Outer Bankers Take Care of Their Own

By Michael Lay | Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Sea Oats, South Nags Head

I've always been impressed by the volunteer spirit of my fellow Outer Bankers. Poised as we are on the edge of the continent, subject to the whims of Mother Nature, several hours from the nearest metropolitan area and lacking the supportive infrastructure often found in larger communities, we take care of our own. The unique ability to recognize a need, and the initiative to do something about it, has fueled everything from the creation of essential community organizations such as Dare Education Foundation and Outer Banks Hotline to one-time fundraisers to defray an individual's medical expenses or help a family rebuild after losing their home to fire.

Because of the seasonal nature of Outer Banks life, winter is the perfect time for many local residents to volunteer. For some, the more leisurely pace of the off-season provides the window of time necessary to make a volunteer commitment. For others, the reduced traffic congestion of the winter months simply makes volunteering easier from a logistical standpoint. No matter what your interest or expertise, there is a volunteer opportunity that will be a good match for you.

The Albemarle Commission can always use folks who have dependable transportation to deliver nutritious meals and a little human interaction to homebound seniors as part of its Senior Nutrition Program. Volunteer once a week or once a month. You can even do it on your lunch hour. Contact Audrey Holland at (252) 426-7093, ext. 230 or e-mail her at aholland@albemarlecommission.org.

Alley Cat Rescue is dedicated to the health and welfare of homeless and abandoned cats with a focus on placing the felines in loving homes. They also provide spay and neuter services in an effort to reduce the stray cat population. Call (252) 207-5133 or e-mail {encode="alleycat.rescue.5@facebook.com" title="alleycat.rescue.5@facebook.com"}.

If being outside is your preference, consider volunteering with the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Become a National Park Service VIP (Volunteer-In-Parks) and you'll meet visitors from all over the world while teaching them about our historic lighthouses and life-saving stations, our ocean and sound ecologies, and the wildlife that call the Outer Banks home. For more information contact Katy McCurdy at (252) 995-6968 or visit the volunteer section of the National Park Service website. A listing of volunteer positions and the volunteer application can be found at www.volunteer.gov/gov.

Children and Youth Partnership for Dare County is currently seeking volunteers for its WINGS preschool literacy program. WINGS is a program that teaches literacy through play. Volunteers are trained to work one on one with a child between the ages of 4 and 6. For more information contact Carla Heppert at (252) 441-0614 or visit the Children & Youth Partnership website.

Of course, there are far too many needs and volunteer opportunities to be listed here. For a more comprehensive list of local volunteering opportunities, go to our Schools and Nonprofits tab or visit the Outer Banks CommonGood website.

Kena Active Wear in Kitty Hawk is offering free yoga classes at their shop on Wednesday, Jan. 9 and Wednesday, Jan. 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. as part of their Yoga for our Community program in which donations are collected for local community service organizations. Both January classes will be led by certified yoga instructor Jenny Williams and will benefit the Outer Banks SPCA. On Jan. 9 donations of dry dog and cat food will be accepted. On Jan. 16 pet toys and gently used towels and blankets will be collected. Support the community and enjoy a free yoga class! All levels of ability and experience are welcome.

Now for some other opportunities:

There's nothing random about where the most successful surf fishermen cast their lines. The best are skilled at reading the water to determine what's going on beneath the surface. But this is no secret; ancient wisdom passed down from master to disciple. You can learn it, too, at the North Carolina Aquarium's Surf Fishing Workshop held at Jennette's Pier on Wednesday, Jan. 9 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Fisherpersons aged 12 and up are invited to attend this classroom-only workshop; the price is $15/person. So bring your notebook and get started on improving your "luck" by learning how to identify the sand bars, deep holes and ledges where the Catch of the Day might be lurking!

Weddings have become big business on the Outer Banks, and a cottage industry of wedding photographers has sprung up here during the past few years that boasts some of the best photography talent to be found anywhere, regardless of subject matter. In recognition of this the Outer Banks Wedding Association and Dare County Arts Council (DCAC) have invited their collective membership to participate in "Stolen Moments: A Tribute to the Artistry of Outer Banks Wedding Photographers," an exhibit opening at the DCAC gallery Monday, Jan. 14. Coinciding with the 2013 Outer Banks Wedding Weekend, the exhibit offers photographers an opportunity to showcase their more creative side - the unscripted, unguarded moment, the sunset that didn't make it into the wedding album or the cutting-edge shot that emerged spontaneously during a break in a formal bride and groom portrait session. This is sure to be a collection of stunning images.

Another example of Outer Bankers pulling together to help one another can be found in the Dinner Dance Benefit for Sonny Holcomb set for Saturday, Jan. 25 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk. Tickets for the fundraiser are $50 (half of which is tax deductible) and includes dinner, dancing, door prizes, a silent auction, a 50" flat screen TV raffle and live music performed by local favorites The Crowd. Make the event part of a local weekend get-away by reserving a guest room at the Hilton Garden Inn (available for only $99 including breakfast). To donate to the silent auction or help in any other way, please contact Dawn Holcomb at (252) 267-4885 or (252) 491-2048.

Outer Bankers who are expectant parents may want to take advantage of the free and informative Childbirth Education Class offered by Outer Banks Hospital on Monday, Jan. 14 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at its Medical Office Building in Nags Head. The class will be held in the Education Suite on the second floor. Call Lisa McGaha at (252) 449-5690 to register.

If you've ever seen whales offshore, it's something you never forget. If you want to learn more about the diversity of whales that travel up and down the Outer Banks then head up to Corolla on Tuesday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for "Whale of a Tale," the next installment in Currituck Heritage Park's Winter Educational Series held at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education. Bill McLellan from UNC Wilmington will discuss the history of marine mammal stranding response in the Outer Banks; Vicky Thayer from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries and Keith Rittmaster from the North Carolina Maritime Museum will do a presentation on whaling along the Outer Banks. The event is free but reservations are suggested. Call (252) 453-9040, ext. 223 or e-mail events@whaleheadclub.com.

"Where Soldiers Come From" is an award-winning documentary film that follows the four-year journey of childhood friends from their small Michigan hometown through enlistment in the National Guard, deployment as active duty soldiers in Afghanistan sweeping for roadside bombs, their return home and the challenging readjustment to civilian life. Showing at Kelly's Restaurant and Tavern on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. as part of Outer Banks Peace and Justice Interfaith Coalition's winter film and discussion series, the documentary focuses on the human aspect of the young men's story, examining the effects of going to war on family, friendship and community rather than on the policies and politics that sent these friends to war. A winner of numerous awards, including an Emmy for news and documentaries, the film has been described by Hank Stuever of the Washington Post as "Hauntingly beautiful and deeply felt." Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway

This week you have a chance to win a two-night stay at The Colonial Inn and a $35 gift certificate to Tortugas' Lie!

For more information about The Colonial Inn, check out their website.

For more information about Tortugas' Lie, check out their website.

Last Week's Winner

Congratulations to Len Schmitz‎!!!

You won a $50 gift certificate to Ocean Annie's and a $35 gift certificate to Black Pelican Seafood Restaurant!

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway Winner

For more information about Ocean Annie's Craft Gallery, check out their website.

For more information about Black Pelican Seafood Company, check out their website.

About the Author Michael Lay
Michael Lay is a local graphic designer, artist, photographer and writer. He lives in picturesque downtown Manteo, NC, and is the manservant of two beautiful and willful feline princesses, Sophie and Sassy. You can contact Michael at mike.lay@oneboat.com.