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AT THE HELM OF LKN CHARITIES INCLUDING LIANA WELLER OF ACE & TJ'S GRIN KIDS

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SOUTHERN TRADITIONS

& more!

wrapping p it u


Peace on earth and good will to all mankind Wishing you gifts of health, happiness and prosperity this Christmas and throughout the new year. The Stoner Group Charles C. Stoner Senior Vice President–Wealth Management Eileen Stoner, CRPC® Senior Vice President–Wealth Management Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM Charles M. Stoner Financial Advisor Amy Lowe Financial Advisor UBS Financial Services Inc. 16810 Kenton Drive Suite 310 Huntersville, NC 28078

9100 Fairview Road 9th Floor Charlotte, NC 28202

704-765-3254 855-541-0917 toll free stoner.group@ubs.com

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December wrapping it up

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Every year around this time I start to feel anxious. In fact, my behavior becomes quite Grinch-like. It’s not that I hate Christmas, or that my heart is too small, or even that my head is not screwed on just right. It’s more that as Christmas comes faster and faster, my ability to deal with it becomes less and less. As I stare down at my to-do list with a sour, Grinchy frown, my Grinch fingers start nervously drumming, and I seriously begin wondering if there’s a way I can stop Christmas from coming. I need more time! I still need to shop for the Jing Tinglers and Flu Floopers. I need new recipes for the Who pudding and the Who hash (they weren’t really edible last year). I need to hang the Who stockings, and put up the Who wreaths. Cards need to be written, parties need to be attended, gifts need to be wrapped, gifts need to be returned. And the scheduling! How lucky the Grinch is not to have a blended family and in-laws at Christmas. I love all of mine dearly, but it’s easier to achieve world peace than to figure out who is going to be with whom on what day. Is it no wonder that Mount Crumpet is so appealing to my Grinchy friend? I’m beginning to realize that the Grinch is simply misunderstood. Maybe instead of a fiend with a diminutive heart, he is just a normal guy, albeit a bit overwhelmed by the season, who overreacts a skosh? Is there anyone among us who hasn’t done the same? OK, I admit that stealing every household in an entire town blind and then taking your loot to the top of a mountain may take the prize. But I do recall one particular Christmas in which I came very close. After muttering many unseasonal words as the tree fell over for the fifth time and I’d made a trip to the store not once, not twice, but three times for lights that actually worked, I threatened my youngest that if he mentioned wanting more lights on the landscape again I was going to set the bushes on fire, toss all the decorations into

the conflagration, and make him watch it all burn to the ground. I’m not proud—in fact, I’m quite certain that Christmas is not intended to inspire such feelings. But now you see why I relate to the Grinch. Despite our mutual holiday breakdowns, what the Grinch and I have most in common, though, is our inevitable transformation. Just as we’re both about to ruin Christmas for those around us, we figure it out. We look at those we love with their singing and their noise and realize that “Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” For me, it’s about the sense of togetherness and community that the celebration of our Lord and Savior’s birth engenders. I feel it when a stranger offers to help me load my packages in the car even though I know he’s just as tired as I am, and I see it in the smile of the exhausted department store cashier who still has eight more hours left in her shift. And I certainly feel it in my den as my family shares the holiday together— not because of the Tar Tinkers and Slu Slumkers but because of the joy we give and receive from one another all year long. Who could say it better than the Grinch’s former nemeses themselves, the Whos? “Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we.”

-dana

DANA NIETERS

. PUBLISHER

C O N TAC T D A N A V I A E - M A I L AT D A N A @ L A K E N O R M A N W O M A N . C O M


DECEMBER 2016 |

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Contents

20

7 CHARITABLE WOMEN

DECEMBER 2016

14

8 SOUTHERN CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

INCLUDING: MARGI KYLE

12

Features

SHE SAID WHAT: What Is One Unexpected Gift You Received That Touched You?

20

SPECIAL FEATURE: 7 Charitable Women

22

Amelia Sloan

24

Patrice Reynolds

26

Georgia Krueger

28

Liana Weller

29

Margi Kyle

30

Valerie Chamberlain

32

Debra O'Handley

in every issue 36 38

WOM E N O N T H E M OV E

5 TH I NG S TO DO IN DE C E M B E R

40

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S C E N E W IT H L K N W


DEBRA O'HANDLEY

AMELIA SLOAN

TH

E

NORMAN C KE HA LA

R'S BE M

GEORGIA KRUEGER

Champions Diversity Aw of ard

WINNER

LAKE NOR MAN WOM AN MAGAZ IN

N

I

NG

RS

OG

ZI

ITY

REC

E

18 PATRICE REYNOLDS LIANA WELLER

44

14

VALERIE CHAMBERLAIN

EXC

ELLENCE IN

DI

VE

Business

Wrap Up Your OfямБce Clutter

Health

It's A WrAAP

Self

8 THINGS: 8 Southern Christmas Traditions

16

Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas

42

For Flying Out Loud!

46

The Night Before Deadline

48

MIND BODY SPIRIT: Giving The Perfect Gift

DECEMBER 2016 |

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she said what?!

What is one unexpected gift you received that touched you? DEBRA O’HANDLEY

“My 11-year-old niece drew my name in our gift exchange. She made me a plaque, carving the word ‘Goodwill’ on it, to commemorate all our store trips to ‘find treasure.’ She spent days in my brother’s workshop, using all his tools and stain. This daily reminder of our laughing and bonding over silly stuff hangs in my closet.”

MARGI KYLE

“Months before we got married, Lee surprised me at the airport—with my packed suitcase and tickets to Florida for a week. I cried on the beach, ‘No one’s ever known what I really needed and done it for me.’ If you don’t take care of you, you can’t take care of others!”

AMELIA SLOAN

“When I was young, I really disliked my name. But at the store once with my mom, a woman overheard us and said that it was her name, too. She gave me a quarter and told me how beautiful and special it was. I’ve loved it ever since.”

LIANA WELLER

“About three years ago, a dear friend surprised me with a 5’x 5’ collage of my family. I still get teary thinking about how I felt to see it the first time. It must have taken her days to make, not to mention it was so incredibly thoughtful. I will cherish it—and her—forever.”

PATRICE REYNOLDS

“A couple found a wandering cat, but with the wife’s allergies, they couldn’t keep it. It was getting cold outside, and the shelters were full. When I said I’d take the cat, he gave me the biggest, most sincere bear hug ever. That and our Loosie cat made an indelible mark on my soul.”

GEORGIA KRUEGER

VALERIE CHAMBERLAIN

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“When I was maybe 8, my father gave me a live horse, named Ready Go. The hidden gift was responsibility. I was accountable for anything associated with Ready. The lessons from that experience still guide me every day. I’m thankful.”

“I was really touched when a woman shared iris bulbs with me from her garden. It is a simple gift, but if you think about it, it’s a gift that can be shared and lasts for generations to come.”


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8 THINGS

8 interesting milestones, events, scoops, trifles, or just cool stuff

8

Southern Christmas Traditions

1

By: Dana Nieters

3 2 4

© Nipaporn Panyacharoen | Dreamstime.com

1. POINSETTIAS 2. COCONUT 3. ORANGES 4. OYSTER

6

5

CAKE

IN YOUR STOCKING

DRESSING

5. AMBROSIA

© Dnaveh | Dreamstime.com

6. MAGNOLIAS 7. PECANS 8. A

CANDLE IN EVERY WINDOW

7 8

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Self

Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas Fancy paper, tinsel, ribbons, and bows—there is a lot to choose from when it comes to festively wrapping your gifts. If you like the packaging as much as you like the gift giving, perhaps these few ideas will get your creative juices flowing this holiday season:

© Maglara | Dreamstime.com

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE PLAIN BROWN PAPER.

Use a scarf, bandana, or just decorative cloth to create a unique look. CONSIDER FABRIC.

© Melica | Dreamstime.com

Simplicity with a red ribbon—perfection!

GET BACK TO NATURE. Use a sprig of pine or pine cones to adorn your gifts. But be careful with mistletoe as it can be poisonous if ingested, especially for pets and children.

ADD CANDY AND SMALL GIFTS. You can tuck a candy cane, smaller-wrapped present, or perhaps a homemade goodie to the top of your package.

GIFT BASKETS ARE ALWAYS FUN. Cellophane comes in all variety of colors and

patterns and baskets abound, so personalize those gifts. How about a spa basket full of facial scrubs, a manicure kit, and an aroma candle? Or perhaps a Panthers footballthemed basket—especially if you have tickets to give!

Have the kids draw and create their own. Family members will appreciate the special touch. Or create a picture montage in a Word document and print out on regular or legalsized paper for wrapping smaller gifts.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR WRAPPING PAPER.

© Arinahabich08 | Dreamstime.com

For additional creative gift giving and wrapping ideas, visit www.pinterest.com.

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Keep, donate, toss, sell.

Make separate piles for each to begin the decluttering process. And donate or sell immediately; the longer it hangs around the more likely you are to keep it.

WRAP UP YOUR

office clutter

Manage paper flow.

Alleviate unnecessary papers by subscribing to paperless online billing, scanning and saving receipts on your computer, and storing documents and files electronically. These options are very reliable with proper backups.

Stay focused and realistic.

Ask yourself: Do I need it? When was the last time I used it? Will I need it in the foreseeable future?

Schedule weekly cleanings. TO ACCORDING M, FORBES .CO

57 percent of us r admit to judging ou coworkers based on r the tidiness of thei d, office. Papers stacke files one on top of the other, pens that ths have dried up mon ago—and what is one to do with all the old electronics? ce Here are some offi we decluttering tips as wrap up 2016:

Paper and dust mites dwell in stacks of papers, files, and books, so make it a habit to clean, purge, and disinfect on a regular basis. If you actually see it on your todo list each week, it is more likely to get accomplished.

Don’t buy more storage.

The point is to “get rid of” not “add to,” so don’t go buy new filing cabinets or storage bins, which defeats the purpose.

Organize the mess of cables.

Cords and cables are unsightly and provide more surfaces for dust and dirt. You can use rain gutter segments to hold cables. Also, check out products specifically designed for hiding them such as IKEA’s Signum line or Cablox.

E-cycle.

On average, televisions are used for fewer than two years, and for computers, it’s three. Recycling your electronics is critical for preserving landfill space and ensuring that hazardous materials are disposed of properly. Visit www.ecyclingcentral. com for more information and for local recycling centers. For more information on a productive work environment, visit www.forbes.com.

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© Stokkete | Dreamstime.com


Studio 73 Dance

Our 18 Seasonth

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Empowering individuals to grace the stages of life through DANCE! www.studio73dance.com ( 7 0 4 )

8 7 5 . 9 9 1 1

DECEMBER 2016 |

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ladies leading

charities

at the at the helm

ooff lake lake norman

Fortunately, for many in the Lake Norman community, charity is as natural as the peaceful effect of our calm lake waters. While for some, charity can be an obligation or a tax write off, for others, it is a hobby ‌ even an obsession, something one does as regularly and as faithfully as going to the gym. But for these seven women, charity is a way of life, not simply a means to give back, but a way to spread help and hope and to share purpose throughout the community—and beyond. PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHELSEA BREN

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LOC ATION: C OWANS FORD C OUNTRY CLUB


DECEMBER 2016 |

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AMELIA SLOAN charity Relay for Life

d

o you know someone with cancer? Chances are that you do, considering as many as 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed at some point in their lives.

Amelia Sloan, at least through her junior year at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, had been fairly insulated from the disease. But on her second day of an internship with the American Cancer Society (ACS), she was tasked with shadowing an oncology social worker as she visited with cancer patients. To Amelia’s surprise, one of those patients was the father of a friend of hers from her hometown in central Illinois. “I couldn’t believe this had happened to someone I knew so well,” Amelia recalls. “It was a wake-up call for me. I went home and thought about how I could help that family. I had no idea then that my internship would not only shape my career, but also my life and my personal mission!” Amelia continued to volunteer during her senior year, scheduling free rides for cancer patients who needed help getting to treatment. Upon graduation she took a position as a patient resource representative, providing information on the free programs ACS offered, such as free rides, free wigs and scarves, and free lodging. But it was then, in 2013, that she became part of Relay for Life and really found her calling. Relay for Life is the world’s largest fundraising movement in which people come together to remember those who have lost their battle, to honor those who have survived, to recognize the caregivers who have supported the journey, and to fight back against this terrible disease. Despite being a community-based event, Relays for Life occur all over the nation. That’s why when Amelia and her fiancé, Will, moved to the Lake Norman area, she was able to pick up right where she left off in Illinois. But it is the community aspect of all Relays for Life that make them so special, says Amelia. “The Huntersville/Cornelius event is different from the Mooresville event, which is different from the East Lincoln event,” she adds. “You learn so much about a town or a community at its Relay.” It is Amelia’s job to make sure that all teams that participate have an excellent relationship with ACS and that they know what their fundraising dollars are doing within their communities and in cancer research. “I know that I won’t be the person who creates a cure for cancer,” she says, “but I want to feel that I’m making a difference and that my actions will have a positive effect in the long run.”

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Though Amelia is very proud of the work Relay for Life does to fight cancer, she admits there are times that staying positive can be a struggle, especially when a patient she has gotten to know succumbs to the disease. When that happens, she remembers her Grandma Jo, who lost her battle with uterine cancer: “Remembering her keeps the fire lit inside me. No one should ever have to go through that. I want to make sure that this is cancer’s last century!” | DECEMBER 2016

By: Dana Nieters


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PATRICE REYNOLDS charity Friends of the Animals

t

en years ago, a small group of women in Statesville expressed concern about animal treatment at the local shelter. But they did more than just talk about the problem; they joined forces to find a solution by starting Friends of the Animals. Working together, they were able to instigate much needed changes at the shelter. Unfortunately, though, pet homelessness continues to be a problem, both locally and nationally. Millions of innocent dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens are euthanized every year simply because they are homeless. Tens of thousands are being killed in our local communities each year. In late 2010, a Friends of the Animals board member reached out to Patrice Reynolds about the state of animal affairs in Iredell County. Unaware of the crisis, she was appalled. Patrice, an Atlanta native, grew up with a household full of dogs. Referring to the backyard turtles as her pets, she also enjoyed having a hamster, a gerbil, and cats, too. After attending both the University of Georgia and West Georgia College, Patrice became an elementary school teacher and took her first teaching job in Guatemala. “It was an eye-opening experience to live and work outside of the United States,” Patrice says. She traveled through Central America and also lived in Brazil for a few years. Internalizing the mantra “Think globally, act locally,” Patrice returned to the States to work for an organization that was making a difference in the world. With her husband, Jorge, she moved to the Lake Norman area in 2000. Patrice and Jorge live in Sherrills Ford with their two rescued cats, Loosie and Annabelle. “I love this area and all it has to offer!” she says. “I appreciate that the Lake Norman area is truly a community. We are concerned for one another, and want the best for our families—including our furry family members.” In 2010, Patrice became the executive director for Friends of the Animals and began raising funds to build a pet education and adoption center that would focus on a three-part approach to the homeless pet crisis: the adoption of homeless pets, lowcost spay and neuter services, and responsible pet ownership education programs. “With a committed board of directors we raised $2.6 million,” Patrice says, “and brought visibility to the need for just such a center.” This November, Friends of the Animals merged with the Humane Society of Iredell County to form Lake Norman Humane, bringing the goal of education, fostering, and adoption together. The newly formed organization gained a new board of directors and executive director. Patrice says she is privileged to have been an integral part of leading the organization to this new chapter. “It’s been such a privilege to be involved these past six years in getting Friends of the Animals off the ground,” she says. “Since I’ve just closed that chapter, I’m excited to begin a new one. I am currently working on a special project involving dogs. My life has been in helping strengthen communities through nonprofit organizations, and I plan to continue being involved with nonprofits making a positive impact in our Lake Norman community.”

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By: Michelle Love


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GEORGIA KRUEGER charity The Ada Jenkins Families

and Careers Development Center

f

rom its early beginnings as a schoolhouse for African American students during the Great Depression, The Ada Jenkins Families and Careers Development Center now provides a complete array of health, education, and social services. Executive Director Georgia Krueger explains it best: “Our charity is so multifaceted and layered that I often tell people that we are a full-service health, education, and human services organization offering a free medical clinic, a free mobile dental clinic, a food program, a clothing closet, case managers, an amazing education program for children, and employment services.” Georgia discovered her life’s purpose quite by accident one summer day long ago when a friend mentioned that a local camp needed counselors and swim instructors. Years later, Georgia took a job with the Lake Norman YMCA where she would work for more than 20 years, eventually serving as the director. Her time there allowed her to develop a heart for this kind of work, which was the impetus for becoming involved with the Ada Jenkins Center, volunteering early on and serving as a board member. “It was meant to be,” Georgia says. “It is nothing short of a privilege to be invited into people’s lives, especially into the really difficult moments. We hear the stories of despair and see that turn to hope. We get to help our fellow man and then see families moving in the direction of a better life, and that is truly rewarding. I am reminded of Micah 6:8: ‘He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’” Georgia leans on her faith; she was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2011, after living with the symptoms for two years, not knowing what could be wrong. Fortunately, a dear friend insisted that she look into it. “Because of her prodding,” Georgia says gratefully, “I was eventually diagnosed. I was on oral antibiotics followed by six months of IV antibiotics. At the point when I was at my absolute lowest, I felt myself on God’s lap, being hugged while He was whispering in my ear that I would be okay. So, every time I start feeling bad or feeling sorry for myself, I simply remember His words. And I am much better; it is okay!” Her ability to infuse faith and positivity into the world is just one of the God-given attributes that Georgia brings to her work, although you’d have a tough time convincing her it is “work.” Her dedication, passion, and overall depth of love is evident in her every move. “Our goal is to break the cycle of poverty,” she smiles. “It doesn’t happen overnight, and it requires a tremendous amount of individual time. People don’t typically get into poverty quickly, so it is a long, slow process to get out. The biggest challenges are in educating the community as a whole of what we are really doing, and the fact that it takes all of us to break that cycle.”

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By: Leslie Ogle


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LIANA WELLER charity Ace and TJ’s Grin Kids

a

sk just about anyone in the Lake Norman community— and many others within our region—and they know what Ace and TJ’s Grin Kids is. They’re familiar with the local radio personalities and their annual trip to Disney World with terminally ill and chronically handicapped children and, of course, those heartfelt grins on the faces of the children, the families, and the volunteers who get to participate in this incredible, once-in-alifetime experience. But what they may not know is that the nonprofit, Grin Kids, is just that: a separate 501 (c)(3) charity started by two guys who happen to have a successful radio show. And that nonprofit is run by Executive Director Liana Weller right here in Mooresville. “I got a phone call out of the blue from TJ,” Liana says. “I’d been involved in several community fundraising events, but at the time, I was trying to figure out what my next personal career move would be. I’d been involved with Big Brothers, Big Sisters for years, both in Houston and Pittsburgh, that were very meaningful to me. My Little Sister in Pittsburgh is now in her 20s, and I still keep in touch with her. So, I knew I wanted to work with children.” At the time, Liana did not know TJ personally and was surprised her name had even come up from multiple sources when Ace and TJ were looking for someone to run their nonprofit. “What a gift I have,” she says, “to be able to get up every day and be part of making the day for these families.” Making someone else’s day is important to Liana, along with her husband, Todd, and their 13-year-old twins, Mallory and Aiden. While the annual Disney World trip, which celebrated number 17 this year, lasts five days, it takes the rest of the year to make it possible. To make it “magical”—a goal, written right into the nonprofit’s mission statement. The trip is funded solely by individual and corporate donations and fundraiser events, such as this month’s Breakfast with Santa and a golf tournament, held each June. And while one may think that parts of the trip are comped by the larger corporations, they are not. Grin Kids pays for everything, including the hotel, transportation (yes, airline fees!), and meals for these families. Anyone who’s traveled can empathize with the challenges of preparing for a flight—but try organizing such logistics for 37 families (this year)!

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Overall, Grin Kids has shared enchanted, dream vacations with more than 400 children and their families. Liana, who joined in 2013, couldn’t imagine doing anything else. And that’s a good thing. As one of the group’s founders, Ace says, “It’s overwhelming the way Liana has taken our vision of Grin Kids—and its growth—and not only made it a reality but found innovative ways to push it even further into the future.” TJ agrees: “Not only was Liana the perfect person to help take Grin Kids to new heights, she’s very sweet and a joy to work with every day. Her love for these special families is evident.” | DECEMBER 2016

By: Amy Hallman


MARGI KYLE charity Little Smiles

w

ith lots of reasons for big smiles, Executive Director Margi Kyle puts her heart and soul into Little Smiles, a nonprofit that provides toys, games, DVDs, laptops, VIP outings, celebrity meet and greets, concerts and sporting events tickets, and so much more for children in local hospitals, hospices, and shelters. “We are local; we are immediate; and we are hands on,” Margi says. “We work with local nurses, social workers, and outreach coordinators to determine the immediate needs for each child. Approximately 93 percent of our proceeds go directly for the children.” Margi was born in Stanford, Connecticut, and grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Her work and education endeavors have taken her to many locations—New Jersey, New York, Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver and finally, North Carolina. She attended Centenary College for Women, earning a degree in early childhood education, which led her to work with special needs children and to open a daycare center. Later returning to school to pursue a degree in interior design, Margi has now worked and taught in that field for over 40 years. To her list of accomplishments, she adds television host, mentor, keynote speaker, educator, and published writer. Margi is also the executive director for We Make Color Easy, The Dewey Color System, a revolutionary design-décor service. “While my interests in design and fashion have influenced much in my life, my passion for children never left me,” Margi says. “Opening the North Carolina Chapter of Little Smiles eight years ago was a full-circle moment. I am also incredibly grateful for my husband and my children. They have been amazing in encouraging me to live my life to the fullest and to my highest potential.” Margi finds helping children through Little Smiles to be a very humbling experience. Engaging with the nurses, doctors, parents, and the children is her most rewarding work. “I am living my true passions in life,” she says. “I am still working in design, but I have changed my focus to design for the aging, helping older people pull their space together as they move into retirement living. And continuing my work with Little Smiles makes it a beautiful combination of young, old, and giving.” Margi admits that working with ill children can be difficult for many—putting a board together that fully understands their mission can be a challenge. They ask all board members and volunteers to do one of three W’s: Work, Wisdom, or Wealth. “All three would be great,” she grins, “but we look for one strength in each person. Going to the hospital and being with sick kids is hard for a lot of people. They just need to remember that we are there to simply put a smile on a beautiful child’s face. We do the little things that make the biggest difference.” By: Leslie Ogle

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VALERIE CHAMBERLAIN charity Mooresville Christian Mission

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t was the promise of the American dream that brought my greatgrandfather to Ellis Island at the age of 14. It was in its pursuit that my father left the security of a salaried job and started his own business. But in my certainty that the American dream is alive and well, sometimes I forget that there is a significant fraction of the population that has trouble making ends meet every day. For instance, did you know that 1 in 3 elementary school children in Mooresville live in low income or poverty? Or that there is double-digit unemployment in Mooresville? And would you believe that 40 percent of children in the Mooresville Graded School District qualify for free or reduced lunches? For these children, the American dream is all but out of reach. Valerie Chamberlain, executive director of the Mooresville Christian Mission, strives to change their perception. It is her strongest desire to show them that not only does the American dream still exists, but that it’s also well within their grasp. “I enjoy the opportunity to help people move forward in their lives,” she says. “My ultimate goal is to put ourselves out of business and eliminate poverty in the Lake Norman area. There is simply no greater feeling than to help someone gain their independence and dignity.” That focus on dignity and independence means that the Mission provides much more than a handout. The true focus is on tools, skills, and resources so that the families served can work their way out of poverty and become self-sufficient. An economy marked by low wages and benefit reductions can make that climb from poverty more difficult, though. In fact, as a family’s earnings increase, they begin to lose many benefits, even though they are not yet self-sufficient. So, though they are working more, they can’t reach financial security; they’re stuck in the cycle of poverty. Services provided by the Mission, such as its food pantry, work to bridge that gap for such families until they can become permanently financially independent. Eliminating poverty is quite a lofty goal. But knowing Valerie means knowing that if anyone can do it, she can. “I believe in people,” she asserts. “I believe in myself and I believe in my faith. I believe that all things are possible; you just have to find a way.” This confidence comes naturally to Valerie, who credits a number of role models in her life: a former board member who mentored her, a current coworker who calms her, and especially her mother, who epitomized for her the notions of resilience and determination.   Despite the depth of her willpower, though, there are times that Valerie feels overwhelmed. After all, the Mission has helped 5,559 families this year alone. But rest assured, those doubts are short lived. All it takes is for one family the Mission has served to fight their way through a crisis and out of poverty. “When you see someone break through the barriers and witness the pride of their accomplishments,” she says, “it makes it all worthwhile.”

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By: Dana Nieters


704.608.9470 AnnieLewisEventPlanning.com Over 20 years of experience planning Corporate, Non-Profit & Milestone events

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DEBRA O'HANDLEY charity The Hope House Foundation

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ometimes life can come crashing down around us. And when bad things happen—a death in the family, a sudden job loss, health issues, or divorce—pain can blur our vision and shroud us in darkness and hopelessness. It’s a lonely place to be. The good news is that hope is never really gone—somewhere, somehow, it floats all around us; and sometimes, we just need someone to hang on to it for us for a little while until we can see it ourselves. That’s exactly what Debra O’Handley does as the executive director of The Hope House Foundation, a transitional living shelter for women and their children who have become suddenly homeless due to situations beyond their control. “I won’t ever give up on hope,” she asserts. “I consider it an honor to share my hope with and hold on to the hope of the women and children who come here who have lost theirs from all of the challenges they face. Then when they can feel hopeful again, I get to give it back.” Hope House offers women facing homelessness a safety net, a chance to catch their breath and make a plan. In addition to a temporary home, the foundation provides much-needed support and connects them with available services, while expecting the residents to do the work required to get back on their feet. Each resident shares in the responsibilities of caring for the six-bedroom home, and each contributes to the foundation in some manner. This year alone, Hope House has helped 37 families, with 98 percent of the guests leaving with full-time jobs and stable housing. Finding hope isn’t always easy, though, even for Debra, who admits that there are times when the pain of the women and children seeking shelter at Hope House can be a bit overwhelming. When she struggles, she leans on the strength of her husband, Dan, who was the captain of their college basketball team when they began dating. “He taught me how to stay in the game and play my best each time,” she says. Debra also leans on her faith: “Every situation that we hope for is going to wear out, fall apart, or go away. The question then is about your deeper hope, your fallback hope that never disappears. It’s about believing in the God of Hope who will bless you more than you imagined.” It is this certainty in hope’s existence that gives Debra the confidence that it can always be found, even in the most unexpected places. On a recent walk on the beach, she came across a massive pile of bits and pieces of broken shells—not a single undamaged shell in sight. She begin digging through them, and to her surprise, just underneath the broken pieces, right in the middle of the giant heap, was a perfect shell. “It reminded me that in the midst of all the brokenness, hope can still be discovered,” she says. “It’s how we search for that hope and never give up that matters.”

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By: Dana Nieters


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women move O N

T H E

RACHEAL HAYWOOD has

opened Salon Zéle in Mooresville. Racheal is a graduate of the Paul Mitchell School, and the Vidal Sasson Academies in Manhattan and Los Angeles, respectively. Salon Zéle is located at the intersection of Brawley School and Williamson Roads.

GRETA MCCOY is the

owner of Hudson & Lee Honey Simple Syrup, an all-natural and handcrafted beverage item used as a cocktail and beverage mixer. Among many regional locations, Hudson & Lee is available at the Old Store Produce and the Sanctuary at Davidson.

HOLLY DAVIS is the founder

of HollyzHope, a nonprofit with a mission of providing fencing to free dogs from the chain life. This organization operates solely from volunteers and donations, and also offers dog houses, spay and neutering, and basic dog supplies, such as food, straw, bedding, and toys.

SANDY TILLEY, executive

director of Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville, was recently recognized as the 2016 Nonprofit Champion of Diversity by the LKN Chamber of Commerce. Sandy opened the soup kitchen in 2007, and is also an inaugural LKNW Woman of Will.

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CONNECT WITH US! Whether you are a woman on the move, looking for events, new businesses in the area, or are willing to contribute your opinion, follow us by visiting www.facebook.com/lakenormanwoman or e-mail amy@lakenormanwoman.com. | DECEMBER 2016


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calendar

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5 THINGS AN LKN

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OMAN SHOULD DO IN DECEMBER

THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, DEC . 1 THROUGH 3:

CHRISTMAS IN DAVIDSON 6 to 9 p.m. 216 S. Main St., Davidson

Come get in the spirit and be entertained! Enjoy trolley rides, and shop among the vendors set up on the Green, along the streets, and in local businesses. Mrs. Claus will be conducting story time. Of course, you can make some time for Santa, too!

F RIDAY & SATURDAY, DEC . 2 & 3:

9TH ANNUAL COMMUNITY NATIVITY FESTIVAL Friday: 3 to 9 p.m.; Saturday: Noon to 8 p.m. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7036 McIlwaine Rd., Huntersville

All are welcome to attend this free, familyfriendly community event. There is something for everyone, including more than 400 Nativities from around the world, a stable with Nativity costumes, children’s crafts, and nightly musical performances from 4:30 p.m. to closing.

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3

F RIDAY & SATURDAY, DEC . 9 & 10:

WALK THROUGH BETHLEHEM

Friday: 6 to 9 p.m.; Saturday: 2 to 9 p.m. Camp Wesley, 3090 Deal Rd., Mooresville

All are invited to this free, lively, interactive, biblical-era drama and marketplace. Guests register for the census (and tour group). Guides lead the way through Bethlehem, and groups experience the very first Christmas. Along the way, they meet the tax collector, merchants, and shepherds in the field—and discover Baby Jesus in the manger!

S ATURDAY, DEC . 3:

LAKEWOOD VETERINARY HOSPITAL OPEN HOUSE TO BENEFIT LAKE NORMAN HUMANE 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. 813 Williamson Rd., Mooresville

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Enjoy photos with Santa, a tour of the veterinary hospital, an adoption fair, a basket raffle, and an ugly sweater contest! Food and beverages will be available. This event will benefit LKN Humane.

THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY, DEC . 1 THROUGH 18:

THE DAVIDSON COMMUNITY PLAYERS PRESENTS: HOLLY & TINSEL Armour Street Theatre, 307 Armour St., Davidson Tickets: Adult: $20; senior (65+): $18; student (< 21): $12

The DCP presents Matt Merrell’s musical celebration of family, community—and a chance to rediscover the meaning of Christmas.


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““ Scene

WITH

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BE SCENE

LAKE NORMAN WOMAN is getting out and about each month, looking for great events and the fabulous and exciting Lake Norman people who are making them happen! So next time you’re at a chamber event, a new business in the area, or just out having fun, look for Lake Norman Woman and our camera. Who knows, you just might find yourself in next

LKNW’s Michelle with the memory care unit at Ranson Ridge Assisted Living in Huntersville

month’s “SCENE WITH

LAKE NORMAN WOMAN!”

LKNW’s Michele with Jen Hatmaker last month in Charlotte at her Belong Tour

LKNW’s Dana with Today's Woman publisher (Louisville) Cathy Zion

LKNW’s Michele with Sarah Carlton, Mari Alexander, Mandi Radillo, and Jamie Frisk at the grand opening of Holly Crest Apartments in Huntersville

LKNW’s Michelle with Hannah Rash, owner of The Mother’s Nest, a motherhood boutique in Statesville

The LKNW team dons boots--in anticipation of the cooler temperature.

View more Scene photos & more at our Facebook page: Facebook.com/ LakeNormanWoman

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The LKNW team, sans Leslie, after lunch at Fresh Chef in Cornelius


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For Flying Out Loud! Dodging Air Travel Hassles This Winter

WHENEVER POSSIBLE, FLY DIRECT. Many times, it is the connecting flight that gets you in trouble. Do your initial flight searches with the “Nonstop Flights Only” button checked. You can also use searches such as “Show Nearby Airports” and “My Dates Are Flexible.”

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CHECK THE WEATHER. If you have a connection, pay attention to the weather conditions in your connecting cities, as well as at your departure and destination airports. Research ahead of time to determine which alternate flights might work best.

| DECEMBER 2016

© Nicoelnino | Dreamstime.com

veling for Whether you’re tra rating the the holidays or celeb er, we know fact that they are ov ful, especially travel can be stress s, weather in the winter. Delay of folks, conditions, and tons idea, can who had the same moments. make for some trying to help you Here are a few tips taway: enjoy your winter ge

CHOOSE A MORNING FLIGHT. There are two good reasons for this: you are far less likely to have your flight affected by problems at other airports; and if your flight is canceled or delayed, your options for alternate flights on that same day are much better.

AVOID TAKING WRAPPED GIFTS. Security will have to open them, period. With the Transportation Security Administration searching checked bags as well as carry-ons, this applies to all of your luggage.

CONSIDER SMALLER AIRPORTS. So often these days, the sheer number of travelers can bog down the busier, larger airports.

FLY SOUTH. Consider booking your connection through a Southern city where winter weather is not as big an issue.

For more travel tips or to plan a vacation, visit www.aaa.com.


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health T H E AC A D E M Y A LS O C AU T I ON S

parents and health care providers about the risks of unproven commercial products. “Be particularly wary of devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. Examples include, but are not limited to, wedges and positioners and other devices placed in the adult bed for the purpose of positioning or separating the infant from others in the bed,” the report stated. The bottom line is: No co-sleeping with your baby.

at naptime and bedtime is protective against SIDS, though the mechanism remains unknown. O F F E R I N G A PA C I F I E R

M OT H E R S S H O U L D AV O I D

smoking, alcohol use, and drug use in the prenatal period and after birth. O V E R H E AT I N G I S A S S O C I AT E D

It’s a Wr WrAAP By: Dr. Wissam E. Nadra

and we’re all getting ready to spend quality time with family and friends around Christmas, I thought I’d share with you some updates and new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). AS THE YEAR WINDS DOWN

NO (TELEVISION OR DEVICE) S C R E E N T I M E for children younger

than 24 months except for video chats with family; a one-hour limit for children ages 2 to 5; and consistent screen-time restrictions for those ages 6 and older. The AAP also launched an online tool that allows parents to create their family’s own media-use policy. R I S K O F S U D D E N I N FA N T D E AT H

Syndrome (SIDS) can be reduced if

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infants sleep in the same room as their parents, but on a separate surface such as a crib or bassinet designed for infants. This is an update to the safe sleep policy since 2011, with the new guidelines recommending room sharing for at least 6 months—and ideally—up to 1 year. Room sharing can reduce risk of SIDS by up to 50 percent, per the Academy’s report. However, bed sharing is not recommended. Note that infants should still sleep on their backs until one year of age.

with SIDS. Infants should be dressed in no more than one layer than an adult would use for the particular environment. Please always check with your child’s physician regarding any medical recommendations, and keep up with your child’s vaccinations.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year to you and yours from Lakeshore Pediatric Center medical providers and staff! Wissam E. Nadra, MD, FAAP, AIHM, is the president and clinical director at Lakeshore Pediatric Center in Denver. He is a boardcertified pediatrician, also certified in integrative medicine. For more information, visit www.lakeshorepediatric.com, or call 704.489.8401.


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The Night Before Deadline BY: AMY HALLMAN AND LESLIE OGLE

‘Twas the night before deadline, Not a Scene photo in sight, Amy asked for an extension, But the schedule’s too tight. The stories are written, The sources are checked, The photos are beautiful, The proof, ready to inspect. So we scurried and hurried, And we read and we placed One last-minute ad, Our client needs replaced. While Stephanie and Michele Sold last-minute ads, Our other Michelle Eagerly compiled “New Year’s Fads.” changes, Chelsea designed and made all our s & praised us. While Leslie double checked comma Then Dana exclaimed, fuss! “Let’s put ‘er to bed! Let’s stop all the We’ve done it, Ladies, We’re good to go. Now Santa is ready, And it’s starting to snow.” We all say a prayer, As the order is tall: Make 2017 great; Merry Christmas to all!

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MIND body spirit BETTER ME

BETTER YOU

BETTER WORLD

Giving the Perfect Gift By: Jan Brittain

H O W ’ S T H AT C H R I S T M A S S H O P P I N G C O M I N G ? We are

told that it is better to give than to receive, and yet, quite often the responsibility of giving brings with it incredible stress. This is never more true than in this season of gift giving. And the simple truth is: the more we have, the harder it is to feel really good about the gifts we offer. At least that’s true for me. Most of the people on my Christmas list have the capacity to get what they want when they want it. Finding something that will bring them joy or meet a need in their lives is more and more difficult. As I began to think about what I would give this Christmas, I spent a little time remembering. What are the gifts— received and given—that stand out in my memory? One rose to the top. I remember my older brother putting a strange looking gift under the tree for me when we were teenagers. It looked like three boxes stacked on top of one another with bits and pieces of wrapping paper all over it. When I unwrapped it,

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I found a 3-foot-tall Yogi Bear. And I was thrilled. Why? Well, when we were little children, our grandfather, whom we rarely saw, stopped by the house one day with gifts for us. Tommy got a Huckleberry Hound, and I got Yogi Bear. A few days later, Tommy was playing with both of the stuffed animals, and he left my Yogi outside. A rainstorm came through and … that was the end of Yogi. The real gift that Christmas many years later was his remembering the loss and his desire to set it right. It wasn’t really Yogi Bear that thrilled me; it was the strong relationship and love between my brother and me that the gift symbolized. Many trace this tradition of gift giving at Christmas back to the Wise Men and their gifts for the Christ Child. Do you remember those gifts—frankincense, gold and myrrh? Doesn’t sound like anything on the wish list of any expectant mother. And yet, when seen as symbols, those three gifts point to what was really happening in that birth.

Gold for a king, incense for a priest, and myrrh for one whose death would be his greatest act of service. It seems to me that the very best gifts are not the ones that have a certain price tag or even those that have shown up on wish lists. The best gifts are the ones that celebrate specific people and specific relationships. The best gifts are symbols of something far greater. After all, that’s what this season is really all about: an incredible gift that pointed to God’s incredible love. It is exactly what makes a gift worth remembering. I’m hoping that in this season of gift giving and receiving, that might be true for you. In other words, I hope you give and receive lots of Yogi Bears.

Rev. Jan Brittain is the senior pastor at Williamson’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Mooresville.

©Andybor | Dreamstime.com

THE MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT ARE INTIMATELY CONNECTED. Because unhealthy thoughts and emotions can create a vicious cycle that leads to unhealthy physical patterns, we can choose a victorious path that includes a positive, healing, uplifting spiral. By mixing the ingredients of attitude and action, we can change the flavor of our own lives. Learn to nurture your body and soul to lead a more balanced life.


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AMERICAN EAGLE CHARMING CHARLIE CHICO’S CLAIRE’S JANIE & JACK LULULEMON PIER 1 IMPORTS VANILLA BRAZIL

g n i h t y r e v e r f ind you S T N A R U A T S E R & S P O H S OVER 70


Lake Norman Woman Magazine December 2016  

Lake Norman Woman Magazine December 2016