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Carolina Meadows Residents Band Together to Create “All Things Carolina” Puzzle to Benefit UNC-TV
Phil DeSantis

CHAPEL HILL, NC – What began as an effort to raise money in support of UNC-TV’s annual fundraiser has quickly blossomed into much more for residents at Carolina Meadows, a vibrant continuing care retirement community in Chapel Hill.

“Each year, our community teams up with UNC-TV to find a unique and creative way to raise money in support of public media,” said Melissa Kass, Carolina Meadows’ vice president of sales and marketing. “This year’s theme was ‘All Things Carolina,’ and once again, our residents did not disappoint. Not only did they create a beautiful piece of art that we can display for years to come, but their efforts helped us present UNC-TV with the largest check ever – to the tune of $37,566!”

Resident artists Susan Gaca and Margaret Zircher spearheaded the effort with the help of fellow resident and artist Bill Davis, creating a vast mural that captures the essence of “All Things Carolina.”

“From the Lost Colony, to the Biltmore Estate, the Wright Brothers and everything in-between, I quickly realized during my research that North Carolina is a real treasure trove of history,” said Zircher.

History, Zircher says, is meant to be shared and enjoyed by all. That philosophy was the driving force behind converting the magnificent painting, which highlights 53 picturesque wonders and landmarks in North Carolina, into a 550-piece jigsaw puzzle that goes on sale in September.

“We had been on the hunt for an image that incorporated all of North Carolina, and this mural was by far the best image we had seen,” said Karen Everhart, owner of Heritage Puzzle in Winston Salem, N.C. “Plus, when we discovered that the puzzle would support UNC-TV, the decision was a no-brainer.”

Sold and manufactured by Heritage Puzzle, the puzzle features diverse aspects of North Carolina’s agriculture, wildlife, education, arts, literature, architecture, history, business, sports and more. In addition, the 18” x 24” puzzle comes with a key that provides background information and fun facts on all 53 landmarks.

Everhart says Heritage Puzzle will contribute some of its profits from the sale of this puzzle to UNC-TV. In addition, the original mural’s artists – Gaca, Zircher and Davis – are donating 100% of their royalties to support UNC-TV.

“Carolina Meadows has been a terrific partner with UNC-TV for more than 16 years now,” said Shannon Vickery, UNC-TV’s director of production partnerships and business development. “They are incredibly energetic and innovative in the ideas they come up with each year to engage their community to support UNC-TV, and we’re very grateful for the partnership.”

The puzzle is being offered as a donor gift for supporting UNC-TV and was recently featured on air during the organization’s August fundraiser, receiving rave reviews.

“The artwork is beautiful, and the puzzle really gets you intrigued about the landmarks included,” said Vickery. “Also included with the puzzle is a key that tells you a little bit about each site, which is a great way to learn more about the history, heritage and culture of North Carolina.”

The puzzle is available for purchase online at or through a number of retailers across the state. Those interested also can receive the puzzle as a gift with a donation to UNC-TV.

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