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pages 4-5 Girl Scouts has introduced 42 new badges young girls can earn by exploring topics like outdoor high adventures, coding, space science and more, allowing them to take control of their own leadership experiences.

Is su e On e Hu n d re d Si x ty

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Joey Coakley Beck Publisher & Owner jbeck@beckmediagroup.com •••

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For editorial consideration: features@beckmediagroup.com

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page 13 Just in time for Halloween, The Spells Deck is a beautiful collection for modern mystics and spirituality seekers. This enchanting deck makes it easy to bring a little magic to everyday life!

advertising

To market yourself and your business to the women of Southwest & Central Virginia, call us at (540) 339-6117 or email advertise@beckmediagroup.com

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page 10 We have rounded up a few products that can help make October your coziest and make you feel your best. (Don’t miss the “comfiest” breast cancer awareness item around!)

Contributors: Beth Deel, Jason Gallimore, Wendy Maxey, Member One Federal Credit Union, Dr. Jenna Montana, Jennifer Pfister, Hayleigh Worgan

With over 13 years experience in Southwest & Central Virginia, Bella is the BEST advertising option with proven results, loyal readership, wonderful content, and an award-winning design!

pages 7-9 Dr. Jenna Montana of Cultivate Wellness tells the ONLY time a doctor should tell you “it’s all in your head.” And meet local ambassador, Jessica German Ohanian, of the best club nobody wants to join... The Breasties.

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page 15 Check out these spooky fun finds for your little ghosts and goblins! And dust off your best scary costume for the City of Salem’s fun Halloween tradition, Pumpkinfest in Downtown Salem. Details inside!

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operations

pages 16-17 Award-winning cookbook author

Raquel Pelzel explores how to bring the savory taste of unami to vegetable-forward dishes in her latest collection. We’ve also included her “Grilled Romaine with Caesar-ish Vinaigrette” recipe found in the book!

For general inquiries: bella@beckmediagroup.com Sara Coakley Office Manager

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pages 18-20 Soooo much happening this month!

First up, we profile the amazing Quiana Lynell, who is performing this month at Jefferson Center. Do NOT miss her performance! We’ve also inlcuded a few of our favorite annual events—the Blue Ridge Potters Guild Show & Sale and regional favorite, the award-winning 32nd Annual Craftsmen Classic Fall Festival. Support the wonderful work of Street Ransom by attending their event, Night of Hope, an uplifting night that shines light on and inspires hope for an important topic.

LLC

P.O. Box 107 Roanoke, Virginia 24002 (540) 339-6117 Bella Magazine is the property of Beck Media Group LLC. It is a free publication printed monthly and is distributed throughout Southwest and Central Virginia and beyond. The Publisher reserves the right to refuse ad space for any advertisement or editorial content the staff deems inappropriate for our readers. The concept and design of Bella Magazine, as well as the design, advertisements, art, photos and editorial content is property of Beck Media Group LLC and may not be copied or reprinted without written permission from the publisher. ©2006-2019 Beck Media Group LLC All Rights Reserved. PRINTED IN VIRGINIA

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page 22 May graduates are facing the end of their student loan grace period. Member One Federal Credit Union helps navigate the next steps. oct ober 2019 •

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New Girl Scout Badges to Change the World

By exploring topics like high adventure in the outdoors, coding, space science, and more, girls take control of their own leadership experiences

WRITTEN BY Jennifer L. Pfister PHOTOS COURTESY Girl Scouts of USA Do you like to trail run, rock climb, code computers or dream about exploring outer space? Then you’re in luck! The Girl Scouts just revealed 42 new badges exclusively for girls in grades K-12 that offer girls everything from adventuring in the snow or mountains to learning how to use coding to solve problems they care about to exploring the great universe beyond our planet. And if your school days are long behind you, then you can always join the fun through volunteering with a troop, event, camp or Adventurers club. Girl Scout programming is great about promoting independent decision making, which helps girls challenge themselves to move beyond their comfort zones, and build confidence in their leadership abilities. Among the 42 new badge offerings are Outdoor High Adventure badges that feature, for the first time in Girl Scouts’ history, two distinct activity options, letting girls choose how they want to earn each badge. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure story yet you are actually doing this adventure in real life! The new programming for girls in grades K–12 includes:

• 12 Outdoor High Adventure badges, designed for girls to explore

nature and experience exciting outdoor adventures like backpacking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, and tree climbing—giving them the confidence to support one another, take healthy risks, and spend dedicated time in nature. These are the first Girl Scout badges that members can earn by choosing one of two self-directed paths.

• 18 Coding for Good badges, which not only teach girls the basics of coding but also detail how every stage of the coding process provides girls with opportunities to use their skills for good. Every Coding for

Good badge includes a plugged-in and unplugged version, so that all girls can learn the foundations of coding, regardless of their access to technology.

In addition to existing badge offerings, girls in grades 6–12 can now pursue: • Nine Cybersecurity badges, through which girls learn about the inner workings of computer technology and cybersecurity and apply concepts of safety and protection to the technology they use every day. • Three Space Science badges, through which girls explore topics such as the universe and their place in it, properties of light, and inspiring careers in space science. • Think Like a Citizen Scientist, a Girl Scout Leadership Journey during which girls participate in interactive activities to practice observation techniques; collect data; and share their findings with real-world scientists through an online network.

At Girl Scouts she’ll discover who she is, what she’s passionate about, and what she wants to achieve—both today and in the future. Want to join in the fun? Check us out at www.gsvsc.org

Jennifer is the marketing and communications director for the local Girl Scouts. She was a Girl Scout growing up in Giles County, Virginia, for 12 years and then carried on the love for Girl Scouting as a volunteer for over 10 years in the Roanoke and New River Valleys. She is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts. Her trail name is Girl Scout Jen; her camp name is Mountain Junkie! She loves the great outdoors: trail running, hiking, bicycling, camping, climbing, kayaking, rafting and just playing around with the kids outside!

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It's All in Your Head The ONLY time a doctor should tell you this

WRITTEN BY Dr. Jenna Montana

Sometimes, hearing the mishaps of the medical system is just an occupational hazard if you choose to be a practitioner of “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” (CAM) Therapies. Most people try the usual “chain of command”—primary care doctor, specialist, subspecialist, then wait a while, get fed up, find a CAM Therapy practitioner (functional medicine practitioner, naturopathic doctor, doctor of chiropractic, massage therapist, reiki, acupuncturist, Rolfer, biofrequency, herbalist, etc). The CAM therapist generally receives people on their last shreds of hope. These people have been around the block a time or two, and yet one line unites most of their unique and harrowing stories: “my doctor told me it wasn’t that bad according to lab work, imaging, etc” or “implied it was basically all in my head.” So I’ve been thinking about this. And in a way, these well-meaning physicians are not completely wrong. The mind is the most powerful thing, and it is believed that 40% of treatment efficacy of any drug, therapy, etc. is due to the placebo effect—the idea that we want it to work, so it does. Maybe you can see where I’m going here. The unfortunate part is, that very oversimplification of your disease being solely contained within your brain is simply not true. The deep knowing that something is wrong may change your heartbeat, your throat may feel tight, you may feel mental states of fatigue that challenge you to show up as a spouse, an employee, business owner, parent, sibling, or friend. You may feel pain that has no injurious cause, or “hard evidence” like a lab value or x-ray, but it’s real and you know it.

The practitioner that finally validates the earnest existence of a condition will do better to tell the patient/client that, “your disease is real, but the healing takes place in your head. If your mental intention is not clear, if your mindset is not optimistic, if you have not mentally visualized your successful version of healthy, then your condition will continue to be real.” The mind controls the heart, the tension of the muscles, the mental perception of ease with which we navigate through life. But we must honor the existence of injury or illness first (or at least dig deeper to objectively confirm it with appropriate testing), apply appropriate treatment, and help the patient understand that healing oneself is a mental game. One that takes more effort between your ears than in any vitamin, herb, or needle I can administer. But isn’t that freeing? To know that your condition, with the help of CAM or conventional medical intervention, can be, to a certain extent, within your own power? Let it be understood that not every single condition is mitigated by “happy thoughts”, but for the folks who have been told “it’s all in your head” this is who I’m speaking to. Seek alternatives, more importantly, speak with someone who will validate you as a human being with an equal degree of perception and experience as the person whose help you seek. Healing: it’s all in your head. (mostly) Dr. Jenna Montana practices functional medicine in Roanoke. She holds a Doctorate of Chiropractic and Master’s degree in Nutrition from Logan University. Additionally, she uses acupuncture and nutritional counseling to enhance her treatment offerings in her practice, Cultivate Wellness. Find her on Instagram @dr.jennamontana

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The Best Club No One Wants to Join

According to a study published in the Journal of Social and Public Relationships, on average, it takes 50 hours of time with someone before you consider them a casual friend, 90 hours before you become real friends, and about 200 hours to become close friends. This study obviously did not include The Breasties. I know, I know, you have no clue what I’m talking about. That’s okay because I didn’t know either. But I’m so very thankful I do now! The Breasties is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support for young women affected by breast and reproductive cancers through community and friendship (www.thebreasties.org). When I lost my sister to metastatic breast cancer in 2017, I was devastated. I never in a million years thought I would get THAT call. The big “C.” And it wasn’t treatable, she didn’t have long, and she was 2000 miles away. I didn’t get to see her before she passed. She was only 38 years old. I had so many questions and not nearly enough answers. It was at that point when my life became a whirlwind of doctors appointments because just weeks before I got THAT call because I had found a lump. At age 34 I had to have my first mammogram. That lead to an ultrasound due to fibrocystic breast disease, but thankfully no cancer. What would have been a simple cyst aspiration lead to the beginning of a lifelong journey. My doctors at the Carilion Breast Care department encouraged me to look into genetics testing, something I had already considered. I was referred to a wonderful genetics counselor and a few weeks later found out that I did, in fact, carry a positive genetic mutation linked to breast cancer. At first I was numb. I didn’t know how to process the information, so I ignored it. I had a breast MRI and got good results—no cancer! The plan was to keep doing this every year, alternating mammograms and MRI’s. I went through my normal days, planned for the Holidays and my upcoming wedding. January rolled around and I just couldn’t shake those thoughts in the back of my head. What day am I going to get that call? It was then that I decided to undergo a prophylactic double mastectomy to reduce my lifetime risk to less than 5%. I met with my breast surgeon, my reconstructive plastic surgeon and my primary care provider. Everyone was on board. I told my family, coworkers, and a few close friends. I was afraid of what people would think, what they would say. I was alone. Even surrounded by my friends and family, I was alone... until I found The Breasties. WRITTEN BY Jessica German Ohanian JESSICA PHOTO BY Bob Cranwell Photography

I posted a picture on social media from my hospital bed and immediately got so much support from an online community that I didn’t even know existed. I was brave, I was strong, I was loved by complete strangers. They’re part of the club and they get it. They have been there. The Breasties is an all inclusive community of survivors, previvors (such as myself ), thrives and caregivers. I had the extreme privilege of attending Camp Breastie earlier this year in the Pocono Mountains. 500 women spent the weekend together, sharing stories smiles, hugs, laughter, and tears. We had 48 hours, but the friendships and bonds I made will last a lifetime. There was no judgement, no harsh words, no catty drama—just amazing women loving and supporting each other in a way I didn’t know was possible. My life was forever changed. I am a mutant, but I’m not the only one. And I’m proud. Of myself, of my sisters, my fellow Breasties. Even though we may live miles apart, we are here for one another. To lend a listening ear, pay a friendly compliment, exchange surprise goodies, and most importantly to be that support system no matter what. Today, I am now lucky enough to be an Ambassador for this amazing organization, with my very own chapter here in the Roanoke Valley, the Star City Breasties. I didn’t know that I needed that camaraderie until I had experienced it myself, and now I can’t imagine not having my girls in my life. We have casual meetups, coffee dates, social events (such as arcade night at Starcade at Center in the Square and private Paint Nights), as well as wellness events like group yoga. No one should feel alone or isolated during treatment, whatever that may include, whatever the stage of your journey. We are here. We love you. We are you. And ladies, we are here to move mountains. #wahtmm We are building our local community and would love to hear your story too! If you or anyone you know has been affected by breast or ovarian cancer, or simply have questions, please reach out. You can connect with us on Facebook (Star City Breasties), on Instagram @starcity_breasties, or reach out to me personally by email: jrgerman81@gmail.com, direct message @ jess_juwel or messenger: Jessica German Ohanian. I want you to feel the love that I feel, because it’s just amazing and I will forever be grateful for being a part of the club. www.thebreasties.org oct ober 2019 •

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s d n i F a l l e B Cheeky Physique

The ultimate beauty lifeline dedicated to results-driven skin and body care products for women who want to look their best with minimal effort. This San Diego-based brand offers a set of physique-perfecting products that reveal visible results in all the right places. From the lips to the tummy, and to the bust to the booty, Cheeky Physique’s ‘beauty cheats” offer an opportunity to minimize trouble spots while maximizing assets. www.cheekyphysique.com

Innersense Organic Beauty

Fall in love with your hair again! Innersense preserves the beauty of botanicals through conscious chemistry. Their haircare products are crafted from certified organic plant ingredients your hair will love in luxurious formulations that deliver hydration, health, moisture, shine and protection only Mother Nature can provide. www.innersensebeauty.com

The Organic Skin Co.

We’ve finally found it... the BEST and truly organic skin care and makeup company! The Organic Skin Co. began in New Zealand and now makes products with a strong commitment to the planet available worldwide. They offer a full-range skincare line for all needs with each product fully committed to clean, refreshing and organic ingredients. Their makeup palettes line is the ultimate sustainable makeup station, designed with you in mind. Refillable pods allow you to configure your perfect palette. Check them out online! www.theorganicskinco.com

The Comfy

The perfect chilly weather companion—THE COMFY!!! Yes, ladies, it is as comfy as it looks and now they are offering a pink limited edition style that will benefit Susan G. Komen. The Comfy is donating $50,000 to Komen in its fight against breast cancer. This would also make a perfect gift (that gives back!) to a survivor or someone in the midst of her cancer journey. www.thecomfy.com

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Labotica True Nature Masks

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Explore Korea’s bestselling masks from Labotica! Whether you’re looking to brighten your skin or fight off wrinkles and acne, they have the perfect mask for you. Top dermatologists created potent formulas infused with botanical extracts to help you reveal healthy, smooth skin. Our favorite right now is the True Nature Brightening Mask with Damask Rose. www.leadercosmeticsusa.com

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{{ books }}

The Spells Deck Just in time for Halloween, The Spells Deck is a beautiful collection for modern mystics and spirituality seekers. This enchanting deck makes it easy to bring a little magic to everyday life. Featuring 78 rituals, spells and recipes for love, empowerment, healing and so much more, The Spells Deck is an enchanting, all-levels introduction for the modern mystic. Brimming with alluring illustrations and powerful practices rooted in ancient traditions, this illuminating deck makes it easy to infuse each day with the wonders of magic. Find through your favorite bookseller.

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spooky

family finds Paint by Sticker Kids

Halloween is the newest addition to the ever-growing Paint by Stickers series featuring 10 spooky (but not scary!) Halloween-themed illustrations. Creating each spooky picture is simple. Find the sticker, peel it, and place it in the corresponding numbered space. Kids can bring their favorites ghouls and goblins to life with glow-in-the-dark stickers included in this edition! This book is packed with plenty of fun pictures that will get every kid into the Halloween spirit. Find thru your favorite bookseller.

Scary! Sox

Taking the phrase “Nothing you wear is more important than your smile!” to boldly expressive new heights, check out Smile! Sox. These fun socks help everyone from little kids to young tweens and women share their innermost feelings in the most creative, colorful, and eye-catching way. And their collections are fun to mix and match, no matter your day’s mood. be sure to check out their cute Halloween collection, Scary! Sox. www.smilesox.com

family

spooky event

Watch our Facebook page

Dust off your spooky best costume... it’s time for the Pumpkinfest in Downtown Salem, Saturday, October 26 from 11am-2pm. Come enjoy trick or treating with downtown merchants (from 10-11am), lots of children’s activities, carnival games, a costume contest, pumpkin giveaways and auctions and so much more! For all the details visit www.salemva.gov/Calendar

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Umami Bomb

A fun new cookbook full of excellent vegetarian recipes (That’s right. Excellent vegetarian!) What comes to mind when someone says the words “savory deliciousness”? Bacon, sizzling in a pan; a hamburger hot and fresh from the grill; a warm bowl of homemade chicken soup; a perfect slice of pepperoni pizza, slightly charred at the edges and topped with Parmesan and gooey mozzarella; or perhaps a juicy, salty, seared rib eye? Umami, the Japanese term for this delectable fifth taste, is that special something that makes food taste better. Now award-winning cookbook author Raquel Pelzel explores how to bring that savory taste (often associated with cooked meats) to vegetable-forward dishes in Umami Bomb: 75 Vegetarian Recipes that Explode with Flavor. This inspiring and practical cookbook filled with inventive recipes brings bold and intense, rich and savory, and comforting and delicious flavors to the forefront. Each chapter focuses on an unami-packed vegetarian ingredient, demonstrating that the deep, satisfying flavor is everywhere—from tomatoes and soy sauce to mushrooms and aged cheeses. Find through your favorite bookseller.

Raquel Pelzel

Grilled Romaine with Caesar-ish Vinaigrette

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Parm, nutritional yeast, and smoke from a grill give this salad a hefty dose of deeply satisfying flavor. You might think grilling lettuce will completely wilt it, but no, it doesn’t. It beautifully chars the outer leaves while the inner core remains crisp (and even somewhat chilled if you refrigerate the lettuce before grilling). Caesar salad dressing is traditionally made by emulsifying raw egg yolks with olive oil, garlic, and anchovy, but for grilled lettuce, a lighter egg-free vinaigrette is a better match. I don’t add the anchovy, but if you want to make this a quadruple umami bomb, use a fork to mash up a bottled anchovy fillet and mix it into the garlic, shallot, and mustard in Step 2.

Vegetable oil, for greasing the grill grates 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced 1 medium shallot, minced 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard Kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Juice of 1 lemon Extra-virgin olive oil 2 heads of romaine lettuce hearts, halved lengthwise 4 slices (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick) good-quality bread 1 wedge Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for shaving 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

Heat a charcoal or gas grill to high according to the manufacturer’s instructions (you can also use a grill pan over high heat). Brush the hot grill grates with a grill brush. Fold a paper towel into quarters and dip it into the vegetable oil, then use long barbecue tongs to grease the grill grates with the oil-saturated towel. Mix together the garlic, shallot, nutritional yeast, mustard, ¾ teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Whisk in the lemon juice and then slowly whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until the dressing is creamy and emulsified. Brush the cut sides of the romaine lettuce halves with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Drizzle both sides of each bread slice with some olive oil, then season 1 side of each piece with a pinch of salt. Place the bread and lettuce (cut side down) on the grill and cook until the lettuce is charred around the edges and grill-marked on one side (do not turn it), and the bread is toasted and grill-marked on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the bread to a platter and set the lettuce charred side up on top of the bread. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the lettuce and use a vegetable peeler to shave ribbons of the cheese over the top. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately. Excerpted from Umami Bomb: 75 Vegetarian Recipes That Explode With Flavor by Raquel Pelzel (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Kate Sears

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Artist on the Rise A storyteller commands the stage at Jefferson Center stage this fall! WRITTEN BY Hayleigh Worgan PHOTO COURTESY Jefferson Center

Blue Ridge Potters Guild Show & Sale

Quiana Lynell emerged onto the jazz scene in 2017. In two short years, she has received the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition Award (2017), performed with award-winning trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard, and released her first album, A Little Love. An artist on-the-rise, Lynell has nursed her passion for music since childhood. Her blossoming career has gospel origins, and her love for music was solidified through a music education that began in public school. Over the years, she has learned the value of apprenticeship. Today, her experience fuses with talent and education to create a truly unforgettable performance. Lynell has pursued her dreams with patience and dedication since her youth. She was the first in her family to graduate from college. She studied voice at Louisiana State University, and her education shed light on the structure behind the artistry of music. After graduation, she took a job with an AT&T call center. There, she met a friend who would later invite Lynell to sing with her blues and zydeco band. “I learned so much about the song form and entertainment and how to interact and take people on a journey,” she recalls. Lynell’s friend passed away four months later. Following her death, the band asked Lynell to become their new vocal leader. This opportunity allowed her to reshape her own journey. She began attending jam sessions. In 2011, she became a music teacher at a public school. In her spare time, she wrote, performed at gigs, and eventually accepted a position teaching voice as an adjunct professor at Loyola University. Lynell had dreams of following in the footsteps of Dianne Reeves. She pursued those dreams fervently, formed a band, and continued studying and performing jazz. In 2017, she played at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival with her trio. Her voice caught the attention of Terence Blanchard, and he invited her to perform with a 75-piece orchestra in their Poland tribute to Spike Lee. “Quiana Lynell is already a vocal presence,” says Blanchard. “When I first heard her sing, my initial thought was, ‘Who are you, where have you been, and why am I just hearing you now?’” Lynell also took home the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition Award in 2017. This accomplishment opened the door for her first album, A Little Love. A Little Love is an impressive debut fusion of soul, gospel, r&b, jazz and groove. Its songs tell stories about searching, living through trying times, and social action. It reflects ideas that are important to Lynell, and speaks with an authenticity that delivers music to the listener’s spirit. “I was always told that my intuition was leading me in the right direction,” explains Lynell. “This is like taking a picture of who I am today. There will be more pictures to come.” Quiana Lynell will perform at Jefferson Center on Saturday, October 26 at 7pm and 9pm. This is a performance you do not want to miss! For more information on Lynell and her work, visit her website at www. quianalynell.com. Purchase tickets for her Jefferson Center performance at www.jeffcenter.org.

and Sale October 25, 26 and 27 at Patrick Henry High

Hayleigh is a freelance writer, independent author, and writing consultant. In 2017, she published her first novel. She spends a lot of time traveling and exploring new regions for inspiration, but Roanoke will always be her home. www.hayleighworgan.com

The Blue Ridge Potters Guild will hold its 20th Annual Show School in Roanoke. The BRPG Pottery Show is the largest all-pottery show in Virginia and features a wide range of work from local artisans. More than 70 Guild members will display and sell their works. Visit their website for more details regarding the Gallery theme, demonstrations, participants, and daily hours. www.blueridgepotters.com

Night of Hope

Street Ransom will hold their highly anticipated Night of Hope dessert fundraiser on Friday, October 25 from 7-9pm at Hotel Roanoke. The Night of Hope is Street Ransom’s largest annual fundraiser, and for the first time ever, tickets are available to the public for purchase. This night will be an uplifting opportunity to unite the Roanoke community to shine light and inspire hope in dark places. The purpose of this event is to create awareness of the prevalence of sex trafficking in Virginia and raise funds to open a shelter for juvenile survivors.     “This year’s Night of Hope will be bigger and better than ever with an impactful program, survivor speaker, fun live auction, delicious desserts, and a revealing of Street Ransom’s new brand,” said Rebekah Marquez, Street Ransom’s Communications Coordinator.    The event will feature guest speaker Kristen Muzzy, a survivor of human trafficking. All proceeds will fund the opening and operation of Street Ransom’s shelter, the only shelter in Virginia to specifically serve juvenile survivors of sex trafficking.  Bella Magazine is honored to be a sponsor of Night of Hope.   For more information about the Night of Hope including sponsorship opportunities and ticket sales, visit  www.streetransom.com/night-of-hope, or contact Rebekah Marquez at (540) 355-9535 or rebekah@streetransom.com. oct ober 2019 •

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The 32 Annual Craftsmen Classic Fall Festival nd

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The 32nd Annual Craftsmen Classic Fall Festival is coming to Roanoke October 11, 12 & 13 (Hours: Friday 10-8, Saturday 10-6, Sunday 11-5) at Berglund Center in Roanoke. This regional event is a local favorite and one of the country’s most highly acclaimed, award-winning series of indoor fine art and craft festivals. Voted in the Top 5 shows of its kind in Virginia—Ranked in the Top 20 shows nationwide in the prestigious Sunshine Artist Magazine—and a winner of Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events! Hundreds of artists and craftsmen from over 20 states, juried and selected for originality & creative excellence. There are many new exhibitors, as well as familiar favorites. All items are made by the participating artists and craftsmen—you won’t find any of these items in “big box” retail stores! Many exhibitors welcome custom work, and love to show visitors just how creative they truly are. Craftsmen Classic is partnering once again with Feeding America Southwest Virginia so admission is FREE with food donation! This is the second-largest food drive all year for Feeding America SW VA, bringing in over 25,000 pounds of food in 2016 along with monetary donations as well! For more details visit www.craftshow.com


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5 Things to Know Before Your Student Loan Grace Period Ends

ARTICLE COURTESY Member One Federal Credit Union

Fall is here and that means apple-picking, pretty Instagram pics, pumpkin spice everything…and maybe your student loan bill. For most May grads, the grace period ends in November. If you’re in that boat, here’s what to know as you prepare for repayment.

1. What you actually owe.

It’s easy to lose track of numbers while you’re busy with college. (Besides, who really wants to constantly remind themselves of their growing debt?) But now it’s time to get a handle on exactly what you owe— so you can put together a solid repayment plan. Create a spreadsheet of loan amounts, their respective interest rates, and the parties owed for each so you can strategize which ones to pay off first. You’ll find detailed information about federal loans you’ve borrowed at nsldsfap.ed.gov, the website for the U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). If you borrowed private student loans and are unsure of the details, contact your school’s financial aid office.

2. You can change your repayment plan.

Most federal loan borrowers are assigned to a standard 10-year repayment plan. If you’re able to make that plan’s monthly payments, great—it’s usually the cheapest in the long run since you’ll accumulate less interest. But if you’re struggling to make those payments fresh out of college, there are alternatives to consider. Federal loan borrowers can request a repayment plan change any time and at no cost, with options including graduated payments, extended terms, and income-based repayment. Learn more at studentaid.gov. Some, but not all, private lenders offer alternate repayment plans, so if you borrowed private loans, contact your lender to discuss your options.

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3. Your job may help you pay your loan faster.

If you work in education, healthcare, or public service (including some types of military service), you may qualify to have some or all of your outstanding loan balance forgiven after a certain length of time. Learn more about the requirements for federal loan forgiveness programs at studentaid.gov. Not eligible for any of these programs? Another option is to target your job applications at employers who offer student loan repayment assistance as an employee benefit (a small but growing number of companies do).

4. “Minimum payments” are just that.

Think of your minimum payment as a starting point. As you earn raises, keep adding more on top of that minimum. One popular strategy is to make a second monthly payment whenever you’re able. Another idea: make occasional lump-sum payments after receiving a bonus or tax refund. Seeing a bigger-than-usual dip in your balance is a fantastic motivator to keep the momentum going.

5. You are in control of your debt & your financial future.

Facing down debt right at the start of adulthood can definitely be intimidating. Your best bet? Get proactive about repayment and keep learning as much about money as you can—and you’ll be well on your way toward your next big plans.

Join Member One here each month for more money-saving tips and financial advice! Be sure to visit their website, www.memberonefcu.com, for more info on their products and services. Member One Federal Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.


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Bella Magazine - October 2019  

Celebrating our 13th year as the regional magazine for women of Southwest & Central Virginia... and beyond!

Bella Magazine - October 2019  

Celebrating our 13th year as the regional magazine for women of Southwest & Central Virginia... and beyond!

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