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VHBG names new president

The Board of Governors of Virginia Home for Boys and Girls (VHBG) recently named Claiborne S. Mason (pictured) to serve as president. She began her tenure Aug. 6.

Mason, 52, is the owner of the strategic planning and marketing firm C.S. Mason Consulting and most recently served as interim chief executive officer of United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg.

“I’m inspired by people who work at nonprofits,” Mason said. “In my roles on various boards and my consulting business it’s always been gratifying to be a part of the incredible work that happens in the nonprofit community.”

Mason began her work in the Richmond nonprofit community 15 years ago when she volunteered to serve on the marketing committee for United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg. She led multiple initiatives and joined the Board of Directors in 1997 before her stint as interim CEO.

“Claiborne’s many years of volunteer service and consulting experience within the local nonprofit community, her recent leadership of United Way, and her business background make her the ideal person to lead this organization,” said Thomas J. Dillon, III, VHBG Board Chair and attorney with Hirschler Fleischer. “She brings a unique perspective on the needs and challenges of nonprofit organizations, and a passion to serve the children and families of our community,” said Dillon.

Mason succeeds former president Chris Schultz, who left the organization in 2011. Since then, a search committee of the board, co-chaired by VHBG Board members Austin Brockenbrough, III and Kathleen Luke conducted an extensive search to fill the President’s role.

“The VHBG Board of Governors charged the search committee with finding a leader who could steer the organization strategically through a time of rapidly changing conditions in the human services arena. It was imperative that we find someone who has the skills and experience to successfully position us for future success,” said Brockenbrough, founding partner of investment firm Lowe Brockenbrough & Co., Inc. “With Claiborne at the helm, we are confident that VHBG and its Board of Governors will be well positioned to effectively build on our legacy of providing an environment of strength and hope, where children and families are empowered to greater success.”

Mason serves on the Board of Directors for Gateway Homes, which provides a residential treatment program for adults with mental illness who are striving for independence.

“It’s always rewarding to be a part of critical programs that strengthen our community,” she said.

Her passion for nonprofits is even part of her children’s lives. Her oldest daughter is interning at the local nonprofit Higher Achievement.

Since 1846, VHBG has has provided permanent family for children in the Central Virginia area. VHBG is the only site in Virginia certified by the International Teaching-Family Association.


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

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.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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