June 2015
Foundation of the Virginia Recreation & Park Society
Greetings Foundation Members!

As a member of the Foundation, you have been directly responsible for a number of significant accomplishments achieved within the last few years. Through your commitment, hard work, and generous donations the Foundation has reached levels once considered impossible.


These accomplishments include:

  • A strengthened relationship between the Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS) and Foundation provided members additional opportunities for professional development and scholarships through Service Area, Resource Group, and Foundation accounts. 
  • Sponsorship of respected educational programs such as the VRPS Annual Conference, Leadership Training Institute, and Management Conference have increased the high quality of professionalism prevalent throughout our Society. 
  • Perhaps most impressively, the accelerated completion of the Society's Capital Campaign paid off the Central Office mortgage years ahead of schedule, thereby freeing additional funds for member services.

Much has been accomplished, yet the challenge ahead offers even greater opportunity.  With the Education Endowment Campaign just beginning, we can see the mountain before us and together it can be scaled. Therefore, this year I will be soliciting not just the renewal of your membership in the Foundation of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society, but your support in inviting others to join us. The 100 current Foundation members have attained every goal set these past five years. Can you imagine what 200 members could achieve?


I genuinely appreciate your continued support of the many principles of the Foundation and commitment to its mission.



Greg Sager

President, Foundation of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society 

James K. Cole Scholarship


On June 13, 1978, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation staff was stunned and saddened by the sudden death of their beloved boss, mentor and friend, James K. Cole. Affectionately known as "Coach," Ken Cole began his career in the early 1960's with Norfolk Parks and Recreation. He was hired by the City of Virginia Beach as the third staff member and first Superintendent of Recreation for the Department of Parks and Recreation. 


Coach Cole was an excellent administrator, known for being well organized and supportive of the many staff he hired. The department experienced a tremendous period of growth under his leadership including the construction of its first 82,000 sq. ft. recreation center, purchase and expansion of several golf courses, and the creation of the community's July 4th Celebration. Under his direction, the department's therapeutic recreation, senior citizen, and youth athletic programs grew to be some of the largest and most respected in the state. He was also very active in the Virginia Recreation and Park Society.


To those who began their careers under Coach Cole, his professionalism indebted and instilled in them a strong desire to do their best works in honor of his legacy. Because of this, the respect so many people had for him, and for his untiring efforts to promote and develop the parks and recreation profession, the James K. Cole Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1979 to provide scholarships to deserving students planning to enter the profession.

The Foundation of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society is honored to award the 2015 James K. Cole Scholarship to Takeyra Collins, CTRS, a doctoral student in the Human Movement Sciences Program at Old Dominion University. Takeyra is "proud to be a recreation and leisure services professional. I am honored to hold the title of Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, as it allows me to help people in need and use recreation to better their lives and overall health."


In addition to being a full-time student and single parent of two young children, Takeyra carries a full teaching load at Virginia Wesleyan College where she manages the On-Campus Homeless Shelter and advises the Recreation and Leisure Studies Majors Club, Naturalista Club, and Women's Lacrosse team. Dr. Doug Kennedy, CPRP, supported Takeyra's application "enthusiastically and without reservation. If I had to make one complaint, it's that there aren't more colleagues like her!" Others described her as "engaged" and a "true advocate for the recreation profession!"

Foundation Membership & Scholarships
Foundation Scholarships Graph
Your Foundation membership helps support scholarships for Virginia parks and recreation professionals and students. From January 2012 to May 2015, the Foundation awarded $28,750 in scholarships. 

Apply now for the 2015 VRPS Annual Conference Scholarship. All applications must be submitted online by close of business on June 30, 2015. Applicants will be notified of their award status prior to the regular conference registration deadline. Scholarships range according to different funding organizations.

Scholarship preference is given to those individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to the profession through membership in VRPS and the Foundation.

Due to the efforts of the Foundation Board's Membership Committee co-chairs, Charles Hester, CPRP, and Beth Wood-Whitley, CTRS, membership is at an all-time high. See the current membership list. Please encourage your colleagues to become a Foundation member as well. Together we can do great things! Get a membership application or join through the Online Store.