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Club History - 20-21 Mike Nelson
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Below is the year of President Mike Nelson, 2020-2021.  If you would like to go in chronological order, start at the bottom and scroll your way up.



The Club's change of leadership took place on June 30th.  Past District Governor Diane Hagemann swore in President Adam Duncan, and District Area Governor Bill Ziglar swore in the officers and board of directors as a group.



The Peninsula Club, in partnership with the Warwick at City Center Rotary Club and the Heredia (Costa Rica) Rotary Club, is doing an international District Grant to help school children in Costa Rica.  School there is still virtual, and our project is providing internet access to 20 families that could not otherwise afford the cost.  On the left is a computer screen during a Zoom meeting between the Peninsula Club and the Heredia Club, planning the project.  In the center is a sample WIFI "hot spot" device being held up to his computer camera by Jose Rodriguez of the Heredia Club.  On the right are some Costa Rican school children.



On June 23rd Bill Ziglar presided at the club meeting (featuring Kati McCarter of the Chesapeake Boy Foundation).  This was Bill's last official act as unofficial acting president in the absence of Mike Nelson.



On June 14th a group from the Peninsula Club helped to celebrate, ribbon-cut, and tour the new house at 2102 Madison Avenue in Newport News--the first time multiple Rotary clubs came together to sponsor and help build a "Habitat for Humanity" house.



On Friday evening, June 11th, the Warwick at City Center Club hosted us for a two-club social occasion.  The venue was the Virginia Living Museum.  The photo at the top is a wide-angle view of the party; below it is the Peninula contingent present.



In June the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club returned to in-person meetings, or as some call them, "real" meetings.  This return to normalcy was warmly welcomed by all.



On a fine April Saturday the Peninsula Club and the CNU Rotaract Club upgraded the landscaping around the Newport News Public Art Foundation's "Hammer Tribute" sculpture in Oyster Point.



Beginning the new calendar year, presenters during January and February included novelist Ron Peterson describing a true crime story; Ha Koehler, Interim Communications Manager for the HRBY expansion project; Bill Ermatinger, Executive Vice President and Chief HR officer for Huntington Ingalls, explaining how the shipyard dealt with the pandemic; former member and former pilot Greg Richardson explaining how to fly a jet; District Foundation Chair Stephen Beer describing a recent international experience; Yared Lemjma, a 2020 graduate of the Duke/UNC Rotary Peace Center; Doreen Kopacz, Port Development Administrator for Newport News, speaking about the Seafood Industrial Park; and Kevin Otey, CEO of the Hampton Roads Community Action Program.



Even a global pandemic can't keep the Peninsula Club from ringing the bell for a day for The Salvation Army kettle drive.  Above, hiding behind the masks, on the left are Susan Wolf and Bill Blanchard, and on the right Bill Ziglar and Karanita Fuller.



During December our Zoom presenters included Dr. Cynthia Romero from EVMS discussing the effect of COVID 19 on mental health, Dr. William Irwin talking about robotic surgery, and a trio from An Achievable Dream giving us a report on the just-completed Tennis Ball: Abbie Schaefer, Lee Vreeland, and Brittany Lavalleur.

The Tennis Ball, an annual event in support of An Achievable Dream, is the Peninsula Rotary Club's most important social event and most important fund-raising event.  This year (no surprise!) it was a virtual event.  Nevertheless it appears to have been a success, with plenty of sponsorships and plenty of bidding on the auction items.  The sponsorships shown above are directly connected to club members.  To find out more about the Tennis Ball, click here.  To see the 2020 video from An Achievable Dream praising our Rotary Club, click here.



Several Rotary Clubs participated in a work day for the "Rotary House" being constructed for Habitat for Humanity.  Mike Nelson and Danny Carroll represented our club this time.



On October 7th in the center of Styron Square, the club's board of directors held its first non-virtual meeting for quite a while.  It was a beautiful, crisp fall morning, and while conducting the club's business we all enjoyed the weather and each others' company.



During September, October, and November, Abbie Schaefer from An Achievable Dream spoke about the upcoming Tennis Ball; we heard from Dr. Angela Springer, CNU's Assistant to the President for Equity and Engagement; Jason Carney, an English Department lecturer at CNU, spoke about the phenomenon of pulp fiction; we had Scott Cash, Sports Director for 13News; Nancy Bynum came to us from the YMCA; Shel Douglas, Grants Chair for District 7600, talked about her many international projects; and Diane Gordon, also with the District, spoke about public image.



On September 19th the Club carried out a project in Newport News Park to refine the landscaping for the latest sculpture installed by the Newport News Public Art Foundation, "Man and Crocodile" by Girolamo Ciulla.  We prepared the surrounding soil and laid sod to establish an immediate, neatly trimmed frame.  Afterwards, we chatted while staying properly social distanced.





During July and August, Chris Jones described the active Rotarian; Dr. Gregory DeCinque gave us an update on TNCC; District Governor Judy Cocherell paid us an official visit; Robert Gifford, President of the Heredia Rotary Club in Costa Rica, talked about the current state of computer technology; Kevin and Lisa Wilkins told their own story about serious cases of COVID-19; and friend-of-the-club John Quarstein talked about the Spanish influenza in 1918.