SME Lake Life - October Issue 9 2022

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2022

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ISSUE NO. 9 |

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Lake Life

YOUR GUIDE TO SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE & THE SURROUNDING AREAS


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Wirtz, VA 24184 or call 540-719-5100 PUBLISHED BY WOMACK PUBLISHING COMPANY ©2022 THE NORTH WIND How did I end up here? I don’t remember the journey. The scenery is only a storm of moments broken by seconds of muffled thunder, by glimpses of white-hot lightning. Beads of sweat freeze upon my brow and the chill of a north wind scorches my skin.

(A poem by Melodye Kimball of Moneta)


Lake Life ISSUE NO. 9

Pictured on cover, a family enjoys Labor Day weekend in an antique boat on Smith Mountain Lake. Photo by Jeff Reid.

10 14 19 22 24 27 28

Be Safe on Water

Cage in Cove?

Food for Kids

Penn Hall Resort

Turning 18, Donating $4M

Battle of the Bands

Lakegoers enjoy their time on Smith Mountain Lake during Labor Day weekend. Photo by Jeff Reid.

Operation Christmas Child

6 30 - 37

SML SNAPSHOTS DIRECTORY ISSUE 8

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2022

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L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE


SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE

SNAPSHOTS SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS Send in your scenic photos of the Smith Mountain Lake area for a chance to be published in Lake Life magazine and Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. Email quality photos at less than 10MB to C.E. Adams at editor@smithmountaineagle.com. Please include name of person who took the photo and where and when the photo was taken.

Carol Light’s two 3-year-old sister Goldendoodles named Ella and Winnie Poo are always an attraction for many that catch a glimpse of them riding in the boat, on the Sea-Doos, towed behind, swinging in the hammock and even hiking on the Blue Ridge.

Jean Maas submitted this photo of the Maas grandchildren jumping in the lake at the end of Hales Ford Road across from the Webster Marina Center.

L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE

John and Carol Light of Penhook’s six-month-old grandson Harrison LaMaster, their “little GA peach,” had his first experience in sharing the family’s love of living the lake life in Penhook. His parents are Justin and Emilee LaMaster. Contributed photo.

Photo by Jeff Reid.

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L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE


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485 Reservoir View Court, Pittsville, VA 24139 • $859,000 • MLS#892641 5 BR, 5FBa+2HBa on all 3 levels with over 5,800 sq ft on 7.7 acres. Generous sized rooms throughout, with 3 fireplaces, including a central elevator for easy 3 floor access! Outside covered/screened porch with full sized party wet-bar! Lakeside has 3 levels of deck, porches, & patio. Only a few feet from the community boat ramp and docks or has potential as a large capacity vacation rental. Too many upgrades to list, must see to believe!

350 Lands End Circle, Union Hall , VA 24176 • $750,000 • MLS#890584 Gorgeous lake home in one of SML’s premier gated communities. In-ground swimming pool, sandy beach w/ fire pit, deeded covered boat slip w/ lift, no mowing, boat ramp & gated storage area, guest/day docks & deluxe 6 person golf cart sold separately. Huge great room, kitchen , dining room, half bath, all hardwood flooring on entry level open floor plan. Plus 3 covered outdoor attached porches (600+ sq.ft) to enjoy the lake and nature!

275 Lake Ridge Drive, Gretna, VA 24557 • $559,900 • MLS#891569 Beautifully landscaped, rustic cape style southland log home on peaceful, natural, Leesville Lake! Upstairs bedrooms overlook family room w/log railing/ spindles. Huge trex type deck outside overlooking the lake. Cozy rocking chair full width front porch. 3 car detached garage has floored man cave above, or potential extra bunkroom. Lower level has 10 foot high foundation walls/ceiling with a safe room and lots of potential expansion possibilities.


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Be Safe on Water Story by Adam Powell

T

he Coast Guard Auxiliary in Southwest Virginia has started a non-motorized boater initiative that includes paddle craft and inner tubes, due to many recent tragic events on the water. The Coast Guard sees the need to increase awareness and provide resources for safety in this area. According to Chief Petty Officer Bill Campbell of Coast Guard Station Portsmouth, who assisted local Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers in a series of training sessions along Smith Mountain Lake in mid-August, there was an approximately one percent increase in total vessels registered last year. In 2021, the Coast Guard counted 4,439 boating accidents that resulted in 658 fatalities. There were 2,641 injuries, in addition to $67.5 million in estimated damage to property as a result of boating accidents.

L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE

“Those are pretty staggering numbers,” Campbell said in a recent interview. “If we can cut any one or all of those numbers down through boating education, then that’s a win.” Some of the ways these tragedies happen along waterways are people not knowing the hazards on the water, such as rough waters, dams and even being hit by a boat or being trapped under an inner tube in a party situation where no one notices, and then drowning. “A lot of times where we see these boating accidents, according to our statistics, 83 percent of people that drowned were not wearing a life jacket in 2021,” Campbell explained. “So 83 out of every 100 (drowning victims) were not wearing a life jacket when they drowned. That’s a powerful statistic.” In a situation where you get stuck being pulled in by 10

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On opposite page, the United States Coast Guard keeps a safety watch as SML Fire & Rescue is in an alongside tow of a vessel with mechanical problems. Photo contributed by Charles Law. Above, the U.S. Coast Guard 29’ Rescue Boat-Small and crew stop at a dock on Friday, Aug. 12. Pictured from left are ME2 Dan Cook, BM3 Mitch Nordeloos, BMC Bill Campbell and MK1 Taylor Rhodenhizer. Photo contributed by Chris Baker.

the waters of a dam, the person can get pulled in and pulled down over and over again until they drown. So it is very important to know the hazards in your lake or river environment. It is important to wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket even when floating or non-motorized boating on the lake or river. One of the biggest aims of the August U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary training sessions at Smith Mountain Lake was to promote the wearing of life jackets, particularly among youth. Campbell indicated that while no citations were issued by the U.S. Coast Guard or Coast Guard Auxiliary during ISSUE 8

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the mid-August training, it was concerning to see so many children under the age of 12 or 13 on Smith Mountain Lake not wearing life jackets. “With safety equipment, generally speaking, it’s your life jackets,” Campbell said. “The state of Virginia refers to the federal life jacket law for life jacket donning. Anybody 12 and under, they need to wear a life jacket at all times when they’re out on a vessel that is not a cabin boat. So if they have a cabin, and they are inside the cabin, they don’t necessarily have to have it on.” “When we were up at Smith Mountain Lake (in August), a lot of times we saw children not wearing life jackets,” 11

L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE


Active Duty Coast Guard from Portsmouth, Virginia, de-brief Coast Guard Auxiliary for a training mission on Smith Mountain Lake. Photo contributed by Charles Law.

would be six or seven adults, and four or five kids. When they would take one life jacket per person onboard, they were not the applicable size, or they would not wear their life jacket for what the intended wear or use would be. It’s important making sure the life jacket is applicable to the person that you’re intending to give it to.” Another concern on Smith Mountain Lake that Campbell and his colleagues noticed was “bow riding,” in which passengers on a vessel ride up at the front of the boat without any kind of restraint to ensure that they won’t fall overboard. “Bow riding is something that we try to educate mariners on,” the chief petty officer explained. “With the sheer amount of traffic (on Smith Mountain Lake), when they have people riding up on the bow with no restraining device — no rails — if you catch somebody’s wake the wrong way, or if you hit a shoal area where it’s shallow, those persons, they’re going to get ejected, tossed overboard. And if the vessel is still moving, that could be pretty bad. With the

Campbell continued. “It wasn’t something that we were necessarily writing citations or violations for. We were making courtesy stops to say this is a federal law. This is why you should consider wearing a life saving jacket.” What if you lose your inner tube or your kayak tips over? If you’re worried about the life jacket getting in the way, get the inflatable type. It also helps to go with a friend who can assist you in times of trouble. It also is important to ensure that each and every life jacket on a given vessel will actually fit the individuals who may need them. “When you talk about a life jacket, you don’t want a life jacket that’s too large, or too small,” Campbell added. “You don’t want an adult wearing a child life jacket — that’s why it’s a child’s life jacket. Nor do you want a child wearing an adult life jacket. They don’t do what they’re intended to do.” “We saw a lot of stuff up there (at Smith Mountain Lake) with the pontoon fleet, and some of the other boats up there. They might have 10 or 11 people onboard, which L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE

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The United States Coast Guard’s “Fastboat” is docked in anticipation of two days of training in August with USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 81, 83 and 85 as well as law enforcement patrols on SML. Photo contributed by Charles Law.

sheer amount of recreational traffic up there, even if they don’t get tossed over, there’s like 15 boats right behind them. That’s not the recipe that you want.” The local Coast Guard Auxiliary, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, offers boating safety classes. The Coast Guard Auxiliary also offers vessel safety inspections, safety patrols, pamphlets and materials on safe boating, and safe floating for non-motorized craft. For more safety information on non-motorized craft, go to https://paddling.com/learn/paddle-safety. For all boaters and floaters, the Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Coast Guard both recommend the new Coast Guard Mobile App, which allows one to summon help, file a float plan, find boating information for states, and double check safety equipment. Visit the App Store on a smartphone and search for the new Coast Guard app. In addition, local residents around Smith Mountain Lake may call the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Smith Mountain Lake, located at 285 Oak Grove Drive ISSUE 8

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in Moneta, to schedule a courtesy vessel inspection. The phone number to call is 540-721-3237. In the courtesy inspections, Coast Guard Auxiliary officials will examine a boat for compliance with federal regulations regarding safety equipment, navigational equipment and other boating logistics. “If you contact this number, you can actually set up a courtesy inspection, where the Coast Guard Auxiliary will come out, and they’ll examine your boat to make sure you’re applicable with all federal laws and regulations. So that you know you’re good to go,” Chief Petty Officer Campbell explained. “At that point, you can get on the water, and you’re good. That way, I don’t pull you over and initiate a vessel stop and find something wrong. You’re already set. So that’s another thing the Auxiliary does. They provide free of charge courtesy examinations. They issue you the sticker (indicating compliance with federal regulations). That’s another thing you can get from your local Coast Guard Auxiliary is the vessel inspections.” • 13

L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE


Cage in Cove? Story by John Rupnik SMLA Buffer Landscaping Committee Chair

S

ince the 2013 introduction of 5,700 grass carp in Smith Mountain Lake to reduce the impact of invasive weeds, the lake has been completely devoid of submerged aquatic vegetation. The carp not only consumed their favorite food — the invasive hydrilla weeds that clogged coves and precluded safe swimming and boating — but after eating the hydrilla, they also consumed ALL vegetation in the lake. Fishermen have often voiced their concern that our fish habitat has been seriously impacted. While the fish population continues to be excellent, vegetation, indeed, makes the prospect of catching fish much better as it serves as a hideout for them waiting for bait to “swim” by on the border of the vegetation. The Smith Mountain Lake Association received a grant from Appalachian Power Company to design and plant a buffer garden on the fifth tee box at Mariners Landing. Award L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE

of the grant required SMLA to plant underwater vegetation in the area to promote fish habitat. While the buffer garden pilot project is in the planning and permitting stage, the underwater planting has been completed Aug. 25 with water willow housed within a wire cage in a cove adjacent to the fifth tee box. Water willow has been introduced in several coves on the lake, and it grows quite well. But water willow survives from the shoreline down to about six inches of water, after which it becomes food for the grass carp. Six inches of water is insufficient to serve as fish habitat. So why is a wire cage needed to support the growth of these plants? A good question! John Rupnik stated that “our primary objective for this test bed is to create a simple “bell ringer” to determine when the sterile grass carp are no longer controlling or impacting aquatic vegetation. Appalachian Power’s Habitat Plan requires periodic full lake surveys to assess the state of 14

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Shown on opposite page is John Rupnik, a Smith Mountain Lake Association board member and Buffer Landscaping Committee Chair, preparing the frame for a test bed cage. Pictured above is David Gay, a Smith Mountain Lake Association board member and representative on the American Electric Power Habitat Technical Committee, transplanting water willow within the test bed.

lake’s underwater vegetation — an expensive effort. “While we know the grass carp will limit aquatic vegetation for at least 10 years after stocking, we really can’t pursue planting native vegetative until we know the carp will not consume all the new plantings,” said Dan Wilson of the Department of Wildlife Resources. Next year, after the plant rhizomes have reestablished and sprout their new shoots, SMLA will remove the cage and prepare a new bed of water willow. The original bed will be observed to determine if the grass carp are eating the plants. If so, the new bed will serve as a test bed for the following year — and so forth until the water willow survives in water greater than 6”. While deer and turtles are known to feast on water willow, their eating habits are different than that of the grass carp and will be apparent. Grass carp are a different species than the common carp that are also ISSUE 8

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prominent in the lake. However, common carp do not eat underwater vegetation. But if the water willow is not consumed, then the residents and regulators now can confirm that the grass carp are at least on the decline, if not gone — an important milestone. At that time, lake managers and regulators need to be alert for signs of new invasive aquatic vegetation and develop a modified plan to manage it — hopefully a plan that has less impact on fish habitat. The mission of the Smith Mountain Lake Association is to protect the water of SML and promote safe recreation. Our all-volunteer, nonprofit organization has been working on this mission for the past 50 years because we believe that clean, clear, safe water is a responsibility not an automatic right. If you would like to see more about what we’re doing, please visit our website at www.smlassociation.org.• 15

L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE


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One of Smith Mountain Lake’s most desirable commercial business locations. Perfectly situated on 122 in the heart of Westlake on 2.124 acres. Currently, this building is occupied by a law firm, but the possibilities are unlimited. It has been used as a medical office in the past. Perfect office space, day care with ample space in the back of building, storage building, real estate office, dental or medical office. Public water, private septic. New HVAC 7/2022. Outside painted 8/2022.

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Food for Kids Story by Adam Powell

T

he Food for Kids organization, which provides bags of meals every weekend during the school year for foodinsecure children throughout Bedford County, had a very successful year in 2021-22, as they helped feed over 350 children each weekend during the school year. In all, Food for Kids distributed over 12,000 bags of food for food-insecure children in the Smith Mountain Lake region at schools including Staunton River Middle School, and Moneta, Huddleston, Goodview and Montvale Elementary Schools. It costs approximately $10 dollars per bag in order to provide a local child with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks over the course of the weekend. Food for Kids is grateful to the generosity of the local community for its assistance in making this program possible. “It really is an awesome thing for the kids in our community who are food insecure,” said a Food for Kids representative. “Despite what people see on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake, Bedford County has one of the highest food insecurity rates for children in the state of Virginia.” ISSUE 8

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Food for Kids had scheduled its third annual Charity Cheers event at Hickory Hills Vineyard in Moneta on Friday, Sept. 30, with a rain date of Oct. 2. Charity Cheers is an evening of music and wine with proceeds supporting the organization. One hundred percent of the general admission proceeds will go toward Food for Kids, along with 10 percent of sales during the event. Food for Kids needs the continued support of the Smith Mountain Lake community in order to provide food for students during the 2022-23 school year. Purchasing a bag of food for one child for one weekend is $10. Purchasing bags of food for a child for one month is $40, and $360 for the entire school year. Go to foodforkidspackasack.org for more information. “It is definitely a community effort,” a Food for Kids representative stated. “We have about four dozen volunteers who do everything from ordering, to picking up supplies, to bagging, to distributing to the schools. There’s a whole army of people who make this happen.” Food for Kids thanks its many local sponsors, as well as the local community, for their support.• 19

L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE


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Penn Hall Resort Story by Adam Powell Photos contributed

T

he Penn Hall Manor site is getting a makeover. Tourist and resort facilities development is planned on a 26.15-acre property at 750 Penn Hall Road in the Union Hall district of Franklin County. The resort facility, owned by Craig and Angela Wilson, will be known as “Penn Hall.” The Wilsons purchased the property last December in an auction, hosted by Woltz & Associates, which was held on behalf of former property owner Appalachian Power. The Wilsons bought the 26.15-acre Penn Hall Manor site from Appalachian Power for $1.5 million. An adjacent property with a single-family bungalow-style home was bought by the Wilsons for $165,000. “Our family has been coming to Smith Mountain Lake for the better part of a decade now, and we’ve absolutely fallen in love with the place,” wrote the Wilsons. “We own property on the Lake, and we’re in the process of building our house in Franklin County currently. We were drawn to the natural beauty of this place and it’s what keeps bringing us back. We have a vision for the Penn Hall parcel we’ve recently acquired that aims to showcase and preserve the site’s natural beauty. From rolling meadows, to mountain views, to lakeshore coves, we know our little bit of dirt is a special place — and we’d like to share it with the world. But we do not take that responsibility lightly. We know the natural beauty of this site is our amenity — and we aim to preserve it.” The proposed development would include a 5,000-square foot “Manor House,” which currently exists on the property, L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE

with a planned 4,750-square-foot addition, making the building a total of 9,750 square feet. The Manor House would include 12 suites, including a master suite and bunk room. All 12 suites are proposed to be outfitted with full bathrooms, along with a closet and coffee bar. The Manor House also would feature a brand-new full kitchen facility. Upon final completion, the Manor House would be able to accommodate up to 26 to 30 occupants. Along with the Manor House, the proposed development would include numerous primary and ancillary features, including a 10,000 square foot clubhouse, a total of 33 cottages, all approximately 950 square feet, to accommodate guests of the property who are not staying at the Manor House. The clubhouse would include an arcade, gaming simulator, private bowling alley, fully stocked bar, lounging areas, a pool and fire pit, as well as a locker room and bathrooms. The 33 small cottages spread across the property grounds would all be equipped with two bedrooms and bathrooms, along with an open living area and a kitchen. Other onsite features for the proposed Penn Hall include a 9,000-square-foot event barn, capable of accommodating up to 350 guests. The event barn would include a full, commercial-scale kitchen, in addition to two fully stocked bars, a suite for brides and grooms, and a lower floor for storage. A country store and tavern would be located on the lower floor of the proposed event barn, and would be accessible to guests on the property. A 1,200-square-foot outfitters shop would be located near the lake, dedicated to provisions for guests, including items 22

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for lake enjoyment such as paddle boards, kayaks and life preservers. In addition, the resort would feature two private docks, available for guests to use for events such as weddings. The resort would also include outdoor dining and recreation areas, which would be erected at the location of the existing barn on the property, which would be demolished. A vineyard also is potentially possible on the property in the future. A possible vineyard would be in the future if the owner/applicants were to acquire more property from adjacent landowners. The proposed resort would employ anywhere from 10 to 20 onsite employees, including a site manager, groundskeepers, housekeepers and a chef. Larger events would be catered. The Wilsons’ current plan is to develop the property over several years, starting with the Manor House addition, as well as the clubhouse, event center and some of the small cottages. The Wilsons would be required to install and maintain a vegetative tree buffer along all open frontage of Penn Hall Road. The private docks on the property would only be accessible to, and used by, patrons and invited guests of the proposed tourist and resort facility. •

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Smith mountain L

William Seidel/ Smith Mountain Eagle archive photo

ake, Virginia

n

WedneSday, JuLy

Shown is the home of Chelsae L. ClevengerKirk, 29, on the 100 block of Afton Lane in the community of Goodview that went up in flames before ClevengerKirk allegedly exited with a weapon and was gunned down by law enforcement.

20, 2022

Ex-sheriff Wells dies

$2.50

Carl Holland Wells, known for serving as the86, of Bedford, who is for 21 years, Bedford County died Tuesday sheriff , July 12. He served was a deputy as sheriff from 1974 to 1995 sheriff for many election as years prior and sheriff. to his “The men and women of Sheriff’s Office the are saddene Bedford County d to announc e the

CA: Office death of Gr shooting Man char ge woman ‘ju oodview with attemp d stified’ te d mu

1650 Scruggs Road Wirtz, VA 24184

See WELLS

, Page 8

The Bedford County Commonwealth Therefore, has determin Attorney’s Office no charges brought against ed will be Kirk, ment officers that law enforcewho was in the incident. officers involved “acted appropri cycle without riding a motorand with justifiab ately According le use of lethal Kirk did not wearing a helmet. force” when the incident to previous reports, stop and continue shooting Chelsae Clevenger-Kirk, began at approxi- a residence in d to the 100 29, of GoodvieL. mately 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 7. Nov. 6, 2021, ton Lane in Goodvie block of Afw when 2021, accordin w, then went inside. report released g to a Wildlifea Virginia Departm ent of Monday. Resourc After two other Police Officer es Conservation officers arrived, attempted to stop

111 indict dr ug bust ed in s 1st half of in year

See KIRK,

Page 9

Wells

rd er of off ice

A Bedford County man was charged on a family member with assault of a law enforcem and attempted capital ent officer, murder ford County Sheriff’s Office according to the BedThe Bedford last Wednesd ay. that the office County Sheriff’s Office stated received 10:16 p.m. Tuesday, Julya call at approximately lated disturba 12, nce in the 2000 for a domestic reblock of Woodsh ire See CHARG

ES, Page

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540-719-5100 • www.smithmountaineagle.com The Franklin Office stated County Sheriff’s following: Tuesday, July that from January 12, • Possession to June 2022, the Narcotic and/or sale schedule I or s Division of with the Franklin County II • Possession drugs fice has continue Sheriff’s Ofand/or sale of d an extended schedule III drugs drug investig • Possession to 111 individuation that has led and/or sale schedule IV als receivin of drugs indictments g 214 directly related • Possession drug activity. with to manufac ture schedule intent to “The Franklin I/II • County SherManufacture/dist iff’s Office schedule I/II remains dedicate ribute the aggressi drugs ve pursuit of d to • Distribution use and sale illegal drugs of schedule IV licit drugs in of dangerous, il• Distribution all within thisan effort to protect of schedule drugs VI sheriff’s office community,” the • Distribute stated. meth greater These indictme than nts include the

Citizens ral LGBTQIA+ ly over removed display at librar y See DRUGS

, Page 9

TAYLOR

2022

23

Eagle

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Jeff Reid/Smith

part of Pirate Mountain Eagle Days.

L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE

F amily

Y, Page 9

38, No. 29

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ADAM POWE LL Smith Mountain bian, gay, bisexual Eagle queer/questionin , transgender, Each month, The annual g (one’s sexual or gender identity) Forest library the staff at the returned with Pirate Days , intersex asexual/ puts books play in the children Smith Mountai a bang on on dis- cording aromantic/agend , and to the Merriam er,” acdiscusses differen ’s section that past weekend n Lake this -Webster dictionary. t heritage holidays, and descended , as thousands on the area Allison Clark, during the s or of June, a three days for who was first display was month to speak of for Pride Month created commen during the celebration. fun, sun, and citizens t portion, down per order but later taken Smith voiced Mountain frustration toward her Lake County Board of the Bedford was blessed the board and various groups of Supervis due to public weather, which with ideal who also support ors the complaints. removal. Days and its made Pirate However, “you cannot Clark stated that various attracof supervis during the board tions a must-see cannot stop control it … You ors day, July 11, meeting MonThe majority experience. mation” whenthe flow of inforthe commun many citizens of water battles, of the boat trying to stop referring to those ity spoke up which are ing disagree a staple of students knowing ment of the voic- of LGBTQIA-relat Pirate Days, removing the were board held Saturday When discussi ed resources. Pride Month at Craplay, thus impactin zy Horse dis- board ng how the Marina. Chris can rectify g those LGBTQIA+ Bechtler, who community. of the Donna St. Claire this situation, marina, was manages the LGBTQIA said it was stands for like the turnout pleased with “lesthis year. See LIBRAR Vol. BERGER

Smith Mountain

ISSUE 8

Lakegoers

6

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Turning 18, Donating $4M Story by Adam Powell

T

he Discovery Shop at Smith Mountain Lake, also known as SML Discovery Shop, celebrated a major milestone in its history: its 18th birthday. To celebrate, the SML Discovery Shop planned a 40-percent-off sale, cupcakes for shoppers and more on Sept. 22. But not only was Sept. 22 the organization’s 18th anniversary, but on that day, the SML Discovery Shop marked $4 million in donations to the American Cancer Society. It’s a notable achievement, a testament to the power of volunteers coming together under a united purpose: providing quality goods to the local community in order to raise money for cancer. “It’s our 18th birthday, and we are just on the edge of donating $4 million to the American Cancer Society. That’s a lot of donations, and a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE

tears,” said Pende Ford, a Discovery Shop volunteer who has been with the organization since its founding. “We have a very generous landlord,” Ford added. “And our expenses, we keep low, because we are the only all-volunteer Discovery Shop in the country. With not having any salaries to pay or anything, all the money goes to cancer research.” The SML Discovery Shop, located at 500 Scruggs Road in Moneta, is organized and run by a large group of local volunteers, many of whom have been affected personally by cancer. For them, this is more than a labor of love. This is personal. “All together, I would estimate we have probably about 80 volunteers. We’re in a number of different committees (in the local area),” Ford explained. “If you want to give us a couch, we’ll send somebody out to come and pick it up. When it comes into the shop, our “polish and shine” crew 24

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Shown on opposite page, citizens examine items at an outdoor sale by Smith Mountain Lake Discovery Shop. Archived photo by William Seidel. Above at left is Becky Morrisette, a volunteer of the Discovery Shop at Smith Mountain Lake since 2003. Contributed photo. Pictured at center is furniture at American Cancer Society Discovery Shop. Archived photo by William Seidel. At right is a display for the Discovery Shop. Contributed photo.

will spiff it up. Then our pricing crew will put a price on it. And then the shop operations will take it out and put it on the floor for sale. It’s quite an organized operation.” For many people in the community, the Discovery Shop is much more than simply another place to shop. It’s a place where local residents — particularly those who have been impacted by cancer in some way, shape or form — can get support, information and an ear to listen. “I’ve been here since the shop opened. It’s still gratifying. It’s also a place that people come in to share their stories,” Ford explained. “We have a resource corner, where they can get information about cancer. Or we refer people to support groups so they can get help and support. Many times people come in just to talk. They need somebody to talk to, or they want to tell us how their treatments are going. And many of our volunteers are cancer survivors, too. So it’s a multipurpose shop.” Ford explained some of the many ways in which the Discovery Shop volunteers attain merchandise for their store, which is located within Moneta’s Lakewood Professional Center. In addition to accepting donations of furniture and other sellable items from local residents, the Discovery Shop volunteers have tapped into the potential of the High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina. This means that many of the items in the Discovery Shop — particularly those in the ‘Annex,’ or market shop — are brand-new items that haven’t yet been released yet to the general public. ISSUE 8

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“We get some donations from the community. No consignments,” Ford explained. “We go out and (get donations from) folks that are moving or something. We also get donations from some of the community businesses. But the big thing is we send a volunteer team down to the High Point Furniture Market every market. So every April and October.” “We have established relationships with several of the vendors down there (in High Point), so we have a downstairs shop with the Discovery Shop that only sells market items,” she continued. “Those are all brand new. They are samples of what’s coming up in the next six months or so. What’s going to hit Architectural Digest, we get it first, because we get the samples. Or sometimes things that are damaged or scratched, or something like that.” “We have a number of vendors who also send things to us, like a pallet of rugs, or a pallet of lampshades. We have a number of donations that come in, but it’s all donations. And it’s all solicited, and handled by our volunteer crew.” The SML Discovery Shop’s normal business hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The “Annex,” or market shop, is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more information, call 540-7210050 or visit www.cancer.org/involved/donate/more-waysto-give/discovery-shops-national/virginia-discovery-shops/ smith-mountain-lake.html.• 25

L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE


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SML Good Neighbors Executive Director Lisa Lietz presents a $500 award to the band Soulacoustix, who was the overall winner and also won people’s choice at the third annual Battle of the Bands on Aug. 28 at Mango’s Bar & Grill. Contributed photo.

Battle of the Bands

S

oulacoustix won it all. The band was the overall and people’s choice winner at the third annual Battle of the Bands on Aug. 28 at Mango’s Bar

Stockton and Soulacoustix also were scheduled to perform Sept. 14 at the opening night of the Franklin County Agricultural Fair and at the Floyd Americana Music and Arts Festival on Sept. 18. SML Good Neighbors stated that it is “grateful for the sponsors, bands and patrons who came out to support a great cause while enjoying live music, competition and delicious food and drink at Mango’s Bar & Grill.” The event raised almost $2,000 for the local nonprofit. During the event, a parent of a child who has participated in SML Good Neighbors’ programs got on the mic to tell the crowd about the benefits of their programming. Lisa Lietz, executive director of SML Good Neighbors, said she plans on continuing the event next year as it’s a fun way to educate the community about Good Neighbors while enjoying the musical arts. SML Good Neighbors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Moneta. The organization, founded in 2007, provides academic, enrichment and nutritional programs, free of cost, to students in rising first to 12th grades in Franklin and Bedford Counties. Their mission is to develop good neighbors skills and values in children through programs that nourish, educate and support them while providing life-changing experiences for college students through leadership development internships.•

& Grill. The event was hosted by SML Good Neighbors and presented by Don Evans, State Farm Agent. Sponsors included Haywood’s Jewelers, Westlake (Stage Sponsor), Soundawgs Productions and Mango’s Bar & Grill. Five bands came to compete for overall winner, as decided by judges’ scores, and people’s choice winner, as determined by votes for dollars from the audience. The lineup included bands One Take, Honey, Seph Custer & The Flatbreaks, Soulacoustix and Thunder Ridge. Patrons at Bridgewater Plaza enjoyed almost five hours of country, rock, alternative, rhythm and blues, and motown music while voting with their dollars to support local nonprofit, SML Good Neighbors. At the end of the evening, after judges’ scores and audience votes were tallied, Soulacoustix took home the $500 prize for overall winner, and also won people’s choice. The group beat out the close runners up, One Take and Seph Custer & The Flatbreaks, who weren’t far behind in judges’ scores. Soulacoustix, as featured on “Living Local,” performs songs from every genre: country, rock, pop, blues, R&B and Motown. JoJo ISSUE 8

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Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, delivers gift-filled shoeboxes to millions of children in need each year. Contributed photo.

Operation Christmas Child

F

or years, Wirtz families have packed shoebox gifts for boys and girls around the world through Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, which delivers gift-filled shoeboxes to millions of children in need each year. One of these gifts reached Irina Creek in the former Soviet Union when she was a young girl. Creek is now visiting Virginia residents to share how the simple gift had a life-changing impact. Creek is telling her story to local groups and churches. She wants to encourage southwestern Virginia residents as they kick off the upcoming collection season to fill more than 87,390 shoeboxes with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items — contributing to the global goal of reaching 11 million children in Jesus’ name. Creek was born into a broken family in the former Soviet Union. After being abandoned by addiction-riddled parents at the age of 4, Creek was moved into an orphanage. She remained hopeful of a reunion with her family, but the years passed, and after frequent abuse, she was eventually moved to a new orphanage. When Creek was 10 years old, a missionary group gave the orphanage children Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts. Through her gift, Creek felt unique for the first time and was touched by the message of God’s love. A year later, her prayer of L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE

adoption was answered by a family in South Carolina. During Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week from Nov. 14 to 21, Wirtz​​​​​​​residents can bring gift-filled shoeboxes to multiple drop-off locations across Virginia to be announced in late October. For more information, call 410-772-7360, or visit samaritanspurse. org/occ. Participants can donate $10 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement. Boxes built online go to hard-to-reach countries. Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, seeks to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 198 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories. This year, Operation Christmas Child will collect its 200-millionth shoebox.• 28

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DINING DIRECTORY

Dining information sourced from Smith Mountain Lake Visitor’s Guide.

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DINING DIRECTORY

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Wake Cafe

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EDUCATION DIRECTORY

Education information sourced from Smith Mountain Lake Visitor’s Guide.

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HEALTHCARE DIRECTORY

Healthcare information sourced from Smith Mountain Lake Visitor’s Guide.

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