Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, Mike Nunnally came to Boys Home in 1956 and stayed through 1963. In December of 2022, he was at Boys Home for an alumni meeting. During the visit, he asked to view his personal file from when he was a resident. Mike was inspired by a telegram from his former priest at a church in Norfolk. The telegram, which became a local news story, depicted the reason why Mike needed a new home and a fresh start.
Mike said, “After that experience in December of last year, I knew it was time to tell my story. My book, Unchained, is a book of hope. The cover reads, ‘a journey from abuse to inspiration.’ My story began as one of pain but became one of resilience and triumph. I am blessed to have had angels watching over me throughout my life. I also clung to my Christian faith during the difficulties I faced. Boys Home played a huge role in that story.”
Mike is now retired and living in Loudoun County. He stated, “I love to write. My writing career began at Boys Home. I wrote the cottage reports for Greene Cottage.” On Saturday, December 9 at 1:30 p.m., Mike will hold a book signing at Boys Home in the Dining Hall (414 Boys Home Road, Covington, VA, 24426). The book will be available for purchase ($16 paperback and $20 hardcover). It is also available on Amazon. The event is open to the public. Prior to the signing, Mike will offer a brief testimony of his inspirational journey. Join us to see firsthand the transformation that happened to Mike and is still happening today as Boys Home continues its crucial mission.
Boys Home of Virginia has some big news to share, we have a new athletic name and mascot! For decades, the athletic team’s name was the Boys Home Hilltoppers. Although a good nickname, it lacked a mascot. In spring 2022, Donnie Costigan began his position as athletic and recreation director. As he was considering ways to promote student engagement and team spirit, he thought a new mascot would be the right change. He stated, “As an alumnus, I proudly wore the Boys Home Indians basketball jersey from 1990-1994. I took a lot of pride in wearing that jersey and being a Boys Home boy. I want the current students to experience that same level of excitement now and for many years to come.”
The Boys Home mascot challenge began in spring 2023. Initially, staff and students submitted ideas for consideration. Once it was narrowed down to three choices, the students went through two rounds of voting. In the final vote, Boys Home Bears won by an overwhelming majority. Boys Home worked with the agency Becker & Weaver to develop the new logos and branding elements. Executive Director Chris Doyle stated, “We could have purchased the rights to a generic bear logo, but we wanted something customized and unique to Boys Home. I am proud that the students had a voice in the process and look forward to the sense of pride they will have in being the Boys Home Bears.”
The new mascot and branding materials were revealed at a soccer pep rally at the end of August. Several students were asked about their thoughts on the new name and mascot. A current sophomore at Boys Home, Chris, stated, “I really like the new name. I always wondered, what is a Hilltopper? It’s not a good mascot. I am excited to have an animal as a mascot and look forward to seeing the costume.” A younger student in 6th grade, Dasmond, stated, “I really like the new mascot. I think his teeth make him look intimidating. My favorite mascot is the full-body one.”
Please join us in cheering on the Boys Home Bears as the soccer season continues and basketball starts in November. The current soccer schedule can be found by searching “soccer schedule” at boyshomeofva.org. Go Boys Home Bears!
Executive Director Chris Doyle and Boys Home Alumni Association President Danny Cale (left/right)
The Boys Home Alumni Association has contributed to the playground fund at Boys Home of Virginia. Boys Home Alumni Association President Danny Cale stated, “The driving factor for the donation was that most of the alumni remember playing on that playground as a kid. I am from the class of 1979. That was many years ago! We want the kids here today to feel that same kind of joy and excitement with modern playground equipment. Who knows, some of us may have to try out the new swing set ourselves, you know for safety.” Boys Home will gladly invite Danny and all of the alumni to come play on the new playground when it is complete.
Boys Home’s current playground has been in place since its installation in 1958 and funds are being raised to purchase new equipment. If you would like to learn more about the Boys Home Playground Project, please contact Executive Director Chris Doyle at (540) 965-7704 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Boys Home staff and students are grateful for the support of the Boys Home Alumni Association.
On Friday, May 19, 2023, Boys Home hosted the first New Alumni Recognition Dinner in the Ben Parrott Dining Hall. The dinner was attended by seniors, alumni, staff and the senior’s families. The seniors were gifted with a class ring, a Boys Home Alumni Association shirt and a religious necklace from Pastor Anne Grizzle.
Speakers included – Director of Education Teresa Johnson, Director of Development Elaine Brelsford, Student Advisor Sam Morse, Executive Director Chris Doyle, Alumnus and Boys Home Alumni Association President Danny Cale, Boys Home Chaplain Pastor Anne Grizzle and Program Director Kenny Bess