Article Published: Feb. 11, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

HCCSA in full bloom
A local agricultural effort is planning to double in size next year.

High Country Community Supported Agriculture, a multi-farm project organized by Maverick Farms, is now offering memberships for its second season, with 100 openings for the 2010 growing season and five additional farms participating.

"Last year was our first season as a multi-farm project, and it was a big success," said HCCSA coordinator Franya Hutchins.

For more information on High Country CSA, contact Franya Hutchins at ( , (828) 0963-4656, or at

Speaking of food (and shelter)...
High Country United Way (HCUW) announced Watauga County as the recipient of $25,442 through the Emergency Food and Shelter National Program (EFSP).

"It's slightly more money than we got last year," HCUW director Linda Slade said.
The increase is due to a higher unemployment rate.

"We'll do our best to make sure it goes to the neediest places," she said.

The money will be divided between eligible service agencies through grants.

To receive money, agencies must be private, voluntary nonprofits or units of government; have an accounting system; practice non-discrimination; have demonstrated the ability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs; and, if they are a voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board.

Interested organizations must apply by submitting a letter of request to Linda Slade, High Country United Way, PO Box 247, Boone, NC 28607. Letters must address eligibility requirements and be received by 5 p.m. Monday, February 15.

EFSP is a federal program administered by the US Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and entrusted to assist efforts to provide food, shelter and services to the nation's hungry and homeless.

Anyone with questions is asked to call Slade directly at (828) 265-2111.

- Lauren Ohnesorge

Hearts Ball will beat on in May
The 15th annual Hearts of Hospitality Ball was rescheduled due to poor weather conditions that hit the High Country last weekend. The event will now take place on Friday, May 14, at the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center.

Music will be provided by Todd Wright Band to accompany dinner, a silent auction and a dance contest. Dancers will include Cay and Andy Harkins, Edie and Fred Milano, Robin Lane and Andy Glass and the High Country Dance Crew with Haley Walton and Bianca Capo.

Attendees may vote for their favorite dancers, and one dollar equals one vote. The master of ceremonies will be Gwen Dhing as Tina Turner, with backup singers Kim Kincaid, Jenny Miller and Debbie Glover.

Tickets are $75 per person ($50 tax deductible within the law). People may purchase tickets by calling Rose Bridgeman at (828) 264-2733. The event is semi-formal (black-tie optional).

All proceeds benefit Hospitality House, which is in the midst of a combined campaign to build and operate a new shelter for those in need in the High Country. The agency has reached 89 percent of its funding needs for the project and hopes to raise the remaining eleven percent in 2010.

With current economic conditions compounded by extreme weather, the need for a new shelter is more critical than ever.

Founded in 1984, Hospitality House is a non-profit crisis intervention agency that provides shelter and services to the homeless, operates the community soup kitchen and administers WeCAN - the local crisis assistance program. Hospitality House is a High Country United Way agency.

WHS softball team to hold benefit dinner
Watauga High School's varsity and junior varsity softball teams are holding a benefit for a fellow player, though not a teammate.

Ashlyn Pope, a senior at Hibriten High School in Lenoir, was severely injured in an auto accident in October 2009. She and her father were traveling home from softball practice when the vehicle was struck head-on by a drunk driver. Pope was pinned in the vehicle and airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Since the accident, she has undergone multiple surgeries and will have to continue physical therapy.

Several of the Watauga High School Lady Pioneers seniors played against Pope and her Hibriten teammates through travel leagues. Also, Hibriten High School is a member of the newly realigned northwest AAA conference and will play at least two games against WHS in the upcoming season.

The WHS coaches and players have organized a benefit dinner with proceeds going toward Pope's medical expenses.

A spaghetti supper will be held on Saturday, Feb. 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Greenway Church gym, located at 880 Greenway Road in Boone. The meal includes spaghetti, bread salad, drink and dessert.

Take-outs are available. If inclement weather prevails, information regarding the fundraiser dinner will be sent to the local radio stations and newspapers. For more information on the event, call (828) 264-3877.

- Melanie Marshall

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