1) ASU Baseball Benefit March 26
Show your support for Appalachian State University’s Mountaineers and get in the swing with National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month on Wednesday, March 26. Game starts at 4 p.m., but get there early and show you care by donating to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. Enjoy the action and try your luck with a raffle, courtesy of student Kendall Ross, who is organizing a special MSF fundraiser for MS awareness. The event will take place at ASU at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium in Boone to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. The mission of the MSF is to provide nationally accessible programs and support services for those effected by MS to help them maintain their health, safety, self-sufficiency and personal well-being and to heighten public awareness of MS in order to illicit financial support for the programs and service and promote understanding for those diagnosed with the illness.
2) Quilt Guild Meeting April 3
The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, April 3, at 1:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Senior Center on Poplar Grove Connector in Boone. One of the guild members, Susan Sweet, will present the program. She will be discussing color values as it relates to selecting fabric for quilts. Also, for anyone wishing to participate, we will be given instructions on what types of fabric to purchase to make a mystery quilt. In May there will be instructions on how to cut your fabric to make that quilt. Call Dolores at 828-295-6148 for more information.
3) Grandfather Mountain “Dollar Days” Return in April
Grandfather Mountain opens its gates to High Country residents, employees and their guests for only $3 each throughout April as part of “Dollar Days.” April also marks the return of animal enrichment sessions and discounted behind-the-scenes habitat tours, along with naturalist programs later in the month. “Dollar Days is our way of welcoming the local community that has weathered this snowy winter alongside us,” said Penn Dameron, executive director of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. “It’s a great opportunity to visit this natural gem that’s available in our own backyards.” The Dollar Days promotion allows anyone who works or lives in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga or Wilkes counties — along with their guests traveling in the same vehicle — to visit at the discounted rate. Students attending a local college or university also are eligible for the discount. To take advantage of the reduced rate, visitors must present a driver’s license, college ID or local utility bill as proof of High Country residency. An employee identification badge or pay stub can be used to demonstrate employment at a High Country business. Grandfather Mountain offers extended spring hours starting March 29. The attraction will be open daily, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticket sales end at 5 p.m., one hour before the park closes.
4) Blowing Rock Brews Local Events During NC Beer Month
April marks the second annual NC Beer Month, featuring dozens of breweries across the state. In Blowing Rock, there will be plenty to experience throughout the month, including indulgence-worthy dining, lively bars, singular shops and eclectic galleries, beer pairings, tasting flights and more. The featured Beer Month event in Blowing Rock will be the Blowing Rock Walkabout on Saturday, April 26. Travel + Leisure‘s “Daily Transporter” e-newsletter recently highlighted NC Beer Month, noting, “North Carolina has more craft breweries than any state east of Texas and south of Pennsylvania, according to 2012 figures from the Brewers Association. Raise your pint glass this April during North Carolina Beer Month and celebrate all things beer at festivals and special dinners across the state.” The free Blowing Rock Walkabout will take place from 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. The event will feature regional breweries and local businesses in a festive, community-driven atmosphere. All participating businesses are within a few blocks of each other, so visitors can enjoy the ambiance of Blowing Rock’s picturesque downtown. The Walkabout list of those participating businesses and shops is extensive, and events include brewery tours, cookouts, NC beer samples, and music. Discounts will be offered in many locations and detailed Walkabout maps will guide visitors.
5) Citizen Science Program Needs Your Help Observing the Weather
Do you ever wonder how much rainfall you received from a recent thunderstorm? How about snowfall during a winter storm? If so, a new volunteer weather observing program needs your help. The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, or CoCoRaHS is looking for new volunteers across North Carolina. The grassroots effort is part of a growing national network of home-based and amateur rain spotters with a goal of providing a high-density precipitation network that will supplement existing observations. CoCoRaHS came about as a result of a devastating flash flood that hit Fort Collins, Colorado in July 1997. A local severe thunderstorm dumped more than a foot of rain in several hours while other portions of the city had only modest rainfall. The ensuing flood caught many by surprise and caused $200 million in damages. CoCoRaHS was born in 1998 with the intent of doing a better job of mapping and reporting intense storms. As more volunteers participated, rain, hail and snow maps were produced for every storm showing fascinating local patterns that were of great interest to scientists and the public. Recently, drought reporting has also become an important observation within the CoCoRaHS program across the nation. In fact, drought observations from CoCoRaHS are now being included in the National Integrated Drought Information System. North Carolina became the 21st state to establish this program in 2007 and by 2010, the network had reached all 50 states with nearly 10,000 observations being reported each day. Through CoCoRaHS, thousands of volunteers, young and old, document the size, intensity, duration and patterns of rain, hail and snow by taking simple measurements in their own backyards. Volunteers may obtain an official rain gauge through the CoCoRaHS website for about $28 plus shipping. Besides the need for an official 4 inch plastic rain gauge, volunteers are required to take a simple training module online and use the website to submit reports. Observations are immediately available on maps and reports for the public to view. The process takes only five minutes a day, but the impact to the community is tenfold. By providing high quality, accurate measurements, the observers are able to supplement existing networks and provide useful results to scientists, resource managers, decision makers and other users. How does one become a CoCoRaHS observer? Go to the CoCoRaHS website here and click on the “Join CoCoRaHS” emblem on the upper right side of the main website. After registering, take the simple online training, order your 4 inch rain gauge and start reporting!