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!