Service Above Self

Vessa as Marilyn PictureVessa (pronounced VEEZA), a local entertainer and Christiana Rotary Club member lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer in 2012 at the age of 55. The Vessa “Over the Rainbow” Performing Arts Scholarship was established by the Christiana Rotary to honor the legacy of Vessa.  One or two scholarships will be given to performing arts students each year so that they can follow their dreams the way Vessa followed hers. She was a multi talented performer entertaining audiences with her amazing voice and larger than life stage presence.  She lit up a room as soon as she entered,” says Karen Poore, a friend and fellow Rotarian. “Her smile and booming laugh were infectious. Everyone she met instantly became a friend and she was always ready to perform. Vessa was a soulfully beautiful person who brought joy to everyone she met.”  Vessa exemplified the true meaning of Rotary -Service above Self.  She would be thrilled to know this scholarship will allow others to pursue their performing dreams.

Vessa was an accomplished singer and the headliner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia and a featured performer at the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival. She was also lead singer with the band, The Juveniles, that held concerts from Philadelphia to Vessa-SingingVirginia and, more recently, part of a duo called People Will Talk, which performed throughout the area. As an actor and dancer, she performed at the Delaware Children’s Theater and in multiple venues as ShuShu the Clown and Elvis with Cleavage.

A Tribute to Vessa

Real Diamond and Bob Lougheed will be performing all your favorite Elvis Presley and Neil Diamond songs on stage at the Queen in Wilmington, on Wednesday, July 31st. This event is a tribute to Vessa, a celebration of what would have been Vessa’s Birthday & the “The Over the Rainbow’s” largest fundraiser. For more information about the event visit Real Diamond & The King DO The Queen.Real Diamond & The KingMaking-Things-Happen

About the Christiana Rotary

In 1917, RI President Arch C. Klumph proposed that an endowment be set up “for the purpose of doing good in the world.” In 1928, when the endowment fund had grown to more than US$5,000, it was renamed The Rotary Foundation, and it became a distinct entity within Rotary International.  Five Trustees, including Klumph, were appointed to “hold, invest, manage, and administer all of its property . . . as a single trust, for the furtherance of the purposes of RI.”  Two years later, the Foundation made its first grant of $500 to the International Society for Crippled Children or Easter Seals as it is known today.

Today, the club has its own Foundation that is considered the “arm” of the Christiana club.  It supports the great work that they do with TOUCH (Transform One Unique Child’s Heart) and scholarships.  So the club has two sides – the club side is the meetings, club service and the Foundation which is the donation side.  We have awarded an annual 4-year scholarship for more than 10 years and this year added an additional 4-year scholarship when our friend Vessa passed away in October.

Our 2013 scholarship winners are:

Karissa Collinskarissa-collins-scholarship-dinner

Graduate of Caesar Rodney High School

Will Attend Regent University

Adam Griffith

Graduate of Delcastle High School

Will Attend Cecil Community College

For more information about the rotary;