John H. Hager to speak at 67th annual Shad Planking
Published 11:38 am Wednesday, April 1, 2015
The 67th Annual Shad Planking, sponsored by the Wakefield Ruritan Club, will be held on the grounds of the Wakefield Sportsman’s Club at 12205 Brittles Mill Road, four miles west of Wakefield, beginning at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15. The speaker for this year’s event will be former Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, John H. Hager.
A business executive who started at the bottom of the career ladder, Hager rose quickly through the ranks of The American Tobacco Company to the position of executive vice president. Hager was elected to Virginia’s second highest office, that of lieutenant governor, in 1997 and served in that position for four years. As lieutenant governor of Virginia, Hager was a strong proponent of better education, improved transportation and a more effective and efficient system of governance.
Hager has also served as Virginia’s Homeland Security director, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education and chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Currently, Hager is chairman of The Sorensen Institute, Senior Navigator and the National Council of Stratford Hall. He also serves as a Director of numerous civic and community organizations.
Hager and his wife, Maggie, have been married 42 years and live in Richmond. Their two sons, Jack and Henry, are now married with successful careers and between them, they have four children. Hager continues to get things done, be involved and likes to turn challenge into opportunity when possible.
Shad Planking is an annual event that is known for drawing politically minded people as well as those wishing to seek public office in the commonwealth. The afternoon event will begin at 2 p.m. and end at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine. The formal program will begin at 4 p.m. The meal will be served when ready.
The menu this year will feature the trademark planked shad cooked over an open fire. The Virginia Diner will again provide its famous cole slaw and corn muffins. In addition, there will be shad roe and fish filets fried to golden brown, sweet pickles, iced tea and plenty of other favorite beverages. This year’s event promises to continue the long-standing traditions of Shad Planking.
Shad Planking traces its origin to the early 1930s when a group of friends gathered together at Wrenn’s Mill in Isle of Wight County during the spring running of the shad in the James River. They planked the shad after the tradition of native Virginia Indians and they talked politics after the tradition of their fathers before them. As the tradition grew, the Wakefield Ruritan Club assumed sponsorship of the event in 1949. Generations of politicians have attended and addressed the Shad Planking gathering.
Virginia politicians Harry Byrd, Senior and Junior, Mills Godwin, John Warner, John Hager, Doug Wilder, Gerald Baliles, Mary Sue Terry, George Allen, Mark Warner and many others have generously given of their time and talent to support this event. The gathering is truly a unique assembly of the many and varying views of the people and politics of Virginia. It has come to be an important event in the political life of the commonwealth and is known as “The Spring Rite of Virginia Politics!” Shad Planking serves as the primary fundraiser for the Wakefield Ruritan Club, a community service organization. All proceeds from the event are invested within the Wakefield Community and support community organizations, youth programs and scholarships.
Tickets are available through the Virginia Diner in Wakefield, Virginia by calling 1-800-935-4004 or through the Wakefield Ruritan Club by mail at P. O. Box 148, Wakefield, VA 23888. Tickets may also be ordered online through the Shad Planking website at www.shadplanking.com. Credit cards are accepted in the Virginia Diner and on the Shad Planking website. Ticket prices are $25.
Further information can be obtained by contacting Chris Simms, Shad Planking chairman, at 804-731-5236 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can visit the Wakefield Ruritan Club Shad Planking website at www.shadplanking.com.