• By Elaine Brelsford
  • Posted:
  • Events, News

Riding Ring Dedication and Blessing

“All creatures of our God and king, lift up your voice and let us sing, O praise Him, Alleluia,” rang out from a crowd assembled for the dedication of the new riding ring at Boys Home on June 13. Visitors, staff, and students sat on new bleachers constructed by a mission group from Trinity Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, Virginia. Students leading and riding horses stood inside the riding ring, while Chaplain Anne Grizzle, wearing a cowboy hat and boots, led a service of thanks and blessing.

Executive Director Donnie Wheatley thanked the many contributors who have donated funds for the ring, and Bonnie Wheatley spoke of Sturdy Stirrups, the equine program that has worked with over 20 students this spring. Diego Jones and Audrey Mosby alternately read Psalm 32 from horseback. Audrey, who is an accomplished rider, is the daughter of the new Development Director Justin Mosby. Pastor Anne reflected on the role of the ring as a place of relationship building, leadership, learning, and joy. When Pastor Anne asked the students what they learned this past semester, many examples included, “to stay calm, respect all living things, and trust your horse.” Linda Angle, house parent and assistant riding instructor, led everyone in the Cowboy Prayer of “God bless our horse and keep us safe. I ask this in the name of He who was born in a stable. Amen.”

Bundles of grasses with wildflowers were distributed to individuals wishing to bless the ring. Dipping the bundles in buckets of blessed water, they sprinkled them throughout the ring.

The service was concluded with a rendition of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” including verses relating to horses and riders.

A celebratory dinner followed and included a memorized rendition of a horse poem called “Sissy Britches,” given by guest Susan Richardson.

The riding ring was installed to ensure the safety of all who participate in the equine program, allowing the program to expand to any student who is interested. While some of the fund’s needs have been donated, additional contributions are needed to fully fund the project. Boys Home has created a thermometer in the dining hall as a fun way to track our goal in raising money for the riding ring. Consider joining in the learning and fun by donating!

  • By Elaine Brelsford
  • Posted:
  • Events, News

Ingevity of Covington Renovates Boys Home Gym Lobby into Ingevity Student Center

Ingevity has provided funds to renovate the gym lobby on the Boys Home campus. Ingevity is based out of North Charleston, South Carolina, but the Covington, Virginia, location spearheaded this project. The ceiling was replaced, followed by updated electrical service. Fresh paint was then applied, new furniture and an area rug were added, along with a pool table, ping pong table, bookshelf, television, and speakers. Door mats, a fire pit, an outdoor table, chairs, and umbrella were also placed outside the Ingevity Student Center.

Ingevity employees, students, and Boys Home staff gathered in May for a dedication which included a ribbon cutting. Three students spoke about why they love their new “hang out.” An elementary student presented and said “I like the ping pong table and TV. I got to watch a movie in here one night with other students and staff. It is a good place to have fun and not worry. Thanks, Ingevity, for making this a special place for us.”

Boys Home is very grateful to the individuals from Ingevity for making this idea a reality for our students! On June 22, Boys Home held a blessing of the Ingevity Student Center by The Rev. Anne Grizzle, chaplain of Boys Home.

  • By Elaine Brelsford
  • Posted:
  • Events

Win a Very Special Harley!

There are millions of Harley Davidson motorcycles in the world. This one has a special story. 

A former resident at Boys Home himself, several years ago Rick Turner organized a series of motorcycle events that benefited Boys Home. While running the events, he met an enthusiastic couple who became wonderful supporters of Boys Home. Unfortunately, shortly after that, the husband’s father passed away, leaving him a barely-used 100th Anniversary 2003 Gunmetal Gray Harley Sportster 1200.

One day, as the couple was preparing to move from Virginia to the great lakes area, Rick Turner heard a knock on his door. The Harley sat in his driveway.

“I know you’ll do the right thing,” were the husband’s only instructions to Rick.

Rick knew right away that the bike was meant to support the mission of Boys Home and all the programs he knows so well.

The raffle drawing will take place on June 7, 2018, at 2:00 PM, at Boys Home. Tickets are 12 for $100, 6 for $50, or 1 for $10. Purchase tickets online or by calling (540) 965-7714.