St. Mary’s Auxiliary Receives Donation from Students at Linkhorn Park 

Norfolk, Va. – Feb. 1, 2008 – St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children today announced that the Auxiliary Board to the Home was recently honored with a $650 donation from Linkhorn Park Elementary School in Virginia Beach. Teachers Rita Rendon and Bunky Manley helped with the Student Council Association fund-raiser. “As soon as I told the kids about St. Mary’s they were really excited about raising money for them,” said Rendon. She learned about St. Mary’s through a St. Mary’s Auxiliary Board member and friend of her mother’s. “As soon as I heard about St. Mary’s it brought back all my wonderful memories working as a counselor at a camp for children and adults with disabilities. I knew this was the thing to do.”

The week-long drive pitted the boys against the girls in a “Penny War.” This means that only pennies are “legal” tender. If other coins or dollars are used then that amount acts as a negative to the total and must be made up by the team. “The kids had a great time raising the money,” said Rendon. In total the school raised $650 and presented Auxiliary President Kim Thumel with a check. This has meant so much to the kids that they want to make this an annual event, said Rendon. Thumel thanked the students for all of their hard work and said she hoped they would continue to make volunteerism an important part of their lives. The money raised will fund a wheelchair accessible sensory table so children at the Home can experience the feel of sand, water and other objects.

St. Mary’s Home serves and cares for 88 children from across the Commonwealth of Virginia with severe and profound disabilities. “Funds raised by the Auxiliary support programs and provide equipment that directly and positively affect the care of the children. Some of the projects they have funded include six Hill-Rom stretchers, rocking chairs, six vests that aid in respiratory therapy and breathing, a SoftPlay Tunnel Climber and a pool cover,” said CEO William C. Giermak.

Established in 1944, St. Mary’s Home is the only pediatric long-term care residential facility of its kind in Virginia for children with severe to profound disabilities. St. Mary’s offers a comprehensive range of residential, medical, therapeutic, educational and recreational services for children from birth to age 21. The staff combines medical care with a gentle touch to create a therapeutic environment for the children with warmth, nurturing and personal attention. St. Mary’s staff is always eager to provide information about its exceptional care, programs and therapies to individuals, businesses, civic organizations and clubs. For more details about St. Mary’s, its volunteer program, community and corporate partnerships, donations, or for information on scheduling a tour, please call Diane Zinn at 757-622-2208.

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