Gotta Dance

Carrington doesn’t use her right hand very often. She mostly relies on her left hand to reach out or pick things up. But today was different.

She smiled, gleefully shouted “Yeah” a few times and waved her right hand in front of her as she watched the Silver Tappers twirl, kick and shuffle across St. Mary’s Atrium.

The other children, plus teachers and staff, who filled the Atrium were equally delighted.

The Silver Tappers is a nonprofit dance company made up of women age 50 and older. Directed by Rita Joyner of Virginia Beach, the women have been taking dance class together for several years.They donate their time and talent to help charitable organizations.

The group has a total of 15 members. Nine women, including Joyner, performed today at St. Mary’s. Their average age? 70.

Carrington meets Rita Joyner, director of The Silver Tappers, as Terry Lyle, principal of the school at St. Mary’s, looks on.

Have Fun for a Good Cause

Scenes from the 2009 auction: At left, Trustee Kim Thumel (center) with Doug Henkel and his wife, Toni Henkel, who created purses for bid at the auction. At right, Auxiliary President Karen Hibbard holds a painting up for bid.
Karen Hibbard, president of St.  Mary’s Auxiliary Board, and Mary Helen Hilton, St. Mary’s director of annual giving, recently taped a great interview for “Norfolk Perspectives,” the city of Norfolk’s community affairs program. They discussed the Auxiliary’s auction and gal coming up on Feb. 20 at The Westin-Town Center to benefit the children and young adults of St. Mary’s Home. The episode will run at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily on Norfolk cable channel 48 from Jan. 31-Feb. 6. But you can watch it online now here

For more information about the auction, see our website or call 757.622.2208 ext. 381. 

Helping Haiti

(Undated St. Mary’s file photo.) 

Among the many sad stories coming out of Haiti is the news that six sisters of the Daughters of Wisdom were caught in the rubble. Three were killed; the others are not believed to have survived. 

St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children in Norfolk has had a special connection to the Daughters, a congregation of Catholic religious women, for most of our 65-year-history. About a year after the Home opened in December 1944, a group of sisters from the order arrived from New York state to manage the residence. The last remaining nun at the Home, Sister Mary June Morin, is celebrating 50 years of service at St. Mary’s. 

To learn more about the Daughters of Wisdom and the wonderful work they do in Haiti and elsewhere, please visit their website. There, you also can make a donation to help earthquake victims through the Daughters’ emergency relief fund. Click on the “You Can Help” link, then choose “donate online.” Next to “Use this gift for,” click “other” and type in: “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

In the Media: Tidewater Women Features St. Mary’s Home, Auxiliary


The January issue of Tidewater Women includes a feature about St. Mary’s Home, which is celebrating its 65th anniversary, and St. Mary’s Auxiliary Board, which will hold a fundraiser auction next month. You can read the article online by going to the magazine’s website and clicking on the photo of the cover to open a PDF of the issue. The article about St. Mary’s is on page 15.

St. Mary’s Auxiliary Board’s 5th Annual Gala and Auction will take place Saturday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. at The Westin Town Center in Virginia Beach. To reserve tickets, donate, volunteer or request sponsorship information, contact Karen Hibbard at (757) 622-2208 ext. 331 or send her an email

In this photo taken for the magazine, Sister Mary June Morin of St. Mary’s Home (right) listens as Nancy Wilcox of St. Mary’s Auxiliary  reads to Ashley in St. Mary’s library.

Donor Spotlight: The Mermaids Meet the Mermaid

The Ocean View Mermaids pose with Mary Helen Hilton, St. Mary’s director of annual giving, fourth from left, next to St. Mary’s new mermaid statue.

For two years in a row, the Ocean View Women’s Golf Association has supported St. Mary’s Home by, naturally, golfing. More than 100 people took part in the group’s golf tournament last summer, and the association recently donated $2,500 from the proceeds to the Home. During a visit to St. Mary’s, members of the group — who call themselves the “Ocean View Mermaids” — posed with St. Mary’s new mermaid statue.