Highlands Rotary Bingo

Colorful characters have always been a part of Highlands history and, apparently, Highlands Bingo.

Colorful characters have always been a part of Highlands history and, apparently, Highlands Bingo.

Join your friends for an exciting night of bingo to support the Highlands Historical Society, at 6:30 P.M.  Thursday, October 3, at the Highlands Community Building next door to the Town Ballpark.

Bingo games cost $1 per card per game. The night consists of 15 games of Bingo with the last game being a surprise cash prize. Each month half of all money paid to play Bingo goes to the non-profit partner and the other half goes to lucky winners. Players enjoy 100 percent of the fun.

Supporters of the Historical Society are invited to become table sponsors. Sponsors buy a full-page table ad for $50. All of the money paid for sponsorships/ads goes to the Historical Society to support the preservation of the Historic Village and underwrite the outreach programs that share Highlands’ history. Checks for table ads should be made out to the Rotary Club of Highlands. They can be mailed to HHS at P. O. Box 670, Highlands, NC  28741. Call HHS at (828) 787-1050.

Bring your friends and fill a table. Add to the excitement by including your youngsters. Enjoy free refreshments in a family atmosphere. Rotary Bingo is one of the many ways the Rotary Club of Highlands participates in supporting non-profit organizations in the Highlands area.

By Wiley Sloan



Highlands NC’s Pour le Pink

Everyone’s welcome at Pour le Pink, an exhilarating walk/run to support women’s health, October 5 at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital.

Everyone’s welcome at Pour le Pink, an exhilarating walk/run to support women’s health, October 5 at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital.

The third annual Pour le Pink, a 3.1 mile Walk/Run to support local breast health and women’s services, will be held Saturday, October 5, at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital.  The funds raised will go toward maintaining the hospital’s spectrum of breast health and women’s services.

“Last year’s Pour le Pink raised nearly $13,000 and helped build a lasting fund for women’s services, enabling us to stay up to date with critical services, equipment and provide our patients the best quality care possible,” said race organizer Callie Calloway, Communications Specialist at HCH.  “We are hoping for the same success this year!”

The race will start on the campus of HCH, travel to Buck Creek Road, down Cheney Lane, looping back to the hospital campus for the finish. Event-goers are invited to participate as runners, walkers and individuals or teams. Prizes will be awarded to the top three places female/male runners/walkers in each age group.

“We encourage our community to get involved, whether it’s participating by running/walking or in a sponsorship capacity,” said Calloway.  “This year the Preschool Class at The Child Development Center in Highlands will be collecting quarters to provide a special donation in support of Pour le Pink.  Women’s health issues have hit close to home for several employees and/or family members at the center and fundraising for the walk/run will honor those.”

Calloway added, “The event will not only benefit HCH, but foster community awareness of women’s health and wellness. This is a great opportunity to support the hospital that helps keep our community healthy.”

Sponsorship opportunities from $100 to $1,000 are available. Registration for Pour le Pink is under way and is now available on Active.com. The 5k race is open to male/female runners and walkers of all ages and will begin at 9:00 A.M. More information is available online at highlandscashiershospital.org or contact Callie Calloway at (828) 526-1313.


Fifth Annual Leaf Festival in Cashiers

Cashiers-Leaf-Fest5-2The Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association will stage the 2013 Leaf Festival on Columbus Day weekend, October 11-13, at the Village Green and Commons in Cashiers.

This year’s festival expects to welcome around 100 artisans and merchants scattered throughout the Village Green and Commons park, located directly in the center of Cashiers adjacent to the crossroads of Highways 64 and 107. There will also be plenty of food and drinks.

Highlighting this year’s musical lineup is a special Friday night, October 11, concert by Deja Vu, a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tribute band. The Friday night concert will begin at 7:30 P.M. and end at 10:15 P.M. Gates open at 6:30 P.M. This will be the only event of the weekend requiring a purchased ticket. There will be a full cash bar, including a moonshine margarita bar and a culinary cafe. Everyone is encouraged to dress in their favorite clothing from the 1960s. Concert ticket prices are $25 for general admission and $65 for VIP tickets, which includes valet parking, a reserved table, and a dinner voucher at the culinary cafe. Advanced ticket sale locations are at Bear Paw Design/Robins Nest and Midnight Farms. There will be a presale only for VIP tickets, as a limited number of tables are available. To purchase tickets online, visit dejavucashiers.eventbrite.com. No pets, coolers or chairs will be allowed at this one event only.

Live music is scheduled from noon to 5:00 P.M. on Saturday and Sunday by 12 acts on two different stages. All of these shows are free and open to the public. Most of these performers are local and regional acts, ranging from jazz, to blues, Americana, bluegrass, rock, soul, and funk.

Sunday’s festival finale features popular new regional band Soldier’s Heart with special guest Darren Nicholson of the WNC award-winning bluegrass band Balsam Range. Don’t miss this special one of a kind performance.

For more information, visit visitcashiersvalley.com, e-mail info@visitcashiersvalley.com, or call (828) 743-8428.

Contributed by Kelly Donaldson



Cyprus Restaurant in Highlands NC


Here’s the problem about reviewing the menu at Cyprus: By design it’s kaleidoscopic, changing on a regular basis from Italian to Thai, Mediterranean, French, South American, Pan-Asian or Caribbean native cuisines.

Of course, that’s not really a problem if your palate is a world traveler.

Having said that, there are constants to Cyprus that’ll ensure the validity of this piece, regardless of which evening you visit.

First, there’s the luxurious décor, which informs every moment of the experience. Walls are tricked out in impossibly rich shades of olive, orange and sage. The copper-edged bar is at once elegant and electric with its highlights of deep red. The dining room is spacious enough to allow intimate conversation while larger tables are made for boisterous exchanges – Cyprus is that kind of place. It’s all enhanced by soft music and a carefully designed lighting scheme.

Yet somehow, even with all the care given to the details, the center of the restaurant is the dazzling open kitchen overseen by owner/chef Nicholas Figel. It’s an endlessly fascinating show that’s inviting and endlessly surprising, much like the Cyprus experience itself.

On the evening my companion and I were there, Nick’s kitchen was turning out astonishing creations.

We started out with fresh-from-the-sea appetizers – South African Kwazulu Coast Barbecued Red Grouper with Pumpkin and Norland Red Potato Souffle, spread upon a succulent Dutch Snap Pea Salad for my sweetie; Oahu Napali Coast Mixed Sushi Rolls with Wild Salmon, Pineapple, Pepper and Spam, served with Wasabi and Pickled Ginger for me.

If the inclusion of Spam on such a rarified menu surprises you, well, that’s the point. As one who lived for many years on Oahu, I can promise you that Spam is a staple of the Hawaiian diet. Nick is faithful to his peasant-inflected cuisine and there’s an unshakable authenticity that infuses every part of Cyprus’ menu.

“It takes a little more effort, but I regularly shop the ethnic markets in Atlanta to ensure that we maintain uncompromised quality in each dish that we serve,” Nick says. “In the kitchen, we go the extra mile to express ideas in food which are sincere, and we remain mindful that our food is a vessel for communication
with you.”

Sure enough, the extra attention gave the appetizers a fresh immediacy that set the stage for our far-corners-of-the-world entrees – Cape Flattery Washington Coast Grilled Troll King Salmon with Transparent Apple & Sour Cherry Coulis, Barbecued All Blue Potatoes and Tellecherry Black Peppercorn Compound Butter; and New Zealand Coromandel Peninsula Roast Rack of Lamb Seasoned with Garlic and Rosemary, Crushed Potato, Dijon Mustard, and Fresh
Plum Tomato.

Since I only have a limited amount of space here, let me just say that the food was exquisite. Cyprus is celebrating 10 years and its reputation has spread far beyond this little town. That should be testimony enough.

And though our meals were deeply satisfying on so many levels, my sweetie and I wisely saved room for a couple of desserts, the kind that wake you up years later with impossible cravings. She selected the Lavender Ice Cream Sandwich dipped in delicate wildflower honey, while I fell hard for Quetzalcoatl’s Dream – a heady blending of Cayenne and Cinnamon Ice Cream and Seasoned Dark Chocolate Ganache over Chocolate Cake. There was nothing subtle about my choice, it was a full-out seduction.

And while I’ve devoted most of this to the unforgettable food and the luxurious décor, I have to mention the service staff. While there’s an air of flash and showmanship to Cyprus, the servers are a perfect complement – unobtrusive, alert and, quietly confident.

Cyprus is located on the Dillard Road, four-tenths of a mile from Main Street.  Call (828) 526-4429 or visit cyprushighlands.com for reservations.

You won’t need your passport.

By Luke Osteen



Stars of the Bar on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau

Sasha Kikoin and Olivia Lovell are two of The Ugly Dog Pub’s bar stars.

Sasha Kikoin and Olivia Lovell are two of The Ugly Dog Pub’s bar stars.

Carpano Sweet Vermouth and Bulleit Rye Whiskey combine perfectly into a classicly delicious Manhattan.


Add whiskey and vermouth.

Add whiskey and vermouth.


Combine with ice and shake it up.

Combine with ice and shake it up.


Pour into a martini glass.

Pour into a martini glass.


Top with bourbon infused cherry.

Top with bourbon infused cherry.

Cocktails, and the art of making them well, have undergone a strong resurgence in the last few years.  This passion for quality drinks, which can be referred to as ‘liquid baking,’ is alive and well in Highlands.  Liquor-by-the-drink has only been allowed here since 2007.  Once approved, our local establishments lost no time in providing quality cocktails to Highlands.

One of the most well-known watering holes in Highlands is The Ugly Dog Public House (a.k.a. The Dog) located at 294 South Fourth Street, “On the Hill.”  “The Dog” truly is your neighborhood pub where the staff will greet you with a smile and your favorite libation.

The Dog’s bar menu includes a wide variety of local craft beers, fine wines and a full range of spirits.   Feel like you are in a rut with your cocktail?  Try something new and exciting. If you enjoy a Gin and Tonic, give their Jack Rudy small batch tonic a try. Their experienced staff includes Olivia Lovell, Justin Taylor, Caprisha Hall, Becca Ashburn, Sasha Kikoin, and Lindsay Gearhart. They are all well-trained in the art of mixology and are anxious to be sure that everyone gets their drink-of-choice each and every time they visit the Dog.

Branch out from your usual.  Put these stars to work creating unique drinks for your pallet. Let Becca make you a Skinny Margarita or watch attentively as Olivia creates the cool and refreshing Mojito. Trotter’s customers rave about his Puck – a tantalizing combination of organic cucumber vodka, gin and a splash or two of tonic. Don’t worry about stumping this talented group of bartenders – they are ready for any challenge. Caprisha relishes in making the Sazerac-the New Orleans version of the Old Fashion and Sasha makes a Manhattan with the Dog’s own bourbon infused cherries.  Lindsay and Justin’s customers gravitate more to one of the many craft beers and ales on tap.  Be sure to pair your favorite drink with some of the tasty foods that The Dog is known for.  Chef Adam Bresnahan is constantly revising the menu depending on the season to keep it fresh and delicious. For the after dinner crowd, liqueurs, ports or brandies are available for a special night cap.

The Dog’s Proprietors-Kay and Thomas Craig sing the praises of all of their staff. “No matter how hectic things get here or how late the party goes, the entire staff works hard to give you a great experience,” Kay tells me.

Stop by The Dog often to lift your spirits. Don’t expect to see dancing on the bar, but the bluegrass music every Wednesday and the bands on Saturdays will get you up and moving. When you visit The Dog expect a fun time with tasty food and drink and a welcoming smile.

By Wiley Sloan

Nominate your favorite mixologist to be the next Star of the Bar at:


Highlands Culinary Weekend

anna-kincade-john-collette-cashiers-ncThe 7th Annual Culinary Weekend takes place Thursday, November 7, through Sunday, November 10.

Join us as we embrace an amazing weekend of food, wine and fun in the beautiful mountains of Highlands.

Kick off the weekend at the Opening Night Celebration, Thursday, November 7, at 7:00 P.M. at the esteemed Highlands Country Club. Enjoy fine wines and the delectable cuisine of Highlands’ local chefs.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, fill your itineraries with an array of activities, tastings and dinners hosted by local restaurants, merchants and accommodations. Plan to attend the annual Sip & Stroll  from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Friday and Saturday, November 8-9, in the downtown area.

This year’s participating restaurants include Cyprus International Cuisine, Kilwin’s, Lakeside Restaurant, Old Edwards Inn & Spa, Ruka’s Table, The Gamekeeper’s Tavern, Mountain Fresh Grocery, The Ugly Dog Pub, Rosewood Market, and Wolfgang’s Restaurant & Wine Bistro. Participating Wineries include;  Empire Distributors, Mutual Distributing, Lambert Bridge, Silver Oak Cellars, Cakebread Cellars, Justin Vineyards, and Kobrand. Sip & Stroll participants include; 4th Street Boutique, Acorns & Acorns on Church, Alyxandra’s Boutique, Highlands Fine Art and Estate Jewelry, Hen House, Mountain Fresh Grocery, Oakleaf Flower & Garden, TJ Baileys, Vivace, Xtreme Threads, Potpourri and Potpourri 2, Cabin Couture, Cabin Casuals, Bags on Main and Wit’s End.

Tickets to the Opening Night Celebration are $75 and can be purchased in advance via the website highlandsculinaryweekend.com or by calling The Highlands Chamber of Commerce at (866) 526-5841.

The Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is the presenting sponsor of Culinary Weekend. Event sponsors include The Laurel Magazine, Old Edwards Inn & Spa, White Oak Realty, WHLC 104.5, The Highlander Newspaper, Inland Seafood, A Moment In Time Photography and Trudie Gagne Photography.

The Highlands Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities or to be a part of the 7th Annual Culinary Weekend, please call (866) 526-5841 or visit highlandsculinaryweekend.com.

Contributed by Laura Huerta


Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

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

Contributed by Dr. Anastasia Halldin, Nutrition Coach

Fall is the time of colorful leaves, going back to school and squash overload. The sweetness and the filling texture of butternut squash makes it a welcome addition to many delicious and healthy dishes. This version of mac and cheese is lighter, but just as tasty as the “real thing.” I like to serve butternut squash mac and cheese with a side of quinoa and a simple salad.

Sweet enough for the kids to not complain, butternut squash is full of vitamin A. One cup of this vegetable contains almost 150 percent of your daily recommended amount of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is said to prevent lung cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetic heart disease. It can help alleviate or prevent inflammatory diseases, lower cholesterol and much more. Butternut squash also has 32 percent of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C, a lot of potassium, fiber, manganese, omega 3 fatty acids, several B-vitamins and copper. One cup of butternut squash contains only 63 calories.



• 2.5 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed

• 3 cups macaroni (regular or gluten-free) cooked, according to package’s instructions

• 1 cup regular or non-dairy milk

• 3 organic eggs, lightly beaten

• 1 teaspoon sea salt

• 1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese grated

• 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (optional)

• 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Put the squash into a medium pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and simmer for five minutes, or until the squash is soft (check for softness with a fork.) Drain and mash with a potato masher. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except for the last two. Mix well.

4. Lightly oil a large casserole dish and lightly sprinkle it with breadcrumbs. 5. Pour the maccaroni mixture into the casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs.

6. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is completely set.


Focusing on Fate

George Masa

George Masa

Over the decades, scores of photographers, amateur and professional, have documented and celebrated Highlands’ history and beauty.  One of the best remembered is Japanese-born Masahara Izuka, whom fate dropped at Highlands’ door. As a young man he attended a Japanese university in Tokyo. Under the tutelage of an American missionary, he converted to Christianity.

He became intrigued with the United States, its land and people, so at twenty-one, he sneaked aboard a steamer and landed in California. There he attended the University of California as George Masa to study mining engineering. By 1915 he was hired by The Grove Park Inn
in Asheville.

The Carolina Mountains grabbed hold of his heart and wouldn’t turn loose. The manager of The Grove Park Inn lent him a camera, and Masa surrendered willingly to the passions that consumed him: exploring the beauty of the region, photography, and hiking.

Camera in tow, Masa would think nothing of hiking 20 miles to a remote spot, then perhaps wait as many hours to get the optimum light for a photograph. His perfectionist leanings played havoc with deadlines. Employers learned quickly to be patient and not pay by the hour.

His expertise in mining engineering afforded him the skill to map hundreds of miles of uncharted trails. He jury-rigged a bicycle-wheel-and-seat-odometer, which he pushed ahead of him as he blazed trails. He moved so quickly that a hiker-tourist caught a glimpse of him zooming by in 1927, and yelled to the guide, Tom Alexander, “Take me home. I just saw an Indian chasing us on
a bicycle!”

In 1933 he and newspaperman, George McCoy, published a “Guide to the Smoky Mountains National Park” based on Masa’s maps. During almost two decades of hiking, surveying, and photographing in the area he earned the title of “the greatest photographer of the Great Smoky Mountains.”

Sadly, George Masa died unceremoniously and penniless of influenza at the age of 51. But his magnificent works live on to commemorate his genius. The Highlands Historical Society has the world’s largest collection of his photographs on public display in its Frank Cook Gallery. Some of those shots photographically illustrate Heart of the Blue Ridge by Randolph Shafner. Visit the Highlands Historical Society’s website at highlandshistory.com for more information about Masa and about the region he so lovingly documented.


Under the Lake

 Lake Glenville filled to the top in 2013.

Lake Glenville filled to the top in 2013.

While working on preparing Ruth Ashe’s c1980s Cashiers Area history articles for publication, I decided I needed to share her story of what emerged at the bottom of Lake Glenville during a near drought in 1983. Following are excerpts from that story.

“The usually wet summers began to change until in 1980, our spring, which furnished our water supply, went dry and by the fall of 1983 Lake Glenville was the lowest we had seen it. Thinking that the lake would never be that low again, I was curious to see if there were any remnants of the old town of Glenville visible for the first time since the dam gates closed and water rose a hundred and fifty feet over the valley floor.

“Emory McCoy, owner of the Real McCoy’s General Merchandise Store on Hwy. 107, was kind enough to take me on a tour of the lake bed. Mr. McCoy had purchased Fowler’s store in 1937 and operated it until the dam was built. At that time, he moved the store to its present location.

“First, we saw the concrete clock and stone foundation of Lon Reynolds’ house and store. Standing upright, a good three feet high, it was the only remnant of a building still intact in the old town. A few feet away, the location of the original Hamburg Baptist Church was pointed out. The sparkling blue water still hid the site. As we walked south toward Hurricane Falls we passed pile after pile of huge stones. We believed these were the original homes. Some of the stones were the big, flat kind used for the fireplace hearth.

“Close to the edge of the water, we found the location of Mr. McCoy’s former store. A gas pipe protruding from the sand had once fed gas to the cars of the area. A pile of stones marked the spot where the Fowler Tourist Home and cabins had stood. Pieces of old pottery dishes were among the stones. In another place, huge nails covered the ground amid pieces of broken horseshoes, indicating where a blacksmith had plied his trade. A short distance away the foundation of Carl Jamison’s warehouse protruded a foot out of the water. One eerie sight was broken fence posts still standing, almost as if they were guarding a piece of land.

“Old Glenville resembled an archeological dig but man’s hand had not uncovered it. The silent, receding water pulled the curtain of time aside to show what once had been. Only a good imagination was needed to visualize the town that had been the original Glenville.”

Contributed by Jane Gibson Nardy, Historian, Cashiers Historical Society



A Timber Ridge Home in Cashiers NC

timber-ridge-cashiers-nc-fourtimber-ridge-cashiers-nc-fivetimber-ridge-cashiers-nc-onetimber-ridge-cashiers-nc-twotimber-ridge-cashiers-nc-threeDecades old trees surround this Frank Lloyd Wright-style home.

With its standing seam metal roof and walls of glass, the estate blends into its surroundings.   Like the lens of a camera, a wall of glass across the front of the house frames breath-taking views of the pond throughout the day.  Stroll the large covered deck as the gently cascading water plays a gentle rhapsody on its way to the large pond.  Rainbow and brown trout swim lazily in the crystal clear water. Imagine the hours of enjoyment your grandchildren will have as they hone their fishing skills along the bank (catch and release only, of course).   Gentle breezes stir the stands of bamboo that are interspersed with the rhododendron and mountain laurel — the perfect habitat for birds of all species.

Located just a short drive from the Cashiers Crossroads in the gated Timber Ridge community, this home is warm and welcoming throughout the year.  Designed by local architect Dan Duckham, renowned for his organic architecture, it is pleasing to the eye, yet comfortable and cozy.

Awaken slowly as you prepare breakfast with light streaming through the clerestory windows of the kitchen.  Two well-appointed guest bedrooms, each with its own private bath, invite your friends to kick back and relax.  They overlook the rear yard, and guests can commune with nature while they catch up on Facebook posts or finish that favorite novel.

Just steps away in the living room, your family relaxes in front of the gently glowing fire of the stone fireplace.  The living room’s cathedral ceiling and walls of windows fill you with positive ions and energize you for a day of fun in the mountains.

A small bar tucked just outside the master bedroom provides libations when the time is right. Relax at the end of a busy day in the master bedroom suite in which a wall of stone reaches to the heavens and surrounds a raised fireplace. Let the gently dancing flames of a low fire soothe you into slumber.  With a master bath that includes both a shower and a spa tub, you’ll be pampered in style.  His and her closets and a makeup area complete the master suite.

Far from your private abode is the great room.  A third fireplace provides warmth on cool mountain mornings.  French doors open onto the Asian-style garden filled with Japanese maples and sculptures.  A large screen TV keeps you in touch with the world.  For the artist this could function as a perfect studio.  Light-filled with views of the garden and pond, you’ll be inspired to paint as Monet did at Giverny.  With three bedrooms and three baths, this home is perfect for a seasonal getaway or for year-round living.  For more information, contact Jim Hair of Betsy Paul Properties at (828) 743-0880 or visit betsypaulproperties.com.

By Wiley Sloan



Exploring Sunset Rock in Highlands

The gentle hike to the summit of Sunset Rock delivers an enchanting tabletop view of Highlands.

The gentle hike to the summit of Sunset Rock delivers an enchanting tabletop view of Highlands.

In 1761, when Captain Christopher French arrived in the present-day Macon County with the British expedition marching against the Cherokee out of Charleston he noted that, “The prospect (view) from some of the hills is pleasant, though not very extensive — go to the highest mountain you can see, yet when on the top of it you see others still higher.” It would be some time before any European came upon Sunset Rock and one of the area’s few big views.

In the late 19th century land including Sunset Rock was purchased by Samuel Prioleau Ravenel of Charleston and his wife Margaretta, the first summer residents of Highlands. In 1914 the couple’s children donated Sunset Rock to the town in honor of their parents. A visit to Highlands isn’t quite complete without a walk up from Horse Cove Road to take in the view.

While the dirt road climbing to Sunset Rock is sometimes open for vehicular traffic, there’s no reason to deny yourself a nice walk. Park at the small gravel lot across from the Highlands Biological Station (GPS coordinates 35.05209 -83.18767) and make your way to the dirt road turning right off Horse Cove Road. The road climbs all the way to the top, but as long as you give yourself 20 to 30 minutes the walk won’t be a strenuous one.

At the end of the road take a right through the rhododendron to find the prospect Captain French wasn’t able to enjoy. If the weather is clear, you’ll have a fine view of Main Street below. If a storm is setting in or slacking off, you’ll encounter a very different, but equally beautiful, view.

What you see on Sunset Rock is as interesting as what you see from it. The windblown trees are known as krummholz, the German word for “crooked wood.” The colorful lichens and mosses growing on the face of Sunset Rock are a big part of its charm; be sure to tread lightly so future visitors have the chance to enjoy them, too. And if you see a young couple with a camera during your visit, offer to take their picture together. It will help build up some karma.

Contributed by Matthew T. Bradley | matbradl@gmail.com



The Lob and Sand Shot

Today I’m going to pass on a few tips on both the lob and sand shots that my dad, Nick Chillemi, one of the finest PGA teaching professionals I’ve ever known, gave me many years ago.

1. The ball is positioned towards the left foot.

2. Weight at address is leaning on the right foot.

3. The face of the club is open at address.

4. The swing plane should be outside and cutting across the ball.

5.  The club slides under the ball.

6. The face of the club stays open and does not rotate over as in a normal shot.

Even though all of the six tips above are needed to complete a successful shot, the most important is number six. To execute correctly the club must stay in an open position through impact and follow through.

The secret is simple — It’s all in the grip. Move both your hands to the left in the club. Left thumb on top and right thumb to the left side of club. This will feel weird but it’s what is going to make the shots work.

Now I’ll tell you why this works so easily:

What we are trying to do with these shots is keep the clubface open and not let the toe of the club rotate over as in a normal shot.

What we have done with this super weak grip is put the hands in a position so the club cannot rotate over, since both hands have already rotated over because of the new grip. I guarantee you the club will slide right under the ball with an open face if you use this technique.

The only difference is that with a lob the club contacts right behind the ball and the sand (explosion) shot the club contacts the sand an inch or two behind the ball. Try this a few times and I think you will be amazed at the amount of loft that stays throughout the impact zone to give you the high soft shot.

Contributed by Tom Chillemi



Do Your Knees Hurt?

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

Knee pain plagues many of us.  It can be acute or chronic. With our knees being the largest joint in our bodies, and taking considerable abuse, having pain is very common and treatable. Determining the cause of the pain is the first step in alleviating symptoms and restoring knee function. Your Chiropractic physician is the professional to turn to when knee pain begins! Sudden injuries from abnormal twisting, bending, or falling on the knee can result in acute and continuous pain.  Tears in the meniscus (the cushions between the two large bones of the legs), and sprains and strains of ligaments on the inside as well as along both sides of the knee can become stretched and sometimes torn.  Muscle weakness or imbalance can complicate recovery but these muscle imbalances can be checked with applied kinesiology. Over-use injuries such as stair climbing, bicycle riding, jogging, or jumping stress joints with irritation and inflammation in the knees, resulting in severe pain.  Twisting wrong on the golf course or lunging for the tennis ball can cause knee injury. Often diagnosed as bursitis, tendinitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome (pain under the knee cap that hurts when going up and down steps), iliotibial band syndrome (pain on the side of the leg), osteoarthritis, cysts behind the knee, arthritis, bursitis, and/or a simple pinched nerve can be the cause of knee pain.

First and foremost, having your knee pain properly diagnosed by a trusted physician is essential in creating a comprehensive and holistic treatment plan with minimal side effects and maximum benefits and relief.  After diagnosis, physical pain relief with acupuncture, hot/cold compresses, and physical therapy must begin. Also, a physical activity plan to rest the painful knee and consistently build back its strength needs to be started immediately after diagnosis. It is important to try and avoid pain medication therapy because if you can’t feel the problem you compound the problem.  A proper healing, nutritional and supplement plan needs to be developed in partnership with your physician. Check out your options for knee pain relief and get your treatment started today!


Shiny Objects

So I was in Habitat for Humanity, one of my favorite junque destinations, and this guy comes up to me like he knew me.

I’d say he was an old fart, but he was probably my age. Grrr.

He gave me an enthusiastic, “Heyyyyy, how are you?” followed by, “Great to see you. What are you doing with yourself these days?”

Then he extended his hand to shake mine.

I grasped his hand, but for the life of me, I couldn’t grasp any recollection of him.

“Life is good.” I replied, my brain flipping back through volumes of acquaintances, desperately trying to place him. I hadn’t a clue.

“So, where are you now?” he persisted.

“Oh, I retired from teaching,” I replied, trying to look nonchalant. Who was this guy?

“When?” he continued.

“June,” I said, growing increasingly uncomfortable. I figured this was either the weirdest pick-up line I had ever encountered or one of us had recently suffered a CVA.

“So you decided you peaked and it was time to retire,” he said, a snarky grin curling the corners of his mouth.

I muttered under my breath. “I’m peaked alright. But I spell it p-i-q-u-e-d!” Then I said aloud, “Well, let’s just say I have a dozen other peakable projects waiting on the sidelines.”

He had blocked the aisle to corral me in conversation, but Mama didn’t raise no dumb girls. I directed his attention to a large shiny bell in the corner.

“Wow. That’s a really cool bell,” I said.

As he turned to look I ducked past him and said, “Jeepers, look at the time. Gotta run! Great to see you!”. . . whoever the hell you are.

I still don’t know who he was. Nothing about him was familiar. But he had become so obnoxious, I confess I had a fantasy about grabbing that shiny bell and clunking him over the head with it. And when the paramedics arrived and asked me who he was, I’d say, “Gosh, I don’t know, but his face rings a bell.”

The oldies are the goodies.

by Donna Rhodes



Shirt Off Your Back

Ann Rollins offers her perpetual smile and  kindness to  everyone who visits Cabin Casuals.

Ann Rollins offers her perpetual smile and kindness to everyone who visits Cabin Casuals.

It’s been three years since I moved to the Highlands-Cashiers plateau and I am continually amazed at the friendliness and hospitality of the people who reside on the plateau. Recently I had an event themed around lemons and the color yellow.  At the last minute I was desperately searching for yellow pants and had gone to all the shops in Cashiers to no avail.  Finally in Highlands at Cabin Casuals, I found just the right shade of yellow pants.  The only problem was that they were sold out in my size.  Frantically I searched the entire store for another pair of yellow pants. A sales assistant approached and, lo and behold, she had on the yellow pants that I was searching for.  After explaining my dilemma to her, she also searched the store including the back room.  When I told her the size I needed she said that was her size and I could have her pants.  Amazing! Here was a total stranger who was willing to give me her pants right off her backside!  Well, I did not take her pants but she spent the next 30 minutes searching for an article of clothing in my shade of yellow.  We found a yellow top that was perfect for the occasion.  As I was paying my bill, I found out that the salesperson was the owner, Ann Rollins.

At Cabin Casuals, Ann has strived to create a friendly place where a good vibe is contagious and being happy is always very important!   Whether you just come in to browse, take in the obvious positive energy and color, see handsome shop dog Bennie, or find something comfortable you didn’t even know you were looking for, the shop’s atmosphere will make you comfortable.   Thank you, Ann, for offering me your pants and also for making sure that I left with exactly
what I needed.

Contributed by Elizabeth Fletcher  |  elizabeth@idoeventsatlanta.com



Balance is Health!

Your balance is more important than you might realize. Your body is designed to keep you upright using two very important systems. One is your visual system and the other is a special system of nerves called proprioceptors. These nerves are designed to recognize movement and then correct your equilibrium. Their messages are conducted via the individual nerves through the brain and then on to the muscles required to “fire” to make the joint in question move appropriately. This very complex system is vitally important to balance and coordination. Athletes depend on these special nerves in order to perform at their peak. When a joint is injured or deteriorates, these nerves are injured or become deteriorated. Our natural aging process can compromise our ability to move with ease and agility because these nerves are deteriorating; however, certain exercises can keep these proprioceptors conditioned.

Falling becomes more frequent when the proprioceptors become damaged or compromised, slowing down the signals to the brain and then the muscles. It is very important, through exercise and specific balancing practices, to keep these nerves healthy and active. There are many ways to improve and correct balance problems and they don’t take much time. If you try to stand on one leg without holding onto something or someone, can you do it without falling over? This is the first test to see how well those proprioceptors are functioning. You will notice a slight wobble when you balance on one leg, mostly in the ankle. As you practice (with a chair or something to hold if you feel shaky at first), you will notice an improvement in that wobble and you will gain strength in your legs. Do this on each foot for at least one minute one or two times daily and you will notice a remarkable difference.

When you injure a joint, proprioceptive rehabilitation is important for full recovery. If you have once sprained an ankle, you are more susceptible to that same injury unless you take the time to re-train these nerves as well as the muscles and ligaments. The same applies to other joints in the body. It is most important for full recovery to make sure that each joint is moving properly and that normal range of motion is restored. Take notice of your balance on a daily basis and try those balancing exercises first with your eyes open and then try it with your eyes closed. This will change the system by which your body balances but again, you will be training the body to maintain better balance. Be careful when you do these exercises, making sure you are close enough to a counter or a friend so that you can catch yourself if you start to lose your balance.  Pretty soon, you will be strong enough to balance on your own!


Jadeybug: A Cause for Paws

Jadeybug and Mom Brittany

Jadeybug and Mom Brittany


Jadeybug ‘s future BFF Marley

Jadeybug ‘s future BFF Marley

Brittany Potts is on a mission for a miracle.

She will do whatever it takes to get a Diabetic Alert Dog, D.A.D., for her 3-year-old daughter Jade, affectionately known as Jadeybug.

Jadeybug has TD1 juvenile diabetes and no longer senses when her blood sugar is plummeting.

That is not just a bad thing. That is a deadly thing.

But if Brittany can acquire a Diabetic Alert Dog, the dog will intervene and literally save Jade’s life. D.A.D.s can anticipate a sugar level drop 20 minutes before a mechanical monitor. With a dog, Jade’s chances of living a full life in spite of her disease skyrocket.

Diabetes is a sinister ailment. It destabilizes the immune system, destroying the pancreas’s ability to regulate sugar. So why did Jade get it? Jade’s family has no history of juvenile diabetes. Since birth she and her two sisters have eaten a regular, well-balanced diet. There is no obesity in the family. It’s a mystery. Like so many other children with this malady, it boils down to rotten luck.

Everyone knows that dogs herd animals, rescue disaster victims, and sniff out drug traffickers, but did you know that their noses are so powerful they can detect scents a few parts per trillion? Not million or even billion, but trillion.

Jadeybug has already been matched up with a black Labrador named Marley from Heartland Diabetic Alert Dogs in Oklahoma. When her sugar levels spike or plummet, Jade chews a cotton ball, which is then placed in a Mason jar. Those cotton balls are over-nighted to Joy, Marley’s trainer. Marley sniffs them to become conditioned to the warning scent so she can announce the need for a blood sugar check. Marley will be programmed with Jade’s scent levels before she even meets her.

Needless to say, all this training, travel, and long-term maintenance are incredibly expensive. Brittany needs to raise $28,000 to initiate the process. As a full-time stay at home mom, even with support from Jade’s dad, she simply does not have the means to make it happen. So she is soliciting her caring community and area businesses to help her raise the funds. Family and friends have started her out with the deposit for the dog, but there is at least $26,000 more to go. Brittany is hoping that any money left over can be donated to a deposit to help another family get a D.A.D. Or to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) to help find a cure.

Jadeybug, a fifth generation Highlands descendent, is one of our own. Brittany is praying the community will adopt this pet project and make the miracle happen. Visit Brittany’s and Jade’s Facebook page facebook.com/aD.A.D4Jadeybug to keep abreast of progress.

The You Caring webpage is youcaring.com/pet-expenses/a-d-a-d-for-jadeybug/77363.

Jadeybug is quite the heroine. Even at three, she keeps a stiff upper lip and takes the pain like a real trooper…most of the time. But who wants their tiny little arm to be stuck several times a day with a needle?

When she is just being a kid, Jadeybug, who was born on Easter Day, colors, dances and plays with her sisters. She loves purple. In fact she wants Marley to wear a purple working dog vest, accessorized by purple collar and leash. Sparkle purple polished toenails couldn’t hurt.

Help make Jade’s miracle happen. Your generous donation and that of a thousand more donors like you might literally save her life. And Brittany, who needs all her cylinders firing at 110 percent, will finally be able to rest.

How to donate: Go to the Facebook page. There it lists all of the paypal and address info. Paypal: D.A.D4Jadeybug@outlook.com. Or send checks, payable to Brittany Potts to: P.O. Box 1708, Highlands, North Carolina, 28741. What can be more soul-satisfying than giving a child a chance for a full life? Help make that happen for Jade and her new BFF, Marley.

by Donna Rhodes



Mountain Findings in Highlands NC

For more than 20 years the dedicated volunteers of Mountain Findings Thrift Shop have worked tirelessly to make the Highlands community better.

As soon as enough volunteers return from their winter sojourns, the doors of the store (located at 432 Spruce Street, just behind Bryant Funeral Home on US 64 east) are open.   From 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. daily (closed Sundays), the army of dedicated volunteers receives the gently-used items from area homeowners looking to clear out attics or to make room for new purchases.

Savvy shoppers know that they will find great items at reasonable prices at Mountain Findings.  The varied inventory includes gently-used furniture, home accessories, lamps, art, small appliances, linens, china, glassware, building materials and so much more.

“Mountain Findings has been green long before green was in vogue,” says Mountain Findings President Tom Hill.  “It is so rewarding to know that we can accept these items, and recycle them back to a loving home.”

“Since there are no paid personnel at Mountain Findings, we can use the money generated from the sale of these items and return it to the community,” says Treasurer Bruce Roelke.  “In 2013 alone, we have been able to help 34 non-profits in our area fund their many endeavors.  Throughout our life cycle, Mountain Findings has given back hundreds of thousands of dollars to
our area.”

In addition to sharing funds with area non-profits, Mountain Findings shares items with the Highlands Emergency Council for area residents who have suffered fires or otherwise lost their homes. They give blankets and other items to the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society so that the dogs and cats will have beds to sleep on.   Nothing goes to waste there.

Mountain Findings is truly a community endeavor. If you are not familiar with Mountain Findings you are missing a lot.   If you have items too big for your vehicle, call (828) 526-9929 to arrange pickup.

By Wiley Sloan



When Is a Shelter Not the Solution?

When is a shelter not the solution to unwanted pet overpopulation? That’s actually a trick question. While animal shelters, sanctuaries, and private foster and rescue groups serve an important role in saving the lives of abandoned and neglected animals, they are only part of the solution, and will never be the solution. There is no one shelter in this country, whether it be an open-admission municipal government shelter or a limited-admission non-profit shelter, that acting on its own has been able to find more forever homes than the number of animals in need of adoption.

So what is the solution? The number one most-proven way to reduce pet overpopulation is spay and neuter. Consider these statistics – according to the Humane Society of the United States, in the 1970s approximately 18-20 million animals were euthanized annually in shelters. Today, about 4 million animals are euthanized in shelters each year. In little more than one generation, there has been a 75 percent drop in the number of animals that have had to be euthanized. Countless studies have proven that communities with higher rates of pet sterilization have lower rates of animal euthanasia. More people now understand the importance of spay/neuter, and more responsible pet owners have realized that getting their canine or feline companion from an animal shelter is a much better alternative than from a pet store, puppy mill or disreputable breeder.

The importance of spay/neuter is why the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society is introducing the H.E.A.R.T. of North Carolina (Humane/Emergency/Adoption/Rescue/Transport). We are building a 27-animal capacity mobile animal medical and rescue vehicle that will provide low-cost spay/neuter procedures for families who can least likely afford an unwanted litter of puppies and kittens. The H.E.A.R.T. of North Carolina will also participate in raids of illegal puppy mills and provide transport of animals in times of natural disasters.

Animal shelters like CHHS provide a critically important service. We save lives, we provide compassionate care, and we find forever homes. But CHHS is taking animal welfare in our community to the next level, by creating the larger solution to pet overpopulation through affordable spay/neuter.

Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society is located on Highway 64 East, two miles from the Cashiers Crossroads. For more information, call (828) 743-5752.

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



The Legacy of Family Lands

Join the Timber Ridge EcoTour on September 13.

Join the Timber Ridge EcoTour on September 13.

Land owners often view their ownership of mountain lands from multiple perspectives. Many people see their purchase of acreage as an investment to be sold at a future time while others might see it as a place they want their children to experience and inherit. Of course anyone that owns land knows that it’s much more complicated than that.

There is a long history of landowners in the Highlands-Cashiers area. Families have been coming back to their lands year after year, generation after generation, to enjoy our incredible mountains and the wonders that “mother nature” has in store for them.

As the Director of the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust I often talk to land owners about the future of land ownership. For example, will that family land always be there? Is there room to build additional residences as families grow? How do I keep my children from selling the land or worse, develop it?

It turns out that a lot of these concerns and questions can be answered through estate planning. One estate planning tool that land trusts excel at, is the use of conservation easements to permanently protect family lands from future developent. In a conservation easement the landowner still owns their land but donates the development rights to a qualified organization such as a land trust. Within an easement a landowner may reserve the right to build additional residences as well as harvest the timber if the land will support it. In return, the land owner receives a federal tax deduction, reduced property taxes, reduced estate value, and perhaps an estate tax credit. A conservation easement is about planning for the future.

On September 13, join us for an EcoTour where we will visit the James E. Warren Sr. Estate, family lands that were protected by a conservation easement in 2009. This easement protects a portion of Timber Ridge. Contact Julie Schott at Julie.hitrust@earthlink.net or us at (828) 526-1111 to reserve a spot.

Contributed by Gary Wein, Director Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust



Dogs, and Cats and…Horses!

friends-for-life-horse-highlands-ncEven Sevwyon was a little shocked when he heard how many animals share the Forever Farm with him.  He knew about his three barn mates: Raven, Niko and Avionata.  But little did he know that down the lane from his digs were almost 50 dogs and way over 100 cats.

The Forever Farm is always full to capacity with our special needs and senior animals.  And every day there is a whole cast of caregivers rushing around feeding, cleaning and handing out love.  Our farm caretaker is always busy mowing, weed eating, fixing fence and equipment, and toting stuff here and there.  Sevwyon wouldn’t even want to know what all goes on in the office: paying bills, raising money, returning calls for help, keeping the operation running smoothly.  And, I forgot to mention the important role played by the veterinarians that diagnose and treat the many health problems that come along with “old folks” and those with disabilities. Sevwyon could never imagine what it costs to run his world.  Can you?

Without our compassionate supporters we could never provide the safe, healthy, loving place we call the Forever Farm.  Friends for Life is a 501©(3) nonprofit charitable organization, and your donation to help us operate the Forever Farm is tax deductible.  Visit our website at friendsforlifeforeverfarm.org to make an online donation, or mail it to P.O. Box 340, Sapphire, NC 28774.  Call us at (828) 508-2460 for information.

Contributed by Kathy Bub, Executive Director, Forever Farms



Hospice House Foundation

The future Hospice House, set to serve  Macon and Jackson Counties.

The future Hospice House, set to serve Macon and Jackson Counties.

The State Employees Credit Union has unanimously chosen to give the Hospice House Foundation of Western North Carolina a $1 million grant.

The Four Seasons Hospice organization, our local Hospice provider, is a partner in this effort and will ultimately operate the facility once constructed.

The SECU Foundation acts on behalf of its members to implement their philanthropic purposes. Its Mission Statement is “People Helping People in North Carolina” and it seeks, among other things, high impact projects in the areas of health and human services. The SECU Foundation seeks to partner with other nonprofits by funding initial development of projects that will attract broad-based local and state support and will be self-sustaining.

This grant has given the Hospice House Foundation a big boost in its effort to raise the $3.8 million needed to renovate the building on 2.74 acres at 272 Maple Street in Franklin, which will ultimately serve hospice patients in Western North Carolina. The Foundation will need the support of the community to fraise additional funds.

The renovations and additions to the facility have already been professionally designed. It’s planned to accommodate six patients at a time, in a warm, caring, home-like setting and provide ample space for visiting family and friends. Visit thelaurelmagazine.com/news/hospice-house/ for more information on the home.

Contributed by Ev Byrnes



Carpe Diem Farms in Highlands, NC

Battersea KnightStar   June 1, 1994 – July 5, 2013 Final performace at the “Tux, Tails and Blue Jeans Ball”

Battersea KnightStar June 1, 1994 – July 5, 2013
Final performace at the “Tux, Tails and Blue Jeans Ball”

“I’m gonna miss that smile, I’m gonna miss you my friend. Even though it hurts the way it ended up, I’d do it all again. So play it sweet in heaven that’s right where you ought to be; I’m not crying cause I feel sorry for you, I’m crying for me.”

The words of Toby Keith’s song say it all for me, for KnightStar’s family of equines at CDF and all who have ever met or known him. He arrived at CDF Thanksgiving weekend 2006, a gift from Battersea Stud. A truly magical steed, midnight black with a sideways heart on his face. He radiated his majestic beauty and he knew it! He became my trusted, loyal friend and the dance partner who made me shine in front of any audience. When our eyes met, our souls connected and we were one.

We had a special “love affair.” I trusted him with the littlest of children on his back and he never let me down. He was my trail horse and the first to participate and partner with those who came for equine experiences. Most of all I will remember him as my honored heart and soul’s connection.

He was not a big horse in stature but he made a huge presence and he leaves a huge void. The Carpe Diem Farms family will always remember the meaningful gift he was in each of our lives.

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It’s like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend — or a meaningful day.”  The Dalai Lama

Goodbye my friend, see you on the other side.

Carpe Diem Farms is a 501C3 Educational Foundation and can be reached at (828) 526-2854.

Contributed by Sue Blair, Carpe Diem Farms Executive Director



Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Highlands NC

“Big Sister” Mary Lou Bilbro and  “Little” Allie Buck

“Big Sister” Mary Lou Bilbro and “Little” Allie Buck

A new school year has started. August brought the summer to an end on our plateau to students attending Blue Ridge Elementary and Early College, Highlands School and Summit Charter School.

Time to buckle down and learn.

All children have the potential to succeed in school and in life, but due to perhaps shyness or a lack of self-confidence, trying new activities or even excelling in school work sometimes can be daunting.

One of the key components of Big Brothers/Big Sisters  is helping kids find their “sparks” — what motivates and excites them to rise up and meet the potential within themselves. As BBBS mentors share their experiences and talents with their “Littles,” these children are introduced to new ideas and activities that help them find their passions, their sparks.

Children’s sparks come generally in three different types — something they’re good at, a talent or skill like piano or soccer; something they care deeply about, such as the environment, animals, helping people or serving the community; or a quality such as caring, listening, empathy or being
a friend.

BBBS carefully matches children with adults in the community, a “Little” budding artist with a professional artist, or an outdoor enthusiast with a child who is interested in the great outdoors. We call our mentors “spark champions” — helping their child see that there is something within a person that is good, beautiful and useful to the world. It is a process of revelation at exactly the time that the child’s self-identity is being formed.

BBBS is operating in both Highlands and Cashiers. Please consider becoming a mentor. We promise it will be one of the best experiences of your life and it only requires one hour a week of your time. For information on how you can volunteer or support BBBS, contact Program Coordinator Debbie Lassiter at (828) 526-4044 or in Highlands at highlands@bbbswnc.org and Cashiers at cashiers@bbbswnc.org.

Contributed by Debbie Lassiter



The Rotary Club of Highlands NC

Many local non-profit organizations benefit from the generosity of the Rotary Club of Highlands and its individual members. One of those is the Literacy Council of Highlands, now in its 21st year of service to the Highlands Community.

In 1992, when Susie DeVille saw the need for an organization to supplement the reading instruction some Highlands children received at home and at school, it was the Rotary Club of Highlands that stepped up to provide $2,000 in seed money to fund the effort. The Literacy Council was up and running and soon expanded its mission to include tutoring in other subjects.

Since those early days, the Rotary Club of Highlands has remained a strong supporter of the Literacy Council, not only monetarily, but through Rotary’s individual members who have volunteered as tutors and board members. Brian Stiehler, a past Rotary club President serves as the Literacy Council’s Board President for 2013. Zach Claxton, also a Rotary Club member, served as the Literacy Council’s President in 2012.

Today the Literacy Council, with its two full time employees and many dedicated volunteers, has grown to offer more services. At its heart, it will always be focused on helping children and adults improve their reading skills, but it has also expanded its tutoring services to cover all levels of math, chemistry, science and even philosophy. It offers after-school enrichment programs, English-as-a-second-language classes, GED preparation, and its visits to various pre-schools. Adults have received help preparing for real estate and general contractor exams, and college students have received tutoring help as well. It has partnered with other organizations, such as the Bascom and the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, to fulfill its mission.

In 2012 it began a partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to provide free monthly books to children from birth to age 5. That program has now expanded to all of Macon County.

Rotary International has as one of its goals worldwide literacy, and the Rotary Club of Highlands is proud to be a participant in that effort through its continued support of the Literacy Council of Highlands.

Contributed by Zach Claxton



Literacy Council of Highlands, NC

It’s been a wonderful summer, but like all good things it must come to an end. The great news is that all our literacy programs will be back in full swing in September. While our GED and ESL classes have been ongoing throughout the summer, after school programs begin on September 3. This includes After School Enrichment for grades K-3, Primary ESL for grades K-1, and ESL Study Hall for grades 4 and up, which is offered in conjunction with the International Friendship Center. All these programs provide homework assistance and computerized learning programs.

We also offer individual tutoring for all age levels in all subjects. We not only provide assistance to school children, but to college students and others needing assistance. In fact, last year, we provided individualized instruction for a gentleman studying for a professional licensure and for another entering the military who needed assistance with the entrance exams.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from our programs, please call us today. We are more than happy to assist you.  The Literacy Council of Highlands is located at 348 South 5th Street (Suites 215-221 in the Peggy Crosby Center). Call (828) 526-0863 or visit highlandsliteracy.com. Tonya Hensley, Executive Director – thensley22@yahoo.com; Judy Joyner, Programs Coordinator – judy.joyner82@gmail.com.

Gilliam’s Promise 5k Race

Youth are constantly challenged by today’s complex world.  The internet allows them to know about the good and bad throughout the world.

Positive influences are so important.  Good parenting needs the support of young friends exhibiting strong moral fiber to build character. Here in Highlands, youth have Gilliam’s Promise where they can meet like-minded young people and learn to say “No” to evil.  Students in grades 6 through 12 who go to school in the 28741 zip code may participate in GP. As a reward for their discipline in key areas, students earn scholarships to be used for post-secondary education.  Recently GP awarded 35 $ 1,000 scholarships to deserving students.

As the 2013-2014 school year begins, Gilliam’s Promise kicks off its third annual 5K race.    Join the race on September 21   at the Highlands Recreation Center, located at 600 North Fourth Street. You can register at active.com or by emailing bringingit2life@gmail.com.

The race is open to everyone – runners, walkers; young and old. Non racers can support Gilliam’s Promise by enjoying a delicious brunch as you bid on silent auction items following the race or by sending your donation to Gilliam’s Promise at P O Box 592, Highlands, NC 28741. Franklin Ford has donated a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder convertible to be raffled.  Imagine the wind tousling your hair as you spin around the plateau.  Tickets are $25 each or five for $100.   Watch for the car around Highlands in the coming weeks.

GP youth recently completed a challenging Teen Leadership Camp at Montreat, North Carolina.  Through team-building exercises, they learned skills that will benefit them throughout their life.

The GP influence is growing through their sister organization, Gilliam’s Hope, which has begun in Franklin.  Youth in the Franklin area will have their initial fundraiser on September 7 at the Barn and Burningtown, showcasing Franklin’s finest restaurants, cafes, caterers and bakeries.

Supporters of Gilliam’s Promise enjoyed a delicious meal at Lakeside Restaurant on August 14.  Thank you Marty Rosenfield for Lakeside’s generous donation to GP and thanks to everyone who regularly support GP in so many ways. The youth are doing their part and they appreciate
your generosity.

To learn more about Gilliam’s Promise, go to gilliamspromise.org or call Executive Director Mary Jane McCall at (828) 526-2220.

By Wiley Sloan



Relay for Life in Highlands NC a Success!

Hard work and an unshakeable enthusiasm brings in over $60,000 for Relay for Life of Highlands.

Hard work and an unshakeable enthusiasm brings in over $60,000 for Relay for Life of Highlands.

The 13th annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Highlands raised over $60,000 (at press time, fundraising continued through August 31st) to support the Society’s mission of saving lives from cancer, leaving volunteers exhausted but happy after walking many miles around the track at the Highlands Recreation Park.

“Through their hard work in preparing for the event, and by spending hours walking for the cause, Highlands residents certainly did their part to help the American Cancer Society create a world with less cancer and more birthdays,” said event co-chair Debbie Grossman. “And without the dedicated hard work of (co-chair) Mike Murphy, our relay would not have been the amazing fun heartfelt event that it was. I hope that more Mikes will step up to the plate and continue to make Relay the success that it has been.”

Highlands was represented by 18 Relay teams comprised of over 150 participants. The teams represented area families, faith-based groups, businesses, schools, clubs and other community organizations. Over 400 people attended this year’s Relay For Life of Highlands, including over 50 cancer survivors participating in the opening Survivor Lap.

The food and activities provided by the teams and the performers on the main stage were excellent!  The performers this year included the Mountain High Dulcimers, Molly McKim sang our National Anthem, Brent Amundrud, Emma Weller, Highlands Area Cloggers, the Caribbean Cowboys from Asheville, and Midnight Zumba by Stephanie Smathers and her dancers!

One of the highlights of the evening was the Luminaria Ceremony.  Martha Hunter was the Luminaria Chair and her daughter Michelle Gunnin gave the Luminaria speech.  The caldron was lit in honor of Coach Brian “Butch” Smart, Honorary Chair Emeritus. Over 600 white and gold Luminaria bags circled the track and over 60 Tribute Torches were lit. New this year was having light up balloons that were released into the night sky and having the Hope/Cure Luminaria sign.

Relay Co-Chair Mike Murphy also said “Thank you to the Highlands Community, our fantastic planning committee, our dedicated teams, and our many, many sponsors for another successful Relay Year in Highlands,” said co-chair Murphy.  “Let’s keep the tradition alive and plan on another great Relay Year in 2014!”

Please join the movement for more birthdays. Visit relayforlife.org/highlandsnc and declare the American Cancer Society the official sponsor of our birthday.

Contributed by Ellen Baumen



The Winkler Challenge for the Hudson Library in Highlands NC

Horst and Margaret Winkler’s generosity  enriches Hudson Library and the entire  Highlands community.

Horst and Margaret Winkler’s generosity
enriches Hudson Library and the entire
Highlands community.

The family of Horst and Margaret Winkler has challenged the Hudson Library Board to match their gift of $35,000 for library needs.

The board decided this was a great offer, and has made it a priority for the past two months. When it asked the community to help meet this challenge, the citizens of Highlands answered in a big way.

The progress can be seen when you visit the library. There are ‘books climbing the wall’ displaying how close the Board is to this goal.

The Pew Research Center recently completed a report titled, “Library Services in the Digital Age.” After surveying over 2,200 Americans aged 16 or older, they found that 60 percent had interacted with a library in the past year, and over 90 percent said, “Public libraries are important to their communities.”

The report also found 60 percent of younger patrons say they go to the library to study, sit and read, or watch or listen to media. When visiting the Hudson Library, these statistics prove true. There are areas where people of all ages are gathering. They may be reading a newspaper or magazine, studying, using the print books for research, using a computer, doing the latest jigsaw puzzle, or just looking for or reading a good book. Although respondents of the studies like to see more e-books, they do not want this at the cost of a diminished print collection. Overall, these studies indicate that libraries are still a vital element of our communities.

Sometimes we take libraries for granted, that they will always be there. This gift from the Winklers and the community’s matching gifts help the Hudson Library meet the needs of all the patrons of Highlands, and to remember the value we feel knowing the library will be there to serve us all.  Donations can be made toward this challenge at the library or to PO Box 430 Highlands, NC.

Contributed by Nancy Reeder



The Scaly Mountain Women’s Club

The Scaly Mountain Women’s Club has completed our 2013 Auction by raising $12,000, which will go towards thirteen  scholarships awarded to college and trade school students in our community. We would like to thank the Laurel Magazine for aiding us in our publicity of this event.

We would like to thank the following merchants that so generously contributed merchandise and gift certificates for this worthy cause.  We could not have done it without you!  4th Street Boutique, Alyxandra’s, Ann Jacobs Gallery, Annawear, Bags on Main, Bear Mountain, Bistro on Main, Buck’s Coffee, C. Orrico, Christmas Cottage, Christmas Tree on the Hill, Collette Clark, Cosper’s Flowers, Country Cutaway, Custom House, Cyprus, Desire, Dry Sink, Dusty’s, Duval Ford, El Azteca, Elevations, Frank Vickery, Gold N Clipper, Greg’s Tires, Highlands Canopy Tour, Highlands Falls, Highlands Gem Shop, Highland Hiker, Highlands Wine Cellar, J. McLaughlin, Jim’s Service Center, Jolie’s, Juliana’s, Kilwin’s, Kingwood, LaCabana, Lakeside Restaurant, Liel’s Place, Marlene Dixon/Jenny Coleman, Salon 259, Middlecreek Barn, Mirror Lake Antiques, Mountain Junction, Old Edwards Golf, On the Verandah, Paoletti’s, Pat Calderone Gallery, Peak Experience, Peggy Payne, Pensmore Software, Potpourri, Rosenthal’s, Silver Eagle, Sky Valley Golf, Spoiled Rotten, Sports Page, Stone Lantern, Summer House, Suzette’s, Trillium, Waterfall Golf, Laure and Jim Walsh, Valerie and Peter Whitcup, Wildcat Cliffs, Wiley’s Tires, Wit’s End and Wolfgang’s Restaurant & Wine Garden.

And don’t forget our next pancake breakfast at the old school house in Scaly on September 28 from 7:30 to 10:30 A.M.!  Hope to see you there.

Contributed by Margie Spraggins


Tuned in to Highlands and Cashiers for 20 Years

WHLC 104.5 FM’s Chuck Cooper is a hands-on owner who oversees every aspect of the station’s operation.

WHLC 104.5 FM’s Chuck Cooper is a hands-on owner who oversees every aspect of the station’s operation.


Chuck and Wanda Cooper’s passion for  excellence made WHLC 104.5 FM a Highlands-Cashiers mainstay.

Chuck and Wanda Cooper’s passion for excellence made WHLC 104.5 FM a Highlands-Cashiers mainstay.

WHLC Radio has been tuned-in to the Highlands (HL) and Cashiers (C) communities since 1993. Two decades of music and up-to-the-minute weather reports interspersed with good news about area businesses and events have made WHLC a staple in area homes and shops. From the Highlands Plateau to Upstate South Carolina to Northern Georgia, WHLC is synonymous with weather, regional information, and easy-listening entertainment in a style that is laid-back and down home delightful.

It’s no wonder that on its tenth anniversary in 2003 Mayor Buck Trott made July 7 through 13 WHLC Week, with an official proclamation in honor of the station and its founders, Chuck and Wanda Cooper. To commemorate its 20th anniversary Mayor Wilkes and the Board of Commissioners once again declared July 7 through 13 WHLC Week.

Nothing could have made the Coopers more proud. Chuck Cooper says, “Wanda and I have worked in radio and television from Tennessee to Florida to Mississippi, but the mountains of Western North Carolina have a compelling beauty, resonance, and community-feel with which no other locality can compare. After twenty-two years of residence here, we feel privileged to say this is our last stop.”

WHLC and the Plateau have blossomed together, each supporting the other in profitable ways. Radio broadcasts provided information sorely lacking in the days prior to WHLC. The station quickly became the go-to voice of the plateau with essentials for planning one’s day:  a wake-up station, how to dress for the weather, what traffic to avoid, school closings, event announcements, volunteer opportunities, MC services for charity events, area concert info, reunions of lost pets to elated owners, where to score all the things you need for your mountain lifestyle, and so much more.  If it’s hot and happening, you can hear about it on WHLC.

That’s just the way the Coopers like it, giving their best to the community they love. And the community gives back to them in meaningful ways. Aside from Chuck’s gratitude for the area’s support of his station, his most rewarding gift is reuniting a pet with its owner.  A Miniature Schnauzer fan (the Coopers have their sixth of the breed, named Rudi) Chuck has a real soft spot for fellow pet-owners. If a dog or a cat goes missing, WHLC is the first place to call. The Coopers have a huge success rate in reuniting owners and their four-legged family members. And that is a huge feel-good for the Coopers.

Many of the region’s non-profits can attribute much of their success to WHLC. Mayors Trott and Wilkes were quick to applaud the station and the Coopers for their huge contribution to the area in their WHLC Week Proclamations.

The area is lucky to have distinguished broadcasting pros, whose resumé speaks volumes. If you want to know more about the Coopers and their station, check out whlc.com. And if you haven’t already done so, pre-set your radio to WHLC, 104.5. Chuck welcomes inquiries. Contact him at: charlesbcooper@whlc.com. Ask him about his fascination for cars and his role in founding the Highlands Motor Festival, a fundraiser for local charities… and an excuse to play with very cool toys.

by Donna Rhodes



Four Seasons, Compassion for Life

Cindy Pierson Benton  MSN, FNP-BC

Cindy Pierson Benton

Four Seasons CFL is pleased to announce that Cindy Pierson Benton has joined the Western North Carolina team. Cindy is a native of the Highlands and Western North Carolina area and is pleased to be serving in this region. Cindy is board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner, having obtained her M.S. in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina. Throughout her nursing career she has been committed to providing quality, holistic care to her patients and their families. As the WNC Nurse Practitioner for Hospice and Palliative Care she will serve needs in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and in homes.

Palliative Care is a specialty of medicine that provides an extra layer of support while a patient is living with a serious illness. In addition, Palliative Care provides practical, emotional, and spiritual support for patients and families as they seek to live well longer.

Four Seasons is a non-profit hospice and palliative care organization led by a dedicated team of health care professionals, social workers, spiritual care professionals and volunteers. Four Seasons currently serves patients in Henderson, Buncombe, Macon, Jackson, Transylvania and surrounding counties. For information on Four Seasons, visit www.fourseasonscfl.org or please call (828) 526-2552.


Laurel Garden Club Kitchen Tour in Highlands NC

Laurel Garden Club celebrates Nature’s Bounty with three events that will tantalize the palate.

Laurel Garden Club celebrates Nature’s Bounty with three events that will tantalize the palate.

Laurel Garden Club is offering a trio of exciting events designed to give a taste of Highlands.

The Kitchen Tour, slated for September 21, is a visit to six spectacular kitchens in Highlands Country Club homes, with demonstrations of exceptional culinary talents. In addition,  Laurel Garden Club members will offer a unique shop featuring homemade baked goods, jams, jellies, cakes, pies, casseroles, seasoning and rubs, candied fruits, floral creations, and unbelievable treasures from their homes.  Guests will have time to browse this fabulous shop on two occasions upon their arrival at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center (PAC) at 507 Chestnut Street in Highlands, where they will depart in shuttles and upon return by shuttles.

Reservations for the September 21 Tour may be made online  at laurelgardenclubhighlands.com  at the departure time of your choice beginning at 9:00 A.M. every 30 minutes, until the last departure time at 2:00 P.M.  Also, Kitchen Tour tickets may be purchased at The Dry Sink on Main Street in Highlands.

You can also make reservations remaining for Rubs and Suds with Chef Wolfgang Green working his culinary magic in a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen (limited to 30 guests) at 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 16; and Garden To Table, which features the chef from Mountain Top preparing an unforgettable feast in a stunning Mountain Top Club private home (again, limited to
30 guests).

Proceeds from the events will be returned as grants to Highlands-Cashiers non-profits dedicated to community beautification, protection, and conservation of the plateau.

By Brenda Manning   |  Photo by Helen Moore



Cashiers NC Relay For Life

Everyone is invited to join an army of volunteers for Relay for Life at 6:00 P.M. Friday, September 6, at the new Cashiers-Glenville Recreation Center.

Relay for Life is a project of the American Cancer Society that raises vital funds for support, treatment and research. It draws upon the support of cancer survivors, those who love them, and caring communities like Cashiers.

The Opening Ceremony starts at 6:00 P.M. and serves as a kickoff to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, to inspire hope by sharing recent accomplishments and progress, and to remind everyone that while we are winning this battle, fighting cancer is a year-round priority.

The Survivors Lap is staged at 6:20 P.M. During the Survivors Lap, upbeat music plays as all cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around the track cheered on by the other participants who line the track, celebrating their victory over cancer.

The Luminaria Ceremony at 9:30 P.M. is a time to remember people we have lost to cancer, to support people who currently have cancer, and to honor people who have fought cancer in the past. The power of this ceremony lies in providing an opportunity for people to work through grief and find hope.

Activities continue through the night and early morning, culminating with the Closing Ceremony at 5:30 A.M. It’s a chance to remember the lives of those lost and to celebrate the commitment to fight back against this disease over the next year.

By Luke Osteen



Native Plants Gardening Seminar in Highlands NC

To garden with native plants is to create a wildlife preserve. Native plants provide food and shelter for butterflies, insects, birds, and other animals.  Native plants also require less maintenance, pest control, and water because they are hardy and adapted to the climate and soil conditions of the area. Finally, a garden of native plants maintains a sense of place.

Residents of Highlands have celebrated the exceptionally rich flora of the area since the town’s founding. In fact, local residents established the Highlands Botanical Garden in 1962 to display southern Appalachian plants.  In support of the Botanical Garden, the Highlands Biological Foundation’s 14th annual Native Plant Symposium will be held September 13 and 14 at the Performing Arts Center in Highlands. The symposium is designed for gardeners of all levels to learn how to incorporate concepts of ecology and conservation into their gardening practices.  Also, a significant portion of the Garden’s annual budget comes from the proceeds of the Symposium.

Receptions allow participants to meet other gardening enthusiasts, and the native plant auction is an opportunity to stock your garden with unusual native plants.  The event also features lectures from regional experts on botany and gardening.  The speakers this year are Patrick McMillan, Director of the S.C. Botanical Garden and host of Expeditions with Patrick McMillan; Tres Fromme, Landscape Design/Planning Manager at the Atlanta Botanical Garden; Kimberly Brand, a Trustee of Audubon North Carolina; and Timothy P. Spira, author of “Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont.”

To support the Botanical Garden and learn how to incorporate the remarkable plants of these mountains into your garden, register for the Native Plant Symposium online at highlandsbiological.org/nps/ or call (828) 526-2221.  The Highlands Biological Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster research and education focused on the rich natural heritage of the Highlands Plateau.  The Foundation supports the Nature Center, Botanical Garden, and Biological Station.

Contributed by Michelle Ruigrok | Photo by Clay Bolt



Rotary Bingo to Benefit Interact Club of Highlands

Mark your calendar for the Rotary Club of Highlands and Highlands School Rotary Interact Club Bingo on Thursday, September 12. This event, from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M., will be at the Highlands Community Building located at the corner of Poplar Street and US 64 – next to the town ballpark.

Bingo costs $1 per card per game and there will be 15 games, with the last game being a surprise cash prize. Half of all money paid to play bingo goes to the Highlands School Interact Club and the other half to lucky winners while all of the fun to play Bingo goes to the players.

You can also show your support for the Highlands School Interact Club through being a table sponsor or having a table ad for $50. All of the money paid for sponsorships and ads supports the civic activities of the 30-plus Interact students at the Highlands School.

Checks should be made out to the Rotary Club of Highlands. They can be given to Cynthia Dendy at First Citizens Bank. Call her at (828) 526-2692 or (828) 421-3476.

Friends and children will also have a great night of fun and Rotary Bingo with free refreshments in a family atmosphere. Rotary Bingo is one of the many ways the Rotary Club of Highlands participates in supporting non-profit organizations in the Highlands area.

By Wiley Sloan



Highlands Center for Life Enrichment

A recent Center for Life Enfrichment trip to Crimson Gallery at  Penland Arts and Crafts Studio.

A recent Center for Life Enfrichment trip to Crimson Gallery at Penland Arts and Crafts Studio.

With Labor Day, the summer season closes. Highlands clears out, and parking spaces are once again available in front of a shop. There is a stillness in the air, replacing the more frantic feel during the summer months. Those of us remaining take a breath, knowing we have but a few short weeks before the onslaught of the leaf lovers coming up to take in the breathtaking colors of autumn in the mountains.

At the Center for Life Enrichment (CLE) there are fewer weekly offerings, but the quality continues. Advanced bridge, wonderful classes in the culinary arts, literature, folk art, philosophy and the intricacies of the iPad are available for your pleasure and education.

Even though the summer rush has ended, registration is recommended as the classes are popular and fill rapidly. For a full description of offerings, see the brochure available on the web or at the office at the Peggy Crosby Center. You can reach the Center for Life Enrichment at (828) 526-8811, clehighlands@yahoo.com and clehighlands.com.

Contributed by Nancy Plate



Cashiers Trail Mix

It’s true – every dog has his day, at least in Cashiers and Highlands.

If you know a special dog, mark your calendar for Saturday, September 14, because that’s the date for the Cashiers Trail Mix.

It’s not a new kind of healthy snack, but rather a combination five-mile mountain trail run and three-mile team adventure run on the beautiful wilderness terrain of the 2,000-acre Chinquapin Community. This inaugural event will also feature a dog walk and demonstrations, kids’ play, archery, falconry, live music and more.

The runs will take place over a course with over 400 feet in elevation change and start and finish at 4,200 feet. Runners will follow rugged trails through lush forest, over creeks and streams, while the adventure teams will tackle obstacles, a bit of mud (maybe more than a bit), and plenty of fun challenges.

Naturally, non-athletic dogs who are primarily interested in sniffing things and looking for handouts are welcome to attend the Cashiers Trail Mix.

Charter Sponsors for the event include Chinquapin, Mountain Dog Spa & Boutique, RavenCliff,  Views Magazine, and the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce.

Proceeds support community development and the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society. For information on sponsorship and registration, contact Event Chair Alissa Short of Mountain Dog Spa at (828)743-5191 or visit CashiersAreaChamber.com or facebook.com/CashiersTrailMix.

By Luke Osteen



Highlands Historical Society’s Annual Dahlia Festival

Dahlias are celebrated in all their dazzling glory on September 14.

Dahlias are celebrated in all their dazzling glory on September 14.

Plan to attend the third annual Dazzling Dahlias Festival on September 14 from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. at the Highlands Recreation Center located on the Cashiers Highway just a few short blocks from Main Street.

Gather your friends and come to The Farm at Old Edwards on Wednesday, September 11, for the Festival Patron Party. Enjoy sumptuous fare prepared by award-winning chef Johannes Klapdohr and his staff. Festivities begin at 6:30 P.M.  For tickets to the Patron Party, call Joyce Franklin at (828) 526-9418 or visit www.highlandshistory.com.

To enter your dahlias, pick up a registration form at stores throughout the Highlands-Cashiers area, the Old Edwards Inn, The Highlander Newspaper, The Highlands News office and at the Highlands Historical Society. Flowers to be judged can be brought to the Civic Center from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M.  Friday, September 13, and 9:00 to 11:00 A.M. Saturday, September 14. Floral entry fee is $10.

Plan to tour the Dazzlin’ Dahlias exhibit from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M on Saturday, September 14. You’ll be mesmerized by the variety of dahlias on display. You’ll see small button-hole dahlias next to dinner plate size flowers. Colors run the whole gamut of colors except purple. No one has been able to perfect that color. Plan to learn tips from local gardener Barry Jones as he presents “How To Grow Dahlias” at 2:00 P.M.

Enjoy refreshments and entertainment during your visit to the Highlands Historic Village adjacent to the Civic Center. There you can tour the Highlands Historic Museum and the Prince House — the oldest home remaining within the town limits.

By Wiley Sloan



USGA Senior Amateur Golf Tournament in Cashiers NC

The time is drawing near as Wade Hampton Golf Club prepares to host the USGA’s 2013 Senior Amateur Championship, to be held September 18-26.

“Wade Hampton is excited to be able to give back to the game,” says Wade Hampton General Manager Jeff Heilbrun. “This is a real honor and validates the quality of our course. This is the first national championship to be held in our region.”

People familiar with the Tom Fazio-designed course understand why it was chosen. Golf Digest ranked the course as the 22nd Best American Course in 2013, and Golfweek has named Wade Hampton as the top residential golf course numerous times over the past eight years.

“It’s very gratifying to know that the USGA is  pleased with the current setup of the golf course and will make very few alterations to the course,” Heilbrun says. “We hope to have a good number of spectators throughout the championship.”

There’s no admission charge.  You can reach the course via a shuttle from the parking lot in front of the Cashiers Fire Department on US 64, just two blocks west of the Cashiers Crossroads.  No private cars will be allowed into Wade Hampton.   Food and beverages will be available for purchase in a special tent adjacent to the clubhouse.

The USGA Senior Amateur Championship is open to men 55 years old or older who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 7.4. Players must have qualified at one of 53 sites between July 30 and August 15 to play in the championship.

If you’d like to volunteer for one of the many jobs required to support this event, go to wadehamptongc.com and complete the Volunteer Form found in the Senior Amateur Sction, or call Tim Boeve in the Golf Shop at (828) 743-5950.

By Wiley Sloan



Fundraiser Golf Tournament in Highlands, NC

SOAR and Mountaintop Rotary are sponsoring a Golf Tournament at Highlands Falls Country Club at 9:00 A.M. Friday, October 4.

Cost is $150 per person. Organizers are looking for sponsors. To sign up or for more information, call (828) 507-0174.

SOAR is the local arm of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The foundation was established 32 years ago when special operations personnel were killed on the mission to rescue the American hostages in Iran. The foundation continued on to be sure that the children of all fallen special operations personnel would have a college education, this includes scholarship grants, counseling and financial aid. The children range in ages from infants to college age. While the children are spread throughout the nation, North Carolina has the largest number of children in the program. 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 that SOAR is staging events to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Over the years, the local group has raised over $500,000 for the Foundation.

Mountaintop Rotary has been a tremendous supporter of local charities. Proceeds from this tournament will help it continue its mission.

By Luke Osteen



Songwriters’ Round in Cashiers, NC

 The September 28 event marks the return of Nashville songwriting legend Rivers Rutherford along with special friends George Teren, Kelley Lovelace and Tim James.

The September 28 event marks the return of Nashville songwriting legend Rivers Rutherford along with special friends George
Teren, Kelley Lovelace and Tim James.

The Eighth Annual Songwriters’ Round to benefit the Blue Ridge School Education Foundation, will be held this year on Saturday, September 28, at the Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club in Cashiers.

The evening will start with a Social at 6:00 P.M. serving a Rib Dinner and beverages, with the concert beginning at 7:30 P.M.

A Silent Auction will take place during the Social Time. Be ready to bid on items such as golf games, dinners, and music memorabilia.

The evening will feature hit songs by Rivers Rutherford, such as “When I Get To Where I’m Going”: Brad Paisley;  “She Don’t Tell Me To”: Montgomery Gentry and “Bullets in the Gun”: Toby Keith.

Also returning and sharing his top hits is George Teren  with “Real Good Man”: Tim McGraw;  “Heavy Liftin’”: Blake Sheltonk and “If The Sun Comes Up”: Trace Adkins.

In additon, Kelley Lovelace  with “All American Girl”: Carrie Underwood; “Laughed Until We Cried”: Jason Aldean and “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight”: Randy Houser.

And finally, Tim James will perform “My List”: Toby Keith; “Give It All We Got Tonight”: George Strait and “Love Like Crazy”: Lee Brice.

Tickets are $75 and are available at the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce at (828) 743-5191 or  call  Susan Waller at (828) 526-9186.

Fishes and Loaves Empty Bowls Fundraiser in Cashiers, NC

The beautiful bowls are both a cherished keepsake and a timely  reminder of the needs of the world.

The beautiful bowls are both a cherished keepsake and a timely reminder of the needs of the world.

On Sunday, October 6, the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry in Cashiers will hold its third annual Empty Bowls fundraiser from 11:30 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. at the Zachary-Tolbert House in Cashiers.

The Empty Bowls Project is an international movement built upon a single idea: Potters and other craftspeople, educators and others work with the community to create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited to a simple meal of soup and bread. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. The money raised is donated to an organization working to end hunger and food insecurity.

The Bascom will be hosting potters to throw 800 bowls for the event this year. The bowls will be filled with soup and bread donated by local restaurants.

The cost for the bowl is $20 and diners will be able to keep the bowl as a memento.  While at the Zachary-Tolbert House, patrons can enjoy tours of the historic structure as well.

All proceeds will go to the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry in Cashiers. A similar event will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Highlands to benefit the The Food Pantry in Highlands. For anyone who cannot attend, tickets and bowls can be purchased prior to the event at the Cashiers Historical Society. For more information, call Carole Stork at (828) 743-3222 or e-mail her at carolestork@earthlink.net.

Hands Christmas Dinner Fundraiser in Highlands, NC

Highlands Christmas Dinner volunteers demonstrate  the best of the Holiday Spirit.

Highlands Christmas Dinner volunteers demonstrate the best of the Holiday Spirit.

Why come to Highlands Annual Christmas Dinner? Well, there are no menus to plan, there is no big grocery shopping to do, and no dishes to wash. There is just the gift of quality time to share the beauty and feeling of Christmas Day with those you love.

Mostly, this dinner reflects, in the purest sense, the spirit of Christmas. All proceeds of the Annual Highlands Christmas Dinner go to local Highlands non-profits. Since 2001, this dinner has cumulatively raised over $130,000 for local charities. Additionally, it provides Christmas Day meals to many needy families in the Highlands Area.

The dinner is lovingly prepared by Marty Rosenfield (Lakeside Restaurant); Holly Roberts (The Kitchen); Martha Porter (Morningside Bed and Breakfast); and Donna Woods, and served by a volunteer staff. The Hudson House at Highlands Country Club is the perfect setting for this mouth-watering feast, allowing all who come at any given time to see all of their friends and neighbors in one room.

We are not only looking for sponsors to make 2013 the best Christmas Dinner ever, but for anyone who would be interested in perpetuating this event and guiding it forward by taking on the culinary and leadership roles.  If you have an interest, please call Ricky Siegel at (828) 526-5102.

Seatings are from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and are by reservation only. The cost is $35 for adults; $15 for children under 11; and children under five eat free.

To make reservations, call (828) 526-9419 after November 15.

Contributed by Rick Siegel


Friendship Center Empty Bowls Fundraiser in Highlands NC

The Empty Bowls Lunch, set for October 6 at First Presbyterian Church of Highlands, offers delicious homemade soup, lovingly crafted works of art and a healthy serving of compassion.

The Empty Bowls Lunch, set for October 6 at First Presbyterian Church of Highlands, offers delicious homemade soup, lovingly crafted works of art and a healthy serving of compassion.

Join us for our third annual Empty Bowls Lunch. You’re invited to come and share a bowl of soup and bread at the Highlands Presbyterian Church on Sunday, October 6 from 11:45 A.M. to 1:45 P.M., or as long as the bowls last.

The Empty Bowls Project is an international effort to fight hunger. Guests are encouraged to keep a hand-crafted bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. All proceeds from this event will benefit The Food Pantry of Highlands, a collaborative project between The International Friendship Center and the Highlands United Methodist Church.

The bowls for the event were hand-crafted at The Bascom local and regional artists.

Cost is $20 per bowl. Children eat free, but will not be provided a keepsake bowl unless purchased.

Bowl tickets may be purchased in advance or at the event. Please contact the International Friendship Center for more information at (828) 526-0890.

Contributed by Faviola Olvera, Director of Services International Friendship Center


Village Nature Series in Cashiers NC

Majestic raptors will have their evening to shine on September 24 at The Village Green Commons in Cashiers.

Majestic raptors will have their evening to shine on September 24 at The Village Green Commons in Cashiers.

Have you ever watched a bird make graceful circles high in the sky and thought, “If only I could do that?”

Chances are you were admiring the effortless flight of true masters of the sky, the group of agile and powerful avian hunters known as raptors. These magnificent birds will be featured at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday, September 24, at Cashiers’ Village Green Commons as part of the Village Nature Series.

“Raptor” is not a scientific classification but a catchall term used to refer to eagles, hawks, falcons, kites and owls.

Michael Skinner, of the Balsam Mountain Trust, will bring a group of these birds of prey to The Village Green.

“Birds of prey have both fascinated and terrorized humankind for thousands of years,” says Skinner, “This is why they are revered by kings and killed out of ignorance, greed and arrogance.”

The feathered ambassadors from Balsam Mountain Trust can no longer effectively hunt and therefore cannot live in the wild. Their range of injuries is numerous, but usually are the result of accidents. The Trust rehabilitates them and once they are acclimated to their surroundings and handlers they are utilized for educational programs like the Village Nature Series.

“I have a distinct honor and privilege to be able to work with these magnificent birds and provide opportunities for the  public to get up close and personal with species most people only see from a distance,” says Skinner.

The Village Nature Series is sponsored by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust and The Village Green as part of their shared mission to protect and preserve the land and natural resources. The monthly presentations provide educational opportunities to learn about distinctive features of the area as well as offer cultural enrichment for residents and visitors to the Highlands-Cashiers community.

The programs are the last Tuesday of each month from May through October at The Village Green Commons on Frank Allen Road near the Cashiers Post Office.

Contributed by Ann Self



Cover Artist Hilarie Lambert

cover-artist-onecover-artist-twocover-artist-threeHilarie Lambert is magical. Given the right light, she can transform the most mundane of objects into a thing of beauty. It is the often-overlooked stuff to which she is drawn. Last year she participated in a plein air painting event in Cashiers. While everyone else painted mountain vistas, flora and fauna, Hilarie dragged a weathered croquet set from a shed, set it out to bathe in exquisite morning light, and created a masterpiece.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that croquet was a favorite game as a child. Her father let fly a cadenza of curses every time he cut the lawn. Many an overgrown wicket got sucked into the mower blades. Perhaps it is that memory that drew her to the mallets and balls, a tribute to dad and his mowing prowess.

But isn’t that the power that drives artists, the ability to combine personal history with contemporary image, then translate that into beautiful compositions to which the viewer can assign his/her own story?  To illustrate: while painting in Italy, a woman came up to Hilarie and commented on her painting, “You know, I had never noticed the beauty in that.”

Hilarie elaborates, “It’s not so much the subject matter as it is the way in which light, shadow and color play on surfaces. That is what the artist explores, refines, and shows to the viewer so that he/she can revisit the familiar with new eyes.”

And Hilarie is a dedicated master of light. She began as a graphic designer and illustrator. She worked as an art director for a large corporation and did illustrations for Scholastic Magazine. Fine art had tugged at her artistic soul for years, so later in life she gave up her day jobs and took on painting full time. Now she is in her studio by 7:30 A.M. and paints ‘til the last flicker of light is extinguished at day’s end.

She likes to paint series. Her current one is “Summer” (hence the croquet set). When she is not doing shows or a commission, she is visiting her daughter and grandchildren in Paris where she takes time to breathe the rarefied air of Giverny, Monet’s stomping grounds. Her work can be viewed in several galleries across the Southeast, among them John Collette Fine Art in Cashiers.

She feels a kinship to Highlands and Cashiers, having grown up in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York. She says, “I miss the mountains and hills . . . the cool air, the lakes and streams, and the beautiful flowers. I feel like I am home when I am in Highlands/Cashiers.”

To see more of her work, visit John Collette Fine Art Gallery, 104, Highway 107, South, Cashiers, North Carolina, (828) 743-7977, where new work will be on exhibit later this month. Or check out Hilarie’s website, hlambert.com. Exciting new work is on the way as she initiates her beautiful new studio in Charleston, South Carolina.


Clearly, a Glass Act

Feature Artist Tadashi Torilli

Feature Artist Tadashi Torilli

Tadashi Torii’s style is as silky-smooth as the blown-glass he creates. Every movement, each twirl of the pipe, perfectly choreographed with the pull of gravity, produces a delicate fluted edge or an elegant organic form. It is as though the furnace that heats the molten glass to a red-hot glow is the same creative furnace that burns inside Torii. When he is in the zone, he is on fire.

Mastering this complex art form was quite a transformation for someone whose beginnings were polar opposites, literally and figuratively, to where he is now. For starters, he grew up in Japan. He says, “I was one of two exchange students chosen by our missionary to come to Koinonia Partners in South Georgia. After a year of English classes in the morning and working at the Pecan Farm in the afternoon I decided to enroll at Georgia Southwestern State University as a business major.”

That’s how he got from Japan to America, but how did he shift from business to glass-making? He says, “ I signed up for my first glass blowing class as a way to have a fun time away from the business studies of two years. It quickly became a treasured time for me. Glass captivated my interest from the very start. After two semesters in the glass blowing studio, the urge of three professors to change my major and receiving the blessing from my parents, I changed my major to Fine Art. I had a natural talent working with glass and a burning desire to expand on it.”

And thus fun became a lifelong passion. Along the way he met artist Corina Pia, a native of Germany, whom he married. Together they have worked on interior design projects and are actively seeking public art commissions. The blend of Japanese, German, and American influences has strengthened Torii’s glass-making repertoire, which is   rooted in heritage, nature, and the human experience.

It is Torii’s dream to establish his own studio. Presently, he is working out of the Green Energy Park (jcgep.org/) in Dillsboro where he won the distinction of being the first full-time glass artist-in-residence. He says, “Using sustainable energy to fuel part of the glass studio’s equipment not only made my art making more environmentally friendly but also more cost effective. What Director Timm Muth and his team develop is going to help future generations carry on this ancient tradition.”

While he has work in private collections museums, galleries, and exhibitions, his creations can be seen in Highlands in Smitten Gallery, 10 Foreman Road. He adds, “I have an exhibit opening at Gallery 86 [Haywood County Arts Council] on Main Street in Waynesville on Friday September 6, 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. Admission is free and everyone is invited.”

The website is the Facebook page ‘Torii Art Torii’ and offers latest news, images of artwork and fun insights on his life working in collaboration with wife, Corina Pia Torii. The link to that page is www.facebook.com/ToriiArt. For custom orders and commissions call (828) 331-8994. Check him out. The Torii family is clearly a glass act!

by Donna Rhodes



Bascom News

William Parker creates his own art at The Bascom’s Art by Appointment class with local artist Rosemary Stiefel.

William Parker creates his own art at The Bascom’s Art by Appointment class with local artist Rosemary Stiefel.

Jim and Becky Parker and their sons from St. Simons Island, Georgia, acquired an original artwork from The Bascom during their vacation in the Highlands-Cashiers area this summer. And it happened to be by their own 13-year-old son, William. The emerging artist took an Art by Appointment class with Rosemary Stiefel at The Bascom and was duly proud of the abstract painting he created.

“My husband and I were looking for an art camp for our son, William, since our older son, James, was heading to an outdoor adventure camp in the area,” says Becky Parker. Husband Jim explored The Bascom’s website and discovered its individualized Art by Appointment—private instruction in your choice of medium at your choice of time. The Parkers arranged painting classes for William. “It was a fantastic decision,” Becky recalls. “Will Barclift [Youth and Outreach Coordinator] was instrumental in pairing our William with artist Rosemary Stiefel. She did an excellent job in encouraging and challenging William.”

William, who says he looks forward to more instruction at The Bascom, explains that his goal was to create art for his bedroom. He enjoyed the hands-on process with Rosemary Stiefel. “She was interactive and she understood where I was in my artistic ability,” he says. He describes his completed work as “abstract expression with splatter paint.”

The Parkers vacation every year in nearby Sapphire, North Carolina, and anticipate becoming more involved at The Bascom. “I was quite impressed at first sight with the entire facility,” says Becky. “It is incredibly beautiful with the use of reclaimed wood, and it fits into the historic setting of the area so naturally. Watching art classes conducted in open-air spaces was wonderful to see.”

For Art by Appointment for youth, contact Will Barclift at 828-787-2897 or at wbarclift@thebascom.org. For Adult Art by Appointment, contact Sara Hill, Adult Program Coordinator, at (828) 787-2865 or at shill@thebascom.org. The Bascom is open year-round, Monday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., and Sunday, noon to 5 :00 P.M. Visit TheBascom.org or call (828) 526-4949 for the latest exhibitions, classes, events and other opportunities.

Contributed by Pat Turnbull



Movies at The Playhouse

The town of Highlands is flush with things to do throughout the summer. There are world-class theaters, outdoor concerts, and fine arts events.

The one thing that residents of Highlands often lament is the long trip to a movie theater. As of this month, however, that issue will be no longer! The Highlands Playhouse will be opening a state of the art movie theater by the middle of September.

The theater has hired nationally recognized movie consultants to help install the movie theater equipment. The playhouse will have a 25-foot screen that will cover what is presently the theatrical performance space.

The projector will have the newest technologies, and is being hailed as the “best projector in the state of North Carolina” by Cinevision – the installation company based in Atlanta. The 5.2 Surround Sound System has been put in place and will put the audience right in the middle of the action. The movie theater project was possible because of the generosity of Highlands Playhouse friend Jerry Pair, as well as the winterization project backed by Horst and Margaret Winkler, Lupoli Real Estate and Construction Co., the Old Edwards Inn and Spa, and the Town of Highlands.

Fans of the theater will be relieved to hear that the screen is retractable and will not interfere with the lineup of professional productions. The current plans call for the playhouse to maintain its professional summer season schedule, while adding movies on Sunday and Monday nights during the summer. During the theater’s off season (September through May), movies will air multiple times during the week. The movie theater will host both current and classic releases.

“The Highlands Playhouse has a 75-year history of providing top notch entertainment to residents and visitors of Highlands,” Artistic Director Bill Patti said, “This movie theater will expand on that tradition and give the people of Highlands a place to watch new movies in a first rate theater without having to travel.”

The schedule of movies is available at www.highlandsplayhouse.org. For more information, contact the Playhouse at (828) 526-2695.

Contributed by Tammy Hernandez