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!”