Monthly Archives: October 2013

New Pirate Perk – Affordable Travel of Orlando, Inc.

As the cold weather sets in, some of us are dreaming of warm, tropical destinations that don’t require layers of clothing!  With the average temperature of 72 degrees, Florida may be the answer we’ve been looking for!

If you’ve been considering a trip to Disney, you know how much discounts help!  Now is the time to start planning that spring trip and Affordable Travel of Orlando, Inc. will be happy to help!


Affordable Travel of Orlando, Inc.
1515 Park Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32835
Provides: Affordable Travel of Orlando is the premiere provider of discounted tickets to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World and many other Orlando area attractions. They offer discounts on Orlando area lodging on or near theme park property.
Discount: $2.00 – $30.00 off theme park ticket prices to Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios Orlando.
25% or more off hotel room nights at select 3-star and 4-star hotels on or near theme park property.
To access discount go to (user log-in ECU).



Halloween Festivities

Too old for costumes and trick or treat? There are plenty of ways to have fun with Halloween this year!   

Tonight and tomorrow (Oct. 25-26) you could go on Greeville’s 2nd Annual Ghost Walk.

For this weekend and through Halloween, check out all the “HALLOWEEK 2013” festivities going on at ECU. 

Don’t forget about the pumpkin patches at Brileys Farm and Strawberries on 903, and the not-so-scary-fun the entire family can enjoy with daytime and evening activities at River Park North.

If you are looking for a weekend road-trip, check out all the haunted happenings around Greenville here or across our state here and here, which include fall festivals (check them out here) and the bountiful apple harvests available for the picking here.

Don’t forget to bundle up, since the weather people are calling for lots of cold temperatures in the upcoming week(s)!  If you decide to hunker down at home and stay warm, check out all the tasty fall recipes you can whip up here, here and here!  Or maybe you prefer crafting to cooking in which case you will find tons of fall craft ideas here.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a blog about Halloween if I didn’t inlcude information about the downtown party (only for the truly BRAVE!) and don’t forget Trick or Treating is scheduled for Thursday, October 31st.

Happy Halloween


Recap – Health Fitness Walk

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of the recap, let’s give a HUGE round of applause to the Rewards and Recognition Committee for an OUTSTANDING job on the 2013 Health Fitness Walk!!


Pictured above:  Greg Pierce, Becky Preston, Julie Fowler, Garrett Killian and Travis Taylor (members not pictured:  Cindy Reeves, Melissa Eakes, Jennifer Harris, and Beth Bengala).

Now lets put our hands together, and give a big congratulations to the the WINNERS OF THE “DOOR PRIZES:”

Larry Bone: Men’s hair care products
Rhonda Howard: Wave Sports Outfitters $100 1 Hour Ski Rental Gift Card
Todd Inman: Wave Sports Outfitters $100 1 Hour Ski Rental Gift Card
Melissa Lloyd: Women’s hair care products  

And now on to our feature presentation – the 2013 Health Fitness Walk!

Garrett kicked things off with a few words before introducing Dr. Cunningham, Dean of the Brody School of Medicine.


Dean Cunningham reminded us that even with his hectic schedule, he takes time to get out and MOVE during the course of the day.  His opening remarks were both humorous and inspirational.

There was GREAT vendor and participant turn out this year.  Some of the most popular included Zumba


and the ECU Physical Therapy mini-massages


And the ECU Pharmacy $1.00 sale


Of course we were all looking forward to learning to kayak but we were sadly disappointed to find out our beautiful Laupus Lake is nothing more than a retention pond (talk about lipstick on a pig!), so the kayaks were dry docked for the day 🙁


Everyone still enjoyed the weather and walked around the Laupus retention pond Lake


A great time was had by all.  Lots of great goodies to be had such as t-shirts,




Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and ACT rinse,


ECU golf towels


Pirate Pride window flags and water!


Again, kudos to the Rewards and Recognition Committee – GREAT JOB!!!

Enjoy the random photos below (in case you like to play “Where’s Waldo”)!



Staff Forum Recap and Main Campus Link

On October 9th, 2013, the Staff Senate sponsored two Staff Forums, one on main campus and one on the Health Sciences campus, which specifically addressed topics of interest to the staff on each campus.

The Main Campus topics included:  State Health Plan Enrollment and the ECU Master Plan parking impact.  You can view the Web Presentation here.

The Health Sciences topics included:  State Health Plan Enrollment, Parking Impact ofhte ECDOI and the Establishment of hte East Carolina Diabetes and Obesity Institute.  

Included is VERY helpful information regarding the State Health Plan changes (so many of us are confused by the changes!).  Specifically:  The State Health Plan website is having issues and several in-network providers are NOT showing up.  We should select another provider in the same office, with the same address.

Also, there has been a lot of concern/confusion about the designated Primary Care Provider.  If you select ECU Family Medicine, you can see ANY provider that is associated with that practice and pay a reduced co-payment.  If you select ECU Family Medicine and then go to a provider at Physicians East, your insurance will still cover the appointment, however you will have to pay the full co-payment amount (the $15.00 discount will not be applied).  

Rapid Access – Due to the structure of the system, you will have to pay the full co-payment amount (you will not receive the $15.00 discount). 

There is so much more covered, that I cannot include here.  It’s definately worth taking an hour and listen to the full presentation!

When the link for the Health Sciences Web Presentation becomes available, I will update this post with the URL.



Ride Without Limits Recap

On Saturday, October 5th, our ECU Staff Senate members:  Martina Christie, Penny Doughtie, Sherry Bingham, Lisa Graepel, Tamara McKeel, Julie Fowler, and Paulette Brown served as volunteers for the Ride Without Limits Bike Race, benefiting the Easter Seals.  Our team placed route markers prior to the race and staffed two (of 15) rest stops for the duration of the race.  They represented our ECU Staff Senate VERY well, showing their Pirate Pride, as they encouraged the 150 riders along the 250 mile route.  The route took the riders across three counties – Beaufort, Martin and Pitt.


It was reported by a couple groups of bikers that there was a black bear spotted between Rest Stop #7 (red) and #8 (blue).  Lucky for our team, they were not in any immediate danger.

RWL Tent

If you look closely at the next two pictures, you will see a kind gentleman photo-bombing from his golf cart.  When our Pirate group arrived to what was supposed to be the rest stop #7 location, they were surprised to find a funeral and luncheon going on!  But, that didn’t deter them, they noticed Mr. E.H. Williams in his front yard, explained their situation, and he graciously allowed them to pitch their tent in his front yard.  Not only did he allow them to trespass on his property 🙂 but he was also so accommodating that he allowed our Pirate team to utilize his restroom AND later in the day, during a slow time, he took Penny and Sherry for an awesome golf-cart tour around his farm.  He was so generous….if you ever get a glimpse of our humble little blog Mr. Williams, we would like to extend our most sincere thanks!


A great time was had by all.  Our group felt both appreciated and inspired by the riders they interacted with.


It was a terrific experience for our Pirates, the 125 volunteers from across the state, and for the many wonderful riders who biked to raise $146,775.59  ($10,000 more than last year!!) for the Easter Seals UCP and the supportice servifces provided to children and adults with disabilities and mental health challenges in North Carolina and Virginia.  Mark your calendars, this is scheduled to be an annual event and there will be plenty of volunteer opportunities next year!!

Thanks to each of your for doing such a GREAT JOB!!

Go Pirates!!!


Side note – The event coordinator has taken a well-deserved vacation and will not be responding to emails until later this month.  Once he returns to work, I will ask how much money was raised for the Easter Seals and will post the amount on this blog post.



Flu Shot Clinic – Wednesday, October 16th

ECU Pharmacy Services is offering the second of three Flu Vaccination Clinics this Wednesday (10/16/2013) from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the East Carolina Heart Institute (ECHI) located at 115 Heart Drive in Greenville.

All Flu Vaccination Clinics are open to ALL employees and their families (over 14 yrs. of age), however during this clinic, there will be a Pediatric RN available to vaccinate children of all ages (over 1 year) between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.!  You will just need to provide your Banner ID number and your insurance information (there is no out-of-pocket expense!).

If you cannot made the Wednesday, October 16th, Flu Vaccination Clinic, you will have ONE more chance to get vaccinated this year:
**Wednesday, November 6th, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in Brody 2W38 – 2W40.

Statistics say that only 46% of Americans get vaccinated for the flu. If you need some information regarding the efffectiveness and/or benefits of getting a flu vaccine, please click here and/or here.

NC Retirement System Survey

I don’t know about you, but retirement is something I have been dreaming about ever since I was 14 years old and began my first job.  I didn’t fully understand everything that was involved in retirement planning, I just knew that I would have more fun doing what I wanted instead of working.  Through high-school and college, I bounced from one job to the next until I started working for the state 15 years ago.  At the time, I was fresh out of college and thought working for the state was going to be “good experience” on my resume, but as time passed I began receiving my personal retirement statements in the mail and they served as a “light at the end of the tunnel;” a way for me to count-down the days until retirement, so I settled in and decided to make working for the state my last job (hopefully!). 

Once I became vested in the state, my retirement dreams became more specific – not only was I looking forward to retirement, but I began looking forward to having 30 years of state service and retireing when I turned 52 years old.  52!!!  Well, with the economy the way it is now, I have began to question whether or not I will be financially prepared to retire when I turn 52?!?!?! 

Whether you have 5 years, 15, 25 or more, the NC Retirement System is a valuable resource.  Not only do they manage our state retirement dollars, but they provide valuable tools and education to aid in our personal retirement planning and goals.  In order to ensure they are using the appropriate processes and communications to adequately meet our needs, the State Retirement System is asking that each State Retirement member participate in a short survey.  

The top five reasons you should take the survey:

1.  It will only take 10 minutes.

2. Our feedback helps the Retirement Systems to offer services and communications that meet our needs

3.  As the “users” of the retirement systems, we are in the best position to offer suggestions for improvements

4.  Our feedback helps them to set goals for the future

5.  They want our opinion!

So, please take 10 minutes to take this survey (I just did and it only took me 5 minutes….so either they have over-estimated the time, or I’m an over-acheiver HA-HA!! 🙂 ).  To begin your survey, please click here or anywhere you see the word survey.

Disability Employment Awareness Month

Governor Pat McCrory has signed a proclamation declaring October as Disability Employment Awareness Month in North Carolina.  The theme for 2013 is “Because We Are Equal to the Task.”

Recognition of Disability Employment began as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week in 1945.  In 1988, Congress changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Ten years later, in 1998, there was a national task force established in order to reduce employment barriers for people with disabilities and by 2000 the model workplace that provides reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities was being promoted.

We are fortunate to live and work in North Carolina; our state recognizes that people with disabilities have the right to maximize their potential and the NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services has helped numerous individuals with disabilities reach their career goals.

Please join the our Governor in recognizing and celebrating the potential of disabled individuals and encourages everyone to work toward their full integration into the workforce and community!


Featured Pirate Perk – Finelli’s Cafe

Pirate Perk Info:

Finelli’s Café
511-G Red Banks Rd, Greenville, NC
Discount Offered: 10% discount on total bill dining and take out (excludes alcohol).

The Finelli’s have approached each business day with the same simple formula for providing their customers with an
incredible dining experience:

* Dave Finelli’s 30 years of restaurant experience
* Recipes handed down from his grandmother
* The finest and freshest ingredients
* Becky Finelli’s southern charm and grace
* A gorgeous and intimate dining space
* A staff of 60 to serve you
Let their Family spoil yours!

 Finelli's Patio_picture_2010-405x255

To view their menu, wine list or just learn more about Finelli’s click here.

Don’t forget to snap a “selfie” of you enjoying your Pirate Perk Discount dinner and send it to me!!

Featured Pirate Perk – Biltmore House

Biltmore House
1 Approach Rd, Asheville NC 28803

Biltmore Estate is America’s largest home. It is a 250 room chateau that includes priceless works of art, intricate architecture and rooms restored to their original glory. It is located on 8,000 acres, with 250 acres of carefully manicured gardens. Also included on the property are an award-winning winery, historic River Bend Farm, an outdoor center, shopping, dinning and more!

Pirate Perk Discount: Discounted rates on tickets for ECU employees throughout the year.

Fall is a wonderful season to take advantage of our Biltmore House Pirate Perk!!  The leaves are changing and creating breathtaking views, the apples are plentiful, the weather is brisk, and the Biltmore menus will have pairings with their own Cedric’s Ale and other local microbrews!

To learn more about the Biltmore Estates, click here.

If you decide to take a road trip to Biltmore Estates, please remember to snap a few photos and send them to me!