Monday, October 10, 2011

Charlotte Realtors Report Monthly Sales Increase for Sept. 2011

Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association reports on the residential
real estate market in this region based on Carolina Multiple Listing
Services, Inc. (CMLS) data. The number of closings for September 2011
(1,970) increased 26 percent compared to September 2010 when closings
totaled 1,564. Compared to August 2011 (2,289), closings were down
13.9 percent.

The average sales price in September 2011 ($196,686) was down 6.5
percent compared to September 2010 ($210,257), and down 4.5 percent
compared to August 2011 ($205,854). The median sales price in
September 2011 ($149,900) decreased 4.5 percent compared to the
September 2010 median sales price of $157,000, and was down 5 percent
compared to the August 2011 median sales price of $158,000.

The average list price in September 2011 ($246,472) increased 5.4
percent from last September's average list price of $233,906, and was
up 4.9 percent from the August 2011 average list price of $235,021.
The residential pending contracts figure for September 2011 (1,913)
was up 14.3 percent compared to September 2010 (1,674). This figure
decreased 15.5 percent compared to August 2011 when pending contracts
totaled 2,263. New residential listings in September 2011 totaled

CMLS distressed housing inventory, or the transactions that deal with
distressed sales, continues to decrease, with the number of
foreclosures for sale in the MLS in September 2011 totaling 662.
Distressed properties comprised 15.9 percent of all new listings in
September 2011 and accounted for 21.4 percent of closings, which
indicates that consumers are absorbing these property types faster
than lenders are listing them.

In April 2011, CMLS began using a new reporting tool to create
reports. In order to report the most up-to-date figures each month,
the tool is constantly "updating history" instead of allowing data to
remain static once it's reported. Therefore, with each new month of
reporting there could be slight variances in what was reported in the
previous month as transactions are updated and adjustments are made
within the MLS system.

For more residential-housing market statistics, visit the
association's website at and click on "Community
Data." For an interview with 2011 association/CMLS President Laurie
Knudsen, please contact Kim Walker.

The Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association is a trade association
that leads, educates and equips members to be productive. It provides
more than 6,700 Realtor®members with the resources and services needed
to conduct ethical, professional, successful and profitable
businesses. The association is dedicated to being the region's primary
resource for residential real estate information. The association
operates the Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CMLS), which
has approximately 7,300 Subscribers and is the private cooperative
Realtors® use for access to tens of thousands of residential listings
in a 10-county service area, including the high-growth Charlotte area,
as well as listings outside this service area.

Fwd: Calling All Best-Dressed Rockers for Rocktoberfest Race and Costume Contest - Oct. 22

Calling all rock star wannabes! Run For Your Life is bringing some
rockin' fun to Charlotte with the Rocktoberfest Half Marathon and 5K
presented by the Dowd YMCA and 'Best Dressed Rocker' contest on
Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011.

Formerly the Dowd YMCA Half Marathon and 5K, the Rocktoberfest Half
Marathon kicks off at 7:40 a.m. and the 5K at 8:00 a.m. at the Dowd
YMCA 400 E. Morehead Street in Charlotte. All are welcome for the
'Best Dressed Rocker Contest' whereby people can come dressed as their
favorite rocker to the 10:15 a.m. Half Marathon Awards ceremony for a
chance to win prizes. One award will be given to the best dressed
runner rocker and one award will be given to the best dressed family/
friend/runner groupie. Each winner will win a pair of tickets to NC
Music Factory's Music Monsters & Mayhem - Charlotte's Largest
Halloween Bash plus tickets to upcoming concerts from 106.5 The End
and 99.7 The Fox.

Rocktoberfest is also teaming up with Mortimer's Café & Pub at the
Epicentre, which will be hosting a post-race party food and drink
specials, and music from the Caleb Davis Band. Also, Mortimer's Cafe &
Pub will be donating $1 to the Dowd YMCA for each 'Better Turkey Pita'
that is sold between now through Oct. 21.

There is also a double medal opportunity for those who run
Rocktoberfest Half Marathon presented by the Dowd YMCA and the Thunder
Road Marathon or Amica Insurance Half Marathon (Saturday, Nov. 12).
Registration for the double medal costs $10 per person and is required
by clicking here or via paper entry form. For more information about
the Thunder Road Marathon or Amica Insurance Half Marathon, please

Registration for the Rocktoberfest Half Marathon costs $45 by Friday,
Oct. 21 and $55 on race day. Entry fees for the Rocktoberfest 5K cost
$25 by Friday, Oct. 21 and $35 on race day. Register at one of the
four Run For Your Life locations or online until 11:59 p.m., Thursday,
Oct. 20. For more information, visit

About Run For Your Life
Founded in 1989, Run For Your Life is Charlotte's oldest running
retailer with four locations in Dilworth, University, Piper Glen and
SouthPark. It is also the official Registration and Timing & Scoring
provider for Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon scheduled for Nov. 12,

Follow Run For Your Life at and
at .

Celebrate Halloween at The Duke Mansion's Hallowwen Costume Party and Haunted Mansion

Charlotte – Brew up some fun and support The Duke Mansion on Friday,
October 28.

Join us for a monster of a fun time at our Halloween Costume Party and
Haunted Mansion. Sink your fangs into Chef Harrison Booth's gourmet
food. Our special brews will send a delightful chill down your spine.
Groove with your favorite goblins to the band Bad Daddies.

You can also bid on treats at our auction during the night, with
opportunities to bid on jewelry, trips, art, Panthers tickets, events
at the Mansion, and more.

The festivities start at 6:30 pm and last until the witching hour at
400 Hermitage Road in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte.
Tickets are $125 per person ($75 is tax deductible). Members of The
Duke Mansion's Preservation Society get in free. Call or email today
to reserve your spot or learn about Preservation Society membership,
if you dare. Call 704/714-4445 or email .

The Halloween Costume Party and Haunted Mansion is the annual
fundraiser for the preservation of The Duke Mansion, a non-profit bed-
and-breakfast inn and meeting place.

Built in 1915 and tripled in size by its most famous owner, James
Buchanan Duke, The Duke Mansion has been home and host to leaders of
the 20th century. Duke's most lasting legacies, including Duke
University, Duke Energy, and the Duke Endowment, took shape at the
home. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Mansion
is now operated as a non-profit with all proceeds being used to
preserve and protect this community treasure. Find out more

Friday, October 7, 2011

ATD Donates $170,000 to 3 Causes During 22nd Annual Golf Tourney

American Tire Distributors (ATD) has announced $170,000 in charitable
gifts, including a $100,000 donation to Boundless Playgrounds to
support the creation of two inclusive Tread Town playgrounds, and
$35,000 each to Charlotte-area charities Second Harvest Food Bank of
Metrolina and The Salvation Army Center of Hope.

The gifts were announced at the company's 22nd Annual ATD Charity
Classic golf tournament, an event that has raised more than $1 million
in total funds for local nonprofit organizations. This year's
donations were raised by contributions from vendors participating in
the golf tournament and a contribution from ATD.

"We've been a member of the Charlotte community for over 75 years and
we believe it's absolutely essential to support groups that help
address the important needs of our community," said William E. "Bill"
Berry, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Tire
Distributors Inc. "We want to thank all our vendors whose generous
contributions along with ATD's direct gift have made it possible to
support this year's recipients so that they can assist those who are
in need of help."

Reflecting ATD's position as the nation's largest independent supplier
of replacement tires, each Boundless Playground Tread Town's
foundation is constructed from recycled rubber, creating a universally
accessible surface that allows children and caregivers with and
without disabilities to enjoy the playground freely and safely. The
playground promotes inclusive, unstructured play with ramped
wheelchair access to the highest platforms, features exclusive Tread
Town tire swings, and a multitude of other cutting-edge fitness and
educational-based activities

ATD's donation of $100,000 will go to support the creation of two
Tread Town playgrounds, and potential sites have been identified on
the west coast and in the Southeast. The new playgrounds will resemble
the Tread Towns that ATD and their subsidiary Tire Pros have supported
in the past. The existing playgrounds are located in the Charlotte,
NC, Jackson, MS, and Memphis, TN metro areas.

"Nearly 7 million children nationwide have a disability that prohibits
them from enjoying the full experience of a traditional community
playground," said Fred Leone, Chief Executive Officer of Boundless
Playgrounds. "Our playgrounds are designed to put all children in the
middle of the fun, where they can play together and learn to
appreciate each others' abilities."

ATD also donated $35,000 to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina provides food and other
essential grocery products to the over 405,000 people living at or
below the poverty level in the region, which includes 145,000
children. ATD's donation will assist in the Backpack Program
initiative that provides food for children at risk of hunger on
weekends and holidays when school meals are not available. The
backpacks are distributed every Friday and include soups, fruit,
canned chicken, and several other items.

"We are very pleased to receive this donation from American Tire
Distributors," said Kay Carter, Executive Director of Second Harvest
Food Bank of Metrolina. "This donation comes at a great time. School
has just started back and children who are at risk of hunger are in
need of the backpacks full of nutritious, ready-to-eat foods on the
weekends when subsidized school meals are not available. Donations
like this help us continue our current backpack programs and help
start new ones."

ATD donated another $35,000 to The Salvation Army Center of Hope, an
emergency shelter for homeless women and children. "The Center of Hope
is the place women come to when they have no other options," said
Deronda Metz, director of The Salvation Army's Social Services. ATD's
gift will help Charlotte's only 24/7 year-round emergency shelter
provide lodging, food, professional case management, and a variety of
programs to the 5,600 women and children that stay at the Center of
Hope each year.

American Tire Distributors is the nation's largest independent
supplier of tires to the replacement tire market. The company focuses
on helping tire and wheel retail dealers effectively compete in their
marketplace by offering the most complete, coast-to-coast selection of
tires, wheels and related products and value-added services. American
Tire Distributors employs almost 3,000 employees across its nationwide
distribution center network, including more than 350 people in the
Charlotte region at its Huntersville, N.C. field support center,
Charlotte distribution center and regional hub in Maiden, NC.

Charlotte Area Walmart Stores Offer Promotions for Final Race Week

As the Charlotte area prepares for the upcoming Bank of America 500 on
Oct. 15, Walmart is giving racing fans more reason to get excited with
its new Race Time program. Walmart customers and NASCAR fans can
purchase the Walmart Family Track Pack available exclusively through for the Bank of America 500. The discount ticket
package includes four race tickets, four hot dogs, four beverages and
one race program for just $99, a savings of nearly $100 for a family
of four.

"We've found that nearly nine out of 10 NASCAR fans chose to shop at
Walmart[i]," said John Jones, Walmart market manager. "We wanted to
provide Charlotte race fans with unbelievable savings on NASCAR
tickets and merchandise and unique Race Time experiences that you can
only find at Walmart."

Race Time at Walmart
Beginning Oct. 11, select Walmart stores in the Charlotte area will
host NASCAR fan events featuring real stock car racing displays and
racing simulator machines – perfect to safely get behind the wheel and
feel the power of NASCAR.

Local radio station WFNZ-AM, "The Fan," will be at Walmart Store #1027
in Concord broadcasting remotely on Friday, Oct. 14 from 12 p.m. to 1

Additionally, Walmart stores will feature incredible prices on NASCAR
merchandise such as T-shirts, racing flags, and tailgating food and
beverages with even more selection of exclusive product on

Participating stores in the Charlotte area include:

Tuesday, Oct. 11 from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Events free and open to the public include the Wrangler Interactive
Pit Box, Cheerios show car, Oreo Ritz show car, Coca-Cola 5-seat
racing simulator, and Pepsi Max/AMP racing simulator at:

Walmart Store #2005
2420 Supercenter Drive NE
Kannapolis, N.C.

Wednesday, Oct. 12 from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Events free and open to the public include the Hefty show car
simulator, Wrangler Interactive Pit Box, Cheerios show car, Oreo Ritz
show car, Coca-Cola 5-seat racing simulator, and Pepsi Max/AMP racing
simulator at:

Walmart Store #2134
7735 North Tryon St.
Charlotte, N.C.

Thursday, Oct. 13 from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Events free and open to the public include the Hefty show car
simulator, Wrangler Interactive Pit Box, Cheerios show car, Oreo Ritz
show car, Coca-Cola 5-seat racing simulator, and Pepsi Max/AMP racing
simulator at:

Walmart Store #4574
5825 Thunder Road NW
Concord, N.C.

Friday, Oct. 14 from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Events free and open to the public include the Hefty show car
simulator, Wrangler Interactive Pit Box, Cheerios show car, Oreo Ritz
show car, Coca-Cola 5-seat racing simulator, and Pepsi Max/AMP racing
simulator at:

Walmart Store #1027
150 Concord Commons
Concord, N.C.

For additional details and a complete listing of participating Walmart
stores, visit

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more
than 200 million times per week at over 9,200 retail units under 69
different banners in 28 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419
billion, Walmart employs 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart
continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and
employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be
found by visiting and on Twitter at
. Online merchandise sales are available at and

Funnel Bacakonator, Danica Patrick Fit Fuel Menu Highlight New Foods at Speedway

Everything from a funnel cake covered with bacon to a "Fit Fuel" menu
endorsed by one of racing's most popular drivers will be offered in
the concession stands when fans come to Charlotte Motor Speedway for
Bank of America 500 Week, Oct. 12-15.

Charlotte Motor Speedway is teaming with Levy Restaurants to offer
fans the following new unique concession items:

• Danica Patrick's Fit Fuel Menu: Danica Patrick's Fit Fuel menu will
make its debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The new menu features
lighter fare and vegetarian items recommended by Patrick. "For me it's
important to always eat healthy and balanced meals so I have enough
energy for the task at hand," said Patrick. "My Fit Fuel menu is
loaded with healthy options, so fans can make smart choices about what
they eat when they're enjoying the races."

The Danica Patrick Fit Fuel menu includes a turkey burger, veggie
burger, a grilled chicken sandwich, a veggie chopped salad, fruit and
veggie cups, trail mix, baked potato chips and Clif and Luna Bars.
Fans can find the fit offerings in Section K of the Ford Grandstand.

• Funnel Bacakonator: On the other end of the fit food spectrum is the
Funnel Bacakonator. Fans who aren't as health conscious but are
looking for a tasty treat at the races will enjoy this serving of a
funnel cake covered in bacon pieces and drizzled with chocolate and
strawberry sauces. The Funnel Bacakonator will be available in the
Levy Restaurants State Fair concession stand near Gate 4 in the
General Motors grandstand.

• Flame and Fuel Burgers: Fans coming to the track for Bank of America
500 Week can also try the new Flame and Fuel menu with one-of-a-kind
burger offerings like the Sunday Night Turkey Burger with cornbread
stuffing, gravy and carrot relish, or the Charlotte Pimento Mac-n-
Cheese Burger, with Angus beef, pimento mac-and-cheese and crumbled
pork rinds. The Flame and Fuel menu offerings will be located in the
in Sections I and J of the General Motors grandstand.

• Gluten-Free: Gluten-intolerant guests can enjoy traditional race-day
fare during Bank of America 500 Week. A portable concession cart,
dedicated exclusively to freshly prepared, gluten-free favorites and
snacks will offer hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, pumpkin seeds, and
candies. The gluten-free foods can be found in Sections G and F of the
General Motors grandstand.

"Enjoying fun and unique foods is a big part of the racing
experience," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of
Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We always want to push the envelope when it
comes to our concessions and offer our fans something they can only
enjoy in Charlotte. I've personally tried the Funnel Bacakonator and
it is awesome. I can't wait for our fans to try these new items and
see what they think!"

Tickets for all October races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be
purchased online or by calling the
speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). The Coca-Cola Four
Pack includes four tickets, four hot dogs and four Coca-Cola drinks
starting at just $39.75 per person.

For daily updates on October race activities, connect with Charlotte
Motor Speedway by following on Twitter at
CLTMotorSpdwy or become a Facebook fan

Traffic Advisory: Sharon Road Closed Due To Fatality

Due to a traffic fatality, Sharon Road in between Sharon and Colony
Roads will be closed throughout the early evening, Friday, Oct. 7.
Police ask that drivers seek alternate routes around SouthPark Mall.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Davidson Theatre to Present "Romeo & Juliet" Starting Oct. 22

The Davidson College Theatre Department invites the public to a bold,
original production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet on the weekends
of October 22 and 29.

Performances will be in Duke Family Performance Hall Friday, Oct. 21.
at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m.,
Friday, Oct. 28, at 8:15 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m.
General admission is $15, $11 for seniors and $6 for students. Tickets
can be purchased by calling 704-894-2135 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily,
or online at The play is recommended for
ages 12 and up.

Director Mark Sutch, assistant professor of theatre, says Davidson's
production of the timeless tale of star-crossed lovers and the
tragedies that befall them will stand out through its special
attention to creative storytelling and non-traditional staging.

Maggie Birgel '14 (Juliet) and Brandon Smalls '12 (Romeo) will both
tackle Shakespeare for the first time in this production and are
excited to give these iconic characters their own unique spin. "It's a
special challenge, since everyone already has an opinion of the story
and text," says Birgel. "But the most important thing is to avoid
playing the stereotype and to make the story our own."

Sutch added, "They both have a great understanding of how to relate to
this story and live out these characters' deepest wants and needs,
which is the most crucial thing in any play."

Sutch believes what makes Romeo and Juliet the most revered love story
of all time has little to do with its historical setting. Therefore,
the Davidson production will avoid all typically applied Shakespearean
styles and mannerisms and focus purely on Shakespeare's compelling
text and beautiful story. In doing so, the production will create a
world for the play free from any time period, highlighting the stark
contrast between Romeo and Juliet's pure, organic love and the
artificiality of world around them.

"What makes their instantaneous love so powerful?" Sutch asked. "Love
becomes their alternative to existing in a rigid, man-made world
that's far gone from our natural wants and impulses as human beings.
They see a love in each other that provides freedom from the
manufactured world, and they realize that this love is far more honest
thananything they've ever known before."

The production will also bring the audience face to face with this
world through use of the physical set. Set designer Joe Gardner,
professor of theatre, is eliminating the first few rows of seating in
Duke Family Performance Hall to extend the stage beyond its normal
boundaries. Multiple platforms and bridges will jut across the open
pit and out into the audience. Sutch says the intention is to place
the performance into the laps of the audience members, producing a
greater sense of overall intimacy and connection. Guest artist
lighting designer David Fillmore will use "larger than life" lighting
to express the huge stakes and heavy emotions encompassed in scenes
throughout the play.

The show will also feature numerous actors' talents with musical
instruments, and Sutch has built opportunities for live music to be
played by actors in the show, rather than by using prerecorded sound

Romeo and Juliet contains a large number of violent fight scenes that
require preparation and practice. To master the art of stage combat,
Sutch has enlisted the professional help of Dale Girard, a fight
instructor at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem.
Smalls, who plays the role of Romeo, commented, "We have to work
diligentlyat making the combat look convincing while making it safe,
especially since we will be working on the extended stage with rapiers
that are potentially dangerous. The close proximity of the sword
fights should be very exciting for audience members."

In addition to the scheduled productions, the Theatre Department will
introduce area youth to Romeo and Juliet during a special matinee
performance specifically for middle and high school students. Some of
the actors will also offer Shakespeare workshops in nearby schools so
students can interact with the actors before they see the show.

In addition to Birgel and Smalls in the title roles, the Romeo and
Juliet cast includes Davidson students Ryan Chiles, Kara Copeland,
Dinah Decker, AudreyGyurgyik, Benjamin Heimfeld, Christa Johnson,
Amelia Lumpkin, Nick McGuire,Allen Rigby, Madison Rigger, and Chance

Buffalo Wild Wings Donates 10% of Sales to United Way of Central Carolinas

Every Wednesday in October, Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar will donate
10% of all sales (pre-tax, less alcohol and promotional discounts) to
United Way of Central Carolinas. Buffalo Wild Wings has four
participating locations including the NASCAR Hall of Fame in
Charlotte, Matthews, Concord, and University City. Participants can
print a coupon from the United Way website at or simply reference the United Way of
Central Carolinas donation to their server.

"We are always looking for ways to give back to our local community
and hopefully help our guests as well," said DeAnna Davis, Buffalo
Wild Wings Charlotte general manager. "By offering 10% of our sales on
Wednesdays in October to United Way of Central Carolinas, Buffalo Wild
Wings and our guests are supporting this community and making the
Charlotte region an even better place to live.

"We're appreciative of the great partnership that's been cultivated
between United Way of Central Carolinas and Buffalo Wild Wings,"
stated Jane McIntyre, executive director of United Way. "This generous
donation allows the community to engage in our work in a new and
exciting way. Best of all, our neighbors most in need throughout our
region will benefit from what we hope will become a lasting creative

Davidson's Tony Abbott Will Unveil New Book of Poetry at October 16 Event

Tony Abbott's new book of poems, If Words Could Save Us, continues a
prolific outpouring of lyric verse from this retired Davidson College
English professor. But the volume is also a first for Abbott. "It's
the only book of poems I've written where every poem is part of the
story of the book," he said.

As for a story, Abbott has chosen a big one. "It tells life's story,"
he said. "Not my life story. The universal life story."

Abbott invites the public to attend a premier reading and "celebration
in music, poetry and art" for If Words Could Save Us on Sunday
afternoon, October 16. Abbott's recitation of several of the poems
will be accompanied by live music and projection of images. It will
begin at 3 p.m. in Semans Lecture Hall in the Belk Visual Arts Center
on the Davidson campus. He will also conduct a reading on Wednesday
evening, October 19, at Park Road Books in Charlotte. For more
information on either event call 704-894-2254.

Abbott compiled If Words Could Save from his ever-increasing
collection of individual poems. Last year he began to sift through the
collection in search of commonality and themes. The book's three
section titles – "Providence," "Ordinary Time" and "Grace" were drawn
from that process.

The themes reflect Abbott's interpretation of the stages of life. He
explained, "Providence is about God kicking Adam and Eve from the
Garden of Eden, about young people becoming adults. Ordinary Time is
that long period of life lived in the real world, and Grace concerns
the redemption we finally receive in unexpected and surprising ways at
the conclusion of life."

The book expresses Abbott's gratitude for being blessed with an
enthusiastic passion for language arts, as well as his recognition
that not everyone shares his joy in life's journey. He said, "It's a
tough time for us as a nation, and I hope the book will help some
readers find a little joy, blessing and peace."

If Words Could Save Us has earned high praise from early readers in
the literary community. Joel Connaroe, president of the Guggenheim
Memorial Foundation, wrote on the book jacket, "Charm is difficult to
define but we know it when we see it and we see it on every page of
Anthony Abbott's elegantly crafted, moving poems, whether elegiac,
confessional, allusive, or slyly comic."

Abbott's book includes for the first time in his career a CD of him
reciting about half of the printed poems because, he said, "Most
people do better if they hear poetry."

Abbott is a native of San Francisco who received his undergraduate
degree from Princeton University and his Ph.D. from Harvard. His
teaching career at Davidson began in 1964 and concluded officially
with his retirement in 2001, and unofficially in 2006 when he last
taught a section of Humanities at the college. However, teaching has
continued to be as important in his life as writing. In 2007 he spent
aterm at Lenoir-Rhyne University as "Writer in Residence," and he now
serves as a member of the advisory board of Lenor-Rhyne's visiting
writer series.

His association with Lenoir-Rhyne and literary reputation led to an
invitation that Abbott edit an anthology of work by writers who have
served in the "Visiting Writer" series. The resulting book, What
Writers Do, will debut in late November, contains contributions from
32 of the greatest authors of this era, including Seamus Heaney,
Sharon Olds, John Updike, Nikki Giovanni, Frank McCourt, Reynolds
Price and others. Abbott introduces their work with an essay
explaining the structure of the book and his reflections on the role
of writers in society. "I conclude that what writers do is change
lives," he said. "They bring a new dimension of life to readers."

He presents readings frequently, and teaches writing workshops. He is
currently conducting a poetry workshop at Queens University in
Charlotte, and doing workshops for two churches.

He has published steadily since his first book of poems, The Girl in
the Yellow Raincoat, appeared in 1989. If Words Could Save Us joins
his other volumes of poetry, A Small Thing Like a Breath, The Search
for Wonder in the Cradle of the World, The Man Who and his "greatest
hits" volume of 2009, New and Selected Poems. He has also written two
novels. Leaving Maggie Hope won the 2003 Novello Literary Award, and
was followed in 2007 by a sequel titled The Three Great Secret Things.

Sullivan's Steakhouse - 'Steak' a Claim in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Sullivan's Steakhouse is pleased to announce that for the third year
it is continuing to raise awareness for the fight against breast
cancer with a special menu, which will raise money for the National
Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. (NBCF). Five dollars from each Pink
Menu purchased will be donated to NBCF.

The Pink Menu, offered all of October at Sullivan's Steakhouse in
Charlotte, is priced at $39.95 for three courses. Guests have the
choice of a tempting starter, specially created entrée, side dish and
dessert. Additionally, the menu will feature two wine pairings, a
sparkling Chandon Rosé Brut and the Terrazas de los Andes Malbec. One
dollar from each glass and five dollars from each bottle sold will go
towards the foundation.

"Women across the globe are being diagnosed with breast cancer at an
alarming rate. Breast cancer has touched the lives of many people
very close to us, making breast cancer a cause we can all support,"
says Mark S. Mednansky, CEO of the Del Frisco's Restaurant Group. "We
are over the moon in announcing our support of the National Breast
Cancer Foundation."

The National Breast Cancer Foundation is dedicated to saving lives of
men and women affected by breast cancer by promoting early detection
education, providing free mammograms and support services to those in
need and supporting research programs nationally. Sullivan's will also
accept donations to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in their
restaurants and has created a website where guests can make additional
donations online by visiting

"We are overwhelmed by the support shown by Sullivan's Steakhouse and
the Del Frisco's Restaurant Group, and their commitment to fundraising
and breast cancer education. October's Pink Menu marks the beginning
of a longstanding partnership," says Janelle Hail, CEO and Founder of
the National Breast Cancer Foundation. "We are excited to see the
passion from the great managers and all the staff at Sullivan's across
the country in support of this very important cause."

Now in its third year of honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month,
Sullivan's Steakhouse has put together a mouthwatering menu for its
Pink Menu. Guests have a choice of four starters including Wild
Mushroom Bisque with Chive Infused Oil and Sullivan's famous Iceberg
Wedge Salad. For the main course, guests can choose from Filet
Mignon, Cajun Dusted Salmon Fillet with Truffle-Red Pepper Chili
Butter, Roasted Chicken Breast with Wild Mushroom-Madeira Ragout and
Crab Stuffed Shrimp with Chive Beurre Blanc along with a choice of a
signature side – such as the Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, Crab Fried
Rice or Skillet Steak Mushroom Caps. Dessert options are New York
Style Cheesecake, Bananas Foster Bread Pudding, Key Lime Pie and Warm
Chocolate Brownie Cake.

Sullivan's Steakhouse and its sister restaurant Del Frisco's Double
Eagle Steak House both establish strong roots in each city they call
home, and have always valued being an active part of the community and
an eager supporter of local charities. Sullivan's has been a strong
supporter of breast cancer research and prevention and in the past two
years has donated more than $270,000 to breast cancer organizations.

The Pink Menu is available for dinner nationwide at all 20 Sullivan's
Steakhouse locations. In addition, Del Frisco's Restaurant Group and
the National Breast Cancer Foundation are pleased to be collaborating
on an educational partnership, designed to raise awareness about
breast cancer to both employees and consumers alike. Their
relationship and more program details will be released at a later date.

To make a reservation at Sullivan's Charlotte, please call (704)

For information about the National Breast Cancer Foundation, please

About the National Breast Cancer Foundation
The National Breast Cancer Foundation's mission is to save lives
through early detection and to provide mammograms for those in need.
Their mission includes increasing awareness through education,
providing diagnostic breast care services for those in need, and
providing nurturing support services. The National Breast Cancer
Foundation is committed to spreading knowledge and fostering hope in
the fight against breast cancer. By funding free mammograms for women
who could otherwise not afford them and supporting research programs
in leading facilities across the country, the National Breast Cancer
Foundation helps inspire the courage needed to beat breast cancer.

About Sullivan's Steakhouse
Sullivan's Steakhouse, founded in 1996, is a gem of a neighborhood
restaurant. Known for its cuts of steak, Sullivan's is equally well-
known for its fresh seafood, delectable side dishes, mouth-watering
desserts and award-winning wine list. With a vibe that evokes
Prohibition-era America, Sullivan's is a top venue for a complete
night out on the town – with food, drinks, and entertainment under one
roof. Each Sullivan's features live jazz in the bar area nightly,
delicious artisan cocktails, and exceptional wine and food.

Sullivan's Steakhouse is the sister restaurant to the renowned Del
Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse – born in New Orleans and raised in
Dallas – both owned by Del Frisco's Restaurant Group of Southlake,
Texas. There are 20 Sullivan's Steakhouses across the country,
creating a seamless dining experience for savvy business travelers who
regularly entertain away from home. Sullivan's retains its Southern
roots, offering true Southern hospitality at each and every location.

Tribal Seeds - Bringing 'Soundwaves' to Charlotte Oct. 26

Reggae band Tribal Seeds will be playing in Charlotte Oct. 26 at the
Visulite Theatre.

The San Diego based award-winning reggae band, Tribal Seeds have
become known for their spiritually driven, refreshing rock vibe that
they have intertwined with the roots style of reggae music.

On July 19 Tribal Seeds gave listeners a brand new EP entitled
"Soundwaves," which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Reggae Charts.
Their debut album "Tribal Seeds" (2008) and sophomore album "The
Harvest" (2009) were both named in the iTunes "Best of" Reggae for
each year - "Tribal Seeds" also garnered them the "Best World Music"
award at the San Diego Music Awards in 2008.

Tribal Seeds have toured throughout the United States, and have also
performed in Mexico, Guam, Aruba, and Hawaii. They have shared the
stage with artists such as Matisyahu, MGMT, Cee Lo Green, Jason Mraz,
Sublime with Rome, Taking Back Sunday, O.A.R., Pretty Lights, Pepper,
Collie Buddz, The Wailers, Stephen Marley, Gregory Issacs, SOJA,
Rebelution, and many more.

More Fan Fun Planned During Bank of America 500 Week with New Giant Fan Zone

Charlotte Motor Speedway is gearing up for an OktoberFast festival of
racing, with Bank of America 500 Week just days away. As a part of the
ongoing Fans First initiative at Charlotte Motor Speedway, visitors
can expect plenty of recently-added amenities, events, displays and
upgrades at The Greatest Place to See the Race. Below is a sampling of
what's new for October.

Facility Enhancements
New Fan Zone Combines Souvenir Rigs, Powerade PlayZone, Interactive
The most noticeable upgrade at Charlotte Motor Speedway this October
will take place outside the track in the reconfigured Fan Zone,
located outside Turns 1 and 2 near the speedway's main entrance. The
Fan Zone will now include the popular souvenir rigs, which were
previously located across Highway 29. This move will alleviate some of
the Highway 29 pedestrian foot traffic on race day and make it more
convenient for fans to find and buy their favorite driver's gear. The
Fan Zone will also include the enhanced Powerade PlayZone, which will
be located across from Gate 6, conveniently located for parents
adjacent to the restrooms. The Powerade PlayZone will feature a Ferris
wheel, racing-themed inflatable slides, bounce houses, face painters,
balloon twisters, jugglers and a special Kazoobie Kazoo program on
Friday, Oct. 14, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Santa Claus will also stop by
the Powerade PlayZone for an early holiday visit. The new Fan Zone
will also include popular corporate trackside displays and live
entertainment, including the Sprint Experience and SPEED Stage.

Renovated Restrooms on the Frontstretch
The restrooms on Charlotte Motor Speedway's frontstretch concourse
received a renovation over the summer that included several upgrades.
All of the toilets and sinks in the men's and women's restrooms were
replaced, and new flush valves were installed to increase the overall
efficiency of the facilities. The restroom floors and walls also
received a fresh coat of paint.

Tickets and Upgrades
New Smoke-Free Section, Expanded Family Seating Section Tickets Now
Charlotte Motor Speedway is offering a new smoke-free seating option
for the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 15. Alcohol is permitted, but the
Ford Grandstand, New Veranda and Club Deck and Upper Terrace Sections
AA-G located on the frontstretch are now smoke-free. Also, the Family
Seating Section, which is smoke-and-alcohol free, has moved to the
Toyota Fourth Turn Terrace Sections X-GG. The Family Seating Section
will feature an inflatable monster truck bounce house, face painter,
caricature artist, remote control cars, appearances by Lug Nut, racing-
themed booster seats and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Coca-Cola Fan Van.

Bank of America 500 Pit Passes Good for Three Days; Kids Pit Passes
are Free
Take a tour of the pit area with a pre-race Pit Pass and look for your
favorite NASCAR driver, take pictures of race cars and see behind-the-
scenes action before the green flag drops on Oct. 15. Bank of America
500 Pit Passes now include access to Pit Road and limited areas in the
infield on Thursday, Oct. 13 starting at 3 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 14
starting at 2:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 15 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Pit passes can be picked up at the Gate 4 pit pass trailer from 11
a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Pre-race pit passes for children 12 and under are available for free
for the Bank of America 500. Children ages 13 through 18 can get a pit
pass for half the adult price. Quantities are limited.

Driver Access
Autograph Opportunities with OktoberFast Fan Festival, Nationwide
Series Session
The biggest names in NASCAR will be on hand during Bank of America 500
Week and fans will have plenty of chances to get a driver autograph.
The OktoberFast Fan Festival presented by Budweiser features a NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series driver autograph session at noon on Thursday, Oct.
13, with Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Juan
Pablo Montoya, A.J. Allmendinger, Casey Mears, Robby Gordon and Joe
Nemechek in the OktoberFast Tent. The purchase of an OktoberFast pass
is required for entry into the session. Fans will receive two driver
autographs per person as determined by a lottery the morning of the
event. On Friday, Oct. 14, at 1 p.m. a NASCAR Nationwide Series driver
autograph session will be held on pit road. Dollar General 300 Miles
of Courage ticketholders can get a free wristband for entry to the
session, which is limited to 250 fans, Friday morning at the Turn 4

Driver Intro Route Changed to Give Fans More Driver Visibility and
Fans who purchase a Driver Intro Pass for the Bank of America 500 can
now get closer to the stars of NASCAR with the new driver introduction
route from the garage area to the frontstretch pre-race stage. Drivers
will walk around Turns 3 or 4 of the speedway's frontstretch quarter-
mile, giving fans more visibility to drivers. Driver Intro Pass
holders will be permitted to stand along the secured driver intro
route and cheer on their favorite drivers just before the drop of the
green flag for the Bank of America 500. The limited-issue Driver Intro
Pass also allows fans to be front and center at the driver
introduction stage, tour the pit area and take pictures on Pit Road.

Handicapped Parking Expanded; Season Ticket Holder Parking Closer to
A new handicapped parking lot will open for Bank of America 500 Week,
as a result of the souvenir rigs moving across Highway 29 to the new
Fan Zone. The handicapped lot at the front entrance of the speedway
will move from the Silver Parking Lot to Lot U, across Bruton Smith
Boulevard. In comparison to the Silver Parking Lot, Lot U is closer to
the speedway and is larger, offering more access for handicapped
visitors. Fans with handicapped parking passes should enter Lot U off
Bruton Smith Boulevard. In addition, Victory Lane Club season ticket
holders will continue to enter Lot W on Bruton Smith Boulevard to
park, but will now turn left at the lot entrance, enabling them to
park even closer to the track.

On the Track
Women of NASCAR Race in Better Half Dash for Charity
The guys will step aside when the ladies put on the firesuits for the
inaugural Better Half Dash, a 25-lap Bandolero race at 2:30 p.m. on
Charlotte Motor Speedway's frontstretch quarter mile oval as a part of
the Bank of America 500 pre-race activities on Oct. 15. Participants
include Angie Skinner, wife of 1995 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
champion Mike Skinner and SPEED television personality Wendy
Venturini. The charity race will support Motor Racing Outreach (MRO)
and Speedway Children's Charities (SCC). Fans can donate $10 to MRO
and SCC by texting "MOTOR" to 20222 through Oct. 15.

New Reserved Tailgating Zone Gets the Fun Started Early
Charlotte Motor Speedway is offering fans a chance make memories
before they even walk through the gates with the addition of a new
reserved tailgating zone. Located outside of the track between Turns 1
and 2, the tailgating zone includes reserved spaces that measure 50
feet by 25 feet to accommodate even the biggest tailgating
extravaganza. The reserved tailgating lot area will open at 7 a.m. on
Oct. 15 before the Bank of America 500. Fans can reserve a space for
just $50 by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Spots are limited.

Fans Can Keep the Fun Going with Post-Race Live Music
Just because the checkered flag flies, it doesn't mean the fun has to
stop. After Bojangles' Pole Night on Thursday, Oct. 13, fans can enjoy
a performance by Trial by Fire, a Journey cover band. Following the
Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage on Friday, Oct. 14, fans can enjoy
a post-race concert with Tuesday's Gone, a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute
band. On Saturday, Oct. 15, following the Bank of America 500, all-
female AC/DC tribute band Shoot to Thrill will entertain fans. All
three concerts will be in the Budweiser Block Party area, located
outside of Turns 1 and 2 on Morehead Road.

Tickets for all October races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be
purchased online or by calling the
speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). The Bank of America
Fan 4 Pack includes four tickets, four hot dogs and four Coca-Cola
drinks starting at just $39.75 per person.

For daily updates on October race activities, connect with Charlotte
Motor Speedway by following on Twitter at
CLTMotorSpdwy or become a Facebook fan

New Date and Venue for Jacob's Ladder Job Center's Winners Circle Benefit - Nov. 3

Jacob's Ladder Job Center, Inc. (Jacob's Ladder) announced today a new
date and location for its inaugural fall signature event will now be
held on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 (it was previously scheduled for
Thursday, Oct. 27) to raise critical funds necessary in helping
unemployed and underemployed people get back to work.

"The Winners Circle: A Gathering of Community Champions" is a casino
night benefit and 13th anniversary celebration for Jacob's Ladder will
now be held at Founders Hall located at 100 North Tryon Street in
Charlotte with a VIP reception beginning at 6:00 p.m. and the main
event at 7:00 p.m. Tickets cost $100 per person. Tables of 10 are also
available. Each ticket includes $50,000 worth of betting chips for the
gaming tables. Business casual attire.

"We look forward to bringing our community's champions together for a
'fun'raising event to help further our mission," said Johnny Day,
interim executive director of Jacob's Ladder. "It's about positioning
unemployed Charlotteans with the better hand to compete in the
workforce, ensuring a sustainable future."

For more information on sponsoring or attending this event, contact
Cay'me Jones at or 704-714-4051, ext.
1001 or visit

About Jacob's Ladder
Jacob's Ladder Job Center, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit,
which is the only non-profit organization that provides a daily, month-
long job readiness program in the Charlotte community. A member of the
N.C. Center for Nonprofits, Jacob's Ladder was founded in 1998 as a
compassionate response to the Welfare-to-Work movement and to chronic
unemployment Charlotte's urban communities. For more information,
visit or call 704-332-5822.

Follow Jacob's Ladder on Facebook at!/
jacobsladdercharlotte, on Twitter at!/
JacobsLadderCLT and on YouTube at

Chick-fil-A to Sponsor Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon VIP Area

Chick-fil-A is returning as a sponsor of the 7th Annual Thunder Road
Marathon in Charlotte where it will host the VIP area at the Finish

"Chick-fil-A is very excited to be a part of the Thunder Road
Marathon. This is the third year we've been a sponsor and it has been
a fantastic experience each time," said Katie Martin, Area Marketing
Director, Metro Charlotte Area of Chick-fil-A. "We've created a great
VIP area at the finish line that runners won't want to miss out on.
Make sure you come meet the Chick-fil-A cow and enjoy our
complimentary breakfast and lunch, we look forward to seeing everyone
out there!"

VIP seating tickets include: access to the heated VIP tent;
complimentary breakfast and lunch provided by Chick-fil-A;
complimentary hot beverages, plus Michelob Ultra for adults; reserved
front-row seating; exclusive views of the finish line; and heated
private restrooms.

Tickets for the Chick-fil-A VIP Area are $15 until Saturday, Oct. 22,
2011 and after that go to $25. Children under the age of 12 are free
until Oct. 22, 2011 and $5 after that. Tickets will be sold during the
morning of the race if space is still available at $30 for adults and
$5 for children under the age of 12. Children must be accompanied with
an adult. To register click here and select the "Additional Options"

"Chick-fil-A is a valued partner in the Thunder Road Marathon and
we're thrilled they are teaming up with us again for this year's
race," said Tim Rhodes, race director of the Thunder Road Marathon.
"They not only create an amazing experience for the VIP area, but go
above and beyond to get involved along the course in supporting our
neighborhood groups to cheer on the participants."

Both the 7th Annual Thunder Road Marathon (a Boston Marathon
qualifier) and the Amica Insurance Half-Marathon will take place on
Saturday, Nov. 12 on certified courses starting at 7:45 a.m. The
Presbyterian Hospital 5K will begin at 8:15 a.m. Registration for the
2011 Marathon is open and is available online at Entry fees are as follows: Now through Nov.
4:Marathon - $95, Half-Marathon - $65 and 5K - $35; and at the pre-
event Expo (Nov. 10-11): Marathon - $125, Half-Marathon - $90 and 5K -
$45. There is also a double medal opportunity for those who run the
Dowd YMCA Run Half-Marathon (Oct. 22, 2011) and the Thunder Road
Marathon or Amica Insurance Half-Marathon.

The Thunder Road Marathon is the second largest marathon in the
Carolinas and unites the excitement of road racing, music, family-
friendly entertainment and the Charlotte region's rich heritage of
stock car racing. Featuring a marathon, half-marathon and 5K run, the
event draws participants from 48 different states and Canada. In its
six-year history, the race has raised more than $250,000 for local
charities. For more information or to register or volunteer for the
7th Annual Thunder Road Marathon, zoom

Stay connected with Thunder Road Marathon on Facebook at
and Twitter at @ThunderRoadCLT.

Local author recognized by Reader's Digest

Nancy Bruss of Charlotte is one of the 150-word life stories being
considered for publication in an upcoming issue of Reader's Digest
magazine. Bruss' story is available for viewing at
ReadersDigest. Locals can also show support by voting for Bruss' story
or any others they like at

Her story:

"Happy Mommy's Day" by Nancy Bruss

Happy Mommy's Day! When one of my twin boys, David, was in
kindergarten, they had to write a book about their Mommy to give to us
as a surprise for Mother's Day. I was surprised and thrilled when I
received my gift that year Here's what his book said: My Mommy: She
weighs 5 pounds. Her hair is yellow and black. Her favorite recipe:
She takes a hot dog out of the refrigerator. She cooks it in the
microwave. She takes it out and puts it on a bun with ketchup. I love
my Mommy! David and Connor are now almost ten and I still take out my
"Happy Mommy's Day" book and laugh till I cry.

This is all part of the Reader's Digest continual effort to enrich and
simplify Americans' lives. This particular project "Your Life...The
Reader's Digest Version" celebrates the launch of the new book,
"Life... The Reader's Digest Version," which is also the first of a
new series, by creating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people's
personal stories to be widely read and for the opportunity of one
story to be published in Reader's Digest to its more than 30 million
readers, plus be the recipient of a major cash award. Several runner-
up stories will also receive attention and cash prizes. Stories will
be voted on by consumers and winners will ultimately be selected by
Reader's Digest editors. Americans can vote for and submit 150-word
stories about lessons, simple advice, funny moments and other life
stories at