A Taste of Brunswick County
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The 13th annual Benefit Gala for Children, presented by Communities In Schools of Brunswick County, was held on October 23 at the Dinah E. Gore Fitness & Aquatics Center in Bolivia. This year’s presenting sponsor was Cygnus Technologies and Ken and Irene Hoffman. The black-tie optional event offered guests the red carpet treatment, including dishes from many of the area’s finest restaurants and live music by The North Tower Band. The funds raised at the gala help build a brighter future for students in Brunswick County.

Bright Ideas Grants Celebrates 20 Years
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In 2014 North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are celebrating 20 years of supporting teachers and enhancing projects in classrooms through the Bright Ideas Grants program. Bright Ideas Grants provides funding to school teachers for innovative classroom projects that fall outside of normal funding parameters.

This unique grant project began in the early 1990s as the idea of Brunswick EMC employee Judy Gore of Shallotte. Gore met a teacher in Kmart who was using her own money to buy materials for a class project. Gore and her colleagues at BEMC created the program, which started with the name “Partnerships for Solutions,” in 1993.

The rest of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives immediately recognized the value in what Brunswick EMC was doing for local teachers, and in August of 1994 the statewide Bright Ideas education grant program was born.

“We’re especially proud of the impact of the Bright Ideas grant program, which has received national recognition,” says Robert W. “Chip” Leavitt, Jr., CEO and general manager of Brunswick EMC. “Bright Ideas has been a success from day one and is the cornerstone of our commitment to community. What started as a couple of $250 mini-grants has turned into very necessary financial support for teachers and schools who are in increasing need. Bright Ideas has grown to a statewide program awarding more than $9 million and impacting more than 1.5 million students, and it’s still growing. That’s quite a legacy from Judy Gore’s initiative, and we’re looking forward to the 20th anniversary in 2014.”

Gore says she never imagined her mini-grant program would grow to have such an important impact in North Carolina and beyond. “We were just trying to do what was right, and I don’t think we could have found a better program,” she says.

Teachers can apply for Bright Ideas grants of up to $2,000 through September. For more information, visit NCBrightIdeas.com .

Christmas by the Sea Festival Parade
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Come see how coastal North Carolina celebrates Christmas. The Christmas by the Sea Parade is an event the whole family enjoys. Held the first Saturday in December, it starts at 2 pm, starting at Town Hall, 4601 E. Oak Island Drive and ending at 8901 E. Oak Island Drive. Parade applications are available from the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce.
When: Saturday, December 6, 2-4 pm
Where: 46th Street onto Oak Island Drive, travels Oak Island Drive to McGlamery Street
Information: (910) 457-6964; southport-oakisland.com

Fall Festival
Photography By Time 2 Remember
Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office hosted its seventh annual Fall Festival on Thursday, October 30, drawing thousands out for a fun, family-oriented night that’s pitched as a safe alternative to trick or treating. The free festival featured games, hay rides, a haunted trail, costume contests, a cake walk and lots of hot dogs, popcorn, drink and candy. The Sheriff’s Office hosts the event at the Brunswick County Government Complex in Bolivia every year.

North Carolina Oyster Festival
Photography By Time 2 Remember

The North Carolina Oyster Festival served up a tasty time for the 34th year on October 18 and 19. Festival-goers enjoyed salty oysters and other seafood and festival food, along with live music by Fat Jack Band, Darrell Hardwood, The Entertainers, 4 Miles South, Jim Quick and the Coastline Band, Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot and many more bands playing all day both days. An Oyster Stew Cook-off, an Oyster Shucking Competition, an Oyster Eating Competition, arts and crafts vendors, a shag competition, a kid’s area and road race were also a part of the festival. It all adds up to one of the favorite fall festivals in the region, drawing visitors from across the state.

PR Speed Dating at Brunswick Community College
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On October 29 Brunswick Community College (BCC) hosted a unique media event referred to as “PR Speed Dating.” The idea was to introduce local media outlets to key contacts at the college and to allow them to preview potential stories for the upcoming year.

“At Brunswick Community College, there is so much going and we want everyone to know about it,” explains London Schmidt, public relations and marketing director at BCC. “Through casual conversations we provided just enough information to leave reporters wanting to learn more and then hopefully wanting to share with their readers.”

Each BCC representative was given eight minutes with each media representative in hopes of piquing the reporter’s interest for follow-up interviews.

Brunswick Community College limited the number of college participants to six so that the event would last one hour or less. College representatives were hand-picked, based on what would be of most interest to the media. Topics included student success stories, recent grants, third-party credentials, scholarships, community and course program offerings, curriculum articulation agreements and more.

“We hope to host this type of event again in the spring and look forward to growing media coverage in our area,” says Schmidt.


Sponsored by Brunswick Forest