Club News

Scholarship Recognition – June 9, 2020

The Kiwanis Club of Harrisonburg is proud to have awarded scholarships to the following Seniors from Harrisonburg High School in 2020.

Carly Corso                    Jenine Hamdan

Alice McNett                 Aween Mohammed

Grace Miller                   Ashley Sanchez-Aguilar

Rita Toto                        Sheila Escalante-Lopez

Tessa Lohnes                  Katherine Menjivar

Tucker McGrath             Melve Mwaka

Nayelis Pluma-Ferrer     Leontina Rexha


The following article appeared in the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record on June 2, 2020, as submitted by club member Dennis Baugh

MAJOR DONATION TO KIWANIS CLUB FOR SCHOLARSHIPS

A phone call in January 2020 started a very surprising adventure for the Kiwanis Club of Harrisonburg.  Keith Spitzer contacted Dennis Baugh, club member and Capital District Governor Elect, indicating that he had a friend that wanted to pay back the club for allowing her to attend Madison College (now James Madison University) after graduating from Harrisonburg High school in 1958. That person was Sandra Leake, now Crippen! 

But, first, a little bit about Sandra Leake Crippen. Sandra Leake was one of twelve children born to Clarence (“Tucky”) and Ellen Leake born in 1939.  While a senior at Harrisonburg High School, she was awarded a scholarship by the Kiwanis Club of Harrisonburg for $350.00.  The attached clipping reads, “Miss Sandra Leake receives the Kiwanis Club scholarship from President Harold Clark at the graduation exercises of Harrisonburg High School.  Miss Leake was one of the 65 graduates receiving diplomas from Principle Melton Wright.”  During the preceding discussions, Sandra expressed how grateful she was for the help Kiwanis provided her.  She stated that without the scholarship, she would not have been able to attend college. It paid for her first semester and culminated with her graduation from Madison College in 1962.

Sandra spent the next 20 years as a teacher in Richmond and Henrico County, Virginia, with the Department of Defense in Germany and finally in Fairfax County, Virginia. For the past 30 years, Sandra has volunteered helping children that have been victims of abuse and neglect.  This is a quote contributed to her on the Childhelp organization website; “I’ve seen real miracles take place for these kids. I don’t know where they would be without Childhelp.” Sandy Crippen, an elementary school teacher in Great Falls, Virginia, remembers seeing the bruises on the little faces in her classroom and knew she had to get involved. Today, Sandy devotes her time to working with the children at the Childhelp Alice C. Tyler Village in Lignum, VA. She was a member of Childhelp’s National Board until last year but continues her service in Northern Virginia and Lignum.

Now, back to that phone call in January.  After several conversations with Keith and Sandra, the icebreaker occurred the end of March.  Sandra indicated again how important it was to pay back, with interest, what the Kiwanis Club did for her.  She wanted to donate $50,000 for scholarships for seniors at Harrisonburg High School so someone else can have the same benefits she enjoyed.  The club had just closed the application submission process and had received fifteen requests for assistance.  They were having a difficult time narrowing the list down to the normal 3 given each year. With Sandra’s gracious donation, the scholarship committee made the decision to award all fifteen. Although one person withdrew as he no longer needed the funds, fourteen students will receive scholarships ranging from $2,200 to $6,000, thanks to this wonderful gift from Sandra Leake Crippen, they too can continue their education journey.

On behalf of the Kiwanis Club of Harrisonburg, thank you Sandra Leake Crippen for remembering where your journey began to help the children of the world. It is also ironic that in 1991, the founders of Childhelp, Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, received the Kiwanis World Service Medal for their hard work and dedication to making the world a better place.


Recognition – 03-03-2020

At the recent Capital District Mid Year Conference, the Kiwanis Club of Harrisonburg was recognized as a Distinguished Club for 2018-2019. Accepting the award from the Capital District Governor Elect Dennis Baugh is current Club President, Jackson Blair. 2018-2019 President Marianne Halterman and Secretary Ron King will be presented the Distinguished pins at a later date.

Presentation – 03-03-2020

“Teachers of the Soul”, that was Pastor Dave Gullman’s presentation to our club today.  Pastor Gullman provides spiritual support to individuals within the Pleasant View Inc. community and through the Faith and Light community.  Pastor Gullman visits the various locations within Pleasant View to develop relationships.  He offers support, counsel, and prayer as requested.  Individuals and staff members can also visit the Prayer Room at Harrisonburg Day Support Services Building.


Honor Teachers Essay Contest Awards Ceremony – 02-27-2020

What is the best thing to do on a Thursday night, attend the Strickler Honored Teacher Essay Contest Awards Ceremony at the Massanutten Regional Library. Our club read over 150 essays in 4 grade levels several weeks ago. Tonight the runner up and winners in each group read their essays with their teachers by their side. Then the moment everyone was waiting for – the overall winner to be announced. The essay was written by Katherine Menjivar (third from left), a student at Harrisonburg High School, who is from El Salvador and wrote about how her teacher, Crystal Martinez-Bergey (forth from left), has been a big help in her adjustment to her new country and community. Past club president, Steve Alvis, welcomed everyone tonight (Below).


Presentation – 02-25-2020, John Crist

Today’s guest speaker was John N. Crist, Commissioner of Accounts, Circuit Court of Rockingham County. He gave an excellent talk on the responsibilities of the Executor of an Estate. The one point taken away was that it can be very confusing! It was very interesting learning the different steps necessary. Pictured are Jackson Blair, Club President; John Crist; and Bill Loomis, today’s Program Chair.


Presentation – 02-18-2020, Graham Burns

Pictured are Glenn Weatherholtz, Graham Burns, and Jackson Blair, President.

As a law enforcement officer, our club member, Glenn Weatherholtz, spent a week in London with a member of His Majesty’s Protection Service. They maintained their friend throughout the years. Today, Graham Burns shared with us some of his experiences with Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, as well as many foreign dignitaries. It proved to be very interesting and at times, entertaining.


Honored Teacher Essay Contest 2020 Winners

February 17, 2020  | Press Release from Massanutten Regional Library

Congratulations to Winners of the 24th Annual Robert B. and Gladys Hopkins Strickler Honored Teacher Essay Contest

Grades K-2
Winner: Wren Beri
Honoring: Cierra Harold, Stone Spring Elementary
Runner Up: Seth Anderson-Brannon
Honoring: Tiffany Berg, Spotswood Elementary

Grades 3-5
Winner: Valentina Pimentel Yoder
Honoring Josephine Hu, Bluestone Elementary
Runner Up: Luis Elias
Honoring Karen Komara, Pleasant Valley Elementary

Grades 6-8
Winner: Linda Hamilton
Honoring Shannon Henshaw, Thomas Harrison Middle School
Runner Up: Keira Miller
Honoring Megan Austin, Thomas Harrison Middle School

Grades 9-12
Winner: Katherine Menjivar
Honoring Crystal Martinez-Bergey, Harrisonburg High School
Runner Up: William Morris
Honoring Paige Vass, Harrisonburg High School

Awards Ceremony

Thursday, February 27 @ 7PM
at MRL Central Library, Downtown Harrisonburg

Contest Winners will read their essays & receive their prizes.

At the end of the ceremony we will announce the “Honored Teacher of the Year” who will receive $1,000 to enhance his or her teaching.


Donation – 02-11-2020 Explore More Discovery Museum

The Kiwanis Club of Harrisonburg has three Signature Projects. Our primary one is the Explore More Discovery Museum. Today we presented representatives with a check to show our support. Pictured are: Dennis Baugh, Capital District Governor-Elect and club member; Lisa Shull, program Executive Director; Jackson Blair, club President; Kelly Snow, Development Director; and Heather Ream, Board Member.


Presentation – 02-11-2020 Heather Ream, Shenandoah Valley Airport

One of the areas best kept secrets is the Shenadoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD). Since April 2019, Shenandoah Valley customers have access to United’s Airlines global network of flights through two major hubs –  Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Both routes are operated by SkyWest Airlines utilizing a 50-seat seat Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ200). With just one stop, passengers have access to hundreds of domestic and international destinations while enjoying a hassle-free travel experience. SkyWest is well known for being a trusted carrier in the regional airline business providing more than 31 million passengers each year with exceptional air service. AND, many times the fares are less expensive that other airports within a 3 hour drive. Checkit out – https://flyshd.com/airline-shd/


Presentation – 02-04-2020 Travis Coyle, Living Waters Farm Initiative

Two veterans, Travis Coyle and Mark Lambert, who have journeyed together and with others to find hope in the midst of despair.

At Living Waters Farm Initiative, we believe that we are not created to be alone — physically or emotionally. To that end, we have created a place where veterans and their families can visit between sun up and sun down, to commune with others who might be struggling to find their way back to life after combat. The 23-acre farm is a therapeutic environment where veterans can care for animals, ride horses, tend the garden, hop on a four-wheeler, help out with a project, or just sit on the porch and talk to one another, all for free. It’s not a work exchange program, there is no membership fee, there is no application process. People may simply show up and be present.  Our mission is healing through connection: bringing together people with a shared experience — military service — as a way of getting them reacquainted with life as civilians. https://livingwatersfarminitiative.com/


Member Recognition – 01-14-2020

President Jackson Blair recognized Past President Steve Alvis with a pin from Kiwanis Children’s Fund and read a letter from them recognizing him for his continued financial support.


Presentation – 01-14-2020

Kelly Myers, Director of Senior Care Authority and a club member, spoke to the club on aging is a healthy and graceful manner. She provided information on community resources and data from research on the issue.


12-31-2019: Spread the word. The Massanutten Regional Library is soliciting essays for the 24th Annual Honored Teacher Essay Contest.


12-18 2019: Club’s Christmas Party at Sunnyside Retirement Community. Mosaic Handbell Ensemble provided the music. They are a 6 person handbell group.


Presentation – 11/12/2019

Club member Kelly Myers talked to the club about services she has identified in the community for veterans, as well as those services lacking. She then introduced Cynthia Ludholtz member of the Vietnam Veterans of America’s chapter 1061 group


Cynthia Ludholtz member of the Vietnam Veterans of America’s chapter 1061 group educated the club on the services her organization provides to Vietnam veterans. This includes driving those needing assistance to the VA Hospitals, helping with relocating, emergency food help, etc.


Donation – 9/24/2019

news image

President Marianne Halterman (*right) presented a check to Melody Pannel (left), new Executive Director of Roberta Webb Child Care Center today at our weekly meeting.


Donation – 9/17/2019

news image

Today, the club presented a check to the Harrisonburg Rockingham Child Day Care Center.  Representing HRCDCC is Delores Jameson, Executive Director on the left, and President Marianne Halterman presented for the club on the right.


Donation – 9/10/2019

news image

It is always a please to help a community organization and their impact on children.  Today, we presented a check to Lindsey Douglas, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonbur Rockingham.  She gave a brief update of the services they provide.  Making the presentation was Marianne Halterman, Club President.


Program – 9/3/2019

Our program today was Brent Finnegan, Democratic Candidate for Virginia House District 26.  The club will be spending September hearing from House and Senate candidates for area races.


Program – 8/29/2019

news image

The Harrisonburg area is fortunate to have a program operating out of Sentara RHM called Health Families of the Blue Ridge.  Brooke Garcia is the Team Leader and she educated the club on what Healthy Families does.  Parents of new born can fill out a referral form that is screened for eligibility by staff at Healthy Families.  If approved, a case manager is assigned to them and works on teaching healthy parenting skills.  They can receive serves until the child enters school.

Capital District 2019 Convention – 8/25/2019

news image

The Kiwanis Club of Harrisonburg is honored to be the Home Club of the 2019-2020 Capital District Governor Elect, Dennis Baugh, who was elected and installed at the District Convention on August 25, 2019.


Donation Presentation – 8/20/2019

news image

Today, the club presented a check for $500.00 to Krisztina Szekely, Program Director of Second Home (on the left).  Representing the club is Marianne Halderman, Club President.


Program – 8/20/2019

news image

Second Home is a Before and After School educational program that primarily serves low income children.  It is a ministry of Muhlenberg Lutheran Church.  Today, Krisztina Szekely, program director, gave us an overview of the services the program offers.


Guest – 8/6/2019

 Maya Henry, Marketing Coordinator for Camp Up with People, visited our club and spoke on their group. An international group, Camp Up with People puts on a FREE show at Eastern Mennonite High School. The one-hour high-energy show that features 30 teenagers from 9 countries and 20 states highlights and celebrates the different cultures we represent, important messages that are relevant to all people, and the fun and playfulness of a summer camp. It’s a show that’s fun for the whole family, and will have you leave with a smile. Camp Up with People is a leadership and performing arts-focused summer camp in Harrisonburg for youth ages 13 – 17 from all over the world. 


Program – 8/6/2019

news image

Our guest speaker was Bradford Dyjak, Director of Planning, Rockingham County, who spoke on Issues Currently Facing the County.  He spoke on Transportation Projects, Demographics, Urban Development Area, Lake Shenandoah Watershed and Comprehensive Plan Update.  He fielded several questions and the presentation was very informational.

Program – 7/16/2019

news image

The club heard an excellent presentation from Barbara Roadcap from the Pilot Club of Harrisonburg on ways to prevent pediatric Brain Injury.  The Pilot Club’s mission includes achieving universal awareness and prevention of brain-related disorders and disabilities.  They hold numerous fundraising and educational events around the community.


Program – 7/9/2019

news image

Do you really know what to do if your child or someone in your family accidently ingests a poison!  Today, the club heard from Kristin Wenger from the Blue Ridge Poison Center in Charlottesville.  The presentation was different in that she gave us a quiz on our knowledge of poison and what to do.  She also told us that the POISON HELP number is available 24-hours a day and you actually talk with a real person!  It was a very educational meeting.


Donation – 7/2/2019

news image

One of our community partners is the Safe Kids Central Shenandoah Valley.  Also on July 2, 2019, we made our annual donation to Erin Stehle, Safe Kids Coordinator, and Katie Caler, Fire Prevention Education Specialist at HFD.  Making the presentation is the club president, Marianne Halterman.


Program – 7/2/2019

news image

Erin Stehle, Safe Kids Coordinator for the Safe Kids Central Shenandoah Valley, and Katie Caler,  Fire Prevention Education Specialist for HFD, presented our members with an overview of their recent activities.  They are teaming up with Reading Road Show and Gus the Bus; Chick-fil-A Harrisonburg; and other community programs to help education our community on seat belt safety and other safety issues.  They place emphasis on Community Risk Reduction to keep us all safe from fires and other preventable accidents.


Program – 6/25/2019

news image

Tim Leach, Director of Student Activities at Spotswood High School educated the club on the many “hats” he wears and the numerous activities at Spotswood.  Of interest was the fact the county school board allocation for his department is $20,000 and his budget is $250,000!  You guessed it – MANY fundraisers.  However, he is able to have a great program for the students as a result of dedicated parents and boosters.

Donation – 6/4/2019

news image

The club was pleased to make our annual donation today to Still Meadows Enrichment Center and Camp.  Making the presentation are J. D. Glick, past president; Ron King, secretary, and receiving is Diana Umbel, Operations Manager.


Program – 6/4/2019

news image

The club received an update on the Still Meadows Enrichment Center and Camp today from Diana Umbel, Operations Manager.  One major improvement is the paving of their entrance road!!  No more (or less) mud!  Volunteer groups have been instrumental in making improvements to building and creating new areas for the campers.  For this summer, their Therapeutic Horse Riding program is full!  During the summer, they also sponsor the Faith and Light program for adults with disabilities.  For more on this program go to http://www.campstillmeadows.org


Program – 5/28/2019

news image

Melanie Veith was our guest speaker today.  She is the coordinator of the TED ED Club Program at the Explore More Discovery Museum.   She also brought one of the program participants, Abby Garber who is an 8th grade student at Wilbur S. Pense Middle School.  So, what is TED ED Club?

This exciting program is a way to celebrate the ideas of students around the globe. Through TED-Ed Clubs, students discuss, pursue and present their big ideas in the form of short TED-style talks. While TED-Ed Clubs offer students the opportunity to connect with others who, like them, are unabashedly curious about the world, TED-Ed Clubs are also about presentation literacy….Read More


Program – 5/21/2019

news image

Brian Shull has served as Director of Economic Development for the City of Harrisonburg since 1998. He spoke to our club on how Economic Development is impacting our city.  The one issue he mentioned several times as the lack of available people to fill vacant jobs.


Program – 5/14/2019

news image

The Rockingham County Fair is not until August, but planning is well under way.  Today we heard from Rebecca Holloway, General Manager at the Fair.  She has been in this position since January. She has an extensive background is working with the fair as a teacher and wants to make the fair an educational adventure.  She gave us an overview on what to expect this year.  It should be a great event.

Meeting Notes – 5/7/2019

A regular meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Harrisonburg was held May 7 at Golden Corral in Harrisonburg. President Marianne Halterman welcomed members, opened and subsequently adjourned the regular meeting, and called the Annual General Meeting of Kiwanis to order. She then gave the podium to Dr. Gerald Taylor, chairman of the Nominating Committee.

Chairman Taylor called for nominations from the floor. Since there were none, it was moved that nominations be closed. The motion was seconded and the slate of nominees for 2019-2020, as presented by Chairman Taylor, was then voted and elected unanimously by members in attendance. They are: President, Jackson Blair; Immediate Past President, Marianne Halterman; Treasurer, Jim Gilchrist; Assistant Treasurer, Bob Mead; Secretary, Dr. Ron King, and Assistant Secretary, Trustee Dennis Baugh. Board Members elected are: Michael Gardner, Melissa Cave, Bill Loomis, Steve Alvis, Jim Simmons, Glenn Weatherholtz, Henry Hawkins, Lisa Shull and Wayne Wright. Taylor thanked the members of the Nominating Committee for serving the club. The board of directors will meet May 21.

It was announced that the Adopt-A-Park clean-up of Kiwanis Park will be held at 3:30 p.m. May 10.

J.D. Glick and Steve Alvis attended the Salvation Army’s Annual Dinner recently and the club received an award for Kiwanis’ bell-ringing fundraising, volunteer efforts in July and December 2018.

King announced the County Fair Committee will meet following the annual meeting. Rockingham County Fair Director Rebecca Holloway will be guest speaker on May 14.

Jim Gilchrist announced the “Meat Bingo” event to be held May 11 at Skyline Middle School to raise funds for Skyline’s Parent Teacher Organization, and encouraged members to attend.

Kelly Myers announced on June 14, Flag Day, Culpeper Baptist Church is hosting a veteran resources summit from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Veteran service providers will be onsite to provide resource information.

For more information, contact Marianne Halterman at 540-405-2692.


Annual Scholarship Awards – 4/30/2019

A special meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Harrisonburg, VA, was held Tuesday evening April 30, at the Golden Corral restaurant in Harrisonburg.  The evening meeting was held for the express purpose of honoring outstanding Harrisonburg High School seniors and presenting the Raymond Dingledine Kiwanis Scholarship Awards to three deserving HHS seniors.  President Marianne Halterman welcomed HHS seniors, HHS Key Club representatives, faculty advisors, scholarship recipients‘ family members, Kiwanis Club members and their spouses, and guests. Past President and Scholarship Committee Chairman JD Glick, served as master of ceremonies for the evening.

Members of the Scholarship Committee were introduced and included: Steve Alvis, Dedi Dean, JD Glick, Marianne Halterman, Henry Hawkins, Robert Mead and Gerald Taylor.  Scholarship recipients included: Miss Sama Alsendi, Miss Audrey Knupp, and Miss Juliana Lee, all of whom excelled in their studies with greater than 4.0 GPAs, who have performed many hours of community service, and who have been accepted by area institutions of higher learning, including James Madison University and Bridgewater College.  The recipients each thanked the Club for giving them the opportunity to receive a scholarship and encouragement for their future educational success.

HHS Faculty Advisor to the Kiwanis Key Club Angela Knupp spoke to the audience about the achievements of the Key Club and each of the Key Club officers gave brief scenarios of their roles, achievements and told how being a Key Club member had helped them in their education and community. 


Law Enforcement Person of the Year – 4/9/2019

news image

Harrisonburg Police Officer Named Lawperson Of The Year

By PETE DELEA

Daily News-Record

After several months of training at the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Academy in Weyers Cave, rookie police officers in Harrisonburg typically spend four more months learning the ropes with another police officer.

Often, those rookies spend time with officer Kyle Ritchie, one of the Harrisonburg Police Department’s field training offi cers.

Sgt. Ron Howard said the rookies are in good hands with Ritchie.

“He does an outstanding job working with the newly hired recruits,” said Howard, who serves as Ritchie’s supervisor.

For his efforts, Ritchie was named the area’s Lawperson of the Year, an annual award handed out by the Harrisonburg Kiwanis Club. He received the award Tuesday during a meeting at Golden Corral restaurant in Harrisonburg.

“I’m very appreciative. … It’s humbling,” Ritchie said. “I work with a great police department … a great squad.”

Ritchie, the 31-year-old son of fellow officer Lt. Pete Ritchie, is a 2005 Harrisonburg High School graduate.

After high school, Ritchie joined the Marines and served until 2010.

After he completed his military service, he spent three years working for the Winchester Police Department.  He then moved to HPD, where he’s spent the last five years. “ I like working with the community … serving the community I grew up in,” he said. “ It’s really rewarding for me.”

Since 1969, Kiwanis has recognized a member of the law enforcement community each year, rotating the award among the Harrisonburg Police Department, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police and James Madison University Police Department.

Last year, the award was given to Sgt. Jamie Myers of the JMU Police Department.

Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson, Tuesday’s keynote speaker, spoke about how Ritchie serves multiple roles with HPD. Ritchie is member of the department’s SWAT team and is a trained bike officer.

“Clearly, he distinguished himself as an outstanding officer,” Hutcheson said.

Hutcheson highlighted Ritchie’s position as a field training officer. It’s a position, Hutcheson said, that isn’t always easy to do.

“It’s important to be that coach … that mentor,” he said. “He’s showing the new folks how to get [ the job] done right.”

Contact Pete DeLea at 5746267 or pdelea@dnronline.com


Progarm – 4/2/2019

news image

We all are going to age! Today, we heard from Roger Boles, Owner of Home Instead, and Jeannette Suter, Director of Marketing.  They gave us ideas on what to ask companies when we are in need of services.  Also, they stressed that you need to be prepared BEFORE the crisis, not during.


New Member Induction – 3/26/2019

news image

Today we had the privilege of inducting two new members into our club.  They are Kelly Myers and Kathryn Morris.  Kelly is the Area Owner for Senior Care Authority.  They provide consultation to seniors on life choices.  Kathryn is the Executive Director of the Roberta Webb Child Day Care in Harrisonburg.  They are joined in the picture by Steve Alvis, Past President, and Dennis Baugh, Membership Chair.

Program – 3/26/2019

news image

Nancy Hopkins-Garriss, Executive Director of Pleasant View, Inc. educated the club on te services provided by her program.  They are also the sponsoring organization for the Harrisonburg Aktion Club.  Both groups serve adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  We are fortunate to have a program like this in our community.


Program – 3/19/2019

news image

Camp Jigsaw is a new summer program in the Rockingham County Schools specially for children K-5 that suffer from Autism.  Scott Showalter and Tiffany Sherman gave a presentation on the results they have seen this past summer, which was their first year.  They have continued the concept during the school year and are gearing up for the second year this summer.  They provide opportunities for this group that many have not or could not have every participated in.  Results have been positive.


Distinguished Club Recognition – 3/12/2019

news image

At the Capital District Mid-Year Conference held March 8-10, 2019, our club was recognized as a Distinguished Club for 2017-2018.  The criteria was:  Open a new club, sponsor a SLP, have a signature service project, and contribute $10 per member to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund.  Pictured are Steve Alvis, President 2017-208 and Dennis Baugh, Capital District HOV Regional Trustee.


Program – 3/12/2019

news image

Sal Romero, Vice Mayor, City of Harrisonburg and Administrator with the Harrisonburg City School system, gave a presentation on new initiatives in the Harrisonburg Schools and how he is adjusting to being on City Council. It was very well received by the members.


Program – 3/5/2019

news image

Ashley Shoemaker, Community Outreach/Intake Specialist at the Harrisonburg Rockingham Community Services Board, educated the club on the Intellectual Disabilities/Developmental Disabilities program in the area.  It was enlightening on the good parts and the problems with funding.


Text