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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

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

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