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Board of Directors


Ocean Ridge Charities Association (ORCA) is pleased to share that Mary Perno will assume the role of President later this spring, as current President Maggy Schlink prepares to move out of state to be closer to family.

Congrats to Mary, who has been an ORCA board member since 2018 and currently serves as fundraising chair. 

ORCA looks forward to continuing its 14 year history as a 501(c)(3), dedicated to supporting charitable efforts in Brunswick County through fundraising and volunteer efforts.


And we thank Maggy for her tireless efforts since the inception of ORCA and we wish her & Bill all the best!

Mary Perno taking over.jpg

Mary Perno (left) accepts the ORCA whale from outgoing president Maggy Schlink


Mary Perno


Claudia Piccarelli


Cathy Benton


Kathy Sanchez


Joan Griffith

Glenn Hess

Amy Kelly

Pris Lovell

Roger Perno

Dana Rzeznik

Sue Tunnacliffe

is always looking for new BOARD MEMBERS

The Ocean Ridge Charities Association (ORCA) is looking for some new candidates for membership on our board of directors. Since there are so many new neighbors in Ocean Ridge, we decided to send out this “open invitation” to explore the opportunity to join our group.

We would like to speak with residents (men AND women) interested in making a positive difference in the lives of the neediest in Brunswick County. We are fortunate to live in beautiful Ocean Ridge, but Brunswick County is one of the poorest counties in North Carolina. Along with the economic challenges come all the other issues that make life for the less fortunate very difficult. Serving as a board member involves actively working to support our mission of raising funds to help support the essential work of key Brunswick County Charities. Over the last 13 years, ORCA has donated more than $1.2 million dollars in cash and commodities to Brunswick County charities. We are proud of that success and looking to continue it in the future. YOU may want to be part of this continuing success.

What we need from prospective board members:

1.) Interest in “making a positive difference “ in and outside of our community

2.) Attendance at 10 board meetings a year, held at the Plantation Club, typically the fourth Thursday of the month

3.) Willingness to commit to a minimum two-year stint

4.) Critical thinking and decision making skills to make sure we make the most of our donations

5.) A ‘roll up your sleeves’ approach to developing, assisting in and executing fund raising events.

6.) Interest in learning more about the challenges Brunswick County’s neediest are facing... and perhaps using some of your prior business experience to help them write grants, develop
communications, etc.

7.) Participation as a liaison to two or more of the charities we support

Sound interesting? Contact Maggy Schlink at (910) 579-2557 or Kathy Sanchez at (203) 400-5023 for more information.

Tribute to ORCA Board Member: Barbara Ellenberger

Our Barbara Ellenberger, ORCA board member, passed away on December 26, 2021.


Barbara and her husband Jim moved to Ocean Ridge 11 years ago. Due to her strong volunteer spirit, she immediately joined the ORCA board as our Executive Secretary. Barbara served in that position for 9 years and then served as our President. She was an excellent leader and volunteer who helped to make an important difference for the neediest in Brunswick County.  


She was honored at a recent ceremony at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare with a blue glass tile provided through the generosity of her family, friends and neighbors inside and outside of Ocean Ridge. Due to the outpouring of memorial contributions*, Barbara will also be remembered by an outer pathway bench in the beautiful Serenity Garden at the facility, bearing the following inscription: In Loving Memory of Barbara Ellenberger From Her Family and Ocean Ridge Friends.


On April 9, 2022, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare (Hospice House of Brunswick), hosted an “Impressions Tribute Dedication and Celebration of Life Ceremony” at their facility in Bolivia.  Fifteen “lives well lived” were honored with “Celebration of Life tiles” on the Impressions wall. These tiles are fused glass tributes creating a large gentle wave design to compliment the organic shells within the tabby wall. The names are etched onto the tributes and placed in memory or honor of a loved one through a gift or combination of gifts of $1000 or more.  Barbara’s husband, Jim, sister, Patty, daughter Kristin and grand daughter were in attendance, as well as several friends from the ORCA board. This was a beautiful tribute to a very special lady.


The ceremony included an Invocation, history of the Impressions and Special Dedications, Reading of the Names and a breath taking release of white doves. A tour of the Serenity Garden to see her bench followed and light refreshments. The services of this facility in providing comfort, medical assistance and peace to their patients and families are invaluable.

ORCA has been donating to the Lower Cape Fear LifeCare facility since their initial capital campaign 11 years ago. At that time, ORCA was only a year old, but we committed to an ambitious $10,000 donation to be paid out over 5 years. It funded an “Ocean Ridge Family Room” in the facility. As we grew, we easily met our commitment to the expandable seven bed facility. We have continued to donate generously to them: helping fund the Serenity Garden and other needs ever since. Many of our Ocean Ridge neighbors, who have used this facility have tiles on the Impression Wall, including Chet Bojanowski (husband of Kathy), who was also honored at this ceremony.

*As a reminder, ORCA has a Memorial Fund, which provides matching funds, up to $100, per Ocean Ridge household per year to be used in honor of a loved one. Many residents have participated in this program and also luncheon and game groups.

Barbara pic.JPG

Outstanding Honorees

    We are proud to recognize the people listed below for their excellent contributions to the Ocean Ridge Charities Association Inc. (ORCA).  They have served on the ORCA Board of Directors in the past.  In addition, many continue to serve in important ways to contribute to ORCA's success.


    ORCA started as Ocean Ridge's charity in 2010.  Since then, these outstanding contributors are among the many people who helped create, refine and evolve ORCA into the organization it is today, by generously donating their considerable time and talents.


    Their work and contributions to ORCA often varied.  However, all put in endless effort and hours to further ORCA's mission - Helping the Neediest here in Brunswick County.


    We are thrilled to salute them all - and to see the list of outstanding honorees continue to expand in the future!

Michael Gildea - Founding President

Kathy Arancio

Liz Cermak

Judy Cunningham

Mike Cunningham

Maggi Edwards

Corinne Eisenstein

Annamarie Gildea

Larry Gray

Grace Loyack

Beth Michelakis

Merrianne Orndoff

John Piccarelli  

Laura Wheaton   

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