Meeting: N.C. Sen. Bob Rucho of District 39 will discuss the potential for high-occupancy toll lanes to fight congestion on I-485 through Ballantyne at the next Ballantyne Breakfast Club meeting 8:30 a.m. Dec. 10 at the Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge. The toll lanes would be in addition to the planned widening of Interstate 485 between I-77 and Johnston Road. Bissell Companies President and CEO Ned Curran will also speak about area road improvement projects.
Small business day: Show support for local businesses at "Small Business Saturday" 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 26 at Atherton Mill Market, 2000 South Blvd. Activities include: gift-wrapping, Christmas tree lots, Santa Claus, live music and raffles for $25 American Express gift cards. More activities will be at Camden Road, Healthy Home Market at Sedgefield Shopping Center and Furniture Row on Foster Avenue. Discounted parking available. Details: www.facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday.
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Gingerbread contest: The annual Gingerbread House Competition is now open. Entries are due Nov. 28-Dec. 2. Cash prizes will be awarded in three categories: children, adults and groups. Get entry forms at www.matthewshometownholidays.com, the Matthews Community Center, public library or Chamber of Commerce. Details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jingle Bell run: The Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis will be 8 a.m. Dec. 3 at Blakeney Shopping Center off Rea Road. Event includes a 5K run, one-mile fun run/walk and family activities. Cost for the 5K is $25 ($30 on race day), $15 for the one-mile run/walk ($20 race day) and $10 for the child 5K run and one-mile run/walk. Register: www.charlottejinglebellrun.kintera.org.
Toll lanes: N.C. Sen. Bob Rucho, who represents District 39, which includes part of south Charlotte, will attend the Ballantyne Breakfast Club meeting 8:30 a.m. Dec. 10 at the Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge, to discuss the possibility of high-occupancy toll lanes to fight congestion on Interstate 485 through Ballantyne. The toll lanes would be in addition to the planned widening of I-485 between I-77 and Johnston Road. Bissell Companies President and CEO Ned Curran and representatives from Kimley-Horn & Associates will address major road improvement projects in the area. Details: www.ballantynebreakfastclub.com.
Clinic event: The Matthews Free Medical Clinic hosted its third annual Hearts and Hands Together Dinner Auction on Nov. 5 at Maggiano's in SouthPark. The evening raised $30,000. The clinic is located at 113 North Ames St. in Matthews, 704-841-8882 or visit www.matthewshealthclinic.org.
Holiday happenings: The Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting will be held 3-6 p.m. Dec. 3, at the Town Hall Village Green, 232 Matthews Station St. The Downtown Matthews Holiday Stroll is 5-8 p.m. Dec. 8. Your stroll begins at the Historic Reid House or the Matthews Visitors Center. Tickets are $5. Proceeds go to the Matthews Historical Foundation.
Race results: The Big South Conference will distribute $12,000 to middle school athletic programs in Mecklenburg and Union counties from the proceeds of its second annual Big South 5K Road Race that was held at Blakeney Shopping Center in October. The event has raised more than $22,000 in two years. Close to 1,000 registrants took part in the event. For race results, including photos, visit www.bigsouth5k.com.