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Seniors Morning Out Offers Fun & Informative Programs In August

Hickory – Participants in Catawba County Seniors Morning Out will enjoy a variety of fun and informative activities during the month of August. Some of these include trips to the local Farmers Market, Patrick Beaver Library, Prime of Life, music performances and health programs. Seniors Morning Out operates from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday in five convenient locations. A hot, balanced lunch is also served. Any county resident who is 60 or better is invited to participate. The program is free to participants, although donations are accepted. Bus transportation is available in some locations for those who do not drive. If you would like to participate in any or all of these activities, contact the site supervisor at least 48 hours in advance.

A few of the program highlights are as follows:

At West Hickory SMO, located at the West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th St. SW, Hickory: August 10: Music by Sentimental Journey; August 17: Trip to Patrick Beaver Library to watch “Sully the Untold Story of the Miracle on the Hudson”; August 22: Prime of Life Expo; August 29: Blood pressure checks; August 31: Birthday party and singing by Bob Hollar. To reserve your place, contact Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746.

At the East Hickory SMO, located at Huntington Hills Church of God, 2123 Fifth St. NE, Hickory: August 14: Celebrating National “Creamsicle Day by making Creamsicle Floats; August 15: Gospel Sing a Long with Charles Ballard; August 16: Farmer’s Market; August 22: Prime of Life Expo; August 28: Move to the beat and Bingo; August 30: Cooking Tomato sandwiches with Rita, to reserve your spot, contact Rita Pritchard at 828-320-5963.

At the Newton SMO, located at First Presbyterian Church 701 N. Main Ave., Newton: August 14: Bone Health with Kendal McAuliffe, from OsteoStrong Hickory Wellness Center; August 15: Music by Sentimental Journey; August 22: Prime of Life Expo; August 23: Farmer’s Market; August 29: Bowling at Pin Station; August 31: Music by Fred Wilson. To reserve your place, contact Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133.

At the Catawba SMO, located at Center United Methodist Church, 4945 Sherrills Ford Road, Catawba: August 10: Music by Seniors on the Move; August 16: Cooking Class on Making ice cream in a bag; August 17: 70’s Birthday Celebration; August 22: Prime of Life Expo; August 23: Food Safety for seniors by Ann Simmons; August 24: Craft with Tonya Jarnac; August 30: Farmer’s Market. To reserve your place, contact Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434.

At the Maiden SMO, located at the Maiden Community Center at the corner of East Second St. and Klutz Street: August 10: Blood pressure checks; August 17: Neurocognitive Disorders by Terry Spencer with Smoky Mountain Behavioral Health; August 21: Presenting “Bryte Cloud” book with Camila Fogle; August 22: Prime of Life Expo; August 23: Music By Sentimental Journey; August 31: Group Walking and Singing. To reserve your place, call Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966.

Seniors Morning Out is operated by Senior Nutrition Services of Catawba County Social Services. In addition to SMO, Senior Nutrition Services operates Meals on Wheels and related programs in the county. This program relies on donations by local individuals and businesses. If you would like to make a donation, you may go to and click on the red “Donate Now” button. Be sure to choose Meals on Wheels or Seniors Morning Out from the drop-down menu. You may also write a check to Catawba County Social Services and write “Senior Nutrition Services” in the memo line. Mail your donation to Senior Nutrition Services, P.O. Box 207, Newton, NC 28658. If you or your group would like to sponsor a fund-raising event for Catawba County’s Senior Nutrition Services, contact Jan Shaffer at 828-695-5610.

Additional volunteers are urgently needed to deliver Meals on Wheels. You can volunteer as little as one and a half hours a month. 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

Hospice Seeks Volunteers! Training Sessions On Oct. 7 & 9

Newton, NC – Catawba Regional Hospice is seeking caring, compassionate volunteers to serve as valued members of the Hospice team and to offer welcome support for patients and families.

CRH has been invited to care for residents throughout ten local counties, and the need for patient support extends throughout the area, offering folks an excellent opportunity to help their neighbors.

If you are willing to bring comfort and assistance to families dealing with advanced illness, your participation would be greatly appreciated.

The strongest need is always for volunteers who will visit patients in homes and facilities to offer companionship and an attentive presence. Recent requests have come from Gaston, Lincoln, Burke, and Iredell counties, as well as throughout the Lake Norman area.

The next training session will be held at Catawba Regional Hospice’s main campus (3975 Robinson Road, Newton, NC 28658) on Saturday, October 7 (9am-5pm) and will continue on Monday, October 9 (5:30pm-8:30pm). There is no fee for the training.

The session is designed to educate volunteers on communicating effectively with patients and families, to showcase what hospice is, and to clarify the role of hospice volunteers.

After completing the class, volunteers will be able to supply administrative support, provide respite for caregivers, offer companionship to patients, and help in other meaningful ways.

To register for the October session or for more information, please contact the Volunteer Services Department at 828.466.0466,, or on Facebook.

If you are available sooner than October, our staff are happy to schedule one-on-one training at your convenience.

About the Organization:

Catawba Regional Hospice, founded in 1979 as one of North Carolina’s original three hospices, is a community-based organization providing hospice medical care, patient and family support, and spiritual comfort throughout the multi-county Catawba region.

From Lake James to Lake Hickory to Lake Norman, we serve patients and families regardless of diagnosis, age, gender, nationality, race, faith, sexual orientation, disability, or ability to pay. CRH is licensed by the state of North Carolina, certified by Medicare and Medicaid, and nationally accredited.

For more information about our programs of service, call 828-466-0466 or visit

Comic Musical Sister Act Opens At HCT On September 1

Hickory - Two actors from Rent, Clay Hennessee and Juan Holquin, are working together again in Sister Act, the opening musical and the new season at the Hickory Community Theatre. Performances start on September 1st and run through the 17th.

In this comic musical about a lounge singer named Deloris Van Cartier, who is hiding out in a convent after witnessing a murder, Hennessee and Holquin once again portray opposing forces in Deloris’ life.

Hennessee plays Curtis, the gangster looking to silence her and Holquin is Eddie, the police detective trying to protect her.

Performances of Sister Act are September 1st through 17th, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Thursdays (Sept 7 & 14) at 7:30pm, and Sundays (Sept 10 & 17) at 2:30pm. Tickets are $20. There is a $2 senior discount for Fri/Sat/Sun performances. Tickets for students and youth 18 & under are $10. On Thursday night all adults are $16 and youth/students are $10. Tickets go on sale on August 14th.

The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2017-2018 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. Sister Act is produced by Frye Regional Medical Center and the Guild at HCT.

PHOTO: Clay Hennessee (left) is Curtis and Juan Holquin is Eddie in Sister Act the Musical, on stage September 1st through the 19th at the Hickory Community Theatre. Call 828-327-3855 for more information. Photo by Lauren Albers.

WRC’s Annual Fundraiser Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, Sept. 28

Hickory - Women’s Resource Center announces their annual fundraiser to help raise the funds needed to sustain the valuable programs and services they provide to women and families in our community.

Please come out and support this wonderful nonprofit at this exciting event!

WRC’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre will be on Thursday, September 28, at Market on Main in downtown Hickory. From 5:30-6:15 there will be drinks and socializing. A dinner buffet will be held from 6:15-7:00pm.

At 7pm, Death is a Cabernet Old Chum will be presented by Charlotte Murder Mystery Company and Della Freedman of NPR in Charlotte.

The ticket price is $50 per person and includes great food, fabulous entertainment, and one FREE drink per person—wine or beer. There will be a cash bar, and amazing raffle items!

Raffle items include an Oak Island Beach House Weekend, Charleston Forge Furniture, Golf Package at Lake Hickory Country Club, Original Artwork, and a House Concert by renowned pianist John Coffey!

Contact Women’s Resource Center for tickets at 828-322-6333 or visit their website at

Sponsorship opportunities are still available! Please call the Center for details, 828-322-6333 or email Michelle Morgan:

Market on Main is located at 335 Main Ave SW, Hickory, NC, 28602 - the event takes place in the Cellar, which is downstairs.

Footcandle Film Festival Tickets Now On Sale For Sept. 22-24

Hickory - The 2017 Footcandle Film Festival is coming to the Drendel Auditorium at the SALT Block the weekend of September 22nd to 24th. This is the third year of the film festival and will bring thirty-three films for attendees to view and meet some of the filmmakers throughout the weekend. A complete list of the films, their descriptions and trailers can be found on the festival web site (

The festival starts on Friday, September 22nd, at 11:00am with three foreign language film selections including both documentary and narrative selections.

That evening the festival will hold its Opening Night event where many of the “Short Film” selections are screened, followed by an opening night reception with food and drink in the gallery of the Hickory Museum of Art. Later that evening, for the more “adventurous” viewers there will be a second late-night screening of edgier shorts that’s being referred to as the “Night Gallery” following the reception.

On Saturday, September 23rd - and running all day and evening – the festival will be screening a mixture of narrative and documentary feature films in the Drendel Auditorium on the SALT Block. On the final day of the festival, Sunday, September 24th until mid-afternoon, the festival will screen four additional films also in the Drendel Auditorium on the SALT Block.

At 6:30pm on Sunday there will be an awards ceremony at Moretz Mills where festival winners will be announced and a full dinner will be served to attendees.

Tickets can be purchased for each of the individual films and for the two special events. For attendees that want more flexibility with their festival weekend schedule, they can purchase “weekend passes” that allow them to attend any of the films or events throughout the weekend at their leisure.

Tickets are now on sale for the general public by visiting and clicking the link on the home page to “Buy Tickets Online”. Tickets can be purchased with credit or debit cards; taxes and credit card charges will apply. Tickets will remain on sale up until the weekend of the film festival for any events that are not sold out.

Opening Night 2016

The Footcandle Film Society has been screening and facilitating discussions on films in Western North Carolina since its inception in 2008.

Through monthly film screenings, discussions, partnerships with various international and educational organizations, the film society has built a community of over 600 members that support film efforts in our region.

For any questions about the festival or the submission process, please contact the Film Society at or visit the festival’s web site at

State Highway Patrol Safety Tips For Viewing Eclipse On Aug. 21

Raleigh, NC – In anticipation of the solar eclipse scheduled to take place on Monday, August 21, the State Highway Patrol is placing an emphasis on safe travel. Due to the expected number of people taking part in the event, roadways across portions of the state will see a significant increase in motorists.

A total solar eclipse will be visible in the western portion of North Carolina, drawing several visitors from surrounding states. Authorities are encouraging onlookers to arrive early for the event in an attempt to decrease the number of vehicles on the roadways at one time.

Safety Tips Prior to and After the Eclipse:

Arrive early to your chosen destination.

Expect traffic delays closer to the event’s date.

Be patient.

Plan alternate routes.

Monitor traffic reports on local media/radio broadcast.

Have food and water readily available.

Remove vehicle from roadway if experiencing mechanical problems.

If involved in a collision with no injuries, remove vehicle to the shoulder and wait for authorities.

Safety Tips During the Eclipse:

Do not stop on the roadway.

Refrain from parking on the shoulder or median portions of the roadway.

Use designated parking areas.

Do not wear eclipse glasses while driving.

Do not drive distracted - Park before attempting to photograph or record the event.

Watch for pedestrians along the roadway.

Activate headlights.

Motorists are requested to avoid calling 911 or *HP(*47) for non-emergency inquiries.

For updated traffic information, please visit

For further information on the solar eclipse, please visit

Register For Kiwanis Club Charity Golf Tournament By September 1

Hickory - Calling All Golfer’s: The Hickory Kiwanis and the Kiwanis Club of Western Catawba County will host its annual Charity Golf Tournament on Friday, September 8, 2017 at Ole Still Golf Club, which at one time was known as Oliver’s Landing. The golf course is located out NC 127 north, cross the bridge and turn left at the traffic light.

All proceeds from this event will benefit children’s needs in our schools, the Kiwanis Park/Zahra Baker All Children Play Ground and most recently opened the Kiwanis Children’s Splash Pad, High School Key Clubs and College Circle K Programs, the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, Children’s Advocacy Center, Dictionaries for third grade students, Terrific Kids Kiwanis programs in the Elementary Schools as well as many other worthwhile programs that will benefit children in Hickory and Catawba County.

The tournament will kick off with a morning and afternoon tee times. The registration for the 8 AM tee time will be at 7:30 AM and the afternoon tee time will be at 1 PM. Afternoon players will register from 11am to 12:30 PM. The format will be Captain’s Choice with SHOTGUN starts at 8 AM for morning and 1 PM for the afternoon tee times. There will be several Hole in One opportunities like a new car sponsored by Jim Armstrong Subaru of Hickory, a one year membership to Ole Still Golf Club, $400 value hole in one for tires from Clark Tire of Hickory. Closest to the pins on all Par 3’s and the most accuracy drive will also be furnished by Clark Tire of Hickory. There will be a 50/50 raffle fundraiser, mulligan sales at $5.00 each- 2 per player; as well as a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place team prizes.

There will be water and soft drinks as well as snacks on and off the course during the tournament. Our lunch is provided by Texas Roadhouse of Hickory from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM.

The entry fee is $220 per foursome or $55 per player. The tournament is opened to male and female participants. Brochures on the tournament will be at Ole Still Pro Shop or you can call or email the following Kiwanis Golf Committee members for brochures and questions. Bill Wiggs-828-640-4423 (, Steve Aaron -828-446-0480 (, Dr. Bill Straka-828-495-4828 (, and Helen Devlin-828-244-3665 (

We are currently accepting applications for the event and team registrations will close on Friday, September 1.

Kiwanians are asking all golfers and the citizens of Hickory and Catawba County to come and join our efforts to continue the support of our children’s needs throughout the community.

Beaver Library Hosts Workshop On Financing College, Aug. 19

Hickory - Explore the best options for financing your college education at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 10:30 am. Skip Watts, Regional Representative for the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC), will be on hand to examine all aspects of the college financial aid process.

The presentation will include an in depth discussion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the grant and scholarship process, college and career research, work study options and both federal and private student loans. There will be a question and answer session afterwards. All high school aged students and family members are encouraged to attend.

The program is free. No registration is required. Call 828-304-0500 ext. 7235 for more information. Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block.

Next Foothills Post-Polio Support Group Meets In Shelby, Aug. 21

Shelby, NC - The Foothills Post-Polio Support Group, will hold their meeting on Monday, August 21st, at 6 pm in the conference room of the Life Enrichment Center of Shelby. The conference room is located at the back of the building. The center is located off Hwy. 18 North on Life Enrichment Blvd, just north of Cornerstone Dentistry. The program will be given by Todd Putnam. He will present a book report on FDR and his life after Polio.

If you are a polio survivor and would like to attend, we would love to see you there! Feel free to bring a caregiver with you. For more information you may call Wanda-Greg Horne at 704-482-8807 or Dianne Garner 704-434-4928.

Each person attending should bring his/her own meal. Drinks- coffee and water - will be provided.

Hickory Parks & Recreation Activities Scheduled For August

Hickory - A number of events are scheduled for August in Hickory. This list is from the City of Hickory Parks & Recreation website.

Prime of Life Senior Expo 2017: One stop, shop for lots of valuable information. Join Ridgeview Recreation Center for a trip to Hickory Metro Convention Center on Tuesday, August 22 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Transportation will be provided for adults ages 50 and up. Vans will depart Ridgeview Recreation Center at 8:30 am. Please sign up by Friday, August 18 by calling Ridgeview Recreation Center (828) 324-8007. Vendors include local hospitals and area businesses including health & beauty, medical offices and care, housing, financial planning, resource agencies and more! Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Admission is free!

Art for All: Ever want to learn to paint or maybe you have some experience but don’t have the supplies or need a little instruction come to Ridgeview Recreation Center, Tuesday, August 15 at 6:00 pm. The Hickory Museum of Art offers these free art classes for the general public. Just show up and have fun creating, sharing ideas and learning something new. All art materials will be supplied. Free for participants ages 16 and older.

Women’s Equality Week: Saturday, August 26, 1920 commemorates when women’s voting officially became part of the US constitution. This marks a turning point in the history of the struggle for equal treatment of women and women’s rights. Learn more about the women who made it happen. Each day at Ridgeview Recreation Center from Tuesday, August 22 to Saturday, August 26 we will feature a woman who made significant strides towards equality All materials will be supplied. Free for participants ages 16 and older.

Hey! Go Fly a Kite: Yes, we will gladly go fly a kite and enjoy it. Bring a kite or use one of our kites Wednesday, August 23 at 5:00 pm. We look forward to a perfectly breezy day which we can enjoy. We will meet at Ridgeview Recreation Center. All materials will be supplied. Free for participants ages 16 and older.

Staycation Billiards Competition: It’s a hot outside and nowhere to go so, take a “Staycation” to Ridgeview Recreation Center and compete in our monthly billiards tournament. Rack’s up, Thursday, August 24 at 5:00 pm. This tournament is open to the public, fifty cents entry for all 16 and older. All equipment will be provided.

Free Summer Lunch Program with Hickory Parks and Recreation: This program will end on Friday, August 18. Hickory Parks and Recreation Department is offering a Summer Lunch Program in collaboration with Catawba County Schools! This lunch will be free for all youth ages 18 and under.

There will be two sites: Highland Recreation Center located at 1451 8th Street Drive NE and Ridgeview Recreation Center located at 115 7th Avenue SW.

Lunch will be served Monday through Friday during the following times: Highland 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm, Ridgeview 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.

For questions regarding this program please contact Von Curry, Senior Recreation Programmer at Highland Recreation Center (828) 261-2251 or Andrea Nixon, Senior Recreation Programmer at Ridgeview Recreation Center (828) 324-8007.

Community Luncheon At Boger City UMC On Sunday, Aug. 27

Lincolnton, NC - A community luncheon will be held on Sunday, August 27th from 11:30am to 1:30pm in Boger City United Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall, located at 2320 East Main Street in Lincolnton. Everyone is welcome.

The menu includes beef stew, chicken teriyaki, vegetables, home made desserts, tea and water. An $8 donation is requested per person.

Dine-in or carryout plates available. Proceeds from community luncheon benefits the church missions.

Sunday School will be held at 9:30am and Worship Service at 10:30am. Parking located behind Fellowship Hall.

Overflow parking available across the street in the former Harris Teeter parking lot.

For more information, please call 704-735-7513.

Registration Is Open For Newton 101 Citizens Academy On Sept. 7

Newton, NC – Register now for Newton 101 Citizens Academy, which begins Thursday, Sept. 7. Newton 101 is a free program for city residents to learn more about how the city of Newton operates, the services it offers, and the history of the city.

Newton 101 features tours of all city departments, including tours of facilities such as Newton City Hall, the Newton Recreation Center, the Newton Police Department, the Newton Fire Department, the Newton Water Treatment Plant, and the Newton Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The academy runs for seven consecutive Thursdays beginning Sept. 7 and ending Oct. 19. Sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. and end by 9 p.m. The program is free. Attendance at all sessions is encouraged but not required. The deadline to register is Aug. 31.

• Session 1 (Sept. 7): Meet and greet at Newton City Hall. Attendees will meet the Mayor, City Council, City Manager and Department Heads. Participants will learn about the history of Newton.

• Session 2 (Sept. 14): Public Works and Utilities. Participants will tour the raw water intake at the Jacob Fork River, the water treatment plant, and the wastewater treatment plant.

• Session 3 (Sept. 21): Newton City Hall. Participants will tour City Hall including the Administration, Police, Human Resources, Planning, Information Systems and Finance departments. They also will learn more about the city’s electric distribution system, as well as other Public Works services and facilities.

• Session 4 (Sept. 28): Public Safety at Fire Department Headquarters. Citizens will learn about the fire and police departments and the many ways they work to protect and serve the citizens of Newton.

• Session 5 (Oct. 5): Finance, Human Resources and Information Systems at the Historic Newton Depot. Participants will learn about the inner workings of municipal government finance, personnel, and information systems.

• Session 6 (Oct. 12): Newton Parks and Recreation and Planning at the Newton Recreation Center. Participants will learn about the many activities and resources offered at the Newton Recreation Department. This session also will explore the Planning Department and economic development projects.

• Session 7 (Oct. 19): Graduation at Newton City Hall. Participants will enjoy a brief social event, followed by a question-and-answer session with the Mayor, City Council, City Manager and Department Heads. Each participant will receive a certificate of completion at the final session.

For more info., or to register, contact Alex Frick at 828-695-4266 or

Special Guest Sandra Valls Joins PRIDEPALOOZA On September 2

Hickory – Who is ready for a community PRIDE that celebrates everyone? We are! So join us September 2, 2017 for 3rd Annual PRIDEPALOOZA. This year PRIDEPALOOZA is joined by Special Guest: Comedian, Actor, Singer, & Badass Sandra Valls. The entire event is free to the public.

What people are saying about Sandra Valls: Talented...Hilarious! - L.A. Times; Comedic Gold! - Latina magazine; A Knockout! - My San Antonio; Smart, Sassy, Saphic...Sandra takes comedy to a new level. - Curve magazine One of the Top 100 Women We Love - Go Magazine; One of the Top 33 Badass Comics with Latin Roots - Latina Magazine.

Sandra Valls has traveled the world making people laugh and now she is coming to visit us here in Hickory, NC. We are pleased to have her be a part of PRIDEPALOOZA 2017.

We are on a mission to produce local fun, safe and empowering event where LGBTQ and our local community can stand together and embrace unique individuals with the purpose of uniting as a creative, social, and influential force.

Sandra Valls

This is a Family friendly event with bounce house for the kids to enjoy all day.

We will have entertainment on stage all day everything from educational speakers, Single Cell Productions, political speakers, live musicians, dancers, Drag Queens, Drag Kings and of course our Special Guest Sandra Valls.

All the fun and excitement will happen on September 2, 2017 4:00pm – 8:00pm at 101 N. Center St in the grassy area behind Club Cabaret, one of Hickory’s oldest bars.

There will be over 40 vendors to include: jewelry, crafts, t-shirts and food vendors. Come enjoy the music, community, fun, and some great food.

Apply To Participate In Newton Foothills Folk Art Festival By Sept. 1

Newton, NC — Now is the time for folk artists to apply to participate in the second annual Foothills Folk Art Festival, which will be held in downtown Newton, N.C., on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017.

The festival is a partnership between the Downtown Newton Development Association and the Hickory Museum of Art. Catawba Valley Medical Center is the presenting sponsor.

This family-friendly festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. around the 1924 Courthouse Square and on surrounding streets. It will showcase a variety of local and regional contemporary folk artists, as well as artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities for children, live music, food from local restaurants and food truck vendors, beer gardens, and more. Festivalgoers will be able to meet the artists and buy art directly from them. Admission to the festival is free.

Artists participating in the festival are selected through a jurying process. The selection committee is looking for artwork that is intensely influenced by and displaying the spirit of folk, visionary and outsider art.

The application form may be downloaded from the festival website at or obtained from the Hickory Museum of Art. All applications must be postmarked by Sept. 1.

There is a $75 application fee, which will be returned if the artist is not selected. Festival information and updates will be posted on the festival’s Facebook page.

Charlie Frye of Lenoir, N.C., is one of the artists who will be returning to the festival this year. Entirely self-taught, he has received regional recognition and was recently accepted into the prestigious Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Northport, Ala. He and his wife, Susan, own and operate Folk Keepers Art Gallery & Antiques in Lenoir, where they sell their own art and that of other southern folk artists.

Frye is easy to spot with his full beard, ponytail and paint-spattered overalls. His outgoing personality attracts friends from all walks of life.

Frye drives a painted art truck, Minnie Pearl, named for the country comedian who was known for wearing a hat with the price tag still attached.

At age 25, Frye began making his self-described Appalachian folk art, which is heavily influenced by his early experiences. He said his parents used to own a building supply store near Lenoir where old men gathered and told tall tales. As a boy, Frye loved to listen, soaking up their stories of the old days. Many of the subjects of his art today are composites of those men, and many of the scenes reflect their stories. As a teen, Frye began driving truckloads of lumber up to mountain top building sites. The scenery he saw during those trips also made a lasting impression.

“The things you don’t notice now will be your inspiration later,” he said in describing his artistic influences. Some of his most popular subjects include smiling pigs who seem to be posing for a photo, strutting rosters, musicians, farmers, wide-eyed raccoons and owls, wise and funny goats, and other Appalachian scenes.

Frye encourages other folk artists to apply to the Foothills Folk Art Festival, saying they will experience a warm welcome from the festival’s many helpful volunteers.

Sponsors of the festival include 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.

Photo: Charlie Frye and his wife, Susan, will return to the Foothills Folk Art Festival this year along with Minnie Pearl, their painted art truck. Festivalgoers will be able to meet more than 100 folk artists and buy art directly from them at the free festival on Oct. 7 in downtown Newton, N.C. Photo Credit: White Manor Productions.

Register For Hickory Citizens’ Police Academy By Sept. 6

Hickory – Are you interested in learning more about law enforcement to include patrol techniques, community policing, criminal investigation, firearms, or just want to become more familiar with the Hickory Police Department in general? Now is your opportunity!

The 40th session of the Hickory Police Department Citizens’ Police Academy (CPA) begins Thursday, September 14. Sessions are held at the department each Thursday from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00pm, concluding on November 16, 2017, with a graduation from the academy.

Interested parties are encouraged to contact our department for an application and return it no later than September 6th. Space is limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

To receive an application, contact Lt. S. D. Hildebrand by calling 324-2060 at the Hickory Police Department. Return the completed application to:

Hickory Police Department, Attn: Lt. S.D. Hildebrand, 347 2nd Ave., SW, Hickory, NC 28602.

Early Vehicle Registration For HMA’s Autolawn Party, By Aug. 21

Hickory, NC – Registration is now open for The Fifth Annual Autolawn Party, presented by Hickory Museum of Art (HMA).

The event will be held from 10 am to 3 pm. Saturday, Sept. 9 on the SALT Block Lawn, located at 243 Third Avenue N.E., Hickory. The Autolawn Party is a celebration of the road’s number one traveler – the automobile.

This 5th Annual event will highlight the BMW brand. Autolawn is a community, family-friendly Euro Classic Car Show, with live music, a beer garden, and more.

Early Registration: Deadline is August 21, 2017; Guaranteed lawn parking for vehicles; First car is $30, additional cars are $25 each; Includes one complimentary event hat per first entry; Enjoy early check-in and reduced set-up times.

Standard Registration: From August 22nd, 2017 – September 8, 2017; Fees will go up to $35 per car (first and additional cars); Based on space availability (cannot guarantee lawn parking).

To register, go to:

Awards will be given in a small number of judged classifications and select categories.

Entry classifications include German, Italian, British, Other European Makes and European Motorcycles. The public will have the opportunity to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award. Voting takes place between 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., with only one ballot per person.

The Euro Classic Car Show offers a wide-range of high quality, original European vehicles in an intimate, yet informal setting, without the pressure of a traditional Concours event.

The fundraising event to benefit HMA educational programming features a Euro Classic Car Show, youth judging program, art exhibits, live music, food court, beer garden, and more.

For more information about the Autolawn Party, visit

Hickory Museum of Art is located in on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue N.E., Hickory. Admission to the art museum is free. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; and Sunday 1 – 4 p.m. For more information visit or call (828) 327-8576.

Special Events Held During The Soldiers Reunion, August 10 - 20

Newton, NC - The Newton Parks and Recreation Department will host several special events during Soldiers Reunion this year. They are:

Soldiers Reunion Senior Citizens Dance

On Thursday, Aug. 10, the Soldiers Reunion Senior Citizens Dance for those 55 years old and older will run from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. on the lower level of the Newton Recreation Center. Entertainment will be provided by Shake Down Band, a variety band. Admission at the door will be $8 per person. No advance tickets will be sold. Attendees are asked to bring finger foods. Soft drinks will be provided.

Soldiers Reunion Badminton/Pickleball Exhibition

On Monday Aug. 14, a Badminton and Pickleball Friendly Mixer and Exhibition will be held at the Newton Recreation Center. Badminton play will go from 3-5 p.m. Pickleball exhibition and play will be at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 7 p.m. Players are asked to make a $3 donation. Drinks and snacks will be provided.

Soldiers Reunion Cornhole Tournament

On Tuesday, Aug. 15, the Soldiers Reunion Cornhole Tournament will be held in the parking lot of the Newton Recreation Department starting at 6:30 p.m. This is a round robin tournament open to the people 18 and older. The entry fee for each two-person team is $10. Winners will receive trophies courtesy of the Newton Recreation Department. Entry forms are available at the Newton Recreation Center.

Pet Mania

On Wednesday, Aug. 16, pet owners and animal lovers are encouraged to attend and participate in the 2017 Pet Mania event at 7 p.m. on the west side of the Courthouse Square. Pet Mania is sponsored by the Newton Parks and Recreation Department and Conover Veterinary Hospital.

There will be nine categories in which to compete. The winners from each category will be eligible for Best of Show. The deadline to enter is 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16. All pets must have proper vaccinations (with tags) to enter. Entry forms are available at the Newton Recreation Center.

Soldiers Reunion Horseshoe Tournament

On Thursday, Aug. 17 (Reunion Day), the Soldiers Reunion Horseshoe Tournament is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Westside/Jaycee Park. This single-elimination tournament is open to participants 16 and older. The entry fee for each two-person team is $10. Teams must register by 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17. Entry forms are available at the Newton Recreation Center.

28th Annual Southern Biscuit Soldiers Reunion 5K Run/Walk and One-Mile Fun Run

The 28th Annual Southern Biscuit Soldiers Reunion 5K Run/Walk is set for Saturday, Aug. 19, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Newton Recreation Center. A one-mile fun run is slated to begin prior to the 5K run at 8 a.m.

The event is sponsored by BB&T, Bennett Funeral Service, Carolina Glove & Safety Company, Cook’s Sporting Goods, Emerge Ortho, Fleet Feet Sports, Geppeto’s Pizza & More, Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo L.L.P, Lee Industries, PDQ, Pepsi, Southern Biscuit, Subway, Therapeutic Solutions, Tadlock’s Trophies, and Texas Roadhouse.

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

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

Preregistration runs until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, and is $20 for the 5K run/walk, and $10 for the one-mile fun run. Late registration runs until 7:30 a.m. on race day and is $25 for the 5K and $15 for the one-mile fun run.

Soldiers Reunion Annual 30-60-100 Mile Century Bike Ride

The Soldiers Reunion Annual 30-60-100 Mile Century Bike Ride will be held at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 20. The event begins with a mass start at the Newton Recreation Center.

The event is sponsored by Academy Sports+Outdoors, BB&T, Carolina Glove & Safety Company, Bennett’s Funeral Service, Cook’s Sporting Goods, Emerge Ortho, Geppeto’s Pizza & More, Huss Bail Bonds Inc., Lee Industries, Lighting Cycles, PDQ, Pepsi, Rock-n-Road Bicycles, Subway, Therapeutic Solutions, Tadlock’s Trophies, and Texas Roadhouse.

All bicycle rides will be conducted at each rider’s pace, with three ride lengths mapped throughout Catawba County. The ride is open to everyone, but riders younger than 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while participating. First aid, refreshments, T-shirts, and more will be provided for all participants.

Preregistration is $20 for the ride and will be accepted until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16. Late registration runs until 7:30 a.m. on ride day for $25.

Ride applications are available at Newton City Hall, Newton Recreation Center, sponsoring locations and online at

Register Teams For Adult Soccer Leagues By August 18

Hickory - The Hickory Parks and Recreation Department announces registration for Men’s and Women’s Fall Soccer leagues.

Four teams are needed in order to have the league. Cost to enter is $242.00 per team, and must be paid by Friday, August 18.

Games will be played on weekends at Neill W. Clark, Jr. Recreation Park or Henry Fork River Regional Recreation Park. A manager’s meeting will be held on Monday, August 7, 6:00 p.m. at the Parks and Recreation Department administrative office at 1451 8th St. Dr. NE., Hickory.

Players must be 18 years of age and out of high school in order to play. For more information, please contact Sherry Morgan at 828-261-2255.

SAT/ACT Prep Class Offered By Hickory Day School, Aug. 29

Hickory - Beginning this fall, Hickory Day School will be conducting an SAT/ACT Prep Class for high school students from 10th-12th grade. This will be a 12 session course every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. from August 29th until October 5th.

The price is $550.00 per student; the fee includes 24 contact hours of instruction, an SAT/ACT prep workbook, and any other materials that are needed.

Founded in 1993, Hickory Day School is a non-sectarian, non-profit, co-education, independent school for students in Transitional Kindergarten through 8th Grade, and is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization World School.

Contact: Caroline Cook,, Hickory Day School, 2535 21st Avenue NE, Hickory NC 28601. (828) 256-9492.

Library Program On Safe Viewing Of Solar Eclipse, Aug. 3, 5 & 21

Newton, NC – On Monday, August 21st, the U.S. will experience a total solar eclipse following a path from Oregon to South Carolina. Catawba County will be less than 100 miles northeast of the total eclipse path and well within the range of a maximum partial eclipse.

This rare event is exciting to witness and learn about, however it also creates conditions that require safety precautions. The Catawba County Library will host four programs leading up to the August 21st eclipse to teach community members about this solar phenomenon and how to prepare to safely view it.

The first two programs at the Claremont and Conover Branch Libraries will host the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club talking about what an eclipse is, what we can expect to see in North and South Carolina, a brief history of solar eclipses and safety requirements for observation. Participants will be able to view the sun through solar telescopes and receive free safety viewing glasses for the upcoming eclipse.

The Claremont program will be on Thursday, August 3 at 5 pm, followed by the Conover program on Saturday, August 5 at 10 am.

On Monday, August 21st at 3 pm at the Main Library in Newton, kids and families can explore five learning centers to create a solar eclipse book, learn how the little moon can hide the giant sun, create a pinhole projection box, watch videos of total eclipses, and create a sugar cookie model of the sun.

The Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library will host a drop-in event on August 21 from 12:30-2:30 pm to view NASA’s live streaming of the eclipse as it crosses the U.S. Participants will have the opportunity to see the path of coverage across multiple platforms, record the event by creating their own solar eclipse chalk art, and receive a pair of viewer glasses while supplies last.

The next time a total solar eclipse will take place over the U.S. will be in 2024, so be sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn more about it and see it safely. Please remember that looking directly at the sun during an eclipse, even when it is only partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage or blindness. NEVER look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection. For the latest in library news, visit or stop by your local branch.

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:

TEDx Seeks Speakers For Hickory Event, Apply By September 18

Hickory - A group of local volunteers are planning the sixth year of TEDxHickory, a full-day event to be held November 18, 2017 at the The Belk Centrum at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

The independently organized event — TEDxHickory — is licensed by TED and will feature a combination of live speakers and TED Talk videos that is sure to elevate the thinking and broaden the perspective of all who participate.

TEDxHickory is looking for speakers to present at this coming year’s event, under the theme “next.” And what’s next? It’s whatever is to come: locally, regionally, nationally internationally, even beyond. We want to know what’s next for Hickory, for technology, medicine, science, exploration, astronomy, philosophy, economics, education, music, writing, media, risk-taking, etc. The possibilities are endless. And we want to understand how to get to next, and why next is happening.

Anyone interested in speaking will be asked to provide talks that fall under the “next” theme – however broad or specific. Per the rules of TEDx, presenters are allowed to speak for no more than 18 minutes each. There will be breaks in-between sessions for discussions on the topics presented.

From now through September 18, those interested can apply online to be considered as a speaker at this coming year’s event. The application process asks for the topic of your talk, some general points you wish to communicate, and general contact information.

The application can be found online by visiting Presentations will be chosen based on how well they fit the idea of TEDx and the variety of the presentations for the day.

The TED Conference provides general guidance for the independent TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including the one being held in Hickory, are self-organized. TEDxHickory has been organized by local members of the community.

For more information about TEDxHickory or to purchase a ticket for the event, visit the web site at

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

Apply By Sept. 1 To Participate In Statesville Fall Art Crawl

Statesville, NC - Downtown Statesville Development Corporation is accepting applications from artists who wish to participate in the Fall Art Crawl in Downtown Statesville on Friday, September 15, 2017 from 5:30-8:30 pm.

The deadline for these applications is Friday, September 1, 2017. Visit our website to complete the application and pay the artist fee:

All artists, even if they are a past participant, must submit three images of their work, along with the application, and specify the medium used.

All work must be original fine art created by the applicant. The Artist Fee for this event is $20.00 and artists are responsible for all items required to display artwork in their assigned location.

This event is brought to you by Downtown Statesville Development Corporation and sponsored by Sheri Bistreich and Associates, a financial advisory practice, Ameriprise Financial and Statesville Jewelry & Loan.

For more info., contact the Downtown Statesville Development Corporation at 704-878-3436 or email:

HCDA Seeks Nominations For Man/Woman Of The Year By 9/15

Hudson, NC - The Hudson Community Development Association (HCDA) is now accepting nominations for the Hudson Man and Woman of the Year Award 2017. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, September 15, 2017.

Any man or woman who has made a significant impact upon the Hudson community is eligible for nomination. Nominations should be submitted in letter form, placed in a sealed envelope marked “Man/Woman of the Year Nomination” and sent to the Hudson Town Hall, 550 Central St, Hudson, NC 28638.

The individuals chosen as the 2017 Hudson Man and Woman of the Year will be honored at a Banquet to be held on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hudson Uptown Building.

Back To School Bash At Stanford Park, Sat., Aug. 19, 11am-2pm:

Free Health Screens & Goodies!

Hickory – The annual Back to School Bash is returning to Stanford Park on Saturday, August 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Join Highland Recreation Center, along with Modern Nissan of Hickory, Lowes Foods, Catawba Family Care, and Carolina Ear Nose and Throat for a day full of fun, food, and activities. New to this year’s bash are free health screenings, including vision, dental, and hearing.

There will also be bounce houses, train rides, face painting, free school resources, and filled backpacks. The event will take place rain or shine. This is a great opportunity for children to have some fun and also collect necessary school supplies.

Backpacks are limited to the first 300 youth in attendance. Also, the health screenings are a general assessment and will not count towards a child’s sports physical.

Highland Recreation Center is located at 1451 8th Street Drive NE. For more information on this program, please contact Senior Recreation Programmer Kyle Mishler at (828) 261-2259 or email

Register For Hickory’s Bumble Bee Soccer Program, Starts 8/29

Hickory - Registration for Bumble Bee Soccer is now underway at the Hickory Parks and Recreation Department Administrative Offices located at 1451 8th St. Dr. NE, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Bumble Bee Soccer Program is open to boys and girls ages 5 and 6 (must be 5 before August 31, 2017 and cannot be 7 before August 31, 2017).

Any child that has previously participated through our master registration system may call 322-7046 to register or register on line at Any child that has not participated in a program may register on line and once registration is complete, a parent will need to come by the Parks and Recreation Department administrative office and sign a waiver. A birth certificate must be presented at time of registration along with a $40.00 non-resident fee for persons living outside the city limits of Hickory.

All children participating in Bumble Bee soccer are encouraged to purchase accident insurance coverage. The $6.00 insurance fee covers the participant for a one-year period from March 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018 in all activities sponsored and supervised by the Parks and Recreation Department and must be paid at registration. The $250,000 coverage is primary coverage that pays regardless of other insurance, directly to the participant, doctor, or hospital.

The program will begin on Tuesday, August 29 at 5:30 p.m. at Henry Fork River Regional Recreation Park located at 5655 Sweet Bay Lane.

Practice sessions will be held on Tuesdays and Fridays for all new five (5) and six (6) year olds from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Returning players from last year will join the team after a week and a half of instruction and will be contacted by the league coaches of their practice time.

The purpose of instructional league is to introduce and explain the basic fundamentals of soccer to the children. Instruction will be divided into three sessions: dribbling and passing, and offensive tactics; ball juggling, goalie and defense.

At the conclusion of the instruction, the children will be taught the rules of the game. After the instructional sessions, the children will be divided into teams and will play actual games against the other teams.

Save The Date: OUTright Youth’s Amazing Race Is August 19

Hickory - Are you amazing, love challenges and get excited about cash prizes?! If so,gather up teammates and enter in OUTright Youth’s Amazing Race around Hickory on Saturday, August 19, 9am-4pm.

Patterned after the CBS show The Amazing Race, OUTright’s Amazing Race combines challenges that are physical, mental, and sometimes even silly which will send teams of two to four all over the Greater Hickory Metro area as they compete for cash prizes and bragging rights.

Teams will leave the OUTright Center exactly at 9 AM on their way to their first stop.  (Head down to The Sails on the Square to catch the start of the action!)  With 10-12 action-packed stops around Hickory, there may be a detour or two in their future!

Throughout OUTright’s Amazing Race, our social media team will be announcing the location of the next stop and posting photos and videos of the teams battling for first place.

And you certainly won’t want to miss seeing the winning team race down Victory Lane and jump on OUTright’s Amazing Race Victory Mat!

Races are not your thing? Come to our Food Truck Invasion in our parking lot to cheer on the teams as they cross the finish line. Enjoy lunch from food trucks, drinks from local breweries and live music from amazing bands. Best part, admission to the after party is FREE! It’s sure to be an amazing party!

It all happens on Saturday, August 19. The Race starts at 9 am, Food Truck Invasion at 11 am.

Check out the website for registration details on a Saturday event not to be missed.

The start/finish line will be at the OUTright Center at 748 4th St. SW, Hickory 28602.

Susan G. Komen’s Local Race For The Cure® Registration Is Open

Hickory – The eighteenth Susan G. Komen® Northwest NC (NWNC) Foothills Race for the Cure® 2017 will be held on September 30 as a kick-off to breast cancer awareness month. Komen NWNC proudly serves 22 counties including the Foothills and High Country regions of North Carolina. Online registration for the Race is now open.

The Timed Competitive 5K begins at 9:30 a.m. and the Untimed 5K Race/Walk begins at 9:45 a.m. The time of the One-Mile Fun Run/Walk will be announced soon. Survivor Café opens at 8 a.m. with the Survivor Processional starting at 9 a.m.

The Race will again be held at LP Frans Stadium at Winkler Park, located at 2500 Clement Boulevard, NW, Hickory. By moving the Race in 2016, it allowed for even more participants and additional participant parking and activities.

The Hickory Crawdads continue to be instrumental in partnering with the Race, allowing participants to cross the finish line at home plate. Teams can also participate in Team Tailgate, and Survivors will have their own designated area again. Race participants can also celebrate throughout the stadium concourse.

Participants and teams can register online at, by clicking on ‘Events’, then ‘Foothills Race for the Cure’. The online registration fee is $25 for untimed participants and $35 for timed participants. The youth fee is $15 and free for children under five.

Paper Race Registration Forms and team information can be downloaded from the website up until Race day. The website also contains Race Day information and Frequently Asked Questions. Register and/or start a team today and save money, while saving lives in this community.

Visit Komen NWNC’s website at to learn more about their local impact and all the unique mission programs they offer, and to find out how you can volunteer.

If you have any questions please call (336) 721-0037. Komen NWNC is about impacting local lives.

Annual Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention Is September 1-3

Lenoir, NC - The Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention is devoted to the preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage and resources of the Happy Valley/Yadkin Valley through an annual music festival that highlights traditional old-time and bluegrass music and rural traditions. It’s a fun, family-friendly event and features musicians from all over the United States.

This 13th annual event occurs Labor Day Weekend, September 1 – 3, 2017 on the Jones Farm on Highway 268 between Lenoir & North Wilkesboro – 3590 NC 268, Lenoir, NC.

Friday evening’s events start at 7:00 p.m. and feature music, a cake walk, and dances. Entry fee is $5.00/person (age 15 & under free).

Saturdays events start at 10:00 a.m. and include continuous music competitions, a flatfoot dance workshop and demonstration, instrument makers tent, Junior Appalachian Musicians showcase stage and children’s activities, storytelling and historic information. Entry fee is $10/person (age 15 & under free).

Sunday’s concert begins at 10:00 a.m. and features big names from far & wide, including Kruger Brothers and Dom Flemons, The Harris Brothers and more! Entry fee is $10/person (age 15 & under free).

Primitive camping is available for $25 for the entire weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Camping fee does not include admission.

Being a not-for-profit event, all funds beyond those necessary to ensure the continuation of the festival will go to youth scholarships and music programs that preserve traditional music, dance and instrument making activities.

All details for competition registration and event attendance are on the website As this event is now a program of the Caldwell Arts Council in Lenoir, advance discounted tickets will be available there starting mid-August. For any questions, call Tony Deal at 828-758-9448 or email

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

Seeking Food And Craft Vendors For Bethlehem Day Fest., Sept. 16

Bethlehem, NC - The Bethlehem Community Development Association is now accepting applications for the 8th Annual Bethlehem Day Festival to be held on September 16th, 2017 at the crossroads of Shiloh Church Road and Rink Dam Road in Bethlehem (Alexander County).

Cruise-In At Bethlehem Days

Applications fees are $30 for craft and information vendors and $45 for food vendors and must be pre-registered by September 8th. For more information contact Donna Reid 828-234-6690 or 828-495-1057. Applications are available at or can be requested at

Two Grant Writing & Research Workshops,

State & Federal Or Foundation, Aug. 21 & Sept. 19

Charlotte & Hickory, NC - Join Funding For Good and Amy Clinton & Associates in Charlotte, NC, August 21st to learn all about State and Federal grant writing.

To succeed with state and federal grants, you need to plan ahead, way ahead. You also need to step up your writing, program development and ability to follow instructions and be concise.

Join us for this workshop to learn how to interpret federal grant application guidelines, establish standards for proposals that will be deemed highly competitive, dive deeper into compelling needs statements and the research that helps create them, while exploring best practices, budgets and other nuts and bolts of federal grant applications. This workshop is sure to get your wheels turning and help you determine if you are ready to step into the world of federal grants.

To register please go to , early bird rate for the workshop is $147.

Join Mandy Pearce of Funding For Good in Hickory, NC, September 19th to learn all about Foundation Grant Writing & Effective Research.

If you are new to grant writing and research or find yourself with experience writing grants without receiving funding, this is the class for you.

This one day class is designed for beginners, as well as practiced grant writers who need to understand the elements of a proposal and how to successfully integrate each into a successful proposal, as well as the process for successful grant research.

This workshop will cover basic grant writing objectives, the seven elements of almost every proposal, formatting, how to customize proposals to the granting organization, developing relationships with donors and grant management.

This workshop is will also help you learn the details needed to begin research, to conduct successful grant research, and the skill set to help save you time in your searches so you can actually begin writing. We will cover the details needed before you can begin any research, management of research to make efficient use of your time, how to locate available grants on the local, state and government levels, how to navigate organizational websites to locate funding opportunities, grant databases and other resources that fit your specific needs, as well as pitfalls to avoid that will save you time and cut down on frustration as you work to locate donors whose priorities match your needs.

To register, please go to Early bird rate for the workshop is $147.

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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