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COMMUNITY

Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein is proud to be an active member in the community.

We are privileged to support and participate in many programs.

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CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT UNIVERSITY

PWHD is a proud supporter of Christopher Newport University, a public liberal arts university located in Newport News, Virginia.

Robert R. Hatten, Lead Asbestos Litigation Partner and PWHD’s Managing Partner from 1991-2019, was appointed to the Board of Visitors of CNU by former Governor Terry McAuliffe in 2015. Hatten was also reappointed to a second four-year term in July 2019 by Governor Ralph Northam. He was also elected Rector of the University in September 2018, and re-elected Rector in 2019 and continues to serve in that capacity. Before that, Hatten was Chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Visitors from 2016-2018.

 

PWHD Partner James H. Shoemaker, Jr. has served on the Board of the CNU Sailing Foundation, which is a non-profit to help promote development of sailing at the collegiate level and to develop the CNU Varsity Sailing Team.

Former PWHD Partner, the late Alan A. Diamonstein (Virginia House of Delegates 1968-2002), was also an avid supporter of CNU, who earned the nickname “Mr. CNU” as a result of his advocacy and support of the university. To recognize Diamonstein’s steadfast support, CNU named the Alan and Beverly Diamonstein Concert Hall at Ferguson Center for the Arts in their honor as a result of their incredible vision to provide a performing arts venue for students and citizens alike.

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BIG BROTHERS, BIG SISTERS OF HAMPTON ROADS

PWHD has long been a proud supporter of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Robert R. Hatten first became active with the Big Brothers program of the United Way in 1976, and he was an active Big Brother to three boys for five years while also serving on the Board directors of that organization. For many years, Hatten and others at PWHD also sponsored families in need at the holidays and provided holiday meals and gifts to local children and their families.

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UNITED WAY FOR THE VIRGINIA PENINSULA

PWHD has taken an active role in the United Way for the Virginia Peninsula since the late 1970s.  Robert R. Hatten first became involved through the Big Brothers program of the United Way in 1976. Since that time, he and PWHD have been actively involved in fundraising for the United Way. In 2007, Hatten served Chairman of the United Way campaign, raising a record $7.2 million dollars to serve non-profit charitable organizations throughout our community, including Hampton, Newport News, York County and Gloucester. Following his service as Chairman of the United Way Campaign, Hatten continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the United Way, including four years as Chairman of the Board. Hatten also continues as Chair of the Peninsula lawyers’ fund-raising section of the annual United Way campaigns.

In 2019, in conjunction with its internal United Way campaign, PWHD also held an internal toy drive and collected a variety of toys to donate to Edmarc’s Hospice for Children. Edmarc provides family-centered care for children with catastrophic illness, and it is also one of the many great organizations partnered with United Way.

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SOUNDSCAPES

PWHD Partner Robert R. Hatten is a founding member of the Board of Directors of Soundscapes and has served as its Chairman of the Board since its inception in 2010. The late Alan A. Diamonstein, former PWHD Partner, was also passionate about Soundscapes’ mission and also served as a founding member of the Board of Directors of Soundscapes since its inception until Diamonstein passed away in 2019.

Soundscapes is a music education and intervention program designed to change the lives of underserved children by training them to play classical music in an orchestra with violins, horns, percussion and other instruments.  Soundscapes instills transformative life skills in children in our community by using intensive music study and frequent ensemble performances. The program has been proven to improve academic performance, social behavior, self-confidence and executive functions essential for becoming a productive citizen.  Soundscapes now serves 400 elementary and middle school in summer and academic school year programs in five underperforming public schools and students meet between 128 and 320 hours per year, as well as appear in 25 or more public concerts.  

In addition, both Hatten and Diamonstein were recognized for their commitment and support to Soundscapes for the last decade at its gala on September 28, 2019, where five-time Grammy winner and Denbigh native, Victor Wooten, performed with the Soundscapes students.  At the performance, Wooten stated “We often worry about the world we are leaving for our children. What about the children we are leaving for the world?”

PWHD is dedicated and committed to supporting organizations in our community, such as Soundscapes, to positively impact the lives of children in our community, and in addition to the contributions of Hatten and Diamonstein to this organization, the firm as well as many other PWHD partners, attorneys and staff individually support the organization’s mission, including Donald N. Patten, Hugh B. McCormick, III and others.

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FOODBANK OF THE VA PENINSULA

For almost seventy years, PWHD has sought to help those in need and give security to those who find themselves in difficult circumstances. For this reason, PWHD has long supported the Peninsula Foodbank and the Legal Food Frenzy in its mission to end hunger and food insecurity in our community. Since 2007, PWHD has participated in the Legal Food Frenzy, which is a friendly competition amongst the legal community in Virginia to see who can collect the most food and funds to help our local Foodbanks. PWHD’s contributions have provided thousands of meals to those in need on the Peninsula. 

 

In 2019, PWHD was recognized as a Regional Winner (large law firm category) in the regional competition for the firm’s contributions to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.  PWHD was presented the gavel award by Attorney General Mark Herring in recognition of the firm’s hard work and dedication to the Legal Food Frenzy. In addition, PWHD attorneys and staff have volunteered at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, packing bags of food which equated to 8,472 pounds of food and 7,060 meals provided to the elderly and those in need in our community. The firm also participates in events to support the Foodbank, such as the “Wear Orange” day to bring awareness to the Foodbank’s Hunger Action Month.

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GLOUCESTER COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

Robert R. Hatten was appointed to the Gloucester Community Foundation (“GCF”) in approximately 2003 and served on that Board until 2011, acting as Chairman of the Board for two of those years. The GCF’s mission is to preserve and enhance the quality of life for residents of Gloucester and provides a mechanism for charitable donations to work in the local community. GCF annually provides grants of money to nonprofit charitable service organizations throughout Gloucester, Virginia, for such services as food, housing, elder care, child care, job training, public services and health to those in need, including organizations such as the Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic, Gloucester Arts on Main, Gloucester Housing Partnership, Literacy Volunteers of Gloucester, The Samaritan Group, and other non-profit charitable organizations.

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VIRGINIA LIVING MUSEUM

The Virginia Living Museum, located in Newport News, Virginia, is a combination aquarium, zoo, botanical garden and science center, exhibiting animals and plants native to Virginia. The Virginia Living Museum has tons of wonderful, hands-on learning activities for kids and those who are kids at heart.  PWHD and many of its individual partners are proud supporters of the Virginia Living Museum, including PWHD Partner Donald N. Patten, who previously served on the Virginia Living Museum’s Board of Trustees, and who continues to serve on in an advisory capacity on its Board of Advisors.  

PWHD has long supported the Virginia Living Museum’s Oyster Roast. The VLM Oyster Roast is an official “Green Festival,” which means that the shells of the fresh Virginia oysters enjoyed by guests of the festival are collected during the event and shipped to the VCU Rice Rivers Center in Richmond, where they are later used to seed baby oysters. This results in potentially 300,000 oysters being returned to the Chesapeake Bay. In addition to the environmental impact of this event, the Oyster Roast benefits the museum and its efforts to educate the community about wildlife and aquatic culture. PWHD Partner Hugh B. McCormick, III, has long supported this eco conscious event, and volunteers as an oyster shucker at the annual event.

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VIRGINIA CENTER FOR INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES

Many PWHD Partners and attorneys have long-supported the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, which has a long history of helping schools, businesses, and communities across Virginia to achieve success through inclusion. Several PWHD Partners have been recognized with a Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, which is presented to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to the promotion of respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Alan A. Diamonstein (deceased) received the award in 1977, Donald N. Patten received the award in 1980, and Robert R. Hatten received the award in 1998. PWHD is committed to its continuing support of Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and its work on the Peninsula and surrounding community.

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