Mighty Pen kicking off new sessions

The Mighty Pen Project – a university-level class designed to teach military veterans how to best write the stories of their experiences – has opened the application process in order to fill two upcoming classes. One class will run from Jan. 20 through Mar. 23, while the other will be held from Apr. 13 through Jun. 15. Registration is now available for both of these classes.

The project is sponsored by the Virginia War Memorial. Previous classes have included veterans of conflicts and wars in Europe, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Chronicling war memories is healing; learning the mechanics is rewarding. Sharing the memories with combat veterans and family members guarantees mutual growth,” said Malik Hodari, a veteran of both the Vietnam War and the Mighty Pen’s first session. “War is the same in every age. The politics of war effect the public perception but soldiers and their families have the same experience. MPP is a gift to military vets and the public alike.”

The program’s goal is to provide participants with more writing tools, techniques, practice and confidence than they had when they started the program. Participants will find themselves in a dedicated, like-minded community to help draw them through the writing process. At the conclusion of the training, they are encouraged to submit their efforts to the Virginia War Memorial for archiving.

Virginia native and best-selling author David L. Robbins founded the Mighty Pen and served as the instructor for the inaugural class. Robbins is slated to teach the session that begins in January. Other instructors have included professors from both Virginia Commonwealth University and the College of William and Mary.

"The MPP provides an avenue to document the dynamics of combat in a way that compels the reader to feel the experience as it occurred,” noted Terry Ruhle, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, who served in Vietnam and was part of the most recent MPP class. “That experience is like none other, and the MPP allows the writer to release the inner sanctuary of memories in a manner that is beneficial and healing to both writer and reader.”

The classes are 10 weeks in duration. Sessions are held one night per week and run for approximately three hours each. Students are expected to dedicate time away from class in order to put lessons into operation in writing their respective stories.

"The Mighty Pen Project has given me a tremendous amount of motivation in working towards telling the stories of my experiences and those of my fellow Marines," said Chip Lauterbach, who saw significant combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan. "Combat unites men, bonds them, and when it's over we're supposed to just scatter to the four corners of the country and resume our normal lives.

“The Mighty Pen Project has given me the tools necessary to tell those stories so that my brothers in the Marine Corps will always have a place for their names in the history of our beloved Corps."

Applications for the free class are being accepted at http://www.VaWarMemorial.org.
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Challenger Day will get students with disabilities onto the field


Students from 22 Henrico County elementary schools will take to the baseball field Oct. 18 and learn how to field, hit and run the bases. The students will take part in Challenger Day, an annual event at the Tuckahoe Park Baseball Complex that introduces students with significant disabilities to the fundamentals of baseball. The students will also enjoy games, an art project, roaming mascots and a picnic lunch. > Read more.

Business in brief


Eisenman & Associates, Inc. employee Tracie Grady recently was named the 2017 Virginia Business Meeting Planner of the Year. Grady was chosen by a committee of industry leaders among 19 nominees. The award is a partnership between Virginia Business magazine and the Virginia Society of Association Executives. Its goal is to recognize the unsung hero of the association, non-profit, and business world, the professional meeting planner. Grady works with clients in a number of areas, including membership management, publication design, membership directories and convention/tradeshow programs. She has worked in the association industry, primarily focused on meeting planning, for more than 20 years. She is a graduate of VCU. Eisenman & Associates, Inc. is an association management and meetings consulting company. > Read more.

Lakewood to break ground on $64M expansion


A senior community in Henrico's Far West End is planning a massive expansion project.

Lakewood, located on Lauderdale Drive, will break ground on the project Oct. 19 during a celebration that also will commemorate the community's 40th anniversary. > Read more.

Henrico to hold Oct. 19 workshop on Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill Study


The Henrico County Planning Department will hold a workshop Thursday, Oct. 19 for residents and other members of the public to provide additional input for a study of the Route 5 corridor and Marion Hill areas.

The workshop will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at John Rolfe Middle School, 6901 Messer Road. The meeting will include an overview of community input received so far and an explanation of how it is reflected in the study’s draft goals and objectives. > Read more.

Nominations open for REB awards for principals


Nominations are open for the 2017-18 REB Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership, The Community Foundation’s yearly awards that identify, recognize and support leadership excellence in the Richmond area.

Honorees receive an unrestricted $7,500 cash grant, and $7,500 to be used for school initiatives. Nominees can be principals from public schools in Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover counties and the city of Richmond who have served in their current positions for at least three years. > Read more.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

October 2017
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The Race to Cure Sarcoma Richmond, a 5K walk/run organized by the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA), will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dorey Park. Proceeds will raise both awareness and resources for sarcoma research nationally through the SFA and locally through the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center. On-site registration is $40. For details, visit http://tinyurl.com/RaceToCureSarcoma. Full text

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