December 2020 Newsletter


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“A bright future beckons. The onus is on us through hard work, honesty, and integrity to reach for the stars."

Nelson Mandela

President's Message

Rose MacNeal

Possibilities for a Brighter Future

As we approach the holiday season, we all experience that feeling of excitement from being with family and friends. This year may be different for some of us. Given what is going on in the world today, you may not be able to visit with family and friends. For many, this will be the first time in their lives they will not be able to be with family during the holidays. Although that will be hard, we all know it is important now more than ever that we stay safe and healthy as we make it through these difficult times. It has been an unusual year to say the least, but I honestly believe that there will be a brighter future for us all! 

You all recognize that Coastal Women’s Forum focuses our efforts on networking, education, and empowerment. Each year, however, we have one philanthropic activity during the month of December through the President’s Charity. The current president selects a non-profit to feature and encourages members to contribute with their dollars and their time. This year, I am pleased to announce that Promise Place is the CWF President’s Charity. When I chose this year’s President’s Charity, I knew that there were possibilities of a brighter future for those served by Promise Place.

Promise Place’s mission connects directly with CWF’s theme of Prism of Possibilities, and I know that through a partnership with Promise Place, our support will help sustain their mission to build safer communities free of sexual violence through education and advocacy in Craven, Jones, and Pamlico counties.

I hope you will join us at our Virtual Daytime Meeting on December 16 where you will hear directly from Candi Parker, Community Educator and Volunteer Coordinator, of all the good work being done at Promise Place. At this meeting you will have the opportunity to support Promise Place with your financial contribution either via our website, Promise Place’s website, or mailing a check directly to Promise Place.

With hopes for a brighter future, I wish you and your families peace and much love during the holiday season!

All my best,

Upcoming Events

The President's Charity Welcomes Promise Place's Candi Parker

Virtual Daytime Monthly meeting. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

12:00-1:00 p.m.

Candi Parker serves as Promise Place’s community outreach & education coordinator, volunteer coordinator, and darkness to light educator.

Please join us in welcoming Candi and supporting Promise Place. Promise Place provides three branches of service to support their vision--Community and Systems Outreach, Advocacy and Mental Health. 

Promise Place's Mission is to build safer communities free of sexual violence

 and its impact through support, education and advocacy in Craven, Jones, and Pamlico counties.

Promise Place envisions a community where sexual abuse will not be tolerated. Their staff and advocates are in their office and available most weekdays, and there is also a 24/7 crisis line at 252-635-7906.

Can we count you in for your support?  

You have the opportunity to support Promise Place with your financial contribution either via our website, Promise Place’s website, or mailing a check directly to Promise Place.

Virtual Meeting Sponsor

Thank you to our December Meeting Sponsors

Mary Ann LeRay and Jean Bender. 

Holiday Personal Shopping By Jean Bender and Mary Ann LeRay Gifts for everyone! Stocking stuffers, gifts wrapped and ready to give. Gifts to customize, gifts for you! Corporate gifting available. Delivered to your office or home. 

        Mary Ann LeRay - 252-671-7815 -

        Jean Bender - 252-229-6545 - 

Board Notes

Congratulations to CWF's 2020 Scholarship Winner

Sylvia Rodriguez!

Congratulations to our 2020-2021 Scholarship recipient Sylvia Rodriguez! Sylvia is enrolled in the RN nursing program with Craven Community College with a target graduation date of May 2021.

A busy mother of three girls ages twelve, fourteen, and sixteen, Sylvia, in addition to going to school, works for two local facilities as an LPN and cares for a special needs child. Her goal is to work as an RN travel nurse once she has her degree. Here are Sylvia’s kind words of thanks:

Shout Out!

Congratulations to our CWF Members who were recently voted the New Bern Sun Journal's 2020 Best of the Best. We are so proud of you all!

As always, we encourage our Members to share their wins with us. We would love to highlight you on our social media platforms! 

CWF's Very Own E-Cookbook Is Here!

We are excited to share our 2020 Quarantine E-Cookbook. This cookbook has 75 pages of recipes (some holiday recipes too) consisting of a compilation of cocktails, appetizers, salads, sides, soups, main dishes, and desserts. Many of the recipes were submitted by our CWF Members.  

Since March, we have all spent more time at home--some of us making our meals from scratch. See what we've been cooking up and enjoying. We are pleased to be able to share our recipes with you!

Find the E-Cookbook here


Member News

Toolkit for Caregivers will very quickly become your go-to guide for:

  • Setting up a caregiving environment
  • Skills in patient care clearly explained
  • Home Health and Hospice Care
  • Maximizing moments together
  • Tips/tricks/hacks to make you more confident
  • Resources for getting supplemental help
  • Advice on coping concerns and techniques

Most of us will become caregivers at some point. Learn what’s ahead and how to prepare yourself from someone who knows.

The bonus book gives tools and a road map for surviving one of life’s greatest journeys.

Topics include:    

  • “The Conversation”
  • Coping with decline and death of a loved one
  • Funerals
  • Handling the business side of dying
  • Mental health while grieving

This inside story about the unique concerns of surviving the caregiving role will validate your conflicting emotions, give you tips on nourishing your inner-self, and assist you with preparations for the future.

Toolkit for Caregivers by Deidre Edwards is available on Amazon.

New Bern Historical Society’s Gingerbread House Contest

Like many events in 2020, this year’s 4th annual Gingerbread House Contest will be different. While it will be virtual and simpler, the most important part - working together with friends and family, enjoying the season - THAT will be exactly the same!

There are no fees, no forms, no categories.  Just build your creation and send in the photos for display.  All entries will be displayed on our Facebook page.  There will be two prizes, one determined by popular vote and one selected by our judges.

Visit for contest information. Entries are due by December 12.  And be sure to check out our Facebook Gingerbread group for inspirational pics and tips.  

Want more confidence in your efforts? Take Introduction to Gingerbread House Construction on November 14, hosted by our partners at Craven Community College Adult Education Program. Class size is limited.

Have you started your holiday shopping yet?  D

Arbonne's holiday line is now available.  Who doesn't like pumpkin spice--it is the new pea protein shake flavor!  Perhaps your friends or loved ones would love the Sugared Amber spa gift set or the Mint Cooling Facial gift set!    There are too many new items to list here, but you can visit my website for more information: and shop "What's New" or contact me directly if you'd like to try something at  860-307-5201.


New Bern Yacht Club, ideally situated on picturesque Brices Creek, offers a unique event venue for Social or Corporate occasions, with your budget in mind:

  • Unique property with 250 feet of waterfront footage             
  • Panoramic views of scenic Brices Creek to the Trent River
  • Charming clubhouse accommodates up to 85 people
  • Fully appointed warming kitchen for ease of catering
  • Secure Wi-Fi and large-screen TV for computer & internet presentations
  • Outdoor entertaining on screen porch and spacious lawn, plus room for waterside tents
  • Private venue with ample off-street parking
  • Surprisingly affordable rates!

To tour the property, contact CWF member Lucy Lichty, 252/649-9780,  Visit us at

When you are ready to travel, I am ready to help. Travel Tip... In the midst of this pandemic families are not able to gather together for the holidays so they are planning Summer-Winter 2021 Reunions... Call me, I would love to help coordinate some family fun. How about an All-inclusive with fun for all ages or a cruise with something for everyone?

Anita English

My Travel Agent


The NC Guardian ad Litem Program is in need of volunteer Guardian ad Litem Child Advocates!  

A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is a trained volunteer who is appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of an abused or neglected child. In court, the GAL serves as an important voice for the child.  GALs gather information, spend time with the child and his/her caregiver, and provide recommendations to the court regarding well-being and permanence.  The only requirements are that you be an adult who is compassionate about outcomes for children and have some extra time.  We screen, train, and support our volunteers through the entire process.  Want to know more?  Contact Tracey Brenneman, District Administrator at 252-515-2017 or go to


Do you sometimes feel like your words land on deaf ears?

Do you feel like you cannot speak your truth out of fear of what people will think? Do you push your own needs aside to take care of everyone else around you?

My name is Claudia Virga. I am the founder and creator of the CHAT Communication System®. I recently relocated to New Bern and joined our group. For years, I felt my words did not matter, my boundaries violated, and struggled with my health. As a result, I have spent most of my life researching communication and human behavior. My life’s mission is to empower women to find their voice, speak their truth, and to live authentically.

I would love an opportunity to get to know you. If you would like to chat, please go to and book a time for us to connect. I look forward to meeting you!


Ahaaa the beautiful signs of Autumn!          

Get outside and enjoy the cooler fresh air; pick up some colorful leaves with your children or Grandchildren. Balance is very important in our lives. Work and an absence of fun will make us feel a loss of energy.

Elise A. Medenbach, LMBT Massage Therapy       

Glenburnie Professional Center

1425 South Glenburnie Road,  Suite 6

New Bern, NC  28560

252 474-6118


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Coastal Women's Forum
PO Box 15392
New Bern, NC 28561

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