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Club History - 16-17 Diana Gulatta
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Below is the year of President Diana Gulatta, 2016-2017.  If you would like to go in chronological order, start at the bottom and scroll your way up.




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.



Programs during the month of June included Susan Borland from the Hampton Economic Development Authority, with a snapshot of the Hampton development scene; Jerri Wilson, Legislative Liason for the City of Newport News, with a report on how the legislative session in Richmond affected the City; and Linda Willims, Park Ranger from the Colonial National Historical Park, telling us all about the Battle of Yorktown.



At the close of the 2016-2017 Rotary Year, Dr. John Frantz was honored by being recognized as the Rotarian of the Year for his extraordinary service.



If you have never been to a Rotary International Convention, a glance at the photos above taken in Atlanta will tell you that it really is, well, international.



At the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, the Peninsula Club was well-represented.  Shown here are Pat Resto, DG Diane Hagemann, Mary Ellen Frantz, John Frantz, Drew Hagemann, and Kevin Yeargin.  The only member of the Peninsula contingent not shown here is the photographer, Nhu Quach (Kevin's wife).



Aside from Bryan Kersey shown below, our speakers during the month of May tended to be updaters.  Rebecca Kleinhample of the Virginia Living Museum gave us an update on her museum.  Mike Doucette of Riverside Regional Medical Center gave us an update on the many changes at the hospital.  And Mike Poplawski of the Newport News Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism gave us an update on improvements in the City's parks system.



At our May 10th meeting we heard from Bryan Kersey.  Bryan is a college basketball referee of renown, and as the Peninsula Club found out, he is also a raconteur of renown.  His wide-ranging talk covered coaches, players, the life of a referee of national status, and what it is like to get paid for being yelled at.  Also on May 10 we inducted our newest member, Keith Shockley.



Our meeting topics for the month of April, in addition to the visit to An Achievable Dream Academy, included Laurie Harrison speaking about EVMS and its efforts to reach out to the community, Lisa Wornom-Zahralddin representing the Peninsula Council on Workforce Development, and Steve Kast telling about his new job as head of the Peninsula United Way.



On April 26th DG Diane and President Diana inducted Justin Wynings and Pete Hurst into the club as our newest members.



On April 19th we visited An Achievable Dream Academy, which the Club has been supporting since its inception decades ago.  For more photos and more information, go to our Photo Albums page and click on "A visit to An Achievable Dream."



At the annual Christopher Newport University Scholarship Dinner, shown here are John Frantz, representing the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club; Rosemary Trible; Kierra Perry, Peninsula Rotary Endowed Scholarship recipient; Amber Reese, also a Peninsula Rotary Endowed Scholarship recipient; and Paul Trible, President of CNU.



This year April 4th was the date for the annual Summerville Leadership Conference at Christopher Newport University.  The conference is put on by the CNU Rotaract Club, which is co-sponsored by the Peninsula Rotary Club.  The focus of the conference was corporate responsibility.  Speakers included Dr. Michelle Kekeh and Jamie Edmonds of ODU, Diana Gulotta of Hampton Public Schools, and Jeff Clemons of Old Point National Bank (Diana and Jeff are Rotarians in the Peninsula Club).  44 students attended.  The photo on the left shows Jeff Clemons addressing the group, and the photo on the right shows the four speakers.



In addition to Kierra Perry, shown below, our club program speakers during the month of March included Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult giving us an update on his department, Past District Governor Stephen Beer relating his experiences on a recent Rotary trip to India, and Tiffany Ervin--North Carolina Rotarian, frequent speaker on behalf of Rotary International, and self-proclaimed Rotary Geek, talking about choosing the next generation of Rotarians.



Listening to someone talk about herself is usually boring, but our meeting on March 22nd was an exception to this rule.  Kierra Perry is a senior at Christopher Newport University, and a recipient of the Peninsula Rotary Club's endowed scholarship there.  She talked about living a difficult and precarious life with a rare and untreatable disease, and we Rotarians could see that she was living that life with uplifting spirit.



The 2017 RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) was held over the weekend of February18th through 20th in rural Sussex County.  RYLA aims at developing leadership skills in teenagers.  Above at the left is a panorama of a lot of RYLA teeshirts.  On the right is the Peninsula Club's attendee, Naima Sayani, a junior at Peninsula Catholic High School.



On February 18th, with the docks of the Hampton Yacht Club in the background, we had our Charter Night, the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club.  In the left photograph immediately above, President Diana is shown with two of the Charter Members--Charter President Howard Glenn, and Past President Bob Groome.  In the right photo immediately above are members recognized for having reached higher levels of their Paul Harris Fellowships.



On February 8th we welcomed our newest member, Mike Nelson.  On the left he is pinned by Chris Jones, Rotary Coordinator for Rise against Hunger. On the right are Mike, his wife Gretchen, Chris Jones, sponsor Patrick Tompkins, and District Governor Diane.



Thanks to a District 7600 grant, we were able to donate $5,000 toward the high ropes confidence course at the YMCA's Camp Kekoka.  Shown here are Cassie Leichty, Director of the camp, President Diana, and Danny Carroll, Executive Director of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA.



Three events were notable at the January 18th meeting:  Michael Shapiro of the Newport News Club talked about the "Adopt an Airman" program, member Charlie Edmonson returned after an extended illness, and we met one of our two CNU scholarship recipients, Kierra Perry--a senior majoring in cell biology.



On January 4th, after many weeks of scarce meetings because of holidays and off-site activities, it was good to get back to the normal routine of things--especially with as good a speaker as Howard Hoege of the Mariners' Museum.



On December 21st the Peninsula Rotary Club had its annual bell-ringing day.  In shifts, and from mid-morning into the evening, we rang the bell for the Salvation Army kettles in two locations--at Sam's Club in Newport News, and at Walmart in Hampton.  Above we see, from left, Scott Stolldorf, John Frantz, and Mary Ellen Frantz in Newport News, Richard Blackwell and Jeff Clemons in Hampton, and Pat Resto and Rob Carmines in Newport News.



At our December 14th meeting we were invaded by a group of fifth-graders from Tucker-Capps Fundamental Elementary School--their Select Choir, with some music of the season.  They were obviously trained and well-prepared, and we were greatly entertained.



Our club's annual holiday party was held December 9th at the home of Bill and Amy Ziglar.  Good holiday spirit, good food and drink, good friends, and good fellowship.



November 19th was the date for "The Tennis Ball" in support of An Achievable Dream.  This is the premier event in the Peninsula Rotary Club's year.  At the top is a sampling of some of the Rotarians present.  Below that is the main dining hall, and below the dining hall is the silent auction room.



On November 10th, District 7600 held its annual Foundation Banquet.  Among the activities at the banquet was the giving out of the previous Rotary year's District awards related to The Rotary Foundation.  The Peninsula Club was a big player there.  Five group photos were taken of the representatives of award-winning clubs--and in these five photos, our Pat Resto was front and center in four of them.  We won a District Service Award for the promotion of The Rotary Foundation; we got a Certificate of Appreciation for the financial support of the "End Polio Now" program; another Certificate of Appreciation was given us for our stellar average of $252.97 per capita in donations to The Rotary Foundation's Annual Fund; and we received banners for being a 100 Percent Foundation Giving Club and a 100 Percent Sustaining Member Club.



On November 9th our luncheon took place in the elegant dining room of The Chamberlin, overlooking Fort Monroe.  Long a luxury hotel, and a resting place for presidents and kings, the nine-story building is now a retirement community.  In addition to a delicious meal, we got a talk and a tour.  On the left is the rooftop garden, and on the right is the dining room.


During the September 28th meeting, Jim Probsdorfer, representing the District, presented the club with a $5,000 check, a Rotary District Grant for the building of a climbing and training tower at the YMCA's Camp Kekoka.  Shown here are Kevin Yeargin, Foundation Chair; Danny Carroll, Executive Director of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA; President Diana; and Jim.



The 2016 Rotary 7600 District Conference was held the 23rd through the 25th of September. The photo at the top shows Peninsula Club member Diane Hagemann, the District Governor, formally opening the conference.  The flags behind her are from all of the countries where the District's clubs are working.  John Frantz, in the first of the lower photos, took part in the opening flag ceremony by bringing in the Costa Rican flag.  The center photo is Pat Resto, the Conference Chair; while Diane was presiding, Pat was behind the scenes making everything work.  And on the right, it was no coincidence that more than half of the Sergeant-at-Arms team was from the Peninsula Club.



Winner of multiple journalism awards, veteran sportswriter David Teel was our speaker on September 14th.  His talk was a satisfying collection of evaluations, anecdotes, opinions, facts, and predictions in the world of sports.



On September 7th we had an "after hours" meeting at the Park Lane Tavern in Hampton.  There were casual drinks, casual food, and good fellowship.



July 13th was the date of the official visit to the club by the new District Governor of District 7600, Diane Hagemann.  The club was proud to once again welcome one of their own as District Governor.



Above left is President Diana presenting Immediate Past President Pat with flowers in appreciation of the multitude of awards won during her tenure.  On the right is a display of the awards won.

When the District awards for the Rotary year 2015-2016 were given out, the name of the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club was repeated monotonously.  The above photo shows Pat Resto in the group of club presidents who received the Governor's Circle Award.  Overall, our club received an impressive collection of the awards, including the Governor’s Circle Award, the Outstanding President Award, the Presidential Citation Award-Gold, the Best Club Website Award, the Club Bulletin Award, and the Outstanding Interact Club Award.



On a hot July 7th evening, we had a fun baseball time at a Coastal Plains League game between the Peninsula Pilots and the Wilmington Sharks.  Below left, Debi Waldeck, representing our club, throws out the first ball.  Below right shows War Memorial Stadium, the game, and (in the center foreground) the Peninsula Rotary contingent.  Above are most of the club's attendees, plus a brother-in-law, two sons, and a former member.




Our Installation of Officers party was held in the gracious home of Suki Pierce.  Above, District Governor Gary Chenault assists as soon-to-be District Governor Diane Hagemann swears in Diana Gulotta as the club's President for the Rotary Year 2016-2017.  Below, on the left is Pat getting the coveted "Immediate Past President" pin.  In the center are assembled many of the coming year's Board--Suki Pierce, Kevin Yeargin, Jeff Clemons, Pat Resto, Patrick Tompkins, Cathy Miller, Diana Gulotta, and Ray Spencer.  On the right, Debi Waldeck models her one-of-a-kind Rotary dress.