• By Elaine Brelsford
  • Posted:
  • Events, News

Mission Group from Portsmouth Gets Things Done!

From Sunday, May 19, through Friday, May 24, Boys Home of Virginia hosted a fantastic group of volunteers on campus. The group consisted of six men from Trinity Episcopal Church, in Portsmouth, VA, led by Paul Radford. They arrived on Sunday in time for a picnic, had a short evening to relax, and then got right to work!

On Monday morning, the group began the restoration of an old fence around the cemetery in the lower field. With the help of Louis Sarratt, who is in charge of special projects at Boys Home, the group cleared the brush away from the site, disposed of the old chain-link fencing, righted the metal fence posts, capped them with wooden posts, and installed a gate and fence rails. Some volunteers even helped mill the fence rails!

The connection with Trinity in Portsmouth began several years ago, when Boys Home executive director Donnie Wheatley visited the church to spread the word about Boys Home. His visit led to a dialogue with the pastor, and later on led to a mission group traveling to Covington to volunteer on campus. Paul Radford was one of the first to attend, and he hasn’t missed a trip since.

“I just fell in love with Boys Home,” he says. In his five years of volunteering, he’s helped with repairing buildings on the farm, fencing, painting, rebuilding bleachers, and various garden and farm projects. This year’s group is primarily made up of retirees, four of whom have attended trips in previous years. Cameron Ballinger rounded out the group as the youngest participant, providing some new energy and earning volunteer hours toward his high school graduation next year. Boys Home is especially grateful for such dedicated help!

  • By Lauren Hanna
  • Posted:
  • News

Boys Home Hilltoppers Finish 2018-2019 Basketball Season

Mike Nunnally was named Boys Home Hilltopper head coach for the 2018-2019 basketball season. Coach Nunnally first came to Boys Home of Virginia in 1956 at 12 years old. He stayed at Boys Home until he graduated from Covington High School in 1963. During his time at Boys Home, the most influential people to him were Executive Director Bob Burrowes, houseparent Francis “Granny” Myers, and most of all his coach, mentor, and father figure, Paul Siple. Coach Nunnally lived in Greene Cottage with his best friend, Pete Dimick, and later named his son after Pete. As a child, Coach Nunnally was blessed with athletic ability, which Coach Siple nurtured. Coach Nunnally played basketball and baseball at Boys Home and then continued to play both of those sports at Bridgewater College.

When asked to give a synopsis of the season, Coach Nunnally answered, “We started slowly, as we had three players with limited experience on the court. The remainder of our players had played on a basketball team before. Our schedule did not help our slow start since our first twelve games were away. We started with thirteen players and actually added four players over the course of the season. We ended the season with eight players. The turnover of players hampered the development of the team. After Christmas vacation, we started to find our footing and won seven of our remaining fifteen games. Our overall record was 9-16 and we finished the season on a high note by taking second place in the NLCA Invitational Tournament. Our team was constantly praised by opposing coaches and fans for our disciplined play, effort, and the good sportsmanship our team displayed.”

After asking Coach Nunnally if it was what he expected he said, “I knew coming in that I was taking on a team with little experience, so I knew we would struggle early on. I did not expect to lose so many players for one reason or another during the season, so that was definitely a surprise. I knew that we would get better as the season progressed and the boys that stuck with it all the way to the end proved me right.”

Coach Nunnally said that some of his favorite things about coaching this season was helping to mold a team and watching them improve over the course of the season. He said the players learned to play for each other and not just for themselves. Coach Nunnally’s favorite memory was watching the team work hard to get better every single day and he truly saw the results as they defeated three teams that beat them the first time around. They also ended the season with nine 3-pointers in one game, a new Boys Home Hilltopper record!

Coach Mike Nunnally is already excited for the 2019-2020 basketball season and said as long as the boys work hard during the offseason, the Hilltoppers will surprise many teams next year!

Thank you, Coach Nunnally, for all your time, dedication, and patience that you poured into the Boys Home players this season. We are excited to see what the 2019-2020 season has in store!

  • By Elaine Brelsford
  • Posted:
  • Events, News, Uncategorized

Carl Blacke

Boys Home of Virginia is sad to announce the death of Mr. Carl Blacke. He served at Boys Home for over 15 years in various capacities and was most recently a houseparent. The entire Boys Home community will miss the kindnesses that he extended to both students and staff.

The funeral will be Saturday, March 9 at Glasgow Baptist Church, 805 10th Street Glasgow, VA at 1:00 p.m. Visitation will be 12-1 prior to funeral. Reception will take place at Community Center about a mile from the church.

  • By Lauren Hanna
  • Posted:
  • Activities, News, Uncategorized

A Note from Chaplain Anne Grizzle: Bishop Curry

Six students from Boys Home opened up the Friday evening Eucharist of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia’s Convention on January 25, 2019. They sang “This Joy That I Have the World Didn’t Give It To Me” while playing the drums. After singing the song through twice, they invited everyone to sing along. The audience rose to their feet and began clapping and singing along. The students practiced hard in order to be able to offer this opening song. Great job to Christian, Alvin, Ben, Jason, Khean, and Phillip! The students were surprised and delighted with Bishop Michael Curry came over to greet them personally, offering a hug and bishop’s pin. Bishop Curry also signed books that were given to each of these students at the chapel service at Boys Home the following week.

All of the students from Boys Home went to Roanoke for the Episcopal Revival on Sunday, January 27, 2019 at the Berglund Performing Arts Center. The musical group Live Hymnal offered inspiring music and Bishop Curry gave a lively sermon about following Jesus’ way of love. Afterwards, the students at Boys Home stopped by St. James Episcopal Church in Roanoke for a Sunday dinner prepared by Gary Price from Boys Home. The fellowship from St. James parishioners and the Sudanese community made for a festive and fun conclusion to a very memorable outing!

  • By Elaine Brelsford
  • Posted:
  • Activities, Events, News, Uncategorized

Build-A-Better-Birdhouse Competition!

Can you build a better birdhouse? Come find out!

On April 13, 2019, Boys Home of Virginia is hosting a new fundraising event, the Build-A-Better-Birdhouse Competition. The event will take place at Grace Episcopal Church in Lexington, VA, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. With 90 minutes on the clock, teams will race to construct and decorate the best birdhouses! Prizes will be awarded for best construction, best decoration, most original, and more. Teams are invited (but not required) to bring their own tools and decorations; Boys Home will provide safety equipment, materials to build a basic birdhouse, hand tools, a blueprint, and technical help if necessary.

The public is invited to attend. To register, call Colleen at (540) 965-7703, print and send in a registration form, or register online. Cost is $25 per team; a team consists of one or more people who work on the same birdhouse.

All proceeds go toward supporting the students and programs at Boys Home of Virginia. So gather up your team – family, friends, coworkers, etc., and come show off your construction skills and creativity!