Havelock MAC Christmas Dinner

Santa's Helpers

December 21, 2017

Santa’s helpers were certainly busy last Thursday at MCAS Cherry Point in Havelock, NC. There were volunteers serving home-cooked meals prepared by them and other volunteers who are part of the Havelock Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee (MAC). The idea of feeding the service men and women has been a tradition for several years and it’s one of the many endeavors between MCAS Cherry Point and the Havelock Chamber MAC. More than two hundred Active Duty Marines were served a hearty home cooked meal that evening, which is not uncommon for MAC events.


How often do you hear about feeding the homeless? Or how about getting coats and toys for needy families? There is another way to serve those in need and, in this case, those who serve all of us in the country. The military presence in East North Carolina is very strong, and represent thousands of men and women of differing ages and backgrounds, all coming together to be a force in readiness for our country.   Leading the effort at MCAS Cherry Point is   their Commanding Officer, Colonel Todd Ferry, who has served as MCAS Cherry Point CO for the past 18 months. Colonel Ferry is always in attendance at MAC events and spoke with pride of this base, which was stablished in 1941 and has celebrated 75 years. “It’s full of history,” he says. “Someone’s grandfather poured the concrete here. Someone’s father served during Korea, and that person’s son followed much later in his father’s footsteps.”


Colonel Ferry explained that the “heart” of the base is its mission, keeping the aircraft there in perfect order and readiness. Its “soul” is the community aspect, immersing themselves in the community even though they may live on base.


Sergeant Major Chris Davis, the H&HS Sergeant Major, mentors the staff helping them adapt to life at the air station and teaching them self-discipline, time management, financial planning, and completing tasks. It’s a wonder that “civilian life” as they call it doesn’t include this type of training in high school, college, or any other institution. His major task is “making sure they stay motivated to do things without wanting to do them. So it doesn’t matter if they want to or not, they do it anyway.” 

Mrs. Adcock brought along one of her employees, Melissa Calhoun who is beginning to see how this chamber and community pull together.  Shannon Adcock, MAC Chairperson and Market Leader, AVP for BB&T bank, gave a short prayer and invigorating speech honoring the Marines and the volunteers who served them. Shannon was nominated as Chair of the MAC by other members and feels that this position is about “those who put their life on the line every day.” She says that “the more you engage with the Military Affairs Committee, the more you know what they do.” It’s a matter of gratitude, of giving back, and Shannon does this in many ways in this community.


From a non-military look at such a such a diverse community, the most common theme is the strength and dedication of each service member.  It is inspiring to witness the adaptability and resilience that these fine Americans possess in service to our country.  Additionally, that those in our community, like the MAC, take time to honor their service.


Written by:  Miriam Monroe, Havelock Chamber of Commerce Ambassador

Annual Luncheon

Annual Luncheon and Community Awards

December 13, 2017

Cheers to another successful event for the Havelock Chamber of Commerce. The Holiday Luncheon was held at La Casa del Patron, a Mexican restaurant of superb quality and excellent service. The event was well attended by about 40 members who were there to bring in new Board Members, thank the outgoing members for their time and service, and begin the holiday celebrations. Brenda Wilson of Keller Williams Crystal Coast Realty and Board Chairperson gave a warm welcome message to all. Then, along with Bruce Fortin, Executive Director, and George Cook, Vice Chairman and volunteer, they presented community awards to several Chamber members.


One award in particular was very special and touching to many who knew Jim Beasley, a Director who recently passed away. The “I Love Havelock” award was renamed “The Jim Beasley, I Love Havelock” award in his honor, in gratitude for his many years of service in the community.  Member of the Year Award went Lou Balogh of Edward Jones Investments, who attends all of the Chamber’s events and is extremely supportive of the community. The New Member Award was presented to Mike and Teri Richards of Your Time Vacations, who set aside time to attend Chamber events, and have generously created a webpage where Chamber Members can receive discounts on their travel plans.  Paula Cusson was awarded Volunteer of the Year, “Who does what needs to be done, especially at the Chili Festival. She is involved with the Christmas Parade in town, while busy taking care of the costumes for performances at Brice’s Creek Bible Church,” said Brenda.


Dan Spangler, Board Member and owner of A Dog’s Dream, is passionate about the growth and positive direction of the Chamber. He owns a full service dog business that offers grooming, training, and boarding. The business is in New Bern, but Dan travels to Havelock regularly for the Chamber meetings. He can “see the potential of where the Chamber can go” and is anxious to “put the vision and mission statements into action.” Another group were the representatives of Navy Federal Credit Union, servicing the military and their families in the area. The best part of their job, says Tina Cabingas, Mortgage Loan Officer, is that “We get to interact with local businesses to improve the community and at the same time, get to know the business owners and the military personnel.”


So if you haven’t visited the Chamber office, looked them up online, used the services of one of their members, or become a member YOURSELF, do it now. The benefits are endless and will extend far beyond business alone. For more information, look us up online at www.havelockchamber.org.


Written by:  Miriam Monroe, Havelock Chamber of Commerce Ambassador

Helping Hands

Helping Hands Boutique Ribbon Cutting

November 28, 2017

On Tuesday, November 28, around 5:30 p.m. there was ribbon cutting on a gem of a store and a priceless organization. Helping Hands Boutique, located at 2721 Highway 70 East in New Bern is extremely spacious and well designed to welcome customers into a beautiful shopping experience. What makes them different than any other boutique? Several things; namely, that they are connected to the Coastal Women’s Shelter and all proceeds of their sales go to that agency. How do they do that? Well, let’s say you go in and find beautiful garments and a few things to decorate your home. The money you pay for your purchase will help someone get her car fixed so she can go to work or take her children to the doctor. Or it can pay for a child’s prescription, or for a child’s uniform. The money you spend at the Helping Hands Boutique can even help a woman get the surgery she needs because of past injuries, and without the needed surgery she may not be able to get a suitable job to support her family. 

One of the board members, Mary Beth Fennell spoke passionately about the shelter and the boutique. “The shelter services Pamlico, Jones, and Craven counties. There is a great need for education and awareness to break the cycle and begin prevention.” Social workers and counselors go into schools and colleges to teach about risk behavior, the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships, and how to build healthy relationships. 

Coastal Women’s Shelter has raised funds in the past by hosting a fashion show around March, a 5K Run for Shelter, and smaller events. In April 2018, the organization will be holding a Casino Night for the very first time. Get your hands ready and start practicing now so you can be one of the best supporters for such a needed cause. Although many other non-profit agencies exist in the State and in the County, this one is particularly important in its effect on families and their future, their financial sustainability, and their subsequent participation in the community. 

The ribbon cutting is only the beginning of exposure for Helping Hands. They need people to come and take advantage of their many high-end label clothing, such as Talbot’s, Ann Taylor, Jones New York, Calvin Klein and others, and household items. Now that they are settled at this wonderful location with plenty of inventory, they are calling out to you to come in, browse, and hopefully leave with a bag of goodies, which will bring joy to you or someone you know. Your contribution will do even more than that -- it may save a life, a family. 

Much credit must be given to the staff. Christa Siener is the boutique manager and quite proud of her surroundings. According to Tova Hairston, Executive Director for the Coastal Women’s Shelter, “Krista is a rock star. She has been a Godsend. She contributes more than just her time with an exceedingly noticeable passion.” 

Ms. Hairston herself is a friendly, outgoing, energetic and passionate leader in the organization. She spoke about partnership and how much more is still needed. She credits the board of directors, Havelock Chamber of Commerce and the volunteers who help out in the store. So next time you are driving eastward on Route 70 toward the beach, stop into Helping Hands. You will surely get a beautiful bargain and feel satisfaction for helping one more person, one more family. 

For more information visit:  http://www.coastalwomensshelter.org

Written by:  Miriam Monroe, Havelock Chamber of Commerce Ambassador


Dedication and Celebration

November 9, 2017

It was a rainy afternoon at the Havelock campus of Craven Community College during the event of commemorating a memorial park to those who have served our country. You wouldn’t have known it was wet by the crowd of people who gathered there. It was a group of civilians, retired military, and active duty military who stood outside watching the flags of each branch of service being hoisted up alongside of the American flag. After the National Anthem was played and a few words were spoken by the Havelock Campus Dean Wally Calabrese, a retired Marine as well, the large group entered the college to hear some remarks.

The military has a tremendous presence in North Carolina and is the basis for much of its commerce, especially in Havelock. This may be old news to residents but it’s a new experience for a non-military, newly established resident of the area. There are few other communities that boast such a strong military presence, with large numbers of families who are here temporarily until new orders arrive, and other families who have decided to make Havelock their home.

This memorial commemorates veterans of all wars. When the question was asked by retired Marine Corps Major General Braaten, “Who here has served?”, more than ⅔ of those present rose. They were asked to join Major General Braaten at the front of the room so that everyone gathered could see how many veterans have served in our community. Veterans Day is one day out of 365. Soldiers, Sailors and Marines live on in memories and, those who make it back from service, live on in their lives the other 364 days as well. So a memorial is one permanent way to remember and recognize those who have volunteered to serve this great nation. It serves as yet another reminder that the freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis came at a very high price. Major General Braaten said, “If you want to thank a soldier, be the kind of American worth fighting for.” He went on to enumerated figures of almost 3 million Americans who served in the Vietnam War and came back to hatred and insults. Veterans of the Korean War were neglected and forgotten. This memorial is a testament to remembering the sacrifices made by all these service members and honoring their service by helping provide scholarships for new veterans entering the civilian workforce. 

There are bricks that adorn the floor of the memorial have been sponsored by community businesses and individuals who recognize the importance of giving back to their community.  A portion of these donations for the bricks will be used for education programs and scholarships for veterans and their families. Anyone can still donate by placing an online order at the Craven Community College. The idea that became a dream and is now a reality was created by Gunny Sergeant Walter Calabrese, Retired Marine, along with support from others. Credit to the completed design and installation goes to J & S Landscaping.

Next time you visit the Havelock Public Library, step outside through the back door and admire this beautiful creation. Be grateful.

For more information visit:  www.bricksrus.com/order/cravencommunitycollege.

Written by:  Miriam Monroe, Havelock Chamber of Commerce Ambassador