Bobbie Asad with Mad Hatter in Fuquay-Varina has a Heart for Community

Mad Hatter in Fuquay-Varina a tea and hat gift shopBobbie Asad is an amazing woman and mother who runs a bustling quaint tea and hat shop named, Mad Hatter in downtown Fuquay-Varina.

Bobbie is also actively involved in her local community through the Fuquay-Varina Woman’s Club and the Fuquay-Varina Downtown Association. She hosts fun holiday teas and a Downton Abbey themed tea at The Meeting Corner, just a few doors down.

Bobbie often teams up with local merchants such as Merle Norman, David Anthony’s, and Rita’s to host fun community shopping events.

Mad Hatter in Fuquay-Varina a tea and hat gift shopBobbie also recently sponsored the Bengal Tiger on Parade event.  Bengal Tigers on Parade is a project that serves as a history lesson while bringing public art to Downtown Fuquay-Varina.

Having such an active and enthusiastic business member supporting our community shows the true value and love we have here in Fuquay-Varina. Thank you Bobbie for bringing so much happiness and joy to our community!

Visit Mad Hatter in Fuquay-Varina today at:

107 South Main Street in Fuquay-Varina, NC.

and online:



Community and Business Leader Naomi Riley

Naomi RileyWhen I look back on the different careers in my life there is a direct correlation with each one of them.  Each one allowed me to explore causes/opportunities I was passionate about at “that stage” in my life. Making a small difference in my world is a driving force for each career path I have taken.

Fast forward to my career today!  I have the JOY of promoting the community where I grew up.   When you live in a community like Fuquay-Varina, NC it is hard NOT to love it.   I am the Executive Director of Fuquay-Varina Downtown, a non profit who’s sole purpose is to promote and protect the historic commercial and residential districts of Fuquay-Varina.   Our organization is part of the NC Main Street Program developed by the National Trust of Historic Preservation.

My job is complex and is one where you wear many hats.  My role as mom of two sons, who are now grown, allowed me to learn the ultimate skill of PROJECT manager!    The opportunities for our downtown are endless, the ideas never stop flowing …. you then run into this tiny issue of “time”.


Community Leader Buumba Malambo

Buumba Malambo of Buumbalambo Team I totally love the Buumbalambo Team. Hope we are all ready for another exciting week deep in the village with a lot of community work. Stay focused, the society needs us.

Buumba Malambo with two girls selling vegetables dreaming of schoolThese two girls are part of the hundreds of girls that come to sell vegetables at the University of Zambia.  The girls work so hard, go home so late, exposing them to vices such as Rape.

Misozi told me she would like to be a teacher because no one in her family has ever gone to school.  Mwamba told me she would love to be a doctor because her mother has been terminally sick for a long time.

Their eyes speak hope of going to school, which may never come.  You and I are fortunate for a purpose to help such people.

Buumba Malambo taking a leap of faithI believe doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.

So take a leap of faith and know you can do it!

Buumbalambo Team International Youth DayAfter a hectic week, the touch of nature not only gets me closer to my God but also heals and relaxes my inner self.

Participating at the International Youth Day with the Permanent Secretary of Youth and Sports, Ms. Musunga and ILO Country Director Mr. Martin Clemenson.

What a wonderful event!

Limitations live only in our minds by Buumba Malambo“Limitations live only in our minds. But, if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” Buumba Malambo

Buumba Malambo as guest speaker at DLYPHonored to be selected to give a speech at the DLYP Discovering Young Leaders Programme which has attracted about 500 Young Leaders from all parts of the world in about 95 countries.  As Youth we should engage in activities that sharpen our Leadership Skills so that we can participate in Building our Nations because no government will choose a Cardre of Youths that are drunkards, drug abusers, and prostitutes to be positioned in high leadership decision making offices.

Buumbalambo TeamWe as Youths should instead fight for our place in Parliament and other important decision making bodies by being Responsible and showing our capability to Rule Nations through Outstanding Leadership Skills.

As Koffi Anani says, “The future is bright for only youths that participate in it.”

Buumbalambo Team Agricultural Plant ProjectBuumbalambo Foundation Environmental Co-ordinators Lubomba and Sandra participating at the Agricultural Show as they learn more about the Environment and they have come up with a Brilliant Project they are calling the “In Between Plant Bottle Project” which will ensure that each school child has a plant even if there is no water nearby.

This we as a Team believe will be Sustainable as Fruits and Vegetables will be grown in School Garden.  We are proud of you. Go Team! More greater things coming. Join the fight!


Community and Business Leader Mary Madenspacher

Mary at Life ExperiencesMary Madenspacher has a smile that can disarm anyone. Her laugh will enchant and lighten anyone’s load.

Mary Madenspacher has been a driving force at Life Experiences, Inc. a non-profit organization created in 1978 to provide adults with varying disabilities, a choice of satisfying work experiences and at the same time allows those adults the self-esteem of earning a wage for their work.

Mary has helped create and maintain a very visible presence in her local community of Wake County in North Carolina. She attends local Rotary meetings, Charitable functions, and Board Meetings.

As a member of the Cary Kildaire Rotary Club, Mary has volunteered for fundraising events, community work events, hands on building and cleaning activities, and most importantly she does all of these things with a happy heart.

Mary at Life ExperiencesMary has served her community by supporting a hidden group of people who are usually forgotten and left behind. Through Mary’s dedicated love for her employees she has helped her crew of 50 amazing and talented employees thrive even during a down-turned economy. She has provided her employees with opportunities to build friendships, gain new experiences, and learn new skills.

For more information about the work Mary is doing with Life Experiences, Inc. visit their website or visit them on facebook

Community Leader Chris Crowstaff

Chris Crowstaff Founder of Safeworld for Women InternationalChris Crowstaff is a true visionary with the well being of all of her sisters worldwide at the heart of her everyday mission.

Chris says, “As the founder of Safe World for Women, I am committed to bringing together women and men who share our passion for a safer and more humane world.  We need to start by protecting the most vulnerable. Women and children still make up most of the world’s poor, most victims of war, most refugees and so it goes on. I truly believe that a Safe World for Women is a safe world for all”.

Safe World for Women is an award-winning, women-led advocacy organization and multicultural global movement for social justice and equality.

Chris Crowstaff with Safeworld for Women InternationalOn 2nd July 2013, Chris Crowstaff, founder of Safe World for Women, received a Katerva Award for the initiative to promote grassroots women’s groups.

The award was presented at the United Nations offices in Geneva by Ambassador Néstor Osorio of Colombia – President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Chris dedicated the award to women human rights defenders throughout the world, and particularly to Farida Afridi, co-founder of SAWERA, a grassroots organisation working for women’s rights and education in the tribal regions of Pakistan. Farida was tragically murdered on 4th July 2012, on her way to work at the SAWERA office in Peshawar.

For more information about this amazing woman and her international organization visit:

Also on facebook:

Community Leader Fiona (Sarah) J Brown Admires Natural Beauty All Around Us

Fiona Sarah J BrownSelf Portrait

It is said if we met our clone or twin without knowing we were one that we would not recognize ourselves. So how real is the image we see in the mirror, how twisted or distorted an image do we create of ourselves? Sometimes we see fat, when there is slim body like a tree in full bloom, or sometimes we see ugly, when natural beauty shines through like the sun bursting through the sky. How we present our outer shell to others is often a representation of our personality; sometimes using it to draw attention to ourselves and equally so we blend into the world so not to draw attention. Sometimes we have surgery to change how we look, so we become more ‘beautiful’, or hurt ourselves as we ‘hate’ how look like, not being content with how incredible our bodies truly are.

Fiona Sarah J BrownI know myself I had a distorted reality on how I looked. I thought for most of my life that Frankenstein or The Hunchback of Notre Dame, or their love child,  were how I appeared to others. Whenever a photograph was taken of me, I hated it with a passion. They were ridiculed by those I should trust the most, as all too often several shots were taken with each one being wrong, most often my eyes being shut, which would lead to laughter that I was a freak. What I was wearing was not an expression of me but someone’s idea of me, as I tried to express myself these same people would not like it as not how their visual of me should be. I grew to loathe my external shell, so much so I was not able to look in the mirror as I cleaned my teeth or brushes my hair.

As I photographed the world around me more and more, admiring the natural beauty of the world, I decided to turn the camera on myself. Gradually finding I looked not how I thought I did, not the freakish beast I thought. She was quite different, not a supermodel, but that was ok as slowly I could handle what I did see. I grew to accept compliments from my closest friends, I was finally accepting at the age of thirty four I was not the ogre that had lived in my head. This last week I did something I never thought possible – I entered a pictured of me smiling to an online art exhibition. The photograph was to show my smile with the theme “Hello.How you doing?” I cried as I realized how far I had come and grown, to accept and love myself, letting the ogre go forever.

An interview: Why I write and my inspirations

Fiona Sarah J BrownWhy do you write?

  • Writing and reading are privileges that many that can take for granted. There are many in this world that cannot or find difficulty in doing so. Some cannot due to their gender or other priorities such as being able to eat or drink come first. I believe that education for all should be a basic human right.
  • Writing is equally like free speech. Being able to express my thoughts aloud, give a voice to the voiceless and send them hope. For yet again many do not have this in the world. For if they do, the fear of what will happen to them is so great, many do not. I also see it as a privilege to do be able to do so, as much as it is a human right to have free speech.

What inspires what you write?

  • I was always told to write what I know, so some of my writing is prompted from my own experiences in life, the good and the bad.
  • To give others hope that someone else survived or that those feelings were felt by another, to know they are not alone or a freak of nature for feeling that way, and most of all not to give up, as someone cares (even if have never met them or ever will).
  • It can equally be a photograph from a child in dire poverty to a forest in autumn, or a memorable quote, even a throwaway line in conversation. The thoughts they provoke I try to let them become something new and unique but equally true to their original inspiration and show why they inspired me and matter.
  • Humanity can be deeply cruel in the way it treats it’s fellow humans, the animals and the greater world around us. I cannot stand cruelty or abuse, so try to give those that have no voice or is muted a voice. So if my writing may make just one person stop and think from reading it, it’s all good.
Links – Blog – Photography – Writing

Business Leader Wendy VanHatten

Wendy VanHattenAfter many successful years in the health care administration world, I completely changed my career focus. How did I do that? A good friend, who became my mentor, suggested I start with what I loved doing and turn that into a new career.

She suggested I take a travel writing class and then some workshops, as she knew I loved to travel and kept journals when traveling. My travel writing career was born as I became published in dozens of magazines and publications. Writing, I discovered, was a real passion of mine as I went on to write books in addition to travel articles.

At the same time I wanted to learn more about editing. Since I had been asked to edit travel articles for the institute where I took my classes, I decided to take some more courses and workshops.

For the past 15 years I have been writing books and articles, editing for authors, and conducting workshops for writers.


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