Salim’s Dream Team Makes LeBron James Pizza

Salim’s favorite food is pizza, and his favorite basketball player is LeBron James. So when Chef Ron Badach of Ron Badach Callicoon Kitchen dropped by St. Mary’s Home this summer to teach Salim how to make a vegan pizza, naturally they used some of the NBA star’s favorite toppings.

“So much fun visiting you guys,” Ron said. “Big congrats to Salim. You were fabulous!”

The duo shot a video of the cooking demo, which you can watch above. You also can check out more photos of the pizza-making lesson on Facebook.

Happy Better Hearing & Speech Month!

Vicki Dixon has worked at St. Mary’s as our speech language pathologist since August 2016. Her job involves providing communication evaluations and therapeutic sessions for the children and young adults who are exhibiting speech and language deficits.

Vicki works primarily with the children in Neighborhood 2 and with the adults in The Albero House, but she also has worked with some of the children in other neighborhoods at St. Mary’s.

“I love the teamwork at St. Mary’s and how everyone is focused on providing each child or young adult with the best possible life they can have,” Vicki says. “Each individual is amazing, and their smiles light up my day every day. Hearing a little four-year-old finally say ‘hi’ to teaching a young adult to use her eyes to tell me what she wants – these experiences make each day worthwhile.”

Vicki has worked with people with intellectual disabilities for almost 25 years. She had the opportunity to work as a volunteer with people with communication needs throughout her teen and college years, working in an adult day program, working at a residential facility with persons with intellectual disabilities, and with children with language deficits.

“Once I started spending time with these amazing individuals, I was hooked and could not imagine doing anything else,” she says.

Happy Better Hearing & Speech Month, Vicki! Thank you for providing life-altering treatment that means communication for all!

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!

Kathleen Kaurup Heads Fundraising for St. Mary’s Home

NORFOLK, Va. (Dec. 12, 2017) —Kathleen Kaurup has joined St. Mary’s Home as director of philanthropy.

Kaurup comes to St. Mary’s with more than 20 years of experience with a focus on fund development. She most recently was the corporate and foundation relations officer at the Chrysler Museum of Art. Before that, she was the corporate and foundation relations manager for the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast.

Kaurup holds a bachelor’s degree from Mary Washington College. She is a graduate of LEAD Peninsula, a 10-month community immersion program of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

“St. Mary’s Home has an amazing mission,” Kaurup said. “I am proud to be a part of this incredible staff that changes the lives of children, young adults and their families every day.”

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home in Norfolk provides around-the-clock care for 88 Virginia children and 12 adults with disabilities. For more information, visit www.SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

Download a PDF of this release.

PRA Group Donates $20,000 for St. Mary’s Fall Celebration

Jackson, left, and Braeden, right, welcomed Chris Lagow, senior vice president, general counsel, PRA Group, during a visit to St. Mary’s Home. PRA Group donated $20,000 to be the lead sponsor of the It’s Fall, Y’all celebration to be held Sept. 22, 2017, on the grounds of the Norfolk nonprofit. Lagow recently joined the St. Mary’s Home Advisory Council.

NORFOLK, Va. (July 11, 2017) — PRA Group, Inc. has donated $20,000 to be the lead sponsor of the second annual It’s Fall, Y’all celebration to support individuals with disabilities who live at St. Mary’s Home. Additionally, Baker’s Crust generously will provide a delicious menu for the event, including pulled pork BBQ, smoke beef brisket, pork belly tacos, oysters on the half shell and vegetarian items.

It’s Fall, Y’all will take place Friday, Sept. 22, from 5-8 p.m. on the grounds of St. Mary’s Home, across from Sentara Leigh Hospital. Guests will enjoy live bluegrass music by More Perfect Jones, craft beer from Tradition Brewing Co., tours of St. Mary’s and family-friendly activities including face painting, cornhole and a visit from the Hampton Roads Superhero Squad.

PRA Group, a longtime supporter of the nonprofit, also was the presenting sponsor of the 2016 It’s Fall, Ya’ll event. Additional sponsors to date this year include Baker’s Crust, Children’s Specialty Group, Coastal Prosthetics and Orthotics, London & Norfolk Ltd., Mermaid Factory, Peter Decker Children’s Charity, Sertoma Club of Norfolk, Strayseed Landscaping, Tradition Brewing Co. and an anonymous donor.

About PRA Group: As a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, PRA Group, Inc. returns capital to banks and other creditors to help expand financial services for consumers in the Americas and Europe. With more than 4,000 employees worldwide, PRA Group companies collaborate with customers to help them resolve their debt and provide a broad range of additional revenue and recovery services to business clients.

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. For more information about St. Mary’s Home and It’s Fall, Y’all, visit www.SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

Download a PDF of this release.

Auxiliary Gala Raises $80,000 for Individuals with Disabilities

Colton, who lives at The Albero House for adults on St. Mary’s campus, was a special guest at the St. Mary’s Auxiliary Gala and Auction on April 1, 2017, at the Peter G. Decker Jr. Half Moone Center. The Gala raised $80,000 for St. Mary’s. With Colton are his mother, Roxane Ward, center, and Nancy Wilcox, immediate past president of St. Mary’s Board of Directors and co-chair of the 2017 Gala. (photo courtesy Carl Anderson of Hampton Roads Photography)

NORFOLK, Va. (June 6, 2017) — Individuals with disabilities who live at St. Mary’s Home will benefit from more community outings and much-needed medical equipment because of the generosity of sponsors and donors who helped St. Mary’s Auxiliary Board Gala and Auction raise $80,000.

About 300 people attended the Auxiliary Board’s 12th annual Gala this spring at the Peter G. Decker Jr. Half Moone Center on Norfolk’s downtown waterfront.

For the seventh year in a row, presenting sponsor Checkered Flag Auto Group donated a car for the Auxiliary to raffle off at the end of the event. The raffle raised $23,000, with the 2017 silver Toyota Corolla going to Cathy Engesser of Virginia Beach.

Cathy Engesser, center, of Virginia Beach won a raffle for a 2017 Toyota Corolla donated by Checkered Flag. With Engessser are, from left: Kristen Nelson, St. Mary’s annual giving manager; Mary Helen Hilton, St. Mary’s director of development; Ann Gimbert, president of St. Mary’s Auxiliary Board; and Marie Siebeking, treasurer of St. Mary’s Auxiliary Board. (photo courtesy St. Mary’s Home)

Additional Gala sponsors were PRA Group, Kerneos Inc., TowneBank, Kaufman & Canoles P.C., George and Linda Consolvo, PF&A Design, Mercer, Roof Engineering, TS&W, Teamsters Local 822 and Vandeventer Black.

The Norfolk Strolling Silver Strings provided musical entertainment for the evening.

The Auxiliary Board plans to hold its 13th Gala and Auction on April 14, 2018, at The Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach.

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. For more information, visit www.SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

Download a PDF of this release.

St. Mary’s Home Names Controller

Laura Godfrey, CPA, is the new controller for St. Mary's Home. NORFOLK, Va. (Jan. 30, 2017) — Laura Godfrey, CPA, has joined St. Mary’s Home in the new position of controller for the nonprofit, which cares for children and adults who have severe disabilities.

“Laura’s strong financial background coupled with her previous experience as an accounting volunteer at St. Mary’s makes her ideally suited to oversee budgeting, financial statements, Medicaid cost reimbursement and other accounting-related activities,” said Wayne Jones, St. Mary’s former chief financial officer, who became CEO last fall.

Previously, Godfrey worked in financial and audit consulting for Accenture Federal Services and in public accounting for Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP. In 2008, she was an accounting volunteer at St. Mary’s.

She holds a bachelor’s degree of business administration in accounting with a minor in studio art and art history from The College of William and Mary and master’s of science degree in accounting from Old Dominion University.

“I am happy to be back at St. Mary’s, working with the great staff here helping to make a difference for individuals with disabilities,” Godfrey said.

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home, formerly St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, in Norfolk provides around-the-clock, specialized residential care for 88 children and 12 adults from throughout Virginia who have multiple, severe disabilities. For more information, visit www.SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

Download a PDF of the news release.

St. Mary’s Names Director of Operational Support

Shannon Edsall is the new director of operational support.NORFOLK, Va. (Jan. 30, 2017) — Shannon Edsall has been promoted to the new position of director of operational support of St. Mary’s Home, which cares for children and adults who have severe disabilities.

Edsall has been with the nonprofit for more than five years, starting as an intern, and currently works on coordinating and managing projects, as well as writing grants as a member of the development department. Edsall’s new responsibilities include overseeing human resources, maintenance, security and staff development. She also will work closely with other departments throughout the Home to evaluate and update processes.

“With her wide experience at the Home, Shannon is the perfect person to help St. Mary’s staff collaborate to become even more effective at providing complex care,” CEO Wayne Jones said.

Before coming to St. Mary’s, Edsall worked at Navy Federal Credit Union as a member service representative and as the business manager for Guam Harley-Davidson. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Guam and a master’s degree in business administration-health care administration from the University of Phoenix.

Edsall said having a childhood friend with physical and intellectual disabilities sparked her interest in St. Mary’s. After she completed her internship, she knew she wanted to develop her career at the Home.

“I am both excited and honored to continue my journey at St. Mary’s and I look forward to working even harder, alongside a great team, to ensure that the children and young adults we serve have a happy, healthy, and exciting life,” she said.

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home, formerly St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, in Norfolk provides around-the-clock, specialized residential care for 88 children and 12 adults from throughout Virginia who have multiple, severe disabilities. For more information, visit www.SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

Download a PDF of the news release.

St. Mary’s Names Annual Giving Manager

Kristen Nelson is the new annul giving manager for St. Mary's Home. NORFOLK, Va. (Jan. 30, 2017) — Kristen Nelson has been promoted to annual giving manager for St. Mary’s Home, which cares for children and adults who have severe disabilities.

Nelson joined St. Mary’s in June 2016 as development coordinator. Her expanded role as annual giving manager will include donor relations, database management, grants, special events and community involvement with the Home.

Previously, she was a philanthropy associate with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast in Chesapeake, volunteer coordinator with the Massachusetts Service Alliance in Boston and director of training and technology with Volunteer Hampton Roads in Norfolk.

“Kristen brings a wealth of experience to her position here at St. Mary’s Home,” said Mary Helen Hilton, St. Mary’s director of development. “Her keen sense of donor database management and her excellent relationship skills make her a rare asset to any development team. We are lucky to have her on board.”

Nelson holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and human resource development from James Madison University. After school, she committed to a year of national service with AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). She completed over 1,700 hours of community service while participating in a team-based residential program with projects focusing on disaster relief, education, environment, public safety and unmet human needs. She served in Florida, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

“St. Mary’s Home is an incredibly special place,” Nelson said. “I am overjoyed for this growth opportunity working alongside amazing staff and kids who steal your heart. It doesn’t feel like work when every day is spent at ‘Home.’ ”

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home, formerly St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, in Norfolk provides around-the-clock, specialized residential care for 88 children and 12 adults from throughout Virginia who have multiple, severe disabilities. For more information, visit www.SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

Download a PDF of the news release here.

Mary Helen Hilton Promoted to Development Director

NORFOLK, Va. (Jan. 30, 2017) — Mary Helen Hilton has been promoted to director of development for St. Mary’s Home, which cares for children and adults who have severe disabilities.

Hilton has worked at the nonprofit for more than 10 years, first as marketing communications manager for one and a half years and then as director of annual giving. She worked side by side with Martha Price Stewart, who retired as director of development on Dec. 31.

“Mary Helen’s work with annual donors, as well as her close working relationship with St. Mary’s Auxiliary Board will serve her — and the Home — well in her new position,” CEO Wayne Jones said in announcing Hilton’s promotion.

Hilton served on the board of the Hampton Roads chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for five years, including two as secretary. She currently serves as secretary for the AFP Virginia Caucus, the statewide organization of Virginia AFP chapters.

Before coming to St. Mary’s, Hilton worked at The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News for more than seven years as the marketing communications manager. She graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

“I continue to be amazed by our staff and how they look at our young people in terms of what they can do instead of what they can’t,” Hilton said. “It is a gift and privilege to be here at St. Mary’s, and I look forward to working even harder to provide the children and young adults a good life.”

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home, formerly St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, in Norfolk provides around-the-clock, specialized residential care for 88 children and 12 adults from throughout Virginia who have multiple, severe disabilities. For more information, visit www.SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

Download a PDF of the news release.