FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2009
Contact: Jennifer M. Guild, Senior Officer for Public Relations and Marketing
Tel: (804) 342-9665 | Email:
Kiwanis Club of Richmond Makes Donation to Virginia Historical Society
$5,000 Will be Used for Youth Education Programs
Richmond, VA – The Richmond Kiwanis Foundation, on behalf of the Kiwanis Club of Richmond, recently announced that it was increasing its grant support for the Youth Education Fund at the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) from $1,500 to $5,000. This is the fifth year in a row that the Foundation has supported the Society's endeavor to bring history programs to Richmond's and Petersburg's economically disadvantaged students.
"The increased contribution demonstrates the Kiwanis Foundation's commitment to enriching the education of schoolchildren by underwriting their admission to the VHS," said Kiwanis Club of Richmond President Betty Fahed. "Continuing our partnership, together we can extend history as a tangible educational resource to young people who may not otherwise have such an opportunity available to them."
The VHS Youth Education Fund was established in 1996 to offset admission costs for school groups by providing students with enriching and educational museum experiences. Since then, school and youth groups have come to depend on this resource to help children in the community.
The VHS actively markets the Youth Education Fund's availability to Virginia schools, as well as to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Richmond and the Girl and Boy Scouts. It has been used by thousands of students and teachers to receive free guided tours of the long-term exhibition The Story of Virginia. In 2007, a total of 15,955 students came from counties and cities across the state to tour The Story of Virginia and effectively put a "face" to the history that teachers worked to convey in the classroom.
"In light of our success with opening the world of history to the next generation, the VHS is faced with a wonderful challenge—accommodating the thousands of school children who wish to visit our facilities," said William Obrochta, VHS Director of Education. "We strive to make sure that we do not refuse those teachers with students from families and school districts that cannot afford the entrance fee to the VHS, and no student group is ever turned away from our doors for lack of money.
The Kiwanis Club of Richmond is part of Kiwanis International, a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one community and one child at a time. For almost 90 years, the Kiwanis Club of Richmond—the eighth-largest Kiwanis Club in the world, with over 250 members—has combined substantial community service with good fellowship. The Richmond club is actively involved in community service projects and has provided both financial and volunteer assistance to William Byrd Community House, Children's Hospital, and Virginia Voice for the Print Handicapped. Club members also provide support for Key Clubs and other service leadership programs in local schools and for the Boys and Girls Clubs' Camp Little Hawk.
Since 1994, the Kiwanis Club of Richmond has been holding its weekly meeting at the Virginia Historical Society.
"With the Richmond Kiwanis Foundation's help, the Youth Education Fund allows students not just free admission to VHS galleries, but an opportunity to learn and explore that which would otherwise be denied due to lack of funds," Obrochta said. "We want to thank all the members of the Kiwanis Club of Richmond for being part of a successful school year and for working with the VHS to bring history to life for all students, regardless of district funding and family income. We hope the Club will continue to be a partner in this important endeavor in the school years to come."
The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is located at 428 N. Boulevard. For more than 175 years, VHS has been the steward of our state—and often national—history. Headquartered in Richmond, the VHS features award-winning exhibitions that are entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages. Although designated the Official State Historical Society, the VHS is a privately funded non-profit organization that relies on contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations to sustain its operations. In 2008, the VHS received the coveted four-star Charity Navigator rating for sound fiscal management. This "exceptional" designation from Charity Navigator differentiates the Society from its peers and demonstrates to the public that it is worthy of their trust. Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10 am–5 pm and Sunday 1 pm–5 pm (shop and museum galleries only). Admission: $5/adults, $4/seniors 55+, $3/students, free/under 18 and free/members. Admission to the galleries is free on Sundays. For group tour information, call (804) 342-9652. For more information, please call (804) 358-4901 or visit www.vahistorical.org.