It was an honor to be invited to a reception at the Executive Mansion on the evening of Thursday, October 14. My husband, George, and I attended a reception with approximately 150 other leaders of statewide organizations and friends of the governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, and his wife, Maureen.

The federal-style mansion was beautifully decorated with fall colors and accented with orange pumpkins and colorful gourds. Completed in 1813, the mansion is the oldest governor’s residence in the nation to be continuously used for its original purpose. It was exciting to stand in the same rooms that have been home to 54 Virginia governors!

We had an opportunity to greet many friends from other areas of the state. We chatted with several dozen leaders of organizations we have worked with in past years and discussed issues with family-friendly legislators who also attended.

There were at least a half dozen couples I didn’t know who introduced themselves and told me they homeschooled their children and appreciated HEAV. When Governor McDonnell spoke to the group as a whole, he thanked those who shared his conservative values and publicly acknowledged a handful of groups, including a specific mention of homeschoolers throughout the state.

We had an opportunity to reminisce with former governor George Allen and his wife Susan about his years as governor. He recalled that he signed the first proclamation declaring Virginia Homeschool Day in the Commonwealth.

We enjoyed meeting numerous new friends, including Chief “Red Hawk” of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe located in Southampton County. He was very interested in talking with us about home education. It was a delightful evening for all!


Leave a Comment
  1. Davene says:


    You are so gracious! I am very grateful that God has placed you in a position to represent us in Richmond. Thanks for sharing about this special evening, and thank you for all you do to build up God’s kingdom!

    Davene Fisher

  2. Yvonne, You get to have all the fun! What a fabulous opportunity for you and your husband. Thank you for representing us so well!

    All God’s Best
    Theresa 😎

  3. Misti Furr says:

    I think it is fabulous that Chief Red Hawk is taking part in such an important event. HOWEVER it should be noted that he is NOT the chief of the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, Inc. That honor should go to Chief Lynette Allston ( Chief Red Hawk is, indeed, the chief of the Cheroenhaka tribe. His position as this chief is not doubted as he is featured, prominently, on the Cheroenhaka website page ( To pay tribute to him, as a participant, is acceptable. To call him “Chief of the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia” is an error. The Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia worked tirelessly, for many years, to gain state recognition (in spite of past hurdles set up by people like Walter Plecker). It might seem like one tribe is the same as another–but, in this case, one tribe worked (again) tirelessly to document, publicize, and educate people about their tribe. The Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia presented numerous documents to both the VCI and the GA in order to gain recognition (way overdue recognition). It is because of their diligence that BOTH the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia and the Cheroenhaka gained recognition. It might seem like a small deal, this post, but I would hope you would wish to be accurate in your statements.

  4. Yvonne Bunn says:


    I appreciate the additional information. I had the pleasure of talking with Chief Red Hawk at the Governor’s reception. He gave me his business card and it read, “Chief Walter D. ‘Red Hawk’ Brown, III, Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, Southampton County, Virginia.” Since I was familiar with the Nottoway Indians, I referenced that name only thinking others might also recognize it.

    I do want to be accurate in the information I share. I sincerely apologize for my error and have fixed it in the post. Thank you for your explanation and for bringing it to my attention.

    With regards,