Highlands NC July 4th Activities

 L to R: Rick Willeford, Hank Ross, Dennis (Doc) Wilson and Mike Kaiser.

L to R: Rick Willeford, Hank Ross, Dennis (Doc) Wilson and Mike Kaiser.

The Rotary Club of Highlands will present its Annual Fourth of July Cookout at the Community Building’s parking lot which is adjacent to the ball park. A second location will be on Hickory Street at the ball park. Food will be available from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

Choose your entrée — from hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue pork or chicken fillets — for your box lunch, which will include pickles, potato chips and a cookie. This year the barbecue will be cooked by Highlands’ famous chef Joel Porter. All condiments will be available.

The cookout compliments the various events to be held at the ball park on the 4th, including a visit by MAMA, the hospital’s emergency helicopter. The Fire Department’s ladder truck will be on display. There will also be games for children and adults, among which will be a three-legged race and a water balloon toss.

At 1:00 P.M. at Mill Creek, the stream by SweeTreats, the Second Annual Rotary Rubber Duck Derby will be held. Purchase a rubber duck for $10 and have a chance to win $250 for 1st place, $100 for 2nd place and $50 for 3rd place.

All proceeds from the cookout and the Rubber Duck Derby will benefit the Rotary Club’s charity fund which provides grants to the many Highlands organizations which help to make this a better community.

Contributed by Stell Huie

 

Fireworks on the Green in Cashiers NC

The Village Green is proud to present this year’s celebration of America with a “Fireworks Extravaganza On the Green.” The event will begin at 5:30 P.M. Friday, July 5 at The Village Green Commons on Frank Allen Road. The Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association is partnering with The Village Green to create a spectacular evening for residents and visitors to the Cashiers area during Independence Day Weekend.

The festivities include live music by The Extraordinaires, a rhythm and blues band that will be sure to have folks out of their chairs dancing. Food and drink will be available for purchase or those who want can pack a picnic dinner. People should plan to bring lawn chairs for general seating. Admission is free, however a limited number of VIP packages are available that include valet parking, reserved seating and drink tickets for the event. VIP packages can be purchased by calling the GCAMA office at (828) 743-8428.

The highlight of the night will be the colossal fireworks display with music that accompanies the show. “More than five hundred brilliant pyrotechnics will burst red, white and blue across the Cashiers Valley night sky,” noted Ann Self, Executive Director of The Village Green. She also observed, “What could be better than watching fireworks with family and friends at The Village Green?”

Many small towns and communities have cut or drastically reduced fireworks displays in recent years because of financial constraints. The Village Green stepped up to ensure this would not be the case in Cashiers. “The Village Green is delighted to preserve another treasured tradition for our community, and we hope that this will be the best part of the holiday weekend for people here in the area,” remarked Jochen Lucke, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of The Village Green. The mission of The Village Green is to enhance the quality of life for those who live and vacation in the greater Cashiers area.

The fireworks are provided through the Jackson County Board of Commissioners and the Parks and Recreation Department. The Village Green is a 12.5-acre park for public enjoyment that relies on private funding for operation. The Village Green was the host venue for more than eighty concerts, parties and functions last year. “We are looking forward to an even greater number of gatherings this season,” said Self. “Events like the fireworks extravaganza would not be possible without the generous support of our donors,” Self pointed out. For more information about The Village Green, visit www.villagegreencashiersnc.com.

Contributed by Ann Self

 

 

Summer Events in Cashiers NC

The Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association has planned a summer full of events for locals and visitors alike to enjoy.

Starting on June 7, GCAMA’s summer concert series “Groovin’ on the Green,” returns with a fantastic line-up of performers. This free event has grown in popularity each year. Join GCAMA on Fridays at 6:30 P.M., at The Village Commons. Bring a blanket, a beverage, and enjoy the music.

Following is the schedule:

June 7 – Jay Drummond – Acoustic/Country; June 14 – Hurricane Creek Band – Classic Rock/Pop and Originals; June 21 – Caribbean Cowboys – A Little Bit of Everything; June 28 – Jackson Taylor Band – Classic Rock/Pop; July 12 – Leigh Glass and the Hazards – Original Bluesy Rock; July 26 – Aaron LaFalce – Singer/Songwriter; August 2 – Soldier’s Heart – Rock, Country, Bluegrass, Southern Rock; August 9 – Unspoken Tradition – Bluegrass; August 16 – Les Freres Michot – Traditional Cajun; August 23 – Blind Melon Phillips – Hot Guitar and Horns; August 30 – Hurricane Creek – Classic Rock/Pop and Originals

The Village Green and GCAMA are partnering to present this year’s celebration of America with a “Fireworks Extravaganza On the Green.” The event will begin at 5:30 P.M., on Friday, July 5 at The Village Commons on Frank Allen Road.

The festivities include live music by “The Extraordinaires,” a rhythm and blues band that will be sure to have folks out of their chairs dancing. Food and drink will be available for purchase or those who want can pack a picnic dinner.

People should plan to bring lawn chairs for general seating. Admission is free; however, a limited number of VIP packages are available that include valet parking, reserved seating and drink tickets for the event. VIP packages can be purchased by calling the GCAMA office at (828) 743-8428 or visit www.fireworksonthegreen.eventbrite.com to purchase VIP tickets on line.  The highlight of the night will be the colossal fireworks display with music that accompanies the show.

And moving into fall, GCAMA is also busy planning the next Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival, planned for Columbus Weekend on October 11-13.

For more information, visitcashiersvalley.com.

Contributed by Kelly Donaldson

Highlands’ Musical Weekends

Weekends in Highlands this year will include free musical concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Friday Night Live will rock Main Street once again in June, July and August courtesy of the Highlands Area Chamber of Commerce. Every Friday night from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. in the newly renovated Town Square, a toe-tapping performance will be given by local bands playing a variety of musical styles from traditional tunes to original compositions. For the fourth season, these popular and well -attended events will draw foot traffic to the downtown area where local shops will extend their business hours.

Saturdays on Pine Concert Series is new to the Highlands musical scene.

The Saturday concert series will begin Saturday, June 15 with the last concert being held on August 31. And, as the name suggests, all concerts will be held at the Kelsey-Hutchinson Park on Pine Street. The bands will entertain from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M.

The musical line-up for Saturdays on Pine include Hank West and The Smokin’ Hots, Southbound Turnaround and Shane Bridges in June. July brings the talent of Stevens Layne, Chompin’ at the Bit, Jen Miller and Thomas Dirk and the ever-popular Corbitt Brothers. Super Nitrograss, High 5, Big Nasty and Southbound Turnaround will finish up the series in August.

For more information on both concert series, contact the Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center at (828) 526- 2112.

Art and Craft Show in Highlands NC

The art of Vicky Ferguson will be showcased at the Village Square Art & Craft Show happening Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and June 2.

The art of Vicky Ferguson will be showcased at the Village Square Art & Craft Show happening Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and June 2.

If you are looking for some fun family entertainment, mark your calendar for the Village Square Art and Craft Shows in downtown Highlands. An abundance of local talent will be on display, with art and crafts, demonstrations, mountain music, face painting, and food. The shows go from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. both days in the Kelsey-Hutchinson Park and neighboring Highlands Village Square at Fifth and Pine Streets, one block from Main Street.

The show has developed a reputation for high quality work. It features fine art, turned wood, metal work, fabric work, birdhouses, and jewelry. Also many traditional crafts like folk art, baskets, quilts, twig furniture, and face jugs.

Many of the artisans live in Highlands, including painter Zach Claxton, potter Pat Taylor, ceramicist Jan Smith, jeweler Lee Byers, and baker/cook Maxine Davidoff.

This show also features many of your favorite artisans from past shows. Of note is Marcus Thomas, the remarkable quadriplegic painter who has just published a book on his life and work.

As always, Patti Cakes will be painting faces. Enjoy live music both days 11:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. in the park gazebo. On Saturday folk singer Sylvia Sammons will perform, and on Sunday the Ross Brothers return by popular demand. Be sure to plan lunch at Fressers in the square.

The next show is August 24 and 25.

The shows are sponsored by the Macon County Art Association, a non-profit group dedicated to promoting and teaching fine arts. Check out their wonderful Uptown Gallery in downtown Franklin. For more information contact Cynthia Strain at Mill Creek Gallery and Framing (828) 787-2021.

Contributed by Cynthia Strain

 

Mountain Tennis Challenge in Cashiers NC

The Highlands-Cashiers area is popular for beautiful landscapes, world-class dining and a host of attributes that make it a highly sought-after locale.

But to whom much is given…In that spirit, the area is also known for its philanthropy. The Mountain Tennis Challenge will offer an opportunity for all of us to be a part of that movement.

Former world-ranked number-one tennis professional Andy Roddick is passionate about helping brighten the futures of our country’s youth. It’s no wonder that when he chose to become a seasonal resident of the Cashiers community he offered to do something for the children.

That initiative resulted in the development of the non-profit Mountain Youth Charities which will host The Mountain Challenge in July featuring Roddick and Jim Courier, who was also ranked number one in the world and is a regular participant on the Powershares Senior Tour.

“The goal is to establish a long-term program for all kids in this area,” said Event Chairman William McKee. “Mountain Youth Charities is researching many ways this can happen. A series of round table discussions is ongoing to make thoughtful decisions as to exactly what is the best course of action for these programs. This will be a great event for the Highlands-Cashiers Community.”

As part of The Mountain Challenge, a Gala Mountain Dinner will be held at Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley on Friday, July 26. The dinner will feature the two players and their families along with several items for auction, with all proceeds going to the charity.

Exhibition Saturday will be held the following day at Cedar Creek Racquet Club and will offer a day’s worth of activities including a preliminary match between Brevard’s Korey Lovett, a nationally-ranked junior tennis player, and Charlotte’s Thai Kwiatkowski, ranked top ten in the international junior rankings and whose former coach is Cedar Creek GM Scott Handback.

After the preliminary match, the winners of the Pro-Am Competition the previous week will square off against Roddick and Courier in doubles before the feature match. There will also be a chance for spectators to try and return Roddick’s Serve delivered by an automated ball machine and a fast serve contest.

To purchase tickets or for more information, go to www.cashiers.com or call (828) 743-3411.

Contributed by Krysti Rogers

 

 

SOAR Adventure Race in Highlands NC

The SOAR Adventure Race, slated for Saturday, June 15, is a test  of mental and physical stamina that supports the legacy of  America’s Fallen Heroes.

The SOAR Adventure Race, slated for Saturday, June 15, is a test
of mental and physical stamina that supports the legacy of
America’s Fallen Heroes.

All of us are indebted to the many military personnel who are serving throughout the world so that we may live in peace and safety.

A group of individuals who risk their lives daily are the members of America’s Special Operations forces. The Special Operations Forces are all special operations personnel from the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force. Although our forces voluntarily place themselves in harm’s way, it isn’t without personal sacrifices.

This brings us to the most personal sacrifice anyone can ever give – his life for the cause and leaving behind beloved families. For 33 years, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation has strived to have a positive impact of the children of the fallen heroes of the Special Operations Forces.

The foundation gives all children of these young men who lost their lives a college education (grant, not a loan). The total number of children is now over 900, from newborn to college age. They will receive a college education, family counseling and financial assistance to the families of our
wounded troops.

This is the 11th year a local group of dedicated volunteers is staging events to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Over the last 10 years the people of the Highlands, Cashiers, and Sapphire communities have helped
raise $550,000.

This year the Adventure Race is on Saturday, June 15. Solo racers and teams of two will run, cycle, rappel, paddle and navigate throughout the day for approximately 50 miles.

The adventure begins Friday, June 14, at the Highlands Rec Park with registration and check-in from noon to 6:00 P.M.

There will be a spaghetti dinner at the Highlands Community Center (at the corner of US 64 and Poplar Street) from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. Everyone, runners and non-runners alike, is invited. Cost is $7 for adults.

For more information, visit soarhighlands.org.

By Luke Osteen

 

Garden Club Kitchen Tour in Highlands NC

The Laurel Garden Club is cooking up something special in the kitchens  around Highlands with a full menu of fun activities – September 16 through 21.

The Laurel Garden Club is cooking up something special in the kitchens
around Highlands with a full menu of fun activities – September 16 through 21.

Hope you will join us in September for a tour of six outstanding kitchens in Highlands Country Club, from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.  Saturday, September 21.

All proceeds are returned to the community as grant funding to local nonprofits for beautification, protection, and conservation of the natural heritage and scenic mountain landscapes.  Leading up to the Kitchen Tour will be small, intimate culinary events, held the week prior to the Kitchen Tour on Monday, September 16; Tuesday, September 17; and Friday, September 20 in magnificent private homes on the Highlands plateau.

Reservations for the Tour and the Culinary Events are available June 1 at www.laurelgardenclubhighlands.com  and will be limited to keep the numbers comfortable
and fun.

During the Kitchen Tour, cooking demonstrations by local residents known for their talents in the kitchen will be a special treat for guests.  Shuttles will transport guests from the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center every 30 minutes from 9:00 A.M. until the last departure time of 2:00 P.M. Online tickets are available June 1 for all departure times. Choose the one that works best with your schedule and spend some unforgettable time touring Highlands kitchens and enjoying the Culinary Events, the week prior.

The Performing Arts Center (PAC) will be the site of the Laurel Garden Club Shop, where guests may browse and buy before and after their tour.  The Shop will feature homemade baked goods, arts and crafts, floral delights all made or contributed by LGC members, In addition each LGC member has been charged with donating to this unique shop, at least one special treasure from home.  Be sure to save time to explore all the specialty items in the Kitchen Tour 2013 Shop.

Contributed by Brenda Manning  |  Photo by Helen Moore

 

Love Your Library

Savor the classics when Steve Johannessen visits the  Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library, June 18.

Savor the classics when Steve Johannessen visits the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library, June 18.

The Friends of the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library is sponsoring a series of events in June under the banner “Love Your Library!”

The events begin at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday, June 18, with “Classics,” an evening of romantic music featuring the great love songs of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s performed by Steve Johannessen. These great love songs originally sung by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and others are the heart of his performances. Sung with emotion and nuance, the songs come alive for you once more.

“Words,” an exhibition of art by artists whose work has been on the program covers of The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, opens Wednesday, June 19, with a reception from 2:00 to 4:00 P.M. honoring the artists and the Festival.  The exhibition will be on display through August.

On Friday, June 21, the staff will join Friends for a Library Open House with refreshments, guided tours of the library, and the always popular Annual Summer Book Sale.  The sale, which continues on Saturday, June 22, features many used hardback books, DVDs, CDs and paperbacks  in fine to very good condition and priced from free to $4.

On Thursday, June 27, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., Friends of the Library is giving a reception to honor Hedy Okolichany, the Cashiers community’s beloved librarian who is retiring after many years of service.  Everyone is invited to come and thank this remarkable woman.

The final event for the month takes place Friday, June 28, at 10:30 A.M., when Friends brings back to the library “Snakes Alive!”  All “Love Your Library!” events are free to the public.  For more information, please call (828) 743-0215.

By Luke Osteen

 

Grab a Lunch for Literacy

 

Local restaurants and the Literacy Council of Cashiers have a delicious way of  supporting local children, July 5.

Local restaurants and the Literacy Council of Cashiers have a delicious way of
supporting local children, July 5.

Are you interested in food or reading?

Sometimes the two can go together — especially if you eat out for lunch by yourself or with a group of friends on Friday, July 5, at restaurants in the Cashiers/Sapphire area.

On that day a percentage of the restaurants’ receipts will be donated to the Literacy Council of Cashiers.

The following restaurants have graciously agreed to participate and would appreciate your support: Carolina Smokehouse, Cork and Barrel, On the Side Barbeque at Cashiers Farmer’s Market, The Orchard, Subway, Wendy’s and The Zookeeper Bistro.

The Literacy Council of Cashiers has partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library since 2010 to provide children from birth to age five living in Cashiers, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire a free age appropriate book monthly in the mail.

Currently over 100 children in the area have benefited from this program, which is completely free for families as the Literacy Council pays the sponsorship fee of $30 a year per child.

Georgia and Tennessee use this program statewide and have found a significant increase in reading scores. Instilling a love of reading early by having a book arrive each month helps create success in school later on. Research has shown that reading aloud to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers helps their brain development and increases their expressive and receptive language abilities. In order for this to occur, parents must take responsibility for reading to their children daily throughout their childhood. Children who come to kindergarten with an awareness and comprehension of books, and skills such as: how to turn pages, what a word/letter is, and knowledge of some letters are much more ready to begin their schooling. Parents of children participating in the program have said how much their children look forward to receiving their books and reading them together right away. They enjoy the tips included in some of the books on ways to share the stories with their children and skills to develop through reading aloud!

If you’d like to add an additional donation or volunteer to help the Literacy Council, please mail a donation to The Literacy Council of Cashiers, PO Box 791, Cashiers, NC 28717 or call (828) 508-9384 with questions or to volunteer. If you’d like to register your under-5-year-old children for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program, you’ll find registration forms at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library.

By Luke Osteen

 

Bingo for Highlands Food Pantry

The Highlands Food Pantry is a joint effort between a number of Highlands churches and the International Friendship Center.  At the pantry, local residents struggling in this tough economy, receive small amounts of food to help their family.  If you’re near the pantry near Highlands United Methodist Church on Monday, you’ll see lines of people waiting for their turn.  A large group of volunteers gather food for selection by their neighbors in need.  If you’d like to donate food, bring it to the Highlands United Methodist Church any weekday.

Won’t you and your friends come to the Community Center next to the Ball Park on the Cashiers Highway on Thursday night, June 6, for a fun night of Bingo? The games begin at 6:30 P.M.

For the modest investment of only $1 per card per game, you have the opportunity to win a small stipend. Throughout the night, you’ll have the opportunity to buy multiple cards to increase your chances of winning.   If you are feeling especially generous, you may donate your winnings back to the Food Pantry.

The night goes really fast. Before you realize it, it is time for Game 15, the final game of the night.  This is your chance to win the big jackpot.  You have to fill every space on your card, but the payoff is worth the wait. Whether you win or not, you will go away with a smile on your face.  You’ve shared a fun night with friends and neighbors and have helped a great cause in Highlands.

Bring your friends and support the work of the Highlands Food Pantry. You can show additional support for the pantry by buying an ad that will be placed on the tables.  This opportunity is open to business owners and individuals. Buy a table advertisement to promote your business or just say “John and Jane Doe support the Food Pantry.”  A table ad is only $50 or a half page ad is $25.   Make your checks payable to Highlands Rotary Club.  Call Highlands United Methodist Church at (828) 526-3376 to purchase your advertisement.  If you can’t be there, you can definitely send a check.

By Wiley Sloan

 

Scholarship Golf Classic

Thursday, June 13 marks a special date in Highlands.  Wildcat Cliffs Country Club will host the annual Scholarship Golf Classic.

The Town of Highlands Scholarship fund began in 1975 through the generosity of a local businessman named Jack Taylor.  His gift of $5,000 was the initial funding for this scholarship program enabled by special legislation in the NC General Assembly making Highlands unique in the state with the ability to administer such a fund for the benefit of Highlands School graduates who are committed to higher education through college, university or vocational training.  In succeeding years Jack Brockway, along with other prominent concerned citizens, became increasingly involved in the development and promotion of the Town of Highlands Scholarship Endowment Fund, which at this time exceeds $780,000.  Through the ensuing years, various clubs, including Highlands Falls, Cullasaja Club, and now Wildcat Cliffs, have graciously provided each of their unique golf course and clubhouse facilities for the purpose of creating an annual one-day “fund drive golf tournament.”  The historical generosity has been essential in building and sustaining the endowment fund with the ultimate goal of providing financial and moral support to our young highland school graduates.

Town Commissioner and Event Co-Chair Brian Stiehler said, “We are excited to continue this important tradition.  Wildcat Cliffs management and staff have gone above and beyond to make this a successful event on all levels.  We are grateful for the membership and staff of WCCC.”

The event kicks off at 7:30 A.M. with breakfast and use of the driving range and practice green.  A  9:00  A.M.  shotgun start is followed by cocktails, lunch and awards ceremony.  The cost for the event is $150 per player.  For sponsorship information or to sign up, please contact event co-chairs Brian Stiehler (787-2778) or Rebecca Shuler (526-2118).

Laurel Garden Kitchen Tour in Highlands NC

Laurel Garden Club is planning the second tour of kitchens September 21 from 9:00  A.M.  to 5:00 P.M.  Guests from the 2011 Kitchen Tour are still raving about how much they enjoyed this tour.  One guest commented this was by far the best planned and implemented tour she had ever taken.  Shuttles will transport guests from the Performing Arts Center, downtown Highlands, every thirty minutes from 9:00  A.M.  until the last departure time of 2:00 P.M.  Online ticket purchases provide a choice of 11 departure times.  Guests will experience magnificent variety as they visit six of Highlands’ finest kitchens, beautifully designed and appointed.  Surprising delights, such as a cooking demonstration in one of the tour kitchens, will keep the pulse lively and interesting, with sneak looks into the homes

and gardens.

Leading up to the Kitchen Tours, the club is planning a week of unforgettable culinary events entitled “Highlands Cooks!”  Four Highlands chefs will entertain and educate in small, intimate settings at spectacular private homes on the Highlands plateau.  The evenings include fabulous cooking demonstrations and dining experiences.

Monday, September 16 – Watch Wolfgang Green work his magic in an outdoor venue as he prepares a grilled feast in a state-of-the-art Viking outdoor kitchen as you drink locally brewed beer and listen to local blue grass music.  ($130 per person)

Tuesday, September 17 – Enjoy Asian fusion small plates coupled with specially prepared cocktails in a fabulous home overlooking Whiteside Mountain.   ($120 per person)

Tuesday, September 17 – Learn and enjoy as Mountain Top chefs educate and transform the fruits and vegetables of local gardens into a gastronomical feast in a stunning Mountain Top setting.   ($125 per person)

Friday, September 20 – Groove to your favorite tunes of the sixties while enjoying updated appetizers and cocktails from that period in the comfort of a spectacular, contemporary Cold Springs home.  ($60 perperson).

For additional information and reservations visit www.laurelgardenclubhighlands.com.

 

SOAR Adventure Race in Highlands NC

All of us are indebted to the many military personnel who are serving throughout the world so that we may live in peace and safety.

A group of individuals who risk their lives daily are the members of America’s Special Operations forces. The Special Operations Forces are all special operations personnel from the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force.

Although our forces voluntarily place themselves in harm’s way, it isn’t without personal sacrifices.

Which brings us to the most personal sacrifice anyone can ever give – their life for the cause and leaving behind their beloved families. For 33 years, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation has strived to have a positive impact of the children of the fallen heroes of the Special Operations Forces.

The foundation gives all children of these young men who lost their life a college education (grant, not a loan). The total children are now over 900, from newborn to college age. They will receive a college education, family counseling and financial assistance to the families of our wounded troops.

This is the 11th year a local group of dedicated volunteers is staging events to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Over the last 10 years the people of the Highlands, Cashiers, and Sapphire communities have helped raise $550,000.

This year the Adventure Race is on Saturday, June 15. Solo racers and teams of two will run, cycle, rappel, paddle and navigate throughout the day for approximately 50 miles.

The adventure begins Friday, June 14, at the Highlands Rec Park with registration and check-in from noon to 6:00 p.m.

There’ll be a spaghetti dinner at the Highlands Community Center (at the corner of US 64 and Poplar Street) from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Everyone, runners and non-runners alike, is invited. Cost is $7 for adults.

To register or for more information, visit soarhighlands.org.

By Luke Osteen

 

Mountain Tennis Challenge in Highlands NC

The Highlands-Cashiers area is popular for beautiful landscapes, world-class dining and a host of attributes that make it a highly sought-after locale.

But to whom much is given… In that spirit, the area is also known for its philanthropy. The Mountain Challenge will offer an opportunity for all of us to be a part of that movement.

Former world-ranked number-one tennis professional Andy Roddick is passionate about helping brighten the futures of our country’s youth. It’s no wonder that when he chose to become a seasonal resident of the Cashiers community he offered to do something for the children.

That initiative resulted in the development of the non-profit Mountain Youth Charities which will host The Mountain Challenge in July featuring Roddick and Jim Courier, who was also ranked number one in the world and is a regular participant on the Powershares Senior Tour.

“The goal is to establish a long-term program for all kids in this area,” said Event Chairman William McKee. “Mountain Youth Charities is researching many ways this can happen, a series of round table discussions are ongoing to make thoughtful decisions as to exactly what is the best course of action for these programs. This will be a great event for the Highlands-Cashiers Community.”

As part of The Mountain Challenge, a Gala Mountain Dinner will be held at Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley on Friday, July 26. The dinner will feature the two players and their families along with several items for auction, with all proceeds going to the charity.

Exhibition Saturday will be held the following day at Cedar Creek Racquet Club and will offer a day’s worth of activities including a preliminary match between Brevard’s Korey Lovett, a nationally-ranked junior tennis player, and Charlotte’s Thai Kwiatkowski, ranked top 10 in the international junior rankings and whose former coach is Cedar Creek GM Scott Handback.

After the preliminary match, the winners of the Pro-Am Competition the previous week will square off against Roddick and Courier in doubles before the feature match. There will also be a chance for spectators to try and return Roddick’s Serve delivered by an automated ball machine and a fast serve contest.

To purchase tickets or for more information, go to www.cashiers.com or call (828) 743-3411.

 

Contributed by Krysti Rogers

 

Arts and Crafts Show in Highlands NC

The art of Vicky Ferguson will be showcased at the Village Square Art & Craft Show happening Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and June 2.

The art of Vicky Ferguson will be showcased at the Village Square Art & Craft Show happening Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and June 2.

If you are looking for some fun family entertainment, mark your calendar for the Village Square Art & Craft Shows in downtown Highlands. An abundance of local talent will be on display, with art and crafts, demonstrations, mountain music, face painting, and food. The shows go from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. both days in the Kelsey-Hutchinson Park and neighboring Highlands Village Square at Fifth and Pine Streets, one block from Main Street.

The show has developed a reputation for high quality work. It features fine art, turned wood, metal work, fabric work, birdhouses, and jewelry. Also many traditional crafts like folk art, baskets, quilts, twig furniture, and face jugs.

Many of the artisans live in Highlands, including painter Zach Claxton, potter Pat Taylor, ceramicist Jan Smith, jeweler Lee Byers, and baker/cook Maxine Davidoff.

This show also features many of your favorite artisans from past shows. Of note is Marcus Thomas, the remarkable quadriplegic painter who has just published a book on his life and work.

As always, Patti Cakes will be painting faces. Enjoy live music both days 11:00 A.M. to 3:30  P.M. in the park gazebo. On Saturday folk singer Sylvia Sammons will perform, and on Sunday the Ross Brothers return by popular demand. Be sure to plan lunch at Fressers in the square.

Please note that these shows are no longer on the holiday weekends (due to changes in the town’s policies on park usage). The next show is August 24 and 25.

The shows are sponsored by the Macon County Art Association, a non-profit group dedicated to promoting and teaching fine arts. Check out their wonderful Uptown Gallery in downtown Franklin. For more information contact Cynthia Strain at Mill Creek Gallery & Framing (828) 787-2021.

Contributed by Cynthia Strain

 

 

Fishes and Loaves Fundraiser in Cashiers NC

The Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry is saving a generous plate for you at the Annual Big ‘Ol Mountain Country Breakfast,  7:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M., Saturday, July 6.

The Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry is saving a generous plate for you at the Annual Big ‘Ol Mountain Country Breakfast,
7:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M., Saturday, July 6.

The Cashiers community invites you to enjoy their Annual Big ‘Ol Mountain Country Breakfast to benefit the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry.  Come join them from 7:00 to 11:00 A.M., Saturday, July 6, at the Cashiers Community Center on U.S. 64 (the Highlands Road).  Proceeds from this popular event will support the efforts to feed needy neighbors throughout the year.

“Annually, we average over 2,000 family visits, distributing roughly two and half tons of food per month,” says Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry spokeswoman Carole Stork.  “The people we serve are a mixture of local residents and Latino immigrants who are out of work primarily in the winter months, and a small number of senior citizens.”  Over seven years ago, the churches in the Cashiers community decided it would be a better idea to combine their efforts to provide this service for our neighbors in need.  The organization is solely run by volunteers.    Funds generously donated by individuals, churches and community service organizations underwrite our expenses.

Breakfast organizers are looking forward to a large crowd.  This breakfast has a reputation for generous portions of food prepared with care using time-tested recipes.

“It is the biggest and best country breakfast you have ever eaten.  Really!  Ask anyone who has ever come,” promises Carole.

Donations are accepted.  If you cannot attend the breakfast but would like to support the Fishes & Loaves, send your contributions to Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry, P.O. Box 865, Cashiers, NC 28717.

By Wiley Sloan

 

Center for Life Enrichment in Highlands NC

The Center for Life Enrichment  opened its doors April 4 to the new CLE Lecture Hall in the lower level of the Peggy Crosby Center on South Fourth Street

in Highlands.

The 75-seat classroom/lecture hall, complete with the state of the art Smartboard, is ready for participants to work on computer skills, listen to lectures, produce art, and enjoy all the offerings that have made CLE a primary continuing education institution in the Highlands-Cashiers area for over 20 years.

The month of April was dedicated to Apple Computer lovers. Nigel Sixsmith, the popular instructor on all things Apple, featured four evening classes at the new center. The very popular iPad courses will be continued throughout the season covering all of the amazing possibilities of this device.

May courses will continue Apple technology with classes for the iCloud as well as the iPad. May will also offer a Botanical Nature Trail Tour, May 4; a current affairs lecture, “Sustaining Growth in China,” Saturday, May 18;  and a five class course in “Beginning Drawing” beginning
May 21.

Sunday, May 26, a cooperative lecture with The Bascom will be offered. The lecture, “Redressing Fashion and Sustainability,” will begin at 4:00 P.M.

Saturday, May 27, CLE will sponsor tickets and transportation to the opera “Dead Man Walking” at Western Carolina University at a cost of $55. To explore CLE’s upcoming lectures and hobby classes, visit  at  www.clehighlands.com and check out the 2013 catalogue.  A brochure listing the classes is available online and registration can be accomplished either online, by email at clehighlands@yahoo.com or by phone  at (828) 526-8811.

Contributed by Nancy Plate

 

Cover Artist Gene Towery

The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NC The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NC The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NC The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NC The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NC The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NC The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NCTo Gene Towery everything is a potential painting. Her eyes are windows on the world, sizing up a landscape, a view from a flatbed, a bouquet of flowers, or a nose-to-nose encounter with a bovine. Her internal color wheel is constantly spinning, matching shades and tints, pastels and saturations, calibrating darks and lights.

She says,  “I have a weird compulsion. As I look out the window I see a lovely snowy day, purple mountains in the distance framed by a churning white sky. In my head I am putting it all together on a mental canvas, swaths of purple and blue with dollops of light on bare trees and branches. It is hard for me to look at any scene no matter what the season without puzzling over the perfect palette for each panorama.”

Towery winters in St Petersburg and summers in Sapphire. When in Florida, she dons her tropical beret, splashing bright colors across her surfaces. In North Carolina she zooms in on lush landscapes and Mother Nature’s flora and fauna. She enjoys plein air painting, planting herself in a field or on a hillside to paint in the fresh air. But one of her signature subjects is cows and try as she will, she hasn’t managed to train them to stand still. She photographs them so she can take them back to her studio to study and paint. She loves their big brown velvety eyes, full of personality and joy.

But if you ask  her, “What is your favorite thing to paint?” She will tell you that it is whatever crosses her path on any particular day. It could be a cow, a mountain scape, a glorious tree, a pasture, a cluster of rhodo blossoms, or a patron’s schnauzer.

Because of the lovely mountain views, most Highlands homes have an abundance of windows. Light bounces off the glass of framed watercolors. So she prefers to work in oils in the mountains. No glass, no glare. Her favored mediums are oils, acrylics and watercolor of which she does a lot in Florida.

She teaches at the Sapphire Community Center on Thursday mornings 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. She is represented by ARTicles Gallery in St. Pete. See more of her work featured on their website
www.articlesstpete.com.

A member of the Highlands Art League she participates in the League’s summer and fall color shows as well as the Sapphire Community Center show in August. You can reach her by e-mail at: gtowery9@gmail.com. She welcomes inquiries and custom orders and would delight in seeing you with paints and brushes in hand some Thursday morning. She’d love to help you discover and release your own inner artist.

by Donna Rhodes

 

The Art of Williams Rogers

 William Rogers shares his gift for metal arts with North Carolina’s young artists.

William Rogers shares his gift for metal arts with North Carolina’s young artists.

As a master craftsman in the metal arts, William Rogers has forged his own fortune and helped forge that of many of his students in artist residencies throughout the southeast.  And no wonder. Rogers has been recognized repeatedly for his excellence in creativity and craftsmanship. He was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship by the Tennessee Arts Commission in his home state of Tennessee. In 2002 he was designated a master craftsman in Virginia where he operated William S. Rogers Metals, a design and fabrication forge. He was one of eight master teachers selected from throughout the Commonwealth by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities to participate in a statewide apprenticeship program.

Since relocating his studio to Cullowhee, North Carolina, in 2005, he has planned and developed a highly successful blacksmithing studio for the Jackson County Green Energy Park, adapting a natural gas forge to burn methane recovered from a former landfill site. That’s what blacksmiths do. They take raw materials, grind in their own special magic, and create beauty where there was none. Rogers facilitated turning useless waste into concentrated energy to power the production of fine art and craft. Now that’s alchemy. Talk about forging your own fortune . . .

It is clear Rogers is a man with many irons in the fire, literally and figuratively. Inside his chiseled frame beats the heart of an artist and an educator. In March of this year he conducted a two-week residency sponsored by a North Carolina Arts Council Artist-in-Residence grant at Tuscola High School in Waynesville. Advanced art students learned the venerable art of copper repoussé, which literally means to re-push. Each student designed a heritage square using symbols and icons to tell their family story, everything from Scottish clan to Cherokee tribe. Once transferred to the copper plate each image was hammered, pushed out from the back and refined/defined on the front with ballpeen hammer and hand forged iron tools, made by Rogers himself. Students tapped and pounded front and back for over 14 days. Once complete, Rogers assembled the thirty plates into an arched sculpture now permanently installed in the Tuscola Art Garden to be unveiled May 10. Copper repoussé, by the way, is how the Statue of Liberty was created, one hammered plate at a time.

Rogers also worked with intermediate art students to teach kinetic sculpture construction (think Calder’s mobiles) using heavy aluminum wire and sheet metal repoussé. In addition he served as consultant and demonstrator to initiate a blacksmith forge in Tuscola’s
welding department.

Dale McDonald, principal of Tuscola High School says, “William Rogers’ impact on our students and our school will be felt for years to come. His quality presentation is right in step with 21st century education. We were delighted the North Carolina and Haywood County Arts Councils made his residency possible.”

To learn more about William Rogers, his studio, how to book him for a workshop or purchase his hand-crafted fire tools and more, visit www.rogersmetals.com.

by Donna Rhodes

 

The Last Romance by the Highlands-Cashiers Players

Carol Reynolds (Becky Schilling) can’t believe widower Ralph Bellini  (David Milford), a stranger she meets at the dog park.

Carol Reynolds (Becky Schilling) can’t believe widower Ralph Bellini
(David Milford), a stranger she meets at the dog park.

In June, the Highlands-Cashiers Players will bring  “The Last Romance” by Joe DiPietro to Highlands PAC.  Show dates will be June 6-9 and 13-16. This heartwarming story explores how a small change in a daily routine can bring a big, unexpected benefit.  Using his reclaimed boyish charm, widower Ralph Bellini (David Milford) steps out of his comfort zone to woo a lady whom he meets at the dog park. Bellini overcomes the cool persona of Carol Reynolds (Rebecca Schilling) as he sets out to win her favor.  Share in the laughter, tenderness and the surprises that make up this celebration of love and romance.

Directed by Ralph Stevens and David Milford, this romantic comedy for ages 12 to a 102 also features Bellini’s cranky sister, Rose (Shirley Williams), and the Young Man (Robert Helma, a tenor from Western Carolina University).   As Shakespeare once wrote, “If music be the food of love, play on.”  Mr. Milford will appear through courtesy of the Actors Equity Association.  When the Florida Studio Theatre did this play last year in Sarasota, the show was so popular it was held over for an extended run.  Mark your calendars now and get your tickets early.

 

Betsy Paul Art Raffle in Cashiers NC

The Betsy Paul art raffles for the Cashiers Glenville Volunteer Fire Department, will be held on May 31, in the afternoon.  For more information, call (828) 743-0880.

The Betsy Paul art raffles for the Cashiers Glenville Volunteer Fire Department, will be held on May 31, in the afternoon.
For more information, call (828) 743-0880.

This is the fourth time that Ken Bowser has graciously provided one of his paintings to the art raffle benefitting the Cashiers-Glenville Fire Department.  For the May 2013 raffle Ken has donated a lovely watercolor painting aptly named “Spring Beauty” as the raffle prize.

Ken has drawn and painted most of his life.  He works in watercolors, oils and pastels in a representational style that highlights the play of light and shadow.  His subject matter usually includes landscapes, still life, or buildings.  Ken prefers “plein air” painting, painting outdoors on site.  He feels it is always exciting to work among the sights, sounds and smells of the scene one is painting.  His art is featured in several galleries in
North Carolina.

Viewers are invited to see each month’s raffle item on display from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Saturday at Betsy Paul Properties, 870 Highway 64 West, Cashiers. Checks can also be mailed directly to the Cashiers-Glenville Fire Department, P.O. Box 713, Cashiers, North Carolina, 28717. For more information contact Betsy Paul Properties, (828)743-0880.

 

SweeTreats in Highlands, A Savory Tradition

Sweetreats in Highlands NCSince May 1989 SweeTreats in the Mountain Brook Center, Highlands,   has been serving custom-blended ice cream to seasonal and year-round Highlanders.  Each freshly-baked cone is filled with your special flavor of ice cream
or yogurt.
From a small shop tucked in the corner of the center just two blocks from Main Street, SweeTreats has grown over the years.   In 2005 the store was enlarged to include a coffee shop and a restaurant featuring hot and cold sandwiches, delicious salads and soups and a wide array of tantalizing desserts.
Last year SweeTreats expanded once again by buying the Highlands Hill Deli at the corner of Main and Fourth Streets.  They kept many of the Deli’s signature sandwiches while adding the SweeTreats favorites that people craved including their special blended ice creams. For a casual lunch in a hurry, the Deli is the place to eat.
SweeTreats at Mountain Brook Center has been transformed once again.  The kitchen has been enlarged; the dining room has been spruced up, giving everything a fresh, new look.  In addition to the new décor, the menu has grown exponentially to include a more extensive and varied menu.   A wide array of mouthwatering appetizers including cold salmon, calamari, fried shrimp, pepperjack cheese bites and much more are available for nibbles with your wines and beers or before your meal.  Now enjoy french fries and onion rings with your favorite sandwich or one of their many burgers.  They even offer a burger with double patties.
SweetTreats’ new dinner menu features more than 14 entrees from filet mignon, pork chops, baked salmon, chicken cordon bleu (a personal favorite), pasta and more.  Freshly-baked rolls and a vegetable accompany each entrée.  A dinner salad is available, too.  Be sure to leave room for one of SweeTreats freshly-created desserts.  There’s nothing better than their warm apple tart topped with cinnamon ice cream drizzled in caramel (just one of the many to choose from).
Anytime of day is a good time to stop at SweeTreats.  For a hearty lunch, try one of their sandwiches or burgers or a salad (the chicken gorgonzola is superb) and a cup of soup.  Take a mid-afternoon break where you can savor a bottle of the Flat Tire Amber Ale or a glass of wine. For a relaxing evening meal, choose SweeTreats.  Have you looked for a place to go after a play or a concert?  Look no more.  Bring your friends and come to SweeTreats after 9:00 P.M. for dessert and coffee or an after-dinner liqueur.   Want to have a small party?  Come to SweeTreats.  Need a gift?  A SweeTreats’ gift certificate is
always appreciated.
Lunch is served daily 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.; dinner from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. (9:00 P.M., Friday and Saturday).  For more information, visit www.sweetreats.com or call (828) 526-9822. For a quick meal, remember the SweeTreats Deli at the corner of Main Street and Fourth Avenue (828) 526-9632.

By Wiley Sloan

With Wine, Keep it Simple

Contributed by  Mary Ann Hardman

Contributed by
Mary Ann Hardman

Wine intimidates people for reasons that leave me puzzled. Hostesses planning dinner parties fret over wine/food pairings as if negotiating peace between North and South Korea.   Wine novices wonder why they don’t taste similar notes in a wine reviewed by Mr. Famous Wine Critic.  A friend told me he had read about a wine that was described by a critic as having essences of bacon. Bacon in wine? I’ll pass!
Because I have grown wine, pruning by hand rows of dormant vines in the chill of winter as well as harvesting those vines in the blistering heat of early fall, I have little patience with wine being needlessly complicated.
Wine – from Chateau d’Yquem (a dessert wine from the Bordeaux First Growth whose history precedes the French Revolution) to Barefoot Chardonnay – comes from a plant that has been cultivated for centuries.
When dining at Chez FonFon and the bespectacled sommelier   presents a wine list equivalent to Tolstoy’s War & Peace in length, I remember that wine comes from a plant. Being a gardener helps to appreciate the earthy origins of wine.
Below are a few ideas about wine. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) applies:
Drink what you like.  But do not be afraid to try new grapes such as Cabernet Franc, Arneiss, or Picpoul. Drinking the same wine is like wearing the same dress day in and day out.  Variety is the spice of life.
Pair lighter wines with lighter foods. Pair buttery Chardonnays with buttery foods.  Pair heavier wines (Cabernet Sauvignon) with heavier foods (filet mignon).
Pair Champagne with everything, especially oysters.
Find a wine shop that you trust.  A good wine shop is a travel agency: by suggesting wines of distinction and quality, a customer can travel vicariously to the wine’s place of origin.
To recognize great wines, it’s necessary to experience some not-so-great wines. If a wine tastes watery or smells of wet cardboard, those are sure-fire indicators of poor quality.
No matter the numeric rating of a wine, it is your palate that has the final say.
Highlands has lots of great wines available at restaurants and retailers awaiting your enjoyment and discovery.

Dairy-Free Creamy Frosting

Contributed by Dr. Anastasia Halldin, Nutrition Coach  www.healthymamainfo.com

Contributed by Dr. Anastasia Halldin, Nutrition Coach
www.healthymamainfo.com

Healthy dessert sounds like an oxymoron, but it can be done, if you use the right ingredients in right combination. Frosting, which can be the basis of many desserts, can be time-consuming to make at home. Frosting you buy from the store, however,  is generally full of hydrogenated corn syrup, trans-fatty acids, preservatives, soy lecithin, food colorings and other sub-optimal ingredients, which could ruin your family’s health over time. What can you do to make a quick, healthy dessert (or to enjoy some frosting in a bowl?)
This dairy-free creamy coconut-based frosting is light, fluffy, sweet and satisfying. Best of all, it takes only five minutes, which is a small time commitment to improve your health. According to Dr. Oz, coconut oil can boost thyroid function, increase metabolism, energy and endurance. It increases digestion and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Coconut can help improve insulin use within the body. Coconut has special fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). It has been shown that breaking down these types of healthy fats in the liver leads to efficient burning of energy and weight loss over time.
Dairy-Free Creamy Frosting
Yield: 1 cup
Ingredients: 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated over night; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup; 3 teaspoons arrowroot powder or
organic cornstarch.
Directions: Do not shake the can of coconut milk before opening. Scoop out only the top, fatty part of the coconut milk, leaving the liquid in the can. Add all other ingredients and blend until the mixture resembles a thick cream. Cool in the refrigerator for two hours and use.
See my blog for multiple healthy cake and cupcake recipes to use with
this frosting.
You can add one of the following ingredients to your frosting: Berry frosting: ¼ cup of fresh berries; Chocolate frosting: ¼ cup raw cocoa powder; Pina colada frosting: 4 tablespoons raw shredded coconut and ¼ cup fresh pineapple; Lemon frosting: juice and grated zest of ½-1 lemon.

Scaly Mountain Pancake Breakfast

Scaly Mountain Community CenterThe Women of Scaly Mountain are cranking up for another busy season in 2013!    We have six pancake breakfasts planned, each on the fourth Saturday of the month, beginning May 25th at the Old School House, just off Dillard Road.  Follow the signs and bring your kids, grandkids and neighbors.  Our hours are 7:30 to 10:30 A.M. Breakfast consists of piping hot pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee, all for just $5.50.  You have your choice of plain pancakes or ones loaded with delicious Scaly Mountain home grown blueberries.  Remember, all of our events benefit our Scaly college students scholarship fund.  See you there!

Contributed by Margaret Spraggins

A New Chef in Town in Cashiers NC

Cornucopia New ChefThe Cornucopia has been family owned for over 35 years, serving good food with prompt and attentive service.  Last year brought the addition of Cornucopia Gourmet Cheese, Meat and Specialty Shop and a Wine Bar.  This year brings us Dean Neff and that is going to be a very special treat.  Dean has a stellar culinary background.  He was raised in Savannah and graduated from UGA’s Terry Business School with a degree in marketing.  Upon graduating Dean decided that his heart belonged in a kitchen and enrolled at the School of Culinary Arts in Atlanta.  He went to work at Pricci, one of Buckhead Life Group Restaurants.  For the past twelve years he has been Executive Chef at the famed Five & Ten in Athens, Georgia where he has worked alongside
Hugh Acheson.
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Dean and getting to know him better.  Of course my first question was, “What brought you to Cashiers?”  Dean replied, “Meeting the Peterkins and seeing their vision for Cornucopia and their invitation for me to be a part of the vision.  I have clicked with them and I am excited about the future of Cornucopia.   Personally it’s a beautiful change of pace.  Not too far from Athens and I love hiking and canoeing. Also it was time for me to step up to a new challenge. This opportunity presented itself and everything fell into place so perfectly that I knew it was the right new thing to do.”
I voiced my concerns to Dean that everyone loves the old Cornucopia and now with the new bar and a new chef is it going to change?
Dean shared, “the last thing I want to do is to change everything.   Hopefully we will keep some of the menu items and make sure we are doing them really well and add in some new things and update the restaurant for a long future.  The legacy items such as, Wade Hampton’s Downfall, the Arabian Club will stay and we will make sure that we do them really well.  We will be adding a few of my favorite items, fried chicken sandwich, a pimento cheese burger with Benton’s bacon. We are trying to use great local products such as Benton bacon,  and Anson Mill’s grains.”
Along with Dean Neff comes a new look for the Cornucopia, zinc table tops, and a new bar complete with beer, wine and liquor.  The wine list will be well-rounded, where everyone can find exactly what they desire. Wines served from all over the world that will change with the season.  Dinner is going to be Dean’s shining star. They have plans to start simply with good comfort food, such as meatloaf,  and smoked Mississippi catfish with cornmeal crusting.  He convinced me, I am making my reservations now.
Cornucopia is located at Highway 107 South and can be reached
at (828) 743-3750.

The Bascom’s Collective Spirits

More than 500 lucky oenophiles will be wined and dined on May 16–18 at The Bascom’s annual Collective Spirits fundraiser. The festivities kick off on Thursday evening with exclusive benefactor-only dinners featuring renowned chefs and notable wines.

Friday begins with two educational tasting seminars in the classrooms at The Bascom. Friday evening will include a VIP Wine Tasting of rare and collectible restaurant-only wine-list wines, followed by the Stock Your Cellar Wine Market and Tasting on the Terrace at The Bascom. The Market will spotlight dozens of award-winning vintners, who will offer tastings and hard-to-find wines for sale by the discounted case. A seated dinner on Saturday at Highlands Country Club will culminate in a live auction conducted by wine specialist Greg Quiroga of Reynolds-Buckley in California.

Saturday’s live auction items are a fabulous mix of glamorous trips to luxury destinations, exclusive gourmet dinners, private wine tastings hosted by the vintners themselves and carefully curated wine collections. The Bascom announces its Collective Spirits 2013 vintners, with special Guest of Honor winemaker Rick Sayre of the Rodney Strong Winery. Additional notables include Axel Schug, owner of Schug Carneros Estate; winemaker Robbie Meyer of L’Angevin and Pierson-Meyer; Sales Director Kathy Berez of Failla Wines; Robin Lail, owner of Lail Vineyards; National Sales Manager Doug Cohen of Solena Estate; John Anthony Truchard of John Anthony Vineyards; East Coast Sales Sarah Noble of Loosen Brothers Wines; Gabrielle Leonhard, The Gabrielle Collection; Natali Meetze of Falcor Wines; Steve Pignatello, importer of French wines; Bob Singer of Caymus Vineyards; winemaker Joe Davis of Arcadian Winery; Tuck Beckstoffer of Beckstoffer Wines and Chris Bratcher of Bratcher Wines.

Please mark your calendar for the Collective Spirits events:

Thursday, May 16 – Private Wine Dinners (Benefactors only*) – 6:00 P.M.

Friday, May 17 – Educational Tasting Seminars  – 1:00 and 3:00 P.M.

Friday, May 17 – Stock Your Cellar Wine Market and Tasting ($100 per person) – 6:00 P.M.

Saturday, May 18 – Gala Dinner and Auction ($275 per person) – 6:00 P.M.

*Benefactor packages start at $2,500

For ticketing information, call the ticket office at (828) 787-2896.

Under a Spreading Chestnut Tree

American Chestnut Burr

American Chestnut Burr

Highlands’ lush forests have no equal, but over the centuries, they have been put to the test. Trees have been subjected to over-cutting, fire, drought, and pestilence. Thanks to science, conservationists, and the Biological Station most tree species have survived. But a few have succumbed, among them, the American Chestnut.

By the 1930s the chestnut was well on its way to extinction, courtesy of Endothia parasitica, a fungus that hitched a ride to the U.S aboard Asiatic chestnut seedlings. Just the sound of the disease conjures up evil: Endothia Parasitica, Mother Nature’s wicked kin. Starting in the 1920’s and ‘30’s, Endothia did her worst, wiping out nine million acres of chestnut forest in fewer than 50 years.

Before the blight, chestnuts were collected by the bushel in the Highlands area. Sometimes gatherers had to outmaneuver animals feasting on the bounty, including wild hogs and bears. According to Louis Edwards, you had to get out pretty early to beat the hungry hordes to
sheir breakfast.

Each chestnut tree grew hundreds of burrs, which some folks laughingly call porcupine eggs. Burrs were about four inches across and each one contained three chestnuts. Burrs opened September-October. Trees could grow as high as 120 feet, forest floor to crown, and decorated the landscape with a carpet of prickly pods.

In spite of the fact that chestnut timber was hard and rot-resistant, it still fell prey to the fungus. By 1927 much of the once mighty chestnut forest gave way to the oak and hickory, which were immune to the fungus.

Then Mother Nature let two other despicable critters worm their way into the environment. The Japanese Beetle arrived in New Jersey in 1912 and 20 years later had spread to the Piedmont area around Raleigh-Durham. It didn’t take long to make its way to Highlands. By 1953 the balsam wooly aphid had made its debut on Mount Mitchell. In just seven years, 275,000 trees of all kinds withered into a bleak, wooden bone yard.

Even the state flower, the native flowering dogwood, has had a close call. A blight traced to acid rain came close to wiping it out.

While we often blame over-cutting timber for the loss of beautiful forests, we must remember there is a bigger danger: the trees we love are often just a microbe—or a worm—away from extinction. For more information about the beautiful mountaintop on which we live and the organizations which help keep it green, read “Heart of the Blue Ridge” by Ran Shaffner or visit the Highlands Historical Society’s website: www.highlandshistory.com

by Donna Rhodes  |  Photo Courtesy Highlands Historical Society

 

The Death of Danie

Sol’s Creek Baptist Church

Sol’s Creek Baptist Church

In the Little Canada section of Jackson County is the Sol’s Creek Cemetery, located on the grounds of the Sol’s Creek Baptist Church. There you’ll find the grave of a “well-liked, kind, generous and religious” woman who was brutally attacked and murdered. Her tombstone reads, “Danie H. Mathews Brown, born 19 October 1910 – died 27 September, 1961.” The sensational story of her demise and the wounding of her husband, Jesse J. Brown, was written by W. W. Ward of Brevard and published in a true crime magazine following an in-depth personal interview with Sheriff Frank Allen whose clever detective work had quickly identified and captured the two killers. The sheriff, who recently had a road named for him in Cashiers, even showed the writer the murder weapons. Following is a short version of the cold-blooded murder of Danie Brown.

Highway 281 runs between Highway 107 South in the Tuckaseegee section all the way to Highway 64 in the Lake Toxaway section – a very long, sparsely populated, curvy and at times steep road. Jess Brown and Danie, his wife, owned a farm and a little general store about midway up 281 on Wolf Mountain. The store was across the road from the Browns’ house and farm and a fairly new, white frame Baptist Church had been built just in front of the house, and on that evening in late September 1961, there was a prayer meeting going on in the small church with the sound of the singing of spirited hymns. Danie was milking the cows in the barn while Jess closed the store and when he stepped out on the porch he heard a shotgun roar from across the road and felt slugs tear into his

 

belly. Forty years earlier, Jesse’s father, Lon Brown, had been murdered at this same spot – the killer was Lon’s own brother, Fib Brown. The hymn singing muffled the sound of the shots. Jess fell, could not get up but crawled to his Jeep and managed to honk the car horn until church people came out, laid Jesse on the ground, phoned the sheriff, and went to tell Danie what had happened. Danie could not be found but the milking stool in the barn had been turned over. A search party failed to find Danie that night but the next morning, her body was finally found way up the mountain side – she had been shot in the legs and her throat cut.

Sheriff Allen found a bloody tree limb and a shotgun near the barn and in a short time he had arrested and charged with murder, Rought Brown, age 24, Jesse’s cousin, and a 14-year-old, Charlie Mathis, on parole from reform school. The motive was robbery, which was not carried out. Rought Brown was the son of Fib Brown who had killed Jesse’s father, Lon Brown. “Murder Runs in the Family” was the title of the magazine story.

Contributed by Jane Gibson Nardy, Historian, Cashiers Historical Society

 

 

Highlands Springs and Falls

Home for sale in Highlands NC Home for sale in Highlands NC Home for Sale in Highlands NC Home for Sale in Highlands NC Home for Sale in Highlands NC Homes for Sale in Highlands NCSunlight threads through the high evergreens to dance across the large deck overlooking the cool mountain stream.  In the distance you hear the gentle rumble of the waterfall as the song birds warble.  Located in the community of Highlands Springs and Fall located off of Buck Creek Road near Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, this is the perfect home for a family with children or for empty-nesters who want a place to entertain friends.  Whether you are looking for a year-round home or a seasonal escape from the harried pace of the city, look no more.  This is the home for you.

A short drive from Highlands’ Main Street you can enjoy the quiet of the country without being remote. The home’s open floor plan provides optimal benefit while remaining economical to operate. Take in the beauty of the out-of-doors as you  relax in the home’s large Great Room with its cathedral ceiling and granite-faced fireplace with raised hearth. The warm hues of the hickory flooring add character and warmth to the room. Gather with your family and friends around the expansive dining table in the home’s dining area adjacent to the Great Room.  With double French doors opening to a large deck and a wall of windows, the room is always bright and cheery.

The recently-remodeled kitchen features shimmering granite countertops, a breakfast bar and custom maple cabinetry by Ben Welch of Franklin. You’ll find a place for all your treasures in the kitchen’s many cabinets. There’s room for multiple chefs to assist in meal prep in this design-inspired kitchen.

Adjacent to the Great Room are two large bedrooms separated by a bath. With large closets and carpeted floors, this is the perfect suite for your youngsters or your guests.  Down a short hall on the other side of the Great Room is the home’s large master bedroom with private bath.  A pair of vanities, a spa tub and a tile shower pamper you after a busy day in the mountains. You’ll both have space galore in the suite’s large walk-in closet.  Double French doors lead to a large deck overlooking the gently ambling brook.

Across the hall from the Master Bedroom is another large room that you may use as a media center or family room.  There’s room for a large screen TV, a computer desk, game table or craft space.  You decide what fits your lifestyle. With its own half-bath this room is perfect for a variety of activities.  A large laundry room finishes out this recently completed addition.  Conveniently located up a short flight of stairs is a space perfect for a home office, a reading area or a loft bedroom.

Located on a large lot with a two car garage and central heat and air, this home is a must-see.  Immaculate and neat-as-a-pin; look no further.  For more information go to www.hcmls.com/hlc/maildoc/sd_wA1Wgn20130330120916.html or call Kay Earp of John Cleaveland Realty at (828) 526-4983 or via cell at (828) 526-5118.

By Wiley Sloan  |  Photos by Guy Fielding

 

Andrew Who?

Matthew Bradly at Elicot's Rock

Matthew Bradly at Elicot’s Rock

Born in the Delaware Valley in 1754, Andrew Ellicott’s lifelong obsession with precision crafting and measurement was fostered by his apprenticeship to his clockmaker father. Following his service in the Maryland militia during the Revolutionary War, Ellicott developed a justly deserved reputation as one of the young nation’s premier boundary surveyors. Best known for his 1791–93 work marking the boundaries of the new “Federal City” (Washington, D.C.), he also participated in the completion of the survey of the Mason-Dixon line between Pennsylvania and Maryland and helped draw the boundary between the United States and Spanish Florida.

In 1811 Georgia Governor David Mitchell contracted Ellicott to resurvey the Georgia/North Carolina state line. Mitchell was convinced that the then-standing state line had been poorly drawn and that an accurate survey would result in the addition of 800,000 acres of land to the Peach State’s territory. One of Ellicott’s tasks during the survey was to locate the point at which the 35th parallel crossed the Chattooga River. He identified that point by engraving a boulder at the river’s edge with an <N> and a <G>. The boulder came to be known as “Ellicott’s Rock,” and a trip there via the Bad Creek Trail makes for a great destination hike for visitors to the Highlands-Cashiers area.

Parking for the hike is available at the Bad Creek trailhead on the side of Bull Pen Road at gps coordinates 35.0236 -83.0948; Bull Pen Road is accessed from Highlands via Horse Cove Road and from Cashiers via Route 107.

The trail to the Rock covers about two-and-a-half miles of varied terrain, beginning with a gentle quarter mile followed by a half-mile of steady climb. Your climb is rewarded with over a mile of practically flat ground. After the trail crosses over to the west side of the ridge you will begin to hear the sounds of whitewater in the Chattooga Gorge below. That’s your signal that the descent to the river—the fun part!—is about to begin. The way down is eased by numerous switchbacks, and a walking stick or pair of trekking poles eases it even more.

The trail emerges at a backcountry campsite at the edge of the Chattooga. Follow the trail downstream for a few yards while keeping an eye out for a tree marked with an <i> in black paint. Ellicott’s Rock is just down the bank from the tree. Be aware that the way down involves crossing water-slicked rock face, so do be cautious if you decide to make the trip down.

Golfing Ireland and Scotland

Contributed by Tom Chillemi, Tom’s Golf Tours,  tnchillemi@windstream.net

Contributed by Tom Chillemi, Tom’s Golf Tours,
tnchillemi@windstream.net

Ireland: Many thoughts come to mind when I think of my golfing experiences in Ireland – Links golf (the word Links comes from the fact that the courses link the land to the sea).

Humps and bumps; standing on a tee and not having a clue where to aim unless you have a caddy; Pot Bunkers you have to hit out sideways from, Tall Fescue; Thorny Gorse Bushes; Lots of Wind; having to hit 5 irons from 100 yards; Bump and Run Shots; the Irish accents of the caddies, Pub Grub, Irish music; the friendliest people you will ever meet; lots of sheep; a golf course 99 percent surrounded by water and 250-foot cliffs (Old Head). Where else do you hit across the edge of a cemetery (Ballybunion)? You probably won’t shoot your career round here but I can assure you when you have a unique golf experience, you will enjoy telling your friends about it when you return and probably will be keen to get back to the
“Emerald Isle.”

Scotland: Here you will get all the experiences of playing Links Golf with humps, bumps, pot bunkers, wind and so on with more history and tradition. Scotland is the home of most British Open venues with St. Andrews Old Course being the “Home of Golf.” Walk out on number 18 on Old Course, stand on the Swilken Bridge at sunset and I assure you chill bumps as you look around and think of all the famous golfers that have walked on these hallowed grounds.

The most scenic and least visited area and one of my favorites is the Highlands. Not as many courses here and you go from the flat lands to the mountains. Venues such as Royal Dornoch, Royal Aberdeen & Cruden Bay are world class and equal to any in all Scotland.

My ideal trip would be to enjoy a St. Andrews, Turnberry experience and then head to the Highlands for a few rounds.

Vitamin Myths

Contributed by Jim Johnson, DC, DACBN & Resa Johnson, DC, DACBN, Mountain Air Wellness (828) 743-9070

Contributed by Jim Johnson, DC, DACBN & Resa Johnson, DC, DACBN, Mountain Air Wellness
(828) 743-9070

Dr. Resa and I are both Diplomates of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition and for over thirty years have been effectively counseling people on their healthcare.  We’ve just returned from an International Symposium as guests of Thorne Research.  The three-day event was about aging well and the role of vitamins in creating a healthier life.  The speakers, MD’s, PhD’s, ND’s and DC’s all shared scientific research data on vitamins.

Myth: If I take supplements I can forget diet and exercise.  I wish! Eating well every day and getting good exercise are the foundations to health.  Your diet is the base of the pyramid and everything builds from there.  Unfortunately, our food production in this country is significantly altered from 50 years ago and as a result the quality has diminished.  Therefore you have to supplement your diet with vitamins.

Genetically modified organisms make up over 80 percent of our corn and soybean production.  (Our president and Congress passed a bill last week that holds the companies that make genetically modified food unaccountable even if the seed has not yet been proven safe).  High fructose corn syrup, farm-raised fish, pesticides, cattle that are fed corn instead of grass, and herbicides are just a few of the changes that have affected our food supply, impacting our health.

Myth:  All vitamins are the same!  Quality of the vitamin depends on many factors; for example, fish oil.  We take fish oils, which are strong anti-inflammatory agents and proven effective in lowering triglyceride levels, for their content of EPA/ DHA.  The amount of DHA/EPA can vary greatly depending on what you buy.  Has the product been assayed?  Does the label match up with what is in the capsule and has the oil been filtered?  When a company makes fish oil capsules, lead, mercury, PCBs, etc, should be removed. Whether they are depends on the company.

Bottom line:  To maintain your health, get the latest facts.  The information
is available.

Family Travel

Contributed by Bryan & Tricia Cox - Highlands Travel (828) 526-5243 HighlandsTravel.com

Contributed by Bryan & Tricia Cox – Highlands Travel
(828) 526-5243
HighlandsTravel.com

When we look back on our lives, we realize that some of our fondest memories are those we have shared with family.  To that end, many families are choosing to travel together.  From European adventures to Caribbean getaways or a cruise vacation which has something for everyone, there are so many options when it comes to traveling as a family.

If you are considering multigenerational travel, here are some tips to ensure a successful family vacation:

1.  Make sure you get everyone involved in the planning.  Everyone should contribute at least one thing they want to see or do during the trip.  Plan something for everyone but don’t expect that everyone will participate in every activity.

2.  Choose correct accommodations.  Maybe it is one large suite or villa, or perhaps everyone prefers separate rooms. Discuss preferences and respect each other’s privacy.

3.  Be clear on finances from the beginning.  Consider everyone’s budget and make sure to discuss who will pay for what.  In many cases, these types of trips are gifts with one party footing the bill for the entire group.  However, be sure to talk about who will pay for any additional or unexpected expenses.

4.  Take a break.  While this may be a vacation loaded with fun, don’t make the mistake of thinking it will be relaxing.  As with any group traveling together, there will be times that you simply need time apart.  Schedule time for this to happen so you prevent getting on each other’s nerves.  Regroup at the end of the day to share your experiences.

5.  Capture every moment.  While we as families often discuss taking trips like these, our busy schedules only allow them to occur every so often.  Take a ton of photos and videos.  With the camera quality of smartphones these days, it is easy to have your camera with you at all times.  Capture these moments as they are the whole reason you are traveling together in the first place.

With a little planning and the help of a travel expert, you can have the family vacation of a lifetime with memories you will cherish forever.

 

The Music Within

Have you ever wanted to learn to play an instrument or sing?

Maybe you are a beginner and looking for someone to play with or a venue to demonstrate your musical abilities.  Many beginning players or vocalists can benefit from just having a place to go where they can share their ability with the least amount of performance anxiety possible.  Playing with a group or for an audience takes the player to a much higher level of self-confidence than by simply practicing in private.

There are some local venues where players and want-to-be players can observe and interact with others at various levels.  Being able to share your knowledge and talent with others regardless of how well you can sing or play, reinforces your own abilities while allowing others to learn from you.  I would like to share some local venues where one may observe, interact, and participate to whatever degree.  One may experience professional players with a high skill level or fellowship with those just beginning to learn the mechanics of musical performance. The following venues mainly consist of old country, folk, bluegrass, and gospel performers, but the open mic night is anything goes.  Some of the gatherings are seasonal, but some go year round.

Feel free use the following contact information if you wish to participate in any of the following jam sessions/ performances;   Blue Ridge Music SEBA jam, first Saturday of each month noon to 3:00 P.M., contact (706) 782-9852;  Mountain Grove Baptist Church, first Saturday of each month 6:00 to 9:00 P.M., contact (706) 982-0904; Tiger Food Mart, every Friday night starting at 6:00 P.M., contact (706) 782-7343;  Patton Methodist Church, third Saturday of each month from 7:00 to 9:00 P.M.,  contact (828) 524-9619; City of Tallulah Falls, every Friday night starting at 6:00 P.M., contact (706) 754-6040;  Mountain Rest, South Carolina, Community Jam, one time per month please call (706) 782-9852); Silver Dollar at Long Creek, South Carolina, every Friday night at 6:00 P.M., contact (864) 647-0188; Open mic night Promenade for the Arts, first Friday night of the month starting at 7:00 P.M., contact (706) 782-9852.

There are many other places you will find to play as you begin to network with others.

Contributed by Tom Nixon

 

Have Fun Storming the Castle

“The number of connections in the brain is greater than the number of stars in the Milky Way, and most of my connections are taken up with movie quotes.”

So sayeth my best bud, Bobbo Goldberg. I venture to say every conversation I have ever had with him has had at least one movie reference. We have watched so many films that we often speak in movie shorthand . . . one or two-word exchanges that represent lines if not whole paragraphs of dialog. For example, when we’ve had enough of a self-righteous so-and-so we’ll look at each other and say, “Fruit basket” which is a reference to a Ghostbusters quote. The scene: The vengeful Inspector Peck has been bested by Venkman. As he is being ushered out he yells, “I’m gonna get you Venkman . . . I’m gonna fix you!” To which Venkman replies, “I’m gonna get you a nice fruit basket. I’m gonna miss him.”

Bobbo has a phonographic memory. He can play back anything he hears. Me? Not so much. But it’s still fun to play the movie quote game with him and I encourage you to do the same with a movie pal. By the way two of the most quotable movies of all time are Princess Bride and Galaxy Quest, so I highly recommend your seeing both films if you need a movie quote jumpstart.

In the meantime, test your movie I.Q. (Identifiable Quotes) with the following:

1. “Hello, My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” 2. “Get away from her, you bitch.” 3. “They’re dead. They’re all messed up.” 4. “Heeeere’s Johnny.” 5. “I’m king of the world!” 6. “I collect spores, mold and fungus.” 7. “You can’t handle the truth.” 8.  “I’ve come to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum.” 9.  “It might be a tumor.” “It’s not a tumor.” 10. “ Sex alleviates tension and love causes it” 11.” May the Schwartz be with you.” 12. “I’ll have what she’s having.” 13. “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” 14.” Is it safe?” 15. “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. It’s the War Room.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little excursion into movie land. “One is glad to be of service.” (Bicentennial Man).  Until we meet again, “Hasta la vista, Baby!” (Terminator II).

Answers:

1. Princess Bride; 2. Aliens; 3. Night of the Living Dead; 4. The Shining; 5. Titanic; 6. Ghostbusters; 7. A Few Good Men; 8. They Live; 9. Kindergarten Cop; 10. A Midsummers Night Sex Comedy; 11. Space Balls; 12. When Harry Met Sally; 13. Cool Hand Luke; 14. Marathon Man; 15. Dr. Strangelove; and the title, “Have fun storming the castle.” is from Princess Bride.

by Donna Rhodes

 

Visitors from Afar

Highlands is a small rural town but over the past few years the Rotary Club of Highlands has welcomed visiting Rotarians from foreign shores. In 2012 we welcomed a Rotary Group Study Exchange Team of visitors from Finland, who spent several weeks in Western North Carolina, exchanging ideas on everything from education to business and entrepreneurship to recreational sports. They visited our local school, hospital and police department, met with local leaders and played golf at Highlands Country Club.

In April, we welcomed a Rotary Friendship Team from India. This group of 11 included Rotarians and their spouses from several different Rotary clubs in India and included a teacher, a tax consultant, a housewife, a social worker and several other professionals.

The primary goal of the Rotary International Friendship Exchange is for participants to experience other cultures and build goodwill and friendships. The program advances international understanding and peace through personal relationships. The visitors stay in local homes, visit local attractions, try local food and always find common areas of interest and concern.

With 1.2 million members in 3200 clubs 170 countries, Rotary supports projects world wide that focus on health, poverty, conflict resolution, hunger, and illiteracy. Rotary’s goal is to “make the world a better place.”

The Rotary Club of Highlands is proud to be a part of this vision.

Contributed by Slocum Howland

 

Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

Since its founding more than one hundred years ago, the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust (HCLT), originally known as the Highlands Improvement Society, has pursued the highest degree of professionalism as it conserves and cares for vital lands, water, and wildlife of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. However, resting on tradition is not the approach taken by this historic conservation organization. The Land Trust Alliance has designed a program that officially recognizes a land trust as a national leader in land protection.   The land trust accreditation program identifies land trusts that meet national quality standards for protecting and caring for important lands.  The accreditation process includes an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.  The program has been developed to foster public confidence in land conservation and help   ensure the long-term protection

of land. 

HCLT is proud to announce that they have earned national accreditation through this prestigious program.  Through the rigorous accreditation process, HCLT is advancing its commitment to excellence.  Becoming an accredited land trust is an objective affirmation that HCLT meets national standards, upholds the public trust, and ensures that its conservations are permanent.

In 2012, HCLT conserved new properties that will protect the quality of the water we drink as well as healthy habitats for many of the plants and animals that live on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. New projects are already in the works for 2013.

The mission of HCLT is to protect valuable land resources for all generations. To learn more about your land trust or how you can be involved visit www.hicashlt.org or call (828) 526-1111.  Together we are saving mountains.

Contributed by Julie Schott, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

 

 

Literacy Council of Highlands NC

May typically begins our yearly wind-down here at the Literacy Council of Highlands – a time when we can breathe a little sigh of relief that our year is almost over and begin planning for next year.

However, this May we are going to be very busy as we have three special events upcoming: The Highlands Motoring Festival, Homecomin’ 2013, and Kidz Kamp.

This year, the Highlands Motoring Festival benefits the Literacy Council. This means we are going to be working very hard the weekend of June 7 and 8. We are hosting a welcome reception at SweeTreats on the evening of June 7 and a barn dance at Gus Lard’s barn on June 8 entitled BBQ and Bluegrass for Books.  Both events will begin at 6:30 P.M. Tickets for the events are available at the Literacy Council.

Homecomin’ 2013 is a conference that Judy and I will be attending the week of June 11-14 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This conference will allow us to meet children’s authors, get to know our Dolly Parton Imagination Library team, learn how to use the data system, hear keynote speakers, and learn a thing or two about marketing the program. We are looking forward to this unique experience. Currently, we have 447 participants and 16 graduates of this wonderful program!

This year’s Kidz Kamp will be a one-day event on June 24. It will be a nature-themed day including fun outdoor activities for kids from fourth to sixth grades. Participants will receive a cool field guide, backpack, hat, binoculars, and other tools to help them explore the world around them. Folks from the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust will be guiding us through our adventure. There is no cost for the camp and lunch will be provided. Registration is limited, so call Miss Judy to get registered today!

If you or anyone you know could benefit from one of our free programs, please contact us at (828) 526-0863 and we will be more than happy to assist you. We currently offer GED and ESL classes which will both run throughout the summer. After school programs, including individual tutoring, study hall, computer labs, and after-school enrichment will end on May 23 and begin again on September 2. For more information, visit our website at www.highlandsliteracy.com.

Contributed by Tonya Hensley, Executive Director, Literacy Council of Highlands

 

Highlands Biological Station

Every summer the Highlands Biological Station offers five-day workshops tailored for the local community and members of the Highlands Biological Foundation.  These workshops provide opportunities for in-depth study of special topics of relevance to the southern Appalachians.  This year, the Station is offering several art workshops and a literature workshop with Brent Martin.  Spend part of your summer developing your creative side to compliment your love for science (or vice versa), or exploring the western North Carolina landscape with local authors including Charles Frazier, Wayne Caldwell, George Ellison, Ron Rash, and John Lane!

The 2013 schedule for workshops this summer is:

Attention Artists!

May 6-10 – “Journaling Nature a Day at a Time” with Nancy Lowe

July 1-5 – “Sharing the Stories of Science” with Nancy Lowe

August 12-16 – “Small World: Drawing Insects and Other Small Organisms” (advanced drawing and watercolor) with Nancy Lowe

For Book Lovers!

July 1-5 – “Literary Journals through the Western North Carolina Landscape: An Exploration in Cultural and Natural History through Fiction, Non-fiction, and Poetry” with Brent Martin

Nancy Lowe is a scientific illustrator and photographer specializing in insects, plants, and fungi.  She has spent her professional career focusing on art and science collaborations for museums, libraries, universities, and professional organizations to name a few.  Her workshops are designed to encourage students to become better observers of natural history, and to improve their artistic skills in order to compliment and improve their ability to record their observations.

Brent Martin currently serves as Southern Appalachian Regional Director for the Wilderness Society.  He is a lifetime writer, educator, and conservationist.  Brent is the author of three chapter book collections of poetry, and his poetry and essays have been published in several literary reviews and journals.

For more information about these wonderful workshops, including descriptions, syllabi, and fees, visit www.highlandsbiological.org/summercourses/.  You can also call (828) 526-2602 or visit 265 North Sixth Street for more information.  Members of the Highlands Biological Foundation at the Sagee Mountain Level and above receive a discount.

Contributed by Michelle Ruigrok, Highlands Biological Station

 

2013 Annual Faux Fur Ball

You're invited to the Faux Fur Ball in Sapphire, NC

You’re invited to the Faux Fur Ball in Sapphire, NC

If you are on our mailing list, you may have already received your invitation for our annual Faux Fur Ball.  For those who have not, meet the Queen of this year’s ball, Amore.  She is ready to kick up her paws and get the party started.

Our annual Faux Fur Ball, “which is actually no ball at all,” helps us raise the funds for our very large food bill at the Forever Farm. “So don’t put on your ritz and glitz, just send us a donation for kibbles and bits. Your stay-at-home celebration will be met with tail-wagging appreciation.”

We are dependent on your generous tax deductible donations for the operation of the Friends for Life Forever Farm, a life-long sanctuary for senior and special needs companion animals located in Lake Toxaway.  Visit our website at www.friendsforlifeforeverfarm.org to take a Visual Tour of our facility.  Donations can be made online, or mailed to P.O. Box 340, Sapphire, NC 28774.

Contributed by Kathy Bub, Executive Director, Forever Farms

 

Carpe Diem Farms in Highlands NC

Loyalty is a trait we all hope to be known by; in friendship, in love, in our work ethic, in our family of origin and our family of choice. We want to be loyal above all else. Yet, how many of us truly are?

On March 28, I said good-bye to the most loyal creature I have ever known. She demonstrated her loyal commitment the day she showed up at the farm, claimed me as her person of choice and the farm as her home. There wasn’t a day that passed that she didn’t wake up with a smile and only one agenda, to be my constant companion all day every day. It didn’t matter to her if we were in the stables, working in the office, taking a long trail ride, running errands in the truck with her waiting for me to return, conducting kids camps, after school programs, painting or constructing building; her only request, to be by my side.

In the 15 plus years here she has been a beacon of light at Carpe Diem Farms. She has greeted every guest and participant joyfully. She has welcomed every dog, cat and horse into our family happily. She seemed to live with a motto that “there is always room for one more to love.” She taught me so much and my heart aches for the physical space she no longer occupies. She took a piece of my heart with her on her latest journey and she left my heart full of her love.

Joy lived to be 18 years old. As she aged gracefully through every season of her life she made concessions. When she could no longer go on trail rides she watched as we rode off and awaited our return on the front porch. She took to sleeping in my closet knowing I would return. She shared every trial, happiness and sorrow of my life…my constant companion.  She slept in the stables with me as we awaited the birth of Promise.  When one of the horses, dogs or cats became sick or infirm she stayed by my side nursing them and being with me as they passed on.  She attended every burial, comforting me in
my sadness.

My life is so much richer for having shared it with her. I know that she will be waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge and in the meantime she will be running in the fields with all her friends, two and four-legged alike who have gone before her. Her unconditional love and loyalty will be her legacy. I am a better person for the gifts she shared and taught.

Contributed by Sue Blair, Carpe Diem Farms Executive Director

 

The Benefits of Service

Steve’s Dad Howard Mills

Steve’s Dad Howard Mills

It has been a privilege to serve as the director of our hospice in the Highlands-Cashiers area the past two years.  Our team have been honored to be part of the lives of so many.  Recently my family took the journey that so many have taken before.  My dad died on February 27.  He lived just over a month after his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.  During that time, we faced the same confusion and need as every family.

Hospice helped with the tremendous confusion we felt.  Despite my experience, our world turned upside down as my dad, who was a rock-solid presence, quickly grew weaker.  He was a career policeman and the one people turned to for help.  Now we had questions, uncertainties and fears as we faced what it meant for him to leave us.  Hospice provided answers and support.

Hospice helped us deal with the physical changes my dad experienced.  What a change it was for me to be providing personal care to my dad.  Hospice assisted with necessary medicines, as well as supplies and training for his care.  How gratifying for my sister and me to fulfill his wish to stay in his home during his final days.

Hospice helped us deal with the stress we experienced.  I remember thinking, “This is incredibly hard to do.”  The hospice team helped us manage our own needs, while supporting him in the best ways possible.

Hospice helped us gather the resources to move forward in a new way.  My dad was the primary caregiver for my mom for a number of years.  The hospice team helped us begin to address my mom’s needs for care as my dad quietly and peacefully left us.

Through this personal experience, I now have an even stronger commitment and passion for serving those in the Highlands-Cashiers region who need the support and care that we provide as your local hospice team.  Please call us with questions at (828) 526-2552.

Contributed by Steve Mills

 

A Pawsitively Purrfect Evening in Cashiers NC

When you first arrive at the beautiful and exquisite Country Club of Sapphire Valley, you know this night is going to be special. From the spectacular views on the Mountain Veranda to the elegant dining experience in the Sapphire Room, there is only one thing that could make this evening more perfect. Pawsitively Purrfect, as a matter of fact. And that is to combine this uniquely stunning venue with a night of fundraising and “fun-raising” to support the shelter pets at the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society.

Pawsitively Purrfect Evening is our annual gala that kicks off the social season in grand style! Join us at the luxurious Country Club of Sapphire Valley and enjoy a magical evening featuring cocktails, an exquisite dinner, live and silent auction, and dancing. Among the live auction items this year is a one-week stay in a majestic 19th-century townhome in Barcelona, Spain. Other auction items include private home dinner parties, golf packages, gift certificates to area restaurants, and much more!

Pawsitively Purrfect Evening is Friday, June 14, from 6:00-10:30 P.M. and tickets are $175 per person ($350 per couple). To purchase tickets or for more information, please call (828) 743-5752 or email info@chhumanesociety.org. Last year’s gala welcomed a record number of attendees and tickets sold fast, so make plans today to be a part of this elegant evening to support the rescued animals entrusted to our care!

Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society is located on Highway 64, two miles east of the Cashiers Crossroads behind Reid Real Estate. Shelter hours are 10:00 A.M. -4:00 P.M. Monday through Saturday. Visit CHHS online at www.chhumanesociety.org to see pictures and descriptions of all the adorable, adoptable dogs and cats looking for forever homes. For more information, call (828) 743-5752.

Established in 1987, Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society is a private 501(c)(3) not-for-profit animal welfare organization and no-kill shelter that receives no federal, state, or county tax dollars, and no funding from the Humane Society of the United States. CHHS relies solely on donations, grants, bequests and special events to further our mission of rescue, compassionate care, and finding forever homes for abandoned and neglected animals.

Contributed by David Stroud, Executive Director, Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society

 

 

Relay Around the World

A highly-visible symbol of a personal victory over cancer, the Global Relay For Life Heroes of Hope and their profiles of courage encourage support and participation in the programs of each international cancer organization. More than simply inspiring us, cancer survivors and caregivers reaffirm the missions of our organizations and reinforce, in a personal way, the need for all of us to continue to fight back against cancer.

The Global Relay For Life Heroes of Hope survivorship initiative involves the selection of Heroes of Hope from Global Relay For Life participating countries. The initiative has three
primary goals:

•To give each Global Relay For Life member country an opportunity to recognize one or more cancer survivors who have impacted their community

•To give one or more cancer survivors the opportunity to serve as a voice for their country’s cancer organization

•To encourage other cancer survivors to actively share their own cancer Relay For Life events. As ambassadors of their country’s cancer organization, these Heroes of Hope will inspire other survivors and expand the whole world of cancer survivorship.

Today, Relay events proudly host more than 600,000 survivors each year. These extraordinary beacons of hope – and the caregivers at their side – show us that, together, we’re stronger than cancer!

From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Sydney, Australia, and from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to Moncton, Canada, survivors are showing that cancer is defeated by coming together. No matter where you are in the world, our survivors speak a common language — the language of hope! For some, it is the hope that a newly diagnosed patient will live to celebrate their next birthday. For others, it is the hope that they will dance at their grandson’s wedding. And, for others, it is the hope that nobody will have to go through the pain and suffering of cancer ever again. It is hope that brings the strength and courage to these survivors!

Next month, we’ll honor a Highlands survivor and share her story. Please join us to celebrate our survivors and honor our caregivers.  Visit www.relayforlife.org/highlandsnc, www.facebook.com/relayforlifeofhighlandsnc, or call (828) 526-1841.

Contributed by Ellen Bauman

 

Mountaintop Rotary in Highlands NC

The Highlands Mountaintop Rotary Club is moving into spring and summer with several new members and exciting events planned.

Mountaintop Rotary would like to welcome all of our new members. Danielle Koman is a Family Nurse Practitioner at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, and was sponsored by Callie Calloway. Rita Kelly is the owner of both Rita’s Cottage and Highlands Fine Consignments and was sponsored by Bill Zoellner. Pat Turnbull, who was sponsored by Al Bolt, is a returning member to the club.  Pat is the Membership Coordinator at The Bascom. The most recent member to join is Cherry Bittick, owner of Cabin Couture. She was also sponsored by Bill Zoellner.  Mountaintop Rotary is excited to have all of these talented people join our club.

In March, the Mountaintop Rotary was able to deliver $2,000 worth of food items and essential household supplies to the Highlands Emergency Council for distribution to those in need in the area. Funds used were raised from donations collected during our annual Halloween Hot Dog Giveaway and our Annual Holiday Wreath Fundraiser. Money raised from those events was matched by a $1,000 grant from Rotary District 7670.

Our next fundraiser will be taking place on June 1. Highlands Mountaintop Rotary is reviving the Mountain Lakes 5K, formerly put on by the Highlands Roadrunners Club. The race for both runners and walkers will raise money for wheelchairs in third world countries, the Highlands Community Care Clinic and other charities. The race will take place on Saturday, June 1, beginning at 8:30 A.M. Registration will take place at the Highlands Recreation Park and starts at 7:30 A.M. The entry fee for adults is $25 with an event T-shirt and $15 with no T-shirt. Students can take part for just $15 with t-shirt. Participants are urged to pre-register and forms will be available at the Highlands Rec. Park or by phone or e-mail by contacting Skip Taylor at (828) 526-4280 or e-mail sidebead1@gmail.com.

The Highlands Mountaintop Rotary meets every Wednesday morning at 7:30 A.M. in the dining room at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital.

Contributed by Victoria Ingate

 

Highlands Playhouse Lock-Up

Highlands community leaders are taking a break from their daily duties to spend time in “jail” for the Highlands Playhouse to gain charitable donations for their release. The Highlands Playhouse Lock-Up is a community event that is a high spirited way to help the Playhouse with operating expenses.

By agreeing to do time, Playhouse Jailbirds from the community go behind bars as they ask family, friends and business contacts to make donations to their “bail” to benefit the Highlands Playhouse to help continue the tradition of professional theatre. Community support is the driving force that enables the Playhouse to continue providing high quality professional entertainment.

“The Playhouse Lock-Up is a fun and exciting way for community leaders to show their support of Arts and Entertainment on the plateau,” said Playhouse Managing Director Tammy Hernandez. “The arts play such an important role in our daily lives and we are blessed to have a dynamic community that will come together to support the Playhouse.”

The goal for each Jailbird is to raise $500 to help support the oldest theatre in North Carolina. Our “living theatre” came to Highlands 75 years ago to serve as a gathering place for all who love live entertainment, served up by professional actors and other performers who make it their passion.

Once arrested, Jailbirds will be transported to the mock jail in Town Square on Saturday, May 18, where they are encouraged to make additional calls to friends and business associates to raise money for their bail. To nominate a community leader that you would  like to see “do time,” call (828) 526-2695 .

The Highlands Playhouse is located at 362 Oak Street. Subscriptions for all five plays are available now for $150, with extra discounts for educators. To purchase subscriptions or to receive more information, call (828) 526-2695 or go to www.highlandsplayhouse.org. Group tickets (10 or more) are available now at savings up to 30 percent. Tickets for individual performances are available by calling the box office. For full sponsorship information, contact Chesley Owens at (828) 526-9443 or email highlandsplayhouse@yahoo.com.

Contributed by Chesley Owens

 

Catman Shelter in Cashiers NC

The year 2012 was a great year for the cats. We rescued 118 cats and kittens.

Twenty two came from the Jackson County Shelter, 19 from other shelters, 50 were picked up as strays and 27 were surrendered by their owners.

When the year started we had more than 90 residents at the shelter. We found new homes for 90 cats and ended the year with a population of 86. Catman2, as well as being a rescue and adoption center is also a sanctuary and when a cat is accepted it is given the right to stay until it finds a new home or becomes too old to enjoy a good quality of life. We take the term “no-kill” to be what it means.

Although the year was good for the cats, it was not as good as it may sound for the shelter. Adopting ninety cats sounds like a lot. But we do not make money on adoptions. The average cost to get a cat ready for adoption, vet work, vaccines, food, and the like, is about $130. Our adoption fee is $80. Do the math.

Of course, the cats know nothing of this. They still want to be fed quality food, use clean litter and be warm in winter and cool during the summer. Catman2 had to hire its first employee. This has added about $28,000 to the budget. Up until now all work with the cats was done by volunteers. I, Harold Sims, have never taken a cent for myself. Mine is a labor of love.

What are we going to do? We are going to keep going. In the good years we were able to tuck away surplus funds in CDs. The most I can hope is that the money is safe and will be there when needed.

We hope to do the “Cats in Review” show we had to cancel last fall. We want to raffle a car this year rather than a quilt. We hope to find a way to profit from the Painted Cats. We’re going to try to find a way to promote “Kevin the Helpful Vampire Cat” and his books.

Tell a friend about us and ask them to help. We need money and we need volunteers. Since Catman2 started in 1996, we have saved more than 3,000 cats within our shelter and many more with the advice and education we have been more than willing to give. Call us at (828) 293-0892 and we will return your call when you want help or
need advice.

Contributed by Harold Sims

 

Community Computers Program

The Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley and Sounds Essential, a Sapphire-based marketing and IT firm, are teaming up to provide area schools, non-profit organizations and other charitable entities with quality refurbished computers.

The program, called Community Computers, seeks to find new homes for gently used, completely refurbished computers and equipment, placing them where need is the greatest.

As part of the program, individuals and businesses from the community are asked to donate their old equipment while Sounds Essential donates its time to rebuild and restore the computers to working condition. Rotary will identify needy recipients.

Sounds Essential proposed the project to Rotary after several of the firm’s IT clients asked what could be done with computers they were replacing or no longer needed. “We often help guide customers and clients through the process of updating or modernizing their equipment,” says Duncan Baker, co-owner of Sounds Essential. “That doesn’t mean the old equipment is useless, though.”

For Vic Galef, president of the Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley, the program seemed like a natural fit. “In these difficult times, when affordability is such a huge issue for so many, Rotary can help facilitate a service to those in real need. It’s especially important for younger people, who need to keep up with the fast paced computerization of learning tools.”

Donated equipment can include PC or Mac laptops or desktops, monitors, printers, keyboards, wireless routers and other accessories that can be used in rebuilding the computers, along with operating system and other software installation discs when present. Tablets and smartphones with wireless capabilities will also be accepted.

To donate to the Community Computers program, please bring all old or no longer needed equipment, including any available operating system or installation discs specific to that device, to the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce Office and Visitor Center, located at 202 Highway 64 West, between the hours of 10 A.M. and 4 P.M., Monday through Friday.

For those interested in learning more about or joining the Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley, please visit www.cashiersrotary.org., or contact Bob Starkey at (828) 508-2659. The Rotary meets on Wednesday mornings at the Cashiers United Methodist Church.

Contributed by Vanna Cameron