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Hart Square Festival Tickets Go On Sale On Monday, October 3

Vale, NC - Since 1986, as the first touches of autumn fleck Hog Hill on the fourth Saturday in October, Hart Square bustles with over three hundred knowledgeable artisans and docents demonstrating and sharing the craftsmanship and subsistence of Carolina’s pioneers. To enter the village on festival day is to enter the early 1800s. Here, visitors will witness everything from flax making, cotton baling, and tinsmithing to apple butter making and the sweet sounds of old time music. We boast the most talented and authentic demonstrators in the country, and know you will agree with us when you come visit.

The 2016 festival is October 22 (always the fourth Saturday in October), and it runs from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Rain or shine! *No pets please*

Pumpkin Carver at Hart Square

Tickets ($40.00 each; free for age 5 and under) go on sale at the Catawba County Museum of History the first working day in October: Monday, October 3, 9:00 am. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Catawba County Museum of History or over the phone at the museum’s number 828.465.0383. Tickets purchased through the museum are limited to 12 per order.

A limited number of tickets for large groups (20 or more, but less than 75) are reserved, and group leaders may call between September 15 and September 29: 828.322.2990.

Harts & Sigmons playing at Hart Square

Please keep in mind that walking shoes are needed and unpaved roads can make for difficult travel. Most of the structures are not accessible by wheelchair.

We will open the gates for parking at 8:00 a.m. to preclude the mile-long line of traffic in years’ past. Festival goers are welcome to drive in and park on the runway, where coffee and breakfast items are available through Plateau Methodist Church. At 10:00 a.m., the ropes drop and the village opens.

There are three available places to purchase food the day of the festival. However, festival goers are welcome to pack a picnic and enjoy it on the grounds. Soda, coffee, and water are available in the Robert’s Barn near the Arbor.

Yarn-dyeing at festival Hart-Square (c) Margaret Day Allen

Hart Square is located at 5029 Hope Road, Vale, NC 28168.

Please direct all questions to Hart Square Foundation Executive Director, Rebecca Anne Hart, at hartsquarefoundation@gmail.com or by phone at 828.320.9461.

Kentucky Artists To Visit Schools Prior To Folk Art Festival Oct. 1

Newton, NC – Two Kentucky artists will present programs at three Newton-Conover elementary schools in conjunction with the Foothills Folk Art Festival, which will be held in Downtown Newton on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Minnie Adkins, a legendary wood carver; and Mike Norris, a singer/songwriter and author; will present programs at North Newton, Shuford and South Newton elementary schools on Sept. 29 and 30. Fifth-graders at North Newton Elementary School will also make art that will be displayed at the festival. This project was funded by a grant from the Unifour Foundation, which is administered by the North Carolina Community Foundation. 

The two artists will attend the Foothills Folk Art Festival, where Adkins will sell her unique animal carvings. They will also be selling the collector edition of their latest children’s book, “Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains,” which includes a CD of original songs by Norris.

The book, published by the University Press of Kentucky, includes nearly 50 nursery rhymes written by Norris that are based on the language and culture of the Appalachian Mountains. Photographs of wood carvings by Adkins illustrate the book.

At the elementary schools, Adkins will share memories of her childhood through wood carving demonstrations. Norris will sing songs related to the children’s book while playing the guitar and harmonica.

Adkins has received numerous awards for her work, including the Individual Artist Award of the (Kentucky) Governor’s Awards in the Arts, and the Distinguished Artist Award from the Folk Art Society of America.

Born in 1934 in rural East Kentucky, she grew up carving small toys for herself. After marrying, she and her husband, Garland, moved to Dayton, Ohio. During this time, she began to carve small wooden animals and sell them at the local flea market. When the couple returned to Kentucky in 1983, she gained the attention of Morehead State University, which eventually opened the Kentucky Folk Art Center to showcase her work and that of other Kentucky artists.

She and her husband, who collaborated with her in making art, began a folk art festival called A Day in the Country on their farm. Folk art collectors traveled to the festival from many states and even foreign countries. Eventually, Morehead State took over the festival, since it had grown too large for Adkins to manage. Her home county recently began a second folk art festival in her honor, Minnie Adkins Day in Elliott County.

Hickory Museum of Art’s ongoing Discover Folk Art exhibition, featuring work by self-taught artists, includes “Mama Pig and Piglets,” a three-dimensional acrylic painting on wood, created by Adkins and donated to the museum by Albert Keiser Jr.

Norris and Adkins met at Centre College, Kentucky, where he was employed, when she received an award from that institution. This chance meeting led to their collaboration on three children’s books: “Bright Blue Rooster: Down on the Farm,” “Sonny the Monkey,” and their latest book, “Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains.”

The Foothills Folk Art Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 in Downtown Newton. It is a partnership between Hickory Museum of Art and the Downtown Newton Development Association and is being hosted by the City of Newton. The festival site around the 1924 Courthouse Square will include more than 75 artists from the region, who will be selling their art. There will also be special children’s activities, live bands, food trucks and beer gardens. Parking will be available in designated areas, with shuttle buses taking guests to and from the festival. Admission is free.

For more information about the festival, and to see all of our sponsors, please visit foothillsfolkartfestival.com. For the latest updates, like the festival’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FoothillsFolkArtFestival.

Photo: Minnie Adkins and Mike Norris of Kentucky will attend the Foothills Folk Art Festival on Saturday, Oct. 1, where they will sell folk art and Appalachian-themed children’s books. They will also be Artists in the Schools in the days leading up to the festival.

American Idol Finalist Sarah Ross’ Shows Are Sept. 30 & Oct. 1

Lenoir & Statesville, NC -Sarah Ross made her claim to fame three years ago, when she was 17 years old, on the hit television show American Idol. Since then, she has signed a record deal in Nashville with Colt Ford's Average Joes Entertainment and has been touring the country for the past two years. Sarah's hit song "Calm Before the Storm" has been playing on CMT Pure Country, and her latest song "Lovin' This Beat" was premiered on Sirius XM The Highway.

Sarah is going to perform with her band on Friday, September 30th at the Lenoir Moose Lodge, and Saturday, October 1st, at the Statesville VFW. Memberships are not required to attend either of these shows.

Sarah Ross performs Sept. 30 & Oct. 1

These western North Carolina show dates will include two performances each night. The first performance of each night will be dinner and a show starting at 6:30pm, and the second performance each night will be a late night dance party starting at 10pm. Each show will open with a comedy and magic show from Virginia entertainer, Gartrell the Great. His show features lots of audience participation and is sure to have the audience amazed and laughing just before Sarah Ross goes on stage.

Tickets for the shows start at just $20. More information, including seating charts and Sarah Ross videos, can be found at www.starzontours.com.

Raffle Fundraiser For Andy Adams, Get Tickets By Oct. 29

Hickory - Andy Adams has Stiff Person Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease. This disease is characterized by rigidity and/or spasticity of the skeletal muscles, tremors, and anxiety. The result of constant spasms is unrelenting pain and commonly, eventual disability. Friends have put together this fundraiser to cover medical expenses and increase awareness of this disease.

The raffle is for a Ruger American .308 and a Marlin Heavy Barrel .17HMR. The raffle tickets are only $5 for two chances to win! Raffle tickets are available in Taylorsville at Details Plus, Napa Auto Parts, Double A Gunsmithing, Lyndon’s Riverview Sports and in Hickory at Springs Road Gun Club.

The drawing will be held on Saturday, October 29, at Double A Gunsmithing. You do not have to be present to win.

For more information call Double A Gunsmithing at 828-632-2324. Thanks for your support of Andy.

Artist LaVon Van Williams Jr. Will Be At The Foothills Folk Art Festival

Sat., Oct. 1, In Newton

Newton, NC – LaVon Van Williams Jr., a nationally acclaimed African-American folk artist from Kentucky, will sell his art at the Foothills Folk Art Festival, to be held in Downtown Newton, N.C., on Saturday, Oct. 1.

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

LaVon Fan Williams in his studio (c) Margaret Day Allen

Williams, a recipient of the Kentucky Governor’s Award in the Arts in 2006, was born in Lakeland, Fla. During his childhood, he was surrounded by family and community members who were traditional woodcarvers and quilters. He was also influenced by his father’s love of jazz. That sense of community and tradition would later be reflected in his art.

Williams attended the University of Kentucky, and is still known to many as a member of the Wildcats’ basketball team that won the NCAA championship in 1978. He earned a degree in sociology, but did not study art. After college, he played professional basketball in Europe before returning home in the mid-1980s.

Looking for a new career, he felt attracted to art. He took up the family tradition of woodcarving, which draws on a style originating in Africa. Using these techniques, he began to make art that reflected his own life experiences.

Williams’ dynamic carvings are filled with emotional energy as he depicts scenes such as the rent party (a traditional practice in difficult times of hosting a party where guests pass the hat to raise the rent money). Other subjects include ecstatic worshipers in church, a couple kissing, jazz musicians, and other scenes of everyday life. The pieces are carved in low relief and then painted bright colors that enhance their vitality.

Carved panel of two women fighting (c) Margaret Day Allen

“Art for me is a further glance into what is and what can be in life,” Williams said. “I want to accentuate and preserve the humanizing connections we discover and embrace in art. We are works of art."

Williams’ art was recognized with a retrospective exhibit, “Rhythm and Relief,” at the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead, Ky., in 2009. His work has been widely exhibited and honored. He is included in the book, “When the Spirit Speaks: Self-Taught Art of the South,” by Catawba County resident Margaret Day Allen. More information about Williams and his art may be found at lavonvanwilliamsjr.com.

Local author Margaret Day Allen will be selling and signing her book “When the Spirit Speaks: Self-Taught Art of the South” at the festival. The book introduces the reader to 32 self-taught artists from the South and includes 200 color photos, many of which were taken by Robert Allen. Seven of the artists featured in the book, including Williams, will also be selling their art at the festival.

This whimsical carving shows one woman with two men.

More than 90 artists will join the Foothills Folk Art Festival as they offer their work for sale directly to the public. The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the square around the historic 1924 Courthouse in Downtown Newton. Other event highlights will include a pottery demonstration, activities for children, food trucks, two beer gardens, and two stages with musical performances. Admission and parking are free. Guests will park in designated areas and ride shuttle buses to and from the festival area.

For more information about the festival, go to the website at foothillsfolkartfestival.com, or like the festival’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/foothillsfolkartfestival.

L-RU Invites Artists To Submit For Juried Show; Deadline Oct. 3

Hickory – Lenoir Rhyne University’s art program is currently accepting artwork submissions for its 2nd Annual Juried Exhibit titled, “Intimate Expressions.” All artwork must be submitted for consideration in the exhibit by Monday, October 3. Accepted artwork will be on display October 20 – November 14 on the main floor of the Carl A. Rudisill Library.

A reception will also be held on Thursday, October 20 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., in the library, during which guests will have an opportunity to mingle with other artists while enjoying refreshments. No entry fee or reservations are required to view the exhibit or attend the reception. Both events are open to the LR campus community and public.

Artwork categories include painting (mixed media), printmaking, photography, and sculpture. Submissions are open to all artists 18 years or older who will compete for monetary prizes totaling $1,500. All artwork must be finalized and ready to display, and must not exceed a size of 48 x 60 inches, or 2,880 square inches. Artists may not submit more than two entries for 2D or 3D work. For 3D submissions, up to three photos per entry are allowed (front, side, top). Images must be submitted in JPEG format, no larger than 1MB per image.

To submit artwork for consideration in the exhibit, please email a photo of the artwork to Clay James, Assistant Professor of Art at John.James@lr.edu.

iCare Bus Tour Visits Area Non-Profits On Oct. 4, 8:30am-4pm

Hickory – This year’s iCare Tour will feature a look at non-profit organizations in Catawba County that serve the needs of citizens in the areas of education, food, housing, mental health, family enrichment and health.

This event will last from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4. It is open to any county resident who is interested in learning more about these organizations and how they can get involved in helping others in the community. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. A suggested $5 donation will be accepted at the door of the event, but an advance reservation is required to reserve your seat.

Stops on this year’s iCare Tour will include Adult Life Programs, Hospice, Greater Hickory CCM, Sipe’s Orchard Home, Hickory Soup Kitchen, ReSource Warehouse & Gallery, and Camp Dogwood. At each stop, there will be speakers from other agencies, including the Backpack Program, Council on Adolescents, Hickory Museum of Art, Classroom Connections, Connections Clubhouse, and the Humane Society. Tour attendees will also leave with a guidebook that includes information on dozens of other non-profits in the community.

The tour will begin at Camp Dogwood, located at 7050 Camp Dogwood Drive, Sherrills Ford at 8:30 a.m. Buses will depart no later than 9 a.m. and return by 4 p.m.

“It’s a great opportunity for businesses, clergy, students, and citizens to see where their time, talent, and treasure can improve the life of all in Catawba County,” said Amanda Freeland, tour coordinator. To reserve your place on the iCare Tour, email her at afreeland@catawbacountync.gov.

The iCare Tour is organized by Congregations and Community, Catawba County Social Services, and Housing Visions: A Continuum of Care.

Sunrise Rotary Club Halloween Dance Set For Sat., October 29

Hickory - The Hickory Sunrise Rotary Club has announced that it is hosting a Halloween dance on Saturday, October 29, 2016, from 7:00 to 11:00 pm at Moretz Mills, located at 74 8th Street SE, in Hickory, NC. The event is sponsored by Tarheel Wealth Management.

The doors for the dance open at 7:00 pm, with DJ Eric Bowman playing from 7:00 to 8:00 pm, followed by The Band of Oz from 8:00 to 11:00 pm. Costumes are welcome and there will be a contest for the best and most uniquely dressed. A full meal, dancing, a cash bar, and shag lessons will be included with the price of admission, which is $30 per person. The Hickory Sunrise Rotary will use the funds raised to benefit local children who need a helping hand to attend CVCC.

A member of Rotary International District 7670, the Hickory Sunrise Rotary Club was chartered on November 7, 2000, and has grown to become the most diverse Rotary club in western North Carolina.

A small, friendly club with about 24 members, the Hickory Sunrise Rotary focuses on educational initiatives and the needs of the homeless and veterans in our community. The club also embraces the Rotary motto, "Service Above Self," and specializes in having fun while serving others. The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

The Hickory Sunrise Rotary Club meets Wednesdays at 7:00 am in the Fireside Room at Lenoir-Rhyne University. For more details, please call 828-303-0057 or visit www.hickorysunriserotary.org.

Unifour Christian Singles & Seniors Offer Upcoming Events

Granite Falls, NC - Unifour Christian Seniors and Unifour Christian Singles (over age 45) have announced upcoming events.

Bingo and dinner on Friday, October 7, at 6pm at Lakeside Pizza in Rhodhiss, NC. Unifour Christian Seniors invite other seniors in the area to join us. Everyone please bring a $1 bingo gift.

Flat Rock Theatre trip to see “A Christmas Carol" on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 9am to Hendersonville, NC. Unifour Christian Seniors invite other seniors in the area to join us.

Group will leave from Walmart in Granite Falls at 9am; pick up at Roses in Hickory at 9:15 am, and also at CVS in Rutherford College at 9:30 am. One meal is included in price of trip. The cost for this trip is $50 each and is due by September 28th.

Senior Salt Sing and lunch on Wednesday, December 14, at 9am at Billy Graham’s The Cove, in Asheville, NC. Unifour Christian Seniors invite other seniors in the area to join us. Group to leave from Walmart in Granite Falls at 9am.

There will also be a pick up at 9:15 at Roses in Hickory and 9:30am at CVS in Rutherford College, NC. The cost for this trip is $45 each and is due by September 28th.

Movie Night, “Miracles from Heaven” and "Heaven is Real" on Saturday, October 8, from 5pm to 9pm. Annette’s house in Granite Falls, NC. Unifour Christian Singles (45 yrs and up) invite other singles in the area to join us. Everyone please bring food and let Annette know ahead of time what foods you will bring.

For more information on any event listed please contact Annette Strassner at 828-310-2977.

HMA’s Nov. 19 Holiday Open House Seeks Area Artists

Hickory – Shop HMA, Hickory Museum of Art’s (HMA) newly renovated museum store, seeks area artists to display and sell their works as part of its Second Annual Holiday Open House and Festival on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The annual open house is the official kick-off to Shop HMA’s holiday season.

“Last year’s event was a huge success, thanks to support from our community and involvement by so many local artists,” said Clarissa Starnes, Shop HMA Manager, who added this year’s turnout is expected to be even larger.

“We look forward to kicking off the holiday season with the Second Annual Holiday Open House and Festival,” Starnes said. “Not only will visitors get to shop locally created artwork and interact with the artists themselves, but they can also visit the newly renovated Shop HMA museum store and find unique gifts.”

Cost to reserve booth space during the open house and holiday festival is $50, with artists retaining 100 percent of self-managed sales. HMA will provide one round table for displaying sale items. Additional display items must be provided by artists. Artists already featured in Shop HMA are encouraged to bring additional items for self-sell that day, since they will be asked to leave merchandise in the Museum shop for register sales.

Deadline to reserve space is Oct. 16. Space is limited and booth locations will be assigned at time of registration. For more information or to reserve booth space, contact Clarissa Starnes, Shop HMA Manager at 828-327-8576, ext. 210.

Hickory Museum of Art is located on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.HickoryArt.org or call 828-327-8576.

Photo: Area artist Dan Greaser interacts with shoppers during last year’s Holiday Open House and Festival in the galleries at Hickory Museum of Art.

Hickory’s Oktoberfest Sets Music Stages’ Headliners, Oct. 7-9

Hickory - Get ready for three days of high energy music, food, amusement rides, shopping and fun. Hickory’s Oktoberfest features four stages of non-stop live entertainment ranging from traditional polka to rock & roll, two beer gardens, amusement rides and carnival games, a juried arts and crafts show and hundreds of food and commercial vendors.

Girlz Girlz Girlz

We are excited to announce the headliners for this year’s music stages!

On Friday, October 7, from 9:00 to 11:00pm Girlz, Girlz, Girlz will take the Main Stage. Girlz, Girlz, Girlz is the best party band, both in looks and performance...and rockingness.

Besides everyone's favorites from the heyday of '80s rock, they jam out the biggest recent hits with the same arena-imploding feel.

The Eliminator Band

Whether they're ripping through "Livin' On A Prayer" or "Bad Romance", "Sweet Child O' Mine" or "Larger Than Life", it'll be sure to bang your head and rock your socks off...so wear a helmet and leave your socks at home. http://girlzgirlzgirlz.net/

Saturday, October 8 night brings The Eliminator Band – a ZZ Top Tribute Band from 9:30-11pm to the Main Stage.

See why for almost 25 years, The Eliminator Band has been the nation’s Premier ZZ Top Tribute! With their "genuine” home grown foot long whiskers to the custom tailored suits, Eliminator has been performing the Best of ZZ Top from Coast to Coast since 1992.

Playing ALL of your favorite ZZ Top Hits, complete with Cheap Sunglasses and Spinning FUZZY Guitars. http://eliminatorband.com/

Samantha Fish

The Pavilion Stage brings blues artist Samantha Fish to the stage on Friday from 9:30 to 11:00pm. Only into her mid-20s she has already released two CDs, played all over the world and shared the stage with well-established to the legendary artists from Tab Benoit and Johnny Lang to Buddy Guy.

Label mate and sometimes touring buddy, Mike Zito has long championed Samantha, produced her critically acclaimed albums, Runaway and Black Wind Howlin’ (2013). Samantha’s had a master’s class in a wide variety of the blues.

Her work ethic is unquestioned and her love for performance is obvious. http://www.samanthafish.com

Dead 27s

On Saturday from 9:30 to 11:00 pm Dead 27s will rock you out! On their debut EP, Dead 27s brilliantly infused rock-and-roll and classic soul with both raw energy and refined musicality. Now with their first full-length effort Ghosts Are Calling Out, the Charleston-based band expands their sound by pursuing their passion for loose and joyful experimentation. Working with a treasure trove of obscure and vintage lo-fi gear, Dead 27s have widened their sonic repertoire to offer up an album that’s boldly inventive but rooted in pure emotion. http://www.dead27s.com/home

For the complete line up and all the information about this year’s Oktoberfest, please visit www.hickoryoktoberfest.com

Satie's Holiday Sale, Dec. 2-24, Seeks Local Items For Event

Lenoir, NC - The Caldwell Arts Council is seeking artists & crafters to participate in our annual Satie's Holiday Sale, December 2-24, when the entire Arts Council is converted to a gift shop full of locally handcrafted items for holiday sales.

Items for the holiday sale will be juried by our Satie's Holiday Committee and will be placed here on consignment. All items must be handmade of quality materials and construction, and the most successful items each year are those priced less than $50. We are always looking for a variety of exciting new gift items and food items.

Please bring samples of your product to the Caldwell Arts Council by 5pm on one of the following dates: September 13, October 4 or November 1 for jurying. Visit our website for submission guidelines: http://www.caldwellarts.com/6-saties-gift-shop-and-holiday-sale/

For more information call the Caldwell Arts Council at 828-754-2486 or visit the website www.caldwellarts.com.

The Caldwell Arts Council is located at 601 College Avenue (corner of Norwood Street) in downtown Lenoir.

CRC Project Grant Deadline Is Monday, October 3, At Noon

Hickory – The City of Hickory Community Relations Council (CRC) is currently seeking projects to fund for the 2016-2017 fiscal year and is inviting qualified groups or individuals to consider submitting grant requests.

“The CRC continues to bring awareness about diversity and tolerance in the community through dialogue, education, programs, and resources,” said Clise Plant, Chair of the CRC. “Non-profit agencies, churches, institutions, schools, and individuals are invited to submit their programs, during our grant application process.”

The grant application should be completed in full, approved by the director of the agency, and submitted to the CRC, care of the address on the application. Applications are reviewed twice a year. The deadline for submitting for the fall 2016 grant cycle is Monday, October 3 at noon. Applicants may include any 501(c)(3) or otherwise tax exempt organizations.

Priority will, generally, be given to projects that are designed to deliver the greatest impact on positive human relations, that are most effective in bringing different sub-communities of Hickory together, and that provide services and resources to the people who can most benefit. Agencies are encouraged to partner with each other to avoid duplication of services and to maximize efficiency in delivering needed services. Detailed grant guidelines will be mailed with the application form.

Funds from the CRC are provided by the City of Hickory and may not be used to pay salaries or to construct buildings, and will not be used to promote a particular political or religious point of view. Funds may be used for contracts for services and/or specific honoraria.

A report on the use of the funds is required from recipient groups. The CRC reserves the right to request an audit of funds allocated to ensure proper use. Projects may be funded partially or in full; however, priority will be given to projects for which matching funds are available.

Agencies receiving grant funding are asked to acknowledge the grant from the City of Hickory CRC in their publicity materials. A City of Hickory logo and a CRC logo will be provided for inclusion on all promotional materials.

Anyone submitting an application is asked to submit 17 copies of the grant request.

Applications can be accessed at http://www.hickorync.gov/content/community-relations-council or call staff liaison Chief Thurman Whisnant at the City of Hickory Police Department, at (828) 261-2696 or email twhisnant@hickorync.gov.

Evening For The Arts Benefit Is Sat., Nov. 12, Lake Hickory CC

Hickory – AOA presents an “Evening for the Arts” to benefit Hickory Museum of Art (HMA) on Saturday, Nov. 12, 6-9 p.m. at Lake Hickory Country Club, Hickory. Now in its 42nd year, Angels of the Arts (AOA) is an annual fundraising event coordinated by HMA’s Guild to benefit the nonprofit museum’s educational programs and exhibitions. The event’s presenting sponsor is Shurtape.

This year’s fundraiser is new and improved, and although it will not be a brunch like previous AOA events, it will feature a live and silent auction. The silent auction consists of quality, one-of-a-kind gifts, primarily donated from local small and family businesses. Guests will have the opportunity to browse through and bid on silent auction items while enjoying cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres.

The fundraising event concludes with a live auction of higher-end items presented by a surprise auctioneer. Items for the live auction consist of everything from home goods, to social events and exquisite art pieces. The fundraising event will also offer a number of raffles. Big ticket raffle items include four, one-day Disney World Park Hopper Tickets.

Reservations to attend AOA’s Evening for the Arts can be made securely online at www.HickoryArt.org starting Oct. 1. For more information about this fundraising event, contact HMA at 828-327-8576.

About HMA Guild

The HMA Guild was founded in 1970 as the hospitality arm of Hickory Museum of Art. Today’s Guild focuses on planning fundraising events, assisting with receptions, serving as docents and volunteering in the Museum office and HMA Shop. The Guild is a major fundraiser for the Museum. AOA is the main event for the year, and funds raised help the Museum continue its programs and exhibits.

The Guild meets monthly for event planning, art-related programs and fellowship. Members are encouraged to attend meetings and volunteer in three Guild or Museum events. Occasional outings are arranged in order to visit other cultural venues.

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

Hickory Has Funds For Home Repairs For Low-Income Families

Hickory – The City of Hickory currently has funding available to assist qualified, low-income families with urgently needed repairs to their home through the Housing Rehabilitation Assistance Urgent Repair Program.

Assistance up to $7,200 can be made available to qualified homeowners to alleviate housing conditions posing an imminent threat to the life or safety of the home owner, or to provide accessibility modifications and other repairs necessary to prevent displacement of low-income homeowners with special needs.

In order to qualify, total family income must not exceed the following limits, based on family size:

1 person - $12,100 3 person - $15,550 5 person - $18,650 7 person - $21,450
2 person - $13,800 4 person - $17,300 6 person - $20,050 8 person - $22,800

Qualified applicants must also either be age 62 or older; handicapped or disabled; be a single parent with at least one dependent child in residence; be a family of five or more; or have a child age six or younger with an elevated blood lead level. The house must be located within the City limits of Hickory.

Please contact the City of Hickory Community Development Department, at (828) 323-7414 for more information. This program is sponsored by the City of Hickory, with funds provided by the North Carolina Housing Trust Fund.

Newton Rec & CVCC Plan Wide Variety Of Fall Classes

Newton, NC — The Newton Parks and Recreation Department and Catawba County Community College are proud to present a variety of classes this fall which are sure to interest you or someone you know.

Classes will be held at the Newton Recreation Center, 23 South Brady Ave. For more information or to register for any of the classes, you may contact Cheri Toney at ctoney@cvcc.edu or 828-327-7037 or call the Newton Parks and Recreation Department at 828-695-4317.

Line Dancing: A Fun
Way to Exercise

Come learn some popular line dances while getting a great cardio workout. You’ll learn dance steps to pop songs, jazz songs, and country songs. The class will be 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from Oct. 4-Nov. 8. Cost for the class is $55 per person. No waivers will be offered; everyone must pay the tuition fee. The instructor is Kristi Marlow.

Quilting: Back to the
Basics Workshop

This is a continuation of Quilting: Back to the Basics. You decide what size quilt and what pattern you want to make. This class is designed for beginners to intermediate students. The fee for the class is $25 per person. The class will be 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Mondays from Nov. 7-Dec. 5. The instructor is Mary Ann Parkhurst.

Needle Fun Workshop
This is a continuation of Needle Fun. The course is designed for needle crafters of all skill levels, and participants will have the chance to choose which needle they want to use. The class will be 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Tuesdays from Nov. 8-Dec. 6. Cost for the class is $25. The instructor is Mary Ann Parkhurst.

Hickory Fire Dept. Charity Golf Tourney Is Friday, Oct. 14

Hickory - Hickory Fire Department will host its 6th Annual Charity Golf Tournament on Friday, October 14, at Rock Barn Golf & Spa. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Bikes for Tykes program. The tournament will kick-off on Friday, October 14, at Rock Barn Golf & Spa with lunch at noon and tee off at 1:30 p.m. Following the tournament, an awards and recognition ceremony will be held.

“All kids, including the less fortunate deserve a gift for Christmas and this tournament is a great way for firefighters and friends to raise money for a wonderful charity that helps to make that happen,” said David Mills, Hickory Firefighter and Golf Tournament Director. “All of the proceeds from this event will go to the Bike for Tykes program.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer, play or sponsor a hole, should contact David Mills at (828) 404-2474 or dmills@hickorync.gov. Registration is limited to the first 30 teams to sign up.

About Bikes for Tykes

The "Bikes for Tykes" program is an effort to benefit needy children served by the Catawba County Christmas Bureau. Bikes and toys are distributed through the Catawba County Christmas Bureau in December.

LRU Announces 28th Season Of Visiting Writers Series

Hickory - Returning for its 28th season, Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Visiting Writers Series will begin the 2016-17 season on Thursday, September 8. For nearly three decades, the series has brought world-renowned authors to members of the LRU campus and the citizens of Hickory, NC.

The North Carolina Arts Council will kick off the series with three award winning writers presenting Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. in Belk Centrum.

Alina “Tita” M. Ramirez, Anna Lena Phillips Bell, and Julie Funderburk are all recipients of the NC Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in the literary category. The award recognizes individual artists for excellence and achievement within their art forms or traditions. The three writers were among 18 artists to receive the award out of more than 260 submissions from across the state.

The complete season listing is as follows: All events begin at 7 p.m.

October 13, 2016
Marlon James
Belk Centrum

Marlon James has taught English and creative writing at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota since 2007. His most recent novel, 2014's A Brief History of Seven Killings, explores several decades of Jamaican history and political instability through the perspectives of many narrators. It won the fiction category of the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, having been the first book by a Jamaican author ever to be shortlisted.

October 27, 2016
Sarah Vowell
PE Monroe Auditorium

American author, journalist, essayist, social commentator, and actress, Sarah Vowell, is often referred to as a “social observer.” Vowell has written seven nonfiction books on American history and culture. She was a contributing editor for the radio program, This American Life on Public Radio International from 1996 to 2008. She was also the voice of Violet in the animated film The Incredibles.

November 17, 2016
Marie Howe
Belk Centrum

Marie Howe was the Poet Laureate of New York State from 2012 to 2014. She published her best-known book of poems, What the Living Do in 1998. The title poem in the collection is a haunting lament for her brother with the plain-spoken last line: "I am living, I remember you."

January 19, 2017
Leslie Rindoks
Belk Centrum

Leslie Rindoks, who writes under the nom de plume of Avery Caswell, has had numerous essays published in Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Style and the literary journal Welter. Her manuscript Fall placed in the top 20 percent of new American fiction in 2012 and was a runner-up for Hub City fiction award.

February 9, 2017
Denise Kiernan
Belk Centrum

Denise Kiernan is an American journalist, producer and author who lives in Asheville, North Carolina. She has authored several history titles, including Signing Their Lives Away, Signing Their Rights Away, and The Girls of Atomic City. She started out in journalism and has covered everything from women’s issues, sports, and history to food, travel, and education in places like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, Saveur, Discover, Ms., Reader’s Digest, and others. Kiernan has also worked as a head writer for ABC's "Who Wants to be Millionaire" during its Emmy award-winning first season, and has produced for ESPN, MSNBC, and a variety of independent productions.

February 23, 2017
Reginald Dwayne Betts
Belk Centrum

Poet and criminal justice reform advocate, Reginald Dwayne Betts says one book completely changed his life: The Black Poets. At 16 he was arrested for carjacking and sentenced to nine years in prison. While he was in in solitary confinement, the anthology was slid under his cell door. The book opened up a world of possibilities for Betts, and he has since written two volumes: Masters of the Reagan Era, which received a PEN New England Award for poetry, and Shahid Reads His Own Palm. His memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison, tells the story of his confinement in some of Virginia’s worst prisons; The Baltimore Times called the book a “must-read”. He has also been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. This event is co-sponsored by Exodus Homes, Hickory.

March 9, 2017
Erik Larson
PE Monroe Auditorium

Erik Larson is author of five New York Times bestsellers, his most recent being, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. His book The Devil in the White City stayed on the Times’ hardcover and paperback lists for a combined total of over five years. It won an Edgar Award for nonfiction crime writing and was a finalist for a National Book Award. The option to make a movie of the book was acquired in November 2010 by Leonardo DiCaprio, and in August 2015, he formed a new alliance to make the film, in which Martin Scorsese will direct, and Billy Ray will write the screenplay. Paramount will be the backing studio. This event is co-sponsored by the Hickory Public Library.

April 1, 2017 – The Little Read: Dan Santat
PE Monroe Auditorium
*Please note this event will take place at 12 noon*
Dan Santat is an American author and illustrator known for his children's book The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, which won the 2015 Caldecott Medal for distinguished illustration. He also wrote The Guild of Geniuses and created the Disney Channel animated series The Replacements.

Sponsors of the 2016-17 Series include:

Sponsors of this year’s Visiting Writers Series include Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Crowne Plaza--Hickory, Hickory Public Library, National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, Our State: North Carolina, The Beaver Family Foundation, Inc., and WFAE 90.3 FM. The series is also sponsored and supported by 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.

All events are open to the public, and free for all guests. No tickets or reservations are required.

NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund For Returning Veterans

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

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

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

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

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

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

A VA-issued, non-expired certificate of eligibility

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lions Offer Chance To Donate Old Eyeglasses, Hearing Aids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Hickory Brain Injury Support Group Meets Monthly

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

2016 Meetings: 10/25/16 Spooky Bingo; 11/22/16 Speaker; and 12/13/16 Christmas Dinner.

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

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

Also check them out on www.facebook.com/HickoryBlSG.

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 http://safeconnectcatawba.com. A multi-disciplinary team worked on the SAFE Connect project throughout 2015. The word "SAFE" in the name refers to the services that are often needed: shelter, assistance, food, and emergency care.

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

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

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

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

Bethlehem Library Accepting 2017 Artist Applications

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

Women’s Resource Center Seeks Items For Pantry

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

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

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

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

For additional information, visit the website at www.wrchickory.org.

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

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

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

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. foster@catawbahumane.org.

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. www.fgcservices.com

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
director@wrchickory.org.

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 gsmith@caldwellcountync.org

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
sandy.freeman@dhhs.nc.gov

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

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

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

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
tammy.loukos@dhhs.nc.gov

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 marian.corn@dhhs.nc.gov
marian.corn@rutherfordcounty.nc.gov

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 @
http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dsb/contacts/swcontactbycounty

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 www.postadoptionsuccesscoach.org 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 www.catawbacountync.gov/dss/adult/nutrition.asp or find the Meals on Wheels of Catawba County program on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/MealsOnWheelsOfCatawbaCounty.

How To Get Your Event In Focus

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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 (www.lavanderkatbooks.com). “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:

www.TheHotline.org, National Domestic Violence Hotline, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 1-800-799-SAFE (7223)

www.HelpGuide.org, provides unbiased, advertising-free mental health information to give people the self-help options to help people understand, prevent, and resolve life’s challenges

www.VineLink.com, 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

www.DAHMW.org, 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 www.catawbacountync.gov/dss/f&csvs/familyfinders.asp
Or contact Sean Jarman at 828-695-2134 or sjarman@catawbacountync.gov

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: www.findingforgiveness.blogspot.com/2009/01/martin-luther-king-on-forgiveness.html.

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