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20th Blowing Rock Winterfest Is Set For January 25-28

Blowing Rock NC, – The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, which organizes WinterFest, has announced highlights of the 20th edition of the annual event, which runs from Thursday, January 25 through Sunday, January 28, 2018.

“For 20 years, Blowing Rock WinterFest has been a tradition for many families. Each year we strive to preserve favorite events, and to introduce fun new events like our Ice Skating Rink addition in Memorial Park this year,” said Charles Hardin, Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce President/CEO.

Already scheduled daily events include WinterFeast on Thursday; the WinterFashion show at lunchtime on Friday; the Polar Plunge, The Speckled Trout Beer Garden at The Inn at Ragged Gardens, Charity Chili Cookoff, Wine Tasting and Auction, ice carving demonstrations, and kids’ activities on Saturday; and the WinterPaws dog show and brunches on Sunday. The new ice skating rink will be open Friday and Saturday. For more information and updates as they become available, visit www.blowingrockwinterfest.com.

WinterFest, which has been named a AAA “Top Pick” and a Top 20 Event by the Southeastern Tourism Society, is proudly sponsored by Hendrick Northlake Luxury Auto Mall.

For information: Loni Miller or Charles Hardin, Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at 828.295.7851 or info@blowingrock.com.

Arts Council Hosts Bob Sinclair & The Big Deals, Sunday, Jan. 28

Hickory - The United Arts Council of Catawba County will present Bob Sinclair and The Big Deals at the Drendel Auditorium on the SALT Block for a CD release party on Sunday afternoon, January 28, 2018, from 3 to 5 pm. A portion of the ticket sales from the event will be donated to the United Arts Council!

Sinclair first came into the national spotlight as a Merlefest Emerging Artist and is a three-time award recipient of the Regional Artist Project grant for songwriting and performance. With music that is described as “Original, Front Porch Swing Music Played By Happy People!” Sinclair’s new CD, From Nothing At All, was funded in part by the United Arts Council and was produced by Aaron Ramsey of Black Crow Studios in Morganton, NC.

Bob Sinclair and The Big Deals

Sinclair’s new CD has received national airplay from AAA radio stations and has been distributed by Barrett Mountain Music to international outlets. In addition to Sinclair on guitar and vocals, the Big Deals include Molly Barrett - a superb fiddler and vocalist who has become an integral part of the signature sound of this group; Tim Gallagher - a powerful and expressive mandolin/fiddle player; and Jim Clark, a favorite on the Americana music scene and one of the most in-demand jazz bassists in the region. This highly-regarding band just finished a successful western states tour and this is the first ticketed event in the area since the CD’s release!

Doors open at 2 pm. The SALT Block is located on Third Avenue NE in Hickory, NC. Tickets are $15 at the door and a portion of the ticket sales will be donated to the United Arts Council!

Beverages will be offered at the event by Olde Hickory Brewery!

For more information please call the United Arts Council at 828.324.4906.

Website: www.bobsinclairmusic.com

Other upcoming performances by this artist in Asheville, Tyron, Morganton, Johnson City and Taylorsville.

Timeless Comedy Lend Me A Tenor Opens This Friday,

January 11, At HCT On The Jeffers Stage

Hickory - Ken Ludwig’s farcical comedy Lend Me a Tenor begins performances this Friday, January 12th on the Jeffers mainstage of the Hickory Community Theatre.

The play is set in a September during the 1930s, in the hotel room of the greatest opera singer of the time. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, and his assistant, Max, set about readying everything for the arrival of the world-famous tenor Tito Merelli. Merelli is scheduled to perform for one night only as Otello.

Unfortunately, through a series of comical events, Merelli ends up taking a double dose of tranquilizers, making Saunders and Max believe he is actually dead. In order to keep the show going, Saunders persuades Max to dress up as Merelli and perform Otello in his place. Everything is back on track and going to plan until Merelli wakes up and gets into his spare Otello costume. This leads to two men running around as Otello and two women running around in lingerie, each thinking that she is with the famous tenor.

Performances of Lend Me a Tenor are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm (Jan 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27); Thursdays at 7:30pm (Jan 18 & 25); and Sundays at 2:30pm (Jan 21 & 28.)

Standard adult tickets are $18, seniors are $16 and students or youth 18 & under are $10. On Thursday nights all adults and seniors are $14 and youth/students are $10. Tickets are now on sale online at www.hickorytheatre.org or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wednesday through Friday.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2017-2018 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. Lend Me a Tenor is produced by Commscope.

Photo: (L-R) Hollie Sherrill, Coleson Berlin, Carolyn Oursler, Mark Alton Rose and Benjamin Thomas-Reid in Lend Me a Tenor at the Hickory Community Theatre. The madcap comedy begins its run this Fri., Jan. 12. Go to: www.hickorytheatre.org or call (828) 328-2283 for tickets and information. Photo by Ken Burns.

Boger City UMC Community Lunch Is Sunday, Jan. 28

Lincolnton, NC – A community luncheon will be held on Sunday, January 28th from 11:30am to 1:30pm in Boger City United Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall, located at 2320 East Main Street in Lincolnton. Everyone is welcome.

The menu includes meat loaf, chicken teriyaki, two vegetables, home made desserts, tea and water. An $8 donation is requested per person. Dine-in or carryout plates available.

Proceeds from community luncheon benefits the church missions.

Sunday School will be held at 9:30am and Worship Service at 10:30am.

Parking located behind Fellowship Hall. Overflow parking available across the street in the former Harris Teeter parking lot. For more information, please call 704-735-7513.

Family Budgeting Workshop On Sat., Jan. 20, At Beaver Library

Hickory - Please join us on Saturday, January 20th, 2018 at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library at 10:00 am to learn how to create a solid budget for you or your family. The library is sponsoring this free seminar in partnership with BB&T, a leading financial institution in our area. Presenter Cheryl Sherrill is a BB&T Market Leader with years of experience helping people meet their financial goals. We hope you will take advantage of this great opportunity to improve your financial future!

Family Budgeting is part of BB&T’s Bank Your Success program, a financial education series designed to help individuals in communities within the United States reach their financial goals. Other topics in the series are Banking Basics and Becoming a Homeowner. BB&T believes that mastering these topics will help individuals attain a stronger, more vibrant financial future.

The Family Budgeting presentation 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.

HS Juniors & Parents Invited To LRU

Scholars Session Thurs., Jan. 25

Hickory - Lenoir-Rhyne University will hold an information session on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. for high school juniors and their parents interested in the University’s High School Scholars Academy (HSSA). The session will be held in Room 213 of the McCrorie Center on campus. No advance registration is required.

HSSA, which began in 2007, is designed for high school students who wish to pursue a more advanced academic program for their senior year of high school. Students selected for the program have the opportunity to enroll in English IV Honors, plus three college classes in the fall, and AP English (or an approved online class based on availability), plus three college classes in the spring. Students have the potential to earn as many as 18 college credits by the time they graduate high school in spring of 2019.

Admission consideration for HSSA is based on high school GPA, courses taken during high school, SAT, ACT, PSAT, or PLAN scores, and high school or community involvement.

According to Bradleigh Uthe, director of undergraduate admission, high school seniors earn college credit to give them an advance start at LRU or another institution after high school graduation.

“One advantage to our program is that students are immersed in campus life, learning from professors with terminal degrees,” Uthe said. “Our students have a jump start on college by learning to manage college-level assignments and gain exposure to future degree options. Plus, HSSA students have access to all college student support services such as our library, peer mentors, and tutoring labs.”

Applications for the 2018-19 school year are due on Feb. 1, 2018. First preference for admission will be given to students enrolled in the Catawba County, Hickory Public, or Newton-Conover school systems. If space is available, the University will also consider students from private schools, homeschools, and other school systems.

For more information, contact admission@lr.edu and 828.328.7300. Additional information about the HSSA can be found online at lr.edu/apply.

About Lenoir-Rhyne University: Lenoir-Rhyne University was founded in 1891 and is a private, Lutheran, coeducational university with its primary campus in Hickory, NC. Today, more than 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled across all campuses. Lenoir-Rhyne is affiliated with the NC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and welcomes students from all religious backgrounds. The website is www.lr.edu.

Astronomy Buffs, BoBfest At CSC On Sat., Feb. 3, Is For You!

Hickory - BoBfest: Regional Gathering of Amateur Astronomers returns to Catawba Science Center on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018. Doors will open from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. BoBfest is free and open to the public. The event will feature presentations, astrophotography displays, and door prizes. Vendors, exhibitors, and information about local events and facilities will be available, as well as the chance to engage with amateur and professional astronomers from the region.

Hickory Public Library and Catawba Science Center staff will be heading up family activities such as crafts and experiments related to astronomy. Attendees ranging from professional astronomers to those who simply have an interest in astronomy are welcome. Anyone looking into astronomy as a hobby is urged to come and ask questions of the more experienced astronomers.

The key note speakers at this year’s event will be Johnny Horne, Astrophotographer and Astrojournalist, speaking on Tales from Past Eclipses, and Charlie Warren, Managing Editor at Amateur Astronomy Magazine, speaking on the Importance of Amateur Astronomy. Author and photographer, Mark Marquette will also be presenting Starry Night Live. There will also be afternoon forums with different speakers covering a range of topics from astrophotography, to comets, and how to get started in astronomy. In addition to the key note speakers and various afternoon forums on astronomy topics, there will be solar observing available.

Tickets will be sold for a wide variety of door prizes for only $1 per ticket. Door prizes range from astronomy materials and merchandise, to telescopes, items from local businesses, and more! Since the event is free to the public, the money from the door prize donations will help fund the event and any interested vendors or door prize donors may contact bobfestastro@gmail.com. While BoBfest is free to everyone, participants are encouraged to pre-register online at www.catawbasky.org/bobfest. Pre-registrants will receive a free registration packet at the event.

For a more detailed schedule of the events, visit www.catawbasky.org/bobfest. Groucho’s Deli will have staff on hand till 10:00 am to take lunch orders from those who wish to purchase lunch and have it delivered. Special planetarium features, including children’s shows, star talks, and laser shows will be shown throughout the day every 45 minutes in the Millholland Planetarium. The Lucile Miller Observatory at Maiden Middle School in nearby Maiden, NC will be open for observing at 7:00 p.m. with members of the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club. BoBfest is presented by the Cleveland County Astronomical Society, Catawba Science Center, Hickory Public Library, and the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club.

Catawba Science Center is a nonprofit science and technology museum serving NC’s western Piedmont region. Special attractions include featured exhibits, a digital planetarium theater and a marine touch pool with live sharks and stingrays. A community asset and regional destination, Catawba Science Center is dedicated to changing lives and inspiring learning through science and wonder. Learn more at www.catawbascience.org. CSC is funded in part by the United Arts Fund of Catawba County. CSC is located in the Arts and Science Center of Catawba Valley, on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory 28601.

Nominations Are Being Accepted Until March 1

For Children’s Protection Award For 2018

Conover, NC - Now is the time to submit nominations for the 2018 Children’s Protection Award. Previously known as the Hancock-Settlemyre Award, this award is presented yearly by the Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center.

The award honors the person, community group or business whose efforts have reduced family stress and improved the quality of family life, thereby reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect in Catawba County.

The nominee’s service to children must have been provided in Catawba County. The nominee must be recognized as directly responsible for improving the quality of life in the community.

Nomination forms can be downloaded at the CAPC’s website, which is catawbacountycapc.org. Applications must indicate whether the nomination is made for a community volunteer, or for a professional whose job includes working with or for children. One letter of recommendation from a person who is familiar with the nominee’s service must also be included. The letter must explain how and why the service rendered by the nominee is extraordinary. The nomination must also include a list of results related to the service provided by the nominee.

All nomination materials for the Children’s Protection Award must reach the Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center by March 1 at 5:00 pm.

If emailing, please send nomination forms to Connie Engart at cengart@catawbacountync.gov or mail to CAPC, 4360 County Home Road, Conover, NC 38613, Attn: Connie Engart. Nominations may also be faxed to the CAPC at 828-256-7711.

The CAPC advocates for the protection of the children of Catawba County by working to empower individuals through training and education, coordinate a comprehensive team response to abuse and neglect, and reduce victim trauma. For additional information about how you can learn to prevent and respond to suspected child abuse, go to the Children's Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County at www.catawbacountycapc.org or call 828-465-9296.

Women’s Resource Center Offers Free

Support Group At Two Times, Every Wednesday

Hickory - Area women needing a confidential and safe space to share their challenges and stories are invited to attend the ongoing Support Group at Women’s Resource Center that meets each Wednesday from 11:30am to 12:30pm or 1:30pm to 2:30pm.

Women attending the free support group facilitated by Millie Kaufman, RN, PhD, APRN, say that participating helps to foster a feeling of community among members and reduce isolation and shame. The goal is to increase confidence, resilience and coping skills.

“New members are welcome to attend any Wednesday,” said Kaufman. “The group’s intent is to create an enjoyable, supportive and compassionate environment wherein members can share their concerns and participate in discussions of shared life lessons and challenges. Through this method, members help each other to identify problems and discover solutions, learning along the way new coping skills and different perspectives.”

Women who suffer from anxiety, depression, “winter blues,” or over-whelming workload, will find a welcome at this group. Individuals do not need a clinical diagnosis to attend. “This is a regular place to share, grow, and learn among a sisterhood with shared experiences,” added Kaufman.

Call (828) 308-2232 for more information or attend any Wednesday. Women’s Resource Center is located at 125 Third St. NE, Hickory.

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

Beethoven & Bartok At WPS On Jan. 20, Featuring Tesla Quartet

Hickory, NC: The second Friends of the Quartet Chamber Classics concert will be held at the Drendel Auditorium (SALT Block Auditorium) on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 7:30 PM. This concert will feature the works of Beethoven & Bartok. Tickets range from $22 to $32.

All tickets are available at www.WPSymphony.org/tickets, (828)324.8603, or info@wpsymphony.org. Save money with a season subscription. Enjoy an evening of beautiful music performed by the Tesla Quartet, our exceptionally talented Hickory Metro Quartet in Residence.

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.

Guest Director Rick Seay Helms HCT Comedy ‘Tenor,’ Jan. 12-28

Hickory - The Hickory Community Theatre has brought on Rick Seay as a guest director for the upcoming comedy Lend Me a Tenor by Ken Ludwig, opening January 12th in the Jeffers Theatre.

Seay is a relative newcomer to Hickory. He arrived in June 2015, from Nashville, TN when he was brought on as Head of School at Hickory Day School. He was previously Head of High School for Montgomery Bell Academy where he served for 10 years. A graduate of Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, Seay also has an impressive list of theatrical credits.

As a director his work includes Shakespearean classics (Julius Caesar, The Winter’s Tale), modern dramas (Agnes of God, The Elephant Man), and musicals (Mame, The Sound of Music.) He’s also directed several foreign plays (Medea, Cyrano de Bergerac) for which he also did the script translation.

Performances of Lend Me a Tenor are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm (Jan 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27); Thursdays at 7:30pm (Jan 18 & 25); and Sundays at 2:30pm (Jan 21 & 28.)

Standard adult tickets are $18, seniors are $16 and students or youth 18 & under are $10. On Thursday nights all adults and seniors are $14 and youth/students are $10. Tickets are now on sale online at www.hickorytheatre.org or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wednesday through Friday.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2017-2018 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. Lend Me a Tenor is produced by Commscope.

Photo: Rick Seay is guest director for the upcoming production of Lend Me a Tenor at the Hickory Community Theatre. The farcical comedy begins its run on January 12th. Go to www.hickorytheatre.org or call (828) 328-2283 for tickets and information. Photo by John Koval.

A Streetcar Named Desire At The Green Room, Jan. 12-28

Newton, NC - The Green Room Community Theatre is excited to announce the opening of A Streetcar Named Desire, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Tennessee Williams. Considered one of the greatest plays written for the American Theatre, A Streetcar Named Desire is Williams’ timeless classic about delusion, reality, madness, love, and loss.

Set in a small garden apartment in 1940s New Orleans, Stanley Kowalski’s primitive desires violently clash with Blanch Dubois’ longing for a past which may or may not have ever existed. Immortalized by the film starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh, this iconic play blends grittiness and lyricism to create some of the most memorable and heart-wrenching characters ever created.

Please note: the subject matter of this show is of a more mature nature.

Production dates for A Streetcar Named Desire are Jan. 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 2018. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30pm and Sunday shows are at 3:00pm.

A Streetcar Named Desire will be performed in the smaller, more intimate Black Box Theatre located in the Old Post Office Playhouse with its entrance on West A Street. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, January 5. Ticket prices are $16 for adults and $14 for Seniors & Students.

For more information about the show, check out our website: www.TheGreenRoomTheatre.org or call 828-464-6128.

A Streetcar Named Desire is produced by Resource Partners and is directed by William Morgan.

The Green Room Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of The United Arts Council of Catawba County.

Cast Photo: (Provided by The Green Room Community Theatre) Clockwise from upper left corner: Jordan Correll, Lucas Kelly, Andrew Hatley, Cory Bragg, Chelsea Weaver, Stephanie Lindsay, Amy Fernandez, Hailey Pearce, Jane Lucas, William Parrish, Connor Wilson

January Seniors Morning Out Has Cooking Classes & Elvis Trivia

Hickory – Seniors Morning Out participants will enjoy a variety of activities in January including cooking classes and musical performances.

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.

Other program highlights are as follows. At the Newton site, located at First Presbyterian Church, 701 N. Main Ave., Newton: Jan 2, Arthritis Management with Jolene Christians, YMCA; Jan 4, Shopping at Walmart and Lunch at Harbor Inn; Jan 11, Mental Health with Jeff Dula, Vaya Health; Jan 16, Movie Day: “The Butler”; Jan 18, Game Day and Craft Class-Sock Snowmen and Penguins; Jan 22, “What’s in Your Cabinets?” Diabetes Management Part II with Annette Nichols; Jan 23, Cooking Class-Olive Garden’s Pasta and Fagioli; Jan 25, Praise Music with Fred Wilson; Jan 30, Bowling at Pin Station, Shopping at Family Dollar, and Lunch at Dixie’s Fish and Chicken. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, call Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133 at least two days in advance.

Elvis Trivia & Tribute Artist Ed Smith, Jan 8

At the West Hickory site, located at the West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th St. SW, Hickory: Jan 2, Alzheimer’s Association and Statistics with Julie Cook-Walker; Jan 4, Craft Class-Crafting with Coffee Filters with Shanda Nichols and Lisa Adams; Jan 8, Celebrate Elvis’ Birthday with Elvis Trivia, Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches, and Elvis Tribute Artist, Ed Smith; Jan 3, Shopping at Walmart and Lunch at McDonald’s; Jan 11, Dance in the New Year with Sentimental Journey; Jan 16, Mental Health 101 with Jeff Dula, Vaya Health; Jan 18, Gospel Music with Ron Robinson; Jan 23, Cooking Class-Candy Cane Fudge and Adult Coloring; Jan 24, Shopping at Ollie’s and Dollar Tree then Lunch at NY Hibachi Grill; Jan 29, Decorate a Framed Corkboard with Debra Zimmerman. 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: Jan 3, Sentimental Journey and Dancing; Jan 4, Shopping at Walmart; Jan 9, “Is Your Thyroid Secretly Hurting You?” with Rita Pritchard; Jan 10, Craft Class- Rock Painting in observance of Old Rock Day; Jan 11, Heather Smather’s Gospel Sing Along; Jan 16, Cooking Class-P-Nut Butter; Jan 23, Breakfast at IHOP and Shopping at Ross, Cato’s, and Rack Room Shoes; Jan 24, 60 Second Vacation and Penny Ante; Jan 30, “Are You Okay?” with John Helton, Catawba County Sherriff’s Office; Jan 31, Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, Discovering The Art In You. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, contact Rita Pritchard at least two days in advance by calling 828-320-5963.

At the Catawba site, located at Hopewell United Methodist Church, 2211 Hopewell Church Road, Sherrills Ford: Jan 2, Bowling at Pin Station and Shopping at Walmart; Jan 10, Basketball and Family Feud; Jan 11, Movie and Popcorn at Sherrill’s Ford Library: “Max”; Jan 16, Music by Sentimental Journey; Jan 18, “Losing Your Taste” with Char from Home Instead; Jan 23, Enhanced Fitness with Jolene Christians, YMCA; Jan 24, Cooking Class- Cinnamon Toast and Slow Cooker Recipes; Jan 25, Craft Class with Tonya Jarnac; Jan 30, Decorate a Framed Corkboard with Debra Zimmerman; Jan 31, Music by Charles Ballard. 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: Jan 2, Bingo and Avoiding Stress; Jan 4, Diabetics Management and Empowerment with Dorene King (continues every Thursday of the month); Jan 8, Cooking Class with Salvatore Atkins, Lowe’s Foods-Warm Pimento Cheese Dip with Ritz Crackers; Jan 9, Mental Health 101 with Terry Spencer, Vaya Health; Jan 17, Remembering Maiden with Christine Rykhus, Maiden Middle School Class, Joe Duckworth and Dr. Amber Albert with the Historical Society; Jan 23, Music by Sentimental Journey; Jan 29, Group Walking and Bean Auction. If you would like to attend any of these programs, please call Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966 at least two days in advance.

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

Needlecrafters Meet Jan. 8 & 22 At Library

Hickory - Due to the library’s holiday closings on the 1st and 3rd Mondays in January, the Needlecraft Club will instead meet in January on the 2nd and 4th Mondays which are January 8 and 22, 2018. Join fellow crafters at 6:00 p.m. in the upstairs conference room. Bring your latest knit, crochet or other crafty work-in-progress to this informal group. All skill levels are welcome to socialize and share techniques, ideas and patterns. If you have always wanted to learn to knit or crochet, we’ll have some supplies on hand to help you get started.

The Needlecraft Club at the library is free to join 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.

Hickory Fire Department Urges Safe Cooking Habits

Hickory – If you are cooking treats for New Year’s Eve or meals for the family, Hickory firefighters would like to remind you of a few safe-cooking practices.

In all the hustle and bustle, don’t leave cooking unattended. Stay in the kitchen while cooking or turn the stove off if you must leave the room.

Keep appliances clean from grease build up and wipe up spills immediately.

Wear tight fitting sleeves. Since loose sleeves and clothing can dangle too close to a hot stove and easily catch fire, protect yourself by wearing sleeves that fit snugly or roll them up while cooking.

Keep flammable objects away from the stove. This includes potholders, paper products, and dish towels.

Don't overload electrical outlets. Too many appliances can overload the electrical system and cause a fire. If a wire is frayed or cracked, it should be replaced immediately.

Turn pot handles inward. A pot handle sticking over the edge of your stove can be bumped in passing or grabbed by a child causing burn injuries.

Operate microwaves safely. Remember the food can be very hot so use potholders to take food out of the microwave. Avoid steam burns by opening food packages carefully.

Heat cooking oils slowly and never leave it unattended.

If a grease fire should occur, smother it with baking soda, a pot lid or use a fire extinguisher. But never use water because it will make the fire larger and possibly cause burns to you.

Each year, kitchen fires kill hundreds of people and injure thousands more. Many of these fires can be avoided by following these basic safety tips. For more information, call the Hickory Fire Department at (828) 323-7420.

Close To Home Art Exhibit At Caldwell Arts, Feb. 2 - March 29

Lenoir, NC - The Caldwell Arts Council is pleased to announce the art exhibit “Close to Home” featuring work by the following artists:

Photography on display by Ron Schwartz (Lenoir NC; http://ronschwartzphoto.com),

Paintings by Chad Cole (North Augusta SC; http://www.chad-cole.com) and

Ron Schwartz - Price Lake

Portraits on recycled trash by Dion Hitchings (Milford NJ; http://www.dionhitchings.com).

The exhibit will be open to the public February 2-March 29, 2018. A meet-the-artists reception will be held February 2, 2018, 5-7pm, hosted by CCSAEOP (Caldwell County Schools Association of Educational Office Professionals. The exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public!

About The Artists

Ron Schwartz – “Landscapes Within Minutes of Lenoir”

Ron says, “I have always had a strong connection to the outdoors and natural places. In these days where people are growing up spending much less time outdoors than each previous generation, it is important for me to extol the benefits and beauty of our natural surroundings in the hope that they will be preserved. In my photography I look for strong compositions which consist of triangles, curves, and diagonal lines that will bring out the beauty of common scenes. I attended the Maryland School of Art and Design for two years in the late 70’s.”

Chad Cole

Chad Cole - Idols

Chad Cole is a contemporary painter whose work is inspired by the landscape, stories, and architecture of the Southern United States. His recent series of oil paintings explores the transformation of the landscape throughout Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas, specifically how modern changes to agrarian life are physically manifested through the abandonment, destruction, and subsequent loss of agricultural and industrial architecture. The artist is constantly searching the backroads of the South for unique examples of Americana to use as subject matter in his paintings. Barns, textile mills, and vintage signs are a few of subjects that Chad often uses in his art work.

Dion Hitchings – “Portraits on Recycled Trash”

I purposely choose to use untraditional media. I create my works with various children’s art supplies including, crayons, magic markers, highlighters and colored pens. Using consumer boxes, discarded furniture and “trash” instead of traditional drawing surfaces has enabled me to break down pre-existing print, images, and textures while allowing the type and pictures from the recycled object to become organically part of the portrait.

About the Caldwell Arts Council:

The Caldwell Arts Council’s mission is to establish and maintain an awareness and appreciation of cultural arts in Caldwell County, to encourage participation in art events, and to offer various educational opportunities and administrative services in support of artists, arts agencies, and audiences. Located at 601 College Ave SW in Lenoir, operating hours are Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 10am-2pm – free to the public. For more information, call 828-754-2486 or visit www.caldwellarts.com

Dion Hitchings - Goodbye Mrs. Bear

Open Door Book Club At Beaver Library On Wed., Jan. 24

Hickory - The public is encouraged to participate in discussions about books in a relaxed environment with the Open Door Book Club. The Open Door Book Club will meet on Wednesday, January 24th at 3:30 pm in the Conference Room on the 2nd floor of Patrick Beaver Memorial Library. The selection for January is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Copies are available to be picked up at the 2nd floor service desk. Join other book enthusiasts to explore your love of reading.

The Open Door Book Club is free to join 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.

Town Of Hudson Announces Its 2018

Dinner Theatre Schedule And Auditions

Hudson, NC - The Town of Hudson has announced its 2018 Dinner Theatre Schedule.

The Southern Comedy, “The Savannah Sipping Society,” will be presented on Thursday through Saturday, April 12, 13, 14 and 19, 20 and 21, 2018 at the Hudson Uptown Building, (HUB), 145 Cedar Valley Road, Hudson, NC 28638.

This delightful Jones/Hope/Wooten comedy tells of four Southern women who meet and form a deep friendship as they develop their social skills in a laugh-a-minute script.

There is also poignancy as they care for each other through life’s traumas and challenges.

The cast is: Leanna Bodnar as Randa Covington, Cathy Stallings as Marlafaye Mosley, Carolyn Icard as Dot Haigler and Christy Rhianna Branch as Jinx Jenkins.

The fall production will be the Stephen Schwartz musical, “Children of Eden.” Schwartz is the composer of such popular, successful musicals as “Godspell,” “Pippin” and “Wicked.” “Children of Eden” tells the stories of Adam and Noah from the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament. It deals with such timeless, monumental issues as perfection, innocence, curiosity, free will, creativity, disobedience of children, sacrifice and redemption.

This show is ideal for church groups and is sure to provoke interesting philosophical discussions. At its face value, it is wonderful entertainment with great music. Auditions will be held within the next few months.

Performance dates for “Children of Eden” will be Thursday through Sunday, October 18, 19, 20 and 25, 26, 27, 2018.

For more information, please call the Town of Hudson offices at (828) 728-8272.

Valdese’s Old Colony Players Are Seeking

General Manager

Valdese, NC - Old Colony Players, Inc. is a performing arts and community theatre company operating since 1935 in the Town of Valdese, North Carolina. It was incorporated in 1967 as a non-profit organization. In 2017, OCP celebrated the 50th consecutive season of producing the outdoor drama “From This Day Forward.” The drama tells the story of the Waldenses, a people from the area known as the Cottian Alps in Northern Italy near the French border, and the founders of the Town of Valdese. It is the fourth longest running outdoor drama in North Carolina. OCP produces community theatre performances throughout the year, staged in the renovated Old Rock School Auditorium.

The Old Colony Players, Inc. Board of Directors is seeking qualified candidates for the full-time position of General Manager. The ideal candidate should have knowledge and experience with non-profit organizations, fundraising, business and financial skills, personnel management, and have a passion for the arts. The position entails volunteer and committee development, along with community relations. The candidate should have strong communication skills and the ability to work well in a team.

Interested candidates can learn more about the OCP General Manager position by visiting the website www.oldcolonyplayers.com. For more information please contact the Valdese Community Affairs office at 828-879-2129.
The Old Rock School

Caldwell Arts Council Seeks

Artists For 2019 Exhibitions

Lenoir, NC – The Caldwell Arts Council will accept portfolios from local and regional artists for possible exhibitions in 2019 at either our Caldwell Arts Council gallery (four exhibit opportunities ranging from 5 to 8 weeks) or at the Art-in-Healing Gallery (three 3-month long exhibit opportunities at Caldwell Memorial Hospital. Other exhibition sites may be available in 2019 as well.

All details for submitting your portfolio are available on our website at www.caldwellarts.com/157-guidelines/ and portfolios will be accepted through January 31, 2018.

About the Caldwell Arts Council

The Caldwell Arts Council is a regional arts center that presents art exhibits, educational opportunities and collection programs that foster the cultural arts in Caldwell County.

Our center is housed in an historic 100+ year old home. There are four gallery spaces that have been renovated as professional exhibit spaces. Exhibits range from contemporary to traditional and include 2-D and 3-D exhibitions.

The Art-in-Healing Gallery at Caldwell Memorial Hospital can hang up to 20 works of 2-D or 3-D wall artworks.

The Caldwell Arts Council exhibits artists from across the country and has a reputation for quality exhibits. For information on the gallery space or to see a list of upcoming exhibits please visit our website at www.caldwellarts.com.

The Caldwell Arts Council’s programs are supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources and by individual and corporate donors and sponsorships.

Register Now For Jan. & Feb. Cub Scout Camp-Ins At CSC

Hickory - Registration is now open for the 2018 Cub Scout camp-ins at Catawba Science Center. Camp-Ins are open to Wolf, Bear, Webelo, and Arrow of Light Cub Scouts. Camp-ins take place throughout January and February, and offer an exciting opportunity for scouts to spend an evening filled with fun for the boys and their accompanying adults. CSC Camp-ins are open to all councils throughout western North Carolina.

The evening consists of three classes that work toward the elective adventures, and an optional educational movie before lights out at midnight. Campers and parents are able to sleep throughout the exhibits at CSC, wake up to enjoy a warm breakfast from Chick-fil-a, an early morning planetarium show, and the chance to explore the Science Center before it opens to the public. Scouts and their accompanying adults have the option to attend “Evening Only” or “Overnight” stays. Participants are encouraged to eat dinner before arrival, as snacks will be provided to scouts and adults throughout the evening.

The camp-in night for Wolf scouts is Friday, January 12th. Bear’s camp-in night is Friday, January 26th, and Webelo’s/Arrow of Light camp-in night is Friday, February 9th. Special Early Bird Pricing Deadline for Wolf camp-in is December 29th. Early Bird Deadline for Bears is January 12th, and January 16th for Webelo/Arrow of Light. Packs can register as a whole, or individual scouts and adults can register by themselves. Registrations forms can be found online at CSC’s website.

Visit www.CatawbaScience.org/education/scout-camps/ or call 828.322.8169 for more information on activities and pricing. Catawba Science Center is located on the SALT Block at 243 3rd Ave NE, Hickory, NC 28601.

Catawba County Public Health Urges You To

Lock Up Your Meds - Lock Boxes Are Offered

Hickory – Catawba County Public Health has partnered with North Carolina’s Lock Your Meds awareness campaign and has begun distributing materials urging residents to lock up medications to prevent people from accessing medications that aren’t prescribed to them.

This campaign is in direct response to the current opioid epidemic. Its objective is to raise awareness about the importance of assessing, disposing and securing prescribed medications properly to reduce access to them in the home. Public Health is asking parents, grandparents and other caregivers to initiate conversations with children and teens about using only medications that are prescribed to them, and are asking residents to be diligent about securing medications in the home.

Catawba County Public Health is working with community groups and organizations, such as the Catawba County library system and the county’s middle and high schools to distribute educational materials, and has a limited number of boxes residents can use to lock up medications. To find out if you can receive a lock box for free, contact Emily Killian at (828) 695-6637 or email ekillian@catawbacounty.gov. Boxes will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Preference will be given to families with teens or children in the home, to grandparents, and to people who would like to secure prescription medications, especially opioids. Educational materials are also available for distribution to community organizations.

The Lock Your Meds campaign is brought to Catawba County through the generous support of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Opioid STR/Cures (Grant#1H79TI080257) and SPF-RX (Grant # 1U79SP022087).

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.

Catawba County’s Senior Nutrition Services Annual

Fundraising Drive Is Now!

Hickory - Catawba County's Senior Nutrition Services is conducting its annual fundraising drive, which helps pay for Meals on Wheels and related programs in the county.

Senior Nutrition Services, a part of Catawba County Social Services, operates Meals on Wheels, Frozen Meals, Seniors Morning Out, and the Nutritional Supplement programs. Each of these programs is designed to give seniors the option to remain in their homes as long as possible.

"We rely heavily on donations from local individuals, churches, civic groups and businesses to help fund this program," explained Jan Shaffer, supervisor of Senior Nutrition Services. "We hope that our community will give the gift of meals to local seniors during this holiday season."

A gift in any amount is appreciated, she explained. A donation of $22 pays for one week of meals for a senior, $90 pays for one month of meals, and $1,054 pays for an entire year of meals. During Fiscal Year 2016-2017, a total of 1,528 seniors were served and 139,823 meals delivered through these programs.

Meals on Wheels delivers five meals a week to seniors who are unable to shop or prepare their own food, and have no one in their home who can do so. The meals are delivered by volunteers, who can volunteer as little as one day a month. It takes about an hour and a half to deliver meals on a Meals on Wheels route. More volunteers are urgently needed.

Frozen Meals are delivered to recipients who qualify for Meals on Wheels, but who do not live near a Meals on Wheels route. Frozen meals are picked up monthly by a friend, relative or volunteer. The Nutritional Supplement Program provides a case of Boost or Ensure once a month to seniors, who must obtain a note from their doctor.

Seniors Morning Out operates four mornings each week, except for holidays. There are five sites throughout the county where seniors meet to enjoy activities and a hot, balanced lunch. Keeping these seniors connected with their community has been shown to improve their health.

None of these programs is income based. Any Catawba County resident who is 60 or older may participate. Individuals, groups, or businesses may participate by volunteering or making a donation. Groups are encouraged to organize fund-raisers to benefit these programs, or to designate part of the proceeds from an existing fund-raiser. For more information about how to get involved, contact Jan Shaffer, supervisor of Senior Nutrition Services, at 828-695-5617.

To donate by check, make out your check to Catawba County Social Services and write "Senior Nutrition Services" in the memo line. Mail your check to: Senior Nutrition Services, P.O. Box 207, Newton, NC 28657. You may also donate securely online by going to mealsonwheelsofcatawbacounty.org and clicking on the red "Donate Now" button. To receive an acknowledgement letter for tax purposes, be sure to include your name and address.

For the latest updates on Catawba County's Senior Nutrition Programs, like "Meals on Wheels of Catawba County" on Facebook.

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

 

Catawba Valley Community College Is Offering

A Variety Of Pottery Classes In 2018

Hickory - Catawba Valley Community College has set dates and pricing for 2018’s Continuing Education Pottery Classes.

Basic Hand Build Pottery $166.25 (Includes supplies)
01/10/2018- 03/07/2018 W 6p-9p CVCC, REP 143
Evelyn Arnold - This course is for the beginner pottery student and provides instruction on basic hand building techniques. Students will learn techniques for hand building and a variety of functional forms such as mug and bowls without the use of the potters’ wheel. Topics include methods of pinch, coil and slab construction, applying basic glazes and introduction to loading and firing an electric kiln.

Pottery on the Wheel, $166.25 (includes supplies)
01/11/2018-03/08/2018 TH 6p-9p CVCC, REP 143
Evelyn Arnold - In this course, students will become familiar with turning methods and materials used in creating basic forms with the potters’ wheel. Topics include clay preparation, turning techniques, and basic glaze application.
Upon completion, students should be able to center, turn basic forms such as bowls and mugs, apply basic glazes, and be familiar with loading and firing an electric kiln.

Introduction to Pottery $166.25 (includes supplies)
03/21/2018-5/23/2018 W 6p-9p CVCC, REP 143
Evelyn Arnold - This is an introductory course designed to give students a hands-on educational and artistic experience using clay. Students will learn a variety of techniques, including handbuilding and wheel throwing with the potters’ wheel. Students will also gain experience with surface design and glazing, as well as loading and firing an electric kiln. All levels are welcome. No class on 4/4/2018 due to Easter holiday.

Pottery: Independent Study $166.25 (includes supplies)
03/22/2108-05/24/2018 TH 6p-9p CVCC, REP 143
Evelyn Arnold - This class is open to anyone with previous hand building or wheel experience. Students have the opportunity to work on individual clay projects of their choice and at their own pace to develop their skill level and personal style while receiving guidance from an instructor. Students will have full use of workshop facilities including glazes and kiln. No class 4/5/18 due to Easter holiday.

Supply fee covers kiln firings, glaze materials and 1 bag of clay. In addition, students must purchase a tool kit available at the CVCC Bookstore or local craft store. Students should bring a towel, apron, large sponge and a 5-gallon bucket to class. Dress in comfortable clothes that you do not mind getting dirty.

For questions about the courses contact Evelyn Arnold at earnold@cvcc.edu; to register email Cheri Toney at ctoney@cvcc.edu or contact the Continuing Education Department at 828.327.7037

Support Group For Women At WRC Each Wed., 11:30-12:30

Hickory - Area women needing a confidential and safe space to share their challenges and stories are invited to attend the ongoing Support Group at Women’s Resource Center that meets each Wednesday from 11:30am to 12:30pm.

Women attending the free support group facilitated by Millie Kaufman, RN, PhD, APRN, say that participating helps to foster a feeling of community among members and reduce isolation and shame. The goal is to increase confidence, resilience and coping skills.

“New members are welcome to attend any Wednesday,” said Kaufman. “The group’s intent is to create an enjoyable, supportive and compassionate environment wherein members can share their concerns and participate in discussions of shared life lessons and challenges. Through this method, members help each other to identify problems and discover solutions, learning along the way new coping skills and different perspectives.”

Women who suffer from anxiety, depression, “winter blues,” or over-whelming workload, will find a welcome at this group. Individuals do not need a clinical diagnosis to attend. “This is a regular place to share, grow, and learn among a sisterhood with shared experiences,” added Kaufman.

Call (828) 308-2232 for more information or attend any Wednesday. Women’s Resource Center is located at 125 Third St. NE, Hickory.

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

Hickory Choral Society’s 40th Anniversary Membership Drive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hickory International Council Grants Have Jan. 31 Deadline

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

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

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

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

Grant applications, additional rules, and criteria are available on the HIC website at www.HickoryInternationalCouncil.com or by contacting Gretchen Oetting at gretchen.oetting@gmail.com.

LRU Bear Essentials Food Pantry Will Help Ease Student Hunger

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

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

Locally, some LRU students face that same food insecurity.

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

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

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

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

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

Catawba Science Center’s American Adventure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arthur Frymyer, Jr., Stocks Food Pantry And

Invites Those In Need To Help Themselves, 24/7

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toastmasters Club Meets At Transportation Insight, Thursdays

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

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

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

http://catawba.toastmastersclubs.org/

Email for more info: vppr-649666@toastmastersclubs.org

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 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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