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November 23, 2017

Exodus Homes’ William Mangum Honor Cards Are Now On Sale

Hickory - Exodus Homes' 2017 William Mangum Honor Cards are now available for the holidays. The faith based United Way agency provides supportive housing for homeless recovering people returning to the community from treatment centers and prison. The annual sale of Honor Cards is a primary source of funding for the organization.

William Mangum is a well known Greensboro artist who befriended a homeless man in 1987, and the experience inspired him to use his artistic and publishing skills to make The Honor Card program one of the most effectively managed charitable programs in the country. Within each beautiful annual painting is the subtle image and story of a homeless person. With underwriting support from Wells Fargo Bank along with Mike and Sarah Kearney, The Honor Card program has expanded to thirteen communities in N.C., and has received national attention for helping organizations who serve homeless and needy people. Exodus Homes is The Honor Card program for the Foothills area.

This year's Honor Card is entitled "Rise Up", and was inspired by Andra Day's soulful ballad by the same name that reminds each of us of our value and purpose. "We're not here just to exist; we're here to impact people and their lives. The song has a powerful message, and it is one that genuinely reinforces the purpose of the Honor Card Program" says Mangum.

"Rise Up" Honor Cards are $5 each. On the inside, the recipient is informed that someone made a gift to to Exodus Homes in their honor, and gives information about the supportive housing program. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Honor Cards goes to support the operating expenses of Exodus Homes. Today, The Honor Card program is in it's 30th year, and has raised over five million dollars to support homeless and needy people in our state. "We have been getting calls for weeks about the 2017 Honor Card. It has become a gift-giving tradition in this area, and the funds we raise are vital to meet our annual budget goals," says the Rev. Susan Walker, assistant executive director of Exodus Homes.

The "Rise Up" Exodus Homes Honor Card can be purchased online at by clicking on the "Donate" button or at the following locations:

Exodus Homes 122 8th Ave Dr. SW Hickory 28602
Exodus Works 510 1st Ave SW Hickory 28602
Taste Full Beans Coffee House 29 2nd St NW, Hickory, NC 28601
SALT Block Gift Shop 243 3rd Ave NE Hickory 28601
Catawba County Chamber of Commerce 1055 Southgate Corporate Park SW, Hickory, NC 28602
EcoDental 300 29th Ave NE, Hickory, NC 28601

Packets of cards for sale and display easels are available for local churches and businesses who would like to support Exodus Homes by participating in The Honor Card program. For more information about helping sell or purchasing "Rise Up" Honor Cards, please contact the Rev. Susan Walker at 828-962-8196 or A video about this year's card can be seen at
Exodus Homes’ 2017 Honor Card

A Lenoir-Rhyne Christmas At Grace Chapel, December 3-5

Hickory – The Lenoir-Rhyne University A Cappella Choir, College Singers, Brass Ensemble, and Handbell Ensemble will present Met in Thee Tonight: A Lenoir-Rhyne Christmas 2017. On Sunday, Dec. 4 there will be two performances – 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday’s performances will begin at 7 p.m. All performances will take place in Grace Chapel.

Following Tuesday’s performance, a tree lighting will occur on the steps of the Rhyne Building. The Brass Ensemble and Choir will lead the crowd in familiar Christmas carols and the LRU Alma Mater. The Rev. Andrew Weisner, University Pastor, will preside.

This year’s program theme, Met in Thee Tonight, was inspired by the 19th Century Christmas hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Phillips Brooks.

Artistic director and LRU Director of Choral Activities Dr. Ryan Luhrs explained, “The lyric ‘Met in thee tonight’ is preceded by the line, ‘The hopes and fears of all the years are...’ As with Mary, shepherds, and others in the Christmas story, we continue to live in a world where fear is present and hope is needed. By using music and scripture to retell the 2000-year-old story of the birth of Jesus, our goal is to bring the message of hope and peace to all who attend.”

LRU ensembles will perform together and separately in the intimate setting of Grace Chapel. A free-will offering will be received following the program.

Luhrs will direct the choral ensembles. Collaborative artist Jeana Neal Borman and University Organist, Dr. Vince Crist, will accompany the choirs and hymn singing. Dr. Christopher Nigrelli, Professor of Music at LRU, will lead the Brass Ensemble, and Spence Robertson, Adjunct Instructor of Music at LRU, will direct the Handbell Ensemble.

Seating is limited and tickets are required. Tickets are free of charge for all concert dates and may be picked up at the LRU Box Office located in P.E. Monroe Auditorium. The LRU Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., through Dec. 5. Please note that the box office will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24. Ticket holders are limited to a maximum of 4 tickets. Unused tickets should be returned to the box office and will be made available to the public one hour prior to each performance. Call 828.328.7206 for ticket information.

HCT Welcomes Newcomer Kat Reese To Elf The Musical, Dec. 1-17

Hickory - In the story of Elf the Musical, on stage December 1st through 17th at the Hickory Community Theatre, one of the crucial characters is Jovie, a department store elf that becomes Buddy the Elf’s love interest. At first Jovie is cynical with regard to Buddy’s overwhelming Christmas spirit, but eventually comes to share his enthusiasm and goes out on a limb to help him save Christmas.

In the Hickory Community Theatre production the role of Jovie is being played by Kat Reese, a Taylorsville native who is new to the stage though no stranger to performing. Reese is an accomplished musician and songwriter with the Hickory Music Factory (HMF.) She plays three instruments – drums, guitar and piano – and sings as well. One of her original songs, “Ýou Set My Heart on Fire,” is featured on HMF’s recently released CD “The Best of HMF.”

Reese is a student at Catawba Valley Community College, majoring in music, and is also secretary of the NAFME (National Association for Music Education) club there.

Performances of Elf, the Musical are December 1-17, 2017; Fridays (Dec 1, 8 & 15) and Saturdays (Dec 2, 9 & 16) at 8pm, Thursdays (Dec 7 & 14) at 7:30pm and Sundays (Dec 3, 10 & 17) at 2:30pm. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors. Tickets for students and youth 18 & under are $10. On Thursday evenings all adults and seniors are $14, youth and students are $10. Tickets are now on sale online at or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wednesday through Saturday.

The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2017-2018 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. Elf, the Musical is produced by Catawba Valley Medical Center, Corning Optical Communications and von Drehle Corporation.

Photo: Kat Reese plays Jovie, Buddy’s love interest, in Elf, the Musical, onstage for Christmas at the Hickory Community Theatre, Dec 1st through 17th. For tickets and information call 828-328-2283 or click Photo by John Koval.

Three Polar Express Events This Weekend, Nov. 25 & 26, And

Dec. 2, Newton-Conover

Newton, NC - The Newton-Conover Auditorium and Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum will host three Polar Express events this holiday season.

The Newton-Conover Auditorium will present its Polar Express event on Saturday, Dec. 2, at the auditorium. There will be showings of the interactive movie at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are $2 for children 2 years old and younger, $5 general admission, and $10 general admission and interactive fun-pack. The Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum will have an O-scale model train layout of the Polar Express train on display at the auditorium the day of the performance. Contact the auditorium at 828-464-8100 to reserve tickets. The auditorium is located at 60 West 6th St., Newton.

To promote the auditorium’s Polar Express event, the museum will hold two free events prior to the showings at the auditorium. From 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, the museum will host a Hot Cocoa with the Conductor event, where families will be able to have hot cocoa and spend time with the auditorium’s Polar Express conductor, who will read the Polar Express story. Readings will be at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. This event will be in the museum’s Model Railroad Center, located at 1111 North Main Ave., Newton.

The conductor will also appear at Newton’s annual Light Up the Town celebration and will be on hand to operate the model train layout of the Polar Express train. Light Up the Town is around the 1924 Courthouse Square in Downtown Newton from 5-8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26.

The Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum is owned and operated by two main groups: the Newton Depot Authority and the Alexander Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

The Museum is located in the historic Newton Depot at 1123 N. Main Ave., Newton. The Model Railroad Center is located next door to the depot at 1111 N. Main Ave.

The museum is open every Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. with private tours available by request. Monthly Alexander Chapter NRHS meetings are held at the museum on the first Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. and are open to the public.

Our Savior Lutheran Hosts Gospel Music Sun., Dec. 10

Hickory - Reverend Mark M. Seaman and the members of Our Savior Lutheran Church (LCMS) invite you to join us for an evening of Southern Gospel music on Sunday, December 10 at 6:00 p.m. featuring Trinity Quartet. Admission is free but a love offering will be taken.

The evening will feature Trinity Quartet, based out of Archdale, NC. Trinity consists of manager and lead singer, Michael Toney, tenor, Vernon Simmons, baritone, Billy Womack, and bass, Christopher Slaydon. Trinity has been the winner for three years for the Annual N.C. Southern Gospel Convention in Benson, and has performed with other Christian groups such as Brian Free & Assurance, The Hoppers, and The Talley Trio.

Please join us on Sunday evening, December 10, for a delightful evening of Christian music. The church is located at 2160 35th Ave Dr NE in Hickory (opposite Clyde Campbell School).

For additional information or directions, please contact our church office at 828-256-5469 or

Gaston Arts Council Presents #dreamchasers On Nov. 30

Belmont, NC - Many feel that their lives are similar to being stuck in traffic. You're in a vehicle made for movement but you're standing still. You yourself were designed with a dream inside you that needs to come alive. It's your calling and you can't seem to move forward with it. What if you could break through that barrier to fulfill what you were destined for. How would that affect you or your loved ones?

#dreamchasers is a free event coming to Gaston County at the Gaston College Kimbrell Campus on Thursday, November 30, 2017. The Kimbrell Campus is located at 7220 Wilkinson Boulevard in Belmont NC. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the event starts at 6:30 p.m.

#dreamchasers is designed to help you overcome the fear and confusion and fulfill your calling. Whether your calling is to be a singer, speaker, musician, artist, athlete, actor, minister, teacher, business person or entrepreneur you will greater understand your pursuit.

Enjoy great music from recording artist Chelsea Locklear. Listening sample: "Please Come Soon": & "You Don't Know":

This will be followed up by an exciting and interactive seminar presentation by Terry Hudson. He will outline techniques and strategies that you need to know to truly go from being a dreamer to a dream chaser and achiever

Terry Hudson is best known by his moniker Dream Maker..."The Calling Coach". He has helped many find their callings in his past roles as Artist Manager, Record Label President, and Executive Television Producer. His students and clients have appeared on major sporting events, TLC Network, Oprah and American Idol.

More about Terry Hudson:
More about Chelsea Locklear:
RSVP or questions? Call (704) 853-2787 or visit
Chelsea Locklear performs on Thurs., Nov. 30

Newton Appearance Commission Announces

Christmas Decorating Contest, Dec. 12 Deadline

Newton, NC - The Newton Appearance Commission is sponsoring a Christmas Decorating Contest this holiday season.
Residents and businesses within the city of Newton are invited to decorate their homes, yards, and businesses with a holiday or winter theme for the chance to win cash prizes.

Entry into the contest is free, but entry applications are required and must be received no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12. Entry applications and contest details are available at Newton City Hall, the Newton Recreation Center, the Catawba County Main Library, and online at

Judging will take place from Friday, Dec. 15, through Monday, Dec. 18. Decorations must be in place during that time to be considered for the contest. Winners will be announced on the Appearance Commission’s Facebook page. They will also be posted on the city of Newton website.

The Appearance Commission hopes members of the community will show off their Christmas spirit and civic pride during the contest.

One winning business and one winning home will each receive a $75 gift card. One honorable mention business and one honorable mention home will each receive a $25 gift card.

If you have any questions, please email

Hickory Choral Society’s 40th Anniversary Membership Drive

By Donald W. Mott
Hickory - The Hickory Choral Society is sponsoring its annual membership drive and hopes to have a record-breaking membership year to help celebrate its 40th anniversary. Memberships in the Hickory Choral Society represent approximately 65% of the organization’s budget, and support the Christmas, Spring, and Fall concerts, as well as special concerts, such as downtown Hickory's Singing Under the Sails, a children’s Cookies and Carols Christmas concert and occasional concerts such as those performed in Carnegie Hall or with the Western Piedmont Symphony. Memberships also support a Summer Camp for rising 4th through 6th graders, and a music lending library for the community. Admission to Hickory Choral Society concerts is free, but members receive vouchers for reserved seating at concerts, as well as admission to the annual membership reception, held after the Fall concert each year. Besides these tangible benefits, being a Hickory Choral Society member means supporting excellent choral music in our area, making the community a better place to live and a better place to do business.

Led throughout its entire 40-year history by Conductor J. Don Coleman, the Hickory Choral Society has earned a reputation for excellence, frequently attracting well-known guest conductors, such as Sir David Willcocks, Anton Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Mack Wilberg, Elena Sharkova, and Dan Forrest. The Hickory Choral Society had a concert recorded and broadcast on UNC-TV; and thanks to a generous gift from the Millholland Foundation, commissioned the composition of a major work by Dan Forrest, Requiem for the Living, premiered by the Hickory Choral Society in 2013. The piece has become one of the most frequently performed choral works in the world, with hundreds of performances world-wide, including multiple performances at Carnegie Hall. Since its founding 40 years ago, the Hickory Choral Society has performed several hundred concerts in local venues such as Corinth Reformed Church and First Baptist Church in Hickory, as well as in Europe, in the Washington National Cathedral, and in Carnegie Hall in New York.

This year’s membership drive is unique because it is part of a set of events celebrating the Hickory Choral Society’s 40 years of bringing choral music to life in the Catawba Valley area. Other planned events include recording a commemorative CD, supported by a grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County; hosting a reunion event for current and former singers; and dedicating a new rehearsal hall in the SALT Block, the Arts and Science Center of Catawba Valley.

The rehearsal hall was built as the result of a capital campaign supported by hundreds of community members, foundations and businesses. Reflecting on the Hickory Choral Society’s 40-year history, Coleman said, “It is the dedication and talent of the singers combined with the tremendous support of the community that has made Hickory Choral Society successful, and will continue to make us successful for the next 40 years.”

The Hickory Choral Society’s president, Thomas Griffis, said, “Singing in the Hickory Choral Society is a privilege and a joyous experience.” The word “joy” is frequently used by singers and audience members when describing the Hickory Choral Society. In fact, it is the thirst for joy, and the desire to bring joy to others, that ties all members of the Hickory Choral Society together.

Hickory Choral Society memberships start at $50 per year ($45 for seniors), make great gifts, and are available by calling the Hickory Choral Society office at (828) 322-2210, or by visiting the website at

(Donald W. Mott is Vice President of the Hickory Choral Society)
The Hickory Choral Society in concert

Shop Small In Hickory This Saturday, November 25!

Hickory NC: Downtown Hickory's small, independent businesses welcome you to SHOP SMALL on Saturday, November 25, from 10am until 3pm. There will be activities throughout the day and this is the final day of the season for the Hickory Farmers’ Market Outdoor Market.

Support local independent businesses on November 25 when you Shop Small in Downtown Hickory!

Participating stores are:
Stores participating in Shop Small Saturday are listed below.
Anders Ruff Workshop - 264 Union Square
Aqua B – 262 Union Square
Artisan Soapery - 234 Union Square
Bisque n Beads – 232 Union Square
Blue Phoenix Vinyl Boutique - 246-C Union Square
CHI of Hickory-Arbonne - 222 Union Square
Fan Fair - 246-B Union Square**
First Avenue Boutique - 254 First Avenue NW
Foot Solutions – 242 Union Square
Full Circle Arts - 42-B Third Street NW
Full of Crafts – 246-D Union Square
Glazzy Girls Stained Glass – 221 First Ave NW, Suite 105
J. Roberts Salon & Studio - 101 Government Ave SW
Lou Lou's Corner - 202 Union Square
Market at the Station – 232 Government Ave SW
Salon on the Square – 222 Union Square, #304
Taste Full Beans - 29 Second Street NW
The Natural Olive - 216 Union Square
Thistle Dew Nicely – 252 Union Square
Tracy's on the Square - 228 Union Square
zRock Mind & Body Fitness - 211 Government Ave SW

Participating stores from A to Z welcome you to Downtown Hickory for a week of savings. Find unique gifts for everyone on your shopping list! Shop Local. Shop Downtown Hickory!

For more information on The Hickory Downtown Development Association, membership, businesses, events and downtown Hickory, please call 828 322 1121 or email, please visit the website,

Holiday Market Sat., Nov. 25 At The Crossing At Hollar Mill

Hickory – Wrap up your holiday shopping at the 4th annual Gifts. Well Crafted Holiday Market on Saturday, November 25! Shop local and shop small at The Crossing at Hollar Mill from 9:00am-3:00pm. This market is designed to showcase local and handcrafted merchandise for the home and garden, as well as clothing and accessories for the entire family. It will also feature up cycled crafts and unique one-of-a-kind items that cannot be found anywhere else. Shop the booths of these professional artists and learn first-hand about their skills, training, and talent. There will be lunch options available at food trucks!

Admission is free, and parking is free, in designated areas only. The Crossing at Hollar Mill is located at 883 Highland Avenue SE, Hickory, NC 28602.


Downtown Newton’s Small Business Saturday On Nov. 25 Has

Freebies, Deals And Prizes!

Newton, NC — The Downtown Newton Development Association will participate in the eighth annual Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25 to support small businesses in Downtown Newton.

Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate the small businesses that help support their neighborhoods and is held every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday has been embraced as part of the holiday shopping tradition as each year shoppers, businesses and public officials come together to “shop small” and show their neighborhood pride.

Understanding the important contributions small businesses make to their communities, the Downtown Newton Development Association is pleased to announce its continued participation in Small Business Saturday.

On Nov. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the greater Catawba County area is encouraged to take part in the Small Business Saturday event in Downtown Newton. The event will feature freebies, merchant deals, and chances to win great prizes provided by Downtown Newton merchants. Shoppers can stop by to support local businesses and receive giveaways like tote bags, buttons and balloons.

The Downtown Newton Development Association encourages people to post to social media selfies with the items they find on their Christmas lists at Downtown Newton merchants so friends and family members can purchase the perfect gifts while supporting local businesses.

“Small Business Saturday is an excellent way to start the holiday shopping season, and with our social media wish list we expect the shopping to continue throughout the month of December,” Newton Main Street Program Manager Shannon Johnson said.

For more information, contact the Shannon Johnson at or 828-695-4360.

Satie’s Holiday Sale At Caldwell Arts Council Is Friday, Dec. 1-23

Lenoir, NC - Everyone is invited to attend the Grand Opening of the annual Satie's Holiday Sale at the Caldwell Arts Council, Friday December 1st, open 9am-6pm with refreshments served by the Caldwell Women's Club 3-5pm, and live music featuring Sylvia Barkley Trimble.

The Satie’s Holiday Sale will continue through December 23rd, with the Caldwell Arts Council open Mondays-Fridays 9am-6pm, and Saturdays 10am-3pm.

The entire Arts Council building will be filled with beautiful handmade items for holiday gifting – art and craft work by over 80 artisans will be for sale.

Caldwell Arts Council is located at 601 College Avenue SW in Lenoir. For more details, call 828-754-2486 or visit our website:

One-On-One Sessions, “Ask Me Your Computer

Questions” At Beaver Library Friday, Dec. 1

Hickory - Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is offering one-on-one sessions for those that have general usage questions related to PC computers in the “Ask Me Your Computer Questions” tutoring sessions on 12/1/2017, 1:00-4:00 PM.

Topics to be covered are questions concerning Windows usage, installing programs, software choices, troubleshooting, and any other types of questions related to general PC computer use.

Appointments are limited so registration is required. Patrons may sign up for an appointment by calling 304-0500, Ext. 7235, or in person at the Reference Desk.

Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block.

HCT Is First NC Community Theatre To Perform Elf • Coming Dec. 1!

Hickory - The planned production of the “junior” edition of Elf the Musical at Hickory Community Theatre has been upgraded. Under special arrangement with the show’s publishers, the Theatre has received the rights to perform the full-length version currently on tour across the country, and is the first community theatre in North Carolina to do it.

“We’re so thrilled to get this honor,” says Pamela Livingstone, Artistic Director. “The cast is over the moon because they’ll now get to do the whole story instead of the condensed version. It means more work for them since opening night is just a couple of weeks away but they’ve jumped right on the expanded rehearsal schedule.”

Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity.

Performances of Elf, the Musical are December 1-17, 2017; Fridays (Dec 1, 8 & 15) and Saturdays (Dec 2, 9 & 16) at 8pm, Thursdays (Dec 7 & 14) at 7:30pm and Sundays (Dec 3, 10 & 17) at 2:30pm. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors. Tickets for students and youth 18 & under are $10. On Thursday evenings all adults and seniors are $14, youth and students are $10. Tickets are now on sale online at or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wednesday through Saturday.

The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2017-2018 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. Elf, the Musical is produced by Catawba Valley Medical Center, Corning Optical Communications and von Drehle Corporation.

Photo: Donovan Harper (left,) is Walter Hobbs, Auguste Thielemann is Michael Hobbs and Diane Albers is Emily Hobbs, the “human” family of Buddy the Elf in Elf, the Musical, onstage for Christmas at the Hickory Community Theatre, Dec 1st through 17th. For tickets and information call 828-328-2283 or visit Photo by John Koval.

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