A New York Native Turned Devoted Volunteer
by Melissa LaScaleia
Introduce me to your family.
I have two children. Lalenya, my daughter, is an attorney with two children: Berkeley is twelve years old and an avid gymnast; and Hudson, is very cerebral, he’s a scholar.
My other daughter, Fawn, is a teacher. She also has two children: RJ, who studies pre-engineering; and Remy, who studies martial arts, and just got his purple belt.
Where are all the places you came from? Where do you live now?
I’ve lived in New York my entire life. I lived in a 200 year-old house in the woods. Then we sold the house, and decided to move to South Carolina because we had a friend who moved here and encouraged us to come. I had never been to South Carolina until that point. I’ve been here four years now. We live in the Market Common area because we like the town aspect, where there are activities and we can walk to things.
What is your favorite place in Myrtle Beach?
I like Pawley’s Island and the downtown in the Market Common. I shop locally and love the small stores.
What do you like the most about living here?
I love the temperatures in the spring and fall. And I love that the people here in the South are so nice and so polite, and very friendly.
How has your lifestyle changed since moving here?
I retired very young, and I’ve been volunteering for awhile. So now I’m doing even more volunteer work. It’s very important to me to help people.
What new activities have you taken up since moving here?
I’m volunteering in the ER at the Grand Strand and I also tutor two children. I belong to an organization called Recovery International. It’s a peer-to-peer, self-help, mental health wellness group. I run the only group in the state, and they gave me permission to advertise it to the public as well. I’m ever thankful to them that they granted it to me, and now I’m trying to expand the group. We have a veteran initiative as well— I don’t lead that meeting, but I’m spreading the word about it.
What is one thing that your neighbors don’t know about you?
1) I’m not into beach-house decor; I have a lot of antiques. 2) I belly dance to raise funds for children in orphanages. 3) I go to Mexico in the Sierra Madres every winter— I’ve worked there feeding families in a very impoverished area.
What are your favorite things to do here?
I like walking a lot. And I like meeting new people.
Is there anything that you miss or would like to see in Myrtle Beach?
Yes, mountains. And some Jewish delis and good delicatessens. And a real supermarket here in the Market Common.