Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bridal Show To Benefit Hope House Foundation on February 27

Huntersville, N.C. (January 31, 2009) – Lake Norman Infiniti and
Homewood Suites Davidson Hilton are partnering on a Bridal Event
Extravaganza scheduled for Friday evening, February 27 from 6 p.m. to
11 p.m. at the Lake Norman Infiniti showroom. The $10 admission
proceeds for the evening will benefit the Hope House Foundation
located in Huntersville and is dedicated to meet the critical needs of
homeless women and their children in the Lake Norman area

A host of bridal vendors ranging from catering, salons, fashion
boutiques, sweet shops, stationers and jewelers will be participating
in the evening's showcase of events. The evening includes dinner,
dessert and champagne with a bridal show and honeymoon wear fashion
showcase, along with wedding prizes and gift bags. Attendees will
have a chance to meet and greet all the bridal vendors who will be on
hand to help them plan and give them ideas for their wedding

To make reservations for this event, call 704-237-8000 before February
23 since space is limited. Tickets for those making a reservation may
be purchased at the door beginning at 6 p.m. Lake Norman Infiniti is
located at 20435 Chartwell Center Drive in Cornelius, N.C.

A representative from The Hope House Foundation will be present at
this event. The Hope House Foundation is a 501-(c)-(3) non-profit
charitable organization in Huntersville that serves the growing needs
in this region for services to homeless women and children. In
addition to transitional shelter, Hope House provides access to
medical treatment and a variety of services to enable these
temporarily displaced women to become productive and self-sufficient.
To learn more about Hope House and become a friend to its mission,
visit, contact or call the foundation at 704-992-1902.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte Launches "Sport a Shirt" Program

Charlotte, NC—January 27, 2009—The Ronald McDonald House (RMH) of
Charlotte is looking for area businesses to participate in its
upcoming 2009 "Sport a Shirt, Share a Night" program.

On Friday, April 24, 2009, companies throughout the State of North
Carolina will encourage their employees to purchase a RMH T-shirt for
$10. Donations will cover a night's stay at the RMH for a family who
needs a place to stay while their child is receiving medical treatment
at area children's hospitals.

"Even thought it costs more than $70 to host a family for one night at
a RMH, families are asked to donate $10 a night," said Mona Johnson-
Gibson, Executive Director of RMH of Charlotte. "Even this small
amount is a financial burden for some families; however, the RMH never
turns a family away because of their inability to pay. That's why we
are inviting members of the Charlotte business community to
participate in this unique and special program."

The RMH of Charlotte is looking for local businesses and their
employees to support this program. A business can participate in the
"Sport a Shirt, Share a Night" program with two easy steps:
· Designate Friday, April 24, 2009 as "Sport a Shirt, Share a
Night" day, where employees are encouraged to wear their RMH T-shirts
· Appoint a team coordinator for the business. The
coordinator will encourage others to make a $10 donation in exchange
for a T-shirt. The coordinator is responsible for accepting
donations, submitting your company's T-shirt order, picking up the
shirts in April and distributing the shirts to participating employees.

"Last year, throughout North Carolina, we had more than 13,000 people
participate," Johnson-Gibson said. "This year, the RMH of Charlotte
is looking to make a huge impact, and it will be really exciting if
Charlotte businesses will allow their employees to wear our T-shirts
showing they support us. We hope the Charlotte business community
will make a statement saying it's time for a RMH in the Queen City by
purchasing our T-shirts."

The RMH of Charlotte is scheduled to open sometime in 2010 and will
serve the families of children being treated at Levine Children's
Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare's Hemby Children's Hospital.
Located on the 1600 block of East Morehead Street on land donated by
Carolinas Medical Center, the House will feature approximately 35,000
square feet of living space complete with 20 to 30 bedrooms (one
family per bedroom/suite), providing more than 10,000 nights for the
families. It is also scheduled to have a family kitchen, great room,
learning center, playground and sitting porch. Construction will
hopefully begin in this year.

For more information about the 2009 "Sport a Shirt, Share a Night"
program, call 704-335-1191 or

About the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) of Charlotte
The RMH of Charlotte is an independent 501 (c) (3) charity managed by
a local board of directors which will oversee construction and
operation of the home. The cost of building and operating the RMH of
Charlotte will come primarily from individual and corporate
donations. The RMH of Charlotte will be funded, constructed and
operated by the Charlotte community. The mission of the RMH of
Charlotte is to provide the families of children being treated in area
medical facilities with a safe, affordable and caring "home away from
home." For more information on RMH of Charlotte, visit

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In-Depth Charlotte Neighborhood News Now Available Online

In-Depth Charlotte Neighborhood News Now Available Online

CHARLOTTE, NC - In-depth news about Charlotte neighborhoods is now
being published online by, using an innovative
source created to provide "hyperlocal news."

Charlotte neighborhood news now carried on
includes frequently updated records of police calls for service,
building permit inspections, food establishment inspections, Charlotte
photos from, locations in the media, business reviews, new
real estate listings, new public library items, minutes of public
bodies such as City Council and zoning meetings, and more.

"Our Neighborhood News section is organized by zip code, since there
are over 150 neighborhoods and that would have been unwieldy," said
Buck Lawrimore, editor of "We believe this is
the first time that the extensive resources of, which
is operating on grants from the Knight Foundation and others, have
been made available to Charlotte residents. Charlotte was one of the
first major U.S. cities to be included in the database,
and the information they have provided is simply amazing."

"This is part of a growing national trend called hyperlocal news,"
Lawrimore said. "It means news localized down to the neighborhood
level and of particular interest to the people who live in those
neighborhoods. We also invite people who live in Charlotte's
neighborhoods, as well as local businesses and organizations, to
submit neighborhood news to us directly through our website." is a service of Lawrimore Communications Inc., a
marketing, public relations, and web design firm founded in Charlotte
in 1979.

Robot Johnson Teams With Light Factory as Zombies Take Charlotte

CHARLOTTE – Robot Johnson (, Charlotte's premier
sketch comedy troupe, has partnered with The Light Factory to perform
as the "guerilla arm" of its marketing strategy for "American Zombie –
George A. Romero's Film Revolution," a weekend-long tribute to
filmmaker and zombie movie godfather George Romero. The troupe will
perform, write material and give interviews in the six weeks leading
up to "American Zombie."

"It's not every day you get an opportunity like this," says Brandon
Ballard, writer and performer with Robot Johnson since its inception.
"We're really acting as the face of George Romero. Well, until George
Romero gets here. Then George Romero will be the face of George

The Light Factory presents "American Zombie – George A. Romero's Film
Revolution" February 20 – 22. Events and film screenings will take
place around Charlotte, including:

February 20th: Special signing with George A. Romero at Heroes Aren't
Hard to Find
Opening night screening: Night of the Living Dead at McGlohon Theatre

February 21st: Screenings: Season of the Witch and Martin at
McGlohon Theatre
Screening: Diary of the Dead at Amos' Southend Music Hall

February 22nd: Seminar: "One on One with George A. Romero" at
EpiCentre Theatres
Screenings: Dawn of the Dead and The Crazies at EpiCentre Theatres

For more information, please visit

Robot Johnson is Charlotte's premier sketch comedy troupe, giving the
Queen City good humor by bad people. Performances are Saturday nights
at 10:00 pm at the Charlotte Comedy Theatre, located in back of The
Graduate's Plaza and Central Ave. location. For more information,
please visit or call 704-640-ROJO (7656).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Quick-Serve 'Tenders' Restaurant Chain Launched By Owners of 131 MAIN

New Quick-Serve "Tenders" Restaurant Chain Launched

By Owners Of Successful 131 MAIN Restaurants


CHARLOTTE, NC – The owners of the 131 MAIN restaurants in the Charlotte area are building on their successful formula of a limited menu of quality food and attentive service with the launch of Tenders Fresh Food, a "fresh food fast" restaurant chain. 

The new menu will focus on fresh chicken tenders, chicken and pork tenderloin sandwiches, hand-cut fresh fries, four types of milk shakes, cups of fruit, and a variety of beverages. "Everything is fresh," said Mike Vaughn, Chief Operating Officer. "No freezer. The sandwiches are available grilled or fried. We like the term 'fast food fresh' to describe what we're offering." 

The first Tenders Fresh Food restaurant has opened in Cornelius on Highway 21/Statesville Road at Westmoreland Road in a building which formerly housed another restaurant. "This lets us test and refine our operations before designing a new building prototype which we hope to use in several spots around the Charlotte Region, then beyond," Vaughn said.

CEO Joe Douglas explained how the concept began: "The idea occurred to us after learning about a highly successful, limited menu hamburger chain in California named 'In-N-Out Burger,'" Douglas explained. "We learned they're a lot like us – no freezers, fresh product daily, limited menu, privately held. They haven't acquiesced to all the other new things that other chains have, like salad bars and breakfast biscuits. And they emphasize service-oriented people and training, like we do.

"We didn't want to duplicate their menu, but wanted to model their business philosophy," Douglas added. "We're applying our culture of service and fresh food to a different market segment. We're convinced we can outperform our competitors in the quick-serve market segment, differentiating ourselves from the impersonal, mediocre service often experienced in typical fast-food chains."

After discussing the concept with his partners and thinking through the details – "connecting the dots" as they call it – "our team got excited," Douglas recalled. "It started to make sense."          

One Saturday morning around the kitchen table, one of Douglas's daughters came up with the Tenders logo. Partner Chris Carlsen and his wife Susan advocated adding pork tenderloin sandwiches to the menu – something very popular in the Indiana area where they have family, and quite different from the pork barbecue served in the Carolinas. 

Tenders Fresh Food and 131 MAIN are owned and operated by Captiva Restaurant Group based in Cornelius, NC. 131 MAIN restaurants are located on Highway 21/Statesville Road in Cornelius, and East Boulevard and Blakeney in Charlotte.


[Media Contact: Buck Lawrimore, 704-332-4344, Buck(at)

For print-quality renderings of the new Tenders restaurant designs, click here: ]

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

David Murdock, UNCC to receive Charlotte Regional Partnership 2009 Jerry Awards

David Murdock, chief executive of Dole Foods and visionary behind the
North Carolina Research Campus, and UNC Charlotte will be the
Charlotte Regional Partnership's 2009 Jerry Award recipients. UNC
System President Erskine Bowles, who served as former President Bill
Clinton's White House chief of staff, will present the keynote
address. Business and civic leader Ruth Shaw, current chair of UNC
Charlotte's board of directors and former CEO of Duke Power Company,
is serving as honorary chair of the event.

Ronnie Bryant, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional
Partnership, said no one is more deserving of the 2009 private-sector
award than David Murdock. "He not only was instrumental in creating
hundreds of jobs in Gaston County at the Dole Fresh Vegetables plant,
but his vision for a collaborative, public-private research facility
focused on health and wellness has come to fruition in Kannapolis at
the North Carolina Research Campus. Both endeavors have and will
continue to generate thousands of jobs and attract businesses that
will help drive our regional economy."

Similarly, Tony Almeida, Charlotte Regional Partnership board chair,
said that UNC Charlotte is the ideal choice for the public-sector
award. The university is one of eight on the NCRC and is North
Carolina's only urban research university. Through its centers and
institutes, UNC Charlotte marries academic research and real-world
challenges. The university not only creates solutions, but generates
an educated workforce that attracts businesses.

"The innovation, creativity and intellectual capital that both the
NCRC and UNC Charlotte contribute to our region are key economic
drivers that contribute to our global competitiveness," Almeida said.

The Jerry Awards recognize individuals or organizations that have made
significant, ongoing contributions to economic development within the
16-county Charlotte USA region.

The Charlotte Regional Partnership's 2009 Annual Awards Luncheon will
be held May 28th at the Charlotte Convention Center at 11:30 a.m.
A nonprofit, public/private economic development organization, the
Charlotte Regional Partnership allocates and leverages regional
economic development resources to sustain and enhance the economic
growth, vitality and global competitiveness of the Charlotte region.
The 16-county region encompasses Alexander, Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba,
Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and
Union counties in North Carolina and Chester, Chesterfield, Lancaster
and York counties in South Carolina.