In 1995, a group of families with children struck by CDH came together to form Cherubs, an organization designed to provide support and information to those touched by the condition. CDH, or congenital diaphragmatic hernia, is a rare condition that causes a malformation in a gestating fetus's diaphragm. The diaphragm either forms with holes or doesn't form at all, allowing the abdominal organs into the chest cavity and hindering the growth of the lungs. Roughly 50% of babies born with this heartbreaking condition don't survive, and those who do survive suffer from numerous and costly medical issues. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Cherubs helps families—more than 4,300 across the world, at current count—understand and persevere through the issues of CDH, while supporting efforts to find the cause and develop treatments for the condition.
One of the ways they achieve this is through their annual Masquerading Angels Ball, a formal event punctuated by elegant masks, live music, and plenty of libations. There, tuxedoed men and gowned women savor gourmet appetizers and cocktails from a cash bar as they play poker and blackjack at casino tables, all in an effort to fight a tragic children's medical condition.
As a college student in Wilmington, David Berent picked up odd jobs in restaurants to get by. In the process, he stumbled into an unexpected love of the restaurant business, and in 2005 he married his love of cooking with his love of fishing and opened Blue Fin’s Bistro. In addition to presenting the eatery’s fresh seafood dishes and tangy ribs, Berent pays homage to his heritage with Italian pasta plates and marinated chicken dishes. To foster a strong community spirit, he strives to keep the restaurant small, refusing to fill massive orders of krill from hungry blue whales. And he still cooks the clam chowder himself, eager to please diners seated in the exposed-brick indoor dining area or chatting in the restaurant’s outdoor area.
From behind walk-up and drive-thru windows, staffers dip cones into chocolate and butterscotch, top turtle sundaes with nuts, and twirl twist cones with specialty flavors such as tiramisu and cheesecake. But the Dairy Depot's signature confection is the Train Wreck, a combination of soft serve and candy, fruit, pretzels, or other toppings. The eatery also features unsweet treats including The Pullman, a pulled-pork sandwich; The Steam Engine, a chili-topped coney; and The Conductor, a sloppy-joe sandwich. As guests ponder these and other menu items, they can draw inspiration from a sign outside. It pictures a black and white steam locomotive with a sugar cone smokestack that seems to be powered by soft serve, much like fuel-efficient vehicles on the North Pole.
ASE-certified Precision Tune Auto Care helps vehicles of all sorts run smoothly by performing top-of-the-line maintenance and repair services. The vehicular spa day begins with a full-service oil change, where a team of talented techs pours up to 5 quarts of 5W-20 or 5W-30 oil into thirsty autos while decking out happily oil-drunk engines with brand-new filters. Tires bask in equally tender treatment during a rotation, which promotes even wear and tear and gives easily bored circular sightseers a new vantage point. Upon completion, an alignment check finds out if anything is needed to keep cars rolling in a straight line. Precision Tune Auto Care's professional vehicle pamperers also stabilize tires' rubbery moods by treating them to lifetime balancing until they bounce off to the big wheelhouse in the sky. A visual brake inspection assesses the stoppers' surfaces for resistance capabilities, unusual noises, or grinding tendencies.
Silly Goose lavishes wee ones with stylish new vestments and toys in its colorful new Gateway Commons storefront. Bite-sized garments from brands such as cachcach and Jack and Lily are available in sizes starting from newborn up to size 14 for girls and 7 for boys. Jazz up a peasant dress from Raleigh-based Cheeky Banana ($39.99) with a pair of hot-pink Heelarious baby heels ($35.99), or snap sailors-to-be into jon jons by Glorimont ($54.99). A friendly staff helps parents outfit their budding runway stars, and the shop offers a play area for children to frolic or gossip about front-row sightings during Infant Fashion Week.