At the end of the summer season, the Hayes Performing Arts Center and Blowing Rock Stage Co. will suspend operations for a limited time, due to financial difficulties. The board of trustees hopes to resume operations before the 2010 summer season.
Also due to the financial situation, Kenneth Kay, the center's interim executive director and producing artistic director, has resigned effective Sept. 8 after the close of “Hank Williams: Lost Highway.”
The Green Room Community Theatre held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Old Post Office Playhouse on Reunion Day, Aug. 20, in downtown Newton.
Bob and Michele McCreary are honorary co-chairpersons of the Green Room's capital campaign to raise funds for the facility. The McCrearys bought the property, on behalf of the Green Room, in 2008 to create a performing arts center for the community.
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Renovation is under way and the new complex is slated to open in fall 2010.
Catawba Valley Medical Center recently hosted a retirement party for pet-therapy dog Case E. The black poodle has been with the program since it began in 1999. She was one of the hospital's first two pet therapy pets.
The party included gifts of dog treats, toys and snacks, including a cake with icing, dog bones and chocolate animal crackers.
Case E. was named after the hospital's first executive director, James E. Case.
For details about Catawba Valley Medical Center's Pet Therapy program, contact Heather Bissell at 828-326-3046.
The Catawba Valley Camera Club has announced the winners of its photographic competition for the Aug. 19 meeting. The competition was print images, with the assigned topic “Reflections.”
In the accomplished division, John Hildebrand won first place for “Orlando Skyline.” Second place was a tie between Rick Bell's “Picket Fence” and John Hildebrand's “Alexandria.”
In the beginner's division, Wink Gaines won first place with “Lake Tacoma Reflection.” Dennis Hacker won second place with “Sentimental Journey” and Cynthia Harmon won third place with “Lincoln Reflection.”
The Catawba Valley Camera Club meets at 7 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month in the North Annex of the Arts Center, 243 Third Ave. N.E., Hickory. Meetings consist of competition among members as well as instructional lectures. Field trips are planned throughout the year. Wednesday's meeting will feature a presentation by Dave Rhuberg on High Dynamic Range photography.
Meetings are open to the public. For details, visit cvcclub.wordpress.com or contact Mike Morrison at Viewmont Camera, 2215 N. Center St., Hickory, 828- 327-2959.
American Legion Post 16 held its annual Soldiers Reunion Memorial Service Aug. 20 on the west side of the 1924 Courthouse in downtown Newton.
Guest speakers were Newton Mayor Pro Tem Anne Stedman and American Legion 5th Division Commander Larry White, who served in the Army in the Korean War.
James Ervin, past American Legion Department vice president, also read a letter written by his great-grandfather during the Civil War.
The memorial service concluded with the placement of wreaths by local military organizations.
A grand reopening celebration was held for Callahan's Café in downtown Newton on Aug. 11. Callahan's was selected as the recipient of the Downtown Newton Development Association's “Design for Success” Downtown Storefront Makeover Contest.
The association initiated the makeover project in June. The value of the contributions is about $10,000, in addition to the original $2,000 allocation from the Downtown Newton Development Association.
Improvements to the café included a new granite countertop, new signage, new metal awning, new façade woodwork, new interior wallboard and painting, new ceiling tiles, new photos and frames, new tablecloth and new display windows and interior decorating by Cindy Shugart.
The Newton Appearance Commission selected Mary Bolick's property as the August 2009 Yard of the Month.
The house was Bolick's childhood home, built by her father, Robert Bolick Sr., in 1947.
Her brother and next-door neighbor, Kenneth Bolick, mows the 2.5-acre yard, and she tends to the shrubs, plants, flowers and vegetable garden.
The Newton Appearance Commission selects a yard of the month each month from May to September. To make a nomination, contact the Newton Parks and Recreation Department at 828-695-4317.
Girl Scouts representing Troops 225, 271, 3 and 161 of the Greater Hickory Service Unit recently donated more than a dozen book bags filled with school supplies for children of the clients served by the Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry.
The book bags will be given out through vouchers. For details, call 828-327-0979.
Compiled by Gina Smith