Gaston & Catawba

Grant will support community dashboard site

Community Foundation grant: Gaston Together recently received a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Gaston County.

The money will support the Regional Indicator Website, which serves as Gaston County’s community dashboard, charting county progress and identifying community-wide challenges using Web-based technology data from UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute.

The data will enable residents to improve community efforts ranging from standard of living to economic development to leadership building and development. It is also valuable for strategic planning purposes for businesses, community groups and schools.

Community partners including Gaston Family Health Services, Gaston College and the United Way of Gaston County worked with Gaston Together in the two-year development phase of the website.

The funding from the Community Foundation provides for maintenance and updating of statistical data on the site. For details about the Community Foundation of Gaston County, visit www.cfgaston.org.

Cooking classes grant: The Gaston County Senior Center recently received a $6,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Gaston County.

The money will support monthly healthy cooking classes, which will begin in January at the Gaston County Senior Center. The classes will cover topics including cooking with fresh herbs, grains and legumes, soups and stews, vegetarian meals, fish and the Mediterranean diet.

Recipes will be simple and will not take more than 45 minutes to prepare from start to finish. Attendees will learn how to develop flavor without excess sugar and fat and how to shop for fresh produce on a budget.

Classes will be taught by chef Thomas Carrig, a Johnson and Wales graduate with a bachelor’s degree in culinary nutrition. Classes are free and food, recipes and supplies will be provided.

For details or to register, call the Gaston County Senior Center at 704-922-2170 or visit www.gastongov.com/departments/parks-recreation/senior-center.

The Senior Center is at 1303 Dallas-Cherryville Highway, Dallas. The Community Foundation awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. For details, visit www.cfgaston.org.

Christmas Family Movie Night: The movie “Arthur Christmas” will be shown at 5 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Gaston County Citizen’s Resource Center, 1303 Dallas – Cherryville Highway, Dallas. The movie is for all ages. Admission is free.

Hot chocolate, popcorn, pizza and coffee will be served and a kids’ craft area will be available. Families are encouraged to bring sleeping bags or blankets for viewing the movie. For details, call the Gaston County Parks and Recreation Department at 704-922-2160 or visit www.gastongov.com.

Christmas Senior ‘Souper” Bingo: Senior Christmas “Souper” Bingo will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Gaston County Senior Center, 1303 Dallas Cherryville Highway, Dallas, for senior adults ages 55 and older. Hot soup will be served and prizes will be awarded. Admission and dinner are free.

For details, contact the Gaston County Senior Center at 704-922-2170 or visit www.gastongov.com. For special accommodation, contact the office at least five days before the event.

1890s Heritage Village Christmas: The seventh annual 1890s Heritage Village Christmas Celebration will be held 3-5 p.m. Dec. 13 at Dallas Park, 1303 Dallas-Cherryville Highway, Dallas.

The event celebrates what Christmas was like for the majority of Gaston County residents at the turn of the 20th century. Visitors can learn about what the blacksmith did during the winter, what kinds of mill songs were popular at the turn of the 20th century, sing carols in the chapel and see what a typical farm or mill house looked like during Christmas.

Hot cider, hot chocolate and cookies will be served in the house kitchen. There will be a holiday craft for the kids. Admission is free. For details, contact Gaston County Parks and Recreation at 704-922-2160 or visit www.gastongov.com.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: A Ugly Christmas Sweater Party for seniors ages 55 and older will be held 1-3 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Gaston County Senior Center, 1303 Dallas-Cherryville Highway, Dallas. Marty Vanderlip will provide the entertainment. Games and refreshments will be provided, and the ugliest sweater will win a prize. Admission is free. For details, contact Gaston County Parks and Recreation Senior Center at 704-922-2170 or visit www.gastongov.com.

Senior Christmas Open Mike Night: A Christmas Open Mike Night for seniors ages 55 and older will be held 6-9 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Gaston County Senior Center, 1303 Dallas-Cherryville Highway, Dallas. Participants are invited to wear Santa hats and Christmas attire. Singing, playing an instrument, acting, comedy and other talents are welcome.

Participation and admission are free. For details, contact Gaston County Parks and Recreation Senior Center at 704-922-2170 or visit www.gastongov.com.

New enterprise services director: The city of Gastonia has named the Cramerton town manager Michael Peoples as the city’s enterprise services director, effective in late January. Peoples submitted his letter of resignation to the Cramerton mayor and board of commissioners at a recent board meeting. His letter of resignation stated that his last day as Cramerton’s town manager will be Jan. 23.

The enterprise services director heads several of the city’s operational areas including the Electric, Solid Waste, Transit, Fleet/Garage and Airport divisions. The position was vacated about three months ago when the former director, Paul Jakubczak, accepted a position in Florida.

Peoples has served as Cramerton’s town manager for almost 10 years. In that position, he managed departments similar to the ones he will manage for Gastonia. Overall, he has almost 15 years of municipal management experience, including five years as town administrator in Grifton, N.C., before coming to Cramerton.

Carolina Snowflakes: Carolina Snowflake holiday decorations, made by nationally acclaimed artist Billie Ruth Sudduth, are available in the Gaston County Museum of Art and History gift shop.

Sudduth spent almost 20 years as a school psychologist before taking up basket-making in 1983. She incorporates Fibonacci numbers and the Nature Sequence in all her baskets, which are now featured in the collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Art and Design in New York and many others.

In 1997, she was named a Living Treasure by the State of North Carolina. She was the 10th recipient of this award and the first female to be honored. For details, visit www.gastoncountymuseum.org.

Holiday open house: A holiday open house will be held 3-7 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Gaston County Museum of Art and History, 131 W. Main St., Dallas. Admission is free.

The museum will be decorated for Christmas and the museum shop will stock holiday gifts. Activities will include cookie decorating, historic crafts, live music and historic dancing. Father Christmas, the original Santa Claus, will greet guests.

For details, contact Jason Luker at 704-922-7681 ext. 105 or Jason.Luker@gastongov.com.

Maytag Dependable Leader: Chad Melvin of Gastonia was recently named a 2014 Maytag Dependable Leader Award winner. The award recognizes Boys & Girls Club officials who are committed to making a difference as dependable and exceptional role models.

Through a national partnership, Maytag brand and Boys & Girls Clubs of America chose Melvin as one of 12 winners to receive the distinction, which includes a $20,000 financial grant for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Gaston to provide educational scholarships to club members.

Melvin has served as director of operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Gaston for four years. He was nominated for the award by Tripp Hord, chief professional officer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Gaston. Since Melvin joined the club, his leadership has led to a 50 percent increase in overall membership and the addition of a new Teen Club, which has doubled teen enrollment.

He also received the HERO Award from the local health department for his work in prevention programs for teen pregnancy and gang membership. Through its partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Maytag has donated more than $3.5 million to local clubs in the past three years.

Lincoln County

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness: The Arts Council of Lincoln County and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will host a German-style holiday celebration with a St. Nicholas Day event for children ages 6-12 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 6 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Parish House, 315 N. Cedar St., Lincolnton.

Children in Germany and around the world celebrate the Feast Dag of St. Nicholas each year on Dec. 6. On this day, millions of children wake up to shoes filled with small gifts and candy, and children at the event will receive a treat bag in German tradition. A Christmas sing-along will be led by Pastor Rosa with her guitar. Younger children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Fresh bread will be for sale and free coffee will be available.

The event is free, but registration is required by Dec. 3. To register or for details, contact the Arts Council of Lincoln County at 704-732-9044 or artslincolnnc@gmail.com or the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church office at 704-732-9179 or stlukesepiscopalchurch@gmail.com.

Two workshops are planned as part of the event:

Paint a Tile Mural Project: Children will paint a ceramic tile that will be part of a mosaic mural to be installed at the Cedar Street entrance of the Lincoln Cultural Center. Subject matter will be birds and things with wings. Supplies included.

Birdseed ornaments: Children will create ornaments for St. Luke’s Outdoor Christmas Tree. Supplies included.

Compiled by Gina Smith

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