Side Menu
Timed Tickets at Virginia Living Museum ZooDonate to the Virginia Living Museum Calendar


2014 Golden Paw Award presented to Riverside Health System

September 24, 2014

The Virginia Living Museum in Newport News has presented its highest honor, the Golden Paw Award, to Riverside Health System in recognition of years of strategic partnership between the two neighboring institutions on J. Clyde Morris Blvd.
“Health initiatives…healthy diet, healthy body, healthy mind and science education to inspire health-related careers, all now play a major role in the fabric of the Virginia Living Museum. Thanks to the passion of Bill Downey and Riverside Health System, the museum is now poised to deliver health science programs in new and unique ways to our community, said museum Executive Director Page Hayhurst, during the award presentation Sept. 24.


Riverside Health System paired with the museum on two different exhibits in 2013: “Through the Eyes of an Eagle” and “Bodies Revealed.” Riverside shared their physicians, technicians and knowledge with the community through a series of July breakfasts and three special Saturday events throughout the summer. As museum staff developed the newest interactive educational exhibit, Wild & Well, Riverside provided support in making connections between animal health and human health and wellbeing.


“Riverside’s multi-year commitment to fund both an excellent exhibit and complimentary educational school and public outreach programs about health and nutrition will drive even more new opportunities.


“The addition of a wellness component to the museum’s programming will enable the VLM’s dynamic animal collection and staff experts to teach about healthy lifestyles, critical to today’s youth and current childhood obesity concerns. A budding annual Wild & Well day will feature public programs at the museum, bring new partners to the table and highlight Riverside’s expertise in nutrition and health sciences,” said VLM President Kathy Howell in presenting the award.
Riverside has also delivered talent to the museum for decades. Riverside President and CEO Bill Downey was president of the VLM 2004-06 and continues to serve on the Board of Advisors, as does Riverside board member Conway Sheild, who served as VLM president 2009-10. Liz Williams, Riverside’s vice president of Strategy, Marketing & Development, currently serves on the VLM board.


Riverside Health System, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016, is one of the top 100 Integrated Hospital Networks in the nation.
The award was presented during a reception Sept. 24 honoring museum supporters. The award is a bronze otter statue by Eastern Shore sculptor David Turner.

The museum began giving the Golden Paw Award in 1995 to recognize outstanding service and support of the museum. Past recipients are: Warwick Rotary Club, Junior League of Hampton Roads, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert V, Kelly, Sr. (deceased) and Herbert (Bert) V. Kelly, Jr., George R. Goodson, Jr., Harry H. Wason, Mary Sherwood Holt, Cynthia C. Andrews (deceased), James B. (Jake) Thomas, Jr., Dr. John Q.A. Mattern II, the Abbitt family, Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. (twice), the city of Newport News, Charlie and Mari Ann Banks, John R. Lawson II, Joseph R. Witt and the VLM Volunteers, Newport News Shipbuilding, and John Biagas and Bay Electric Co.

The Virginia Living Museum is a private non-profit museum and education center. It has been in operation since 1966 and is accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Association of Museum. It is located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News.

For more information call 757-595-1900 or visit the web site at





No Comment

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.