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PG 64

PG 14





Del Scheitler |


Lani Barao |


Ben Doyle |


Kimberly Scheitler



Mary Pruter |



Chris Jackson with Chris Jackson Photography

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHY Allan Williams Travis Trawick Bob Fisher


BONFIREVA.COM 3440 Chandler Creek Road Suite 105 Virginia Beach, VA 23453 P: 757-368-1881 F: 757-368-1889 Bonfire Magazine is proudly published by dasterisk development group LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A Publisher assumes no responsibility of unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. Bonfire Magazine is proudly published ever quarter by dasterisk development group LLC. The publication is available free of charge throughout Hampton Roads in select distribution locations. Bonfire Magazine may only be distributed by authorized distributors only. Views and opinions expressed are those of the writers and contributors not necessarily of BonfireMagazine. 2013 All Rights Reserved


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EDITOR’S LETTER: BEN DOYLE Our premier issue of Bonfire Magazine has truly been an amazing and rewarding experience! Our team felt like we had something very special, positive and inclusive for so many here in Hampton Roads. Based upon the support and feedback, we can definitely say it has been a huge success! I cannot thank each and everyone of you enough for your support, comments and feedback. We have enjoyed covering stories, events and meeting readers from all over Hampton Roads. We’ve spent time in Newport News, Chesapeake, Hampton, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Most recently, we have spent time in Portsmouth, Suffolk and my hometown


of Smithfield. We really are walking the walk of showing that the ability of being a local life enthusiast is for all of Hampton Roads. There is so much to explore around every corner or bend in the road! However, as much as we have enjoyed our premier issue, and still do to this day, I don’t think a day or two passed before ideas start coming forward about a holiday issue. We had always planned on being a quarterly magazine, but with so many charitable deeds going on in Hampton Roads during the holidays, we could not let them pass by without sharing them with our readers! The holidays are such a great time of year for people of all ages and I think that many

of us forget that. Our theme for this issue is “Celebrate like a child. Give like an adult.” What does that mean to you? What does that mean to me exactly? For me, it has always been about memories with my family. Those memories will last a lifetime! Our feature article in this issue is Christmas in Smithfield. This is very special to me as it is where I grew up and where my parents still live today. I remember so many things about growing up there, especially my family, friends, school, sports and of course summers filled with fun in the river and the neighborhood pool.




GATHERING Several local life enthusiasts gathered at Whole Foods Market Virginia Beach bringing food and raising money for local foodbanks.


On November 5, 2013, Bonfire

Magazine held our 2nd Gathering Event. The event allowed our team an opportunity to gather a bunch of friends and family for a Gathering photo spread. We decided to make this event more about giving versus just a celebration. We asked folks to join us and bring a bag of food for local foodbanks. Along


with gathering food, Bonfire also sold reusable shopping bags for $10 to help raise money as well. The colder than usual weather did not stop people from joining us. Many of them stopped in, dropped off food and purchased bags. We were lucky to have representatives from the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore and Barton House.

Bonfire Editor, Ben Doyle, proudly delivered more than 600 pounds of food to the foodbanks, including the Peninsula Foodbank. We want to thank our partners at Whole Foods Market Virginia Beach for their on-going support and partnership To continue to support, go to:,,

Gift the gift of food this holiday. Help area families in need this holiday season with your purchase of a $10 Dinner at our registers. 100% of your purchase will be given to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.

Dinner Includes;

365 Everyday Value速 Brand Spaghetti, Marinara Pasta Sauce, Applesauce, Vegetable Soup and Sliced Beets. 1800 Laskin Rd Virginia Beach, VA 23454 757-422-0444




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2013 has been one heck of a year! Personally and professionally, I have grown more than I ever thought possible. Recently, someone reached out to me and commented on how I always seem to smile, laugh and seem upbeat. They assumed that my life must be great. Well, my life is freaking great, but that does not mean it is easy. In fact, it’s probably not for the faint of heart. I started to think about what that meant and how I could even appear in such a way knowing all that has happened and will continue to happen in my life’s journey. Being in business for two years, I have continued to push through many ups and downs. My “can do” attitude has made me turn the impossible into the possible, no matter what! I can’t always say that with each success I’ve found happiness, because sometimes it’s the exact opposite. Sometimes success and winning isn’t worth the risk you take to achieve it. Lessons have been learned hard and fast. I even repeated a few for good measure. In the end, I have been forced to re-evaluate, re-engineer and re-energize my priorities and my purpose. I am proud to say that I may have found a few secrets to pushing through life with a smile. Here’s how I stay smiling and laughing though it all. 1. Surround yourself with likeminded people. Sounds simple, but for some reason it took me a long time to realize this best kept secret to success. I am grateful to have so many positive influences surrounding me, pushing me, inspiring me and holding me accountable. We think alike and that allows for true transparency

and trust. It doesn’t mean it will be easy, in fact it may be much harder at times. Accountability sucks sometimes, but it’s needed. With accountable like-minded people in your life, you will always know who has your back and what you’ll need to do to have theirs. So you will never feel alone. 2. Work in your heart center. I learned (with time) that if I work in my heart center I will enjoy success (and even failures) even more. Sounds legit, right? Work passionately on what is in your heart, and your happiness factor will drive the success. Believe it or not, it took me years to figure this one out. Once I identified what my true self wanted and cared most about, it was very easy to execute what I needed to do and what was a waste of my time. I feel like I’m on the right track. I feel light and limitless. 3. Always help others. When you remember that your success is not as important as helping others, you will enjoy a more purposeful existence. I recently gave a speech at a fundraiser where I talked about why we (Bonfire) put on the fundraiser. I told the packed room, “It’s not because we have plenty of time on our hands. It’s not because we like stress. It’s not because we wanted to work around the clock. It’s because we could. And when you can, you should. We could work harder. We could take on more stress. We could work around the clock. And so we did.” So when you can, you should. 4. Don’t get cocky. Translation: Stay humble. Stay real. Don’t be fooled by how many Facebook likes you received, how much you

built in revenue or how many kudos you get. In the end, ask yourself have you really made an impact? If you have, then just keeping doing it. There’s no time to brag or boast. Post the pics, share the stories, and keep it moving. 5. Find a reason to laugh. I promise you there is enough funny material in day to day life that you should be able to laugh at it. The other day, my wife asked me if I could go to the store to get her some pantyhose! I was sitting there eating crab salad at the time and tried to respond quickly. So quick I choked on my food and spit it across the room! She and I laughed for days about what happened. I’d be in a meeting with a client, and for no reason whatsoever, I’d chuckle to myself. FYI- I actually did go to the store as requested. You simply get to laugh more in life if you just do whatever your wife tells you to do. 6. Most importantly, get real. Get real with all that is happening in the world. There is war, famine, natural disasters, etc. There is real suffering out in the world if you pay attention. Life is pretty good when you allow yourself to really accept it. Surround yourself with others that bring out the best in you. Find people that will hold you accountable and always have your back. Never let them down and cherish all that they bring to your life. Enjoy this season. May the spirit of goodness and light fill all your hearts and homes. Find a reason to smile and laugh. Think about my crab salad that flew across the room at the appalling thought of buying pantyhose for my wife!


ON FIRE! ADAM MAYO Any one moment can change a person’s life. For Adam Mayo, that moment came while on a business trip in Statesville, NC several years ago. He saw a news report of homeless dogs that were being poisoned with bones dipped in antifreeze. Adam was horrified and deeply saddened. At that moment, Adam realized he would, one day, do what he could to eliminate the practice of killing unwanted dogs. Adam Mayo was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and grew up in a community along the Lynnhaven River. Adam was always outside enjoying all that nature had to offer. He soon discovered his love for animals, as he was always around ducks, goats, pigs, cats, and


particularly dogs - his favorite. His family dog was a Dalmation named Ferguson. Fast forward several years and Adam is now the owner of Motley Mutts located at 527 North Birdneck Road. Motley Mutts is a self-service dog wash that also offers full service grooming with pick up and drop off for clients as well. Adam and several of his clients and friends have also created a group called the “Motley Crew.” Together, they have donated thousands of dollars and countless hours of time to help the homeless dogs get a second chance at life. Their goal is to make sure these dogs are properly groomed so that they are more attractive to potential adoptive owners. The Motley Crew has an

almost 100% success rate of these dogs being adopted in 3 days or less! Today, Adam is taking the promise made back in Statesville, NC one step further. Due to overcrowding, there are shelters in the area that are euthanizing dogs. Adam has teamed up with Bettina Rodriguez, a Virginia Beach resident and childhood friend. Together they are currently raising money to open the Wags for Warriors No Kill Animal Shelter. Bettina, like Adam, is an avid dog lover. She has two rescue dogs of her own and other rescue dogs in her immediate family. When we did our photo shoot with Adam and Bettina, we had 5 rescue dogs running around having the time of their lives. Together, they are currently raising funds to open the Wags for Warriors No Kill Animal Shelter. All dogs that go through this shelter’s program will be properly

cared for, groomed, and trained with the ultimate goal that these dogs will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project and to military veterans with PTSD and/or physical injuries. Adam is committing 5% of Motley Mutts earnings to this effort, but he cannot do this alone. The combination of their love and passion for rescuing dogs will be put to the test as they take on this huge effort. Much more is needed to make sure this huge and vital cause is successful. So during this holiday season of giving, think about including our four-legged friends on your list. If you already have a furry friend of your own, consider making a donation in honor of the love you have for your dog. If you are considering adopting a dog this holiday season, please go to your local animal shelter. Visit for more information on Motley Mutts!

ON FIRE! THE LITTLE NECK CIRCLE OF THE KINGS DAUGHTERS The Little Neck Circle of The King’sDaughters, Inc. (LNCKD) was started in 1983, and this will be their 30th anniversary year! LNCKD is a local chapter of the International Order of The King’s Daughters and Sons (IOKDS), a Christian service organization. IOKDS is a nonprofit organization which consists of approximately 5,000 members primarily located around the United States and Canada. LNCKD first started out as a group of approximately 10 women meeting in people’s homes with an interest in helping CHKD. Today is has grown double in size to 20 active members ranging from 26 to 60. It first began by having pumpkin sales, bake sales and collecting money in milk bottles in local stores. From there, it grew into bigger events such as an annual Oyster


Roast, which at its peak year raised over $40,000 in one year. Since day one, they have partnered with CHKD in their fundraising efforts. Their goal has always been to RAISE MONEY to help others, but to have fun doing it. Along the way, the have also helped by doing volunteer work at M.E. Cox senior facility, provided baked goods to the residents at Samaritan House and donated funds to other local charties including the Barry Robinson Foundation and Stand Up for Kids. However, out of all their efforts, the most excitement comes at this time of year for the last several years. Through their fundraising efforts, they have obtained wish-lists, purchased, wrapped and delivered Christmas presents for children in need in Hampton Roads. This is very rewarding to the group as they get to see the faces of those

impacted by our efforts when they deliver the gifts. In recent years, moreso than any other, they are raising more money and having the best time doing it! Their Giving Gala event each year is one of the best holiday events in our area. The event is a very popular night to go out, get dressed up, have fun, and enjoy the company of so many - all while raising money for a great cause. In the past 2 years alone, they have raised over $75,000. So while the group has remained small in number, they are doing BIG THINGS in giving back to their community!


Allison Stephens, who is a Navy Veteran, is determined to make a positive impact in her community. She recently opened up Anchor Allie’s Bistro at 4701 Shore Drive in Virgina Beach. She always wanted to open a restaurant. She always enjoyed serving, cooking, and hosting others. Her desire came about in her travels stateside and abroad with the Navy. So it’s no suprise to see some of the items on the menu: “The Admiral” a strawberry, mint, vanilla, and mozzarella omelet “The Master Diver” a grilled steak, shrimp, and provolone cheese omelet “The Blue Angel” a seasoned burger topped with lump crab meat “The Veteran” steak, egg, and American cheese on a pretzel roll The entire staff loves working here and their emthusiasm shows with their customers. The theme of the place is 1940’s vintage Navy. She chose this look because she really enjoys history, loves the look of the “pin up” era, and has a lot of appreciation for veterans. Her waitress staff is a group of young women with highly positive attitudes, and wear a “1940’s sailor pin up” themed attire, completed with red lipstick. The decor is vintage Navy photos, and memorabilia from WWII, Vietnam, Korean, and modern day wars. Her customers love the them so much, that they have

donated many items that are on display. The wall colors are a light blue with accents of silver and red. The music selection is a variety from Frank Sinatra, CCR, The Temptations, to Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw. The music is easy listening, good time American rock and is perfect for this atmosphere. We recently had lunch there before our photo shoot and everything from the service, atmosphere, and food was spot on to what Allie envisioned! In talking with Allison, we learned that her service to the community around Anchor’s Allie WILL NOT stop with the food. She has big plans to give back to her military community. Even at this time, where she is still trying to breakeven with her day to day operations, she is already planning and finding ways to sponsor holiday meals to feed entire families. Additionally, she has plans to find and sponsor homeless veterans to get them back on their feet, provide them a job, a place to live, and do what it takes to turn around their life. She has a heart bigger than her tiny frame and will not let anything stand in her way to accomplish her goals.

















Smithfield, Va. - The Christmas season is a special time for many people everywhere, and most certainly it is in Smithfield, Virginia. Ahead of all the hustle-and-bustle, I had a chance to sit down with Jim Abicht - owner of The Christmas Store on Main Street in downtown historic Smithfield. The store, known for its one-of-a kind items and things you will rarely find anywhere else, was founded in 1994 by Jim, and his wife, Elaine. “We’re going into our twentieth year. Well, we started in ‘94. So, in September we will have completed 20 years,” Abicht says. The History: The Christmas Store was inspired by Jim’s favorite holiday. “My wife and I collected Christmas antiques. And I used to travel around the country, looking for and buying Christmas antiques. Through that, I met other collectors from around the country and some of them had companies who made new Christmas items. Some of them had year-round Christmas stores, and I thought, ‘that might be a cool idea, let’s try that for a

little while.” The couple owned two antique malls in town and an auction business. They had a Christmas store in a little building on the other side of the Smithfield Inn; the Inn was founded in 1752. “There’s a little dress shop that’s now in this building, which is an old gaming house from 1760. Then we had an antique mall in this building, and I sold it to a guy in the business. A guy who managed it for nine years for us, and he moved down the street. So my wife and I just said, ‘let’s go for broke on Christmas.’ So in 2001, we moved it into this building - and we’ve been going strong ever since.” What’s a gaming house? “We were in the little building, what is known as the gaming house. The gaming house was basically when people stayed at the Inn - the Inn was a stagecoach, for people going from places like Portsmouth, up to Petersburg, Richmond, and that area. This was a kind of halfway point. Then, when they slept at the Inn, they would go to the gaming house and play billiards and

whatever else was legal at the time. Cool little building.” The building itself still has the original tin ceiling. “Sometimes I think it still has some of the original wiring in it,” Abicht says with a smirk. Smithfield Spirit: I asked Jim what The Christmas Store is known for. “The pig ornaments!” Towards the side of the store, you will find a Christmas tree, fully decorated with pig ornaments. Jim says he designs and releases a new one each year. “There is an annual blood drive in Smithfield every year in the fall. We give one away to every donor. Some people come give blood just so they can get the new pig ornament.” Is there anything vintage or antique left in the store? “Just display things. As far as actual items for sale, I don’t really have any.” He points to a huge vintage Santa poster on the wall - early 1900s. He says: it’s not for sale. “A lot of the things that we have are the reproduction of antiques.” Jim shows me a display of vintage Halloween figurines and some vintage Santas, as


well as candy containers. What is the most sought after item in his store? The ornaments. “Well, we probably have the largest selection of glass figural ornaments, probably in the state.” The Abichts have a wall full of every type of ornament - some beach-themed, animals and even food! “We hate for somebody to say, ‘I need an ornament for [whatever it may be] and they stump us! We do a lot of sports stuff, occupation stuff, animals, a lot of coastal and beach.” Some of the ornaments are a little off-the-wall. “We always like to find the ugliest ornament we can too. The one that’s winning right now is the fried chicken TV dinner. We also have a great can of chow mein that’s a glass ornament. We’ve got the grilled cheese and the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Can of sardines - I thought that was kind of goofy enough to be cool,” he says with a chuckle. And buying local, if possible, is often a priority. “We really enjoy finding things made in America. We like finding things that are made in Virginia. We don’t want it to look like a craft show. We’re particular in what we buy.” Jim takes pride in the fact that they carry very unique and very different items that you wouldn’t ordinarily see at a regular department store. “Kind of the philosophy we have at our store is that we don’t buy deep into anything, we just buy lots of different things. So it’s not unusual for us to run out of something. Probably one of the things that’s been big the last year or two are crab pot Christmas trees. They’re made out of


crab pot wire and just covered with lights.” It’s all About the customers: Are most shoppers from Smithfield, or out of town? “We get a lot of people from Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Williamsburg. We get a lot of people who are visiting Williamsburg.” The store has personality. “We like to have things from the traditional to the quirky. We don’t have any grumpy customers. It’s all for fun.” Jim makes it known that he will do almost anything to please his customers. He tells me a story about the tree display inside his store – it turned out to be a real adventure. “We’ve had people come in and want to buy the tree as is, and to put it in their home. We had a coastal tree, fully decorated. It was nuts in here. People wanted to buy the tree, but we

told them after Christmas, because it was the last one we had. They said, ‘no, we want the tree, ornaments, and everything on it. We want you to come to our house and install it.’ I’ve got zero extra time, but we worked it out. We went to their house one night, took the tree, wrapped up everything on it, and then decorated it for them. It was a lot of work, but we try to fulfill the customers’ requests when we can,” he says. A Thousand Pigs: It may come as no surprise, that the Abichts decorate a special tree each year - completely covered with pigs! “We do the corporate tree at Smithfield Foods. All pigs. It’s a 14 foot tree with probably one thousand-plus pig ornaments on it. I made the tree topper. It’s a pig atop of the tree, with these stars as a backdrop to it. There’s only one of them in the world. We always put it up the weekend after Thanksgiving.” Holiday Tradition: I had to ask Jim, is Christmas your favorite holiday? “Certainly!” Smithfield has a rich variety of holiday traditions and celebrations.“There’s a really cool parade the second saturday of December each year. It’s just wonderful small town stuff, and it’s really cool. They get the local bands and every dance troop in town.” Music, not only at the holidays, is always a Smithfield tradition. Don’t be surprised to hear local musicians playing inside The Christmas Store during business hours. “We like music. Don’t look for the normal Christmas music in here. One thing you won’t hear in here is

The Twelve Days of Christmas. A lot of the music we play during the year is performers we’ve brought to Smithfield. We really enjoy music.” The Abichts are active in the Smithfield musical community. “We’re part of the Smithfield Music Program, part of the Isle of Wight Arts League. It’s a non-profit. We bring in a lot of touring artists. We do shows at the Smithfield Little Theater; house concerts; and the music festival.” A Sense of Community: Downtown historic Smithfield, Main Street, has maintained a sense of peace that is reflected through the community, Jim says.“The cool thing about Smithfield is that it’s almost like stepping back in time. Because it’s a very comfortable place to visit, shop, eat, and everything, well at least in downtown. There’s no chains - don’t look for a Red Lobster in downtown Smithfield. It’s kind of nostalgic and unique. You can’t just find it anywhere. We get a lot of visitors and out-of-towners, but it isn’t so much that we need to have a t-shirt shop.” Smithfield is a place where visitors can feel comfortable and welcome, while

enjoying the special shops, historic buildings and even the view of the Pagan River. “This is a wonderful town,” Abicht says. “Every time you walk down the street, you’re waving to half the people you see. It’s a friendly town. We can afford to be personal and friendly here.” Shopping Local: I asked Jim how he feels about shopping local, and what it does for a community like Smithfield. “I think it’s incredibly important. I don’t think people realize how important that is. Certainly you can go and buy things at a cheaper price. But buying things cheaply doesn’t mean it’s inexpensive. You’re going to pay down the road in some fashion. When you send jobs elsewhere, people don’t have jobs. When your money goes out of the area, yeah there’s a chance you may get it cheaper elsewhere. But let’s say you shop online from a big company. That company ‘s not buying an ad in your kid’s high school yearbook. They’re not hiring your daughter. You forget the benefits. It goes a little bit deeper, too. They don’t

keep your newspaper open either. It’s a network that in order to survive, it has to support itself.” As active members of the Smithfield Music Program, part of the Isle of Wight Arts League, the Abichts do anything they can to take part in and give back to their community. “Smithfield is neat. They have a farmers market nearby, and on December 13 they’re doing a night time farmers market where they will shut down Main Street. It will be behind the bank on Main Street. It’s the first time they have ever done it. It should be really cool. It’s from 6pm - 9pm. They’re bringing in crafters and freshly cut greens.” Jim and his wife love to stay involved. They also support the Humane Society and local animal shelter. “We do what we can to help them. We try to support everything they do.” During the first two weeks in August, Jim and The Christmas Store give 10 percent of sales to the Humane Society, the local animal shelter, and to the county. They have been doing it every year for about six or seven years,



FAMILY, FRIENDS & COMMUNITY THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS Reflecting on what Christmas meant to me growing up and what it means to me now, I think of the same three words; family, friends and community! As a military dependent, I grew up living in various places across the country. Christmas was often spent with my parents and the friends who had become like family in the community we were living in at any given time. It was very rare but always an extra treat to spend the holidays with relatives who lived across the country from where we were stationed. On those rare occasions, I always asked my parents, “Will Santa Claus know where to find me on Christmas Eve?” Of course, my parents would say, “If you’ve been good this year, he will know exactly where to bring your Christmas presents!” I am happy to report Santa found me each year. Over the years we continued to celebrate the holiday season, sometimes with family, but always with friends and others in the community we lived in. Fast forward to 1992, the year the meaning of family, friends, community and Christmas forever changed for my family and for me. That was the year I was involved in an accident that left me hospitalized and unable to walk on my own for many months. But it was the gift that was given to me and my family during those first weeks, which turned into months, that I will always remember the true gift of giving that we received from friends, family and the


community. So many generous people pulled together as a community to help my family. They gave their time, energy, support, hugs and love. They cooked meals, visited me in the hospital and did so much more during that time of need. The love and support we received was so overwhelming, but so greatly appreciated! That same Christmas season, my parents and I pondered over what to do to thank everyone for their support. We tried to think about how we were ever going to be able to show our gratitude to everyone for all that they did for my family that year. To show our love and gratitude for our family, friends and community, my parents and I hosted a holiday gathering - a “Celebration of Family and Friends”. This was a time for us to come together but also a wonderful opportunity for all of us to give to our community. Though the invitation stated “no gifts”, guests were given the option to bring non-perishables for the food banks, gently used clothing and household goods for families in need in the community. The response was truly overwhelming and inspiring. My family continues to organize the “Annual Celebration of Family and Friends”. The guest list grows year after year, along with the donations to the community. For two weeks after the celebration, the garage and extra rooms in the house are transformed into the sorting

sections where we go through and organize the clothing, shoes, household goods and food that will be taken to the various community agencies in Hampton Roads. We have been fortunate to give to so many organizations in the past twenty years, such as the foodbanks, women & children’s shelters, recovery homes for men, homeless shelters, military vets, women’s centers, coat drive programs and children’s community centers in all parts of Hampton Roads from Williamsburg to Suffolk to Virginia Beach and every city in between. This love and giving back to the community with our family and friends makes the meaning of Christmas that much more special to me and to everyone involved. Again, my favorite three words when I think about Christmas and the holiday season will always be family, friends and community! And I challenge each person to think of how you can support your family, your friends and your community by giving back! Create a new tradition, think of how you could provide holiday cheer to someone in need, or volunteer your time this holiday season. This is a season of giving, whether it is the offering of time, money or gifts, remember these three words - family, friends and community! -Tiffanie Rosier


CELEBRATE LIKE A CHILD. GIVE LIKE AN ADULT. A GOOD LIFE DESERVES A GOOD PLAN. SPONSORED BY DOMINION CAPITAL PARTNERS. Remember as a child how much excitement was built around Christmas and the holiday season? Remember picking out your toy lists from Toys-R-Us and the various catalogs and preparing for Santa? Life was great. We were full of hope. We sang Christmas carols. We watched Christmas specials. We made gifts for our parents and friends. We tossed and turned awaiting the okay to run downstairs and tear open our gifts. Life was full of hope and excitement. Now as adults, most of our time is spent working, working, working. We hope to make enough money. We hope to have enough time off to spend a few days going out of town or relaxing at home. We try to attend as many holiday parties as we can and desperately try to find time to shop for gifts. Thank goodness for the internet, right? If you’re the designated cook in the family, then you really have no time for yourself! Many of us lose the real joy of the holidays. The whole darn thing has just become another job.! So this year, we want to remind you to take time for yourself. GO SEE LIGHTS Grab your family, friends and find time to celebrate it like a child. Our cities offer many opportunities for viewing spectacular holiday lights. There’s also a number of attractions that give Clark Griswold a run for his money.

FIND GREAT NEIGHBORHOODS Get in the car and explore them. Older neighborhoods like Old Towne Portsmouth, Downtown Smithfield or Hilton Village in Newport News are always a nice surprise. GO ICE SKATING When was the last time you went ice skating? Come on, there’s no time like the holidays for this kind of fun. Unless you’re a hockey player or a figure skater, no adult really needs to ice skate. That’s why you should! MacArthur On Ice in Norfolk or Iceland in Virginia Beach are great locations to skate. SHOP Remember how much you loved shopping for your family? As an adult you get to enjoy shopping for loved ones. Make your purchases wisely. Where you spend your money matters. So while you are out and about, take time to seek out local retailers. Many of them are counting on your business for a great holiday as well. The internet may be a friendly time saver, but there is nothing like knowing that your money is going right back into our community. Gift cards are always a great gift. Make sure you think local for those as well. Don’t just pick up a few at the gas station or drugstore. COOK Whether you are a master chef or a novice, make time to cook this year. Look for new recipes and try something different. Most tables are filled with the same old recipes year after year. Make this year different.

Think about seafood or vegetarian options. You’re sure to surprise someone with your efforts. REMEMBER YOUR NEIGHBORS Even if you haven’t seen or spoken with your neighbors all year, please make time and effort to wish them the happiest of holidays. A little love goes a long way. You never know what someone might be going through. You just might make someone’s Christmas by just acknowledging that you care. TIP As you’re out and about, make sure you tip service workers well. Don’t be a Scrooge and hold on to your dollars. Many workers count on the increase of traffic as a nice bonus for the holidays. GIVE BACK As adults we are empowered with choice. We get to choose how we spend our money and our time. As children, we rely on our parents to take us around and lead us. Please make time this season to give back. 2013 has been a year of furloughs, layoffs and rebuilding. Please remember there is always a need for a helping hand. In our own community, homeless veterans and people in need of food count on the generosity felt during this time of the year. Please do what you can. ENJOY Take time to watch your favorite holiday movies, whether it’s A Christmas Story or Miracle on 34th Street. Relive your childhood with your favorites. CONT ON PG.76





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Being single during the holidays can SUCK. There, I said it. Some may agree. Some may disagree. When I look back and evaluate how my holidays went during those times I was single - without a special someone to call my own, I would grade myself a strong “C-“. Why? Because the upcoming holidays can be a difficult time for anyone, single or not. When a person feels “alone” it can be tough for anyone any time of the year. Being alone feels terrible especially during this time when the expectation is to show your love and affection in displays of grandeur. I feel confident that I can improve my holiday score and make the holidays as a single person one of the best holidays ever! With the help of some of my single friends I have created a list of “Do’s & Don’ts” for the holidays. A personal set


of rules, if you will, to help me improve my self-rating of a “C- Single” during the holidays. 1) Do Retail Therapy. If you are feeling a bit sad & blue, buy yourself presents and buy gifts for family and friends. This helps our economy and shows the people you care about how appreciative you are of their love and friendship. Just be careful not to go overboard and end up heavy in debt. Remember, It’s the thought that counts. 2) When feeling lonely during the holidays, don’t have “EX-Sex”. (No explanation needed.) 3)Don’t be a Scrooge. I see many single people act this way during the holidays. They may ask, “What is there to celebrate?” or say, “Another Christmas by myself...” Believe me, no one, not even an unattached person, wants to be around a “Debbie Downer” especially during the

holidays. 4) Do watch “A Wonderful Life”. Even if you have watched it a million times already, this movie will always remind you of how grateful you should be for all you have experienced in your life so far. Your journey is yours and yours alone. No one can take that away from you. 5) Don’t watch the Hallmark Channel during the holidays. Those sappy holiday love story movies will surely throw you into a depressive state. You’ll either eat everything in sight or binge on spiked cider at your neighborhood bar. (Not that I would know anything about that...) 6) Do stay away from holiday parties and events where you know your EX will attend. There is a caveat to this. If you are still friends with your EX and also friends with his/her current partner, and if you are confident that you have moved on and no longer feel any type of sentimental attachment, then go ahead and accept the invitation. However, you still risk the potential for an unwanted dramatic & emotional episode to erupt. And who needs that? There are plenty of other holiday functions you can attend. 7) Do bake holiday cookies. Bring them to the office and share them with your co-workers. This will do two things for you. It prevents you from eating all of the cookies that you bake and potentially gaining the extra 5-10 lbs. you may normally gain during the winter months. It also makes you everyone’s favorite person, even if it only lasts a day. Can’t bake? Buy holiday cookies at your grocery store and throw them into a container from home. No one will know the difference. You’ll look like a ROCKSTAR!



HOLIDAY 1ST: JOE FU & JENN CULP Envision three columns, the first two are labeled “him” and “her”. Under “him”, there is Florida, hip-hop, video gaming, and healthy eating. Under “her”, you see Virginia, country music, horses and fitness. The third column is labeled “us” and written underneath are the words honesty, trust, strength and true love. Joseph Julius Fuscaldo, aka Joe Fu, is a well-known local radio personality and club DJ. Jennifer Michelle Culp is a music artist and zumba instructor. They both are quick to admit that the past four years were not always easy. Issues such as anorexia, bulimia, obesity and heavy drinking are also listed under the first two columns. They believe that things could have gone very differently had it not been for their love and devotion.


“Together, through our love, we make each other so much better”, says Jenn. The holidays have become a very special time for them. Last Christmas, Joe, who lived there as a child, surprised Jenn with a trip to New York City. The Christmas day road trip was filled with “singing lame songs on the radio and great conversations with my best friend.” The whirlwind day included a visit to Times Square, Macy’s, Radio City and the Empire State Building along with a horse-drawn carriage ride around Central Park. The highlight of the trip was a visit to Rockefeller Center. It was in the midst of the holiday crowd that Joe got down on one knee and proposed with a 1920’s vintage ring that once belonged to his mother.

The moment was as magical as it sounds. Joe couldn’t be any more excited to spend his life together with Jenn. He had worked hard to build a better life for himself and for her. Joe spends every day finding new ways to ensure he lives a clean and healthy life. One that he has shared with a large number of followers with his Fu Life page. He knows by living as an example, he not only supports his furture wife, but countless others. So goes the backstory of “him” and “her”. And this holiday season will be even more spectacular as Joe and Jenn will be celebrating their first Christmas as husband and wife. The wedding will take place on December at Disney World in Orlando. And another memory will be added to their “us” column.



We recently had a chance to spend some time with the newlyweds EJ and Mara Bollman. Many of you probably already know and recognize EJ, from being the lead performer with the popular band Cheap Thrills. This year, it will not only be their first as a married couple, but also first with the star of their life, their newborn son, Rex. So this Christmas will be extra special for them. We had a great time talking with them and seeing their love and care not only for one another, but especially their baby boy Rex. We asked them about what this Christmas will mean to them. “Ej and I got married in May and in years past, EJ and I would usually spend a crazy amount of money on gifts for each other--to buy the other person

everything they asked for on their This year it’s not about me or him, or the material things we buy for each other, but about us as a growing family, the birth of Jesus, and to start new traditions with Rex.“ “We realize spending time with the ones we cherish most in life, to be grateful that we have the big family to share laughs, stories, and precious time with.” As for what’s on their plans for this year - we asked them “Our plans this year, is to celebrate Christmas twice. They decided to turn Thanksgiving and Christmas together back on Thanksgiving Day and call it ThanxMas and spend it with the Bollmann family. “Some of EJ’s family live in California so they flew here

over the Thanksgiving holiday and we celebrate both holidays in one- we had an amazing time! Each person brought a dish and we exchanged secret Santa gifts. Then, for Christmas, EJ and I will spend it with my side of the family and all of the siblings are in charge of cooking the whole feast for the entire family. Each sibling will sign up for what to bring to the table and we also exchange secret Santa gifts that day. It’ll be different than last year because we will have three generations celebrating the holidays this year. Our families just keep growing and it’s always a great time when we’re all under one roof!”




Opposite Page: Kristi N. Kennedy & Robert (Bob) L. Sinclair, Jr. were married on April 20, 2013 at the Monticello Arcade in downtown Norfolk. Theirs wedding reception was in the Rotunda at the Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center in downtown Norfolk. Kristi’s parents are Mike & Laura Kennedy, Bob’s father, is Robert (Bob) L. Sinclair and his mother is Lisa M. Sinclair. Top: The marriage of Alex Andres & Mary Flottman will take place on August 9th at the Hunt Club Farm. Bottom Left: Kristin Anne McKee and Justin Clay Ballard were married on Saturday, October 12th at the Historic Cavalier on the Hill in Virginia Beach, Va. Their celebration followed afterwards and was also held at the Cavalier. Their parents are Gary and Terri McKee and Debbie and Wallace Ballard.




The holidays are certainly a time when we think of giving gifts to family, friends and the many people who have guided or supported us throughout the past year. In the purest form, it is a chance to show our love and gratitude to the recipient with something that is personal, special and adds to that individual’s quality of life. So, “Easier said than done” you might think. With a long list and, presumably for most of us, a limited budget we might feel daunted at the task. A good start is to think like a child would with all the excitement and enthusiasm inherent to their giving. Can it be homemade? Sure. Does it have to be? Absolutely not. You can bring that same joy to each gift and, ultimately, to each person on the receiving side, whether it is a plate of cookies or a plate handpainted by an Italian artisan. It’s the value in joy that matters. When we give as an adult, we are thinking beyond ourselves. This does not have to be only about the receiver, however. There are many additional “gifts” you can add to it. Have you supported a small, locally


owned business with your purchase? Have you helped someone with a budding talent and larger hopes? Fair trade gifts can go beyond our own borders to help others in developing countries. Whatever it is, let it stem from a child-like joy with the very real adult impact that we can each achieve. Finally, whatever you choose, present it well. Wrapped beautifully with elegant papers or, perhaps, a whimsical, colorful package that says, “I like who you are - quirks and all!” Never let the person to whom you are giving feel it is done out of obligation or duty. The smile and simple words “thank you” may be as important to giving as the present itself.

Shop local at The Globe Fine Gift and Home in the Hilltop Shopping Center. 1628 Laskin Rd #702, Virginia Beach, VA (757) 422-3313






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Our Petit Four line is an amazing lineup of dessert scented aromatherapy rollers geared for the younger crowd (and the young at heart). The oils are blended with fractionated coconut oil, so it never dries oily. And, as always, this product is all natural. Our Chocolate Covered Strawberry Petit Four Roller encompasses all the decadence of your favorite dessert! Chocolate Oil is commonly used in aromatherapy to fight anxiety.


Nothing says exhaustion quite like the circles under my eyes. For years I’ve suffered through layers of highlighting

makeups just to give an appearance of being well rested... Oh, what a lie I’ve been living! But now, I’ve ditched the highlighter and thrown out the dozens of other products I’ve bought over the last decade to deal with my bags! Our new Caffeine Fix Under Eye Serum not only erases those circles and bags, but has the fragrance I need to jolt me awake in the morning! It’s fast acting and is instantly a best seller! Caffeine Fix is a sure fire way to be “bright eyed and bushy tailed!”


This amazing product is the lightest, moisturizing, anti-aging serum you’ll find on the market! Similar products that contain only Argan Oil are selling for $50-$100 an ounce in high end make up and skin care stores across the country. We’ve gone a step further and combined this “miracle oil” with other amazing oils to get the perfect balance for your skin care. Each oil in our Face line is selected with the utmost emphasis on healing properties for mature or damaged skin. Three drops are enough to cover the entire face. This serum absorbs quickly and easily into the skin, and does not leave a greasy residue behind.

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Bonfire Magazine had the honor of partnering with Peninsula Town Center in selecting the 2013 Military Star of the Year. We read through so many wonderful submissions. We were excited to select Rogers family this year. Editor, Ben Doyle introduce the winning family at the November 16th Tree Lightening Ceremony held in Town Square of Peninisula Town Center. “I was truly honored to read their story and congratulate them in front of their friends, family and military community.” -Ben


Carrie Rogers nominated her husband with the following. “The person I chose to nominate is my wonderful husband Antonio Rogers or his Navy name PS2 Rogers. He has been in the Navy for nine years and has served overseas twice. “ “We have three children who until last year have never lived in the same area with their father due to military service. He is a hard worker and takes pride in being with his family especially his children.” “He works long hours usually starting at 5:30 am, but still manages to stay involved with his son as a head football coach. This coming year he will miss everything from birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Thanksgiving and many other events because of a nine month deployment.” “I know how hard my husband works to give his children things that he never had and I feel that this would be the best thing for him and our


Bianca Martinez, Ben Doyle and the Rogers Family at Penninsula Town Center’s Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.

children to have as a memory while he is serving our country.” “Thank you in advance for anything you can do for him and our three wonderful children.” The family was awarded the opportunity to light the annual Christmas tree and ride with Santa in the Hampton Holiday Parade. We would also like to recognize the following families that were nominated. Here are their submissions


“I would like to nominate my husband. He’s 33 and has been in the army for 8 years. He’s an E6 and works 12+ hours a day Monday through Friday. He provides for our small family.” “I don’t know what would be better to show I care then to enter him in this. He’s an amazing husband, father, and friend. He loves his country. He’s had 3 tours to Iraq and has had a few near death experiences. We’ve lived in the Hampton roads for a year now and we feel like it’s home.”

“We never really get to go out because of our baby. We don’t have many friends, but we are each other’s best friend. This would be an honor to win! We’ll be the luckiest couple! Thanks for reading.”


“Well my story is about my loving husband Jay. He is a proud father of two children. He has been in the Navy for almost seven years. We have moved to 3 states and have done 3 deployments and doing another one next year. I won’t see him for basically a year. He will miss out on a lot. It’s hard to be both parents when he is out to sea, but I know he is doing what he loves and is helping our country.“ “He is my rock and my best friend. I will miss him, but it’s part of being a Navy wife. Jay does anything and provides for our family I love him and I’m very proud of him.” Bonfire was joined by Bianca Martinez from WTKR News Channel 3. At the end of the ceremony, Bianca welcomed her kids to the podium and welcomed Santa to the Town Center.



STORAGE Fort Storage is excited to announce the grand opening of their Phase II project! Phase II is a set of three new buildings, adding 250+ new units with traditional and climate controlled spaces ranging in size from 5’x5’ to 20’x20’.


Fort Storage originally opened in 2007. Two business partners, one with military experience, looked to create a themed facility in recognition and respect for the military community in our area. The state of the art facility is located off of Dam Neck Road in Virginia Beach. Recognizing the military is a huge part of our community, the owners wanted to provide a full sense of security by providing the best options in the storage industry. The numerous amenities provided showcase a true understanding of the consumer’s’ busy lifestyle. Fort Storage offers a self-service kiosk for renting units and making payments 24 hours a day. Another

popular feature offered is the facility’s exclusive wine storage service. Fort Storage also has special business professional options as well. Professionals enjoy a classy and comfortable main office, mail boxes, a convenient conference room, and document management services. To accomodate humidity concerns, Fort Storage expanded with phase II with larger climate controlled spaces and units of all sizes and types. Through the end of the year Fort Storage will be offering grand opening move-in specials and discounts on boxes with the purchase of a unit.

MORE LETTER FROM THE EDITOR CONT FROM PG.12 However, some of the memories that stand out the most for me to this day come from Christmas. I can remember waking up on Christmas and feeling like the luckiest kid in the world with all of the gifts that I had received. My parents and Santa always made sure we had a special Christmas each year. Looking back, that was what my only perception of a great Christmas was during my childhood. However, now as an adult, I still feel like they were special and great as a child, but not for what I previously perceived. It was special because of how that time was spent with the love and support of family. As I look back now, it is the Christmas memories that come to mind more so than any gift. Don’t get me wrong, I received memorable gifts as well, but those are not my best memories. It is the memories of us together, laughing and enjoying that time. My parents would watch over us as we found and unwrapped all of the gifts left by Santa. The memories and joy they experienced when watching our happiness unfold is what I am now learning as a parent watching over my two boys. To this day, my siblings and I with our families, all go back to my parent’s home in Smithfield each Christmas. We now know what my parents knew when we were growing up. While our kids are thinking about what items off their wish list they may receive, it will be this time spent, this tradition, that they will remember most years from now. I do have a confession. My family and I do have one particular gift each year beyond the memories and shared time together, that we all can’t wait to open. Yes, it is true and better yet, it just so happens to be the same one for each of us too! It is starting to make the top of the list for the older kids as well. My sister began making a Doyle

Calendar that highlights pictures from family memories that happened throughout the past year. It is hands down the favorite! We flip though it page by page, reliving each moment in our own special way. This is also the time that the highly coveted cover shot is unveiled. We all get to see who wins the “award winning” cover shot and furthermore, bragging rights for the next year. Certain family members seem to work harder than others to capture the cover photo at any given chance. Brian and Kevin... not to mention any names. On each of our refrigerators in our homes all year long you will see the current issue proudly on display. I hope you find as much enjoyment in reading this issue as the Bonfire Team and I had putting it together. It has been a pleasure covering and now sharing with you so many great things that are going on in the Hampton Roads area during the holidays. This just continues to be the start for us. We have so many big things coming your way, including a Tysinger Mercedes Food Truck that will be wrapped with the Bonfire and Whole Foods Market logos heading all over town for events over the next year. This month, we will be taking the time to make new holiday memories as we close out a great year and jump into an even better 2014. We can’t wait to have you along for the adventure of living life to the fullest right here in Hampton Roads! Please stay tuned to us on Facebook and our website Happy holidays!


8) JUST SAY NO to MISTLETOE. If you see mistletoe, avoid it at all cost. There is no need to have mistletoe in your possession if your chances of having someone you would want to kiss are zero to none. Also, if you see

a person at a holiday party parading mistletoe while floating from person to person, stop and think about how many people they may have already kissedbefore you. ICK!!! 9) On New Year’s Eve, Do plan on kissing your dog or cat or your child (or children). This takes the stress away of having to find a date for NYE and the anxiety of who you should kiss when the ball drops. If you don’t have a pet or a child of your own with you, plan on kissing your glass of champagne. Believe me, you are not the only person in this world who is single during the New Year Celebration and anyhow, you should be celebrating your freedom and how amazing you truly are! 10) Don’t Forget to GIVE and ForGIVE. Giving doesn’t always mean spending money on your loved ones. Giving your time and energy to someone or something you care about can fill your soul with happiness! Donate your time and volunteer at your favorite charity. Spend time with a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while. Give to yourself. ForGIVE yourself for the mistakes you have made in the past. ForGIVE those who have hurt you. This holiday is not only a time for celebration but a time for ForGIVEness. It’s not just for them, it’s also for you... so that you can move on into the New Year and make a fresh start. I have many more DO’s and Don’ts I plan to follow, but the ones I have shared are some of my favorites. I will be happy if after all of this is over, I get a B+. But I plan on making this the best Christmas Holiday and New Year’s Eve ever! I hope you do too. I wish everyone a Very Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! -jianna Please follow me on facebook at: www.







We’ve got a great Santa Claus here at the store! The first two weeks of August, we give 10 percent of our sales to charity. We bring Santa in the third Saturday of August to do pet pictures.” “We try to stay involved. As a store, we try to stay involved in all kinds of community

projects. We recognize the value of giving back. Living with Purpose: “I tell people, it beats having a real job. Not every job you wake up every day and can’t wait to get there. I have a great crew that works for us. We’re very fortunate in that.” “We just think it’s a special store. We just think the whole town is special. There’s nothing wrong with being happy.”








BULLIES & BEAUTIES Bonfire photographer, Chris Jackson has launched a new initiative showcasing his love and support for the Bully breed. A pitbull owner himself, he wants to showcase the beauty and the gentleness of the breed. “I have a career where I get to photograph beautuful women on a regular basis. One day I thought about combining both worlds. I hope my photography will show the real kindness in these breeds. They are not monsters. They are gentle and want to be loved.� Follow: bulliesandbeauties Model: Brooke Johnson Dog: Dako Owner: Kady Hanson



Holiday Giving  
Holiday Giving  

Celebrate like a child. Give like an adult. Be inspired this season. Eat. Drink. Enjoy.