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Email Announcements Received Today:

1) Jazz Vocal Ensemble Performs Nov. 19

Work by American jazz pianist and composer Horace Silver will be featured during the Appalachian Jazz Vocal Ensemble performance Nov. 19. The event begins at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall at Appalachian State University. Admission is free. The ensemble is directed by Keith McCutchen from the Hayes School of Music. The program opens with Silver’s “Song for my Father,” “Peace” and “The Preacher.” Other works to be performed are Cole Porter’s “I Get a Kick Out of You,” Bob Thiele’s “What a Wonderful World” and Duke Ellington’s “Satin Doll.” Other compositions on the program are Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” Van Morrison’s “Moondance,” Harold Arlen’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and Antônio Carlos Jobim’s “No More Blues.”

2) Grace Academy Chili Cook Off Raises $18,000

More than 600 area residents recently attended Grace Academy’s 6th annual Chili-Cook-Off fundraiser on Saturday, November 8, and helped raise $18,000 for the school. Money raised will help off-set the cost of tuition and greatly contribute to the school’s operating budget. There were over 70 types of chili served, more than 225 donated items, 24 cakes, and approximately 600 in attendance. Area goods and services were donated to the event and then auctioned off. Student council members organized the first annual cake walk and raised $500. They were rewarded by an anonymous donor who matched half their sales. The students are excited to invest part of their earnings toward new sports equipment for the school! Judges for the Chili Cook-Off awarded Sharon Wolf first place for her Sweet Potato Sausage Chili; second place went to Lisa Haas for her White Turkey Chili; and the third place winner was Chastity Lesesne for her Sassy Southwestern Chili. (see below for award winning recipe) Grace Academy Board Member Melvin Cline says, “ Many thanks to area businesses who donated goods and services to the event, including Wendy’s, who provided our paper products and Stick Boy Bread Company who provided the bread.” Grace Academy, a 501 C-3, was begun in August 2008 and is not affiliated with any particular church of denomination. The school enrolls about 75 students and meets at Boone United Methodist Church. If interested in donating to the school or for enrollment information, please contact the school’s Administrator Kim Chasteen at 828.773.8830 or email graceacademyboon@gmail.com.

3) Stephenson Center to Host Biologist Dr. Sean Collins Nov. 20

While shorter days, cold winds and snow send many denizens of the mountains into hibernation, the number and variety of flora and fauna remain one of Appalachia’s distinguishing features. Please join us to explore the wealth of life in the area with Dr. Sean Collins’ presentation Fire on the Mountain: A Hotspot for Biodiversity on Thursday, November 20, at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium on the Lees-McRae College campus. Part of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia Lecture Series, Collins’ program is free and open to the public. A biology professor at Lees-McRae, Collins earned his doctorate at the University of Cincinnati where he spent time working with the Environmental Protection Agency. He now teaches ecology, evolution and zoology, and in the spring will offer a special course in fresh water systems. In his presentation, he will discuss Appalachian biodiversity, stream diversity, biological monitoring of aquatic habitats and potential threats to those habitats. Collins has extensive experience investigating the freshwater ecosystems of Appalachia. He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree at Marshall University which sits on the banks of the Ohio River. While working on his master’s degree he worked with two environmental consulting firms. “We are fortunate to have Dr. Collins share his expertise with us,” said Dr. Michael Joslin, director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia at Lees-McRae College. “One of Lees-McRae’s most important assets is the ecological wealth of the campus and the surrounding mountains. We invite everyone to join us for this important and informative program.” Stephenson Center lectures are free and open to the public. Collins’ lecture will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 20 in Evans Auditorium of the Cannon Student Center on the Lees-McRae campus.  For information contact Megan Hall, director of communications, at 828.898.8729 or Michael Joslin at joslin@lmc.edu. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae College is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees, strong athletic programs and outstanding faculty. With 950 students hailing from 31 states and more than 8 countries, Lees-McRae’s broad core curriculum is enhanced by field-specific career preparation and experiential learning. For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828.898.5241.

4) Upcoming Events at Williams YMCA of Avery County

Getting ready for the holidays? The Williams YMCA of Avery County has some great things going on this holiday season. Check out the 5K Reindeer Run and Blitzen Bash or take part in the holiday trimmings.

  • Holiday Trimmings: We want our members to beat the bulge this holiday season. Join the six week holiday challenge. Hold yourself accountable for the holiday season by registering today. We all know how hard it is to make it through the holidays without packing on the pounds. Here is some incentive: Members that maintain or lose weight during the holidays will be entered into a free prize drawing. There is a $5 entry fee with a mystery prize from Walmart, a YMCA gift bag and YMCA personal training sessions are up for grabs. Weigh-ins start Nov. 17 and weigh outs end Jan. 19, 2015.
  • 5K Reindeer Run and Blitzen Bash: The event will take place on Dec. 6. The Reindeer Run will start at 10 a.m. with early registration costing $25 and race day registration set at $30. Ages 12 and under may register for $10. Registration may be completed at YMCAAvery.org or at the YMCA front desk. The Blitzen Bash is free starting at 10:30 a.m. and is good for all ages. The event will include a 1/2 mile kids fun run, Santa, hot chocolate, cookies, face painting, a bounce house, Christmas music and more. A silent auction will be held from 10 a.m. until noon and all monies raised will benefit the Williams YMCA Scholarship Fund.

5) Turkey Trot to Help the Hungry and Homeless

Here’s a way you can eat more at your Thanksgiving Feast and also help those that won’t have much to eat! Run in the annual 5k race touted as the “Turkey Trot” in Boone, North Carolina! Burn off those extra calories before the big meal and you’re sure to feel much better! Plus your entry fee will benefit area hungry and homeless residents in seven counties! The fourth consecutive High Country Turkey Trot will take place Thanksgiving morning at the Clawson Burnely Park entrance, utilizing the Boone Greenway Trail. Kickoff is scheduled for 9 a.m. and is perfect for casual runners, joggers and walkers! Hearts for Hospitality is organizing this event and 100% of the proceeds go to benefit families and individuals living in poverty, homelessness and other forms of crisis. With 750 participants from 58 North Carolina Cities, 22 states and 2 foreign countries, the High Country Turkey Trot is the premier 5k in the area. Since 2011, this community effort has raised $54,000 and 2000 pounds of food for those in need. The event welcomes all who are willing to give back to our community—competitive and casual runners, joggers and walkers, folks with disabilities, families and even pets! Cost is $30 for adults and teens, $10 for kids 12 and under, registration is open now till November 25! Sponsorship opportunities are still available for corporations and organizations and there’s even a “sleep in” option! Visit www.hospitalityhouseofboone.org for more information and to register or call the Hospitality House at 828-265-1237.

6) Flapjack Fundraiser Hosted at Applebee’s Nov. 15

National Alliance on Mental Health Illness (NAMI) High Country is holding a fundraiser this coming Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. We are having a fundraiser this Saturday at your local Apple Bee’s all proceeds will be going directly to our organization for funding programs, advocacy, outreach, and education to our local areas about mental health illnesses.