Emma and Maggie Make a Real Dream Team

Maggie Seymour presents Emma with her medal.

Seymour followed Emma into the St. Mary's library to flip through several of the books.

Last month in Holland, Mass., Team Hoyt VB runner Maggie Seymour and St. Mary’s Home resident Emma crossed the finish line in a triumphant second place victory.

Recently, Seymour, a captain in the Marines, reunited with Emma at the Home to present her with the medal they had received and a photo of the two at the race.

Seymour said that during the race, Emma kept reaching up through the sun screen on her jogging stroller to wave to the cheering crowd.

Team Hoyt VB is a Virginia Beach-based organization associated with Team Hoyt, which gives people with disabilities the opportunity to play an active role in their community. Team Hoyt VB runners have participated in several races, including St. Mary’s 5K.

By Sydney Palese, Marketing Communications Intern

Brandon and Carrington’s Weekend Adventure

Brandon and Carrington, two children from St. Mary’s Home, joined Team Hoyt VB for a trip this past weekend to Holland, Mass., where father-and-son athlete team Dick and Rick Hoyt live. 

The group of 96 athletes, participants, family and friends traveled from Hampton Roads by plane, car and RV and enjoyed a cookout on Saturday at the Hoyts’ home – complete with rides for everyone who wanted to go on Dick Hoyt’s boat for a spin around the lake. They also ran the Holland Elementary School 5K on Sunday morning and celebrated afterward at Team Hoyt’s Finish Line restaurant. 

Team Hoyt VB is a local offshoot of Team Hoyt, which strives to help people with physical disabilities become active members of the community. Dick Hoyt and his son compete together in marathons and triathlons nationwide. Members of Team Hoyt VB have pushed children and young adults in St. Mary’s annual 5K, among other races. 

Check out St. Mary’s Facebook page for more photos from the weekend trip. 

Amelia and Ashley’s Tea for Six

Seated: Ashley, left, and Amelia, right. Standing, from left to right: Annie MacRae and her mother, Ann MacRae; Amelia’s mother, Myra Perdue; and Martha Price Stewart, director of development at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children. (photo by Nicole Hoskins Jones)

When it comes to tea parties, Amelia is a natural. How could she not be, since, as her mother noted, Amelia is from the South, where folks drink plenty of tea?

Amelia recently donned a fancy hat and dress and headed to the charming tearoom at Rowena’s in Norfolk for a luncheon. Rowena’s founder, Rowena Fullinwider, is an associate member of the Auxiliary Board of St. Mary’s Home. Joining Amelia were Ashley, who, like Amelia, lives at St. Mary’s Home; Amelia’s mother, Myra Perdue; and some special friends: Martha Price Stewart, St. Mary’s director of development, and Stewart’s sister, Ann MacRae, and niece, Annie MacRae, who were visiting from North Carolina. 
“I suppose we could change Amelia’s name just a bit to Amelia Belle,” said her mother. “This was Amelia’s first time attending a tea party. However, it is the beginning of many to come.”

The trip to the tearoom is just one of the many field trips into the community that St. Mary’s recreational therapy staff organize for the children. For example, on Saturday, Trent, Antwoine, Camille, Dreshawn and Tyquawn visited the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton — thanks to tickets generously donated by Adams Outdoor Advertising. And Kishaun, Nate G., Katie A., Meagan E. and Molly went to see the holiday lights along the boardwalk at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. 

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

Running for a Good Reason

Ready to start the 5K. (photo by Kathy Brobst)

One-Mile Fun Run finishers, with “Rocket Man,” who warmed up the kids before the race.
(photo by Kathy Brobst)

More than 400 runners, walkers, volunteers and supporters turned out at Fort Story today for the 21st Annual St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children 5K, plus One-Mile Fun Run.

This was the second year the event was at the Virginia Beach base. The event raises money to support the programs and services of the Home, which cares for 88 children and young adults with severe disabilities. Last year’s race raised more than $16,000, and this year’s 5K was on track to raise even more.

In addition, during the race awards ceremony, Team Hoyt VB presented the Home with a check for $10,000 — which the team raised for St. Mary’s during the 2009 Rock ‘n’ 1/2 Marathon at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront over Labor Day weekend. Team Hoyt runs with people with disabilities, using jogger strollers.

Thank you to everyone for making today a success. Your generosity is astounding.

For race results, see the Tidewater Striders’ website.

Help Team Hoyt VB Help St. Mary’s Home

Help Team Hoyt VB make a run for it at the Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon on Sept. 6 in Virginia Beach. Come out and cheer them on as they run 13.1 miles, pushing children and young adults with disabilities in running chairs, along a fun course with 20 bands on 14 stages. The goal is to raise $30,000, with at least $10,000 going to St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children. Click here for more information on how you can help.

Sand, Sea and Team Hoyt VB

A fleet of life rafts, jogger strollers and beach buggies covered the grass at Neptune’s Park on 31st St. in Virginia Beach for several hours Saturday. Team Hoyt VB had set up camp for the 10th annual Allen Stone Memorial Run-Swim-Run, tackling sand and sea for the first time to take enthusiastic participants on an added adventure.

Team Hoyt VB goes on runs with residents of St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children and other children and young adults with disabilities from the community. Members have completed nine running events over the past two years, so they’re used to the logistics of a typical race. Introducing beach buggies, life rafts, kayaks and life jackets, however, added a new dimension.

Runners, participants, families and volunteers showed up from across Hampton Roads, including The Noblemen, a local philanthropic group that provided many of the large jogger strollers. Two residents from St. Mary’s Home took part in the event, and St. Mary’s staff also reunited with some former residents who had moved on after turning 21. People cheered at the finish line for the 5K and at the water’s edge as crews helped participants back to their jogger strollers.

One of the parents described being involved with Team Hoyt VB last year as a gift of being “connected in community, service and spirit.” You couldn’t help but feel that way on Saturday.

Watch a WAVY-TV story about the run here:

Ready, Set, Go …

As Team Hoyt VB’s members readied for a fun run at St. Mary’s Home on Saturday, they wondered if Mother Nature would smile on them. Despite earlier showers and clouds in the distance, 15 joggers/walkers and a dozen children in jogger strollers made half-mile laps around St. Mary’s property with laughs, smiles, squeals of joy and even a few claps. A few gentle raindrops felt refreshing, and the sun came out just in time for a final group picture.

Team Hoyt VB formed in April 2008 with the same goal as the national father-and-son Team Hoyt: to integrate the physically challenged into everyday life. This local group of Team Hoyt supporters embrace that spirit wholeheartedly. They go the extra mile to make the running events happen, loading as many as 25+ jogger strollers on multiple vehicles to reach the starting line. Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” That message rings true with this enthusiastic group.

Look for Team Hoyt VB at these  upcoming races: CHKD 8K on June 13, Allen Stone Memorial on July 18, Surfers Healing on August 22, Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on September 6 and finishing the season with St. Mary’s 5K fundraiser on October 3 at Fort Story