Cookie Season is Here

The Girl Scouts of Troop #5067 at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children sure are smart cookies.

They stationed themselves near the employee time clock this afternoon, and on pay day no less. One Scout, Victoria, hit a switch on her voice output device to tell passersby, “Don’t leave before buying any Girl Scout cookies.”

Staff and other visitors were powerless to resist the pull of the Scouts’ Thin Mints, Lemon Chalet Cremes and Tagalongs.

The Girl Scouts will be back in place tomorrow afternoon.

Supporter Spotlight: Bob Guess, Boat Builder


Bob Guess has been fascinated by the craft of boat-building since he was a child playing among the cedar shavings in his grandfather’s shop. Among the many unique items you can bid on during an auction this Saturday to benefit the children of St. Mary’s Home will be two ships’ models and two children’s play boats built and donated by Guess. Click here for more information about the auction.

Check out this short video to learn more about Guess’s interesting hobby and why he supports St. Mary’s Home:

"New" St. Mary’s Home Turns 5 Today

While St. Mary’s Home is celebrating its 65th anniversary throughout this year, we’re celebrating another milestone today: The five-year anniversary of the move into our current building. Our dream Home, if you will.

St. Mary’s Home had been in downtown Norfolk for 60 years, first opening in a century-old building in December of 1944 and then moving into a new building in the 1960s. By 2005, a new Home was sorely needed.

“What a blessing the new Home has been to our children, their families and our staff,” said CEO William C. Giermak. At 88,000 square feet, the new Home offers twice the room of the previous building. Since moving to the new Home, the children have spent 25 percent fewer days out at the hospital. The excellent care and caring they receive at St. Mary’s is key, but the bright and beautiful building with more space and the latest systems also contributes to that care, Giermak said.

Preparations for the move into the state-of-the-art building near Sentara Leigh Hospital began months before the big day. Staff talked with the children and young adults of St. Mary’s, sharing photos, reading stories about moving and involving the children in packing their belongings.

On Feb. 11, 2005, the first children were ready to move at 6 a.m. Two paramedic crews from Norfolk moved 10 of the children, while other children moved in vans and school buses. A welcoming committe cheered, clapped and called each child by name as he or she entered the new Home.

The new Home was formally dedicated on March 18, 2005, with then-Gov. Mark R. Warner giving the keynote speech.

Go, Kishaun, Go

Kishaun really loves to move.

Once seated on an adaptive tricyle, 10-year-old Kishuan zooms up and down the corridors of St. Mary’s Home so quickly that his therapists sometimes have trouble keeping up with him. 

Like most of the children who live at the Home, Kishaun uses a wheelchair. He also can walk, with assistance, for short distances. Pedaling on the tricycle helps him walk by warming up his legs and strengthening his muscles — all while he’s having a blast.

“Kishaun just wants his independence,” said physical therapist assistant Lynn Regna. “The trike is a way for him to just go.”

Kishaun is one of about 15 children at St. Mary’s who now regularly ride a tricycle as part of their physical therapy. The seats and handlebars are easy to configure to give each child a comfortable ride. While the child grips the bars and pedals, a therapist uses controls on the back to steer.

Through the generosity of supporters, the Auxiliary Board of St. Mary’s Home was able to donate funds for the Home to buy two of these tricycles.

The Auxiliary’s 5th Annual Gala and Auction to raise money for the children of St. Mary’s Home 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