By Jan Todd
The community is invited to pay tribute to Rachel Deal at a luncheon to be held in her honor on Thursday, August 22 at Stonewalls Restaurant in Banner Elk. Proceeds from ticket sales and a silent auction will benefit the Avery County Humane Society (ACHS).
Sometimes referred to as “The Mother of Avery County,” Deal has given a lifetime of volunteer service, advocating for animals, children, women, education, medical care and seniors. She will celebrate her 90th birthday in November.
Deal is a past recipient The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina to individuals who have demonstrated years of extraordinary service to the state. She was one of the charter members of the Senior Tar Heel Legislature, an organization promoting aging issues before the North Carolina General Assembly.
She volunteers regularly at the Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital in Linville, and visits nursing homes each week to deliver cookies and sing for the residents.
As the niece of the founders of the Crossnore School and Children’s Home and the Crossnore Weavers, Deal has volunteered and advocated for women and children in Avery County.
For over 40 years, Deal has promoted and supported the Humane Society, helping establish the original location and the newer facility that opened in 2012. The shelter houses up to 95 animals, and last year reunited or adopted out approximately 600 animals and assisted with neutering and spaying over 900 animals.
“The Avery Humane Society has always been near and dear to Rachel,” said Gwynne Dyer, the executive director of ACHS. “We don’t receive any government funding and rely on support from the community. The luncheon and fundraiser are a way to honor this incredible lady who has given so much to her community.”
Tickets may be purchased for $60 at the ACHS, My Best Friend’s Barkery in Banner Elk, or online at Thank You Rachel Deal.