Cape Fear Living Magazine Winter 2019

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Winter 2019


Power oĆ’ Giving Melissa Spain CEO,

The Community Foundation NC East

Remembering & paying tribute to our

Osteria Cicchetti

keeping it in the familia


Connecting Cape Fear Cultures




f eatur es // Winter 2019


Part of the Familia


de pa rtmen t s // History & Legend 10


Arts & Entertainment 15

This Little Light of Mine

Fashion & Beauty 20

25 32 37


Winter Wardrobe

Home & Garden Interior Design Tips from the Experts Canby Oaks Cape Fear Regional Jetport: Like Walking on the Beach

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Food & Drink 42

Part of the familia


True Blue Butcher and Table: Recipe


Taking the Bite Out of Winter

Health & Wellness 52


So Cool

From the community 56 58 62

Diwali in Wilmington paws4people The Power of Giving



writers & photographers

Winter 2019

Publisher Amanda Lisk Wife, mom, award winning journalist, Yorkie lover, boater.

Sesha Patel Speaks four languages, dog lover, advocates and invents to reduce packaging waste, bubble tea fan.

Leping Beck Editor Colleen Thompson Editorial Graphic Design Samantha Lowe PROJECT MANAGER

Tammy Pope Dancer, skier, scuba diver, beach bum, foodie. Enjoys traveling the world with a camera and fork at hand.

Colleen Thompson Writer, picture taker, light chaser, raconteur, sommelier, foodie, wanderer, wild beach seeker.

Tammy Pope Copy Editor Sara Beck ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Amanda Lisk contributing writers Amanda Lisk · Beasley Nester · Sesha Patel

Raul Sojo Montes A borrowed eye from the tropics. Loves walking his dogs all over Wilmington. An influential manager of the Fantasy Baseball era. Much smarter in Spanish; even has a novel published.

Michael W. Smith A former Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and current photographer with a love of all things architecture. Photographer of the Back Door Kitchen Tour.

Tammy Pope · Colleen Thompson contributing photographers Alan Cradick · Ethan Gaskill · Emma Claire Lisk · Raul Sojo Montes for event submissions: published by Live Local 360 LLC

Winter 2019


Power oƒ GivinG melissa spain CeO, the COmmunity fOundatiOn nC east

remembering & paying tribute tO Our

Osteria CiCChetti

keeping it in the familia

WWii Vets

ConneCting Cape Fear Cultures




Cover Photograph by Raul Sojo Montes; Melissa Spain, CEO of The Community Foundation of NC East.


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All contents in this publication are the property of Live Local 360 LLC. Reproduction or use of the contents in this magazine without authorization by Live Local 360 LLC is prohibited. Live Local 360 LLC takes every effort to provide correct and accurate information that is published in this magazine. Live Local 360 LLC accepts no liability on behalf of contributing parties for any inaccuracies or copyright infringement. Live Local 360 LLC also cannot be held responsible for any services or claims provided by our advertisers. Cape Fear Living Magazine is designed as an art, culture, and community resource. Our staff loves to hear from our readers. Contact us at

THE STRANDS W i l m i NgTo N’S fi R S T R ESiDENTiAl HouSEboAT CommuN iT y EN joy liviNg iN THE miDDlE of iT All, WHilE STill bE iN g iN you R oWN pEACEful WATERfR oNT oASiS .

SpECi Al pRE-CoNSTRuCTioN pRiC iNg

Dreams Built on Water

WWW.AT lANTiCHouSEboATS. Com 910.251.6165 iNfo@ATlANTiCHouSEboATS.Com

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musicians. Throw in winemakers and they are collectively my favorite people to spend time with. They all share the following: Discipline. Dedication. Practice. Energy. Fellowship. Respect. It’s not an easy life. The hours are grueling. The rewards and accolades few and far between. They’re driven and fueled

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There are many characteristics that resonate deeply with me about chefs. There is an odd connection rooted to the same respect and passion I have gleaned interviewing and observing

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Blue Passion Written By: Colleen Thompson PhotograPhy By: Raul sojo monTes

by pure passion and creativity—total immersion for the sake of their craft. Just a tad obsessive. Bobby Zimmerman is that guy. That chef. The expression of his creativity and passion has come to life through his restaurant True Blue Butcher & Table. It’s a big, beautiful space that has been designed to feel like

Modern Living in historic spaces: row back door kitchen tour

Kudos to Cape Fear Living Magazine on your coverage of three of the historic homes

Spanish Octopus Ragu

San Marzano Tomatoes, Fried Potato Gnocchi, Spanish Octopus, Olives, Caperberries This dish was designed for the True Blue fall/winter menu, focusing on a robust tomato and pork ragu to compliment an olive oil infused Spanish octopus. The fried potato gnocchi provides a pillowing luxuriousness. This dish will also be featured in the sharable section of the dinner menu.

on this year's Back Door Kitchen Tour; the story by Naari Honor was enlightening and the pictures taken by Michael W. Smith

you’ve just walked into your favorite neighborhood spot, only more elevated and elegant and sophisticated without being stuffy or pretentious. The ambience is simply cool and comfortable, the attention to food obvious and meticulous. We meet in the True Blue bar on a Wednesday morning. Zim-

Photography were lovely.

merman, behind his cool exterior and blue striped apron, is a little agitated and distracted, checking messages on his phone. The pork butt’s delivery is late; that will put the kitchen staff under pressure and could affect tonight’s menu. He’s all business today and most days too, I’m guessing. He tells me right off the bat that this story is not about him. It’s about the food. It’s about the amazing team he has behind him. “And most importantly, it's about the idea of having a trustworthy place to eat.” I tell him I am here to listen to HIS story. So why don’t we just start with the name?


ca p e f e a r l i v i n g / fa l l 2 0 1 9

The interest generated by your piece, cap e f e ar l i v i n gm agaz i n e . co m

"Modern Living in Historic Spaces," created


a tremendous turnout for this annual Historic

blue passion

Downtown Wilmington event!

whole thing! You nailed it really. Thank you very, very much!

— Kerry Celestini / Back Door

You really did an amazing job. I love the cover, I love the Kitchen Tour

— Bobby Zimmerman / True Blue Butcher and Table Head Chef

A quick note of thanks for the enjoyable read about Chef

roSÉ. now lighter.

Zimmerman and his restaurant True Blue in the Fall issue. Inspired by the story, I went to check it for myself and was suitably impressed. Although, sadly, I did not get to meet the chef in person, his food was truly excellent, and it might just be my new favorite restaurant in Wilmington.

— Gabby Langstroth / Porters Neck



gluten free

0g Sugar

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mindfulness: with planks & pizza

Working with Elizabeth and the CFLM team was truly a pleasure. They are always on their A-game, and it is obvious

Boutique Beverage/RosÉ water

It was a pleasure getting to know Colleen and the team

that they are passionate about their work. Seamless process

at Cape Fear Living Magazine. The work they produced was

start to finish!

exceptional. It went a very long way in helping us establish a

— Erin Falls /

Dietitian, Yoga Teacher and Creator of Planks & Pizza

strong local following for our products.

— Ryan Hedspeth /

Rose Wine Brand Marketing Director

We would love to hear from you. Please email us at Letters will be edited for length. 8

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A dv e rt is e

Wi t h us

Our magazine is dedicated to showcasing your story to our readers both in print and online.




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R e m e m b e r i n g

Written By: Colleen Thompson

“A n at i o n r e v e a l s i t s e l f n o t on ly by t h e m e n i t pr oduc e s, but also by the men it honors, t h e m e n i t r e m e m b e r s .” —

P r e s i d e n t J o h n F . K e n n e d y , O c t o b e r 1 9 6 3


They were just teenagers once. They signed up or simply ran away to serve their country, knowing little of what lay before them 75 years later, the men and women who once fought in World War II are mostly in their 90s, and time is running out. Every soldier has a good story, even if they say they don’t. Unless we record and document them, the voices of the “Greatest Generation” will go silent, and we will have missed an extraordinary opportunity. Becky Grogan, marketing coordinator for Plantation Village, a nonprofit Life Plan Community in Porters Neck, felt compelled to do something about this. Since 2013, she has been documenting the stories of 28 surviving veterans, which have culminated in a book in conjunction with author Kevin Maurer. Titled Answering the Call, a Story of Everyday Valor, this limited-edition, 64-page, archival hardcover book recounts their stories and pays tribute to their memories. “When I saw how many WWII Veterans we had in 2013 (58 at that time), I really wanted to get their stories down on paper. The experiences that people were telling me just blew me away,” said Grogan. “I love history and I hate to see these personal experiences lost. It took me a few years to get the project off the ground, and then by that time, we were down to 28.” Wilmington author Kevin Maurer has covered the military for over ten years and documented the stories of soldiers, includ-

ing in his bestselling book “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden.” In 2003, he followed the 82nd Airborne Division during the initial invasion of Iraq. He returned to cover the soldiers more than a dozen times, most recently in 2010 when he spent ten weeks with a Special Forces team in Afghanistan. When Grogan approached Maurer to do the book, it was a natural fit for an author who sees the same thread that runs through all the soldiers. “WWII vets remind me a lot of the men fighting now. They both have the same ideas flowing through their minds. A sense of patriotism at first, but that goes away when the shooting starts. Then it’s about doing your job and being there for the men to your left and right,” says Maurer. “That is how this book stands out more than others do about WWII. This is a book about the little moments. It puts a human face on a generation of soldiers put on a pedestal.” The book gives readers a glimpse of another time and place for these remarkable veterans living within our community that is both personal and touching. “I learned to see these people as they were during that time of their lives. It gave me a totally different perspective on them. I see them in the community everyday—they are in their 90s, but now I can picture them as they once were, and it makes them more human to me.”

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“When I went overseas in World War II I didn’t expect to come home, but I did. Most guys, it seemed like about 50 percent of them, didn’t get back. It may not have been that bad, but I went over there and said, “I’m probably not coming back.” You just went to go do your job. So, you just sort of did it—when it was your time to fly, you flew, right?” A l N ewsom , U S A r m y A i r C o r ps

Al Newsom, a longtime resident at Plantation Village, never stopped talking about the war and how it changed his life. He would make himself comfortable in Grogan’s office recounting his stories which were fortunately documented before he passed away in July at the age of 94.

Ed Hawkins was another person whose story stood out and resonated with Grogan. “In combat in the Pacific Ocean theatre for the majority of the war he received many medals and honors, but he was so humble about his service. His wife was George C. Marshall’s secretary and Ed was prouder of her than anything he did during the war. The saddest thing for me is that he didn’t have access to any pictures or things that he had saved from his time in service; there are no pictures of him in the book from that time,” says Grogan.

“I have some medals—regular combat medals, occupation medals and things like that. I don't know where they are. They’re in the house somewhere. I had fun with the guys I worked and fought with, but it was strictly business. We were just doing our jobs over there.” E d H awkins , U S A r m y A i r C o r ps


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For Maurer, the book highlights the fact that you don’t always have to go into harm’s way to do your duty. These men and women did their part to help build not only a better nation, but also a better world. “Because so many of our WWII vets have passed on, the book looks more closely at the last generation that joined towards the end of the war,” says Maurer. “It was interesting to hear their stories about wanting to join and their eagerness to get into combat. Many didn’t make it back before the war ended, but their stories are valuable because they offer a rare picture of an America united, something that feels so far away in our current age.”

For a farm girl from Scranton to have the adventure of the training in the Navy, then being stationed in Washington, D.C. with 30,000 other women and finally going to Columbia University and getting my business degree. I just loved it!

We owe a great deal to the men and women who fought during WWII, and it is sad to think that within a few short years there will be no one left to recount firsthand the stories associated with this time. This is why it is incumbent upon each of us to make sure we take the opportunity we have right now; to capture these memories so they can be passed down to future generations and not be lost to the sands of time. ¶

S usan H olliste r , U S N av y

Among the 28 veterans, Susan Hollister stands alone as the only woman featured in the book. “Susan is truly inspirational. She didn’t speak English until she was six; she’s from a farm family and had it not been for her decision to become a WAVE, she probably would have stayed in her hometown,” explains Grogan. “Instead, after the war using the GI Bill she got her Business Degree and worked in NYC. She went straight from Washington DC up to Columbia University—she never went home. She will turn 98 in December and is still going strong.”

ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com



ca p e f ear l i v i n g / wi nter 2019 Summer 2019

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

T h i s l i tt l e l i g h t of mine….

C e l e b r a t e I l l u m i n a ti n g L I G H T at Cameron Art Museum thi s H o l i d a y S e a s o n

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” — Aaron Rose


W r i tten by: A m a n da L i sk P h otos c ourtesy of: A l a n C ra d i ck

'Tis the season at the Cameron Art Museum as the sparkle and magic of the holidays become center stage. The museum will host a variety of events to bring visual art, community, craft, and reflection together in a celebration of light that will illuminate all throughout the holiday season.

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

FLOATING LANTERN CEREMONY Cameron Art Museum invites the community to take part in the highly popular floating lantern ceremony, this year to be held the evening of Jan. 12, 2020. “We wanted to create a meaningful tradition here for the holidays to include everyone in the community,” says Nan Pope of the Cameron Art Museum. Much like a scene from the Disney movie Tangled, lighted lanterns created by members of the community are placed in the museum’s outside reflecting pond and beautifully illuminate the evening as live music plays and guests enjoy hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows by the fire pits. The event draws several hundred to watch the more than 500 lanterns afloat. Lantern sleeves can be purchased at the museum to decorate. They are then placed atop a wooden base the museum staff makes and float in the reflecting pond at the ceremony with a candle. “We use the words remembrance, reflection and gratitude, it’s a chance for people to honor someone special who has passed away or is still with them,” says Pope. “It’s always special to see many come in groups like three generations, a parent, a grandparent and a child together who spend a lot of time and thought decorating their lantern sleeves,” Pope says. With January being the start of a new year and a new decade this year, the lanterns are a special way to toast the future. “It can be reflective or a way to express one’s hopes and dreams for the new year,” says Pope


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ILLUMINATION EXHIBITION In its fifth year, the museum’s annual Illumination exhibition ignites with a party followed by the opening of the exhibition showcasing the element of light through the eye of the artist. Artists, both local and from afar, submit their original design of a lantern to be part of Illumination. It’s become one of Cameron Art Museum’s most attended exhibitions. Visitors frequent for a spectacular peak at the hanging lanterns, elegantly piercing through darkness in the Brown wing of the museum as they are the only source of light in this gallery.

Celebrate the fifth year of "Illumination"! Experience illuminated sculptures created by artists from across the U.S. while enjoying a festive evening with light refreshments, cash bar and music with El Jaye Johnson and the Port City All-Stars. Purchase tickets online, by phone and at CAM’s Visitor Services desk. CAM Members: $10.00, Non-Members: $16.00

ILLUMINATION EXHIBITION Runs Dec. 7, 2019 – Jan. 12, 2020

Submitted lantern creations by artists on display in the Brown wing.

FLOATING LANTERN CEREMONY Sunday Jan. 12, 2020 / 4:00PM-7:00PM

Lantern sleeves to decorate available for purchase $12 through Jan. 11 and $15 on the day of the event. Admission to the ceremony is free, but the museum does accept donations. Live music, hot chocolate, drinks and food available for purchase. Floating starts at 5:00 PM.

ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


Winter Wa r d r o b e

fa s h i o n & b e au ty

Written By: Beasley Nester of OLIVER A s f a l l b l o w s pa s t u s , make room in your closet for winter styles to last seasons to come. Beautiful w r ap s k i r t s , l i g h t w e i g h t sweaters, ankle boots and mules, and dainty jewelry, to create an everyday look that e a s i ly g oe s f r om day ou t i ng to a night out. Winter 2019 colors are full of chocolate browns, maroonorange, olive greens, and of course, classic black. These colors are set to continue into spring season on the horizon, so why not add items to your closet to last for months on end? 20

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Clothing: Oliver Photography: Ethan Gaskill Model: Emma Vaughn HMUA: Blush Styling: Kaycie Skipper

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fa s h i o n & b e au ty


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / wi nter 2019


Oliver clothing 1055 military cutoff road #103 wilmington, nc 28405

ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


home & garden

deGive your home a fresh new look

sign w i t h d e s i g n t i p s f r o m t h e e x p e rt s .

tips Small changes in dĂŠcor can make a big difference to a room. Just ask these local interior designers who delight in mixing t h i n g s u p t o r e f i n e a s pa c e . This Winter, while trapped inside, why not try out a few of the f o l l o w i n g d e s i g n t i p s c o u r t e s y o f B i g S k y D e s i g n , D e s i g n R e s u lt s , Brunswick Design Interiors, and Homfusion and give a room or two a fresh, new look! ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


home & garden



1 A beautifully dressed window can solve some of the biggest decorating dilemmas… Tip: If you love soft sheer curtains that allow light to get in, combine an opaque roman shade, roller blind, or shutter that can be pulled down or closed to maintain privacy at night and block morning light. 2 Furniture Selections: When choosing furniture, start out with a floor plan and a measured drawing of the space. Furniture should fit the room it lives in. Tip: Avoid bulky furniture in a small room. If the ceiling is high, a taller headboard, canopy, or four-poster bed will help to visibly proportion it. 3 Layer your Lighting: Ambient lighting provides overall illumination for the whole room… Tip: Use wall sconces to add some extra accent lighting or in place of bedside table lamps to save space on a small nightstand. Generally, they should be 4 to 6 inches away from the side of your headboard or bed frame and approximately 2 feet above the mattress.



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1 For a more contemporary look and feel, the perfect light makes an understatement! Here a linear light fixture complements the lines of the room by gracing the dining space with pure, bright light as opposed to the use of a heavy, pendulous and imposing chandelier. 2 Keep the action in a busy office space rolling by using a curved corner desk, a great looking chair on wheels, and letting lots of sunlight in! Here, a rolling chair in distressed, vintage leather, spins quickly around a room grounded in earth tones and sporting simple shades by Hunter Douglas. 3 How to dress a bed: Here I've combined colors from the surf, sky, and sand. Don't be afraid to use lots of toss pillows in different fabrics, colors, sheens, and sizes. Bed skirts tend to look messy. In this room, small, tapered wooden legs and a pleat in the upholstered bedframe above, create crisp lines. A plush, textured throw blanket in the right color complements any room.



w w w. d e s i g n - r e s u lt s . co m

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home & garden

2 1 Remove all personal items so that the buyer can focus on how the home will fit their lifestyle and needs.


2 Declutter and clean the home. Remove excess furniture and decor. Keep it simple! 3 Keep the color palette neutral so the buyer sees the house, not the furnishings.



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1 There isn’t a one size fits all floor plan or one architectural style or interior design aesthetic that works for everyone. The build process requires the use of many different design and construction professionals. Getting your team together early to formulate space plans, two- and three-dimensional design concepts and sketches allows for creative and innovative solutions; which often lead to faster project delivery and best cost value. When your team collaborates together to establish reasonable budgets, a realistic schedule and clearly defined expectations at the start, surprises are avoided. 2 Ombré isn't just for hair. Bright and shiny metallics are here to stay. Colors are bolder and brighter and are becoming more prevalent on all different types of materials and fixtures. Almost every plumbing fixture manufacturer offers, gold, rose gold and yes, even Ombré. Some of the hottest trends in kitchen for 2020 will be bright colored stoves, range hoods and refrigerators. Some of these trends are timeless. 3 All materials aren't created equal. You may love the look of encaustic cement; but, not the maintenance required to keep them looking like new. Did you know the heat from a fireplace can damage the sealant used on a quartz? A better alternative is porcelain which is available in so many options that imitate everything from marble, quartz, soapstone and cement. When choosing multiple tiles for a shower, you need to make sure they are of the same thickness.



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Every goal, whether big or small, starts with a plan.

Estate Planning | Probate & Trust Administration | Business Law

I am passionate about planning! Every goal, whether big or small, starts with a plan. I enjoy helping my clients transition through the stages of life. From young adults starting their families and careers to end of life planning, then helping their loved ones after they pass. No matter where you are on your great journey through life, I am here to help! Currently accepting and developing relationships, not just clients. 910.509.7287 | | 9111 Market Street, Ste A, Wilmington, NC 28411


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home & garden

Where southern charm and innovative design come together. W r i tt e n by: A m a n da L i s k ¡ P h otogr a p h y by: Rau l Soj o M o n t e Staged by: H o m fu s i o n


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / wi nter 2019

Nestled among shady oak trees and tall, North Carolina pines, is a brand-new, upscale, boutique neighborhood presented by Stevens Fine Homes. Canby Oaks, located off Masonboro Loop Road, beautifully brings together the charm and character of established southern landscapes with fresh, new construction featuring 17 homes of innovative coastal craftsman and farmhouse design.

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home & garden

“ ... we upped the game with the finishes,” “In this neighborhood we upped the game with the finishes,” says Stevens Fine Homes’ new-home specialist, Jenna Parker. She points out the stained wood stair treads, more modern light fixtures and large granite kitchen island at the Canby Oaks’ award-winning Nicklaus design model home, now open. “Canby Oaks is designed for buyers who desire something a little more high-end and for families who need more room or may have kids who are getting older, so we are giving them nice, wide lots and large driveways that can fit multiple cars,” Parker explains. The Celis family purchased the Nicklaus design home at Canby and they are taking advantage of the Stevens Fine Homes’ exclusive Create Your Home online design studio where homebuyers can select their finishes from their computer with the help of professional interior designers. “We love our new house in Canby Oaks. Every step of the construction process is very exciting - this is the beginning of new memories that will fill the house. We are so thankful for Stevens Fine Homes for building our home,” says Huertas Celis. The side entry garages of the homes create a more upscale look. The board-and-batten and stone exteriors and neutral tones of today used at Canby Oaks make each home unique yet give the neighborhood an aesthetic feel. 34

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Canby Oaks checks all the boxes of what homebuyers desire today; a great location, more square footage, high quality and affordability. Canby Oaks homes start in the upper $300,000’s and some floor plans are as large as 3,300 square feet with six bedrooms. Three Canby Oaks homesites have already sold, and all of this before the grand opening. Brokers are buzzing with excitement. “They know the Stevens product; they can trust the product, and they like that they know what they are selling to their clients,” says Stevens sales associate, Crimson Walton. To take advantage of the large lots, there are various outdoor living options at Canby, including screened porches and built-in firepits. “These beautiful, custom firepits that are going in will make it so entertaining doesn’t have to stop inside the house. Everyone loves our large, open kitchens for hosting and now they will be able to flow into the outdoors,” says Parker. No skimping on the master bathrooms either; the Stevens design team does not disappoint. “We really wanted to provide a true master bathroom retreat -- a spa like atmosphere -- so we really focused on creating that in our master baths by installing beautiful finishes and walk-in tile showers, and in some homes, a vanity space and huge his and her master closets with wood shelving,” says Parker. Canby Oaks will have streetlights, sidewalks and fencing for privacy. Canby Oaks is central to everything Wilmington has to offer, located minutes from the Pointe, Mayfaire, the beaches, and downtown. All Canby Oaks homes are built with the Stevens Fine Homes Energy Wise Guarantee to ensure low monthly utility bills. In addition to this, Canby Oaks homebuyers who take advantage of purchasing a homesite prior to construction will, like the Celis family, have access to the Create Your Home online design studio and get to hand select finishes. The Canby Oaks Nicklaus design model home is now open to the public. Canby Oaks also features the newest Savannah design along with many more desirable floor plans to choose from. ¶

1509 Gatlin Way Wilmington, NC 28409 910.599.5165

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ca p e f ear l i v i n g / wi nter 2019

home & garden

Wa l k i n g

i n t o

Cape Fear Regional J e t p o rt ’ s

n e w e s t t e r m i na l i s l i k e wa l k i n g on t h e b e ac h

Written & photographed By: Tammy Pope

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A home & garden

Anyone who has ever visited southeastern North Carolina knows just how special it is. Located

between the bustling cities of Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, this quaint beach town of Southport is filled with southern charm and picture-perfect ocean views. This is exactly the experience which the Cape Fear Regional Jetport’s new Senator Bill Rabon West-Side Terminal Building has captured. Inspired by the sandy beaches and laid-back vibe of Southport, Oak Island and Bald Head Island, the building blurs the lines between a beach cottage and a jetport terminal. “We’ve got 60 miles of beaches, 39 golf courses, and we’re considered to have the best weather in the state,” boasts jetport director Howie Franklin; so it is no surprise that the jetport’s location is a beach bum’s dream come true. From the moment you walk through the terminal’s welcoming antebellum banisters, you are immersed in the low-country charm that southeastern North Carolina embodies. “Our goal, when designing the terminal was to make it memorable, welcoming, elegant and most importantly, comfortable,” Franklin says.


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Nautical touches are carried throughout the building, from the oyster shell exterior to the paintings of drapes blowing in the breeze. Ship-wheel clocks, dwarf palm trees and throw pillows showcasing marine animals only add to the seaside-inspired spirit of the space. In addition to the coastal theme to which the terminal caters, it also provides a V.I.P. experience for the passengers and flight crews visiting the airport. “Everyone, regardless of their status, is considered a V.I.P.,” Franklin explains. He adds the visitors who fly in and out of the jetport range from “the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker,” and this diversified clientele certainly does not hinder the terminal’s staff from treating everyone with first-class style. Franklin’s experience as an Air Force One steward working alongside flight crews, ground transportation people and passengers, lends to his understanding of what they desire. The terminal has a luxurious pilot’s lounge which was designed specifically for pilots and their needs. It’s equipped with first-class airline chairs that recline and are capable of charging all of their electronic devices. The terminal also has a pilot’s planning room which has been converted into a sleeping room. This space provides the pilots with a dark and quiet room to sleep.

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home & garden

The V.I.P. experience continues even for those who have extended ground time. The terminal’s staff offers complimentary golf clubs and tee times. There are also plans to set up an exercise room equipped with showers not only for flight crews but also the airport staff. “We’re in the customer service business,” Franklin reminds us. “Anything we can do to improve our service to our customers, we will do.” Despite all this, one note Franklin wishes to emphasize is, “We’re just getting started.” He explains that they have big plans for the terminal and the staff intends to continue offering great service to which they have received such exceptional feedback. ¶


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / wi nter 2019

Food& Drink

P a r t

t h e

familia W r i tt e n by: C o l l een t ho m pso n · P h otogr a p h y by: Rau l Soj o M o n t e

Italians never eat alone— the phrase implies that if you’re at the table, you’re also surrounded by family and friends. Of course this also includes the grandparents, Nonno and Nonna, enjoying good health and happiness in their old age. It’s this feeling that Osteria Cicchetti (simply known as OC), located in Wilmington’s The Forum, has worked hard at evoking. With a warm and cozy atmosphere—like all good osterias— they make you feel a bit like you are part of their family. From the down-to-earth, authentic greeting you receive from Manager Shelley Musleh as you walk through the front door through to the hearty Italian fare prepared by Executive Chef Matt Rodney, it all adds up to wanting to linger-just-a-little-bit-longer. It’s a good thing that when husband and wife team Kevin and Stacey Jennings of Raleigh based, Urban Food Group expanded into Wilmington and bought OC, they didn’t want to reinvent a formula that was already working. What they did do, was tap their very talented Boca Bay Seafood Sous Chef Matt Rodney, to take over as Executive Chef


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at Osteria Cicchetti, and allow him to tweak the menu and incorporate additional chef-driven items. “Matt has owned his own restaurant, so he knows what it takes” says Kevin Jennings. “He has an excellent resume working for very talented chefs and running a quality kitchen. Based on that, we knew Matt was the man to lead the kitchen team, and make needed menu enhancements to Osteria Cicchetti.” “Change is hard, whether you are a frequent guest or an employee, but Urban Food Group’s core values lined up with OC’s very well. Maintaining who we were but all the while moving forward was a balancing act,” says Manager Shelley Musleh. “Bringing Executive Chef Rodney on board has been exactly what we needed. His culinary skills and innovation, his ability to lead his team, his work ethic and positivity all add up to having a great partner in this space, where the pace is so fast and often stressful.”

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Food& Drink


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / wi nter 2019

The popular staple dishes have not changed, the aesthetic is the same, and the majority of the staff are still the same. “We have added a few of Chef Rodney’s dishes, such as the new gnocchi and ravioli, as well as a duck confit, and created a menu strictly for the bar. At the core we are the same OC; ‘Spaghetti Cicchetti’ is not going anywhere,” adds Musleh. Chef Matt Rodney was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and then moved with his family to the small South Carolinian town of St. George. “My mom is a great home cook, and that’s really where it all started for me—tinkering around the kitchen. After school I ended up in the Apalachicola Bay, about thirty miles of shallow oyster paradise, pulling and eating oysters straight out of the Gulf of Mexico. It doesn’t get much better than that. I think it was there that I decided I wanted to be a chef,” says Rodney. From there he worked his way through a number of restaurants from To Kill a Mockingbird to Hot Fish Club in South Carolina and onto the Charleston Café, where he became Executive Chef. “As a chef I learned everything through on the job training,” Rodney recalls. “I ended up in Wilmington at the age of 24 at Circa 1922, working with Executive Chef Marc Piscitello, who’s now Executive Chef at Brasserie. I learned many things from Marc, but in particular, I learned how to make and roll sushi, which is how I ended up becoming Sous Chef at Boca Bay.” Simplicity is the cornerstone of great Italian food: fresh, seasonal, simple. The art of good Italian lies in pairing flavors well. “More than changing the menu, I think I’ve refined it, particularly with things like sauces and making sure they are reduced properly to extract maximum flavor,” says Rodney. “Although many of the same dishes have remained on the menu, I have tweaked and reworked all of them. I’ve also focused on making everything from scratch, so I’ve broken down the practices and streamlined the process. All of this has only been possible with the backing of a great team, which I have—from my sous chef to my expo Dan (the liaison between the kitchen and dining room).” Staying true to the name Cicchetti, particular attention was given to the new bar menu. Cicchetti are small snacks,

similar in concept to Spanish tapas, which are typically eaten accompanied by a small glass of wine called an ombra. Historically, bàcari (wine bars) offered cicchetti along with the local house wine to be eaten standing at the counter of the bar. Think wild mushroom bruschetta drizzled with truffle oil; stuffed piquillo peppers with a balsamic reduction; classic arancini with caramelized onion, fennel and Romesco sauce; or perhaps a petite Stromboli. All of the dishes are easily accompanied by a down-to-earth Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva. Or, like Chef Rodney, you might prefer them paired and quaffed with his favorite IPA, Tropical Lightning, from Wilmington Brewing Company. Many of the menu favorites will remain on the winter lineup, but part of evolving the menu and putting the chefs stamp on it is the addition of his favorite dish, duck confit. Duck legs are left to cure for 24 hours in a brine of salt, sugar, fennel seeds and cloves. The legs are then covered in duck fat and cooked long and slow until meltingly tender before being rounded off with a port wine reduction. The confit is served alongside blanched brussels sprouts seared in white wine, shallots and garlic, as well as a creamy cauliflower puree. “Braised meats, alongside vegetables like brussels sprouts, is probably my favorite way to cook in the winter. It’s my idea of comfort food, which honestly stems from my mom’s slow cooked Christmas lamb. The food I enjoy eating the most, however, is anything cooked by someone else—it always seems to taste better,” laughs Rodney. The ability to put together a good menu and a decent dish is only one part of being a great head chef. Knowing how to listen, communicate and lead a team of eight cooks is another. “Being a head chef is much more than cooking. Sometimes I have to be a therapist. Sometimes a mediator. Mostly I have to be the calm one; not get strung out and lead by example,” remarks Rodney. It would appear that OC is in the strong capable hands of a bearded, laid back chef who, despite his playlist (Rage Against the Machine, Metallica and Three Six Mafia) is unflappable and focused, and that always translates into the rhythm of good food. ¶

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N o rt h C a r o l i N a’ s t o p W i N e ry & V i N e ya r d

Life’s too short! Drink JOLO because YOLO! 2 1 9 J o l o W i N e ry l N . 336.614.0030



p i l o t M o u N ta i N , N C 2 7 0 4 1

i N f o @ J o l o V i N e ya r d s . C o M


W W W. J o l o V i N e ya r d s . C o M

Food& Drink Red Miso Pumpkin Soup //

recipe and photo provided by True Blue Butcher & Table



5-7 Pounds of Heirloom or pie Pumpkins

1. Peel and quarter pie or heirloom pumpkins until you acquire

1 Cup Red Miso Pastes 2 Tablespoons minced garlic 1 Medium yellow onion small dice 3 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger

3 pounds of usable product. 2. Bring large pot of water to a boil and cook pumpkin for 12 minutes until soft but not mushy. 3. On a baking sheet, smash pumpkin until evenly dispersed

2 Quarts Vegetable stock

and smear 1 cup of red miso paste, bake pumpkin and miso

1½ Cups Granulated sugar

at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

2 Tablespoons fish sauce

4. In a large soup kettle saute 2 tablespoons garlic, 1 medium

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

yellow onion small diced, 3 tablespoons grated ginger until

1 Cup Apple Juice


1 Cup Orange Juice

5. Remove roasted pumpkin from baking sheet and add to

Salt and White Pepper to taste

soup kettle with 2 quarts vegetable stock and 2 quarts

Ginger Scallion Sauce for Garnish

water, simmer for 1 hour.

Togarashi For Garnish

6. Add 1½ cups sugar, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 cup of apple juice and 1 cup of orange juice. 7. Allow to cool for 1 hour, then puree in blender or with a hand blender until smooth. 8. Season to taste with salt and white Pepper.

Ginger Scallion Sauce Ingredients ½ Cup thinly sliced scallions (greens and whites; from 1 to 2 large bunches) ½ Cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger ¼ Cup grapeseed or other neutral oil ½ Teaspoon usukuchi (light soy sauce) ¾ Teaspoon sherry vinegar ¾ Teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste


Mix together the scallions, ginger, oil, soy, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Taste and check for salt, adding more if needed. Though it's best after 15 or 20 minutes of sitting, ginger scallion sauce is good from the minute it's stirred together up to a day or two in the fridge. To serve, place 1½ cups of warm soup in bouillon cup and garnish with 1 tablespoon of Ginger Scallion Sauce , ½ teaspoon togarashi, and 1-2 ounces of jumbo lump crab meat.

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Food& Drink

e t i b the T a k i n g

out of Winter


s the weather turns chilly, we know you’ll be

looking to chase away the winter blues and sniffles. We’ve partnered with Wilmington’s

first distillery, Blue Shark Vodka, to lift your spirits,

and make a splash with these cocktail pick-me-ups.

Distilled from North Carolina corn, Blue Shark Vodka is a family owned operation, with entrepreneur and navy veteran Mark “Chief” Bloomquist as COO and his daughter Brooke Bloomquist at the helm as

president. Paying homage to the docile blue shark

and their love of the ocean, Blue Shark Vodka comes in a beautifully hand-crafted, hand-blown, glass

bottle. The smooth, slightly sweet, clean taste, with

“no bite” is the perfect addition to your mixing and shaking this season.

Smooth Sailing Ingredients 2 oz. Blue Shark Vodka 2 oz. Chamomile simple syrup 1 oz. Freshly squeezed lime juice 4 Lime wedges Ice

Directions In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, chamomile simple syrup, lime juice and a few cubes of ice. Shake well. Strain into glass and garnish with a wedge of lime *Chamomile Simple Syrup 3 Tbsp chamomile tea 1 Cup water 1 Cup sugar Combine sugar, water and chamomile tea in a saucepan

© Colleen Thompson

and stir over high heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let steep for 8 minutes. Strain out the tea and refrigerate. 48

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Ocean Sunset Ingredients 2 oz. Blue Shark Vodka ½ oz. Honey simple syrup 1 oz. Freshly squeezed blood orange juice ½ oz. Lemon lemon juice ½ oz. Clementine juice Few drops pimento bitters Crushed iced

Directions Fill a glass with crushed ice to the rim. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with 4 ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain over ice. *Honey Simple Syrup 1 Cup water 1 Cup honey Place honey in a small saucepan along with water. Heat over medium heat until water and honey are well combined; do not boil. Let cool completely before using.

© Colleen Thompson

ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


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

So cool F r o m th e m a k e r s o f C o o l Sc u l p ti n g c o m e s th e

D all new


e x c l u s i v e l y o ff e r e d a t

Wi l m i n g t o n D e r m a t o l o g y C e n t e r

W r i tten by: A m a n da L i s k

During these cold winter months, take advantage of Wilmington Dermatology Center’s newest Cool treatment to tone your body for those warm summer beach days that will be here before you know it. This exclusive new treatment is called CoolTone®. CoolTone® is by the makers of CoolSculpting®, Allergan. Both CoolTone and CoolSculpting are non-surgical treatments. The difference is, CoolSculpting® addresses fat by freezing away fat cells, while CoolTone® addresses another major concern of the body, muscle toning. “CoolTone® uses magnetic muscle stimulation to strengthen and tone the buttocks, thighs and abdomen. CoolTone® is really for people who are pretty close to their ideal shape, and work out, and want to get that last bit of tone,” explains Dr. Rosalyn George of Wilmington Dermatology Center. CoolTone® treatments last just 30 minutes. The CoolTone® device is placed on the desired area and uses magnetic muscle stimulation, also referred to as MMS technology, to penetrate into the muscle layers and induce involuntary muscle contractions that strengthen muscle fibers. The result is improved muscle conditioning for a more toned, firm and strengthened body. CoolTone® is able to reach what are called the “fast twitch” muscles that typical exercise can’t get to. “It’s for the person who’s in shape and works out, but can’t get a six pack or the person who is in the gym all the time and


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following a diet and can’t get the results they want. This is the icing on the cake to really define the muscle and see the results,” says Dr. George. The 30 minute CoolTone® treatments and are done in four sessions over two weeks along with follow up visits to maintain results. “Because it is working on muscle, it is a treatment you do two weeks in a row, two times each week followed by maintenance treatments once every three months,” Dr. George says. CoolSculpting®, on the other hand, is typically done one to two times on an area and literally freezes and kills fat cells that are then naturally flushed out of the body for good. “CoolSculpting® typically provides a 20% reduction in fat that is removed from the body over the course of three months after the treatment,” says Dr. George. The CoolSculpting® and CoolTone® parent company Allergan also makes many of the fillers and Botox that Dr. George uses. WDC is the number one Botox dermatology office in North Carolina and is ranked in the top 1% nationwide for cosmetic treatment volume. WDC was the very first to bring CoolSculpting® to the area, the number one nonsurgical fat reduction treatment used by doctors and WDC is now the very first in the area to offer CoolTone® to boost muscle definition. ¶

How it works

1 C o o l To n e ' s M a g n e t i c M u s c l e S t i m u l a t i o n , o r M M S t e c h n o l o g y, penetrates through the skin and fat layers to target only t h e m u s c l e l a y e r, i n d u c i n g involuntary muscle contractions.

2 The body's response to these contractions is to strengthen its muscle fibers, resulting in improved muscle conditioning.

3 After treatments, abdomen, buttocks, and thighs are firmer and have more defined and toned appearance.

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f r o m t h e C o mm u n i t y


in Wilmington W r i tt e n by: S esha Pat e l ¡ P h otogr a p h y by: E m m a C l a i re L i s k

T he lights . T he food. T he pe r fo r mances . To someone passing by the C ape F ea r C ultu r al A ssociation of I ndia’s ( C F C A I ) annual D iwali festival , it may just seem to be these th r ee elements . To me , howeve r , it is so much mo r e .


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Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is India’s biggest holiday. While its roots are intertwined with the Hindu religion, the main message of Diwali is to use one’s inner light to overcome spiritual darkness. The holiday is now globally recognized, and Wilmington is no exception. Everyone dresses up in breathtaking Indian attire, relishes delicious food, and then either sits back to enjoy the show or takes part in it. This was my 12th year performing in the local Diwali event. While I have acted, sang, and played the piano on CFCAI’s stage, dancing has been my consistent highlight. Every year I perform traditional and contemporary Indian dances with my friends and family. This year I participated in three dances: classical, Bollywood, and hip-hop. My mom usually choreographs not only the dances that she and I are in, but also those of many children in the CFCAI community. This year, though, I choreographed one of my own dances. For the first time, I had the opportunity to integrate my own vision into a celebration I have been involved in since I was six years old, which was very exciting to me. Since the event is open to everyone, I was able to share my culture with a diverse group of people right where I live. While the Indian community in Wilmington is small, our impact is remarkable. In addition to performing at the Diwali festival, we also take the Multicultural Stage at the Azalea festival each year and involve the audience in our dances. As president of the CFCAI Cultural Youth Group, I connect our members with charities like the Food Bank, and we fundraise for global disasters. As I leave for college next year, I will bring all of these memories and values with me, continuing to grow my identity and spread my culture. And, of course, I will always return to CFCAI’s stage to celebrate Diwali. ¶

Above L to R: Sesha Patel with parents Dr. Sejal and Shashin Patel.

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quality with purpose. organically grown, pure, safe and effective.

Helping people Feel Better and live Better witH CBd Green Compass is committed to being a trusted name in the CBD industry bringing quality products from our farms to your door. orDer online at


For more inFormation email or Call t o D D a n D t a r a @ y a h o o. C o m ¡ 9 1 0 . 4 7 1 . 0 7 2 5


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / wi nter 2019

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f r o m t h e C o mm u n i t y




C h a n g i n g Li v e s O n e P a w a t a T i m e Written By: Amanda Lisk Photography By: Tammy Pope

Puppies, puppies, puppies! It’s puppy cuteness overload at the paws4people® Puppy Development Center in Castle Hayne as seven fluffy Golden Retriever pups tumble over each other to find their spot on their mama’s belly. Lunch time! Mama is being very patient. She is a fulltime paws4people® service dog named Shiloh.


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Clockwise: Samantha Cleary, Director of Puppy Development & Mama SHILOH; Samantha Cleary, Brianna McLellan & Sara Coppick with four of SHILOH's Puppies; Sara Coppick & Brianna McLellan assisting SHILOH nurse her seven Puppies.

“SHILOH has been here with her puppies since they were born six weeks ago. This is SHILOH’s third and final litter,” explains Samantha Cleary, director of Puppy Development for paws4people®, a non-profit organization that trains Golden Retrievers, Labradors and a hybrid of the two to become service dogs. The pups start their training when they are just three days old and they train specifically to serve and assist children, veterans, military dependents and civilians who have disabilities. “The entire process begins here at the Puppy Development Center in Castle Hayne. All of our puppies are bred and born into our program,” Cleary says. Down the hall, two older puppies are in the STEM lab playing with balls. Their siblings are out in the field learning how to interact in everyday life. That’s what the seven younger puppies will be doing now that they are officially six weeks old. The puppies go places like area gift shops, the fire department and local banks. “We want them to be socialized and well-mannered as early as possible. Since they are going to be service dogs one day, they need to be acclimated to as many sights, sounds, smells, and

people as possible. We take them to department stores, schools, the mall…anywhere the general public can go, service dogs are allowed to go,” says Cleary. This year paws4people® celebrates 20 years. The program was founded by Kyria Henry in 1999 when she was just 12 years old. Her goal: to use dogs to help people. “Twenty years into fulfilling our mission, I would never have dreamed we would have the scale, team, and community support that we have found,” says Henry. To date, paws4people® has trained and placed more than 600 service dogs with people in need all across the United States. The paws4vets program trains dogs to help Veterans and Service Members with Chronic/Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Veterans who have service dogs have lower rates of medication use for things like depression and anxiety.

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f r o m t h e C o mm u n i t y

Want to get involved and meet the paws4people® Puppies & Service Dogs In Training Paws on Parade with the North Carolina Azalea Festival Saturday March 14th at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater 3PM to 6PM Derby4Dogs Garden Party Saturday May 2nd at Cape Fear Community College Union Station 4:30PM to 7:30PM

“I looked up, I looked to him and he ran to me and that’s when things started to get a lot better,” said one Veteran on the paws4people® Facebook page about his experience meeting his service dog for the first time. Together, the paws4people® dogs have made over one million therapeutic contacts. Once fully trained and placed, the dogs can assist their clients with a wide range of activities such as retrieving a wheelchair, turning lights off and on, pressing handicap buttons, opening the refrigerator, nightmare interruption, and much more. The paws4people® organization has around 120 dogs in training at all times including the seven puppies currently in training at the Puppy Development Center in Castle Hayne. At approximately 20 weeks, the puppies go to correctional facilities in West Virginia to train with inmate trainers as part of the paws4people® paws4prisons® program. “The paws4prisons® program is not only great for us but it’s extremely therapeutic for the inmate trainers,” says Cleary. When the dogs turn one year old, they meet their client. “We let our service dogs choose who they want to work for”


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explains Cleary. “We introduce our clients one at a time and see what the initial reaction and bond is between the two. We want to place the dog where they are going to be most successful,” she says. Clients then spend a minimum of four months training with their service dog. That training takes place back in Wilmington with the help of UNCW students in the UNCW/paws4people Service Dog Training Program. Once the client completes their training, they get to take their service dog home. “When I began training, I hoped Jackson would help, now there’s no doubt he is my future,” said Walter Parker, USA Veteran and paws4vets client. “I love that moment. I think of all of the ups and downs everyone went through to get to this moment and realize that it was worth every second,” says Brianna McLellan, paws4people® intern trainer. “My life has been transformed by paws4people® much like it does for every one of our clients. Working with these dogs and puppies has given me confidence and patience that I was unable to see within myself,” says Sara Coppick, paws4people® intern trainer. ¶

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The UNCW Cameron School of Business

Disaster Relief Fund for Cape Fear Region through our CF of NC East Fund

Changing lives one gift at a time

Written By: Colleen Thompson P hoto g r a p h y by: Rau l Soj o M o n t e

The Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington



The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust

The Association of Fundraising Professionals

Home ofP o w e r EasternGi v i n g NC The


The North The Carolina Azalea Festival Children’s

Step Up Wilmington

The American Red Cross

of Eastern

North Carolina

f r o m t h e C o mm u n i t y

" I ’ v e l e a r n e d th a t y o u s h o u l d n ’ t g o th r o u g h l if e w ith a c a tch e r ’ s m itt o n b o th h a n d s . Y o u n e e d t o b e a b l e t o th r o w s o m e thi n g b a c k . " ­—

M a y a

A n g e l o u

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f r o m t h e C o mm u n i t y


The last several years have seen a quiet revolution in philanthropic giving. Beyond the machinery of big business and off the radar of anonymous hedge fund managers, community foundations have woven into the very fabric of philanthropy across the United States. Building from a local support base of donors, focusing on issues and causes affecting the very communities we live and work in. It follows an ancient teaching that the first duty concerning charity is ensuring there are no needy among your own. Organically, community foundations are getting people to think, engage and care, things Melissa Spain, CEO of The Community Foundation of NC East, does every day of the week. Spain sits on a three-legged stool of assets, capacity and trust; a power player (my words, not hers) for all the right reasons. My talk with Spain begins quite philosophically. We are debating whether some people are genetically predisposed with a “giving gene.” Is anyone born with it, or is the art and passion for giving taught and learned? “I give a great deal of thought to this, and after a 30 year career in fundraising, development, public speaking, charitable giving management and relationship building, I believe several important factors play into this question,” Spain explains. “We tend to acquire knowledge and a desire to do things later in life, but those essentially come from what we were surrounded by early on in life. So, for me personally, my desire to learn and surround myself with opportunities to give back began at an early age. I believe I was born to be a fundraiser. My comfort level in interacting with others, asking them to contribute or to help make a difference in the lives of others, has always come naturally for me.” It’s a good thing that asking those who have to give to those


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who need comes naturally to Spain. On a very profound level, steering the Community Foundation of NC East is all about building trust—trust between members of the Cape Fear community through transparent stewardship and a flow of resources. Fostering relationships face to face with those who have resources and can be inspired to give to those with ideas and aspirations can make a huge difference. It is something Spain takes very seriously and with a huge amount of pride. “The Community Foundation of NC East, is extremely proud to call eastern North Carolina home. Since our origination, we have had the honor of working with so many amazing partners,” says Spain. “Personal connections with my donors are a top priority for me. I think one of the keys to success is building and maintaining personal relationships. When you stop and think about the amount of integrity and trust that our clients put in us, it’s tremendous. Knowing and respecting that people are entrusting their financial resources to us, to oversee, manage, and invest -- it means they are entrusting the very thing they have worked their entire lives for. The giving spirit of our donors along with our ability to connect their financial resources to the needs and opportunities across our eastern region, are what matters most, 365 days a year,” remarks Spain. “I’ve been very blessed to call many of our donors some of my closest and dearest friends—family really. I establish such close personal relationships that I am often with them up until their passing away, and that is a very rewarding gift.” The success of community foundations lies in the fact that when solutions are developed by the community and for the community and rooted in authentic relationships with the people most affected, they are more likely to be sustainable.

L to R: Melissa Spain presenting check to American Red Cross for Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief, 2018; Melissa Spain, pictured with Randy Tomsic and Suzie Koonce of Wells Fargo, 2018 Hurricane Florence Relief Funds Distribution.

“First and foremost, regardless of where one resides geographically, we know that when communities thrive, so do the people. When we invest our philanthropic resources in the people, in the nonprofit sector, we are investing in the very lives and the support systems that provide a better quality of life, making our communities a better place to live and thrive,” explains Spain. With more than 800 Community Foundations in the U.S., there has been a huge effort to educate and transform people’s mindsets as they relate to giving. “We are so unique in that we as CFs serve as much more than just Fiduciaries, we serve as the trusted and valued partners in whom families place the entirety of their philanthropic and financial resources, knowing that we will identify the most significant needs they wish to address. We provide a wealth of due diligence and continued oversight to their funds, as well as to the nonprofits and charities we fund.” Community Foundations award grants to local groups as a way to strengthen and invest in the community around them. They strengthen the pipeline and capacities of people-led action responding holistically to a range of different issues within the community. Spain refers to this as building Community Capital. She holds a strong belief that when communities thrive, so does the state in which they reside. “When individual states thrive, so does our nation, and as a nation we are only as strong as our weakest link,” she concludes. The regional expansion of the Community Foundation of NC East, originally based in Spain’s hometown of Greenville, has resulted in the opening of a second office location in Wilmington. This has provided an opportunity to work with families, professional advisors, nonprofits and community leaders throughout New Hanover County and the Cape Fear Region. Granting funds to the region has evolved into significant partnership opportunities

Melissa Spain, presenting awards to the 2019 NC Azalea Festival Youth Art Contest Winners.

for several organizations and will culminate with a Regional Philanthropy Day in 2020. Identifying where resources are needed most within the Cape Fear region is a diverse laundry list that ranges from education and at-risk youth, to the unmet needs of women and girls, to affordable housing and health-related issues like pediatric cancer. “Wilmington has now become one of the most desirable and popular retirement cities in the U.S. Our beautiful coastal city is a significant contributor to the economy of North Carolina. There are many opportunities for giving to help continue making the Cape Fear Region one of the most inviting and rewarding communities in which to live and work,” Spain says. ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


f r o m t h e C o mm u n i t y

An organization particularly close to Spain’s heart is GLOW (Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington), which the Foundation has supported since its inception in 2016. “When I was first contacted by the development director, I was extremely interested in learning as much about GLOW as possible. I immediately scheduled a site visit to the school, which was in its second year, at their original location,” Spain recalls. “I was met at the front door by such amazing and passionate staff and teachers and was introduced to many of the girls who were students. I was so inspired by the unique program and the national model which the school was poised to follow. It was a very success-oriented curriculum and one that grabbed my interest and heart. Our foundation has advocated for girls and women throughout our history and we knew without question that the return on our financial investment would be beyond measure with GLOW.” For many individuals and families, the opportunity to contribute to their own charitable fund is the start of a philanthropic journey, a journey which will inherently be a personal one. Being motivated by values and important causes close to your heart is a good place to

start. An important benefit for many donors is the chance to pause, think and develop a vision for the causes they wish to support and the difference they want to make, allowing them to achieve their charitable objectives over time. “I have always believed that no matter what we are doing with our lives, we should one day be able to say that we have left things better than we found them. This journey of life we are given is a gift. I am really grateful for the gift of promoting, enabling, and celebrating philanthropy.” ¶

To learn more about the Community Foundation of NC East, please view the website at You can also visit their office locations in Greenville and Wilmington. 66

ca p e f ear l i v i n g / wi nter 2019

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