Henrico County VA

Hermitage student earns Civitan scholarship

Pat Robson (left) of the Greater Richmond Civitan Club with Hermitage High School senior and scholarship recipient Samuel Richardson.
Hermitage High School senior Samuel Richardson, who will graduate next month, plans to help pay his way through his four years at University of Virginia. The Greater Richmond Civitan Club helped him get off to a good start, awarding Richardson its $4,000 scholarship Wednesday night at the Civitan Honor Key Awards Banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Richmond.

Richardson was one of 31 local high school students honored at the banquet but was the only one awarded with the scholarship.

Those who chose the scholarship winner had been impressed with Richardson pledging to put $10,000 of his own money each year to help pay for his tuition, said Pat Robson, secretary of the Greater Richmond Civitan Club and master of ceremonies for the banquet.

“He’s not just riding the family cab,” Robson said.

The pledge fit well with the words of the banquet’s guest speaker, Nora Raum, who works as a part-time newscaster for NPR and attorney. She joked that she should become a used-car saleswoman to “hit the trifecta of jobs with a bad public perception.”

During her speech, Raum spoke about her unusual path through education and preached the importance of avoiding large student loans, adding that it’s better to take eight years to finish college with no debt than to do so in four years with a lot of debt.

Richardson plans to earn his degree at UVA without student loans, Robson said.

Richardson said he felt lucky and blessed after winning the scholarship. He thought his commitment to public service may have set him apart to the other candidates. He plans to spend some time in the Army as an officer after college.

Among many activities, Richardson is an Eagle Scout, plays first chair trombone in his high school marching band and played volleyball and cross country, he said. He has a 4.84 GPA, though he said others at Hermitage had higher GPAs.

He plans to pursue a double major at UVA, with one of his majors being Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures.

The Honor Key Awards, which were given to all 31 students, have existed since the World War II era, Robson said. Those honored must have shown excellence in scholarship, sportsmanship and leadership, he said.

Five other Henrico County students – Alexander Althoff (Deep Run HS), Lakshmi Ravindra (Henrico HS), Aubrey Temple (Highland Springs HS), Joseph DiTrapani (J.R. Tucker HS) and Alpha Mansaray (Varina HS) – were among the 31 honored at the banquet.

The Greater Richmond Civitan Club is part of the larger Civitan International, an organization of volunteer service clubs with chapters in 25 countries, Robson said. The club was started in 1917 in Birmingham, Ala., and places a special emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities.
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Brews and bites done right

Urban Tavern’s big, bold themes impress

The Urban Tavern opened in August, replacing the former Shackelford’s space at 10498 Ridgefield Parkway in Short Pump. Because of local and longtime devotion to Shackleford’s, Urban Tavern has some big shoes to fill.

Without any background information, I headed to the restaurant for dinner on a Wednesday night, two months after its opening.

On a perfect fall evening, four out of eight outdoor tables were taken, giving the impression that the restaurant was busier than it was. On the inside, a couple tables were taken, and a few folks were seated at the bar. > Read more.

A terrible, horrible movie. . . that’s actually pretty good

‘Alexander’ provides uncomplicated family fun
It’s not surprising in the least that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day doesn’t much resemble the book it’s based upon.

Judith Viorst’s 1972 picture book isn’t exactly overflowing with movie-worthy material. Boy has bad day. Boy is informed that everyone has bad days sometimes. Then, the back cover.

In the film, the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad-ness is blown up to more extreme size. Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) has a bum day every day, while the rest of his family (Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey) exist in a constant bubble of perfection and cheery optimism – to the point that the family is so wrapped up in their own success that Alexander’s being ignored.

So on the eve of his 12th birthday, Alexander makes a wish: just once, he’d like his family to see things from his perspective; to experience the crushing disappointment of one of those no good, very bad days. Once he has blown out the candle on his pre-birthday ice cream sundae, his family’s fate is sealed: one full day of crippling disasters for all of them. > Read more.

Deep Run HS plans fall musical

Tickets for Deep Run High School’s fall musical production – Aida – will go on sale Nov. 3. The Elton John-Tim Rice pop opera, inspired by Verdi’s classic opera, tells the story of enslaved Nubian princess Aida, who falls for captain of the guard Radames, who is betrothed to the Egyptian princess.

Performances will be held Nov. 13-15 at 7 p.m. each day. > Read more.

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