NBM Summer 2021 Edition

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Summer 2021 Summer 2021



SUMMER Skewers loaded with fresh shrimp and pineapple make for a tasty summer meal on the grill.







A T R U S S T- W O R T H Y B U I L D E R

of Fine Homes

Trusst Builder Group is a locally owned and operated builder and developer of quality homes and neighborhoods throughout New Hanover and Brunswick counties. Since 1992, we have built more than 3,000 homes in the Cape Fear region. Trusst is unique in our ability to build value-priced, custom-quality homes where premier finishes are standard. Our development, Whiskey Branch, is a gated community just outside the Wilmington city limits off of South College Road. Trusst is also now building in select neighborhoods in Brunswick Forest, Compass Pointe, Magnolia Greens, Palmetto Creek, Riverlights, RiverSea, St. James Plantation, The Bluffs on the Cape Fear, Waterford and Winding River.

To Learn More Visit T R U S S T B U I L D E R G R O U P. C O M or Call 9 1 0 . 3 7 1 . 0 3 0 4

Complete Dental Care for the Whole Family Accepting New Patients! Complimentary second opinion • Complimentary Implant Consultation

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North Brunswick Magazine

Summer 2021









North Brunswick Magazine









Holden Beach’s Rasta Rocket holds its own on National Geographic Channel’s Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks. By Dennis Hetzel

10 questions with Shelbourn Stevens, president of New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Novant Health’s Coastal Market. By Dennis Hetzel.

Is the island in both Brunswick and New Hanover counties destined for development or will it become a nature park with a focus on preservation, education and recreation? By Teresa A. McLamb

Expanding orthopedic care right here in Brunswick Ted Parcel, DO, and Benjamin Browning, MD are accepting new patients Joint, bone and muscle pain can interrupt your life. Are you ready to get back to doing what you love? Like walking, tennis or golf? Then it’s time to meet our experts at Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Supply. Board-certified surgeon Ted Parcel, DO, is fellowship-trained in adult joint replacements. Benjamin Browning, MD, is fellowship-trained in sports medicine and arthroscopy. Both are experienced in providing high-level care for sports injuries and orthopedic conditions.

Ted Parcel, DO, FAAOS

Services include: • Hip and knee joint replacements

• Total hip and knee revisions

• Fracture repairs • Tendon repairs

• Knee arthroscopy • Shoulder surgery

Our experts provide the specialty care you need, closer to home, so you can concentrate on what counts most — getting better and staying healthy. Benjamin Browning, MD

We are taking extra steps in our clinics to keep you healthy, including masking, social distancing, screenings and increased disinfecting of surfaces.

Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine - Brunswick 6 Doctors Circle, Suite 5, Supply, NC 28462

Call 910-721-4370 or visit NovantHealth.org/orthospinebrunswick to make a same-day or next-day appointment.

© Novant Health, Inc. 2020 9/20 • ECA-627232

Summer 2021









Coconut Kick By Sandi Grigg





What’s been going on around town.

Finds in the Summer 2021 edition of South Brunswick Magazine


Extras you’ll only find online


Pineapple Shrimp Skewers By Sandi Grigg

Brunswick County Communications Director Meagan Kascsak is a pro at getting the word out. By Teresa A. McLamb


Leland and Belville ask citizens for growth ideas. By Chris G. Layt







Leland ultrarunners Jeremy Reynolds and Jeff Winchester compete in long-distance races and motivate others to do the same. By Annesophia Richards


Meet Bolivia native Samuel Hatch, singer/songwriter and lead singer of The Hatch Brothers. By Ashley Hafer



For the past 24 years, the Children’s Museum of Wilmington has opened its doors to young imaginations. By Ashley Daniels



North Brunswick Magazine


Honor Flight of the Cape Fear Area, a chapter of a national group that provides all-expenses trips to Washington to salute veterans and recognize the importance of their service, needs your help. By Dennis Hetzel

Summer 2021


Information Center

now open! North Brunswick Magazine – Summer 2021 Volume 15, Issue 4 CEO/PUBLISHER: Justin Williams

in the Village Shoppes at Waterford



COPY EDITOR: Molly Harrison

when you want it.


when you need it.

Visit today!

497 Olde Waterford Way, Suite 105 Belville, NC

(910) 795-4250 • RetireInCompassPointe.com

Everything you need to get the job done.

CONTRIBUTING GRAPHICS: Paula Knorr Teresa Kramer Elizabeth Dale Niemann

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: George Jacob Brian Wilner

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Amy Conry Davis Megan Deitz Laura Glantz Matt McGraw Bill Ritenour Mark Steelman James Stefiuk

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Ashely Daniels Sandi Grigg Ashley Hafer Dennis Hetzel Chris G. Layt Teresa A. McLamb Annesophia Richards


CAROLINA MARKETING COMPANY, INC. PO Box 1361, Leland, NC 28451 (910) 207-0156 • info@northbrunswickmagazine.com Reproduction or use of the contents in this magazine is prohibited.

© 2021 Carolina Marketing Company, Inc.

Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. strives to bring correct, accurate information that is published in the magazine. However, Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. cannot be held responsible for any consequences resulting from errors or absences. Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. also cannot be held responsible for the services provided by any and all advertisers in our publications. All material in this magazine is property of Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. and may not be reproduced without authorization from the publisher. North Brunswick Magazine – A Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. publication is published four times per year and is distributed to residents and businesses in North Brunswick County, NC, to subscribers and to select areas of New Hanover County, NC and Horry County, SC.


About the cover: Summer 2021

Mon - Fri 7:30-6 | Sat - 8-4 | Sun 10-3 117 B Village Road behind BB&T and CVS Pharmacy Leland Ace Hardware 12


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SUMMER Skewers loaded with fresh shrimp and pineapple make for a tasty summer meal on the grill.







Photographer James Stefiuk captured our cover image of Pineapple Shrimp Skewers, a recipe created by our Food & Drink editor, Sandi Grigg. Marinated in Asian flavors and served over jasmine rice, this recipe is a great way to prepare locally caught shrimp. See Sandi’s recipe on page 35, and be sure to see her summer cocktail recipe on page 36.

Dr. Jonathan S. Ludwig, DMD, FAGD Dr. Melissa Owen, DDS

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shrimp with fresh tasty rs loaded for a Skewe ple make grill. and pineap meal on the r summe














M A G A Z I N E Subscriptions


er 2021

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Marine veteranS and local photographer Jason Shanahan ONER finds his way to a career and place he loves. AMA RATH


Want to subscribe to NBM? Subscriptions are $15.99 per year and include 4 issues of NBM. Subscribe safely online using PayPal, credit or debit card at NorthBrunswickMagazine.com/subscribe. Call our office at (910) 207-0156 or email us at subscribe@NorthBrunswickMagazine.com to request a subscription.

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ADVERTISE NOW! Reach readers from Little River, SC to Sneads Ferry, NC and all the places in between.

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When available, back issues of NBM can be purchased for $5. Call or email us for information.

Letters We welcome your letters and comments about NBM. Send your letters to PO Box 1361, Leland, NC 28451 or email them to info@NorthBrunswickMagazine.com. When sending your letters, keep in mind they may or may not be published in a future issue of NBM. The publisher reserves the right to make the final decision.

Writing Opportunities We are always willing to consider freelance writers and article ideas. Please send suggestions or inquiries to North Brunswick Magazine, Attn: Editor, PO Box 1361, Leland, NC 28451. Or email us at edit@NorthBrunswickMagazine.com.

Change of Address If you move, please submit your new and old address to North Brunswick Magazine at info@NorthBrunswickMagazine.com.

Advertising Interested in advertising in NBM? Please contact us to set up a meeting with an Account Executive. Our main office number is (910) 207-0156, or you can email us at advertise@NorthBrunswickMagazine.com.

Marketing Services Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. provides a wide range of marketing services. This includes advertising design services, custom publications, mailing services and more. Contact our office for additional information or to set up a meeting with a Marketing Consultant.

NorthBrunswickMagazine.com Visit us online at the above website. With any additional questions, call us at (910) 207-0156. 14 14

North Brunswick Brunswick Magazine Magazine North

EVER WHAT THEWONDER AREA’S BEST REALHOMES ESTATE SOLD APP FOR IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? Intracoastal Realty’s HomeSpotter App NOW shows SOLD properties for the past 12 months!

THE AREA’S BEST REAL ESTATE APP Find Homes for Sale View Properties that have SOLD in the past 12 months


To view SOLD listings, simply touch the Filter button on the top right, and select “SOLD” under Status. SOLD properties will show as red pins!

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Our HomeSpotter App shows SOLD properties for the past 12 months! at App.IntracoastalRealty.com or search To view SOLD listings, simply touch the Filter button on the top right, Realty” your App and select“Intracoastal “SOLD” under Status. SOLDinproperties will store. show as red pins! Download our FREE App at App.IntracoastalRealty.com Leland Office: 910-201-2200 or search “Intracoastal Realty” in your App store. Ocean Isle Beach Office: 910-579-3050 IntracoastalRealty.com North Brunswick’s #1 Choice for Real Estate 910-201-2200 | www.IntracoastalRealty.com


A Normal Summer Here’s to hoping the pandemic is ending!

North Brunswick Magazine Publisher Justin Williams with his new pup, Toby.


What a ride, huh? It’s been a year of firsts for a lot of us as we have traveled together through COVID-19. None of us really knew what to expect in March of 2020, but I think I am with most of you when I say that I couldn’t wait until restrictions were lifted with the safety of a vaccine. Fast forward to May of 2021 and our governor lifted


North Brunswick Magazine

restrictions, leading us one step closer to normalcy. I, personally, am thrilled to get out and about more around our beautiful area. As you will see in the pics, my new puppy, Toby, and I have been venturing around town, checking out the local breweries and dog-friendly patios. Be sure to follow Toby on Instagram (: TopsailToby) to see the dog-friendly places in our area. North Brunswick County is such a great place to spend all or part of your summer. While you’re here, I hope you find time to enjoy this summer 2021 edition of North Brunswick Magazine. We’ve got a bunch of cool stories for you to read while you’re relaxing on the beach or sipping a cool drink on the porch. We introduce to some of our talented locals, including singer/songwriter Samuel Hatch of The Hatch Brothers, ultramarathoners Jeremy Reynolds and Jeff Winchester, and take you to some of our most interesting local places, like Children’s Museum of Wilmington and Eagles Island. Food & Drink Editor Sandi Grigg offers up some delicious ideas for summer refreshment: a tropical cocktail she calls the Coconut Kick and a grilled dinner of Pineapple Shrimp Skewers. Whether you are local or visiting this summer, please be sure to patronize our advertisers and tell them you saw them in North Brunswick Magazine. Local businesses need your support and love to hear from you. Thanks for reading North Brunswick Magazine. Enjoy the summer!

Justin Williams Owner/Publisher Publisher@NorthBrunswickMagazine.com

Get Away Every Day

The best of our coastal area can be found right here at Compass Pointe. Comfortable weather, convenience to several gorgeous area beaches, shopping, dining, and entertainment venues; and award-winning amenities. Best of all, we are currently building a brand new, stateof-the-art clubhouse with members-only features, pool, and bar. We offer everything you want for a perfect resort lifestyle. What are you waiting for? Come find your dream home today.

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Summer 2021




I am a new to coastal living here in North Carolina. My family and I are transplants from Pennsylvania, home of the cheesesteak, Eagles’ Super Bowl champions and, of course, the Liberty Bell! I am a mother of two fabulous kids, ages 2 and 10, so you will always see me in workout clothing ready to sprint. We are soon to be adopting a Golden Retriever puppy named Rusty to add to our little family. I was formerly a notary for the state of Pennsylvania for close to a decade and was tired of the same four walls, concrete surroundings of the city and, of course, paperwork! At last, we set our sights on living near the beach, and there is no going back!


I live in Holden Beach, where I do some writing, editing and media industry consulting and try not to let that interfere too much with books, music, table tennis and various volunteer activities. Lately I’ve devoted a lot of time to playing bass guitar with MoSun, an Americana rock band. I’m the author of three novels, Killing the Curse , Season of Lies and the latest, Azalea Bluff, a sci-fi mystery set in Brunswick County. After graduating from Western Illinois University with a degree in political science, I began a journalism career as a weekly newspaper sports editor outside my native Chicago and became a reporter, editor and newspaper publisher before retiring in 2019 as executive director of the Ohio News Media Association, where I wrestled with politicians for eight years as a lobbyist for our industry. I’ve also taught journalism at Penn State and Temple universities. Check out my work at dennishetzel.com.


My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic back in 1966. It was not much of a camera but it got me interested in photography. I started seeing things differently and appreciating things more than before. There are so many things in everyday life that I had never really noticed before. I started composing images in the viewfinder of my camera, isolating what I wanted to emphasize in the finished photograph. The main thing I learned with time is how important light is as an element. Light affects color, shadows, contrast, texture, mood and the impact of an image. My wife and I moved from Richmond, Virginia, to Wilmington in 2011. After five years of visiting our daughter and her husband, and after the birth of their first child, we knew it was time to make the move. Wilmington and the surrounding area had already become to feel more like home than Richmond. With the beautiful coastline, slower pace of living and friendly people, we have never regretted the move. We are proud to be Tar Heels.


North Brunswick Magazine

TRUST. TRUST. The TheCarolinas CarolinasTrust Trust Coldwell ColdwellBanker BankerSea SeaCoast CoastAdvantage. Advantage. Year Year after after year, year, OurOur Team Team of knowledgeable, of knowledgeable, experienced experienced agents agents propels propels us us to to reach reach new new goals! goals! We’ve We’ve been been thethe area's area's #1#1 realreal estate estate firmfirm forfor thethe past past 2121 years years and and continue continue to to setset new new standards standards of excellence. of excellence. If you’re If you’re looking looking to to buy, buy, sell, sell, or or invest, invest, putput thethe power power of our of our Proven Proven Performance Performance to to work work forfor you. you.

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2016 2016

$1.4 $1.4Billion Billion

2017 2017

7023 7023

$1.6 $1.6Billion Billion

2018 2018

7124 7124

$1.7 $1.7Billion Billion

7964 7964

2019 2019

$2.1 $2.1Billion Billion

9820 9820

2020 2020

$2.6 $2.6Billion Billion

South South Brunswick Brunswick (910) (910) 754-6782 754-6782| Calabash | Calabash (910) (910) 579-8471 579-8471| Holden | Holden Beach Beach (910) (910) 842-1555 842-1555 Oak Oak Island Island (910) (910) 278-3311 278-3311| Southport | Southport (910) (910) 457-6713 457-6713 Downtown Downtown Southport Southport (910) (910) 477-6118 477-6118| Leland | Leland (910) (910) 371-1181 371-1181

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High Tide Chiropractic Ribbon Cutting

BCS Sets Up Summer Meals Curbside Pickup Program Brunswick County Schools Summer Meals Program began June 7 and will run through August 6. All children can receive free breakfast and lunch, and there is no registration required. Parents/guardians/students just stop by one of the curbside locations and pick them up. Date: June 7 through August 6 Time: 11 am to 1 pm Days: Monday through Thursday Locations:  North Brunswick High School, 114 Scorpion Drive, Leland

High Tide Chiropractic and North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting celebration on April 27. High Tide Chiropractic is located at 2155 Britton Road, Suite 110 in Leland. Dr. Levi Bradburn, owner of High Tide, has been practicing in the Wilmington/Leland area since 2013 with a focus not only on spinal care but extremities and sports injuries as well. He is accepting new patients.

Leland Smoke House Ribbon Cutting

North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Leland Smoke House at their location on 503 Olde Waterford Way in Leland on May 12. Leland Smoke House serves wood-smoked barbecue and brisket with all the favorite sides and fixings and, of course, banana pudding.

SBHC Prom Closet is a Success The annual Prom Closet was a hit at South Brunswick High School’s Choir Room on March 31. The event is for any young lady in need of a prom/formal dress, shoes and accessories. It is the result of a generous school community that donates all the items so that the students can find things to wear free of charge each year.

 South Brunswick Middle School, 100 Cougar Drive, Boiling Spring Lakes/Southport  West Brunswick High School, 550 Whiteville Road, Shallotte Breakfast and lunch for Friday and breakfast for Monday will be sent home at Thursday’s pickup time.

North Brunswick Kiwanis Club Recognizes AA Storage for Help with Project Dignity North Brunswick Kiwanis Club (NBKC) board member Barbara Dullaghan recently presented Lore DeLaire, manager of AA Storage in Brunswick Forest, and her staff with a Kiwanis Certificate of Appreciation. A small gift accompanied the certificate. NBKC wanted to recognize the facility for its donation of a large, rent-free storage space to house materials for the highly successful Project Dignity program. Project Dignity, a very successful community-based program, was Dullaghan’s brainchild project. The program provides duffle bags to foster children in Brunswick County at a time of uncertainty as they are moved from their homes to temporary housing. The age-appropriate bags are packed for ages 0 to 18 and include blankets for each child, teethers and grooming kits for the babies, lockboxes and journals for older children and other items.

BEMC Accepting Bright Ideas Grant Applications from Teachers Local educators can apply for a Bright Ideas grant from Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) through September 15, 2021. The grants are offered annually to teachers to bring creative classroom learning projects to life, support innovative projects that energize classroom learning and enhance student success. Educators can learn more and apply online at www.ncbrightideas.com. BEMC expects to award $32,000 in Bright Ideas grants this year to K to 12 teachers across its service area in Brunswick and Columbus counties. Grants of up to $2,500 are available in all subject areas, and teachers can apply individually or as a team. Teachers who

Summer 2021



submit their application by the early bird deadline of August 15 will be entered to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards. To apply, teachers must include a budget; explain the implementation, goals, creative elements and evaluation of the project; and have approval from their school’s principal. Applications will be judged through a competitive evaluation process, with judges looking for projects that feature inventive and creative approaches to learning. Grantwriting tips can be found at ncbrightideas.com.

Your CBD Store Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening

in that it recognizes not only N.C. State’s University-led program but also each of its contributing community partners for their collective and individual achievements. As a strategic Brunswick County partner of the Vacationer Supported Agriculture program (VSA), Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc., Realtors (MRA) joined 22 fellow realty companies, six Tourism Development Authority organizations, area farmers and fishers, and extension directors and agents in receiving the 2021 award. Since 2018 VSA has generated in excess of $126,000 in revenue for farmers in eight coastal North Carolina destinations.

Betsy O’Hara Named 2021 Southeast Education Alliance Remote Learning Teacher of the Year

North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce held a grand-opening celebration with Your CBD Store on April 22. Your CBD is located at 2024 Olde Regent Way, Suite 160, in Leland. The store sells a wide variety of hemp-derived CBD products, and the knowledgeable staff can help you find what you need.

Sandalwood Shoppes Moves to a New Location Sandalwood Shoppes has left its previous Harrington Square location and has moved to an exciting new location in Waterford Shopping Center. North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Sandalwood Shoppes on May 8 at the new location, 485 Olde Waterford Way in Belville. Sandalwood is now conveniently located across the parking lot from the New Day Cafe with plenty of parking. Sandalwood Shoppes is a unique, co-op concept shopping destination that brings a variety of local artists, artisans and retailers together under one roof.

Betsy O’Hara, an 8th grade math teacher at Cedar Grove Middle School, was named 2021 Southeast Education Alliance Remote Learning Teacher of the Year. O’Hara was surprised by Kathy Spencer of the SEA in a virtual meeting with her Principal Justin Hayes, Assistant Superintendent Molly White and Brunswick County Schools Director of Digital Learning Acacia Dixon. The Southeast Education Alliance works with more than a dozen school districts in Southeastern North Carolina (including Brunswick County Schools) to help develop and support educational leaders from the district level to classroom with professional development and other collaborative opportunities.

Salvation Army Family Store Ribbon Cutting

Margaret Rudd & Associates, Inc., Realtors® Partnership Recognized for Involvement with Vacationer Supported Agriculture On April 16 N.C. State University’s Office of Outreach and Engagement hosted its annual awards ceremony in virtual format. Leslie Boney, vice provost for outreach and engagement and director for the university’s Institute for Emerging Issues, presented the awards with Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden offering introductory remarks. Included in the celebration was the issuance of the 2020 and 2021 Opal Mann Green Award. The award recognizes democratic engagement in which community partners help shape the direction of a project that meaningfully addresses needs within a community. It is unique 22

North Brunswick Magazine

North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Salvation Army Family Store at its new location, 22 Waterford Business Way in Belville on March 4. The Salvation Army appreciates donations of lightly worn clothing, saleable furniture, household items, working appliances and small electronics.


Assistance League of Greater Wilmington Donates to Brunswick Community College Student Nurses

since 2016. Since 2008 ALGW has donated more than $1.217 million to the communities they serve. It is a national all-volunteer nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization. With 120 chapters nationwide, they are transforming lives and strengthening communities through local philanthropic programs. To support the league locally, visit their Thrift Shop at 420 Eastwood Road #107 in Wilmington. Proceeds from the Thrift Shop support their local philanthropic endeavors. Brunswick Community College Foundation, organized in 1982, is a charitable organization 501(c)(3) instituted to enhance the mission of Brunswick Community College to level of excellence and purpose for students and the community. The foundation is a vital resource for the acceptance and solicitation of all gifts for the support of education and the continued growth and progress of Brunswick.

Brunswick Partnership for Housing Receives Grants and Gifts


Assistance League of Greater Wilmington (ALGW) recently donated $10,000 to Brunswick Community College Foundation (BCCF) to fund the league’s Operation Scholar Support initiative. With more than 150 members serving three North Carolina counties – Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender – ALGW has been awarding scholarships to Brunswick Community College students

The Brunswick Partnership for Housing (BPH) capital campaign is underway. With a $600,000 goal over the next two years, it has raised more than $145,000 in grants and gifts. BPH was awarded a North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church Seed Fund grant of nearly $10,000 for 2021 to develop volunteer training and recruitment materials. In addition, BPH is actively moving forward with renovations on its newly purchased building at 250 E. 11th Street in Southport. It received a $25,000 grant from the CPPS


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e d a 2 r 0 h t 2 8 G o t Pre-K

“I’m so grateful for St. Mary’s for providing a space to develop these lovely students. “ —B.B., Parent of 2020 Graduate “Thank you for having amazing teachers and staff. I will always be grateful for our time at St. Mary School.” —M.T., Parent of 2020 Graduate

217 S. 4th Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • 910-762-5491 ext. 140 • www.thestmaryschool.org

Summer 2021



Heritage Mission Fund to be used for building renovations. Civic and community groups are actively contributing to BPH efforts. For example, the Southport Lions Club gave $750 for general use. The Southport Rotary Club generously donated $2,500 for interior paint.

Leland Planning Department Named CREW Award Finalist

Eagle Scout Candidate Constructs Blessing Box Outside Belville Town Hall

Eagle Scout Candidate William Long, in partnership with Town of Belville staff, recently completed the construction of a Blessing Box on the grounds of the Belville Town Hall. The box is actually a permanent wooden structure that will hold food and toiletries donated by citizens so they can be accessed by those in need at any time of the day or night. Long is a member of Boy Scout Troop 26 and the Blessing Box is his Eagle Scout project. Community members are welcome to contribute items with the hope that the box will be continually stocked through kindness. The project’s motto is “Take what you need and leave what you can.” Donations can also be left with town staff Monday through Friday during normal business hours.

Hannah Cumbee Wins State Speech Competition Eighth-grader Hannah Cumbee of Shallotte Middle School was announced the winner of the N.C. Association of Soil and Water Conservation District’s state speech contest. Her first-place finish comes after winning the Brunswick Soil and Water Conservation District speech competition and then the 12-county area competition. The theme this year was We All Live in a Watershed. 24

North Brunswick Magazine

The Town of Leland Department of Planning and Inspections was recently nominated for a Cape Fear CREW Award of Excellence for its creation of an online permitting and inspections system in response to COVID-19. Cape Fear CREW announced that the Leland Planning and Inspections Department was a finalist for the 2021 Evolve Award for the new system, coincidentally also named Evolve. The annual CREW awards, which focus on the rapidly growing commercial real estate sector, recognize excellence and leadership in commercial real estate in the Cape Fear Region. New this year, the Evolve category recognizes a person, team or organization that has shown innovation in successfully adapting business strategies and practices during COVID-19. In response to the pandemic, Leland closed Town Hall in early 2020 as a protective measure for both the public and Town employees. However, continued commercial and residential growth in Leland necessitated accommodations be made for permitting and inspections to continue without requiring in-person interaction. Previously, the Planning and Inspections Department relied primarily on hard-copy building and development applications and permits, and received an average of 100 inspection requests daily by telephone. The development of Evolve began in June 2020 and – following more than 100 meetings and 1,000 hours of Planning and Inspections Department staff time devoted to the project – the online system launched in November 2020. To build a home or new business in Leland, it used to take up to three separate applications that were reviewed sequentially: zoning; system development fees; and building permit. With Evolve, customers now submit only one application online, upload their documents and click submit within a few minutes of starting the application process. Additionally, all related fees are invoiced and can be paid at one time, rather than in separate payments involving separate applications. Evolve has also shortened the wait time on residential building permits from up to two weeks to as soon as the day after an application is submitted. And contractors can now make inspections requests online rather than by phone and receive the results through Evolve immediately after an inspection is performed.




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Summer 2021


Life is better

“All of the people at Blue Wave Dentistry are super nice. They did a major repair job on my teeth recently and everything is still in top condition. My husband John has had work done as well. Dr. Biggerstaff and his assistant Michelle, as well as Lauren, Megan and Brittany, are all careful, thorough and professional in their work. All the people who work there are exceptional. They are the friendliest, most thoughtful, helpful people I’ve ever met in a dental office. And besides that, they laugh at John’s jokes. We are very happy with Blue Wave Dentistry.” - Judy & John Lewis Actual BlueWave Dentistry Patients 26

North Brunswick Magazine

with a healthy Life-changing. Patient-centered. Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry.




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Summer 2021


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North Brunswick Magazine



Pick up SBM at grocery stores in Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, Calabash, Shallotte, Holden Beach, Oak Island or Southport. Or view stories online at LifeinBrunswickCounty.com/sbm | E 

Tragedy to Triumph | SouthBrunswickMagaz Summer 2021


When a February tornado caused three deaths and left a devastating path of destruction in Ocean Ridge Plantation in Ocean Isle Beach, the community rallied to help the hundreds of residents who were affected. Story by Jo Ann Mathews













People compare the sound of an approaching tornado to a train barreling across the landscape, but Kathy Arancio didn’t hear it.

Two for One

“When you’re at the front end, there is no horn or whistle on that train,” she says.

At Mason Dixon in Shallotte, customers contribute to community nonprofits just by shopping. by Claire Lynch

Lobster Love

When Mason Dixon owner Wendy Brown moved from Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, to Brunswick County, North Carolina, in 1999, she brought the best of the North to the South. As a girl, Brown and her family had visited her aunt and uncle in Sunset Beach, and she was drawn to the warmer weather, the friendly people, the food and, of course, the beaches.

Pair everyone’s favorite crustacean with grilled veggies for a special summertime meal. By Sandi Grigg

Lobster is one of the world’s most succulent seafoods, and these lobster tails are no exception. Their sweet, briny richness from the cold waters goes wonderfully with the decadent taste of the lemon garlic butter that’s brushed right on the grill along with some veggie skewers. Can you taste summer yet? I have suggested splitting the tails and skewering them for easy removal from the shell. After they come off the grill, pull up on the stick (pulling from the tail end) while holding the shell and they will come right out with no mess. In the past when I have made lobster tails, I have struggled with getting them out of the shell or making a mess all over my plate and hands. But with this recipe, the meat pulls right out. If you use wooden skewers, I would recommend soaking them in water for 15 to 20 minutes so they don’t catch on fire.

The Need for Speed Supply native Landen Lewis is burning up the East Coast tracks and winning titles along the way. By Melissa Slaven Warren

Fifteen-year-old Landen Lewis has been racing competitively for nine years and has more than 150 wins to his name, including many championships like the 2021 Charlotte Winter Heat Championship, 2020 Dirt Nationals Champion, WKA National Champion, four-time Maxx Daddy Champion and three-time Daytona Karting Champion. All this from a young man who isn’t even old enough to have his driver’s license.

Summer 2021





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Summer 2021





Hundreds turned out for the Classic Memories aviation and car show at Cape Fear Regional Jetport on May 29. Everything came together perfectly for the Classic Memories event at the Cape Fear Regional Jetport. Temperatures in the low 80s with a nice offshore breeze, interest in both the World War II and current aircraft on display, dozens of classic automobiles and hot rods, plus the tunes of Brunswick County Big Band all came together to make for an ideal Saturday outing for hundreds of Cape Fear residents and visitors. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE



Charter Day School advances to the state finals of the Science Olympiad. Charter Day School students are advancing to the state finals in Science Olympiad competition. Four of the teams Charter Day School brought to the competition earned medals. The Experimental Design team earned first place and advanced to the state finals on April 23 and 24. Students worked hard to overcome the challenge of this year’s online competition format. Their success is a testament to their drive and perseverance. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE


The number of homes sold in Brunswick County skyrocketed in April, and the average days on the market reached a record low. Brunswick County’s residential real estate market continued its recordbreaking numbers in April, with substantial jumps in both units sold and new listings compared to last year. Additionally, more than half of the homes sold were at or above their listing price, and the average number of days on the market hit an all-time low of just 50 days. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE 32

North Brunswick Magazine






Leland couple Jason and Tiffany Gaver have experienced many journeys in their lives together, and they are about to embark on a new one. The Gavers have been active stewards of the community since moving to Leland in 2014. In 2017, Jason purchased Mulch & More in Winnabow — a longstanding, family-owned business. In just a few years, he grew the company tremendously as the owner, and then in 2019 sold it to a competitor, Bianchi Brickyard Supply, Inc. Jason still manages the day to day operations at Mulch & More. He also owns Cape Fear Firearms Academy and is a co-founder of his passion project, Veteran Business Connection, an online platform that connects the community with veteran-owned businesses. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE


A Brunswick Forest road project set to begin in June will inconvenience residents this summer but ultimately provide a safer neighborhood traffic pattern. The 3,200 families living at Brunswick Forest will adjust to the temporary inconvenience of the road project that starts in June and is due to be completed in August. At the end of the project, the intersection of Brunswick Forest Parkway and Low Country Boulevard will see a new roundabout with a stamped concrete island, solar-powered rectangular rapid-flashing beacons, pavement markings, additional signage and Americans With Disabilities Act upgrades.



by NBM Contributor


ATMC awards $2,000 scholarships to five local seniors. ATMC has awarded five local high school seniors with $2,000 scholarships based on their academics, involvement in school and community activities and interview skills. Recipients include Laney Cribb of South Columbus High School, Jackson Metty and Helen RippyRoehner of North Brunswick High School, and Mikayla Watts and Amileon Williams of Brunswick County Early College High School. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE

| Summer 2021



North Brunswick Magazine


When Life Gives You Lemons ... ... add some rum and coconut for a tropically tart summer refresher. BY SANDI GRIGG

strong, but I was wrong. It was tropically tantalizing. The coconut cream cut the acidity of the lemons and I couldn’t taste the rum at all. I said to the bartender, “This drink could get me in trouble.” That refreshing cocktail turned my whole day around and reminded me of a hot summer day on the beach. It was so refreshing and delicious, I had to slow down because it was going down so quickly. Between you and me, I actually ordered another one and finished it off before going to our table. I knew I had to try to recreate it back home, and this is my recipe. So, when life gives you lemons, add rum and some coconut. Let the flavors transform you to a hot day with a salty breeze and sand in your toes.

Coconut Kick

M My spouse and I recently went out for dinner and drinks for the first time in over a year. Both of us being vaccinated, we were eager to get out, socialize and support a local restaurant. While waiting on a table on the patio, we sat at the bar to have a cocktail. I had been having a rough day, so I ordered a peppy-sounding drink that included coconut and fresh-squeezed

lemon juice. I watched the bartender squeeze an entire lemon in the shaker. He also poured in two shots of rum and a hefty squeeze from a bottle labeled coconut cream. He shook it all up, and when he poured it over ice it was frothy and smooth. I braced myself on the first sip because I thought two shots of rum and juice from a whole lemon was going to be way too

Makes 1 drink

INGREDIENTS 1 lemon 3 ounces coconut cream 3 ounces coconut-flavored rum Fresh mint Ice

METHOD Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the coconut cream and coconutflavored rum and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds. The drink should be frothy. Pour into a large cup over ice. Garnish with fresh mint. Summer 2021



Summer on a Stick Skewers loaded with fresh shrimp and pineapple and a tasty Asian marinade make for a tasty summer meal on the grill.



This sweet, light and citrusy recipe was originally inspired by a trip my spouse and I took to Charleston before COVID. At one restaurant we really enjoyed, I ordered this dish of shrimp and pineapple skewers over jasmine rice. The plate brought to our table and was colorful and fragrant, and I knew I was going to love it. I had never eaten much jasmine rice, but the sweet, nutty flavor went perfectly with the shrimp and pineapple. Back home, I knew I had to try and re-create the flavors of that dish and take us back to the feeling of water spraying from the Pineapple Fountain in downtown Charleston. During the summer months, we cook almost every meal on the grill. It is a great time to enjoy the weather, a cold brew and a few friends, and there is virtually no clean up. I find that skewered recipes are among the simplest for the grill, and the results are consistently delicious. Shrimp skewers are especially easy and super versatile. Because shrimp are mild, they pair well with just about any marinade, vegetable or fruit. Be sure to seek out local shrimp from your local fish market for the best flavor. This recipe is so delicious because of the marinade. It has an Asian flair mixed with a little Southern touch. The dish we had in Charleston had a bit of heat to it, but as I am not as keen on spicy foods, this recipe does not. If you like the spiciness, feel free to add Tabasco or a bit of wasabi to the marinade. This recipe is perfect for summer grilling. I hope you like my version.

During the summer months, we cook almost every meal on the grill. It is a great time to enjoy the weather, a cold brew and a few friends ...


North Brunswick Magazine

Pineapple Shrimp Skewers Serves 4

INGREDIENTS 1½ pounds fresh jumbo shrimp, peeled, leaving tails Half of a fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1½ inch chunks 2 green peppers cut into 1½ inch chunks 1 tablespoon sesame oil 2 tablespoons of soy sauce 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon grated ginger ¼ cup pineapple juice 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds 4 lemon wedges 4 cups cooked jasmine rice

METHOD In a medium bowl, whisk the sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and pineapple juice. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate 1 to 2 hours. If using wooden skewers, soak in water while the shrimp marinates. Preheat the grill to medium/high heat. Remove the shrimp from the marinade but reserve the marinade to brush on while grilling. The marinade may have separated so you may have to whisk it again. Thread the shrimp onto the skewers, alternating the pineapple and pepper chunks between. You should have about 8 skewers in total. Place the skewers on the grill and brush with the marinade. Leave the grill open and after about 3 minutes flip the skewers and brush with the marinade again grilling for another 3 minutes. Pile warm jasmine rice on a serving plate. Layer the skewers atop the rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and lemon wedges.


Summer 2021


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Spreading the News Brunswick County Communications Director Meagan Kascsak is a pro at getting the word out. BY TERESA A. MCLAMB | PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL RITENOUR


Arriving in Brunswick County just in time to watch the pandemic become reality, Meagan Kascsak experienced what could truly be described as the proverbial baptism by fire. As the county’s communications director, she is front and center in communications from the county to its citizens as well as internally among county employees and departments. Kascsak brings with her nine years of experience in communications with the City of Stillwater, Oklahoma, where she was responsible for several initiatives that give her a solid base to implement Brunswick County’s communications needs. In the year since she’s been in Brunswick County, she has greatly expanded the county’s use of social media for getting the word out quickly and regularly on everything from COVID to hurricane awareness.

“There’s so much growth here, so much potential, Kascsak says. “Obviously [the county] is blessed with natural resources. I’m excited about the growth.” Engaging with members of the community and with fellow employees, Kascsak was involved with Blueprint Brunswick 2040, the joint effort between the planning department and the parks and recreation department to determine citizen needs. “This is a multiphase project to solicit input from the community,” she says. Data from citizen input and research will help officials develop a comprehensive land use plan and a plan for parks and recreation. “This will be our leaders’ guide for the next 20 years of our Summer 2021



development,” she says. “We can focus our energy based on enjoying my time here.” research and citizen input in the process.” Before leaving Oklahoma, Kascsak was accepted into UNC The 2020 census was a big topic in Brunswick County, as Chapel Hill’s online public administration master’s degree elsewhere, and Kascsak did a lot of social media advertising program. She expects to complete that in 2022. and billboards to spread the word. “It’s a fantastic program specifically for local government,” Hired as a one-person shop, Kascsak plans to expand her she says. “It has been instrumental in opening my eyes about department, newly renamed Department of Communications, topics I might not have gotten to until much later in my by hiring “another team member to help us expand our career. I wanted to expand my knowledge and have engagement opportunities. I value strategy and building opportunities to connect with peers in local governments and campaigns, looking at the different pieces. What tools are state governments. I have aspirations to be a city or county available?” manager so it’s giving me a lot of experience I didn’t have Among those tools are alliances with community partners before.” including municipalities and organizations. Getting the word Kascsak says she values education and any opportunity to out has depended upon these alliances, she says. learn something new. She has participated in several Internally, a branding initiative that had been discussed leadership and supervisory academies. The experiences have before her arrival will move forward. taken her out of her comfort zone and “This is specific to our organization,” she expanded her horizons, she says. “As a says. “What does Brunswick County communications person not only do you mean to our employees? Who are we as work with partners outside your It makes me proud an organization? What services do we organization, you work with all provide?” departments and serve all departments.” to be a part of the Having gone through a similar process Her supervisor in Stillwater encouraged organization. It’s with Stillwater’s government, she’s her to take the supervisory course. “I was exciting to live and excited about being involved with the at a point that I supervised some part-time process here. staff. It was a valuable opportunity to work in a county As the pandemic continued, Kascsak explore system design and to see how much that offers so much worked with the health department to time and effort it takes to be a supervisor.” potential. update and inform citizens of the Key to the experience was learning how availability of tests and vaccinations. This to support employees in a manner that included launch of a dedicated web page helps them to do their jobs well and by the health department as well as coordination with state efficiently. It was also a good exploration of her strengths and and federal governments. She also regularly updates the weaknesses and how to improve herself, she says. county’s vaccine information on the county’s website at Although it was cut short due to COVID, Kascsak credits brunswickcountync.gov/coronavirus. the Leadership Brunswick County program sponsored by Born into a military family in Honolulu, Hawaii, Kascsak local chambers of commerce with rapidly increasing her attended kindergarten there before her father was transferred knowledge of the county and the relationships needed for to Whidbey Island in Washington state. When he retired, the success. “You realize how much is regional, not just county.” family moved to Waco, Texas, for his first civilian job. She In the Leadership program, she learned about the state completed high school there and decided to go to Oklahoma port system, county industries, real estate, healthcare, local State, where she graduated with a degree in multimedia governments and their role in the overall community. journalism and obtained her first public service job with the “I enjoyed going to Brunswick Community College,” she City of Stillwater. says. “It was fascinating to see what they’re doing, the way “I love working in local government,” she says. they support businesses including the incubator space and After seven years there, she started looking for networking and coworking space. I love the Brunswick advancement opportunities. When the public information Guarantee. It’s lovely to see that kind of investment in the officer job in Brunswick County was advertised, she applied. county. It makes me proud to be a part of the organization. “I was honored to be interviewed,” she says. “When I learned It’s exciting to live and work in a county that offers so much about the region, it was spectacular. I’m glad I’m here; I’m potential.” 


North Brunswick Magazine


Summer 2021



North Brunswick Magazine


Leland residents have been asked to attend public engagement sessions and contribute their comments about the future of the town.

Planning for a Better Future


Leland and Belville ask citizens for growth ideas. BY CHRIS G. LAYT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK STEELMAN

Leland and Belville intertwine in various spots and so do, it seems, their basic thoughts for the future. Both towns launched programs in 2021 inviting citizens to voice their opinions on growth. Residents of each town express a desire to hold on to small-town community values, but at the same time they want their towns to be smart and create proper infrastructure for the wave of new people, businesses and cultures that continue to find a home in northern Brunswick County.

MANAGING GROWTH IN LELAND The Leland 2045 plan launched in January with the first virtual presentation and meeting. Residents shared their wish lists in real time to Leland’s survey questions. The Round One survey results include demographics of the survey takers, things liked about the town, concerns and town priorities. Major assets this initial group of citizens lauded were the townspeople, location and weather. Concerns included managing growth, increased traffic and the need for jobs and additional shopping. Summer 2021



A second round of public engagement was held in March, presenting the draft vision and theme statements for feed back and also potential growth scenarios for Leland. A third round of public engagement will be held in August. During the early part of the year, COVID restrictions forced a new way of interacting for the townspeople and town planners. “We had to rely on doing online meetings and pushing surveys out,” explains Town of Leland Director of Planning and Building Inspections Ben Andrea. “It wasn’t bad because

we got plenty of public engagement, we just had to do it in a different way. In our first meeting we had about 90 people join us, which was really great, because if we’d had an in-person meeting, I’m not sure we would have had 90 people show up.” The population of Leland doubled from 2010 to 2020 and is currently at about 27,000 citizens. Projections show the population could triple in the next 25 years. Now is the time to be planning what that will look like. “The 2045 Plan is important for residents of Leland because it is a vision of how it should grow over the next 25 years,” Andrea says. “Leland has grown a lot. We know Leland will continue to grow because it is a great place, and partly because it is not land constrained like Wilmington and New Hanover County.” TAILGATE SPECIAL

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A PRIORITY ON GATHERING PLACES After a year of lockdowns, some of the main things people have requested are areas where they can interact with each other. “I think that need has been amplified with people being constrained into their homes,” Andrea says. “People still want a place to interact with each other whether that be in parks, a shopping center or a restaurant.” Residents mention greenspace preservation as a planning priority, along with the call for a pedestrianfriendly downtown. Neither Leland nor Belville have a traditional downtown, but each have plans to improve their hub areas. Leland has a core vision to develop a pedestrian-oriented downtown area in the Gateway section of town near Village Road and Old Fayetteville Road, which is the original part of Leland. Residents are starting to see that slowly come to life with the building of Harrington Village, with the 726 Brewery going up west of


Greenspace preservation, water access, meeting places, and retail and dining options in Leland and Belville are at the core of the Leland 2045 and Belville Vision 2030 plans.

Summer 2021



Town Hall and with the multi-use path coming soon in tandem with the resurfacing of Old Fayetteville Road. “We have a number of pedestrian projects underway to create a network to improve bicycle facilities,” Andrea says. “The multi-use path will go all the way from Town Hall to the high school.” Andrea urges all residents, newcomers and Leland lifers alike, to participate in the 2045 Plan and let their ideas be heard. “This is an opportunity to help create a legacy for such a great growing community,” Andrea says.

BELVILLE AIMS FOR A WATERFRONT DOWNTOWN For a town of about 2,400 residents, the Belville Vision 2030 Plan sets some high goals for developing their downtown area on the Brunswick River, not the least of which would include a hotel with a small convention center. pumping station there at A steering committee took aim at the ideas for developing Clockwise from top left: Leland Senior Town Planner Matthew 133, from that point on, we the original Belville town area, which is adjacent to Highway Kirkland and Planner 1 Ben are negotiating with DOT 74 and east of Highway 133. The public was invited to give Watts provide information to take that property in, input via a survey and two open meetings in April. The town to residents through the most of it will go into the received more than 300 remarks regarding proposed public engagement hub and implement projects like park system,” Allen says. development. Westgate Nature Park. The town has a contract “The concept is to turn what we call the original old with a property owner that downtown of Belville into a show place, much like Mayfaire goes back prior to Allen’s mayorship in 2012. They are still near Wrightsville Beach,” Belville Mayor Mike Allen says. negotiating details. “We want a real downtown area. A place where you can go, “One thing we are looking for at the riverfront is a hotel park your car, get out and have every amenity you might with a convention center that would seat up to about 400 want. There will be shops, restaurants, a marina and possibly people,” Allen says. “Wilmington has a a water taxi to downtown huge convention center. We want Wilmington,” Allen says. WANT TO KNOW MORE? something that appeals to the smaller The proposed expansion is due north business owners and groups.” of the existing Brunswick Riverwalk townofleland.com – The Belville Vision 20/30 Survey is Park and consists of land being used by Click on the Leland 2045 bar at the available on the town’s website or paper the Department of Transportation and top of the home page copies are available. The town held two some privately held land. public meetings in April.  “We (the town) only go up to the townofbelville.com/vision2030 46

North Brunswick Magazine


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Summer 2021


WITH THE UNDERDOGS Holden Beach’s Rasta Rocket holds its own on National Geographic Channel’s Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks. BY DENNIS HETZEL PHOTOGRAPHY BY MEGAN DEITZ 48

North Brunswick Magazine

Summer 2021



Spend some time with Zack Shackleton and you quickly conclude two things. First, he loves to fish. He REALLY loves to fish. Second, he’s proud he grew up in Brunswick County and wants to set a positive example. That describes a lot of people in these parts, but Shackleton has a big stage to be that guy. Only in his wildest dreams at West Brunswick High School a decade earlier could he have imagined being a boat captain on a reality television show aired internationally on the National Geographic Channel in more than 100 countries and multiple languages. Shackleton and his partner, Daniel Blank, are part of a four-man crew, along with Shackleton’s dog, Minnie, that recently completed their second season competing on Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks. Their boat, the 28-foot Rasta Rocket, is aptly

named after the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team’s sled in the movie Cool Runnings. “It’s an underdog story,” Shackleton says. “If you look at the movie, that’s pretty much our story. I don’t mind being the underdog. We hang in there with the top guns.” Originally from Sanford, North Carolina, Shackleton has called Brunswick County home for most of his life. It’s a regular get-together for Shackleton’s and Blank’s family and friends whenever new episodes air on Sunday nights in the fall. Shackleton appreciates the many fans that the Rocket, its crew and Minnie have, but the occasional celebrity status that comes from being on television and social media interests him a lot less than showing the world that the Rocket crew knows where they’re from and what they’re doing.

Zack Shackleton, Daniel Blanks and Shane Britt on the Rasta Rocket, a 28’ Contender and the smallest vessel in the Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks fleet.


North Brunswick Magazine

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“We wanted to make a good name for Brunswick County and Holden Beach,” he says. “We just want to be the best that we can be. We want people to be proud of us, and I think we’ve done that.” Shackleton and Blank first met at mackerel tournaments. They started fishing together about eight years ago in a relationship that led to a deep friendship, fishing partnership and eventual purchase of the Rasta Rocket, a well-traveled 1999 vessel that they’ve upgraded, repaired and rewired. “We really don’t talk a lot,” Blank says, “because we already know everything there is to know about each other.” The connection with the TV program started when Blank’s girlfriend sent an application to the Wicked Tuna producers. “She saw they were looking for boats,” Blank recalls. “We didn’t think they would talk to us, but she sent it anyway.” The underdog angle appealed to the producers, and Rasta Rocket was selected for the 2019 season and then invited back for 2020. The Rocket’s relatively small size creates lots of rooting interest from fans, but it puts them at a definite disadvantage. Shackleton says that winds over 25 mph and seas higher than 5 or 6 feet mean they have to return to port before the larger boats, or they may miss several days when others can compete. Without an enclosed cabin, the Rocket also lacks creature comforts the others enjoy. When they stay overnight on the rolling water, they’re sleeping and shivering on the deck – including the National Geographic videographer who travels with them. The premise of the show is this: The competing vessels, including top commercial boats from Massachusetts and New Hampshire who fish in the New England waters of the original Wicked Tuna show, go about 40 miles out from the Outer Banks into the Gulf Stream in search of the best, biggest bluefin tuna they can find in the chilly months of January through March. Why do it at such a chilly time of year? “That’s when the tuna are there,” Shackleton says with a laugh. By rule, they can catch no more than one fish a day with a 73-inch minimum length. At the dock, the bluefin tuna gets weighed and assessed. For example, a 375-pound bluefin tuna would bring $3,750 at $10 per pound. Top-flight fish can earn thousands more. At season’s end, the winning boat is the one that earns the most money. Shackleton’s easy-going demeanor masks a strong work ethic and competitive streak. One of his favorite sayings, as viewers know, is “you have to grind” to succeed. The crew is serious about commercial fishing. It’s demanding, expensive and their fulltime livelihood. And, as Shackleton points out on the show, there are mouths to feed back home. If it means sleeping in his aging Silverado pickup or 52

North Brunswick Magazine

Shane Britt

Zack Shackleton

Daniel Blanks

A good crew, the water, the fish and Minnie — that just might be all he needs.

the boat itself to get an edge, he’ll do it. If it means looking for oysters when the seas are too rough to seek tuna, grouper, snapper or mackerel, they’ll do it. Unlike much of reality television, Shackleton says that Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks isn’t scripted. What you see is what happened. Show producers spend the summer editing thousands of hours of video to craft a new season that airs in the fall, capturing the most dramatic moments but also showing the long hours and challenges of successful commercial fishing. The Rasta Rocket crew sees episodes at the same time as the public. At the time of this magazine’s publication, Rasta Rocket had just finished filming its third season, again making their

regular six-hour drive to the Outer Banks from their home base in Holden Beach. So, what happens when the Wicked Tuna experience is over? “We’re a well-oiled machine now,” Shackleton says. “We love being on the show, but we’re going to fish either way.” He’d like the resources for a bigger, better boat. But, then again, it wouldn’t be the Rasta Rocket. He sees an opportunity to get into charter fishing. “A lot of people would like to fish on the Rocket after seeing the program,” he says. Shackleton pauses on that thought and notes that he doesn’t believe chartering is what he’s meant to do. A good crew, the water, the fish and Minnie — that just might be all he needs. 


Summer 2021





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Play On! For the past 24 years, the Children’s Museum of Wilmington has opened its doors to young imaginations. BY ASHLEY DANIELS PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY CONRY DAVIS


Playtime is essential for our kiddos! The Children’s Museum of Wilmington (CMOW) was closed for six months due to COVID but is thankfully open and available as a creative, interactive outlet once again. A local option for childhood learning and fun since 1997, CMOW has grown so much over the years that it moved to a newer, bigger location in 2004: the three buildings in downtown Wilmington that were the former home to St. John’s Museum of Art.

Marketing Coordinator Jamie Longshore and Front Desk Administrator Sellers Hill staff the front desk at Children’s Museum of Wilmington.

The newest exhibit, which opened on January 29, is called The Wonders of Water and is sponsored by Duke Energy Water Resources Fund. The interactive water table is chlorine based. “It basically teaches about water filtration, the way the rain system works and also about like taking care of our planet and why it’s important to not pollute and all that good stuff,” says Jamie Longshore, marketing coordinator at CMOW. Summer 2021



Other hands-on exhibits currently open at CMOW are:  Ahoy Wilmington, a pirate ship the kids can climb aboard.  Toddler Treehouse, an actual treehouse for ages 4 and younger.  The Studio Featuring The Lawson Learning Center, where kids can paint, sculpt, draw, weave and more.  Community Market, a re-creation of Publix Supermarket, where kids can grab a cart and shop in the aisles.

 Discovery Diner, an interactive exhibit teaching kiddos about making healthy eating choices, complete with a life-like dining area and cafeteria stocked with foods from all five food groups.  Toothasaurus, where kids can learn about oral care, brush model teeth and take a seat in the dentist’s chair.  Port CMOW, a smaller scale display of all the North Carolina ports; kids can move the freighters up and down the river and load cargo on the trains.  Animal Alley, where kids take on the role of pet groomer, trainer and pet owner.  The Science of You, an exhibit that teaches all about the human body, from head to toe.  Wellness Way, an exhibit that focuses on infant care, anatomy and wellness.  Bone Health & Healing, a newer area centered around a life-sized skeleton on a surfboard inside a curling wave that allows visitors to hold up their smartphones up to the skeleton to identify bones.  Matching Wall, an interactive game that pairs with The Science of You.


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 Kid Power, sponsored by Planet Fitness, an area that features a long jump, vertical jump, balance beam, hand bike, stationary bike and aerobic area.

It basically teaches about water filtration, the way the rain system works and also about like taking care of our planet and why it’s important to not pollute and all that good stuff.


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Imagination Playground, a play area filled with life-size blue blocks, remains closed because of the high-contact nature. In addition to the hands-on exhibits, CMOW offers eight educational programs Tuesday through Friday, and these are included with admission. Programs include story time for all ages, toddler play time and explore topics, like


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STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) and nature. An upcoming event that CMOW will be hosting is the Teddy Bear Tea on September 12. Bring your favorite doll or stuffed friend and enjoy a teddy bear and dolly parade, dancing and games, Bundt cake decorating, fun food and a mimosa bar (for the grown-ups, of course). For event or admission tickets or to become a member of CMOW or donate to the museum, visit playwilmington.org.

Because of COVID, of course, certain safety measures have to be played out for our precious children. “We’ve actually had to make a lot of changes, such as our capacity limits,” says Jamie Longshore, marketing coordinator at CMOW. “All of our programs can have up to 10 people, including the parents. And that is also the same for our birthday parties, which can have up to 10 people.” Longshore adds that CMOW also boasts a really nice courtyard that can accommodate up to 20 people, which is the perfect setting in the Sign up for Pet Portal today on our website summer weather. and manage your pet’s health online. “We have also implemented new sanitizing techniques,” Longshore  910.371.3440  Emergency: 910.791.7387 says. “We basically sanitize  508 Village Rd. Leland  LelandVetHospital.com everything in the museum twice a day. We use natural solutions and a  LELAND VETERINARY HOSPITAL sanitizing fogger to deep clean each area, but we also continuously sanitize pretty much everything that’s being touched, of course, because we’re a high-touch facility.”

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Additional safety protocols at CMOW include:  To limit crowding and to control the number of guests in the museum, all (including members) are required to purchase tickets online. Event tickets are also limited.  All guests older than the age of 5 are required to wear a mask.  New hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout the museum.  There are no costumes in the exhibits.  The water fountain is closed; water bottles can be purchased at the front desk. 


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Taking Flight for Veterans Honor Flight of the Cape Fear Area, a chapter of a national group that provides all-expenses trips to Washington to salute veterans and recognize the importance of their service, needs your help. BY DENNIS HETZEL PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA GLANTZ


The pandemic messed with everyone’s plans, including local efforts to reinstate Honor Flights to Washington, D.C., in 2021 to honor Cape Fear-area veterans. Still, just like military leaders facing a mission in which failure isn’t an option, organizers Ruth Ravitz Smith and Kevin Parker won’t take no for an answer. Smith and Parker are passionate volunteer leaders in the newly formed Honor Flight of the Cape Fear organization, a chapter of a national group that provides all-expenses honor flight trips to Washington to salute veterans and recognize the importance of their service. Group members are tackling the myriad tasks required to restore an ILM flight after a long absence. They’re determined that a charter flight will ascend from ILM to give local vets a day they and their families will never forget. Just recently, as pandemic restrictions finally gave way, the national

Ruth Ravitz Smith and Kevin Parker, organizers of Honor Flight of the Cape Fear

Summer 2021



organization gave a “wings up” for a Wilmington flight on April 30, 2022. Now the real work begins, which is why more volunteers must enter the picture. “If you’ve ever been at the airport when the vets return, you’re just overcome with emotion,” Parker says. Tears, laughter and applause all mingle as passengers with no connection to the flight often join volunteer greeters as the line of veterans, some no longer able to walk on their own, pass through. (The author speaks from experience.) That’s what motivated Smith, the founder and president of the Cape Fear chapter, when she encountered a group at Reagan National Airport as she awaited a flight to Connecticut. That drew her into the Honor Flight program,

Honor Flight volunteers Norm Berth (top photo, on right) and Ruth Ravitz Smith (bottom photo, on right) share information with veterans outside of Mission BBQ, one the organization’s big supporters, in Wilmington. 62

North Brunswick Magazine


first as a greeter. Like many volunteers, she didn’t come from a military family, although her father was in the Air National Guard. The sacrifices of veterans simply spoke to her. Plus, she says with a chuckle, “I went to a women’s college, Hood, in Frederick, Maryland, and dated midshipmen from the nearby U.S. Naval Academy.” Fast forward to six years ago when she moved to Wilmington. “I knew they had started an ILM flight, but then I learned the hub was no longer in existence,” she says. “I made a commitment that we’d get it I knew they restarted here.” had started Drawing on her an ILM flight, contacts, the result was the creation of a fully but then I certified local hub, one learned the of about 130 in the hub was no national Honor Flight network. The new longer in flight will, for the first existence. time, be open to I made a Vietnam and Korea-era commitment vets as well as older ones. Many Vietnam that we’d get vets are well into their it restarted 70s now and might be here. in particular need of a warm greeting, as they returned to a sharply divided America in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As Parker notes, many Korea-era veterans didn’t get much of a homecoming either. The Wilmington Honor Flight will work like this: 75 veterans and 75 accompanying guardians will leave ILM early in the morning on a charter flight to Washington. Police-escorts will greet them as charter buses take them to various war and veterans’ monuments throughout the day. All expenses will be paid, including food, backpacks and t-shirts, and there will be an accompanying medical team and any medical equipment, wheelchairs and other mobility gear they may need to enjoy the trip. They can expect big

OAK ISLAND NAVY VET LOOKS FORWARD TO HONOR FLIGHT To understand how much an Honor Flight can mean to a veteran, spend a few minutes talking to Bill Bruce of Oak Island. Bruce, who was an Aviation Electrician 2nd Class in the years between the Korea and Vietnam conflicts, makes it a point to say that going on the flight isn’t just about recognizing his own service. “My late father-in-law was with Gen. Patton through Italy into France,” he says. “I want to go to the World War II Memorial to honor him. And I have quite a bit of Navy in my family. My oldest brother is a retired chief in both Korea and Vietnam.” Bruce, a Lumberton native, says he served from 1957 through 1964 and was part of transport flight crews in places such as Morocco, Spain and Pakistan. He transferred back to Norfolk, Virginia, and saw duty on the aircraft carriers USS Valley Forge and USS Randolph before going to the Brunswick Naval Air Station in Maine. After his military service, Bruce used his training in electronics to work as a contractor. He later taught future electricians at community colleges and also worked in Salem, Virginia, as the city’s electrical inspector. When he and his wife, JoAnn, first moved to the area, it didn’t take long for him to find work as Bald Head Island’s building inspector, a position he held for 10 years. He still does fill-in inspections for local communities. Some of his flight crew work involved submarine hunting and other observations. He was on duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, in which the world stood on the precipice of nuclear war as President John F. Kennedy insisted that the Soviet Union remove nuclear-capable missiles from Cuba and ordered a shipping blockade. Bruce is certain they saw materials related to the missile installations bound for Cuba. “They sent us to the Azores Islands to watch for Russian shipping,” he says. “The funniest thing was that we would fly about 50 feet over the Russian ships. The crew members on the ships would throw things at us.” Summer 2021




Ruth Ravitz Smith and a Vietnam veteran discuss Honor Flight opportunities at Mission BBQ.

send-offs and other surprises upon departure, arrival and return that night. That can’t be done without lots of volunteers and monetary support. Guardians are asked to contribute $500 toward their direct expenses for the trip. A one-day honor flight costs around $100,000. Parker, an IT specialist for Corning in Wilmington, is the Cape Fear chapter’s secretary. He first got involved with the original honor flight from Wilmington 10 years ago. For him, it’s about saying thanks and making memories for the vets. The volunteers make lasting memories, too. 64

North Brunswick Magazine

“I was a guardian on the second Wilmington flight,” Parker recalls. “Then it was three veterans per guardian, and I was responsible to take care of anything they needed, including travel to and from the airport and on the trip. I stayed close to those three vets for years. Two have since passed away. One family asked me to be a pallbearer. The impact on you lasts for years.” Longer-term, the Cape Fear chapter is committed to making an ILM Honor Flight an annual event. “The biggest advertisement will be when the vets return and see the airport welcome,” Parker says. “Nothing beats the airport return.” 

Honor Flight of the Cape Fear Area (HFCFA) is seeking both veterans and volunteers for their planned flight from ILM Airport on April 30, 2022. HFCFA also accepts tax-deductible contributions and donations from individuals and sponsors as each flight is estimated to cost about $100,000. Volunteers are needed to join the flight as guardians and to help in Wilmington on departure and return, which includes giving the vets a big welcome home after landing. Guardians are asked to contribute $500 to cover their airfare, meals and other expenses for the day. If you know a Vietnam-era or older veteran, anyone who served prior to 1975, in the Cape Fear region, including Brunswick County, who might be interested in going on the Wilmington flight, encourage them to contact Honor Flight or pass the veteran’s name along. Veterans go on the flights for free. Honor Flight is always looking for opportunities to tell its story and recruit volunteers at events and meetings. If you would like to host a volunteer to learn more, reach out to the organization. To learn more or make contact, go to honorflightcfa.org, send email to info@honorflightcfa.org or call (910) 344-1050.

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Healthcare Q&A 10 questions with Shelbourn Stevens, president of New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Novant Health’s Coastal Market. BY DENNIS HETZEL | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK STEELMAN


hen officials in New Hanover County agreed to sell the publicly held New Hanover Regional Medical Center to Novant Health in 2020, they forged a dominant entity for healthcare delivery throughout the Cape Fear region. Novant operates the largest hospital in Brunswick County and many other local facilities. Amid all that, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the area, putting more stress on healthcare providers. With that in mind, we thought the timing was perfect to connect with Shelbourn Stevens to discuss healthcare in


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Brunswick County. Stevens was recently promoted to president of NHRMC and the coastal market, which includes oversight of Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center and Pender Memorial Hospital. For the eight years prior, he was president and chief operating officer of Brunswick Medical Center, the position he held when this email interview was conducted. Stevens, who lives in Supply, provided the following responses to my questions, and his responses have been lightly edited for space and style.

At left, left to right: Shelbourn Stevens, president of NHRMC and Novant Health Coastal Market; Josh Price, manager RN Supervision and Patient Placement; Lakeisha Dixon, Women’s Unit manager; Gabriele Pike, Adult Health administrator; and Lakisha Fullwood, nurse manager walking the halls at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Below, left to right: Dixon, Stevens and Fullwood reviewing hospital processes.

an you tell us a little about yourself, C including your hobbies and interests when you’re not at work?

I grew up in Danbury, North Carolina, and started my career as a respiratory aide with Novant Health in 1990. While working full time, I received both my bachelor’s degree and an MBA. In 2012 I took over as president and chief operating officer at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center. Outside of work, I like to travel. I learned to play piano when I was four, and I played every Sunday at the church I grew up in. Today, I still play and find it as my own form of personal therapy. ow that Novant is operating New N Hanover Regional Center, how does Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center fit into the picture going forward?

N ew Hanover Regional Medical Center will become Novant Health’s flagship facility for the coastal market, which Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center will remain a part of, and leader of a regionally focused, integrated delivery network in southeastern North Carolina. New Hanover Regional Medical Center will be the local leader of the formative stages of this significant regional expansion strategy, enabling it to be a critical partner with substantial influence and resources as we jointly develop strategic plans.

ill Brunswick County residents be more likely or less likely to W have to go to Wilmington to receive advanced or specialized medical services vs. remaining in Brunswick County? What specialty areas do you see expanding first in Brunswick County, if any?

his partnership will bring a more seamless experience for T Brunswick County residents should they need advanced or specialized care. Advanced and specialized care will primarily stay in New Hanover County, and the expanded UNC partnership will bring more access to care for our Brunswick County residents. Regarding the expansion timeline of specialty areas in Brunswick County, we are still working with local leadership and physicians to determine the critical needs of our community. Summer 2021


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hen you look at medical needs and services in W Brunswick County, what community health issues concern you the most? What keeps you up at night?

I think the one thing that keeps me up at night is making sure every single resident has access to remarkable care whenever they need it. We are a rural county with an older population that might need more specialized care. In some cases, they don’t have the means to travel to get their routine appointments to make sure their health is the best it can be. It’s something I constantly think about, and I am proud that Novant Health is making access to care a priority. ne of the controversial issues in O Novant’s purchase of NHRMC was the decision to limit the $1.25 billion that moved to the New Hanover Community Endowment to only serve New Hanover County despite NHRMC’s regional footprint. Does this decision have an impact on Novant’s ability or commitment to support community needs and interests in Brunswick County?

T his partnership decision does not have an impact on our commitment to support Brunswick County’s needs. Residents in Brunswick County should be really excited about this partnership as it combines the best of both worlds with both Novant Health and New Hanover Regional Medical Center, while also expanding the affiliation with UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine.

ou were a hospital executive through this COVID-19 Y pandemic. How close did we come in Brunswick County to cases overwhelming the system and how did you feel your staff responded to all the challenges?

hen COVID-19 first started, we were concerned because W our hospital serves a population that is high-risk for severe complications from the virus. But because we are part of a larger healthcare organization, we were able to adjust and plan as needed to accommodate for any potential surges we saw in cases to prevent overwhelming the system and our team members.

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e read about shortages of W medical professionals like family doctors and nurses in many parts of the country. What’s the situation in Brunswick County, and in what areas of practices or occupations are we most deficient?

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Stevens confers with Fullwood, Pike, Price and Dixon at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

I can’t say enough about our team members. I can’t thank each one of them enough for their selflessness and commitment to taking care of the community in such an uncertain and scary time for many. They have been moving at a sprint’s pace during the COVID-19 marathon and have not let up once in their dedication to our patients and community. hat are some of the most important W lessons the community needs to learn from the COVID experience using your perspective as both a county resident and a hospital executive?

I think the most important lesson the community can learn from the COVID-19 experience is that we really have to be open to listening and trusting our health officials in such a time of uncertainty. At the start, people were masked and listened to all of the guidelines but as time went on, masks started becoming less prevalent. I know people got tired of COVID-19, but by listening to officials about preventive steps, including getting the COVID-19 vaccine, we can get out of this pandemic sooner and safely. 70

North Brunswick Magazine

unning a hospital in Brunswick County must involve hurricane R and disaster response. We’ve had several significant storms in recent years, and experts expect that trend to continue. What lessons have been learned and changes made from recent storms in terms of the hospital’s ability to respond to natural disasters?

I think what I’ve learned most from both hurricanes and even COVID-19 is that you always have to be ready with a plan A, plan B and even a plan C. With natural disasters, you can never predict what will happen, so having the contingency plans in place helps the team members at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center feel prepared to face what comes our way. I f you could “correct the record,” what are one or two of the biggest misconceptions you encounter about hospitals and healthcare in 2021 that people get from movies, TV or news media?

I know that I’ve heard from some community members that they are afraid to go to clinics or the hospitals because they are worried about COVID-19. This means that people are forgoing important screenings or not coming into the emergency department when they should. Our environmental services teams at the hospitals and clinics are properly trained on how to disinfect rooms and supplies, and they continue to do a remarkable job throughout the pandemic. I encourage everyone to know that the hospitals and clinics are safe and to get care when they need it. 

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For the Long Haul Leland ultrarunners Jeremy Reynolds and Jeff Winchester compete in long-distance races and motivate others to do the same. BY ANNESOPHIA RICHARDS PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATT MCGRAW


2013 at a time when Reynolds was transitioning from an active career with the Air Force to a more sedentary office job with GE. He reached out to then-acquaintance Winchester, who had recently taken up running as a way of combating his stress and other recent health issues. “Jeff and I really connected, and we started working out together every day,” Reynolds says. “We got into Spartan races, and I decided I really liked the running portion of them, especially the scary part of not being

sure if I could do it, and the pain aspect. That’s really what got me into ultras.” Similar to Reynolds, Winchester also realized his favorite part of the Spartan races was running, and he began training for his first marathon in 2015. Although his finish time was slower than he’d hoped, from that moment on he was hooked. “I bombed really bad, but I loved it,” Winchester says. “I loved all the pain, maybe not at the moment but afterwards. It was a good type of


For most of us, simply the thought of completing a marathon is exhausting. The physically demanding hours of required training and running are daunting enough to deter us from ever attempting to accept such a challenge. But for ultramarathoners and Leland residents Jeremy Reynolds and Jeff Winchester, those 26.2 miles are merely a warm-up for something truly epic. For best friends Reynolds and Winchester running is a relatively new passion in life. The two men met in

Jeremy Reynolds (left) and Jeff Winchester

But for ultramarathoners and Leland residents Jeremy Reynolds and Jeff Winchester, those 26.2 miles are merely a warm-up for something truly epic.


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Summer 2021



BECOME AN ULTRARUNNER Tune in to the “The Ultra Running Guys” podcast on Audible and listen for free. Or go to the website: theultrarunningguys.com to find the podcast link, read their blog and more.


North Brunswick Magazine


discomfort, and that’s what drew me in. People hesitate because we’re afraid of pain, but that’s kind of silly, in my mind. It’s not bad to be uncomfortable, it’s just uncomfortable.” Soon afterwards, Reynolds completed his own first marathon, and from there both men set their sights on going even farther. Winchester completed a 50K race, and then the duo ran together in the JFK 50 Mile, otherwise known as America’s oldest ultramarathon, in November of 2016. After numerous other marathons, 50Ks, 50 milers and 100Ks, both men completed their first 100-mile race at the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run in Raleigh. “For me, it’s really not about the distance,” Winchester says. “There’s this element of discomfort that makes you feel like you’re dying, but it actually makes you feel very alive. I think it’s why we’re very passionate about encouraging others to try all kinds of challenging things, not because we think everybody should suffer or because I want them to hurt, but because I think they learn so much about themselves and what they can do.” Winchester and Reynolds both agree that races lasting sometimes more than 12 hours are more about being mentally strong than physically dominant. Contrary to what most might imagine, ultramarathoners aren’t expected to run the entire time. Generous cutoff times and frequent aid stations mean most runners walk to some degree throughout the race. “It becomes this negotiation with myself of keeping one foot in front of the other and asking myself how I can continue to move forward,” Reynolds says. “Like most people, I tend to get in this really deep, dark spot where I start to wonder why I’m even doing it or if I can continue, and that’s the magic in it. From a confidence standpoint, you get

to know yourself and understand what you’re made of. I love feeling that ‘wow’ moment of realizing I’ve got something in me I didn’t know was there.” Defined as any footrace longer than the traditional marathon distance of 26.2 miles, ultramarathons have been gaining in popularity. The number of

available races, coupled with events like Wilmington’s own Southern Tour Ultra, which allow runners the option of racing in relay teams, have encouraged people of different abilities to experience ultrarunning in a fun, welcoming environment. “These 48-hour events just seem to

Summer 2021



THE FINAL COUNTDOWN RACE September 18, 8 am to 5 pm Brunswick Nature Park, 2601 River Road SE, Winnabow runsignup.com/Race/NC/ Winnabow/TheFinalCountdown This choose-your-own-distance run for athletes of all abilities will repeat a 1.33-mile loop, with each lap getting slightly faster than the last. Runners who don’t make it back before the timer runs out each lap will be out of the race, until only one runner returns before the completion of The Final Countdown. If you’re not interested in running but want to check it out, volunteers are needed on race day. Find information at theultrarunningguys.com.


North Brunswick Magazine

normalize things, because at first you show up and wonder how these other people are doing it,” Reynolds says. “Before, it was just this mythic thing that you might have read or heard about, but then you start to see seemingly average people doing things you never thought possible. I think that’s really contributed to the sport’s growth.” This past November, Reynolds and Winchester decided to share their passion for ultras by creating their own podcast, “The Ultra Running Guys.” Their goal is to encourage others who are considering getting into the sport, because they know just what it felt like to take that first step. “When I initially heard that people ran 100 miles, I literally thought it was a mistake,” Reynolds says. “But I soon learned that everyday people do this all over the country, every weekend, and I realized I had put these limits on myself. Just because something seems so far away, if we take it in small, incremental steps, we can get there. Ultrarunning isn’t about being crazy good at something, it’s just about deciding you can do it.” Both Winchester and Reynolds have

several races on their calendars this year, including another 100-miler this fall. In addition, they’ll be hosting their own race called The Final Countdown on September 18 in Brunswick Nature Park. In this choose-your-own-distance run, athletes of all abilities will repeat a 1.33-mile loop, with each lap getting slightly faster than the last. Runners who don’t make it back before the timer runs out each lap will be out of the race, until only one runner returns before the completion of The Final Countdown. For Reynolds and Winchester, the ultimate goal of this type of race is to let people know that everyone is capable of doing more than they think they can. “Effort is effort, and so if somebody is working and pushing through one mile, that’s a big deal,” Reynolds says. “It’s really about progress, not about who can do what distance, and that’s one of the things we both really value about the ultrarunning community. Sure, there’s racing that goes on, but the racing is really such a small percentage of it. Everybody out there is just so supportive, because we all recognize that we’re on our own discovery journey.” 





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Summer 2021



Is the island in both Brunswick and New Hanover counties destined for development or will it become a nature park with a focus on preservation, education and recreation? BY TERESA A. MCLAMB PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA GLANTZ


North Brunswick Magazine

THE ONLY BOBCAT I have ever encountered in the wild was on Eagles Island. I didn’t so much encounter it as hear it, a wail almost like a baby’s cry. Scanning the marshy landscape, I spotted a lone scraggly tree. Crouched on a lower branch, the cat called out to something unseen in this otherworldly terrain. That was the early 1970s, when there were still skeletons of tugboats and ships along the shoreline of the Cape Fear River side and liberty ships in the Brunswick River. The USS North Carolina was a shiny new resident. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spoil area wasn’t quite so large as today, and Wilmington’s population was small enough that no one had seriously considered developing the island. All that has changed as this tiny patch of land

between Wilmington’s downtown and Brunswick County’s northern population explosion is eyed for development. Mooresville-based Diamondback Development LLC reportedly purchased 19 acres of high land in 2016 for $1.5 million, according to a StarNews article at the time. A look at the counties’ GIS systems shows the land under Holdings of TCM Inc. with the same principals involved. The New Hanover County acreage totals 18.94, while another 8.62 is shown in Brunswick County. Total GIS acreage for the island is just under 1,500. Nine owners are corporations or individuals, while the remaining seven are government entities. New Hanover County has jurisdiction of 106.02 acres; the remainder falls under Brunswick County.

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North Brunswick Magazine

A few years back, spurred by an unsolicited donation of 500-plus acres to the New Hanover County Soil and Water Conservation District, a group emerged with the goal of preserving the entire island. An extensive article in the April 2009 issue of Wildlife in North Carolina details the coalition’s evolution. Their work resulted in a 2011 report detailing in 110 pages the island’s history, geology, possible uses and more. They attempted to bring Diamondback’s acreage into their plan, but could not reach an agreement, according to Evan Folds, supervisor of the Soil and Water Conservation District and co-chair of the new Eagles Island Central Park

Once you develop it, there’s no undeveloping it.

Task Force, along with Lloyd Singleton of the New Hanover County Arboretum. The task force includes nonprofits, government agencies and individuals, all with the aim of preserving the island as greenspace while also using it as an educational and recreational asset for the region. Operating for now under the auspices of Renaissance Wilmington Foundation, the task force is seeking support from the towns and counties that adjoin Eagles Island. Several towns are on record as wanting preservation rather than development on the island, Folds says. “We need to raise awareness,” he says. “It used to be something that I just drove over. People know the Battleship is there.” Because it is a federal monument, the

Battleship’s view cannot be obstructed, Folds adds, and some of the development ideas that have been floated did just that. Folds hopes to excite the public’s imagination about how the island can be preserved. “Once you develop it, there’s no undeveloping it,” he says. Eagles Island is rich in history. Its name comes from Richard Eagles, an Englishman who came to the area from Charleston, South Carolina, in 1734. According to a 1989 document by Wilson Angley, Eagles first acquired land on the island in 1738. Over the next several years, he acquired more land on the island as well as in Wilmington and on

Eagles Island Central Park Task Force seeks to preserve Eagles Island as a park between Wilmington and North Brunswick County.

Summer 2021


The envisioned cultural center on Eagles Island would tell Gullah Geechee story, along with that of the Native Americans, who were first on the land.

the western side of the Brunswick River. The Eagles family eventually owned more than 900 acres on the island and more than 6,500 acres in the region. Eagles is believed to have begun producing rice on the island using the tidal flow method after the 1750s. While naval stores was a large-scale industry in the region, historians believe the island lacked sufficient longleaf pine forest to have been involved until the second half of the 18th century, corresponding with the establishment and growth of Wilmington, which was incorporated in 1739. Warehouses and wharves dotted both sides of the Cape Fear River, and a ferry ran between Eagles Island and the foot of Market Street.


North Brunswick Magazine

Rice plantations grew up around the river, including on Eagles Island. Glastonbury Plantation included 220 acres on the island. On the east side were Hallett, Osawatomie and Bleak House plantations. Extensive networks of ditches and levees were constructed to support rice cultivation, which continued into the early 1900s. Remains are evident on much of the island. Part of this history is the Gullah Geechee tradition, which was brought here with the slaves who worked the rice fields. Their expertise in raising the crop in South Carolina was well known. The envisioned cultural center on Eagles Island would tell Gullah Geechee story, along with that of the

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Native Americans, who were first on the land. “We can imagine this cultural center that breathes life into it,” Folds says. “We need to invite the public to imagine that. We can generate the same level of tax value with recreation [as could be done with commercial development].” There is another piece to this puzzle that should easily

Wilmington to turn around. The Port is an important economic engine for the region and the state.” At this stage, regular meetings and formal and informal discussions are ongoing. Earth sciences professor Roger Shew at UNCW has developed a presentation on the history and the viability of the island along with some alarming statistics about the sea level rise that has already occurred and appears to be continuing. Cape Fear River Watch is also involved. Stay on the lookout for a website dedicated to the task force. They’re already on Facebook @eaglesislandnaturepark. 

The island is home to a variety of wildlife, like the indigo bunting on page 81 and the mallard and redwinged blackbird show on this page.

discourage any thoughts of commercial or residential development, Folds adds. “The Battleship area is flooding already. When the harbor is deepened, it’s going to raise the river level.” Deepening of the harbor all the way to the ocean is scheduled in order to accommodate super tankers at the Port of Wilmington. “The activity will bring in saltwater intrusion and raise the river,” Folds says. N.C. State’s Coastal Dynamics Design Lab is developing a model that demonstrates the effects of the rise in sea level, Folds notes. Their map will show the proposed trails and cultural center and the effects of the anticipated rise in sea level. The same modeling can be used to show what would happen should a commercial or residential development be built. To complicate matters even further, the City of Wilmington’s rail realignment program includes running the railroad line through Eagles Island, something the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opposes. The Corps owns almost 1,500 acres on the southern portion of the island and uses it to dispose of dredged material. Considered an active construction site, the land is not open to the public, according to Christine Montoney Brayman, Commander’s Deputy for Programs & Project Management, Wilmington District. “On an annual basis we place material into our confined disposal facility with dredged material from the adjacent anchorage basin of Wilmington Harbor,” she wrote in an email. “This allows the vessels calling the Port of 84

North Brunswick Magazine

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North Brunswick Magazine


The Magic of Music Meet Bolivia native Samuel Hatch, singer/songwriter and lead singer of The Hatch Brothers.



Samuel Hatch is a vibrant young musician with a bright future ahead of him. After a few moments of speaking to him, it’s clear that he is also an old soul. Rooted from a small farm in Bolivia, Hatch grew up in a musical family. His father is classically trained on the guitar, and growing up Hatch remembers listening to him play eclectic songs on the six strings. His grandmother was also a strong musical influence in his life. Watching her play the piano in Town Creek Christian Church stirred something in him, and that quaint little church off Highway 17 would become not just a family tradition but also the first step in hatching his musical plan. You could say that his grandmother was his muse at an early age, which carried well into his elder years. Unfortunately, throughout time, he had to witness his grandmother’s mental ability deteriorate due to Alzheimer’s disease. He watched her return again and again to the foundation that has always been true to her, the piano, playing songs and hymns she

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North Brunswick Magazine


It seemed the only thing the disease had not conquered was her connection to music and the ability to play from memory.

had learned many years ago. It seemed the only thing the disease had not conquered was her connection to music and the ability to play from memory. This spoke to the artist in Hatch. “Music is magic,” he says. Being a career musician was not always in the plans. Hatch actually thought at one point he would study to be an anesthesiologist, but following his heart he became a musician, songwriter, composer, teacher, solo performer and member of the successful band, The Hatch Brothers. During his time in school, Hatch participated in worship band, choir, theater and anything surrounding his passion for music and composing. He furthered his education at Campbell

University, receiving a degree in voice composition and theory. With a natural ear, good musical genetics, a solid education and a love for music, Hatch hit the ground running in both performing and songwriting, finding inspiration from various musicians. He professes his awe of Freddie Mercury from the band Queen, mainly for his bravado and stage presence. Another influence is Jeff Buckley, the American songwriter known for his majestic song “Hallelujah;” Hatch describes him as avant garde and as having an amazing range of vocals. Somewhere between those two icons is Kurt Cobain, who Hatch admires for being an innovative creator and for the raw emotion in his lyrics.

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Hatch performs solo around town in a one-man-band act known as the One Man Sam. You can catch him performing at spots such as Grand Cru, Smoke on the Water, Wrightsville Beach Brewery, Pilot House and others. In The Hatch Brothers, Hatch leads in vocals and composes original music and lyrics. His brother, Paul Hatch, rocks out the bass and ukulele, and their friend Phil Milligan performs on the drums. Together they form a perfect mix of rock, folk, pop, blues and gospel music, blending different genres and backgrounds to create their own unique sound. They perform original songs as well as provide their own renditions of covers. You can catch The Hatch Brothers at the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach, Sundogz in Oak Island, the Oak Island Elks Lodge and Reggies 42nd Street Tavern in Wilmington. Hatch is a dynamic musician who uses his abilities not only to do gigging but also to teach others. At Port City Conservatory of Music, he teaches people ages 5 to 95 years old how to play instruments ranging from guitar to piano to ukulele, whether it’s their first lesson or they are brushing up on a skill, learning to write music or training their voice. He also teaches a very popular songwriting class at Port City Conservatory of Music. “When I started up the songwriting class it filled instantly in the first day of promotion!” he says. “It’s just a fun class that teaches people how to write and refine their very own song.” Hatch describes his future plans as being filled with writing and composing music, putting his heart into an album that took his band two long years to achieve, making sure every note, every key, every lyric is perfect before presenting it to their fans. The Hatch Brothers album will be coming out later this year. Be on the lookout for it on Spotify and see their Facebook page for updates. 

SEE THE HATCH BROTHERS Follow Samuel Hatch on Facebook.com/TheOneManSam or Instagram at the_one_man_sam or go to samhatchmusic.com. Follow The Hatch Brothers on Facebook and Instagram, both thehatchbrothersofficial, or go to thehatchbrothers.com. There you’ll find info about future gigs plus a variety of videos from past shows, photos of the band and more.


North Brunswick Magazine

New Vs. Refurbished Computers Written by The Computer Warriors, Inc. Our clients often ask us if refurbished devices are good or worth buying. We want to dispel the negative association with the term refurbished when it comes to tech. Refurbished devices are more common than you think, and you can often find certified refurbished or open-box deals in stores. This article will explain what these terms mean.

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Northwest Land & Cattle Customer Appreciation Celebration  On June 26 AJ and Wade Stanaland of Northwest Land & Cattle Company held a loyal customer appreciation celebration at their farm. Website and monthly box customers as well as their families and kids were invited to enjoy cocktails and boiled peanuts, whole hog barbecue and live music. Coolers and lawn chairs were welcome at the event, which allowed consumers to connect with the farmers who feed them, all while enjoying food and fellowship. Northwest Land & Cattle raises cattle, hogs and crops in Brunswick County.


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Leland Area Rotary Club Awards  The Leland Area Rotary Club held its annual awards ceremony at Brunswick Forest on June 24. The club broke records in foundation giving and service hours and held strong in membership over the last year. Chris Stevenson was named Rotarian of the year. The club serves the North Brunswick community. For more information visit lelandarearotary.org.

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WAVES 4 K.I.D.S. Fundraiser  On June 13 many guests gathered at The Barn at Rock Creek in Leland for a WAVES 4 K.I.D.S fundraiser. Tickets included dinner catered by ART Catering & Events, a dessert bar, a live auction, a raffle and 50/50 drawing plus entertainment by The Embers featuring Craig Woolard. WAVES 4 K.I.D.S. raises funds to meet the health, educational and social welfare needs of children under the care of the Department of Social Services or other children in difficult situations. Since its creation in 2004, the organization has helped provide vital support for local children, including medical and dental care, daycare, scholarships, clothing, school supplies and so much more. To learn more about the nonprofit organization and how you can help support them, visit waves4kids.org.


North Brunswick Magazine

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North Brunswick Magazine


Phone# Page#


Phone# Page#

4ever24fit................................................................................910-399-4760 95

Leland Smoke House.........................................................910-228-5008 83

AA Self Storage................................................................... 910-408-1600 68

Leland Veterinary Hospital...............................................910-371-3440 58

Advanced Urology............................................................... 910-641-8650 IBC Aesthetic Dentistry.............................................................. 910-371-5965 13 Arbor Landing at Compass Pointe................................910-795-4250 12 ATMC........................................................................................... 844-755-1814 68 Ball Hog Dog Training Academy............................................................... 90

Local’s Tavern......................................................................... 910-769-1289 65 Lockwood Folly Country Club.........................................910-842-5666 88 McPherson’s Acme General...........................................910-655-4006 83 Mosquito Shield.................................................................... 910-518-0886 51

Bianchi Brickyard Supply.................................................. 910-454-4445 28

Mulch & More......................................................................... 910-253-7663 28

BlueWave Dentistry............................................................. 910-383-2615 26 & 27

New Hanover Regional Medical Center..................... 910-342-3400 BC

Brunswick County Dept. of Social Services................ 910-253-2112 82

Niche. Décor & Gifts........................................................... 910-769-8839 85

Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation........... 910-754-4391 3 Brunswick Forest................................................................. 910-239-3786 80 Brunswick Forest Veterinary Hospital......................... 910-777-2107 88 Capeside Animal Hospital................................................. 910-383-2100 47 Carolina Pond and Stormwater......................................910-777-9940 59

North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce.................910-383-0553 71 North Brunswick Chiropractic ........................................ 910-371-1200 65 Novant Health........................................................................ 910-754-5988

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PC Solutions............................................................................. 910-371-5999 14

Carolinas Oral and Facial Surgery.................................. 910-762-2618 57

PODS..........................................................................................910-452-0322 75

Cherubini Orthodontics.......................................................910-371-2323 90

P.T.’s Olde Fashioned Grille............................................ 910-399-6808 77

Coastal Insurance................................................................. 910-754-4326 34

Rhodes Law Offices, PLLC................................................910-383-3610 52

Coastal Integrative Health.................................................910-408-1778 25

RJB Tax Associates, LLC................................................... 910-338-3001 83

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage........................... 910-371-1181 19 Community Association Management Services..... 877-672-2267 65 CommWell Health................................................................ 877-935-5255 92 Compass Pointe.....................................................................888-717-6468 17 Complete Dental Leland..................................................... 910-663-1223


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Robert G. Merz, CPA, P.C.................................................. 910-383-6644 71 Sandpiper Pediatrics......................................................... 910-207-0777 71 Sean Skutnik, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage............................................................910-279-1016 77 Seaside Wellness of Shallotte.........................................910-754-2273 60

Curley Implants & General Dentistry............................910-597-2180 IFC

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Domin & Schwartz Real Estate Group.........................910-202-3638 54

Shallotte Electric Stores................................................. 910-754-6000 38

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Signature Wealth Strategies............................................910-371-0366 60

Farm Bureau Insurance......................................................... 910-371-2111 92

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First Bank................................................................................. 910-383-3955 42 Four Seasons Dry Cleaners.............................................. 910-859-8394 57 Franklin Rouse - State Farm Insurance........................ 910-371-5446 69 Go Store It..................................................................................910-371-2331 54 Holmes Security Systems...............................................800-426-9388 54

Splish Splash Dog Wash.................................................... 910-399-3426 14 St. Mary Catholic School..................................................... 910-762-5491 23 Swell Vision Center............................................................... 910-408-1116 85 Thalian Association Community Theatre..................... 910-251-1788 60

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Troy Williamson — Cornerstone Home Lending....... 910-262-2613 38 Trusst Builder Group......................................................... 910-371-0304 4 Turf Medic................................................................................ 910-769-2818 51 UPS Store..................................................................................910-383-1401 38 Wilmington Health............................................................... 910-371-0404 77

Leland Ace Hardware......................................................... 910-383-6688 12

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Fly me to the moon Photo captured by Gary Zulauf

HAVE YOU CAPTURED THE MOMENT? If so, email your photos to capture@northbrunswickmagazine.com.


North Brunswick Magazine





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