South Charlotte

Around the belt


Join Matthews-based Bright Blessings at the Grady Cole Center 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Jan. 16 for the Martin Luther King Service Forum, a family-friendly volunteer experience featuring a volunteer fair, on-site service projects and children's activities.

Drop-in 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to help Bright Blessings prepare Care & Comfort Bags for the homeless children they serve. Younger children can help make birthday tags for Bright Blessings gift packages.

Details: or call Bright Blessings at 704-846-2329.

The Latin American Chamber of Commerce will host its monthly luncheon 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the fifth floor of the new Mint Museum uptown location.

Wells Fargo Community Banking Regional President Kendall Ally will be the keynote speaker and will discuss, "2012 Economic Outlook & the Latino Business Community Engagement." Cost: $15 for members; $30 for nonmembers. Details and registration: contact Cynthia Rosas, the LACCC Membership & Volunteer Coordinator, at 704-236-9359 or at


The Matthews Free Medical Clinic has hired Amy Carr as the organization's new executive director.

Amy will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the clinic as well as financial development and community involvement. She comes to the clinic from Elevation Church, where she worked in the Outreach Department for six years. Amy is a graduate of Montreat College with a bachelor's degree and an MBA.

The Matthews Free Medical Clinic provides free quality health care to low income, uninsured patients of Matthews and surrounding areas, including Mecklenburg and Union counties. In 2011, the clinic had more than 3,000 patient visits, with 60 percent of those being Mecklenburg County residents, 40 percent Union County residents.

The Clinic relies heavily on volunteers. The address is 113 N. Ames St. Details: 704-841-8882 or email

Union County

Crime Stoppers of Union County will hold its 20th annual barbecue on Jan. 20. The barbecue will begin at noon with a $1,000 awarded to the Union County Officer of the Year, who is chosen by Crime Stoppers of Union County, and music from the band Village Green.

Special guests include N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, N.C. Rep. Frank McGuirt and Superior Court Judge David Lee.

Tickets are $8. The barbecue will be open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Union County Agricultural Center, 3230-D Presson Road in Monroe.