Adalena DeSimini decided to bring a little cheer to her 91-year-old great-grandmother as COVID-19 has kept them apart—and some might say she’s rockin’ it.

Adalena, 10, is a fourth-grader at Courthouse Road Elementary School, and she lives in Spotsylvania County with her father, Bruce, and grandmother Donna. Adalena frequently visits her “Nana,” Pauline Salamone, at Chancellor’s Village, where the two enjoy a good game of bingo.

Salamone has been depressed that she can’t have visitors or participate in crafts because residents have to stay in their rooms in an attempt to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Adalena had been participating in The Burg Rocks, an effort in which people paint and hide rocks around Fredericksburg, and she decided a painted rock might bring a smile to her Nana and others at the facility.

So she started ROCK HOPE with the goal of painting—and distributing—200 rocks. She asked friends, neighbors and relatives, such as her aunt, Aria DeSimini, who coaches the field hockey team at Courtland High School. Budding artists of all ages have painted colorful scenes of flowers and watermelons, rainbows, sun-filled scenes and nightscapes. Some rocks are decorated with polka dots; others proclaim “Faith,” “Love” and “Joy.”

After meeting her goal of 200 decorated rocks, Adalena took them to the facility on Friday, her grandmother said.

Adalena is a frequent visitor at Chancellor’s Village, and her Girl Scout troop sold cookies there in March, before the pandemic hit, said Krista Wells, activities director.

“It is so sweet that Adalena and her [friends] are painting special rocks for all the residents to bring a little sunshine to their lives during this difficult time,” Wells said.

Lowe’s at Southpoint donated the rocks for Adalena’s project.

“Adalena is always thinking about her Nana, and not being able to spend time with Nana and her friends is hard,” said Adalena’s father. “So she came up with painting rocks—and so we all painted rocks.”

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