nicole livas

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!


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.


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.

MTB poster

 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.





Nicole’s Notes: How have the new tunnel tolls changed your life?

February 14th, 2014 at 3:54 pm by under News, Personalities, Traffic

It’s been about two weeks since we’ve been charged to go through the Midtown and Downtown Tunnels in Norfolk.


My first tolled ride was to get to work on Super Bowl Sunday. It was a weekend evening so it was pretty slow although V-DOT crews were inside doing work. Ever since then, I’ve taken mostly the Downtown and I can tell you, traffic is much much lighter. We’ve done the stories on how folks would probably find another route and it seems that’s the case. Andy Fox just did a story on some numbers he got from The Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO). Maybe some people didn’t buy an EZ-Pass yet and they’re going the long way in the time being. By the way, if you still have questions about tolls, check out this story Anita Blanton did. Maybe some folks just figured out it would cost the same for the tolls as it does in gas money to take the High Rise Bridge in Chesapeake or another route. So, how have the tolls changed your life? It’s going to cost me about an extra $800 a year to commute to and from work before they raise the prices. I’ve talked to folks who say they really have to follow a strategy for their trips from Portsmouth or Suffolk into Norfolk, Chesapeake or Virginia Beach. One person I talked to actually decided to quit a job he loved teaching classes at a gym in Portsmouth because he’d have to go back and forth a few times a day and it just wasn’t worth the cost. Lucky for him, he got his old job back in Norfolk. I read a letter to the editor in the Virginian-Pilot from a West Ghent resident who was actually happy to be able to get out of his neighborhood now. I can only imagine he’s talking about a change in the extreme backup on Hampton Boulevard that leads to the Midtown Tunnel. One thing I think we all should do while this system is new, check your EZ-Pass accounts. We’ve already reported on some folks who got overcharged.

Elizabeth River Crossings said it was due to a sensor issue. has an entire page dedicated to toll stories. Be sure to check it out. I want to know how the change is affecting you. Please share and drive safely!

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.


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”.


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.




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.
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:


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.

Celebrating Local Teens… With A Purpose!

November 4th, 2013 at 9:38 pm by under News, Personalities, Uncategorized



TWP Peer Leader Shajhea Wilson With Nicole Livas

What an awesome night on November 1, 2013 at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center in Downtown Norfolk. The Teens With A Purpose annual gala just gets bigger and better! New this year: Celebrity Apprentice star, Omarosa, was the guest speaker.


Omarosa with Nicole

The savvy businesswoman is also a Baptist minister and college professor now. She spoke to the teens and adults about giving back and helping one another. The organization gave out Move Maker awards to teens and adults for persevered despite several adversities in life. The group also acknowledged its board members and sponsors which include WAVY-TV.


I enjoyed emceeing the event for the fourth year in a row now. Noticeably absent was Al Roker who wasn’t able to break away from The Today Show duties.  We tried to keep the program together without his wit and humor and raised money for TWP through a silent and live auction.

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The TWP members shared their talents with guests through music, poetry and dance. If you didn’t make it, but would like to help teens stay on the right track and become productive adults, click here for information on how to donate your money and/or time and talents.

Dishing it up for Healthy Babies

October 31st, 2013 at 6:44 pm by under News, Personalities, Uncategorized

Another year of good appetizers, entrees, desserts and drinks to raise money for healthy babies. The March of Dimes Signature Chefs event was held at the Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach.  Award-winning Founders Inn Chef, Scott Simpson, tempted us with that big cake when we shot the promo for the event in The Hampton Roads Show studio weeks before the event.

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The Hampton Roads Show host, Ariane Aramburo co-hosted with me once again.



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Guests had a chance to raise their paddles for a cause and donate various amounts to the March of Dimes and they also bid on food packages, resort stays, spa vacations and much more during a live auction.  Guests also got to hear first hand stories of how premature babies are growing into strong children and adults thanks to the ongoing research. The organization raised about $74,000! All of the proceeds from the event go to the March of Dimes.

See more pictures here and join us next year!


Nicole visits AVID class at Bayside Middle School

October 30th, 2013 at 10:24 pm by under Personalities, Uncategorized

Some local sixth graders are dreaming big and already preparing for  future careers- even though they’re only 11 years old!

avid3  avid4

I was honored to visit Mrs. Garcia’s AVID class at Bayside Middle School in Virginia Beach on October 9. AVID stands for “Advancement Via Individual Determination”.  It’s a program that provides college and career readiness to students who may have disadvantages.   I spoke to them about my schooling and career path. I told them they should think about a few different career options and start learning more about them by reading books or checking out social media sites and finding people who are already in that field and ask them to be their mentor.

avid1 avid2

I also talked them about the importance of volunteering and giving back. I told them even if their lives/situations seem tough, there’s always someone who as it worse. But I encouraged them to talk about problems with family members, teachers, or school counselors. This was such a great group of kids! They had good questions about the news business and about life in general. I know they will continue to do well in school and in their careers!


Heart and Sole

October 22nd, 2013 at 10:50 pm by under 10 On Your Side, News, Personalities, Uncategorized


Look at that adorable little boy’s smile! He’s just one of many children who got a new pair of shoes from The Got Sole Project.


These are pictures from their  distribution Sunday October 20 on the Eastern Shore.  Local realtor Laura Contreras Rowe founded the group three years ago to give back to the Hispanic community and from there, it grew. I stumbled upon it when I was looking for a place to donate my gently used running shoes. This is what Rowe emailed to me about the program,  “I started it 3 years ago after I had come off book tour. I wrote a book about Hispanic women role models, Aim High Extraordinary Stories of Hispanic and Latina Women. I wanted to give back to the Hispanic community so this was spot on what I was trying to achieve. We also donate shoes to 4 kids shelter in Norfolk and we do humanitarian relief. We donated all of our inventory last year to the victims of Sandy over 2,000 pairs of shoes.  Our charity has 7 amazing board members and without them none of this would be possible.”



These are just some of the pictures from The Got Sole distribution.  Check out their Facebook page for more photos and email them at to volunteer or donate a pair of new or gently worn shoes. Just looking at the faces of the recipients you see- it makes a world of difference… call it “Heart and Sole”!