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.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Two of our sponsored interact clubs (Warwick and Menchville High Schools) joined hands with club Rotarians (Jim Probsdorfer and Baljit Gill)  to pack 6000 meals for the needy in Honduras.  The event was held on 04/30/11 at Warwick High School Cafetaria.  There were 17 interactors, 4 teachers (Interact club mentors) and 2 Warwick Rotary club members.   Warwick High School interactors raised $1000 and Menchville High School interactors raised $500 to purchase the necessary food to pack.  Each meal is to provide 250 calories.   It had the necessary vitamins source, protein and carbohydrates to meet the daily food allowance for one person.   Food material was purchased from mid west area of USA.  

It was  amazing to see the young Interact Club members at work in the service of others.  They opted for this service rather than enjoy the beautiful spring day outside.  We are pleased to see the spirit of Rotary in these youngsters.  There was a talk of having a bigger event next year when we will have the opportunity to involve more club Rotarians, other families and students from respective High Schools.

It's a humble way to shape the world and foster world peace.

In Service of Rotary,
Baljit Gill

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters

Meeting: Monday, April 18, 2011

Iza Cieszynski, Dave Fisher, John Mattern and Jim Probsdorfer participated in the JRA Extreme Stream Makeover project and as you can see from the pictures below, they had a great time.

For those who couldn't attend, this is a volunteer group that designs and implements projects to support the clean-up, and long-term health of the James river watershed. Among other things, this includes rain gardens, rain barrels, and landscaping modifications that help buffer run-off into our streams.
- End Polio Baseball Game on July 30th, DC Nationals vs. NY Mets at 7:05 PM, Nationals Park, $30. If you are interested, contact chair Jerry Fields at or 757-220-2692. Deadline is June 30th.

- Run for the Dream Half Marathon and 8K, May 21- 22 benefits An Achievable Dream and Wounded Warriors If interested in volunteering or participating, please register online If you have questions, please email me or Brad Sawatzky

On Monday, our guest, Sarah Claassen talked to us about Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters and what makes this organization so special. CHKD provides care to all children with or without insurance. The King’s Daughters, founders of CHKD, lead the way among hundreds of friends providing volunteerism, advocacy and fund raising, including our ever-popular thrift stores in every corner of the region.

Their main campus is located in Norfolk, but they also have three outpatient centers (Newport News, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake) and 29 locations for Pediatric Practices. School programs, aqua therapy, pastoral services are only a few of the programs CHKD provides.

"A child who needs a cardiologist is treated like a child who needs a cardiologist and not like a regular patient because symptoms manifest very differently in children" said Sarah. They treat children from 0-21 years old, so they need a lot of stuff in many different sizes.

CHKD focuses on providing the care that children need and this commitment manifests in everything that they do from the services and programs they provide to the way the hospital is designed. Therefore, if you ever wondered why there are glass windows at every door, Sarah has the answer: kids get scared easily and want to know what is on the other side.

 Sarah shared a few stories with us. One of them was about Sophie, a six years old girl diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The one thing that Sophie wanted was a dog. Through the therapy program, CHKD made sure that Sophie had a dog at her bed every day. This simple thing put a smile on her face every day. Unfortunately, Sophie lost the battle.. Her parents ended up getting the dog she always wanted and trained it to help support other kids.

Impressive stories, many of them successful which reminded us that miracles do happen.

Happy Easter everyone!

Looking forward to seeing you next week.

District Assembly - Rotary District 7600

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Reach Within to Embrace Humanity

Rotary District Assembly, Tidewater Community College- New Portsmouth Campus

Baljit, Jim and I attended the District Assembly last week. We enjoyed learning from Jim Bynum (District Governor -elect); Chuck Arnason (District Governor- nominee Designate); Kenneth I. Wright (Mayor, City of Portsmouth) who encouraged us to be the change we want to see in the world; Dr. Deborah DiCroce (President, Tidewater Community College); Jayne Sullivan (District Governor); Kalyan Banerjee (Rotary International President - elect); Jim Pierce (past District Governor); Bill Pollard (District Rotary Foundation Chair), Jim Probsdorfer (terrific presentation Jim!) and many others.

The program started with a Presentation of Colors given by the Girl Scouts of America; continued with a set of presentations on America, Pledge & Invocation, Reach Within to Embrace Humanity, Building Community, Bridging Continents, this year's Group Study Exchange Team and other humanitarian themes. 

The foundation's goals for this year:
1. Increase service above self
2. Increase Rotary public image
3. Presidential citation
4. Increase membership
5. Increase foundation and polio giving

Following this set of presentations, the participants attended breakout sessions to learn more about their area of expertise and share best practices with fellow Rotarians. I thought the sessions were good. I liked the fact that we were given an opportunity to meet others with similar challenges and discuss ways to help us grow as an organization.

The event ended with an inspirational message to remind us that we joined Rotary to serve our community, to serve the world, and to serve our people.


-Polio Challenge Grant fundraisers (ongoing) present End Polio Baseball Game on July 30th, DC Nationals vs. NY Mets at 7:05 PM, Nationals Park, $30. If you are interested, contact chair Jerry Fields at or 757-220-2692

- Foundation & Membership Workshop: August 13, District Office, Williamsburg

- Foundation Banquet- November 16th, Colonial Heritage, Williamsburg

Monday, April 18, 2011

The mission of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Meeting: Monday, April 11 2011

Everett Browning, former President of the 100 Black Men of the Virginia Peninsula accepted our invitation to tell us about the mission and activities of this organization.

The 100 Black Men of America is headquartered in Atlanta and has four international chapters. Their purpose is to show young people that education gives you the power to have options in life. As a result, mentoring plays a special role because through mentoring they encourage young people to get involved in the community, be good citizens, and help their peers. 

1. Mentoring- encourages them to believe in education, develop a plan for success, always go out and surround yourself with people who share the same vision with you
2. Education- they provide scholarships for college 
3. Health & Wellness- 150 people get medical exams locally every year
4. Economical- teaches them to pay themselves first, build assets in their life and stay away from liabilities. Within the program, students put together a portfolio plan for their families.

The mission of 100 Black Men of the Virginia Peninsula was founded in 1991. Achievable Dream and Toys for Tots are two of the organizations they collaborate with. Their programs are focused on mentoring, career, health (swimming lessons) placing an emphasis on re-stabilizing families within the community.

Hamilton: the WRC raised $1,200 through brackets last month. Great job!!
Upcoming golf tournament: June 21st at 10:00. 

Raffle: we all tried but none of us won. Keep on buying tickets!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Newport News Public Library System

Meeting: Monday, April 4, 2011

Hello fellow Rotarians,

This week we had the opportunity to listen to Iza giving a very interesting presentation on the Newport News Public Library System. Did you know that the Newport News Public Library System consists of four full libraries and more? Did you know that by signing up for a library card you get access to all the library services and programs? They provide books, books on CD, eAudiobooks, music on CD, DVDs, playaways, fully equipped computers (software, printers, fax service etc.) plus other services such as research assistance, meeting rooms, job-seeking assistance, special collections. Did I mention that all these goodies are FREE?

The library also offers a set of free classes and programs to support children, teens, and adults in their personal development. Basic computer skills, using laptops, resume writing, job-seeking workshops, reading programs, crafts are just a few of the programs they provide to promote the growth of a well educated community. 

The Newport News Public Library is also available online at

1. Upcoming presentation on how to use LinkedIn- details TBD
2. WRC to participate in Extreme Stream Makeover Service Project in Denbigh from 1–4:30pm on April 15.  Contact Brian Caro for details to and/or to sign up.

Reminder: there is a board meeting on Monday, April 11 at 5:15PM

Raffle: nobody won this week. Keep playing!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Surry Nuclear Plant. Nuclear Generation at Dominion Power.Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Events.

Meeting: Monday, March 28, 2011

Craig T. Olsen with Dominion Generation honored us with his presence to talk about the recent tragedy in Japan. He explained the sequence of events at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. 

There are two types of reactor designs: boiling water reactors and pressurized water reactors. All the reactors in the US are either BWR or PWR. Fukushima Daiichi is a GE boiling water reactor, whereas the Dominion sites are Westinghouse & Combusting Engrg Pressurized Water Reactors. 
Japan has 54 operating nuclear reactors, which is half of the nuclear power that the United States has.

The earthquake is Japan had a magnitude of 9.0. The unprecedented quake created a tsunami greater than 14 meters (approximately 46 feet) above the sea level. Despite the incredible force, the Fukushima emergency response systems operated as planned immediately after the earthquake. It was the subsequent tsunami that put the stations' backup power out of commission and led to the current circumstances. 

The tsunami was larger than what the plant was designed for, so it took out all multiple sets of the backup emergency diesel generators. Reactor operators were able to utilize emergency battery power to provide power for cooling the core for 8 hours. Offsite power could not be restored and delays occurred obtaining and connecting portable generators. 

Reactor temperatures increased and water levels in the reactor decreased, eventually uncovering and overheating the core. The metal-water reactions in the reactor produced hydrogen which was most likely ignited by a spark.

Further, Mr. Olsen gave us a technical overview of the source of radioactive material, hydrogen detonation, and the source of hydrogen, along with Fukushima mitigation actions.

The potential radiation impact on the United States is not considered to be serious."The annual dose from this radiation level is equivalent to the dose from eating less than 4 percent of a banana – assuming you could slice it that small."- says Mr. Olsen.

Dominion reacted immediately to the tragedy in Japan by offering equipment, material and knowledge from Millstone Unit 1 to the Japanese nuclear industry. As far as Dominion safety measures are concerned, procedures are in place to respond to events including abnormal operating procedures, emergency operating procedures, and severe accident management guidelines. Dominion demonstrates the highest levels of safety and reliability in the operation of its nuclear power plants.

On Monday, we had three guests: Pjerin Luli with Dilon Diagnostics, Chris Morello from the Newport News Development Department and John Leyden from the Warwick High School. It was great to have you and we hope to see you soon.

The raffle has not been won in weeks. They say that the more tickets you buy, the more chances you have to win big, so don't be shy on Monday! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

United States Air Force: Mission, Core Values, Capabilities

Meeting: Monday, March 21, 2011

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Warwick Rotary Club hosted a very inspirational speaker last night. Colonel Matthew H. Molloy is responsible for a wing composed of two groups and eight squadrons, including two F-22A fighter squadrons; holds four Masters degrees; has won nine major awards and distinctions and is a command pilot with more than 3,100 flying hours in the F-15 and F-22. 

The mission of United States Air Force is to "fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace."
US Air Force core values:
1. Integrity first
2. Service before self
3. Excellence in all we do

Col. Malloy recited part of the Airmen's Creed before he presented us the Air Force main capabilities: global vigilance, global reach, and global power.

The F-22 Raptor fascinated me (see a demo here The Raptor is an amazing fighter airplane that flies at 800 KCAS and uses stealth technology.

If you choose to remember five things about the Raptor, please remember these: Precision, Stealth, Super Cruise, Precision Attack, and Integrated Avionics.

Page ran the meeting last night. We had four guests- thank you for visiting and we hope to see you again soon. 


-  The move to the Virginia Living Museum has been approved. Our first meeting at the VLM will be on June 6th.
- April 2nd: Terpsichorean (dance group) from Hampton University invited us to see them dancing and to enjoy a concert. We will meet for dinner before the event. Terri will send out details soon. 
Richard Summerville Leadership Conference took place last Tuesday. According to Terri, the event was a huge success 
- Extreme Stream Makeover: we need 10 volunteers. Please email Cleon if you are interested

Colleen Belladonna visited our club as part of her goal to visit 200 clubs in 400 days. WRC was #183. Thank you for your donations to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Next meeting: Monday, March 28-  Jerry Bischof, the site Vice President for Surry Power Station will discuss the Surry plant and nuclear generation at Dominion Power.

Protecting America's Founding River

Meeting: Monday- March 14, 2011
I hope that everyone had a great time at our social event on Sunday. Thank you for organizing this event, Hamilton!

- The club has 20 tickets to Terpsichorean (dance group & concert) on April 2nd at 7:00 PM. Let's take advantage of this opportunity to meet for dinner and enjoy a fun program. 
- The club has a blog and a LinkedIn page. Please use them both to increase awareness of our efforts and to the level of involvement in our club.

Brian Lewis with the James River Association talked about their role in preserving a scenic beauty, drinking water, and quality of life. Their role is to engage people and educate them to maintain our beautiful surroundings in a good state.
JRA Programs include:
1. Education and Outreach- developing next generation of James River guardians
2. James River Keeper- their job is to be eyes and ears for the river
3. River Advocacy- serves as a voice for the river on important issues
4. Waterfront Restoration: Extreme Stream Makeover volunteer group that designs and implements projects to support the clean-up, and long-term health of the James river watershed. WE NEED 10 VOLUNTEERS so we can be assigned a project of our own. Email Cleon for details.

They commit to take care of these projects for one year. After one year, they have to rely on volunteers to keep maintaining these sites.

For more information visit

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Water for People

February 28, 2011- The Warwick Rotary Club met at the Virginia Living Museum for a test run of the proposed new venue for the club.

Hamilton announced the Warwick Rotary Club March Madness Fundraiser. Cost: $25 per bracket and multiple brackets are allowed. 
1. Go to<>
2. Go to Fantasy Sports.
3. On the right side of the page click the sign up button under tournament pick'em
4. Select join a group.
5. Group ID is 12676
6. Password is 4waytest
7. Create bracket.

Hamilton is happy to help those who can not sign up including paper brackets for those less computer savvy.  Submit bracket to Hamilton Riley by 10am on March 17th to ensure that you are included in the scoring.

Chris Pennant honored our invitation to speak about the Water for People program ( Originally from Jamaica, Chris recognizes the importance of having access to safe water as it provides people means to have a human, decent life. "Every 35 seconds a child dies because of a water related disease. No child should die because they don't have proper water to drink or for lack of sanitation. " said Chris. Water for People supports the development of locally sustainable drinking water resources, sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs in developing countries. Read more about WFP's economic development solutions at

Next meeting: March 14th at 6:30 PM - Brian Lewis will be giving the JRA - Extreme Stream Makeover Project presentation.