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Celebrate Earth & Arbor Day At The SALT Block Next Sat., April 22

Hickory – Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day with family-friendly activities at the SALT Block during the “Growing a Green Future” event.

Learn about what it means to “be green” in Catawba County during the eighth year of “Growing a Green Future” event. This event will be held on Saturday, April 22, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., on the “Green” between the Arts and Science Center and the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library, 375 3rd Street, NE, Hickory. The rain date is Sunday, April 23 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Each year in the month of April our community comes together to become aware of how we can be part of “making every day earth day,” said Maria Goldstein with GoGreen Hickory. “Everyone must be actively practicing responsible stewardship each day and every day. More than ever before, in the history of the planet, being stewards of the environment is key.”

As in previous years, more than 20 groups will be represented at “Growing a Green Future” and they will be providing educational information, and demonstrations, focusing on preserving the earth, supporting nature, or any environmental product, practice or service offered in the area. Some of those groups are Republic Services, Riverkeepers/Covekeepers, Hickory Museum of Art, Community Appearance Commission, GoGreenHickory, Shaklee, Resource Warehouse, and First Class Document Destruction, which will be offering discounted shredding services.

Many organizations come together to bring this event to the community, including The City of Hickory, Catawba County, the Catawba Science Center, Greenway Public Transportation, Keep Catawba County Beautiful, Hickory Museum of Art, Republic Services, Lenoir Rhyne University, and the Western Piedmont Council of Governments.

“Earth Day is an opportunity to promote some of the processes and tools available to us to be wise stewards of what we have been given,” said Andrew Ballentine, City of Hickory Solid Waste Manager. “Recycling is a key component in that process because we have an easy opportunity to make a positive difference. Our community is doing a great job, but there is room to improve even though our Single Stream Program has been a huge success. To continue to improve upon recycling, we must take a moment and ask ourselves, is this recyclable and where does it go? We have so many programs in the community to help residents and businesses recycle, re-use or re-purpose items we use every day.”

The City of Hickory’s Community Appearance Commission (CAC) and Landscape Services will be handing out tree seedlings again this year. The community is encouraged to stop by the City of Hickory’s booth to pick up a free tree seedling to plant. In addition to the tree give-away and educational opportunities, Catawba County will be providing free event t-shirts on a first come basis.

Air quality improvement and the reduction of carbon in the atmosphere is a benefit of trees. Also, a healthy mature tree will increase property value and the larger the tree the higher the value. This is especially important for resale and will increase yearly as the tree grows. All of these reasons should be an incentive to plant trees. By keeping mature trees healthy by proper pruning, and not topping trees, not only will it increase the value of a property and save money on energy costs, but, it, also, helps provide a benefit of cleaner air and reductions in storm water problems.

For more information on the City’s Community Appearance Commission, go to www.HickoryNC.gov.

Artist Brilliant Will Create Hickory Sticks At HMA, April 26-May 4

Hickory – Hickory Museum of Art (HMA) invites North Carolina artist Jonathan Brilliant for a week-long residency to create a site-specific installation in the Museum’s Coe Gallery using to-go coffee accessories as his art materials. The public is invited to watch the artist work live April 26 – May 4 during normal Museum hours. HMA is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 4 PM, and Sunday from 1 – 4 PM.

The public is invited to an Artist Talk on Friday, April 28 at 6:30 PM. Join Jonathan Brilliant in the gallery for a presentation and Q&A. See the HICKORY STICKS installation as it starts to take shape. An Opening Celebration will be held on Saturday, May 6 from 1:30 – 3:30. Meet the artist, see the completed installation and test out your coffee stirrer weaving skills. Enjoy sweet treats, coffee and lemonade. Both events are free and open to the public.

The artist will laboriously weave 50,000+ wooden coffee stirrers to create a site-responsive, colossal sculpture influenced by the gallery’s 25 foot ceiling and unique architectural features – spiral staircases and Palladian windows.

Brilliant at work

Visitors will be able to walk under and around the undulating walls of this structure. The woven stirrers are held in place without the use of adhesives; tension and compression are what gives the structure strength and stability. Complementary smaller installations comprised of coffee cup sleeves, disposable lids and coffee stain wall drawings will also be included in the exhibition.

Visitors will have the rare opportunity to see an artist create an art piece from start to finish; a process which is typically done behind-the-scenes. Jonathan Brilliant will work live in the gallery, greeting and interacting with visitors. After his residency is complete, a time lapse video of the project’s making will be projected on a gallery wall through the remainder of the exhibition. Interactive stations will allow visitors to practice the stir stick weaving technique and add to a community sculpture built started by the artist.

About the Artist

Born in Charleston, SC, and now based in Raleigh, NC, artist Jonathan Brilliant holds a B.A. in Studio Art from the College of Charleston and an M.F.A. in Spatial Arts from San Jose State University.

Jonathan Brilliant installation

Brilliant is a recipient of an individual artist grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and is a South Carolina Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellow. He has received numerous fellowships and artist residencies including McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC; The Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, MI; The Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT; Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC; and The East/West Project in Berlin, Germany. In 2012, Brilliant also served as an Artist in Residence at the Cairns Festival in Far North Queensland, Australia, and at the Center for Creativity and the arts at CSU Fresno, California.

This project was supported by the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by Corning Optical Communications and Shurtape.

For more information about this exhibit and related events visit www.HickoryArt.org or call 828-327-8576.

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

15th Annual Hickory Hops Beer Festival Is Saturday, April 22

Hickory - April is North Carolina Beer Month! In celebration of the many great NC craft brewers and craft beer fans downtown Hickory will be host to the 15th Annual Hickory Hops beer festival on Saturday April 22nd from 1-6pm.

The annual outdoor festival, organized by Hickory Downtown Development Association and Olde Hickory Brewery, is the perfect way to find great new beers. The festival will host more than 50 breweries, bringing over 200 beers to a space just a few hundred feet from Union Square, next to the historic Olde Hickory Station. Some of the attending breweries are long time participants, others are new to the festival, and some are just opened breweries – new to both the festival and the Hickory area! It’s an opportunity to take a beer tour of the State, all in one afternoon.

Complementing the Hickory Hops festivities, the Carolinas Championship of Beer makes its 12th appearance this year. Several weeks before the fest, festival beers are subjected to a blind-judged competition. In early-April, over 350 beers, spanning 124 different styles, will be analyzed by a panel of certified judges, brewers and experienced judges. Medals are awarded in each category will be presented to winning brewers at a private brewers’ dinner held the evening before the festival. During Hickory Hops, engraved plaques will be given to three Best of Show winners. Many of the winning beers will be available to sample at the festival.

Two live bands will set the energy level for the event and are sure the keep the toes tapping while the beer flows. General admission includes a souvenir tasting glass, unlimited sampling, access to the brewers and the live music stage. Designated driver tickets are also available, offering access to the live music and the chance to chat with people from throughout the state and beyond.

The festival lasts five hours, beginning at 1:00pm, and features hundreds of beers, live music and access to lots of breweriana sold by the breweries. The site is within easy walking distance of several restaurants, many shops, banks and more. Both street and lot parking is available; but please remember to plan responsibly and bring a designated driver or be prepared to call a cab if necessary.

Advance tickets may be purchased for $35 (cash only) at the Olde Hickory Tap Room, Olde Hickory Station, and Amos Howards. Any remaining tickets will be sold, cash only, for $40 at the gate. Designated driver tickets are $10.

Only those 21 years of age and older with valid photo ID will be allowed to enter the gates, this includes designated drivers. No pets, children, or coolers are allowed. The event is held under tents and is rain or shine. For more information about the festival and how to purchase tickets visit the official website at www.hickoryhops.com. For more information about Hickory visit www.downtownhickory.com and www.hickorymetro.com

Crossflame Youth Choir Benefit Golf Tourney Is Friday, May 12

Hickory - Crossflame Youth Choir and orchestra will be holding its first Golf Tournament on May 12, 2017 at the Catawba Springs Country Club. It will be a “Captain’s Choice” tournament with a shotgun start at 1:00 pm. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 teams. Barbecue dinner will be included for golfers at the end of the day. Cost per player will be $100. Tournament sponsors are also being sought.

Crossflame Youth choir and orchestra is a 70+ member ensemble comprised of youth from throughout the Unifour area. Membership is open to all who wish to join, without audition.

2016 Crossflame Youth Choir

Each year, the choir travels throughout the US presenting concerts and doing service work as they travel. Proceeds of this tournament will be used in support of the group’s work during this year’s tour, as well as work done locally. For more information or to register for the tournament, call 828-327-9837. To find out more about the choir, please check our website www.crossflamechoir.org. Or, visit us on Facebook.

Advanced Gardening: The Big 4, On April 18 & 25, At Libraries

Newton, NC – The Catawba County Library is a great place to learn, act, and grow as they host the second year of the Advanced Gardener Series at two of their branch locations throughout 2017. The upcoming presentation of the eleven-month series will be, “The Big 4 of Every Garden”.

Dr. George Place, Catawba County Cooperative Extension Director, will be talking about new tips and solutions to common gardening problems inherent to four favorite summer crops. The Advanced Gardener Series plays an integral role in the Farm and Food Sustainability Plan passed by Catawba County in 2013, which lays out clear action plans in working for a healthier county, while creating a local food system and preserving farmland.

Find out why the Advanced Gardener Series was awarded “Best Adult Education Library Program” in North Carolina in 2016. Participants that attend presentations and conduct twenty hours of community garden service in 2017 will receive certification as Advanced Gardeners. In addition, they will receive gardening incentives, such as coupons and gift certificates from local garden supply businesses, and an Advanced Gardening T-shirt! More information on this program is available at each session.

The Catawba County Library presentations this month will be at the Main Library, Newton on April 18th at 6:30 pm, and at the Maiden Library on April 25th at 6:30 pm.

The 2017 series will include the following presentations:

May: Everything Herbs
June: Cukes, Squash, Melons, Pumpkins & More
July: Beans, Peas, & DIY Fertilizer
August: Grains and Your Garden
September: Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Asparagus & More
October: Leafy Greens & Garden Perennials
November: Berries & Fruit in Your Garden

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

Sonya’s Dance Academy’s Benefit Showcase Is

Friday, April 28, At Valdese Old Rock School

Hickory - Sonya's Dance Academy will present their annual fundraising event, SDA's 2017 Student Choreography and Aerial Showcase on Friday, April 28th, at 7:30 pm at Valdese Old Rock School.

Since 2004, Sonya's Dance Academy has presented their student choreography pieces to the community in order to raise funds for the students of the studio. The performance all started at Neil Clark Recreation Center in Hickory, N.C. and has since progressed into a full blown showcase. In the fall of 2011 the studio also added aerial silks into the show. Proceeds from the tickets or concessions go directly back to the students of SDA to help with summer dance programs, audition fees, classes, workshops, or even studio fees such as costumes.

This years student choreographers are Lauren Hancock, Anissa Briggs, Abigail Guptill, Lauren Cekada, Melody Martinez, Cassidy Pruitt, Natalie Watson, Lilly Ennis, and Cecilia Shoup. Each of these student choreographers and their dancers spend three and a half months dedicated to rehearsal and show preparation. The choreographers will be adjudicated by three judges who will pick a 1st and 2nd place winner. The audience will also be able to participate by voting for their favorite piece to have a choreographer win the People's Choice Award. Each ticket counts as one vote and audience members may purchase more votes with a donation. One dollar equals one vote.

This showcase had become a staple of the studio over the years not just for its fundraising purposes but also for its ability to allow the students to let people glimpse into their minds. These choreographers use their art to express themselves and show their various emotions and thoughts. Sonya's Dance Academy is highly dedicated to teaching students proper technique for various forms of dance but also to teaching students how to be storytellers through movement. Every year the creativity of these students astounds audience members and SDA faculty alike.

Please join Sonya's Dance Academy to raise money for this local studio's artistic talent. Tickets for this event are on sale now at the studio located in downtown Hickory at 258 1st Ave NW and are $6 each. Behind the scenes looks and more information about the event and the studio can be found on the Sonya's Dance Academy Facebook page. Bring the whole family for this enjoyable night of artistry.

Photo: From the SDA Student Choreography and Aerial Showcase promotional video produced and edited by Optio Productions.

FPA’s A Midsummer Night’s Roller Disco Is Set For April 20-23

Lenoir, NC - Foothills Performing Arts presents “A Midsummer Night’s Roller Disco” on April 20-23 at the JE Broyhill Civic Center.

William Shakespeare's tale is re-imagined as a 1970's spectacular set in a roller disco. The classic play is paired with bright lights, outrageous costumes, non-traditional casting and will be a feast for the eyes and ears alike. The comedy consists of four plots, connected by a celebration of the wedding of Duke Theseus of Athens to the Amazon queen, Hippolyta. Hermia and Lysander conspire to elope in order to escape Hermia's betrothal to Demetrius. Helena is madly in love with Demetrius, and follows him in his chase of Hermia. The King and Queen of the fairies play tricks on the two pairs for sport while six others plan a performance of a Greek romance intended to be a wedding gift.

Tickets are priced as follows: Single ticket $16.25; Child/Student ticket $9; Dinner before the show, only on 4/21: $13 (go to Broyhill website for menu); all prices include tax. Group & child/student tickets are available by calling the Civic Center box office at 828.726.2407.

The JE Broyhill Civic Center is located at 1913 Hickory Blvd SE, Lenoir, NC, 28645. The website is www.broyhillcenter.com.

Community Luncheon At Boger City UMC, Sun., April 23

Lincolnton, NC - A Community Luncheon will be held on Sunday, April 23rd 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. Menu will include country style steak, chicken pie, two vegetables, homemade desserts, ice tea. An $8 donation is requested per person. Dine-In or Take out plates available. Proceeds from Boger City United Methodist Church April’s Community Luncheon will benefit American Cancer Society Relay For Life. Sunday School will be held at 9:30am. with Worship Service at 10:30am. Overflow parking available in the former Harris Teeter parking lot across the street from the church.

Foothills Painters’ Work Will Be Exhibited At LRU April 19-May 17

Hickory – Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Art Program will partner with the Carl A. Rudisill Library to feature artwork of the Foothills Painters beginning Wednesday, April 19 through Wednesday, May 17 on the main floor of the library.

Painting by Karin Koval

An artist’s reception will be held on Thursday, April 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The reception, which is free and open to the public, will allow attendees an opportunity to meet with members of the Foothills Painters while viewing their work.

The Foothills Painters are comprised of a diverse set of local artists in the foothill areas of North Carolina. The artists specialize in a wide variety of skills including drawing, sculpting, jewelry design, photography, textile work, and painting.

Painting by Meredith Janssen

The Foothills Painters come from many different backgrounds, and connect to the community by expressing individuality through art. As a group, they explore new ideas, share techniques, and encourage creative development to broaden their horizons. Collectively, their art is shown in local venues, and around the world. For additional information please visit www.lr.edu/publicevents.

LRU Presents The Tesla String Quartet On Fri., April 21, 7:30pm

Hickory – Lenoir-Rhyne University will end its 2016-17 Concert Series with an extraordinary quartet of chamber artists. The Tesla String Quartet will perform on Friday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Grace Chapel. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Tesla Quartet was formed at The Juilliard School in 2008. In only a few months after their inception, the Quartet quickly established itself as one of the most promising young ensembles in New York by winning second prize at the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition. Since that time, the Quartet has continued to garner top prizes at numerous international competitions. Some of those awards include the Gold Medal at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, third prize and the Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Work at the 6th International Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition in Vienna, third prize at the 2012 London International String Quartet Competition, and the Prize for the International Summer Academy for Chamber Music Niedersachsen at the 2013 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition.

No tickets or reservations are required for the Tesla String Quartet performance. For more information, visit www.lr.edu/publicevents or call 828.328.7147.

Established in the fall of 2000, the Concert Series at Lenoir-Rhyne University serves the University community and the greater Hickory area by providing opportunities to hear and interact with superb musical artists. With support from the University’s Friends of Music, the Concert Series brings musical artists to campus to present concerts and recitals, work with students in the master class setting, lecture to music classes, and provide examples of professional artistry in music.

About Lenoir-Rhyne University:

September 1, 2015 marked the beginning of Lenoir-Rhyne University’s 125th anniversary year. Founded in 1891, the private, coeducational University houses its primary campus in Hickory, NC. Academic programs include more than 50 undergraduate majors and 24 graduate programs at its campuses in Hickory, the Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, NC, and the Center for Graduate Studies of Columbia, which shares a campus with the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) in Columbia, SC. Today, more than 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled across the three campuses. Lenoir-Rhyne is affiliated with the NC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and welcomes students from all religious denominations and backgrounds. The website is www.lr.edu.

Full Circle Arts’ Tiny Arts Show Intake Is Apr. 27-29; Opens 5/11

Hickory - Full Circle Arts is looking for artists from the greater Hickory area to enter their next exhibition which will be one for small works of art. Small works can be put in many places in the home or office to give the owner pleasure every time he/she looks at it. Generally pieces of "tiny art" are very affordable and make wonderful gifts. Make no mistake, tiny works are just as demanding and difficult for the artist to create and portray as larger paintings and sculptures, but they project an intimate quality and appeal to the imagination in all of us.

We have decided to move our well-received "Tiny Arts Show" to the month of May during slightly cooler evenings and days. The same requirements will be stipulated for the artwork. The artwork itself can be no larger than 7 inches in any direction and the total with frame and/or pedestal can be no larger than twelve inches side to side or top to bottom. The entry fee for this show is only ten dollars for up to 5 entries. Ribbons will be given and visitors will vote on the artwork to determine a People’s Choice Award. In the past we have had wonderful responses to this show and have sold quite a few pieces of art.

All work should be suitably presented and properly wired for hanging. We cannot accommodate two dimensional artwork which does not have wire hangers because of our hanging system. Artwork should conform to the art world's general idea of good taste. We prefer not to accept standing photo frames. Please deliver artwork to our gallery at 42-B Third Street NW, Hickory during our regular gallery hours, Thurs.- Fri., Apr. 27-28, 11 am - 5 pm and Sat. Apr. 29, 10 am - 2 pm. Reception will be Thursday, May 11, 6 - 8pm.

FCA is a non-profit artists’ cooperative located in downtown Hickory, 42-B Third Street NW. More information about Full Circle Arts, classes, membership, or other upcoming events is available at 828-322-7545. You may also write to Full Circle Arts, PO Box 3905, Hickory NC 28603, or email info@fullcirclearts.org. Please visit our website at www.fullcirclearts.org.

Hickory Museum Of Art Hosts ‘SilverArts’

Exhibit In The Shuford Gallery, April 25-29

Hickory – View Heritage and Visual Arts entries from area participants in the 2017 Unifour Senior Games, an athletic and arts event for seniors over 50, at Hickory Museum of Art, 243 Third Ave. N.E., Hickory. SilverArts entries will be on exhibit in the Museum’s Shuford Gallery, April 25th through April 29th.

The Unifour Senior Games is a fitness event designed to provide an outlet for competition and health benefits. The Games also includes an arts component, called SilverArts, which allows participants to express their creative side. Arts categories include performing arts, literary arts, heritage and visual arts.

Heritage Arts entries include traditional craft items, such as hooked rugs, woven baskets, quilts, crochet and knit pieces, and more. Visual Arts entries include photography, sculpture, drawing, oil, watercolor and acrylic painting, mixed media and more. Check-in for Heritage and Visual Arts entries will be held at the Museum on Friday, April 21st, from 10 AM - noon.

The Unifour Senior Games Performing Arts Follies will take place at 3 PM on Saturday, April 29th, in the Drendel Auditorium on the SALT Block. Admission is free. The event will feature singing, dancing and other performances by participating seniors. Performances will conclude with an awards ceremony and artwork may be retrieved from HMA staff afterwards. Light refreshments will be served during intermission.

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

Photo: SilverArts 2016 entries on display at Hickory Museum of Art.

Poets Will Speak All Month Here In Honor Of Nat’l Poetry Month

Hickory - April is National Poetry Month, and during the month Hickory will host no fewer than 8 poets at events sponsored by Lenoir Rhyne University, the North Carolina Poetry Society, Poetry Hickory, and Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse.

Sandra Ann Winters

The monthly Poetry Hickory for April will take place at 7:00 on Tuesday, April 11, at Taste Full Beans and will feature Asheville poet, Kathy Nelson, and award-winning poet and Guilford College professor, Sandra Ann Winters. Nelson's new book is "Whose Names Have Slipped Away," from Finishing Line Press.

Winters' new release is "The Place Where I Left You" from Salmon Press. Winters will teach a workshop entitled "Lining Our Thoughts," exploring what makes a poem, from 5:00 to 6:00. Participation in the workshop will cost $10, and pre-registration is required. Contact Scott Owens at 828-234-4266.

The next reading in the new University Community Poetry Series, sponsored by Lenoir Rhyne University and Poetry Hickory, will take place at Taste Full Beans Thursday evening, April 27, at 7:00, and in the Lenoir Rhyne University Library Colloquium Room Friday morning, April 28, at 9:00.

Jan Harrington

The Thursday event will featured readings by Hickory poets, Scott Owens and Tim Peeler, Asheville poet, Keith Flynn, and Raleigh poet, Patrick Bizzaro. Friday morning the same readers will conduct a "reading in the round," a sort of conversation in poetry. Owens is a professor at LR and the author of 14 collections of poetry. Peeler is an instructor at CVCC and the author of more than a dozen books. Flynn is founding editor of "Asheville Poetry Review," and author of 7 collections of poetry. And Bizzaro is the author a dozen books and former professor at East Carolina University. Admission to both events is free and open to the public.

Finally, Lenoir Rhyne University and the NC Poetry Society will host Poetry Day in the Colloquium Room at Lenoir Rhyne from 11:30 to 3:30 on Saturday, April 29. The highlight of Poetry Day will be awarding poet, Jan Harrington, the Lena Shull Award for the best new book of poetry by a NC poet. Harrington will read from her work and conduct a workshop titled "Memory, Myth & Family: A Primal Source for Poems." Harrington will be joined by poet and NC School of the Arts Distinguished Professor, Joseph Mills, of Winston-Salem. Mills, the author of 6 collections of poetry, will read from his work and lead a workshop on prose poetry and flash fiction. Registration and a $10 fee for each workshop is required. Contact Scott Owens at 828-234-4266.

www.poetryhickory.comwww.ncpoetrysociety.org

Meet Your Match At Bachelor/Bachelorette

Auction For Cancer Society On Friday, April 28

Hickory - On Friday, April 28, 7pm-11pm, Relay For Life team-RB's Melahomies will host an amazing Bachelor and Bachelorette Auction at Lake Hickory Country Club in Hickory, NC.

Tickets are available at eventbrite.com for $45 or $50 at the door. Tickets include a buffet dinner, cash bar is available. Put on your best, as dress code is cocktail attire. Please bring cash in hand for the auction, as well as a silent auction.

Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries.

By participating you will also be contributing to a greater cause of finding a cure for cancer. All proceeds will benefit RFL of Catawba County.

Lake Hickory Country Club is located at 430 17th Avenue Northwest, Hickory, NC 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.

Hickory PD Offers A Special Needs Registry To Assist Public

Hickory – The Hickory Police Department continues to strive to improve our effectiveness in serving the varied populations throughout the city of Hickory. In November of 2015, the department implemented the Law Enforcement Special Needs Registry. This program is designed to assist officers during contacts with members of the community who have various disabilities such as, Autism, Schizophrenia, Dementia, deafness or other mental / developmental disabilities.

This is a voluntary program in which parents and caregivers, or adults with special needs, will give vital information such as emergency contact information, detailed physical descriptors, known routines, or other essential details pertinent to handling an emergency involving the registered individual.

Participants interested in enrolling in the Law Enforcement Special Needs Registry are asked to contact Chrystal Dieter to schedule an appointment by calling 828-261-2642 or emailing cdieter@hickorync.gov.

It is the hope of the Hickory Police Department that by having this critical information readily available we will be able to better serve those in our community who have varying needs.

"The Hickory Police Department is committed to doing all we can to improve the lines of communication with those we serve, especially those with special needs,” Chief Thurman Whisnant.

Seniors Morning Out For April Features A Variety Of Activities

Hickory – Participants in Catawba County Seniors Morning Out will enjoy a variety of fun and informative activities during the month of April. Some of these include birthday parties, performances by Sentimental Journey band, making crafts, and learning new recipes.

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

A few of the program highlights are as follows:

At West Hickory SMO, located at the West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th St. SW, Hickory: April 3, Senior Wellness Assessment Day with Colleen Brady of Hickory Falls Health and Rehab; April 5: Easter crafts with Shanda Nichols; April 12: CapTel captioned telephone program with Ashley Trotter; April 17: Ridgeview Sliders dance team; April 18: Parkinson’s disease presentation with Annie Williams; April 25: Cooking Class: Spring Pizza and Nutrition of the Delectable Asparagus. To reserve your place, contact Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746.

At the East Hickory SMO, located at Huntington Hills Church of God, 2123 Fifth St. NE, Hickory: April 4: Tax Relief with Cho Lor of the Catawba County Tax Office; April 5: Music by Sentimental Journey and dancing; April 10: Move to the Beat and bingo; April 19: Bring a Joke Day and blood pressure checks; April 25: Health Benefits in a Lemon and Making Easy Lemonade. To reserve your spot, contact Rita Pritchard at 828-320-5963.

At the Newton SMO, located at First Presbyterian Church 701 N. Main Ave., Newton: April 10: Gospel music by Mattie McHaffey; April 11: Performance of the Woodwind Ensemble, folksy music and hymns; April 13: Bandys High School Handbells, and Bring Easter treats and eggs to dye; April 18: Music by Sentimental Journey; April 24: Balance and Falls by Kayla Heffner of Health First. To reserve your place, contact Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133.

At the Catawba SMO, located at Center United Methodist Church, 4945 Sherrills Ford Road, Catawba: April 6: Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques by Kayla Bumgarner of Catawba Valley Medical Center; April 12: Cooking Class: Making Zucchini Chips; April 13: Volunteer Appreciation and Easter Celebration with Easter Trivia Games; April 18: Word Scramble and Hands only CPR by Melanie Sigmon; April 19: Music by Sentimental Journey; April 26: Dog Appreciation Day. Bring photos and stories of your dog. How to grow vegetables from scraps. To reserve your place, contact Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434.

At the Maiden SMO, located at the Maiden Community Center at the corner of East Second St. and Klutz Street, Maiden: April 4: Group Exercise and Frisbee Toss game; April 5: Cornhole game and group singing; April 10: Health Fair with Catawba Valley Medical Center; April 12: Sleep and Stress Education; April 17: Nutrition and Cancer, and Frisbee Toss game; April 20: Trauma Related Disorders with Terry Spencer with Smoky Mountain Behavioral Health; April 25: Music by Sentimental Journey. To reserve your place, call Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966.

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

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

Caldwell Arts Council Sets Spring pARTy Series, April 1 - May 27

Lenoir, NC - The Spring pARTy Series benefits the Caldwell Arts Council – and there's a wide variety of fun parties to choose from! All the details for each party are on the website www.caldwellarts.com.

Saturday, April 1, 7pm, $10/person (the more the merrier!!)

April Fools CONTRA Dance at the Old Lenoir High School Gymnasium, with caller Roberta Kogut and music by Down The Hall (Bob Kogut, Suzanne Williams, and Denise Baxter-Yoder)

Sunday, April 2, 5:30pm, $35/person (limit 17)

Raclette Cheese Party in Lenoir (address provided upon ticket purchase)

Friday, April 7, 5pm, $30/person (limit 16)

Chef’s Table Dinner by CCC&TI Culinary School, Building K

Sunday, April 9, 6pm, $50/person (limit 48)

Full Moon Pasta Dinner at the Patterson School in Happy Valley

Saturday, April 22, 7pm, $25/person (limit 25)

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere at the Irish Rose B&B with live music by pianist Richard Pinson in Lenoir

Friday, April 28, 7pm, $20/person (limit 15)

Groovin’ At The Farm at the Picton’s farm in Lenoir & live acoustic guitar music by Kevin Smith (address provided upon ticket purchase)

Saturday, May 6, 6:30pm, $35/person (limit 8)

Brazilian Time in Lenoir (address provided upon ticket purchase)

Saturday, May 13, 6:30pm, $35/person (limit 12)

Out of Africa in Lenoir (address provided upon ticket purchase)

Friday, May 26, 7pm, $20/person (limit 25)

House Concert featuring Sycamore Bones and Love Like This in Lenoir (address provided upon ticket purchase)

Saturday, May 27, 1pm, $15/person

Native American Dreamcatcher Workshop & Meal at the Caldwell Arts Council (limit 20)

To learn more about the Caldwell Arts Council call 828-754-2486 email info@caldwellarts.com or visit www.caldwellarts.com

Catawba Regional Hospice Golf Tourney Set For Monday, May 15

Newton, NC – Catawba Regional Hospice is gearing up for its 15th annual Friends Fore Hospice Golf Tournament, which will take place on Monday, May 15, 2017, at Catawba Country Club in Newton, NC.

The community event brings together seasoned and novice golfers in support of overall hospice services. As part of its mission, Catawba Regional Hospice pledges to provide end-of-life care to all patients who need it, regardless of their ability to pay. The proceeds from Friends Fore Hospice help guarantee that uninsured and underinsured patients have access to this high-quality hospice care.

Openings for teams are still available. Registration begins at 7:30am, and shotgun starts are scheduled for 8:30am and 1:30pm. A buffet lunch will be served between the morning and afternoon rounds.

Individual player costs are $125, and foursome costs are $500. These fees cover 18 holes, cart and green fees, practice range, a light breakfast, a buffet lunch, and complimentary beverages. Prizes will be awarded to first, second, third, and women’s flights. As added incentive, a hole-in-one cash prize of $10,000 is available on Hole 3, should a golfer's skills prove exceptional.

Players should plan to register by Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

Sponsorships are still available for businesses or individuals. The tournament’s Premier Sponsor is CommScope. Presenting Sponsors are 1290 WHKY, Case Farms, the Hickory Daily Record, and HSM Solutions. The Golf Cart Sponsor is Cargo Transporters, Inc., and the Hole-in-One Sponsor is Electrical Associates of Hickory, Inc. The Tee-It-Up Sponsor is Hickory Falls Health & Rehabilitation, and the Scoreboard Sponsor is Paramount Automotive. Food & Beverage Sponsors include Bass-Smith Funeral Home, RPM Wood Finishes Group, Inc., and Servpro. Minyard Plumbing, Inc. is a Food Sponsor.

To register online, visit www.CatawbaRegionalHospice.org/golf. To request a form for registration by mail, contact Sue Mulay, Community Development Coordinator, at 828.466.0466, x2357, or smulay@pchcv.org.

About the Organization:

Catawba Regional Hospice, founded in 1979 as one of NC’s original three hospices, is a community-based organization providing hospice medical care, patient and family support, and spiritual comfort throughout the multi-county Catawba region. From Lake James to Lake Hickory to Lake Norman, we serve patients and families regardless of diagnosis, age, gender, nationality, race, faith, sexual orientation, disability, or ability to pay. CRH is licensed by the state of North Carolina, certified by Medicare and Medicaid, and nationally accredited. For more information about our programs of service, call 828-466-0466 or visit www.CatawbaRegionalHospice.org.

Hickory Museum Of Art Summer Art Camps Open Registration

Hickory – Registration is now open for summer art camps at Hickory Museum of Art, 243 Third Ave. N.E., Hickory. Camps for children ages 4 to 14 will be offered Monday-Friday, June 12 – August 18, with morning (10 AM -12 PM) and afternoon (1 PM -3 PM) options available.

Twenty different art camp themes will be offered throughout the summer, giving participants a chance to create superhero and fairy tale inspired art, learn the basics of drawing and painting animals, make 3D art and sculptures from clay, form fantastic masks and more.

Several new camps are coming to HMA this year, including “Monsters & Zombies”, which will allow children ages 7-9 the opportunity to bring creatures from children’s literature to life in a fun and imaginative way. Youngsters 4-6 are able to attend a new “Secret Garden” camp that focuses on the natural environment in their arts and crafts.

The “Museum Sleuth” camp gives participants ages 7-14 a chance to explore the museum with a set of clues in search of a specific piece of artwork that will inspire that day’s project.

The same age group can also attend the “Sculpture” camp and discover a variety of media with which to create 3D art – much like Jonathan Brilliant will be doing in the live construction of the upcoming Hickory Sticks exhibit between April 26th and May 4th. (The exhibit itself runs through September 9th.)

Camp descriptions, cost and registration forms are available for pick up at Hickory Museum of Art in the Galleria shop or at the Museum’s second floor offices. Download a Summer Art Camp brochure and registration form at www.HickoryArt.org/summer-camps.

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

John Coffey & Laurice Lanier In Concert, Sat., April 22

Newton, NC - The Green Room Community Theatre and the Old Post Office Playhouse are pleased to present Laurice Lanier and John Coffey in concert Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 7:30 PM. This event is part of the Friends of John Coffey Tour 2016-2017.

John Coffey is well-known in the Catawba County area having worked as a director/musical director for over 45 years.

John Coffey

With a Master’s degree in Piano Performance from The Juilliard School, John performed as a concert pianist with various orchestras, and his skills have given him the opportunity to play for a number of legendary artists including Aaron Copeland and Leonard Bernstein. John later ventured into musical theatre and created four musicals of his own including We Are the People Too. John also toured with 42nd Street (Moscow, Russia), Evita (2009), and 3 Mo’ Divas (2006-2010).

Mr. Coffey is a former Artistic Coordinator for The Green Room and has directed and/or musically directed many shows there, most recently, West Side Story. He currently serves as organist for First United Methodist Church of Newton and is on staff at Hickory Arts where he is an instructor in piano, theory, and vocal coaching.

Laurice Lanier is also a graduate of The Juilliard School where she majored in Vocal Performance and Foreign Language. She is a professional vocalist and entertainer, vocal coach, worship leader, and tap dancer. Ms. Lanier, named by Maryland Public Television as “One of the Most Versatile Voices on the Planet,” is originally from Jackson, TN.

Laurice Lanier

Ms. Lanier has performed various roles in opera houses, theatres, concert halls, private functions, and churches throughout the United States and abroad and has received many awards and honors including a Leontyne Price Showcase Winner and the “Official Private Vocal Instructor” for the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band’s vocalists. She also received a nomination for a 2010 Image Award for Best Duo, Group or Collaboration for her 3 Mo’ Divas album. “Ms. Lanier epitomizes the spirit and commitment that is characteristic of an authentic artist; her pursuit of excellence in all her endeavors is clearly deserving of respect and admiration.”

Ticket prices for this Friends of John Coffey concert are only $12. Tickets are available online at www.apps.thegreenroomtheatre.org or by calling The Green Room Box Office (828-464-6128) Wednesdays – Fridays from 10:00AM – 5:30PM.

To learn more about The Green Room Community Theatre, please visit our website: www.thegreenroomtheatre.org.

The Green Room Community Theatre is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

Register Now For Students With Attainable Goals,

Which Begins April 25 At Ridgeview Rec Center

Hickory - The Hickory Parks and Recreation Department is taking registrations for its Students with Attainable Goals, or SWAG program, which is designed to promote entrepreneurship and to help middle school and high school students build their personal brand. The program is a partnership between the City of Hickory, Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) Small Business Center and Business Department, and local business K-9 Security.

The program begins on Tuesday April 25th and meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays through May 25th at Ridgeview Recreation Center from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Meetings are interactive sessions covering how to start a business, with activities and food provided at each session. Local business people will serve as guest speakers, and students will visit local businesses during the program.

The program will conclude with participants having the opportunity to present their business ideas and win prizes in the program’s SWAG Tank, a take-off on the popular Shark Tank TV show.

There is no fee to attend the program, but pre-registration is required. Interested students can register at Brown Penn Recreation Center or Ridgeview Recreation Center through April 14th. For more information, contact Sade Roseboro, Recreation Programmer at Brown Penn Recreation Center (828) 328-4890 or sroseboro@hickorync.gov.

CVCC Arts And Craft Show Is Sat., April 29, Hickory

Hickory - Catawba Valley Community College will hold a “Skills For Skills Arts & Crafts” show to support its SkillsUSA chapter on Sat., April 29, in the college’s Tarlton Complex on the main campus on Hwy. 70 in Hickory.

Proceeds will help fund the chapter’s competition expenses. The chapter has earned numerous top ten placements at both the state and national level during the past 10 years.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

For $50, vendors can reserve a 10’ x 10’ booth space, including one 6’ table and two chairs. Only original handmade items, photography or artwork can be sold. No mass produced, direct sales or food items permitted. All activities take place indoors. Payment by cash, check or money order is due by April 17. Applications to vend are available at www.cvcc.edu/skillsUSA.

Admission to the event is a snack item or $1 donation to the Hawks Nest Cupboard for hungry students.For more information, contact Becky Rees, 828-327-7000, ext. 4296 or brees@cvcc.edu.

Newton Elks Lodge #2042 Hosting 14th Annual

Charity Golf Tourney On Fri., May 12, Lincolnton

Newton, NC … Newton Elks Lodge #2042 announced that they will host their 14th Annual Charity Golf Tournament on Friday, May 12th at the Lincoln Country Club in Lincolnton, North Carolina.

The format for the 14th annual charity tournament is captain’s choice with four player teams. A shotgun start is scheduled for 1 PM with registration and lunch beginning at 12 noon. The low team score will win first place, with the highest team round receiving a special gift. There will be closest to the pin prizes on holes #8 and #17, plus a long drive award on hole #11.

Cost to play in the tournament is $80 per player or $320 per four player team. Entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart, lunch, golfers gifts, one mulligan, one skirt shot, and discount beverages on the course. Additional mulligans and skirt shots can be bought for $10 each.

Additional involvement opportunities for the charity golf tournament include Driving Range Sponsor, Beverage/Snack Cart Sponsor, Business/Corporate Sponsor, and Individual Sponsor. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to various local Elks Lodge charities.

Prizes, sponsor recognitions, a silent auction and raffle, and a cash bar reception will be held at the Newton Elks Lodge following your round of golf.

Team registration forms and corporate/individual sponsorship opportunities are available at the Newton Elks Lodge #2042, West J Street, Newton. For information, please contact Adam Hodge (828) 310-7928, Janelle Callahan (704) 902-9859, or the Newton Elks Lodge (828) 464-1360.

State & Federal Grant Writing Class Is April 25, In Hickory

Hickory - Funding For Good, Inc. is pleased to offer a one-day State & Federal Grant Writing Class in Hickory, NC on April 25, 2017, from 9 am – 5 pm. This event is sponsored by The United Arts Council of Catawba County.

To succeed with state and federal grants, you need to plan ahead, way ahead. You also need to step up your writing, program development and ability to follow instructions and be concise. Join us for the one day workshop to learn how to interpret federal grant application guidelines, establish standards for proposals that will be deemed highly competitive, dive deeper into compelling needs statements and the research that helps create them, while exploring best practices, budgets and other nuts and bolts of every federal grant application. This workshop is sure to get your wheels turning and help you determine if you are ready to step into the world of federal grants. Register at http://fundingforgood.org/product/state-federal-grant-writing-hickory-nc-425/ . Early bird rates available now, $147.00.

Annual Hudson Butterfly Festival Is Saturday, May 6, 9am-6pm

Hudson, NC - The Town of Hudson is pleased to announce that they will once again be hosting the Annual Hudson Butterfly Festival on Saturday, May 6th from 9 am 'til 6 pm. There will also be a "Cruise In" for all types of automobiles in downtown Hudson on Friday, May 5th from 5pm 'til 8pm which is the "Kickoff" event.

This year's festival looks to be one of the largest on record. Last year's event brought in estimated crowds of between 12,000-14,000 people. The festival features great food, antiques, crafts, art & pottery of all types plus much, much more. There will be day long entertainment with the culmination in the Hickman Windmill Park and a concert from 6pm 'til 8pm... band to be announced later.

The town is looking for crafts, arts, businesses, civic groups, churches, political groups & more who would like to have a booth at the festival. Booth spaces are approximately 10 x 10 feet in size and cost $75 for a non-powered booth and $100 for a powered booth (limited availability). For more information or applications, please visit the website at: http://www.ncbutterflyfest.com/ or call 828-726-1009. In case of inclement weather, a rain date has been set for Saturday, May 13th.

The Hudson Butterfly Festival is Caldwell County's oldest town festival with a 50 year history and is one of the largest festivals in Caldwell County.

Folk Art Festival Seeks Guest Artists For October 7 Event

Newton, NC — The Foothills Folk Art Festival is now accepting artist applications for the juried festival, which will be held in Downtown Newton on Saturday, Oct. 7.

The festival is a partnership between the Downtown Newton Development Association (DNDA) and the Hickory Museum of Art (HMA). The presenting sponsor is Catawba Valley Medical Center. Festival hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Foothills Folk Art Festival is a juried, folk-art themed show. All applicants will be submitted to the jurying process this year, regardless of whether they have participated in previous years. The Foothills Folk Art Festival Artist Committee is looking for artwork that is intensely influenced by and displaying the spirit of folk, visionary, and outsider art.

To be considered, artists must submit an application form, which may be downloaded from the festival website at www.foothillsfolkartfestival.com/artist-information. The application must be accompanied by three to five images of individual pieces of the artist’s work. These images should represent the type of art that the artist plans to sell at the festival and should be submitted as high-resolution digital images if possible. Artists are also encouraged to submit a photo of their booth if possible. These images will be used to select the artists for the festival and to promote the festival, so high-quality images are encouraged. If hard-copy images are submitted, artists should use photo paper, or images printed by a commercial photo lab.

A registration fee must accompany the application, but the fee will be returned if the artist is not accepted. The early registration fee will be $50 and will apply to any applications postmarked by June 1, 2017. The regular registration fee will be $75 and will apply to applications that are postmarked by Sept. 1, 2017. Applications should be mailed to Hickory Museum of Art, Attn: Clarissa Starnes, 243 Third Ave. NE, Hickory, NC 28601. Applications may also be emailed to cstarnes@hickorymuseumofart.org. No applications will be accepted via the festival Facebook page.

Artists may obtain more information about the festival, and an application form, from the Hickory Museum of Art by contacting Clarissa Starnes at cstarnes@hickorymuseumofart.org or by calling 828-327-8576, ext. 210.

The Foothills Folk Art Festival’s roots date back to 2005, when HMA first acquired 153 folk art objects from Barry and Allen Huffman of Hickory. Since acquiring the Huffman collection, HMA has showcased contemporary Southern folk art through a variety of exhibits, public programs and special events. The museum also has an ongoing and changing exhibition of folk art, Discover Folk Art: Unique Visions by Southern Self-Taught Artists, located on the third floor. The museum, located at 243 3rd Ave. NE, Hickory, is open Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is free. Shoppers can also purchase unique folk art in the museum’s gift shop.

Admission to the Foothills Folk Art Festival is free. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of folk art directly from the artists. In addition, there will be artist demonstrations, live music, food vendors, beer gardens, and other special activities.

Festival volunteer committees are now being formed to organize everything from parking and signs to children’s art and food. To volunteer, contact Shannon Johnson, Newton Main Street Program manager, at 828-695-4360 or sjohnson@newtonnc.gov.

For the latest news about the festival, like its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/foothillsfolkartfestival or go to the festival website at www.foothillsfolkartfestival.com.

The public is also encouraged to follow the festival on Twitter @folkartfest.

Downtown Hickory Art Crawl Seeks Artists For Events This Year

Hickory - The Hickory Downtown Development Association is planning the upcoming 2017 Downtown Hickory Art Crawls. We are looking for artists to participate in the event. With so many exceptional artists in the area, we are sure this will be an exciting event! Artists will display their works and demonstrations are encouraged. There is no charge to the artist for participation and no commissions are charged on items sold, but artists are required to personally pay all applicable NC taxes.

Artists selected to show will be placed in Downtown Businesses that are participating in the Art Crawl or on and around Union Square. Artists will need to bring all necessary display items, tables and chairs. Failure by the participating artist to appear at the event will be considered during the application process for other downtown events.

The 2017 dates are Thursday, May 18, and Thursday, September 21.

The Art Crawl begins with a Kick-Off Party at 5:00 pm. The actual Crawl begins at 5:30 pm and ends at 8:00 pm. Artists must be set up by 4:30 pm and may not remove displays before 8:00 pm.

For an application, please contact Barbara at blsinclair1@bellsouth.net or Connie at info@downtownhickory.com or call 828-322-1121. Please follow the application process closely as incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications are due by April 15 for the May 18 Art Crawl and by August 15 for the September 21, 2017 Art Crawl.

Hickory Downtown Development Association, Boyd & Hassell Industrial Commercial Real Estate, and the United Arts Council of Catawba County sponsor the semi-annual Downtown Hickory Art Crawls.

For more information on The HDDA, membership, businesses, other events and downtown Hickory, please call 828 322 1121 or email info@downtownhickory.com. Please visit the website, www.downtownhickory.com.

CVCC Turf Alumnus’ Hollar Golf Tourney Benefit Is Wed., April 26

Hickory - College classmates of the late Rock Barn Golf Course Director of Grounds Guy Hollar have scheduled the annual Guy Hollar Memorial Golf Tournament Wed., April 26, at Rock Barn Country Club in Conover, N.C. Two flights are scheduled to tee off at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in a captain’s choice format.

Hollar was the longtime golf course director of grounds at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover, N.C. He was a member of the first graduating class of Catawba Valley Community College’s Turfgrass Technology program in 1972.

Hollar developed an interest in becoming a golf course superintendent when land his family farmed was developed into what is now known as Rock Barn Country Club.

The tournament is sponsored by CVCC’s Alumni Association and organized by classmates of Guy Hollar. Proceeds from the tournament will help fund scholarships for currently enrolled CVCC Turfgrass Technology students.

Registration for sponsors and teams is open through April 14. Visit www.cvcc.edu/GuyHollar for more information and to register.

“CVCC is grateful to have such a loyal alumni group,” said Gary Muller, dean of the School of Business, Industry & Technology. “Their support made it possible for three Turfgrass Management students to complete their education this year. We are excited to see the tournament expand this year.”

Team entries before April 14 cost $360; individual players can enter for $90. Player registration includes 18 holes of golf on Rock Barn’s Jackson Course and lunch.

Sponsorships are available from $100 for a hole to $1,000 at the platinum level which includes a four-person team entry.

For more information or to become a sponsor, reach Gerry Millholen (CVCC Turfgrass Class of ’74) at 828-455-2284 or at boats531@gmail.com, or Mary Reynolds, CVCC Alumni Director, 828-327-7000 ext. 4387, mreynolds@cvcc.edu.

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.

LRU’s Summer Youth Music Band Camp Is Set For July 10 - 14

Hickory - Registration is now open for Lenoir-Rhyne University’s fifth annual Summer Youth Music Band Camp. The camp provides middle school and high school students an opportunity to enhance their musical talents through instruction by professional clinicians. This year’s camp is scheduled from Monday, July 10 through Friday, July 14 in the Mauney Music Building, located on the campus of LRU. Instruction is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with supervised early drop-off in the morning, beginning at 8 a.m., and afternoon recreational time until 5:30 p.m.

“The band camp at Lenoir-Rhyne continues to grow in popularity every year,” said Dr. Christopher Nigrelli, Professor of Music at LRU and camp director. “The purpose of the camp is to help students continue to develop their skills as young musicians in a fun, interactive learning environment.” Dr. Nigrelli added that families interested are encouraged to register early due to limited space in the program.

Tuition for the camp is $180 for the week, which includes lunch each day and a music camp T-shirt. To register, visit www.lr.edu/publicevents or contact Dr. Nigrelli at christopher.nigrelli@lr.edu for more information.

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. Academic programs include more than 50 undergraduate majors and 26 graduate programs. Other campus locations include the Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, NC, the Center for Graduate Studies of Columbia, SC, and the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary also in Columbia. Today, more than 2,500 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.

Photo: Participants from LRU’s Summer Youth Music Band Camp 2016

Public Invited To RockyFest On Sat., April 22, Rocky Face Park

Alexander County, NC - Mark your calendars for RockyFest 2017, set for Saturday, April 22 at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area in Hiddenite. This family-friendly daylong event features trail races, live music, free rock climbing and rappelling sessions, children's activities, food, arts/crafts vendors, and much more.

The event begins with the RockyFest Trail Race 5k/10k/20k at 8:00 a.m. The fee for either race is only $25 if postmarked by April 10, with an additional $10 fee if submitted after April 10, including race day. T-shirts are not included in the registration fee, so please include $10 more if you want a race t-shirt. Online registration is available at www.webscorer.com/register?raceid=89891, or you can download an application, course map, and complete details at www.rockyfacepark.com/rockyfest.

Following the trail races, free rock climbing and rappelling sessions begin at 9:00 a.m. Sessions will be available (as space allows) at 9:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:45 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Advance registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit www.EventBrite.com and search for "RockyFest FREE Rock Climbing Sessions," and choose the time and number of tickets you need.

The rest of the festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. and last until 6:00 p.m., including three inflatables for the children, face painting, arts and crafts vendors, a wide variety of food, live music, and much more.

The entertainment lineup is sure to please at RockyFest 2017. Headlining this year's event will be the multi-award winning, old-time string band, The Slate Mountain Ramblers. Returning to RockyFest by popular demand will be Strictly Strings and ShadowGrass, as both of these groups were a crowd favorite in 2016. In addition, attendees will enjoy Alexander County's own Carolina Express Bluegrass, and award-winning guitarist Danny Wicker. Newcomer and multi-talented vocalist/fiddle player Madison Elmore will also perform. One of bluegrass music's newest up-and-coming young groups, The Trailblazers, will also grace the RockyFest stage. Adding to the entertainment throughout the event will be flatfoot dancer Rodney Sutton, an early member of the Green Grass Cloggers who has traveled across the United States, Canada and throughout the British Isles performing, teaching, and calling dances. There will also be a picking tent, so bring your instrument and join in the fun.

Alexander County Government and Rocky Face Park would like to express their appreciation to this year's fine sponsors of RockyFest 2017: Platinum Sponsor - Duke Energy; Gold Sponsors - Craftmaster Furniture, Alexander Railroad Company; Silver Sponsors - EnergyUnited Electric, Huntington House, Schneider Mills, Paragon Films, West Consultants; and Bronze Sponsors - Taylor King Furniture, McGill Associates.

For more information about the RockyFest 2017 event, contact Alisha Stamey at astamey@alexandercountync.gov or (828) 632-1093, or visit www.rockyfacepark.com/rockyfest.

Free Technology Help At Hickory Public Libraries, Call Today!

Hickory - Hickory Public Library is offering one-on-one assistance for those interested in learning how to use technology at both Patrick Beaver Memorial Library and Ridgeview Branch Library. Call either location to request an appointment for a one hour personal session to learn basic computer skills, Internet, email, Microsoft office, e-books and more.

For more information or to sign up for an appointment, call 828-304-0500 ext. 7235 for appointments at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library or 828-345-6037 for appointments at Ridgeview Branch Library.

Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block. Ridgeview Branch Library is located at 706 1st Street SW, at the corner of 7th Avenue SW and 1st Street SW.

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

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

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

April 21st, 2017;;May 19th. 2017. To purchase a season ticket, call the Newton-Conover Auditorium at 828-464-8100.

Newton Elks Lodge #2042 Bingo Games Each Wed., 6 & 7pm

Newton, NC - Newton Elks Lodge #2042 will host a weekly BINGO program every Wednesday. The Lodge, located at 402 East J Street in Newton, will open its doors at 5:30 PM and begin Early Bird Games at 6 PM.

The “Regular Bingo Program” will begin at 7 PM. The total prizes for the regular program will exceed $2,000 each night, with additional prizes for the Early Bird games and other special games within the regular program. The bingo program is presented completely by the members of Newton Elks Lodge #2042, house rules will be posted at the door.

No smoking is allowed in the Lodge, and all children must be supervised at all times.

For additional information or questions, please call the Newton Elks Lodge #2042 at 828-464-1360 after 4 PM.

The Newton Elks Lodge invites you and your friends to join us every Wednesday for a fun night of bingo.

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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