Family-owned business known for piano service, supply

62JML Piano has been in Fayetteville since 1987, located in the Bordeaux Shopping Center, where the Donald family has been selling musical equipment for the better part of 40 years. “JML” is made up of owners Jim (dad), Mike (son) and Linda (mother).

“We focus on being a family-owned and operated business, and a lot of people like that,” Mike Donald said.

JML Piano offers quality pre-owned grand and upright pianos from manufacturers such as Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & Sons, Baldwin, Boston, and Wurlitzer that have been cleaned, adjusted, tuned and professionally prepared.

“We’re big on service after sale, and you don’t get that level of service with either an online company [or big chain store],” Donald said.

JML Piano specializes in Roland and Casio digital pianos. It is a “top tier” supplier for both, as well as a Roland “service provider.”

“[For instance], not long ago I had a customer that had a digital piano [for] about six months,” Donald said. “It was an $8,000 digital piano, top-of-the-line product, and, rather than fix it and put a bad taste in his mouth, I decided to replace it for him.”

Bear in mind JML Piano “only services what [it] sells” because digital piano circuitry is redesigned every seven years. This means manufacturers like Baldwin Pianovelle, GEM, Suzuki, Technics, Kurzweil, Samick, Williams, (some) Yamaha and a few others cannot be serviced because parts are discontinued seven years after the date of manufacture.

If you have a digital piano made by one of these manufacturers, turn that frown upside down. JML Piano offers “large discounts” to owners of unserviceable digital pianos. Roland and Casio are considered to be reliable and make replacement parts.

Roland and Casio just don’t break down, but, if they do, we can easily find the parts to fix them, Donald said.

JML Piano is also a professional moving company that is prepared to haul your piano locally or long distance. JML Piano owns a temperature-controlled warehouse where it can store your piano for as long as you want. Need a piano for school or church? JML Piano can help.

Also, JML Piano offers the occasional piano rental and a two-year 100% trade-in policy on items owned by JML Piano.

In addition to running JML Piano, Mike Donald is the front man for Reflections II, a local variety/party band that includes Mike on keyboard and bass, Paul Tyler on guitar and Vince Groves on drums. Each member delivers lead and backup vocals.

“[We play] beach music, classic rock, country, party songs, and we get the crowd involved. [We] entertain, not just play, [and] we’ve always been that way,” Donald said.

Jim and Mike Donald began Reflections in 1980. Reflections has withstood many familial line-up changes, and, so to speak, the band resurrected with its current line-up.

Mike Donald runs JML Piano alone and by appointment only in the Bordeaux Shopping Center, located at 1800 Owen Drive. Look for the miniature Eiffel Tower in front of the plaza.

To schedule an appointment to look at a pre-owned grand or upright piano, a brand new or used digital piano, talk about any of the services JML Piano offers or hire Reflections II, please visit JMLpiano.com or call Mike Donald at 910-977-0809.

Fayetteville fencers earn national ratings in Wilmington event

61Several Fayetteville fencers competed at the Season Opener at the Cape Fear Fencing Association in Wilmington recently. This was the first sanctioned event for many All-American Fencing Academy Competitors.
Several Fayetteville fencers earned or renewed their national rating.

Andrew Iford (a 2nd Lt. with the 82nd Airborne Division) competed in two events. Iford only had two wins in his pool in the foil event, but defeated fellow teammate, Gabriel Guevarra, 15-12 in the second elimination round. Iford lost in the 3rd elimination round to secure an 8th place finish.

Iford also competed in the epee event, going undefeated in his pool, losing in the semi-finals in the elimination rounds. Iford finished 3rd in the epee event and earned a national rating in both the foil and epee events.

Isabelle Guevarra finished in the highest place for the All-American Fencing Academy at 5th place. She took only one loss in the pools, but defeated the high seed in the tournament in her pool. Guevarra was defeated in the semi-finals by the eventual second place winner from Durham.

Two Fayetteville fencers have slowly been rising in their placements, competing in more sanctioned tournaments within North Carolina. Seth Hopel and Colton Culliton tied for 10th place. Both fencers completed the pools with two wins but were both defeated in the second elimination round.

Club to host Home School Fencing League Tournament

North Carolina fencers will be convening in Fayetteville at the All-American Fencing Academy on Oct. 8 for a series of events. The first event for the North Carolina Homeschool Fencing League will be contested in Fayetteville, featuring both team and individual events. A youth circuit will feature elementary and middle school events and a mixed open foil event for teen and adult fencers.

In November, the All-American Fencing Academy will host a USA Fencing sanctioned event that will give competitors another opportunity to earn a national rating.
Growing Sport and a Growing Club

The sport of fencing is growing world-wide. In a historically European dominated sport, U.S. teams have consistently been in the top places on the world stage for years in World Cups, World Championships and Olympics.

The All-American Fencing Academy also hosts a Walk-In Class for fencers that want to give it a try without making a full month commitment. The Walk-In Classes occur during Downtown Fayetteville’s Fourth Friday events.

The All-American Fencing Academy is located in downtown Fayetteville at 207 B Donaldson Street. It instructs and trains recreational and competitive fencers starting at age 7, teens, adults and veterans ages 40+. Its fencers compete regionally and nationally. Their coaches include former World Cup and NCAA fencers.
For more information about the All-American Fencing Academy and its classes, please call 910-644-0137, e-mail info@allamericanfencing.com or visit www.allamericanfencing.com.

Saturday Night Family Life events offer family friendly community fellowship

52The Fayetteville Chapter of WoodmenLife will continue its community fellowship events in October and November. The events include something for everyone.

Saturday Night Family Life is open every other weekend, from 5 to 9 p.m. Come enjoy live music and local vendors selling food and crafts. There will also be bounce houses, a water play area and movies.
Most know WoodmenLife as an insurance broker, but the company itself encourages involvement within the areas that it serves.

“Woodmen of the World was initially started to care for those who worked in forestry and also to take care of their families if the need arose,” said Amanda Crew, who helps organize the Family Life events.

WoodmenLife continues to promote a commitment to care across all of its communities with various volunteer or socialization opportunities.
For the Fayetteville chapter, this means offering aid to those in need and constantly striving to improve the future of our local neighbors.

In today’s world of hustle and bustle, the local WoodmenLife chapter recognized a need for an event that would gather its neighbors to socialize in a relaxed and safe atmosphere.

The site is located on nearly three acres with plenty of room for children to play while parents and friends relax.
The event also offers local vendors a place to showcase their culinary expertise or artisan wares.

Admission to Saturday Night Family Life is free to the public. Invited vendors appreciate your patronage of their arts.
WoodmenLife has already had a busy start to the fall season as it makes way for a new Family Life Community Orchard. The orchard is being built by volunteers in the spot that used to house the swimming pool, a feature that was removed two years ago.

Volunteerism is a tenet of WoodmenLife and the group welcomes any and all who would love to lend a hand to this project.

“We had to close the pool during the pandemic and then it was too costly to re-open, so we are designing and building a community orchard in its place,” Crew said.

The Crew family already owns an orchard in the area, so leading this project at WoodmenLife was a natural fit for Amanda and her husband.
Saturday Night Family Life at Woodmen is located at 414 E. Mountain Drive in Fayetteville, and runs from 5 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 8 and 22, and on Nov. 5.

If your fall calendar is already booked, check back in the spring as Saturday Night Family Life returns with each new season. For more information, call 910-364-6168.

Sweet Valley Ranch hosts Backwoods Terror Ranch, concert

55On the outskirts of Fayetteville lies a (usually) peaceful and adventurous farm called Sweet Valley Ranch. Here, guests can expect to interact with horses, rabbits, bulls and that’s just to name a few. In addition to the animals, Sweet Valley Ranch is also home to four ponds, 65 acres of agricultural crop fields, and three hay fields amounting to 30 acres. It is an ideal locale for year-round events.

Springtime Adventures at Sweet Valley Ranch starts in March featuring one of the largest inflatable parks in the state. This event also consists of carnival games and the Go-Kart Nature Trail Ride. The trail will go through the woods and fields. Drivers must be 16 years old to drive.
In the spring and summer, Sweet Valley Ranch is also home to “Dinosaur World,” where patrons are transported back to prehistoric times. Guests get to explore over 35 life size dinosaurs with the
majority being animatronic. “Dinosaur World” also includes a prehistoric museum, and children can enjoy a fossil dig to top off this fun expedition.

There is a reason to visit Sweet Valley Ranch every season, and at this time of the year things turn a bit spooky.
Legend says that Delray Delamorte and his family members were spotted cruising down Hwy 95 South in a hearse with ligaments hanging out the trunk. They left the following note: “Dr. Surgeon, we are heading south and will return next year. We left you some body parts that you can feed your dinosaurs. SIGNED — Delray Delamorte, Slaughterhouse Manager.”

From Oct. 7 to 31, Sweet Valley Ranch is transformed into “Backwoods Terror Ranch, ” — a frightening adventure sure to produce some shrieks! “Backwoods Terror Ranch” is one of the biggest outdoor haunted events in the county. It will take patrons over an hour to get through six spooky mazes including a ¼ acre cemetery.

On the night of Oct. 15, Sweet Valley Ranch will be hosting their “Music at the Farm Concert Series,” which will feature the opening band Hell is Here and the headliner Mostley Crue, a Motley Crue tribute band.

These two rock bands will set the stage on fire throughout the night so if you and your family decide to attend “Backwoods Terror Ranch” the night of the 15th, expect to hear some rocking jams, too.

At the end of the year, Sweet Valley Ranch throws a “Festival of Lights,” and is transformed into a magical Christmas Wonderland consisting of over 1 million lights with over 350 animals as the main attraction, according to the Sweet Valley Ranch website. The light show is a drive thru event but guests can also park at Tiny’s Winter Wonderland, which is across the street from the “Festival of Lights,” to enjoy a visit with Santa, vendors, a gift shop, amusement rides, food and more.

For information or tickets for all of these events, visit https://www.sweetvalleyranchnc.com/ or call 844-622-3276.
Sweet Valley Ranch is located at 2990 Sunnyside School Road in Fayetteville.

Sandhills Orchid Society welcomes guests, new members to annual Grower's Day

51The Sandhills Orchid Society is open to people who love orchids and enjoy growing them. Whether you just bought your first orchid and have no idea how to care for it, or you are a seasoned grower, SOS offers something for everyone. The club strives to facilitate the understanding of orchids and their care and provide opportunities to meet other people with similar interests. Anyone interested is welcome to attend as a guest.

The club was formed by Southern Pines resident Jack Webster, a man who had lived in South America for several years and had developed an encyclopedic knowledge of the many species found in that area. Passionate about teaching others about growing orchids, Jack mentored novices and experienced growers alike and eventually brought a group of enthusiasts together into a vibrant, active organization dedicated to the spread of information about orchids.

Today, the Society meets monthly on the Tuesday following the second Monday of the month. Most meetings feature a guest speaker with expertise with a specific type of orchid. Presentations focus on the “how to” for these specific plants. This year, our speakers will come from New Mexico, California, Montana and South Carolina. Generally, the speakers bring plants related to their specialties which Society members can purchase.

Monthly meetings also feature the Show Table — a space made up of blooming orchids that members bring to the meeting to share their successes. As many orchid growers strive to grow bigger and better plants, their competitive spirits are recognized when our guest speakers or experienced club members pick out the outstanding plants in the exhibit. The membership then votes on their favorites from these selected plants and the grower is awarded points towards an annual tally. Members with the most points at the end of the year are rewarded with a monetary award.

Per club bylaws, one of the primary objectives of SOS is to provide education regarding orchids. As part of that mission, the Society hosts an annual Grower’s Day. This year, the one-day tutorial will be held Oct. 22 at our regular meeting place, Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church on Raeford Road. Steve Arthur, an entertaining and charismatic speaker, accredited American Orchid Society judge and a commercial grower is the keynote. He will present a full day of growing information geared to beginners through experienced growers. This annual event, which includes lunch and a blooming plant to take home, also features the raffle of specimen plants.

The most meaningful function of SOS is the mentoring that experienced growers happily provide to less experienced growers. Members are always anxious to show off their personal growing conditions, demonstrate how to repot orchids or simply answer questions about growing conditions for a specific type of orchid. Orchid enthusiasts of all levels of expertise bond and connect through this ethos of mentoring and sharing.

There is always something new to learn at every meeting. Join us for a meeting or the annual fall Grower’s Day and learn more about the Sandhills Orchid Society. We promise you a blooming good time!
Editor's note: A version of this article first ran in the September issue of Women's View Magazine.

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