Scroll down to see recent meetings and other events....
April 23rd was a work morning at the Virginia Living Museum. A crowd of Peninsula Club Rotarians and Warwick at City Center Club Rotarians worked on a new museum site--a playground area next to the Dinosaur Discovery Trail. We worked on preparations for a "treehouse" with a swing, climbing boulders, balance beams, and a slack line. And we took a large pile of mulch and distributed it over the area.
Schoolchildren in Costa Rica are still going to school virtually, and some of the students cannot afford the internet access necessary for online schooling. The Peninsula Club, partnering with the Warwick at City Center Club and the Heredia Club in Costa Rica, obtained a District 7600 grant to give two years' access to 23 families in Costa Rica. The photos above show a meeting at which the Heredia Club gave instructions and internet hotspot devices to high school students taking part in the program. A similar meeting was held for grade-school students.
On April 7th Adam Duncan and John Frantz attended the annual Christopher Newport University President's Donor and Recipient Scholarship Luncheon. Ariana Gatewood is this year's recipient of the Peninsula Rotary Club Endowed Scholarship. Ariana is a sophomore majoring in cellular, molecular, and physiological biology, and minoring in Spanish and Leadership Studies. Our scholarship fund is one of the oldest at CNU, and since its inception in 1983 we have awarded 38 grants totaling $146,435.
March 30th saw a social at Burger Theory.
Sunday afternoon, March 20th, saw three local Rotary Clubs--the Peninsula Club, the Warwick at City Center Club, and the Yorktown Club jointly turning a hallway in Patrick Henry Mall into a food factory, packaging thousands of meals for Rise Against Hunger.
In March we had a brewery fest--three programs, each presented by a different local craft brewery. On March 2nd Seth Caddell of the Coastal Brewery talked about the quest for excellence. On March 9th Eric Williams of the Billsburg Brewery discussed the brewery as a destination venue. On March 16th Tuan Bui of 1700 Brewing talked about brewing your own beer at home.
Our annual February party is Charter Night (46 years!), held at the Hampton Yacht Club. There was a good crowd, good conversations, and good food.? The upper photo shows Paul Harris honorees.
January 19th saw the inauguration of our new meeting venue at the Holiday Inn at City Center. Not quite coincidentally, the first program was by the manager of the newly-renovated hotel.
What would the holiday season be without the day of Peninsula Rotary bell-ringing for the Salvation Army? On December 22 we rang all day long at the Sam's Club in Newport News, in one-hour shifts of two people each. Above are Howard Waters and Charlie Edmonson.
On Friday night, December 17th, our annual holiday party at the Hampton Yacht Club was a great success. The usual seafood spread plus cut-to-order beef, and lively companionship.
During a meeting of the Board of Directors the morning of December first, President Adam laid out some possibly important shifts in the Club's direction: a change in the venue of the meetings, an innovative new type of membership, and a surprise in the core of the Club's year--the Tennis Ball.
Some happenings during the months of October and November not mentioned elsewhere include Wendy Drucker giving us an insider's look at the world of real estate, Greg Seigel discussing the streetcars on the Peninsula, Alex Ritchie Oniell talking about the current state of Rotaract on the Peninsula, and Martha Morris giving us a nostalgic look back at Buckroe Amusement Park.
Once again this year the Peninsula Club was active at the District Conference. As you can see here, two of the four members of the Sargent at Arms team were from our Club.
October 13th found us once again at the Bull Island Brewery.
On October 6th Past District Governor Judy Cocherell delivered a check for our District Grants.
Programs duing August and September not mentioned below include Randy Troutman, Regina Mobley discussing the life of a video-journalist, Betsy Layman explaining lean agility in business, and Holly Koons telling about the new CNU Torggler Fine Arts Center.
The evening of August 18th found us at a club social event at the Bull Island Brewery in Hampton. Good food, good beer, and good fellowship.
As the first act of his new presidency, Adam Duncan congratulated Bill Ziglar as the 2020-2021 Peninsula Rotary Club Rotarian of the Year. At a time of immense challenges--the Covid pandemic and the Club President moving away, to name but two--Bill's leadership made a success out of what could have been a disastrous year.
The Club's change of leadership took place on June 30th. Past District Governor Diane Hagemann swore in President Adam Duncan, and District Area Governor Bill Ziglar swore in the officers and board of directors as a group.
The Peninsula Club, in partnership with the Warwick at City Center Rotary Club and the Heredia (Costa Rica) Rotary Club, is doing an international District Grant to help school children in Costa Rica. School there is still virtual, and our project is providing internet access to 20 families that could not otherwise afford the cost. On the left is a computer screen during a Zoom meeting between the Peninsula Club and the Heredia Club, planning the project. In the center is a sample WIFI "hot spot" device being held up to his computer camera by Jose Rodriguez of the Heredia Club. On the right are some Costa Rican school children.
On June 23rd Bill Ziglar presided at the club meeting (featuring Kati McCarter of the Chesapeake Boy Foundation). This was Bill's last official act as unofficial acting president in the absence of Mike Nelson.
On June 14th a group from the Peninsula Club helped to celebrate, ribbon-cut, and tour the new house at 2102 Madison Avenue in Newport News--the first time multiple Rotary clubs came together to sponsor and help build a "Habitat for Humanity" house.
On Friday evening, June 11th, the Warwick at City Center Club hosted us for a two-club social occasion. The venue was the Virginia Living Museum. The photo at the top is a wide-angle view of the party; below it is the Peninula contingent present.
In June the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club returned to in-person meetings, or as some call them, "real" meetings. This return to normalcy was warmly welcomed by all.
On a fine April Saturday the Peninsula Club and the CNU Rotaract Club upgraded the landscaping around the Newport News Public Art Foundation's "Hammer Tribute" sculpture in Oyster Point.
Beginning the new calendar year, presenters during January and February included novelist Ron Peterson describing a true crime story; Ha Koehler, Interim Communications Manager for the HRBY expansion project; Bill Ermatinger, Executive Vice President and Chief HR officer for Huntington Ingalls, explaining how the shipyard dealt with the pandemic; former member and former pilot Greg Richardson explaining how to fly a jet; District Foundation Chair Stephen Beer describing a recent international experience; Yared Lemjma, a 2020 graduate of the Duke/UNC Rotary Peace Center; Doreen Kopacz, Port Development Administrator for Newport News, speaking about the Seafood Industrial Park; and Kevin Otey, CEO of the Hampton Roads Community Action Program.
Even a global pandemic can't keep the Peninsula Club from ringing the bell for a day for The Salvation Army kettle drive. Above, hiding behind the masks, on the left are Susan Wolf and Bill Blanchard, and on the right Bill Ziglar and Karanita Fuller.
During December our Zoom presenters included Dr. Cynthia Romero from EVMS discussing the effect of COVID 19 on mental health, Dr. William Irwin talking about robotic surgery, and a trio from An Achievable Dream giving us a report on the just-completed Tennis Ball: Abbie Schaefer, Lee Vreeland, and Brittany Lavalleur.
The Tennis Ball, an annual event in support of An Achievable Dream, is the Peninsula Rotary Club's most important social event and most important fund-raising event. This year (no surprise!) it was a virtual event. Nevertheless it appears to have been a success, with plenty of sponsorships and plenty of bidding on the auction items. The sponsorships shown above are directly connected to club members. To find out more about the Tennis Ball, click here. To see the 2020 video from An Achievable Dream praising our Rotary Club, click here.
Several Rotary Clubs participated in a work day for the "Rotary House" being constructed for Habitat for Humanity. Mike Nelson and Danny Carroll represented our club this time.
On October 7th in the center of Styron Square, the club's board of directors held its first non-virtual meeting for quite a while. It was a beautiful, crisp fall morning, and while conducting the club's business we all enjoyed the weather and each others' company.
During September, October, and November, Abbie Schaefer from An Achievable Dream spoke about the upcoming Tennis Ball; we heard from Dr. Angela Springer, CNU's Assistant to the President for Equity and Engagement; Jason Carney, an English Department lecturer at CNU, spoke about the phenomenon of pulp fiction; we had Scott Cash, Sports Director for 13News; Nancy Bynum came to us from the YMCA; Shel Douglas, Grants Chair for District 7600, talked about her many international projects; and Diane Gordon, also with the District, spoke about public image.
On September 19th the Club carried out a project in Newport News Park to refine the landscaping for the latest sculpture installed by the Newport News Public Art Foundation, "Man and Crocodile" by Girolamo Ciulla. We prepared the surrounding soil and laid sod to establish an immediate, neatly trimmed frame. Afterwards, we chatted while staying properly social distanced.
During July and August, Chris Jones described the active Rotarian; Dr. Gregory DeCinque gave us an update on TNCC; District Governor Judy Cocherell paid us an official visit; Robert Gifford, President of the Heredia Rotary Club in Costa Rica, talked about the current state of computer technology; Kevin and Lisa Wilkins told their own story about serious cases of COVID-19; and friend-of-the-club John Quarstein talked about the Spanish influenza in 1918.
To round out the 2019-2020 Rotary year, Anne-Lise Gere talked about HR, Amy Jordan discussed the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, Paula Bazemore introduced us to the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, and Alex Ritchie spoke about Rotary membership.
It was a masked happening. On June 18th, with the sun coming out and the Pandemic rules gradually lifting, we participated with four other Rotary Clubs in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Habitat for Humanity house that Rotary was sponsoring. The Kameera James family, the beneficiaries of the project, were present.
On May 20th we had a virtual presenttion by Dr. Mike Dacey, COO of the Riverside Health System, giving us a thorough look--an inside view, so to speak--at the ongoing pandemic. The photo above, taken during the presentation, seems a fitting symbol of the current world situation. It shows a cell being attacked by coronavirus: the amorphous dark shape you see is the living cell, and the light-colored specks covering the cell are the coronavirus.
Starting in March, we acknowledged the coronavirus pandemic and shifted to "zoom" virtual meetings. This includes meetings of the Board of Directors. Our virtual meetings have brought us a presentation by Asa Jackson, artist and entrepreneur, about his various projects; a tour of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens; an update from Keith Roots of CNU about our scholarship fund; and a presentation by Stephen Beer, PDG and District Foundation Chair, about his visit to a Rotary Foundation Global Grant site in Africa.
Early in 2020, everything changed--the coronavirus pandemic struck. Meetings became virtual, and we saw our speakers, and ourselves, through Zoom.
On March 11th the club met at the facilities of "Gather," an alternative office facility in the Newport News "Tech Center" area, and got a tour.
Some things that happened in February that are not shown below: Rear Admiral (retired) William Vincent discussed diversity in the ranks of the US Navy, Joe Williams told us about Hope to Walk and the providing of prosthetic legs, and both Sandra Chong and Anita Williams spoke about the Hampton Mayor's Book Club.
The month of February saw two working days for our project, undertaken jointly with the Warwick at City Center Club, to renovate one of the centers of the Boys and Girls Club.
February 15th saw our annual Charter Night festivities at the Hampton Yacht Club.
After a November and December of mostly special activities, we started the new calendar year getting back to our normal programs. During January we had Hal Brauer of the Peninsula Community Foundation, Brittany LaValeur of An Achievable Dream, Kevin Otey of the Hampton Roads Community Action Program, and Doreen Kopacz from the Seafood Industrial Park.
In keeping with our long-time tradition, on December 18th the club took shifts to ring the bell for The Salvation Army all day long. Shown here is Jeff Brittain and Justin Wynings.
Held at the Riverwalk Restaurant, our annual holiday party December 4th was merry, happy, and well-attended.
November 16th brought us the 27th annual Tennis Ball for An Achievable Dream. The most important event in the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club's year, it is a premier occasion for the benefit of the nationally-lauded Achievable Dream educational program. To see many more photographs of the night, click here.
At the District 7600 Foundation Awards dinner the Peninsula Club's support of the Rotary Foundation during the year of Immediate Past President Bill Ziglar garnered more awards. As Club Foundation Chair Kevin Yeargin put it, "We got every award that we could have gotten!"
Some October activities not described below included President Jeff and other members conducting a Club Assembly, Chief Terry Sult talking about the state of the police force in Hampton, Polly and Doug White talking about alternative office space possibilities, and historian Kurt Reisweber discussing ocean liners of the 19th and 20th Centuries and showing us examples from his collection of thousands of ocean liner post cards.
With his age still measured only in weeks, the young son of Adam and Jennifer Duncan toured the Saint George's Brewery facility, and in so doing attended his first Rotary Club meeting. Imitating some very elderly Rotarians, he slept through most of the tour.
September events not discussed below included Brittany Lavaleur and Julie Cruit Angilly giving us a Tennis Ball update from the point of view of An Achievable Dream, Doug Wilson telling us about the Elizabeth River transportation infrastructure, Caroline Taylor relating how a successful business was started, and Coliseum Central's Eboni Council inaugurating our new meeting venue.
On September 18th Linda Ellis, the now-retired teacher/advisor to our Peninsula Catholic High School Interact Club, swears in the new year's Interact officers.
We began September with a Club Assembly, where we got down to the serious business of the final stretch of planning for the Tennis Ball.
August 28th saw us in a social event once again at the "town square" of Port Warwick, and this time it was not just our club, but four Rotary Clubs were represented.
August 21st saw PDG and District Foundation Chair Stephen Beer twice--once at the breakfast meeting of the Warwick at City Center Club giving a check for the grant helping the Boys and Girls Club, and once at the lunch meeting of the Peninsula Club with a check for playground equipment for the children of San Bosco in central Costa Rica. Both District Grant projects were joint projects by the two clubs in cooperation.
On August 14th Adam Klutts, the new CEO of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA, was inducted into the Club by PDG Diane Hagemann.
July events not mentioned below included a Club Assembly where Tennis Ball co-chairs Jeff Stodghill and Patrick Tompkins got us geared up for the largest Club event of the year, Greg Siegel talked about the history and the reconditioning of the City of Hampton's old streetcar, and fellow Rotarian (and Past District Governor) Bill Pollard talked about his recent day-long visit on board the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush.
Each year starting in July, the incoming District Governor begins the Rotary Year by visiting every Rotary Club in the District--all 63 of them. July 24th saw the annual visit by District 7600 Clenise Platt.
July 12th was the first meeting under new President Jeff. It was a Club Assembly, an introduction to the new year, and included talks by Jeff Stodghill and Patrick Tompkins, the co-chairs for the 2019 Tennis Ball.
July 12th saw the first meeting of the Board of Directors, under President Jeff, for the 2019-2020 Rotary year.
Meetings during June not mentioned below included Franklin Club Rotarian Bill Billings giving a class in taking photos with a smart phone; President-To-Be Jeff introducing us to the coming year; and the team of Kate Helwig and Katie Stodghill, talking about the Sister Cities organization in Newport News.
The evening of June 25th saw Rotary supper at the ball park, with the Peninsula Pilots game following.
On a beautiful and pleasantly cool June day (the 14th), we had our changing-of-the-guard ceremonies and party at the home of outgoing President Bill Ziglar. Above, PDG Diane Hagemann swears in the new President Jeff Brittain.
Programs during the month of May not discussed below included Danny Carroll talking about his new gig, the Newport News Public Art Foundation; Lisa Wornom-Zahralddin giving us an inside view from the office of the Newport News City Manager; Anyssa Reddix and Shiela Johnson discussing their charitable organization, Envision Lead Grow; and Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew speaking to us on his home turf, the police headquarters building.
On May 29th we had our anual Career Day with the Interact Club of Peninsula Catholic High School. Led by Adam Duncan, Rotarians shared their experience and advice with the kids from Peninsula Catholic.
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.
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.