May 2017 Newsletter
Foundation of the Virginia Recreation & Park Society
A Letter from the Foundation President

As a member of the VRPS Foundation, you continue to be directly responsible for a number of significant accomplishments achieved this past year. Through your commitment, hard work, and generous donations the Foundation continues to meet the needs of those in our profession.

Just a few of our accomplishments this past year include:
  • Working with the Virginia Recreation and Park Society to ensure that all student members who wish to attend the Annual Conference can do so free of charge. 
  • Providing financial sponsorship of respected VRPS educational programs such as the Annual Conference, Leadership Training Institute, and Management Conference, thereby increasing the high quality of professionalism prevalent throughout our Society. 
  • Awarding of the James K. Cole scholarship.
  • Ongoing fundraising for the Education Endowment Campaign with contributions now exceeding $20,000.
  • Recruiting new Foundation members, reaching a record high of 130 members.
  • Providing numerous educational scholarships to worthy professionals either directly or indirectly through our partnering with Service Areas and Resource Groups.
As you can see, the "State of the Foundation" has never been better, yet the challenge ahead offers even greater opportunity.  With the Education Endowment Campaign having reached its first milestone, we can see the mountain before us and together it can be scaled. Therefore, this year I will be soliciting not just the renewal of your membership in the Foundation of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society but your support in inviting others to join us. Just imagine what 150 or 200 members could achieve!

I genuinely appreciate your continued support of the many principles of the Foundation and commitment to its mission.
Greg Sager, Foundation President
Logan Martin
2017 James K. Cole Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations Logan Martin, winner of the 2017 James K. Cole Scholarship. Logan is a junior at Radford University studying Recreation, Parks, and Tourism with minors in Psychology and Special Education. 

This scholarship was developed in memory of James K. Cole, a Parks and Recreation Professional from the City of Virginia Beach for his dedication to the profession. As a memorial to his life's work, an academic scholarship was established in his name.
Logan's passion for parks and recreation developed from her involvement with Patrick County Parks and Recreation. "As I grew up in a very small, tightly knit community, the recreation department became a second home ... [it] also became my first employer. My first job was as a park maintenance employee ... I just wanted to be involved and surrounded by the fun loving and enthusiastic environment that the recreation department created."

Clyde Crissman, Patrick County Recreation Director, said: "Logan has always stood out among her peers due to her maturity and ability to handle many different and challenging situations. She shows great empathy for people with disabilities and wants to help them achieve goals and overcome obstacles just like anyone else."
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Paying It Forward
Cindy Curtis, CPRP

After 33 years as a parks and recreation and municipal government leader in communities across Virginia, I was fortunate to retire from public service in April 2016. Over the past year, I embraced my newfound "freedom" and spent time reflecting on what the next stage of my life should become. I now lead several community-based volunteer initiatives and provide consulting services while also shortening my bucket list. Thanks to the many skills I gained from VRPS educational programs, mentoring by its diverse leadership, networking with colleagues, and volunteering in a myriad of society activities during my professional career, I am enjoying a vibrant and engaging semi-retirement.

In pondering how I can give back to an organization that has given so much to me, I came to the realization that I want to ensure the VRPS tradition of continuing education, networking, and legislative advocacy remains strong in the years to come. I believe in the profound ways park and recreation programs and facilities positively impact our communities and state. I want to support future professionals by ensuring they receive the same leadership building blocks and principles that allowed me to enjoy a wonderful and fulfilling career. So how am I paying it forward?

First, I am a Platinum contributor to the Foundation of VRPS and participate as an active board member. As we all painfully recall, the Great Recession resulted in significant reductions to professional development budgets. Contributions to the Foundation help ensure member access to the Society's vibrant learning programs and networking activities, which have and will continue to grow future VRPS leaders.

Second, I regularly connect with active and retired Society members to encourage advocacy for our profession and its many programs and facilities. Recognizing that VRPS members represent many different political entities, it remains imperative that we present a united front regarding the relevance of our profession and the importance of its work to our diverse communities and natural environments.

Third, I made a bequest to the Foundation of VRPS in my will. I believe it's important to endow not only your family, but also the organization(s) you believe make a difference. I want my money to go to places that I trust and value. As a long-term member and beneficiary of VRPS, I am part of an institution that represents professionalism, challenging work, diligence and close camaraderie. It's my desire to support future generations of VRPS members in their personal and professional growth.

There are many other ways to provide financial support to our professional organization. If you are interested in discussing these options, please reach out to me, Jim Stutts, Greg Sager, or the other members of the Foundation. I encourage you to think about how you can make a meaningful difference in the future of VRPS, its members and our Commonwealth. I know the person I am today is due in no small part to the time I spent engaged with the work of VRPS and its Foundation and I will pay it forward. 
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Support the VRPS Annual Conference!

Our scholarship programs continue to support current and future recreation professionals. For the second year, your Foundation membership and financial support will make it possible for all VRPS student members  to attend the Annual Conference free of charge. A record number of students are expected at the 2017 Annual Conference in Hampton so we need your help spreading the word!

Last year, the Foundation, Service Areas, and Resource Groups sponsored 29 recreation professionals for the annual conference. The deadline for conference scholarships applications is June 30, 2017

Thank you to everyone who supported the Silent Auction through donations or bids. We raised $3,145 last year, all of which went directly to the Foundation to fund scholarships and educational opportunities. The Foundation is very proud of the scholarship program that, to date, has awarded over $200,000 in scholarships and assisted dozens of students and professionals with their education. Please contact DeRocke Croom with questions or if you are interested in assisting with the auction!

Thank you for being a member of the Foundation!