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06 priceless


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05 Publisher's Letter


06 Ask the Expert


08 Cover Story

12 Ask the Expert


garden automotive & tire center

holiday home safety tips




an unforgettable christmas

burlington's paramount theatre 85 years young


Community Characters Mr & Mrs Michael Ellington – Mr & Mrs Santa Claus

wheel of fortune





Zen Chick

Friendly Faces

Community News

Citizen Journalism




burlington magazine

the perfect gift ~ time


"Tis the season for family fun!


ASHEBORO & MORE MARKETING, inc. po box 1369|asheboro | NC | 27104


elcome, readers to the sixth issue of Burlington Magazine. With Christmas right around the corner, it seems like excitement and magic is in the cold and frosty air. Speaking of magic, check out our Community Characters for this month, Mr. and Mrs. Ellington, aka Santa and Mrs. Claus! Also look through the Friendly Faces section to see beautiful shots of the Burlington Christmas parade, courtesy of Lisa Parker Photography. Wheel of Fortune came to Alamance Crossing last month to search for potential contestants. Check to see if you were caught on camera while you were there! Take a visit with us to Garden Automotive & Tire Center. There you can find quality workmanship, and a trustworthy, friendly team, ready to cure your car troubles. Don’t forget to enter our Holiday Sparkle Contest! Decorate your yard, email a photo of your hard work to me at melody@ , and we will choose two lucky winners! We have collected many gifts from local merchants to complete two prize packages. Winning photos and complete prize packages will be posted online. You can find complete rules for entry on our FaceBook page. So, string some lights, and set up the inflatables! It’s contest time! Be sure to read about safety tips before you plug those decorations in, and see what our Zen Chic recommends as the perfect holiday gift. Most of all, remember this holiday season to be grateful for your blessings. As my grandson says, “Sharing is caring!” Seek out your family and friends and let them know how much you care. Share some quality time together. After all, Christmas isn’t really about the lights, the trees, the bows and the gifts. Christmas is about love. Merry Christmas to all!


PUBLISHEr Melody McBride

associate publisher David A. Johnson

Executive EDITOR Sherry Johnson

Contributors: Heather McAndrew Dr. Piazza Karen York Walter Boyd Gay Barefield


Burlington Magazine is published by Asheboro & More Marketing, Inc. Any reproduction or duplication of any part thereof must be done with the written permission of the Publisher. All information included herein is correct to the best of our knowledge as of the publication date. Corrections should be forwarded to the Publisher at the address above. Disclaimer: The paid advertisements contained within Archdale & Trinity Magazine are not endorsed or recommended by the Publisher. Therefore, neither party may be held liable for the business practices of these companies.

Melody McBride Publisher



Getting to Know your ChriropractIc care expert: Dr. Piazza


any of the people have been asking about our doctor’s background, so we wanted to give you a brief history about Dr. Piazza, clinic director of Health First of Burlington. Dr. Piazza is a national board certified chiropractor in Burlington specializing in the non-surgical treatment of neck and back pain. Prior to becoming the director at the Burlington Clinic, Dr. Piazza directed a practice in Raleigh for the past 3 years. During that time he developed a comprehensive therapy program that treated a variety of conditions for a family based practice. This integrative approach which included working with the local medical community has proven successful in providing relief from chronic pain and acute injury. Prior to becoming a chiropractor, Dr. Piazza served as chef in New York City where he became familiar with nutrition and health. After receiving his bachelorette degree from SUNY at Buffalo, NY, Dr. Piazza continued on to earn his chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic College in Marietta Georgia. Dr. Piazza completed his school internships in radiology and spinal biomechanics while at Life Chiropractic College. After graduation, he became an instructor for Radiology and Nutrition for several years. During his 24 year career, Dr. Piazza has treated numerous spinal disorders through the use of specialized active rehabilitation techniques including intervertebral disc protrusions, cervical and lumbar sprains and strains, disc degeneration, as well as specific care for headaches and migraine disorders and many more. Dr. Piazza has become skilled in the utilization of acupuncture treatment for musculoskeletal disorders as well as other symptoms that have not responded to traditional treatment regimes. He is a member of the Wake County Chiropractic

Association. During his free time, Dr. Piazza enjoys gardening, paintball and care for family members. As a “GET TO KNOW THE DOCTOR” gift, we are offering a FREE EXAM with complementary x-rays if needed (a $189 value) so that you can meet your doctor and find out how chiropractic can keep you healthy and happy this holiday season. As always, IF YOU DECIDE TO PURCHASE ADDITIONAL TREATMENT, YOU HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO CHANGE YOUR MIND WITHIN THREE DAYS AND RECEIVE A REFUND, no questions asked. Take Advantage of this GIFT today…Call 336-521-9023 NOW. n

Health First of Burlington 3336 S. Church St. • Burlington 336-584-5522 6

burlington magazine

Providing Solutions to Keep You Moving • Four Area Locations to Serve You Burlington

3445 South Church St. (336) 350-8141


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hen you walk into Garden Automotive & Tire Center, you don’t feel like you are entering a male dominated garage. The lobby is beautifully designed and decorated so you feel more like you are walking in to a doctor’s office. There are rocking chairs on the front “porch” where you can sit outside on a nice day and read a book while you are waiting for your car to be serviced, and comfortable seating with lots of magazines to pick from if you chose to wait inside. Mike Goodwin and his wife, Lorie, designed Garden Automotive & Tire Center with one goal in mind - to offer a garage that catered mainly to women. They want women to feel comfortable bringing their car to the shop, and if they spend time in the waiting area, they want them to feel relaxed and at ease. Mike grew up in Greensboro, before he moved to the Burlington area twenty-two years ago. His first job at 16 was working for a local service station. After that, he knew he wanted to be involved in the auto industry in one way or another, so he enrolled in Mechanics School. He quickly realized that he didn’t want to be a mechanic; he had dreams of bigger things. He put himself through school at GTCC and UNCG working for Wrangler Jeans on their tractor trailers.


burlington magazine

While working for Wrangler Mike got involved in the Make a Wish Foundation and he became passionate about their mission of helping children with life threatening illnesses make their wishes come true. Through the foundation, he reconnected with an old friend from middle and high school, Wendy Thompson. She talked him into going on a blind date with Lorie, and was instrumental in getting them together. They will celebrate their 22nd anniversary in April, 2014. After college, he worked for the Dana Corporation as a District Manager. He was responsible for all the Napa Auto Parts stores in North Carolina. He eventually became Senior Regional Manager, covering the entire East Coast from Canada to Georgia. He worked for the Dana Corporation for fifteen years, before deciding to take a position with KYB Industries as a regional manager over 300 Federated Auto Parts stores. He was traveling for work in Pennsylvania when he received a call from his wife, Lorie. They needed a new battery for the car. He told her to go to one of the national automotive chains and have one installed. When he got home and found out how much they had overcharged her, he knew it was time to do something about it. Enlisting the help of Lorie’s uncle, Howard Thompson, a local design engineer, they began building Garden Automotive & Tire Center, opening in December, 2007. Every aspect of the garage, from the waiting room to the parking lot has been designed with female customers and their comfort in mind. That’s not to say that they don’t want to work on anyone’s car, but they specifically want their female customers to feel comfortable when they walked in the door. Mike continued to work at KYB Industries for another three years, using the money he earned from that to pay his employees’ salaries while he got the business up and running. One thing Mike has enjoyed during the rapid growth of his clientele, is the fact that he and his team of mechanics are brutally honest. Once in a while they lose a customer because of it, but most people

are grateful that they “tell it like it is.” “I treat my customers the same way I would want to be treated in the same situation. I want to earn your money; I don’t want to take it.” Another of Mike’s goals in opening his shop was to change the reputation of auto mechanics overall. He wants people to realize that auto mechanics are an honest group who love what they do, and only do work that is necessary for the health and longevity of maintaining a car. 10% of the industry has given the rest a bad name, and he wants to change that. However, Mike quickly realized that he can only influence what happens in his own

corner of the world, so he makes sure that Garden Automotive maintains its stellar reputation. “My mechanics are paid a good hourly wage; they do not work on commission. There is no incentive for them to up sell a customer on something their car doesn’t really need.” Mike’s philosophy is clearly working, as his retention rate for repeat customers is a whopping 86%! With the technology that goes into each vehicle constantly changing, the methods and tools needed to repair them are constantly changing, too. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is an independent,


non-profit organization that tests and certifies individual automotive repair technicians based on skills, knowledge and experience. Mike is a Master ASE Certified technician and has to be recertified every four years. He insists on ongoing education for all his employees; from the Shop Foreman to the person who takes out the trash, he requires 80 hours of training each year. They travel from Alamance to Wake and Guilford Counties to receive specialized training. He also holds webinar and live training sessions with General Motors. His employees earn bonuses based on achieving their 80 hours of training, and also when they advance to higher ASE certification levels.


burlington magazine

All of Mike’s employees must pass a rigorous background check and drug screening. In keeping with offering a comfortable atmosphere, he also wants to make sure that you are comfortable with the people he employs and that are working on your car. His shop foreman, Christopher Cagle has been with him since he opened the shop, and his Operations Manager, Michael Brooks, has been there for four years, along with six mechanics in the shop. He has two service writers, his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, who is still in high school and works part-time, and Madeline, a former customer who attended Elon University and is now a Professor of Education there, working at the shop in her spare

time. Mike works through the local community college to hire their best students while they are still in school, so he can groom them to be the best in their field. “My employees are my greatest asset, and I enjoy working with them and seeing them develop into productive citizens of the community.” Garden Automotive works on all makes and models of car, foreign and domestic, and can do everything except transmission and body work. From Hondas to Mercedes and everything in between, they can take care of your car and keep it running in top form. They are a licensed Napa AutoCare Center, and offer the Napa AutoCare Peace of Mind Warranty. No matter where your travels take you … if you ever experience a problem with a covered repair, there are over 13,000 Napa AutoCare Centers nationwide who can work on your car. This coverage extends 24 months or 24,000 miles on covered parts and labor and is included free of charge with qualifying work done to your vehicle. Mike believes in giving back to his community. His passion for Make a Wish continues to this day, and every Wednesday he reviews all of the repair tickets for the day. If the repair amount is $1 to $99, he donates $3 each, and if it’s $100 or more, he donates $5 per ticket to the Make a Wish Foundation. He is also a sponsor of the Gibsonville Parks and Rec Department, where he also coached soccer for eight years. He and another local business owner, Doug Pierce of Innovative Signs and Designs, are co-sponsoring a band project at

Western Alamance High School. He also helped sponsor Special Olympics through the Elon Police Department. Garden Automotive is listed on the Elon University website as a recommended business for their employees. Word of mouth continues to be Mike’s greatest source for referrals, and many of his regular customers have become like family to him. He enjoys seeing the kids he coached in soccer all grown up and now bringing their cars to the shop to have work done. If you are looking for quality service at a fair price, where every customer is treated with honesty and respect, you can’t do any better than Garden Automotive & Tire Repair, at 3119 Garden Road in Burlington. Give them a call today at 336.270.4401 and let them earn your business. 



Holiday Home Safety Tips: Keep windows, garages and sheds locked; and don't forget to use deadbolts. Use timers to turn on lights and a television or radio. Maintain at least a foot of space between a burning candle and anything that can catch fire. When hanging lights outdoors, avoid using staples or nails which can damage wiring. Use UL-rated clips or wires instead. Don't overload electrical circuits with holiday lighting; unplug your tree and outdoor lights before going to bed. Don't leave a spare key in a "hiding place." Burgulars know where to look. Lock your power box with an electricity authority lock (lock to which you and the electric company have a key) so that your home security alarm system cannot be cut off from the power supply.

A special thank you to our clients, friends and family that have helped our business grow in 2013. We could not have had such a successful year without your support. Wishing you much happiness this holiday season! Heather McAndrew and her husband fell in love with Central NC, moved here in 1983 and raised two daughters. As the overall real estate team leader, she spearheads the management, marketing and financial operations of the local Keller Williams Triad to Triangle real estate team. Her emphasis is listing property, working with Sellers, Buyers and referral clients, negotiating contracts and coaching team members. As a Realtor and Broker for over 20 years, she built her business through referrals from years of satisfied clients. By using her expertise, she delivers performance, not just promises.

Keller Williams Triad to Triangle Real Estate Team 800-388-9304 • Cell: 336-269-2112 •


burlington magazine

mymurrieta_issue4_layout 1 11/27/13 12:50 Pm Page 3



Take Note ///////////

Unforgettable Christmas “My bittersweet, exceptional Christmas gift of 1971�








By: Rick Gibbs


do this sto memory. honor his Ibrother's I agreed Of 44 fChristmas holidays shared with mymywife, 44 Christmas holidays shared with wife,1971his brother' agreed memory. and stayed homeand in stayed the home inforthe Philippines stands out as a bittersweet Our daughterone. wasOur two andPhilippines 1971stands out asone. a bittersweet the holidays. for the holidays. Dan his flew hismission, first mission, which have would have been our sondaughter was 11 months. toys came into the Base Dan flew was twoChristmas and our son was 11 months. first which would been mine mine if we had not switched. The bitter is that Dan did Exchange in September and were gone within days. Christmas toys came into the Bas Exchange if we had not switched. The bitter is that Dan did not returnnot from thatHe mission. He was killed at in combat age Similarly, the live Christmas trees arrived around the 1st of in September and were gone within days. fromreturn that mission. was killed in combat age 26. at Not 26. Not long after Christmas, Kathy was at the church December. This presented the problem of keeping a cut Similarly, the live Christmas trees arrived long after Christmas, Kathy was at the church service for for Dan, I flew for weeks in a tropical country. The kids martree alive the airplane around the 1st of December. This presented the problem Dan,service while I flew in thewhile airplane thatinpulled abruptlythat up pulled and veled at a tree kept in a new metal garbage can filled halfout of abruptly up and out of the flight of four fighter aircraft for of keeping a cut tree alive for weeks in a tropical country. the flight of four fighter aircraft for the Missing Man full with water and placed in front of an air conditioner. the Missing Man formation. The kids marveled at a tree kept in a new metal garbage formation. Kathy always bought more than our children needed so she Since that bittersweet Christmas of 1971, I often can filled half full with water and placed in front of an air Since that bittersweet Christmas of 1971, I often reflect could give toys to the Fire Department for less fortunate reflect on the effect of Dan's loss. From the perspective of conditioner. Kathy always bought more than our children on the effect of Dan's loss. From the perspective of time families. That tradition still continues. As a family, we time passed, I realize that I was given an exceptional needed so she could give toys to the Fire Department for passed, I realize that I was given an exceptional Christmas savored the thrill of our children's wide eyes on Christmas Christmas gift. It was nothing less than: the years for my less fortunate families. That tradition still continues. As a It was lessold than the years for my wifetoand I morning and marveled how the simplest toys generated thegift. wife andnothing I to grow together; the opportunity spend family, most we savored the thrill of our children' s wide eyes on to grow old together, the opportunity to spend another 40 appreciation. It was that sweet. another 40 plus holidays with our children; the joy of Christmas Imorning marveled how to thebesimplest holidays grandchildren with our children, and the joy first of watching was not and originally supposed home ontoys that watching experience their wide eyed generated appreciation. thatwith sweet. their wideand eyed Christmas Lt. the Danmost Poyner had comeIt was to me a request overgrandchildren Christmas experience morning. Life is first precious short, so Kathy is tried precious andour short, soinKathy and I have I was not originally be ifhome on that Thanksgiving. He supposed wanted to to know he could take mymorning. and ILife have to live lives a way that Dantried would to live our lives in a way that Dan wouldbe proud of. While day. Lt. Dan Poyner had come to me with a request over place on my December assignment to the Vietnam War. be proud of. While we have not always measured up, I not that always measured up, I believe, our Thanksgiving. He he wanted to know if heto could take myplace Dan said wanted a chance participate in combatwe have believe, on all our Christmas Days,that Danon hasalllooked Days, Dansaid, has looked down on us and said,the "Rick on my December Vietnam saida fewChristmas before the assignment war ended. to Histhe brother hadWar. beenDan killed down on us and "Rick and Kathy, you made most youImade the mostof the life I preserved for you". he wanted chance to participate in combat before war toand Kathy, while flying a combat mission and the he wanted yearsa back for you". of the life preserved Merry Christmas from our family to May you cherish ended. His brother had been killed a few years back while | 3 every moment. n flying a combat mission and he wanted to do this to honor


asheboro magazine



By Walter Boyd

Burlington’s Paramount Theatre 85 Years Young This Month On March 26, 1928, ground was broken for a new movie theater on a 40½ x 128-foot vacant lot on East Front Street, between the Strader produce building and Carolina Filling Station. Upon completion it was to be leased to 42-year old Judge Ruffin “J. R.” Qualls, who decided to call it the “Grand.” The Grand formally opened to the public at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 19, 1928. Although it was the first theater in Burlington designed for sound movies, due to the great demand for the new technology only the speakers and some sound effects equipment had been installed by the time it opened. Consequently, the first movie shown at the Grand was a silent feature, Three Week Ends,


burlington magazine

starring Clara Bow. The first “talkie” at the Grand—and in Burlington— was a Warner Brothers Vitaphone picture entitled On Trial, which premiered on Wednesday, March 20, 1929. On August 17, 1929, shortly after he acquired the existing Carolina and Lyric theaters on Main Street, J. R. Qualls announced that the Grand would be renamed “Paramount.” He stated that Webster’s dictionary defined “paramount” as “supreme or superior to others,” and since it was Burlington’s finest theater at the time, that was the reason he selected the name. The sign was changed on Sunday, September 1, and the Grand formally became the Paramount on Monday, September 2, 1929. The first movie under the new name was

The Cocoanuts, starring the Marx Brothers. On June 30, 1930, J. R. Qualls sold all three theaters and stayed out

of the movie business until he opened the State Theatre—Burlington’s last downtown movie theater—on March 7, 1939. His family reacquired the Paramount in August 1971, but declining revenues caused them to shut it down in May 1977. The building was scheduled for demolition at the time, but since progress on Burlington’s downtown redevelopment project had slowed to a crawl by then, the Gallery Players—Alamance County’s oldest community theater group—were able to acquire the Paramount to stage theatrical productions. Converting it from a movie theater to a stage theater proved to be extremely difficult, but Gallery was able to stage its first play there, Butterflies Are Free, on November 11, 1977. During its existence, the Grand/Paramount was extensively refurbished and remodeled only once—in early 1940. Consequently, by the time Gallery inherited the building it was literally falling apart at the seams. The group hired an architect to draw up plans to completely renovate the Paramount, and work was begun, but the project turned out to be far beyond the theater group’s limited financial resources.

In 1994, the City of Burlington stepped in and began a three-year project that totally transformed the Paramount into what it is today. Operated by the Parks & Recreation Department, it hosts a wide variety of events nearly every week. On December 19, for the theater’s 85th anniversary, a special presentation of The Coconuts will be made, which will attended by descendants of J. R. Qualls and others who have been connected to the Paramount over the years. 



Mr & Mrs Michael Ellington – Mr & Mrs Santa Claus I BELIEVE


By Karen York, elf

arly Christmas morning as I snuggle in bed, I awake bright eyed as I realize it's Christmas Day! I wonder what gifts Santa has brought for me. Then reality sets in and my excitement starts to fade, because I am an adult and no toys are left under the tree. Christmas Day is not the same when you are all grown up and your children are grown up too, but in your heart you still want to believe. Christmas holds a special place in my heart, because I was born on Christmas Eve. I secretly believed I, when I was little, that I was part elf. This leads us to the story I am about to relate of two special people who wondered into my life. Michael and Schotsi Ellington, also know as Santa Michael and Mrs..Schotsi Claus. In a world where it's hard to find things to believe in; Santa is not out of reach. So, Yes I believe. My friend Santa Mike's (Michael Ellington) journey began with a haircut. Schotsi, his wife said, "Mike, I think it's time you cut off that long pony tail." Michael's quick reply was, "Fine, I could do that but I am going to grow a beard instead." Schotsi responded, "That will work, I like beards." What they did not know was they were on their way to becoming a part of Santa-ology. In 2008, as Michael's beard was growing longer, Schotsi noticed that he favored Santa. "People were taking second glances, and children were in amazement when we were out and about shopping. Look, I think that's Santa," Schotsi described. She decided it was their calling to become the Santa and Mrs Claus. "We can't do anything half way, it's going to be the best," Schotsi said. So, with that thought in


burlington magazine

mind, Schotsi and Michael went to Hancock's Fabric Store in Durham to design their wardrobe. Schotsi, I learned is an avid seamstress. Michael described ladies walking by them, looking, staring, leaving and then coming back to ask him, "Do you play Santa?" His reply, "No, I am Santa." With excitement in their voice, the lady asked, "Will you come visit our children at the church play school?" The Ellington's were booking visits. Word of mouth began to spread there was a Santa and Mrs Claus in town, and more Christmas bookings came their way. Restaurants like the Cutting Board, the Village of Yesteryear at the NC State Fair, Company Christmas parties, family Christmas parties, Westbook Studio, plus numerous visits to homes of special needs children and adults. With all this attention, the Ellington's were on the fast track to becoming celebrities. Michael said, "Everywhere we go, we are famous. We are like rock stars." Being "The Clauses" became serious business. "There's a whole lot more to being a Santa than just putting on a red suit and having a white beard." Michael said. "Even Santa's have to go to school." Deep in research the Ellington's found there was a need for quality Santa's. The Ellington's signed up for a seminar at The International University of Santa Claus in California. There Michael received his Bachelor of Santa diploma - also known as a BCS degree. He was then invited into the schools alumni association, "The Red Suit Society." It is never ending for the knowledge you need to be a great Santa. Michael is also a RBS - which means a "Real Bearded Santa". His beard is all naturally grown and is naturally white, having a full beard, he is Santa all year long. I asked, "What would a Santa need to know?" Michael replied, "The history of Santa and Mrs. Claus, all the reindeer, how Santa lives at the North Pole, and the numerous questions that are asked. An important tip was how to maintain a proper wardrobe. The ability and knowledge of how to work with

children of all ages and special needs children and families. The need to know how to offer the best options for events and special visits. Also, being sensitive and knowing how to respond to difficult requests of a particular toy or game, and requests for wanting parents to get back together." "You can't promise just anything, he says, but you can tell a child that Santa loves them and give hope." Schotsi also attended these classes. Mrs. Claus is an important part of Santa, as she helps many children overcome their fear of Santa. I have seen her gentleness and comfort with children, as she says "Come give me a hug, it's been forever since I have seen you." She is a great transition


to meeting Santa. She studied the options for the wardrobe and since she loves the art of stitchery, has hand made a lot of their pieces of clothing. Schotsi said, "Our very first suit we found on eBay came from a former Rockefeller Center Santa. What a great find." How did the Ellington's meet? Schotsi, being from a military family, was born in Austria. Her family later moved to southern Alamance County, North Carolina, and graduated from Southern Alamance High School. Michael is s native of Alamance County. He is a graduate of Williams High School. She is a pediatric home health care nurse. Schotsi said, "We were high school sweethearts." Michael responded, "I took her to the Senior Prom." After high school they went their separate ways to fulfill their career choices. "Time went by and eventually with modern technology of social media, I found Schotsi on My Space. We have been together ever since," Michael said. How do I know they are the real Santa and Mrs. Claus? Back in October of 2011, our phone rang at York's Studio of Photography, Inc. My husband, Craig York answered the phone, "York's Studio, how may I help you?" "Schotsi said, "Craig, this is Mrs. Claus, Santa and I want to talk to you about Santa's kitchen." Craig quickly replied, "I promise I have been good." Schotsi said, "We want to come visit you and Karen to talk about being part of your Christmas special." The funny thing was, we were wanting a Santa and Mrs. Claus to be the finishing touch to having a real magical experience with our event. This concept was expanded to make a one hour playtime with Santa and Mrs. Claus, complete with a letter from Santa, making, decorating and baking real cookies with Mrs. Claus in her kitchen, helping paint toys with Santa in his workshop, hearing Santa read a special story by the fireplace,


burlington magazine

and then sharing a cookie that was made fresh out of the oven. The finally, listening to what the children wish for Christmas, and then opening an early special present brought from the North Pole. It's truly a magical experience for the children, parents and us each time. You never know where you are going to see the Ellington's. Each time the response is always, "There is Santa and Mrs. Claus." I am definitely a believer, as I have experienced this in public when being with the Ellington's, and in our Santa's Workshop and Mrs. Claus Kitchen. They both live the life as Santa and Mrs. Claus and speak, wink and give out special cards that say "You've been caught being good." Adults and children alike are ecstatic with joy and wonderment. In closing, I believe we can all enjoy our childhood, and share hope and happiness year after year. So, when you go to bed this coming Christmas Eve, after you have placed your milk and cookies by the Christmas tree, when Christmas Day arrives, before adulthood calls, take a minute and remember what is was like to be a child anticipating the magic of Christmas. You can find the Ellington's at their web site, www. They are truly the real Santa and Mrs. Claus.] You never know where you are going to see the Ellington's. Each time the response is always, "There is Santa and Mrs. Claus." I am definitely a believer, as I have experienced this in public when being with the llington's, and in our Santa's Workshop and Mrs. Claus Kitchen. They both live the life as Santa and Mrs. Claus and speak, wink and give out special cards that say "You've been caught being good." Adults and children alike are exstatic with joy and wonderment. n

All I want for Christmas is...

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Wheel of Fortune “I’d like to solve the puzzle, please! A CLEAN SWEEP!” called out Shenae Pruitt of Browns Summit, from a stage set up in the parking lot of the Alamance Crossing shopping center. Shenae was the first person to win a trial round of Wheel of Fortune, when the Wheelmobile came to the Piedmont Triad for the first time ever, to search for potential contestants. Hundreds of people from Burlington and surrounding areas came out and crossed their fingers in hopes of being chosen to participate. Hopeful folks filled out applications and put them into the raffle drum, where names were chosen at random, five people at a time, for each round. Each chosen participant was asked to tell a little about themselves, and given the opportunity to set themselves apart from other excited contestants. Each player was monitored for enthusiasm levels, clear speaking, and whether they could make quick and smart decisions. David Strathearn, director of marketing and promotions for Wheel of Fortune, said that if the contestants played well, they would receive an invitation to the final round of auditions in about three months. Even the applicants who were not initially called for the final round of auditions have a shot, though, since Wheel of Fortune saves all of the applications, and can select from them at random to fill leftover spots in the show. So don’t be surprised if you tune in to Wheel of Fortune over the next several months, and happen to see someone you know spinning that wheel!


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community contributor and family leader, is at the core of our developmental model. Our Dream: To build a stronger and more sustainable community not only by promoting wise use of local natural and economic resources, but by identifying, developing and including underutilized human resources that are effectively prevented from participating in the local economy. We believe that poverty is not a lack of money, but a lack of resources. We believe that you can “give a man a fish” (charity) and even “teach a man to fish” (grace and mercy), but we must also ensure his access to the lake (justice).

Sustainable Alamance: A Christian Community Development Initiative


n order to build a truly sustainable Alamance County, we must find new ways to restore men and women to productive roles in the community.

Maltese was a federal level cocaine dealer in the community. He was given a chance to reform through the US Department of Justice Safe Neighborhoods program, and he came to us. He is now enrolled at the local community college, and is scheduled to graduate soon. He reconciled with his family, and has become the owner and manager of his own business in Alamance County. The multiplicative effect of removing a drug dealer from the street, and helping him to become a

Through 2012, Sustainable Alamance has helped place 38 men and women with criminal histories into full time employment... up from 6 in 2010. This will represent over to $500,000 in wages, thousands in tax dollars, and dozens of parents receiving child support. Out of the 38, we had only 3 return to prison, an 8% recidivism rate, a 90% percent reduction in recidivism. The cost savings to the NC taxpayer for these 38 people is approximately $1.0 million … the cost of incarceration. But let's be clear, all the numbers and wages and tax savings is NOT why we do this. We do this for the following reasons. 1. People matter to God….. all people…… regardless of what we did in the past. 2. God came to visit us to fix what was broken. Remember that Jesus not only healed the lepers' physical illness but he sent them back into the temple… He restored them to the community. 3. Society has been using the wrong ruler to measure the worth and value of people. A person's value is not determined by their economic station in life. People have value simply because they are God's creation. 4. Just as importantly…… lives are being changed, families are being restored, men are becoming responsible fathers, all of whom have a chance to show the community what a changed life looks like. Each year, hundreds of men and women return home to Alamance County from serving time in prison. Most, if not all, are faced with discrimination in the workplace because of the decisions in their past. The impact of this on generational poverty in our community is tremendous. It is time to rethink how we choose to deal with these issues, by providing opportunities


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rather than services; by mining the human resource, and illustrating that people have value because of their talents. Sustainable Alamance was founded in 2008 with a new vision for helping those in need. We are working to build a more sustainable community by adding new levels of programs for those who need assistance. We believe that a charity model, which offers only emergency relief, is insufficient to solve chronic problems, such as unemployment and generational poverty, and the impact these situations can and do have. Chronic problems require developmental solutions, developing resources in the community, especially the human resource, and being certain that everyone has access to these resources. Emergency relief does nothing for the self-worth of an individual, and can even lead to an entitlement mentality. Development reaches and encourages individuals to make the life changes that can result in a changed heart and mind.

from all parts of the community, to join the efforts in alleviating poverty by restoring people to a productive place in the community. Join our efforts to help build a stronger and more sustainable Alamance County. If you have an opportunity for employment, please consider one of our program participants.

We have set a goal to raise money in a campaign to establish a resource center in East Burlington. The center will be called the FACES Center (Faith in Action Community Economic Sustainability Center). This endeavor is designed to bring education, training, and job creation to the people and neighborhoods where the need is the greatest. Everyone agrees that education is the key to increased opportunity. The FACES Center will be a local hub for educational activity, Sustainable Alamance is committed to seeing people from G. E. D. classes, to work readiness courses through our and communities holistically restored. To this end, we are partnership with Jobs For Life. Your tax deductable contributions are vital to our committed to following Jesus’ example of reconciliation. We go where the brokenness is. We work among the people success. Your support can help finance day to day in their neighborhoods. We become one with our neighbors, operations, including the costs of providing our participants until there is no longer an “us” and “them,” but only a “we.” with transportation to and from jobs and job interviews, And in the words of the Prophet Jeremiah, “we work and and to help further our dreams of small, socially minded pray for the well-being of our city,” trusting that if the entire business development. community does well and prospers, then will we prosper Sustainable Alamance is located at 537 South Ireland also. Street in Burlington. For more information you can call Sustainable Alamance is a Christian Faith Based, 501 (c)3 community benefit organization. Our partnerships with other organizations, including The Piedmont Men of Steel, and the Steel Magnolias of Alamance County, the courts, corrections, law enforcement, employment security commission and other essential government service agencies, have allowed us to build a unique system of accountability for our participants.

Sustainable Alamance desires to provide “on ramps” them at 336-213-3505 or check out their website at www. or ways and opportunities for people and organizations 



The Perfect Gift ~ Time By Gay Barefield

"Time the most precious gift one can give. Each moment is unique because it will never happen again... the gift of your time spent with others is the ultimate display of unconditional love."


ast Christmas I introduced the ultimate "Christmas bomb,” a Christmas without presents. At first it was greeted with frowns of disapproval and perplexed looks. Once I stated the facts, "None of us really needs anything, and we always have trouble figuring out what to give each other,” the looks then became more relaxed and smiles started to appear. The decision was made - no presents, and we were going to enjoy having more time together without the stress of shopping. It went off with only one little hitch. My oldest daughter, who loves giving gifts, did sneak in tiny presents, and we all forgave her. We ate, talked more and really enjoyed each other in a much more relaxed environment. This year as the subject came around to the "giving of gifts" I got to stand back and watch a robust shout of "no presents again this year!" The smiles and total agreement of how much more delightful the holiday season was without the stress of shopping made the decision a simple one. We then started planning our time together, from a possible carriage ride to a brunch gathering and a very competitive game of Scrabble, all involving the beauty of time well spent in each other’s company.


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~Robert W. Merriweather How about you? Are you looking for that perfect gift to give your family and friends? I truly suggest giving them the best part of YOU - your time. It really is the gift that will keep on giving, long after the Christmas decorations are packed away for another year. Even if you have "little ones" on your Christmas list, the gift of time could be a year long gift: a Saturday morning ritual of a breakfast out, movie tickets for a monthly movie adventure or reading a big book one chapter at a time. Just being present with that child is so much more meaningful than the latest video game or that must have toy. The common denominator in all of this is TIME, and it is a currency of great value! Start your own traditions of swapping shopping time for real time spent with friends and family. I promise you will remember those times spent together longer than you will wear that sweater. I hope you enjoy this holiday season with all the gusto it deserves. I know that our family will vote for “the perfect gift of time” every Christmas season for years to come.

Gay Barefield has been a massage therapist for more than 20 years. Zen Chick is where she shares her wisdom on how to slow down, simplify, and live a life you love. Gay offers "Living Room Sessions" for groups to brainstorm and fine tune their lives, as well as one on one work, to help you kick old habits and thought patterns that may be keeping you from living your life to its fullest. Find out more at n

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'Tis the season for Family Fun!


hare the joy this December 21 from 10-11:30 a.m. with activities for the family at the Captain White House, 213 South Main Street in Graham. In addition to Christmas crafts for the kids, there will be face painting and an appearance by our fun-loving mascot, Arty the Mouse who is sure to give out some hugs to spread the Christmas cheer. The cost is

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

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Burlington Magazine-Issue 6  
Burlington Magazine-Issue 6  

Welcome, readers to the sixth issue of Burlington Magazine. With Christmas right around the corner, it seems like excitement and magic is i...