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Hard Times Ease for World Affairs Council

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"What had happened was we saw a significant shortfall in the corporate support we normally enjoy," says former U.S. Ambassador Randolph Bell, the group's executive director. Bell attributes the decline in giving to everything from a year fraught with disasters such as Hurricane Katrina to mere happenstance.

But in the 11th hour, that's changed. The 400-member local chapter, which promotes the study and understanding of international relations, has benefited from a "new outpouring of support," Bell says, declining to name specific donors but heralding the investiture as "very good for the council and its work."

Bell, who worked for the U.S. Foreign Service for 31 years, asserts that Richmond's council is one of the most resourceful and dynamic of the 86 World Affairs Councils nationwide. "What we hope in the coming year is to realize our growth plan," Bell says, and to "strengthen Richmond's connection to the outer world." — Brandon Walters

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