South Charlotte

Giving back

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Toys for Tots

Ballantyne toy drive: Ballantyne Corporate Park held a "Toys for Tweens" drive Dec. 8-9 to benefit children ages 10-14. They collected 837 toys in two days and received a $1,000 donation from Sam's Club of Pineville. The toys will be distributed through the Toys for Tots program.

Ayrsley toy drive: The second annual Ayrsley Toy Drive collected 1,168 toys, which were donated to Toys for Tots. Corporate pledges resulted in a donation of $1,500, and residents and businesses came together to bring toys to drop-off locations.

Armed Forces Museum

Film Project: The Armed Forces Museum & Archives of the Carolinas recently received a $5,000 grant from the Arts & Sciences Council to fund a film project about prisoners of war from World War II. The grant will help fund the development, design and implementation of a video documentary that tells the stories of a group of heroes living in Mecklenburg County entitled "Honoring Our World War II Heroes - the American POW Experience." The film will be shown free of charge in South Mecklenburg venues starting in February. Details:

Contest winner: AFMAC recently won Matthews Chamber of Commerce's "A Very Beary Christmas" contest. Local businesses and nonprofit organizations were asked to dress up a bear to represent their business with prizes awarded based on votes by the community. "Trooper the Bear" represented the Armed Forces Museum and Archives of the Carolinas.

Outward Bound

Register for Trail Run: Registration is open for the 2012 N.C. Outward Bound School's River Bound Race Series. Runners who register for the whole series by Jan. 1 will receive a reduced-price. The race series consists of four trail races March 10, May 19, July 21 and Sept. 22 all at the White Water Center. Registration and sponsorship proceeds fund scholarships for Charlotte youth, veterans and educators to enjoy Outward Bound adventures. Details:

Cellphones for Soldiers

Ameriprise Financial drive: Mark Antonich of Ameriprise Financial is holding his annual used cell phone collection for Cell Phones for Soldiers. The organization collects and recycles used wireless phones with proceeds going to buy prepaid phone cards for military families. To donate, bring cell phones to Ameriprise Financial in Ballantyne Corporate Park, Ballantyne One Building, 15720 John J. Delaney Drive, Suite 300. Details:

Levine Children's Hospital

Gingerbread House fundraiser: The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway, will hold its annual gingerbread house display and contest through Dec. 26.

Attendees can vote on their favorite gingerbread house with a $1 minimum donation per vote. All proceeds will benefit Levine Children's Hospital.


Free photo session: The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas recently announced the expansion of their 'Families for Life' program in an effort to collect the additional platelets and O type red cells needed for local patients. Through Jan. 10, platelet donors who donate twice or O blood type will have an opportunity to receive a free individual or family photo session and an 8x10 portrait. Jan. 6 (noon-8 p.m.), and Jan. 8, 28 and 29, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Space is limited to 150 photo sessions and donation appointments are required. Details: or 704-972-4729.

Puppies for patients: Through Dec. 31 sign a tag that will be attached to a stuffed puppy and delivered to children in area hospitals. Details: