Posts Tagged ‘Raleigh’

The Post – Let’s Talk Turtle

January 12, 2011

Let’s switch animals for a moment and move to sea turtles, another favorite of mine. And maybe a personal connection. My mother-in-law always promised to come back as a sea turtle and I bet she kept her word.

But anyway…. being an oil painter, that means I keep 4-6 oil paintings going at a time. Given that the paint takes a while to dry whenever I do something, I would be sitting around waiting a week to do something next. Having several going at once means I can keep moving projects forward.

In that vein, aside from the seagull/seascape pic I’m currently working on, and a painting for my niece of the place she’ll be married at in CT next July, I finished everything else. So hence the plans for the dolphin painting. I also want to do a painting for a friend and she loves sea turtles too, so time to start that as well.

I’m not going to get into a discussion…YET…about what canvas and composition for that one, a little pressed for time today. But I would love to share a place with you all that’s one of my favorites on the coast here in NC, the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, on Topsail Island, NC.

Though I don’t have the full details, I know it got started with the efforts of Karen Beasley rescuing sea turtles on her own and expanding her efforts. She sadly died young of cancer and her mom took up the mission. The facility has been going since the mid-90s and is now building a new turtle hospital.  Sometimes fishermen give them injured turtles, often they find them. They care for the creatures, heal their wounds – physical for sure, emotional hopefully, but they care for them professionally and with great love. This includes a large number of college students who vie for the opportunity to intern there in the summers.

If you click on the link above you can visit the home page, where there are links to pictures, an index of all the turtles they ever rescued (and their status – MANY success stories), and even a list of turtles you can adopt. As the site states:   All donations are directly applied to food, medical supplies, and operating costs of the hospital. We receive no state or federal funding

Focus is to release except for turtles so badly hurt they can never be released. I’m trying to track down details right now about one turtle I met at a reptile and amphibian show at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, NC a couple of years ago. A lovely, gentle creature who was blinded by human actions, but had a robust spirit and seemed very content in their care. If I can learn more, I’ll share the story.

They also participate in the turtle nesting project – locating and marking turtle nests to protect them, engaging volunteers to find and mark them and watch over them, helping newly hatched turtles find their way into the ocean waters, etc.

They even fit some of the turtles with monitors to satellite track them and there’s some data at the website under Satellite Tracking!!

Its’s a great facility. If you have a soft spot in your heart for sea turtles, please visit their site. Consider donating, but at least visit the site and learn about all the wonderful works they do. Such beautiful creatures…..and people. 🙂

PS If you ever get to go to Topsail Beach on Topsail Island, NC, GO VISIT THEM!!!! They do tours of the facility in the summer.  Even though it’s popular and you may stand in line in the sweltering hear for a couple hours, it’s worth it to see the turtles AND to see just how professional and caring these people are!

The Post – Lee Woodruff – In An Instant and Helping Our Injured Soldiers

March 7, 2008

Taking a rest tomorrow, so posting Saturday’s Gift and Post tonight.

Tonight I had the honor of hearing Lee Woodruff speak at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, about her book In An Instant. It’s co-written by Lee and her husband Bob Woodruff, the ABC News anchor who sustained a traumatic brain injury from an IED while on assignment in Iraq . It’s the story of their family’s journey through pain to healing and then recovery.

I could say many things about her – she’s a great speaker, frank, honest, down-to-earth, warm. Passionate comes to mind – she speaks so passionately about our servicemen, what they go through and the struggles they have after sustaining such injuries. She very frankly noted that her family was lucky as they had the care of ABC, Disney, and many family and friends to sustain them. Our servicemen do not. She also frankly noted that it is the willingness of those young men and women to step up to the plate and volunteer that makes it possible for the rest of us, her 16-year-old son included, to have a choice as to what we will do with our lives.

She noted that their family has worked to turn the experience into good, lemons into lemonade, including setting up a charitable fund for servicemen with traumatic brain injuries, which I’ll explain in a moment. They have grown as a family. They have tried to help others. When asked though, given all the good that’s come out of what happened to her husband, and all the good things they’ve done and people they’ve helped, did she view what happened to him as a good thing? Her immediate answer was an unequivocal “NO.” She said if she could rewind the clock, she’d wish this never happened. However, it did. She has come to understand that life is suffering and you simply choose whether it can ennoble you or make you bitter. She noted very simply that she did not want to become a bitter old woman.

She has tremendous compassion for others and said she imagined everyone sitting there has experienced some kind of life-altering event. She feels for all. Often times people come up to her and say “this happened to me, but it wasn’t anything like what you went through.” She immediately put a halt to that thought. Her feeling is that life hands everyone suffering and pain is pain.

She spoke strongly about the struggles of our servicemen and their families when there is a traumatic brain injury. Too often these families are struggling and forgotten. She and Bob make it a point to visit VA hospitals when they travel. It is obvious this is a driving passion for both of them. She feels they were given a chance to have good care so now it’s their turn to bring attention to the servicemen. She shared a quote:

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country.”

That came from George Washington. She felt we are not doing enough for our injured veterans now.

In gratitude for their good fortunes they’ve started the Bob Woodruff Family Fund to assist service members injured while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Special emphasis is for traumatic brain injury victims. They work to raise public awareness of the problem, excellence in research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment. support and resources for the injured as they try to reintegrate to daily life. They work with individuals and small organizations to do everything from provide money for cab fares to wives of injured servicemen going to and from hospitals, to funds for bills, treament and rehabilitation for a blinded veteran who lost his pension and whose wife had to quit work to nurse him back to health. The stories were too numerous.

Her deep commitment to these men and women showed in her words, her face, her eyes. It is said eyes are the windows to the soul. That is the truth. Her eyes showed her soul. It is a soul of love.

If anyone wants more information on how to donate to the fund and help our servicemen who have given so much, the website is:

And she noted they have only one paid employee – the wife of a Marine who is on his 3rd tour of duty in Iraq, and she works out of her bedroom so they don’t have to use any money to pay for an office.