Posted by John Cameron
Pictured above are members from the Hunton YMCA and the Rotary Club of Norfolk: Indeà Carver, Paula Jennings (head of child care), Chef Paul Jennings, Brenda Gibbs, (CEO), Terrance-Afer Anderson (board member), Norfolk Rotary president Lorna Cochrane, CeCe Tucker (board chair and Rotarian), and Bill Moore (Norfolk Rotarian who spearheaded the effort).
The Program:  This must have been one of the most special programs in the long, illustrious history of Norfolk Rotary.  Bill Moore told us about delivering a small check to the William A Hunton YMCA in the spring of 2019 as one of the recipients of our annual charity gifts.  When he walked into the building he was struck that this was an institution that deserved much more from Rotary.  He and the charity committee went to work, got the support of our four fellow Hampton Roads Rotary Clubs and applied to District for a major grant.  On August 13, we participated in the completion of all that work. Pictured below are representatives from the five Rotary clubs which joined forces for the grant: Bill Miner and Judy Miner from Norfolk Sunrise, Norfolk president Lorna, Assistant Governor Sigur Whitaker, Town Center RC president Nancy Joslin, and RC of Hampton Roads president Ryan Reyes. Not pictured was Grady Palmer from the Chesapeake club.
The William A Hunton YMCA for decades has worked to serve some of Norfolk’s population most in need of help: day care for over a hundred children, after school care, two meals a day for scores of children in the summer, food for kids who just drop by hungry, counseling and help for an entire community.  That it succeeded was due to the volunteer work of a number of men and women.  Resources were scarce and never sufficient.  Thanks to Rotary that magnificent work will now be easier.
Within a few weeks Chef Paul, who does the cooking for all those children, will have a new, larger stove with two ovens, a new fryer and—best of all—a walk-in refrigerator and freezer. For the first time, the Hunton Y will have an ice machine. Sigur Whitaker presented a check for $25,000 from Rotary District 7600 to President Lorna to cover the cost.  Contractors Jonathan Provost, Terry Dawson, Christopher Tillett and Steven Kirkpatrick will do all the work at cost. Pictured below are the contractors from Pro-vost Construction Jonathan Provost and Christopher Tillett with club president Lorna and Bill Moore.
The Rotary Club of Norfolk has embraced the William A Hunton YMCA for the long term.  Bill Moore announced that individual members of our club have already given an additional $5,000.  Past President Pam is establishing a children’s library at the YMCA.  We will certainly find other ways to offer our support to this wonderful institution.  This is a perfect example of why Rotary matters. 
The Meeting:  President Lorna opened the meeting and greeted the numerous guests who were present.  She led us in the pledge of allegiance and four-way test.
Mark Shaw gave the invocation.  Chuck Spence and Pam Tubbs, with the help of several Rotarians, led the meeting in a joyous rendition of YMCA.
Deputy City Manager James Rogers, introduced by Mike Goldsmith, gave us a detailed update on the St. Paul’s area regeneration.
Cee Cee Tucker, Chair of the Board, and Brenda Gibbs, CEO of the Hunton YMCA, spoke about the mission of the Hunton YMCA and how important the support of Rotary is to them. The Hunton YMCA is named for its founder, William A. Hunton, who came from Chicago to establish an African-American Y in the South.  For many years, the William A. Hunton YMCA was the center of African-American social life in Norfolk and was where Norfolk State University began.
Bill Moore told us how our committee got the support of District and why the Hunton YMCA is so important for Norfolk.
Guests included: CeCe Tucker, Brenda Gibbs, Paul Jennings, Paula Jennings, Indeà Carver, Terrance Afer-Anderson all from the William A. Hunton YMCA; Nancy Joslin, President Rotary Club of Town Center, Grady Palmer, President Rotary Club of Chesapeake, Ryan Reyes, President Rotary Club of Hampton Roads, and Bill Miner and Judy Miner representing the Rotary Club of Norfolk –Sunrise; contractors Jonathan Provost, Terry Dawson, Christopher Tillett and Steven Kirkpatrick; city leaders James Rogers and Courtney Doyle; and visiting club member Bob Berling from the North Suffolk club.