When contemporary jazz musician Marcus Johnson was in Norfolk recently for a concert, he had problems with his keyboard. So he bought one to use just for the show while his regular keyboard was being fixed.
During the performance, Johnson asked if anyone in the audience had a charity. Cpl. Rickey Smith, a Norfolk sheriff’s deputy who was sitting in the second row, spoke up at his wife’s urging. He told Johnson that he works in security for St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, which cares for children with severe disabilities from all around Virginia.
Johnson gave Smith the new keyboard to donate to the Home. “What better organization to give it to?” Smith recalled Johnson saying. Johnson autographed the keyboard, inscribing it “To the children of St. Mary’s.”
Smith donated the keyboard to the Home on behalf of the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office. That’s Smith in the photo wearing his uniform, with St. Mary’s CFO Wayne Jones, left, and CEO William C. Giermak, right. Giermak said the generous gift will be perfect for entertaining residents.