Stephen Novak was truly loved by the entire Blue Water crew. He was part of our family and is missed every day. For those of you who didn’t know Steve, he bartended with us since opening day. If you dined with us, chances are that you were greeted with his warm smile and hospitable conversation. He was also an attorney and loved surfing, traveling, and fly fishing. After a courageous battle with colorectal cancer, Stephen passed away in August 2021.
We decided the best way to honor our friend was by helping others. The Stephen Novak Memorial Scholarship has been established and is a $1,500 scholarship awarded annually to an employee of Blue Moon Beach Grill or Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar who is studying at an accredited institution of higher learning.
We’ve reviewed all applications and decided to award two employees this year. Congratulations to Chandler Price and Lauren Bolton! They are both truly deserving.
Chandler worked alongside Stephen since 2016 when she joined the Blue Water family as a bartender. They worked shoulder to shoulder in the trenches of summer. Chandler describes Stephen like so many of us do – “he was a coworker, turned friend, turned family. He was a team player who always had a smile on his face, even when he was drenched in sweat in the middle of a shift.” Chandler is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in social work. In addition to working for Blue Water, Chandler has held positions with Outer Banks Hotline and Pathways to Life, an organization that provides mental health services and intensive in-home therapy for children. Chandler says, “Children … do not choose to be born into situations where they are neglected, abused, or without love and care in their lives.”
When Lauren isn’t serving at Blue Moon, she is studying to become an RN and is currently enrolled in the Practical Nursing program. When asked why she chose her course of study, Lauren’s response spoke volumes – “Nursing to me is more than a job. It has many titles and is an honor. As a nurse, you are an educator, a mentor, a scientist, a leader, but most importantly, you are the person that comforts in crisis.” Despite Lauren’s adversities, she has persevered time and time again. Lauren has a lot to be proud of and we are glad she’s part of our crew.
Stephen would have been 51 years old today. Happy birthday, “Ookla”! Today, we raise our drink to you. You will not be forgotten and we will continue to celebrate the great man you were.