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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

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

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Cultural Arts Center announces 2014 fall class schedule

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is now registering participants for its fall 2014 schedule of classes.

The center will offer more than 100 classes for children and adults, covering topicssuch as culinary arts, fiber arts, visual and performance arts and more. Instruction is structured to appeal to a wide range of abilities, from beginners to experts of all ages. Class sizes are kept small to ensure maximum benefit for participants with generally no more than 15 students. > Read more.

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