Local businesses will be able to support the Museum’s and Planetarium’s mission by sponsoring a virtual program for $150, making the program available to the public at no cost. Professional recognition will be given to businesses that sponsor a program, providing publicity to each business. To sponsor or register for a program, please email [email protected], call the Museum at 910-579-1016, call the Planetarium at 910-575-0033, or email [email protected].
Sue Immen was scheduled to present The Wild Horses of the East Coast on June 16 at the museum. Immen is the co-founder of the Wild Horse Preserve at Grayce Wynds. The non-profit operates as an agritourism site at Grayce Wynds Farm, a 30-acre horse farm near Holden Beach. Ms. Immen speaks about wild horses and conducts wild horse tours to Beaufort, North Carolina. She is a retired educator who served as a health/physical education teacher as well as a school counselor. She has recorded a CD and written several published books, including the Sunny and Jess book series. Sunny and Jess are wild ponies from Chincoteague, VA who now live at Grayce Wynds Farm and serve as ambassadors for Eastern wild horses. In retirement, Ms. Immen contributes to the world through education, connection, and inspiration. You can find her DVD and other resources here: https://www.graycewyndsfarm.
Watch an introduction to all of the East Coast wild horse herds below:
Watch Jamie Justice’s interview with Howie Franklin.
Mary Ellen Rogers
Mary Ellen Rogers was scheduled to speak on June 30 at the museum. Although unable to present a live program, Ms. Rogers has provided a video tour of the Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter. Mary Ellen Rogers is a longtime environmental activist who retired to Oak Island. She became aware of the lack of a local facility to treat injured birds and decided to start one. She spent two years gaining the knowledge and expertise necessary to obtain the appropriate NC Fish and Wildlife Service permits; the permits were granted in 2007. The Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter now handles about 450 injured birds each year. The goal of the shelter is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured birds. Veterinary assistance is donated by local vets. Volunteers help care for the injured birds. The shelter’s day-to-day operations and capital improvements are funded by donations.
Take a tour of the Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter:
Julie Hedgepeth Williams
Julie Hedgepeth Williams was scheduled to present her acclaimed one-woman show A Rare Titanic Family on July 14 at the museum. Ms. Hedgepeth’s great-uncle, Albert Caldwell, survived the Titanic disaster along with his wife and young son. A Rare Titanic Family tells Albert Caldwell’s story of how he, his wife, and their infant son survived the Titanic — one of the few intact families to do so. Ms. Hedgepeth’s show and book include a secret revelation and many family photos, including one taken of the Caldwell family on the deck of the Titanic on sailing day.
Although not able to present a live program at the museum, Ms. Williams — dressed in period costume — talks about her Titanic story in this video:
Sheldon Bleiweiss was scheduled to present a talk called A Holocaust Love Story on July 21 at the museum. Because the museum is currently closed due to COVID-19, Mr. Bleiweiss has provided us with a video. A child of Holocaust survivors, Shelly Bleiweiss has been teaching about the Holocaust for 20 years. A former docent at Holocaust Museum Houston, he is a member of the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust and the NC Holocaust Speakers Bureau. He has spoken to teachers, school students, and numerous community, church, and civic organizations throughout North Carolina. He teaches a Holocaust course for adults through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Duke University and the Lifelong Learning program of Wake County Public School System. In A Holocaust Love Story, Mr. Bleiweiss describes how his Polish Jewish parents met and fell in love during the Holocaust, the challenges they faced surviving independently in the open using false identities as non-Jews, and their journey to America. He also shares what it was like to grow up as a Child of Survivors. Click here to watch Mr. Bleiweiss’s video.
Jim McKee was scheduled to present a program about Pirates on July 28 at the museum. Although unable to present a live program, Mr. McKee talks about The Golden Age of Piracy in this video. Mr. McKee is a graduate of Greensboro College and a life-long student of history. Currently the site manager at Brunswick Town/Ft. Anderson State Historic Site, he serves on several historic and battlefield boards and participates in numerous living history programs throughout the U.S. He has also worked for the National Park Service and the NC Maritime Museum at Southport. Mr. McKee notes that 2018 marked the 300th anniversary of the death of Edward Teach (the pirate better known as Blackbeard), who met his fate on the N.C. coast. Towns like Beaufort, Ocracoke, Bath, and Greenville are steeped in tales of this vile pirate. S.C. is also awash in local pirate lore. In this video, Mr. McKee shares his insight into more pirates and their expeditions along the Carolina coast.
The museum’s education coordinator, Jaime Justice, was scheduled to present a program called A Sea of Plastic: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch on August 18 at the museum. Although unable to present a live program, Jaime has made a video of her presentation. In her video, Jaime talks about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and other garbage patches and notes that, with our growing awareness of the impact we have on our environment, we are increasing our efforts to control the damage to areas like these. Jamie received her Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from Bowling Green State University and her Master of Science in Environmental Science with concentrations in Marine and Coastal Education and Coastal Management from UNCW. Originally from Portsmouth, OH, she moved to Wilmington, NC in 2017. Before coming to the museum, she worked in a variety of educational positions at summer camps and schools.