John Boyd, above left, Supervisor for the Guardian ad Litem program in Caldwell County, told members of Caldwell County Rotary Club that some 207 children from Caldwell County are served thru the program. The independent investigative agency is part of the Court system. They work to protect children who have been abused or mistreated. Much of the work is done by volunteers who make periodic reports to the Courts about the child. Volunteers attend some 25 hours of training before being partnered with a child. Most spend 4 to 6 hours per month with a child. Some 15,000 children across North Carolina are assisted by the Guardian ad Litem program.Rotarian Kevin Miller, above right, arranged the program.


 

 Deborah Ashley Smith, above left, Business Development Executive with Caldwell UNC Health Care, told members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club that renovations to the Lenoir Main campus continue, while other sites are expanding services.
There are now 8 sites that offer various and specific services to the community.
Later this year the current site of the Hospital Foundation office will be demolished to allow the construction of a new 27 bed behavior health center. Work is underway for extensive revision and expansion at the Southfork Medical site. Future expansion is also planned at the Westpointe Medical site in Gamewell. She also noted that Caldwell UNC Health now employs over 1000 medical professionals in the community. Rotarian Ron Beane, above right, arranged the program.  


 

 Jason Lingle, above right, Energy Solutions Manager for Blue Ridge Energy, told members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club about a new voluntary program to hold down power costs. Called "beat the peak", it encourages Blue Ridge members to shift or reduce their use of electricity during peak periods, when people use the most electricity all at once. This mostly occurs between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on hot summer days. Some 2000 Blue Ridge members have taken action to better plan their electric usage and will receive a text, email or phone call to tell them future times. Small individual savings can make a significant dent in the overall power expense for the Coop. Rotarian Jeff Joines, above left, introduced the program.


John Francis, above right, Executive Director, and Gina Price, above center, with Helping Hands, told members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club about the on-going efforts of Helping Hands. Now in it's 20th year of free non-profit medical and pharmaceutical care for un-insured Caldwell residents, Helping Hands has over 1500 patients and assisted with some 18,000 prescriptions during 2017. New partnerships with West Caldwell Health for behavior health treatment and Caldwell County Health Department for dental care are adding other services for those in need. Rotarian Bud Watts, above left, arranged the program.


 

 

April Austin, aboveright, Director of the Caldwell Senior Center, told
members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club that over $1.1 Million
was saved, benefiting Caldwell residents in finding low cost Medicare
prescription drug plans in 2017. That is just one of the many benefits
that local residents enjoy thru the Senior Center. It opened in 1987
and was the first Senior Center in North Carolina
to be built by the community. Over 3100 people are members, but
the Senior Center served over 29,000 individuals in various ways
during the past year. Rotarian Seth Nagy, above left, arranged the program.
 


 

Dr. David Lowery, above right, chief medical officer for Caldwell UNC healthcare,
told members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club about the opioid crisis in
our nation and locally. Opiates are a class of drugs made from the Opium poppy.
It was developed as a pain killer.Federal regulation began in 1938 and has evolved
over the years. Today, an average of three people die each day in North Carolina
due to opiate overdoses. Another 12 are hospitalized daily, with most of those being
admitted thru emergency room visits. During 2015, there were 10 deaths in Caldwell
County attributed to overdoses, 642 deaths across NC and 1100 deaths in the US.
Laws have been changed in NC to limit access to painkiller prescriptions for patients.
Rotarian Bill Sproul, above left, arranged the program.


 

 Lenoir Mayor Joe Gibbons, above right, and Lenoir City Manager Scott Hildebran, above center,
updated members of Caldwell County Rotary on the state of the city. Their remarks
covered information over the last 18 month's of new developments for Lenoir. During
this time the City began a new branding campaign called “together we create.” Lenoir
recently experienced the third Wi-Fi upgrade in downtown provided by Google. Also
discussed were Capital Improvement projects and updates to pedestrian traffic. Lenoir’s
greatest need is for market-rate housing, infrastructure repairs and replacement, and
retaining talented staff. Rotarian Charles Beck, above left, arranged the program.


 

 Libby Brown, left, director of public relations for the Caldwell
County Schools, told members of the Caldwell County Rotary
Club about efforts to keep students safe in our school system.
Brown noted that most active shooters are young people. Since
1999 (Columbine) there have been 208 active shooters across
the United States. In Caldwell County, the first person on the
scene is authorized to neutralize the threat. The Caldwell County
Schools has had a crisis management plan since 1995. It includes
practices and procedures, training and facility planning. Rotarian
Courtney Wright, right, arranged the program.


 

 

Greg Cutler, above left, Director of Special Projects, at Excela Pharma Sciences, told members
of Caldwell County Rotary Club about their line of speciality pharmaceuticals. Founded in 2004 by Phanesh Koneru, the company now employs some 288 people in Caldwell County. It all begins with research and development and continues thru the process to produce generic and proprietary injectable and sterile ophthalmic products, Excela is on the cutting edge of medical advances. Rotarian Kent Spears, above right, arranged the program.


Rotarian David Gray, above left, told members of Caldwell County Rotary Club about
kidney disease. Gray was a kidney donor for another family member in 2003.
Kidney disease can be inherited or caused by diabetes.The kidneys filter about
200 quarts of blood per day. One of the biggest challenge with kidney transplants
is organ rejection. Recipients take medications to reduce those probabilities for
the rest of their lives. Club President Kent Greer, above right, introduced the program.


 

Officials with Thermal Valley Hang Gliding told members of Caldwell County Rotary
Club about their tandem flights from 2000 to 5000 feet in elevation from their location
off the Calico Road. The aviation business provide spectacular views of Grandfather
Mountain, Table Rock and Hawksbill mountains, as well as South Mountain and the
Catawba River. Dr. Laura Pearson, left, is co-owner with her husband Craig Pearson,
right. Pilot Larry Falls, center, gets the pleasure of taking customers for the thrilling ride.
Thermal Valley is featured in the February 2018 issue of Our State Magazine. To schedule
an appointment visit their website at thermalvalley.net or by phone at 828-292-7473.
The program was arranged by Rotarian Chris Cole.


 

Cindy Day, Interim Director for the Caldwell County Heritage Museum, told members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club about the origins of Davenport College, the site of the museum today. Begun in 1855 by the Methodist Church, Davenport was a college for women only. it stayed in operation until 1926 when it merged with Greensboro College.
The only remaining building of the campus is the home to the Heritage Museum. The public is encouraged to learn more about Caldwell County history by visiting the museum, located at 112 Vaiden Street. Rotarian Kevin Miller arranged the program.


 

Grey Scheer, above right, Director of Community Relations for Blue Ridge Energy, told members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club about the Coop's effort to help those in need thru their Member's Foundation. Called "So No One Goes Cold", the Foundation assists families with high utility bills related to the recent record cold weather. During the last ten years, the Blue Ridge Member's Foundation has assisted over 15,600 families with high energy bills. Some $1 Million dollars has been given in assistance to members and another $2 Million in grants to various local non-profits. Members contribute thru Operation Round Up by giving a few pennies each month. Some $200,000 in contributions were made in 2017. Rotarian Jeff Joines, above left, arranged the program.


 

Scott Hildebran, aboveright, Lenoir City Manager, told members of Caldwell County Rotary Club about his recent visit to South Korea. Hildebran displayed a variety of photos that highlighted the trip. The South Korean capital, Seoul, has a population of 26 Million people in the metro area. Their density is 8 times that as New York City. Numerous well know brands such as Samsung, LG, Hankook, Kia and Hyundai are Korean companies. Rotarian Charles beck, above left, arranged the program.


 

Elechia Morgan, above left, a Granite Falls native, is the Owner/ operator of
MuscleRx in Hickory. Morgan was accepted into a three-year trial
program for medical manual therapy. She completed an elite internship
at Duke Medical Center. She specializes in corrective manual and
stabilization therapy. He work experience includes various professional
sports teams including the New Orleans Saints and Texas Rangers.
Rotarian Jeff Church, above right, arranged the program.


 

Retired Senior Superior Court Judge Beverly T Beal, above right, told members of the Caldwell County Rotary about some of the humorous events he had witnessed in Court. Beal served as a Judge for over 20 years, mostly in western counties, and recounted a particular case in which DNA evidence was contested. Rotarian Bud Watts, above left, arranged the program. 


 

For over a decade, members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club have ushered in the Holidays with a mini-concert by local musicians Kay and Patrick Crouch. Kay, above left, is a member of the club, and along with her husband, Patrick, above right, they organize the Caldwell Traditional Musicians concert at the J E Broyhill Civic Center. The 20th anniversary concert will be held March 10th.


 

Three more local groups have been awarded funds for their
holiday cheer efforts by the Caldwell County Rotary Club.
From the above left: Michael Riggs, Advisor to the West Caldwell
High School Interact Club; John Francis, Director of Helping
Hands, and Lisa Clontz, Director of the Shelter Home. The
contributions came from fund raising efforts during the year
by the club members. Club President Kent Greer, above right, made
the presentations.


 

 Three local organizations have received funding from Caldwell
County Rotary Club to help spread holiday cheer this year.
The donations come from the club’s various fund raisers during
the past year. From above left to right: Will Wakefield, DSS Director
accepted a check on behalf of the Foster Children program; Angel
Moretz,Executive Director of the Soup Kitchen; and Sharon
Osborne, Executive Director of Yokefellow, each accepted on
behalf of their organizations. Club President Kent Greer, above right,
made the presentations.


 

Angel Moretz, above right, Executive Director of the Soup Kitchen, told members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club that the local non-profit has been serving Thanksgiving meals for 35 years. In recent years, Mooresridge Catering has led the effort to prepare and serve the meals. The Soup Kitchen has been at the 1113 College Avenue location since 1991. On a typical day, between 70 to 100 lunch meals are served. Sunday meals are served beginning at 4 p.m. Food comes from charitable donations, USDA allotments and three annual food collection efforts. Club President Kent Greer, above left, introduced the program. 


Martin Easton, above left, and Don Gardner, above right, told members of the
Caldwell County Rotary Club about their recent trip to the Galapagos
Islands off the South America coast. Known for it’s unique wildlife,
and opportunities to see the rarest of animals up close, it is a World
Heritage site. Rotarian Bill Sproul, above center, arranged the program.


 

 Rotarian Kent Spears (above), project coordinator, reviewed final plans for the Lenoir Downtown Christmas Festival which is set for Saturday November 18th. Caldwell County Rotary Club, along with the City of Lenoir, Downtown Merchants, and Corporate Sponsor, Chick-Fil-a, are sponsoring the event this year. Live entertainment will be highlighted with craft and food vendors, and the arrival of Santa to downtown Lenoir. Hours of the festival are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year marks the 4th annual festival.
Funds raised from the project are used by Caldwell County Rotary to fund scholarships to graduating high school seniors.


 

Rebecca Hite, second from above left, a volunteer with the local
Wig Bank told members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club
about the services offered thru the non-profit. Now in its second
decade of service, the Wig Bank offers wigs, wig supplies, jewelry,
scarves, hats, and turbans to women, men or children who are
battling cancer or other diseases in which treatment causes them
to loose their hair. Located at 226 Mulberry Street, the Wig Bank
is staffed by volunteers. Also attending the meeting were volunteers
Becky Gibbons, second from above right, and Susan Gray, above right. Kent
Spears, above left, arranged the program.


 

Aja Williams, above right, Manager of Anytime Fitness, told members
of the Caldwell County Rotary Club that Anytime Fitness is the
#1 fitness facility in the United States with over 3000 locations.
The facility focuses on fitness and nutrition thru holistic approaches
that are results focused. Williams also noted that Anytime Fitness
also engages in a variety of community service projects. Rotarian
Courtney Wright, above left, arranged the program.


Grey Scheer, above left, Director of Community Relations for Blue Ridge Energy,
told members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club about the 10 year
anniversary of the Blue Ridge Members Foundation. Scheer noted that
the foundation’s primary focus is to assist residents in crisis with heating
assistance. Additionally, the Foundation will surpass $1 Million in local
community grants made available to local non-profit organizations in the
Blue Ridge service area. Later this year, the Foundation will pass $3 Million
in total giving from the members who participate in Operation Roundup.
Rotarian John Coffey, the COO for Blue Ridge Energy, arranged the program.


 

Dr. James Hathorne, above right, Oncologist at McCreary Cancer
Center, a part of UNC Healthcare, told members of the
Caldwell County Rotary Club that 99% of the services
offered at the Lenoir location are equal to cancer treatment
efforts at any other facility. The McCreary Cancer Center
is a top scoring facility for patient satisfaction within the
UNC Health Care System. Crystal Dula, center, Outreach
Coordinator for the Center, introduced the program. The
program was arranged by Rotarian Bruce Cannon, left.


 

Shirley Kanode, left, a Community Emergency Response Team member,
told members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club about volunteer efforts
from local citizens. Their primary focus is to educate people about disaster
preparedness and to assist in times of emergencies. An affiliate of REACT
International, the Caldwell CERT members will conduct a basic CERT
course at the County Health and Human Services Building during the week
of October 9th. The five sessions are free to the public. Those interested
should send an email to caldwellcountycert@gmail.com to learn more
information. Rotarian Chris Cole, right, arranged the program.


 

David Barlowe, left, a Lenoir realtor for nearly 4 decades,
told members of the Caldwell County Rotary Club that
Lenoir and Caldwell County are similar to the rest of the
nation in being a “sellers market” for residential real estate.
This region is suffering from a lack of new construction
starts and is a market that does not support speculative
building projects. Rising costs of building materials have
also hurt new building starts. While local foreclosures
have returned to normal levels, Barlowe noted that the
efforts to sell land has seen drops in value. Rotarian
David Gray, right, arranged the program.