Past Meetings

Check out what we've been doing each Thursday!
August 31, 2017
District Governor John Padgett began his presentation by setting the stage for boredom.  He lightheartedly told stories of Rotarians near and far dreading the annual visit from the District Governor, expected to be a presentation full of typical advice on membership, fundraising, and community service.  Well Mr. Padgett sure fooled us!  His talk was an inspiring version of the "Rotary Story."  One, he says, we don't do a very good job of telling.  The point was driven home that anyone and everyone can play a part in making the world a better place, and Rotary offers a global community platform to do so.  Learn more about what Rotary has done to End Polio Now,  Promote Peace Worldwide, Save Mothers and Children, and much more!  Many thanks to District Governor, John Padgett, and his inspiring story that made us all feel proud to be Rotarians!
District Governor, John Padgett
 
August 24, 2017
With a background of crashing waves and sea mist at the 31st Street Stage, members danced to classic rock 'n roll songs performed by Symphonicity.   Yes, the Virginia Beach symphony played the Beatles!  It was a lovely time with many members and guests, accompanied by a beautiful crescent moon.  Surely a night to remember.  
 
August 10, 2017
A lovely night out on the town!  After a scrumptious meal at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, members relocated to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), to enjoy a partnership with Story Exchange, "a community engagement project where shared human experiences are told through art."  The collaboration provided a platform for community members to share their personal stories of inspiration, followed by visual and performing artists creating a piece inspired by those stories.  It was touching, raw, and inspiring in many ways.
 
August 3, 2017
Catheryn Whitesell, Chief Solutions Officer for the City of Virginia Beach, talked about the City's new Office of Strategy, Transparency, Innovation, and Resiliency (STiR).  She was recently appointed to this new position as part of the City’s participation in the Bloomberg Philanthropy’s “What Works” Cities Program.  The City is one of 55 nationwide that are participating in the program. The program provides the City with free access to experts from Johns Hopkins Center for Government Excellence, the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Sunlight Foundation.  Catheryn talked about the new open data portal that the city now uses to inform both City Council and all citizens. She also talked about the work with City Council to revisit their goals and focus areas. Finally she spoke about changing the culture among employees to encourage new thinking, solutions, and the way they work together.
 
July 24, 2017
Several club members, as well as many other Rotarians from District 7600 wore their red "End Polio Now" t-shirts to the Norfolk Tides vs. the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders baseball game.  Also included were residential youth from Tidewater Youth Services.  Mike Yastrzemski of the Norfolk Tides reached base safely four times and scored three runs to help the Tides win 3-2!  
 
July 20, 2017
President Linda led an informative business meeting outlining some of her plans for the new Rotary year.
 
July 13, 2017
Will Driscoll, Director of Sales for Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, presented the plan for moving forward with the organization.  The hall has closed its location in Portsmouth and is in the process of relocating, in a new format, to Virginia Beach.  The hall began as a concept and traveling program in 1966, before securing a "home" in Portsmouth in 1972.  In 2000, a $12.5 million facility was built in downtown Portsmouth, though over the years both funding and visitors decreased, leading to the exploration of other options.  The City of Virginia Beach became the preferred option, proposing a new concept that involves placing the collection in several building lobbies in Town Center.  The Hall saw that Town Center had the population density, the right kind of people demographics, and was a preferred destination by many tourists visiting the area. This, coupled with a City that has a more robust support system for entertainment and tourist attractions, proved to be compelling reasons to move to Virginia Beach.  What is envisioned is a collection that becomes an interactive walking tour of the Town Center area with Hall memorabilia located in the lobbies of the Clark Nexen Building, the Art Institute, BB&T Building, Armada Hoffler, Pembroke Mall, 249 Central Park Avenue, the Westin, and Zeider’s Community Theater—when it opens. The long term plans for the Hall is to reduce reliance on government subsidies, increase private sector support, and build an annual membership program that will provide its members with special benefits.
 
June 29, 2017
Welcome VB Rotary Officers for the 2017-18 Year!  Tonight we installed the following:  President - Linda Griffin, President-Elect - Hearst Vann, Treasurer - Patti Phillips, Secretary - Michael Summers, Immediate Past President - Amy Kurtz, and committee chairs Jim May, Jennifer Kronenburg, Eva Poole, and Barbara Bradley.  Welcome and cheers to a great start to a new year!
 
June 9, 2017
A visit to Top Golf was a real hit!  On par with our best outings!  Check out this fun new activity in Virginia Beach, click here for more details.  With over 100 climate-controlled hitting bays, full-service restaurant & bar, private event spaces & meeting rooms, a rooftop terrace with fire pit, over 200 HDTVs, and free wifi, it's as much fun as a hole in one!
 
June 1, 2017
Tonight we honored Karen Schell, Youth Outreach Coordinator for Virginia Beach Public Libraries, as the city Employee of the Year - congratulations Karen!  The following is a post from the library Facebook page and outlines the hard work Karen does to ensure quality programming for our youth:  "Karen was awarded for her commitment to helping children learn to read and ensuring that families, caregivers and teachers are prepared to help children learn to read, too. Karen manages VBPL’s early literacy outreach team, including a staff of four information specialists, delivering services through VBPL’s Bookmobile - our early literacy classroom on wheels! Karen creates partnerships with Virginia Beach preschools in order to fulfill VBPL’s strategic objectives for youth success, including presenting trainings to preschool staff and administrators and managing a 4,000-plus item collection. She also liaises with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, coordinating VBPL’s master Pre-K outreach plan. Karen and the early literacy outreach team serve 40 preschool classrooms in 20 public elementary schools."
Karen Schell, Youth Outreach Coordinator,  and Eva Poole, Director of Virginia Beach Libraries
 
May 25, 2017
Dinner at Sol de Mexico was followed by an out-of-this-world presentation at the TCC Planetarium where the group learned about Saturn and its moons!  Thank you, Rotarian Mike Summers, for arranging this wonderful event!  Planetarium shows are free and open to the public.
 
May 18, 2017
Our annual Scholars Recognition Dinner honored three students who earned scholarships from our club this year:  Charles W. Prince, of Cox High School, was granted the Student Leadership Memorial Scholarship in honor of Richard A. Schlimgen; Bhavik A. Patel, of Ocean Lakes High School, was granted the Community Service Scholarship in honor of Jim Spore; and Grace Jeffrey, of Kellam High School, was granted the Brickell Scholarship, in honor of Dr. Brickell.  Some photos are below, more can be viewed under the Photos tab on the home page.
  
Bhavik A. Patel and Patti Phillips
 
Grace Jeffrey
 
 
May 11, 2017
For National Twilight Zone Day we celebrated in black and white theme on a sailboat.  The rain didn't stop us from having a grand time eating black and white snacks and sipping on Twilight Zone cocktails!
 
April 27, 2017
Rotarian and Director of Virginia Beach Libraries, Eva Poole, shared her story about how a childhood experience led her to pursue a career as a librarian.
Eva's father told her at a very young age that she must study hard, because she already had two strikes against her - she was female and African American.  Eva was born in Farrell, PA, the oldest of seven children.  In elementary school her family packed up their station wagon and moved to Texas where her paternal grandmother lived.  She recalls the foreshadowing of the Sherman water tower message: "The blackest land with the whitest people."  Once in McKinney, Eva was determined to find the local library so she could keep up with her favorite series, Nancy Drew.  She strolled in by herself and said the staff just stared at her, offered no welcome, no hello, no help with a library card.  She believes she may have been the first African American to enter the library.  Eva said she knew right then that she wanted to become a librarian so she could ensure that no one else ever had to feel as unwelcome as she did in that moment.  Eva never gave up and went to the library almost every day through high school, eventually earning a work study program there so she could save some money for college.  She remembers similar disrespect the first time she used the staff bathroom - stares and frowns from her white coworkers.  The discomfort experienced seemed to fuel Eva's ambition and she went on to earn her bachelor's and master's degrees in library science from Texas Woman's University.  She worked in libraries in Houston, Odessa, Pasedena, and Denton, most often as the only African American director.  Once her children graduated from high school, Eva was recruited to Washington, DC, and eventually landed the job in Virginia Beach after reading an article by then retiring director, Ms. Sims, about the wonderful system at the beach.  Virginia Beach is blessed to have a library system that we can all trust treats each person with dignity and respect.  We are so thankful to have such a strong and wise leader in our community and in our club - thank you, Eva, for sharing your story!
 
April 20, 2017
We were honored with two guests, our planned speaker, Randi Moritz, and visitor, Ashley Powell.  
 
Ashley shared a vision of a brighter Detroit through agriculture.  Detroit is filled with food deserts, and through working with Michigan State University, Ashley has devised a plan to help make Detroit the next big agriculture hub of the United States.  Learn more by checking out her book, The Motor City Brick to Farmer Challenge.
 
Randi Moritz was in the Rotary International Cultural Exchange Program when she was 16, the youngest ever selected at the time.  Randi spent a year in the Netherlands, back in the days, as she put it, "when we were only connected through paper" - no phones, no GPS, no internet.  She referred to experience as a "cultural osmosis, an equalizer."  What began with sensory overload - strange food, cigarette smoke, small homes and a language barrier - became an experience that changed her life.  The food became tastier, the smoke thinned, and even the small room she shared with a girl who spoke no English was cozy and she came to know Dutch in no time!  She keeps in touch with her Dutch friends to this day.  Learn more about the Rotary International Cultural Exchange Program by clicking here.
 
April 13, 2017
Members gathered at the new Hilton resort and conference center in downtown Norfolk, The Main.  The Main features a raw bar, Saltine, an Italian restaurant, Varia, and a rooftop beer garden, Grain.  All decorated with art from around the world, this is worth the trip to pay a visit!
 
March 31, 2017
It was an exciting night visiting with the youth residing at the Tidewater Youth Services Crisis Home!  Along with tasty pizza, great company, and a competitive Bingo game, we found ourselves preparing to take cover in a closet with couch cushions!  The storm that tore through Hampton Roads that night left the crisis home unharmed, but many in our region were not so lucky.
 
March 23, 2017
We had the pleasure of visiting one of the "Greenest Buildings in the World" - the Brock Environmental Center!  The center produces 83% more power than it uses.  We learned that, in a typical commercial building, flushing toilets use the most water and overhead lighting uses the most power (more than air conditioning), but not here!  Composting toilets and architectural design to allow the most natural light in are just two features of the Center's commitment to Mother Nature.  Click here to see when public tours are offered - you won't be disappointed!
 
March 9, 2017
With thanks to a lovely presentation by Erin and Perla of the American Red Cross of Coastal Virginia, we learned about what this great organization does both for our region and around the world!  
 
Through Response, Preparedness, and Recovery, some of the services provided include:
 
March 2, 2017
We honored Wayne McCoy and Tony Pirrone as City and School Volunteer of the Year, respectively.  Click here to view additional photos of this event.
 
    
Amy Kurtz, VB Rotary President, Wayne McCoy, Dot Wood, Rotarian             
         
Wayne has served as a Tactical Flight Officer with the Virginia Beach Police Department for many years, helping to keep it one of the safest cities in America.  The city's use of volunteers helps to save its residents $27 million annually.  Wayne has also been a strong supporter of the Special Olympics, and has served as a volunteer coach for 32 years.  He credits his ability to serve our city to the enormous support of his wife, Ginny.  
 
Dan Edwards, Tony Pirrone, VB Schools Employee
 Dan Edwards, VB School Board, Tony Pirrone, Debbie Griffey, Executive Director of VB Schools Fdn
 
Tony Pirrone has volunteered with the Virginia Beach Public Schools for eight years, mentoring students in construction trades, donating up to $20,000 worth of granite countertops and cabinets annually, and reviewing grants for the school's foundation.  The public schools system benefits from over 20,000 volunteers each year across its 85 schools and almost 70,000 students.  Tony also volunteers with the Virginia Beach Rescue Squad, serving the emergency medical services (EMS) and as an instructor.  Tony has run 7 marathons and many more half marathons, and credits a post-marathon cardiac arrest with his drive to serve the community.  He points out the importance of serving our younger generation in order to make a better world for us all.
 
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