Gaston & Catawba

Catawba County News |

The Catawba County United Way Christmas Bureau, an annual effort to gather and share holiday gifts with those in need , is accepting applications for assistance from area families.

Applications will be accepted Oct. 1-31 at the following locations: Catawba County Department of Social Services, Catawba County Schools, Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministries, Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministries, Hickory Public Schools, Newton-Conover City Schools and Salvation Army in Hickory.

For more information about the Christmas Bureau, call Catawba County United Way at (828) 327-6851.

The Catawba County United Way Volunteer Center is accepting nominations from area nonprofits for its 2008 “Giving From the Heart” award.

Volunteer categories include adult, youth and group. Nominees must live or volunteer in Catawba County. One winner will be selected from each category.

Each winner will receive a crystal heart, as well as a $500 donation, which will be made to the nominating nonprofit agency in their honor.

Last year's volunteer winners were Rebecca “Becca” Steelmon, Girl Scout Council of the Catawba Valley; Polly Shook, Catawba Valley Medical Center; and Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry warehouse volunteers.

An awards luncheon will be held for the 2008 “Giving From the Heart” volunteers Nov.13 at Catawba Country Club.

Request a nomination form at (828) 327-6851 or e-mail requests to Nomination deadline is Oct. 10.

More than 100 area seniors representing Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties will participate in the N.C. Senior Games State Finals, held in Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Greenville, through Oct. 26.

Athletes and artists qualified for the State Finals as medalists in the 2008 Unifour Senior Games, held earlier this year.

Athletic events include track and field, swimming, cycling, bowling, table tennis, horseshoes and more. Artistic categories are visual, heritage, literary and performing arts.

For more information on the Unifour Senior Games, call Steve Jones at (828) 324-1200 or visit

Hickory Community Theater will host Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski as guest director for its production of the family drama “Holes.”

Based on a Disney movie, “Holes” is an adventurous mystery set on a southwestern detention ranch for wayward teens. “Holes” will take the stage in the Jeffers Theatre on Oct. 11-26.

Elkins-Zeglarski, who comes to HCT from Denver, Colo., holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Theatre for Youth. He has 20 years of experience as an educator and theater director.

His directing credits include two grand prizes from Bravo Cable Network's National High School Theatre Competition.

Elkins-Zeglarski's work on “Holes” is part of a residency project at HCT. The project is supported by the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the state of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. “Holes” is produced by Catawba Pediatric Associates and Dr. David Hamilton, DDS.

Abernethy Laurels in Newton was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Corporate Compliance from United Church Homes and Services.

The award recognizes the assisted living community for superior performance in Financial Services, Administrative Services, Clinical Services, Safety, Human Resources, Privacy and Confidentiality.

United Church Homes and Services is a nonprofit corporation with a tradition of commitment to older adults. UCHS is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and operates 14 programs at 11 sites in North Carolina and Virginia.

Kingston Residence of Hickory recently paid tribute to Hickory firefighters and police in honor of National Assisted Living Week and the anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 11. First responders were treated to a lunch and recognized by residents as “local community heroes.”

Mary Katherine Creel