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 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 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.