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Chanticleers come together in support of classmate injured in recent Windsor Green fire

May 17, 2018
Khrysta Boulavsky, a graduate student at CCU, recently lost her home – and nearly her life – when her apartment building at Windsor Green in Myrtle Beach caught fire for the second time in five ye

“We have to do something,” said Haleigh Woodlief, a student in Coastal Carolina University’s Master of Arts in Writing (MAW) program, upon learning the recent fire in Carolina Forest had impacted a classmate.

Khrysta Boulavsky, 23, was severely injured on April 12 making a life-or-death leap from the third floor of a burning apartment building in the Windsor Green development in Carolina Forest. Boulavsky broke her pelvis on impact, requiring several implants and a long rehabilitation. Her mother, Elaine, 54, who had recently undergone a mastectomy, was also injured in the fire. She suffered multiple broken bones, and her mastectomy wounds were reopened as a result of the jump. What’s more, both survived a similar disaster in the same apartment complex five years earlier. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but isn’t deemed suspicious by investigators.

Within hours of hearing the news, Boulavsky’s classmates began setting up fundraisers.

Maggie Fernandes, Brooke Dupree and Anne Gammon organized a bake sale on campus to raise awareness and garner support from the CCU community. Lanessa Salvatore, working with faculty mentor Jess Richardson, assistant professor in the Department of English, repurposed a CCU MAW event scheduled for April 25 at Bonfire Grill in Conway. Originally a gathering to celebrate the release of the MAW student-edited online journal “Waccamaw,” the event doubled as a fundraiser.

MAW students sold raffle tickets at both the bake sale and the release event, with winners announced at the MAW closeout celebration and reading, “Denouement,” on April 30 in Johnson Auditorium. Raffle prizes included a three-course meal for six to eight people at Bonefish Grill and a $100 gift card from Bijuju, a local business owned and operated by MAW alumna JouJou Safa.

“This has been an amazing display of program solidarity,” says Fernandes, who worked with Salvatore, Gammon and Rose Pleasant, a MAW student and business manager for the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, to assemble care packages of gift cards and comfort items, including new bridal veils. Boulavsky is engaged to be married in December, and the cash and checks she was saving for the ceremony were lost in the blaze.

Outside of the MAW program, Boulavsky’s friends and family have been raising money to help with treatment and rebuilding their lives. Multiple GoFundMe pages have been established, including one from longtime family friend Skye Pelliccia, which has a current total close to $20,000 of a $100,000 goal. A second GoFundMe page started by Farrah Dickerson has raised more than $9,000 of an original $1,000 goal.

Through the bake sale and raffle, MAW students contributed another $650 to the Boulavsky family, along with a new laptop and several other essentials they will need to get back on their feet.

“Our students were selfless,” said Richardson. “They got to work immediately and they put their own concerns aside during finals, during a really busy time, to help a friend.”

For more information, including direct donations to the Boulavsky family, contact Rose Pleasant at 843-349-2744 or