The 51 Rotary clubs in Western North Carolina hold an annual banquet to recognize the accomplishments of their members. This month in Asheville, Rotary District 7670 presented Rev. Susan Smith of the Hickory chapter with the Paul Harris Fellow Award.
Smith is assistant executive director of Exodus Homes in Hickory. In 2011, she helped found the Unifour Veterans Helping Veterans support group as an extension of her work with homeless veterans at Exodus Homes.
The Rotary district also unveiled a three-year plan supporting programs that serve homeless veterans. Two shelters in Asheville have been selected for the first year. For the second year, community leaders are designing a project in the Hickory area to work with veterans in need. The third year focus will be programs in the Franklin area.
While grateful for the recognition, Smith made it clear that she did not work alone. She introduced the co-founders of Unifour Veterans Helping Veterans, with whom she has worked this past year. They are Jim Starkey, chair of the Foothills Homeless Veterans Stand Down; Larry McMullen, co-chair of the Foothills Homeless Veterans Stand Down; Donald McCorkle, an Exodus Homes resident; and Chris Kingsberry, an Exodus Homes graduate.
The Paul Harris Fellow recognition is awarded for meritorious service in the support of the Rotary ideals and mission. The award is named for Paul P. Harris, who formed the first Rotary Club in Chicago in 1905.
Smith has been a Rotarian for six years, previously in the Catawba Valley chapter. She said at the banquet that “our veterans deserve the very best, and it has been a blessing to work in this movement alongside them.”
Caldwell tour of homes
For the second year, a holiday homes tour is being held in Caldwell County. On Dec. 1, the homes will be open for self-guided tours from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in support of the Robin’s Nest Children’s Advocacy Center, in Lenoir.
Tickets – $25– can be purchased in advance at three locations in Lenoir: the Caldwell Arts Council, 601 SW College Ave; Abigail’s Gifts, 210 NW Main St.; and the Caldwell Senior Center, 650 SW Pennton Ave. The proceeds benefit the Robin’s Nest programs.
The Robin’s Nest itself is part of the tour. The center opened in July 2010 in the former Foothills Services corporate building at 1051 Harper Ave. in Lenoir. Historic Fairfield is also on the tour; it was built in 1829. The tour continues to the Akins home, the Barnes-Lovins home and the Greer home. Musicians have volunteered to perform seasonal selections at each location.
For information, go to www.robinsnestcac.org or call 828-754-3212.
Angels of the Arts holiday brunch
For the 38th year, the guild supporting the Hickory Museum of Art will host the annual “Angels of the Arts” Holiday Brunch and Auction. It is held at the Lake Hickory Country Club from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Dec. 1.
While individual tickets are $30, a table for eight may be reserved for $200. All proceeds benefit the HMA exhibitions and programming. A portion of the ticket is tax deductible.
Major support for the brunch is provided by Alex Lee, Inc., Corning Cable Systems, the Broyhill Family Foundation and VonDrehle Private Foundation.
The silent auction will run from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Items offered for bidding include a gift basket by O My Soap!, metal art by Andrew Chapman, jewelry by Ellen Ball Studios, a portrait sitting by Fanjoy Labrenz Photography, a painting by Kent Paulette, and a private beer-tasting with Bobby Bush.
The live auction follows lunch with items such as a weekend stay at Lake Lure, a collaborative painting by Steve Brooks and Joe Lafone, a four-gallon jar by Kim Ellington Pottery, and an oriental rug from Hickory Oriental Rug Gallery. Dinner party packages will also be auctioned.
Raffle tickets are already being sold for the 2012 Angels of the Arts Doll. Sandra Froedge created the 18-inch doll that is now on display on the first floor of the art museum. Tickets are $5 each, five for $20. The drawing will take place during the auction; the winner does not have to be in attendance.
To see the Angel Doll and to reserve a seat for the holiday brunch, come by the HMA in the SALT Block Arts & Science Center of the Catawba Valley, 243 3rd Ave. NE. Regular hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free every day. For information, call 828-327-8576 or go to www.HickoryArt.org.
Betty Stone is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Betty? Email her at email@example.com.
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