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Butts & Beans Challenge At Fairgrounds On

September 22 & 23 Benefits Catawba Co. EMS

Hickory - The 7th Annual Butts and Beans BBQ Challenge, sponsored by VonDrehle Corporation, Frye Regional Medical Center, Oakwood Homes and Catawba Valley Medical Center, is a fundraising event with proceeds going to the Catawba County EMS Hardship Fund, Inc. This event will be held on September 22nd and 23rd at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds, located at 1 American Legion Ave., Newton, NC 28658.

We have many great auction items and are looking for more. If you would like to make a donation for the auction on September 22nd, please call Tommy Poovey at 828-461-2203 and he will arrange pick-up of items or cash/check. You can also mail a donation to Catawba County EMS Hardship Fund, Inc., PO Box 389, Newton, NC 28658. All donations are tax deductible.

Gates open at 5pm on Friday, September 22nd and will feature a steak dinner with live bluegrass music by the Sigmon Stringers, 6 - 7:30pm. Tickets are $30 for two people, advance sales only. Please call 828-466-7202 to get yours today! The evening will be highlighted by a public auction at 7:30pm. Please join us for an opportunity to bid on the fantastic items that have been donated to support our local EMS Hardship Fund.

Gates open at 9am on Saturday, September 23. Admission is $5, kids 10 and under are admitted for free. This day is full of special events including gun raffles all day, Firefighters Challenge, BBQ Tasting, Fire Truck Pull, a Challenge Course for kids sponsored by the Newton Fire Department, a Smoke House to teach children what to do at home in the event of a fire, and more! Our BBQ Competition is a State Championship event, is a KCBS sanctioned competition, and scored by Old North State Barbecue Series. To enter the competition go to or call 828-455-8914. Over $11,000 in cash and prizes for BBQ teams! The BBQ tasting will be held at 11am. Last year’s event featured 40 teams from across the country and we are expecting more this year. Cloninger Ford is sponsoring a Taster’s Choice Tent, stop by for free BBQ samples and check out their featured inventory.

We are currently looking for more teams to join the Firefighters Challenge & Fire Truck Pull. You do not have to be a firefighter to participate in the Fire Truck Pull. These events and divisions are open for early registration through Thursday, September 21st at 11:59 pm by going to, call 828-466-7202, or visit the Facebook page for Butts and Beans Challenge. Late registration will be open Saturday, September 23rd from 8:45 am to 9:45 am for the Firefighter Challenge, and 12:45 pm to 1:45 pm for the Fire Truck Pull.

The Firefighters Challenge will be held at 10am and is open to TEAMS for $40 per team, and INDIVIDUALS for $10. This division will include teams of 4, including 1 team captain for the team agility. Agility competitions will consist of 5 obstacles. Each member will perform the course in a relay type style for team event. The individual competition will run through it just once. Each member will be in fire turnout gear, including boots, jacket, pants and helmet. Spare gear will be available for those who do not have any.

The Fire Truck Pull will be held at 2pm. The entry fee is $50 per team and open to LEO, EMS, FIRE, RESCUE, MILITARY, CO-ED / CO-AGENCY, and GENERAL PUBLIC teams. The goal is to pull the truck 25 feet. Fire Truck Pull may have up to 10 members. No turn out gear required unless desired. Prize for best dressed team in fire truck pull, 1st, 2nd & 3rd in each category and of course BRAGGING RIGHTS! Best time wins!!! Awards will include, but not limited to a Cairns Leather Helmet, Streamlight Helmet Flashlights, Streamlight Survivor Lights, and more to be announced!

2017 Butts and Beans BBQ Competition is also sponsored by Duke Energy, Emergency L & A Equipment, Kia Paramount, James Oxygen, LaQuinta Inns & Suites, Price Well Drilling, Conover Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Fulbright Pest Control, Inc., ASR Graphics, Trinity Ridge, Cloninger Ford of Hickory, Carolina Rehab Center of Burke, Medical Facilities of NC, Lagunas Printing House, Viewmont Urology Clinic and Kicks 103.3.

The Catawba County EMS Hardship Fund is a non-profit corporation established to provide emergency assistance to EMS personnel who work for Catawba County. We look forward to seeing everyone at our 7th annual fundraising event!

Many Kid-Friendly Events Planned For Fall At AMC Hickory

Hickory - The AMC Hickory 15 movie theater will have many amazing events going on this Fall. Here is just a taste of what’s to come.

AMC Hickory 15 plays host to Classroom Connections, an organization that provides supplies to area teachers free of charge. You may drop your donations of school supplies by any time through September 9 during theatre operating hours.

AMC Hickory 15 will be launching our Sensory Friendly Shows beginning in September. AMC's partner for Sensory Friendly Films is a national organization, which exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. They increase public awareness of autism, advocate for appropriate services and provide the latest information on treatment, education, research and advocacy. These shows run the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, will be the first show of the day, and are matinee priced. Saturday shows are G, PG and some PG 13 while Tuesday shows are rated PG, PG13 and R.

For a schedule of upcoming movies please go to the AMC Hickory 15 Facebook page at First on the schedule will be Leap!

Disney will be re-releasing some of its fan favorites beginning in September. Showtimes will be at 2 pm and 6 pm each day.

Beauty & The Beast - Sept. 15-21; Mulan - Sept. 22-28; Tangled - Sept. 29-Oct. 5; Princess & The Frog - Oct. 6-12 and Brave - Oct. 13-19.

The AMC Hickory 15 movie theater Facebook page has information for upcoming Meet and Greets with Princesses, Super Heroes and more. Come take a picture with them - it's free!

First Picnic & Party Social Of Catawba River

Grand Stranders Friendship Assn. Is Sept. 16!

Hickory - The inaugural Catawba River Grand Strander’s Friendship Association’s Picnic and Party Social to be held at Glenn Hilton Jr. Park, located at 2000 6th St. NW, Hickory, will be on Saturday, September 16th at 10 am. Rain or Shine.

Bring a folding chair, cooler, picnic basket, umbrella, Roy Orbison sunglasses, and a big pretty smile! Feel free to bring your own supplemental entertainment ideas, such as checkers, football, horseshoes, books or magazines, knitting, crocheting, quilting, playing cards, or croquet sets! Most importantly, must bring a nostalgic keepsake to share with everyone to express yourself, your life and interests.

Wear your pedal pushers, madras shirt and straw hat! Wear your high school cheerleader outfit or baseball uniform! Come in your hot rod with poodle skirt, bobby sox and pony tail! Drive your 1956 Cadillac, Model A, or 1951 Henry J you ordered out of a Sears-Roebuck catalog!

Davy Franklin’s sister & dad, having fun on the Catawba River

Be sure to bring your sense of humor. Bring your nostalgic question of the day, nostalgic fact of the day, and a short nostalgic history lesson. There will be awards for “Outstanding Dressed,” “Koolest Hot Rod” and “Biggest Smile.” Also for Koolest name-tag! I am KAT, so look for the Kat in the black and white striped referee shirt to start.

A Don Garlits sign says, “Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, small people talk about other people.” Great ideas start with One Simple Step. This is our step! I cannot do this by myself, it must be a group effort. You are the group! Come happy and leave happy!

Call Davy Franklin at 828-368-0493 for more information.

Blue Knights XI Poker Run On Sept. 24 Benefits Donnie Holbrook

Hickory - Blue Knights NC XI is sponsoring a Poker Run to Benefit Donnie Holbrook to help with expenses after several surgeries this summer.

Registration is at Hooter’s in Hickory on Sunday September 24th from 11am. Till 1:30 pm. Registration is $20 single rider and $25 double.

Door Prizes and Food provided at the end of run, also 50/50 drawing.

For more info, contact Cecil Cook, President of Blue Knights XI, at 828-413-9707

Asparagus In Your Garden At Beaver Library, Thurs., Sept. 14

Hickory - Join Dr. George Place, Catawba County Cooperative Extension Director, at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library on Thursday, September 14th at 6:00 p.m. for a gardening presentation focusing on growing onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, and more in your home garden. The onion plant family has a diverse group of tasty garden additions, some of which can provide you with fresh produce for decades! Come find out why this program won the Best Adult Education Library program for the state of North Carolina.

Participants that attend all 11 presentations and conduct 20 hours of community garden service in 2017 will receive certification as Advanced Gardeners with additional gardening incentives (coupons and gift certificates) from some of our local garden supply businesses and an official library gardening program T-shirt! Come out and be a part of this great gardening group!

The Alliums and Asparagus in Your Garden presentation at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is free and open to the public. The entire schedule for the 2017 Advanced Gardener Series is available at the library. For more information, call 304-0500 ext. 7235. Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block.

Planning For College Seminars At Libraries, Sept. 11-18

Newton, NC – The Catawba County Library System has four programs scheduled in September covering a variety of topics relevant to high school students and parents who are considering attending college. These programs will provide guidance in tuition financing, student resume building, the Common Application, and much more.

The Main Library in Newton will host two programs in partnership with Crystal McMillan from Wells Fargo to explore tuition finance options. High school juniors and their families will be the focus group on Tuesday, September 12th at 6 pm. A second program will be held on Thursday, September 14th at 6 pm for high school seniors.

The St. Stephens Branch Library has also planned programs with the first being held on Monday, September 11th at 6 pm to help students build their resume and activities list for college applications, and to learn more about scholarships that are available throughout our community.

On Monday, September 18th at 6 pm, the St. Stephens Branch Library invites students and parents to “Finding the Right College for You: Application Boot Camp” for help in discovering the colleges that best fit their needs. Participants will also learn about the “Common Application” website that makes it possible to explore and apply to more than 700 schools world-wide with just one application.

The Main Library in Newton is located at 115 West C Street, Newton NC, 28658. The St. Stephens Branch Library is located at 3225 Springs Rd, Hickory NC, 28601.

For the latest in library news, visit or stop by your local branch.

Safe Harbor Rescue Mission Hosts Drug Abuse

Documentary Out Of Reach On Sept. 25

Hickory - Safe Harbor Rescue Mission will hold a special screening of “Out of Reach,” a short documentary about medicine abuse created by a teen filmmaker, at 7pm, September 25 at Carolina Theater, 222 1st Avenue, NW, Hickory, NC .

Dallas native and high school student Cyrus Stowe was selected by entertainment company Genart and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to turn his entry into a short documentary with the help of director Tucker Capps (of A&E’s “Intervention”). The short documentary, entitled “Out of Reach,” captures the issue of teen prescription drug abuse as it exists in Cyrus’ world, and is a reflection of the issue of teen medicine abuse across the country.

“My goal was to raise awareness about just how many teens are abusing medicine. Until I started talking to my friends and making this film, I didn’t know the true scope of the problem, so I can’t imagine many parents understand either,” said Stowe. “I also have a personal connection to the issue, and making this film was truly a life-changing journey. I made self-discoveries during this process and am hopeful that it will help others open their eyes to medicine abuse in the way it has for me.”

Nearly 2 million Americans are abusing prescription opioids, and 16,000 people die every year from prescription opioid overdoses, according to a Castlight Health report from 2016. The worst city in the U.S. for opioid abuse, according to the report, was Wilmington. Hickory was the fifth, followed by Jacksonville at 12th and Fayetteville at 18th.

“This film is a teen’s wake-up-call to parents. Seeing how rampant prescription drug abuse is in a typical American high school will help put this dangerous behavior on parents’ radar and motivate them to take action,” said Debbie Haynes, Program and Founding Director. “We are proud to partner with Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to shed light on this epidemic and motivate families and communities to take action.”

To RSVP for the event go to: or call Safe Harbor’s office at 828-326-7233.

About Safe Harbor Rescue Mission: Safe Harbor is a non-profit ministry that is devoted to providing a Christ-centered community where women can work to rebuild their lives through immediate and long-term programming. Safe Harbor understands the challenges of homelessness, abuse, addiction, and emotional struggle. They strive to meet women right where they are and assist them in setting and achieving their goals

About Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is dedicated to reduce teen substance abuse and help families impacted by addiction. We develop public education campaigns that drive awareness of teen substance abuse, and lead teen-targeted efforts that inspire young people to make positive decisions to stay healthy and avoid drugs and alcohol. On our website,, and through our toll-free helpline (1-855-DRUGFREE), we provide families with direct support and guidance to help them address teen substance abuse. Finally, we build healthy communities, advocating for great access to adolescent treatment and funding for youth prevention programs. A national nonprofit, we depend on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and the public sector and are thankful to SAG-AFTRA and the advertising and media industries for their ongoing generosity.

Hudson Sets Cast For Musical Annie, Playing October 19-28

Hudson, NC - The Town of Hudson announces that the cast has been selected and that tickets went on sale on Monday, August 28th for their 24th Dinner Theatre Production, the classic Broadway Musical, “Annie.” The play will be presented at the Hudson Uptown Building (HUB) at 145 Cedar Valley Road, Hudson, NC, 28638. The show dates are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 19th, 20th, 21st, 26th, 27th and 28th.

Dinner, catered by Dan’l Boone Inn, will be served at 6:30 PM with the show to follow at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $35.00 for dinner and the show, $17.50 for the show only. To make reservations, please call the HUB Box Office at 726-8871, or go by during business hours: Monday – Friday from 8:30 AM until 12:00 Noon and from 1:30 PM until 5:00 PM.

“Annie” is based on the famous comic strip which relates the adventures of the loveable orphan and also features Daddy Warbucks, Miss Hannigan, Grace Farrell, Sandy the Dog, President Franklin Roosevelt and many other orphans and characters. Many well-known songs are performed in the show, including “Hard Knock Life,” “Little Girls,” “NYC” and the signature song, “Tomorrow.” This is an ideal show to which to bring a group!

Cast and Crew List (from left to right)

Front Row: Leah Harper – Molly, Khaki Rae Bumgarner – Sandy

Second Row: Tess Perrin – July, Mia McGrath – Amelia, Elizabeth Garmon – Lucy, Lily Bodnar – Annie, Hannah Smith – Ensemble, Addy Connor – Tessie, Gracie Sigmon – Ensemble, Jonah McBurney – Kid, Alexis McBurney – Crew

Third Row: Cecilia Shoup – Duffy, Sarah Brooks – Sarah, Emily Stober – Vivian, Caroline Cook – Pepper, Peyton Wheeler – Stella, Macy Norman – Crew, Bethany Baumgardner-Kirby – Mrs. Pugh, Ani de Aragon Corey – Mrs. Greer, Kirsten McBurney – Crew

Fourth Row: Bethany Fultz – Ensemble, Kris Gibson – Crew, Cynthia Hauss – Ensemble, Caroline Collins – Cecille/Boylan Sister, Lark Bodnar – Annette/Boylan Sister, Autumn Dagenhardt – Kate, Gavin Dagenhardt – Ensemble, Allison Deters – Lily St. Regis, Holley Dagenhardt – Grace Farrell, Jody York – Apple Seller, Jana Maney – Ensemble, Lexie Walker – Boylan Sister, Carolyn Icard – Set Designer/Production Stage Manager, Rose Bibeau – Frances Perkins, Heather Barnett – Rehearsal Stage Manager, Leanna Bodnar – Choreographer

Fifth Row: Rick McBurney – Ensemble, Robert Marshall – Louis Howe, Keith Smith – Director/Oliver Warbucks, Allen Norrod – Bert Healy, Joe Icard – Set Construction, Eric Hauss - Drake, Andrew Casturao – Harold Ickes, Jeff Beane – Bundles/Crew, Abby Mastrovito – Ensemble, Caren Morgan – Cast Assistant, Janet Brooks – Miss Hannigan, Mark Matlock – Cordell Hull.

Not Pictured – David Abernethy – Percussionist, Christy Branch – Costumer, Marissa DeBramaletta – Bassist, Tammy Haigler – Ensemble, Carol Anne Hartman – Photographer, Charles Hicks – Sound, Greg Knight – Keyboardist, Ashley McDowell – Lights, Trev Moore – Ensemble, Cameron Owens – Rooster, Penny Bost Schrum – Sophie, Stephen Starnes – Franklin Roosevelt, GC Trivett – Officer Ward/Crew.

Jazz, America’s Art Form, At Let’s Talk About It

At Beaver Library, September 5 - October 17

Hickory - Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is sponsoring a six-week “Let’s Talk About It” film viewing and discussion series. The series is entitled “Looking at: Jazz, America’s Art Form.” The series sessions are Tuesday evenings on September 5, 12, 19, and 26, and October 10, and 17, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

“Let’s Talk About It” programs are made available through the North Carolina Humanities Council in order to encourage scholars and community members to explore how selected materials illuminate a particular theme. The current series explores the cultural and social history of jazz as it developed as an art form invented in early 20th century America. It has evolved into an enduring expression of creativity and innovation. The history of jazz is much more than the history of an extraordinary musical genre - it is also the story of central social, political and cultural issues of the 20th century that continue to play a part in our fledgling 21st. The scholars are Dr. Bruce Dick and Dr. Leon Lewis, Department of English professors at Appalachian State University.

The “Let’s Talk About It” programs are made possible through the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. “Let’s Talk About It” is a joint project of the North Carolina Humanities Council and the North Carolina Center for the Book, a program of the State Library of North Carolina/Department of Cultural Resources and an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. “Looking At: Jazz, America’s Art Form” is a Film and Discussion project for non-profit organizations and libraries from National Video Resources and the National Endowment for the Humanities, in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center and the American Library Association.

The “Let’s Talk About It” film and discussion series sessions are free and open to the public. Registration is not required. For more information, please call 304-0500 ext. 7235.

All sessions are held at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library which is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block.

Newton Recreation Department Plans Fun Fall

Classes Starting The Second Week In September

Newton, NC— The Newton Parks and Recreation Department and Catawba Valley 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, located at 23 South Brady Ave. For more information or to register, please call Cheri Toney at 828-327-7000, ext. 4320, Blanca Cardenas at 828-327-7000, ext. 4090, or the Newton Parks and Recreation Department at 828-695-4317.

Quilting: Back to the Basics

You decide what size quilt and what pattern you would like to make. You will start with the basics and go from there. This class is designed for beginner to intermediate students. The class will be 9 a.m.-noon on Mondays from Sept. 11-Oct. 30. The fee for the class is $45 per person. The instructor for the class is Mary Ann Parkhurst.

Stained Glass – Level I

Learn the fundamentals of stained glass design in a fun and entertaining six-week class. You will learn how to choose the correct glass, create patterns, cut and grind glass, and complete two projects. A supply list is available the first night of class. The approximate cost of supplies $75. The class will be 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Mondays from Sept. 11-Oct. 30. The fee for the class is $60 per person. The instructor for the class is Melanie Zimmerman.

Needle Fun

This course instructs needle crafters of all skills levels. Variety is the spice of life in this class as participants choose which needle they want to use. It could be a knitting needle, an embroidery needle, or even a crochet hook. The class will be 9 a.m.-noon on Tuesdays from Sept. 12-Oct. 31. The fee for the class is $45. The instructor for the class is Mary Ann Parkhurst.

Line Dancing

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 p.m.-8:30 p.m. on Thursdays from Sept. 21-Oct. 26. The fee for the class is $55 per person; no waivers will be offered. The instructor for the class is Kristi Marlow.

TEDxHickory At Belk Centrum On Saturday, Nov. 18, 10am

Hickory - The sixth anniversary of TEDxHickory will be coming to The Belk Centrum at Lenoir-Rhyne University November 18th. This independently organized event, licensed by TED, 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. And we couldn’t be more excited about this year’s theme:


What’s next? Exactly. That’s what we’re all trying to figure out. At all times. Anywhere. Everywhere. And for any aspect of our lives. And it makes sense, it’s human nature – just think about how far everything around us has come during our lifetimes. Color TV, more than one channel, the internet, the internet of things, Facebook, Twitter, News, Fake News, SpaceX, baby monitors, smart homes, virtual reality, you name it! What we see today we couldn’t have imagined it 10, 20 or 30 years ago. And the digital revolution has only exacerbated this constant evolution.

So, what’s to come? And what’s next for Hickory? We’re not a little town anymore. We’ve grown, we’ve evolved, and we’re at the cusp of figuring out what’s next for us and our community. So, what is it? And how do we get there? And looking beyond that, what’s next regionally? Nationally? Internationally? And how do we get to next?

And what’s next is not just an innovative product, or something so truly special that it becomes an industry, or even a revolutionary service or thought. Who’s next? Where’s next? When’s next?

Whatever next you’re looking for – technology, medicine, science, exploration, astronomy, philosophy, economics, education, music, writing, media, risk-taking – come explore it with us at the 6th annual TEDxHickory.

The event will be held from 10am to 4pm (doors open at 9:00am), with presenters speaking for no more than 18 minutes each. There will be breaks in-between sessions for discussions on the topics presented.

Those wishing to attend TEDxHickory will need to purchase a ticket from the event’s web site ( Tickets will be $30.00 each through September 30th and $40.00 each thereafter. A ticket covers attendance for the full day, lunch, and a TEDxHickory gift. Space is limited, so those interested are encouraged to purchase their ticket soon.

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. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (Subject to certain rules and regulations).

Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at

Performers, Artists Sought For Nov. Faith & The Arts Festival

Hickory - A Festival of Faith and the Arts celebrates living creatively and faithfully. On November 4 and 5, Unity Lutheran Church, 3025 Falling Creek Road, invites artists, artisans and crafters to purchase a space for only $15 for the weekend, Saturday 10-3, Sunday 9-4.

The festival will include “Light,” a juried art exhibit interpreting the scripture verse John 1:5 - “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” On Saturday, musicians and storytellers are invited to perform in the sanctuary and will receive a percentage of the goodwill offering collected throughout the day. All art, music and performances may or may not be faith based, but must be suitable in language and substance for a sacred setting.

For details on renting space, submitting art for “Light,” or performing, please contact Unity Lutheran Church, 828-324-1533,, or message us on Facebook.

Catawba Camera Club & HMA Host National

Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore, Oct. 14

Hickory – Catawba Valley Camera Club and the Hickory Museum of Art (HMA) present the images of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore. On Saturday, October 14, An Evening with Joel Sartore will feature a two-part ticketed opening beginning with the exhibit reception with the artist in HMA’s 2nd floor Coe Gallery. A second ticketed opportunity to interact with the artist will take place in The SALT Block’s Drendel Auditorium where the artist will present his most iconic animal photographs. The evening will culminate in a book-signing where ticket-holders will be encouraged to return to the Coe Gallery to spend more time with this striking exhibit installation. The Reception with the Artist will be held from 6 - 7:30 PM in HMA’s Coe Gallery. The event will then transition to the Drendel Auditorium at 7:30 PM for the Artist Talk.

Artist reception, talk, and book signing tickets are $40 for the for HMA or Camera Club Members and $60 for non-members. Tickets for just the artist talk and book signing are $15 for HMA or Camera Club Members and $20 for non-members. To purchase tickets online, go to or if preferred, purchase in person at the museum.

Through his images of the Earth’s creatures, Sartore’s artwork illustrates both the beauty and the tragedy of animal species threatened by extinction, demonstrating that photography matters.

Photo by Joel Sartore

In the finest documentary tradition, Sartore passionately captures striking artworks to help viewers understand the importance of saving these unique animals, while also ultimately saving ourselves.

Sartore writes, “… Every species is a work of art, created over thousands or even millions of years, and each is worth saving simply because it is so unique and priceless.”

The installation includes 55 prints. Half of the images show animals in their natural environments – highlighting the effects of deforestation, industrialization, oil spills, and city growth on their habitats. The other half of the prints are Photo Ark images – studio-style portraits of the world’s captive species (species under human care) photographed against a white or black background. Sartore writes, “Isolating the animals against black and white backgrounds allows us to look them in the eye and see that these creatures contain beauty, grace, and intelligence.”

Joel Sartore has written books including RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, Let’s Be Reasonable, Photographing Your Family, Nebraska: Under a Big Red Sky, and his most recent The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals. In addition to the work he has done for National Geographic, Sartore has contributed to Audubon Magazine, Geo Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine and numerous book projects. He and his work have also been the subjects of national broadcasts including National Geographic’s Explorer, the NBC Nightly News, National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition, the Today Show, PBS’s Summer Adventure Series and At Close Range, and CBS’s Sunday Morning Show.

Hickory Museum of Art, SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Admission is free., 828-327-8576.

NYC Music Trio, Bandits On The Run, Performs In Newton, Sept. 19

Newton, NC - Bandits on the Run, a criminal, whimsical musical trio from New York City, will be blowin’ into town on September 19 to conduct a stick-up at Newton’s Green Room Theatre! Join them for a night of original tunes, off-beat pop music covers, and reworked jazz rock and pop tunes like you’ve never heard before.

One of the bandits, Bonanza Jellyfish (known better around these parts as Sydney Shepherd) is a Hickory native. Sydney discovered her love of performing in the vibrant community theatre and youth orchestra scenes in the area. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and is currently living in New York City with a Broadway show and several film/theatre credits under her belt. She is so excited to return to this wonderful arts community for a brief time to share her band’s music with her hometown!

The Bandits got their rough’n’tumble start busking in the NYC subways and have since become infamous in the Northeast and beyond, picking up spots and features in a variety of programs, from NPR to Elvis Duran’s syndicated Morning Show.

Using guitar, cello, xylophone, tambourine, melodica, shaky banana, and skillful three-part harmony, the bandits have captured the masses with their style that seems to defy genre: at once old and new, nostalgic and unique. All three bring their unique voices and songwriting abilities to the table, creating a variety of sounds and styles that create a musical web of sound hard to pin down, and even harder to resist.

If you want a sneak peek before seeing them in action, you can check out their first album The Criminal Record on iTunes, Spotify, and wherever music is found online. Catch them in the act before they’re on the run again!

The Green Room Theatre is located at 10 S Main Ave, Newton, NC. The Bandits’ concert is Tuesday, September 19, 7:30 PM, and tickets are $15. To buy tickets, call 828.464.6128 or head to:

Find out more about the Bandits at

Farm To Table Dinner And $10K Draw Down Fundraiser, Sept. 14

Hickory - Gather at our tables for a family-style Farm to Table Dinner featuring fresh foods from local farms prepared by several of the areas finest chefs. Then join us for a dessert bar, live music, silent and live auctions and the $10k Draw Down & $1k Give Away!

This inaugural event supports Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry and the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market, as well as local farms and farmers. Join us on September 14th, 5:30 pm to 9pm, at Warehouse 18 Venues. The venue is located at 18 2nd St. SE, Hickory, NC 28602.

Tickets are available now by phone: (828) 323-7902 or by email: and at Tickets are also available through event sponsorship, call (828) 962-4689 for information.

Dinner tickets are $50 each and only 200 are available. $10,000 Draw Down tickets are $100 each with only 300 available.

Join us for a night of GREAT food, friendship and fellowship, and you just may walk away with an extra $10,000!

The evening is planned as follows: 5:30-6 pm, begin the evening with delicious appetizers, drinks from the cash bar and live music by Wires & Wood!

From 6-7 pm, find your seat at the dinner table. Seats are assigned by tables of eight.

From 7-9 pm, dessert bar opens, $10,000 DRAW DOWN begins and live music continues!

To increase your opportunity to win, Draw Down tickets are limited to 300.

Tickets will be pulled one at a time and the last ticket drawn wins $10,000!

Everyone in attendance will receive a FREE ticket for the $1k Give Away.

From 8:30-9 pm, if your Draw Down ticket goes out before nine tickets remain, purchase Buy Back tickets for $20 each to get back in!

When nine Draw Down tickets remain, one Buy Back ticket will be drawn and re-entered into the $10k drawing.

Around 8:30 pm, the final ten Draw Down tickets will be pulled, one at a time, and the winners announced for the $10k prize and the $1k Give Away!

How tickets work: If you purchased both Dinner and Draw Down tickets, join us between 5:30-6 for apps, drinks and live entertainment. Dinner will be served from 6-7 pm.

You will receive one free $1k Give Away ticket at the door.

If you purchased a Draw Down ticket but did not purchase a Dinner ticket, present your DD ticket at 7 pm and join us for the dessert bar, live entertainment, live and silent auctions, and receive one free $1k Give Away ticket at the door.

If you did not purchase a ticket for either event, $25 gets you in at 7 pm for all activities, and you will receive one FREE $1k Give Away ticket at the door!

Although highly encouraged, $10k ticket holders do not have to be present to win!

Military Hiring/Recruitment Event In Hickory, September 15 - 17

Hickory - In an effort to attract the high caliber pool of talent that are our North Carolina Veterans, we have organized a Military Hiring/Recruitment event called Welcome Home Hickory Metro scheduled for the weekend of Friday, Sept. 15 - Sunday, September 17. We will host transitioning veterans and their families from Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune and other installations in North Carolina.

The goal is simple - to create a pipeline for matching local companies and their great jobs with these transitioning North Carolina-based veterans.

The jobs are an important component of the veterans’ transition, but quality of life and a sense of community are what will ultimately “sell” the Hickory Metro as the perfect spot for these veterans and their families. In addition to the hiring fair, a community tour and various excursions highlighting our various community assets of Catawba County are planned.

Thank you to our current sponsors of this event: Corning and Cargo Transporters. Your thoughtful consideration of this as a long-term investment is appreciated as 100% of these funds will be invested towards the recruitment of transitioning service members by the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce and the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation.

Please email Lindsay Keisler at if you or your business are interested in getting involved or are interested in learning more information. Visit Welcome Home, Hickory Metro website at

Charity Golf Tournament To Benefit Bikes For Tykes, Oct. 5

Hickory - Hickory Fire Department will host its 8th Annual Charity Golf Tournament on Thursday, October 5, at Glen Oaks Golf Club. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Bikes for Tykes program. The tournament will kick-off on Thursday, October 5, at Glen Oaks Golf Club with lunch at noon and tee off at 1:00 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, every penny, from this event will go to the Bike for Tykes program.”

Hogway Speedway Racing Pigs

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

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.

For more information on the Bikes for Tykes Charity Golf Tournament, contact:

David Mills, telephone: (828) 404-2474 or email

Proceeds will go to Bikes For Tykes

SMO Includes Cooking Classes & Jazz Performance In September

Hickory – Seniors Morning Out participants will enjoy a variety of activities in September, including Cooking classes, farmer’s market visits, and a performance by Blue Tulip.

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

On Sept. 12th, participants at the Maiden and Catawba locations will enjoy a performance by the eclectic jazz band, Blue Tulip. The Charlotte, NC band consists of experienced female musicians performing jazz and blues from the 20s through today with a unique, upbeat style. The performance will be held at the Maiden Community Center.

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

Chocolate covered banana bites

Other program highlights are as follows.

At the Newton site, located at First Presbyterian Church, 701 N. Main Ave., Newton: Sept. 5, Auction fundraiser for the site-bring your donations; Sept. 7, Cooking Class-making zucchini fries; Sept. 13, 5 Activities That Relieve Joint Pain Caused by Arthritis; Sept. 19, Music by Sentimental Journey; Sept. 20, Visit Hickory Farmer’s Market; Sept. 28, Flu Shot Clinic with Rite Aid. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, call Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133 at least two days in advance.

At the West Hickory site, located at the West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th St. SW, Hickory: Sept. 6, Gospel Sing Along at Trinity Village Chapel; Sept. 11, Easy Tai Chi with Diane Christensen; Sept. 14, Visiting Public Health Farmer’s Market; Sept. 19, Benefits of Dragon Fruit; Sept. 21, Music by Sentimental Journey; Sept. 26, Cooking Class with James Patterson- chocolate covered banana bites. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, contact Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746 at least two days in advance.

At the East Hickory site, located at Huntington Hills Church of God, 2123 Fifth St. NE, Hickory: Sept. 6, Dancing to music by Sentimental Journey; Sept.13, Visiting the Farmer’s Market; Sept. 14, Decorating a framed cork board with Debbie Zimmerman; Sept. 19, Effective Communication with Jeff Dula; Sept. 26, Cooking Class with Janice Rogers-easy trifle. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, contact Rita Pritchard at least two days in advance by calling 828-320-5963.

At the Catawba SMO site, located at Hopewell United Methodist Church , 2211 Hopewell Church Road, Sherrills Ford: Sept. 5, Bowling at Pin Station and Shopping at Walmart; Sept. 7, Cholesterol and Seniors with Lupe Avalos of CVMC; Sept. 12, Performance by Blue Tulip; Sept. 21, Crafts with Tonya Jarnac; Sept. 26, Celebrating National 5 A Day Month with recipes and vegetable sampling; Sept. 27, Visiting the Farmer’s Market. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, call Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434 at least two days in advance.

At the Maiden site, located at the Maiden Community Center, East Second Street and Klutz Street, Maiden: Sept. 6, Comedy Movie Day at Maiden Library- Going in Style; Sept. 11, Cooking Class and Donut Tasting; Sept. 12, Performance by Blue Tulip; Sept. 14, Visiting Public Health Farmer’s Market; Sept. 20, Symptoms of Emphysema; Sept. 26, Music by Sentimental Journey; Sept. 28, History of Maiden with Dr. Amber Albert and Jo Duckworth. If you would like to attend any of these programs, please call Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966 at least two days in advance.

Seniors Morning Out is operated by Senior Nutrition Services of Catawba County Social Services. In addition to SMO, Senior Nutrition Services operates Meals on Wheels and related programs in the county. Additional volunteers are urgently needed to deliver Meals on Wheels. You can volunteer as little as one and a half hours a month. The program is also conducting its annual fund-raising drive at this time.

To find out more, contact Senior Nutrition at 828-695-5610 during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday, except for holidays. For the latest updates, like their Facebook page at, or visit their website at

Big Splash Fundraiser, Oct. 7

Hickory - Splash event on Lake Hickory from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. at Wittenburg Access (89 Wildlife Access Rd., Hickory, NC) and the Hickory Regional Airport (3101 9th Ave. Dr. NW, Hickory, NC).

This fund-raising event will benefit the local Vet Kids organization, local Boy Scouts and the Hickory Aviation Museum. It is hosted by the City of Hickory, the Hickory Regional Airport and Air Museum, the Seaplane Pilots Association and Lake Hickory Adventures.

Bring your cameras because activities will feature meeting the pilots when their seaplanes land and come ashore, fly-bys, touch and go landings, static displays of the seaplanes, demonstrations, contest and tours of various aircraft, including seagoing and land-based aircraft, as well as tours of the Hickory Aviation Museum.

There will be a Boy Scout pancake breakfast, Chick Fil-A and other food vendors, exhibitors and other fun activities such as live music, lake tours on the 65- foot Lake Hickory Adventure yacht, bean bag toss and face painting.

A voluntary $5 donation per person is suggested. Interested sponsors and exhibitors should contact Larry Laufer at The rain date will be on Sunday, October 8.

Hickory High School Class Of 1967 Reunion Is Sept. 22 & 23

Hickory - The class of 1967 at Hickory High School will be celebrating their 50th year with a reunion at the Hickory Metro Convention Center on Saturday evening, September 23, beginning at 6 p.m.

Pre-reunion events are also being held on Friday evening, September 22 and Saturday afternoon, September 23.

We still have members of our class who we were unable to locate. If you did not receive the letter that was mailed out in July, please contact Pam Drum Adams, committee chairperson, at 828.328.3192 or Sherry Roseman Craig at 828.256.7674 to receive one. All details will be sent to you.

Please plan to join us for a fun-filled evening renewing old friendships.

Hickory Metro Convention Center is located at 1960 13th Ave Dr SE, Hickory, NC, 28602.

Arthur Frymyer, Jr., Stocks Food Pantry And

Invites Those In Need To Help Themselves, 24/7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

**SOLD OUT. Please call to get on waiting list.

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

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.

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.

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

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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