We Need Your Videos
The 2015 Convention is coming to Norfolk and we need your help in showing what we have to offer in our area! We are working on a video to share with other AKPsi brothers to help promote the convention and all the fun things people can do here in Hampton Roads.
How can you help? If find yourself in a fun environment or at a local landmark, pull out your camera or phone and record a few seconds of yourself dancing around the area. Yes...it sounds silly, but this is what we want! We will compile all of the videos to make our own "Happy" video like Pharrell's.
We request that the videos are during the day or in a well lit area and that all vides are sent to brother Kim Green, firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 11/15. Please do not wait until the deadline though. Send your videos as you take them! So next time you're in downtown Norfolk, at Mermaid Winery, at a Tides game, by the oceanfront, or wherever it may be, start recording! Be as silly as you'd like!
September is the Next General Body Meeting
September is just around the corner! Be sure to mark your calendar for our next meeting which is scheduled for Saturday, September 13 at 10:00 am. The meeting will take place at Christopher Newport University The building and room number will be provided closer to the date of the meeting. Alumni brothers and current CNU Iota Pi members are invited to join us for brunch at Schooners after the meeting.
Remember that all active members must attend two meetings per year in order to maintain their status. Changes are coming with HRAC! Come stay up to date with the HRAC happenings and join us for our Back to School Brunch at Schooners immediately following the meeting!
HRAC Helping Others
Are you looking for effortless ways to help those in your community? Well HRAC has some suggestions on how we can easily help those in our area.
In addition to collecting canned goods and non-perishables at meetings and events, HRAC asks that you begin holding on to each of the following items:
Box Tops for Education
Labels for Education
Pop tabs from soda cans, etc
We will collect the box tops and labels to support our local schools. Money is donated to schools based on the number of points on each top or label. The pop tops will be sent to the Ronald McDonald house where the tabs can be recycled for money to help families in need. Start collecting now!
Calling All Golfers...
Brother Chris Stoney's employer is hosting the 5th Annual Spectrum Foundation Golf Tournament on Friday, September 19. The event will take place at 1:00 pm at The Pines golf course at Ft. Eustis. Prizes will be awarded and raffle drawings will take place during the event. Review more information and sign up as an individual or a team of four here.
I, like many of you, cannot stop thinking about the loss of Robin Williams. I was lucky to meet him once in person (under rather embarrassing circumstances) when I was a teenager.
The Spectrum Foundation was implemented in January 2009 to satisfy the growing demand of Spectrum employees to support and participate in charitable efforts at a corporate level. The Foundation, a donor-advised fund under the Peninsula Community Foundation, serves as the governing body for all of Spectrum's charitable giving with fifty percent of the proceeds from the Foundation supporting the military. The Foundation has raised over $25,000 to date.
Entranced by the movie Good Morning, Vietnam, I had memorized his “acronym” line from this scene, in addition to many of his other scenes from the movie.
In 1988, the year after Good Morning, Vietnam was released, my family ran into Robin Williams while we were on a family vacation and he was celebrating the movie at a film festival. My father, who is never one to let the potential of these moments pass by, approached Robin and told him how much I loved the movie, and that I knew the acronym scene by heart. At which point Robin asked me to perform it for him. Yes, really.
What I will always remember, though, is not how mortified I was (ok, I remember that quite a bit), but rather how kind and generous he was to me in that moment. He was busy and out with a large group of people, yet he took the time to appease a teenage mega-fan, and it meant the world to me.
Later that night, we were treated to an “only Robin Williams” moment, when we were having dessert at an outdoor cafe. When the clock struck midnight, Robin ran into the square and performed the entire story of Cinderella for the crowd, including all the characters and corresponding voices. It was pure magic.
Although I only met him once and don’t have a personal connection to him, his characters and performances so moved me that I do feel a profound loss. I think it is the same feeling many people are having as I read posts, tweets and blogs across the web. Although there is a deeper discussion to be had about mental illness, depression and suicide, I will not discuss that here, and instead focus on the positive lessons from Robin Williams’ work that will stay with me and that I hope will bring wonder for generations to come.
Here are 5 things I’ve learned from some of my favorite Robin Williams characters.
1. There is a powerful voice inside each of us
As a former high school teacher, I adore his character, John Keating, in Dead Poets Society. The way he coaxes Ethan Hawke (as Todd Anderson) out of his shell in this scene, helping him find his voice – his inner poet – is truly inspirational.
We see this every day at Change.org, where ordinary people find their voices, and amplify them with the voices of others to create meaningful change. I also try to tell my daughters frequently, that they each have a powerful voice (a “light”) inside them and that their voices matters. Imagine what we could accomplish if we each found and used our voices at their full strength.
2. Be willing to take big risks (a.k.a. “true love trumps baseball”)
In this scene of Robin Williams as Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting, Robin teaches two important lessons. First, that it’s worth taking big risks (which would he regret more, missing the game, or never having “seen about a girl?”) and second, that love is what life is all about, not just romantic love, but also meaningful, authentic relationships with friends and family. This lesson reminds me of the recent summary by George Vaillant, after three decades of work leading the Grant Study on human development. His conclusion? “Happiness is love. Full stop.”
3. Do what you love
As Patch Adams, Robin Williams shows us in this scene that following your passion matters. He has discovered what he truly wants to do with his life and wants to start immediately. Patch teaches us both the value of doing work that you love, and the added fulfillment that comes from doing work that helps others.
And, I love that this scene ends with another acronym – a Robin Williams classic – “IDGARA” or “I don’t give a rat’s ass.”
4. Don’t forget to dance
As the mother of two daughters who are both dancers, I love how Robin Williams so often incorporated dance into his movies as a way to relieve tension, mediate conflict and just have fun. Whether it was the scene from Mrs. Doubtfire, where he dances while vacuuming and dressed in full-body makeup, the scene from The Birdcage where he directs a young, uninspired actor to “...Martha Graham, Martha Graham and Twyla, and Twyla…,” or this scene from Robots, somehow dance is always involved in saving the day.
I know that in this animated scene, Robin Williams is not actually dancing as Fender from Robots. However, I love his character in this movie and this scene, when Fender is threatened, and responds by breaking into a dance to Britney Spears, just seems like something Robin would have done. Wouldn’t many tough situations be a bit easier if everyone broke into dance?
5. Stand up for what you believe is important
And going full circle back to one of my personal favorites, Good Morning, Vietnam, Robin Williams shows us in this scene as Adrian Cronauer, that it’s worth fighting for what you believe is right, even when there may be a price to pay. Although he loses his job after refusing to censor the news, he leaves with his integrity intact, his audience better educated, and a step towards progress.
He does get his job back, as demanded by his listeners, showing us that for the right cause, others will rally around the person with the courage to speak up. Real change can take time and many voices, but it does happen.
We see this working at Change.org, where we now win nearly one victory an hour. I feel so lucky to work building a platform that supports people who do so many of these things Robin reminds us to do – use their voices, take risks, and stand up for what they believe is right.
Although he left us way too soon, Robin Williams also left us a tremendous gift, full of lessons and full of joy, in his body of work. For that I am truly grateful.
And it seems only fitting to end this post with an acronym – RIP, Robin. You will be dearly missed.
Jennifer Dulski is president and COO of Change.org, the world’s largest platform for social change. With more than 75 million users around the world, Change.org empowers people everywhere to create the change they want to see.
Movie Credits/Copyrights: Touchstone Pictures (Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society), Miramax Films (Good Will Hunting), Universal Pictures (Patch Adams), Twentieth Century Fox (Robots)