Rock the Block Party Benefits Colonial CASA is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Rock the Block Colonial CASASnap Fitness and the Shops at Norge Crossing are putting on a Rock the Block event this Saturday to benefit Colonial CASA.

Colonial CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, is an organization dedicated to the training of citizens within the Williamsburg community to act as advocates for children who have been abused or neglected.

Saturday’s event will raise money for Colonial CASA through the sale of raffles tickets and a benefit corn hole tournament, but the main objective is actually to raise awareness of what the organization does.

“We’ve been here for 20 years and some people still don’t know about what we do. It’s all about awareness, awareness, awareness,” said Victoria Canady, a spokesperson for Colonial CASA.

The Rock the Block event will feature popular games like corn hole, as well as raffles and child-friendly activities. WMBG AM740 will be on site playing music to set the mood.

This event has been made possible through the sponsorship of the Shops at Norge Crossing, who independently decided they wanted to give back to the community and took the initiative to reach out to Colonial CASA, Canady said.

Additionally, several local businesses such as GNC and Retro Daddio have donated prizes for the raffles and children’s games.

The fun starts in the Shops at Norge Crossing parking lot on 7500 Richmond Road at 11 a.m. Admission is free and open to the public.


YCSD Seniors Receive Scholarship For Community Service

Screen_Shot_2015-06-22_at_1.27.16_PMThree York County School Division students were recently awarded the Peninsula Scholarship for Young Philanthropists.

These scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors who exemplify exceptional commitment to community service.

Other criteria include a strong academic record, involvement in extracurricular activities and financial need based on a variety of factors.

Carolyn Lackey, a lifelong resident of the Peninsula, created the Peninsula Scholarship through an endowment to the Peninsula Community Foundation of Virginia in 2013. Each winner receives $500 each semester over four years.

The York County Scholarship recipients this year are Shaylea Burket of Bruton High School and Connor Meehan and Rebecca Soistmann, both of Tabb High School.

During her high school years Shaylea Burket took part in several domestic mission trips with her church, while also giving back to her local community by organizing canned food drives and tutoring other students.

“My hope for the community is that when others see a bunch of high school students trying to better the community, they are inspired to do the same,” Burket said.

Burket will be attending Bridgewater College in the fall and plans to study global studies and political science.

Connor Meehan’s community contribution was inspired by his childhood realization that not all kids can afford packed school lunches.

Last summer he created the “Peanut Butter and Jam Slams” initiative with the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank. Through this project he collected 395 pounds of food that were distributed to 1,300 Peninsula students. Meehan plans to attend Elon University in the fall and study political science.

Rebecca Soistmann was an organizing force behind an area blanket drive to benefit veterans, as well as an extremely active member of the Leaders Club at her local YMCA.

Through that organization she oversaw Middle School Teen Night every Saturday night, which offers local middle school students a safe and positive atmosphere where they can hang out. Soistmann will be attending the University of Virginia this fall and plans to major in global health studies.

“We had a very competitive group of applicants this year,” said Tammy Flynn, director of philanthropy at the Peninsula Community Foundation of Virginia. “All of the applicants were really living what Ms. Lackey envisioned, but our winners really exceeded the criteria.”