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Email Announcements We Are Receiving Today: See What’s Going On Around The Community

1) Author Judith Ortiz Cofer Reads from Her Work April 10 at ASU

The Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series at Appalachian State University welcomes author Judith Ortiz Cofer for a craft talk and reading April 10. A native of Puerto Rico, Cofer writes poetry and coming-of-age stories set in Puerto Rico. The Spring 2014 Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Appalachian State University Foundation, Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English, the Summer Reading Program, the University Bookstore, Belk Library and the Appalachian Journal. Business sponsors are The Gideon Ridge Inn and The Red Onion Cafe. Community sponsors include John and the late Margie Idol, Paul and Judy Tobin, Alice Naylor, Thomas McLaughlin and The High Country Writers. 

2) Boone Police Department hosts Dodgeball Tournament for Special Olympics April 26

Do you want a chance to possibly hit your favorite Boone Police Officer with a Dodgeball? If you said yes, then the Boone Police Department is challenging you to a Dodgeball Throw Down. The Boone Police Department will be hosting a Dodgeball Tournament to raise money for Special Olympics North Carolina. The tournament will be held April 26 at Old Cove Creek School Gym, located at 207 Dale Adams Road in Sugar Grove. Dodgeball will consist of six players. There is a $150 minimum donation fee for teams wishing to register. The tournament will be double elimination format with prizes going to the top team. All teams that register before April 11 will receive a Dodgeball Throwdown t-shirt.

3) Tour for Life Arrives in Boone April 13

On April 13 from 1-4 p.m., Watauga Humane Society is hosting North Shore Animal League’s Tour for Life event, the “World’s Largest Mobile Adoption Event” at Walmart Supercenter in Boone. Shelters and rescues from across our region will be there to adopt out animals and raise money for animal welfare. This is a great chance to find your new best buddy and support an important cause. In partnership with Purina, Tour for Life is the largest national adoption initiative aimed at reinforcing the advantages and importance of shelter pet adoptions. Participating shelters and rescues include Ashe Humane Society, Avery County Humane Society, Caldwell Animal Rescue, Happy Tails Rescue of West Jefferson, Humane Society of Wilkes, Merit Put Bull Rescue Foundation in Lenoir, Partners! Canines, Second Chance Dogs of Ashe, St. Francis of Assisi Bully Breed Rescue, Unicoi County Animal Shelter, Watauga Humane Society and Ziggy’s Second Chance Network. In addition to having adoptable shelter dogs, cats, puppies and kittens, the event will also offer information on the benefits of adopting shelter pets, behavioral education and special services available to pet owners. Tour for Life is a great chance to give your pet an inexpensive health and safety boost by attending the low-cost rabies clinic hosted by Animal Hospital of Boone, for $8 per 1 year vaccine and $10 per three year vaccine. Let Queeny’s Pet Palace give your pet a bright-colored temporary tattoo, let PetStyle Salon provide your pet with a toenail trim and a Pet-a-Cure for $5, and get a microchip for your pet for only $35, thanks to Mast Mobile Pet Care and Acupuncture. You can also visit the Red Cross Pet First Aid booth for some tips and tricks about handling animal emergencies. Did you know there is an app for that? All of this and much, much more will be available at the Tour for Life. 

4) 5th Congressional District Democratic Forum

Beginning tonight in Winston-Salem, the Fifth District Democratic Party will hold a series of forums throughout the district with Democratic Primary candidates. The forum for the Watauga County Democratic Party will take place on Thursday, April 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Deep Gap Volunteer Fire Department located at 6583 Old 421 South in Deep Gap. RSVP to Diane Tilson, County Chair at 828-964-5375.

5) New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae Accepting Applications

The New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW) at Lees-McRae College is accepting applications for its three-week residential summer program that helps low-income women gain the skills and confidence to turn their lives around. This summer’s session will be held from July 6-26. “Our mission is to help women improve their personal, educational and financial circumstances,” said Jennie Harpold, director of the NOSW at Lees-McRae. “Women who would benefit from our program are those who really want to improve their situation, but need access to additional resources. We supply the tools they need to fulfill their potential.” Between the program at Lees-McRae Collegein Banner Elk and the flagship program in Berea, Ky., the program has helped more than 700 women achieve success personally and professionally. “My life has totally changed since attending the New Opportunity School for Women,” said a recent graduate. “I have the opportunity to go back to college, and that’s something I thought would never happen…the program was perfect, the timing was perfect. The program made me realize that life is short and you have to do what you really want to do and you have to stand up for yourself and you also have to give back.” During the three-week residential session, instruction is provided in many subjects including creative writing, public speaking, interviewing and Appalachian literature. Experienced volunteer instructors teach basic accounting, computer and resume writing skills as well as how to navigate the college application process. Women also work on furthering their personal growth. Internships in the local community provide the women with the opportunity to further explore career paths. Women participating in the program attend cultural events like concerts, a summer theatre production at the college and a series of lectures related to local Appalachian culture. In past years, NOSW has received funding from the High Country Women’s Fund and the Appalachian Women’s Fund, which recently merged to become Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge, Inc. Applicants should be between the ages of 30-55, possess a high school diploma or GED and have no college degrees. To apply for this program, contact Jennie Harpold at NOSW@lmc.edu or 828-898-8905. Interested parties may download an application from LMC.edu/nosw or request one from the office. 

6) Boone Town Council Shows Support for Downtown Street Fairs

Bringing together local businesses and organizations for the advancement of music, food and community spirit in the High Country, the Howard Street Exchange (HSE) is returning on April 13. At the regular meeting on Feb. 20, the Boone Town Council approved measures to ensure the economic stability of HSE events. Discussion of the fiscal situation related to the festival was headed off by a request for a lessened fee so that future HSE events would be more possible. To this, council member Jennifer Pena moved to have a portion of the fee waived entirely. A vote in favor of this movement passed. Yet again, the town council demonstrated their willingness to actively promote small businesses and work with Boone’s grassroots nonprofits. The exchange first happened on April 7, 2013 as part of the New Economy Summit, now the local social entrepreneurs at Boone Community Network are hosting the event with the intention of making the fair a fixture of downtown. The spectacular attendance and atmosphere of the previous events inspired the organizers to hold the event again; the blend of families, students, and community members enjoying the music, vendors and specials at Howard Street restaurants as well as Boone’s finest food trucks was too much fun to not have happen again. With the council’s go-ahead, Boone Community Network would like to invite the whole High Country to the third Howard Street Exchange on April 13. We are very excited to have the opportunity to bring this wonderful event back to Howard Street. Any local businesses, nonprofits or bands that would like to have a space at the event should contact Ben Loomis at 757-876-1093 or hsebcn@gmail.com. The deadline for vendors is April 6.