Henrico County VA

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

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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