November 2019 Issue

In This Issue:

Dates to Remember:

Traffic Meeting
Wednesday, November 6
5:30 - 6:30 PM
Police Academy
Classroom 128
1202 West Graham Road

Porch Party
Friday, November 8
5:00 - 7:00 PM
Maggie Stewart's Home
3506 Seminary Avenue

GPRA Board Meeting Tuesday, November 19
7:00 PM
LGRA Building
Hawthorne and Walton

General Meeting Thursday, November 21
7:00 PM
LGRA Building
Hawthorne and Walton

(Acting) President’s Letter

By Norma Murdoch-Kitt

Our president for 2019, Robin Levy, has downsized to a smaller home in another Richmond neighborhood and has resigned. Therefore, I am serving as president for the remainder of 2019.

We are indebted to Robin for her several years of dedication to Ginter Park and some of the great things we have achieved over the years by working together.

If you wish to reach out to me, please send your thoughts, comments and ideas to

Best, Norma Murdoch-Kitt, President GPRA

General Meeting: Chili Cook-off

Thursday, November 21, 7:00 PM

Lewis Ginter Recreation Association
Corner of Walton and Hawthorne Avenues

Our new board of volunteers for 2020 will be elected on November 21 at the LGRA Building at Hawthorne and Walton Aves. Some are new and some are incumbents. Come meet them and thank them in advance for all the hours they put in caring for the GPRA and its members.

Again, our annual chili cook-off will greet fall appetites. You are asked to bring a pot of your favorite variety (with a list of ingredients for those with allergies). For those not making chili, you can complete the menu with cornbread, a salad or dessert.

Our chili judges will include the new police chief, neighborhood fire fighters and other local officials. The dinner will begin at 6:30 with the program at 7:00 PM.

Neighbors Meet Neighbors

Porch Parties and Coffees

Friday, November 8, 5:00 - 7:00 PM
3506 Seminary Avenue

Porch parties welcome any within the GPRA area, not just nearby homeowners. The November party will take place on the porch of Maggie Stewart, 3506 Seminary Avenue on Friday, November 8 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. BYOB and a snack to share.

Many thanks to Sheldon and Taylor Bates for hosting the October party at their Confederate Ave. home. Almost 20 attended.

At the August National Night Out event, a daytime coffee gathering for lower Noble Avenue was suggested. GPRA block captain Prudence Justis organized this, with donated pastries from Michaela’s Bakery at 9 West Brookland Park Blvd. (bakers of the original Thalhimers bar cake). The attendance grew, from six who were at the first coffee to twelve at the second event. The November coffee will include neighbors from Hawthorne and Moss Side, who have asked to join with the 3100-3200 blocks of Noble.

Potbelly Fundraiser for GPRA

Friday, December 7, 4:00 - 10:00 PM
1400 N Arthur Ashe Boulevard

Think about eating out on Thursday evening, December 7. Potbelly on the Arthur Ashe Boulevard (west side, near Gelati Celesti) is offering a great deal to the GPRA. On that night, from 4:00 PM until closing, they will donate 15% of the entire night’s business to the GPRA. So let’s help out a nearby restaurant so they can in turn help us.

New GPRA Officers and Representatives

Many of the nominees for the 2020 GPRA board are returning from the previous year or before. Yet there is an infusion of “new blood” and enthusiasm. The following nominees will be voted upon at the November 21 General Meeting.

President | No nominee

Norma Murdoch-KittVice President | Norma Murdoch-Kitt, incumbent

Norma and her husband Jonathan have lived in Ginter Park for 41 years. Active in the GPRA since its re-incarnation in 1978, Norma presided over the organization for 10 years in the late ‘80’s and ‘90’s

She is a clinical psychologist specializing in individuals and couples and Jonathan is a trial lawyer for personal injury and divorce. A mother of 4 grown children, she has served on the Richmond School Board and the faculties of William and Mary and MCV.

Amy Hurd WhelanTreasurer | Amy Whelan Hurd, incumbent

A West Coast native, Amy moved to Ginter Park six years ago and has served as GPRA treasurer since 2017. She works in digital marketing for the Swedish Match Corporation. Husband Brian is an account manager for EMC/Dell. Amy enjoys traveling and the popular Ginter Park activity of remodeling.

Julianne CondreySecretary | Julianne Condrey

Julianne currently works in government relations and association management but has been active in leadership roles in the Greater Richmond area for the last 25 years. Her experience has been in government and politics as well as entrepreneurship, corporations and non-profits. Her passions include historic preservation, gardening and dogs.


Kate MartinDistrict N-1 | Kate Martin
(Azalea to Westminster, Brook to Chamberlayne)

A Ginter Park residents for 6 ½ years, Kate in a branch banker at BB&T. Previously she worked at Verizon and as a flight attendant. She loves to hunt for mid-century treasures and visit Virginia wineries with a picnic basket.


District N-2 | Monica Murphy, incumbent
(Westminster to Laburnum, Brook to Chamberlayne)

Monica and her husband are physicians who both specialize in anesthesiology and peri-operative medicine. Three sons complete the family, which moved to Ginter Park in 2017. Monica, who spent most of her childhood in western Pennsylvania, has recently taken up piano lessons after a 30 year break.

District N-3 | No Nominee

Gwen DavisDistrict E-1 | Gwen Davis
(Laburnum to Westwood, Chamberlayne to Moss Side)

Interior Designer Gwen Davis has lived in Ginter Park for 12 years. Husband Alan Davis is an architect/principal at Baskerville. Their three children round out the family. Gwen enjoys cooking, gardening, walking and sailing.

District E-2 | Shawn Smith, incumbent
(Laburnum to Ladies Mile, Moss Side to Edgewood)

Bee keeping and beer brewing are among the hobbies of Shawn Smith, who has recently joined the GPRA board. She is retired from the state but now has a small business with a friend flipping houses. Her wife, Karen Bernhard, works in Mexico City for CitiBanamex as chief data officer. Their house on Noble hosted the first porch party of the year.

Margee SmitherDistrict S-1 | Margee Smither, incumbent
(Laburnum to Brookland Park Boulevard, Brook to Chamberlayne)

Margee and Ken Smither lived in Ginter Park for 8 years, moved to the suburbs for 20 plus years, then returned to Ginter Park to buy and renovate the “Anchorage” and open it for our 2014 house tour. A self-employed lawyer, Margee has been president of the board of Metro Women’s Bar Association and board chairman of Commonwealth Catholic Charities. Her daughter and family live in Bellevue.


Douglas HearnDistrict S-2 | Doug Hearn
(Westwood to Ladies Mile, Chamberlayne to Moss Side)

Long time Winston-Salem resident, Doug Hearn has also lived in Malaysia and Thailand. He retired from the presidency of a boutique human resource management consulting firm. He and wife Mary moved to Richmond to be closer to their son and his family in northern Virginia. Drumming is one of his hobbies, along with GP pastimes of house, lawn and leaves.

Sydney BlandDistrict W-1 | Sidney Bland, incumbent
(Laburnum to Westwood, Hermitage to Gloucester)

Sidney Bland and her husband Dicky have lived in Ginter Park 32 years, although their two grown children have “flown the nest”. Sidney was previously worked at MCV as a medical technologist but now enjoys travel, working out, yoga and volunteering. She often accompanies her attorney husband when he plays in tennis competitions.

John MarrinerDistrict W-2 | John Marriner
(Laburnum to Westwood, Gloucester to Brook)

After 30 years in midtown Atlanta, John Marriner and wife, Ann Foster, moved to Ginter Park in 2015 to be near their daughter and family in Bellevue. He is retired from being Affirmative Action Officer/HR Director/Pension Plan Administrator in local government. His volunteer activities have focused on the homeless and disabled and youth aging out of foster care.

District W-3 | No nominstion
Ginter Place

Becca RosnerMember-at-Large | Becca Rosner

Beca Rosner has worked for Capitol One for 20 years, starting as paralegal, working up to program manager, her current position. She also runs Zo-phy Studios, a photography business specializing in travel photography. An outdoor enthusiast, she is especially eager to get more women into mountain biking. A Mechanicsville native, she and husband Graham have lived on Palmyra since 2012.

Prudence Justice Member-at-Large | Prudence Justis

Prudence returned to Ginter Park over three years ago after growing up on Moss Side Avenue in the ‘80’s. She is a residential realtor, her husband, Paul Curley, an attorney and between them they have three children. She serves on the board of directors of Rotary, and as GPRA social chairman, has introduced porch parties this past year.


Planning & Zoning | Stephen Weisensale, incumbent

Stephen has put in many hours with adjacent civic associations and institutions discussing the Westwood tract and potential traffic problems. A senior associate with Commonwealth Architects. Stephen cites his hobbies as gardening, BEER, and museums. Wife Sheila was previous GPRA secretary and is a software trainer and floral artist.

Public Safety | No nominee

Program | Melody Imburg

Having lived in Ginter Park for 35 years, Melody’s 100 year old house is the only home her three children have ever known. She is Director of Admissions at Orchard Park School and husband Brian works for IBM. Gardening and spending time at the “Rivah” occupy her leisure time.

Finance | Kathie Avery

Kathie and husband Kendall moved to Ginter Park over 4 years ago after 26 years in the West End. She has been an accountant for over 30 years. Currently working on the GPRA Home and Garden Tour and Beautification committee, she also visits residents at the Hermitage Senior Living facility, gardens and plays tennis.

Newsletter | Anne Thorn

Anne has edited this newsletter for over 35 years. Widow of U of R history professor Bill Thorn, she was a city tour guide for Historic Richmond Foundation and the Valentine Museum. She and Charlie Brock co-author the forthcoming book, Pioneers of Ginter Park.

Traffic Meeting

November 6
5:30 - 6:30 PM
Police Academy
Classroom 128
1202 West Graham Road

Traffic safety concerns in Ginter Park and adjacent areas have been the focus of GPRA Planning and Zoning chair Stephen Weisensale and Sherwood Park residents in recent work sessions.

A broader meeting including Rosedale and Edgehill will take place with City Council members Kim Gray and Chris Hilbert on Wednesday, November, 6, 5:30-6:30 PM at the Police Academy on Graham Road, classroom 128. This important meeting will demonstrate the strength of interest in a comprehensive traffic plan for our area. Please attend.

Ginter Park Holiday Party 2019

Saturday, December 7
7:00 PM
Virginia Hall at Veritas Hall

Start the holiday festivities with your neighbors at the GPRA gala, Saturday, December 7 from 7:00p.m.

Again Veritas has graciously opened their Virginia Hall. This is the middle building of the three which side along Lamont. Parking for the party is in their Westwood lot. Those who need elevator help may park in the Lamont lot.

The Richmond band “Rise” will play pop, Motown, beach and dance music. Rare Olde Times will cater the party.

Hope for the Holidays Collection Drive

This year guests are asked to participate in the “Hope for the Holidays” collection drive. We will be accepting clothing and food items for families of those enrolled at Ginter Park Elementary School. We will also be collecting food items for St. Thomas’ Church, which has a food pantry serving 400-500 families each month. A donation box will be near the entrance to the party and the Social Committee will deliver the items.

Items to donate to Ginter Park Elementary School include coats in a variety of sizes, mittens or gloves (the kind that are moisture resistant), T-shirts, socks, and underwear for accidents that occur at school and because many of these kids don’t have underwear. Also needed are nonperishable food items such as spaghetti-o’s, ravioli, Ramen noodles, boxes of mac and cheese, cans of fruit, snacks, peanut butter, jelly.

St. Thomas’ suggests paper grocery bags, canned hams, canned chicken or tuna, pasta, pasta sauce, cans of soup, Ramen noodles, boxes of mac & cheese, mashed or scalloped potatoes, powdered or canned milk, cans of fruit, peanut butter, jelly.

The Holiday Gala is one of the numerous advantages of your paid 2019 GPRA membership. There’s still time to pay your dues, using this newsletter’s coupon or through PayPal. You can even pay at the door that night.

Northside Artists’ Holiday Artwalk

Saturday, November 23
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, the Northside Artists' Holiday Artwalk will be held on Saturday, November 23 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

From locally made soaps and lotions, sweets and treats, and beautiful handmade jewelry to woodwork, hand-thrown pottery, fiber arts, and photography, this year’s selection of artists will offer something for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Brekkie Waffles food truck will be on hand providing savory and sweet (gluten free!) food and beverage.

The free Artwalk tour includes the following homes (in walking order starting at either the top or bottom of the list):

  • 1518, 1516, 1514, and 1508 Westwood Avenue. Go to 3323 Gloucester Road and walk through the alley toward Loxley to access the next studio.
  • 3324 Loxley Road – Freestanding Studio in Back Yard, access through side alley gate Ginter Place.
  • 1400 and 1402 Palmyra Avenue, 3415 Gloucester Road.

GPRA Appreciates Azalea Garden Center

By Susan Rebillot

Azalea Garden Center has been our excellent partner in all GPRA Beautification Committee projects. They extend special discounts to GPRA and, although they do not normally provide delivery, have provided delivery of materials for us with no fee. We appreciate their customer service, their healthy, reliable plants, and their generosity.

Go see their beautiful plants and trees, ready for fall planting. Want a live Christmas tree this year? Theirs will be in just after Thanksgiving Day! Say hello to Mike and his family, who are the owners serving our community for many years!

Azalea Garden Center: 1320 Westbrook Ave, Richmond, VA 23227

Progressive Dinner 2019 Review

By Maggie Stewart

Thanks to everyone who played a part in the huge success of our eight annual progressive dinner, Dining Under the Harvest Moon.

Margee and Ken Smither hosted the appetizer course, where we gathered under the moon on their expansive patio. Then 17 host homes served amazing salads and entrees, each course prepared and served with every attention to detail. Rave reviews came in from so many guests! And we ended our evening at the home of Dana and Dan Kleinschuster for an array of desserts/coffee/after dinner drinks that made our mouths water.

As last year, we had a sell-out crowd, 85 participants, and raised $1,750 for the GPRA.

Fall Leaf Pickup

November 25 through December 9

Northside leaf pickup of bagged leaves will be between November 25 and December 9. There are four options (for full detail click here):

  1. Bag Collection: Beginning October 1, 10 bags collected per day, biodegradeable bags preferred, place bags near supercan.
  2. Unlimited Bag Collection:
  • Wednesday trash collection: October 30 through November 13
  • Thursday trash collection: November 14 through November 23
  • Monday trash collection: November 25 through December 9
  • Tuesday trash collection: December 10 through December 28
  1. $30 Vacuum Service: Begins November 1 (until funding runs out), rake leaves to front of property line, request pickup by calling 3-1-1 or
  2. Do-It-Yourself: Dispose of leaves at East Richmond Convention Center, 3800 East Richmond Road, or Maury Landfill, 2900 Maury Lane.

GPRA Membership

Click on the coupon below to open in a separate window for printing. You may also pay dues at the Holiday Party.

Click Here to Pay Dues Easily with PayPal

Ginter Park Welcome Committee

The Ginter Park Welcome Committee sends a HUGE Thank You to the following local merchants who have generously contributed to our new-neighbor welcome bags.

Bellevue Cleaners
1201 Bellevue Avenue

Classic Touch Cleaning
1229 Bellevue Avenue

Dot’s Back Inn
4030 MacArthur

Early Bird Biscuit Company
1221 Bellevue Avenue

The Float Zone
2034 Dabney Road, Suite A

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
1800 Lakeside Avenue

Lisa Zamora Massage Therapy
4025 MacArthur Avenue

Little House Green Grocery
1227 Bellevue Avenue

The Mill on Macarthur
4023 MacArthur Avenue

Northside Family YMCA
4207 Old Brook Road

Once Upon a Vine
4009 MacArthur Avenue

Patient First
12 North Thompson Street
2300 East Parham Road

Stir Crazy Café RVA
4015 MacArthur Avenue

True North Yoga & Wellness
4025 MacArthur Avenue

ZouZou’s Basement

If you'd like to notify us of new neighbors to welcome, please send an email containing their name and address to:


Newsletter produced by:

Ginter Park Residents Association

Post Office Box 25374
Richmond, Virginia 23260-5374

Published monthly except
January and August


Norma Murdoch-Kitt

Vice President



Molly Shepherd


Amy Whelan

Past President


Public Safety Committee

Dick Stone

Program Chair

Norma Murdoch-Kitt


Maggie Stewart

Planning and Zoning

Stephen Weisensale


Susie Burtch


Meg Lawrence
Rebecca Dodson

Newsletter Editor

Anne Thorn 804-353-9363



District Repesentatives

N1 Open
N2 Monica Murphy
N3 Open
E1 Stephanie Culbertson
E2 Shawn Smith
S1 Margee Smithers
S2 Prudence Justis
W1 Sidney Bland
W2 Open
W3 Open

View detailed map of the GPRA Districts
Visit our website at

Advertising and copy deadline is the second weekend of each month. Send comments, corrections and articles to:

Editorial Committee
Post Office Box 25374
Richmond, VA 23260
Copyright © 2019 Ginter Park Residents Association, All rights reserved.

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