Nicole Livas

Nicole’s Notes: Great food, great event, great cause!

October 15th, 2014 at 9:42 pm by under News, Personalities, The Hampton Roads Show, Uncategorized

Another great year of food, fun, and an auction to benefit the March of Dimes. The Signature Chefs event was held Sunday, October 12 at the Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach.

March Of Dimes Signature Chefs' dishes

March Of Dimes Signature Chefs’ dishes

Local chefs whipped up a variety of dishes and donated culinary and travel packages to the live auction.

Chris Reckling emceeing

Chris Reckling emceeing

Nicole and Chris Reckling Photo from Wayne Pellenberg

Nicole and Chris Reckling
Photo from Wayne Pellenberg

Chris Reckling, co-host of the Hampton Roads Show was the emcee. I’ve emceed this event for the past several years, but attended as a guest with my dad and sister. The March of Dimes did ask me to fulfill a favor and participate by introducing a special honoree.

Nicole introducing Brian Winfield. Photo from Wayne Pellenberg

Nicole introducing Brian Winfield.
Photo from Wayne Pellenberg

I was honored to tell the guests about Brian Winfield. With the blessing of his lovely wife of 41 years, Carol, he has worked hard to volunteer and raise money for the organization.

Honoree and longtime volunteer Brian Winfield with family Photo from Wayne Pellenberg

Honoree and longtime volunteer Brian Winfield with family
Photo from Wayne Pellenberg

Honoree Brian Winfield speaking about his years of volunteering for the March of Dimes Photo from Wayne Pellenberg

Honoree Brian Winfield speaking about his years of volunteering for the March of Dimes
Photo from Wayne Pellenberg

Over the past three decades, Brian convinced people to participate in walks in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, volunteer and help raise funds for the organization so the research can continue to help premature babies and their mothers.

Honoree Brian Winfield speaking to guests Photo from Wayne Pellenberg

Honoree Brian Winfield speaking to guests
Photo from Wayne Pellenberg

He told the guests his healthy children and grandchildren inspired him to do his part to make sure other children stood a chance. Mr. Winfield’s family was there to cheer him on for this honor.

Guests at the March Of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction

Guests at the March Of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction

Susan Smith from the March of Dimes told me they raised $100,000!  Special recognition to Chef John Maclure from Tradewinds Restaurant in Virginia Beach for “Most Outstanding Presentation” and Chef Melinda Wilkins from Culinary Institute of Virginia won “Best Dessert”.

The food was great, the music was good and there was such a wonderful spirit in the air. It’s an event I always look forward to!

Nicole with Stephanie Cooke, Executive Producer of The Hampton Roads Show

Nicole with Stephanie Cooke, Executive Producer of The Hampton Roads Show

Chris Reckling and Nicole Livas

Chris Reckling and Nicole Livas

If you want to help the March of Dimes, check out their webpage for volunteer opportunities and to donate money.

(Special thanks to  Wayne Pellenberg, Neptune Video Creations LLC for the professional pictures from the night of the event.)

 

 


Nicole’s Notes: Friday Night Flights 2014 Kickoff

September 6th, 2014 at 12:32 am by under News, Personalities, Sports, Uncategorized

School’s back in session, high school football games have started and students, teachers and staff are ready to show their pride. And it’s a tradition to have me kick off the season for Friday Night Flights. After writing some stories for the newscasts and wavy.com, and anchoring the 5 and 6pm news on WAVY, I changed clothes and got buckled up in Chopper 10 with photographer Chris Omahen (seen below) and pilot Steve Decker.

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 It’s always a beautiful flight over Hampton Roads and tonight was no different. We landed at Lake Taylor High School first for their game against Phoebus.

In Chopper 10 above Lake Taylor game

In Chopper 10 above Lake Taylor game

You could see the sea of red from up above and we received warm greetings from the second we landed.

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Hanging with the Lake Taylor cheerleaders

WAVY photographer Chris Omahen is a Lake Taylor grad! He's shooting highlights of his alma mater's football game.

WAVY photographer Chris Omahen is a Lake Taylor grad! He’s shooting highlights of his alma mater’s football game.

The cheerleaders helped me toss out the WAVY footballs to the crowd. They certainly have a better arm than I do! They are excited about what the new school year holds. The Titans have a lot to be proud of as they start the new school year. They have a new field house for the visiting team which just opened up tonight.

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Lake Taylor High School’s new field hous

But principal Dr. Reba Jacobs-Miller is most proud of the students’ academic achievements and honors heading into this new year. She told me, “We had the highest graduation completion index of all of the schools in Norfolk so we are very excited about that. We were recognized at our convocation. It actually has the students who are seniors now excited about graduating because they know we will provide the assistance that’s needed to be successful.”

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From Lake Taylor we headed to Chesapeake and Western Branch High School. They won their game with Bethel. They have some of best fans in Hampton Roads. It was a theme of school spirit and family support at the  game. When we flew in range, we realized it was halftime and the band was taking the field. Once we landed, they entertained us and we saw a sea of neon green in the stands. It’s actually a show of support for a former P.E. teacher and J.V. coach Stuart Baiza who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

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Student Alex Abbey told me, “We were actually already doing neon night but we wanted to come out here and his cancer color is green and we wanted to support him and his family by wearing green.”

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Teacher Stuart Baiza and family. Students wore neon green to the game in support of Mr. Baiza’s cancer fight.

It was a spirit-lifting for Mr. Baiza who told me, “It just lets me know I don’t have to go through it alone these kids have been great. Being a teacher of theirs and to have them come through in my time of need. It’s a big honor.” He was at the game with his wife and little girl.  What a great show of support!

UPDATE: Stuart’s mom Colleen Rees emailed me a heartwarming email full of gratitude after seeing our report. She gave me permission to share some of it which read, “Stuart was concerned that the focus be on the kids accomplishments and I think you tied the two issues together beautifully.  Stuart was diagnosed on the 19th of August – nearly 3 months after his son Leighton was born – we have been in a spiral since then.  The whole night was very special – not only was it wonderful to see the kids come up to Stuart and wish him well but also from a nostalgia perspective.  Stuart is an Alumni of WBHS.  He was inspired to become  a PE teacher from his coaches. Coach Lew Johnson was one, he helped Stuart move on to college where he made the CNU Team in their maiden season. “

She also emailed me a picture of the ribbons her sister designed for his cause. Several people were wearing them at the game.

Support ribbon for Mr. Baiza

Support ribbon for Mr. Baiza

She said the family is hopeful doctors will tackle the tumor, get him in remission and find a cure. She says the community support really helps the family cope.

I love doing Friday Night Flights for all of the fun- but also for getting important messages out about the schools, the students and staff and the community. This is an awesome example of that. We wish Mr. Stuart Baiza well with his treatment and recovery.

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Heading back to WAVY on Chopper 10

We hope you’ll interact with us this high school football season. Follow Friday Night Flights on Twitter. Share your pictures at reportit@wavy.com and follow us on Facebook.

Selfie with Chopper 10 pilot, Steve Decker

Selfie with Chopper 10 pilot, Steve Decker

Check out Friday Night Flights with Bruce Rader and his rotating co-hosts and all of our high school football coverage on our special WAVY page.

 

 


Nicole’s Notes: Move The Monarchs’ Chains… It’s Ladies Night!

August 7th, 2014 at 9:07 pm by under Personalities, Sports, Uncategorized

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ODU’s first ever Ladies Night scored well with the participants and the staff. About 300 of us got guided tours, trivia sessions, drills and wine on the Norfolk campus. I didn’t really know what to expect when I got the invitation to come out. My sister Cozy joined me. I’m thinking I should’ve left the purse and jewelry at home, but I still managed to get through the drills okay. (Don’t ask Coach Bobby Wilder how my pass looked).  What a fun experience and an awesome idea to bring us chicks together for fun and information (I still don’t know much about football, but I do like to yell “Move The Chains” during games). Check out this video of the four hour event from Old Dominion University. And sign up early next year- the 300 spaces filled up fast for the first one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Nicole’s Notes: VB woman on a mission to become “The Next Great Baker”

June 23rd, 2014 at 3:52 pm by under News, Personalities, The Hampton Roads Show, Uncategorized

A Virginia Beach woman has been serving up treats to folks in Hampton Roads for a few years now and she’s ready to show the world she is “The Next Great Baker”. TLC chose Brandy Smith as a contestant on its network show which airs Tuesday, June 24 at 9:00 p.m.

Brandy Smith of Virginia Beach, contestant on TLC's "The Next Great Baker"

Brandy Smith of Virginia Beach, contestant on TLC’s “The Next Great Baker”

They’re having a viewing party in Virginia Beach. I found out about Brandy because I did a story with her cousin McKenzie a few years ago.

McKenzie emailed me and shared this about Brandy, “Her situation is different than most on the show, 2 days before leaving to film, she found out her husband who is only 40 has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  They have 3 young children and soon she will be the soul bread winner in her home.  Our goal in this premier party is to get her exposure for her incredible cake business.

Brandy Smith's cake

I talked to Brandy on the phone and learned the business is called “Sophisticakes” and it was born out of her love for creating cool 3-D cakes for her kids on their birthdays. She’s a trained artist so she says she created different designs. She told me she likes to create designs that nobody else can. Folks started asking her about the cakes, and before you know it she was taking orders for wedding cakes, groom’s cakes, and cakes for all occasions. She says someone she took a class with asked her to go to the casting for TLC’s “The Next Great Baker” and it was a long process that started in October, 2013.

She’s kept a positive outlook as her husband Jason fights cancer and hopes this appearance will get the word out even more about the business she loves so much. In fact, they’ve been traveling to Chicago for cancer treatment every other weekend for the past four months and says he is about to start treatment here in Hampton Roads. His disease is now stable and has not progressed.

Brandy Smith & Family

Brandy Smith & Family

Brandy said to me in an email, “We have been overwhelmed and feel truly blessed with the love and support our family has received from our friends, family, and community.”

She went on “The Hampton Roads Show” on WAVY-TV  Monday June 23 to talk about her quest and whipped up some strawberry balsamic cupcakes. Tune and support our local gal and follow her on Facebook to stay on top of her progress. Brandy told me she dreams of having a storefront business someday. Right now she gets her orders online only.

 


Nicole’s Notes: There’s something about that duck!

May 26th, 2014 at 11:42 pm by under News, Personalities, Uncategorized
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The Rubber Duck on his last full day in Norfolk

Time to say goodbye to the Rubber Duck who has taken up residence in the water outside the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk. The Hague area of Ghent has been buzzing with activity and people since the  40-foot tall duck arrived on May 17, and the hashtag #chryslerquack has been used countless times as folks shared their selfies with him.  So, what is it about that duck? I admit, I’ve visited it each of the three weeks it’s been around. I’ve adjusted my running, bicycling, walking, and driving route just to check him out. When I first spotted him I was amazed at how huge he was. I told someone I could sit and stare at that duck all day. The bright yellow figure just makes me smile, and it makes me smile to see folks young and old- from all different backgrounds- get joy in the visit.

I posted the question on my Facebook page, “What will you miss the most about the duck when it leaves Norfolk?” Here are of some of the answers: “The smiling faces as people walked away”, “The fascination over something so simple as a rubber duck! It’s been wonderful to see how happy this duck has made so many people!”, “Just the simple fact of how cool it is! How often do you get to see a big yellow rubber duck floating in the water! I felt like a little kid, bursting with excitement when I got to see it.”, “How it has brought art and the museum to the attention of those who might not have known we have such an awesome, free place to go.”,”All the selfies with him.”.

Nicole's first picture with the duck

Nicole’s first picture with the duck

I realize a lot of folks don’t feel the same. From the beginning, the naysayers posted comments about it not being real art. It’s there because the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman brought the duck here as part of the Chrysler Museum’s grand reopening. The duck has made stops around the world, including Sydney, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.

The duck spent some time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the fall. Someone posted a question on its Facebook page asking where it’s going next. The posted reply is, Rubber Duck at Chrysler : “It’s a surprise! Sorry, I have to keep the secret.”

Deflated duck Tuesday morning

Deflated duck Tuesday morning

I ran by the duck Tuesday morning and saw a small group of onlookers, a few media folks, and crews in the water with a deflated yellow blob.

Nicole with deflated duck Tuesday morning. Photo by Hyunsoo Leo Kim, The Virginian Pilot

Nicole with deflated duck Tuesday morning.
Photo by Hyunsoo Leo Kim, The Virginian Pilot

I wonder how many people will track the duck and add its travels to their travel plans. Sure is tempting. For now, we’ll have to savor the memories and the selfies and keep smiling. :-)

 

 

 

 

 


Nicole’s Notes: Free dental care, from the heart

March 12th, 2014 at 11:46 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Health, News, Personalities, Uncategorized

UPDATE : Racheal Judy emailed me today and said they broke a record over the weekend. The patient you see in this picture below is Melissa. She is thanking Dr. Tim Johnston, owner of Norge Dental Center, for saving 3 teeth that she would’ve lost in the next 6 months if she hadn’t gotten the proper care.

Norge Dental Care, Dentistry From The Heart

Norge Dental Care, Dentistry From The Heart

In the third year of the Dentistry From The Heart program, Judy  wrote:
 *   257 patients were seen
 *   over $100,000 of free dental work was provided completely for FREE
 *   913 dental services were performed (including exams, cleanings, fillings, etc)
 *   First patient arrived at 12:10 am to get in line.
 *   Event was supposed to end at 5:00 pm, but dentists stayed until 8:30 pm to make sure no one was turned away.
Look at these pictures.

What a way to start your new week – with a big healthy smile!

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There’s nothing like a clean fresh mouth! Some folks are scared to visit the dentist, but I just love how my teeth feel and look after my appointments. I realize everyone doesn’t have dental benefits or enough money to get the recommended cleanings and exams twice a year- and any other dental work that’s needed. And it can get expensive!

Staff member with patient

Norge staff member with patient, 2013

There’s a local group of dentists and volunteers working to make sure anyone who needs, can get dental care. The Norge Dental Center in Williamsburg is hosting its free Dentistry From The Heart event on Saturday, March 22 at its offices on Richmond Road from 8:00 am until 4:00pm. Fillings, extractions, or cleanings will be performed for those 18 and older who can’t get dental care elsewhere. Registration starts at 7:30 am. Patients should arrive early and be dressed for a long wait in line. Also bring chairs, blankets, snacks and water. Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Rachael Judy from Norge Dental reached out to me a couple of years ago about this event and she’s been following up ever since. She emailed me this after the clinic last year, “Our very first patient came at 10:20 pm the night before, and slept there to receive care! His name is William and he drove from Gates County, NC.  He and a few others camped outside.  We served over 200 patients with free dental care!   James was our patient who traveled the longest distance……He traveled from New Jersey to receive care.  We were able to save a tooth he would’ve lost had he waited much longer.”

Judy said they had over a dozen dentists volunteer their time. They came from their own practices to help their four Norge Dental Center dentists serve more people. For more information, visit their website or call (757) 941-7682.

We’d love to hear from you after your visit. Post your comments and share some pictures with me on Facebook.

 

 

 

 


Nicole’s Notes: “More Than Boobs” raising cancer awareness

February 19th, 2014 at 7:42 pm by under Health, News, Personalities, Uncategorized

UPDATE: The event was a success! What an amazing show of strength and courage by the models- all survivors of various forms of cancer, and support from their families and friends. Organizer Justin Pantophlet tells me they raised $5,293.00! Here are some pictures from Saturday.

 

It couldn’t have been possible without these sponsors/donors: Murphy’s Irish Pub * Stihl Corporation * Townebank * Bay Disposal * Moore Consultant Services * ESME Boutique* Beach FC Soccer * Dan Ryan’s For Men * Dennis Blackmore @ Creed Realty * Cambria Children’s Boutique * Rico Marcelo Photography * Kazam Bikes * MindTheatre art by Karl Greaves * Andrew Carney Portrait Photography * Lendy’s Café * Bravo’s * Mobile Beats * Tapped Gastropub * Keagan’s Restaurant * Brother’s Pizza * Route 58 Deli

Now, the inspiration behind the event: How cute is this picture? The man you see getting a sweet kiss from his daughter is Steve Golding.

Steve Golding

Steve Golding getting a kiss from his daughter

He lost his battle with cancer at the age of 50. His brother in law, Justin Pantophlet, emailed me this info about Steve,                                                             My brother-in-law passed away of lung cancer that metastasized to the brain. He is born and bred from New York City. A true city boy and he would help clean up after 9/11 everyday.  As he was not a policeman or firefighter, he was not considered a first responder, but he he did help to clean up everyday. It is believed that the asbestos/smog that he incurred during the cleanup fostered his cancer.  Unfortunately he was not eligible for the Zodroga Act. He did charity work for “Rolling Thunder.”

That’s the main reason why Justin became involved in raising cancer awareness. He invited me to emcee a fashion show he organized sponsored by “More Than Boobs” or MTB on Saturday February 22, 2014 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Lesner Inn in Virginia Beach. Tickets start at $40. The band Borderline Crazy will provide the entertainment.

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Just check out the model’s stories and you’ll see why this event is so special to so many people. I think cancer has touched all of our lives- whether it’s a friend or a relative or co-worker who has been diagnosed. My godfather, Sid, fought a tough battle with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.

Nicole with her late godfather, Sid

Nicole with her late godfather, Sid

I visited him and helped him when he was getting treatment in Chicago and as we took our walk around the cancer ward I saw all different types of people… different ages, sexes, races, sizes… fighting the same fight. Multiple myeloma is the same cancer NBC anchor Tom Brokaw recently announced he’s battling. One of my sorority sisters from college was diagnosed with breast cancer and she has shared stories with me about the process from diagnosis to treatment and the struggles that come along with it especially the cost of treatment and the time needed to heal. Honestly, it seems I hear a new story every few days from people I work with or see in my everyday errands about their diagnosis or a family member’s.

"MTB Fashion Show Models"

“MTB Fashion Show Models”

Justin actually said he had no idea the “MTB Fashion Show” would become such a big event. He wrote,

                           Never did I think I would be still be involved in doing this to this day. The idea was to have an event where we could support good cause that did not involve running or walking for a cure.  While those events serve their purposes and raise a tremendous amount of awareness, I wanted to do something outside of the box. I started the organization over 3 years ago and the reason leading up to the start was because of my personal experiences with my brother-in-law. It started with the first event called “Beer for Boobs Tour” which is now our Cruising for Cancer Tour. This event is still a very popular and fun event that has evolved throughout the years. It was at that first event that I recognized how much people were starved for something different that is fun, entertaining, inspiring and where you can still get involved with participating in a good cause. One our guest stated to me that he was having such a great time celebrating individuals that are survivors and he was all smiles. That same individual is one of our cancer survivor models this year. From there, MTB organized our very first cancer awareness fashion show where we had only 5 models, once which has since passed away. That event had touched so may people by it stories, inspiration, celebration and entertainment that we have continued to host these fashion shows. The idea behind our events quickly became one of entertaining, empowering, celebrating and inspiring of the individual cancer survivors and patients. We do this on the basis on welcoming all cancer survivors. Among our Cruising for Cancer Tour and the cancer awareness fashion show event, we also had our very first karaoke contest in raising cancer awareness in October of 2013″.

These are pictures from last year’s event.

You’ll see my colleague Bruce Rader emceed. You can see more photos in this slideshow and pictures from other events the foundation has sponsored.

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 I’m honored Justin asked me to emcee the event and I’m looking forward to participating this weekend, hearing more stories, learning more about the disease and how we can all help those who are affected and their families. Hope to see you there! How has cancer touched your life? What are you doing to raise awareness? Please share your stories.

 

 

 

 


No Valentine’s Candy?

February 7th, 2014 at 11:57 pm by under Health, News, Personalities

I stumbled upon this article on Fox News’ website about a ban on Valentine’s candy at a Connecticut school. It basically reports the school principal sent a letter home to parents reminding them not to have any food products attached to their child’s Valentine’s cards. Now, it’s been a while since I’ve been in school, but I remember being excited to send and receive candy grams, flowers, stuffed animals and cards for Valentine’s Day.

AP photo

AP photo

This ban at Harwinton Consolidated School is part of an effort to “encourage healthy practices and manage food choices in classrooms where allergies are present.”  I posted a question on my Facebook page asking for feedback. Reaction was varied, but it seems most people understood the need to regulate candy and junk food for health purposes.

Joanne posted, I think you have to be more cautious as to what you send because of food allergies.”

Chris wrote, “A friend of mine who is a dietitian took over for the church school cafeteria. She and I could wide changes in the cafeteria policy that included a sugar free menu, healthy vegetable, fruit for dessert, and silent lunches. They got rid of the pop and candy machines. There was such a dramatic change in the kids behavior with them not being hyped up on junk food and having a period during the day were they could rest their minds. But I still think it’s fun to celebrate the holidays.” Although Sherry and Mark think it’s going overboard. Sherry posted, “There are certain things that are right of passage for kid. Adults have gotten so strict they have forgotten that is fun for the kids. At this point their childhood is going to be ruined. I am so glad I grew up in the 70′s.” Mark added, “Seriously? Kids eat lots of candy.”

Maybe it’s a good opportunity for parents and teachers to teach kids to celebrate the holiday in a different way? Maybe they can work on their writing and drawing and spend more time making creative cards for their friends and family. I guess at some point we could all use a break from sugar.

 


Joy To The Mall

November 17th, 2013 at 10:24 pm by under News, Personalities

Holiday cheer took over Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach on Sunday November 17, 2013.  I was honored to emcee the Joy To The Mall fashion show and fundraiser.

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Models of all ages wore holiday fashions from Macy’s, Buckle, Old Navy, Limited, Gymboree, Francesa’s, New York & Co, and Dillards. Many of the models are volunteers with CHKD’s “Circles”.

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Lots of sparkly dresses, suits, and accessories. Lots of Christmas colors… red, gold, green and some pops of blue and black. Lots of ideas for those holiday parties.

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Tickets were sold before the event online and at the door. There were door prizes and a live auction for a Coach bag. All of the proceeds go to Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters new donor milk bank programCHKD helps so many local children from minor medical procedures to life-threatening diseases. Events like this help the hospital meet the financial challenges of being able to treat every patient who comes through its doors. If you want to help, you can donate money or time. There are lots of opportunities and fundraising events.


Gowns For Military Brides on This Veterans Day

November 8th, 2013 at 4:33 pm by under News, Personalities

Planning to get married soon? You may qualify for a chance to win a free wedding gown in honor of Veteran’s Day. Maya Couture in Norfolk is partnering with Brides Across America to host a wedding gown giveaway. These are pictures from last year’s event.

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Brides must complete the registration form. The requirements include:

You must be engaged, or had a civil ceremony and planning a wedding within the next 18 months. You or your fiance were deployed within the past 5 years to Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Bahrain, Libya, Kuwait, Korea or Japan and have not had a formal wedding.
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You or your Fiance will have an upcoming deployment to any areas specified. All military brides must bring a drivers license or their military ID for verification. Qualifying proof must accompany the bride on day of event:
Copy of deployment papers for you or your Fiance that states the time of deployment and location.

Maya Couture is taking brides by appointment only. Once they receive a bride’s completed registration,  an appointment will be made for the bride to find her dream gown.
Owner Maya Warburton Holihan has been partnering with Brides Across America for six years now, but when she emailed me about it this year she said- after becoming a military wife last year, she has an even greater appreciation for our troops and their families,  especially during deployment. This is a picture she sent me ofher wedding:

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Whether big or small, I know first hand-  wedding planning requires  a lot of time, patience, and money. This program can certainly come in handy.
This gown giveaway will be Monday November 11th, at  Maya Couture in Best Square in Norfolk, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Good luck and send me pictures and your story if you win a gown! I’d love to hear from you.