November/December 2023

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He was the biggest ball of fluff I’d ever laid eyes on. A solid 70 pounds, at least, Alfie was his name. As I looked into his beautiful brown eyes, I could tell he was a good boy, the sweetest Great Pyrenees puppy. On this Friday afternoon in May, I was his getaway car, breaking him out of a shelter in Lillington, North Carolina, to bring him to his new foster home in Chapel Hill with Tamara Lackey, founder of Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary. After the hour drive back to town (my good boy suspicions now confirmed), Tamara came out to greet us, her face lighting up when she saw him. I knew he was in good hands.

Tamara’s commitment to the well-being of these animals in need is nothing short of inspiring. She and her team, a mighty band of volunteers and foster parents, have shown boundless compassion to more than 2,100 cats and dogs, providing them with meals, medications and any other need until they find a forever home.

Tamara is one of many remarkable individuals who make our communities brighter, kinder and more compassionate, and we’re honored to highlight a
few in this issue. Whether it’s through supplying backpacks to kids or contributing to countless local causes, these folks are making it their mission to give back. We hope their stories, starting on page 88, inspire you as much as they have inspired us.

Oh, and as for Alfie – his forever family now calls him Bryce. Lucky for me, they live just a few blocks away, and I hope to visit that adorable furball soon. – Jessica Stringer, editor


26 Setting the Table
The Blue Jay Home stocks one-of-a-kind finds curated with love

30 Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Three members of the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies share their festive favorites

34 Home for the Holidays
’Tis the season for hosting friends and family – we’ve got tips for making the most of it

38 Holly Jolly Holidays
Get in the spirit of the season with these events

40 Deck the Halls
West Queen Studio classes spread a little cheer

44 Can’t Rain on Our Parade
The weather didn’t stop spectators from staking out their curbside spot to watch last year’s annual holiday parade


56 The Unbridled Wisdom of Horses
How growth and healing happen at ClearWind Farm

60 A Well-Done Renovation
East Chapel Hill High School’s new wellness room offers a calming place for students to find support


68 Mail Delivered
Local high school students reunite with their pen pals in person

72 Forging a Love for Learning
Meet a versatile teacher with a passion for industrial arts

78 Directory of Independent, Regional Boarding, Charter and Application Program Schools


88 Heroes Among Us
Five individuals working to make a positive impact in our community

102 A Home of Her Own
A builder remakes a 19th century dairy farm into a contemporary space


6 Letter from the Editor

10 About Town
Events not to miss

20 Noted
What we’ve heard around our towns …

48 What We’re Eating
News from our restaurant community, plus a dish we love

50 Dining Guide


12 Best of Chapel Hill Party

16  Chapel Hill High School’s Class of 1973 Reunion


120 Johnson & Meriwether


36 Gift Guide

62 Health Care
Meet local dentists and providers

98 Big Give
Our local nonprofits, how they support the community and how you can get involved

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