Children from St. Mary’s, and Other Kids, Have Fun at Homearama

Carrington, who lives at St. Mary’s Home, works on a craft project with help from Angelica Yankauskas, a member of St. Mary’s recreational therapy staff, during Kids-a-Rama at Homearama on Sunday. (photo by Nicole Hoskins Jones)

There’s something for everyone at Homearama, even the kids.

On Sunday, staff from St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children held the first of two Kids-a-Ramas – with games, arts and crafts, book readings and more – during the Tidewater Builders Association’s Fall 2010 Homearama in Norfolk’s East Beach community.

They also will hold a fall-themed Kids-a-Rama on Sunday, Oct. 31, from 1-4 p.m. St. Mary’s is the recipient of proceeds from the sale of the Charity House at the Homearama showcase of homes.

About 70 children, including five from St. Mary’s Home, participated in the first Kids-a-Rama. They transformed coffee filters into flowers and butterflies, turned tissue paper into stained “glass,” decorated mermaid coloring-book pages, built houses out of craft sticks, created bookmarks, plucked toy ducks out of a pool to win prizes and played ring toss and cornhole.

Ron Herrick, manager of St. Mary’s environmental services department, and his wife, Melanie, stopped by Kids-a-Rama to work on some arts and crafts. (photo by Nicole Hoskins Jones)
Broderick, who lives at St. Mary’s Home, tries to fish a toy duck out of the pool, with assistance from Stephanie Bailey,  a recreational therapy assistant at St. Mary’s (in yellow), and Target team member Betty Hollowell (in red). (photo by Nicole Hoskins Jones)

“The children who live at St. Mary’s do many of these same activities, with some modifications to make them therapy-based,” said Nicole Hoskins Jones, St. Mary’s director of recreational therapy services, who organized Kids-a-Rama.

Target team members are helping with Kids-a-Rama. (photo by Nicole Hoskins Jones)

Local Target stores donated supplies for Kids-a-Rama and Target team members are volunteering to help with the programs.

Also among those helping with the effort is Jenna Crumley, the 9-year-old daughter of the Charity House builder, Scott Crumley. Jenna and her friends have started a “Kid2Kid” program to reach out to children of St. Mary’s Home. They have donated party materials to the children, and sold lemonade to raise funds for the children.

The first Kids-a-Rama also included story time, with local author Lisa Suhay reading her children’s book, “There Goes a Mermaid! A NorFolktale.” To celebrate St. Mary’s 65th anniversary, the Home sponsored the publication of a special updated edition of the book, which was inspired by the statues around Norfolk that are shaped like the city’s mermaid symbol.

You Can Help the Charity House Help the Children of St. Mary’s Home

A letter from our CEO … 

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you today on behalf of some of Virginia’s most medically fragile children. You can help improve the lives of the nearly 90 children and young adults who live, go to school and receive around-the-clock care at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children in Norfolk.

This summer, Scott Crumley of Crumley Group, Inc., is building the Tidewater Builders Association’s  Charity House for the 2010 Fall Homearama in Norfolk’s East Beach community. All proceeds from the sale of the house will go to St. Mary’s Home, a nonprofit organization that has been caring for children for 65 years.

Your donation of services, material, furnishings or equipment will help offset the cost of building the Charity House. That means more money from the sale of the beautiful Charity House will go to the children, to make their home at St. Mary’s more beautiful, more inviting and more personal.

For Greg, at left, we’ll redecorate his bedroom to reflect his love of cars and also get him involved in car club activities in the community.

For Brandon, right, who tries so hard to communicate but can’t verbalize, we’ll provide advanced technology devices he can use to express his likes and dislikes so we can honor his wishes.

Every child at St. Mary’s has a unique wish that your donation can help fulfill.

St. Mary’s is honored to have been chosen for the first time to benefit from the Homearama Charity House. We are grateful to St. Mary’s Trustee Vince Napolitano for nominating us, to Tidewater Builders Association for selecting us and to the Crumley family for supporting us with their hard work and generosity.

Your support of the Fall Homearama Charity House will build a strong foundation for children with severe disabilities to have happy lives and achieve their fullest potential. To help, contact Jill Woolard of Crumley Group at 428-5252. Thank you.



William C. Giermak

A Smashing Good Time

Stephanie Bailey, early intervention technician, left, and Nicole Hoskins Jones, director of recreational therapy, help 20-month-old Bryan create a painting by rolling a rubber ball over a piece of paper covering another piece of paper that was splattered with paint. The activity helps Bryan improve his range of motion. Plus, it’s a lot of fun. 

“How about yellow?” Nicole Hoskins Jones, St. Mary’s director of recreational therapy, asked as she held up a brightly colored bottle of paint.  

“No,” 9-year-old Carrington replied.

“Green?” Jones asked next. 




“Do you like pink?” 

“Yeah!” said Carrington, who then also gave her approval to blue. 

Her colors chosen, Carrington was ready to begin the task at hand: Creating “smash” paintings for potential display at the Fall 2010 Homearama Charity House. Profits from the sale of the house will benefit Carrington and more than 80 other children and young adults who live at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children.

Twins Brandon and Bryan, 20 months, joined in the fun as first-time Homearamabuilder Scott Crumley visited St. Mary’s today to display the model of his Homearama entry — the Spanish Colonial-style home called “Santa Maria” — and chat with media representatives about the project. The 2,800-square-foot home will feature a courtyard with a pool and outdoor fireplace. 

“The proceeds from the beautiful home Scott is going to build are going to be used to make St. Mary’s Home more beautiful,” said William C. Giermak, St. Mary’s CEO. St. Mary’s will use the funds to redecorate and personalize the children’s bedrooms to make them more inviting and homelike.

William C. Giermak, CEO of St. Mary’s Home, left, and builder Scott Crumley with the model of the Charity House. 
Crumley Group, Inc. needs help from suppliers and subcontractors. To donate materials or labor, contact Jill Woolard, who is following the Charity House project on the Crumley Group blog.\

Read more about today’s event at the blog of The Tidewater Builders Association. Watch a video here:

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.”

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: 

St. Mary’s Home Chosen as Charity for 2010 Fall Homearama

TBA President Bill Halprin and Fall Homearama Charity House builder Scott Crumley at the
65th anniversary dinner for St. Mary’s Home.
About 300 people who gathered Wednesday evening to celebrate St. Mary’s 65 years of comfort and caring were the first to hear the news. Bill Halprin, president of Tidewaters Builders Association, officially announced that St. Mary’s Home will benefit from proceeds from the 2010 Fall Homearama Charity House in Norfolk’s East Beach Community.

“We are proud that our Fall Homearama Charity House will help some of our most vulnerable children by giving them a place to call home, where their families can feel secure in knowing their medical and emotional needs will be addressed,” Halprin said.

Also on hand for the announcement was Scott Crumley, president of The Crumley Group, Inc., who has volunteered to build the Charity House. The company will need contributions of materials and services to the home.

Click here to read a news release about the announcement.