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Nov & Dec 2011


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November & December 2011

Things To Do - 35 -

The Eastern Panhandle’s Health and Wellness Hub

- 43 -

Boomtown Hoops A New Spin on Fitness, Fun, and Entertainment

Places To Go - 81 -

- 43 -

On The Cover Nov & Dec 2011

The Unknown Eater visits La Trattoria


- 87 -

Mediterranean Café

People To Know

DaviD & allener Celebrate Silv

- 21 - A New Online Presence Spreads its Lovely Wings

- 39 -

Meet Doc Master The Making of a “Masterpeace”


Things to Do..East. Wellness WVUH Boomtown Hoops

Places to Go..toria.

La Trat Mediterranean Café

w... People to Kno Doc Master



- 25 David and Allen Henry of Panhandle Builders and Excavating

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

contents 6 8 11 13

Dear Readers Panhandle Puzzles Photo Contest Mike Chalmers

A Season Full of Headlines

52 7 Things You Never

Want to Hear Yourself Say in the Outdoors

56 Our Top Ten

Crippling Phobias

60 61 62 66

What’s In It For Me? FOR HIRE

19 Caption Contest Rely on Rick 21 Taste of the 25 Panhandle Builders Panhandle

& Excavating

Celebrating Silver

Great Food for Great Causes

87 The Featured Eats

Mediterranean Café

92 Now It’s Your

Turn - Recipes

It’s Time for the Holidays

95 The Briggs Animal

Adoption Center

Compassionate care for homeless animals.

100 Apples & Oranges

Gifts of the Month

31 APU 68 City Hospital

Growth Means Success

35 WVUH East

72 Panhandle

39 Meet Doc Master

NEAT Ways to Optimal Health

Wellness Center

The Making of a


43 Boomtown


47 Treatment Diaries

Connecting People Inspiring Hope.



Increasing Access to Quality Healthcare.

Healthy Living

Global Border


81 The Unknown Eater

La Trattoria

84 Lending a Hand

Project Hope

- 95 -

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{ x Around o b l i {Ma PANHANDLE November/December 2011 | VOL 3 | NO 4

Dear Readers: Well, this was unexpected. I can’t say I anticipated a winter wonderland to drive through as I go to print with the November issue. I’m going to stop trying to figure out the weather and just roll with it. One thing’s for sure: 2011 was a year of twists and turns—I suppose trudging through snow on Halloween is simply one more twist to appreciate. The next time we officially see one another, the year will have advanced by one: Thanksgiving leftovers will have long been consumed, and Christmas hangovers will probably be subsiding (though likely replaced with the New Year’s variety). But that’s in the future, and this is now— and we’ve got a ton of material right here in this issue, just waiting to be absorbed and discussed. So let’s get to it! Our November issue is spilling over with inspirational efforts and innovative thinking. Nothing exemplifies this more than three stories in particular: The Treatment Diaries, Briggs Animal Shelter, and Project Hope. Each one of these articles uncovers a complicated issue, while also introducing us to a wonderful collection of locals who are addressing the issues head-on, as well as carving out effective solutions to them. Writer Victoria Kidd does a great job bringing these vital community efforts to the table. And unless you’ve been there, you may not be aware that Martinsburg City Hospital is rapidly improving its infrastructure, and is poised to represent the Panhandle, as well as the tri-state area, in providing some of the best healthcare options in the Mid-Atlantic region. A perfect example of such is The Wellness Center at City Hospital—one of the area’s most state-of-the-art gyms— where members discover carefully designed facilities and a staff that is genuinely committed to improving your life. Our Featured Eats and Unknown Eater pieces will have your mouth watering yet again. But these lovely restaurants are also buttressed by endearing stories of culture and heritage. You’ll definitely be in the mood for food after reading these features, but you’ll likely have an equal desire to introduce yourselves to the proprietors—of which you should do both! Not to worry—as you should know by now, we’re just getting started. It has been a remarkable year, and we’ve done our absolute best to bring it to you from the ground up. I hope you have the best holiday season possible. And before you know it, we’ll be on the doorstep of 2012. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have along for the ride, than you, our amazing audience. Enjoy.


Mike Hornby


Mike Chalmers


Mike Hornby James Schaffner


Hornby Publishing LLC ProDesign , Brian Joliff

WRITERS Mike Chalmers Eli Andersen The Unknown Eater Claire Gibson Webb Debra Cornwell Dana DeJarnett Victoria Kidd Rick Hemphill Bonnie Williamson PHOTOGRAPHY

Eric Fargo - All Photos unless otherwise specified are by Eric Fargo


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CONTACT US [304] 874-3252 Around the Panhandle is a bimonthly publication of Hornby Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photos. Distributed through subscriptions, advertisers, online and at ROC’S convenience stores throughout the Panhandle.

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Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

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spaghetti curry juice beef stew hot peppers Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

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1. Large oval tropical fruit (5) 3. Meat pies (7) 6. Water flask (7) 7. Juice from cooking meat (5) 9. Beverage (3) 10. Sweet drink containing carbonated water (4) 14. Frankfurter served on a bun (6) 15. Often used with a cup (6) 19. Consumes (4) 20. Hard-shelled seed (3) 22. Very thin crisp brown toast (5) 23. Spicy sauce made from red peppers (7) 24. Small prickly cucumber (7) 25. Plant having hollow cylindrical leaves used for seasoning (5)


1. Spice made from nutmeg seed (4) 2. Aromatic herb w/pungent leaves used as seasoning (7) 3. Larder (6) 4. Sweetener (5) 5. Sauce made from fermented beans (3) 8. Downy fruit resembling a small peach (7) 11. Kind of porridge (7) 12. Meat from a domestic hog or pig (4) 13. Professional cook (4) 16. Sour or bitter in taste (7) 17. Meat from a mature domestic sheep (6) 18. Light meal (5) 21. Edible flatfish (4) 22. Drinking vessel with handle (3)





In each of the sentences below, the names of two countries are hidden. For example, the sentence: “Interpol and the FBI track down hidden marksmen� conceals the names POLAND and DENMARK. See if you can find all twenty hidden countries. 1.

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Have you ever heard an animal talk in dialect?


The children put on galoshes to go out in the rain.


Extra tuition will help an amateur to improve his painting.

5. In the United Nations we denounce the wholesale ban on atomic weapons 6. Rash decisions may lead to trouble so thorough analysis is required. 7.

The king and queen eat breakfast and lunch in a fine palace.

8. Such a display could be either really grand or rather disappointing. 9. 10.

Give the dog a bone and give him a little water. If an iron pipe rusts you just have to shrug and accept it.

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A Season Full of Headlines & Occasional Lessons Learned As my prized warm days and perfect evenings fade into the distance, I’m forced yet again, as I am every year around this time, to take stock of a season’s end, as well as the beginning of another year. Needless to say, to try and recap nearly twelve months of happenings, and give them their just due, would be impossible. The highlight of 2011 would, without question, be the evolution of collective action. It started early in the year with Egypt and only spread—fueled by the sudden political and organizational power of social networking. The wave of protesting spread across North Africa and the Middle East rapidly by the middle of the year, and likely provided the spark that now energizes the Occupy movement—which has its roots in America, but has spread globally. As we go to print with this issue, who knows the extent to which this mass (and growing) effort will take shape, and how it will inevitably change this country, the world, and history. In addition to the power of protest that defined 2011, the year was also marked by two very notable deaths (among a litany of high-profile names): Osama bin Laden and Steve Jobs. Perhaps best recognized for their position on opposite ends of the spectrum, the passing of both of these men represents more than this article could summarize, but overall, their deaths mark the ends of two eras. Just as bin Laden stood for a desire to preserve a strict order among men and a rigorous adherence to tradition (with violence often as an answer), Jobs directed his life in the pursuit of innovation and hope, and in doing so, arguably changed the world immeasurably more than bin Laden could

- Mike Chalmers

have ever dreamed to. And there’s a lot to be said for such an analogy as we move into an increasingly turbulent global future.

possible way to win, says a lot about them as people, as well as a nation. So, congrats to them, for sure. But I’m still not happy.

That being said, and with so much behind us in 2011, I’m going to switch gears and just focus on a particular moment this past summer that gave me more than enough to chew on for a few months (in addition to everything else): the World Cup— and in this case, the Women’s World Cup.

At the end of the day, I blame the loss on the U.S coaches, plain and simple. Because, up to that point, they had achieved what could be argued as the best coaching run in the tournament. The way they handled the team in the quarterfinal game versus Brazil—one-player short and clearly playing against the refs—was more than impressive. Actually, it will, and should go down in history. It was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever witnessed—and a testament to the mesmerizing beauty of sports. Which makes the choices they made, as well as their overall maintenance of the team, the lead, and the ebb and flow of the game, in the championship, that much more frustrating. Now, players play and coaches coach; I’m well aware of such dynamics. The players are paid professionals who do this for a living, so one would think that, at some point, they’d be able to adjust and/or recognize certain advantages and exploit them—or at least maintain enough of the primary advantage to win the game, regardless of coaching missteps. Well, neither party stepped up. The coaches blew it, and so did the players. And if you’re a U.S. Soccer fan, you’re likely still pretty aggravated with the result.

I’m still unhappy about how it ended. And not just because our beloved U.S. gals managed to take one of the most resilient and inspiring athletic runs of this century and drive it right into the ground, but because of what it represents on a larger scale, and what it says about where we are (in sports and society)— and perhaps, where we’re headed. Believe me, I’ve been told enough that I should just be happy that they did so well— that they made it to the final and nearly won. Yeah well, that might work for some people, but it doesn’t for me, and never will—not when they’re the best team in the world, and they were in control of the game, and quite frankly, Japan was the team in this scenario that should have been smitten and/or satisfied with such words. Not the U.S. I’ve been an athlete my whole life, and an analyzer of sports since I was able to speak. I appreciate great sports stories, so I can truly appreciate Japan’s victory in the Women’s World Cup this past summer—and all that it represents, given the past year. Their perseverance and composure, and ability to exhaust every avenue until they found the last

In a nutshell, the U.S. had two different leads in the game—though there should have only been one lead, and it should have only increased as the game progressed, given the advantages held by the ladies in red, white, and blue. They went up 1 – 0 in regulation,

[ 13 ]

and then went up 2 – 1 in overtime. During the game, they banged shots off the posts three times, which, as most soccer players know, is the harshest reminder that what can go wrong will go wrong. And did it ever. The U.S. outshot Japan 27 to 14, but then, they only had two more shots on goal: 6 to 4. The miscues and outright bad luck for the U.S. was almost as exquisite as Japan’s gritty poise and belief in themselves—again, a reason we’re addicted to sports. And also a reason some of us are still smarting over the loss.

and turned into a lesson. As inspiring as the team’s run through the tournament was, the crashing and burning in the final game perhaps says even more about them. After all, at some point, are we not simply as good as our last performance? Sure, history accounts for a lot, but if everything you’ve ever done leads to one moment, and you completely blow it, isn’t that pretty much an example of your current ability? Your first instinct to that question is likely, “Of course not!” But then, if you let it sink in…see what I mean?

There’s a joke among most athletes: Prevent defense usually just prevents a win. It can be placed neatly on the stack of applicable sports (and life) clichés, like: Don’t fix what ain’t broke and Dance with who you brought. In this case, these examples all represent the same notion: If your current process is a success, then don’t change it. (Feel free to mail this article to Mark Zuckerberg.) For whatever reason, the U.S. coaches thought it would be a good idea, after acquiring both leads, to “pack it in” and try to clog Japan’s attack by putting every U.S. player into its own half—i.e. “behind the ball.” As a former player and coach, I clenched my jaw and started looking for things to throw around the room, as they employed this strategy—not once, but twice—eliciting another cliché: Learn from your mistakes! I wanted to text Pia Sundhage, at least, and ask her: “Uh, Coach, what attack? We’re the ones dominating the game, remember?” Alas, the world got to see, yet again, that no matter what professional level we humans achieve, we’re still quite capable of making bonehead decisions.

I personally think the U.S. gals got a little rattled beneath the spotlight and lost their focus for a bit—especially the coaching staff. It’s an easy trap to fall into, and many of us fall into it all the time—on myriad levels. It’s not hard at all to get a little blinded by the enormity of a big moment, and almost forget who you are, and/or what got you to that moment—how you earned it. It can take a minute (or much longer) to get your bearings back—to get facing in the direction you should be. But it’s important to remember that this moment has likely been waiting for you as badly as you’ve been waiting for it. If you’re together at last, it’s because you deserve each other, so relax, and know that you wouldn’t have even gotten to this point if you couldn’t handle it. The road leading up to this moment was likely far more challenging— you just didn’t realize it at the time.

What does this game, the result, and my incessant whining about it have to do with life? Well, almost everything that happens in a game can be layered overtop of life

[ 14 ]

I also think the U.S. women had a bit of an identity crisis against Japan. In the days and games leading up to the final, they were compared again and again to the ’99 squad, which won in dramatic fashion in Pasadena, CA, in front of 90,000+. But just as Kobe Bryant once famously told a reporter, after being asked if he thought he was the next Michael Jordan—Nah, I’m the next Kobe

Bryant—these ladies seemed to get a little weak in the knees at the suggestion that they were flirting with historic greatness. You really got to witness it in the final shootout, when three out of the four shooters had three of the worst penalty shots in the history of the sport. Were they all just a wee bit distracted at the thought of becoming the next Brandi Chastain, instead of just being themselves? Was the thought of SportsCenter, and instant news, and twitter, and blogs, and book tours, and websites, and parades, and iconic status just enough to pull these young players out of focus? (The only player to hit her shot was the veteran, Abby Wambach.) It makes you wonder—this world we live in, with its ubiquitous entertainment platform—how much it truly prevents us all from being our best. But perhaps more than anything else, the U.S. Women failed to adapt. I don’t have to go into great detail with that one. Adaptation is the story of life on earth—the necessary component of every single thing on the planet that survives and moves forward. And as history has shown, it doesn’t matter how much bigger, stronger, faster, or even better you are than your competition—if you fail to adapt, you lose. It happens every day in business, in relationships, in nature, obviously in sports—and do we need a better example than our government? Failure to adapt to a changing world has all but upended the country we live in, and will continue to do so until our leaders, as well as each and every one of us, decides to adjust accordingly—for the greater good. Not that we should need a reminder, but hopefully someday, we’ll learn from our mistakes and move forward in a more productive manner—I’m pretty sure the U.S. Women’s soccer team is already working on it.

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011


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A New Online Presence Spreads its Lovely Wings

- By Claire Gibson

As the Panhandle, along with its neighbors, continues to grow and evolve, the general population finds itself increasingly exposed to innovative ideas, smarter solutions, and more efficient business models. Every city, town, and region goes through it; the inevitable progression of the present is a necessary part of life. In the twenty-first century, and especially as we approach 2012, most of us are becoming either more consumed with or, if nothing else, affected by technology. So much of our daily processes are now linked to an aspect of technology that many of us take it for granted in the same way that we slowly accept every advance of the status quo. One argument that has emerged over the years, however, makes a case against our seemingly incessant desire to plug in to all things digital—citing technology’s counter ability to actually push people away from one another, rather than bring them together, which is how the age has been marketed. Well, there’s a native couple who is looking to reverse at least one point within this debate, and here’s the irony—they’re doing it by bringing people together (you guessed it) online.

Michael Chalmers and Heather Crosby, both 36, and Shepherd College graduates, started a company earlier this year called Yep Media, though it won’t be long before the simple reference to “YEP” will likely be a common practice in the tri-state area, and even beyond. Why? Because what they’ve created is a website, a brand, and perhaps most importantly, an idea, that’s going to bring an entirely new level of awareness and promotion to the people of West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia. And they’re going to do it by highlighting the endless and wonderful stories of the everyday people who make up these regions. YEP stands for Your Everyday People, but that’s literally just the tip of the iceberg. The website not only brings you daily accounts of people from every walk of life in this area, who have an interesting or inspiring story to tell, but it’s also a onestop-shop—a “” if you will—of information and resources… and about as worthwhile a reason to be online as any. We had the chance to catch up with the couple, in for a visit from The Windy City— though, by the time this issue goes to print, they will have likely moved into a small cottage on a farm in

Shepherdstown, WV. (And yes, it’s the same Mike Chalmers who edits this wonderful publication.) ATP: You officially went live with YEP on August 23rd, this past summer, but there were many months of development behind it, including a pretty special New Year’s night to begin 2011. Walk us through this inception, and the journey thus far. Crosby: Mike and I have always been very inspired by each other; we can take an idea and run with it for hours. Our New Year’s Eve dinner was no exception—and I believe Mike even had a pretty serious cold that night, complete with a fever— and that didn’t stop him. We were discussing our goals for the year. We were in a spot in life where we loved Chicago but were craving much more balance with the country. We wanted to simplify our lives and get closer to what truly matters, so we started talking about how to do that in the simplest form. Personally, I was/ am tired of working on campaigns for large corporations. I’ve been lucky enough to work at some firms in Chicago with some very talented folks who I respect and have learned from tremendously. I want to take my skill set and apply it to what [ 21 ]

I think matters—real people who deserve the spotlight but may not have the million-dollar advertising budget. So, we resolved to do a few things with the coming year, and as we talked, the idea for YEP started to formulate. Before we knew it, we were through with our meal and sitting in our home office, sketching the website. I believe we watched the ball drop online. Spending New Year’s designing YEP was the perfect way to start the first day of the year—productive. ATP: Over the first few months, as your ideas and the site developed, how did your vision for YEP evolve? Chalmers: Truthfully, I think we worked well into New Year’s Day that first night. When we finally looked up at the clock, we both smiled at one another; we knew we had the framework for something special. The central idea was to create a site where everyday people can have their stories told—in whatever form that takes—and to build around that template with a bounty of easy-touse, extremely valuable community resources. As we chipped away month after month, new features and uses for the site would pop into the conversation. The vision for YEP evolved right along with the emerging ideas. Crosby: We’ve remained pretty true to the foundation, but additional components have been added as we think about what we want from this type of “online home.” We have

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plans to add a social community aspect to the site, where visitors can connect with each other, participate in forums, blog, share their photographs, etc. We’ve also added a free business directory, so businesses can get more exposure. Our movie and menu links are very interactive and user-friendly, and of course, extremely practical. We want YEP to be the one-stop online home for West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland, so when we see a need, we will be adding it. And we’re certainly always open to suggestions. ATP: YEP is built upon a framework that highlights the value of everyday people. What does it mean to you to be able to bring such a service to the community, especially in today’s world? Crosby: I am so tired of reading the news and everything is negative and fear-based. The more I look around, the more I see disconnection, and I’m just as guilty as the next person. I can get sucked into the computer, finally look up, and hours have gone by. Computers are not going to go away, but Mike and I, our thoughtful contributors, and the unique communities we write about can do something that encourages connection and shares positive, real stories. Helping to shape the way the Internet works for underrepresented communities, people, and businesses is something we are very inspired to do.

Chalmers: Technology has its many pros, as well as plenty of cons. Much of the realm of media is heading, or has landed, online. The only problem is: so has the chaos of news and infotainment. It’s definitely easy to get lost in the translation. We want to provide an online “escape” of sorts—where you can easily retrieve a business address or number, find a local restaurant and peruse their menu, decide on a theatre in your area, and of course, read countless feature stories about inspiring people and ideas in your area. Combine all of that with the fact that we want to involve the community as much as possible, and I firmly believe that this is going to be a site where people check-in multiple times daily, because they truly want to. ATP: What can you say about your career experience, in relation to YEP—how has your career led to this? Chalmers: I’ve always been a firm believer in trusting yourself, and leaving any place a little better than you found it. If I operate within these guidelines, I truly believe that each new phase of my life is exactly where I’m supposed to be. As I get older, I’m also beginning to see the inherent value in giving back to ideas and causes that you believe in, even paying it forward. I had the pleasure of working in education for nearly a decade, and learned as much about myself as I did the students, over the years. Interlaced within that era

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

for me was a devotion to coaching, as well as writing. I’ve written ad copy for numerous advertising and publication houses, and edited for multiple educational magazines. In Chicago, I’ve written for a number of websites and advertising companies, and of course, Hornby Publishing— remotely. Ironically, I met Mike Hornby at about the time I’d decided to leave for Chicago, a few years ago. But he had faith in me, and we both had faith in ATP, so we stuck together, and my return will be beneficial to us both. For me, YEP is merely the next logical step in my life—in relation to what I’ve learned along the way, and how I want to move forward. Crosby: I’ve spent many years working on branding and advertising campaigns for exciting clients like IBM, Harley Davidson, Coca Cola, Disney, and Converse—as well as my pride and passion: yumuniverse. com. I truly feel like these experiences have informed what I want to do with my life now. Taking such experiences and applying them towards more personally meaningful endeavors is where I will be going in this next chapter of my life. I can take the graphic and informational design skills that I’ve been using for the big guys and use them for the people who also deserve a voice. The fear of the “what-ifs” has always motivated me to keep pushing. I’d rather fail at something and move on, knowing that I tried it. It’s been the catalyst that took me to Chicago

over thirteen years ago, and it’s the same drive that has me saying “goodbye” to my comfy corporate life in the city. Mike is on the same page, which I am beyond grateful for. ATP: What inspires you about this area, and what does it mean to be able to come back and offer a service like YEP to the people? Crosby: It means that I am living my truest, most rewarding life. It also means fresh air, a change, a quieter pace, and getting back to simplicity, which I’ve been in need of for too long. I recently read a quote that I can’t stop thinking about, by Neale Donald Walsch: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” I think it’s important to change things up, to stay fresh—to keep your edge. I have a love affair with Chicago, and it was sad to me that the city I love wasn’t inspiring me as much anymore. I’ve been a city mouse for a while now, but as we’ve begun this new transition, things feel fresh again. I look forward to how the country mouse in me will help make YEP the best it can be for the awesome folks in this special region. Chalmers: It’s imperative that we listen to what the YEP community wants, every day. We’re going to bring in top-notch contributors, as well as get into the schools and involve as many students as possible. Something like this has never been done before. We want to provide not only worthwhile

information and collaboration, but we want to give people, young and old, an opportunity to feel a sense of ownership here—to actually contribute to YEP’s success. I grew up in this area, so I’ve seen it pretty much explode over the last twenty years. But sometimes, smaller towns and regions will experience a fear that they’re losing their identity amidst the advancement—there’s a quiet desperation, so to speak. I’d like to build a bridge between the inevitable future and the priceless heritage of the Panhandle and its neighbors. There’s too many good people and way too much history around here to not want to at least try to bring everyone together all in one place. The potential is limitless. If we can succeed at this, then we’ll know our instincts were good, and it will translate through YEP, as well as future endeavors. — Check out YEP at WeAreYEP. com. Take your time, explore all of the features—heck, buy a t-shirt— and most importantly, spread the word. YEP is a community forum; it’s about you, me—all of us. And don’t hesitate to contact Mike and Heather if you have something, anything, that you think should be featured on YEP. You can also Like them on Facebook at WeAreYep. And find them on twitter at weareyepmedia.

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The roar of heavy equipment pushing and shoving the landscape to make way for homes and office buildings has quieted in the last few years, but out here in the Panhandle, the Henry brothers’ love of excavation and new projects has endured and flourished. Panhandle Builders and Excavating, Inc., is a family operation that has designed, created, and built many of the office buildings, schools, and homes in Berkeley and the surrounding counties. The story is simple. Two young boys, who knew their way around hand tools, and were barely out of high school, decided that construction was an excellent occupation, and made it the family avocation. “Twenty-five years ago, David and I started the company,” remembers L. Allen Henry, the more talkative of the two brothers. “I’m the president of the company and he’s the vice president. Titles have never been big for us around here; it all just comes together.”

A Silver Anniversary Panhandle Builders and Excavating, Inc. - By Rick Hemphill

Indeed it has. Allen and David, now in their forties, are both carrying the affable look of seasoned professionals as they sit in the conference room of an impressive brick building, just off of Route 11. The building is surrounded by enough pieces of large industrial earthmoving equipment to add excitement to anyone who played with toy trucks in a sandbox. This efficient and successful business didn’t just appear overnight, however, and the construction equipment was acquired over years of hard work—revealing its hardiness with the bright yellows and oranges scraped and sometimes covered with recently moved earth. “We started the offices in the basement of my home,” Allen remembers. Construction and heavy equipment was a part of the family from the beginning. “Our dad was in blasting. He passed away when David was fourteen and I was fifteen. We used to go to work with him and were always around equipment. That was the part we liked.” The boys were industrious and didn’t mind working hard. “We started mowing grass for Bruce Van Wyk, a

[ 25 ]

developer here in town,” recalls Allen. They were in their mid teens and eventually found their way into other opportunities. “He was a builder and had equipment, so we went to his construction sites and started as general laborers. But we also got to run the equipment. Bruce kept us on until we decided to go into business for ourselves, when I had just turned twenty-one and David was twenty.” And so L. Allen, David, and Carole Henry began Panhandle Builders and Excavating, Inc., in June of 1986. “We started doing light work and building homes,” Allen smiles. “We didn’t have any equipment at that time. We were in business about a year before the bank would lend us enough money to buy equipment. We bought a backhoe and a dump truck to add to our two pickup trucks and some hand tools. “Jamie Roseman was our first employee; he has been here since the beginning. We now have over a hundred and eighty pieces of equipment and sixty-eight employees.” Bruce Van Wyk saw potential in these young men and provided steady work for the young company. “He gave us a lot of work and a lot of opportunity during those years,” acknowledges Allen. “A lot of people our age wouldn’t get that work, like building the Spring Mills Subdivision. We were doing a $1.1 million sewer plant and we’d only been in business for three years. “ The brothers agree that the opportunities Van Wyk provided them certainly became a catalyst for where they would go and what they would become. Allen reflects, “Bruce took those chances with us and always said, ‘Those boys say they can do it, so we’re going to let them do it.’” That early trust vibrates today within the company. Allen sums it up, “He took your word; we did a ton of projects for him. We built five office buildings and three hotels for him. The work gave us tons of opportunities and experience.” You can see much of that experience

[ 26 ]

all around the Panhandle, from the site work for Berkeley County Judicial Center, Hedgesville Elementary, Hedgesville High, aviation hangars, banks, office buildings, parking lots, restaurants, homes, subdivisions, and on and on. “We always went as fast as business allowed us to go,” Allen maintains. Staying busy also means a commitment to getting the job done correctly for each customer, and doing whatever it takes to get there. That drive, and the basic respect that they have for one another and their employees, says more about the brothers than they are willing to admit. “Ever since we were kids, we’ve been friends as well as brothers,” Allen discloses. “David runs crews; I’ve run crews since day one—we are still doing that today. Whether it’s David or our other brother, Jason, who runs the shop, or Rick, who does the blasting, everybody does whatever it takes to make the project work. We don’t have one person who says this is the only thing I do, it’s just not that way. “I definitely think that the way we grew up and the way we treat each other and our employees is the reason we have people who have been here for over twenty-five years. At least half of our men have been here over eighteen years and I think it is directly related to how we treat them.” Although they will do whatever it takes for the job, the two brothers have their personal preferences. “Dealing with the customers is my favorite part of the business,” Allen contends. “You start from day one with the customer and we sit down together and they tell us what they’re looking for.” Since the company pretty much has all the bases covered—developing, excavating, building—customers can basically treat them like a one-stopshop. David, who has been content to let Allen do the talking, finally interjects, “I like the estimating part—getting the project done and staying competitive. I also enjoy working with the school board. We’ve done a lot of the schools in this area.”

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

The Henrys also have a commitment to the community—a long-standing effort to give back some of the bounty that they have enjoyed. “We started helping years ago,” Allen shares. “I remember someone needed help with the sidewalks at one of the shelters downtown, and we just started doing it. We’ve been doing it ever since.” Much of the donating the brothers involve themselves with is related to the schools. They’ve gone so far as to donate an entire computer lab for one school and a parking lot at Hedgesville High. Though it’s difficult to get them to speak in depth about their altruistic tendencies, the record speaks for itself: the land for the Berkeley County Library, labor and materials for the Martinsburg Midget Football field, Habitat for Humanity, the Poor House Farm Park Equestrian Center site buildings, and many layers of support for local organizations. But building and excavating is what they love to do. “We started on day

one, concentrating on excavating and contracting, and that is still what we concentrate on today, just on a lot larger scale,” Allen emphasizes— recapping nearly three decades of living the dream. “Berkeley County is a great place to own and run a business, and we have always had plenty of work…knock on wood.” And that work is likely in good hands moving into the next generation. Allen’s son, Justin, 24, has been an official employee for ten years, and has been learning the business, literally, from the ground up since he was a kid. By the time he was a senior in high school, he was getting out of school at 11 a.m. to go to work with his father—at that point, learning to read drawings and understanding the ins and outs of permit requirements. Justin’s knowledge and experience grew as he learned more about the company’s real estate and rental division, and in 2009, after graduating from Shepherd University, he began working to diversify their home offerings and build his role within the real estate

development side of the business. Justin realizes how special it is to be a part of such tradition. “It means everything to me. I’ve been fortunate to learn from my father, and not just by watching, but by doing. Dad and David didn’t have near the opportunities that have been afforded to me and I feel that it’s my obligation to them to make the most of this. And it’s a great feeling knowing that you had a part in the projects that are done here in the Panhandle. Being a part of this community, and having a chance to raise my family here, is truly a privilege.” Past, present, and future: Panhandle Builders and Excavating, Inc., has turned the family business into a community project. The Panhandle truly wouldn’t be the same without them. For any and all of your building needs, the Henry family and Panhandle Builders and Excavating, Inc., has got you covered. Find them online at or give them a call at 304-274-1920.

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Growth Means Success

- By Debra Cornwell

With online education sales of $224 million last year, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI), was named number two on America’s Top Small Public Companies list released by Forbes in October (2011). Headquartered in Charles Town (WV), APEI—doing business as the American Public University System (APUS)—operates two online universities: American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU). Originally designed to meet the postsecondary education needs of the military and public service workforce, APUS has an open admission policy, so anyone can take classes or earn a degree, thereby dispelling the myth that one must be a government employee, veteran, or active duty military to attend APUS. “When we moved APUS to Charles Town in 2002, we had 2,500 online students. We now have almost 100,000,” says Dr. Wallace Boston, president and chief executive

officer of APUS since July 2004, as well as its parent company, APEI. He joined APUS as its executive vice president and chief financial officer in 2002. Offering eightyseven degree programs and sixtyseven certificate programs—in areas such as national security, military studies, intelligence, homeland security, criminal justice, technology, business administration, education, nursing, and liberal arts—APUS has students in all fifty states and the District of Columbia, and around the world. AMU and APU share faculty, staff, and curriculum. This “small” public company of 400 employees has made a positive impact on all that it touches— providing affordable, accessible education to tens of thousands of students, providing jobs, renovating existing buildings in Charles Town, constructing new buildings, and donating resources for a variety of community projects. Two questions come to mind: how

did APUS land in Charles Town, and what is the key to its exponential growth and success? Former Charles Town mayor, and current resident of Charles Town’s historic district, Randy Hilton, says, “While American Public University located in Charles Town during my tenure as mayor, we cannot take credit for them locating here—they found us. We could not have asked for a better corporate neighbor than APUS. First and foremost, they brought to our community the kind of good-paying jobs with benefits that are difficult to find these days.” Boston explains that APUS was headquartered in Manassas (VA), but the state of Virginia had never granted regional accreditation to a for-profit, online educational institution. West Virginia had accredited four such institutions. Needing broadband connectivity and a distance not too far from Manassas (where Student Services [ 31 ]

remains), the pushpin landed at Charles Town. Hilton continues, “APUS made a choice to locate in downtown Charles Town. In doing so, the institution has meticulously rehabilitated numerous historical landmarks and architectural gems. They recently constructed one beautiful building on a former abandoned and blighted industrial site, and are currently adding another. It really supports the efforts of Charles Town and Ranson to revitalize the area.” Boston says APUS owns or leases nineteen buildings in Charles Town. Not everyone who wants a college education can, or wants to, attend a traditional campus. “It’s in our mission to be passionate about providing quality and affordable education,” Boston asserts. “We have not increased [ 32 ]

our undergraduate tuition in ten years. Tuition and books cost an undergraduate about $7,500 a year. All of our employees are proud of what we do. We work hard to find ways to increase the pay of our employees by improving our efficiencies, or increasing the numbers of students, to offset costs without raising undergraduate tuition.” He also says the student experience is highly customizable and engaging, with convenient online class times and semesters that start every month. Ninety-two percent of the students at APUS are working adults, so the last thing on their agenda is commuting to school after work. There are various methods of connecting students and faculty beyond the classroom, including online groups,

clubs, and a student lounge. “Our level of engagement is responsible for student retention.” Other factors contribute to the APUS success story, as well. Faculty members are experts in their field—many from the military, FBI, CIA, and NSA. Boston initiated the institution’s application, in 2006, to be the first completely distancelearning university to participate in the Federal Student Aid program— so APUS students could access tuition support. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange, followed by successful secondary offerings in February and December of 2008, providing cash flow for business improvements and expansion. Some locals wonder how APUS Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

contributes to the bottom line of local life. The institution does not pay business-use tax because its business is conducted through the Internet, but it does pay income and property tax. Hilton says, “APUS has shown a great commitment to improving the quality of life in the community through their active support of education, history, and many cultural activities.” APUS has donated equipment and supplies to local schools, and Boston also serves on the Board of the Education Alliance in West Virginia, which is dedicated to improving student achievement. Doug Perks, director of the Charles Town Library, agrees, “APUS is the reason that our private library is now free of charge to join. An annual $12,000 donation from the company, facilitated by library board members, who are APUS staff (Fred Stielow and Ray Uzwyshyn), takes the place of dues we would charge. They gave us money for four public-access computers, and the chairs and tables, too. They also supported the Jefferson County Historical Society’s DVD production, called ‘Jefferson County in the Civil War.’ They are a marvelous neighbor and partner.” Perks recently attended the opening of the newest APUS building. He says a remarkable research library is located on the first floor. Scholars may make an appointment to view the collection of important military, political, and diplomatic history books. The Jefferson County community, as well as West Virginia, is fortunate to be the home of American Public Education, Inc. Their contributions to higher education and municipal development have had a significant positive effect on the area, and certainly will for many years to come. For more information, visit apus. edu.

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The Eastern Panhandle’s Health and Wellness Hub Let’s face it: healthy eating habits are not the hallmark of American life. Most of us are too busy to give nutrition and exercise much thought. Furthermore, when we pause to give consideration to improving our overall health, we feel a subtle anxiety creeping into our minds, reminding us that we have no idea what foods we should be eating or what exercises we should be doing. We find a myriad of excuses to put these thoughts behind us and carry on with our own version of the status quo. Thankfully for Eastern Panhandle residents, there is a local center available to help forge new paths to their health and fitness goals. Located within the McCormack

Center of City Hospital’s Campus is the community’s premier health education and fitness center. The Wellness Center at City Hospital— with a wellness area of 19,000 square feet—cannot be mistaken for an average gym. Membership is not reserved for persons affiliated with the hospital, or persons who have been referred to the center by their physicians. All are welcome. The comfortable atmosphere and helpful staff attracts people from every demographic, and you can find members of all ages and fitness levels exercising on state-of-theart equipment or participating in a variety of offered programming. A young teenager trying to improve her fitness can be found using a rowing machine next to a twenty

- By Victoria Kidd

seven-year-old mother bicycling her way to the waistline she prefers. A man in his sixties who is recovering from a heart attack can be found on a treadmill beside a man in his thirties, preparing for his next charitable 10K race. The Center’s membership base is not characterized exclusively by any group, and every environmental consideration has been made to ensure that all are welcome. Wellness Center Director Brent Garrett explains, “We have created a comfortable atmosphere for anyone seeking to improve their overall health and fitness.” Visitors will notice that the establishment is founded on principles that are inherently different from other [ 35 ]

fitness environments. He continues, “We are here to help our members, and you will find that members can always approach our staff with questions about the equipment or how to best reach their goals.” Garrett attributes the welcoming environment to the fact that the staff members—many of whom have been there for several years—are true health and wellness experts— completely committed to serving center members. Members are also quick to praise the staff’s efforts, and their testimonials can be found throughout in-house literature. Jen Markovits says, “The Wellness Center is a great facility; it is clean, spacious, and affordable. The staff is very knowledgeable and always available if you have any questions or concerns. It definitely has a great vibe.” Another member, Mary Ann Cincinnati, says, “As a person living with multiple sclerosis, this facility provides me with support and motivation like no other place I’ve been before.” Cincinnati applauds the support she’s received from the trainers, employees, and other members. “For me, that emotional support is what lifts me up when I am down and helps me not to give up. Oh, and of course, I have access to all the equipment and a pool, too!” The amazing staff is only part of what makes the experience so unique. The Wellness Center not only presents clean facilities and a great equipment selection, but also offers the Technogym® System, an innovative digital tracking system that is used by the staff to design individualized exercise programs for members. The system uses an individually assigned Smarktkey that members insert into the machines they are using. The device tracks biofeedback and guides the member through their workout. Records are accessible by Center staff so that progress can be tracked and adjustments can be made. The team can subsequently help answer questions about progress towards individual fitness goals. The Wellness Center is the first in the area to offer this advanced technology, eliminating the need for members to

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Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

carry clipboards with charting notes from machine to machine. The Technogym® System is part of the overall philosophy of membercentered service that makes The Wellness Center different from other fitness alternatives. While the center makes available the traditional equipment and free weights common in any gym, the facility also offers onsite childcare and expanded services, such as personal training, massage therapy, and nutritional counseling. Members can also augment their structured exercise programs with aerobic and group exercise programming, including the popular aqua aerobic programs. Members also benefit from the wide variety of programming that is specifically designed to offer guidance, lend support, give encouragement, and answer questions on health and fitness topics. The Spectrum, for example, is a six-week lifestyle improvement program based on the best-selling book by Dr. Dean Ornish. Other programs, such as Eat Well for Life and Discover Relaxation Within are available to help teach healthy eating habits and stress management. The most popular offering is the Drop 10 in 10 program, a ten-week weight management program that assists the participant in learning about balanced nutrition and lifestyle changes necessary to lose ten pounds in ten weeks. “We want to offer programs that treat the whole person,” explains Dana DeJarnett, the health promotion specialist for The Wellness Center. “From learning how to eat in a healthier manner to finding out how to help better manage your stress levels, we really work to have something available for everybody.” Programs are offered to all area residents, regardless of their center membership status. Membership does provide discounts on most programming, and participants in some insurance plans may have limited to full coverage for select workshops.

employees access to information that can improve their health. Through the Wellness at Work program, basic services are provided, such as cholesterol and glucose screenings, as well as speaking engagements that focus on fitness, stress management, nutrition, and more. All Wellness at Work programs aim to empower employees to take control of their health, thereby helping to improve employee productivity by reducing employee illness. The Wellness team can also customize a program to fit an employer’s needs. It’s not just members and Wellness at Work participants that benefit from the expertise of center staff. The team frequently delivers information through programs at schools, civic organizations, churches, and other venues. Staff members are very active in the community, and they make every effort to provide effective programming that impacts the overall health of everyone in the area. Exemplary of such programming is a new program coming in January that takes aim at obesity in youth. The BodyWorks program teaches parents to be role models for their children and provides tools that are necessary to make better health decisions. Its focus is on adolescents, ages nine to thirteen. Participants are provided fitness journals, cookbooks, meal planners, and more. From their technology-based fitness program to community health screenings, The Wellness Center at City Hospital proves that it is much more than just a fitness center. They are undeniably the community’s health and fitness hub. To get updates on upcoming programs, call The Wellness Center at 304-2641232 and ask to have your name included on their mailing lists. Be sure to ask if someone is available to give you a tour of the expansive facility! And don’t hesitate to check out their website: http://wvuh-east. org/services/wellness-center/index. aspx

These workshops and programs are also available to local businesses that may want to provide their

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The Making of a “Masterpeace” - By Debra Cornwell

Meet Dr. Donald “Doc” Cameron Master of Harpers Ferry— veterinarian, community leader, pilot, raconteur. On Halloween, Doc turned ninety-three years young. Born in Toronto, he laughs that a witch on a broom—not the stork— delivered him. Doc is a colorful character who helped shape Charles Town and Jefferson County in his position as Mayor of Charles Town, his role within the Region 9—Eastern Panhandle Regional Planning and Development Council of the Appalachian Regional Commission,

and his duties within the West Virginia Municipal League. But first, how did he get from Toronto to Jefferson County all those years ago? “I hated high school,” he recalls, “except for rugby and football. I asked the principal one day, ‘What can I do or go on to?’ He replied, ‘Well Donald, come back at four p.m. and I’ll tell you.’ So, back at four I went, and the principal said I could go into forestry or veterinary medicine. When I went home that afternoon, my father was sitting on the porch swing, and he asked

me, ‘So Donald, what are you going to do?’ He nearly fell off the swing when I told him, ‘Veterinarian!’ I was an honor student in vet school because I was doing something that I loved. I graduated when I was twenty-one.” Few veterinarian practices were interested in a vet so young, so Doc exploited his specialty, going from New Jersey, to Pennsylvania, and then finally West Virginia—setting up and conducting artificial insemination in dairy cattle. Based in Clarksburg, he went to Bardane, in Jefferson County, to meet with a cooperative

[ 39 ]

of farmers interested in learning about the procedure. “I met with a hundred and twenty-five or so farmers that day,” he remembers. “I was so impressed by the farmers, their questions, everybody I met, and the beauty of the county. I knew that I wanted to live in West Virginia, and particularly in Jefferson County. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude for what this country has done for me.” Doc’s home and office were in Charles Town from 1948 until he retired in 2004. In the early part of his practice, he was a oneman-band as surgeon, kennel boy, anesthesiologist, and bookkeeper. Doc says he transitioned from large animals to small ones when farmers transitioned from dairy cattle to growing houses on their land. He has loads of stories about cows with milk fever, nearly dying from brucellosis when a calf hit the vaccination into his leg, nearly dying from tularemia from a dog bite that was infected by a rabbit, explaining

[ 40 ]

the birds and the bees to a farmer’s child (at the request of the mother— while he was delivering a cow), midnight calls in snowstorms, and scandalous telephone party line capers of which he laughingly says, “I never heard the end of it until my teasing friends died.” With his now-deceased wife, Grace, he has four children: Barbara, Peter, David, and Mary. He also has four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. “Both of my sons observed that there must be an easier way to earn a living than being a vet, but granddaughter Erin is an equine vet,” he smiles.

global economy. “I ran for office because I just wanted to improve the city,” he says. Two of his favorite accomplishments are the success of vigilant lobbying for the Route 9 bypass and purchasing the Town Hall from the Bank of Charles Town. Of the former, he says, “It is a blessing not to have the trucks and traffic, that is now on the bypass, rolling through town.” Of the latter, he tells a story, “Attorney Henry Morrow discovered that the bank building was encroaching on city property by eighteen inches, so we couldn’t get a clear title to the building. In the end, it didn’t matter, because the city was buying the property.”

Doc was the third ward council member before he was Charles Town’s mayor—a position he held from 1978-90. He was a founder of the West Virginia Municipal League, serving as its fourth president, and later named Mayor of the Year by that organization. He is also proud of his service to Region 9—an organization dedicated to ensuring that Appalachia can compete in a

Doc enjoyed his associations with mayors across the country and tells a story about his friend John Lindsay, the mayor of New York City. While Doc was in Lindsay’s office, he wanted Doc to stay and meet his next visitor, an eighty-year-old man who had never been out of St. Lawrence County. The mayor grandly asked the man, “What do you think of your first day in New York City?”

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

The man replied, “Mr. Mayor, it just ain’t necessary.” His controversial views on welfare and drugs have landed him in hot water locally and nationally—landing on the Oprah Show three times and Donahue once. Doc believes that underprivileged woman should have free or inexpensive access to procedures, like tubal ligation. He also believes that marijuana should be classified and controlled like any other narcotic medication, and that drug addiction should be addressed in the medical arena instead of in the courts. These are oversimplifications, but it gives one a look at the complexities of Doc—the not-so-simple country vet. Flying was Doc’s number one hobby from 1960-98. In 1970, he bought a BD-5, a type of aircraft known as a “home-built.” It took him twentytwo years to assemble the aircraft

in the basement of his Mildred Street home. When it was time to fly, he would take the wings off, haul it to the Martinsburg airport, and then do it in reverse after the flight. Known as a tricky airplane to fly, the aircraft, and its second owner, eventually met their demise in Michigan. He also flew a Piper TriPacer and a Cessna 175. He says some of his best aviation memories are flying out of a grass airstrip near Flowing Springs and Country Club roads with the Four Niner Flying Club. The grass strip is long gone, but Doc says the hangar remains. He also notes that the Tri-Pacer met its demise in Minnesota.

of this tiny masterpiece bathe the home in sunlight. With shade from a 340-year-old tree, a lap pool sunk into the second floor deck, and lovely landscaping, with a fishpond, Masterpeace is a place of relaxed tranquility. The home is small but possesses great flow—everything you need and nothing you don’t. Carolyn, Doc’s wife of six years, added a large, sunny bedroom suite. Her collection of chintz china, antique glass, and flowers offset the masculine stone and hand-hewn beams. Ralph’s gift to Doc is a large, rose marble stone sunk into the fireplace surround—engraved with “Masterpeace.”

“Masterpeace,” Doc’s home near Harpers Ferry, is one of his true passions. Designed by Doc, and built by Doc and Ralph Odon, the home’s daring contemporary design makes it an iconic spot on the road. Built to take advantage of the views toward the river, the mountains beyond, and the passing clouds, the soaring ceiling and windows

Doc is quite sharp, and fit, particularly for his age. I’m reminded, though, that time is not always on our side. If you have friends and family members who are elderly, now is the time to visit them. Carolyn says, “In a year, Doc might not be able to give this interview, for one reason or another.” By Doc’s accounts, a life well-lived is a life worth living—something he does every day.

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A New Spin on Fitness, Fun, and Entertainment - By Bonnie Williamson Hula hoops have been around for centuries. Yes, those plastic hoops that can be twirled around the waist, neck, or limbs have been part of the world’s culture since about 500 B.C. They were traditionally made from willow, rattan, grapevines, and stiff grasses. Fast forward a bit: the lovable rings officially gained international popularity in the late 1950s, when a California company called Wham-O made the hoops out of Marlex plastic. You could say the idea caught on; the company sold more than twenty-five million hoops in less than four months.

had a novelty hit song called “The Hula Hoop Song.” Even singer Billy Joel includes hula hoops as an important historical invention in his song “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

In 1958, the singer Teresa Brewer

In 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama

Over the past several years, the hula hoop has experienced a resurgence in popularity. There’s even a holiday called World Hoop Day. Every year, hoopers dance all around the world to raise money for those who can’t afford hula hoops. You can join in on the action this year, this month actually—World Hoop Day 2011 is on November 11th.

hosted a “healthy kids” fair at the White House for about 100 youngsters. Mrs. Obama swiveled a hula hoop for about 142 spins, according to the Associated Press. Even West Virginia’s own first lady, Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, the wife of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, tried hula hooping during a recent stop in Martinsburg. Melody Bruch of Boomtown Hoops, in Hedgesville (WV), was right there to give her some tips. Boomtown Hoops is a family-run business that specializes in designing hula hoops for people of all ages and skills. Bruch has been running

[ 43 ]

the business from her home since 2005. “I’m a crafter. When I see something, I’ll make it—jewelry, fancy hula hoops. Over the years, I saw shows where dancers danced with hula hoops. It looked like a great thing to do, a great way to teach fitness. “Hula hoopers have their own community of people. Organizations are all over the world.” Boomtown Hoops offers its customers a variety of hoop styles, colors, and sizes. One type of hoop is a weighted fitness hoop. The hoops are filled with water to provide pushpull resistance for a workout. Some of the designs include shiny silver, red, and black gaffer tape wrapped around the hoop for a better grip. And that’s literally just the tip of the iceberg as far as design options go, with names like: Purple Lovin’, Sea Goddess, Bad Azz, and Pretty in Pink. Bruch is a firm believer in getting people off of the couch. “Too many adults and kids today are couch potatoes,” she laments. And, unfortunately, statistics bear her out. About a third of Americans are considered obese, and this includes about twelve million children. Regrettably, West Virginia’s obesity rate is consistently higher than the rest of the nation. Bruch travels around the Panhandle teaching hula hoop workshops for groups, including schools—as well as private lessons. “We’ve gone to health fairs, hospitals, and nursing homes. There’s nothing we haven’t tried in order to show people what great exercise hooping is,” she smiles. Getting healthy and staying healthy are two huge concerns for Bruch herself. “I had four surgeries in less than two years. Hooping was a way to heal, so I jumped into it. It strengthens the muscles in every part of your body. It helps with metabolism, posture, balance, and coordination.” Bruch suffers from degenerative disc disease, leaving her with four collapsed discs that cause pain in her

[ 44 ]

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

back and neck. She had a titanium plate put in her neck to ease the bone-rubbing pain. Doctors said she would need back surgery, as well. She says hooping has allowed her to avoid more surgery and lessened her pain. She also believes it sped up her healing process. And this is where the reader should lean in and perhaps re-read these words: In three months, working with the hoop for just fifteen minutes a day, Bruch lost forty pounds. The additional benefits of hooping are many: it’s a great cardiovascular workout; it makes your lungs and heart stronger; it strengthens body awareness, relieves lower back pain, relieves stress, boosts selfconfidence, and increases libido. “And this type of exercise is for people of all ages,” Bruch emphasizes. “I had one student who was seventy-eight years old. She did really well.” Another person who really took a shine to the art form is Stephanie Connell, Bruch’s daughter. Connell had been experiencing her own health problems. “This has benefited me so much. Physically, emotionally, and it’s good for the mind. A great creative outlet,” she explains. Part of Connell’s creativity involves doing choreography for her dance troupe: The Astral Rhythm Dancers. The other members of the group are April Hersh and Angel Benner, of Hedgesville; Jobeth Perdew of Winchester (VA); and Ashley Britner of Greensboro (PA). But it isn’t all about fitness for The Astral Rhythm Dancers—it’s also about entertainment. Included in their diverse repertoire is fire hooping and hoops emblazoned with multi-faceted lights. According to their website, the Dancers are described as, “…another side of Boomtown—the one that burns bright in the night…that flies in silent spirals—that whooshes with the spinning flames. The Astral Rhythm Dancers are a fire and light performance group. Their performances incorporate a wide

variety of fire and glowing props, including LED hoops and fans, as well as contact juggling and fire eating—all choreographed to a mix of rock, blues, and country music. “I saw other dance troupes with hula hoops at different events, and they really weren’t that good. Not very exciting. The fire got us attention,” Connell says. Bruch has motorcyclist friends who wanted performers for rallies. As Connell’s agent, she used her connections to get performances. Now Connell and the Dancers perform all over the country. Recent appearances include: the Triple S. Harley Davidson Anniversary party in Morgantown (WV); the MountainFest Motorcycle Rally, also in Morgantown; the Ocean City Bike Fest in Ocean City (MD); and appearances in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Future plans include auditioning for “America’s Got Talent.” This past summer, the troupe performed as The Legendary Buffalo Chip Hula Girls for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally at the Buffalo Chip Campground in Sturgis, South Dakota. “Dancing and choreography hardly seems like work to me. I love it,” Connell admits. However, precautions must be taken when dancing with fiery hoops. Connell took fire safety training and makes sure the audience and the venue is safe. “We make sure we have crowd control and spotters. We’re ready and prepared. You just have to use common sense.” Bruch adds, “You never spin alone.” In addition to fitness and overall health, Bruch and Connell offer training in fire hooping. “We are always looking for other dancers to join our troupe. We can train you to do this,” Connell assures. For more information on Boomtown Hoops, call Bruch at 540-2475754 or visit the website at

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Treatment Diaries

Connecting People—Inspiring Hope. You see the ribbons everywhere. Breast cancer, juvenile diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and countless other illnesses are advocated on the bumpers of our vehicles. We call others to action on our checks, license plates, and even the stamps we use. These subtle reminders implore us to educate ourselves, donate, and support. But what happens when one of these illnesses impacts us directly, either through personal diagnosis or through the diagnosis of a loved one? Amy Ohm, founder and president of Treatment Diaries, had to face this experience personally, and her triumph inspired her to build one of the most innovative support communities ever imagined. In 2004, Ohm was diagnosed with melanoma. She searched through countless websites to get more information about the stage-three cancer that she now faced. What she found was less than inspiring. “The beginning of my

search was an effort to learn all about that diagnosis,” she remembers. “When you hear a term that you have never heard before, the first place that you go is the web. When I looked up melanoma, I was terrified.” Like many of us, Ohm had previously believed that skin cancer was not a big deal. By most, it is misperceived as little more than a treatable nuisance. It was not until she started digging through the massive amount of clinical information available online that she realized the severity of her situation. Amy learned that she had just been diagnosed with the most deadly of all skin cancer types. Her research yielded volumes of clinical information and stories about the dim reality of life with this type of cancer. According to The Melanoma Research Foundation, this particular skin cancer kills more than 8,500 Americans every year, and one out of

- By Victoria Kidd

every fifty individuals are at risk for its development. Despite the lack of encouraging information, Ohm beat her cancer, and used her experiences to conceive Treatment Diaries, a unique online resource for people who are impacted by illness. Persons directly coping with illness, their caregivers, and their supporters are able to use this forum to journal their experiences and be inspired by the stories of others. The site is really a new twist on the concept of social networking. Through their journals, users can share stories about living with conditions ranging from Lou Gehrig’s disease and lupus to autism and depression. The list of supported chronic illnesses and rare diseases is expansive, covering 1,400 conditions. Recognizing that people are often impacted by more than one illness, users are allowed to sign up for multiple conditions. In fact, the average Treatment Diaries user has signed up for

[ 47 ]

information on between seven and twelve conditions. It is important to Ohm that Treatment Diaries is a community where users can share real experiences on the variety of illnesses that they are facing. Part of building that community was recognizing that many conditions have a stigma that inhibits those impacted from articulating their innermost thoughts. Therefore, anonymity is built into the journaling process. User information is never sold, exchanged, or otherwise made public. “The entire experience is very privileged,” she explains. “Users can believe, ‘This is my personal space. These are my diaries.’ The user’s privacy is of utmost importance to us.” Only one’s username is shared with others, and diaries can be kept private, shared openly, or can exist in a combination that is both public and private. Although users are participating anonymously, there are still vehicles to encourage interaction at whatever level participants are comfortable. Users can leave messages of encouragement either through private messages or by responding to open diary entries of others—a process called “scribbling.” A user can even build a connection list of others who either have related conditions or are undergoing similar treatments. The search engine built into the forum allows users to search across diagnoses and treatments, thereby allowing connections to be forged with others who may be experiencing the same symptoms, but who may not have the same illness. The result is a unique method of sharing experience, and the site has become a vital resource for its users. Since its official launch in February of 2011, the site has gained an incredible international following. To date, there are more than 30,000 diaries on the site. Users come from 125 countries, with the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom having the largest

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concentrations of participants. Content is aggregated based on a user’s location in relation to the established 200 metropolitan service areas, making each user’s experience unique and meaningful to him or her.

of life. The prognosis for such a condition is grim, but this mother was able to use Treatment Diaries to connect with the oldest known living survivor of the condition, giving her hope that her child may have a future, after all.

The ability to reach individual users who are directly impacted by a specific illness or treatment has attracted sponsors to Treatment Diaries, presenting a unique opportunity to generate revenue that can be returned to specific causes. “Condition page sponsors,” as they are called, have a direct connection to users with relevant conditions, and this allows an organization to promote beneficial products and services. These vertical marketing opportunities produce revenue for the site, allowing for its continual operation as a free service to users.

Hope is, arguably, the foundation upon which any fight is waged. Treatment Diaries is really a social networking site that trades the currency of hope. Since the site’s launch, many medical institutions have recognized the site as a key component of building positivity in chronically ill patients. The site was showcased in Cancer Matters, a publication of John Hopkins Medicine. Even Winchester Medical Center—in Winchester, Virginia—has included it as an accessible resource option for patients and families accessing their interactive patient care portal.

As a free service, Treatment Diaries has the capability to allow users of all socioeconomic brackets to feel a little less alone in their struggle with a condition. Persons in rural areas are able to access a support structure larger than that available in their own community. Perhaps most importantly, users can relieve a small part of their burden through words and connections. One user’s testimonial states, “This site makes me feel better. I don’t talk about my disease or my pain with very many people. This is a great forum for me to tell the truth without feeling like I am putting a burden on anyone.” Another writes, “Through the help of a website like this, we can all get through this together.” For those living with rare conditions, finding others to talk with is undoubtedly therapeutic. Ohm is proud of the site’s ability to forge such connections, and relays a story about a mother whose son has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare congenital heart defect that necessitates a series of open heart surgeries throughout the first few years

Through the determination of Amy Ohm, the site has opened doors for shared healing and inspiration. The growth of this forum has now become Ohm’s passion, and she is committed to continually building the community. “There is a need for compassion,” she says. “There is a need to be around others who understand what you are going through. That is what we have created: a means to connect with those who understand.” To support the growth of this endeavor, Ohm is expanding operations, hiring staff, and continually improving the product itself. Mobile apps and increased internationalization are planned. For Ohm, this is not just a business, but an all-consuming endeavor bringing inspiration, compassion, and hope to persons all over the world. For more information on Treatment Diaries, visit or call 877-640-4814. Log on to share your story, find support, and inspire others. Most importantly, recognize that you never have to feel alone again.

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

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Seven Things You Never Want to Hear Yourself Say in the Outdoors By Lester Zook, WILD GUYde Adventures LLC

I have been a part of a good number of outdoor adventures— over a hundred this season alone. So, I’m with a lot of great people, seeing their attempts, exploits, and accomplishments. And most times, it’s great. But I also witness some false starts, failures, and downright not-so-great situations. I have seen a few incidents, and hear tales of even more. With all this in mind, may I replay a few fateful comments that I have heard, and what might really be going on behind the scenes—or what it might lead to.

1. “Hey, hold my beer— watch this!”

Wild animals are—guess what— WILD! My guests in Shenandoah National Park are particularly prone to this one, since a lot of the critters up there have lost their natural fear of humans and behave too boldly for their own good. Keep your distance, no matter how the deer behave.

4. “It’s just a short hike— we don’t need anything.”

2. “Hey, let me try that!” Taking our signals from other people’s actions or behaviors is rarely a good idea. Part of mature judgment is correctly assessing our own abilities and limitations, and some of these are situational. Just because we can do a double-flip off of the jumping rock on a good day doesn’t mean we can do it every day.

3. “He looks so cute! Jimmy, stand up there next to the bear (deer, skunk, snake) and let me get a picture.” He’s drunk, and he’s showing off—a dangerous combo anywhere. In the backcountry, where little details can mean life or death, and situational awareness is key, anything that inhibits or decreases our cognitive function should automatically be off the list. Nevertheless, in the fourteen fatalities on the water in West Virginia last year, nine of them were alcohol related. When will we learn? [ 52 ]

Even short trips can turn into unexpected overnights when a navigation error or a weather change reaches in. Take the Ten Essentials on every trip: extra clothing, fire starter, flashlight or headlamp, pocketknife or multi-tool, water, map, compass, first aid kit, whistle, and extra food. Check the weather forecast, look seriously at mileages and elevation changes, and don’t impulsively go exploring a hole in the ground or scrambling on a cliff if you are not properly equipped.

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

5. “C’mon Billy Bob, be a MAN!”

Flexibility and adaptability are more important survival traits than sticking to a plan, especially when conditions are different than what the plan projected. The Tao proverb states: “The rigid person is a disciple of death—the soft and supple, a lover of life.”

bit—in Shenandoah National Park, in the George Washington National Forest, in the Monongahela National Forest, and in the caves and on the rivers of the Shenandoah Valley. And when there are other groups out there having fun in my playgrounds, I am listening!

7. “I’m fine—it’s just a small blister (headache, scratch).”

Lester Zook owns WILD GUYde Adventures LLC – a Harrisonburg, VA based guide service offering

Using this idea to motivate conjures up passions that are not subject to reasonableness. My observation of parents who resort to this is that, often, it is either an impulsive statement, not born of carefully reasoned intentional parenting, or that it is an expression of paternal embarrassment about the kid’s behavior in front of people the parent wants to impress.

6. “We’ve got to go on— we’re on a schedule, and besides, it was THE PLAN.”

Little things become big things in the backcountry. Deal with them while they are small. Remember that the essential definition of backcountry means remoteness, challenging terrain, limited resources for assistance (equipment, other people), difficult access (unreliable cell phone coverage), and vulnerability to natural conditions (weather changes). Any one of these can compound a bad situation exponentially, and when they “gang up” on you, small problems are no longer small. So, there are my suggestions for you—some ways to protect yourself and those within your care. And remember, I am out there quite a

beginner level outdoor adventures and instruction (rock climbing and rappelling, caving, hiking, and canoeing) for families, scout troops, youth groups, and recreation and educational programs. Most adventures are within 2 hours of Martinsbug, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Massanutten range, the Allegheny Front, and in the rivers and caves of the Shenandoah Valley. WGA holds permits to guide in the George Washington National Forest, Monongahela National Forest (WV), and Shenandoah National Park, and is an equal opportunity employer and provider. Find information or contact Lester at 540433-1637, or

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Top Ten

Most Crippling Phobias

Everyone fears something—whether it’s a child fearing the boogey man (bogyphobia) or even fear of the number thirteen (triskaidekaphobia). These two seem like potentially unfounded fears, though there exist plenty of real people who struggle with them. Certainly, fears are very serious to the person with the phobia; however, there are also some potentially crippling fears that could halt anyone in their tracks, on a daily basis. In order to be included on this list, the reason for the phobia has to be something that a person can encounter every day. So, tighten that jaw, clench those teeth…and read on.

10. Chronophobia

The fear of clocks might easily be overcome; however, the alternate definition of chronophobia is: the fear of time. Time surrounds us, it binds us—sorry, Star Wars moment there. If a person were to rid himself of all reminders of time, such as clocks, that might be a temporary fix. But fear has a way of creeping up on someone. As soon as he thought about the fact that time is always, always slipping away, perhaps his sanity would, as well.

standing or walking. But what happens if that person is afraid of someone else standing up and walking? Does that mean the phobic must live in isolation, in a sitting position, for the rest of their life? What a drag!

Unfortunately, most of those things are on the list of crippling aspects of domatophobia— a fear of houses, or being in a house. The only logical cure to this phobia would be to live in a cave, or some other natural enclosure, unless the fear doesn’t extend to apartments or condos. Either way, it’s certainly a portion of the American Dream dashed.

7. Decidophobia

You just did it! You just made the decision to continue reading this list,

8. Domatophobia

Most Americans want four walls, three meals a day, and a bed to sleep on.

9. Stasibasiphobia

Most people might think that couch potatoes have a fear of standing up and walking. It’s not true; most couch potatoes are just averse to the idea. However, a person with stasibasiphobia could very well never get anything done in life, unless he/she was confined to a wheelchair—because of a deep fear of

which includes the fear of making decisions, decidophobia. A person who cannot make a decision is likely to be eternally stuck in a rut. Unless something becomes second nature, such as everyday routines, a person could be crippled by the simple decision of what to eat for breakfast. And you thought your day was rough!

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Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

6. Nyctophobia and Photophobia

From here on out, this list describes phobias of functions that humans must do in order to survive. And that means that such phobias, like urophobia—or the fear of urination—would definitely put a cramp in anyone’s life style. A catheter might be a stopgap measure, as long as someone else would agree to change the bag. Either way, everyone has to release bodily waste, and this fear has a way of making life about as unpleasant as you can imagine.

These two fears are different sides of the same coin—literally. Nyctophobia is the fear of night, or darkness, while photophobia is the fear of light. Perhaps the only way to handle these fears is sleeping through the night, or through the day, wait. Then again, turning on all of your lights might help a phobic handle the fear of darkness, but it won’t exactly help your electric bill. On the flip side, a photophobe would have to live in the dark for the rest of his life, which won’t exactly help his skin tone.

2. Phagophobia

3. Somniphobia and Clinophobia

5. Anthropophobia & Lalophobia

Like No. 6 on our list, these fears could potentially isolate the phobic for life. Anthropophobia is a fear of people, while lalophobia is the fear of speaking. Make no mistake; a person with one or both of these conditions is the DEATH of the party. So be sure and double-check your guest list.

While you don’t necessarily have to be clinophobic to be somniphobic, it doesn’t really matter, once you realize that going to sleep is simply too terrorizing to attempt! A person with somniphobia fears sleep, while a person suffering from clinophobia fears beds. I’m sure a clinophobic could just sleep standing up; however, humans need the REM cycles of sleep to help digest their everyday thoughts and activities. Without sleep, a person will slowly go insane, due to fatigue on the brain. We all have nightmares, but having them before you even get beneath the covers is rough!

A pivotal piece to our American Dream is having three square meals a day. But what if you have phagophobia—the fear of eating/swallowing? There are people out there who simply live on liquid diets. To go without food must be a torture in and of itself, but to constantly fear swallowing even your liquid dinner makes it all the worse. So much for dating, or the holidays—though your teeth are happy.

1. Anemophobia

Catch your breath, especially if you have anemophobia—the fear of air. Sure: eating, sleeping, and all the other fears on this list could cripple people on a daily basis, but not for every moment of your waking life. There are a number of methods to counter phobias, all of which seem like they would fail miserably—in the midst of a fear of breathing. Outside of living in a bubble with a controlled atmosphere, nothing comes to mind to counter such a phobia. Even a little fresh air to help cleanse the mind wouldn’t help in this case. I’m actually thankful I can exhale over this one…phew!

4. Urophobia

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Let Us be Your Human Resource The Eastern Panhandle Society for Human Resource Management (EPSHRM) invites you to join us at our breakfast meeting the 2nd Wednesday each month. EPSHRM is an affiliate of the National SHRM. Our chapter offers many programs that are conducive to the needs of business or office managers, as well as HR professionals. Additionally, being a member of EPSHRM affords you a fantastic opportunity to network with these individuals and work together on those challenging issues that arise in our workplaces. Meetings start at 8:30 AM ($20 fee for non members) Blue Ridge Community & Technical College Tech Center/Berkeley Business Park 5550 Winchester Avenue (Rt 11 S.), Inwood. (in the old Corning Building) If you would like to learn more about the EPSHRM chapter, please do not hesitate to contact Amy N. Panzarella, SPHR, directly at 304.919.1120 or We are happy to meet with you personally to discuss the benefits of joining our chapter.

Membership Fee -$75.00 Per Year

Meet our Board:

Back Row (L to R) Debra Scott-Past President, Jessica Polidor-Hospitality Chair, David Barton-Programs Chair, Regina Turner-Membership Chair Front Row (L to R) Cheryl Kemmerer-Treasurer/Secretary, Pat Hubbard-College Relations Chair, Amy Panzarella-President

What’s In It For Me? | By Amy N. Panzarella, SPHR

In my experience, most employees have an innate need to perform well in their jobs. At the end of the day, they want to feel like they have contributed value to their company and they want to feel a deep-rooted desire to return to work the following day and start all over again. Even if employees have the necessary credentials, experience, and education that the company sought, the employees may not be progressing within the company as swiftly as they believe they should. For those of us who are Generation X or Baby Boomers, it may be hard to comprehend the current dynamics of the workplace based upon how we were raised. I am both astonished and bemused at the epidemic of entitlement demonstrated by employees in companies today. It seems that many employees believe that just because they showed up, they have earned their paycheck. Not so, and this is the crux of their inability to be taken seriously and considered for advancement. As a working professional, and a mom of three boys at different stages in their lives, I offer my sage advice and guidance. If you’ve been frustrated at work and questioned why you haven’t received a promotion, or why you are not recognized for the effort you put into your job, perhaps you should look inward first. The truth can be hard to hear, but I’ll shed some light on what employers want, and how you can get the recognition you think you deserve. I purport that some of the issues we face with employees in the workplace today started in school. One of my children graduated from high school last year. He excelled at working the system so eloquently that I always believed if he could get an “A” for his efforts in trying to do as little work as possible,

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and still graduate, he would be golden! The system allowed him to choose to put forth minimal effort relative to his homework, and reap the same reward—graduating high school. I felt profoundly that he did not deserve to slide by. While we are lucky and grateful that he is successful in his military career today, the lessons he was taught about responsibility and accountability left much to be desired. Consider this: how does it make the student feel who refused an outing with her friends in order to work on the assignment in an effort to meet homework deadlines? What is this teaching the students who are to become future employees of our companies? Who is accountable for their failure to turn the homework in to their teachers, if not them? They have been programmed to make excuses and ask for leniency rather than stepping up to the plate and getting the job done. Are you one of those employees who consistently asks for forgiveness for turning in a report past the deadline, or overall substandard performance? In addition to employees being lax about their work product, they also want to compare themselves to their counterparts and beg the question: “If she got a five percent increase, shouldn’t I?” Let’s take a trip down memory lane again. So many kids have been taught that everyone can and should have the blue ribbon, even if someone else won the race heads and tails above the rest! Society is afraid to hurt the children’s feelings, and so it was decided to give everyone a blue ribbon for their “effort.” How does this make the real first-place winner feel—the one who really put forth the time and energy to train and prepare for the race, and showed up ready to win? The same kid who actually came in last during that race is one of the employees who are

frustrated because he “showed up to work” and didn’t get the promotion, or a pat on the back, for being there. He wonders why he didn’t get the same increase as his coworker. After all, he was at work every day; shouldn’t that count for something? I espouse that the proverbial bar is not set high enough for employees. It almost seems as if managers have already decided their employees won’t be successful, so the bar is lowered to give employees a chance to meet their managers’ expectations. I dispute this with every fiber of my being. I believe that if managers set the bar high, most employees will happily stretch themselves as much as possible to reach that bar. And what if they don’t? Given the current economic climate and unemployment statistics, I am confident another candidate will be ready and willing to do what is necessary to prove himself. The unemployment line is long, so the competition is fierce. What if that student knew he would receive a “0” on his assignment and it would significantly lower his overall grade in the class if he didn’t turn it in on time? Do you think he would be more inclined to do the work and meet the deadline? Our expectations can and should be raised, and our employees can meet those expectations! Employees, if this sounds like your story, keep listening! As an employee who has the desire to progress in your career, but might be lacking in motivation (and didn’t really know it), consider a different tactic. I recommend the following: * Ensure you understand the full scope of your job description when interviewing for a position. Do not accept a job offer believing that you can modify the core responsibilities to better suit YOUR needs. If the job Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

does not appear to be challenging enough, refuse the offer! Don’t accept the offer and then complain six months later that you aren’t challenged. A wise manager would tell you: “You are not handcuffed to this position or to this organization; you can resign at any time.” * Never say: “That’s not in my job description.” In fact, embrace opportunities to work on a task outside of the scope of your job description. This will demonstrate a willingness to stretch your knowledge and skills to your manager. * Enhance your communication skills. If you are weak in your verbal or written communication skills, take classes to strengthen those skills. You cannot expect to be promoted to another position if you have difficulty communicating. * Be cautious of the relationships you develop at work. Remember, the person you befriend today could be your manager or subordinate later! * Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have! At a minimum, always be ready to present yourself to an executive, customer, client, or board member. You never know who might walk into your office unexpectedly. Take pride in your appearance! * Extend yourself to your coworkers and across departments. If you show a helpful spirit to your counterparts, it is likely they will remember this and support you going forward. * Do what you say you’re going to do! Be reliable and dependable. * Don’t assume that just because you are performing adequately, you should be next in line for a promotion. You must strive to be a leader with integrity—be a true “goto” person for your management and coworkers. And remember: Ask not what your employer can do for you, but what you can do for your employer!

For Hire: Scott Hovermale

Help wanted. We do not see these words often enough anymore, and many of our neighbors have struggled to find meaningful work during the economic downturn of the past several years. This publication is primarily about the people of our area, and we want to take a moment in this and future issues to introduce you to a talented neighbor with a lot to offer a potential employer. For more information about the featured individual, please contact victoria@ There are those whose life is spent in complacency. For them, work is simply a means to an end—a necessary activity required to generate income. In contrast, there are some for whom work is central to their identity. These individuals do not avoid hard work, instead enjoying the challenge of solving a problem, improving a process, or meeting a long-held goal. Scott Hovermale is a professional of the latter category, and his drive to embrace hard work is rooted in an understanding that hard work paves the way to success. He grew up on Legacy Farm, a local family farm that is intersected by Virginia’s border with West Virginia. Today, he is a third-generation farmer, raising Angus beef cattle on the land owned by his late father and grandfather. In his professional life, he has used the lessons of hard work to contribute directly to the operations of his employer. Most recently, Scott served White House Foods as their chief financial officer. During his five-year tenure with them, he also held positions in acquisitions management and cost accounting. In addition to being known as a highly skilled financial manager, he is recognized for his ability to evaluate operations and enact changes that generate a direct cost savings or a substantive improvement in efficiency. “I love the challenge of looking at a business or division that is losing money and examining it to determine ways we can make it profitable again,” Scott says. He understands equally the needs of laborers and business managers, and he takes pride in being able to bridge the communication gap between the two parties. Understanding the intricacies of all areas of operations helps him to make better business decisions and to create positive reactions to proposed changes. He has overseen the development of internal controls, the introduction of staff development programs, and the planning of strategic goals. He has even worked at all levels of manufacturing, from production to finance. From overarching projects to the minute details of day-to-day activities, Scott keeps the business’s mission in mind, and he works tirelessly to increase market share and profitability. Demonstrative of his capabilities is his track record of continual promotion through a number of positions, with progressive responsibilities. His professional experience is complemented by an innate personable demeanor and a positive attitude. He explains, “I always find a way to connect with everyone. I am a relationship builder, and I use that ability to get the work done.” Getting the work done is what Scott is all about. His background on the farm has taught him to be resourceful, to remain focused on the ultimate project goal, and to use whatever means necessary to solve problems. Scott would be a valuable addition to any organization operating in the Eastern Panhandle or Northern Shenandoah Valley. He is seeking either a challenging permanent placement or a consulting role in cost accounting, finance, or operations. His ability to see the big picture would benefit either small, locally owned companies or firms with large operations, and Scott is amendable to working in an organization of any size. If you are interested in learning more about Scott, please contact Victoria by calling 703-424-6573 or by emailing

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Rely on Rick

For Answers To Your Real Estate Questions

Holiday Reality Check Where has the year gone? Seems like the older you get, the quicker everything goes by. Perhaps it’s the full calendars and constant posting on Facebook that keeps us so busy. Regardless, 2011 is coming to a close. As we approach the last quarter, the holidays remind us of the past year, and provide us the opportunity to celebrate and give thanks for what we’ve accomplished, obtained, or experienced. The holiday season is meant to be a joyful time for everyone. As I have matured, I tend to think about others more than myself. Each of us may see this time of year with a different perspective. Personally, I want to think about others even more. The economy, in some form or fashion, has made an impact on each of us. Many individuals prospered and found opportunities to grow or react to the situation—many didn’t. Being optimistic and looking for ways to defeat tough times is certainly a way to help create opportunities for others. Three years ago, we had no idea what to expect with the real estate market. We still don’t have a clue how the next three years will unfold, but we are passionate to the calling and will survive. Why? Because we are committed to the needs of the communities we serve, and will survive in any market. We continually strive to work smarter, without comprising our services to those who depend on us. It’s amazing how a dream or passion can conquer any economic condition. The key word is “passion.” In real estate, home sales are up, interest rates are still low, and those who [ 62 ]

never thought they could become homeowners are purchasing homes. The incentives for owning a home are priceless. Plentiful inventory, coupled with local, state, and national financing programs help make it possible. New businesses are popping up, and many companies have increased services and opportunities Thanksgiving is the first big holiday approaching us. Family, friends, and those dearest to us have a chance to get together. Let’s make this time memorable, and be thankful for what we have, regardless of quantity. If travel or miles keep you from the traditional feast, we can celebrate in other ways. Local food banks are always in need of help or donations for those less fortunate. The Eastern Panhandle Board of Realtors, in partnership with the Food Lion stores, collects donations for local food banks. Your organization may do something similar that you can participate in. You can also implement a similar drive, creating a new opportunity to help others. Personally, I find this experience to be extremely rewarding. Christmas is another time that brings us together and gives us the chance to interact. Making this time memorable, instead of stressful, is the secret. Celebrate the meaning behind this holiday; open your heart to the less fortunate and enjoy the time away from the everyday routine. Relax and appreciate the season. The Eastern Panhandle Board Of Realtors also sponsors “Toys For Tots.” Most real estate offices, lenders, banks, attorneys, and other local businesses provide a drop-off for new toys. This gives you a chance to help a needy child

experience the gift of giving. The natural response of the recipient is to want to return the gesture. At first, this gesture may be the smile or excitement on the face of the child. As time goes on, this gesture can turn into an act, or action, that helps others. Children retain and remember the little things—the small stuff they experience. As they get older, the memories come back, and then, they too want to make a difference in the life of another. This is the recipe for making a difference in the life of someone less fortunate. Givers tend to make life better for themselves, as they help others. I am thankful for each of you who take the time to read my material. My hope is that my opinion or position can help someone make a better decision, or impact someone in a positive manner. May each of you have the best Thanksgiving and the merriest Christmas or holiday season you have ever experienced. Contact me at rick.boswell@, and never hesitate to call our office at 304.263.2121 for more information, questions, or concerns with your real estate needs.

304.263.2121 (office) 301.991.3454 (direct) Rick Boswell (Broker/Owner) Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011


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Talk to your neighbors, then talk to us. Odds are, they’re already part of the State Farm® family. With so many ways to save and discounts of up to 40 percent,* you’ll want to be part of the family too. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® CALL FOR A QUOTE 24/7. Judy M Ball 334 South Main Street Moorefield, WV 26836 Bus: 304-538-6166

Bob Snyder 211 N George Street Charles Town, WV 25414 Bus: 304-725-7077

Kirk M George 417 Virginia Avenue Petersburg, WV 26847 Bus: 304-257-4866

Carol Shaw Rt 50 East Romney, WV 26757 Bus: 304-822-4545

Luke Christie Ins Agcy Inc Luke Christie Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 Bus: 304-258-3085

Eric Gates 1802 W. King St. Martinsburg, WV 25401 Bus: 304-262-0300

Kay Lewis 1885 Edwin Miller Blvd Martinsburg, WV 25404 Bus: 304-263-0882

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Dave Piepenbrink 15 Hovatter Drive Inwood, WV 25428 Bus: 304-229-0029

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charitable organizations serving the needs of our local community.

2012 Kelley Kisner

Panhandle Home Health is a nonprofit agency that provides quality in-home care for individuals recovering from short-term illness, surgery, or disability. Since its founding in 1976, residents in Morgan, Berkeley, and Jefferson counties rely on the high-quality healthcare provided by the skilled and dedicated nurses, social workers, therapists, and home health aides of the agency. These professionals provide the standard care and assistance that helps persons of all ages recover at home—in comfortable, familiar settings. Recovering at home helps to create a better quality of life and promotes feelings of independence within patients.

Great Food for Great Causes

- By Victoria Kidd

Rarely do we give it any thought, but many of our Eastern Panhandle neighbors are struggling with unexpected life changes. It is true that everyone’s life has challenges, but where do you turn when your challenges seem insurmountable? There are a number of incredible organizations that stand ready to offer assistance to those in need. Recognizing the valuable work these agencies perform, the Rotary Club of Martinsburg is again sponsoring the much-anticipated, third-annual Kelley Kisner Taste of the Panhandle event. This event—named in honor of the late Kelley Kisner, the first Taste of The Panhandle coordinator (who successfully pulled together

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the event while battling cancer)— provides much-needed funding for organizations that serve those in need. The Taste of the Panhandle event is the premier fundraiser for the local Rotary chapter, and it has come to be known as a must-do in the area. Attendees are exposed to a variety of food from some of the most prestigious local restaurants and organizations. Wine pairings, as well as a diverse selection of beer, accompanies the offered cuisine, and this year, attendees will again enjoy the silent and live auctions, where highly desirable items will be auctioned in support of the charities selected as beneficiaries. This year’s recipients are Panhandle Home Health, and Young Lives, both of which are well-respected

Young Lives, a faith-based organization that mentors teenage girls who are pregnant, or who are already mothers, oversees a program called 4G. This program helps to develop necessary leadership, communication, and organization skills in young potential leaders. Through mentoring, seminars, and intensive assistance with goal setting and prioritization, 4G participants have the opportunity to gain skills that will help them succeed in academic and career settings. They are encouraged by a dedicated staff of mentors, as well as through the incentives offered for completion of certain program milestones. The ultimate goal of the program is to build a strong foundation of parenting, career, educational, and personal skills that become the groundwork for long-term success and self-sufficiency. The objectives of these two agencies may be different, but the necessity of their operations, as well as the need for funding to continue their work, is the same. They serve neighbors in need, and they rely on the philanthropy of others to help them fulfill their mission. Such needs make Taste of the Panhandle a worthwhile event that attracts a number of socially conscious businesses to

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

sponsorship. Available sponsorship levels range from $325 to $5,000, and companies wishing to sponsor the event are not only promoted through event materials and radio advertising, but are also provided at least two tickets to the event. The event usually sells out, providing excellent exposure for sponsoring businesses. With all seats filled, competition for the many silent and live auction items heats up, making for an exciting evening. Between ticket sales, sponsorships, and auction funding, the fundraiser procures an impressive level of financial contribution for its beneficiaries. In fact, over the lifetime of this annual event, more than $30,000 has been raised to support organizations like Panhandle Home Health and Young Lives. Previous events have supported Healthy Smiles Dental Clinic, Hospice of the Panhandle, and Horses with Hearts. Event Committee Co-Chairperson Christina Johnson explains, “The motto of the Rotary is ‘service above self,’ and we hold this event in honor of Kelley Kisner, someone who really exemplified that sentiment. Being able to give back to the organizations that support our community is a central part of our mission, and bringing together the community for an event like this really makes me think about what we can do when we all get together. Together, we can directly make a difference in the lives of persons within our own communities.” The culmination of those efforts promises to be an enjoyable experience. This year’s Taste is being held on January 21st at 6 p.m., and it promises to be even more exciting than those of the past. As before, the event is being held at the historic McFarland House, a beautiful property dating back to 1878. The three-hour night will feature such notable culinary contributors as the McFarland House, the Purple Iris at Heartwood, Bistro 112, the James Rumsey Hospitality and Culinary Arts Program, and the Blue Ridge CTC Culinary Academy. Beverages,

from such local favorites as the Vandalia Brewery, will delight your taste buds, while chocolates from DeFluris will satisfy your sweet tooth. German Street Coffee and Candlery will provide delectable coffee to finish out your incredible meal. Every possible consideration has been made to ensure that attendees have a great time. Ample parking will be available in the nearby lots of St. Joseph’s Church and the Berkeley County Board of Education. This year’s auction will again be officiated by Herman Dixon, who is also serving as a committee co-chairperson. The auction itself has been moved to a new location in the elegant upstairs ballroom, creating more room and further displaying the beauty of the historic property. All of these seemingly minute considerations make the event the best it can be, and attendees leave with not only a sense that they have contributed to something worthwhile, but also a sense that they have had an evening of great value. Included in your ticket price is your meal, your wine and beverage selection, and your access to the night’s auction activities. Considering such, there is no question as to why the 170 available tickets go quickly. Advanced tickets are available at the reduced price of $65 until December 22nd, at which point they will be sold for $75 each. Taste of the Panhandle offers you the opportunity to enjoy a diverse variety of local fare while making a difference. For additional information about how your business can sponsor or support this incredible event, or to obtain ticket information, contact Herman Dixon by phone at 304-263-4802, or by email at herman.dixon.bwia@ You can also contact Christina Johnson at 304-2635680, extension 122, or by email at cjohnson@panhandlehomehealth. org.

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City Hospital

Increasing Access to Quality Healthcare. - By Victoria Kidd

Since City Hospital in Martinsburg became part of the esteemed health system of West Virginia University Hospitals-East in 2005, area residents have certainly noticed some big changes. Such changes—enabled by the system’s visionary leadership—have expanded service offerings and availability while improving access to care. The past two years of effort have resulted in the most significant changes, as City Hospital has rapidly completed most of its $31 million expansion project. The ambitious undertaking included the founding of a cardiac catheterization lab, the modernization of their intensive care unit, and the expansion of their emergency department.

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This first area of concentration for the project was the establishment of a permanent cardiac catheterization lab. Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive procedure that provides critical information used for diagnosis. It can also be employed as a vehicle for intervention, reducing the necessity for more invasive procedures, such as bypass surgeries. As of its opening in late 2010, including various program expansions occurring throughout 2011, the lab provides a choice for residents who previously had to leave the area to obtain needed cardiac care. Patients can now receive diagnostic cardiac catheterizations locally within the 12,000-square-foot facility, as well as emergent therapeutic cardiac

catheterization (STEMI) and elective primary coronary intervention (PCI) procedures. “Our experienced cardiologists now have an office on the City Hospital campus and a new facility with state-of-the-art digital equipment to perform procedures that can both identify and treat heart disease,” says Anthony P. Zelenka, chief administrative officer of City Hospital. This facility creates the foundation for the area’s new comprehensive cardiovascular program, which enlists the services of eight board-certified cardiologists—a group of physicians who have been performing catheterizations in Winchester (VA) for many years. “By opening our new

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

lab with theses added capabilities, WVUH-East is providing a critical health care need for the first time to the communities we serve in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties,” he adds. The lab is only part of the exciting changes that have occurred within the past few years. The January opening of City Hospital’s new intensive care unit marked the completion of the second phase of the major expansion project. The 20,000-square-foot unit provides space for twenty beds, the equivalent of a two-thirds expansion over the previous space. Four of those beds have been designated for coronary care in support of the cardiovascular programs. This increased availability reduces the need to transfer critical care patients to other hospitals, a practice that often separates patients from their families. New beds and modernized facilities are not the only changes in ICU. Small, shared spaces that previously lacked privacy have been replaced with spacious private rooms equipped with the most advanced technology. “Privacy is important to our patients,” states Teresa McCabe, vice president of marketing and development. “It is our goal to have as many private rooms as possible, because we feel that doing so best serves the community.” With increased privacy, residents can expect improved flexibility with visitation policies, allowing for more time to support ailing loved ones. The commitment to serving the community was further exemplified through the final phase of the expansion project. Accounting for $11 million of the allocated funds is the ambitious emergency department expansion and renovation project. In April of this year, City Hospital unveiled its new 17,000-square-foot addition to the existing emergency room. Its completion marked the beginning of modernization and renovation efforts on the old emergency room space, a project that is now in its final stages. Once complete, the department will have forty available beds, compared to the twenty-seven beds currently available, and be able to

accommodate up to 65,000 patient visits annually—good news for an Eastern Panhandle that is already experiencing unprecedented growth. The project created visitor and patient comforts far exceeding those previously expected. Private treatment rooms increase patient privacy, and a new trauma room makes available the latest technologies used in emergency care. The new department also features a spacious waiting area, a separate pediatric waiting area, and an expanded triage area. Every consideration for patient and visitor comfort has been made, and the results are demonstrative of the commitment to service that was promised at the earliest inception of WVUH-East in 2005. Zelenka explains, “With our renewed focus on customer service and patient satisfaction, our ultimate goal is to decrease patient wait time in our emergency department. At the same time, we will always strive to provide high quality emergency medical services to our patients and the communities we serve.” That dedication to providing the highest quality health services has not only fueled this threepart expansion project, but has also driven improvements to other programs that benefit the Eastern Panhandle. The WVUH-East Cancer program, which is based at City Hospital, is a comprehensive cancer treatment program that has operated since 1991. The program offers medical oncology, radiation oncology, clinical trails, diagnostic radiology, support programs, and more. Earlier this year, the program was recognized by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer with an Outstanding Achievement Award. This prestigious award is reserved for an exclusive group of accredited programs that demonstrate the highest commitment to patient care. The hospital is planning further enhancements to this program. Another program benefiting from the commitment to increasing access and improving service offerings is the planned Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at City Hospital. This unit will support

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Eastern Panhandle mothers who have high-risk pregnancies, and will allow for the treatment of babies with low birth weight or serious illnesses. The project will cost an estimated $785,000, and will build on the established relationship with West Virginia University Hospitals in Morgantown. Residents will have access to a cardiologist, surgeon, ophthalmologist, and geneticist, all with specialization in pediatrics. This program furthers the mission of increasing access to care, and reduces the need to transfer these young patients out of the state. Through expansive renovation projects like those that have resulted in the cardiac catheterization lab, the new ICU, and the improved emergency department, WVUHEast has proven its commitment to creating the infrastructure necessary to support the quality health care delivered by its physicians and staff. New projects and proposed program enhancements further expand the offered services available to local residents. The programs of City Hospital, combined with those

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at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, and West Virginia University Hospitals in Morgantown, provide the highest quality healthcare and wellness services to area residents, while expanding access to care and contributing to the education of a new generation of healthcare professionals. The role that WVUH-East plays in educating health care professionals is of benefit to all Eastern Panhandle residents. Many third- and forthyear medical students complete their clinical rotations alongside the WVUH-East physicians who also serve as West Virginia University faculty. These students will witness the first-class patient care offered in both the hospital settings during the physician’s rounds, and at local practices in the communities. Many students will decide to stay in the region, further increasing physician availability. This program is only part of the recruitment strategy that has brought many of the best-trained doctors and healthcare providers to the Eastern Panhandle. Since 2005, WVUH-East has been able to recruit

more than 100 physicians to serve in our area, and that directly improves access to care. Many of these professionals have trained at the most prestigious medical schools in the country, and their commitment to providing the best service and care possible is exceptional. Many more exciting projects are slated for the coming months, as WVUH-East continues expanding. From similar renovation projects at Jefferson Memorial to a planed fiftyacre comprehensive hospital campus in Jefferson County, the leadership at WVUH-East has made good on its promise to grow as our community grows. To learn more about the offered services and physicians operating within the West Virginia University Hospital System, call the Physician & Services Referral Line at 1-888-WVU-1DOC or visit

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011






Struggling to find time to exercise? Don’t despair; you can benefit from incorporating movement into your daily routine. There is no single drug that can give the same overall benefit that physical activity does. Everything that gets worse with age gets better with exercise. — Dr. Lee, Harvard Medical School. Now that we are living longer, we all will likely reach the age of immobility. The age of immobility can be modified. If you are active at 45 years old, and stay active, immobility could be delayed until 90 and beyond. If you are sedentary at 45, and remain so, immobility could hit at 60. Americans burn 100 fewer calories now than a few decades ago. Jobs require less physical activity. The percentage of jobs that required physical activity in 1960 was 48%; in 2008 it was only 20%. Technology has created labor saving devices, making work easier, but at the same time making us more sedentary. A study in Australia compared men living in a historical reenactment settlement to those in modern occupations, and found that those living the oldfashioned lifestyle were 60% [ 72 ]

NEAT Ways to Optimal Health

| By Dana M. DeJarnett, MS

more active. In 1880, it took twenty man-hours to harvest an acre of wheat—now it takes minutes. Sitting too much can be considered a lethal activity. A study by the American Cancer Society revealed that men who sit six hours a day during their leisure time had an overall death rate that was 20% higher than men who sat for three hours or less. For women who sat more than six hours, it was 40% higher. Along with the decline in physical activity, there has been an increase in calorie consumption. Average daily intake has increased 24.5%, or about 530 calories between 1970 and 2000. The biggest increase in consumption is in refined grains, fats, and oils. Combine the increase in calories, and a decrease in physical activity, and you can see how the obesity epidemic has occurred. Burning 100 less calories a day can add up to ten pounds of weight gain in a year. Our bodies were made for action. We were hunter/gatherers, agriculturists, industrialized. It is only over this last generation that we have become very sedentary. We feel better when we move. Our bodies function

better when we move on a daily basis. We need to find a way to move everyday. NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis—a fancy way to say the number of calories burned through daily activity. NEAT is a way to increase calorie burn and improve health by being active throughout the day. Everyone’s goal is different: more energy, improved blood pressure, less stress, decreased cholesterol, weight loss, weight maintenance. Whatever your goal, an increase in physical activity throughout the day will help you achieve it. There are gadgets for the workplace—treadmill desks, under-the-desk step machines and bike pedals, chairs with built-in resistance bands, and on and on. But you don’t need any fancy gadgets to get moving. Just ten minutes a day of physical activity can have positive affects on your waistline, weight, and blood pressure. Examples of what you can do at work: * Desk exercises * Stretch break * Walk break

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

* Take the stairs * Take more trips to the copier * Go see someone instead of an email or phone call * Stand up and work * Pace while you are on the phone * Use a stability ball for a chair Some examples of desk exercises are squats, push-ups on your desk, dips using your chair, leg extensions, and abdominal crunches while sitting in your chair. You can, essentially, do anything you might have done in an exercise class that you have room for at your desk. Pedometers are also a great way to encourage physical activity. The goal is to reach 10,000 steps a day, which is equivalent to about five miles. The average American gets about 6,000 steps a day. If you get less than 5,000 steps a day, you are considered sedentary. Wear a pedometer for a few days to see how many steps you take a day. An increase of 2,000 – 2,500 steps a day has revealed modest improvements in weight and blood pressure. Log your steps daily and then set specific goals to increase steps by a set amount each day. Find ways to increase your steps, such as parking farther away from your destination, taking the stairs, or walking during breaks.

Enlist the help of your coworkers and supervisors to promote physical activity at work. Upper management support is also critical for employee wellness programs to be successful. Some effective ways to promote physical activity at work include:

Marathon in May, and both Freedom’s Run and the Apple Trample in October.

* Assess your work environment and culture. Are there safe places to walk inside or outside? What type of food is offered in the cafeteria or vending? Is there a refrigerator for you to store healthy foods and snacks? What types of foods are offered at meetings? Are there areas to store bikes? Are showers available? Are stairwells safe and appealing? Does your company offer gym discounts or participate in a group discount program? Are fitness breaks encouraged?

* Organize exercise classes in the workplace. Many workplaces contract with aerobics/exercise class instructors to offer classes on site.

* Promote community events at work, such as walks for a cause—like March of Dimes, Relay for Life, and local road walks/runs. In this area, some great opportunities to plan for include: Race for Birds and The Air Guard 5k in April, the Harpers Ferry ½

* Offer incentive programs, such as Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days to encourage and reward physical activity.

And most important, stay positive. When you think in terms of what can work, instead of what won’t work, you’re already well on your way to achieving your fitness goals. For more information on Wellness @ Work Services, offered by The Wellness Center @ City Hospital, Inc., call 304264-1287, ext. 1814.

If your boss or coworkers find it strange that you are exercising in your cubical, get them to join along. Remind them that opportunities for physical activity can lead to healthier, happier employees who have strong job performance and satisfaction, decreased health care costs, increased productivity, and less absenteeism and turnover.

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Global Border College—Where Local Pride and National Security Meets

- By Claire Gibson Webb

On a quiet spring morning this past May, the Eastern Panhandle solidified its place as a partner in the ongoing war on terror. In the wake of September 11th, the Department of Homeland Security was created. Under its umbrella, many federal, state, and local agencies partner together to keep our nation safe. One such agency is the U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Jefferson County has been home to the U.S Customs and Border Protection Advanced Training Center (ATC) since 2005, thanks in large part to efforts by late Senator Robert Byrd. Over the last six years, agents and officers of U.S Customs and Border Protection have

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been assigned to attend trainings at the Harpers Ferry center and then return to their posts, equipped with new skills and knowledge. Also along the way, a team within CBP began to envision a leadership academy. Today, that vision has become reality, with the opening of the brand new Global Border College (GBC). This institution is designed to enhance the work and education already taking place. And West Virginia, a state not always given the regard that it deserves, is proud to play this crucial role in ensuring that our great nation stays safe. In a simple yet meaningful ceremony, GBC was inaugurated

earlier this year. Local, state, and federal officials were in attendance, including United States Senator Jay Rockefeller, and Alan Bersin, commissioner of U.S Customs and Border Protection. Local members of the community were also on hand to commemorate the event. All attendees were given a first look at the gleaming new facilities where the men and women of CBP will receive training, using the latest technology in the most realistic of circumstances. “It will be an educational focal point for the agency,” comments CBP Public Affairs Specialist Stephanie Malin.

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

GBC is home to three departments: the Department of Educational Services, the School of Command Preparation, and the School of Advanced Border Studies. Each department will offer instruction specific to strategic thinking, planning, advanced operations, and management. Within these departments there are three primary programs providing instruction and support for supervisors and others in command. The Supervisory Leadership Training, the Second Level Command Preparation Learning, and the Supervisory Mentorships program each utilize a “train-the-trainer” approach. Learning will take place in a brandnew Gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified building on the already existing 224-acre campus, but will not be confined to a traditional classroom. There are mock replicas of a warehouse, an airport terminal, a hotel/motel, and even a land port of entry that provide agents and officers scenario-based training venues. With history and current events serving as a backdrop to the mission of GBC, Commissioner Bersin reminded listeners that the fight against those who want to harm Americans is far from complete. Allowing that the first phase of the war on terror were the tragic events of 9/11, Bersin assigned the death of Osama bin Laden as the second phase, and issued a cautionary directive: “This is no time to let down our guard. It is time to adjust to our circumstances. Education is the key foundation of our institutions. Without it, democracy is not possible.” The men and women benefitting from the training and classes at GBC are those charged with the security of our nation’s borders. Some serve in operational offices, others are border agents who patrol at or between ports of entry. Still, others are air and marine agents who patrol air and sea borders, or those who enforce trade laws at airports. It is a job that requires constant vigil and consistent methods of operation. It is a job that can make loved ones worry. On this day, the celebration began with a moment of silence for

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two fallen agents, Hector Clarke and Eduardo Rojas, Jr. Both were killed May 12, 2010, while en route to assist in the capture of suspected drug traffickers in southern Arizona. Delivering the first inaugural address of Global Borders College, Senator Rockefeller spoke to the fallen men’s associates, “Osama bin Laden is dead, but it does not change the nature of the threat. Training is the only way that can make people effective enough to do what needs to be done…the events of the Osama bin Laden raid demonstrate the importance of training. We haven’t had attacks on our soil, but it’s not because they aren’t trying. They have a single purpose in life—to destroy others. This is no pat on the back; it could happen again at any point.” Global Borders College is regarded as uniquely equipped to train those safeguarding our nation’s entry points. Termed a “war college,” it is the first law enforcement institution to adopt the model of a military college. Seasoned veterans will serve as mentors to students at GBC. With a unique location in a region steeped in an important historical past, the Panhandle location is highly regarded. “This institution looks to the future while nestled in the landscape of our nation’s history,” declared Patricia Duffy, assistant commissioner in the Office of Training and Development. The first cohort began trainings on June 6th; however, the grand opening is not complete just yet. The development of GBC will continue as a dining hall, a welcome center, and student residences are added to facilitate convenience for students and growth of the programs. Senator Rockefeller lauded the hard work of West Virginians, stating how “incredibly proud” he was of the people of the state he represents. “Mountaineers work in coal, steel, and always try to find new ways of doing things. It is good that CBP is here. I like West Virginia to be on the frontlines.” Global Border College gives the state and the Panhandle yet another reason to be proud.

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Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

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La Trattoria: A Perfect Combination of Food and Family On the north side of Martinsburg, tucked amongst various nondescript buildings, lies a not-so-nondescript haven of culinary delights. At first glance, it may appear that nothing special is there—a hotel, a few office buildings, and a couple of parking lots. But step inside La Trattoria, and find yourself the subject of a warm greeting and a genuine smile, and you may quickly change your opinion. I was first encouraged to try the cuisine by a dear family member who promised me that the “delicious Italian food made by wonderful people” would be well worth a visit. Although I was highly skeptical at first (good Italian food in Martinsburg?), it is never nice to disappoint your grandmother. Off I went, and was pleasantly surprised. And so, deciding it was worth another sampling, I returned with a companion on a crisp October evening for a second helping. Upon stepping inside, the polite host greeted us with a smile and ushered us immediately to a table. The dining area was cozy, touched by the muted glow of lamplight. Our server brought us menus and another friendly greeting, and we began perusing our options. As it turns out, this was the one daunting task of the evening—so many choices, only one meal! Buying ourselves some time, we opted to begin with calamari, accompanied by marinara sauce. It arrived in short order, and splashing it with a zip of lemon juice, it disappeared pretty quickly from the plate. Nothing left to do now but order our entrees, and

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unless we planned on washing our own dishes after everyone else went home, we needed to quickly make up our minds!

even a little bit of room for another bite. No matter—we’d tasted enough to know that this was a place worth returning to, again and again.

I chose the Gnocchi Florentine, and opted for the blush sauce instead of the marinara (though any wish to swap out a sauce is easily accommodated). My companion chose the Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken, and we settled in to wait. A fresh salad and fluffy garlic rolls arrived, and this simple fare proved a worthy precursor to the entrée ahead.

The true delight in this story, however, is the La Trattoria family. Yes, the food is delicious, or I wouldn’t be encouraging readers to take the time to sample it. But there is more to this eatery than its food, its décor, or its clientele. The “wonderful people” my grandmother mentioned? They are the Romo family—Carlos and Sonia, and children Sebastian and Sophia. In January, they will celebrate five years of ownership and operation of La Trattoria.

The gnocchi and blush sauce were a harmonious blend of savory and hearty. Each potato dumpling was the perfect melt-in-your-mouth consistency and the sauce didn’t overpower, but only enhanced, the flavor. My dinner partner pronounced her fettuccine “flavorful and delicious.” Both plates were heaping portions, and within minutes, I knew that I’d be enjoying the remainder of mine for lunch the next day. Unfortunately, dessert would not be in the cards that evening; there was not

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Both hail from rich cultural backgrounds. Sonia was born in Ecuador to a family of Italian immigrants; Carlos was born in Mexico, near Guadalajara. Her grandparents hailed from Florence, Italy, and in the 1940s, they emigrated to Ecuador, where they began working in the wine business. The business took them from

Ecuador to Columbia, and finally to Chile. Her Latin American birthplace notwithstanding, Sonia’s heritage is Italian, and it is from these roots that the restaurant has blossomed. Carlos arrived in the United States in 1979 to pursue a career in management. Sonia came to the United States for family reasons, and the two crossed paths twenty years ago at a Maryland restaurant. He was a manager, she was a hostess, and soon after, the couple was married. They moved to Martinsburg from Northern Virginia almost nine years ago, after discovering the Panhandle and its moderate cost of living. The Romos still made the long commute to Northern Virginia, though, where they both had jobs in restaurant and property management. In their downtime, they would often dine together at home in Martinsburg, at a little restaurant known as “La Trattoria.” On one particular occasion, as they were finishing their meal and chatting with the owner, Sonia asked if he was planning on selling the business. “Everything in life is for

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

sale,” he replied. A month later, on a return visit, the owner declared, “I have been waiting for you; do you want to talk business?” Carlos and Sonia did want to talk business, and after weighing the pros and cons, decided to take the plunge and buy it. Sonia took over completely and Carlos continued the commute. However, when the economy took a turn for the worse a few years after the purchase, the family felt it was necessary for Carlos to be more present at the restaurant. He left his job and his long commute, and La Trattoria became a true family affair. Together with their teenage children— Sebastian, 19, and Sophia, 16—they have turned the business into an award-winning establishment. They earned The Journal Readers Choice award for Best Italian Food from 2007-2010, consecutively. Sonia is the head chef, and after training for six months, infused her style with the recipes of her grandparents—and even combined the flavors of Tuscany with those of Naples. “She is the heart of the restaurant,” emphasizes Carlos. He cooks when his wife is off, but normally he can be found greeting customers and assisting with front of the house duties. Sebastian serves as a head waiter/assistant manager and Sophia works as a server. “The kids play a big role in the restaurant; we are blessed that they’ve been involved,” shares Sonia. “We wanted to give them a future; we know they have their own desires, but we want to provide skills for them.” So what does it take to run a successful restaurant, besides a loving and supportive family unit? “Love, passion, and chemistry,” declares Carlos, with a chuckle. “You have to have love for what you do, and people. If you don’t have love, nothing works. You have to have passion to put the recipe together. Then chemistry! You have to know how to cook onions, or the alfredo sauce, and put them together perfectly.” Their advice for anyone considering the restaurant industry? “If you don’t love it, don’t do it,” asserts Carlos. Sophia agrees, “It’s hard work and it’s time consuming. But at the same time, it gives you a nice feeling. Even though you are tired because you worked all day, you are just thinking about the people who left happy,

because they had a great meal.” Judging by the comment book that I took a few moments to glance through, there are plenty of happy customers. The comments come from Colorado and Oregon, Georgia and Delaware, and even Florida. A family from Pittsburgh wrote in September: “Such a wonderful experience! Love the food. Delicious! And the Romo family was wonderful. Our third visit and we look forward to visiting again.” There were even notes jotted in Spanish and German. La Trattoria may be a gem in Martinsburg, but its close proximity to the I-81 corridor has delighted many hungry and weary travelers, from near and far. When asked about their vision for the future, both Romos alluded to grand plans: “We would love to have three or four restaurants in the tri-state area. Let’s dream a little!” Including themselves, there are seventeen employees at the restaurant. “It took us five years to get there, but we have a great crew,” Carlos boasts. Any expansion would likely require another hands-on investor—an idea to which the Romos are open, but that person would need to have the love, the passion, and the chemistry, of course. The family is proud of every aspect of their endeavor—from the food they serve to their community involvement; from their continuing recycling efforts to the fact that they get to work with the ones they love. Currently, the restaurant is open for dinner seven days a week, and lunch is served Monday through Friday. Customers come to celebrate birthdays, family reunions, rehearsal dinners, or just because. Reservations are required for larger parties, but otherwise, just stop in, and Sophia can whip up one of her favorites— Risotto Paella. Or try some of the customer favorites: Chicken Maximo with sun-dried tomatoes and asparagus. Or any of the fettuccini dishes. If interested in bringing a little bit of goodness to a family or work event, catering is done on a small scale, as well. You can browse the menu and read customer comments at or give them a call at 304-262-6925.

At a

Glance La Trattoria Italian Eatery

240 Lutz Avenue Martinsburg, WV 304•262•6925

First Impression

 Service

 Food Quality/Taste

 Value for Money

 Overall Atmosphere


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Project HOPE- A local organization serving a world in need.

By Victoria Kidd

As we progress through life, we are shaped by our experiences. Experiences shared by family and friends will change our perspectives, as will major events impacting the world around us. For some, an event or experience drives them to seek change and fuels a need to do great things. Such was the case for a naval officer named Dr. William B. Walsh, and the story of the organization forged through his wartime experiences is one of great interest. Dr. Walsh witnessed the deplorable health and living conditions of persons residing in the South Pacific. At the time, he was serving as a medical officer aboard a World War II destroyer, and his experience— particularly his witnessing of young children dying because of lacking health care knowledge and the limited availability of basic provisions—would change his life forever. Upon his return to the United States, he devised a vision for a worldwide humanitarian program. He requested that President Eisenhower provide a U.S. Navy hospital ship for him to use as the foundation of an international medical diplomacy program. The president was moved by the stories of his experiences, and, recognizing the need, he agreed to provide the USS Consolation. Dr. Walsh was able to gain the support of numerous individuals and businesses to repurpose the ship, and, through the efforts of many, his dream became a reality. The vessel would be renamed the SS HOPE, and its commission would give birth to Project HOPE in 1958. It would serve as a peacetime hospital ship until 1974. Its travels included several missions to places like Indonesia, Vietnam, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil,

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and other depressed countries. Today, Project HOPE is based out of Millwood, Virginia, and it continues the mission first envisioned by Walsh, through a number of land-based domestic and international health education programs, as well as through a partnership with the U.S. Navy that sends volunteer medical personnel into underserved areas and countries impacted by unexpected disasters.

the walls of temporary modular buildings, thousands of survivors have undergone rehabilitation through Project HOPE programs, and more than 4,000 amputees have undergone much-needed rehabilitative therapy or have been fitted with prosthetics. These programs directly improve the quality of life for individuals living in these areas where an unexpected event changed their lives forever.

Its mission is to promote sustainable health care practices in countries all over the world, and it accomplishes this mission through educational courses that train health professionals, as well as through projects that strengthen local health facilities and programs that combat infectious diseases, like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Additionally, Project Hope volunteers are ready to serve when tragic events, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, put lives in danger. Their endeavors deliver volunteers, medicines, supplies, and education where they are most needed. Programs currently operate in more than thirty-five countries worldwide, and they have played an active part in the recovery efforts related to many of the most recent natural disasters.

Such unexpected events present specific critical needs in impacted countries, and Project HOPE stands ready to answer the requests of such areas when resources and situations allow. Earlier this year, Japan was struck by a massive tsunami, which ultimately took the lives of tens of thousands. Survivors were faced with life among the devastation, as little remained of the areas hardest hit by the wall of water. Project HOPE volunteers supported the local medical providers by augmenting the over-extended staff. Specialists in the areas of infectious disease, psychiatry, and cardiology were sent in support of a direct request from the Japanese government. The organization continues to sustain efforts to rebuild Japan’s health infrastructure, just as it has for many other countries reacting to the unexpected needs of major disasters.

In 2010, Project HOPE responded to the unprecedented crisis in Haiti that followed the devastating January earthquake. More than 100 physicians, nurses, and medical staff, as well as more than $60 million in supplies and medicines, were sent. In addition to earlier efforts to combat life-threatening cholera outbreaks, the organization has supported efforts to rebuild local healthcare systems and educate local health providers. Within

Development Specialist Rachel Brodrick says, “We are an organization that has been founded on the idea of helping people help themselves. We go in and we teach the local health professionals how to best treat the illnesses and problems common in their areas. We support them by developing sustainable practices and we help build up the local programs that offer care directly

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

to area residents.” Teaching local providers helps reduce dependency on foreign aid, improves long-term success, and increases health system stability. The conscientious support given by Project HOPE volunteers is not about improving an area’s health for a few weeks, but is instead about improving an area’s health for generations to come.

to provide vaccinations to the elderly and persons with chronic diseases in the Central American country of Nicaragua. Healthcare professionals have provided services in too many countries to list, from the Czech Republic and Poland to El Salvador and Mexico. All of these efforts are coordinated locally through their office in Millwood.

This incredible support is not exclusive to international efforts, as Project HOPE also has domestic projects helping our neighbors. For example, in 1969, the organization established a nursing school in Texas to improve services and increase health care access for Hispanic families living in Laredo. More recently, it responded to the crisis situation occurring after Hurricane Katrina, sending medical personnel and providing more than $3 million in needed medical supplies.

Mr. Cary Kimble, the acting vice president of development and communications, is quick to praise the support given by the Valley and their Eastern Panhandle neighbors. “Project HOPE is proud to have been a Northern Shenandoah Valley business and employer since 1977. That year, not long after the hospital ship SS HOPE was decommissioned, the organization was looking for a permanent home. Through the generosity of several benefactors, the Carter Hall campus became our home.”

Another domestic endeavor that is making a difference in the lives of those living within our borders is a New Mexico project that aims to improve healthcare in the region. Through defined programming, the project will address disparities in the local statistics related to chronic diseases compared to national averages. Increasing access to prevention education, health screenings, and standard check-ups will help the population take control of their health. This is accomplished through the deployment of a mobile unit called the HOPE Mobile that is raising awareness and training local health workers in the state. “We are doing some incredible things,” Brodrick says. “We look at countries or domestic locations with a pressing health issue and work with our partners in those countries to coordinate efforts.” Project HOPE selects projects based on a number of factors. Large events, such as Hurricane Katrina and the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan get a lot of focus, but the organization’s smaller projects are making an equally important impact in other countries. They have established education programs to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Namibia in Africa. They have also collaborated with the local officials

Carter Hall is a beautiful historic property with history dating back to 1797. Project HOPE operates on the property and maintains this location of regional importance with great care. Kimble further explains, “Over these past thirty-four years, Project HOPE has grown to become one of the world’s leading nonprofit health education and humanitarian assistance organizations, impacting millions of lives around the globe. But to people in the Eastern Panhandle region, we are also a neighbor, and grateful to be here.” The organization is funded primarily through the private sector, with ninety-four percent of its funding received through corporate donors, foundations, and private individuals. Project HOPE spends money with prudence, and only utilizes about six percent of its funding for administration and fundraising. Their mission is of utmost importance, and they ensure that donor funding is predominantly used for the causes for which it has been provided. For more information on how you can support Project HOPE, visit or ProjectHOPEorg. For Twitter fans, follow projecthopeorg. To make a tax-deductible donation, call Rachel Brodrick at 540-837-9432, or email her at

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The Hard Part is Picking the Color

The Easy Part is Calling

Mediterranean Café |

Charles Town, WV

One World, Many Tastes By Debra Cornwell

Come for the hummus and stay for the belly dancing—depending on your perspective, those priorities might be reversed. Nonetheless, the eclectic menu at Mediterranean Cafe is as enticing as it is intriguing. If you just walk by the restaurant, the mouth-watering fragrance from the kitchen will draw you in. Note: best hummus ever. “The first misconception we need to clear up,” states Owner/ Chef Alfredo Amaya, “is that we are an all-curry restaurant. We have none—no curries here whatsoever!” My guess is that people see “kabob” and they also think “curry.” Although I love curry, many who don’t also don’t like “weird” ingredients. Alfredo assures me that while the names of the dishes and the preparations may be regional to the Mediterranean, none are so exotic as to be unpalatable to the local diner. As the restaurant’s name implies, the food is influenced by the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Diners will find menu selections with French, Moroccan, Lebanese, Persian, Spanish, and Italian influences. Alfredo, a proud father of three

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children, ages 13, 10, and 9, is originally from San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras, but grew up with Israeli and Middle Eastern influences in food and culture. “After we moved to Maryland, we joined our friends for Sunday dinners,” he remembers. “It was a multi-cultural melting pot of cuisine. I also lived with a family from Iran and worked in their restaurant near Silver Spring, Maryland, for twelve years. I cooked, waited tables—did it all. It was quite an education.” Alfredo came to Charles Town to work at the now-closed Avanti Restaurant. He later opened a little grocery store with international foods. He recalls, “I’ve always wanted to open a restaurant. One day, another business owner in Charles Town came into the grocery store and asked for hummus. I said I didn’t carry it but could make some quickly. Everyone loved it and the restaurant came shortly thereafter.” With his investors, Alfredo has created a white tablecloth-yet-casual atmosphere with a menu that can actually satisfy a variety of cravings (a great option when no one can agree on where to go). “I cook to my own taste—what I make at home and how I like to eat,” he says. “I’ve added a few dishes upon customer request, and I encourage diners to ask questions about the menu. Everything, even the sauces, is freshly prepared and madeto-order. This is what I love doing, and there is no place like Mediterranean Cafe in the area.” The Shrimp Scampi is fabulous because it has just a kick of heat. I prefer it ladled over pasta. The Chicken Alfredo is the classic— creamy sauce with grilled chicken, served over fettuccine. Pollo al Ajillo is a cafe favorite of sautéed chicken breast with a lemon, garlic, and white wine sauce. Served over rice or angel hair pasta, it is delicate perfection. Also a Cafe favorite “C” sampler

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Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

platter, with Greek olives, flatbread, feta cheese drizzled with balsamic vinegar, hummus, and Shirazi salad. Think of the Shirazi salad as a chopped, Mediterranean salsa. The hummus is the richest, creamiest hummus I’ve ever tasted, and makes store-bought taste like sandpaper. One of my dining companions selected a Greek salad topped with a chicken kabob. He didn’t mean to make a healthy choice, but it is. The grilled marinated chicken was tender and juicy, and the Greek salad was as it should be—full of flavor, with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, peppers, olives, and feta cheese, tossed in Alfredo’s Greek vinaigrette. On a different day, with a different dining companion, I went to Mediterranean Cafe for lunch and selected the Mariscada Seafood soup. Imagine a seafood broth with a touch of cream, so it’s not heavy and comes with shrimp and scallops—much lighter than a chowder, so less guilt, and it’s delicious. Mediterranean Cafe provides catering, as well. Customers can pre-order platters for pick-up or delivery. Alfredo also provides fullservice, off-site catering. Just last month, he catered two weddings, several off-site business meetings, and an event in a private home. Event catering is not limited to menu items—only the client’s imagination. I’ve actually booked Mediterranean Cafe to cater my birthday dinner. On the menu: a hummus, Greek olive, feta, and Shirazi salad platter, with flatbread, Shrimp Seviche with corn chips, and grilled shrimp kabobs with Basmati rice. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m anticipating deliciousness. Alfredo asserts, “If you give us a try, I guarantee you will come back.” There’s live music on Thursdays and Saturdays, and even belly dancing on some Fridays. Diners can bring their own wine. For more information visit

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Working for you here in the Panhandle!


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Now It’s Your Turn Recipes to Spice Up Your Life | It’s Time for the Holidays

y Cranberry Apple Chutne



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Roasted Rack of Lamb



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Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

Stuffed Peppers



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Applesauce Nut Cake



Whisk togeth er flour, salt, ci nnamon, cloves, and so da. Set aside. Cream togeth er butter or m arga brown sugar, beating until lig rine and ht and fluffy. Mix in eggs. A dd flour mixtu re into cream mixture altern ed ately with appl esauce, beginning and ending with flo ur mixture. Stir in the rais ins, and walnu ts. Pour into greased and floured tube pa n. Bake at 300 de grees for 1 1/ 2 hours, or until done. Coo l

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The Briggs Animal Adoption Center

Compassionate care for homeless animals. - By Victoria Kidd

Located on a beautiful campus at 3731 Berryville Pike in Charles Town (WV), the 21,000-square-foot Briggs Animal Adoption Center is dedicated to a mission of compassion for homeless animals in the Eastern Panhandle and Northern Virginia areas. Locally known as BAAC, the organization shares its campus with (on average) more than one hundred affectionate cats, and in excess of seventy playful dogs. All of these good-natured animals are waiting for the chance to be a member

of your family. The philosophy underlying the way BAAC operates is fundamentally different than what one may expect. The center is founded on the idea that animals have a value—a fundamental worth—inherent in all living beings with which we share our planet. Its commitment to this ideology honors the individuals for whom the center has been named. Anna C. Briggs, and her late husband, James P. Briggs, dedicated

their lives to improving the plight of homeless and unwanted animals. Mrs. Briggs founded The National Humane Education Society to help spread the message of compassion across the country. As a program of The National Human Education Society, the BAAC, along with Peace Plantation Animal Sanctuary—a sister program in New York— remains committed to its founding philosophy. Therefore, the center does not advocate the killing of a healthy animal simply to make room [ 95 ]

for another one. Jim Taylor, president of The National Humane Education Society, and proud grandson of Anna C. Briggs, explains, “Every life has intrinsic value. The BAAC is an adoption center, not a shelter, and we have a different philosophy governing how we operate. We want to improve life for as many animals as possible, and we want to educate people regarding the ways we all can help reduce the number of animals who are put down.” Euthanasia—the act of “putting an animal down,” or humanely putting it to death—is commonplace in many publically funded animal shelters. The National Humane Education Society, and its programs, do not take an official stance on the practice itself, instead recognizing the heart-wrenching dilemma faced by those technicians who have to perform the practice everyday in shelters across the country. Taylor recognizes that the root of the problem, which creates the need for such practices, is a lack of community education. It is a troubling thing for most people to think about. In shelters alone, several million animals are put down every year—literally thousands of animals every day. Another program of The National Humane Education Society is Spay Today. With offices on the BAAC campus, the program manages an endeavor that promotes the very basics of responsible animal care. Their voucher programs arrange for low-cost spay and neuter operations through a network of veterinarians, related animal welfare organizations, and nonprofit clinics across the area. On average, the program facilitates efforts that result in more than 5,000 dogs, cats, and rabbits receiving these operations every year. Each successful operation directly reduces the number of unwanted animals that make their way to animal shelters every year. Their work has been incredibly prolific, and as a result, Briggs was recently recognized by the West Virginia Senate with a certificate presented in honor of their dedicated public service. Accolades aside, the BAAC and its affiliated programs are undeniably

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Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

well run. Animals that are entering the program go through a thirty-day waiting period, where their health and behavior is evaluated. BAAC operates a full-service veterinary clinic on-site for use in the care of these animals. From x-rays and dental cleanings to vaccinations and major surgeries, the clinical staff comforts animals in need, and prepares them for adoption. Taylor says, “We make sure the animals are healthy. On average, we spend $400 to $800 on each animal in the first month.” These expenses are a result of the exhaustive care, and can include dental cleanings, spay or neuter services, rabies vaccinations, de-worming procedures, other needed vaccinations, and tests for common infections. Once animals have been given a clean bill of health, continuing care is provided, through bathing and grooming services, socialization efforts, and initial obedience training for dogs—until the animal is adopted. “Everything we do is done in the best interest of the animal,” explains Taylor. “Some people may say our adoption requirements are a bit stringent, but they have to remember that we don’t see these animals as commodities. We don’t sell animals. We are not pet dealers. We seek the best placement for the animal.” Administrative fees charged for adoption help to offset the cost of the care received by each animal coming into the program. This income, as well as the private donations it receives, helps the center operate, and allows for service to hundreds of needy animals each year. The stories associated with some of these animals are exemplary of why the educational programs of The National Humane Education Society and its affiliated programs are so important. Since opening, the center has helped a wide range of animals in need, including dogs like Wellington, a Saint Bernard who lived on a chain his entire life, and Majo, a dog believed to be an American Staffordshire mix, who had been shot in the face. Cats, too, are often the subjects of inhumane treatment. The center once received a cooler that was left on its doorstep overnight. Across the top, a message

was written, indicating “mom cat inside.” Inside the tightly shut cooler was a very pregnant snowwhite cat that would come to be named Veronica. Veronica, having endured a frightening night locked inside the dark, unventilated cooler, went into stress-induced early labor while under the center’s care. Unfortunately, two of her kittens were lost, but two would survive, thanks to the compassionate care provided by the BAAC clinical staff. These stories represent the extreme cases of neglect and abuse that result in an animal becoming a temporary resident at the center. While waiting for adoption, animals live in comfortable settings, designed with their well-being in mind. Cats roam free within a large enclosure, allowing them the ability to exercise their natural instincts of play. They can climb to the overhead catwalk, play with other cats awaiting adoption, and get a breath of fresh air on the screened-in porch. Dogs reside within large kennels and have regular access to exercise yards. Each animal receives meaningful interaction every day, thus ensuring they will continue to enjoy human contact and be ready for life in their new home. With such animal-focused programming, Briggs relies on both the generous donations and volunteer efforts of a concerned community. Taylor is grateful for the more than fifty volunteers that support the staff in their efforts. Without their assistance, the mission of BAAC would be nearly impossible. For more information, call 304-7246558. Visit their website at baacs. org to learn how you can help support their worthwhile efforts. You can also mail a tax-deductible donation to Briggs Animal Adoption Center, P.O. Box 1023, Charles Town, WV, 25414. If you have room in your home and in your heart, consider stopping by the center for a tour. You may just find the next member of your family, happily awaiting your arrival.

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Gourmet Gifts of the Month

There’s just something about belonging to a club. And some clubs simply never go out of season. Case in point: our friends at As the holiday season kicks into gear, the need/desire to give the ultimate gift becomes more of a focus—especially as we get closer to crunch time. Well, no need to wait around looking for the perfect gift this year: we’ve got a whole list of options right here for you. Just go online and check out these delicious solutions. Done and done! Now you can sit back and relax—and maybe even join a club of your own. Now there’s a concept. Cheers!

Beer of the Month

The Beer of the Month Club is the perfect gift for any beer lover! Each month, we’ll deliver twelve full-sized bottles of hard-to-find, specialty microbrews from award-winning, regional breweries across the country. Each shipment will include four different varieties of premium, handcrafted beer, carefully selected by our experts, and brewed in limited quantities by master brewers nationwide. We sample hundreds of micro-brewed beers every year, and only the best-of-the-best become selections of the Beer of the Month Club. We offer three-, six-, and twelve-month clubs, as well as a Beer of the Season Club, with new selections each spring, summer, fall, and winter. (12-Month Club—$31.95 per month—$383.40 total payment)

Cigar of the Month

The Cigar of the Month Club is the perfect gift for anyone who savors the unique pleasure of a great cigar! Each month, we’ll deliver a selection of five different hand-rolled cigars, including a wide variety of lengths, gauges, wrappers, and tobacco blends—all perfectly-aged and sealed in protective packaging to guarantee a fresh and safe arrival. We offer three-, six-, and twelve-month clubs, as well as a Cigar of the Season Club. (12-Month Club—$27.95 per month—$335.40 total payment)

Wine of the Month

The Wine of the Month Club will impress any wine lover! Each month, we’ll deliver two full-sized bottles of hard-to-find, premium wines from awardwinning boutique wineries across the globe. Every wine we deliver has been carefully selected by our professional wine tasters—who sample hundreds of new wines every year—looking for the perfect combination of flavor, rarity, and value. Three-, six-, and twelve-month clubs are available, as well as a Wine of the Season Club. (12-Month Club—$31.95 per month—$383.40 total payment)

Hot Sauce of the Month

The Hot Sauce of the Month Club is the perfect gift when they like it hot, hot, hot! Each month, we’ll deliver two different bottles of limited-production hot sauces from gourmet chefs and restaurants around the world. We sample hundreds of new hot sauces every year, looking for the perfect combination of fire and flavor, and only the best of the best are chosen for our members. If you’re serious about your hot sauce, you’ll be seriously crazy about these incredible selections. We offer three-, six-, and twelve-month clubs, and a Hot Sauce of the Season Club. (12-Month Club—$16.95 per month—$203.40 total payment) [ 100 ]

Around The Panhandle | NOV • DEC 2011

Dog Treat of the Month

The Dog Treat of the Month Club is the perfect gift for your furriest (and most loyal) four-legged friend! Each month, our canine gourmet-experts sample dozens of all-natural, specialty flavored dog treats from boutique producers nationwide—judging them for flavor, freshness, and bow-wowwonderfulness. Three-, six-, and twelve-month clubs are available, as well as a Dog Treat of the Season Club. (12-Month Club—$17.95 per month—$215.40 total payment)

Chocolate of the Month

The Chocolate of the Month Club is a no-brainer, seriously. Each month, we’ll deliver a new, one-pound selection of gourmet chocolates, made with only the finest all-natural ingredients, and shipped fresh from specialty chocolate makers nationwide. From delicious truffles and pralines to melt-in-yourmouth caramels and creams—we sample dozens of premium chocolates every month. Three-, six-, and twelve-month clubs are available, as well as a Chocolate of the Season Club. (12-Month Club—$28.95 per month—$347.40 total payment)

Breakfast of the Month

Coffee of the Month

The Breakfast of the Month Club is an experience to look forward to the whole year through. Each month, we’ll deliver a complete gourmet breakfast with an assortment of mouth-watering items, including a pancake, waffle, crepe, scone, Danish, or corn bread mix. We also provide organic syrup, preserves, honey, or other spread—as well as a delicious side item, like granola, dried fruit, or savory bacon. And, of course, don’t forget your hot breakfast beverage, like 100% Arabica coffee, loose-leaf tea, or hot cocoa. We’ll even throw in our informative newsletter, with recipe ideas created specifically for that month’s meal. We offer three-, six-, and twelve-month clubs, as well as a Breakfast of the Season Club. (12-Month Club—$21.95 per month—$263.40 total payment)

The Coffee of the Month Club is the perfect gift for any genuine java junkie! Each month, we’ll deliver two different varieties of freshly roasted 100% Arabica bean coffee, from small, specialty coffee roasters across the country. Choose either whole bean or freshly ground, and each variety weighs a generous twelve ounces—a full month’s worth! Each gourmet selection has been carefully chosen by our professional coffee experts, who, each month, sample dozens of premium, fresh-roasted coffees from award-winning boutique roasters nationwide. Three-, six-, and twelve-month clubs are available, as well as a Coffee of the Season Club. (12-Month Club—$22.95 per month—$275.40 total payment)

Movie of the Month

Dessert of the Month

The Movie of the Month Club is a gift to appreciate and anticipate—month after month! Every month, we’ll deliver a mouth-watering selection of movie-sized candies, microwavable popcorns, gourmet kettle corns, and popcorn seasoning—all packaged in an authentic theater-style popcorn bucket. And to make the night extra special, we’ll include a Blockbuster movie rental gift card. It’s a night on the town, without leaving the house! We offer three-, six-, and twelve-month clubs, as well as a Movie of the Season Club. (12-Month Club—$26.95 per month—$323.40 total payment)

The Dessert of the Month Club is a gourmet gift guaranteed to impress! Every month, we’ll deliver a new variety of gourmet dessert—from delicious cakes and cookies to incredible pastries and rugelach. Each decadent selection is carefully chosen by our team of taste-testing professionals, and delivered oven-fresh to your door—from specialty bakeries nationwide. Our generous shipments will serve eight to ten people, though you may not feel like sharing. Three-, six-, and twelve-month clubs are available, as well as a Dessert of the Season Club. (12-Month Club—$29.95 per month—$359.40 total payment)

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Visit us for the Holidays and see all the delightful decorations for your home or office Est 1998

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Mountain View Championship Course $39 - 18 Holes $37 - 18 Holes

Stony Lick Mid-Length Course $30 - 18 Holes $28 - 18 Holes

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FREE Appetizer With the purchase of Two Dinner Entrees. Thursday – Sunday 5pm to 9pm Offer Expires 12/30/11

$20 Free Gift Certificate For Every $100 You Purchase Prices Include Greens & Cart Fees! Tax extra. Rate is per person. Up to four (4) persons may play per coupon. Starting times requested up to seven (7) days in advance. Based on availability. No holidays. Appropriate golf attire required (No jeans/denim). The Woods is a nonmetal spikes facility. No outside coolers. Valid through 10/31/11. ATP Valid Sunday after 12pm and Monday - Friday all day!

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SPRING MILLS SELF STORAGE 304-274-5158 254 T J JACKSON DR, FALLING WATERS, WV 25419 24-Hour Access - Lighted and Secure. Open 10-5 Mon thru Fri and 10-2 Saturday

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Mention this ad & receive a FREE Home Warranty or Home Inspection.

(Up to $400 value-call for details)

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2 - Large 1 Topping Pizzas, 20 wings, 12 breadsticks with sauce and 2 two liter sodas for only $25! EXPIRES OCTOBER 31, 2011 – PLEASE CALL IN ADVANCE.



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FIRST MONTH RENT FREE On any 5 x 10 or 10 x 10 Storage Unit (Deposit of 1 month rent required) Month-to-month agreement $10 Admin. Fee for Security Code


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317 Aikens Center Martinsburg, WV 25404

“Contact me for a List of Foreclosures”

• Free Delivery • Free Normal Installation • Parts & Service on all Brands of Appliances

704 Winchester Avenue Martinsburg, WV


Jefferson Crossing Shop Ctr 91 Saratoga Dr, Suite D Charles Town, WV


Family Owned and Operated Since 1948 • Visit Us Online at

“Get on the ball ” With the Area’s Premiere Hospital-based Fitness Center. . .

State-of-the-Art Technogym Equipment Fitness Assessments Goal Setting Personal Training Lifestyle & Weight Management Boot Camp Step Aerobics Yoga Zumba Water Aerobics Low Impact Aerobics Chair Aerobics Around the holidays, we understand the challenge of staying healthy and in shape. That’s why it’s the perfect time of year to “get on the ball” with your fitness program. The Wellness Center offers a variety of ways for people of all fitness levels to enhance their health and well-being.

Located in the Dorothy A. McCormack Center on the City Hospital Campus.

So, this holiday season, treat yourself to the “gift of good health” and let our professional staff help create a program just for you!

For more information, call 304.264.1232

w w w. w v u h - e a s t . o r g

Around The Panhandle November - December 2011  

Around The Panhandle Magazine, your local regional magazine featuring Things to Do, Places to Go & People to Know in and around the Eastern...