Annual Rivals Walk to benefit Special Olympics

On Saturday, students and families from North Mecklenburg, Hopewell and Hough high schools were scheduled to participate in the second annual Rivals Walk.

In the first event - on Oct. 25, 2009 - 200 walkers raised $12,000 for the Special Olympics of North Carolina. This year's goal was $25,000.

The Rivals Walk started at North Mecklenburg High and ended at Hopewell. Participants paid $30 to walk five miles with athletes from the Special Olympics. Registration included a shirt and lunch; McIntosh Law Firm sponsored the event.

The fundraising event was organized and executed by Izzy Piedmonte and Sarah Sullivan, both 17-year-old students at North Mecklenburg High. The two teamed with Johnny Piedmonte, Krista Dewolf and Jared Sobo, all 16-year-old students at Hough High. Also joining the committee were Hunter Meakin, Emily Phipps and Madison Van Noy, all 17, of Hopewell High.

Planning for the event began last summer.

"Last June my dad and I were just talking about the Special Olympics and how we could help out, and we came up with a rivals walk," Izzy Piedmonte said. "A big part of the reason was for my youngest brother, David, with Down syndrome.

"Last year we met the most amazing kids who wanted to compete so badly," Piedmonte said. "They are all so nice and so caring. How could we not help out? The benefit of participating is meeting the kids and the positive attitudes they all have."

Trunk for Treats

Independence Hill Baptist Church will host a Trunk for Treats Halloween alternative 5:30-8 p.m. tonight. It's free to the public and will also feature a hot dog dinner, children's games, moon bounce, slide and cake walk.

For more information visit www.

Halloween fun festival

Today at Birkdale Village, put on your costumes and come enjoy the Halloween Fun Festival from 4 to 6 p.m.

Kids of all ages can enjoy games, arts and crafts, balloons, moon bounce, hayrides and more. Radio Disney will provide the spooky tunes, and Zootastic will have a petting zoo and pony rides. For more information visit

Gold rush!

The Historic Latta Plantation will have the Charlotte Gold Rush from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 6.

Come learn about Charlotte's rich gold-mining history and pan for gold at the miner's cabin. Enjoy local root beer, listen to live music and play period games.

The event is free with regular site admission. For information visit