted into the club on December 10th. Above are President Paul Szabo, sponsor Ray Spencer, Bill, and District Governor Nominee Diane Hagemann, who presided at the ceremony.
The 21st annual Tennis Ball was held Saturday night, November 15th. The tennis Ball, co-sponsored by the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club, is one of the largest charity fund-raising events in Virginia, and is for the benefit of An Achievable Dream, a nationally-acclaimed school program for at-risk children. From the above photographs of the silent auction room and the dining room, you can see that the attendance, around 800, continues to be astonishing.
The automobiles up for auction at the Tennis Ball are always items of interest. This year, as usual, they ranged from the moderately interesting and moderately priced, to the exciting and highly priced.
Above is an almost-random collection of photos from the 2014 Tennis Ball. On the left, a sizable group from the CNU Rotaract Club, co-sponsored by the Peninsula Rotary Club, checks in at the volunteers' registration desk. The center photo shows Ray Spencer, who on Tennis Ball evening becomes a "worker bee" as a volunteer, and helps with check-in, auction item bagging, and check-out. He is shown here handing the program and auction tools to a guest checking in--in this case Jim Pierce. On the right in the silent auction room is Adam and Jennifer Duncan and Paul Szabo posing, while Cap Neilson hams it up behind them.
On Friday, November 14th, Peninsula Rotarians participated in setting up the silent auction room for the Tennis Ball coming up the next day. On the left, Peter Johns and Paul Szabo hang pegboard that will become part of the display of handbags. In the center, Joe Johnson and Rick Machamer are setting up the Christmas area. On the right, Diane Hagemann and her brother start putting the sports area together.
Recently the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club has enjoyed a number of visits from prominent people in the region. The latest was John Broderick, president of Old Dominion University. The photo on the left shows Kevin Yeargin, who arranged the visit, John Broderick, and Club president Paul Szabo. On the right, Mr. Broderick is explaining, and giving evidence that, ODU is a better school and more prominent nationally that most people in the local area are aware.
During the October 29th meeting we welcomed our newest member. Two Past District Governors teamed up to induct Captain Ryan Brown of The Salvation Army into the club--Jim Pierce on the left presided over the (informal) ceremony, and Cap Neilson on the right was the sponsoring member.
CNU President Paul Trible paid us another visit October 15th. His wide-ranging presentation covered everything from the physical campus to the university's endowment, but emphasized how the school is growing in quality without growing in the number of students.
On Saturday, October 4th, three local Rotary clubs--the Peninsula Club, the Warwick Club, and the Hampton Club--held a "Rotary Day" at two local Farm Fresh grocery stores. The purpose of the event was twofold: first, to gather non-perishable foods and monetary donations for the Peninsula Food Bank; and second, to promote Rotary and help explain what it is. The Farm Fresh staff and management partnered with us, doing much of the logistics and encouraging customer participation. Shown above are Kevin Yeargin, who took the last shift at the Hampton location, and Paul Szabo (giving a handout to a customer), who was taking the last shift at the Newport News location. A Rotarian and our display were the first things that customers saw when they entered these two stores.
For our first meeting in October we toured St. George's Brewery in Hampton. We learned about the equipment, the raw materials, and the processes. We also had a chance to taste the various beers and ales made there, and even two lemonades. In this photo is Bill Spence, president and owner, explaining some of the equipment to the club.
Another event happening on August 27th was the induction into the club of our two newest members, Larry Mercado and Peter Johns. They are shown here with Cap Neilson presiding over the ceremony, and Kevin Yeargin and Paul Szabo, the new members' sponsors.
On August 27th we presented a big check--$12,000 big--to the Star Achievers Academy YMCA. Star Achievers Academy is a branch of the YMCA that works within Cooper Elementary Magnet School for Technology as a catylist to bring more community and business resources to the educational program.? Shown here accepting the check are Sean Holleran, Principal at Cooper, and Hank Lewis, chairman of the Star Achievers board.
Terry Sult, Chief of Police for the City of Hampton, was our speaker on August 20th. Shown here is Chief Sult in the center with President Paul and Diana Gulotta, who arranged his visit.
On August 6th we heard from Matt Kelchner, head football coach of the CNU Captains. In this photo Coach Kelchner is in the center, on the right is President Paul, and on the left is Jeff Clemons, who persuaded Coach K. to come talk to us.
July 30th was the official club visit from the 2014-2015 District Governor, Stephen Beer. While he was here he gave Debra Flores double recognition--she has achieved the "Plus Four" level of Paul Harris Fellow, and she has become a member of the Paul Harris Society. Those in the Paul Harris Society pledge to donate at least $1,000 yearly to the Rotary Foundation Annual Fund. In the photo above Jim Pierce assists the temporarily one-armed DG Stephen by pinning Debra.
At the July 23rd meeting, Debra Flores presented a check for $1,000 to Brittany Sain, Relay for Life Specialist for the American Cancer Society in Hampton. Debra, Vice Presidant of our club and not coincidentally the Honorary Chair of the Hampton Relay for Life, had made a $500 donation, which was then matched by the club. The Peninsula Rotary Club recently participated in the Hampton Relay for Life. In this photograph, then-President Kevin Yeargin looks on.
At the installation of officers party, Kevin Yeargin, outgoing President, recognized Elizabeth McCoury as the Rotarian of the Year. Elizabeth has been unstinting in her support of the club and the district, in a wide variety of ways.
At the installation of officers party, Stephen Beer--assisted by Diane Hagemann--also gave Jim and Suki Pierce some recognition for extraordinary personal support of the Rotary Foundation. They got pins for being Level 2 members of the Bequest Society, and then they got pins and a crystal for being Level 2 Major Donors.
Sunday, July 13th saw the Peninsula Rotary Club's installation of officers party at the home of John and Mary Ellen Frantz. District Governor Stephen Beer first swore in Paul Szabo as the new president, and then the rest of the officers and directors were sworn in.