Beach Bites

BY Emily Brown Rachel Dickerson Kelly Esposito Cory Mac Pherson and Jim Pfeiffer

 think pink

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Este Lauder Companies Inc. founded the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign (aimed at increasing awareness about the disease and raising money for research and detection) in 1992 and established the now-universally-recognizable pink ribbon as its symbol. All 18 brands of Este Lauder participate in the campaign and many of them have special collections whose proceeds go toward breast cancer research. Evelyn Lauder founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in 1992 with the aim of finding a cure within our lifetime. Together the campaign and foundation have distributed more than 70 million pink ribbons and informational brochures worldwide and raised more than $180 million $25 million of which has come from the Este Lauder brands and the companys retail partners.

shoulders to lean on

Lump to Laughter provides an emotional support system

Family members and friends can be great sources of support following a diagnosis of breast cancer but sometimes even the strongest sympathizers cannot compare to someone who has actually “been there done that.” It was based on this sentiment that Connie Hill and her friend Renee Ballard started Lump to Laughter a Christian support group that seeks to address the emotional side of fighting breast cancer and provide an outlet for women battling the disease to come together and share experiences and strength. Local women are welcome to join and the group also has a strong online presence with members from as far away as New York and Missouri. “We equip them for their battle with hope ” Hill says. “We share our stories and let women know that they can get through it.”

Lump to Laughter meets monthly and also has get-togethers dinners movies and other activities to keep members in touch. L to L holds a few fundraisers each year that help keep the Web site running and provide the money for the care packages the group provides which Hill says “are not your typical hospital bag.” The care packages include a pink Bible a Lump to Laughter T-shirt greeting cards and inspirational scriptures.  The Lump to Laughter Clothes Swap held in January is a popular event where people can donate gently used clothes furniture or anything else. For a $20 donation to get in the door people can take what they like. Hill says the inaugural Clothes Swap was a great success so look for January 2009s event to be even bigger and better.

Also in store is a book authored by Hill which tells about her battle with breast cancer through the eyes of an animated character named Grace. From Lump to Laughter the Story of Grace will be available starting in mid-November on the groups Web site and at The Sterling House in Hanover Center.

Lump to Laughter usually meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at Wrightsville United Methodist Church and dinners are the second Tuesday of each month although the schedule can vary. The best way to stay current on the groups meetings and other events is to sign up on the Web site:   Kelly Esposito

local support

11th annual Pink Ribbon fundraiser breakfast lunch & dinner

The 11th annual Pink Ribbon fundraiser will be held on Thursday October 9 at the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort on Wrightsville Beach. Because of its growing popularity it will again consist of a breakfast lunch and dinner. The daylong event will spotlight local newscaster Frances Weller as Mistress of Ceremonies as well as authors Dana Sachs at breakfast and Mark Childress at lunch and dinner as featured speakers. Cancer survivors will also be in attendance to share their stories and experiences with attendees. “The whole mission of this event is to create community awareness and provide support for women with breast cancer ” says Tracey Kellogg special events officer of the New Hanover Regional Medical Foundation.

Pink Ribbon funds important local endeavors that help women in their detection diagnosis and battle with breast cancer. The money raised through Pink Ribbon funds “Comfort Bags” that are provided to local women battling the disease. The bags contain items to help women from diagnosis to treatment including inspirational books a soft toothbrush and mints to help with mouth sores from chemotherapy and a satin pillowcase for comfort after hair loss. Pink Ribbon also funds the Coastal Care Van which provides mammograms to women without insurance throughout Southeastern North Carolina. Sandy Spiers chairwoman of Pink Ribbon says that with the great success of the event they are now able to provide yet another invaluable service diagnosis. Spiers says that mammograms can detect suspicious tissues but an actual biopsy is needed for the diagnosis that can allow Medicare or Medicaid to kick in. “We have filled this important gap ” says Spiers. “Now women have a way of finding out their diagnosis so they can begin treatment.”

Tickets to Pink Ribbon sell out fast but sponsorships and tribute banners where donors can write sentiments and the banners are on view at the event are available. Pink Ribbon also has third-party participants that raise money separately such as local retailers that donate profits bicycle races and tennis tournaments. For more information please contact Kellogg at [email protected]  or (910) 815-5042. Kelly Esposito

rolling in pink

Third annual Angies Amazing Race

On Sunday October 5 youre invited to join the third annual Angies Amazing Race a motorcycle trek for a great cause. “Help us kick cancers butt!” says Charlie McGee of Angies Angels and Warriors the events organizer.

Started on October 1 2006 Angies Amazing Race is held in memory of Angie Holliday a beloved member of the Ladies of Harley group who fought a courageous battle against breast cancer before succumbing to the deadly disease. “With proceeds going to the Pink Ribbon Foundation this event helps increase the availability of breast cancer awareness resources ” says McGee. “It makes treatments for those with breast cancer more comfortable.”

Registration starts at 9 a.m. the day of the event with the first group hitting the road at 10:30 a.m. The fee is $20 and includes lunch and a “clue” sheet. There will be a raffle and an auction and the first 100 people to register will receive a free T-shirt! For more information visit the Web site   or contact Britt Motorsports at (910) 791-8321 or Charlie McGee at (910) 470-0702. If youve already decided to rev it up and ride against breast cancer on Sunday morning and just need to be pointed in the right direction Britt Motorsports is located at 6431 Market Street in Wilmington. Rachel Dickerson

First Annual CANbike at blue Clay

On Sunday October 19 New Hanover Regional Medical Center will sponsor its first annual CANbike event at Blue Clay Bike Park. The event which begins at 10 a.m. will raise money for the Pink Ribbon program which supports women battling breast cancer. Riders of different skill levels from beginner to expert including cancer survivors will helmet up and cruise around the bike course to help fight this deadly disease. There is even an “In honor/In memory of” event that involves only one loop around the course which means you dont have to be a pro peddler to join the fight. “You dont have to be an expert to ride ” says event coordinator Jennifer Pierce. “Everyone should be able to show their support.”

The event will feature live music and plenty of information about cancer awareness as well as other ways for members of the community to show their support. Prizes will be awarded to the winners in each category and fabulous items will be raffled off including a Jamis Parker 1.0 Bike donated by Jamis Bikes and an autographed jersey of biker Aaron Chase.

For more information including a full list of sponsors prizes and registration details visit Emily Brown

casting call

Battle of the Beaches fishing Tournament

Who are the finer fishermen? The rough and tumble Carolina Beach boys or the mighty men from Wrightsville Beach? Theres only one place to find out: the fifth annual Battle of the Beaches Tournament. The event will start on Saturday October 4 and continue throughout the week until Saturday October 11 (fishermen pick their day to fish). This year weigh stations will include Island Tackle and Hardware Texs Tackle Reel Bait and Tackle and Motts Channel Seafood. Though the extended tournament time and weigh stations are new all the categories remain the same Offshore (tuna dolphin wahoo) Bottom Fishing (grouper snapper) Inshore Division (king dolphin). Of course there will be prizes. For the biggest fish caught the prize is 60 percent of the entry fee pot. The prize for the second biggest fish is 30 percent of the entry fees and there will be Dockside Calcutta and Lady Angler awards for the biggest fish caught in the tournament in each category. To learn more about entry fees and dues visit the Cape Fear Blue Water Fishing Clubs Web site at . For all other questions call Captain Rich Walter at (910) 233-4069 or email him at [email protected] . Rachel Dickerson

buckets of fun

Airlies Low Country Oyster Roast

Looking for an outrageously fun outing this fall? Look no further. Airlie Gardens will host its eighth annual Low Country Oyster Roast on Friday October 17. This wildly popular event always sells out early and rightfully so. In past years hundreds have flocked to what Jim McDaniel director of Airlie Gardens describes as a “backyard family event.” Guests will once again be served delicious steamed oysters and as much Carolina-style barbeque as they can handle and The Imitations will get everyone up and dancing all night long. Need another reason to attend the oyster roast? Here it is: Proceeds from the event benefit a cause as precious as any pearl in the ocean Airlie Gardens Environmental Education Program. This year the money will help complete the Butterfly House project. The roast begins at 6 p.m. and parking is available on-site. Come out shuck a bucket of oysters cut a rug under the tent and help build a beautiful butterfly house at Airlie. Tickets are $75 dollars per person and can be purchased at Airlie Gardens or online at For more information call (910) 798-7709. Emily Brown

strike up the oom-pah band

Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity Oktoberfest

Oom-pah. Its fun just to read it. But its even more fun to hear a genuine oom-pah band fill the autumn air with its happy sound.

Once again a little bit of Germany will arrive on the Azalea Coast on Friday and Saturday October 17 and 18 in the parking lot at Independence Mall on Oleander Drive when the sixth annual Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity Oktoberfest kicks off at 5 p.m. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo will do the honors. Bavarian food and beverages will be available for purchase until 9 p.m. on Friday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Oktoberfest offers plenty of fun for children too including booths games activities and an inflatable jump house. The fun for kids starts Saturday only at 11 a.m. and goes all the way to 6 p.m. An authentic here it comes again oom-pah band will entertain the crowd.

Admission is $3 for adults and free for children under the age of 10. All proceeds go to help Habitat fund the building of homes. This year is Cape Fear Habitat for Humanitys 21st anniversary and Oktoberfest is a wonderful way to celebrate this fabulous local nonprofit organization. Cory Mac Pherson

once bitten

the fussy venus flytrap

Chances are youve heard of the exotic Venus Flytrap. Maybe youve seen monstrous Hollywood portrayals of it Morticia and Gomez feeding the thing some poor little sucker in The Addams Family for instance. But did you know the Venus Flytrap is wholly indigenous not to a foreign jungle or rainforest but to our community? It evolved here nearly 50 million years ago in poor-nutrient soil that caused a peculiar change in one of the leaves of the flowering plant it became a meat eater carnivorous thereafter. And hold onto your fingertips: It grows naturally within a 60-mile radius of Wilmington.

“Theyre really really fussy ” says Dr. Gregory Chandler UNCW biology and marine science professor. “They like green swamp after a periodic burning. They like it not too wet. They like it not too dry. The difference in literally two inches in elevation can cause them to grow or not.”

Habitat loss has caused the Venus Flytrap to virtually vanish from our forests. The plant grows in a few select and protected spots. Carolina Beach State Park Bleuthenthal Wildflower Preserve and Boiling Spring Lakes Preserve are a few of these places. Rachel Dickerson

rivers edge

riverfest makes waves in downtown Wilmington

On Friday Saturday and Sunday October 3 4 and 5 on Market and Water streets in Historic Downtown Wilmington Riverfest will once again kick-start autumn in the Port City. Started in October 1979 with 40 workers four concessions trolley rides and fireworks the festival was a roaring success. Thirty years later with 20-plus committees more than 300 volunteers 160 craft vendors 25 concessions entertainment on two stages an antique and classic car show martial arts and gymnastics displays fireworks the Great Waiters Wine Race Run the River a BMX Bike Stunt Show an Adventure Zone a Kidz Zone a Riverside Shaggin Contest and much much more Riverfest is more than a community event its a part of our Azalea Coast culture.

New this year will be a lighted boat flotilla to illuminate the river with magnificent colors a pumpkin carving contest (with prizes for the scariest funniest and best decorated pumpkin) and back again will be the popular Carolina Wake Series.

Founded by the UNCW wakeboarding club the Carolina Wake Series is the largest grassroots East Coast wakeboarding tournament. Currently in its fourth year the 2008 summer tours final event will include more than 10 professional riders several semiprofessional and some local grassroots riders. The Carolina Wake Series has garnered national support from REEF Rip Curl Red Bull and Vitamin H20.

Every year Riverfest donates funds to the Cape Fear Community College Marine Science Division helping to improve our local ecosystem by aiding environmental research and technology. The Ava M. Hobbs Scholarship owes its existence to Riverfests annual profits.

“Im excited for everyone to come back this year ” says Sandy Cyphers chairperson of Riverfest. “We can all enjoy being able to see our city from along the river and to also feel even more patriotic looking across the water at the USS North Carolina.”

The bottom line? Riverfest is an event Wilmingtonians can be proud of and enjoy. Visit  for more information. Rachel Dickerson

blow out the candles

On October 10-12 Thalian Hall will celebrate 150 years

This living historic landmark opened on October 12 1858 with the romantic play The Honeymoon. From the Civil War to World War I to The Great Depression and Industrial Revolution much of the nation witnessed changes that inevitably closed most theatre houses but not Thalian.

“Then and now Thalian is recognized nationally as a leading example of the historical cultural and economic impact a theatre can have on a community ” says Tony Rivenbark executive director of Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts the nonprofit organization that since 1963 has operated and maintained Thalian Hall. Rivenbark first performed on Thalians stage in 1966.

Even today with the national and local ongoing trend of constructing new buildings and demolishing the old Thalian Hall is an example of how to preserve a pivotal piece of a communitys heritage while keeping up with a changing world. “Thalian Hall has been through many renovations while preserving its authentic appeal ” says Rivenbark. To keep up with the changing and competitive times Thalian underwent its most significant renovation in the late 1980s. Added to the existing building were a new entrance lobby a stage-right extension the studio theatre and administration offices. With the improvements completed on March 2 1990 Thalian took center stage once again as Rivenbark greeted the awaiting crowd with these simple but poignant words: “Welcome home.”

Almost 20 years later with ongoing support from the community Thalians future looks as star-studded and culturally relevant as ever. “Were looking at soon replacing all of the theaters seats upgrading our equipment and building a new playhouse in the back of the building ” says Rivenbark. “Though were officially celebrating on this fantastic weekend October 10-12 really the entire 2008 to 2009 season is the 150th anniversary celebration.”

The birthday bash opener is a gala concert on October 10 featuring Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning legend and Wilmington resident Linda Lavin. A reception throughout the entire building will follow highlighted by the premiere viewing of the Legacy Room a 150-year historical collection of Thalian artifacts programs and performance and rehearsal shots. The party continues the next day with an afternoon full of nostalgia including carriage rides a potato sack race an antique car show and even a Punch and Judy rendition.

“Its such an icon in this community; were celebrating the whole building ” says Rivenbark. A free birthday concert in Innes Park rounds out the weekend fun cake and ice cream included! The final day also features the premiere performance of Toby Tyler or 10 Weeks with a Circus on the Mainstage. Toby is the touching and adventurous tale of a boy who runs away to join the circus only to find theres no place like home.

For more information about Thalian Hall and the weekends events visit  To order tickets call the box office at (910) 343-3664. Jim Pfeiffer