Create a Lasting Memory for Memorial Day

Engraved with a loved one’s name, a sentiment or an expression of gratitude, a paver creates a lasting memory. You can support the children and young adults of St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children while recognizing someone special.

Memorial Day is a nice time to honor someone with a paver, but paver orders are always welcome.

One paver costs $150; each additional paver is $100. For information or to reserve a brick, contact Diane Zinn, (757) 622-2208 ext. 328 or (800) 237-6555.

Thank you for supporting the children and young adults of St. Mary’s Home, and have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

Unveiling the Charity House Model for the Fall Homearama

From left, Richard N. Knapp, president of St. Mary’s Board of Trustees; Janette Crumley of Crumley Group, Inc.;and William C. Giermak, CEO of St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children; with the model of the Charity House.

Norfolk’s East Beach along the Chesapeake Bay is a neighborhood patterned after classic southeastern seaboard coastal villages. The Charity House at the fall Homearama will fit right in among the beautiful homes in East Beach, but, with its Spanish colonial design, it also promises to stand out.

The family-owned Crumley Group, Inc., is building the Charity House, which will be on display at the showcase of homes set for Oct. 2-17. When the house is sold, proceeds will go to support the programs and services of St. Mary’s Home, which has been caring for Virginia children for 65 years.

Janette Crumley, wife of company president Scott Crumley, spoke today at the annual meeting and luncheon of St. Mary’s Auxiliary Board. She brought with her a model that her husband built of the Charity House. At her invitation, Richard N. Knapp, president of St. Mary’s Board of Trustees, and William C. Giermak, St. Mary’s CEO, unveiled the model. Here’s a closer look:

Crumley Group, Inc., of Virginia Beach, designs and builds award-winning custom homes and is participating in Homearama for the first time. Scott Crumley has said he was inspired to build the Charity House as a way to give back.

“It’s such a blessing to put our family and your Home together,” Janette Crumley said today. “We hope the sale is a big success and helps you have 65 more years of comfort and caring.”

Graduation Day

From left, Kim Kelly, her son, Greg, and WTKR anchor Barbara Ciara. Greg presented the bouquet of flowers to his mother during today’s graduation ceremony. He also used his computerized communication device to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in a surprise for his mother and the staff, family and friends gathered in St. Mary’ s Atrium. 

Seven years ago, Kim Kelly was scared when she brought her son to live at St. Mary’s Home — scared that no one could care for Greg as well as she and her mother did. 
“When I was able to see all they did for him — the care he received, the love that he received — it was more than I could give him on my own. … St. Mary’s was the best decision for him,” Kelly recalled today as Greg and five other young adults graduated from the Home.
Kelly said it was hard to “put seven years of wonderful” into just a few minutes as she spoke during the ceremony. She thanked the staff for loving her child and all of the children, and for making St. Mary’s a place where Greg could be happy and safe. 
“Angels really do exist,” she said. “They exist right here.”
The young people who graduated today are 21, the age young adults leave the Home, or will turn 21 in the next year, and graduation signals the end of their formal education.The graduates will be missed as they move on to other places, such as adult intermediate care facilities or group homes.
The caregivers and teachers who knew the graduates the best shared a bit about them during the ceremony and talked about how much they had learned from Demetrias, Devonta, Greg, Justin, Katheryne and Steven. They reminisced about planning birthday parties, decorating beds, sneaking special treats and watching the children grow into young adults. “You don’t see them as your students — you look at them as your children,” said teacher Gay James Parson. 

WTKR NewsChannel 3 anchor Barbara Ciara, the keynote speaker, said it was obvious from hearing the  stories that “you guys — you’re not staff, you’re family.”

“My grandmother used to say that ‘Children are like lumps of clay,’ ” Ciara said. “What she meant by that is each person who touches a child leaves an impression. And what I’ve found here today is there are a lot of good impressions on the children who are growing and living here at St. Mary’s. You walk in here and you’re just enveloped by the love and the caring, and it’s just a good place to be.”

WTKR aired a story about graduation during its 4 p.m. newscast, but Ciara also promised to come back to share more about St. Mary’s Home, which has been caring for Virginia children for 65 years.

Video from St. Mary’s Prom: Part 1

St. Mary’s Home held its fifth annual prom on Sunday, with help from students from Norfolk Academy.

WTKR Channel 3 in Norfolk ran stories about St. Mary’s prom on its newscasts at 11 p.m. Sunday and 5 a.m. Monday. In the clip above, see an interview with Nicole Hoskins Jones, St. Mary’s director of recreational therapy services.

Flowers, Dancing and a King and Queen for the Day

2010 Prom King and Queen: Greg and Amanda    

Some, like Victoria, had attended before and couldn’t wait to go again. Others, like Colton, got to participate for the first time in a tradition of American youth — prom.

“We never thought we’d see him in a tuxedo,” said Colton’s mother, Roxane Ward, who got a little teary-eyed watching her son and 20 other formally attired young adults at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children dancing in the Atrium on Sunday.   

Cool Colton waits to make his entrance. 

Students from Norfolk Academy turned the Atrium into a disco for the afternoon, using decorations from their own recent prom. They also served as dates for the young adults from the Home.

“We have so much fun at our prom, we thought they should have that fun, too,” said Carter McCabe, co-president of Norfolk Academy’s St. Mary’s Club.

Devonta gets ready for the prom, with a little encouragement from Wayne Smith, a certified nursing assistant.

This was St. Mary’s fifth annual prom, an event organized by the recreational therapy services department. Special thanks go to St. Mary’s Auxiliary Board for paying for tuxedo rentals, the DJ and flowers.

 Victoria has attended all five proms at St. Mary’s Home.  

Congratulations to Greg and Amanda, who were voted Prom King and Queen.

Look for a story about St. Mary’s prom on WTKR NewsChannel 3 tonight.