by Staff
March 2020

In the Pink of Health

The Pink Ribbon Project Annual Luncheon

By Christine Gonzalez

Over 600 supporters of breast cancer research and patient care are expected to attend the 22nd annual Pink Ribbon Project Luncheon on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at the Wilmington Convention Center. Many guests will have dyed pink hair or wigs as a sign of support.

The New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation (NHRMC) and The Pink Ribbon Project provide Wilmington-area patients who have little or no insurance the opportunity to have 3D mammography screenings. Each year they provide care to over 1,000 eligible patients, as well as counseling and comfort bags to those newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

Philanthropic support enables NHRMC's Zimmer Cancer Center to offer various programs at no cost to patients. Programs include cancer support groups, healing arts therapy, nutrition education and financial literacy. Funds also support patient and caregiver needs at additional NHRMC oncology treatment centers located throughout New Hanover and Brunswick counties.

"The Pink Ribbon Project means optimism and hope; hope that one day we will never have to say goodbye to loved ones because of this awful disease," says event chair Kristin Hufham in the event sponsorship packet.

Numerous local businesses participated in Pink Ribbon fundraising events in 2019. Fall events were sponsored by The Steel Magnolias Golf Association, Wilmington Brewing Company, Island Passage Lumina, and Porters Neck Country Club. The foundation reported that 14 community-led Pink Ribbon events raised more than $51,000 in 2019.

Tax Help is Available

Volunteers Provide No-Cost Assistance

By Simon Gonzalez

It's tax season. Those words can cause some of us to break out in a cold sweat. The thought of filling in the forms, navigating the complex IRS laws, the fear of not getting the refund we're entitled to, or of paying too much, can be intimidating.

But fear not, because help is at hand.

New Hanover County offers free tax preparation assistance to residents through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. From February through mid-April, trained and IRS-certified volunteers are on hand at the New Hanover County Senior Resource Center, the Main Library in downtown Wilmington, and the town of Carolina Beach.

"Last year we filedmore than 5,000 federal and state returns, totaling more than $2.5 million in refunds for our residents," New Hanover County Senior Resource Center DirectorAmber Smith says. "Our certified tax preparers can answer questions and help prepare personal income taxes. The VITA program is a great resource for our community."

People can sign up in person for a time slot beginning at 8 a.m. each morning. After signing up, they can leave and return 20 minutes before their scheduled time slot. They should have photo I.D., Social Security card, a copy of last year's income tax return, and all income documents.

Volunteers cannot assist with rental income, clergy returns, casualty or theft losses or returns with inherited property.

Fatter Is Better on the Beach

Sixth Annual Fat Bike Championships

By Peter Viele

It'll be early spring, and the tubby tires will be coming out in droves, all vying for the top spot in the sun on Wrightsville Beach. Of course, we're talking about the Sixth Annual U.S. Fat Bike Beach Championship on March 28, 2020.

Fat bikes started making an appearance on the beach a few years ago and have become quite popular among both hardcore cyclists and those looking for an alternative way to get exercise and explore the sandy shores. The name comes from the enlarged, oversized tires -- approximately 4 to 5 inches wide -- fitted to a more traditional-looking mountain bike-style frame. The wide tires aid in soft conditions like snow, mud and sand, where they are most typically used.

Viewed by some as a fringe offshoot of mountain biking, fat bike racing has become popular at Wrightsville Beach. Some 200 competitors showed up for the event in 2019. With the two-hour race, two-hour relay and one-hour events on offer for riders of varying abilities, the 2020 event at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort is expected to draw even more cyclists and spectators.

The first race starts at 2 p.m., with registration ending at 12:30 p.m. the day of the event. The relay encourages corporate teams of up to four participants. Entry fees range from $65 to $200 for the relay. Spectators can participate in sandcastle building along with other activities. What better way is there to start the spring than by soaking up some sun and enjoying a spirited bike ride along the beach?


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