Congratulations to the Winner of Our Auxiliary’s Car Raffle

From left: St. Mary’s Auxiliary Board President Ann Gimbert, St. Mary’s CEO H. Wayne Jones, raffle car winner Pepe Yanez and wife Margie Yanez, Auxiliary Board Treasurer Marie Siebeking and St. Mary’s Director of Philanthropy Kathy Kaurup.

As a teen, Pepe Yanez of Norfolk volunteered at what was then St. Mary’s Infant Home. The former linebacker and fellow members of Norfolk Catholic High School’s football team spent two or three weekends a year at the Home, painting, cleaning and raking the yard.

On April 20, Pepe got reacquainted with St. Mary’s when he and his wife, Margie, picked up their new car. Pepe bought the winning ticket for a raffle by the Auxiliary Board of St. Mary’s Home. He purchased the ticket from longtime Auxiliary Board member Betty Bade, whom he knows through Blessed Sacrament Church.

“It’s incredible,” Pepe said about St. Mary’s after touring the building, which opened in 2005. This was his first visit to the “new” St. Mary’s, which is bigger and brighter than the old building he remembered in downtown Norfolk.

Happy driving, Pepe and Margie, and thank you for supporting the children and young adults of St. Mary’s Home and The Albero House. And thank you to Checkered Flag Toyota for so generously donating the new Toyota Corolla LE!

91-Year-Old Wins Car in Raffle to Help Kids with Disabilities

SMH Car Raffle Winner

From left: Checkered Flag BMW General Manager Todd Collins, St. Mary’s CEO William C. Giermak, Auxiliary Board President Mollie Pavlik, lucky car winner Eugene Adams, St. Mary’s Director of Annual Giving Mary Helen Hilton and Auxiliary Board Treasurer Marie Siebeking.


NORFOLK, Va. (May 2, 2016) — Eugene Adams, 91, pulled up to St. Mary’s Home in a 25-year-old Jeep. He drove away from the nonprofit in a brand new Toyota Corolla.

Checkered Flag Auto Group, which operates multiple dealerships in Virginia Beach, donated the silver car for the Auxiliary Board of St. Mary’s Home to raffle. Adams bought the winning ticket in the drawing, which raised about $20,000 to help 100 children and young adults with severe disabilities who live at St. Mary’s.

Auxiliary Board President Mollie Pavlik handed over the keys to Adams when his daughter brought him to St. Mary’s to sign paperwork to take ownership of the car. She told him she was very excited that he had won.

“YOU’RE excited?” Adams replied with a grin.

Todd Collins, general manager of Checkered Flag BMW, arranged the giveaway and was on hand to greet Adams and show him some of the car’s features. This was the sixth year in a row that Checkered Flag donated a car to the Auxiliary raffle. The winning ticket was pulled during the Auxiliary’s Gala and Auction on April 16 at the Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center in Norfolk.

Adams said he bought his raffle tickets — 10 in all for a total of $200 — to help the children of St. Mary’s.

The Virginia Beach resident met his wife in 1946 when he was a Corsair pilot on the USS Midway aircraft carrier at Oceana Naval Air Station. They were married nearly 67 years when she passed away in 2014.

Adams, who turned 91 in March, said he’s “almost too old for a new car,” but that he definitely needed one. “Ninety-one is a heck of an age to win a new car,” he said. “But that is how the ball bounces.”

He said he’d never won anything before, except for a basket of groceries. The car, he said, was a much better prize.

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home in Norfolk provides around-the-clock, specialized residential care for 88 children and 12 adults from throughout Virginia who have multiple, severe disabilities. With the opening of The Albero House at St. Mary’s in 2013 to provide care for adults 22 and over, St. Mary’s Home has shortened its name from St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children.

Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071

Click here to download release.

Save the Date: Auxiliary Gala & Car Drawing April 16

Auxiliary Board - Sip of JoeJohn and other kids in Classroom 10 were joined recently by some special guests. Members of our Auxiliary Board were meeting at St. Mary’s when they stopped by the student-run Sip o’ Joe Cafe for a coffee break.

The Auxiliary is busy planning its 11th annual gala and auction, to be held April 16 at a new venue: The Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center on the downtown Norfolk waterfront. Items up for auction will include jewelry, sports memorabilia and a trip to France. The event will culminate with a drawing for a 2016 classic silver Toyota Corolla donated by our friends at Checkered Flag.

For information about the gala or to buy your raffle tickets for the car, contact Mary Helen Hilton, (757) 446-6793 or Or buy your raffle tickets online here.

This article is from the winter 2015-2016 issue of our newsletter, Journeys. Read the entire issue online here. To request a print copy of the newsletter, contact Sonja Barisic, APR, director of marketing communications, at or (757) 352-2700. 

Checkered Flag Honored for Volunteering at St. Mary’s

Checkered Flag-Volunteer HR Award 2014-12-03 - 3

Todd Collins, general manager of Checkered Flag Volkswagen & Hyundai, holds the Good Corporate Neighbor Award he accepted for the dealership at a ceremony Dec. 3, 2014. With him are, from left, Clare Davison, president of St. Mary’s Auxiliary; Shannon Edsall, an Auxiliary member and project manager and development associate at St. Mary’s; Martha Price Stewart, St. Mary’s director of development; St. Mary’s CEO William C. Giermak; St. Mary’s CFO Wayne Jones; and Pete Lively, vice president, director of variable operations, at Checkered Flag Motor Car Company, Inc.

Our friends at Checkered Flag Volkswagen & Hyundai in Virginia Beach were honored today with a Good Corporate Neighbor Award at the VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads 2014 Corporate VOLUNTEER Excellence Awards. The dealership was recognized for its support of St. Mary’s Home. Congratulations, Checkered Flag VW!

Congratulations also to Steve Fredrickson, chairman and CEO of PRA Group, for being selected as the 2014 Corporate VOLUNTEER Leadership Award Honoree. Fredrickson is a director of St. Mary’s Foundation Board.

The Hampton Roads Corporate VOLUNTEER Excellence Awards are presented annually by VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads, in partnership with the Hampton Roads Corporate VOLUNTEER Council and Inside Business. The awards recognize the vital role workplace volunteer programs play in strengthening our community and the workforce. See a complete list of this year’s honorees here.

St. Mary’s was pleased to nominate the volunteers from Checkered Flag for a 2014 Good Corporate Neighbor Award.

Checkered Flag employees first came to St. Mary’s Home for a United Way kickoff for managers in August 2008. Since then, they have been dedicated volunteers and supporters of our mission – to provide quality, specialized care within a homelike environment for children and adults with severe disabilities, so each person can achieve his or her fullest potential.

“We could not accomplish all we need to do without wonderful, active volunteers like our friends at Checkered Flag,” said William C. Giermak, St. Mary’s CEO.

Checkered Flag employees have dressed up as their favorite rock stars for several “Rock Star” charity sales events, donating proceeds to St. Mary’s. For the fifth year in a row, Checkered Flag VW is donating a car for St. Mary’s to raffle and keep all proceeds, making the dealership the presenting sponsor of our Auxiliary Board’s annual auction and gala.

These dedicated employees also have stepped forward to volunteer on a number of occasions. For example, they staffed the Coastal Living House in East Beach for St. Mary’s for an entire week in 2011 when St. Mary’s received the proceeds from ticket sales for tours of the home.

This August, 23 staff members from Checkered Flag VW volunteered over four days to help put together communication books for the children at St. Mary’s Home. Our school needed these communication books to help the children learn how to interact and communicate with others. The books allow the teachers at St. Mary’s to show the meaning of words and let the children choose words to indicate their thoughts.

“All this seems simple until you think about how your day would go if you truly could not speak words. Such is the life for many of the children at St. Mary’s,” said Ynez Peterson, assistive technology specialist with the school at St. Mary’s. “The school staff wish to thank all of the volunteers for the many hours spent making these completed communication books possible.”

Most recently, 21 staff came to St. Mary’s to volunteer for the United Way of South Hampton Roads Day of Caring on Sept. 12. They spent the day helping our children and young adults take a break from the classroom to enjoy a Field Day, with fun events including wheelchair dancing and adaptive bowling. There even was a dunking booth. Children got their principal and physical education teacher all wet by using an adaptive switch to dump water over their heads.

“Thank you Checkered Flag … for creating such precious smiles and giggles today at St. Mary’s,” the mother of one of the children wrote on St. Mary’s Facebook page. “Sure does make a mom feel good to know her child is in such good hands!”


Win a Car and Help the Children of St. Mary’s Home

The Beetle pulls up to the entrance of St. Mary’s Home.

Checkered Flag Volkswagen in Virginia Beach has generously donated a new Salsa Red 2010 VW Beetle to St. Mary’s Auxiliary Board, which will raffle off the car to benefit the children of St. Mary’s Home. The car arrived on Tuesday, Aug. 3, for display in St. Mary’s front lobby. Raffle tickets go on sale Sept. 1 for $50 apiece; only 800 tickets will be sold. Details coming soon on  St. Mary’s website. The winning ticket will be drawn during the Auxiliary’s auction on Feb. 19, 2011.

“I was really moved by the level of care that St. Mary’s gives to these children,” said Todd Collins, general manager of Checkered Flag Volkswagen. “What they do here is unbelievable. The level of care is something like I’ve never seen before.”

Gathered around the car on display in St. Mary’s lobby are, from left, Kamaia, Amonte, Director of Development Martha Stewart, Auxiliary Board President Karen Hibbard, Jahmari and CEO William C. Giermak, all of St. Mary’s Home, and Todd Collins, general manager of Checkered Flag’s Hyundai/Volkswagen division, and Christine Knowles, eMarketing diretor of Checkered Flag Motor Car Corp., Inc. Seated behind the desk is receptionist Delores Curry.

For more photos of the Beetle’s arrival, be sure to check out St. Mary’s Facebook page.

Here’s a video of the Beetle’s arrival:

Checkered Flag Holding Facebook Fan Drive to Benefit St. Mary’s Home

Checkered Flag is a great supporter of St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children.The last two years, the general manager of Checkered Flag Volkswagen in Virginia Beach has turned the dealership’s annual “Buy a Car from a Rock Start” sales event into a benefit for the children of the Home.

Now, Checkered Flag is pushing the pedal to the metal with an incredibly generous offer — and a challenge.

If 500 new people “like” Checkered Flag Auto Group‘s Facebook fan page in the month of July, Checkered Flag Volkswagen will donate a brand new 2010 VW Beetle to the Auxiliary Board of St. Mary’s Home. The new Beetle will be raffled off during the Auxiliary’s 6th Annual Gala and Auction in February, with all proceeds going to the Home.

Read more about the challenge — and about a Checkered Flag employee’s recent visit to the Home — here. Please recommend Checkered Flag Auto Group to all your Facebook friends, and spread the word to to help reach the goal. While you’re on Facebook, don’t forget to click the “like” button St. Mary’s page as well.