Thursday, April 27, 2017

Community News

“Leading  people to Christ is a primary goal for every Christian, but finding ways to reach that goal can be challenging.” 

That’s from the registration form for “Moving Forward in Evangelism 2017,” a workshop set for Saturday, May 20, from 9 am to 2 p.m.,  at Shiloh Baptist Church, 745 Park Avenue  in Norfolk. 

The workshop is designed to provide tools needed by members of any evangelism or missionary ministry interested in meeting the challenge.  It is the brainchild of Deacon Ernie Williams, leader of Shiloh’s Evangelism Ministry.  

“I think evangelizing is one of the most important things a Christian can do,” says Williams. “After all, it is a command from our Lord and Savior.” But a “lack of knowledge, not knowing how to go about it makes it difficult for some to evangelize.”

Hence, the need for “new information, different ways of doing things,” Williams says. That’s why presenters with different skill sets have been invited to share their knowledge and skills with workshop attendees.

The workshop will begin with 9 am registration and a continental breakfast.. Then, Shiloh’s senior pastor, Dr. Keith I. Jones – a strong advocate of bible study, prayer and evangelism – will explore the “Theological Framework of Evangelism.” 

Three presenter-led, how-to sessions – each with Q&A opportunities – will follow.

• Pastor Jim Wood, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Norfolk, will discuss “How to Reach Different Folks.” A PhD. candidate in Global Leadership at Regent University, Wood has led dozens of mission teams to Russia. Guatemala, Kenya, Sudan and elsewhere. At First Presbyterian, Wood has championed the “Sticky Faith” movement, bringing all ages and stages together on the faith journeys. He is passionate about outreach.

• Rev. Dr. Shelton Murphy, senior pastor of Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church in Norfolk, will offer “Helpful Hints” for leading individuals to Christ. He has served in educational, military and correctional settings. Mount Gilead has grown tremendously- – structurally, membership and program-wise – during Murphy’s 16-year leadership.

• Rev. Dr. Joy Carrington, director of campus ministries at Norfolk State University, will  lead a session on “Effectively Reaching Millennials-Generation Y.”

Conference registration fees are $20 for individual adults, $10 for students with school identification, and $15 each for adult groups of 10 or  more. For  more information or to register, please call Shiloh at 625-4367.

Colleges and universities are preparing for their annual graduation ceremonies for students who have successfully completed their requirements.

Old Dominion University will graduate the most students during its 126th Commencement Exercises. More than 2,750 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees will be conferred.

Because of the growth of the number of degree recipients and the desire to recognize the accomplishments of the University’s graduate students, the university also is introducing a brand-new ceremony, there will be a ceremony for master’s and doctoral graduates of every Old Dominion academic college which will be held 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 5.

It is one of four ceremonies for graduates at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on May 5 and 6.

Austin Agho, Old Dominion’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the ceremony also accommodates the growth in the number of students who want to attend commencement.
“Adding this ceremony allows us to spotlight the achievements of our students earning graduate degrees,” Agho said, “and provide them with the maximum number of tickets to share their special moment with their families and friends.”

Tim Seibles, professor of English and Poet Laureate of Virginia, will deliver the commencement address at the graduate ceremony. The other commencement speakers will be Christine Pantoya, senior vice president of mobile strategy for the NBA; Ting Xu, founder and president of Evergreen Enterprises; and Angela Hucles, founder and CEO of Empowerment Through Sport and an Olympic gold medalist.

Pantoya will speak to graduates of the College of Arts & Letters at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 5. Xu will deliver remarks Saturday, May 6 at 9 a.m., to graduates of the Darden College of Education and the Strome College of Business. Hucles will speak at 2 p.m. May 6 to graduates of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, College of Health Sciences and College of Sciences.

Norfolk State University

Nina Turner

Nina Turner, a commentator on MSNBC and other cable news networks, will deliver the Commencement speech at the NSU graduation exercises  May 6 at the Norfolk Scope Arena starting at 4 p.m. Turner, a native of Cleveland, formerly served as state senator for Ohio’s 25th district as well as the minority whip in the Ohio Senate.

Hampton University

Katherine G. Johnson

Katherine G. Johnson, one of the leading inspirations behind the Hollywood feature film Hidden Figures, will serve as Hampton University’s 147th Commencement speaker on May 14 at Armstrong Stadium at 10 a.m.

Considered to be one of NASA’s human ‘computers,’ Johnson performed the complex calculations that enabled humans to successfully achieve space flight. In 1961, she was tasked with plotting the path for Alan Shepard’s journey to space, the first in American history.

Johnson was later responsible for verifying calculations of the “machines” and giving the “go-ahead” to propel John Glenn into successful orbit in 1962.

Christopher Newport University

Dr. Mitchell Reiss

Dr. Mitchell B. Reiss, honored diplomat, academic leader and president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, will speak at the 91st commencement of  Christopher Newport University  (CNU) on May 13 at 10 a.m., on the Great Lawn.

Reiss Before joined the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 2014,where he is responsible for the foundation’s 1,800 employees, 800 volunteers and an annual budget of more than $220 million.

Virginia State University

Jeff Johnson, award-winning journalist and motivational speaker, will speak at Virginia State University for the spring graduating Class of 2017 on  May 13. The University will hold two services including a morning ceremony at 9 a.m. followed by an afternoon ceremony at 2 p.m. at the VSU Multipurpose Center.

Johnson is  currently managing principal for the Baltimore-based strategy firm JIJ Communications, where he provides strategic insight and messaging consulting to clients in the private, public and entertainment sectors.

Johnson, also an author, formerly served as national director of the Youth & College Division of the NAACP.

Virginia Union University

Governor Terry McAuliffe

Virginia’s 72nd  Governor,  Terry McAuliffe will be the keynote speaker at Virginia Union University’s (VUU)  118th Commencement on Saturday, May 13 on Hovey Field at 10 a.m.

The University’s Baccalaureate Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 12, at 6 p.m. in Coburn Hall.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Corey D.B. Walker. Dr. Walker will joins Virginia Union as Vice President and Dean of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology on July 1, 2017.

He is currently serving as a Dean at Winston-Salem State University.

Howard University

Senator Kamala Harris

U.S.  Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California will deliver the keynote address at  Howard University’s 149th Commencement Convocation on May 13 on the Upper Quadrangle of the main campus at 10 a.m.

Sen. Harris is both the first African-American and first woman to serve as Attorney General for the State of California. She is also the second African-American woman in history to be elected to the United States Senate.

During my four years of working at this organization, I’ve learned that Norfolk SPCA has an identity crisis. Yes, along with the many other challenges we face while saving lives every day, we are grappling with an identity crisis.

What do I mean by that rather odd statement?

I simply mean that people don’t really know exactly who we are. And this lack of awareness is apparent among not only people new to the community and our organization, but also longtime area residents who sometimes have been supporting us for years.

Sure, everyone in the community understands that we are an animal shelter where people can both adopt and surrender animals.

Some folks might know that we function as a no-kill center where no healthy or treatable animals are euthanized for time or space reasons.

And others may know us for our efforts to help the huge number of outdoor cats living on our streets through trap-neuter-return advocacy, education and coaching of novice trappers.

But what many Norfolk residents and other people living in Hampton Roads may not understand is that we operate a veterinary practice open to the public.
You don’t have to have adopted from our shelter, you don’t have to be a Norfolk resident, and you don’t have to be qualified according to income.

Our clinic is open to everyone!

Open six days a week, we offer low-price spay/neuter to discourage unwanted animals from being born as well as affordable exams, dentistry, other surgical procedures and a walk-in vaccine clinic. All in the name of trying to offer people struggling with their finances an option for medical care. This charitable endeavor allows them to hang on to beloved animal companions whom they might otherwise relinquish.

Here are three stories that will show you our clinic’s incredible lifesaving work that represents a huge portion of the Norfolk SPCA’s community animal care efforts.

Chopper is a young, mischievous Great Dane who became caught on her owner’s chain link fence while attempting to chase after a car. She sustained a large, deep wound to her chest, which left her chest cavity open.

Her owner was referred to the Norfolk SPCA by a local emergency practice because her owner could not afford emergency care for her. Chopper was in distress and her gaping wound was already becoming infected when she arrived at our clinic.

Her wound was repaired by the Norfolk SPCA veterinary team for a fraction of the cost that the emergency clinic was asking. Thank goodness we were there to help this dog who was in so much pain!

Princess is a German Shepherd mix who was shot in the shoulder while roaming in rural North Carolina. Princess’s owner was turned away from other clinics due to his inability to pay.

Her owner came to the Norfolk SPCA distraught as he sought care for his injured companion. The Norfolk SPCA’s veterinary team was able to not only remove the bullet lodged in Princess’s body and care for her wound, but also spay her.

In addition, we educate her owner about the importance of keeping Princess safe by not allowing her to roam free outside during the day.

Diamond is a sweet pitbull whose owners rescued her from a very bad situation.

They didn’t know it at the time, but Diamond was pregnant when they took her in. When she went into labor at their home, she delivered two live puppies. Several hours later, there were two more who were stillborn.

Her owners became concerned when Diamond continued to act as if she were in labor, but did not deliver any more puppies. They rushed her to an emergency veterinarian overnight, where it was discovered that Diamond had more puppies who were lodged in the birth canal. But her owners could not afford the surgery to remove the puppies at the emergency clinic.

The next morning, the Norfolk SPCA’s public veterinary clinic worked with the owner to get Diamond in for an emergency C-section and spay surgery.

Sadly, the puppies who remained inside Diamond’s body did not survive, but thanks to the quick work and caring team at the Norfolk SPCA, Diamond received the lifesaving care that she and her surviving puppies needed.

Without question, these animals would have suffered enormously even more than she already did or had to have been euthanized if it were not for our clinic’s ability to help pet owners who could not afford all the medical assistance that their friends need.

If more people knew about and supported our public clinic, we could help even more animals. Sadly, there is no end in sight for the number of owned pets in our community who suffer and require expensive and emergency veterinary care.

Twelve area women will be recognized by the YWCA South Hampton Roads during the 29th Annual Women of Distinction Awards luncheon. These women, all of whom exemplify the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women, will be honored on Thursday, April 27th, at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott

This year’s honorees are:
• Arts: Deirdre Love (Norfolk), Executive Director and Founder, Teens With A Purpose
• Business: Kim Curtis (Virginia Beach), President and CEO, Tidewater Home Funding LLC
• Communications: Vivian Paige (Norfolk), Writer, Lecturer, Owner and CPA
• Education: Monica Hunter Barnes (Suffolk), Retired Program Manager for the Minority University and Education Program, NASA Langley Research Center
• Finance: Beth Patterson (Virginia Beach), President and Founder, Waypoint Advisors
• Government: Noelle Gabriel (Norfolk), Vice Chair, Norfolk School Board
• Law: Jill Harris (Norfolk), Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney, Office of Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney
• Medicine: Shelley Mishoe (Virginia Beach), Dean, College of Health Sciences at Old Dominion University
• Military: Captain Barbara Geraghty (Virginia Beach), U.S. Navy, Ret.
• Non-Profit: Mike Harkins (Norfolk), Manager of Registration Services, Sentara Leigh Hospital
• Science/Technology: Ruth Amundsen (Norfolk), Senior Thermal Engineer, NASA Langley Research Center
• Volunteerism: Marianne Dickerson (Virginia Beach), Community Volunteer

The 2017 honorees will join a group of over 350 distinguished women from South Hampton Roads who have been recognized with this honor.
To purchase tickets go to the YWCA website at or call (757) 625-4248.

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore was the beneficiary of the first “Celebrity Chef Throw Down” last Saturday, April 8 at the the Virginia Beach private estate of Kevin and Shevette Jones. Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols, the Foodbank’s CEO, was on hand at to bring greetings and express gratitude for the charity event.

The outdoor event attracted upwards to 100 persons who socialized as news teams from stations WTKR and WVEC competed in cooking demonstrations, with judges selecting WVEC as the winner. The teams created several dishes using only ingredients provided in a mystery basket.

In addition, there was live entertainment, a cash bar, silent auction and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Celebrity Chef Jamie G of Bowie, Md., was among the line up of personalities who were “throwing down” to make the event a success.

Along with the Jones Family, media correspondent, Paula Beckett, and Shannon Gibson of Charmisey Events developed the event which promises to become an annual gathering.

From the first to the last days of life, we will write many chapters in life’s book detailing with successes, failures and surprises.

Allison Moore is a college graduate, a housewife, mother of three, human resources manager, and a partner in a non-profit that helps the homeless community and orphaned children.
She  is also CEO of Moorelaughing LLC, a production and promotion company she  uses to  drive her own new career as a comedienne and  corporate workplace trainer.

Over the years she has produced six comedy shows featuring herself and other artists. But her most ambitious project will take place on April 15 at  6:30 p.m. in the  L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center on the campus of her alma mater, Norfolk State University, featuring Sinbad.

Sinbad is known as the King of Clean Comedy, and  Moore is emulating his idea of how comedy should be used.

Her comic routine is void of curse words, sexual talk, misogyny or bashing of either gender or caustic references to politics.

Sinbad is still a comedic superstar,  best known for hosting Showtime at the Apollo, starring in the  movie the “First Kid,” his own HBO special,  and roles on TV shows such as a Different World, The Redd Foxx Show  and The Sinbad Show.

“I am absolutely nervous about this,” said Moore, in a media release announcing the show.  “Sinbad is a big deal. He has not performed stand up in the area for years  and I know that people love him. I’m honored to be able to share the stage  with him.”

Moore earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from NSU and a Master’s from George Washington University.

Moore said the Sinbad event has inspired her to organize shows  at other colleges and universities. She chose NSU to highlight her “Spartan Pride” and showcase the HBCU’s role in the community and its role in shaping her professionally and personally.

Her comedic career was ignited in December 2013 when another comedian recognized a gift to which she was initially oblivious.

“I recall December 2013. I was master of ceremony at our first Robes Reach fundraiser gala and one of the comedians mentioned to the audience  how I funny I was. So I took him up on that. My first time being paid to do comedy was in August 2015. From then, I looked for opportunities to do comedy. Quickly I decided to stop waiting for someone else to put me on their stage but to start building my own.”

While Moore  avoids  sex talk, cursing and bashing men in her  routine – common in comedic routines today – she  said she has found a wealth of stand-up material from her personal life and experiences. She has been married 12 years and the mother of three shares hilarious stories about family life, to include in-laws, employment, shopping and a host of other topics.
The  April 15 event  with Sinbad is the most challenging opportunity thus far for Moore, who is  33, to showcase her acumen  to make people laugh.

Moore has been a full time traveling comedian since January 2016 and because of her clean content she is able to perform everywhere from corporate events, to churches, to comedy clubs, private parties, fundraising events and the like.

Moore said the Sinbad Show and subsequent ones, she hopes, will be the gateway to the  next chapter of her career, including greater exposure as a stand up, gigs in broadcasting, and camera writing and producing.

“I want to create opportunity for myself and others,”  she said. “I do that now by hiring comedians for shows, writers and photographers and other artists. I want to  expand  my horizons using  my skills as a comedian  and in business.”

For more information go to or (218) 565-7469 or

By Leonard E. Colvin
Chief Reporter

Over 500 Men and Boys ages 8 to 80 attended their 6th Annual 900 Men Strong Scholarship and Community Service Awards breakfast on Saturday on April 1, 2017 at the Virginia Beach Founders Inn.

The annual event is presented by W.H. Gray Men’s Ministry of Second Calvary Baptist Church under the leadership of Dr. Rev. Geoffrey V. Guns, Senior Pastor of Second Calvary.

Promoting the theme” Making a Difference through Education,” this breakfast brings together Men and Boys throughout Hampton Roads with the goal to reduce the dropout rate for African-American Boys in High School. Some communities in Hampton Roads have up to 20 percent of African-American Boys dropping out of High School, according to U.S. Census reports.

The 900 Men Strong Breakfast awarded $1,000 scholarships to six high school seniors aspiring to attend college in addition to recognizing the achievements of Men who have supported youth and have given back to the community. Scholarship recipients were Nikoli Green from Nansemond River High School, Suffolk; Tyler Morris –Cape Henry, Virginia Beach; Isaiah Riddick Debnam-Grassfield High School, Chesapeake; Terrel Rodgers –Heritage High, Newport News; Jordan Widemen-Hampton High, Hampton; and Tasuan Wods – Booker T. Washington High School, Norfolk. A special thanks is extended to Educational Diamond Sponsor Optima Health and CLP Financial Group for donating an additional $1,000 scholarship.

Dr. David Anderson, founder of the Black Empowerment Radio Network, served as the keynote speaker and provided some thought-provoking remarks reminding young men that while many African-American Men throughout the country have been victims of several questionable deaths between Law Enforcement and African-American Men, these young Men need to prepare themselves to pursue an education and alleviate themselves from negative stereotypes often associated with young boys wearing their pants far below the midsection of their body.

This year’s breakfast was highlighted by the community service awards selection process designed to provide the community an opportunity to select one of the three honorees being awarded the W.H. Gray Community Service Award. The 900 Men Strong committee selected Dr. Tony McNair, the 2017 Virginia Teacher of the Year, as a recipient and Leonard Parson Founder and President/CEO of CLP Financial Group as this year honorees.

The third recipient was selected through an exciting online voting process among four nominees who included Michael Goodman Elder, Community Servant and employee of Canon I.T.S.; Davy Smith III, Founder and Member of Smith Consulting and Networking LLC; Elisha “Cadillac Harris” ,Educator and Football Coach; and Michael Wilkins, Community Advocate and Youth Supporter. The Community selected Mr. Cadillac Harris to round out the trio of the W.H. Gray Community Service Award Honorees.

This breakfast is designed to help bridge a stronger relationship between law enforcement and youth by having young men sit at the tables of officers and dialogue with law enforcement to build relationships, according to Tyrone Walker, Chairperson of this year’s 900 Men Strong Scholarship and Community Service Awards Breakfast. Law Enforcement from various departments throughout Hampton Roads attended to engage in personable conversations with these young men to bridge any misperceptions about Black youth and Law Enforcement that can lead to avoidable incidents in the community.

Police Departments represented were from Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. Sheriff Departments from Chesapeake and Norfolk were also in attendance.

The 900 Men Scholarship and Community Service Awards Breakfast continues to serve as one of the largest breakfast attracting Men only to stand up and Make a Difference Through Education by providing scholarships to high school Boys, honoring Men in the community who have given back, and providing an electrifying speech during the breakfast for Men to serve as role models to the over 200 youth in attendance.

Submitted by J.R. Locke

The 14th annual Prince and Princess Easter Ball 2017 will take place this Easter Sunday, April 16 at the Wyndham Garden Norfolk Downtown, 700 Monticello Avenue.

The annual event is presented by Elite Child, Inc-EDT and showcases fashionably-attired children from six months to young adults aged 22 years as Princes and Princesses.

Easter Ball Founder and Director Sherry Battle-Edmonds/ CEO Elite Child, Inc.-EDT organized the red carpet event for young people which includes a fashion show, dinner and dancing with the desire to inspire and build confidence and self-esteem in children.

Her goal also is to provide education that addresses the topic of youth bullying.

“We hope that it helps to take action and to give them information on the effects of bullying and how to help them feel confident that dressing up is cool and it’s okay to be unique,” said Battle-Edmonds.

“Sometimes kids just need to look at bullying in a  different perspective in order to see the harmful effects it has. Kids like listening to and performing rap songs. We would like to have an anti-bullying contest creating original raps against bullying and featuring a group of musically-inclined kids.”

Two local children authors who have written anti-bullying books will speak out at the event.

Children participating in the ball come from all seven cities throughout the Hampton Roads area.

For more information, call (757) 622-2112.

The Woman’s Club of Norfolk, which was organized on February 16, 1916 by civic and community minded women, began their 101st year being recognized by Old Dominion University (ODU) during their 33rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Program where the theme was Celebrating Women’s Achievements and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The ladies of the Woman’s Club were honored for carrying on the tradition of the founders by continuing, for 100 years, to be actively involved in civic and community affairs of Hampton Roads.

MARGOT LEE SHETTERLY, author of the book “HIDDEN FIGURES: THE AMERICAN DREAM and THE UNTOLD STORY OF BLACK WOMEN MATHEMATICIANS WHO HELPED WIN THE SPACE RACE.” Shetterly who is a 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, is the founder of the HUMAN COMPUTER PROJECT. This project is a “digital archives of the stories of NASA’s African-Americans whose work tipped the balance in favor of the United States in World War II, the Cold War and space race.” Margot called these extraordinary Americans “HUMAN COMPUTERS.” She is the co-founder, with Aran Shetterly, of the magazine “Inside Mexico.”

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Program began with a Welcome and Recognition by THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALE DEAN, DR. STEPHANIE G. ADAMS, of OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY FRANK BATTEN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING and TECHNOLOGY. This was followed by Ysaye Barnwell’s “We Are …” sung by the F. Ludwig Diehn Chorale. After the musical selection there was a Presentation by The Women’s Center and the Presentation of the Hugo A. Owens Martin Luther King, Jr. Award presented by John R. Boderick, President of Old Dominion University, assisted by Hugo A. Owens, Jr. Once the Keynote Speaker, Margot Lee Shetterly, had concluded her inspirational and motivational words, Cecelia T. Tucker, Assistant to the President for Community Relations at Old Dominion gave the Closing Remarks. The F. Ludwig Diehn Chorale closed this wonderful program by singing “Rockin Jerusalem” which was arranged by Andre Thomas.

About 200 guests gathered at the downtown Slover Library on Saturday night, April 1 for the inaugural Metallic Gala showcasing original fashions by African American designers. The event was hosted by the Friends of the Norfolk Public Library and was a fundraiser for literacy services and multicultural activities presented by the city’s library system. Metallic Gala was produced by Mikasa La’Charles with Ron Cooke and Patricia Rountree and featured the colorful and creative designs of seven persons from the local area, Richmond and Washington, D.C. Each designer’s collection displayed custom garments for both men and women in either black, white or any metallic hue (gold, silver, bronze, etc.).

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