Sunday, January 29, 2012

Warwick Rotary Club’s support for New Generations

On behalf of Jim Probsdorfer

Rotary International – a 1.2M member service organization – has encouraged its 34,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide to adopt projects that develop today’s youth so that they can become tomorrow’s leaders.  To that end, Rotary’s fifth avenue of service – New Generations – is focused on serving youth through a variety of programs.

Since its creation in February, 1945, the Warwick Rotary Club (WRC) of Newport News has supported New Generations projects in our community.  In fact, the first club project in 1945, was to raise $3,000 (a pretty good sum of money in those days) in three weeks to provide uniforms for the Warwick High School Band.  And a second project, in early 1946, collected another $2,000 for books and research periodicals for the Warwick High School Library.
Ever since, WRC has been on the forefront of working with our community’s youth.  From reading to third graders at Sedgefield Elementary School for over twenty years to teaching business principles to Miss Rose’s sixth graders at Gildersleeve Middle School, WRC has been interested in promoting literacy.  Two years ago, a special project to provide a children’s activity room at the Pearl Bailey Library was completed.  Mentoring our school children has also been important and last’s year project – a Career Luncheon – involved many of our members, who discussed their professions to 10th graders in the Newport News School system.

Providing scholarships to further one’s education has also been important.  Since the early 60’s, WRC had a student loan fund that provided higher education loans to three or four students each year.  By 1967, $6,500 had been granted to worthy students.  In 1981, the WRC created a scholarship at Christopher Newport College (now University - CNU) in honor of former Club President Keith McMurran to provide a grant each year to a deserving student.  In addition, a scholarship with Menchville and Warwick High Schools was established in 2008 for a student at each school to attend CNU.

Another of Rotary’s important programs is to nurture the ideals of service and leadership at local high schools and colleges.  In support of this, WRC has sponsored ‘Interact Clubs’ at both Warwick and Menchville High Schools and a ‘Rotaract Club’ at CNU.  Each year the diversity and impact of the community service activities of these young adults is a continued source of amazement to our Rotarians.

Internationally, WRC has been interested in promoting peace and goodwill by sponsoring youth exchanges.  For many years, the club has hosted an exchange student for a full academic year in exchange for sending one of our local students abroad.  Exchanges with youngsters from Germany, Romania, Brazil, India, Japan and other countries have benefitted many students, host families and Rotarians.  Last year, Manon Renniger from France was sponsored by the Club.

All in all, the Warwick Rotary Club remains committed to serving youth – New Generations – for many years to come.  It’s an investment that will pay huge dividends in the future!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Starbucks - Let's Create Jobs

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

This morning, I went to Starbucks to buy my Grande Peppermint Mocha - the little treat that I give myself every Saturday to celebrate the end of a good work week. Starbucks, a Lovemark of mine, had an idea to help create jobs for USA by partnering with Opportunity Finance Network to provide financing to community businesses that need help. 

The Starbucks Foundation is donating the first $5,000,000 to launch this project. I encourage you to go to Starbucks, buy your favorite holiday latte, donate $5 and get a wristband to wear proudly as a symbol of your support. Enjoy your coffee!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Angel's Hand Project

Meeting: Monday, September 12th, 2011

Baljit Gill, WRC Community Service Chair and benefactor took the initiative to design Angel's Hand, a project that would become a tradition for the Back to School time of the year.

Baljit's passion for making a difference never ceases to amaze me. From providing education to less fortunate children in India to fighting to stop hunger in the community we live in, he is a true leader who continues to do wonderful things in the world.

Club members joined hands to make school kits (note books, folders, writing papers, pencils, glue, erasers etc.) for elementary students at Sanford Elementary School in Newport News.

Rotarians wrote special messages in the cards to these children. This will help the children of mostly active duty military men who are defending our country and we appreciate their sacrifices for the nation.

This fall, Baljit prepared two more projects to engage our fellow Rotarians and Interactors in the NN Fall Festival and a Bag Lunch project meant to diminish hunger in the community.

Parking Project – Newport News Fall Festival (October 02, 2011)

Rotarians will be working with Menchville High School Interact Club to assist in the parking at Newport News Park on this annual affair. Volunteers will be directing traffic for parking, collecting parking tickets and working with Newport News Park Services during the whole day. Club members will also serve as good role models for the young Interactors.

Bag Lunch Project with Newport News Social Services – October 03, 2011
This is one of our projects directed towards hunger issues in the community. Club Rotarians will lend their services to bag at least 600 food packets for the homeless and needy population of Newport News. Menchville High School Interact club members will join us on this day. Thanks to Doug Shires for his assistance in coordinating this event. We wish him God speed.

If you haven't got a chance to sign up to volunteer for these events, please contact Baljit in the next two weeks.

Message from Brad:

President Page would like you to mark your calendars for a social for the club and spouses/guests at her house on Sunday, October 9 from 4—6pm. Please RSVP Page at by Oct 3.

Have a great week! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

“Everyone matters, everyone has value, and everyone has to be honored”

Meeting: Monday, August 28th, 2011

Paul S. Trible Jr., our guest of honor, represented the Commonwealth of Virginia in the U.S. Senate from 1983 to 1989 and the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 to 1983. Following his term in the Senate, Trible was a Teaching Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In January, 1996, he was appointed to lead CNU.

A leader of rare finesse, Paul Trible implemented academic programs that positioned CNU into the ranks of the most distinguished liberal arts colleges in the nation.

CNU is the youngest of public universities in Virginia, celebrating 50 years today, September 18th. Mr. Trible describes the university as a special place that has the right size (5,000 students) where professors know their students by name and where they can be there for them every step of the way, a school where students are engaged to bring the classroom alive. The campus has expanded due to $500 million of new construction finished since 1992. The marvelous sense of community makes it an attractive place for students providing them with a dynamic learning environment as well as a comfortable, safe and satisfying living experience. No wonder students who live on campus are more successful academically and socially.

“CNU is about leadership, honor, and civil engagement”- Mr.Trible continues. He strongly believes that life is about service and leadership, about making a difference. President’s Leadership Program at CNU was designed specifically for students who want to change the world. The program focuses on leadership skills and includes a variety of special features, including stipends for studying abroad, priority internships, scholarship support and meetings with top leaders.

“Our job is to inspire and motivate and there is nothing that inspires more than beautiful art and architecture” says the president.

To read more about CNU or plan your visit go to

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The World is a Stage

Meeting: Monday, July 11, 2011 

Page Hayhurst, Executive Director of the Virginia Living Museum presents a gift to Jim Bynum, Rotary District Governor during his visit July 11.

Jim Bynum, our new District Governor joined us for a special meeting on July 11th. A man of an extraordinary charisma, he thinks of the world as if it were a stage. "If the show was good, you should be leaving the stage feeling happy", he says.

He presented the Rotary International theme "Reach from Within to Embrace Humanity" and listed the areas to attack this year's theme:
1. Family: good families lead to good neighborhoods, and good neighborhoods build good communities.
2. Continuity: ensuring continuity in all we do is crucial for our success. Ex: polio eradication.
3. Change: in order to follow this year's theme, Rotarians must be open to go after some things and eliminate others.

Mr. Bynum continued his presentation with four small acts where he asked us to create words by using a few letters that he gave us.
Scene 1: ACT: Assist, Commit, Tell It
Scene 2: ONE: Orienting, Nominate, Extend
Scene 3: TWO: Together We're Outstanding
Scene 4: TT: Tell It, Tell it Again

Turns out "you don't have to be a star to be in the show, but if you choose to join Jim's act, you will definitely shine."

Next meeting: August 1st, 6:00 PM
Introducing the monthly service project series at VLM 


Dan Summers, VLM Education Program Director, will be at the August 1 meeting to begin training for the club members at the touch tank as our service component.  We will start with the horseshoe crab!  At future "service" meetings. we will work with other sea creatures there, then program animals behind the scenes and using the telescope.  When trained, club members will be able to work these areas for Rotary events or tours as needed/desired.

It's a monthly service project at VLM from 6 to 6:30PM, as suggested by our President Page and as she says, let's have fun while serving others.

On Monday, we will also be introducing a new member,  Col. Mike Dwyer. 
Looking forward to seeing you all at 6:00PM!

Posted by Cristina and Baljit

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Warwick Rotary Moves to the Virginia Living Museum

May has been a very busy month for the Warwick Rotarians. The club focused on moving to a new location; participated in charitable activities like Run for the Dream 8K and Half Marathon in Williamsburg; inducted a new member; hosted several speakers and worked on developing upcoming programs for this year.

June, 6th- The club moved to the Virginia Living Museum located at 524 J Clyde Morris Boulevard Newport News, VA 23601. 

Jim, Dave, Iza, and Baljit did a tremendous job coordinating the move. Thank you!!

The Board had the first meeting on Monday prior to the main program. We held the meeting outside on VLM's beautiful terrace. As you might already know, the Board has been discussing the option of moving the regular meeting time 30 minutes ahead to run from 6PM to 7PM every Monday. The decision is up to a majority vote of the membership. Please vote by sending Brad an email at
 a) approve the change to 6:00pm b) prefer to meet at old time 6:30pm or c) abstain (either one is fine with me).

Welcome Pjerin!
On May 23rd, we had the opportunity to induct Pjerin Luli into the world's leading service organization of business professionals. Pjerin is a graduate of the MBA Program at the College of William and Mary and currently works as a Product Marketing Manager in the Medical Devices industry. I've known Pjerin for about four years. He has a great sense of humor, very captivating; always willing to help, always expressing an interesting opinion.
The WRC is pleased to have you, Pjerin!

Run for the Dream, May 21st, Williamsburg, VA
WRC has been actively involved in inaugurating Run for the Dream 8K and Half Marathon, an event that benefited An Achievable Dream and The Wounded Warriors Project.
Jim, Dave, Pjerin and Brad served up about 800 beers over 3 hours on Saturday morning for "a group of crazy health nuts" - if you ask Brad.
I ran the 8K, which wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I confess that the medal and the three scoops of ice-cream after the race helped ease the pain. 

Guest Speakers
May 2nd, 2011 
Col. Michael Dwyer spoke to us on his work as a military weatherman, its impact on readiness, and the cooperative efforts that may take place between military and local agencies in case of severe weather conditions.

May 9th, 2011
Nearly 100 years strong- an update on Riverside
Bill Downey CEO of the Riverside Health System honored us with his presence and spoke about how by providing a diversity of services and achieving strong outcomes that continue to improve, Riverside is well positioned for the new Healthcare Reform.
Riverside is focused on:
- Integration - to make information flow more efficient
- Growth - 100 providers, opening a new facility of approximately 100,000 sq feet in Williamsburg, and adding three more PACE programs
- Quality and Safety 

June 6th, 2011
Dave Niebhur - Executive Producer / Managing Director at Man and the Sea Project / Watermen's Museum in Yorktown, VA
Dave entertained us with the Brave Yankee Boys, a Post Colonial song. He spoke about some of Watermen's many challenges (hurricane Isabel), but focused on the interesting programs that they offer such as "Catch of the Day", Special Needs Educational Program, Boat Building, Summer Camp and others. To learn more check out their website

Birthdays in June:
Happy Birthday, Jerry! Jerry Brink- 6/25 

The raffle has not been won in months. Keep playing!!

Have a great weekend and see you all on Monday at 6:30PM at the VLM!

Posted by Cristina.