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Click Here For More Local Events • Page 2 Of Local News

 

December 18, 2014

Carmen Eckard & Cast Triumph: Almost Maine Opens In January

Hickory - In October 2014, Maiden High School drama students were crestfallen when they learned their previously approved production of Almost, Maine was being canceled after a local church persuaded the principal that this extreme move was needed. The principal cited sexually explicit undertones, but the students assert that the decision was based on one scene where two male students realize they are in love. Almost, Maine is the most-produced play in American high schools, which led many people to question the decision of the school.

Instead of feeling defeated, the students began to work with former drama teacher Carmen Eckard, who organized a crowdfunding campaign and began work to produce the play. Local attorney, actor and director Bill Morgan was excited to sign on as director, alongside student director Conner Baker.

Carmen Eckard says, “We didn’t want the story to be, ‘School Cancels Play Because of Gay Scene’...we thought the better story is, ‘Massive Community and National Support Help Students Put On Canceled Play.’”

The Kickstarter campaign raised over $6,500, and the efforts received international attention. The support of people all over the world was a great bolster for the students.

The group is happy to be working with OutRight Youth Catawba and the United Arts Council of Catawba County, where all extra Kickstarter funds will be donated. The United Arts Council of Catawba County is pleased to host the production at the SALT Block Auditorium in Hickory, NC on January 15, 16 and 17 at 8:00. The cast is comprised of: Nathaniel Shoun, Jonathan Bates, Ruby Osorio, Blake Richardson, Lilli France, Conner Baker, Winston Lee, Carlee Lemmond, Ci-Ci Pinson and Daniel White.

If your business is interested in advertising in the cast’s playbill, please contact Carmeneckard@gmail.com. Information is posted on the cast’s site: http://almostmaiden.com

Lincolnton Arts Council Offers Artist Book-Making Class

Lincolnton, NC - The Arts Council of Lincoln County will offer a workshop on Fun and Fanciful Artist Books! In this workshop you will have fun learning how to create a spiral book and a secret room book.

In addition to learning various techniques creating these artist books, you can let your imagination fly away by drawing, collaging or writing on the pages of your handmade books.

The finished treasures can be used for recording journal entries, poetry, travel journals, reception registers, or they can be enjoyed as sculptures. You may also want to surprise someone with a handmade artist book gift.

We’ll use a variety of colored and decorated papers as well as some Asian papers, which are included in the workshop fee.

To register or for more information contact the ACLC at 704 735-9044 or by email at artslincolnnnc@gmail.com. Deadline for registration is January 15, 2015.

Details Ages: 12 to adult; Date: January 17, 2015; Time: 1:00 – 3:00pm. Fee: $25.00

CVCC Offers Small Business Start Up Program In January

Hickory - CVCC’s Small Business Center is presenting the “Step Up, Start Up” program, a series of seminars designed to help individuals interested in starting a business understand the pros and cons of business ownership. The program consists of six seminars which will be presented on Tuesday evenings from January 13 through February 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at CVCC’s Corporate Development Center. Participants can register for the entire series or individual sessions. There is no-cost to attend, but pre-registration is required.

The first session of the program is You, Inc., on January 13 to help participants understand the many roles and responsibilities of business ownership and compare them to their work experience, life goals, current and future financial needs, and their tolerance for risk.

Additional sessions include:

From Idea to Opportunity on January 20. Participants discuss market research, their target customers and their competition. They learn to identify niche opportunities and to convey their unique competitive advantage to potential customers.

Creating the Images, Crafting the Message on January 27. Participants learn the importance of branding and creating a unique image for their new company.

Reaching Customer Targets on February 3. Participants learn how successful business owners create targeted marketing messages and choose appropriate media for effectively marketing products and services.

Keeping $ Score $ on February 10. Participants are introduced to standard scorecards for tracking business performance, cash position and net worth. Participants will learn about sources of startup capital.

Roadmap to Success on February 17. Participants will compile data and conclusions from the previous five seminars into a draft of a business plan to be used to chart the course for their startup.

These seminars are provided at no cost to participants through the Small Business Center Network, which is funded by a grant from the North Carolina state government. Pre-registration is required. To register, call the Small Business Center at 828-327-7000, ext. 4117 or register on-line at the Small Business Center website, http://sbc.cvcc.edu.

Libraries Offer Online Resources

Newton, NC - Even though the library will be closed for the holidays, some great online materials are accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So if you’re surprised next week with a new iPad or Kindle, check the library website to see all the free resources you can use. NC Digital has lots of eBooks and Hoopla will let you watch movies or listen to music and recorded books.

The Catawba County Library System will be closed Dec.24-26. All branches will resume regular business hours on Saturday, Dec. 27.

Then the libraries will close again at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31 in observance of New Year’s Eve. All locations will re-open Friday, Jan. 2 with their normal hours. Library materials may be picked up before or after those closing dates, while the materials may be returned in book drops at any time. The Main Library is located at 115 West C Street in Newton. Other facilities include Claremont, Conover, Maiden, St. Stephens, Sherrills Ford-Terrell and Southwest in Mountain View.

Full Circle Arts: Animal Crackers’ Call For Artists Begins Jan. 8

Hickory - Full Circle Arts will be hosting an exhibition, Animal Crackers to explore our relation to the animals around us. Images may be of pets, domestic animals, wild animals, large or small. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Catawba County

Intake of art is Thursday-Friday, Jan. 8-9, 11:00-5:00 pm, or Saturday, Jan. 10, 10:00-4:00 pm, at Full Circle Arts.

Judge and juror is Thomas Thielemann.

We celebrate the exhibition with a opening reception on Thursday, January 15, 2015.

Awards First prize $100, Second prize $75, Third prize $50.

Rules

1. Open to all artists.

2. Each artist may submit up to 3 (three) works, hand-delivered to Full Circle Arts.

3. Visual works may be 2-d or 3-d in any medium and not to have previously won a prize in a Full Circle Arts competition.

Angora Cat - Morris Hirshfield (c) 1937

4. Space is limited, so FCA cannot accept any work more than 48” in any direction..

5. All wall works should be framed and must be securely wired.

6. FCA asks a commission of 20% from exhibiting members, 30% from associate members, and 35% from non-members of FCA for works sold.

7. Full Circle Arts reserves the right to exclude any art objects that do not conform to Full Circle Arts’ standards of quality or good taste.

Waiver and Liability

Full Circle Arts offers insurance coverage on art works entered while they are in FCA custody, with a $500 deductible. In order for work to be insured, a value must be declared on the FCA Inventory Sheet by the artist upon delivery of artwork. Insurance coverage for work in the show ends February 28, 2015.

FCA is a non-profit artists’ cooperative located in downtown Hickory, 42-B Third Street NW. FCA members are present at the gallery Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. More information about Full Circle Arts, classes, membership, or other upcoming events is available at 828-322-7545. You may also write to Full Circle Arts, PO Box 3905, Hickory NC 28603, or email info@fullcirclearts.org. Please visit our website at www.fullcirclearts.org

Newton Rec Youth Program Registration Continues Thru Jan. 30th

Newton, NC – The Newton Parks and Recreation Department will begin registration Jan. 5 for the 2015 youth baseball, youth spring soccer, and girls volleyball programs. Registration continues through January 30 for returning players and city residents.

Non-residents and late city registrants may sign up from Feb. 2 to March 13 for baseball and soccer. For volleyball, non-residents and late city registrants may sign up from Feb. 2 to Feb. 13.
All new participants must have a birth certificate on file or may visit the Newton Recreation Center for a registration packet. There is a $30 non-refundable fee for each player who lives outside the city. Registration is limited in each league. Once a league is full, registrants will be placed on a waiting list.

For more information, call the Newton Parks & Recreation Department at 828-695-4317.
Youth Baseball

Players must be at least 4 years old before the last day of registration and cannot turn 13 before May 1 to be eligible for participation.

Youth baseball leagues include: Tee-Ball for boys and girls ages 4-6, Bantam League for boys ages 7-8, Midget League for boys ages 9-10, and Little League for boys ages 11-12.

Youth Spring Soccer

Players must be at least four years old before the last day of registration and cannot turn 16 before Aug. 31 to be eligible for participation.

» Youth soccer leagues include: Mighty Mites Co-ed Soccer for ages 4-6, Bantam Boys Soccer for ages 7-8, Bantam Girls Soccer for ages 7-9, Midget Boys Soccer for ages 9-10, Midget Girls Soccer for ages 10-12, Little Boys Soccer ages 11-12, Junior Boys Soccer for ages 13-15, and Junior Girls Soccer for ages 13-15.

Youth Girls Volleyball

Players must be at least 9 years old before the last day of registration and cannot turn 17 before Aug. 31 to be eligible for participation.

» Youth girls volleyball leagues include: ages 9-11, ages 12-14 and ages 15-16.

Local Writers’ Original Musical Junk Christens HCT’s

Renovated Space On January 9

HIckory - Following the creative beginning of Molly Bass’ new play , “Junk,” is like tracking a family tree. “So many branches, so many leaves,” she said.

It started Bass said, ”from a passage in a novel about a mermaid diving and then streaming objects - spatula, refrigerator, magnets; a cleansing. That gave me my setting, a yard sale.”

With the intent of creating a play with music she began a collaboration with Jeff Hartman. A music director, composer, actor, teacher, Hartman, with his award winning credits is well suited to partner with Bass.

“She began talking me through the play,” Hartman said, “giving verbal sketches of the characters. Then she’d hum or sing bits of melodies for these characters or scenes”. Bass reacted “I’ll never forget it. I’d sing my little ditty for him and he’d turn it into a full-fledged song. It was so cool!”

Once “Junk” was cast it began the longest workshop process in HCT history, lasting four months. Workshopping a play allows time for new material to be reworked before formal rehearsals begin. Both Bass and Hartman said the workshop process was productive. For Bass it gave her an opportunity to rework the script, although the original structure and characters remained the same. Hartman was able to adjust the score to suit the vocal talents of the actors and tighten the musical action of the play.

Throughout the workshop process all members of the company gave feed back into the creative process of building the production. They were the branches and leaves of the “Junk” family tree.

This production opens the newly renovated Firemen’s Kitchen. The play runs for eleven performances, January 9-31 2015. Tickets are now on sale. “We are still working out the seating chart,” said Artistic Director Pamela Livingstone. “So we can’t presently offer a way for patrons to select their own seats yet.”

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. “Junk” is produced by Jim and Judith Tarlton and is part of the 2014-2015 Season brought to you by Paramount Automotive.

PHOTO: (from left) Molly Bass, Jeff Hartman and Grace Bollinger during a summer workshop session of “Junk” an original comedy by Molly Bass music by Jeff Hartman, opening January 9, 2015 at the Hickory Community Theatre. Call (828) 328-2283 for details.

Lions Set Up Sites To Recycle Old Electronics After Santa’s Visit

Lincolnton, NC - Do think you will receive an upgraded cell phone, blackberry, i-phones, smart phones, personal digital device (PDA’s), or i-pads from Santa or a loved one for Christmas? Haven’t thought about what to do with your other one(s)? If, so, then you're not alone. According to cellular phone industry on the average, Americans upgrade their cell phones, blackberries, and PDA's every 12 to 18 months. Many homes have 2 or 3 of these wireless devices left over from their previous service provider. Cellular usage in the USA and globally is approaching 300 million and over 2 Billion respectively. Unfortunately, only a small percentage are recycled. That's why, the Lincolnton Lions Club has implemented a cell phone recycling program.

Local businesses, governmental agencies, health care providers and CMC-Lincoln have been assisting our Lions Club by placing their cell phone recycling depository boxes for our county residents to donate and recycle their unwanted cell phones, blackberries, and PDA's.

Remember before donating and recycling your cell phones, i-phones, blackberries, PDA's, and i-pads please deactivate and erase all confidential information.

Lincolnton Locations

Drug Stores & Health Care Providers
1. The Drug Store- 626 Center Drive. Lincolnton
2. The Drug Store- 9576 West Highway 10, Vale
3. Keever Pharmacy- 102 Doctor's Park, Lincolnton
4. Carolinas Eye Care- 231 North General's Boulevard, Lincolnton
5. Carolina HealthCare System- Lincoln Main Entrance Reception Desk- Mc Allister Drive, Lincolnton
6. Graystone Ophthalmology Associates, 2311 East Main Street
7. Lincoln Eye Center 110 Doctor's Park, Lincolnton

Governmental Offices

1) Lincoln County Senior Center ( 2nd Floor)- 511 South Aspen Street Lincolnton, NC
2) Lincoln Campus of Gaston College- Jerry Cochrane Computer & Cosmetology Building- Lincolnton, NC
3) Lincoln County Veteran's Services- 206 Gamble Drive, Lincolnton
4) Lincoln County Landfill &
Convenience Sites- 5291 Crouse Road, Crouse,
a) Airport Road 112 Airport Road, Iron Station
b) Car Farm Road, 815 Car Farm Rd., Lincolnton
c) Optimist Road, 7914 Optimist Road, Denver
d) Owls Den Road, 701 Owls Den Road, Vale
e) Tin Mine Road, 1879 Tin Mine Road, Lincolnton
f) Webb Road, 7889 Webb Road, Denver

Businesses

City Lunch- 113 Court Square S.E., Lincolnton
Denver Locations

Health Care Providers
1. Dr. Scott Nishek, Dr. David Curtis, and Dr. Matt Motteler
Carolina Eye Care
324 Highway 16 North
Denver, NC
2. East Lincoln Imaging ( 2nd Floor)
Catawba Springs Common
CMC- Lincoln Urgent Care
275 North Highway 16
Denver, NC

Before donating, depositing, and recycling your cell phones, blackberries, PDA’s in any Lincolnton Lions Club box, please erase all personal information. Cell phones will be refurbished and programmed for 911 and donated to the charities. Unfortunately, the Lions Club is unable to accept and recycle landline telephones and answering machines.

King Family Christmas Concert Is Friday, Dec. 19, In Valdese

Valdese, NC - The Waldensian Trail of Faith is excited to announce the 2nd Annual King Family Christmas Concert this Friday evening at 7:00 pm in the Ciabas Church on the Trail.

Four generations of singing and guitars come together to give us a peek into the way the King's celebrate Christmas. For years the family comes together for the traditional stuff of the holiday, but the highlight of each year is sitting around the living room in grandpa's house singing and strumming. This is a must-see and will certainly lead your heart into the true spirit of Christmas!

A King Family Christmas Concert, in conjunction with the Trail of Lights Display at the Trail of Faith at 7:00 pm, Friday, December 19th.

401 Church Street NW, Valdese, NC 28690. www.trailoffaith.com 828-874-1893

CVCC Offers Watercolor Classes Beginning January 12

Hickory - The Catawba Valley Community College Learning & Personal Enrichment Innovation Center will offer Watercolor Techniques – Intermediate to Advanced from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mon., Jan. 12 through Feb. 23 at CVCC’s East Campus.

This class is geared for students with watercolor experience and designed to help you take your paintings to the next level. Students will explore advanced painting concepts and learn to incorporate more detail into their paintings. Individual creativity and expression will be encouraged through out the course. A supply list will be available prior to class.

The cost of the class is $50. Participants must be 18 years old or older.

For more information, contact Cheri Toney, 828-327-7037 or via e-mail ctoney@cvcc.edu.

Gospel Fest Offers Toys To First 50 Families, Saturday, Dec. 20

Newton, NC – The Newton Parks and Recreation Department is teaming up with In My Father’s House for a Christmas Gospel Fest and Community Outreach.

The festivities will be at Central Recreation Center, 301 South Ervin Ave., from 3 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20. The first 50 Catawba County families to arrive will receive toys, clothes and food.

Gospel performers and groups with talent to share must register by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12. Entry forms are available at Central Recreation Center, as well the Newton Parks and Recreation Department, 23 South Brady Ave., and In My Father’s House, 19 East A St.

The Newton Parks and Recreation Department asks attendees to bring an item of canned or non-perishable food to the event. Donations will help the Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry provide food to families in need during the holidays.

Organizers hope an afternoon and evening of music and giving will demonstrate the true meaning of Christmas. For more information, call program coordinator Charles James at 828-695-4350 or center supervisor Linda McCorkle at 828-465-7477.

Shiloh Lutheran Church Sets Christmas Services, Dec. 21, 24

Bethlehem, NC - The congregation of Shiloh Lutheran Church (NALC) will have two Christmas Eve Candlelight Services for the convenience of all who wish to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the savior.

4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve (December 24) will be the 1st service and 11:00 p.m. Christmas Eve (December 24) will be the 2nd service.

Everyone is invited to share these special services with Pastor David Hefner and the congregation of Shiloh.

Shiloh is located in the Bethlehem Community of Alexander County. Travel highway 127 to Bethlehem, turn at the 2nd light, pass Bethlehem Post Office and Bethlehem Library, Shiloh is at the stop sign facing you with the flag flying. For further information call 828-495-7462.

Advent Evening Worship services at Shiloh Lutheran Church will be held at 6:00 p.m. this Sunday evening, December 21. All donations received at Advent services will be given to Bethlehem Elementary School Student Benevolence Fund. This fund provides medical care, dental services, clothing and food to meet the needs of the students. Anyone wishing to donate to this worthy cause may do so by calling Shiloh church office at 828-495-7462, by contacting a Shiloh member, or by calling Student Services at Bethlehem Elementary 828-495-8198.

Shiloh encourages everyone to bring a food item (non-perishable and not needing refrigeration) for the Bethlehem Food Pantry )house at Mt. Pisgah Church) to any service.

Exodus Church Sets Christmas Gospel Concert For Dec. 20

Hickory - The Exodus Missionary Outreach Church Gospel Choir will perform a Christmas concert this Saturday December 20, 2014 at 6:00pm at Exodus Church.

This Christmas concert will include special friends of Exodus singing along with the full gospel choir under the direction of Minister of Music Zack Martin. 

Photo: Zack Martin

This concert is free and great holiday fun for people of all ages. Come out and hear that Jesus is the Reason for the Season because He is. Come early to get a good seat because we expect a full house. You can’t get any better than the Exodus Gospel Choir in concert at Christmas!  Exodus Missionary Outreach Church Gospel Choir Christmas Concert is Saturday, December 20, 2014, 6:00pm at 1763 Highland Ave. NE, Hickory, NC 28601.

Frye Medical Center’s Bras Because Event Is January 23

Hickory – Frye Regional Medical Center is pleased to host the Third Annual Bras Because Event on Friday, Jan. 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at The Warehouse, 18 2nd St. S.E., Hickory.

Every dollar raised will be used to help subsidize Frye’s Cancer Grant Funds. This assistance provides help to local patients, who could not otherwise afford their care. The funds not only assist with medical needs, but also offer assistance for counseling services as well as transportation.

We encourage individuals and groups to get involved by designing an artful bra that will be displayed at our Sneak Peak event on Tuesday, Jan. 20 at the Frye Cancer Support Center, 328 N. Center St., where visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite bras by purchasing $1 tokens. The three bras with the most tokens will win the “People’s Choice Awards.” Other artful bras will receive honorable mention recognitions.

Bras may be created in memory or in honor of someone special or just for the fun of it. There is no limit to what you can do. Your bra can be simple, serious or whimsical. It is up to you to choose what you want to do and what materials to use. However; “artful bras” must be tastefully designed. The registration fee is $20 per design.

Winners will be announced during the Bras Because Main Event, and other artful bra entries and artists will be recognized. Musical entertainment will be provided by local band Cold Sweat. Light refreshments will be provided.

From the magical setting to the inspired bra artwork, this night is a special event unlike any other. It is all made possible by Frye’s commitment to the care and needs of their cancer patients, generous sponsorships, donors and national and local organizations that are passionate about the cause. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. For more information, call Melissa Teague at 828-315-5092 or Tina Watts at 828-315-5951 or visit www.fryemedctr.com/BrasBecause.

About Frye Cancer Center

The Cancer Center at Frye Regional Medical Center combines the latest treatments with practical information and warm support to create a holistic approach to cancer care. With its designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, Frye uses state-of-the-art technology and minimally invasive techniques to treat many forms of cancer including: breast, lung, colorectal, skin, and prostate cancer. Frye also supports cancer prevention by offering mammograms, colonoscopies, and CT lung screenings to people in the community.

The clinical team at Frye creates a nurturing environment where cancer patients and their families receive not just the latest treatments, but also the information, support and encouragement they seek. Frye’s Cancer Nurse Navigators regularly help guide families through both medical and non-medical issues that may arise, and social workers and counselors offer guidance and support. Explore the road to recovery with Frye’s accredited Cancer Center.

About Frye Regional Medical Center

Since 1911, Frye Regional Medical Center has prided itself on delivering quality medicine and compassionate care. A part of Tenet Healthcare, the 355-bed facility offers the skill and experience of over 300 active physicians representing over 35 specialties, as well as a professional staff of more than 1,700 dedicated to providing quality healthcare services. FRMC is dedicated to recognizing employees as its greatest asset, customer satisfaction as its greatest commitment, and quality care as its greatest accomplishment.

Charlotte’s Discovery Place Has New, Low Cost Admissions

Charlotte, NC – Discovery Place, Inc. announced today the launch of Welcome, a new program that provides low-cost access to families with EBT or WIC cards.

Welcome will reduce the cost of admission to $1 per person for families who present EBT (electronic benefit transfer) or WIC (Women, Infants and Children) cards at Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum or Discovery Place KIDS in Huntersville or Rockingham, for up to six family members. While this initiative provides families with accessibility, more importantly, Welcome is intended to celebrate the diversity of perspectives and ideas in the community and stimulate positive and progressive change in educational outcomes for Charlotte’s children.

"We inspire curiosity and creativity every day in the thousands of children and families that visit our Museums. Sadly, there are parts of our community who need our services most, and many have never had the chance to enter our doors," said Discovery Place, Inc. president and CEO, Catherine Wilson Horne. “Welcome will serve the whole community, creating the opportunity for learning experiences for all families because science and exploration should be for everyone, not just those who can afford it.”

Thanks to generous donors, Discovery Place, Inc. has always been able to provide scholarship assistance and reduced prices for school groups. Welcome will further those efforts by offering a new type of access where the whole family can experience Discovery Place, creating the opportunity for learning and positive experiences for all parts of the community. This creates a new return on investment for those donors who have supported the Discovery Place, Inc. mission over the years.

“If we are going to continue to grow economic mobility and educational fulfillment in our community, we need to engage the entire family with those educational opportunities.

This engagement is needed more than ever as we face a significant shortage in the science-literate workforce, and Discovery Place seeks to be part of the solution in changing this future,” said Horne.

To help launch the community access program, Discovery Place is working with organizations serving low-resource, high-risk populations, including Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, Loaves & Fishes, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool and others.

“Our children investigate S.T.EA.M. themes in our Discovery Room—a special classroom we named after Discovery Place. Now Welcome will enable our children and their parents to explore science and nature as a family in a playful setting,” said Claire Tate, Board Chair, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool.”

To redeem Welcome pricing, guests will only need to present their EBT or WIC card at Admissions at Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum, Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville or Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham. Through Welcome, Discovery Place, Inc. is participating in Museums for All, a national initiative of the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
About Discovery Place

One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in the active exploration of science and nature. The Museum brings relevant, contemporary science to life through groundbreaking exhibitions, interactive educational programming and hands-on activities.

Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum’s parking deck – the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704.372.6261, visit www.discoveryplace.org or connect with Discovery Place on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Discovery Place, Inc. owns and operates Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum, Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville and Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham and is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council.

The American Cancer Society Seeks Local Volunteer Drivers

Catawba County, NC – Transportation is one of the most significant barriers to cancer patients receiving treatment in Catawba County.  Each month, many Catawba County patients need rides to local medical facilities such as Catawba Valley Medical Center and Frye Regional Medical Center. Some patients do not own a vehicle, others are elderly, many do not feel well enough to drive after treatment. Without transportation, some patients are forced to skip or postpone potentially lifesaving cancer treatments, significantly reducing treatment success.

The American Cancer Society is having a recruitment campaign for its Road To Recovery program to help patients in Catawba County overcome the transportation barrier. Through the program, volunteers use their own vehicles to provide free rides to and from cancer treatment. Rides are needed Monday through Friday generally between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. and the schedule is flexible to each volunteer’s availability. Volunteers drive as little or as much as they want.

Local citizens interested in volunteering as drivers are invited to attend an information and training session on Thursday, January 8, 2015, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Health First Center at Valley Hills Mall (lower level beside Belk), 1960 Hwy 70SE in Hickory. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, have a good driving record, valid driver’s license, automobile insurance and a vehicle in good working condition. To learn more or register for the training, please call 704.553.5391 or e-mail carrie.klamut@cancer.org.

“Almost daily, we struggle to find transportation help for our patients,” said Barbara Stark, an oncology social worker at Catawba Valley Medical Center. “Families and patients are very stressed about transportation during a time when they are already worried about the side effects and outcomes of treatment. Road To Recovery is a wonderful way to truly help cancer patients.”

“It’s very easy to be a driver,” said Ann Jurney of Conover, NC, who began volunteering with Road To Recovery in November. “If you have as little as two hours a month, you could take someone.” Jurney knows the value of the program as her own family used it in 2007 when her mother was going through cancer treatment. “The need in Catawba County is so great and without volunteers, there are people who would not be able to go to treatment,” she said. “I hate to think there would be someone out there who would have survived but didn’t get to treatment. It is a blessing to me every day I drive to be a support for my patient, to be a smiling face and help keep hope in his eyes.”

“One of the most preventable barriers to care is lack of transportation. With the support of our community, a reliable Road To Recovery program would provide a valuable resource,” said JoAnne Smith, oncology service line manager, of Frye Regional Medical Center.

For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call The American Cancer Society anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

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