United Way announces $4.1 million community initiative

A new approach at the United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg will bring $4.1 million in Community Impact Grants to 63 programs at 48 agencies in the Richmond area next year.
The grants announced today, which range from $25,000 to $289,000, grew out of a new grant-making process that was open to everyone and had no guarantees that anyone would continue to receive funding from previous years.

The United Way had announced its new Community Impact Plan and open funding model last August. Since then, the United Way and 90 volunteers have considered 141 initial letters of intent requesting more than $13 million, requested full proposals on 78 programs requesting $7.6 million and selected 63 programs to receive the available $4.1 million in funding. The 2,300 volunteer hours also included reviewing financial statements to help determine capability to handle new projects and visiting applicants to assess their programs.

Some of the new recipients were ecstatic.

"This is monumental,” said Sheree Hedrick, executive director of Hanover Safe Place, which will receive $85,000 to create a financial education program for victims of domestic abuse. The program will operate through the domestic violence rapid rehousing program, which is based in Hanover but serves all of Richmond’s suburban counties.

"For a small agency like ours, that is a significant level of support. ... We’re really excited to do this work in our community,” Hedrick said.

The United Way had set goals of making an impact in three areas: education, income and health.

The application from Hanover Safe Place related to all three, and it also illustrated a common thread that the United Way discovered in each of the areas: "the disruptive force of violence in the lives of individuals and families has lasting effects and cannot be overestimated.”

Hedrick said her organization was "just so grateful for the United Way recognizing the need of domestic violence victims and how important the anti-violence work is. ... Oftentimes our work does go unrecognized because it’s so under the radar. We don’t get to talk about success stories because it’s confidential. For them to recognize it is so exciting.”

Key findings in the United Way research were divided into six areas:
Child care: Affordable, quality child care programs are scarce for low-income families with children.Home visitation: Home visiting, as a model, is a proven and effective intervention for combating poverty and preventing child abuse.Program quality: High-quality programs drive youth engagement and outcomes in after-school programs which fill the hours when school-aged children are most at risk.Homelessness: Homeless young adults who do not meet the federal definition of homelessness are a rising trend.Rapid rehousing: The program works to help individuals find and maintain stable, affordable housing.Social isolation: Low-income older adults are at risk of social isolation and need earlier response from health and human services organizations.

Home visitation is at the core of Family Lifeline, which received the largest grants — $289,000 for early childhood home visitation in the Greater Richmond area; $125,000 for early childhood home visitation in Petersburg; and $125,000 for volunteer visitation to homes of older adults or people with disabilities.

Work with parents in their homes uses the Parents as Teachers model, said Amy Strite, president and CEO of Family Lifeline. Participation is free and voluntary.

"It’s a real testament that parents let us into their homes every day,” she said. "I never met a parent who doesn’t want better for their child. They want to be good parents and may not have tools or support to do that. That’s where we come in.”

Corinne Freeman contacted the group when her first child was 6 months old and she discovered she was pregnant with twins. She and Aaron Young, their father, felt overwhelmed. This spring, they were honored at the group’s annual luncheon. They’ve stabilized their lives, moved from government housing into a new home, and switched roles so that Freeman works and Young stays home with the children. Everyone seems happier.

"I look at it like this,” Young said on a video for the luncheon, "you can’t go wrong with doing something for your children. I mean, it’s going to be a win-win situation.”

In the grants from United Way, $2.2 million is going to programs to address school readiness, social and emotional development and engagement, and academic success of youth; $972,000 to address stable and affordable housing and household sustaining employment; and $902,000 to address lifelong wellness and healthy aging, quality care and caregiver supports for older adults and people with disabilities.

About a quarter of the grants, a total of $1,036,000, was directed to "helping residents in our community live violence-free lives” by preventing child abuse and providing counseling and services in domestic violence situations.

The United Way campaign last year raised a little over $13 million, but about half of that amount was designated to go to specific charities instead of into the general fund, said Barry Taylor, interim CEO of the United Way. "All we do is cut the check and send it to the agency. It does not fall under the auspices of all the research and work and volunteer participation where we decide how that money goes out. It’s a bit frustrating for United Way,” Taylor said.

"What you’re finding is the money we get to keep and direct as we see best has been declining. The decline is not as great, but it’s still in decline mode, and we’d like to bring that out. Part of that is to explain ourselves a little more to bring more awareness of exactly what we do.”

This year’s campaign officially ends June 30.

kcalos@timesdispatch.com(804) 649-6433

Virginia This Morning: Hanover Safe Place


Posted on: 11:39 am, December 13, 2012, by 

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) – Ashland has a very active non-profit community and one organization is dedicated to promoting freedom from Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.  Executive Director, Sheree Hendrick shares an overview of Hanover Safe Place.







Great Places Designation Sought for Courthouse

‘Great Places’ designation sought for Courthouse

Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 10:53 am

The historic Hanover Courthouse could become one of the “Great Places in America” as designated by the American Planning Association (APA).

Hanover’s Acting Planning Director, David Maloney, explained the program to the Board of Supervisors at its Oct. 10 meeting.

The APA designates these “Great Places” in three categories: Great Streets, Great Neighborhoods, and Great Public Spaces.

The historic Courthouse would fall into the Great Public Spaces category.

The APA defines a Great Public Space as “a gathering spot or part of a neighborhood, downtown, special district, waterfront or other area within the public realm that helps social interaction and a sense of community.”

Maloney said that the Courthouse “has been a center of activity since its establishment, and the structures here have been continually used and cared for by the community, the courts, and the county government.”

He reviewed the many improvements made to the property since the establishment of the Historic Courthouse Area Advisory Committee in 2002.

Most recently, new sidewalks, lighting and fencing have been installed.

“With the improvements completed in the last decade to the historic district, to the Hanover Tavern and the Hanover Café, the Courthouse and neighboring properties will together remain a national jewel for many generations,” Maloney said.

Maloney sought authorization from the Board for the Planning Department to proceed with the nomination process, and the Board granted it.

A preliminary application is due to the APA in December. If the Courthouse passes that first round, then Planning staff would submit a more thorough application in February.

Results would be announced sometime in the spring of 2013.

Other business

That evening, the Board approved a lease agreement with Blue Star Youth Football and Cheerleading to allow them to operate the new announcer stand at Courthouse Park for the cost of $1.

Blue Star recently constructed and donated the stand to Hanover Parks & Recreation.

“Without Blue Star’s assistance, Courthouse Park would not be built and in the condition it is now. This has continued a long series of donations from Blue Star,” Parks & Rec Director Greg Sager said.

“We’re very happy that these people have stepped up and helped us with the park,” Beaverdam Supervisor Bucky Stanley commented, right before making a motion for approval.

The agreement was approved with a 7-0 vote.

Next, the Board approved a Special Exception request for the Black Creek Fire Department to hold an annual event at Wade’s Produce and Seafood, at the intersection of Cold Harbor, Beulah Church, Crown Hill and Rockhill roads.

This year’s fundraising event is scheduled for Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wade Hughes, owner of Wade’s Produce and Seafood, said during the public hearing, “We’re hoping that the fundraising will offer Black Creek Volunteer Fire Department and EMT services some additional monies for equipment they desperately need all the time.”

“I would like to thank Mr. Hughes for his being willing to do this and also to help Black Creek Fire Department,” Cold Harbor Supervisor Elton Wade commented. “I thought it was wonderful of Mr. Hughes to take it on himself to have this fundraiser.”

Wade made a motion to approve the Special Exception permit, which passed 7-0.

The Citizens’ Time segment of the agenda drew one speaker that evening.

Sheree Hedrick, executive director of Hanover Safe Place, thanked the Board for declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Hanover Safe Place is a non-profit organization that provides services to individuals who experience domestic or sexual violence in Hanover County and the Town of Ashland.

Hedrick said that last year alone her organization served 1,500 individuals.

“As much as I think we don’t want to think about it, domestic violence is pervasive in our community as it is in all communities in the United States,” Hedrick said.


Community raises money for sons of slain mom

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – A Saturday night fundraiser was held at Cullen’s Cove in Hanover to benefit the young sons of a woman murdered in June. Sabrina Markham was shot and killed June 2 in her Mechanicsville home.

Hanover investigators said Sabrina’s ex-husband, Ryan Markham, forced his way into the  home and opened fire with an assault rifle.  Sabrina died at the scene, her boyfriend exchanged gun fire with her ex-husband.  Both men were seriously wounded in the exchange.

Ryan Markham has been charged with 1st degree murder in connection with Sabrina’s killing.

But Saturday night’s event was about remembering the Markham’s two young sons left in the wake of this tragedy.

“Her boys are her memory, all this is for her boys and then for the memory of her,” said Justin Weber, who had known Sabrina since middle school.

“Not one bit of her smile couldn’t be contributed to them [Markham’s sons].  They were her life.  Her world revolved around them.  Anything she did she did for them,” said Esther Doggett, one of Sabrina’s best friends.

At Cullen’s Cove Saturday, local bands provided live music, raffles were held, and tee shirts marked “Sabrina’s Boys” were sold to help raise money for the boys, ages four and seven.

“They’re going to grow up knowing that Hanover County is family to them,” said Weber.

But the circumstances of June 2nd still loom large.

On Wednesday, Ryan Markham is due in a Hanover County Court on the charges stemming from Sabrina’s death.

“He was a monster,” said Doggett.  “She [Sabrina] went through a lot having to deal with him, and it took her a lot to leave because she was so concerned about the boys.”

But Sabrina’s friends said Saturday’s gathering is about remembering the best parts of Sabrina.

“That’s one thing that everybody remembers about her: her smile,” said Doggett.

Doggett designed the “Sabrina’s Boys” tee shirts with a sketch of Sabrina’s smile printed in pink and white on the front.  Her hope is to not only remember Sabrina’s grin, but to help provide monetarily for the two boys who helped inspire it.

“I want them to be able to be everything that she knew they could be because she just thought they were going to rule the world,” said Doggett.

On October 6, a group of Sabrina’s friends will set up a booth to collect donations for her sons at Hanover Safe Place’s Pumpkin Run at Ashland Berry Farm.  The 5k race raises money to help prevent sexual and domestic violence.  An eventual goal for the group is to set up a “Sabrina’s Boys” memorial fund.

Sponsors of Saturday night’s event at Cullen’s Cove include:  A New Length, West Store, Loveland Distributions, Misti Belle’s, Graffiti’s, Laura D’s, Extreme Audio, Buffalo Wild Wings, Temptation, and Precision Street Rod.


For the fifth consecutive year, Hanover County has been named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING. The national award was given to Hanover County to recognize its outstanding and innovative work in addressing the high school dropout crisis and for its programs and services that make it an outstanding place for youth to live, learn and grow.

America’s Promise said that Hanover “aims to ensure that all sectors are working together so youth have the resources they need to succeed. The county involves government, schools, businesses, faith-based organizations, civic clubs and human service agencies in its Hanover’s Promise program which focuses on promoting and enhancing a collaborative community effort to support young people. Hanover County also ensures youth have a voice in major town decisions with input from the Superintendent's Youth Advisory Council, and Hanover Youth Perspective, a student-led organization that provides a youth point of view on county land issues.”

The press release from America’s Promise added, “To address community awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault, Hanover Safe Place, offers services for victims, including emergency shelter, court advocacy, support groups and prevention programs. Hanover Cares aims to prevent youth substance abuse by encouraging parent-child conversation and community awareness.”

“Being named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best is significant and meaningful to all of us,” said Ed Via, Chairman of the Hanover County Board of Supervisors. “So many dedicated people and programs contributed to this win and it further shows how a focus on youth pays dividends to our entire community.” “It’s a real honor to be named one of America’s 100 Best Communities for Young People for the fifth time,” said County Administrator Cecil R. Harris Jr. “We have long thought that Hanover is one of the best places to raise children and to be affirmed in this by America’s Promise is very important to us. I’d like to thank the efforts of everyone involved, including the school system, the Department of Community Resources and all of our citizens who have worked together to help us achieve this recognition.”

“As young people across the country go back to school, it is especially timely to recognize communities like Hanover County that have come together to make supporting young people a top priority and that are committed to helping young Americans reach their full potential,” said John Gomperts, America’s Promise Alliance president and CEO. “The 100 Best winners are doing outstanding work delivering the Five Promises that create the conditions for all young people to have the best chance for success. We hope the example set by these communities provides inspiration for others to take action.”

Hanover will receive a $2,500 grant, signage identifying the community as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People, and access to America’s Promise Alliance’s community development resources.

The 100 Best competition is part of the Grad Nation campaign, a large and growing movement of dedicated individuals, organizations and communities working together to end the dropout crisis. The goal of Grad Nation is to raise the national high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020, with no school graduating fewer than 80 percent of its students on time.

A list of all 2012 winners can be found at AmericasPromise.org/100Best

Valentine names 2011 History Makers
Valentine names 2011 History Makers
By: Katherine Calos | Times-Dispatch
Published: September 12, 2011

Margaret Dabney, Joe Doetzer, the Regional Hospital Accompaniment Response Team, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and ART 180 are the newest Richmond History Makers.

They've been chosen in the areas of educational opportunities, innovative solutions, regional collaboration, social justice and community building by the Valentine Richmond History Center.

Awards will be presented at the museum at 1015 E. Clay St. on Oct. 18 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

An announcement of the awards described the qualifications of each recipient:

    * Dabney, dean emeritus of the School of Education at Virginia State University, has been creating quality educational opportunities in the Richmond region for more than 50 years, most notably through her leadership in establishing two innovative local schools — Richmond Community High School and the Appomattox Regional Governor's School for Arts and Technology.

    * Doetzer has been improving the lives of disabled people in greater Richmond for more than 18 years by designing and installing accessibility-related home modifications with ElderHomes. His affordable, environmentally friendly and reusable modular ramp design reduced construction time in half. Disabled himself, he has supervised 9,000 volunteers in the construction of 800 ramps.

    * The Regional Hospital Accompaniment Response Team is a collaborative regional medical companion program for people who have experienced domestic and sexual violence in the greater Richmond area. Trained volunteers are available at the request of hospital staff 24 hours a day at Bon Secours Richmond hospitals and the VCU Medical Center. Formed by members of Hanover Safe Place, Safe Harbor and the YWCA of Richmond, RHART has provided services to more than 500 patients since its start in November 2009.

    * The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities improves social justice through educational programs that stimulate discussion and action to promote understanding and respect on issues of diversity. Two local school districts have VCIC trained groups of teachers working to promote understanding and awareness. More than 140 VCIC programs annually reach about 7,500 individuals.

    * ART 180 promotes stronger communities through art-related programs for young people living in challenging circumstances. Partnering with organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs, Communities in Schools and ROSMY, ART 180 has offered hands-on art instruction to more than 350 young people to help them develop critical-thinking, problem-solving, leadership and communication skills while developing their artistic ability.

Tickets for the event cost $40 at (804) 649-0711 or www.richmondhistorymakers.com.
kcalos@timesdispatch.com (804) 649-6433 (804) 649-6433     

Notable Gifts for July 29

Notable Gifts for July 29

The Jenkins Foundation awarded $899,500 in grants to 21 health care organizations in the Richmond region, furthering its mission to improve the health status of residents.

Grants are awarded twice a year and are focused on increasing access to health care services, decreasing substance abuse through education and promoting safe and healthy environments for children and families.

In its first grant cycle of 2012, the Jenkins Foundation provided grant support to the following:

Access Now: $50,000 to support patient care coordination to an extensive network of physician volunteers.

CARITAS: $35,000 to support the costs associated with implementation of the merger between CARITAS and The Healing Place.

CARITAS: $37,500 to provide relapse prevention counseling services to the individuals and families served by six nonprofit partners.

CrossOver Ministry: $50,000 to support the Chronic Disease Management Program.

The Daily Planet: $50,000 to expand access to patient care with additional nurse practitioner hours.

East District Family Resource Center: $34,000 for the 7th District Health & Wellness Initiative, which promotes the overall health and well-being of the 22,000 residents in Richmond's 7th District.

Family Lifeline: $50,000 to support intensive home visiting services to at-risk families.

Free Clinic of Powhatan: $25,000 to provide quality health services to uninsured, low-income adults of Powhatan County.

Gateway Homes Inc.: $40,000 to provide uninsured and underserved individuals with serious mental illness access to public entitlements, primary care and mental health services.

Greater Richmond SCAN: $75,000 to provide intensive mental health treatment for caregivers and children who have been affected by child abuse and/or neglect.

Hanover Safe Place: $37,000 to provide case management, after-care services and part-time counseling to community-based clients and shelter families.

Instructive Visiting Nurse Association (IVNA): $70,000 to provide home health care and wellness services to uninsured and under-insured individuals in the Richmond and Tri-Cities areas.

Jewish Family Services: $50,000 to provide subsidized home care services to impoverished, uninsured seniors.

John Tyler Community College Foundation: $63,000 to improve access and retention to the nursing program.

Legal Information Network for Cancer: $45,000 to provide salary support for a data specialist who will obtain and interpret patient outcomes.

Lucy Corr Foundation: $40,000 to provide salary support for a part-time dental coordinator for the Lucy Corr Village Dental Clinic.

MDC/Benefit Bank of Virginia: $10,000 to support initial planning to establish the Benefit Bank of Virginia.

Nueva Vida: $25,000 to support comprehensive cancer education, navigation, and survivorship support services to Latinas in Richmond and surrounding counties.

Rx Partnership: $15,000 to provide free medication to low-income, uninsured patients through CrossOver Ministry.

Safe Harbor: $25,000 to provide counseling for adults and children affected by sexual and domestic violence.

South Richmond Adult Day Care Center: $23,000 to provide Care Scholarships, which support the cost of adult day care for vulnerable older adults.

YWCA of Richmond: $50,000 to provide critical follow-up counseling and referral services to victims of sexual and domestic assault.

CultureWorks grant helps Sycamore Rouge

Sycamore Rouge was awarded a $15,000 grant toward its 2012-2013 season from CultureWorks, an organization that champions nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in the greater Richmond region.

"We are so happy to receive this support toward our upcoming season. It's a real validation of all the high-quality work our theater does for the greater Petersburg community," said kb saine, Sycamore Rouge's producing artistic director. "This award came at a perfect time in our fundraising drive as well. It's been a real boost to push us forward in the second phase of our Cornerstone Campaign."

The campaign seeks to secure the theater as the cornerstone of live performing arts in Petersburg.  Sycamore Rouge is working to purchase the building and solidify operating funds for next season.      

$10,000 grant to benefit Children's Hospital

Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU is the beneficiary of a $10,000 grant from FIS, a global provider of banking and payments technology, and Unisys, an information technology company. Virginia Credit Union, which was the recipient of the FIS and Unisys FIRST Award for 2012, selected the local Children's Miracle Network Hospital as the recipient of the grant.

Virginia Credit Union received the second annual FIRST Award in recognition of a software application it developed to help serve members more effectively. The FIRST Award is a national award honoring innovation, service and technology in the financial services industry.

Virginia Credit Union has supported CMN Hospitals for years through volunteer time, fundraising and event participation, including the annual Anthem LemonAid event.

Family: Victim Loved Her Sons
Family: Victim Loved Her Sons
Published: June 13, 2012 

By Melody Kinser

An account known as “Sabrina’s Boys” has been set up to help Sabrina Maters Markham’s sons Aiden and Heath. The boys, 7 and 3, lost their mother on Saturday, June 2, to what has been determined as an act of domestic violence.

The 30-year-old died as the result of gunshot wounds; the accused is her estranged husband Ryan P. Markharm, 33, of the 7400 block of Colts Neck Road in Mechanicsville. The incident took place in the 8200 block of Candleberry Drive in Mechanicsville.

Last week, Sabrina’s brother, Mark Maters, representing the family, talked about his sister and her children.

“Sabrina was —  first and foremost — a wonderful, caring mother to her two beautiful boys,” Mark said. “She was known for her beautiful smile, which was always present.”

Mark said his sister loved her family as her family did her. “She was a mother, a daughter, a sister, and so much to so many. She was a friend to all — a model, a dancer. She was in a movie with Hilary Swank; she traveled all over and gave it all up to be a mom.”

Sabrina, who had celebrated her 30th birthday on April 8, “loved going to Virginia Beach.”

Mark said she was weeks away from finishing cosmetology school.

And, he added, “She was so looking forward to our yearly family beach vacation.”

Looking ahead, she had been finalizing plans to take her sons and her mother to Disney World in November. “She was so very proud of her boys and they will always know the love their mother had for them.”

As for the boys’ future, Mark wants the community to be assured that her family will take care of them “and always keep her memory alive in them.”

The account for Aiden and Heath was established at Village Bank at 6127 Mechanicsville Turnpike. All locations can help in accepting contributions.

Speaking on behalf of his family, Mark said, “We love you, Sabrina, and miss you so much. We will always be here for Aiden and Heath.”

The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is handling the criminal aspect of the case. Last week, warrants for murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and aggravated malicious wounding had been issued for Ryan Markham. He and another male were injured in the afternoon incident.

The men were transported to VCU Medical Center for treatment.

Sgt. Chris R. Whitley said Sabrina Maters Markham was dead when officers arrived at the house.

“Preliminary investigation into this incident indicates that Ryan Markham responded to his estranged wife’s residence, made entry, and fired several rounds from an assault rifle, which killed Sabrina Markham,” Whitley said. “During this encounter, Markham’s rounds also seriously injured another adult male, who fired rounds from a handgun that struck Ryan Markham. The incident appears to have stemmed from a domestic dispute.”

Deputies responded to the Candleberry Drive residence around 3:20 p.m.

The family received friends from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 8, at the Mechanicsville Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home on Lee Davis Road. Interment was private.

Sabrina was preceded in death by her father, Tony Maters.

In addition to her sons and her brother, she is survived by her mother, Cheryl Maters; Mark’s wife Sherri; her sister Tina Reichwein and husband Brad; nephews, Chase and Layne Maters; nieces, Kristen and Megan Reichwein; lifelong best friend, Esther Price Doggett; Blake Minter, the man Sabrina loved, as well as a host of extended family and friends.

In the wake of the domestic incident, Stacie Francis, who is with Community & Outreach Services for Hanover Safe Place, released the following statement: “Domestic Violence is present in our community and society at large. One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). “

“The pervasiveness of domestic violence affects not only the victim, but their children, family, friends and our larger community,” she continued.

“With that being said, we would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Sabrina Markham,” Francis said.

Hanover Safe Place offers a 24-hour confidential hotline — 804-752-2702 — for victims of domestic abuse, as well as those who know someone who is a victim and needs support.

For more information on helping Hanover Safe Place, call the office at 804-752-2728.

Murder victim's friends urge protection against domestic violence

The Hanover woman who authorities said was killed by her estranged husband Saturday took out a protective order against the man just two days earlier.

Also Monday, amid the goodbye messages and the sadness, those who knew Sabrina Markham found time to remember the good days.

"She had love and support of all of us. She was our family," said Carla Edmonds, outside the Empire Beauty School.

Earlier, classmates raised balloons in memory of the 30-year-old mother of two, who was shot and killed Saturday at the hands, authorities said, of her estranged husband, Ryan Markham.

Court papers reveal a volatile marriage filled with multiple protective orders dating back to March, including one filed against Ryan just two days before the murder. It was signed May 31, the same day attorneys declined to prosecute a misdemeanor assault charge against him.

Authorities would not provide further details citing the ongoing investigation.

"We don't rush these sorts of investigations. They're too important to rush," said Sgt. Chris Whitley of the Hanover County Sheriff's Office.

Friends said Sabrina Markham lived in fear, and while protective orders will often be effective, some said there needs to be more.

"Unfortunately, a protective order cannot stop a gun, a knife. If somebody is determined, that protective order will not stop them," said Sheree Hedrick, executive director of Hanover Safe Place.

Hedrick added that victims will often create safety plans that include emergency shelters or the safe haven of friends and loved ones....like the extended family Sabrina Markham had at school.

"Regardless of what she was going through, she was an angel. And she shouldn't have been taken away like this," said Shakita Wilson, outside the Empire Beauty School.

Authorities said, on Saturday, Ryan Markham used an assault rifle to shoot his estranged wife and another man in her house. That man fired back at Ryan Markham. Both men remain hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

Authorities said Ryan Markham will be charged with murder and two other charges when he is released from VCU Medical Center.

Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault can contact the Hanover Safe Place hotline at (804) 752-2702 or 1-888-370-SAFE.

Rotary Club Raises $28,000 for Hanover Safe Place
Rotary Club Raises $28,000 For Hanover Safe Place
Published: May 09, 2012 

By Melody Kinser

The Mechanicsville Rotary Club presented a check for more than $28,000 to Hanover Safe Place on Wednesday, May 2. Participating were, from left, front row, Patty Hall, Randi Powers, Alicia Howard, Stacie Francis, Sheree Hedrick, Bret Atwood and John Monacell; middle row, Kim Wills, Kathy Wells, Kelly Severo, Elsie Rose and Charles Riedlinger, and, back row, Trip Chalkley, Vaughan Alexander, Karlis Graubics and Ray Keate. Everett Alexander also was on hand for the presentation. 

An evening of glamor, glitz and gambling proved lucrative for Hanover Safe Place. And, thanks to the Rotary Club of Mechanicsville, the organization that promotes freedom from domestic violence and sexual assault, received a donation of more than $28,000 last Wednesday.

For the 13th year, the Rotary Club hosted Casino Night on March 10, with a turnout of about 420 at American Legion Post 175 in Mechanicsville.

Bret Atwood, who chaired this year’s Casino Night, said the Rotary Club of Mechanicsville is the “largest single non-public supporter” of Hanover Safe Place. With the help of corporate sponsors, he said the club is able to raise awareness for domestic violence in Hanover County through the fundraiser.

A black-tie event, Casino Night runs for five hours, featuring silent auctions, live auctions and table games.

This year, Casino Night raised $28,162.42 for Hanover Safe Place, which is located in Ashland.

“It takes the entire club and community to put this together,” Atwood said. Six months of planning go into successfully bringing Casino Night to fruition.

“We’re looking forward to next year already,” Atwood added. “We’d like to expand the event.” Working closely with Atwood is John Monacell, the past chair.

Casino Night’s support of Hanover Safe Place, Atwood said, shows the Rotary Club’s “commitment to making Hanover County a safer place.”

Recognized for their sponsorships of Casino Night were: Tuckaway Child Development and Battlefield Commons, silver; Sklar Technology Partners, exclusive VIP gaming; Alexander Insurance Services, Village Bank, Richmond Gastroenterology Associates (Hanover), Atwood’s Printing, Marty’s Grill and Fox 35 in Richmond, bronze; Long & Foster, Phil Kersey, TAW Construction and Tim Amos, complete horse race; Allen & Allen, Andrew J. Michael M.D., Atwood’s Printing, CodeBlue Technology, Dr. Charles W. Harrill, Freed & Shepherd, Friends of Trip Chalkley, Power Installations, Rue & Associates, Union Bank and VA Oral & Facial Surgery, gaming table; Rotary Club of Mechanicsville, cooler o’ fun; Angela Kelly-Wiecek, Barre Y Lane Communications, BB&T, Board of Supervisors (retired), Canova Peterson, Charles and Cynthia Riedlinger, Hanover County Public Schools special education teachers, It’s A Breeze, Joseph Elrod Jr. DDS, Moncure Insurance Agency, Retina Institute of VA, Yount, Hyde & Barbour CPA, Richard Start Sr. and Sen. Ryan McDougle.

Sheriff: Community Stands Together

We stand together. That’s the main message Col. David R. Hines, sheriff of Hanover County, has for citizens in the wake of recent tragedies.

The county has experienced five homicides since December, the most recent occurring on Monday, Jan. 30.

Hines’ comment stemmed from messages he has received in the two months since the first incident took place.

“We stand together to comfort the families and friends of the victims. We stand together to assist law enforcement and their efforts,” the sheriff said of the response from the community. “We are a community of caring, compassionate individuals that at a time of need come together.”

Calling the “we stand together” position the strongest message, Hines added, “The second message that I hope has been heard loud and clear by those individuals that would come to Hanover to victimize our citizens is you will be arrested; you will be prosecuted.”

“We are a Sheriff’s Office of dedicated, well trained professionals that do not tire easily. Each person here carries my philosophy and that is a quick arrest is a sure way to prevent crime.”

Last Thursday, the sheriff addressed the tragedies experienced in his county over the past two months. Though unrelated, the four incidents – five homicides and a suicide tied to two of the murders – Hines said, “They’re still tragedies that affect the community. They affect the loved ones of the victims, the friends and families and the community that they live in.”

He said the impact on Hanover is because the county is “a community of caring and compassionate human beings that truly have the same goals in mind. And that is safe communities, safe schools, parents that love their children, grandparents that love their grandchildren – a true sense of wanting all young people to make good decisions.”

Hanover “also is a community that respects its law enforcement, all of its public safety. The community has that sense that their law enforcement truly does belong to them.”

The Sheriff’s Office operates with a motto of “ ’Continuing to be a part of, not apart from, the community’ and we practice that every day, and,” Hines said, “the citizens know that.”

He also said that the cooperation between the community and his office is evident every day as they serve together to prevent crime.

Dispelling any negative remarks that have been posted on various Internet sites, the sheriff said, “This is one of the safest communities in the Richmond metropolitan area, and it’s because of the relationships that have been developed with public safety, schools and the community – everyone sharing the same goal.”

“Our officers are out there every day and, as much as we want to prevent every crime and as much as the community wants us to prevent every crime, not all crimes are prevented. We work diligently on prevention efforts. But when a crime is committed, part of our prevention philosophy – and it’s my philosophy as the sheriff and it’s been adopted by the men and women of this department – is a speedy arrest and swift prosecution., which prevents further crimes from being committed.”

Resolution to the four separate incidents came at a rapid pace with the Sheriff’s Office. While Hines attributed the success to his office, he also was quick to say that “We didn’t do it alone. We did it with the cooperation of the community and other agencies. As the sheriff, I don’t know how to truly express to the public my gratitude for their assistance in all of this.”

He then praised the efforts of the people his office serves. “Because of the times, I don’t know that the public recognizes how much they do for their law enforcement. We live in a community where someone notices something is a little awry and they call their Sheriff’s Office. And then it’s up to law enforcement to respond. I believe our agency responded extremely professionally, extremely quickly, very diligently.”

“Sometimes,” he continued, “our response and our actions are the only voice that the victims have, and we have to speak for them and that is to bring those that are responsible to a successful prosecution.”

Community involvement, Hines said, is a significant part of his office’s success rate. “We’re involved in our community, but our involvement is with not just the community leaders or the residents in the community, there’s a broader community that we work with every day. That broader community is the schools that we work with through our School Resource Officer Program.” Another program in the school is DARE, “where we are teaching young people at such an early age to try to help them to make good decisions.”

Help extends a broad spectrum, the sheriff said. “We work with not only the commonwealth’s attorney’s office for prosecution but our officers work almost every day with the mental health community, trying to find help for those that are brought to our attention.”

To do what they can in the area of domestic violence, the Sheriff’s Office works with Hanover Safe Place and domestic violence task forces.

Tending to the community’s public safety needs is paramount to the operations of the 24/7 department. “We’ve expanded our Neighborhood Watch Program,” Hines said. They also have increased the Business Watch Program in an effort to reach out to the business community. “We’ve also just started a new program of Crime Watch for civic organizations, where we will be able to put information out to the Rotary clubs, the Ruritans, the Lions Club. The better we can equip our citizens with good preventive measures, the better we can help them.”

Hines doesn’t use the term “community policing agency” lightly. “It is truly a philosophy here. We still work with our senior citizens that need help through our Adopt-a-Senior Program.”

His office spearheads a Motorist Assistance Program that, not only helps motorists, “they help us on our property watches for our citizens that may be out of town.”

Hines said his office has “increased our volunteers dramatically over the past two years to include 10 chaplains.” Each of the chaplains, he said, has played a part in all of these tragedies. “They played a part in supporting the families, supporting the communities in their own congregations and supporting the men and women of this office that deal with those tragedies.”

As Hines said, Hanover County’s strength is that theme of “We stand together.”



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