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Library Adds Summer Lunches To Summer Reading Programs

Newton, NC - The Catawba County Library, in partnership with Catawba County Schools, is adding a new component to its Summer Learning Program with free lunches being provided at four branch locations.

Lunches will be served at the Main Library in Newton, St. Stephens Branch Library, and Southwest Branch Library Monday through Friday from 12:30 – 2:30 pm. The Claremont Branch Library will serve lunches Tuesday through Friday from 12:30 – 2:30 pm.

There are no forms to fill out or eligibility requirements to meet. Any child or teen, 18 years or under, is welcome to come eat lunch at the library. The Summer Lunches begin on Wednesday, June 14th and run through August 21st.

“We are very excited about partnering with Catawba County Schools to feed children this summer!” says assistant director Siobhan Loendorf. “The addition of free lunches to our Summer Learning Program allows us to nourish minds and bodies, keeping kids healthy, engaged in learning and positioned to succeed in school.”

This year’s Summer Learning theme at the library is “Build a Better World” and it includes interactive programs at all seven Catawba County Library locations.

Activities kick off this week with the Australian themed - Didgeridoo Downunder and continue through July with live animal adventures from the Schiele Museum, musical theater with the Green Bean Players, physical fitness with In the Mix Fitness, STEAM programs, and much more. Register online or at your local branch location.

For the latest in library news, visit www.librarynews.catawbacountync.gov or stop by your local branch.

Find Out What It Takes To Live In A Tiny House On 6/22 In Newton

Newton, NC – The Catawba County Library has launched their Summer Learning Program for 2017 with this year’s theme of Build a Better World. Just like last year, there is a reading and learning track for adults as well as kids, which means fun and interactive programs for all ages.

Mark Rostan of Campfire Homes will be at the Main Library in Newton on Thursday, June 22nd at 6:00 pm to talk about tiny houses and what it takes to live in a 200-500 square foot home.

Tiny House by Campfire Homes

Included in his presentation are considerations for downsizing, moving a tiny house, and zoning requirements. A 200 square foot model home will be available onsite for tours during the program.

Campfire Homes (www.campfirehomes.com) are built in Granite Falls, NC, where their first tiny house model rolled out in 2015.

The Main Library in Newton is located at 115 West C St., Newton NC, 28658. For more information, please visit www.librarynews.catawbacountync.gov or stop by your local branch.

Newton’s Movies In The Park Series Is Back Starting June 23

Newton, NC – The Newton Recreation Department kicks off the annual Movies in the Park series on Friday, June 23, with a free showing of “The Lego Batman Movie.”

The movie will begin at dusk at Southside Park, located at 1775 Southwest Blvd., Newton. Popcorn is free thanks to the local businesses and organizations that sponsor the event, including HealthSmart Pharmacy.

Drinks and snack concessions will be available for sale. Get in the spirit of the movie by dressing up as your favorite Lego Batman character. Bring your lawn chair and blankets and enjoy a free movie this summer.

Additional movies to be featured later in the series will be announced soon.

For more information about the Movies in the Park series, please call the Newton Recreation Department at 828-695-4317.

Opening Reception For LRU’s Clay James’ & Students’

Art Exhibition Is Fri., June 23 At N-C Auditorium

Newton, NC — An artist reception will be held at the McCreary Modern Gallery at Newton-Conover Auditorium for local favorite, Clay James, and many of his most promising students on June 23rd from 7-9 PM.

Clay James is on faculty at Lenoir-Rhyne University where he teaches a variety of Art courses as well as providing technical support for the University’s Theatre program. James possesses substantial professional experience in both Theatre and Art as contributor to theatre companies and community theatres across the United States. He holds his M.F.A. in Fine Art from the Academy of Art in San Francisco and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Lenoir-Rhyne College.

Guests at the reception will enjoy complimentary wine, beer and refreshments as they take in the magnificent works of the artists and get the opportunity to speak with them about their individual works. The evening will also feature music from James Glenn.

The exhibition is made possible by David Crouse and Leslie Yount. To view the exhibit, visit the Newton-Conover Auditorium, 60 W. 6th St in Newton through July 1st. For more info. visit at www.newton-conoverauditorium.org or call 828-464-8100.

Enter HSCC’s 2018 Furry Faces Calendar Contest By July 31

Hickory - Humane Society of Catawba County is currently accepting photo entries for the 2018 Furry Faces Calendar. “It’s a fun way to show off your four-legged family member, all while changing the lives of homeless animals in our community,” said Alicia Blackburn, marketing manager at HSCC. Contest ends July 31st at midnight.

The top thirteen winners will be featured in the 2018 calendar which will be available for purchase in the fall. Please note this year the contest format has changed, and the photo you submit will likely not be used in the final calendar. A professional photo of your pet will be taken and used in the final publication. The winning contestants will be offered a photo shoot, and a final selection will be chosen from the photos taken. Arrangements for location of photo shoot will be made once the contest has concluded. “Our hope is that these images will allow for a high quality calendar, with a consistent and professional look; the photo you submit is for voting purposes only,” said Blackburn.

All votes placed and all dollars raised will help HSCC change the lives of homeless animals in need.

HSCC operates through the generosity and support of individuals in the community. HSCC does not receive any tax dollars, United Way funding, or receive portions of donations made to national humane organizations.

Each year HSCC finds homes for hundreds of rescue animals, provides low cost spay/ neuter and vaccine clinics, and offers humane educational programs. All donations are tax-deductible. Visit HSCC’s website to enter and vote: www.catawbahumane.org

2018 Sponsorship Opportunities: Any local business in the Unifour area, can sponsor one month of the HSCC calendar for $250 and receive a company logo featured on the sponsored month and 10 free calendars to give away to customers.

Cover sponsor level is $500, and will feature the sponsor’s logo on the cover and 25 free calendars. Interested sponsors call 828-464-8878 to speak with Alicia Blackburn.

Be A Skilled Furniture Worker In 8 Weeks! Only $245!

Register Now At CVCC’s Furniture Academy

Hickory - The next eight-week Furniture Fundamentals class required to enter the Catawba Valley Furniture Academy will start July 18 and is open for registration.

Taught four days a week from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., the class prepares students to pursue the discipline they would like to master for employment in the furniture industry.

A growing need for local skilled furniture workers prompted CVCC to redesign a furniture training academy with support and guidance from area manufacturers. The complete series of disciplines includes Manual Cutting, Automated Cutting, Pattern Making, Sewing, Spring up (8-way hand tie), Inside Upholstery, and Outside Upholstery.

Student at CVCC Furniture Academy

Taught by upholstery artisans and craftsmen employed by those area industry partners, the Academy expanded from a 6,000-square-foot simulated furniture manufacturing environment to a renovated 38,000-square-foot facility at 973 Locust Street in Newton.

Founding industry partners are Century Furniture, LEE Industries, Lexington Home Brands, Sherrill Furniture and Vanguard Furniture. Additional supporting partners include American Home Furnishings Alliance, Atlantic Packaging, Autoquip Corporation, Bassett Furniture, CR Laine, Dimension Wood Products, DUO-Fast, Ethan Allen, Fairfield Chair, Fairgrove Furniture, Geiger International, Gerber Technology, Harris Handling , Haworth Health Environments, HBF Textiles, HSM Solutions, Heico Fasteners, Heritage Home Group, Image Industries, Leggett & Platt, NC Works Career Center Catawba, Precedent, Snyder Paper, TB Arhaus, TCS Designs Inc., Thomasville-Drexel, United Sewing and Wesley Hall, Inc.

The Furniture Fundamentals class begins July 18 and runs through September. The cost is $245. For more info. about enrolling, contact Lori Price at 828-327-7000, ext. 4284, lprice@cvcc.edu or Cindy Fulbright at 828-327-7000, ext. 4778, lfulbright@cvcc.edu.

John Grisham’s Book Signing And Discussion Event Is On

Wednesday, July 12 In Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem, NC – On his first bookstore tour in 25 years, John Grisham will visit Bookmarks at its new location at 634 West Fourth Street #110 in Winston-Salem on Wednesday, July 12 to promote his new novel, Camino Island. Last September, John Grisham promised he would come back to celebrate the opening of Bookmarks’ new home and this visit will take place just days after the July 8 Grand Opening of Bookmarks’ new nonprofit bookstore and gathering space.

Grisham’s visit will be comprised of two parts: a book signing from 1–5 p.m. and an event at 5 p.m. with a discussion and question and answer session.

The official tour rules set by Grisham’s publisher, Doubleday, are as follows: 125 tickets will be available for the book signing and 75 tickets will be available for both the book signing and the 5 p.m. discussion/Q&A.

Both the book signing and the event at 5 p.m. are ticketed. Each ticket will include a copy of John Grisham’s newest book, Camino Island. Grisham will personalize and sign up to two copies of Camino Island (one is included with ticket; one copy can be purchased on-site only). No backlist books will be signed. No exceptions. Photos will be permitted.

All books must be signed during the signing window of 1–5 p.m. There will not be autographing after the 5 p.m. discussion/Q & A. Bookmarks will be closed to the public beginning at 12 noon on July 12. Doors will open for all ticketed attendees at 1 p.m. Ticket holders may enter the line at any time during the four-hour period to have their book personalized and signed.

There are two ticket options. A Book and Booksigning Ticket is available for $35. This ticket includes one copy of Grisham’s newest book, Camino Island, the book signing with Grisham, and photo opportunities from 1–5 p.m. only. Limited to 125 tickets.

An Event Ticket for the 5 p.m. Discussion/Q&A (as well as a book and the book signing) is $135 ($100 is tax deductible and will be a donation to Bookmarks).

This ticket includes one copy of Grisham’s newest book, Camino Island, and the book signing with Grisham and photo opportunities from 1–5 p.m. It also includes Grisham’s in-store discussion, which will begin at 5 p.m. following the signing.

Bookmarks’ President and New York Times bestselling author, Charlie Lovett, will interview Grisham. Seating at the discussion will be first-come, first-serve. There will not be assigned seating or saved seats. Limited to 75 tickets.

To purchase tickets and for more information visit www.bookmarksnc.org.

About Bookmarks: Bookmarks is a literary arts nonprofit organization that fosters a love of reading and writing in the community. The programming connects readers with authors and books and is achieved through the largest annual book festival in the Carolinas; an Authors in Schools program, which reaches 7,500 students annually; and year-round events in our gathering space and nonprofit independent bookstore opening July 8, 2017. Visit www.bookmarksnc.org for more information.

Photos: John Grisham by Billy Hunt and new book, Camino Island.

Free Basic Automotive Class At Beaver Library On Sat., June 24

Hickory - Have you ever found yourself frustrated by a seemingly simple car repair or confused by a service technician’s invoice? Open the Hood is a new automotive class taught by CVCC automotive instructors James Eddie Roane and Charles Farnsworth on Saturday, June 24th at 10:00 am at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library.

The goal of this class is to empower participants by giving them the confidence to perform their own light automotive maintenance and the language they need to communicate and understand technical jargon when a professional is needed.

Students learn basic auto care with CVCC instructors

Eddie Roane and Chuck Farnsworth will share knowledge gained through years of experience in the automotive industry, creating an informed consumer who has the know-how to ensure that their vehicle is properly maintained.

The class is free and no registration is required. For more information, please call 828-304-0500 ext. 7235. Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block.

Way Off Broadway Concert Returns This Year On June 24

To The Newton-Conover Auditorium

Newton, NC — On June 24th, the Newton-Conover Auditorium is presenting its second annual Way Off Broadway concert. Inspired by New York City’s very own Broadway Backwards, local theater celebrities will be performing numbers from the most beloved musicals with a twist!

Local theater celebrities have been jumping on this amazing opportunity to sing numbers from sought-after roles.

Experienced performers make up the cast: Allison Andrews (Karissa, Junk), Molly Bass (Playwright, JUNK), Lark Bodnar (Silly Girl, Beauty and the Beast), Lily Bodnar, Kelly Dowless (Adelaide, Guys and Dolls), Sierra Doyle-Rios (Kit Kat Girl, Cabaret), Kaylyn Hall (Scout, To Kill A Mockingbird), Carol Anne Hartman (Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins), Coble Hartman (the title role in The Clockmaker’s Child), Dalton Isaac (Riff, West Side Story), Lindsey Jones (Babette, Beauty and the Beast), Dallas McKinney (All Shook Up), Abigail Pauley (Belle, Beauty and the Beast), Jairo Pereira (Shrek, Shrek), Laura Rhinehart (Sarah, Guys and Dolls), John David Welch (Tony, West Side Story), Jeremy Whitener (Gaston, Beauty and the Beast), and David Zealy-Wright (Albin, La Cage Aux Folles).

“This is such a rare opportunity for performers. When you are choosing repertoire to sing, it is typically for an audition in the style of the show you are auditioning for. It has been a very exciting creative process brainstorming songs and collaborating with such talented singers,” Whitener says.

This year’s concert will feature a live orchestra comprised of John Coffey, Jackson Sigmon, and Athena Barklage and choreography by the incomparable Leanna Bodnar. This year’s emcee will be local stage legend, Bill Morgan, and his wife Michelle!

The evening will also feature two raffles- one for a family pack (4 tickets) to a show of your choice at the Newton-Conover Auditorium and one for two tickets to our exclusive Foothills Folk Art Festival Preview Night.

All raffle and concession proceeds will go to benefit the Women’s Resource Center!

Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for seniors, students, and members; and $8 for children ages 8 and under. For tickets and more info., visit wayoffbroadway17.brownpapertickets.com or call 828-464-8100.

Hickory Artists Participate In The Art Around Caldwell Tour • 6/22

Hickory - “One of the biggest challenges local artists face is making people aware of what they make and where you can find them or their work,” says Teena Stewart. That’s a primary reason Teena Stewart and Anne Fredley are participating in the Art Around Caldwell studio tour. Though they both reside in Hickory, they are technically in Caldwell County.

The studio tour helps the public get to know artists and what they do and gives them a glimpse inside their work spaces. Anne Fredley is known primarily for her landscape paintings and her “Designs by Anne” jewelry. Teena Stewart’s brand association is Serendipitini Studio where she also creates handmade jewelry in addition to glass gifts and two-dimensional art with a strong focus on animals.

Their work will be on display and for sale at Stewart’s home at 6191 Mountainside Drive, just off Grace Chapel Road. The event is free to the public. Participants will be provided with light refreshments, brochures and maps. They will also have a chance to win a cash prize for visiting a certain number of studios.

The event runs from 9:00 - 4:00 pm, Saturday, June 22 and will take place rain or shine.

FCA’s Annual Members Show Is Thursday, June 29 From 6-8 PM

Hickory - Full Circle Arts of Hickory is announcing the public reception evening for its Annual Members Show on Thursday, June 29, 2017 from 6-8:00 pm. This show is comprised of artwork by all of the organization’s Exhibiting and Associate members in a twice yearly opportunity to expose their work to the public.

The show will be judged for First, Second and Third place winners. Honorable Mentions will also be awarded with ribbons. Artists are allowed to enter up to 5 works of art at no cost. No work may be larger than 48” in any direction. All 2-D work must be framed or gallery wrapped and properly wired for hanging. 3-D artwork must be on a base or pedestal.

Artwork should be hand delivered to our gallery, 42-B Third Street NW, Hickory, Thurs. and Friday June 15th and 16th, 11am-5pm and Sat., June 17th 10am - 2pm.

We are looking forward to a wonderful show and for the opportunity for the public to view the exceptional artwork by the members of Full Circle Arts. We have several new members whose art may not have been seen my many patrons in the area before now. According to FCA president, Ellen Schwarzbek, “There is a great deal of excellent art being produced in this area. The members of FCA believe we are helping support the local economy by presenting our art to the community.

Each art work is unique and we are happy to invite the public to come and enjoy it”. Our members are also very active in other ways in the Hickory area and always help provide refreshments for all of our receptions.

We would also like to take the opportunity to announce the winner of the People’s Choice Award at our Tiny Arts Show. Beth Oczkowski’s quilling work Sunrise Over the Mountains received the most votes from people visiting the show. Congratulations to Beth.

Full Circle Arts will retain a 30% commission for Associate Members and 20% for Exhibiting Members on any artwork sold during this exhibition.

FCA is an artists’ cooperative located in downtown Hickory, 42-B Third Street NW. More information about Full Circle Arts, classes, membership, or other upcoming events is available at 828-322-7545.

You may also write to Full Circle Arts, PO Box 3905, Hickory NC 28603, or email info@fullcirclearts.org. Please visit our Facebook page or our website at www.fullcirclearts.org.

 

Eat, Drink, and Be Local is Back! June 17 Through June 24

Catawba Co., NC - Eat, Drink, and Be Local is back for the 4th annual celebration of agriculture and the local food system in Catawba County.

All events from June 17 through June 24 are free except for the Farm Feast at Market on Main Friday, June 23 from 5:30 to 9 pm. Tickets are still available ($25 each) on-line with Eventbrite: http://farmfeast-eatdrinkbelocal.eventbrite.com or you can call the Cooperative Extension Office at 828-465-8240.

Come out and support our farmers while helping us raise money for the 4-H scholarship fund.

Participating local restaurants Highland Avenue, Cafe Rule, Taste Full Beans, Fourk, Boca and Marie and Twanettes will feature a dish sourced from local farms. Follow us on Facebook/eat drink be local for more information.

June 17: Savoring Summer Flavors 10-1pm cooking demos at the Hickory and Conover Farmers Markets.

June 19: Avaline’s Farm Tour 6:30-8pm 2027 U.S Hwy 321 S. Newton, NC

June 20: Fermented Foods Workshop with Aubrey Mast 6-7pm Hickory Soup Kitchen. Register at Eventbrite or call 828-465-8240.

June 21: Kids Corner 10-2pm Hickory Farmers Market and Coto Family Farms 6pm, 726 Bert Yarbro Rd, Vale, NC.

June 22: Fresh, Simple and Kid Approved 11am-1pm Hickory Public Health Farmers Market

Night at the Distillery bottling party and tour 6:30-9pm Foothills Distillery/Seventeen Twelve Spirits, 300 Thornburg Dr. S.E., Conover NC. Register at Eventbrite or call 828- 465-8243.

June 23: Farm to Fork Feast 5:30-9pm Market on Main 336 Main Ave. S.W. Hickory, $25 tickets.

June 24: Family Fun Day 2-4pm JRG Grain Farms 1746 33rd St. N.E, Hickory.

The Farm to Fork Feast consists of an amazing array of local flavors and cuisine from local farmers. The food for this event is produced by farmers in Catawba County and a few farmers in our neighboring counties (everything sourced from within 75 miles).

Chef and owner of Market on Main John Duke is a local food champion and will once again host the event. The Feast will display some of the cultural and culinary diversity in Catawba County with traditional barbecue along with samplings from Hmong and Latino dishes popular in the region.

Local farmer and owner of JRH Grain Farm LLC, Russell Hedrick, has provided sponsorship for the event so that all proceeds can go to the 4-H scholarship fund. This fund allows low income 4-H participants to attend summer camp and leadership conferences.

We urge everyone to come out and celebrate the agricultural traditions that make Catawba County unique and resilient. One of the best aspects of a local food system is making a connection with where your food comes from. All of the farmers that provide food for the meal will be invited to the feast.

Come and make a connection with some of the farmers that you may have already met at our farmers markets. The best part of the whole event is seeing hard working farmers take one night off and break bread with a room full of folks that celebrate the importance of our local agriculture.

This event is very informal and relaxed. Enjoy a cold beverage on the patio with Catawba County farmers and relish some of the delicious fruits of their labor.

Summer Pops: Symphony Under The Sails Is Sunday, June 25

Hickory - Join the Western Piedmont Symphony orchestra for another FREE musical extravaganza under the sails in downtown Hickory. This extremely popular concert will be held on Sunday, June 25 from 6-8 pm. Invite your family and friends and spend a beautiful summer evening listening to the award-winning Western Piedmont Symphony perform many of your patriotic favorites, as well as familiar movie and TV show tunes.

Bring a lawn chair. Pack your own picnic or visit one of the downtown restaurants. What a wonderful way to celebrate our freedoms and our nation’s 241st birthday! Weather location will be Drendel Auditorium at the SALT Block.

This free concert is graciously sponsored by the City of Hickory, the Hickory Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, Frye Regional Medical Center and HSM Solutions.

Western Piedmont Symphony is a grant recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council and a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. Business offices are located on the SALT Block at 243 Third Avenue NE, Hickory.

Box office hours are 10:00 am until 2:00 pm daily. Visit the Symphony’s website at www.wpsymphony.org or contact them at 828.324.8603 or info@wpsymphony.org.

Auditions For Classic Musical Annie On June 26 & 27, Hudson

Hudson, NC - The classic Broadway musical, Annie will be presented as the 2017 Fall Hudson Dinner Theatre Production. Auditions for the role of Annie and all the other orphans will be held at the HUB on Monday and Tuesday, June 26th and 27th at 6:30 PM.

The play will be performed on Thursday through Saturday, October 19th, 20th, 21st, 26th, 27th and 28th at the Hudson Uptown Building (HUB), 145 Cedar Valley Road, Hudson.

These auditions are for girls up to the age of 15. Please wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes, as you will be asked to move and do some basic dance steps. Please bring a copy of the sheet music with which you plan to audition, preferably a musical selection from the play, Annie. Your piece should be memorized.

There will be no singing with phones or other recording devices, as an accompanist will be provided. It would be favorable to have something prepared beyond the song Tomorrow, though everyone will sing that as well. The audition will also include cold reading from the script.

A mandatory rehearsal workshop for Annie and the orphans, working with song and dance, will take place on Monday through Friday, July 10th through the 14th, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM nightly.

Auditions for the role of Sandy the dog will take place on Monday, July 24th at 6:30 PM.

Auditions for adult roles will be held on Monday and Tuesday, July 31st and August 1st. There are many parts for folks 8 to 70 at these general auditions. All roles are open with the exception of that of Daddy Oliver Warbucks, which has been precast.

The show’s Director and Music Director is Keith Smith. Choreography will be by Leanna Bodnar. The cast pianist is Gregory Knight.

For further information or for other questions, please call Director Keith Smith at Hudson Town Hall Monday through Friday from 8:30 until 5:00. The number is 828-728-8272.

Free Tai Chi Classes Monday Nights At Patrick Beaver Library

Hickory – Sessions of Tai Chi Classes will be offered at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library on Monday evenings at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. from June 19th – July 10th and July 24th – August 14th.

This low-impact exercise takes you through a series of martial arts motions that combines Qi Gong or breathing exercises and focused attention.

Instructor Diane Christensen

Classes will be led by Diane Christensen, a Hickory, NC resident and a certified Easy Tai Chi Instructor.

All levels of experience are welcome. Tai Chi can be easily adapted for any age or physical ability. Attendees should wear comfortable clothing for movement.

Participating in the Tai Chi Classes is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 304-0500 ext. 7235. Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block.

Seeking Food And Arts & Crafts Vendors For

8th Annual Bethlehem Day Festival In September

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). 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 www.Bethlehemcda.org or can be requested at bethlehemday@gmail.com.

Summer Series Get Your NewtOn! - Art Evenings On

The Square Runs Thursday, June 8 - August 10

Newton, NC - Newton’s historic 1924 Courthouse Square will resound with music and art this summer as Carolina Vines and the Downtown Newton Development Association present Get Your NewtOn! - Art Evenings on the Square on Thursdays in June, July and August.

The series of outdoor events will begin Thursday nights at 7 p.m. with music beginning at 8 p.m.

The series is made possible thanks to a generous grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County with the City of Newton joining as a sponsor.

The nine-week series begins June 8 and continues through August 10. Musicians from throughout the region will be featured. Visitors are encouraged to bring a chair and enjoy a wide variety of musical styles, including bluegrass, jazz, blues, funk, country, and even a DJ for shag dancing in the street.

Sycamore Bones Performs June 22

Located on North College Avenue between A Street and 1st Street, the series is free and open to the public.

The music lineup is:

June 8: Fried Melon Blues Band; June 15: Wayne Taylor and Friends; June 22: Sycamore Bones. July 6: Shag Night (Dance with DJ); July 13: The Cosmic Cowboys; July 20: The Ya Yas; July 27: The Message; Aug 3: Taylor, Sipe, and Black; Aug 10: Goodfoot Down.

The 1924 Courthouse lawn will be the location of art events including classes, demonstrations, activities, and a public art project.

For more information, please contact Michael Waltuch at 704-325-3026 or michael@carolina-vines.com or Shannon Johnson at 828-695-4360 or sjohnson@newtonnc.gov.

Seniors Morning Out Participants To Enjoy A Variety of Activities In June

Hickory – Seniors Morning Out participants will enjoy a variety of activities in June, including bowling, learning new recipes through cooking classes, trips to museums and to Mt. Airy and programs on number of health and wellness topics.

Seniors Morning Out operates from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday in five convenient locations. A hot, balanced lunch is also served. Any county resident who is 60 or better is invited to participate. The program is free to participants, although donations are accepted. Bus transportation is available in some locations for those who do not drive. If you would like to participate in any or all of these activities, contact the site supervisor at least 48 hours in advance.

A few of the program highlights are as follows:

At the West Hickory SMO site, located at West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th St. SW, Hickory: June 5: Broccoli Apple Salad cooking class; June 8: Play Family Feud; June 15: Travel to the Patrick Beaver Library to watch “The Shack;” June 21: Join for a True or False quiz followed by BINGO; June 27: Blood pressure checks followed by presentation on Summer Ailments by Carolyn Thompson, RN with Catawba Valley Medical Center. To reserve your place at any of these activities, contact Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746.

At the East Hickory site, located at Huntington Hills Church of God, 2123 Fifth St. NE, Hickory: June 8: Trip to Mt. Airy; June 13: Vaya Health with Jeff Dula on Depression and Suicide in Older Adults; June 14: Friend walk followed by BINGO; June 20: Trip to Catawba County Museum followed by Dixies for lunch. 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 Newton SMO, located at First Presbyterian Church 701 Main Ave., Newton: June 1: Watch the movie “A Dog’s Purpose” with popcorn and soda; June 7: Walking and stretches followed by BINGO; June 13: Blood pressure checks provided by Christina Ford from Rescare; June 22: Program on Home Safety by Carol Robinson from HealthFirst. To reserve your place at any of these activities, contact Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133.

At the Catawba SMO, located at Center United Methodist Church, 4945 Sherrills Ford Road, Catawba: June 1: Program Laughter is the Best Medicine; June 6: Bowling at Pin Station followed by shopping at the Wal-Mart in Conover; June 8: Blood pressure checks and program on Arthritis Treatment and Exercise by Kayla Hefner, CVMC; June 15: Cookout at Mt. Pleasant UMC with music provided by Sentimental Journey; June 22: Popcorn and movie at Sherill’s Ford Library “A Dog’s Purpose.” If you would like to attend any of these programs, contact Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434.

At the Maiden SMO, located at the Maiden Community Center at the corner of East Second St. and Klutz Street: June 6: BINGO and group singing; June 8: Group walking and blood pressure checks with Kayla Hefner, CVMC; June 15: Program on Techniques for Effective Communication by Terry Spencer; June 22: Group walking and movie day at the Newton Library; June 28: Wheel of Fortune game followed by program the Health Benefits of Lifelong Exercise. To participate in any of these activities, contact Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966.

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

Additional volunteers are urgently needed to deliver Meals on Wheels. You can volunteer as little as one and a half hours a month. To find out more, contact Senior Nutrition at 828-695-5610 during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for holidays. For the latest updates, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MealsonWheelsofCatawbaCounty, or visit their website at www.MealsonWheelsofCatawbaCounty.org.

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

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.

African Drumming And Steel Drum Workshops Are June 19-23

Hickory - Rick Cline’s annual African Drumming and Steel Drum Workshop will be June 19-23. Participants of the African drumming workshop wil learn traditional west African songs / rhythms and their meanings as well as how to improvise and “speak” with their drum and is for ages 9 and up.

The African workshop is from 7:30-8:30 each night and no experience is required. The Steel drum workshop is from 6-7:30 each evening and the only requirement is that to be able to read music a little.

African Drumming And Steel Drum Workshop

This group will learn not only how to play this exotic instrument, but also the history of the steel drums and how each instrument plays a unique role in the ensemble. Workshop Location is The Salt Block, and the fee is $80.

Both groups will perform on Friday pm June 23 at Hollar Mill and again on Saturday, June 24, 10am at the Hickory Farmer’s Market.

For more information, email: rickclinenc@gmail.com or text 320-2959.

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 www.fgcservices.com, or call 828-322-1400. For the latest updates, like the center on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thefamilyguidancecenter.

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 www.catawbacountync.gov/phealth.

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 http://www.wrchickory.org/product-pantry/

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 www.newtonnc.gov.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caregiver Support Program Offers Local Families A Break

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Humane Society Seeks Foster Parents For Special Animals

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

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

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

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

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

Family Guidance Center Offers Support, Insight On Verbal Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does your partner discount your opinions or experiences?

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

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

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

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

Facts which generally apply to verbal abuse:

Verbal abuse tends to be secretive.

Verbal abuse tends to increase over time.

Verbal abuse discounts your perception of reality and denies itself.

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

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

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

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

Women’s Resource Center Needs Daily Volunteers

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

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

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

If interested, please contact Cindy Rose, Executive Director at 828-322-6333 or email
director@wrchickory.org.

Social Workers Partner With Lions Clubs To Help The Blind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To secure names, and contact information of other NC County Social Worker’s For The Blind not listed, please check out the NC Division of Services For The Blind website @
http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dsb/contacts/swcontactbycounty

Child Wellbeing Project Offers Post Adoption Support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hickory’s Angel of Hope House Requests Help

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

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

Items Needed:

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

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

Volunteers Needed To Deliver Meals On Wheels

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

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

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

For more information about these programs, and how you can help, go to www.catawbacountync.gov/dss/adult/nutrition.asp or find the Meals on Wheels of Catawba County program on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/MealsOnWheelsOfCatawbaCounty.

How To Get Your Event In Focus

Email a press release for your non-profit event, fundraiser, festival or other community event to focusnews@centurylink.net. 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 (www.lavanderkatbooks.com). “It’s a terrible fact of life for too many women, but if there is something we can do about it and we care about fellow human beings, then we must try.”

There are several abuse resources available to women who are being abused, or friends of women who need advice, including:

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

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

www.VineLink.com, allows women to search for an offender in custody by name or identification number, then register to be alerted if the offender is released, transferred, or escapes

www.DAHMW.org, 1-888-7HELPLINE, offers crisis intervention and support services for victims of intimate partner violence and their families

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

Linda O’Dochartaigh reviews some of the warning signs:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Family Finders Helps Foster Kids Connect With Extended Family

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

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

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

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

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

Sid Daniels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, call 828-695-5600 or visit our website at www.catawbacountync.gov/dss/f&csvs/familyfinders.asp
Or contact Sean Jarman at 828-695-2134 or sjarman@catawbacountync.gov

Loving Our Enemies

By Rev. Susan Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For the complete text of this incredibly Christ-like message, go to: www.findingforgiveness.blogspot.com/2009/01/martin-luther-king-on-forgiveness.html.

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