Cape Fear Living Magazine August 2018

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August 2018

Connecting Cape Fear Cultures

















Ping's Tibet

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The golden gallery

by john w. golden freshwater varieties available

Art and music from North Carolina's Golden family. 910.762.4651 路 311 N. Front St 路 Wilmington, NC 28401

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E X C H A N G E Organic · natural · recycled luxury hand-poured candles

Exquisite Quality children's clothing



by the boardwalk All of our Handcrafted Leather Products are made in Wilmington, NC. Our small family operation designs and manufactures our products to be beautiful, useful and last a lifetime. Located in the parking lot level of the Cotton Exchange Monday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Vitamins · Herbal remedies · Juice Bar loose teas · local products · gifts 317 N. Front St · Wilmington, NC 28401

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f eatur es // August 2018

26 Making Poverty Unfashionable


de pa rtmen t s // History & Legend 8

Old Buildings, New Life

Fashion & Beauty 26

Arts & Entertainment 13

An Artist’s Journey Through India

Health & Wellness 30

Home & Garden 18



Waterside on Whiskey Creek

Making Poverty Unfashionable

Miracle Microgreens: Much more than a garnish

From the community 34


Food & Beverage


Backyard to the Beach: Birding Tips from the Pros

Casual Upscale Dining at 1900 Restaurant & Lounge



ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018



Life Lessons From a Beloved Pet: The Inspiration Behind The Sergei Foundation




The Trusted Dental Practice in Wilmington, NC Comprehensive Dental Treatment in a Comfortable Environment

1 North 16th Street . Wilmington .



If you are self-conscious about your smile, we want to help you!

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w r i t e r s & ph o t o g r a ph e r s August 2018

Publisher Leping Beck Editor Diana Matthews Gardener. Musician. Reporter. Small-time trouble-maker.

Debra McCormick Wife. Mother. Writer, Dreamer. Traveler. Live music lover.

Colleen Thompson Assistant Editor Kelly Johnson Editorial Graphic Designer Samantha Lowe Account executives Hayley Swinson Casual gardener. Whiskey dilettante. Realtor. Always trying new things and looking for adventure.

Gretchen Schramm Nature and wildlife photographer. Avid world traveler. Beekeeper and master gardener.

John Reed Kym Hilton Samuel Hall contributing writers Shara Eisen · Kelly Johnson · Diana Matthews · Debra McCormick Star Sosa · Hayley Swinson · Colleen Thompson · Kevin Ward contributing photographers Todd Carignan · Gretchen Schramm · Theo Milojevich · Will Hair

Star Sosa Wife. Mother. Writer. Dreamer. Traveler. Live music lover.

Kevin Ward Artist. Author. History nerd.

for event submissions: published by Incline Production Solutions Inc. P.O. Box 1552 · Wilmington, NC 28402 910.408.2498 · All contents in this publication are the property of Incline Production Solutions Inc. Reproduction or use of the contents in this magazine without authorization by Incline Production Solutions Inc. is prohibited. Incline Production Solutions Inc. takes every effort to provide correct and accurate information that is published in this magazine. Incline Production Solutions Inc. accepts no liability on behalf of contributing parties for any inaccuracies or copyright infringement. Incline Production Solutions Inc. also cannot be held responsible for any services or claims provided by our advertisers.

Cover Model: Rafaela Dizon Photographer: Theo Milojevich


ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

Cape Fear Living Magazine is designed as an art, culture, and community resource. Our staff loves to hear from our readers. Contact us at




“ I f w e d o n ’ t c a r e a bo u t o u r p a s t , w e c a n n o t hope for the future…I care desperately a bo u t s a v i n g o l d b u i l d i n g s . ” —

J a c q u e l i n e

Written By: Kevin Ward


K e n n e d y

O n a s s i s

Photography Contributed by: Nancy Bullock

New Life


ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

ca pefea rliving maga zin e .com




It was late 2003 when I first set my eyes on the tapestry of historic buildings that make up the Wilmington Downtown scene. I was a little in awe, as the town I moved from had an older building or two, but not streets full of them, nor bustling with people. Structures from a bygone era, now given new life as unique shops, bars, restaurants and museums. As a fan of all things history, I remember thinking how lucky this city was, to have such well-preserved and cared for buildings. Luck, however, has very little to do with it; instead, it has more to do with the eight buildings that make up what we now know as The Cotton Exchange located at 321 N. Front Street, and two men, J.R. Reaves and M.T. Murray who saved it. Downtown Wilmington of the early 1970s was less bustling and eye appealing than today, with not too many folks going out of their way to visit the area. This sad condition was due in part to business drying up when Atlantic Coastline Railroads left Wilmington in 1961. The Railroad was somewhat of a keystone business to the downtown area, which meant that many other companies depended on them to survive and thrive. Once they were gone, foot traffic naturally dried up and with that, doors of business closed one after another. With downtown looking more like a ghost town by the late ‘60s and early ‘70s the city of Wilmington decided to take action in improving the area, hoping to bring business back. Among the abandoned and somewhat decaying structures of downtown was a group of eight buildings that now make up the Cotton Exchange. The name Cotton Exchange is from the Sprunt building, named after Alexander Sprunt who used the building for a thriving cotton export business in the early 1900s. The other buildings housed vari10

ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

The name Cotton Exchange is from the Sprunt building, named after Alexander Sprunt who used the building for a thriving cotton export business in the early 1900s.

ous businesses, which included a barber shop, laundry service and wholesale grocer. I spoke to author David A. Stallman who has written several books on Wilmington’s local history, including one called "The Cotton Exchange” (Sugarcreek, Ohio: Carlisle Publishing, $24.50). David was kind enough to explain to me what occurred in those paramount years, and how two business partners saved the Cotton Exchange. You see the primary strategy of restoring downtown was not to preserve but to rebuild most of it anew. The logic was sound, after all, most people like shiny new things, so why not try and make downtown like that. It was at this crucial time when decisions were being reached about the future of our Historic Downtown Wilmington that Reaves and Murray became characters in this story. As David put it: "As Urban Renewal came to destroy downtown buildings Joe and his business partner Mal Murray committed to save and restore the Cotton Exchange block of buildings to their original elegance."

The saving of these structures is made even more impressive when factoring in the number of buildings that now make up the Exchange, had already been scheduled for demolition. Almost like heroes in an old Western that shoots the rope of a noose right before someone is hanged, Reaves and Murray saved the day at the last possible moment. David would then go on to suggest that the saving of those eight buildings inspired others to follow suit and restore the structure of downtown. This, of course, is not to say that other historic buildings would not have been spared without the last minute pardon of the Cotton Exchange, but we might have seen more recent construction in the downtown area and less historical structures had this not happened. In 1990 John and Jean Bullock purchased the Cotton Exchange from Reaves and Murray (a full account of this sale can be found in David Stallman's book). The Bullock’s daughter, Nancy Bullock, is now the proud owner of the Exchange. When asked what called her family to take stewardship Nancy responded with, "purchasing The Cotton Exchange was a continuance of owning and sharing a piece of history which shaped Wilmington." Under her family’s care, the Exchange has thrived, it has been home to a large variety of stores and restaurants in almost three decades. If you're looking for a new pair of shoes to show off to friends you can visit Cape Fear Footwear, then pick up a fun souvenir at Olde Wilmington Toy and Candy company, and if all that shopping gets you a little hungry you can stop at The Basics for some gourmet soul food! These are of course just a few of the businesses that are currently located here, and with the potential to refurbish two floors in the Granary Building, the number of stores and restaurants can only go up. When asked what she saw as the future of the Cotton Exchange Nancy was nothing but optimistic, and she has every reason to be. River Place Condos are scheduled to open up on N. Front Street in the next two years, which is sure to bring new residents and consumers to the downtown area. If you are currently not looking to purchase a condo but still would like to stay a few days in the historical beauty of Downtown Wilmington, talks of a Boutique Hotel opening in one of the vacant lots might peak your interest. Like her parents, Nancy is passionate about preserving Wilmington's historical heritage and has no intention of ever changing the authentic feel of the Cotton Exchange. Nancy's love of her city is best expressed in her own words: "My family is dedicated to Wilmington and downtown. It was a wonderful place to raise the family and especially contribute back to the successes downtown has allowed us to enjoy."

Top: President Ronald Reagan on a visit to the Cotton Exchange in 1980.

Port City Downtown is a thriving place these days, which is due in no small part to the J.R. Reaves, M.T. Murray, and Bullock Family, who each helped to keep these links to our past from disappearing for the sake of building something new. If you would like to learn more about the Cotton Exchange, David A. Stallman's book "The Cotton Exchange" is full of more details than can fit in this article, and you can find it at Two Sisters Bookery conveniently located in The Cotton Exchange. Pick up a copy and enjoy a stroll around the stores, restaurants and discover the joy of supporting our local businesses here in Wilmington. ¶ ca pefea rliving maga z in e .com



ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

a r t s & e n t e r ta i n m e n t

An Artist’s Journey through

Written By: Star Sosa


Photography by: Todd Carignan

ca pefea rliving maga z in e .com



a r t s & e n t e r ta i n m e n t

To survive these days, a professional artist is faced with many challenges. The least of which is how to make a living and support a growing family while developing one’s skills and reputation as an artist. In times past, patronage was crucial to an artist’s success. Having the support of a patron allowed the artist freedom to explore and create without the worry of handling the day-to-day details of life. Wilmington artist, Todd Carignan, was able to experience a small taste of that when he accepted a commission to travel to India for five and a half weeks for the purpose of documenting and raising an awareness of the Homes of Hope Girls’ Orphanages. While the circumstances weren’t necessarily luxurious, the idea of being sponsored for a few weeks with his only responsibilities being to create art and learn about the people, was simply too good to pass up. Despite the sacrifice of being away from his wife and children for longer than ever before, Carignan accepted the invitation of Paul Wilkes, Founder and Executive Director, to visit 3 of the 11 Homes of Hope Girls’ Orphanages. Attracted to Carignan's skill with portraiture and plein air landscapes after seeing a collection of his works from an earlier trip to Vietnam, Wilkes thought he would be a great advocate for his projects in India, capturing the beauty of the country and the soul of its people. The experience culminated in an exhibition of the paintings, a fundraiser and an awareness campaign celebrating the good works being accomplished and promoting that much more remains to be done. Paul Wilkes started Homes of Hope India for the express purpose of rescuing abandoned and impoverished children who have almost no options and are subject to unspeakable conditions. Wilkes was inspired to start Homes of Hope after he met Reena, a bright smiling child who had been intentionally blinded in one eye with a needle, to render her a more effective beggar. Fortunately, she made it into a proper orphanage, escaping the street life and is receiving an education. Now Reena is a lovely girl who is about to complete high school. The goal of Homes of Hope is to rescue and educate as many of the over 500,000 vulnerable, abandoned, and orphaned girls from the streets of India as possible. They provide safe shelter, a loving community in which to live, and a good education. They strive to enhance the girl’s education, end the cycle of poverty and uplift the community. A great measure of success is when the girls reach out after leaving the orphanage to report that they are now college students, nurses, teachers, accountants and more. 14

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Todd with girls, Kochi.

The trip took place in October and November of 2017, where Carignan spent a week and a half at each location. His days consisted of sketching the surroundings, painting portraits and taking lots of photos for future works. The journey spanned the length of India, beginning in Kochi in southern India, along the west coast and the site of Homes of Hope’s first orphanage. An urban location in the tropics, Carignan quickly tuned into the daily routine, scheduling a portrait sitting between the girl’s daily chores and studying. Generally, he could rough out a portrait in a thirty-minute session - timing was critical because electricity was unreliable which made painting and drawing after dark impossible. After leaving Kochi, Todd was taken by car to Mysore where he visited the elegantly illuminated Mysore Palace, an elephant camp and the Buddhist Golden Temple among other places. The next orphanage was located in Hassan, amidst a farming community where his stay coincided with the corn harvest. Carignan had purchased cows for the orphanage to supply fresh milk and the girls collected discarded cornhusks to feed the cows. The next stop was Varanasi, one of oldest cities in world, dating back to the 11th century B.C. The birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, Varanasi is located midway along the Ganges River - one the holiest rivers in the world. Arriving in time for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, it was a lively, colorful and chaotic scene with Hindu monks practicing their rites to the backdrop of loudspeakers blaring, house dance music and exuberant crowds celebrating.

Diwali, Varanasi.

Waiting for school bus, Kochi, watercolor. Kohima, Nagaland, India.

Tribal woman with basket, Khonoma. Todd watercolor painting on the Ganges, Varanasi.

Girls eating lunch, Hassan.

ca pefea rliving maga z in e .com


a r t s & e n t e r ta i n m e n t

Cigar box travel easel.

Todd with girls, Dimapur.

A short flight took him to Agra, home to the iconic Taj Mahal, where his goal of painting plein air (outdoors) at the famous site was not to be - no paints were allowed onto the estate of the 365 year old white marble mausoleum. He did however; find a great vantage point across the river and away from the crowds where he could paint. The final orphanage in Dimapur was located in the far northeast of the country. This is Home of Hopes most recent orphanage and it serves girls who have been orphaned by HIV and Aids, which is a critical issue in this region. Dimapur proved to be a very interesting part of India where the culture and people were quite different. It is located closer to Myanmar than central India, with mountainous terrain and a culture of many tribal varieties including farmers and headhunters. Dimapur was Carignan's favorite spot of the trip, and it served as a home base for trips into the mountains, scenic villages overlooking terraced rice fields and a visit to Assam, the world’s largest producers of tea. As for his experiences of girls at the orphanages, Carignan reported that upon his arrival at each orphanage they would be outside waiting to greet him with songs and celebrations. When not actually in school or studying they would be practicing dancing or singing - performing music and dance seemed to be ingrained into the culture. ”Unfortunately they wanted me to respond by singing a song 16

ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

Herder near New Delhi.

Harvesting Tea, Assam.

back which is definitely not one of my talents. I managed to beg off for the most part but I would participate in the dances in my own awkward western way,” said Carignan. The girls at all the orphanages called him ‘uncle’. “Because I’m married. A single man would be called ‘brother’.” They were all very interested in when he would return with his wife, or ‘auntie’. At the Dimapur location the only other white people these girls had ever seen were Paul and Tracey Wilkes. The girls always had ques-

tions about life in America and they wanted to know if Carignan’s marriage was a ‘love’ marriage or an arranged one. From Dimapur, Carignan flew home to America, over 44 hours of travel going to Kolkata, Dubai, JFK, and finally Raleigh. Since returning, the artist has been avidly working in his studio on new larger paintings from his reference photos in preparation for his upcoming August show. By necessity the paintings produced on the trip were limited to 8x10” panels. He made a lap easel out of a cigar box to be as portable as possible and he completed 16 oil paintings, 4 watercolors and 6 pencil portraits while in India. One of the challenges was taking oil paints through airport security. He carried the manufacturer’s safety data sheet verifying the non-flammability of the paints (referred to as “colors” in India) but that didn’t prevent him from being pulled from security lines for questioning and further inspections in several locations. When asked if he would return to India Carignan replied, “In a heartbeat!” So, should Homes of Hope ever request an encore visit from their artistic documentarian, he is ready to go. For readers who would like to learn more about the efforts of Homes of Hope India should visit their website: They are currently raising funds for their 11th orphanage. To see more of Todd’s artworks visit: ¶ ca pefea rliving maga z in e .com


home & garden

Wat e r s i de on

Whiskey Written By: Kelly Johnson


Photography by: Crystal Glass Photography

Located in the Masonboro Loop area of Wilmington, North Carolina, you’ll find homes located along what we know as Whiskey Creek. With variable outcomes to the question of how Whiskey Creek got its name, it is mostly believed that there had been a nearby wreck of a schooner loaded with casks of whiskey. Presumably, many of the casks washed ashore, while others were recovered


ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

Creek by local fishermen, resulting, in the name Whiskey Creek. Thought to have occured during the Prohibition era, Whiskey Creek can actually date all the way back to 1867 when there was an ongoing battle between smugglers and Wilmington federal officers. Today, Whiskey Creek offers fewer tales of battles and shipwrecks, and more pleasures of waterside living.

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home & garden

4310 Lauralis Court has all the views one could wish for in a home located along Whiskey Creek. A beautiful home with solid 8’ wooden doors and 10 foot high ceilings, situated right on the water, this home showcases exquisite views and luxury living at its finest. If you like entertaining then the gourmet kitchen, featuring highend Thermador stainless appliances, granite countertops and solid maple cabinets will certainly catch your eye. The current seller tells us, “The kitchen truly makes entertaining easy with the extra convection oven and the warming drawer.” This creekside home boasts an open kitchen, dining area and large living space all with spectacular views. Downstairs provides homeowners with an in-law suite or apartment with its own separate entrance. It also offers a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. A contemporary river rock gas fireplace is the perfect for keeping warm in the cooler months all the while luxury enjoying splendid views of Whiskey Creek.


2018 ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August J uly 2018

A spacious master bedroom located on the main floor gives the home a taste of luxury with a master bath and soaking tub, large walk-in tiled shower, double vanities and a large closet. Heading upstairs, you will find a large bonus space, which holds potential as a fourth bedroom, plus a full bath and another bedroom tucked away for privacy. Additionally, this home on the water comes with a two car garage and an extra conditioned bonus room to serve as a gym, office, entertainment room or workshop. For any boaters, it’s only customary that when living on the water you have access to your own boat slip, which 4310 Lauralis Court offers along with a private dock. The water on Whiskey Creek is so quiet and so serene that it’s the ideal porch spot to enjoy a peaceful dinner, looking out on the water. Come and appreciate the beautifully detailed spaces and the serenity of this Whiskey Creek home. ¶

This home is currently for sale,

for more information on 4310 Lauralis Court, Wilmington NC, contact Barbara R. Pugh of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage at, or by phone at 910-520-2945.

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Your dream home is waiting.

4310 Lauralis Bluff Court Wilmington NC 28409

BarBara Pugh realtorÂŽ/Broker global luxury Specialist Certified Negotiation Expert Strategic Listing/Pricing Specialist


follow uS:


ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

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Food& Beverage

Casual Upscale Dining at


Written By: Kelly Johnson

I sometimes find myself caught in a daydream of what it would be like to socialize and dine in the fashion of movie stars like Cary Grant or Audrey Hepburn, as I stepped through the double doors of 1900 Restaurant and Lounge I knew it was something similar to this. With a bar to my right, lined with white, oval back, cushioned chairs, chic lounge seating to my left, and traditional dining straight ahead, owner, Ken Oliver has created a high-end establishment which will give anyone who comes in the charm of Cary and the air of Ms. Hepburn. Having moved from California 20 years ago for the slower pace that Wilmington offers, Ken decided to open a casual, yet upscale dining lounge. Located in Lumina Station, 1900 is modeled after the “big city dining styles of New York and California,” and his vision is brought to life through traditional lounge dining, with a casual appeal. Offering a unique dining experience, 1900 allows customers to come and stay as they please. Rather than the typical dine and dash customs of modern day restaurants, Ken and his staff provide a space for the cocktail connoisseurs and dilettantes of hors d’oeuvres to unwind with a sense of glamour. In fact, it’s no wonder that as the film industry once panned its way through town, 1900 was the preferred establishment, in which big-name stars would stop in for a drink or large wrap parties. With the film industry less prevalent in our community today, there are fewer Robert Downey Juniors walking through, but still a well-established crowd of individuals. Ken says his lounge


ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018


Photography by: Will Hair

draws in “a mature crowd of people,” but of all ages ranging from 25 and up. From well-known names of our community to those who simply have a taste for high class, 1900 Restaurant and Lounge is the scene in which they prefer. This charming spot at 1900 Lumina Station offers a great taste from sips and eats to pictorial style. Small plates and entrees are created with a “New American” flavor, along with hints of Caribbean and Pan-Asian influences, each being prepared by Executive Chef William Quetel. Chef Quetel, who goes by Billy, has thirty years of experience under his belt and is the previous owner and chef of San Juan Café. He loves to keep things fresh by shopping local from Motts Channel Seafood and Saigon Market. From the classic peppercorn Prime Filet, and Poké Bowl, to the Togarashi Fries, served with sweet chili ketchup, Chef Quetel provides a flavor for both comfort and adventure. 1900 Restaurant and Lounge serves small plates, which are perfect for sharing and pairing and complementary to a drink on the side. The man behind the bar you may ask is Jimmy Smith. According to Ken Oliver, Jimmy is “loved by all” and seems to be a genuine asset to Mr. Oliver’s business. Jimmy has been mixing and serving drinks for four of the five years at the lounge. Between staff and atmosphere 1900 is “more than a meal,” but an experience in which customers will step out of Wilmington, North Carolina for the evening, and into the glamour and charm of big city dining. ¶

L-R (chef) Billy Quetel, (owner) Ken Oliver, and (bartender) Jimmy Smith.

1900’s Thai Flank Steak Marinade Ingredients 1/3 C Soy 1/3 C Brown Sugar 2 Tbs. Minced Ginger 2 Tbs. Minced Garlic 2 Tbs. Sesame Oil Bunch of Cilantro Juice of 1 Lime

Instructions Blend ingredients and marinate meat for at least 2 hours— no more than 6 hours. Pat dry and sear or grill as is your want.

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Fa s h i o n & B e au ty

Making Poverty

Unfashionable W ri tten by: C o l l e e n T h o m pso n

T h e s t o r y o f t h e B l a c k s i b l i n g s co u l d r e a l l y b e g i n at any number of starting points. An internship w i t h T O MS S h o e s . A b a g o f d i s c a r d e d b u l l e t casings. A $200 start-up investment. A vision for helping children in need. But if you ask Wilmington, NC, founders of Half United, Christian and Carmin Black where it really starts, i t alway s g o e s b a c k t o t h e i r par e n t s an d a southern upbringing that nurtured a passion f o r p e o p l e , d e s i g n, c h ar i t y an d e n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p.


ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

How and where we’re raised, even if we don’t realise it at the time, often influences what we end up doing in life. A collection of ingredients – like places we’ve lived, food cooked in our grandparents kitchens, the music our parents played on road trips all blend together and shape us in one way or another. Being raised Southern in particular creates a strong sense of place that infiltrates and seems to settle in deep. Carmin and Christian Black know what I’m talking about. They were raised in Hawaii, Alaska and North Carolina by two Southern parents. A designer mother from Wilmington, NC, and a pastor father from Tennessee – seemingly opposite worlds of fashion and philanthropy converging in their home. “We couldn't help but be raised Southern,” said Carmin. “Everything from the foods we were raised on – collards and squash, peach cobbler, country fried steak, chicken and dumplings; to the games we played as kids – anything in the woods; to the songs we were taught – southern gospel hymns, it was all there. We moved back to North Carolina when I was in fourth grade, which was a seamless transition to a place where my parents really knew how to live life and they were intent on sharing it with us. They once took us to visit our great-grandfather's old grocery store in Norman, NC, that he had owned for so long, he’d transformed it from a grocery store, to a music shop, to a barbershop, and back to a grocery store. It had these original wooden floors

from the early 1900s and it was painted white with narrow double doors that swung open at the front, it was magic,” she said. “I love being Southern. I don't love everything about its history, I don't love how segregation still feels real depending on where you are, but I do love the charm and the quaintness of a life lived here.” In the summer of 2009, Christian Black was a creative college student working on his own t-shirt business when his sister Carmin called and pitched an idea to him. She was working at TOMS shoes as an intern, where the concept of a giving back business model resonated and sparked her own idea. Her idea – create a range of necklaces from a bag of discarded bullet casings she had been given; sell them and provide a meal to a hungry child. Nine years later, the aptly named “Fighting Hunger Bullet Necklace” remains their bestseller and has provided over 700,000 meals for children in need. The casings represented a symbolic fight against hunger – every time a customer purchased a “Fighting Hunger” necklace, they were peacefully fighting hunger. They have tried to keep their message as simple as possible – with every product purchased they provide 7 meals to a child in need and keeping their focus on 4 territories – the USA, Haiti, Cambodia and Fiji. In Wilmington they have implemented farm to school programs and built community gardens; in Haiti they have partnered with a feeding project at a primary school for 6 years; in Fiji they funded

Above: Christian and Carmin Black on a visit to a project in Haiti

ca pefea rliving maga z in e .com


Fa s h i o n & B e au ty

© Theo Milojevich

sweet potato farms, student garden projects and honeybee hives; and they’ve teamed up with the EAI orphanage in Phnom, Penh Cambodia helping provide meals to the kids. They chose a sector namely fashion, that is notorious for human rights and environmental issues – something they were very aware of from the outset and committed to overcoming. “The entire reason we started this business was to use traditional business as a way to change the lives of people in need, in the U.S. and beyond,” says Christian. “We really strive to do as much as we can locally, honestly and ethically. We have all of our metal products custom made in Los Angeles, where we could very easily have our jewelry made in China, at a questionable factory, at a fraction of the cost, but we are really proud of the quality of our products that are all handmade in America by hard working Americans.” In Haiti they have partnered with Papilon Enterprises who has more than 300 artisan employees that were all impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Papilon Enterprises has worked with brands like DKNY and foundations started by Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton. By working with their artisans and creating employment, Carmin believes it is a more empowering and sustainable way of making a difference. “In the future we hope to focus on sustainable impact over meal count,” she says. “We will always know the number of meals we're giving, but by funding projects which provide people with jobs in addition to food for themselves and their children, is way more sustainable in the long term.” The business headquarters remains in Wilmington where they design, market and assemble a lot of the products. Aside


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“ w e co u l d v e r y e a s i l y u p r oo t , b u t w e a r e i n v e s t e d i n t h e W i l m i n g t o n co m m u n i t y a n d if every fashion brand that starts here j u s t l e av e s t h e n w e ’ l l alway s b e i n t h i s situation. We really want to be a part of a fashion revolution in Wilmington and in No r t h C a r o l i n a a s a w h o l e . . . "

from design aesthetic that is inspired and influenced by living near the ocean, Carmin believes that being based in Wilmington has allowed them to grow slowly, learn by making mistakes along the way, and come out successful on the other side. “We couldn't have bootstrapped the way we did if we had been based in a big city, and to be honest had we been based in a place more conducive to running a fashion brand and then fundraised to fuel our efforts, I’m not sure we would have known how to use the funds in the wisest way possible,” said Carmen. Christian said that location has not been without its challenges. “We don’t have the benefits in the fashion industry that a NYC or LA has to offer, so a lot of what we do is online, on the phone or traveling.” He added, “we could very easily uproot, but we are invested in the Wilmington community and if every fashion brand that starts here just leaves then we’ll always be in this situation. We really want to be a part of a fashion revolution in Wilmington and in North Carolina as a whole. It’s so cool to see local fashion brands like Merewife, I Like It Here Club, and Freaker they’re all growing, succeeding and inspiring.”

The Blacks partnership is stronger than it’s ever been a result of equal parts DNA, upbringing and rivalry. While they operate within different spheres, Carmin as principal designer and Christian in production and marketing, their lives remain intertwined. “We’ve done a lot of growing and learning since starting this eight years ago,” said Christian. “There have been many tears and fights but we’ve both matured a lot and really come to be best friends. We haven’t really set any hard lines on when and where we can be family vs. business partners.” Life looks set to remain busy for Half United as they prepare to launch a new line of t-shirts and jewellery, including a collection of “game day” inspired “Fighting Hunger” bullet necklaces. In their down time, Christian will be riding waves at his secret spot near Fort Fisher and eating the best burger on the planet at Surf House in Carolina Beach. Carmin will be hanging out at Beanie and Cecil boutique for design inspiration and watching performances at Thalian Hall to feel amazed. ¶

ca pefea rliving maga z in e .com


H e a lt h & w e l l n e s s

Mi ra cle

Microgreens Much more than a garnish W ri tten by: H ayl e y Sw i n so n


ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

Michael Torbett of Terra Vita Microgreens


Remember the bean experiment in grade school? Where your teacher wrapped a dried bean in a wet paper towel and left it by a window and a few days later it sprouted. Remember the excitement surrounding that little green sprout, the days of fascination—of watching something grow before your eyes? That’s about all it takes to grow microgreens at home. “All someone would need is some soil, seeds and a window,” explains Larson Smith of Sunshine Cove Farm in Boone, NC. But what are microgreens? Why would we want to grow them in the first place? “For a plant to be considered a microgreen, it must still have its nutrient-rich cotyledon leaves,” says Michael Torbett of Terra Vita Microgreens. Unlike sprouts, which are grown in water, microgreens are grown in soil and therefore have fewer instances of bacterial growth and foodborne illnesses. Studies have shown that the cotyledon leaves are 40-60% more nutrient-dense than their full-grown counterparts and are more easily absorbed by our bodies. If you eat out locally at restaurants such as PinPoint or True Blue Butcher & Table, chances are you’ve already experienced microgreens. Because of their size, though, microgreens are often mistaken for a garnish and avoided.

Nicholl Gleason of Wholesome Greens says she started eating and growing microgreens out of desperation. For three years she suffered from an illness that stumped doctors as her health continued to decline and she struggled to maintain a healthy weight. Fed up with the lack of results, Nicholl decided to go off the medicines prescribed to her and alter her diet instead. She and her partner Joe Choi got involved in farm trips and permaculture to help Nicholl’s search for an effective dietary solution. It was on these trips that she discovered microgreens. Every day for ninety days, she ate a microgreen salad, and over time, the change in her diet miraculously healed the thirtyseven ulcers in her stomach. As she journeyed towards better health, she and Joe began selling the microgreens from their greenhouse. “This is a lifestyle, this isn’t just a business. It’s something the public needs,” Nicholl says. She’s now the healthiest she’s ever been, and she says it’s all thanks to the microgreens. Though both Terra Vita Microgreens and Wholesome Greens cater primarily to the wholesale restaurant market, more and more individuals are seeking microgreens for their personal use. “Some of my most loyal customers are working professionals, retirees, and even parents providing their kids with healthy snack alternatives,” Larson of Sunshine Cove Farm says. Despite their size, microgreens pack a flavorful punch: from the earthy flavor of protein-rich amaranth to the strong spiciness of radish to the lemon drop taste of lemon basil. All three providers offer two dozen or more varieties of microgreens, an important point to note, according to Larson. That's because ca pefea rliving maga z in e .com


H e a lt h & w e l l n e s s

Purple Cabbage microgreens. Recent research shows that microgreens contain a significantly more robust concentration of vitamins and nutrients than their mature counterparts.

some microgreens—such as sunflower, radish, and peas—are easy to grow while others are more complicated. Variety beyond the basics may indicate a more dedicated and specialized farmer. The growing cycles are typically very short (between one and eight weeks), and while some crops such as cilantro, dill, and fennel can be temperamental in the North Carolina heat, most plants can be grown year round in a climate-controlled environment. For Nicholl of Wholesome Greens, sustainability is a significant part of her company’s mission. They reuse plant trays and use compostable materials wherever possible. She says that labels like “Organic” and “Natural” that many food providers use to indicate a healthier growing process may be misleading. “Organic has really lost its meaning,” Nicholl says. She explains that the label has many exceptions and can be expensive to acquire. In her opinion, it’s more important to maintain ethical practices—customers will recognize your efforts with or without a label. Both Nicholl (Wholesome Greens) and Michael (Terra Vita


ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

Microgreens) were surprised at first by the readily available market for their microgreens here in Wilmington. Each business operates out of a small space—Wholesome Greens in a rented office off of Blue Clay Road and Terra Vita Microgreens out of Michael’s townhouse. He has dedicated the second floor of his home to shelves of greens. Demand for microgreens continues to increase as more people learn about them. Sunshine Cove Farm, for instance, has begun delivering to restaurants and individuals all over North Carolina and even across state borders. They accept orders primarily through their website, Terra Vita can be reached on Facebook at terravitamicro, and you can spot Michael or one of his assistants at the Wrightsville Beach Farmers Market on Mondays and the Wilmington Farmers Market at Tidal Creek. Nicholl and Joe with Wholesome Greens also sell at the Wilmington Farmers Market as well as the ILM Local Makers + Growers Market. You can contact them on their website

But if you remember that grade school experiment—if you found particular joy in watching that bean shoot into a green sprout—if you have soil and seeds and a sunny window, maybe you should try growing microgreens at home. While there are growing kits available, Nicholl advises against buying them. They are often overpriced and don’t always ethically source their materials. She suggests buying seeds from a local farmer’s supply or online from Johnny’s Selected Seeds (

Start with two to four varieties of microgreens, two 10 x 10 inch slotted seed trays and one 10 x 20 solid tray to act as a drain for the two smaller trays. Sunflower, radish, and peas are typically the most forgiving seeds to start with—and they have great flavor. Growing microgreens can be an excellent project to get kids involved in, too. It helps them learn about caring for plants and eating healthy simultaneously—not to mention the simple joy of watching a green sprout shoot up and up and up from a tiny dry seed. ¶

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[ August Events ]







Bird Hike

Š Dane Deaner

Š Gretchen Schramm


Wrightsville Beach Farmers' Market

1 Wednesday Story Time by the Sea Ocean Front Park | Wednesday Evening Summer Nature Series Halyburton Park | Sunset Boulevard Thalian Hall 2 Thursday Concert in the Park Soundside Park | Sounds of Summer Concert Wrightsville Beach Park | Wilmington Sharks Baseball Buck Hardee Field-Legion Sports Complex | Hand-Clapping Games Northeast Regional Library | Picasso at the Lapin Agile Cape Fear Playhouse | Sunset Boulevard Thalian Hall

3 Friday Airlie Summer Concert Series Airlie Summer Concert Series | Wilmington Sharks Baseball Buck Hardee Field-Legion Sports Complex | Downtown Sundown Concert Downtown Wilmington -- Riverfront Park | Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Battleship North Carolina | Family Movie Main Library | Bird Hike Halyburton Park | Steel Magnolias Cape Fear Academy | Sunset Boulevard Thalian Hall

4 Saturday Riverfront Farmers' Market Riverfront Farmers' Market | Port City Reggae Music & Art Festival Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | Live Music on the Patio Hotel Ballast | Sunset Boulevard Thalian Hall

5 Sunday

9th Annual Ocean City Jazz Festival Historic Ocean City Community |Historic Downtown Artisan Market Historic Downtown

6 Monday

Wrightsville Beach Farmers' Market Wrightsville Beach Farmers' Market | Play Time! Cape Fear Museum

7 Tuesday

Walking Tour of the Historic Carolina Beach Boardwalk Carolina Beach Boardwalk | Touch Tank Tuesday Coastal Education Center |

Marketplace | Steel Magnolias Cape Fear Academy | Sunset Boulevard Thalian Hall

Kure Beach Market Kure Beach Market

8 Wednesday Story Time by the Sea Ocean Front Park | Rockin' Art for Kids Pleasure Island Library | Poplar Grove Farmers' Market Poplar Grove Farmers' Market

9 Thursday

Jazz at the Mansion Bellamy Mansion Museum | Live Music and Fireworks by the Sea Carolina Beach Boardwalk | Summer Movie Northeast Regional Library

10 Friday Downtown Sundown Concert Downtown Wilmington -- Riverfront Park | Summer Concert Series Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation

Area | PreK Music Play Northeast Regional Library | Yonder Mountain String Band in Concert Brooklyn Arts Center | Steel Magnolias Cape Fear Academy | Sunset Boulevard Thalian Hall

11 Saturday Riverfront Farmers' Market Riverfront Farmers' Market | Little Explorers Nature Program Halyburton Park | Mud Day Children's Museum of Wilmington | Steel Magnolias Cape Fear Academy | Sunset Boulevard Thalian Hall

12 Sunday

Wrightsville Beach Wahine Classic Surfing Competition Wrightsville Beach (South End) | Historic Downtown Artisan Market Historic

13 Monday

Wrightsville Beach Farmers' Market Wrightsville Beach Farmers' Market | Mock the Movie Northeast Regional Library

Downtown Marketplace | Steel Magnolias Cape Fear Academy | Sunset Boulevard Thalian Hall

14 Tuesday Kure Beach Market Kure Beach Market | Touch Tank Tuesday Coastal Education Center 15 Wednesday Story Time by the Sea Ocean Front Park | Poplar Grove Farmers' Market Poplar Grove Farmers' Market | PCYP Networking Event Pour Taproom Wilmington


ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

Š Eddie Howell







Cemetery Flashlight Tour

Live Music and Fireworks by the Sea

16 Thursday Marcus King Band in Concert Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | Hand-Clapping Games Northeast Regional Library | Picasso at the Lapin Agile Cape Fear Playhouse

17 Friday Airlie Summer Concert Series Airlie Summer Concert Series | Downtown Sundown Concert Downtown Wilmington -- Riverfront Park | Water Works Fit For Fun Center | Airlie Summer Concert Series Airlie Summer Concert Series | John Hiatt & The Goners, Featuring Sonny Landreth, in Concert Wilson Center | Veterans Services Main Library | Sunset Boulevard Thalian Hall

18 Saturday Sunset Boulevard Thalian Hall | Cemetery Flashlight Tour Oakdale Cemetery | Riverfront Farmers' Market Poplar Grove Plantation |

Big Backyard Bash Children's Museum of Wilmington | Live Jazz Northeast Regional Library | Arm Wrestling Challenge Series: Battle of Wilmington Battleship Park | Annual BBQ Fundraiser Kure Beach Community Center

19 Sunday Sunset Boulevard Thalian Hall | O'Neill/Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Fest Wrightsville Beach (Oceanic Street) | Historic Downtown Artisan Market Historic Downtown Marketplace | Summer Movie at the Lake Carolina Beach Lake Park

20 Monday Memories of Summer Federal Point History Center | Wrightsville Beach Farmers' Market Wrightsville Beach Farmers' Market 21 Tuesday Kure Beach Market Kure Beach Market | Touch Tank Tuesday Coastal Education Center 22 Wednesday

Poplar Grove Farmers' Market Poplar Grove Farmers' Market | Story Time by the Sea Ocean Front Park

23 Thursday Little Explorers Nature Program Halyburton Park | Summer Movie |Northeast Regional Library | Live Music and Fireworks by the Sea Carolina Beach Boardwalk

24 Friday

4th Friday Gallery Night Various Venues | Summer Concert Series Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area | Downtown Sundown Concert Downtown Wilmington -- Riverfront Park | Shovels & Rope in Concert Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

25 Saturday Lagerfest Wrightsville Beach Brewery | KC and the Sunshine Band in Concert Port City Marina | Riverfront Farmers' Market Riverfront Farmers' Market

26 Sunday FUNDRAISER: Sunday Funday for Autism Slainte Irish Pub (Downtown) | 13: The Musical Thalian Hall | Historic Downtown Artisan Market Historic Downtown Marketplace

27 Monday

Wrightsville Beach Farmers' Market Wrightsville Beach Farmers' Market

28 Tuesday Touch Tank Tuesday Coastal Education Center | Kure Beach Market Kure Beach Market 29 Wednesday

Violet Thalian Hall

30 Thursday

Violet Thalian Hall | Live Music: Soul-R Fusion Mad Mole Brewing

31 Friday Downtown Sundown Concert Downtown Wilmington -- Riverfront Park | Live Music and Fireworks by the Sea Carolina Beach Boardwalk | Live Music on the Patio Hotel Ballast

ca pefea rliving maga z in e .com


Travel& Adventure

Backyard to the Beach

Birding Tips from the Pros

Written By: Diana Mat thews


ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018


Photography by: Gretchen Schramm


Jill Peleuses along with her husband Pete, owns two stores providing supplies and equipment for bird lovers. Along with birdseed, books and binoculars, the couple and their employees provide the Wilmington area with a wealth of birding know-how and resources.

Peleuses grew up in Missouri and came to Wilmington by way of Virginia. One of her earliest memories is of seeing “a cardinal in the snow. My mother introduced me to birds,” Peleuses said. “I find a peaceful feeling from observing nature, and birds are part of that.” Arriving in Wilmington 20 years ago, Peleuses was amazed by the diversity of bird species that either live in the area’s varied habitats or migrate through the region seasonally. “We have shorebirds, songbirds, a lot of ducks in winter and I love to see the different hawk species that we have,” she said. She bought the book Birds of the Carolinas and began recognizing the dozen or so birds that she saw most frequently. “It’s a good book for someone getting started,” she said. “The sections are color-coded by the colors of the birds.” Peleuses earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in environmental science and natural resource management at UNCW, taking “as many bird classes as I could,” she said. As a volunteer for Audubon North Carolina, she helped tag birds and study the health of shorebird populations. Rather than pursuing a scientific teaching career or working for an advocacy group, Peleuses and her husband started a business that has become a hub of Cape Fear birder life. They opened their first Wild Bird & Garden store in Hanover Center, at 3501 Oleander Dr. in Wilmington 13 years ago and another in Southport three years ago and have become as much an educational business as a retailer. “A lot of people first become excited about birds through their own yards,” Jill Peleuses said. “It’s their first connection and we’ve made that a focus of our business. A good place to start is with a mixed birdseed feeder,” she said. “Put it near a window or porch where you can watch the birds.” Another fun way to get started, said Peleuses, is by installing a bluebird house. “Eastern Bluebirds are always here, and they can nest three times between March and August. People can see 12-15

babies each year. It’s fun to watch them come and go. They like sunflower chips and worms.” Customers do not need to feel silly about going in with a simple question about what birdseed to use. “I love to talk about birds. It’s what I love most,” Peleuses said. “It’s exciting to any of us in the stores.” Wilmington Wild Bird & Garden staffer Christen Jones said, “We get a lot of new inhabitants to the area coming into the store and asking questions about birds they haven’t seen before. They say, ‘I have a red bird.’ We ask them, ‘Did you see it on the ground or in a tree? We play a game we call ‘What’s That Bird?’ and use a process of deduction to uncover what it is.” Store personnel are also happy to share tips on the best places to go to see different types of birds. One of the places Peleuses recommends highly as a bird-sighting destination is Airlie Gardens. With its creekside location, wooded areas and wide-open lawns, it’s a good place to see a wide variety of species. Along with the gardens’ environmental educators, she leads a birding walk the second Wednesday morning of every month. “In the winter, Greenfield Lake is a great place to see ducks,” Peleuses said. Between early May and early August, she also recommends joining a bird walk held at the south end of Wrightsville Beach, near Access Point #43, in an area where colonies of shorebirds nest directly on the sand. “The parents stand over the eggs to shade them from the sun,” Peleuses said. During the nesting season, on Monday’s at 9am, Marlene Eader of Audubon N.C. leads bird walks on the beach, teaching visitors and locals about the habits of Common Terns, Black Skimmers and American Oystercatchers. Eader has trained a team of blue-tee-shirted Wrightsville Beach Bird Stewards, who work to keep the area clean and educate visitors. Like Wild Bird & Garden staff members, Peleuses said that the Bird Stewards “love to talk to the public about birds. That’s what they’re there for. (The

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Travel& Adventure

walk area) is also a great place to photograph birds.” Eader and the volunteers aim to protect the birds from human disturbances that could threaten their offspring’s survival. Throughout the season, they warn beachgoers that vulnerable eggs are just a few steps away. Elementary school students have designed signs to warn humans to be careful near the nesting zones. If people or dogs rush into an area where eggs are incubating, they can scare the parent birds away, Peleuses, said. On a hot day, “Those eggs can literally cook in just a few minutes. A small disruption can lead to a big nest failure.” Educating people about bird habitats is “part of the purpose of Wild Bird & Garden.” Another purpose is promoting native plants for local gardeners. The stores host native plant sales each spring and fall. “They’re easy to care for because they’re meant to grow in this area,” Peleuses said. “Plus they support the native insects that native birds rely on.” Eader calls Peleuses and her staff “fantastic educators” for the public. “They teach classes in the store and Jill teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNCW,” she said. On their website, www.wildbirdgardeninc. com, patrons can find out about more excursions, including kayak-based birding adventures. ¶


ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

If you’ve made your yard bird-friendly, you are well on your way to making it a refuge for other kinds of animals, such as butterflies, bats, frogs, toads and beneficial reptiles. The National Wildlife Federation recognizes homeowners whose yards qualify as official wildlife habitats. To earn certified habitat status, a yard must include the following features: Food – three sources, such as seeds and nuts produced by the yard’s plants or man-made feeders. A patch of sunflowers, a hummingbird nectar feeder or a dogwood tree qualifies. Water – one source of clean water, for example a rain garden, a pond or a butterfly puddling area. Cover – at least two places where creatures can find shelter from the weather and predators. Dense shrubs can meet this requirement. Placing your birdfeeder within a short flight from the nearest shrubs allows birds to perch on the shrubs’ branches as they take turns feeding. Look out for shrubs that trail on the ground, creating cover for cats that may want to crouch in wait and jump out to kill a ground-feeding thrush or catbird. Bat houses provide a place for bats to hang out during the daytime. A pile of rocks can be cover for a harmless snake. Places to raise young – at least two places where animals can engage in courtship behavior, mate and then bear and raise young. Nesting boxes come in different sizes appropriate to different species of songbirds. A dead tree that owls can live in is another way to provide this feature. The last requirement for NWF certification is that the homeowners employ sustainable practices from at least two of the following three categories: soil and water conservation, control of exotic species and replacing synthetic fertilizers and pesticides with more organic methods.

more examples of each category are on

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A st r o lo gy

Walking the Moonlit Path Leo New Moon August 2018 Written By: Dr . s ha r a eis en

Happy Birthday Leo, and a happy Leo new moon to all! Leo is the second

fire sign in the zodiac. The first being Aries and the third, Sagittarius. All of the fire signs are known for confidence, exuberance, and passion, with which they move through life. Leo’s famous symbol is the royal lion, which speaks to their courage, leadership abilities, generosity, and a certain ferocious streak that anyone who betrays may experience. They are also known for their childlike (not necessarily childish) simplicity, and they may be more adept at remembering how to have fun as adults, more so than most of their peers. Many Leos can be found creating in their studios, or perhaps out and about with a gaggle of kids, whether their own, or their students. All of this makes the Leo new moon the best time of the year to pursue your creative side, especially if performance is involved. How many would play or practice an instrument, if only they had more time? There will never be more time, though, not until we find the determination to make the time. How about taking part in one of our great theater groups? Possibly, that means trying out for a play or helping with the set design. Or be a force for getting a neighborhood volleyball team together, as all of the fire signs tend to be lovers of sports and games. August brings us the third and final eclipse of this eclipse season. With this new moon in Leo, consider what was happening eighteen to nineteen years ago, back around the time that we rang in the new millennium, as we consider what similar themes and issues are now presenting in our lives. Eclipses run in cycles of eighteen to nineteen years. The “Great American Eclipse” that many traveled to view last August was also in the sign of Leo and there may be similar decisions and considerations to now face. Take time with decisions and actions as we have most of the planets in the solar system moving in retrograde this month, which suggests that it is more of a time for us to be internally focused, whereas later in the fall it will be more of an appropriate time for dynamic action. To read your horoscope this month, visit our website for the full article at To learn more about the writer, visit her personal website at 40

ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

Saving companion pets’ lives since 2009 by coordinating care for sick and injured companion pets— providing families with resources for life-saving veterinary medical care...

910.477.4161 · · Coastal Chapter · PO box 15 · Oak Island NC 28465

f r o m theCo m m u n i ty

Life Lessons From a Beloved Pet:

The Inspiration Behind


Sergei in the woods.

Sergei Fo u n d a t i o n Written By: Debra McCormick

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f r o m theCo m m u n i ty


K a r e n F u l l e r t o n i s t h e Fo u n d e r a n d B o a r d Chair for The Sergei Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists people with their pets in need when funds fall short for their life-saving care. The organization was born from a deep love and respect for her Siberian husky named Sergei. Described in her own words as her greatest teacher, his legacy lives on through the help that the foundation is able to offer.

Fullerton’s own painful experience with losing Sergei to an illness was the impetus for creating the organization. Of all the lessons he taught her, the ultimate one would come from losing him. “Sometimes it’s in their passing that teaches us the most,” said Fullerton. Fullerton tells Sergei’s story in her book, Sergei’s Eyes: Reflections of Soul Lessons, where she reflects back on what she learned from the little daily experiences of living with and caring for him. In 1997, out of a strong need to have a bond with a pet, Fullerton began her search for a dog. She found Sergei after seeing an ad in the Classified Section of a newspaper for red and white Siberian huskies. Early in the book, she describes a time she had to travel for work, and left Sergei at a boarding kennel. She dropped him off without saying goodbye or telling him how long she would be gone. Upon her return to pick him up, she noticed he was not the happy, high-energy dog that she knew and loved. He looked sad and forlorn and his tail hung down. He was extremely happy to see her again, but back


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at home he slept for twenty-four hours. It was then that she knew he could not have slept much over the course of his three-day stay at the kennel, and she felt terrible for having put him through such an ordeal. Realizing this made her relate to abandonment issues with her father, who rarely communicated with her or reassured her, especially after her parents’ divorce. Those memories rose to the surface after she became aware that Sergei had felt abandoned. The lesson learned -- consistent and open communication is vital for all healthy relationships. In 2009 she lost Sergei to a devastating ear infection that was antibiotic-resistant. Fullerton knew he would have to be euthanized, which made her feel helpless. It was through this traumatic experience that she created the Sergei Foundation. Helping other pet owners in their greatest time of need is how she chooses to honor Sergei’s life; the foundation is designed with the intent to empower them and help them avoid tragic loss. Contemporary veterinary care can be expensive nowadays, so

there is always a great need in the community. The Sergei Foundation serves a wide area, spanning Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheboro, Winston-Salem, and now there is a coastal chapter to serve the New Hanover and Brunswick areas of North Carolina. Approaching the foundation for help is done by filling out a simple online application at the foundation website. Fullerton emphasizes that applying for help through the online application is the best way to initiate the process because it is designed to ask for vital information about the pet’s health care history and veterinary information. Rather than consulting with each applicant on the phone, a completed online application allows Fullerton to multi-task with each applicant in a time-efficient way. Help is offered on a case-bycase basis; it’s important that an applicant show what portion of the cost they have been able to provide or how much, in good faith, they can provide for a future treatment or surgery; the Sergei Foundation helps fill the gap in cost after that point, depending on the treatment needed. Help can range from $1,000 for surgery to $100 for general veterinary care. She emphasizes that the foundation cannot cover preventative care, but Fullerton can put the applicant in touch with the help they need and will guide them in getting a correct diagnosis for the pet. Fullerton recalls getting her first case shortly after starting the

foundation in December 2009. It involved a Skipper Key dog that had been hit by a car. She immediately got on the phone with a board member, and they were able to fund a $2,000 portion of the emergency care. This important work is made possible through her dedication, the compassionate donors who contribute to the foundation, and the veterinarians and board members who volunteer their time and expertise. Helping people with their pets in dire need is very fulfilling work for Fullerton. Most of all, she is grateful for having had Sergei in her life, the true inspiration behind this very worthy cause. ¶

If you would like to become a donor to The Sergei Foundation or if you seek assistance for your pet, please visit the website at You can find Karen Fullerton’s book, Sergei’s Eyes: Reflections of Soul Lessons on

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c a p e f e a r l i v i ng moments

© T.J. Drechsel Photography

Wilmington Sharks Baseball: Big league dreams; Player, Danny Wilson smiles; and Opening Night Lineup L to R: Michael Varga, Logan Barker, Alec Allred, Ayden Karraker, Austin Paradis, Sam Luchansky, Andrew Kaminsky.

The Children’s Museum of Wilmington is awarded $2500 grant from Residents of Old Wilmington. L to R: Jim Karl, Executive Director The Children’s Museum, ROW Executive Director Phoebe Bragg, Board Members Margi Erickson, Ginger Garrard, Beverly Grasley and Darla Hamby.

Fourth of July Celebration in Southport, NC. 44

ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

Wedding Party of Gina & David Blackwell.

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ca p e f ear l i v i ng / August 2018

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