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!