St. Mary’s Friend Receives Volunteer Award

Trey White with Angela West at the 2009 Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in Virginia Beach. Angela joined staff at St. Mary’s table last night in support of Trey at the Volunteer Hampton Roads dinner at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. (photo by Ginny Cohen)

Trey White – a familiar face to St. Mary’s staff and children – accepted an “Individual Adult Volunteer” award last night at the Volunteer Hampton Roads awards dinner. With nearly 500 people in attendance and 22 individuals or groups being recognized, Trey had a cheering section that even the lifetime achievement honoree, Tom Frantz, noted in his remarks.

Trey created Team Hoyt VB, a local offshoot of  a national father-and-son team that competes in athletic events. Trey has organized runners, participants, families, volunteers, transportation, registrations, consent forms, photography, pre-race parties and more for 14 events over two years, covering more than 60 miles and touching hundreds of lives. That includes taking part in St. Mary’s 5K fundraiser, which this year will be Oct. 2, once again at Fort Story. 

Team Hoyt VB runners at the awards dinner: from left, Willie Shepherd, Greg Battaglia, Chris Graves and Trey White. (photo by Soozi McClain) 

What motivates Trey? He has said, “It touches me to see the kids light up, get excited and feel the thrill of the wind through the hair. God gave me the ability to run and the compassion to give back to the community — what better pairing than this project of giving time with appreciative kids whose smiles just melt you. We are the lucky ones as we get just as much (if not more) out of it than they do.”

What does it mean to people in our community? People with disabilities feel the difference an advocate can make when you look at individuals for what they can do versus what they can’t. Here’s what just a few people have shared over the past two years:

Denise: “Ian is making strides that we never thought were possible. Ian enjoyed himself so much, and as his mom it was just another dream that my son is doing the impossible with his disabilities, leaps and bounds.”

Sonya: “We look forward to next year’s running events and all the beautiful children. What an awesome gift — to be connected in community, service and spirit.”

Tara:  “I am truly thankful for (Team Hoyt) giving my family these amazing experiences and wonderful memories. Alex found so much joy in each race. As his mother seeing him happy and excited filled my heart. I could not hold back the tears. I am so blessed that we were able to be a part of something so amazing.”

Congratulations to our friend Trey. See you at the races – go Team Hoyt!

— post by Mary Helen Hilton, St. Mary’s director of annual giving, who has been working with Trey and Team Hoyt

New Fifth Fridays Lecture Series at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children

Join us this Friday when Dr. Larry White inaugurates the “Fifth Fridays at St. Mary’s Home” lecture series featuring physicians who work with St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children. We’ve designed the series to raise awareness of issues affecting children with disabilities.

White, a neurologist at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, will kick things off with a discussion of  “Seizures in the Special Needs Child,” with some time for Q&A. He’ll speak from 1-2 p.m. in St. Mary’s Atrium.

Call 757.622.2208 or see our website for more information.

And mark your calendars for the next “Fifth Fridays” lecture at 1 p.m. on July 30, when Dr. Marc Tsou, GI specialist at CHKD, will discuss “GI Problems Related to Special Needs Children.”

A New Way of Looking at Our Newsletter

We’re experimenting with new ways to get information to families, staff and friends of St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children. We print and distribute a newsletter three times a year and also post a PDF of it on our website, but we’re now looking into other digital publishing options. Would you be interested in reading a PDF that allows you to to “turn” pages on your computer screen? See an example below using our spring 2010 newsletter:

Spring Concert & Dedication

On Sunday, St. Mary’s Home continued celebrating its 65th anniversary with a free, public concert by The Rhythm Project. The acclaimed world percussion youth ensemble is the primary community program of the Virginia Arts Festival. “We love this music,” Martha Stewart, St. Mary’s director of development, said in introducing the group. “It’s the kind of music you can feel.”

After the concert, we dedicated a number of recent additions to the Home, including a koi pond, library, refurbished family room and our signature mermaid statue, “Embrace.” Crystle, who happened to be celebrating her 21st birthday on Sunday, pulled a red ribbon with Scott Crumley, who is building the Charity House at the Tidewater Builders Association’s Fall Homearama. Proceeds from the home will benefit the children and young adults of St. Mary’s Home. “What a great way for us to help you celebrate your 65th anniversary,” said William H. Halprin, president of the Tidewater Builders Association, noting the organization’s long tradition of giving back to the community.

Also during the event, Karen Hibbard, president of the Auxiliary Board of St. Mary’s, presented the Home with a check for $10,000 for scholarships to send children from the Home to summer camp. Most of the money was raised during the Auxiliary’s auction in February, with the Auxiliary kicking in $500.  

In a nod to history, members of The Cape Henry  Model A Ford Club displayed their beautiful antique cars in front of the Home throughout Sunday’s events.

To see more photos from the spring concert and dedication, check out this slideshow: 

Join Us on Sunday for a Free Concert — and More

On Sunday we will continue celebrating our 65th anniversary with a free, public concert by The Rhythm Project at 2 p.m. in the Atrium at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children. The acclaimed world percussion youth ensemble is the primary community program of the Virginia Arts Festival. The group also performed at the Home in April 2009 (see photo).

After the concert, we will dedicate a number of recent additions to the Home, including a koi pond, library and our signature mermaid statue, “Embrace.” Enjoy refreshments throughout the day, and be sure to also check out the display of antique cars  by members of The Cape Henry Antique Automobile Club.

To RSVP or for more information, call 757.622.2208.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Photos of the Sensory Garden at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children in Norfolk were featured yesterday in The Beacon, The Virginian-Pilot’s tab for residents in nearby Virginia Beach. The Junior Virginia Beach Garden Club funded the garden, and the photos accompanied an article about the club’s flower sale this weekend. The article isn’t online, but you can see one of the photos above. Taken last June when the garden was in full bloom, the photo (by Weyo) shows occupational therapy assistant Betsy Turner and 5-year-old Hamda enjoying the flowers.

Here’s a more recent photo, from a different angle, of the garden in its spring green finery:

The Junior Virginia Beach  Garden Club supports community projects including St. Mary’s Sensory Garden and the restoration of plantings at Crab Creek Boat Ramp near the Lesner Bridge in Virginia Beach. The flower sale is Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. For information, click here.

Photos from White House Easter Egg Roll

Carrington’s grandfather has shared photos he took when he, Carrington and her mother went to the Easter Egg Roll at the White House on Monday:

“It was just amazing to see all the kids there,” said the proud grandfather, Harold Brown Jr. His favorite part of the experience? “Just seeing her smile.”

To read more about Carrington’s Easter trip, see today’s Daily Press. The story is online here.

UPDATE: WTKR-TV Channel 3 also had a story, on its 11 p.m. newscast. You can watch it online here.

Grandpa’s Love is Girl’s Easter Gift

(2008 file photo of Carrington by Philip Holman for St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children)

The Daily Press of Newport News has a wonderful story on its front page today about Carrington, a 9-year-old Hampton girl who lives at St. Mary’s Home. Susan Smiglieski Acker writes about how the love of Carrington’s maternal grandfather made Easter Monday extra special for Carrington and her mother.

You can read the story online here, but if you get a chance, pick up the newspaper. We may be a bit biased, but the front page looks spectacular.