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December Seniors Morning Out Has Christmas Parties & Jazz!

Hickory – Seniors Morning Out participants will enjoy a variety of activities in December, including Christmas specials and parties, along with a performance by jazz trio Blue Tulip.

Any resident of Catawba County who is 60 or better is invited to join Seniors Morning Out, which is held between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at five convenient locations. A hot, balanced lunch is served each day. Programs are free to participants, who may pick and choose which days to attend. Bus transportation to and from the sites is available in some locations.

On Dec 5, seniors 60 years or older are invited to attend a performance by the jazz trio Blue Tulip at Huntington Hills Church of God Family Life Center from 9:00am-12:00noon. Registration was required by calling 828-695-5610 by November 28, so please call ahead. Lunch will be provided at no cost.

The Blue Tulip performance is supported by a grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Other program highlights are as follows.

At the Newton site, located at First Presbyterian Church, 701 N. Main Ave., Newton: Dec 4, Craft Class- Christmas Tree Topper; Dec 7, Shopping at Hamricks and lunch at CiCi’s Pizza; Dec 11, Special Christmas program with Charles Ballard; Dec 14, Christmas Shopping at Walmart; Dec 18, Cooking Class-Crock Pot Rice Pudding; Dec 21, Christmas Celebration at Western Steer. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, call Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133 at least two days in advance.

At the West Hickory site, located at the West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th St. SW, Hickory: Dec 4, Christmas Special with Charles Ballard; Dec 6, Breakfast at Shell’s BBQ and Sing Along at Trinity Village; Dec 7, Christmas Carols with Homeschooled Children; Dec 11, Christmas Chaos Gift Exchange-bring a wrapped inexpensive gift; Dec 13, Craft Class-Christmas Ornaments with Jennie Ritch and Candy Making with Nancy Frady; Dec 14, Tanglewood Festival of Lights; Dec 18, Christmas Trivia and Jingo; Dec 20, Shopping at Walmart. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, contact Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746 at least two days in advance.

At the East Hickory site, located at Huntington Hills Church of God, 2123 Fifth St. NE, Hickory: Dec 4, Craft Class-Christmas Cards and Bingo; Dec 5, jazz trio Blue Tulip to perform; Dec 7, Shopping at Walmart; Dec 11, Christmas Dance with Elvis; Dec 13, Christmas Lunch at O’Charley’s and Shopping at the Mall; Dec 14, Hot Cocoa Day and Craft Class-Christmas Ornaments; Dec 20, Gift Exchange; Dec 21, Christmas Party and Dance. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, contact Rita Pritchard at least two days in advance by calling 828-320-5963.

At the Catawba site, located at Hopewell United Methodist Church, 2211 Hopewell Church Road, Sherrills Ford: Dec 5, Bowling at pin Station and Shopping at Hamricks; Dec 6, Christmas Music by BHHS Chorus; Dec 13, Cooking Class-Christmas Cookies; Dec 14, Craft Class with Tonya Jarnac; Dec 20, Christmas Party and Gift Exchange- bring a $5 gift; Dec 21, Bowling at Pin Station and Shopping at Walmart. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, call Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434 at least two days in advance.

At the Maiden site, located at the Maiden Community Center, East Second Street and Klutz Street, Maiden: Dec 5, Shopping at Hamricks and Lunch at Western Steer; Dec 7, Cooking Class- Snowman Dessert Dip with Pretzel Sticks; Dec 11, Group Walk and Lunch at Untouchables; Dec 13, Bingo and Craft Class- Christmas Wreath Center Piece; Dec 14, Westside Baptist Church to sing; Dec 18, Christmas Party and Christmas Bingo; Dec 19, Group Exercise and Christmas Music Game. If you would like to attend any of these programs, please call Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966 at least two days in advance.

Seniors Morning Out is operated by Senior Nutrition Services of Catawba County Social Services and is in need of volunteers to assist with the program between 8:30am and noon, Monday – Thursday. Please call 695-5617 if interested. In addition to SMO, Senior Nutrition Services operates Meals on Wheels and related programs in the county. Additional volunteers are urgently needed to deliver Meals on Wheels. You can volunteer as little as one and a half hours a month. The program is also conducting its annual fund-raising drive at this time. To find out more, contact Senior Nutrition at 828-695-5610 during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for holidays. For the latest updates, like their Facebook page at, or visit their website at

Catawba County Senior Nutrition Services is a United Way funded partner. Catawba County United Way’s mission is to increase the organized capacity of people to help others by mobilizing the caring power of our community.
For more information, locate us on Facebook, 828-327-6851 or

Salinity’s Green Fairy Fest For Hickory Community Theatre

Is Sunday, Dec. 10, 3-8pm

Hickory NC: Join us on December 10th for our first Green Fairy Fest. We will have wonderful, local artists showing and selling their works. While you are there you can have a private session with some very talented readers. Browse our store and enjoy our Christmas discounts, while tasting wine from local wineries, food form local vendors, and of course Green Fairy drinks. All while helping to raise money for the Hickory Community Theater. It will be a great time for all.

There is no admission fee to attend this event, which will take place from 3-8pm.

Salinity is so excited to introduce our first Green Fairy Fest. We will have the most talented artists and psychics at one event, not to mention wonderful local wine. Stop by and meet the artists in person, enjoy great discounts on art and gift items, talk to our gifted psychics, taste our wines and finger foods, and sample our Green Fairy mixed drinks at our bar.

Featuring: JW Baker, Sandi Baker, Andrew Atkin, Clay James, Leslie Long, Heather Darnell, Lori Michael, June Hamilton, Linda Guess and Tina Marie Heckman.

Salinity, the first salt therapy (aka halotherapy) center in the Greater Catawba Valley Region, is located in the Viewmont Business District at 2221 North Center Street, Hickory 28601.

To experience the healing benefits of Salt Therapy for yourself visit Salinity at 2221 North Center Street #3, Hickory N.C. 28601. You can pre-book appointments online at or call 828-855-9980.

Skills For Skills Arts & Crafts Show At CVCC On Saturday, Dec. 9

Hickory - More than 50 vendors will sell their unique creations at Catawba Valley Community College’s “Skills For Skills Arts & Crafts Show” Sat., December 9, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the college’s Tarlton Complex on the main campus on Hwy. 70 in Hickory.

Vendors will be selling hand-made pottery, furniture, wreaths, clothing, pet products, jewelry, wood crafts, leather crafts, candles, signs, and books and produce onsite monograming. There will also be several direct sales vendors.

Proceeds will help fund the college’s SkillsUSA student chapter for state and national competitions. The chapter has earned numerous top 10 placements at both the state and national level during the past 11 years. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. CVCC’s SkillsUSA chapter is recognized as one of the best programs in the country. It is a campus-wide success winning 19 national medals in the past three years.

CVCC’s SkillsUSA program is supported by the CVCC Foundation, Inc.

For more information, contact Becky Rees at 828.327.7000 ext. 4296,

A Cabaret Christmas Show With Jackie Finley & Many More,

On Monday, Dec. 18, At HCT

Hickory - Award-winning vocalist Jackie Finley, national recording artist Noel Freidline, percussionist Rick Cline, Allen Finley, Johnny White and Carolyn Ousler will present “A Cabaret Christmas” on Monday, December 18 at 8pm, in the Hickory Community Theatre. This marks the 12th year of this popular Christmastime event in downtown Hickory.

Jackie Finley

The show will feature the world-renowned music of Natalie Cole, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, and many other traditional Christmas favorites.

Finley has opened for country music stars Travis Tritt and JoDee Messina, performed at Nashville’s World Famous Tootsie’s Orchid, won the 2007 NFDA Idol competition in Las Vegas, and has won seven Kay Awards at HCT.

Rick Cline

Noel Freidline has recorded seven CDs, played Julia Roberts’ 35th birthday party at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, performed in many Broadway shows, and has opened for Kenny G, Dave Brubeck, and David Sanborn. Rick Cline has performed with Tommy Dorsey Band, Jerry Lewis, and Marie Osmond.

Individual tickets are $22 and are available at Hickory Community Theatre,, 828 328 2283, Finley Advertising 828 324 6700 x1.

Noel Freidline

Eighth Annual Home For Christmas Concert At HUB

On Dec. 8 & 9, With Dan Truhitte

Hudson, NC - The 8th Annual Home for Christmas Concert will be presented at the Hudson Uptown Building, (HUB), 145 Cedar Valley Road, Hudson, NC 28638 on Friday and Saturday, December 8th and 9th. Special guest will be Mr. Dan Truhitte. Mr. Truhitte played Rolf Gruber in the 1965 iconic, classic Academy Award winning movie, “The Sound of Music,” starring Julie Andrews. Dan Truhitte is the only member of the 1965 movie cast to still be performing musically. Dan now resides in Concord, North Carolina.

He recently wrote a Christmas song, “Christmas is Bustin’ Out Again.” He has recorded this piece and it is available on ITunes. The 54-singer Home for Christmas Choir will be performing this piece in choral form for the first time ever during the concert.

Other selections include “The Christmas Song,” (Chestnut’s Roasting), “Edelweiss,” “Ave Maria,” “O Holy Night,” “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning,” “Look a’ that Star,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “All on a Starry Night,” “Christmas Time is Here,” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” “Christmas in About Three Minutes,” “Candlelight Carol,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” The Home for Christmas Choir is directed by Mr. Keith Smith and accompanied by Mr. Gregory Knight.

The event will be catered by Box Car Grille, and will feature a Holiday Menu of turkey and dressing, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, rolls, dessert and tea. Tickets are $25 for dinner and the concert, $15 for the concert only. Reservations are required for dinner. Dinner will be served at 6:30 PM and the Concert will follow at 7:30 PM. Tickets may be purchased at Hudson Town Hall during business hours Monday through Friday, or you can call 322-3169. This concert is ideal for church and family groups. Mr. Truhitte will be available for photos and autographs after the concert.

Photo courtesy of: Castle Light Images
Dan Truhitte

City Of Newton Toys For Tots Drop Off Points, Through Dec. 22

Newton, NC - The Catawba County Marine Corps Reserve is seeking donations of toys for local children to help make their holidays a little brighter this year with the 2017 Toys for Tots campaign.

The city of Newton has two convenient drop-off locations for the Toys for Tots project. Residents, churches, businesses, and others who wish to donate may drop off new, unwrapped toys at the Newton Police Department, located at 411 North Main Ave., or at the Newton Fire Department Headquarters, located at 119 South Brady Ave.

The toys will be distributed by the Catawba County United Way. Children are registered through the school systems and other agencies to participate in the Toys for Tots project.

The deadline for donations is Dec. 22.

For more information, contact the Police Department at 828-465-7430 or the Fire Department at 828-695-4315. You may also visit


Winter Frenzy Sat., Dec. 9 In Morganton: Shop, Santa & More

Morganton, NC - The Winter Frenzy 2017 will be Saturday, December 9, 2017 from 10am-3pm, at Collett Street Recreation Center, 300 Collett St., in Morganton, NC, 28655.

Admission is free and Santa will be there from 11am-2pm. Pictures with Santa will be available for purchase. There will be door prizes and a 50/50 drawing. Shop early for christmas with doors opening at 10am. Over 40 vendors to peruse. Kids can enjoy some fun with doodle faces, while waiting on Santa! There will be a food vendor on site as well.

Hickory’s Tim Peeler At Poetry Hickory On Tuesday, Dec. 12

Hickory - Hickory's Tim Peeler, the first poet to read at Poetry Hickory 11 years ago, returns on December 12 to read from his 3 new books, bringing the monthly series full circle.

A past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature, Tim Peeler has also twice been a nominee for Baseball Book of the Year and received a SIBA Award.

He is the author of 16 books, including this year’s “L2,” continuing the narrative of his iconic Southern, philosophical miscreant, Larry Ledbetter; “Wild in the Strike Zone,” another in his series of baseball poetry, and “Henry River: An American Ruin,” based on the abandoned Henry River Mill Village which borders his home near Hickory and was the setting for “The Hunger Games.”

Peeler is Poetry Editor for Red Hawk Press, and directs the academic assistance programs at Catawba Valley Community College.

The reading begins at 7:00 PM at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in downtown Hickory and will be followed by an Open Mic. Poetry Hickory is free and open to the public. Registration for the Open Mic must be made between 6:30 and 7:00 the night of the reading. For more information, contact Scott Owens at Taste Full Beans at 828-234-4266 or

Carolina Moonlighters & Three CVCC Groups

Offer Free Concert Sunday, Dec. 10, At Drendel

Hickory - Carolina Moonlighter President Lee DeArmond announces that the barbershop chorus will present a show titled A Christmas Story in Four Parts at 3 pm on Sunday, December 10. Joining the Moonlighters will be three groups from Catawba Valley Community College; Hawk-a-Pella, Red Tails quartet, and the CVCC Ensemble.

Admission is free; donations will be accepted and will benefit Catawba Regional Hospice and the CVCC Choral program. The show will be held in the Drendel Auditorium at the SALT Block in Hickory, 243 3rd Ave. NE. Tickets are not required.

The Moonlighters sing a cappella music in the barbershop style. Rehearsals are held Thursday evenings at 7 pm in the Arts Center Annex on the SALT Block in Hickory. Men who enjoy singing are always welcome to attend.

For any questions, call Lee DeArmond at (828) 313-0758.

Hartman’s Haven Dog Rescue Fundraiser Is Sat., Dec. 9!

Hickory - Hartman’s Haven Dog Rescue is having a Christmas fundraiser on Saturday, December 9, 11am-6pm. Come shop for unique and one of a kind gifts to fill your Christmas list!

There’s a new location this year, VFW Post 1957, 1615 12th St Dr NW Hickory, NC.

We will have vendors and local artists set up to sell a variety of items. Lulu Roe, Lip Sense; handmade jewelry, crafts and ornaments; homemade soaps; homemade dog treats; handmade wood bowls, vases and toys; paintings, and much much more!

A portion of all sales will benefit Hartman’s Haven Dog Rescue.

We will also have chopped barbecue sandwiches or trays and homemade baked goods for sale so you can have lunch while you shop.

ALFA’s 20th Annual Winter Gala Is Sunday, Dec. 10, At Cafe Rule

Hickory - ALFA's 20th Annual Winter Gala promises to be something extra special this year! Come kick off the holiday season with friends old and new and support a great cause!

Join us as we present ALFA's Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Legacy Award to Sally Fanjoy and James Labrenz.

Every guest will receive a special gift from Robert Abbey Lighting!

The evening will feature pre-dinner cash bar cocktails and a fabulous four course meal prepared by Executive Chef David Robbins & Chef Rick Doherr at Cafe Rule & Wine Bar on Sunday, December 10th at 6pm. Cafe Rule & Wine Bar is located at 242 11th Ave. NE, Hickory, NC, 28601.

For more information please call ALFA at 828-322-1447. Tickets may be purchased online at

McAdenville Holiday Lights Return Dec. 1, Through Dec. 26

Charlotte – The arrival of the holiday season means more traffic for the Gaston County community of McAdenville, also known as Christmas Town, USA.

As thousands of visitors are expected to drive through the area, the N.C. Department of Transportation is working to ensure traffic flows smoothly, both for motorists heading to McAdenville and for drivers passing through to other destinations.

The town will officially kick off its 62nd year of this popular free attraction at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, continuing through Tuesday, Dec. 26. Visitors can enjoy the festive light displays Monday through Friday from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 5:30 – 11 p.m.

Due to the large number of vehicles expected in the area, motorists should expect delays and slow down during the holiday season. One option for visitors is to arrive early, between 5 – 5:15 p.m., find a parking spot and wait for the lights to come on at 5:30 p.m.

Steve Rankin with the Christmas Town Committee suggests visitors also make plans to come during the week. “For less traffic, please come Monday through Thursday”, says Rankin. “On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and once school is out for the holidays, the traffic is extremely heavy.” NCDOT will place message boards on I-85 to inform motorists of the following:

Drivers coming from Charlotte should use U.S. 74 (Wilkinson Boulevard) into McAdenville; an alternate route is from I-85 South to Exit 27 ( N.C. 273) to U.S. 74;
Motorists driving north on I-85 should use Exit 22 (Lowell) into McAdenville; and
The ramp from I-85 North to Exit 23 (N.C. 7) will be closed nightly during events.

Walking through McAdenville offers another way to see the lights while hearing the church chimes ringing in the background. Pedestrians are asked to remain on the sidewalks and not enter homeowners’ private property.

To find out more about Christmas Town USA, visit the event website.For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on Twitter.

Prenatal & Postpartum Support Dec. 28 At Catawba

Co. Mental Health - Free!

Hickory - What’s the number one complication of childbirth? No, it’s not gestational diabetes, or preeclampsia. It’s perinatal depression and anxiety, with symptoms occurring during the prenatal or postpartum period. Up to one in 7 women who deliver a child will be diagnosed with a perinatal mood disorder such as anxiety or depression. Yet only about 15% of these women are treated, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Women may not recognize the symptoms, or may sometimes hide them from their physician. Some think it is only the “baby blues,” but the “baby blues” symptoms of tearfulness, mood swings, and feeling overwhelmed often go away on their own within two weeks after childbirth. A perinatal mood disorder affects a woman’s functioning and lasts past two weeks postpartum.

The Catawba County Maternal Mental Health Collaborative has set out to close the gaps in screening, diagnosing, and treating women with perinatal mood disorders in our area. The Prenatal and Postpartum Support Group of Hickory will meet for the first time on November 30 at 10 am at the Catawba County Partnership for Children, 738 4th St. SW, Hickory. A second meeting date is set for Dec. 28 at the same time and location. There is no fee to attend. Registration is helpful, but not required. For more information about the support group or the Catawba County Maternal Mental Health Collaborative, please call 828-695-6517.

Help is available for moms

The Collaborative is comprised of professionals in the fields of medicine, mental health, and early childhood. “More people are realizing the importance of diagnosing and treating perinatal mood disorders,” said Marie Wimmer, RN, LCCE, who recently founded the Collaborative, along with parent educator Susan Reinhardt, M.Ed. Reinhardt and Wimmer have completed numerous trainings in the field of maternal mental health over the last decade. “ It is a topic that we kept revisiting,” said Wimmer. “We knew there was no protocol in our county, though other counties in our state have community support networks. The collaborative here has been meeting for one year now. It is exciting to see the synergy among the members, including professionals from the local hospitals, the health department, agencies, and private practices. We want to de-stigmatize the topic so that more women will feel comfortable asking for and receiving help.”

Although many people have heard of postpartum depression, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders also include prenatal and postpartum anxiety, prenatal or postpartum obsessive-compulsive symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, bipolar prenatal or postpartum symptoms, and postpartum psychosis. “Many women are fearful about psychosis, with symptoms like delusions or hallucinations, but that is a very rare condition,” Reinhardt noted. Instead, most women with prenatal or postpartum depression have typical symptoms like feeling sad, crying, having trouble with appetite or sleeping, possible lack of bonding with the baby, feelings of guilt or shame, or losing interest in activities they previously enjoyed. Women with prenatal or postpartum anxiety may have symptoms such as feeling anxious and worried, having racing thoughts, feeling panicky, or having trouble sleeping. Women may also have obsessive, intrusive thoughts about the baby’s health or safety. Prenatal and postpartum and depression and anxiety are fortunately treatable disorders. Women can contact their obstetrician and/or a mental health professional.

Wimmer stated, “Women also have excellent resources if they want to learn more on their own about prenatal or postpartum depression or anxiety. One resource is Postpartum Support International.” The PSI website,, offers a free warmline telephone number (1-800-944-4773), a chance to chat with an expert in the field once per week, comprehensive information, and helpful suggestions for recovery. There is also information for the spouse or family as to how best to help the mother. Professionals treating mothers with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders will find clinical resources.

The Maternal Mental Health Collaborative recently announced the start of a new support group for women experiencing prenatal or postpartum anxiety or depression. “The research shows that support groups can decrease depressive symptoms in women,” said Reinhardt. “Women are powerful supports for other women,” said Reinhardt. “Empathy and compassion go a long way in the healing process.”

Reinhardt has completed certification from Postpartum Support International.Reinhardt said, “Untreated depression can cause long-lasting effects on both the mother and the baby. If the mother is not treated, the child is at risk for emotional and behavioral problems, sleeping and eating difficulties, excessive crying, ADHD, and language delays.”

Two members of the executive committee of the Catawba County Maternal Mental Health Collaborative are Jennifer Whipple and Rhonda Stikeleather. Stikeleather is the Children’s Services Nursing Supervisor at Catawba County Public Health. She sees depression in perinatal women on a regular basis. “Maternal mental distress affects the bonding between parent and child. Women may not be able to show their child that they are interested and available. They often don’t feel like smiling or communicating with the child.” Whipple, Family Support Specialist at the Children’s Resource Center, added, “This is why it is critical for us to provide support services for these mothers. They can be depressed for over a year if they are not treated. Being exposed to this kind of depression at a young age can affect the child throughout the school years. This is a disorder that affects the mother, the child, the entire family, and society as a whole.”

The Prenatal and Postpartum Support Group of Hickory will begin meeting on a regular basis in 2018. They may add an evening group if enough women request one. For more information about the support group or the Catawba County Maternal Mental Health Collaborative, please call 828-695-6517.

Exodus Homes’ William Mangum Honor Cards Are Now On Sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newton Appearance Commission Announces

Christmas Decorating Contest, Dec. 12 Deadline

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

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

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

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

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

If you have any questions, please email

Hickory Choral Society’s 40th Anniversary Membership Drive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Old Fashioned Christmas In Taylorsville, December 15 & 16

Taylorsville, NC - A Old Fashioned Christmas, presented by the Taylorsville Apple Festival in Taylorsville, NC, is Friday and Saturday, December 15 and 16, on Main Avenue Drive, from 10am to 9pm.

Vendor spots are still available, with no late fee! Go to for full information on the event.

There will an Ice Skating in Town on Friday, December 15, 10am-9pm, Ice Skating and Carriage Rides on December 15, 3pm-9pm and then on Saturday, December16, the Old Fashioned Christmas Event on Main Avenue Drive from 10am-9pm. We will be having Ice Skating all day, Polar Express Train rides, Carriage Rides, a Live Nativity, Manger Petting Zoo, Christmas Shopping all day in the Angel Christmas Market, and a Winter Wonderland with Santa vacationing here in Taylorsville, NC, for the day... before his big trip around the world.

The Skating Fee is $6 and includes skate rental. A Skating Release Waiver Form must be signed by parents for children under age 18. Go to the website for the form.

Save $5 on Winter Wonderland Rides! You can buy wristbands for the Winter Wonderland rides for $15 now at the Apple Festival office and Liberty Storage Solutions office. They will be $20 at the gate on December 16th.

You can reserve a specific time for Santa pictures for December16 by paying the photography fee at the Apple Festival office before the event. Santa pictures are $12 with CD.

Special Events for Saturday, December 16:

Polar Express Train Rides will be $3 and he will be pulling into the Old Fashioned Christmas Station at 12 noon staying, until 8pm.

Reindeer Rides in the Winter Wonderland, $5.

Manger Petting Zoo, $1.

Carriage Rides: Arriving at Town Hall at 12 noon and ending at 9pm. $5 for adults and $3 for age 10 and under Live Nativity with narration and music beginning at 5:30 pm with a second performance at 7:30pm. Gingerbread House Contest for 17 and under, go to the website for full information.

Sponsored by The Taylorsville Apple Festival, a member of the North Carolina Association of Festivals & Events. Email the Festival at or visit it on Facebook.

Carolina Moonlighters Set December Show Dates, December 9 & 10

Hickory - Carolina Moonlighter President Lee deArmond announces that the group will be singing in several venues this holiday season. In addition to singing at Pinecrest, Kingston Residence, and Trinity Ridge Retirement centers in early December, the barbershop chorus will sing at Valley Hills Mall on Saturday, December 9. Additionally, the Moonlighters will present a show titled A Christmas Story in 4 Parts at the SALT Block in Hickory on Sunday, December 10.For further information, call Roger Beaver, (828) 327-2490.

Community Blood Center Of The Carolinas Offers

A $1000 Scholarship To Top ‘Holiday Hero’

Charlotte, NC – Community Blood Center of the Carolinas will award a $1,000 scholarship to a local student this holiday season as part of its annual Holiday Hero scholarship program.

This opportunity is open to any student in the region who hosts a successful blood drive with CBCC from Nov. 15, 2017, to Jan. 15, 2018. The student who hosts the top-producing blood drive will earn a $1,000 scholarship to the secondary educational institute of their choice.

“The dedication of our students to saving local lives is truly remarkable,” said Nicole Hanson, CBCC’s manager of recruitment and retention. “Not only do they donate at blood drives held at their schools throughout the year, but many also step up during critical times to host blood drives of their own. These students are true heroes.”

The holidays represent a difficult time of year for blood collection, Hanson said. With schools on break, the increased potential for inclement weather and winter illness, and the general hustle and bustle of the holidays, the blood supply tends to suffer.

“Students make up more than 25 percent of our donor base,” Hanson said. “That means they play a vital role in maintaining a steady blood supply for local patients. Our Holiday Hero scholarship program is just one of the many ways we are able to thank these students for helping save lives in our community.”

Through its commitment to supporting students and schools, CBCC has awarded more than 300 scholarships and grants since 2009. In 2017 alone, CBCC awarded more than $107,125 to students and schools in our community.

To learn more about the Holiday Hero scholarship program, call 1-888-59BLOOD, email, or go online to

About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is the local nonprofit, community-based blood center and the primary blood supplier to the region’s hospitals. CBCC collects blood and blood products from volunteer donors in the community to return to the community at the lowest possible cost consistent with the highest possible standards. For more information, visit

For more information on hosting a blood drive or donating blood in your area, visit or call 1-888-59BLOOD.

Follow the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas on Facebook, on Instagram and on Twitter at

Catawba Valley Chorus Sets Christmas Concert Dates

Hickory - The Catawba Valley Chorus Christmas Concerts for the coming month offer four opportunities to enjoy the group. The chorus is comprised of 45 member from the unifour area. There is no admission charge for the concerts. The chorus is directed by Spence Robertson and accompanied by Timothy Warren.

The Catawba Valley Community Chorus will be presenting their Christmas Concerts on the following dates and at the following locations:

Friday, December 8 at 7:00 PM at Church of the Epiphany, 750 13th St. , Newton, NC.

Sunday, December 10 at 4:00 PM at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 3216 W Main St., Claremont NC.

The final concert is Monday, December 11 at 7:00 PM at Abernethy Laurels, 102 Leonard Ave, Newton, NC.

Hickory International Council Grants Have Jan., 31 Deadline

Hickory – The Hickory International Council (HIC) is currently accepting applications for grants of up to $500 for community organizations that provide programs supportive of the goals, purposes, and projects of the HIC. Proposals for the grants should be received by January 31 and awardees will be identified by the end of February 2018.

The mission of the Hickory International Council is to act, among other things, to promote goodwill, mutual understanding, cooperation, and respect among citizens, internationally. These grants are not restricted to education, but to all community projects that promote the appreciation of the various international cultures represented in our community.

Grantees must provide a minimum of 50% of project support, either financially or via in kind donations, including significant volunteer effort. If volunteer effort is claimed to meet this requirement, the estimated amount of volunteer effort must be detailed in the grant application, as well as specific details as to how the applicant will use the grant monies and how the minimum 50% project support requirement will be met.

Some of the previous grant winners include the Boy Scouts of America International Camp Staff at Camp Bud Schiele, Southwest Elementary School’s multicultural event, Hickory High School’s foreign language program, Hickory Museum of Art’s refugee exhibit, and The Hickory Public Library’s international film series.

Grant applications, additional rules, and criteria are available on the HIC website at or by contacting Gretchen Oetting at

CVCC Announces Fall Concert Line Up, Nov. 16 - Dec. 10

Hickory - Catawba Valley Community College’s Music Department announces a fall schedule of community concert performances. All performances are free unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, November, 16, at 7:30pm, the CVCC Ensemble, along with Hickory Rings, will perform at St. Luke's Church in Hickory. The church is located at 52 16th Avenue NW.

Friday, November 17, at noon, the CVCC Ensemble, performs during the Bach Lunch at Newton-Conover Auditorium located at 60 W 6th St. Newton. Tickets are available through the box office.

Saturday, November 18, at 1:30pm, the CVCC Ensemble performs at the All County High School Concert at Corinth Reformed Church. The church is located at 150 16th Ave NW in Hickory.

Saturday, November 18, at 7:30pm, the CVCC Ensemble will perform with the Caldwell County Men’s Chorus at Lenoir Presbyterian Church. The church is located at 1002 Kirkwood St NW.

Thursday, December 7, at 1:30pm, vocalist Austin Medlin will perform a student recital at St. John’s Lutheran Church. The church is located at 2126 St. John’s Church Rd NE in Conover.

Sunday, December 10, at 3pm, the CVCC Ensemble will perform with Carolina Moonlighters at the Salt Block Auditorium. The location is 243 3rd Ave. NE in Hickory. For more information, contact Music Program Director Caroline Simyon, 828-327-7000, ext. 4305, or

Hickory PD Hosts Cops For Tots Christmas

Wish House Beginning December 12 Through 14

Hickory - The Hickory Police Department has started collecting toys and monetary donations for the Cops for Tots “Christmas Wish House.” The program began in the early 1980’s by serving only about twelve families. It has expanded over the years and in 2008 almost 2300 children benefited from the Cops for Tots program.

The location of the Christmas Wish House will be the Winkler Park Activity Center (next to the Hickory Crawdads stadium) on Clement Blvd. The dates will be December 12th, 13th, and 14th. The hours of operation are from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm each of those days.

Schedule for serving families is as follows:

City of Hickory (residents can attend on the 12th)

Catawba County (residents can attend on the 13th)

December 14th - Open to anyone meeting the requirements listed below:

You will be required to show proof of address such as a utility, cable, or phone bill. Also, those families who are serviced by the Christmas Bureau in 2017 or have been serviced by the Wish House for the past three consecutive years will not be eligible to shop at the Christmas Wish House. Hopefully this will allow more children in need to receive toys.

A parent or guardian of the child must present a photo ID of themselves along with the birth certificate or Medicaid card for each child. Children from birth to 13 years of age are eligible to receive toys. No social security cards will be accepted. No children are allowed inside.

Collection boxes for new or slightly used toys can be located in the lobby of Hickory Police Department; 347 2nd AVE SW, Hickory, NC 28602.

Monetary donations can be mailed to: Cops for Tots, Hickory Police Department, 347 2nd Ave. SW, Hickory, NC 28602. Make checks payable to “Cops for Tots.” Even with the amount of donated toys, there is always a need to purchase more. 100% of donations are used to support children in need or other community childhood programs.

Additional information on requirements for the Cops for Tots program may be obtained by calling 828-261-2691.

1940’s Christmas Radio Hour Is Dec. 9 - Tickets On Sale Now!

Hickory - The Hickory Music Factory (HMF) hosts an old fashioned 1940s Christmas Radio Hour at SALT Block - Drendel Auditorium (243 Third Avenue NE Hickory, 28601) on Saturday December 9, 2017. This fifth annual 1940s Christmas Radio Hour is HMF's primary fundraiser of the year. The live performance features The Hickory Jazz Orchestra, Russ Wilson, Liam Bailey, Ingrid Keller, Steve Clarke, Hal Rowe, Emily Stober, and revives the spirit of the mid 1940s when families gathered 'round the wireless for news and entertainment. In our digital age, the chance to experience a live radio show is rare, unique and inventive. It’s a perfect way to recapture a bygone era around the holidays; as well as help fund the exceptional community programs of The Hickory Music Factory.

The show is an interactive experience and audience members are encourage to dress in period attire for added fun. In a world of instant gratification and speed, the 1940s Christmas Radio Hour encourages people to slow down, enjoy the season and make a special evening out of the event. The VIP package is especially enticing as a fine way to enjoy the night. A VIP ticket includes preferred seating, a special pre-show VIP area with drinks and light Hors d'oeuvres. General admission tickets for the 2pm matinee show are $20 and for the 7pm evening show are $15 for 18yr and under (must be bought at the door), $25 general admission and $40 limited VIP seating. Group rates are also available for each show. Tickets are non-refundable.

Tickets can be purchased at Larry’s Music & Sound (266 Union Square, Hickory 28601) or online at For more information contact (828)-308-5659 or

The doors will open at 1pm (2pm-Matinee Show) 6pm (7pm-Evening Show). All general admission tickets are open seating. The auditorium is handicap accessible and has limited handicap seating.

The Drendel Auditorium is located on the 2nd floor of the Arts & Science Center, parking is free. This is an all ages show.

LRU Bear Essentials Food Pantry Will Help Ease Student Hunger

Hickory – Lenoir-Rhyne University recently opened the Bear Essentials Food Pantry to help serve an unknown population in need – its students.

Food insecurity, the lack of access to affordable, nutritious food, is an issue people from communities around the country face. According to a Hunger on Campus report in October 2016, it shows that the college campus hunger problem goes far beyond a few sad stories. It surveyed more than 3,000 students at a mix of 34 community and four-year colleges, finding that 48 percent experienced food insecurity. The report is authored by a collection of campus-based groups, including the College and University Food Bank Alliance, the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness, the Student Government Resource Center, and the Student Public Interest Research Groups.

Locally, some LRU students face that same food insecurity.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to serve our college students,” said Jenny Smith, Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Cornerstone Student Support and Wellness Center. “Obviously, we wish our students didn’t have to live with food insecurity but we recognize that some do, and we are fortunate to be able to provide the pantry as a resource.”

The University food pantry is free for currently enrolled LRU students and operates solely on donations. Most needed food items include canned meats, peanut butter, jelly, boxed meals, and canned fruits and vegetables. The pantry also accepts donations for college-age student clothing, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, and laundry detergent.

“Students who use the Bear Essentials Food Pantry do not need to verify financial need, and we trust that students will use the food pantry only when they have a need for this resource,” Smith said. “We understand that some students who use the pantry will have a chronic need for food, while other students may only have a temporary need.”

The Bear Essentials Food Pantry is located in the Cornerstone Student Support & Wellness Center located at 735 8th Ave. NE. Donations are accepted on weekdays from 8am to 5pm with the exception of noon to 1pm.

For additional information on the Bear Essentials Food Pantry, call 828.328.7959.

Catawba Science Center’s American Adventure

Shows Life In US’ Early Years; Closes March, 2018

Hickory – Catawba Science Center is excited to announce its new featured exhibition, American Adventure. The exhibit, which opened September 22 and continues through March 4, 2018, brings to life early America in an exciting new way.

American Adventure puts visitors into the shoes of the original Jamestown colonists. This exhibition is located in CSC’s Carpenter Hall in the North Lobby and is sponsored by von Drehle Corporation. Reminiscent of one of the most popular video games of all time, Oregon Trail, this realistic role-play adventure presents one great challenge: To survive for one year. Sound easy? Think again…

Of the original 104 settlers who arrived in the spring of 1607, fewer than 40 survived the first twelve months. Visitors wind their way through interactive galleries in this challenging 2500 square foot maze, while struggling to overcome demands on their knowledge and decision-making skills. A telltale Life Chart hanging around each visitor’s neck reveals their health is starting to suffer. Earning or losing points at each turn of the maze, the goal is to make it past more than two dozen tests spread out over 4 seasons. Also featured in Carpenter Hall, are timeline pieces from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences about the early settlers in America.

In addition to American Adventure in Carpenter Hall, there is a complementary Early America exhibit adjacent to the Naturalist Center including various artifacts, tools, and animal mounts from the time period. There is also a live eastern box turtle touch tank for visitors to enjoy.

Created by Seattle-based Minotaur Mazes and the Virginia Living Museum, American Adventure blends history, science, nature and fortune in a challenging interactive experience.

The cost to visit American Adventure is free to CSC Members and $1 in addition to general admission for non-members. There are several special programs and events in the works to accompany this featured exhibition, so be sure to check CSC’s website and facebook for updates.

American Adventure provides an illuminating window into the tough, bewildering natural landscape that bedeviled so many of America’s first English settlers. With a little luck, and most likely a few attempts, visitors may just make it out alive!

Catawba Science Center is located on the SALT Block at 243 3rd Ave NE, Hickory, NC. Visit or call 828.322.8169 for hours, admission prices, and much more!

HMA Hosts Self-Taught Artists Sept. 23-Jan. 7, Shuford Gallery

Hickory – The Hickory Museum of Art in Hickory, N.C., will present the exhibit “New Horizons: Self-Taught Art in the 21st Century” in the Shuford Gallery from September 23, 2017, through January 7, 2018.

The exhibit is guest curated by Robert J. Allen and Margaret Day Allen, author of the book When the Spirit Speaks: Self-Taught Art of the South. The Allens serve on the Advisory Committee of the Folk Art Society of America and are past presidents of the North Carolina Folk Art Society.

Retreat, by Ashley Pierce

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7, beginning at 4:30 p.m. with a musical performance by David Thomas Roberts, a composer and performer of modern ragtime music whose visual art is a part of the exhibit. A reception will follow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. The museum is located on the SALT Block in downtown Hickory at 243 Third Ave. NE. The museum also has a permanent exhibit of folk and self-taught art on the third floor.

The exhibit will feature work by nine artists from the United States and one from Norway who make self-taught art in a contemporary style. These artists include: Ab the Flag Man (Roger Lee Ivens) of Georgia; LaVon Van Williams, Jr., of Kentucky; Bruce New of Kentucky; Della Wells of Wisconsin; J.J. Cromer of Virginia; David Thomas Roberts of California; Ashley Pierce of Ohio; Kari Eig of Norway; Dapper Bruce Lafitte (Bruce Davenport, Jr.) of Louisiana, and Stacy Lambert of North Carolina. Several of the artists plan to attend the opening reception. Many of the artworks in the exhibit will be for sale. The exhibit is made possible with donations by the City of Hickory; Albert Keiser, Jr.; and the North Carolina Folk Art Society.

Two Phases of the Moon Cycle, by Bruce New

Pottery & two-dimensional works by Stacy Lambert are being presented in conjunction with this exhibition in HMA’s Local Artist Gallery.

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.

We Are Singing Jacob’s Song, by Della Wells


AARP Meets The First Tuesday, Monthly, At First Baptist Church

Hickory - The Hickory-Catawba Chapter of the AARP has its regular monthly meeting on the first Tuesday of each month in room 163 at the First Baptist Church, Hickory, NC.

Please use the entrance on First Avenue NW, entering through the double doors.

Our programs begin at 2pm with a social time and the meeting following at 2:30. People are invited to enjoy old-fashioned group singing and a time to meet and greet old friends and make some new friends. Each meeting consists of a program with differing types of presenters from library information, musical talent, tax information, Bingo; all of interest to the population of 50 in Catawba County and older.

For more information, call Kathy Miner at 828-256-0147.

Arthur Frymyer, Jr., Stocks Food Pantry And

Invites Those In Need To Help Themselves, 24/7

Hickory - There's a new food pantry in town. This one is the result of a NPR feature story Arthur Frymyer, Jr. heard on the radio. “The broadcast talked about needy folks feeling shame and judgment when asking for help at many traditional food banks,” says Frymyer. “Charity shouldn’t hurt.”

Taking his cue from a food bank idea mentioned in the article, Frymyer came up with a similar plan. The food pantry is housed in a shallow shed-like structure outside of his church, A Place to Talk (1546 Brookford Church Road, Hickory) under the left portico as you face the church. It is self-serve, open to everyone, and available 24/7.

“If someone needs food they just come get it. If people wish to donate food they can come by any time and leave food (canned or dried goods) on the shelves.” The process involves no applications, no rejection and no shame.

Presently Frymyer is working to get the word out to both those who might want to benefit from the food the pantry houses and those who might be willing to contribute food. One additional need is for signage so people can find the food pantry easily. If anyone is willing to help with that expense they can get in touch with him.

Frymyer is excited about the potential to help others in need and for the opportunity it presents for people to give back.

“Just neighbors helping neighbors.” Isn’t that the way it should be?

Toastmasters Club Meets At Transportation Insight, Thursdays

Hickory - Catawba Valley Toastmasters Club meets every Thursday, 6-7pm, at the new Transportation Insight Corporate Campus (two story brick building with large glass windows) at the corner of 127 North & 1st Ave, SE, in Hickory, the actual address is 310 SE Main AVE Way Hickory, NC 28602.

They meet at the back entrance on the north and east side of the building - the “3rd Street SE” end of the building. The entrance door will be to the far left, (facing the building), the NE corner. Look for the collection of cars parked and the Toastmasters sign in the door.

Meetings help to effectively formulate, organize and express your ideas to others. Do you want to be more confident in public speaking or giving presentations? Become the speaker and leader you want to be. Open to public.

Email for more info:

Register Now For Sat., December 9th’s Mel’s Jingle Run 5K,

Benefiting WRC & Operation 300

Hickory – Saturday, December 9, the third annual Mel’s Jingle Run 5K will be held in Downtown Hickory in support of Operation 300 and the Women’s Resource Center.

Mellow Mushroom Hickory is teaming up with RunTimeRaces to create the area’s premier Christmas-themed 5K run/walk. The timed race is family friendly, with all ages invited to participate, and will have entertainment for kids as well, like Becki the Balloon Lady and Mel the Mushroom.

In addition to medals awarded to those who place in the race, there will also be awards given for the most “jingled out” or festive costumes and race apparel.

Operation 300 is a non-profit organization that hosts adventure camps for children who have lost their fathers as a result of military service and seeks to honor the families of the Fallen. Operation 300 provides these children much needed encouragement and inspiration. Not only do the kids have fun at camp, but they also bond with other kids who have experienced the same tragedy. For these children to realize that they are not alone is a huge source of comfort.

The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) offers assistance to women in Catawba, Caldwell, Burke, and Alexander Counties, by offering programs that include workforce development and support, transition and goal planning services, substance abuse support groups, educational and enrichment programs, and help with challenges due to separation, domestic violence, or divorce, among many others. The WRC assists countless women and families in the region, offering help to those in need, affirmation to those in transition, encouragement to those seeking growth, hope to those who are searching, and empowerment to all who desire whole, healthy, and vibrant lives.

To learn more about these charitable organizations, visit and

Race participants will also be asked to bring an unwrapped, new toy on race day for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. The toys will be presented to Santa Cops, a charity of the Conover Police Department.

The race will begin on December 9 at 8:30 a.m. at the Sails on the Square in Downtown Hickory and will finish at the same location. As a RunTimeRaces produced event, this event will be well organized and leave participants with an awesome race experience.

Online registration for this event can be found at

First United Methodist Church Offers Free & Low-Cost Classes

Hickory - First United Methodist Church of Hickory has the following FREE Health and Wellness programs available to the community.

"Inflammation and Your Diet" Educational program given by Holley Dagenhardt, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Learn dietary strategies that may help decrease inflammation in your body. Thursday, May 25, 6:30pm in Scout Room.

Zumba every Tuesday evening at 5:45pm. This class is a low-moderate intensity level.

Females in Action is an outdoor, peer-led workout with varying levels of intensity and modified to meet your needs. These workouts are offered Wednesday and Friday mornings at 5:30am-6:15am meeting in the parking lot of First UMC of Hickory. Friday mornings at 9:30am at Glenn Hilton park. Saturday mornings at 8:00am in the parking lot of First UMC.

Hopeful Heart Yoga on Monday evenings from 6:30pm-7:30pm. A time for gentle stretch and flow yoga. Increase flexibility and gain balance. Suggested donation of $1-$2.

For more information contact First UMC of Hickory at 828-322-6058, located at 311 3rd Ave. NE, Hickory, 28601.

In Hickory, First Step Domestic Violence Services Helps Victims

Hickory – If you were the victim of domestic violence, would you know where to find help? Would you even realize that you were being abused?

Surprisingly, some victims do not realize that domestic partners who insult, humiliate, push, kick, slap or threaten them are being abusive, according to Ann Peele, executive director of the Family Guidance Center. This may be because the victim has had her self-confidence destroyed and feels she is causing the problem. The victim may have been raised in an abusive household and may consider such behavior normal. The victim may also be afraid to take action because she fears the abuser or because of financial concerns. For these reasons, domestic violence victims often feel trapped.

The good news is that there is a way out. First Step Domestic Violence Services offers information, counseling and also a shelter that provides a safe place to live while the woman is rebuilding her life and preparing for the future. First Step is a service of the Family Guidance Center, one of the oldest non-profit agencies in the county. It was founded in 1958 to provide the first counseling and mental health services in the county. Over the years, the Family Guidance Center has grown to offer numerous other services, including First Step Domestic Violence Services.

Peele, who has been the Director at the Family Guidance Center since 1985, has seen an increase in the amount of domestic violence as well as an increase in its severity. In the past 13 months, there have been six homicides resulting from domestic violence in Hickory. Another death in the county may have been the result of domestic violence. Domestic violence hurts the entire family, she said. For example, the six homicides in the past 13 months have left eight children without a parent to care for them. Even if they are not themselves abused, children who witness domestic violence in their homes often experience long-term negative consequences.

First Step offers three major services. It provides a shelter for abused women and their children. The shelter can accommodate up to 20 people, but the number depends on the family groups’ composition, since mothers are housed together with their children. Court accompaniment/advocacy is provided to any victim using legal remedies.

First Step also provides a class for women called Life Skills that includes information about domestic violence and what to do about it. Sometimes, when Child Protective Services social workers investigate a report of child abuse, they discover that the woman in the home is also being abused. However, the woman may have become so accustomed to the situation that she may not recognize that she is a victim too. First Step also has a yearlong treatment program for male abusers.

Last year, First Step served over 1,500 persons through its three programs. About 150 of them were served by the domestic violence shelter. Some domestic violence victims served by First Step counseling do not have to leave home due to a court order removing the abuser from the home. In other cases, the victim is able to move in with a friend or relative.
Women who spend time at the shelter are coached in independent living skills and receive counseling to help them deal with the abuse. The goal is to help them heal and prepare them for life on their own, Peele said. Services are also available to male victims of domestic violence, although they report it far less often.

According to First Step, victims of domestic abuse are often:
Emotionally or financially controlled.
Called humiliating names or cursed.
Threatened, pushed or shoved.
Slapped, hit, kicked, beaten or stalked.
Persons who feel they need help with domestic violence may call 828-322-1400. After hours and on weekends, call 828-228-1787.

The Family Guidance Center is a non-profit organization that serves Catawba County with individual and family counseling, consumer credit counseling and domestic violence services. Counseling services are offered on a sliding fee scale. The First Step shelter for abused women never charges a fee for its services. The Family Guidance Center is a partner agency with the United Way of Catawba County. It also relies heavily on donations to continue its important work. For more information about services offered, or how you can help support the Family Guidance Center, go to, or call 828-322-1400. For the latest updates, like the center on Facebook at

You may also help support First Step Domestic Violence Services by shopping at or donating items to the Purple Ribbon Thrift Store, located at 360 Highway 70 SW Hickory. The phone number there is 828-322-3423. All proceeds from sales at the store benefit First Step’s shelter for battered women.

Child Safety Seat Inspection Is The 1st Tuesday Of Every Month

Hickory - Nine out of 10 car seats are improperly installed. Could yours be one of them? Come talk with a certified technician to learn more about safely installing your seat every time.

Ask about our citation diversion program if you have received a ticket related to a child seat violation.

The Inspection Station will be set up each first Tuesday of the month in the parking lot of Catawba County Health Department, 3070 11th Ave Dr SE, Hickory from 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM. Call the Health First Center at 828-485-2300 ext 6204.

Catawba Co. Public Health Offers Women Free Or

Low Cost Breast & Cervical Cancer Screenings

Hickory - Even though Breast Cancer Awareness Month is over, women should not forget about getting checked for the deadly form of cancer that the state estimates will kill more than 1,400 women statewide this year.

In North Carolina, 9,320 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 – that’s more than 25 women a day! In 2014, 1,308 women in North Carolina died of breast cancer, and the state projects 10,052 women will be diagnosed in 2016 while 1,416 will die from it this year alone.

Any woman can get breast cancer, but as women age their chances increase. The good news is that the earlier cancer is found and treated, the better the chance for living for many more years. Although fewer people were diagnosed with breast cancer in Catawba County, 15 out of every 100 cases diagnosed in 2014 were in stage III or IV. Diagnosis at a later stage can make successful treatment more difficult. From 2009-2013, one in five breast cancer patients died of the disease.

Since 2011, Catawba County has seen an increase in the number of breast cancer deaths, which is one reason why early detection and treatment is critical. For some women, though, getting access to preventive care can be a challenge. That’s why Catawba County Public Health offers free or low-cost screenings, education and referral services to eligible women through the North Carolina Breast and Cervical Cancer Control program (BCCCP).

This program highlights the importance of early detection as the best protection against breast and cervical cancers. Established in 1991, the North Carolina Breast and Cervical Cancer Program offers the following services: clinical breast exams, screening mammograms, pap tests and HPV tests, diagnostic procedures (mammograms, ultrasounds, colposcopies, breast and cervical biopsies) if screening results are abnormal, medical consultations, and referrals to treatment if cancer is found. Women who are enrolled in BCCCP and who are found to have cancer during their screening are eligible to receive free or reduced cost treatment with special Breast and Cervical Cancer Medicaid funds.

Through a partnership with Catawba Valley Medical Center, women in the BCCCP program are able to obtain screening and diagnostic mammograms and ultrasounds at the best rates possible. The hospital even brings their mammogram bus to the Public Health parking lot to provide services at a location that is comfortable and convenient to clients.

Each year, more than 12,000 women in North Carolina receive breast and cervical screenings through the BCCCP program. In Catawba County, more than 175 women received BCCCP screenings, with the majority of them falling between the ages of 35 and 54. More than a third of the women accessing services primarily speak Spanish.

In order to be eligible for the services offered in Catawba County, women must be:

· Uninsured or underinsured

· Without Medicare Part B or Medicaid

·Between the ages of 40-75 for breast screening services

·Between the ages of 21-64 for cervical screening services

·Have a household income below 250% of the federal poverty level

·Must reside in Catawba County

To learn more about the North Carolina Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program at Catawba County Public Health or to make a screening appointment, call (828) 695-5800.

Catawba County Public Health promotes and protects the health of all Catawba County residents through preventive services, innovative partnerships, and community health improvement initiatives. For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit

Can You Help? Women’s Resource Center

Needs Items For Emergency Pantry

Hickory - We are very grateful for your past support in donating items for our Emergency Pantry. These items are provided to women and families who are undergoing financial hardship and unable to afford them. Our pantry is getting low in the following products and we hope you can help us.

Laundry Detergent, Bathroom Cleaner, Liquid Hand Soap, Window Cleaner, Fabric Softener, Disinfectant, Dryer Sheets, Mouthwash, Bleach, Body Wash,

Dish Detergent, Hair Spray/Gel/Mousse, All Purpose Cleaner (409,etc), Hair Conditioner, Paper Towels, Q-Tips, New Makeup & Skin Care Products.

Donations can be dropped off at Women's Resource Center between 9AM and 4PM, Monday thru Thursday. For more information on our Emergency Pantry, visit

Every donation is appreciated and will help the women and families we serve.

The Women’s Resource Center is located at 125 3rd St. NE, Hickory, NC 28601.

Yoga For Seniors Each Thursday, 10am, At Newton Rec Center

Newton, NC - The Newton Parks and Recreation Department and the Catawba County Council on Aging offer Yoga for Seniors every Thursday at the Newton Recreation Center.

The classes are held on Thursdays from 10-11 a.m. The cost is $4 per person per class. Each class is specially designed for those 50 years old and older. The Newton Recreation Center is at 23 South Brady Ave.

Participants are introduced to basic postures and techniques used in yoga to relax the body and calm the mind.

Instructor Marjorie Blubaugh is certified to teach yoga and has more than 20 years of experience practicing and teaching yoga. She provides individual attention to physical limitations presented by each class member and offers alternative movements to prevent discomfort. For more information, call the Newton Parks and Recreation Department at 828-695-4317 or visit

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.

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.

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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