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Bella’s Italian Restaurant in Banner Elk Hosts Awards Dinner for “The Grandfather Challenge” Hiking Program for At-Risk Kids!

November 2, 2022 After  the completion of  their grueling, rigorous, eight-hour “Grand-Daddy” hike as the final trek of “The Grandfather Challenge” hike series, middle and high school students from all  over   Western  North  Carolina  are  always excited to  arrive  at  Bella’s Italian Restaurant in Banner Elk, NC for their coveted Awards Dinner! This celebratory event at this wonderful venue is always full of excitement, celebration, and outstanding food! Since the inception of this program in 2015, Bella’s has graciously hosted these celebrations in their intimate Banquet Room, and has fully supported and accommodated these school groups that come from Avery, Catawba, Caldwell, Lincoln, and Gaston County Schools.

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Cranberry Middle School students complete “The Grandfather Challenge” at Grandfather Mountain!

October 24, 2022 Ten students from Cranberry Middle School in Avery County, NC recently completed “The Grandfather Challenge” hiking program at Grandfather Mountain in Linville. “The Grandfather Challenge” program is sponsored by The Jason Project, Inc., which was formed by the parents of Jason Matthew Nipper, who passed away in June of 2014 at age 26. This private foundation was formed to host this unique hiking program, which is designed to build self-confidence in struggling youth, as well as trust and positive rapport with adult mentors.  Although the program includes at-risk kids suffering from mental problems and/or drug addictions, the program also seeks to assist any special kids who are struggling with personal adversities, including family, school, or other personal problems or challenges. Because of Jason’s abiding love of the outdoors and mountain hiking, James & Cheryl have established  “The Grandfather Challenge,” through which students navigate all of the challenging hiking trails at Grandfather Mountain.

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Watauga MS golfers capture Oakwoods CC event

September 27, 2022 WILKESBORO, N.C. — Competing against four Wilkes County middle schools and one from Ashe County at Oakwoods Country Club, Watauga’s middle school golf team captured another tournament on Sept. 26. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net

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