'Avatar' plays on the big inflatable screen tonight

Happy Independence Day! Remember to celebrate this 4th of July on the lawn of the Cornelius Town Hall starting at 6:30 p.m.

Listen to the music of Robin Burke and Kary Wall, enjoy activities for the kids, and at dusk watch "Avatar" on the inflatable movie screen. For more information go to


On July 24, be at Bailey Road Park for Jazz in the Park, presented by the Cornelius PARC Department. Gates open at 6 p.m., and the family concert is free. There is also free parking at the park and at Bailey Middle School.

There will be activities for the kids. The band, Bam-Jazz, will play two sets; the first starts at 6:30 p.m. (To hear their music, go to Fireworks follow the performance, at about 9:15. Concessions are by Billy O's Grill and Bruster's Ice Cream.

No alcohol, pets, glass containers or open flames are allowed in the park.

The event is made possible, in part, with support from the Gold Sponsors, Lake Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge and MI-Connection, and the Silver Sponsors, Aquesta Bank, the Lake Norman Citizen, The McIntosh Law Firm and ElectriCities.

For more information call 704-892-6031 ext. 160 or go to

Homeless dogs get help

Back in April, I wrote about North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue, a no-kill rescue that takes in any stray dog or puppy and tries to save the animal and find it a home. NMAR needed money to build an indoor shelter with runs, a quarantine room for puppies, and storage for medical supplies and was hoping to win a $50,000 grant from Pepsi.

NMAR asked for you to vote for it or send in your e-mail so it could use it to vote. The top 10 vote-getters received the grant money they asked for.

The rescue didn't win for April, but it did so well in the voting that it got to compete again in May. In May, it was in the top 10, meaning it received the grant money.

In their newsletter, the staff acknowledged everyone who helped: "We can't thank you all enough for all of your support and voting. We have received our first check from Pepsi, and the building will be starting soon.... We could not do what we do without all of you, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

Thanks for animal healthcare

A few weeks ago, my pet ferret Leia became gravely ill and was in the hospital for more than a week. Thank you to everyone at Carolina Veterinary Specialists, because Leia is home.

Thanks to Dr. Granson and Dr. Bass, who originally cared for the ferret, and all the vet techs for putting up with me. Thanks to Christine, the bunny lady, who understands about loving exotic pets. Thank you to all the receptionists who greeted me and let me visit my ferret.

More than anything, my eternal thanks go to Dr. Woods for the special treatment he gave and to Dr. Powers for caring for my ferret as though Leia were her own.

Last week, my Labrador William couldn't stand on one of his back legs. (This is the dog that earlier this year escaped from our yard and walked more than a mile to a gas station.) With many thanks to Dr. Kritzinger and Dr. Schaaf from North Mecklenburg Animal Hospital, William is getting further treatment at Virginia Tech.

I want to thank not only the doctors for their care and expertise, but the vet techs who helped William and also taught me how to walk my dog in a sling. If you see us out and about, I'm the one walking the yellow Lab and supporting him with an old beach towel.

It is amazing what some of us will do for the animals we love.