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HMA's Southern Gospel & Blues Music Shows Are July 23 & 24

Hickory – Celebrate traditional Southern gospel and blues music during the closing weekend of Hickory Museum of Art’s (HMA) multimedia exhibition We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America’s Music with two performances at HMA on Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24, funded in part by City of Hickory Community Relations Council.

Enjoy an evening of gospel music presented by Morning Star First Baptist Church Music Ministry on Saturday, July 23 in HMA’s Coe Gallery. Hear five choirs perform “Reflection of the Evolution of Gospel Music in This Century.” Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and music starts at 6 p.m.

From 5:30 until 6 p.m., Theresa Gloster, whose artwork is part of the Music Makers exhibition, will demonstrate folk art painting. Hear from the self-taught artist about the importance of church in her life and art.

View the exhibit We Are the Music Makers in HMA’s Shuford Gallery during a reception with light refreshments at 6:45 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. HMA’s Galleria Museum Shop will also be open that evening from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

On Sunday, July 24, The Fried Melon Blues Band will perform traditional and contemporary blues from 2-3:30 p.m. in HMA’s Shuford Gallery. The Maiden, NC blues band features David Frye on drums and vocals, Brett Miller on guitar and vocals, Tim Rhyne on guitar, harmonica and vocals, and Stony Walker on bass and vocals. Singer, songwriter and musician Thomas Aaron Garlow will also perform with the band that afternoon. Admission is free and open to the public.

The weekend’s cultural events continue when Hickory International Council presents Folkmoot dancers from the Western North Carolina Folkmoot Festival in Drendel Auditorium on the SALT Block 3-5 p.m. Sunday, July 24.

Performers from at least three different countries will demonstrate cultural heritage through colorful, authentic and original reproduction costumes, lively dance and traditional music. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

About We Are the Music Makers

We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America’s Music is a multimedia exhibition of photographs, audio recordings and video from Tim Duffy, founder of Music Maker Relief Foundation. We Are the Music Makers features Southern Roots musicians active during the past 20 years, all photographed and recorded by Duffy in his quest to preserve Southern traditional music by partnering with the artists who make it.

The exhibition highlights questions of how poverty, geography and age have limited the exposure of these artists, leading to the widespread idea that the musical traditions they perform have died out. We Are the Music Makers at HMA also features Southern contemporary folk art and regional art from the HMA’s collection. The exhibit closes after Sunday, July 24.

Hickory Museum of Art is located on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Admission is free. For more information about Museum exhibitions, art classes, field trips, and events, visit or call 828-327-8576.

Photos: Top & middle chorus photos: Morning Star First Baptist Church Music Ministry presents a gospel music performance with five choirs at Hickory Museum of Art on Saturday, July 23, to celebrate the closing of the exhibition We Are the Music Makers! Preserving the Soul of America’s Music.

Bottom photo: Fried Melon Blues Band: Fried Melon Blues Band will play traditional and contemporary blues at Hickory Museum of Art on Sunday, July 24 to celebrate the closing of the exhibition We Are the Music Makers! Preserving the Soul of America’s Music.

CVCC Fall Registration Is Now Through July 28

Hickory - Registration for Catawba Valley Community College’s fall 2016 semester began July 13 and continues through July 28. This registration period is open to returning and new students.

The fall semester begins August 15.

The college is pleased to add many new programs this fall, including an Associate Degree in Engineering designed for college transfer to five University of North Carolina schools, an Associate Degree in Welding, a certificate in Turfgrass Technology offered totally online and a certificate in International Business.

New students should submit the FAFSA and complete the CVCC Online Application. After submission of the application, students should make a visit to the Student Services Office where they will meet with an admissions staff member to complete the enrollment process.

Financial Aid staff are available in Student Services to assist students who have questions. Students should be prepared to pay all enrollment costs by cash, check, credit card or monthly payment plan while awaiting financial aid determination.

For more information, call Student Services at 828-327-7000, ext. 4216 or visit

Grace Ridge Offers Tai Chi Class For Arthritis

& Fall Prevention On July 21 & 22

Morganton, NC – Area residents are invited to discover how tai chi can help improve their health and prevent falls at a two-day workshop being offered July 21-22, at Grace Ridge Retirement Community. The easy-to-learn “Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention” program integrates the mind and body to help align posture, increase heart and lung activity, and improve flexibility, muscle strength and balance.

“Many people from around the world have gained health benefits from this program and studies have shown it helps relieve pain, improve quality of life and make people feel better,” said Kelli Huggins, Grace Ridge’s Well4Life coordinator. “Because it connects well to the Good Moods at Grace Ridge lifestyle, we thought it was a valuable workshop to offer not only our residents, but also anyone in the Morganton community who wants to learn about tai chi and fall prevention in a positive, enjoyable and interactive environment.”

The program will include warm up and cool down exercises, tai chi principles and teaching methods, overview of arthritis and the cause of falls, and how to teach the program safely.

Anyone interested in taking the workshop “just for fun” can register for $100, while those who wish to become certified to teach the class can enroll for $300.

Qualified participants who successfully complete the course will be accredited by the Tai Chi for Health Institute to teach the program.

The workshop will be taught July 21-22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by Meghan Bryant, an instructor with the institute. For more information or to register for the workshop, visit the Tai Chi for Health Institute website.

About Grace Ridge Retirement Community

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Grace Ridge is a Life Plan Community spanning 52 acres in Morganton, NC. Owned and operated by Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, our mission is to create a secure environment that supports individual choices and lifestyle, and our values contribute to our welcoming, positive attitude. We believe a good mood is integral to wellness and our vision is one where dreams and expectations truly are reality. To learn more about Grace Ridge, visit

Kastner Family Bible On Display In Dallas July 26-August 13

Dallas, NC - Opening July 26 and running through August 13, 2016 at the Gaston County Museum is The Kastner Family Bible (pictured here) . This display will feature a spectacular 452-year-old German bible. Each year, the museum exhibits the Kastner (Rhyne) family bible for three weeks in August. This exhibit coincides with the local and national Rhyne and Costner Family Reunions.

To aid in its preservation, and keep up interest, a different page containing a woodcut illustration is exhibited. This year we will be featuring an illustration from the 14th Chapter of Exodus – Moses Parts the Red Sea. Various prints from the bible are available in the Museum Gift Shop.

The Kastner (Rhyne) family bible is a German language bible printed c.1564. It is a corrected version of Martin Luther’s first translation of the bible into German. Adam Kastner brought the bible to America in 1745. The Kastner family intermarried with the Rhyne family of this area and the bible was handed down through the Rhyne family until it was donated to the Gaston County Museum. There are over 730 pages in the bible and a woodcut illustration appears about every seven pages, on average. The woodcuts include full illustrations as well as decorative scrollwork and other accents. Some illustrations are duplicates. Woodcuts which depict general scenes such as war, debauchery, plague, or angels were reused by the publisher rather than having new ones made. Gaston County Museum of Art and History is at 131 Main Street, Dallas, NC, 28034. Phone: 704-922-7681.

Call For Artists! Juried Arts & Crafts Applications Due Aug. 1

Hickory - Be a part of Downtown Hickory’s 31st Annual Oktoberfest!!

Hickory’s Oktoberfest 2016 is now accepting applications for Arts and Crafts vendors. Celebrating its 31st year, this annual festival will be held October 7, 8, and 9, 2016 in Downtown Hickory NC. Estimated attendance is 100,000 for the three day event.

Hickory's Oktoberfest is an outdoor festival held annually on the second weekend in October. It features four stages of non-stop live entertainment ranging from traditional polka to rock & roll, two beer gardens, amusement rides and carnival games, a juried arts and crafts show, and hundreds of food and commercial vendors.

Oktoberfest’s Juried Arts and Crafts show is a juried event, with prizes given for the top three artisans. The Arts & Crafts area includes paintings, sculpture, pottery, handmade swings, candles, jewelry, photography and more. Booth spaces are 10 x 10 and limited to one craftsperson per booth. Registration will be accepted until Thursday, August 1, 2016. Booth fees are $200 for all three days with electricity available for an additional $25. Applications and guidelines are available on line at

Other vendors include foods from around the world, commercial businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Applications for Commercial and Non-Profit vendors are available online at Food vendors are welcomed into the festival by invitation only. No food vendor applications are provided online.

For more information on Oktoberfest 2016, applications and guidelines or sponsorship information please visit the website and click on vendor applications or email

Viki Ryan Returns To HCT With STAGES, On July 29 & 30

Hickory - Viki Ryan, a favorite on local stages and a nationally known actor and vocalist, is bringing her one-woman show, “STAGES: Confessions of a Theatre Junkie,” back to Hickory for two performances, July 29th and 30th in the Firemen’s Kitchen at Hickory Community Theatre.

Tickets are $16 each and may be purchased in advance online at, by phone at 828-327-3855 or at the door one half hour before performance time. There is no reserved seating for this show.

Photo: Cabaret performer Viki Ryan returns to the Firemen’s Kitchen on July 29th and 30th at the Hickory Community Theatre. For tickets call 828-327-3855 or go to

Motorcycle, Truck & Car Show Classic Sat., July 23, Newton

Newton, NC – Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! The Newton Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring the annual Motorcycle, Truck & Car Show Classic at Southside Park on Saturday, July 23.

The gates will open at 11 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m. General admission is $2. Children 12 years old and younger will be admitted free. Concessions will be available. Southside Park is on U.S. 321 Business behind the National Guard Armory.

For show participants, the preregistration deadline by mail is Friday, July 15, with a $12 entry fee. Registration the day of the show will be allowed until 3:00 p.m. with a $15 entry fee.

Judging will begin at 3:30 p.m. for all classes. Trophies will be awarded in each class for winner, runner-up, and best of show.

Special club participation trophies will be awarded for farthest distance, best dressed, and most members. All motorcycle or car clubs must have six or more members present to be considered for club participation awards.

A variety of special activities are planned for the event from noon to 3 p.m.

A Horsepower Shoot-Out featuring dyno testing courtesy of Max Power Mobil Dyno Service of Concord will be a special highlight. Dyno testing will be free until 3 p.m. A $10 fee will be charged for dyno testing after 3 p.m.

In addition, the Christian Motorcyclists Association will sponsor Motorcycle Games with the Harley-Davidson Riders vs. Sport Bike Riders.

Show exhibitions will include: Hometown Hawgs of Conover, Yamaha/Kawasaki/Suzuki of Hickory, Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson & Buell of Hickory, Honda/Yamaha/Suzuki of Statesville, Benson’s Cycle Salvage of Newton, AutoZone Auto Parts of Newton, O’Reilly Auto Parts of Newton, NAPA Auto Parts of Newton, Advance Auto Parts of Newton, Subway of Newton, and Amalfi’s Pizza of Conover.

For more information, please contact Newton Recreation Program Coordinator Charles James at 828-695-4317 or 828-217-4446.

CVIC's Free Forum Fostering A Compassionate

Community, July 28, At First Presbyterian Church

Hickory - The Catawba Valley Interfaith Council (CVIC) recently organized by forming a board of directors, elected officers, created by-laws, and formed a constitution. Their mission is to be a group of faith-based and secular communities serving as a catalyst for hope and cooperation with dialogue, information sharing, and celebration. Their purpose is to honor the rich variety of religious, spiritual, and secular traditions in our community. The group will work to be a forum and force for greater understanding; human enrichment, justice, and peace. CVIC wants to provide a voice for the vulnerable and defenseless, and advocate for the wise stewardship of the earth and its resources.

CVIC is planning a "Fostering a Compassionate Community Forum" on July 28, 2016 at 7:00pm at First Presbyterian Church of Hickory. The forum will include ten minute presentations on a variety of topics followed by a time for questions and answers. Speakers and their topics will be Rabbi Dennis Jones of Temple Beth Shalom (Trust); Rev. Karla Woggon, Episcopal Church of the Ascension (Respect); William Keener, Hickory Humanist Alliance (Human Enrichment); Duston Barto representing Islam (Understanding); and Rev. David Roberts, Morning Star First Baptist Church (Cooperative Spirit). ?Each ?speaker will ?share about about the faith community they represent?,? and what they ?bring? to help create a community where all are accepted and respected. ?I?ndividuals?, clergy, lay representatives, and ?others from faith-based and secular communities are ?strongly encouraged to attend.

The CVIC Executive Committee of the Board of Directors includes President Rev. Don Flick, Church of the Master UCC; Vice President Min. Michelle Mathis, Exodus Missionary Outreach Church; Secretary Dr. Barbara Laufer, Temple Beth Shalom; and Treasurer Mick Berry, President, Church of Latter Day Saints.

The community forum is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Rev. Don Flick 828-495-8400 or

?Photo: The Executive Committee of the Catawba Valley Interfaith Council are:

Left to Right Front Row: CVIC Secretary Dr. Barbara Laufer, Temple Beth Shalom; CVIC Vice President Min. Michelle Mathis, Exodus Missionary Outreach Church

Left to Right Back Row: CVIC Treasurer Mick Berry, President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; CVIC President Rev. Don Flick, Church of the Master UCC

Folkmoot International Folk Festival On July 24 In Hickory

Hickory – Folkmoot Festival 2016 returns to Hickory on July 24 for a sixth consecutive year. The 33rd edition of North Carolina’s Official International Folk Festival begins July 21 and runs through July 31, with parades, cultural events, festivals, and glorious, dramatic, and colorful dance performances at venues all over Western North Carolina.

Dance troupes invited for 2016 represent the cultures of China, the Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Ghana, Japan, Peru, Poland, Romania, and a special U.S-Mexico collaboration. The 2016 Festival will also include performances by the Eastern Band of Cherokee and other local Appalachian groups.

Spanish Dancers from Folkmoot

The Hickory International Council (HIC), in association with Hickory’s TSH Charitable Trust, will present Hickory’s version of Folkmoot USA on Sunday, July 24, at 3 p.m. at the Drendel Auditorium on the SALT Block. Groups from US/Mexico, Peru, China, and Japan will be performing.

The first Folkmoot festival was held in 1984. The name Folkmoot, an Old English word meaning "meeting of the people," was borrowed from a folk festival that was once held in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Folkmoot USA attracts more than 100,000 visitors to western North Carolina. In keeping with festival policy, an entirely new program of performers is offered each year.

“When the HIC investigated Folkmoot five years ago, both organizations immediately saw the relevance of such an event to our area. On one hand, because we have our own International Festival, and on the other hand because Folkmoot saw an opportunity to expand its footprint farther east,” said Hani Nassar, Chairman of the Hickory International Council. “The HIC values this type of event because Folkmoot supports the Hickory International Council’s mission of increasing the cultural understanding among our citizens. The more we are open-minded of other cultures, especially at these difficult times, the more we can first tolerate, then accept, then support these cultures.”

Discounted ticket prices are $10 for adults and seniors (13 and older) and $5 for children (12 and younger). However, the children buying tickets will get their money back when they attend the event and show their ticket at the door.

These prices are currently available at the following ticket outlets: Select the July 24, 3PM show.

• Taste Full Beans: 29 Second St., NW (828-325-0108)

• United Arts Council of Catawba County, 243 Third St., NE (828-324-4906)

• Hickory International Council (828-326-0256)

The Hickory International Council’s mission is to act as a forum for the local and global international community and as liaison between that community and the city government to promote goodwill, mutual understanding, cooperation, and respect among citizens. For more information, go to

Craft Fair Of The Southern High-lands Is July 21-24, Asheville

Asheville, NC - In its 69th year, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands returns to downtown Asheville's U.S. Cellular Center for a production of innovation and beauty. Filling both the concourse and arena levels of the venue, craftspeople who are masters in their media will be exhibiting.

The variety of craft that will be on display ranges from contemporary to traditional in works of clay, wood, metal, glass, fiber, natural materials, paper, leather, mixed media, and jewelry.

After a curation process of two juries, nearly 200 makers from the Southern Highland Craft Guild will carry on the legacy of these Fairs.

Larry Allen

Both July and October hold seasonal editions of the exposition as this extraordinary marketplace offers visitors a unique opportunity to connect with artisans adept in their craft.

The Summer Edition is July 21 through 24, and Fall is October 20 through 23. Downtown Asheville provides a robust experience for visitors, as the growing spectacular is representative of the creativity that flows in Western North Carolina. The U.S. Cellular Center is a shift in landscape for this event as it was incepted under canvas tents in 1948 on grassy lawns of Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN.

In the industry of craft, the Guild celebrates the emergence and rise of artists as they master their skill and execution in a medium. Known for representing quality creatives from Maryland to Alabama, the following is a preview of new talent, that sustains and perpetuates the traditions of such artistic endeavors this July; Tina Curry of Knoxville, TN is a ceramicist incorporating memories of whimsy and humor into raku-fired sculptures, John Hollifield of Hayesville, NC wields bamboo into limited edition fly-rods with custom-engraved reel seats and ferrules, Erica Bailey of Asheville, NC is a metalsmith with architectural intention capturing natural elements in jewelry, Amy Brandenburg of Asheville, NC molds precious metal clays into one-of-a-kind adornments for modern heirlooms, and Mark Gardner of Saluda, NC turns trees into contemporary and functional wood forms with neoteric techniques.

The July show features ceramic arts in a dynamic variety with demonstrations from members, such as Larry Allen and his black stoneware pottery with sgraffito designs.

Tina Curry

Also in collaboration with educational components for the event will be daily features from both the Asheville Quilt Guild and WNC Fiber/Handweavers Guild. Calligraphy, corn shuck and cloth dolls will be on display in their full process at the Fair too.

Collectors and gallery owners visit Asheville to experience and see the biannual shows in July and October, as they are a known destination for shopping and inspiration. Nearly 20,000 visitors to the Fairs each year invest in the regional and local economies while supporting craftsmen and women working in the Appalachian mountains.

Mountain musicians perform live on the arena stage starting Friday. Since the first Fair, the music of the area has been woven into the fabric of the Craft Fair experience. From old time to bluegrass, this tradition is kept alive today.

As an avenue to provide a regional marketplaces for mountain craftspeople, the Fairs have since evolved to a popular epicenter of craft in the country. Alongside local residents is the expanding tourist population. In addition to retail, the Craft Fairs hosts demonstrations, supporting the Guild's mission – to educate the public about the history of crafts in this region, various craft techniques, and an appreciation for fine crafts.

Elaine Rader

The 69th Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands US Cellular Center, 87 Haywood Street, Downtown Asheville, NC, July 21–24 & October 20–23, 2016, Th–Sat, 10–6 PM & Sun, 10–5 PM. General Admission, $8; Children under 12 free. Phone: 828-298-7928.

The Southern Highland Craft Guild is a non-profit, educational organization established in 1930 with headquarters at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, NC.

The Guild region covers the mountain counties of nine southeastern states from Maryland to Alabama, representing over 900 craftspeople.

To learn more about Guild programs, visit

Newton Parks & Rec Offering Water Aerobics Mon. & Wed.

Newton, NC – The Newton Parks and Recreation Department is now offering water aerobics classes on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Newton Swimming Pool. Classes run through Wednesday, Aug. 31, for those ages 16 and older.

The classes offer non-weight-bearing exercises to improve muscular endurance, core strength, endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular conditioning. The classes, which are a great exercise for pregnant women, help participants burn calories while keeping the body cool in a fun environment.

Cost is $3 per class. No refunds will be given. The Newton Swimming Pool is located at the Newton Recreation Center, 23 South Brady Ave. Classes will not be held Aug. 15 and Aug. 17. For more information, call the Newton Parks and Recreation Department at 828-695-4317 or visit

Call For Artists For Downtown Statesville Fall Art Crawl

Statesville, NC - Downtown Statesville Development Corporation is accepting applications from artists who wish to participate in the Downtown Statesville Fall Art Crawl on Friday, September 16, 2016, which will be held from 5:30-8:30 pm. The deadline for these applications is Monday, August 29, 2016. Visit our website to download an application.

All artists, even if they are a past participant, must submit three images of their work, along with the application, and specify the medium used. All work must be original fine art created by the applicant. The Artist Fee for this event is $20.00 and artists are responsible for all items required to display artwork in their assigned location.

Complete PDF application, email to, & pay online at Or mail application and fee to: Downtown Statesville Development Corporation, PO Box 205, Statesville, NC 28687.

This event is brought to you by Downtown Statesville Development Corporation, Iredell Arts Council, Iredell Museums, Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Sheri Bistreich and Associates, a financial advisory practice, Ameriprise Financial and Statesville Jewelry & Loan.

For more information about this event, contact the Downtown Statesville Development Corporation at 704-878-3436 or email:

NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund For Returning Veterans

Raleigh, NC — With Independence Day just past, many homeowners are thinking about their vacation plans. However, for many military veterans in North Carolina who may be facing foreclosure after discharge from service, celebrating may be hard. But help exists.

The N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund, administered by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency using funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund, can help cover mortgage and related expenses for military veterans while they look for work or retrain for a new civilian career.

“Not only has this program allowed me to get back on my feet and start caring about my future again, it has allowed me time to do so without the stress of making mortgage payments while I am in school,” said Nick Grady, who was discharged from the military in 2014 and went on to retrain for and pursue a civilian career while participating in the program.

“For the first time since I got out of the military I feel alive again and I can see a future. Not everyone tells the story of their struggle and most like me will not ask for help. My family and I will be forever grateful.”

The assistance offered by the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund is available in the form of a zero-interest, deferred loan of up to $36,000 to cover the mortgage and related expenses for up to 36 months. The Fund will provide monthly mortgage payments while veterans look for work or train for a job while enrolled in vocational rehab or other eligible VA program such as the GI Bill. To be eligible, veterans must provide:

A Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty (DD214) with a separation date on or after Jan. 1, 2008

A VA-issued, non-expired certificate of eligibility

Proof of enrollment at an eligible VA-sponsored program or benefit

This program has already helped many North Carolina veterans like Grady keep their homes while they make the transition from military to civilian life.

“Our military veterans have sacrificed for their country, and they deserve to feel a sense of security on this most patriotic of holidays,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

“The N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund can keep our veterans from going into foreclosure while they make the transition to civilian life. They protected us, now we want to help them protect their homes.”

To learn more about the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund and how it can help North Carolina veterans keep their homes, visit or call 1-888-623-8631.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, a self-supporting public agency, has financed 242,000 homes and apartments since its creation in 1973. The North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund has helped nearly 22,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure since it began in December 2010.

27th Annual Southern Biscuit Soldiers Reunion

5K Run/Walk Is Saturday, August 20

Newton, NC – The Newton Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor the 27th Annual Southern Biscuit Soldiers Reunion 5K Run/Walk and One-Mile Fun Run on Saturday, Aug. 20.

The family friendly event will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Newton Recreation Center. The one-mile fun run is slated to begin at 8 a.m. prior to the 5K.

Trophies will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers in the 5K overall, as well as in each age division, with awards presented for first place only in each age division for the one-mile fun run.

Preregistration is $15 for the 5K run/walk and $10 for the one-mile fun run. Preregistration is open until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17. Late registration runs through 7:30 a.m. on race day for $20 for the 5K and $15 for the one-mile fun run.

Race applications are now available at Newton City Hall, the Newton Recreation Center, participating sponsors, and online at

The event is sponsored by Bennett Funeral Service, Carolina Glove & Safety Company, Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists, Cook’s Sporting Goods, Fleet Feet Sports, Geppeto’s Pizza & More, Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo L.L.P, Lee Industries, Pepsi, Southern Biscuit, Subway, Therapeutic Solutions, Tadlock’s Trophies and Texas Roadhouse.

For more information about the 27th Annual Southern Biscuit Soldiers Reunion 5K Run/Walk and One-Mile Fun Run, please call the Newton Recreation Department at 828-695-4317.

July Seniors Morning Out Plans Picnic & Visit To Farmers Market

Hickory – Participants in Catawba County’s Seniors Morning Out program will enjoy a picnic, visit the farmers market, and learn about a variety of subjects during the month of July.

Seniors Morning Out is a four-day-a-week program held in five different locations throughout the county. Any county resident who is 60 or better is invited to attend at no charge. In addition to entertaining and informative activities, the program provides a hot, balanced lunch. Activities vary by location. If you plan to attend, please notify the site supervisor at least 48 hours in advance to reserve your place. Transportation to and from the sites may be available.

All SMO sites will be closed July 4 in observance of Independence Day. All locations will travel to the farmers market on July 27 to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the other program highlights, listed by location, are as follows.

West Hickory SMO, located at the West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th St. SW, Hickory: July 5: Picnic with East Hickory SMO at Winkler’s Park with entertainment by Sentimental Journey; July 11: Laughing Yoga with Judy Stowe, Ice Cream Sundae Social and Sing-Along with Mabel Gabor; July12: Healthy Living with Meghan Lawton of the Alzheimer’s Association; July 14, Dancing to the Music of Sentimental Journey; July 19, Creating a Butterfly Haven; July 26, Cornerstones of Good Health with Carolyn Thompson, RN, of Catawba Valley Medical Center. To reserve your place, contact Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746.

East Hickory SMO, located at Huntington Hills Church of God, 2123 Fifth St. NE, Hickory: July 5, Picnic with West Hickory SMO at Winkler’s Park with Entertainment by Sentimental Journey; July 13: Game Day with Horse Shoes, Ring Toss and Basketball; July 19, Sing Along with Slim Jim Phillips; July 20, Dancercise and Bingo; July 25, Block Walk and Bingo. To reserve your place, contact Rita Pritchard at 828-320-5963.

Newton SMO, located at First Presbyterian Church, 701 N. Main St. Newton: July 5: Birthday Party: Wear Red, White and Blue and Bring Snacks, the Rev. Daniel Brank to Sing; July 7, Shopping at Valley Hills Mall; July 12: Walk and Stretches and Family Feud; July 14, Homemade Ice Cream (Bring Toppings) and Frisbee Golf; July 19, Music by Sentimental Journey; July 20, Bingo with Agape Day Camp from St. Paul’s Lutheran; July 28: Forgetfulness: When Should You Be Concerned? By Tammy Jacobs and Rik Covalinski of Home Instead. To reserve your place, contact Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133.

Catawba SMO, located at Center United Methodist Church, 4945 Sherrills Ford Road, Catawba: July 5: Bowling at Pin Station and Shopping at Honey’s IGA; July 13, Depression and Aging by Tammy Jacobs of Supportive Solutions; July 19, Music by the Clontz Family and Friends; July 21: Blood Pressure Checks and Exercises for Seniors by Jackie Saunders of Bayada Home Health; July 26: Music by Lonesome Road; July 28, Pizza Party (Cost $3) with Cornhole, Horse Shoes and Birdie Toss games. To reserve your place contact Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434.

Maiden SMO, located at the Maiden Community Center, East Second Street and Klutz Street, Maiden: July 6: Bingo and Group Walking; July 11: Vegetable Bouquet with Thu Ngo and Group Exercise; July 14: Group Walking and Lunch at Newton Carillon; July 18: Living with Diabetes: Do You Know How to Eat Right? with Robin Tallent of Catawba Valley Medical Center: July 21: How to Pet a Porcupine: Don’t Get Stuck with Stress by Marsha Lynn, RN, of Hospice; July 25: Alzheimer’s Disease: What You Need to Know with Rik Covalinski of Home Instead and Tammi Jacobs of Supportive Solutions; July 26: Sentimental Journey Band and Group Singing. To reserve your place, contact Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966.

Senior Nutrition Services operates Seniors Morning Out, Meals on Wheels and related programs in the county. Volunteers are urgently needed to deliver Meals on Wheels. For more information, contact Senior Nutrition Services at 828-695-5610 during regular business hours, or visit the website at For the latest updates, like the program on Facebook at

Auditions For The King And I Are July 25 & 26,

Aug. 1 & 2, In Hudson Uptown Building

Hudson, NC - The Town of Hudson is holding auditions for its 22nd Dinner Theatre Production, the classic Musical Comedy, “The King and I,” on Monday and Tuesday, July 25th and 26th and August 1st and 2nd at 7:00 PM at the Hudson Uptown Building, (HUB), 145 Cedar Valley Road, Hudson NC 28638.

“The King and I” is the 5th collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. Other shows for which they are known are: “Oklahoma,” “Carousel,” “Cinderella,” “South Pacific” and “The Sound of Music.” “The King and I” tells the story of British schoolteacher, Anna Leonowens, and the King of Siam.

The show is based on actual events and is set in the early 1860s. The King is trying to westernize his country for business and social purposes and he brings in the British teacher to educate his many children about Western culture.

There are many well-known songs in the play, among them, “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Hello, Young Lovers,” “Getting to Know You” and “Shall We Dance?” Please wear comfortable clothing to auditions, to go through some movement. Having a prepared song is encouraged but is not mandatory. An accompanist will be provided. There will be cold readings from the script.

Roles are available for males and females, ages 8 through elderly adults. In addition to speaking roles, there are parts for an ensemble, the king’s wives and children, courtiers, dancers, etc. The performance dates are: October 20th, 21st, 22nd, 27th, 28th and 29th. For further information, call Director Keith Smith at the Town of Hudson, 728-8272.

Submit Nominees For Hickory Beautification Award By Sept. 12

Hickory – The streets of Hickory are lined with numerous landscapes and spaces that have been beautifully renovated or restored. Each year, the City of Hickory’s Community Appearance Commission (CAC) takes nominations for its annual Beautification Awards Program, which highlights these attractive areas.

Beautification Awards are presented to individuals and groups who have made an outstanding effort in crafting, developing, and maintaining a beautiful property either through landscaping or renovations and/or restorations to a building within the City of Hickory limits. The five awards will be presented in the following categories:

•Residential Landscape

•Residential Renovation and/or Restoration

•Non-Residential Landscape

•Non-Residential Renovation and/or Restoration

•Special Award – Boy Scout or Girl Scout Troop, non-profit organization, etc.

Strong nominations will include landscapes that are visually appealing, inviting, and utilize materials creatively. Overall enhancement to the neighborhood should also be considered, as well as whether plants are drought-tolerant and native or locally-adapted. It is important to note that any topped trees on a property will disqualify a project.

Non-residential renovation on 2nd Ave., NW

Nominations for the Renovation and/or Restoration Projects Award, in the Buildings and Structures category, should consist of properties with improvements that maintain and enhance the overall architectural character and integrity of the structure or the neighborhood and reutilize an existing structure.

“We have had fun with this program, being able to recognize the special pride that owners take in their properties.” said Andrew Straw, Chair of the CAC. “We have had both large and small businesses win, as well as individual homeowners.”

Straw added, “We have tried to make the nomination process very simple, and have included a special category for things like Eagle Scout and church group projects in addition to businesses and residences. The CAC members have been active in making nominations in the past, but I hope we can get more participation from the public at large this year. ”

To nominate a property, please submit a nomination form, which can be found at, along with at least one photograph of the property, to the Community Appearance Commission, Attention: Cal Overby, City of Hickory, P.O. Box 398, Hickory, NC 28603.

Nominations may come from individuals outside of Hickory City limits, but the nominated property must be within the City limits. Submittal deadline is September 12. Awards presentations will be made at a reception on October 18, prior to the regularly scheduled City Council meeting. Please call (828) 323-7422 for more information.

The mission of the Community Appearance Commission is to enhance the appearance of the City of Hickory by advising on, and implementing programs of general community beautification. Members help coordinate the activities of individuals, agencies and organizations, public and private, whose plans, activities and programs bear upon the appearance of the City.

Christ United Lutheran Church's 90-Day Spiritual

Fitness Challenge Begins On Wednesday, July 27

Granite Falls, NC - Christ United Lutheran Church, 4681 Grace Chapel Rd., Granite Falls, NC, is hosting a 90 Day Spiritual Fitness Challenge, an extraordinary experience with God’s word!

Part of getting in shape means changing how you live, from what you feed your soul to how you schedule your time. But, what many people forget is that changing everything at once can be so overwhelming that we end up going back to old behaviors!

If you want to make small, daily changes on the road to spiritual well-being, this 90-day challenge is for you. This isn’t a physical weight loss program, but a spiritual conditioning course, an extraordinary experience with God’s Word! You will receive a daily reading plan that will have you read the whole Bible in 90 Days. It is also an opportunity to connect with others on facebook, have your Pastor be your coach and gather in weekly small group discussions. For our second-year participants there is also the opportunity to take a focused study on Philippians, Colossians and Philemon.

We know that you have the desire, but just need an approach that makes sense. You need short-term tasks that let you achieve a long-term goal. So, gives this a try!

What to Expect:

•Inspirational Films & Music Videos will introduce each weekly session.

•Small Groups will gather for confidential, non-threatening discussion and learning.

•Get to know God better through His Holy Word.

•Read the whole Bible in just 90 days or study Philippians, Colossians and Philemon more deeply

Here’s how to get going:

1)Prayerfully consider if this Spiritual Fitness Challenge is for you?
2)Visit with Pastor Heidi and your home church Pastor before registering.
3)Register by emailing
4)Offer a $25 donation, per person, if possible. (Or “sponsor" a participant)
5)Begin the challenge on July 27th, 2016

For your convenience and for purposes of fellowship, you may join us at 6:30pm for a light dinner!

Everyone is welcome, so have a friend register!

Please respond to

Free Badminton At Newton Rec, Mondays & Thursdays, 6:30pm

Newton, NC – Grab your racquets and shuttlecocks and head to the Newton Recreation Department for free badminton open gym on Mondays and Thursdays from 6:30-9 p.m.

The badminton games will be played in the gym at the Newton Recreation Department, located at 23 South Brady Ave., Newton.

Players should bring their own badminton racquet, shuttlecock and shoes.

Badminton is a fun activity for all ages, and everyone is welcome.

For more information, contact Charles James at 828-695-4350 or

Lions Offer Chance To Donate Old Eyeglasses, Hearing Aids

Lincolnton, NC - Sight is a precious gift. Do you have unwanted eyeglasses and hearing aids laying around at your house, office, etc. Don't know what to do with them? Why not donate, deposit, and recycle them in a Lincolnton Lions Club boxes strategically located in the following businesses, optometrist, ophthalmologist offices, and funeral homes in Cherryville, Denver, and Lincolnton?

Businesses: Noblot Jewelers, 107 East Main Street (Downtown Lincolnton).

Audiologist, Ear Nose & Throat Physicians, and Hearing Aides Offices:

1) Alps Mtn. Affordable Hearing Aide- 1417 East Main Street, Lincolnton; Best Value Hearing Care Center-819 East Sycamore Street, Lincolnton; Carolina Ear, Nose, & Throat- 751 South Laurel, Lincolnton; Graystone Ear, Nose, & Throat- 1470 East Gaston Street, Lincolnton;

Lincoln Eye Center- 110 Doctor’s Park, Lincolnton.

Chiropractic Offices: Dr. Robin Owings & Dr. Rob Schick- Pro Wellness Family Chiropractic- 1814 North Aspen Street, Lincolnton.

Funeral Homes: Carpenter Funeral Home- 1110 East Main Street, Cherryville; EF Drum Funeral Home- 201 South Academy Street, Lincolnton; Good Samaritan Funeral Home- 3362 North Highway 16, Denver; Stamey-Cherryville Funeral Home- Cherryville; Warlick’s Funeral Home-125 Dave Warlick Drive, Lincolnton.

Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, Vision Care Centers: Advanced Family Eye Care- 7547 Waterside Loop Road, Suite A, Denver; Carolina Eye Center- 623 North Highway 16, Denver; Carolina Eye Center-231 North General’s Boulevard, Lincolnton; Cherryville Eye Care-201 West Church Street, Cherryville;

Graystone Ophthalmology PA- 2311 East Main Street, Lincolnton; Lincoln Eye Center- 110 Doctor’s Park, Lincolnton; Wal-Mart Vision Center-306 North General’s Boulevard.

Pharmacies: The Drug Store- 626 Center Drive, Lincolnton and Keever Pharmacy- 102 Doctor’s Park, Lincolnton.

Due state and federal public health laws, unwanted eyeglasses are shipped overseas. Contact lens are neither accepted nor recyclable for health reasons. Prescription sunglasses are especially needed in nations located near the Equator. There is always a shortage of recyclable children eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Imagine your personal satisfaction if your recycled eyeglasses help a child to read. An adult succeed in his job. A senior maintain her independence. Provide a community with more opportunities to grow and thrive. The Lions thank you for your support!

Dates For Shindig On The Green & 89th Annual

Mountain Dance & Folk Festival Have Been Set

Asheville, NC – The Folk Heritage Committee announces its summer 2016 dates for two celebrated mountain traditions in Asheville, North Carolina: the 50th season of Shindig on the Green and the 89th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. Each event features long-standing as well as the newest generation of traditional and mountain string bands, ballad singers, and big circle mountain dancers and cloggers, resulting in fun-filled and authentic evenings enjoyed by kith and kin of all ages.

The 50th Season of Shindig on the Green, a free event in the heart of downtown Asheville, with a stage show and informal jam sessions, takes place on Saturday evenings.

2015: The Dixie Darlins by Wendy Olsen

Kicking off on July 2nd this year, Shindig on the Green will be held on July 23; August 13, 20, 27, and September 3, 2016. Shindig returns again to the heart of downtown Asheville at Pack SquarePark’s Roger McGuire Green. The stage show takes place on the Bascom Lamar Lunsford stage, named for the founder of the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. Locals and visitors alike gather “along about sundown,” or at seven o’clock for those who wear a watch, for Shindig on theGreen. Since the outdoor event’s inception in 1967, hundreds of thousands of individuals from across the region and throughout the world have shared and enjoyed the rich traditional music and dance heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains in this outdoor setting.

The 89th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk and Festival, a ticketed event at Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville with a different show each night, takes place at 7:00 p.m. nightly, Thursday through Saturday, August 4, 5 & 6, 2016. The sister event to Shindig on the Green, theMountain Dance and Folk Festival was founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford in 1928. The nation’s longest running folk festival, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival showcases the bes tof the region’s mountain musicians and dancers during its three evenings of indoor performances.

The non-profit, all-volunteer Folk Heritage CommitteeTM’s mission is to preserve and present the musical heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains to audiences from throughout the region and world, for entertainment and education, by producing the annual Shindig on theGreenTM and the Mountain Dance and Folk FestivalTM events.

For more info about the 50th Season of Shindig on the Green or the 89th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, visit or call Brian Carter: 828-335-1263.

Oktoberfest Seeks Bands & Musicians Between Ages 12-25

Hickory - Oktoberfest, held October 7, 8, and 9, 2016 is looking for The Best of the Best local Teen Talent. Pull the band out of the garage, house or practice studio and get on stage! The selected artists/bands will play on the Hickory Music Factory Stage at this years Oktoberfest in downtown Hickory.

Interested artists/bands should be between the ages 12 and 25. To apply, send your info (bio, picture, music) to:

Tony Eltora

Please include name, address, email address and phone number of the person to contact if the band is chosen for more information. Parental consent must be obtained for musicians under the age of 18 years old.

For Oktoberfest information please visit the website or email

Tickets Are On Sale For The Appalachian Summer Festival

Boone, NC - For over three decades, Appalachian State University’s annual summer arts celebration, An Appalachian Summer Festival, has offered unique and enriching arts experiences to audiences across the Southeast, combining world-class performing and visual arts programming, and a spectacular mountain location in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The festival’s 32nd season, to be presented in June 28–Aug. 6, 2016, will feature the best in music, dance, theatre, film and visual arts. The festival has been named one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” by the Southeastern Tourism Society for its commitment to showcasing a vast array of exceptional artistic talent and entertainment.

With ticket prices ranging from $5-$50, as well as several free events, the festival offers unique opportunities for residents and visitors to create arts experiences suited to their individual artistic tastes and budgets. To purchase tickets, call or visit the Schaefer Center box office at 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046. Tickets can also be purchased online at

2016 Festival Season
For videos, images and detailed information about each event, visit

Schaefer Popular Series:

Pink Martini
Monday, July 25
8 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Performing a stylish and sophisticated blend of jazz, classical, and old-fashioned pop on concert stages around the world, Pink Martini captures audiences by bringing together unique melodies and rhythms to create an eclectic and modern sound.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Saturday, July 30
8 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
New Orleans native Trombone Shorty is the bandleader and frontman for this hard-edged funk band that employs hip-hop beats, rock dynamics and improvisation in a jazz tradition.

Jerry Douglas Band with special guest Mipso
Saturday, Aug. 6
8 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Dobro master and 13-time Grammy Award-winner Jerry Douglas is a forward-thinking recording artist whose artistry incorporates elements of bluegrass, country, rock, jazz, blues and Celtic into his distinctive musical vision. Douglas and his band will be joined by Chapel Hill-based Mipso, known for infusing a traditional string band format with three-part harmony and modern influences.

Classical Music Programming:
Broyhill Chamber Ensemble
July 31
8 p.m., Rosen Concert Hall
Every summer, violinist Gil Morgenstern, Artistic Director of the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble and its international “Reflections Series,” assembles several of the nation’s most exciting and acclaimed chamber musicians for an exquisite concert series embracing a diverse repertoire of chamber music works.

Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists
Sunday, July 17
1 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
In partnership with the Hayes School of Music, the festival proudly presents the sixth season of the highly acclaimed Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young & Emerging Artists, featuring our state’s most promising young classical musicians. In the final live round of the competition, a panel of symphony conductors will select a First Place, Second Place and Third Place Winner and the competition audience will select an “Audience Choice Award Winner.”

Theatre Programming:

In/Visible Theatre: “Mauzy”
Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29
8 p.m., Valborg Theatre
In/Visible Theatre returns to the festival with its production of “Mauzy,” a play about tale-telling, about songs, about how storytellers can mix so deep into the stories themselves that they never find their way out—out of the story, or out of the mountains, or back to the world of the living.

Dance Programming:
RIOULT Dance NY: “Bach Dances” with live music by the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble
Saturday, July 23
8 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
“Bach Dances” is a series of powerful dances set to Bach masterpieces, characterized by a unity of music, movement, and art. The festival is proud to present an evening of music and dance that blends the artistry of a company at the forefront of contemporary dance today with the prodigiously talented musicians of its resident chamber ensemble.

The Helene & Stephen Weicholz Global Film Series:

Three Hearts (2014)
Tuesday, July 26
7 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Tangerines (2013)
Tuesday, Aug. 2
7 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Young People’s Global Film Series:
Oddball and the Penguins (2015)
Thursday, July 7
1 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
On the Way to School (2013)
Thursday, July 14
1 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Belle and Sébastian (2013)
Thursday, July 28
1 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Marie’s Story (2014)
Thursday, Aug. 4
1 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Visual Arts Programming:

30th Rosen Sculpture Walk
Saturday, July 23
10 a.m., Smith Gallery, Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
A highlight of every summer festival season, the annual Sculpture Walk offers participants a fascinating journey into the world of contemporary sculpture, through the eyes of the juror. This walking tour, which is free and open to the public, includes stops at each of the ten selected sculptures, providing an opportunity to learn more about each sculpture and to be present for the announcement of the competition’s top awards.

Lunch and Learn Lectures
Wednesdays, July 27 and Aug. 3
Noon, Turchin Center Lecture Hall
Workshops for Kids and Young Adults
Throughout the month of July
Schedule can be found

Special Post-Festival Concert (sponsored by Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation):
An Evening with The Avett Brothers
Thursday, Sept. 8
8 p.m., Holmes Convocation Center
With roots in traditional folk and bluegrass, The Avett Brothers’ sound combines a refreshing blend of country, punk, rock and roll, and pop that the “San Francisco Chronicle” describes as having the "heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of the Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones."

About An Appalachian Summer Festival:

Presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, this annual celebration of the performing and visual arts is held every July in venues across the university campus, and features an eclectic, diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film programming. An Appalachian Summer Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music series, and retains strong roots in classical music, combined with a variety of other programming geared to almost every artistic taste and preference. Celebrating its 32nd season in 2016, the festival has risen in stature to become one of the nation’s most highly respected summer festivals, acclaimed for the breadth and quality of its artistic programming. With an audience of 27,000, the festival has been named one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society.

When The Earth Shakes Exhibit Now Open At Science Center

Hickory - Find out what engineers do to keep our world safer at Catawba Science Center’s latest featured exhibition, When the Earth Shakes, which opened on May 28, will be open till August 28, 2016. Both children and adults will explore the science of earthquakes, tsunamis, tectonic plates, and earthquake engineering with hands-on and interactive exhibits.

Visitors will try and mimic a historic earthquake by jumping up and down on platform, changing the force of the jump, to match a seismogram in Quake Karaoke. Then, participants can see how the continents move and re-form while spinning the dial through geologic history from 600 million years ago to 200 million years in the future. They can also see where earthquakes happen all around the word, sometimes hundreds every week, on the Seismic Monitor that shows earthquakes and their magnitude in real time.

In Puzzled Earth, visitors are given two minutes to assemble a map of giant tectonic plates before the pieces fall. Then visitors can test their engineering skills by making their own earthquake-safe building out of block and reinforcement rods on the Table Shake platform; then start an “earthquake” to see if the structure will hold up in both minor and major conditions.

Guests can also build a structure and make waves crash on a beach in the 16-foot long Tsunami Tank to explore the science of tsunami waves. The participants will have a chance to improve their design after seeing what happened to their structure in slow motion, and will see what happens when a sea wall is added.

Admission to When the Earth Shakes is free for CSC members. The cost for non-members is CSC’s general admission fee plus $1.00. For more information about the When the Earth Shakes and other exhibits, programs, and activities, visit or contact CSC at (828) 322-8169.

When the Earth Shakes is sponsored locally by HSM Solutions, US Conec, & Commscope, and was created by the Sciencenter of Ithaca, New York, with funding from the National Science Foundation and NEES, the National Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation.

Catawba Science Center is a nonprofit science and technology museum serving NC’s western Piedmont region. Special attractions include featured exhibits, a digital planetarium theater and a marine touch pool with live sharks and stingrays. A community asset and regional destination,

Catawba Science Center is dedicated to changing lives and inspiring learning through science and wonder.

Funded in part by the United Arts Fund of Catawba County and the NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative, CSC is located on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory.

Newton-Conover Bach’s Lunch ‘N’ Listen Tickets On Sale Now!

Newton, NC - ?The Newton-Conover Auditorium is offering 2016-2017 season tickets for the popular lunchtime concert series, Bach's Lunch 'N' Listen. As a season ticket holder, you will have the privilege of reserving tickets for any Bach’s Lunch ‘N’ Listen concert before ticket sales open up to the public.

With the ten punches on your season ticket, you have the flexibility to reserve one punch for each concert or use multiple punches for one concert. At a cost of $120, it is the equivalent of getting two FREE tickets. Below are the concert dates for the 2016-2017 season. Performers will be announced July 1st.

September 16th, 2016; October 21st, 2016; November 18th, 2016; December 16th, 2016; January 20th, 2017; February 17th, 2017; March 17th, 2017; April 21st, 2017;;May 19th. 2017. To purchase a season ticket, call the Newton-Conover Auditorium at 828-464-8100.

Science Center's Flutter-By Butterfly Habitat Is Now Open!

Hickory - One of Catawba Science Center’s most anticipated and beloved exhibits, the Flutter-By Butterfly Habitat, returned to the Science Courtyard on Saturday, May 14. Both children and adults will have the unique opportunity to see live butterflies and learn about these fascinating insects.

Visitors will learn about the life cycle of the butterfly as they stop by the butterfly nursery to examine the design, color, and texture of chrysalides containing future inhabitants of the Flutter-By Butterfly Habitat.

With a provided field guide, guests will discover an assortment of North Carolina native butterflies such as Monarchs, Swallowtails, and Fritillaries. Guests will also have the opportunity to experience the presence of semitropical species such as Zebra Long Wing, Julia, and Queen butterflies.

Everyone will have the opportunity to learn about plants that attract butterflies. Some provide nectar while others serve as a food plant for caterpillars. A wide array of flowers, shrubs, and vines provide many different colors and shapes.

In conjunction with this special exhibition, a variety of special events are planned:

Photographer Mondays will be held August 22, while CSC exhibits are closed to the public, for photographers age 16 and older. Members of the Catawba Valley Camera Club will be available to share photography tips. There is a suggested donation of $10 for this activity. Preregistration is recommended.

Two Family Field Trips have been planned, both to be led by CSC’s Lead Naturalist, Bruce Beerbower. The first trip will be held on Monday, June 20, to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, NC, from 9am – 5pm. Highlights include flowers of all colors, water features, and a visit to the Carolina’s only glass house at the Orchid Conservatory. The cost is $30 for members and $40 for non-members. The second field trip will occur on Monday, August 15, to the Magic Wings Butterfly House, a part of the Museum of Life and Science, in Durham, NC, from 8am – 6pm. The group will explore exhibits, and receive a special behind the scenes tour of the Butterfly House and Insectarium. The cost is $40 for members and $50 for non-members. Costs for both trips include van transportation, snacks, and museum fees. Participants must provide their own picnic lunch. Pre-registration is required for both trips.

Admission to the Flutter-By Butterfly Habitat is free for CSC members. The cost for non-members is CSC’s general admission fee plus $1.00. (Nonmember Adult $8.00, Senior (62+) $6.00, Youth (3 – 18) $6.00, Children (under 3) Free, Student (with ID) $6.00, Active Military (with ID) $6.00. Group Rate (10 or more) $6.00.

For more information about the Flutter-By Butterfly Habitat and activities, visit or contact CSC at (828) 322-8169.

Lead sponsors for the Flutter-By Butterfly Habitat are Alex Lee, Lowes Foods, and MDI. Individuals providing additional sponsorship are Jerry & Loudella Francis, Pope & Peggy Shuford, Tom & Diane Taylor, Alan & Eleanor Barnhardt, Karen Bennett & Andy Brinkley, George & Carolyn Moretz, David & Pat Jones, David & Martha Underdown, Rob & Townes Wessels, Chip & Lynn Young, Benny & Cherrie Yount, and other 2016 Italian Dinner Fund-A-Cause Supporters.

Catawba Science Center is a nonprofit science and technology museum serving NC’s western Piedmont region. Special attractions include featured exhibits, a digital planetarium theater and a marine touch pool with live sharks and stingrays. A community asset and regional destination,

Catawba Science Center is dedicated to changing lives and inspiring learning through science and wonder.

Funded in part by the United Arts Fund of Catawba County and the NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative, CSC is located on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory.

Newton Elks Lodge #2042 Bingo Games Each Wed., 6 & 7pm

Newton, NC - Newton Elks Lodge #2042 will host a weekly BINGO program every Wednesday. The Lodge, located at 402 East J Street in Newton, will open its doors at 5:30 PM and begin Early Bird Games at 6 PM.

The “Regular Bingo Program” will begin at 7 PM. The total prizes for the regular program will exceed $2,000 each night, with additional prizes for the Early Bird games and other special games within the regular program. The bingo program is presented completely by the members of Newton Elks Lodge #2042, house rules will be posted at the door.

No smoking is allowed in the Lodge, and all children must be supervised at all times.

For additional information or questions, please call the Newton Elks Lodge #2042 at 828-464-1360 after 4 PM.

The Newton Elks Lodge invites you and your friends to join us every Wednesday for a fun night of bingo.

2016 Lincoln Idol Singing Contest Is Taking Applications

Lincolnton, NC - The ACLC is now accepting applications for our 2016 Lincoln Idol Singing Competition. Come perform your heart out with the chance of being labeled Idol status! Our competition will feature celebrity judges and DJ Chucky B. More than $3200 in cash & prizes will be awarded to the winners.

Applicants must be at least 14 years old to enter our contest. Applicants will perform as individuals. Contestant fee is $40 per application.

Contestant applications are available at

Auditions will be scheduled September 12, 13 & 14, 2016. Semi-finals will be September 23, 2016, 7-11pm. Finials will be September 24, 2016, 7-10pm.

Auditions, semi finals and finals will be held at the Lincoln Cultural Center at 403 East Main Street. Admission will be charged at Semi-finals and Finals, $10 per night, general admission seating, $5 per night for ages 4 and under.

For more information visit or please contact ACLC at 704 732-9044 or email

Foothills Folk Art Festival Is Taking Artists’ Applications Now

Newton, NC - The Foothills Folk Art Festival is now accepting artist applications for the juried festival, which will be held in downtown Newton on Saturday, Oct. 1.

The festival is a partnership between Downtown Newton Development Association (DNDA) and Hickory Museum of Art (HMA). Formerly known as the Lake Norman Folk Art Festival, this event will make downtown Newton its new home in 2016. Festival hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To participate, artists should be primarily self-taught and must submit 3-5 hard copy or high-resolution digital photos of their art to the selection committee. Artists are encouraged to apply now to take advantage of the early registration fee. Registration fees for those who are not accepted for the festival will be returned. Artists may obtain more information about the festival, and an application form, from Hickory Museum of Art by contacting Clarissa Starnes at or by calling 828-327-8576, ext. 210.

The Foothills Folk Art Festival’s roots date back to 2005, when Hickory Museum of Art first acquired 153 folk art objects from Barry and Allen Huffman of Hickory. Since acquiring the Huffman collection, HMA has showcased contemporary Southern folk art through a variety of exhibits, public programs and special events. The Museum also has an ongoing and changing exhibition of folk art, Discover Folk Art: Unique Visions by Southern Self-Taught Artists, located on the third floor. The museum, located at 243 3rd Ave. NE, Hickory, is open Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is free. Shoppers can also purchase unique folk art in the Museum’s Galleria.

Admission to the Foothills Folk Art Festival is free. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of folk art directly from the artists. In addition, there will be special activities for children, artist demonstrations, and two stages with live music. The festival will offer food from local restaurants and food truck vendors, as well as two different beer gardens.

Festival volunteer committees are now being formed to organize everything from parking and signs to children’s art and food. To volunteer, contact Shannon Johnson, Newton Main Street Program manager, at 828-695-4360 or For the latest news about the festival, like its Facebook page at The Foothills Folk Art Festival website will be going live soon.

Call For Artists For Oktoberfest’s Juried Arts & Crafts, Vendors

Hickory - Be a part of Downtown Hickory’s 31st Annual Oktoberfest!!

Hickory’s Oktoberfest 2016 is now accepting applications for Arts and Crafts vendors. Celebrating its 31th year, this annual festival will be held October 7, 8, and 9, 2016 in Downtown Hickory NC. Estimated attendance is 100,000 for the three day event.

Hickory's Oktoberfest is an outdoor festival held annually on the second weekend in October. It features four stages of non-stop live entertainment ranging from traditional polka to rock & roll, two beer gardens, amusement rides and carnival games, a juried arts and crafts show, and hundreds of food and commercial vendors.

Oktoberfest’s Juried Arts and Crafts show is a juried event, with prizes given for the top three artisans. The Arts & Crafts area includes paintings, sculpture, pottery, handmade swings, candles, jewelry, photography and more. Booth spaces are 10 x 10 and limited to one craftsperson per booth. Registration will be accepted until Thursday, August 1, 2016. Booth fees are $200.00 for all three days with electricity available for an additional $25.00. Applications and guidelines are available on line at

Other vendors include foods from around the world, commercial businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Applications for Commercial and Non-Profit vendors are available online at Food vendors are welcomed into the festival by invitation only. No food vendor applications are provided online.

For more information on Oktoberfest 2016, applications and guidelines or sponsorship information please visit the website and click on vendor applications or email

Hickory Brain Injury Support Group Meets Monthly

Hickory - Connect with survivors, families, and professionals at meetings that offer help, hope, and education, so you can live a happy and successful life after brain injury.

2016 Meetings: 7/26/16 Speaker; 8/23/16 Cookout at Glenn Hilton; 9/27/16 Speaker; 10/25/16 Spooky Bingo; 11/22/16 Speaker; and 12/13/16 Christmas Dinner.

Meetings are the fourth Tuesday of most months, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, at First United Methodist Church, 311 3rd Ave NE, Hickory, NC, 28601.

Times and locations sometimes vary, especially for social events. For more information, contact Travis Glass at (828) 781-0778 or

Also check them out on

Tucker’s Barn Singer/Songwriter Series

Lenoir, NC – The Harper School of Performing Arts is proud to announce the start of the 2016 Tuckers Barn Singer Songwriters Series!

The dates are first Thursday of each month, August 4 and September 1. The location is the 1841 Cafe, 117 Main St. NW, Lenoir, 28645. The time is 7 – 9pm and there is no cover charge though donations are gratefully accepted. All proceeds benefit scholarship programs at the Harper School.

Tuckers Barn Singer Songwriters Series is held on the first Thursday of every month through September. Each month performers come out to show case their talent by performing songs they have written themselves. April’s Kick Off showcase consists of Patrick Crouch, Kevin Leftwich and Chad Triplett. Please join us awesome music, good food, wonderful community sharing time and help us support and encourage our local artists. Stop by the school and experience “The Magic that Happens at the Harper School.” For more information on the Harper School, contact us at 828-754-2297, visit our new website and “Like” our Facebook page.

SAFE Connect Offers Resource Website To Assist Homeless

Hickory - While there are many groups working on the issue of homelessness in Catawba County, it has often been difficult to locate the help needed in specific cases.

A new website hopes to correct that problem, providing a virtual portal for citizens, law enforcement, or nonprofits to quickly refer persons experiencing homelessness to resources and information. It can be accessed at A multi-disciplinary team worked on the SAFE Connect project throughout 2015. The word "SAFE" in the name refers to the services that are often needed: shelter, assistance, food, and emergency care.

Now anyone with a computer or smart phone can access the site and immediately learn about available services and where they are located. The service can also use GPS to identify the closest service.

A person using the site selects the types of services they need and a series of links pop up listing the choices available in that area and how to contact them. Users of the service may also click on a button for immediate assistance, and a message is sent to a local person who can provide personalized information and assistance.

"We hope that governmental and non-profit groups in our area will use this site to refer persons experiencing homelessness to the most appropriate services," said John Eller, director of Catawba County Social Services. "Concerned citizens and persons who are experiencing homeless can also use the service if they have access to a computer or smart phone. The service is also a valuable resource when a person is at-risk for becoming homeless. This will be a great complement to United Way's 211 system and we will even have the 211 link visible so those interested can see their robust database should they want to obtain information other than homeless services."

The long term intent is for this service to eliminate the problem of persons contacting multiple agencies trying to find different kinds of assistance.

Bethlehem Library Accepting 2017 Artist Applications

Bethlehem NC - The Bethlehem Branch Library in Alexander County is now accepting applications for the Exhibiting Artists Series for the 2017 and 2018 schedules. All visual wall art mediums and photography may be submitted. Sculpture and wood carving is also now accepted for exhibition. Art is exhibited for two mnths with an Opening Reception and Gallery Talk on the first Thursday of the first month. The Bethlehem Branch Library has been one of the most successful and popular art exhibition venues in the region since its inception in 2010. The exhibition series is sponsored by the Bethlehem Friends of the Library and Bethlehem Community Development Association. Its purpose is to showcase local and regional artists work. For more information and submission guidelines contact Bud Caywood at Visit the Library Gallery at 45 Rink Dam Road, Hickory, NC 28601.

Women’s Resource Center Seeks Items For Pantry

Hickory — The Women’s Resource Center’s personal products pantry, which provides personal and cleaning projects to women and families in the area who are struggling to meet basic needs is in critical need of supplies to replenish the pantry.

“We are asking for help in re-stocking our shelves,” said Executive Director Cindy Rose. Families receiving food assistance from the government cannot use their allotment for these products. We rely on the generosity of community members to keep the shelves stocked so that we can make the items available to women who meet the eligibility requirements.”

Products needed include laundry detergent, hand soap, fabric softener, dryer sheets, bathroom cleaner, window cleaner, disinfectant, mouthwash, body wash, bleach, dish detergent, and all purpose cleaner (409, etc.)

Donations can be dropped off at the Center at 125 3rd Street NE, Hickory, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. No donation is too small.

For additional information, visit the website at

The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) offers assistance to women in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties through workforce development, advocacy, enrichment programs and community partnerships.

Hickory Cribbage Club Invites New Players, Tuesdays, 6:15 PM

Hickory - Hickory Cribbage Club “The CRIBBADIERS” is inviting new players to join our weekly tournaments of friendly competition. The club plays at 6:15 p.m. each Tuesday at Unitarian Universalist Church located at 833 5th St. SE Hickory, NC 2860. Members are willing to teach the game to newcomers or to help former players get back into the swing. Contact: Zig (828) 324-8613 or

Caregiver Support Program Offers Local Families A Break

Hickory - Caring for an older member of the family, who is ill, can be very rewarding and challenging. Karen Harshman willingly cared for her father John Godfrey during his illness and more so after he had to have surgery. During the time Karen cared for her father, she continued to work and raise her young daughter. Karen was glad to care for her father but found that she needed extra help. She was able to receive help from Health and Home Services of Catawba County through the Family Caregiver Support Program respite grant. Karen states, “The respite program benefited me by allowing me to maintain my employment and not have to take a leave of absence from work. It provided high-quality care for my father in his home, as opposed to putting him in a skilled nursing facility.”

Family members are the major provider of long-term care in the United States, with over 65 million individuals providing care to an older adult. Many caregivers have to remain in their jobs while being caregivers for family members. The responsibilities of caring for a loved one can often leave a caregiver inattentive to their personal health or leave little time for a break from their daily responsibilities. Taking a break from caregiving and focusing on their personal needs often renews the caregiver, allowing them to cope better and continue providing care for their loved one and their responsibilities.

While caregiving can be very rewarding, it can also have an emotional, physical and financial toll on the caregiver. When the stress of caregiving begins to have an impact on the caregiver's health and mental well-being, it is time to seek help and support. The Family Caregiver Support Program is a Federal and state program from the federal Older Americans Act that provides supportive services for those considered caregivers. Program services are available to adult family members who are caregivers for a person age 60 or older and priority given to caregivers providing care and support to persons with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and/or to individuals with disabilities.

Melody Beaty, RN, BSN, Agency Director for Health & Home Services administers a respite program in our area which provides much-needed breaks for caregivers who are caring for a family member. As Melody explains, “Every day hundreds of people are providing care to a loved one in our community. For most they do not even recognize themselves as caregivers. This labor of love can be stressful and overwhelming at times.”

The Family Caregiver Support Program serves Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba County caregivers and services are available to assist caregivers on their journey. It is important for caregivers to take a break or take some time for themselves during the time they are dedicating to caring for a loved one. If you are caring for someone and feel you need assistance or if you know someone who is a caregiver and could use a much-needed break, contact the following organization in your county:

·Alexander County – HomeCare Management Corporation, 315 Wilkesboro Blvd. NE, Lenoir NC 28645. Phone – (828) 754-3665

·Burke County – Handi-Care, Inc., 304 South Main Street, Drexel, NC 28619. Phone: (828) 437-8429

·Caldwell County – HomeCare Management Corporation, 315 Wilkesboro Blvd. NE, Lenoir, NC 28645. Phone – (828) 754-3665

·Catawba County - Health and Home Services, Inc., 910 Hwy 321 NW, Suite 150, Hickory, NC 28601 or by phone at (828) 322-2710.

Photo: Left to right: Jennifer Godfrey, John Godfrey and Karen Harshman

Humane Society Seeks Foster Parents For Special Animals

Hickory/Newton, NC - Humane Society of Catawba County is looking for people interested in fostering homeless animals.

Fostering is often necessary when animals need a little more time and TLC prior to adoption; for example, mothers with nursing litters, orphaned litters, and shy animals that need extra socializing.

HSCC also has a growing need for short-term foster care, sometimes just a couple of weeks, for healthy dogs awaiting transport to another rescue.

HSCC will provide everything you need; the foster family will only need to bring the animal to the shelter occasionally for medical check-ups or for their transport date.

The time commitment and selected animal(s) are entirely based on what is convenient for the foster family.

Family Guidance Center Offers Support, Insight On Verbal Abuse

Hickory - The mission of Family Guidance Center’s First Step Domestic Violence Program is to provide needed services to victims of domestic violence and to increase the community’s awareness of the problem.

Verbal abuse is a type of abuse that can leave deep wounds. There are no bruises or marks on your body, but verbal abuse pierces you to the core—it is the Hidden Hurt of domestic violence. Some forms of verbal abuse are obvious, such as name calling or sneering, but many more forms are less obvious and not as easy to recognize. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you are being verbally abused:

Does your partner speak to you differently in private and in public?

Do you often leave a discussion with your partner feeling completely confused?

Does your partner deny being angry or upset when he/she very obviously is?

Does your partner act as though you were attacking them when you try to explain your feelings?

Does your partner discount your opinions or experiences?

You feel as though no matter how hard you try, you just don’t seem to be able to communicate your thoughts and feelings to your partner as he/she always seems to misunderstand you and/or it always seems to cause an argument no matter how you try to approach the subject?

Do you feel nervous or avoid discussing issues which disturb you with your partner because you ‘know’ that trying to discuss them will just leave you feeling even more upset?

Do you feel as though your self-esteem and your self-confidence have decreased?

Do you find yourself spending a lot of time working out either how not to upset your partner or wondering what you did or said which did upset your partner?

Facts which generally apply to verbal abuse:

Verbal abuse tends to be secretive.

Verbal abuse tends to increase over time.

Verbal abuse discounts your perception of reality and denies itself.

Verbal abuse is usually a part of a pattern which is difficult to recognize and it leaves us with a feeling of confusion and upset without really understanding why.

Verbal abuse uses words (or silence) to gain and maintain control.

From time to time, we may all be guilty of saying something which is nasty or abusive to our partner. But when we realize that what we said was hurtful, we regret it and apologize to our partner. Verbal abusers; however, are not likely to apologize. They are not sorry for what they said because hurting you was their intent!

Contact The Family Guidance Center at 828-322-1400. Located at #17 Hwy. 70 SE, Hickory, NC, 28602.

Women’s Resource Center Needs Daily Volunteers

Hickory-Women’s Resource Center is seeking women volunteers who have a passion for giving back to their community and supporting women who are undergoing life-changing transitions.

We need support during our regular daily business hours. WRC Business Hours are 9:00am—4:00pm,Monday through Thursday.

Women’s Resource Center empowers women through Workforce Development, Advocacy, Enrichment Programs, and Community Partnerships.

If interested, please contact Cindy Rose, Executive Director at 828-322-6333 or email

Social Workers Partner With Lions Clubs To Help The Blind

According to The World Health Organization, 153 million people have uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). Most of these vision impairments are quickly diagnosed and easy to treat with corrective lenses. For children, clear vision means a better education, healthier development and a better quality of life. For adults, it means greater employment opportunity and economic strength. For seniors it means less dependence on others.

Unfortunately, due to the current economic situation, many people are forgoing scheduling annual eye examinations and purchasing new eyeglasses. That's why County Social Worker's with NC Division of Services For The Blind have established a partnerships with their Lions Clubs in the county to refer children and adults who need financial assistance in securing an eye examination and purchasing eyeglasses who meet their local Lions Club eligibility guidelines.

If Alexander, Burke, Caldwell,Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford County residents needing assistance with eyeglasses and eye examinations should contact these County Social Workers For The Blind with NC Division of Services For The Blind listed below , then they will forward their names and contact information to a Lions Club in their county:

Alexander & Caldwell County Social Worker For The Blind
1. Gary Smith
604 7th Street, SW
2345 Morganton Boulevard, Suite A, Taylorsville, NC 28681 Lenoir, North Carolina 28645
Telephone: (828) 632-1080 Telephone: 828-426-8316

Burke & McDowell County Social Worker For The Blind
2. Sandy Freeman
700 E. Parker Road
207 East Court Street
Morganton, NC 28680 Marion, NC 29752
Telephone: (828) 764-9704 Telephone: 828-659-0844

Catawba Social Worker
for the Blind
3. Greg Morgan
PO Box 669
Newton, NC 28658

Cleveland County Social
Worker For The Blind
4. Lucy Plyer
130 South Post Road
Shelby, North Carolina 28150
Telephone: 704-487-0661 ext. 317;

Gaston Social Worker
for the Blind
5. Charity Patterson
330 N. Marietta Street
Gastonia, NC 28052
Telephone: (704) 862-7622

Iredell & Lincoln County
Social Worker for the Blind
6. Tammy Loukos
549 Eastside Drive
1136 East Main Street
Statesville, NC 28687
Lincolnton, N.C. 28092
Telephone: (704) 924-4111 Telephone: 704-732-9024

Polk & Rutherford County
Social Worker For The Blind
7. Marian Corn
231 Wolverine Trail
389 Fairground Road
Mill Spring, NC 28756 Spindale, NC 28160
Telephone: (828) 894-2100 Telephone: 828-287-1241

To secure names, and contact information of other NC County Social Worker’s For The Blind not listed, please check out the NC Division of Services For The Blind website @

Child Wellbeing Project Offers Post Adoption Support

Hickory - The Child Wellbeing Project is expanding to assist adoptive families in an eight-county region of North Carolina.

The program uses the Success Coach model of post-adoption services. Thanks to a grant from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Resources, this service is now being made available to any family who has adopted and is currently living in one of the following counties: Ashe, Alleghany, Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Watauga and Wilkes.

Children who have been adopted often struggle with their identity and may have trouble fitting into their new family or adjusting to a new school. Post Adoption Success Coach Services assign a Success Coach to these families, allowing them to receive additional help and support. This assistance is free for the adoptive family.

"We realize that many children who have been adopted continue to have struggles long after the adoption is finalized," said Chrissy Triplett, post adoption care supervisor.

"Success Coaches can work with adoptive families to provide helpful information and coaching in how to deal with these issues."

The Success Coach model has been used successfully with a limited number of families in Catawba County. It is now being offered to any family who has adopted in the eight-county region. International adoptions and adoptions through private agencies are included, as well as adoptions arranged by county Departments of Social Services.

The Child Wellbeing Project will work with several private therapy providers to offer Success Coach services. For more information about Success Coach Post Adoption Services, go to or call 828-695-4428. The Child Wellbeing Project and Success Coach Post-Adoption Services are a service of Catawba County Social Services.

Hickory’s Angel of Hope House Requests Help

Hickory - Angel of Hope House Inc. is a faith based not-for-profit organization that houses women ages 18 and over; who are motivated to recover from alcohol and/or drug abuse. It is a safe stable environment that practices a program of recovery to work and teach women to be independent and successful members of society. Angel of Hope is a spiritually based facility with diverse group of women; however, we all have the same goal: a happy and sober life.

Angel of Hope has partnered with Vision Outreach Ministries in Conover to help with their Homeless Program. Angel of hope helps with the feeding and clothing. Through this we are teaching the ladies humbleness and to give back what was so freely given to them.

Items Needed:

- contributions for utilities
- refrigerator
- deep freezer
- more dependable vehicle
- toiletries
- household cleaning supplies
- office supplies
- pantry items: coffee, sugar, creamer, beans, rice, peanut butter, jelly
- feminine products
- toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags
- sanitizing items: Lysol spray, Bleach, Clorox Wipes
- gas cards
- notebooks, pens, pencils, for step study work
- paper, pens, envelopes, stamps for writing letters to family and children

To make contributions. donations, or any further information please contact: Joyce Crouse (Asst. Director): (828)- 315- 0352 or Kelly Cook (Resident Manager): (828) 322-6211.

Volunteers Needed To Deliver Meals On Wheels

Claremont, NC - There is an urgent need for volunteers to deliver meals to homebound senior citizens in the Claremont-Catawba area of Catawba County.

Volunteers pick up the meals at Bethlehem United Methodist Church-Claremont between 10:50 and 11:15 am Monday through Thursday. You can volunteer as little as one hour a month and make a difference in the life of a senior citizen.

Volunteers are also needed to deliver meals in the East Hickory, West Hickory, Maiden and Newton areas. For details about how you can help, contact Vickie Redden, volunteer coordinator of Catawba County Meals on Wheels, at 695-5610.

For more information about these programs, and how you can help, go to or find the Meals on Wheels of Catawba County program on Facebook at!/MealsOnWheelsOfCatawbaCounty.

How To Get Your Event In Focus

Email a press release for your non-profit event, fundraiser, festival or other community event to Please include your contact information along with the name of your event, who it benefits, what it features, when the event will take place, and the cost of attending. Please send a text document, not a pdf or jpeg of text information.

Also, please put the name of the event in the subject line of your email. We look forward to hearing from you.

Health-Care Pro Discusses The Many Warning

Signs And How To Spot A Victim Of Domestic Violence

In the United States, women are assaulted or beaten once every nine seconds; worldwide, one in three women have been battered, raped or otherwise abused in her lifetime, according to women’s advocacy organizations.

“That means most of us – while grocery shopping, at work or at home – come across several women a day who have either been abused, or are currently enduring abuse,” says Linda O’Dochartaigh, a health professional and author of Peregrine ( “It’s a terrible fact of life for too many women, but if there is something we can do about it and we care about fellow human beings, then we must try.”

There are several abuse resources available to women who are being abused, or friends of women who need advice, including:, National Domestic Violence Hotline, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 1-800-799-SAFE (7223), provides unbiased, advertising-free mental health information to give people the self-help options to help people understand, prevent, and resolve life’s challenges, allows women to search for an offender in custody by name or identification number, then register to be alerted if the offender is released, transferred, or escapes, 1-888-7HELPLINE, offers crisis intervention and support services for victims of intimate partner violence and their families

Perhaps the best thing friends and family can do for a woman enduring domestic abuse is to be there for her – not only as a sympathetic ear, but also as a source of common sense that encourages her to take protective measures, O’Dochartaigh says. Before that, however, loved ones need to recognize that help is needed.

Linda O’Dochartaigh reviews some of the warning signs:

• Clothing – Take notice of a change in clothing style or unusual fashion choices that would allow marks or bruises to be easily hidden. For instance, someone who wears long sleeves even in the dog days of summer may be trying to hide signs of abuse.

• Constant phone calls – Many abusers are very controlling and suspicious, so they will call their victims multiple times each day to “check in.” This is a subtle way of manipulating their victims, to make them fearful of uttering a stray word that might alert someone that something is wrong. Many abusers are also jealous, and suspect their partner is cheating on them, and the constant calls are a way of making sure they aren’t with anyone they aren’t supposed to be around.

• Unaccountable injuries – Sometimes, obvious injuries such as arm bruises or black eyes are a way to show outward domination over the victim. Other times, abusers harm areas of the body that won’t be seen by family, friends and coworkers.

• Frequent absences – Often missing work or school and other last-minute plan changes may be a woman hiding abuse, especially if she is otherwise reliable.

• Excessive guilt & culpability – Taking the blame for things that go wrong, even though she was clearly not the person responsible – or she is overly-emotional for her involvement – is a red flag.

• Fear of conflict – Being brow-beaten or physically beaten takes a heavy psychological toll, and anxiety bleeds into other relationships.

• Chronic uncertainty – Abusers often dominate every phase of a victim’s life, including what she thinks she likes, so making basic decisions can prove challenging.

Linda O’Dochartaigh has worked in health care is an advocate for victims of child abuse and domestic violence. She wants survivors to know that an enriched, stable and happy life is available to them. O’Dochartaigh is the mother of three grown children and is raising four adopted grandchildren.

Family Finders Helps Foster Kids Connect With Extended Family

Hickory - “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in,” wrote poet Robert Frost.

But many foster children and youths have lost that type of family support system. Sid Daniels, who works with the Family Finding Program in Catawba County, will tell you that foster children are often very lonely because they have lost contact with their extended family. The longer they are in foster care, the more likely this is to happen. It’s his job to change that reality.

“We don’t want a kid feeling lonely — where the only people in their life are the ones that get paid to be there,” he said. Staff members go home at the end of their shift. Family members can form a lifelong bond. The Family Finding Program in Catawba County is a partnership between the Children's Home Society of North Carolina and Catawba County Social Services. Family Finders is a national program, developed by Kevin Campbell, that has shown strong results in many states.

Daniels' job as a Family Finder is part detective, part negotiator and part counselor. He first has to identify and contact family members who have lost their connection to the foster child. These could include grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins, as well as parents and step-parents.

After he identifies these relatives, he tries to gauge their interest in reconnecting with the child in foster care. If they express an interest, he invites them to a couple of meetings. At the first one, he shows them a “video journal” of the young person talking about themselves and what they want in life. They discuss how the relatives may play a role in the child’s future.

Sid Daniels

In some cases, the relatives want to resume the relationship they had before, such as talking with the child on the phone, writing them letters, or visiting with them. In other cases, they might be willing to adopt the child if they cannot be reunited with their parents.
Then the process moves to planning how the relationship might be resumed. If a relative wishes to adopt or become the guardian of the child, he or she must undergo an evaluation process.

It is important to wrap the child in a network of family supporters who are willing to assist them, Daniels said. The goal is to find as many relatives as possible who are willing to participate in the process. Catawba County was one of the first counties in North Carolina to pilot Family Finding, beginning in 2008. Now it has fully embraced the model.

Daniels joined the team last fall. The process can be time consuming, but it is usually completed in three to five months, he said. “The ownership is on the family,” he said. “What do they want to do?”

Catawba County Social Services hopes that reuniting foster children with their relatives can produce a brighter future. Foster children usually age out of care at 18, although they can remain voluntarily until they are 21.

National statistics show that former foster care youths face some daunting prospects if they don’t have a support system in place. Some 49 percent are homeless within three years. Forty-three percent are high school drop outs. Fifty-six percent become unemployed within two years. Forty-two percent, of whom 60 percent are women, become parents within 2.5 years of exiting foster care.

Former foster youth are found to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at two times the level of U.S. war veterans. Fifty percent have used illegal drugs. One in four will be incarcerated within 2.5 years of leaving foster care.

Daniels believes his work can help change those statistics for local youths. That’s why he keeps on calling, emailing, sending Facebook messages, knocking on doors and meeting with family members of children and youths in foster care. He sees his job as finding “who’s going to love this kid no matter what.”

For more information, call 828-695-5600 or visit our website at
Or contact Sean Jarman at 828-695-2134 or

Loving Our Enemies

By Rev. Susan Smith

Matthew 5:43-45 (NIV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

A week ago, my son woke me up to tell me Osama Bin Laden was dead. I got up and listened to president Obama tell the nation that our terrorist enemy had been killed by a special forces Navy Seals team. I felt sad. Sad for the pain and misery he has caused all over the world. Sad for the victims of 9/11. Sad that a shy, deeply devoted Muslim boy could grow into a mass murderer of innocent people in the name of holy jihad. I went back to bed, not realizing that people were dancing in the streets to celebrate that Bin Laden was dead.

I have heard many say since that justice was done. Really? The definition of justice in this sense is “the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.” As a person of faith against the death penalty, I do not see this as “justice”. Killing people who kill people to prove that killing people is wrong is not justice. It might help us feel that we have gotten the revenge we want for his horrific acts, but the Bible tells us that vengeance belongs to God.

If we dance in the streets to celebrate the fact that we shot an unarmed man in the head in front of his wife – are we any better than all those who burn the American flag, hang effigies of our president, and chant “Death to America”? God is the only one who can see all the pain caused by war in humanity as a whole. The causes and effects of global, generational hatred and bitterness stemming from the murder of civilians in the crossfire of war has poisoned international relations to the point where it is almost impossible for any country to claim innocence. We have all been murderers.

No, I would not call killing Bin Laden justice, but I would say that it was necessary to prevent the murder of more innocent people. We hope that his death will decrease worldwide terrorism, but only time will tell. Instead of dancing in the streets, we should have been praying that God would help us love our enemies. We should have been praying for his soul, his family, his people, and all those in the Muslim world who looked to him as a hero. They are truly our enemies because they have declared a holy war against us. His death will not end that. Loving our enemies is the hardest thing Jesus commanded us to do, and 2000 years later we have still not learned how to do it. Consider the words of the sermon “Finding Forgiveness” delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on Christmas of 1957:

“Why should we love our enemies? The first reason is fairly obvious. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.

"So when Jesus says 'Love your enemies,' he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition. Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil-hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”

For the complete text of this incredibly Christ-like message, go to:

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