Gaston & Catawba

Catawba News |

Shuford YMCA, 1104 Conover Blvd. East in Conover, is offering the following sports classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Sept. 8-Oct. 3. Registration ends Sept. 5. Cost: $50 for members, $75 nonmembers. Classes are for ages 12 through college.

Track: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Soccer: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Basketball: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Wrestling: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Details: Nanci Gregory, 828- 464-6130.

Klingon Assault Group and Star Trek Independent Fleet recently donated $1,800 to the Palliative CareCenter & Hospice of Catawba Valley.

The local fan groups raised the money during the Heroes Comic Convention in Charlotte.

Among those helping in the fund-raiser were Robert Bailey, Billy Carswell, Andy Fairbanks, Leila McMichael, Roy Hollar, Erica Pope, Lauren Daughtry, Terry Short, J.R. Rathbone, Butch Owenby, Gareth Hoskins and Shelton Drum.

Senior British Open champion Bruce Vaughan joins the list of pros set to play in the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn Presented by Kia Motors, Sept. 8-14 at Rock Barn Golf & Spa.

Tour pros have until 5 p.m. Sept. 5 to commit to the tournament.

Details: 828-459-4000 or www.greaterhickory

Chris Johnson, founder and director of Exodus Homes' Young Men of Integrity program, recently received the Ukama Award for outstanding contribution to the community.

The mentoring program serves 25 youths ages 10-19 who do not have fathers at home. The United Way program pairs adult mentors with youth who need healthy male role models to learn about decision making, entrepreneurship, living drug-free, treating women with respect, getting an education, preventing gang involvement and avoiding teen pregnancy.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole and members of her staff recently toured the SALT Block near downtown Hickory.

Board members of the SALT Block Foundation – Sciences, Arts and Literature Together on the Block – led the senator through the Millholland Planetarium and aquarium, which opened in 2007. The planetarium and aquarium are operated by the Catawba Science Center, which received a federal grant to help build them.

She also toured the West Wing building, where summer classes and programs are held. The SALT Block Foundation block houses the Catawba Science Center, Hickory Choral Society, Hickory Museum of Art, United Arts Council of Catawba County and Western Piedmont Symphony. Hickory's Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is also located on the block.

The United Arts Council of Catawba County is accepting applications for 2008-2009 Regional Artist Projects Grants for artists living in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba or McDowell counties.

This annual grant, for up to $1,500, helps professional artists of all disciplines.

Meetings with applicants will be Wednesday. Catawba County artists may call 828-324-4906 to schedule appointments. Candidates must be at least 18 and have a strong record of artistic accomplishments. Candidates cannot be full-time college students. Application deadline is Sept. 9. Details:

Catawba Valley Community Foundation also is accepting applications for grants. Applications are due Sept. 25.

Grants from the foundation, an affiliate of the N.C. Community Foundation, focus on a broad spectrum of charitable purposes in the arts and humanities, education, environment, health, human services and youth development. The program is open to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that are based in Alexander, Caldwell and Catawba counties.

Details: Leslie Stewart, lstewart

Hickory Public Library will launch its fall book discussion series, “Let's Talk About It,” 7 p.m. Sept. 16.

The series continues Sept.30, Oct. 14 and 28, and Nov. 11 at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library, 375 3rd St. NE, Hickory. Pre-registration is required.

This year's series, “America's Greatest Conflict: Novels of the Civil War,” is a prelude to the 2009 Big Read. That event features the Pulitzer Prize-wining novel “March” by Geraldine Brooks, about Louisa Mae Alcott's family during the Civil War.

Discussion leaders include N.C. scholars Pamela Thomas from Wingate University, Mary Ellen Snodgrass from Lenoir-Rhyne College, Charles McAllister from Catawba College and Katherine Ledford and Emory Maiden from Appalachian State University.

To register: Janice Knotts, 828-304-0500 ext. 7277.

Newton's Park and Recreation Department has extended its deadline until Friday for youths to register for football and soccer.

The programs are open to boys and girls ages 4 to 15. Details: 828-695-4317.

The Hickory Sunrise Rotary Club recently installed new officers for the 2008-2009 year.

New officers are Lee Worsley, president; Phil Trick, treasurer; Wayne Honeycutt, sergeant-at-arms; Barbara Erwin, secretary; Ric Vandett, immediate past president; Hal Vincent, service projects; Ron Leitch, foundation; Kris Siemer, membership; Dietra Dula, public relations; Rob Luckadoo, administration; and Betty Long, president-elect.

A donation to Hickory Community Theatre will win the donor a small role in the musical comedy “The Producers,” opening Sept. 5.

The donor will play foreman of the jury, a one-line role in one of the show's final scenes. Hickory architect Ernie Sills of CBSA Architects has already signed on to play the role on opening night, and nine other performances are available.

Details: John Rambo at 828-327-3855, ext. 113.

Unifour Christian Fellowship Church of Newton recently joined the Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry. The Rev. Calvin Vaughn is church pastor.

Hickory author Mary Ellen Snodgrass has completed her sixth book in McFarland & Company Inc.'s Literary Companion series, on the subject of author Jamaica Kincaid.

A scholar in classical mythology, literature and the humanities, Snodgrass has written more than 100 textbooks and reference works. The N.Y. Public Library has twice named her to its Best of Reference list. She also received a Choice magazine award and the American Library Association's Outstanding Reference Book award.

Snodgrass is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and holds degrees in English, classics, psychology and gifted education. She teaches Latin at Lenoir-Rhyne College.

Carolina Style Chorus is looking for singers who are interested in learning barbershop/a cappella-style music. Free singing lessons are offered during rehearsals 7 p.m. Thursdays at Trinity United Church of Christ, 217 Second Ave. NE, Conover.

Details: Leona 704-876-4526, Nancy 704-735-9537 or Jeanne 704-872-8621.

The Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation recently presented $5,000 to Palliative CareCenter & Hospice of Catawba Valley. The money will go to the Courage to Care capital campaign. Twelve beds will be added to the patient care facilities on Robinson Road.

The gymnasium at Newton Recreation Center, 23 S. Brady Ave., will be closed Monday to Sept.5 while the gym floor is being refinished.

The Rotary of Catawba Valley-Conover is recognizing World War II veterans by flying them to Washington, D.C., to visit the new memorial. Priority will be given to terminally ill WWII veterans.

The club is recruiting veterans and assistants who want to make the flight.


- Dianne Whitacre Straley