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Today’s Email Announcements

Blowing Rock Choir to sing in Winston-Salem, 11/5

The choir of St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church in Blowing Rock has been invited to join the choir of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Winston-Salem, to sing Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in D Minor in its intended liturgical setting as a Requiem Mass commemorating All Saints’ Sunday.  The combined choir of some 50 voices will sing this stunning setting of the mass in the marvelous acoustic of St. Paul’s church at 520 Summit Street in Winston-Salem on Sunday November 5th at 5 pm.

All Saints is the Sunday in the church year on which we remember all of the widely-known and ordinary saints we have known – our family members, friends, and loved ones – who have passed from this life into the next.  Fauré’s composition is one of the world’s most beloved settings of the Requiem, and thus uniquely suited to this commemoration.  It is hauntingly beautiful, composed during a period shortly after both his parents had died, and it stands in stark contrast to masses that focus on judgement and fear.  Fauré himself explained his viewpoint as “it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration toward happiness above, rather than as a painful experience.”  This attitude is perhaps most clearly seen in the final section of the music, In Paradisum – literally a vision of the Kingdom of Heaven, sung primarily by a host of angelic sopranos.

The choir of St. Mary of the Hills is under the direction of Dr. James Bumgardner, and has made several trips to study with the foremost directors of Anglican choral music in Cambridge, England, including George Guest at St. John’s, Stephen Cleobury at King’s, and Tim Brown at Clare College.  The group has been choir-in-residence at Durham Cathedral in England three times, and has sung services for St. Mary the Virgin in New York City, as well as representing North Carolina at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.


Coffee with the Curator: “Impressions of the Land”, 10/24

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Take a walk through the galleries with the Curator and get a behind-the-scenes look into “Impressions of the Land.” Guests are invited to converse and pose questions while enjoying complimentary cookies (courtesy of Appalachia Cookie Co.) and coffee (courtesy of Hatchet Coffee Co.) with the Curator at the Museum.

Tour is complimentary with museum admission.

The Civil War in Western North Carolina, 10/26

Thursday, October 26, 2017
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
This critical period began with a secession crisis before the conflict began — more than two-thirds of the voters in the region opposed the coming of the Confederacy. Large numbers of volunteers joined both the Confederate and Union armies. As the Confederacy imposed conscription and the income tax, opposition to the South increased and desertion from Confederate armies became an epidemic. Violence became a source of anxiety throughout the region and resulted in episodes like the Shelton Laurel massacre. Zebulon Vance was the dominant figure in a political system that disintegrated under the pressure of the war. At the end of the conflict, the region was impoverished and many families and communities were unable to forget the hardships and animosities they had experienced.Gordon B. McKinney received his BA from Bates College and his MA and PhD in History at Northwestern University. He taught Appalachian History at Western Carolina University and Berea College. He is the author of several books, including Zeb Vance: North Carolina’s Civil War Governor and Gilded Age Political Leader. He co-authored (with John C. Inscoe) The Heart of Confederate Appalachia: Western North Carolina in the Civil War. Dr. McKinney will be bringing copies of his books to sign and sell.

Free for members, $5 for non-members.


Spooky Crafts, 10/28

Saturday, October 28, 2017
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

FREE admission to Blowing Rock Art & History Museum 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Spooky Stories and Creepy Crafts for Kids from 3:30-4:30

Join us at BRAHM for Spooky (but not too spooky) Stories and Creepy Crafts for Kids of all ages.


Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to announce Tri-Cities Region Will Graham Celebration, 10/26

Will Graham, grandson of evangelist Billy Graham, along with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association(BGEA), will hold a special event for pastors and church leaders at MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center to announce the upcoming Tri-Cities Region Will Graham Celebration.

Will is the third generation of Grahams to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ under the banner of the BGEA. He is the grandson of Billy Graham and the oldest son of Franklin Graham, and he has spoken to audiences across six continents. Thus far in 2017, Graham has held Celebrations in Dothan, Ala.Fort Wayne, Ind., and Pachuca, Mexico. He is currently in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, for a two-day outreach from Oct. 21-22, but will return to the United States to be at the launch event for the Tri-Cities Region Will Graham Celebration. He has one remaining Celebration planned for 2017, which will take place Nov. 4-5in Charlottetown, Canada.

Thursday, Oct. 26
7-8:30 p.m. (Dessert fellowship beginning at 6:30 p.m.)

MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center
1901 Meadowview Parkway
Kingsport, TN 37660

At the announcement event, Will Graham and BGEA representatives will officially accept the invitation from local civic and church leaders to hold a Celebration in the area. A cross-section of local leadership will attend this meeting to demonstrate their cooperation in the upcoming Tri-Cities Region Will Graham Celebration, which is scheduled to take place April 27-29, 2018, at Freedom Hall Civic Center in Johnson City.

In addition to Will Graham, those scheduled to speak at the announcement event include Jim Harlan, who will help to guide the effort over the coming months, as well as BGEA’s Celebration Director Bob Hickling and Director of North American Festivals Rod Barnett, who will share time-tested principles and key steps to unite area churches for the Tri-Cities Region Celebration.

Medicare Open Enrollment Now Underway and Runs Until December 7

RALEIGH— The Medicare enrollment period is now open and runs for the next seven weeks. Each year during the Open Enrollment Period, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to compare and evaluate their current plan and make changes as necessary.  By comparing plans during the Open Enrollment Period, Medicare beneficiaries can save money and ensure their 2018 plan is best suited to meet their needs. 

The Open Enrollment Period began Oct. 15 and all changes must be made by Dec. 7 to ensure coverage begins without interruption Jan. 1.

“Comparing Part D plans annually is imperative to ensure the Medicare beneficiary has the best coverage for their prescription needs,” said North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. “The staff from SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, are available to help over the phone or in-person in all 100 counties in North Carolina.”

SHIIP is a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance and offers free, unbiased information about Medicare, Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medicare Advantage, long-term care insurance and other health insurance issues. In addition to helping Medicare beneficiaries compare and enroll in plans during the Open Enrollment Period, SHIIP counselors can help people find out if they are eligible for Medicare cost savings programs.

Here are some of the ways to review and compare plans available for 2018:

  • Get one-on-one help from SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, by calling 1-855-408-1212Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beneficiaries can also request in-person assistance in their home county.
  • Visit www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan to compare current coverage and enroll in a new plan if changes are needed.
  • Review the Medicare & You handbook, which was mailed to beneficiaries in September.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to find out more about coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

For more information about SHIIP and the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, call 1-855-408-1212 or visit www.ncshiip.com.


The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild Quilt Meeting, 11/2

     The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, November 2nd, at 11:00 AM.  We meet in the conference room on the second floor of the Senior Center on Poplar Grove Connector in Boone.  We are having a workshop and will be making donation quilts. We will start at eleven o’clock and will work until one, take a break for lunch and a short business meeting and then work until 4 PM.  The Guild will supply the fabric but we will need people to help cut, iron and sew it into quilts.  Please bring your sewing machine if you want to make a quilt.  For people curious about how a quilt is made or a beginner not sure of how to finish their quilt, come and join us and we will be happy to answer your questions.  If you have a question about your quilt, please bring it with you.  You are welcome to join us for the entire day or just part of it.   If you plan to stay all day bring a lunch and something to drink.  All our quilts are donated to  various local organizations.  Call  Dolores at 295-6148 if you have any questions.


FAFSA Day at Campuses Across North Carolina, 10/28

(Students Can Get Assistance Applying for Financial Aid on FAFSA Day.)

Raleigh, N.C. (October 2017) – Governor Roy Cooper has signed a proclamation declaring Sunday, Oct. 22 – Saturday, Oct. 28 Financial Aid Awareness Week. During this week, students and families are encouraged to learn more about applying for financial aid. Financial Aid Awareness Week will end with FAFSA Day, on Sat. Oct. 28. FAFSA Day is a statewide, college-access event taking place at sites across North Carolina. During this free event, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon at most locations, students can get assistance filling out their FAFSA form from qualified financial aid administrators and financial aid specialists.

FAFSA Day is organized by College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC), the North Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU). Pre-registration is strongly encouraged; visit CFNC.org/FAFSADay or call 866-866-CFNC (2362) toll-free to find a location near you and register. Be sure to carefully check the time and date of the event, as it may differ between locations. Four sites will be offering FAFSA Day on an alternate date. These include Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (Oct.26), Winston-Salem State University (Nov. 4), North Carolina Central University (Nov. 4) and Mount Zion Baptist Church in Greensboro (Nov. 16).

Completing the FAFSA is the first step toward getting financial aid for college or career school. Many states and colleges use the FAFSA to determine students’ eligibility for state and school aid. Through FAFSA, students can gain access to their share of more than $120 billion in loans, grants and work-study funds. However, a student must complete and submit a FAFSA form to qualify for any of the money.

“The process of applying for financial aid can be overwhelming, but FAFSA Day is a great opportunity for students to get the help they need to succeed,” says Mary Lindsaye Boyd with CFNC. “Parents are also encouraged to attend the event and support their student through the process. We would love for all students who are looking to attend college next fall to visit CFNC.org/FAFSADay to find the campus nearest them, and join us for this event.”

Students should come prepared for FAFSA Day with the following:

  • Each student and one of their parents will need an Federal Student Aid Identification (FSA ID), which can be obtained at FSAID.ed.gov. FSA IDs can be obtained in advance. The student and parent need their FSA IDs to submit the FAFSA.
  • Students and parents should bring their 2016 tax information. Most participants are able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to get the necessary tax information, but if those tax forms are unavailable, having a 2016 1040 tax form or a W-2 will be helpful.
  • A parent and the student will need to sign the completed FAFSA form before submitting the form.

For more help on planning, applying and paying for college, students can always contact the CFNC Call Center at 1-800-866-CFNC (2362), from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. In addition, students can receive help completing their FAFSA from the State Employees’ Credit Union during the month of November. Schedule an appointment by calling your local SECU branch.

Once the FAFSA is completed, students and parents are encouraged to go ahead and go through the Residency Determination Service (RDS), new this year, at ncresidency.org.  RDS requires much of the same information as the FAFSA and is an important component to financial aid because it determines eligibility for in-state tuition and state grants.

With helpful information such as lists of grant, scholarship and loan requirements, virtual campus tours and information on North Carolina’s 529 savings plan, CFNC is the state’s leading resource where students can get help planning, applying and paying for college. For more information, visit CFNC.org.  


Join the SNIPS Committee of Watauga Humane Society & BBQ Burgers & Brews, 10/26

BBQ Burgers & Brews will donate 10% of all proceeds between 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., plus SNIPS will have handmade crafts available for sale!

Thursday, Oct. 26th from 4:00 p.m. -9:00 p.m., located on Hwy 105 in Boone. 



Karen Cleghorn of Blue Ridge Realty & Investments Recognized for Performance in Luxury Real Estate

Banner Elk, NC | October 21, 2017 — Karen Cleghorn with Blue Ridge Realty & Investments  in Banner Elk recently earned The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist™ (CLHMS) designation in recognition of experience, knowledge, and expertise in high-end residential properties. Karen  joins an exclusive group of real estate professionals who have completed The Institute’s training and have a proven performance in the upper-tier market.

“Agents who have earned the CLHMS designation are performing at the highest level in their community,” said Diane Hartley, president of The Institute. “The CLHMS seal is a symbol of distinction. Affluent buyers and sellers from around the world look for this symbol of luxury home knowledge and expertise when putting their trust in a real estate professional.”

The specialized training and ongoing membership with The Institute provide Karen Cleghorn with the knowledge and tools to better serve clients. The CLHMS designation provides evidence of the successful commitment to service at the highest level. “I have had the privilege of meeting many outstanding people who come to the High Country for a short visit,  I want them to call this part of the country home,” said Cleghorn.

Karen has been in real estate since 1989 and specializes in mountain properties. Karen also enjoys membership as a Resort and Second Home Property Specialist  and has achieved the GRI designation, one conferred upon Realtors who have completed rigorous training through the Graduate Realtor Institute.  In her spare time, Karen enjoys skiing, roller blading, ice skating and walking with her dog, Drake, and husband Leon to whom she has been happily married for 33 years.  

For more information about the luxury market in the High Country of Western North Carolina, contact Karen Cleghorn with Blue Ridge Realty & Investments at 828-898-7179 or kcleghorn@brri.net.


Foxx to Host U.S. Service Academy Day for 5th District Students, 10/28

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., will host a U.S. Service Academy Day on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Historic Broyhill building, 3450 Clemmons Road, Clemmons, NC. The event will help familiarize students with the application and nomination process for applying to the nation’s five military service academies.

“North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District has a noble tradition of military service, and it’s an honor to help some of the community’s finest students contribute to this legacy by attending our country’s prestigious military service academies,” said Foxx. “This event will give prospective applicants the opportunity to meet with representatives from each academy. This is a great opportunity for students to receive more information about how to navigate the application and nomination process to our nation’s distinguished service academies.”

Representatives from all five academies will be in attendance to explain more about their requirements for admittance. High school students of all ages and their parents are encouraged to attend.

Individuals wishing to attend are asked to RSVP to Maxwel Terzano at 336-778-0211 or Maxwel.Terzano@mail.house.gov