‘Twas the night before Henrico’s Christmas
(Written by Henrico County Public Relations & Media Services Director Tamra McKinney and presented by County Manager Virgil Hazelett during the Henrico Business Leaders' breakfast meeting Dec. 12.)
‘Twas the night before Christmas,
the full moon was bright,
I hadn’t slept much the previous night.
I kept thinking about the budget spreadsheet,
And the reality that the ends did not meet.
The staff was exhausted but kept up the pace,
When trying to put this budget in place.
We knew we would solve it, someway or somehow,
But we’d hoped this recession would be over by now.
I kept thinking about better days gone by,
When the market was up and earnings were high.
Real estate was a solid investment back then,
And I believe in my heart it will be again.
All of us here now are in the same boat,
The bottom line is we either sink or we float.
With the right combination of good luck and skill,
We’ll get through this together, I know that we will.
In Henrico we have good reason to boast,
With a business community stronger than most.
These times have been tough, but the things that you’ve done
In this year alone are second to none.
SnagAJob! Fareva! Wells Fargo! PPD!
Bank of America! QTS! Capital One and G.E.!
You’ve all added jobs, weren’t afraid to expand,
And you gave our economy a big helping hand.
Our small businesses play an essential role too,
The strength of Henrico’s due largely to you.
We’re one solid county, and our history is long,
Four-hundred and counting, we’re old but we’re strong.
In August more good news came our way,
When our bond rating was reaffirmed triple, triple-A.
Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and of course Fitch,
All agreed we belonged in this elite niche.
Henrico’s not really in such a bad place,
Considering what other localities face.
The services you expect, we’ll continue to give,
To make this the best place to work and to live.
Looking at the big picture made me smile,
And that hadn’t happened for quite a while.
Relatively speaking, everything was really all right,
So I had one final call to make that night.
I grabbed my phone and punched the number in quick,
His voice mail picked up, he said “I’m not here,
It’s Christmas Eve and I’m busy, call back next year!”
“Santa, it’s Virgil,” I said after the tone,
“If you’re there, please, pick up the phone.”
With that, the phone beeped once again and went dead,
So I sent him an instant text message instead.
“Santa, it’s me again, I just wanted to say,
Merry Christmas from all of us in Henrico, V-A.”
Within moments I received a reply from S. Claus,
And I anxiously read every word without pause.
“Virgil bear with me, I’m trying to fly,
It’s not easy to text from a sleigh in the sky.
I’m glad you’ve come to your senses and see
That Henrico’s the best place in the world you could be!”
As I see all of your faces today in this crowd,
I am very humbled, and so very proud.
And I hope you all know I am truly sincere,
When I say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Dr. Even Alexander, a New York Times best-selling author who has been featured on Oprah and Dr. Oz, was in town last week to promote his June 27 talk, "Proof of Heaven," at Glen Allen High School.
Alexander (pictured, at right, while Unity of Bon Air church member Harry Simmons interviews him) has written about what he considers to be his journey through the afterlife.
Tickets to this month's event are $25 and will support the new Bon Secours Hospice House being built later this year. > Read more.
The Innsbrook Rotary Club, which is celebrating its 25th year in 2015, has completed a number of volunteer projects this year and raised thousands of dollars for various organizations through three events.
The club's annual rose sale, benefit for youth live auction and Virginia Fire Games competition, combined with individual and corporate donations, have raised nearly $70,000 – money that the club contributes back to the community.
FeedMore is the beneficiary of the club's 25th anniversary project, which provides refrigerated trailers to be used for the distribution of food throughout Central Virginia. > Read more.
Chef Bryan Voltaggio will host a special three-course dinner event July 21-22 at his Willow Lawn Family Meal restaurant. The menu will consist of his favorite dishes and offer diners the chance to purchase a signed copy of his newly released book, HOME.
Voltaggio will attend and cook at each dinner, as well as share stories that inspired recipes for the book. > Read more.
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