Friday, March 30, 2012

Two new exhibitions set to open April 7 at Mint Museum Randolph

Two exhibitions celebrating the depth and range of The Mint Museum's
ceramics collections are set to go on view at Mint Museum Randolph
from April 7 through January 6.

Sophisticated Surfaces: The Pottery of Herb Cohen pays tribute to a
Charlotte-based artist who has earned a national reputation as a
master of his craft ­– and who happens to be an important figure in
the Mint's own history. "Herb Cohen has long deserved to have his work
be the single focus of an exhibition. We are especially pleased to
present an in-depth overview of his career this year, in which The
Mint Museum celebrates its 75th anniversary, because in addition to
being a gifted potter, Herb served on the Mint's staff from 1959 to
1973," said Brian Gallagher, the Mint's curator of decorative arts.

The American Art Tile, 1880-1940 celebrates an art form that peaked
during the decades surrounding the turn of the last century. It
features approximately 40 tiles from the Mint's permanent collection,
including the permanently installed fireplace surround, Arkansas
Traveller.

"With these two exhibitions, the Mint continues to celebrate its
status as a leader and innovator in the fields of art, craft, and
design," said Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, president & CEO of the Mint.
"We are particularly gratified to be able to host a solo exhibition
for a living Charlotte-based artist as deserving as Herb Cohen."

Sophisticated Surfaces: The Pottery of Herb Cohen is presented in
conjunction with A Thriving Tradition: 75 Years of Collecting North
Carolina Pottery, which is also on view at Mint Museum Randolph
through January 6. Cohen's work comprises a cornerstone in the
tradition of North Carolina pottery. He is highly regarded as an
innovative and extremely influential ceramicist, and has exhibited
widely throughout his seven-decade-long career as an award-winning
potter and sculptor.

Born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Cohen first learned to throw
on the potter's wheel at the remarkably young age of 6. After earning
his MFA from Alfred University, Cohen worked as a designer for Hyalyn
Porcelain Company in Hickory. He eventually settled in Charlotte in
the late 1950s, where he joined the staff of The Mint Museum and was
instrumental in spearheading the regional craft and pottery movement.
In the 1970s he moved to Blowing Rock to establish his own studio, but
returned to Charlotte in 2010, where he remains active in the local
arts community.

Throughout Cohen's career his work has embodied a particular marriage
of form and surface, as well as a balance between the formal and the
expressive. Following the evolution of Cohen's career, this exhibition
illustrates through forms that range from the functional to the
sculptural the inimitable skill and style for which Cohen has become
known.

Cohen first learned to throw on the potter's wheel at the Henry Street
Settlement, an innovative community center on the Lower East Side of
Manhattan. He continued to take classes there throughout his childhood
and teenage years. He earned his BFA in 1952 and his MFA in 1956 from
New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, renowned for
its innovative ceramics program, and at the time, the only school of
its kind in the country. Cohen's work there demonstrated technical
mastery over industrial applications in ceramics — techniques of mass
production utilized in the field of industrial pottery.

In 1973, Cohen left Charlotte to fully devote himself to his craft.
With life partner and fellow artist José Fumero, he built a house and
studio in Blowing Rock. They named it Studios 2, and over the course
of the following 37 years, they successfully maintained their home,
studios, and business. Around 2005, Cohen developed a tremor in his
hand that would ultimately prevent him from continuing to throw on the
wheel; after 70 years of performing the same motion over and over, his
muscles simply refused to cooperate anymore. Rather than succumbing to
his physical limitation as a disability, he viewed this as a chance to
grow as an artist. Cohen turned his attention and creativity towards
more sculptural, hand-built works and pushed himself in new directions.

"My first exposure to contemporary craft was the annual shows that
Herb organized—this is what inspired me and gave me hope of being a
maker. In the 1970s, Herb gave me a spotlight show at the Mint; it was
the first great thing that happened to me as young artist," said
fellow celebrated North Carolina ceramicist Michael Sherrill. "Herb is
… a person of influence. He was able to do something that was very
unique; he has a modernist style of making pots that very few people
have—he comes from that post-World War II era reinventing of
contemporary craft."

The American Art Tile, 1880-1940

The turn of the last century was the golden age of the American art
tile. Whether glazed or unglazed, molded in relief or smooth-surfaced,
decorative tiles were a popular medium among many affluent consumers
wishing to furnish their homes and businesses in the latest fashions.
The tiles were used as fireplace surrounds, wall hangings, and for a
wide variety of other ornamental purposes, both interior and exterior.

This installation features approximately 40 tiles from The Mint
Museum's permanent collection, including the permanently installed
fireplace surround, Arkansas Traveller, modeled and designed circa
1916 by Henry Chapman Mercer of Moravian Pottery & Tile Works,
Doylestown, Pennsylvania. "This exhibition illustrates the tremendous
variety of decorative tiles made by American ceramics manufacturers in
the decades surrounding 1900," said Gallagher.

These exhibitions are organized by The Mint Museum, which is
supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council. For
more information, visit mintmuseum.org.

Caption for the attached image: Herb Cohen. American, born 1931.
Platter, circa 1996.
Stoneware, 3 ⅞ x 16 ⅞ inches. Private Collection. Photography by
Mitchell Kearney.

ABOUT THE MINT MUSEUM

As the oldest art museum in North Carolina, and the art museum with
one of the largest collections in the Southeast, The Mint Museum
offers its visitors inspiring and transformative experiences through
art from around the world via innovative collections, ground-breaking
exhibitions, riveting educational programs, and profound scholarship.
The Mint Museum is a non-profit, visual arts institution comprised of
two dynamic facilities: Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph.
Located in what was the original branch of the United States Mint,
Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 in Charlotte's Eastover
neighborhood as the state's first art museum. Today, in a beautiful
park setting, intimate galleries invite visitors to engage with the
art of the ancient Americas, ceramics and decorative arts, fashion,
European and African art, among other collections. Resources include a
reference library with over 18,000 volumes, a theater featuring
lectures and performances, and a museum shop offering merchandise that
complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions.
Mint Museum Uptown houses the internationally renowned Craft + Design
collection, as well as outstanding collections of American,
contemporary, and European art. Designed by Machado and Silvetti
Associates of Boston, the five-story, 145,000-square-foot facility
combines inspiring architecture with cutting-edge exhibitions to
provide visitors with unparalleled educational and cultural
experiences. Located in the heart of Charlotte's burgeoning center
city, Mint Museum Uptown is an integral part of the Levine Center for
the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of
Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and
Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center. Mint Museum
Uptown also features a wide range of visitor amenities, including the
240-seat James B. Duke Auditorium, the Lewis Family Gallery, art
studios, a restaurant, and a museum shop. For more information, check
out mintmuseum.org.

Called to Jury Service? There's an App for That!

Mobile users summoned for jury service will now be able to take
advantage of the online Jury Management System developed by
Mecklenburg County nearly a year ago. The service allows residents to
access detailed information about their summons and submit requests
for a wide variety of changes previously done by phone or fax.

Those called for jury service can log onto
jury.mecklenburgcountync.gov as an alternative to contacting the Trial
Court Administrator's (TCA) Jury Management Office by phone or mail.
The website will automatically detect the existence of a mobile device
and redirect the user to the mobile site. Citizens can still use the
full-featured public Jury Manager website on any computer, and they
also have the option of using the full site by clicking the "View Full
Site" link at the top of the Mobile website.

The new mobile app offers many helpful features for jurors, including:

• Ability to search for jury summons by juror ID or social
security number

• Confirm juror status and reporting date

• Request a deferral for jury duty

• Create an email reminder for jury service

The application also contains convenient links that will

• Locate Jury Management Office if GPS is active on the mobile
device

• Populate the smartphone's dialer with the Jury Management
office phone number

The County's Business Support Services Agency – Information Technology
created the original application and the mobile app in-house at no
additional cost to taxpayers. This is the third mobile site developed
by BSSA-IT along with the Sheriff Arrest and Warrant Inquiry sites.

Since the online application went live in May 2011, 4,390 requests for
deferral and 3,118 excusal have been submitted and processed via the
website. The Jury Management Section of the Trial Court
Administrator's Office (TCA) is staffed by only two jury coordinators
who are responsible for issuing approximately 6,000 summonses per
month and performing all jury management functions. The TCA's Office
anticipates the application will significantly reduce its costs and
the staff time required to process mail and answer calls, which will
enable the Jury Coordinators to be more attentive to those who report
for jury service.

Charlotte Concerts Brings the Canadian Brass to CPCC in April

Charlotte Concerts is pleased to conclude its 2011-2012 season by
bringing the Canadian Brass to CPCC's Halton Theater stage this April
as part of the College's Sensoria event – a week-long celebration of
the arts. With an international reputation as one of the most popular
brass ensembles today, Canadian Brass has truly earned the distinction
of "the world's most famous brass group."

Since its inception in 1970, the Canadian Brass has explored every
possibility of an all-brass chamber group. The ensemble's repertoire
features brass standards as well as a wide-ranging library of original
arrangements created especially for them. These include the works of
Renaissance and Baroque masters, Classical works, marches, holiday
favorites, ragtime, Dixieland, Latin, jazz, big band, Broadway and
Christian music as well as popular songs and standards.

The Canadian Brass has produced more than 100 albums and keeps an
extensive world-wide touring schedule, bringing brass music to mass
audiences everywhere, including the USA, Canada, Japan and Europe.
They have sold more than two million albums worldwide, and continue to
score Billboard chart positions — most recently with "Stars & Stripes:
Canadian Brass Salute America," which spent eight weeks in the Top 25
on the Billboard Classical Chart during the summer of 2010.

WHEN: Friday, April 20; 8 p.m.

WHERE: Dale F. Halton Theater, Overcash building, CPCC Central Campus,
1206 Elizabeth Ave.

CONTACT: Tickets range from $30 - $50, and may be purchased online at
tix.cpcc.edu, at the CPCC Box Office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday –
Friday or by calling 704.330.6534.

Enter Your Photos of North Carolina's Hidden Treasures in Contest

North Carolina's natural wonders are known world-wide – Jockey's
Ridge, the Blue Ridge Mountains, our lakes and rivers, and more are
renowned for their beauty. But we're also blessed with scores of
hidden treasures – parks, gamelands, trails, creeks and other outdoor
places that are just as inviting but not nearly as famous.

Land for Tomorrow invites amateur photographers and artists to submit
their photographs and illustrations of these special places for our
"Hidden Treasures" contest.

Submission must be original depictions of publicly accessible natural
lands – gamelands, parks, greenways, rivers, etc. Wildlife may be
included and images that include people enjoying these areas are
encouraged.

Images may be submitted from March 27 through April 24 via one of the
following:

• Facebook as a message with an attachment: http://www.facebook.com/L4TNC
;
• Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/l4tnc/;
• Email: land4tomorrow@gmail.com; or
• Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/land4tomorrow (send us the link
to the image you'd like us to pin via email or Facebook message)
Additional details will be available upon contest launch on Tuesday
afternoon, March 27 at http://www.landfortomorrow.org/hidden-treasures/

Entries will be judged by a panel of conservation champions from
across North Carolina, including representatives from Land for
Tomorrow's leading organizations.

Two winners will be chosen: one photograph and one illustration. Each
winner will receive a gift from Great Outdoor Provision Co.

About Land for Tomorrow

Land for Tomorrow, a coalition of conservation, sportsmen,
agriculture, wildlife, business and local government organizations, is
committed to preserving and protecting North Carolina's land and water
resources. Its goal is to increase public awareness for the need to
protect additional lands that are critical to the economic well-being
and quality of life in North Carolina. Land for Tomorrow seeks to help
the state reach its declared goal of conserving a million acres, and
ensure that critical land will be available to provide clean air and
drinking water, strengthen our communities, promote job growth and
enhance the quality of life for generations to come. For additional
information about Land for Tomorrow, visit or www.facebook.com/L4TNC
or www.landfortomorrow.org.

Free talk at The Ivey: "Arthritis and Seniors: The Latest News on Prevention and Treatments"

The symptoms of arthritis, or inflamation of the joints, can range
from discomfort to real debilitation. Arthritis can strike seniors
especially hard. Is it possible to prevent arthritis in yourself or
an older loved one? Can exercise help? What kinds of new treatments
are available?

Get answers at a free workshop from The Ivey, the adult day care
center in SouthPark. The non-profit will host "Arthritis and Seniors:
The Latest News on Prevention and Treatments," on Tuesday, April 10
from 2 to 4 pm, repeated from 6 to 8 pm, at The Ivey, 6030 Park South
Drive in Charlotte. Admission is free but pre-registration is
requested. To pre-register, call The Ivey at 704/909-2070.

Respite care for your loved one is available during the presentation
with advance notice. Call The Ivey to arrange at 704/909-2070.

The presenter is Dr. Charles Seehorn with Arthritis & Osteoporosis
Consultants of the Carolinas. He will also discuss osteoporosis
causes and treatments. Seehorn treats all types of rheumatologic
illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus,
osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis.

About The Ivey
The Ivey® is a not-for-profit adult day care center that provides
daytime services for people living with Alzheimer's and other types of
memory loss, social isolation, or physical frailty due to stroke,
Parkinson's, and similar illnesses. The Ivey offers socialization,
engaging activities, meals from a Johnson & Wales-trained chef, and
healthcare monitoring from an on-site registered nurse. The Ivey's
services allow caregivers to hold jobs, continue friendships, and
refresh from the responsibilities of providing constant care. For more
information, visit www.theivey.com .

Walmart Supercenters Offer Charlotte Locals Free First Sips of New Pepsi NEXT

New Pepsi NEXT has arrived in Charlotte! More than 30 Walmart
Supercenter stores throughout the Charlotte area are inviting shoppers
to try it risk free. As the first Pepsi product to deliver real cola
taste with 60% less sugar, game-changer Pepsi NEXT has a full cola
flavor that's so good, you'll have to "Drink it to Believe it!™"

See below to find out when the Pepsi NEXT crew will be serving up free
first sips at a Walmart Supercenter store near you:

WALMART SUPERCENTER LOCATION, DATE/TIME

Wednesday, April 4 from 3pm – 7pm

1227 Burkemont Avenue

Morganton, NC 28655

Thursday, April 5 from 10am – 2pm
935 Blowing Rock Road
Lenoir, NC 28645

Thursday, April 5 from 3pm – 7pm
4780 Hickory Boulevard
Granite Falls, NC 28630

Friday, April 6 from 10am – 2pm
2525 US Highway 70 SE
Hickory, NC 28602

Friday, April 6 from 3pm – 7pm
201 Zelkova Court NW
Conover, NC 28613

Saturday, April 7 from 10am – 2pm
1116 Crossroads Drive
Statesville, NC 28625

Saturday, April 7 from 3pm – 7pm
323 S. Arlington Street
Salisbury, NC 28144

Friday, April 13 from 10am – 2pm
169 Norman Station Boulevard
Mooresville, NC 28117

Friday, April 13 from 3:30pm – 7:30pm
2406 W. Roosevelt Boulevard
Monroe, NC 28110

Saturday, April 14 from 3pm – 7pm
2377 Dave Lyle Boulevard
Rock Hill, SC 29730

Sunday, April 15 from 10am – 2pm
4875 Old York Road
Rock Hill, SC 29732

Sunday, April 15 from 3pm – 7pm
970 E. Liberty Street
York, SC 29745

Thursday, April 26 from 3pm – 7pm
2101 Younts Road
Indian Trail, NC 28079

Friday, April 27 from 10am – 2pm
150 Concord Commons Pl SW
Concord, NC 28027

Friday, April 27 from 3pm – 7pm
2420 Supercenter Drive NE
Kannapolis, NC 28083

Saturday, April 28 from 3:30pm – 7:30pm

Monday, March 26, 2012

Community Blood Center of the Carolinas Honors 2011 Top Blood Drive Donors and Sponsors

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) recently recognized
its top blood drive donors and sponsors from 2011. More than 200
people joined in the celebration at CBCC's annual awards banquet at
The Palmer Building.

Individual Donors
Advocate of the Year – Robert White, Piedmont Medical Center
President's Award – Rick Hendrick
Platelet Donors of the Year – Steve Lentz; Debra Williams; Debra
Williams
Whole Blood Donors of the Year –Scott Curtis and Kim Wyatt
Special Recognition – The Santos Family; Claudia Douglass; Jon
Richmond; Joe & Amy Clipston
Vision Awards – Jon Wilson, FOX News Rising; The Charlotte Checkers;
Microsoft Corporation

Blood Drive Sponsors and Community Partners
Corporate Sponsor of the Year – Hendrick Motorsports
Small Business of the Year – Red Ventures
College of the Year – Central Piedmont Community College – Levine Campus
High School of the Year – West Stanly High School
Hospital of the Year – Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast
Religious Organization of the Year – Elevation Church
Community Group of the Year – Siskey YMCA
Largest Blood Drive of the Year – Floyd D. Johnson Technology Center
Committee of the Year – Carolinas Medical Center-Union
New Sponsor of the Year – Elevation Church

"We deeply appreciate our blood donors and sponsors, all of whom are
incredibly generous and strongly committed to the patients of our
community," said Martin Grable president and CEO of Community Blood
Center of the Carolinas. "This event was a poignant reminder of the
power of what community can do when we join together. Honoring these
individuals and community partners was the least we could to do show
our appreciation for their unwavering dedication to helping save local
lives."

About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is a non-profit
community-based blood center and the primary blood supplier to 21
regional hospitals, serving patients who live in 16 North Carolina and
three South Carolina counties. The mission of CBCC is to be the
steward of a community resource – life-saving blood and the vision is
to help build and strengthen the bonds of community. CBCC is strictly
a blood center, completely focused on gathering red blood cells,
platelets and plasma from volunteer donors to save local lives – every
drop of blood collected stays here to help people in the Carolinas.
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is a member of America's
Blood Centers, North America's largest network of community-based,
independent blood centers providing more than 50% of the nation's
blood supply.

For more information on community blood drives, visit www.cbcc.us or
call 704-972-4700. There are also CBCC donor centers located at: 4447
South Boulevard in Charlotte; 363 Church Street North Suite 170 in
Concord; 2524 East Franklin Blvd Suite E in Gastonia; and 600 Hospital
Drive in Monroe.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kannapolis Fire Chief Officers Earn UNC Charlotte Fire & Rescue Management Certificate

Division Chief Tracy Winecoff and Battalion Chief Joshua Clay (in
photo) of the Kannapolis Fire Department graduated this spring from
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Fire & Rescue
Management Institute, along with 28 fellow fire service leaders from
across the Southeast. The Management Institute, founded in 2006, is a
five month, co-hort certificate program designed for company officers,
chief officers, as well as future leaders of the fire service.

The curriculum is designed to address the complex and evolving roles
and challenges that officers face in today's fire service. Modules
include Leadership & Team-Building, Personnel Management &
Supervision, Operations Management & Strategic Planning, and
Communication Skills & Public Relations.

Over 200 fire service leaders have graduated from the Institute since
2007 representing North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and
Tennessee. Institute faculty include national and regional fire
service administrators, UNC Charlotte faculty from disciplines such as
public administration, organizational psychology, business
administration, communication studies, and fire safety engineering
technology, and leadership and management specialists and consultants.

Graduates of the Fire & Rescue Management Institute earn the
prestigious Certificate in Fire & Rescue Management from UNC Charlotte.

Public Hearing Set to Discuss Mecklenburg Fire District Funding

The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has set a public
hearing to discuss a new way to fund fire protection services
throughout the unincorporated areas of the region. The hearing is
scheduled for April 3 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center,
600 East 4th Street, at 6:30 p.m.

Currently 15 volunteer fire departments provide fire protection
services outside Charlotte's corporate limits, funded by a mix of
County contract payments, citizen contributions, and in the case of
volunteer fire departments that provide fire protection within the
towns, contributions by those local governments. As urban growth in
the County continues and volunteer fire department expenses rise,
independent studies have suggested that the current funding method –
directly from the County's general fund -- won't be enough to cover
the costs.

In 2008, an independent consultant's report specifically noted fire
protection service districts as an effective solution to address both
immediate and long-term volunteer fire department budget needs. Fire
protection service districts are used in almost all other North
Carolina counties, and appear to be widely recognized as an
appropriate method for funding fire protection services in
unincorporated areas. This strategy builds on that recommendation

County staff has proposed to the BOCC to create Fire Protection
Service Districts in Mecklenburg County:

• Four Town Extraterritorial jurisdiction ("ETJ") service districts –
one each for the ETJs of the following Towns: Cornelius, Davidson,
Huntersville and Mint Hill.

• A fifth service district for the City of Charlotte's ETJ and the
small area south of Pineville into which Pineville could exercise its
ETJ rights, but has failed to, to be called the "City ETJ Fire
District."

These districts would be created to fund the full cost of providing
fire protection service to all residents of the service district, with
the cost burden carried by all service district property owners,
through the fire protection service district tax. The County would use
the funds raised by the Fire Protection Service District property
taxes to contract with the City of Charlotte, or the towns, or in some
instances, directly with the volunteer fire departments related to a
specific Fire Protection Service District, to provide fire protection
services for that area.

Local Author Floats Secret Family Legacy in Debut Novel, 'A Familiar Shore'

'A Familiar Shore,' by Jennifer Fromke of Concord, brings readers
alongside Meg, a young lawyer whose past crashes into her present when
she takes on an anonymous client.

Meg Marks is a young lawyer raised off the coast of the Carolinas. An
anonymous client hires her to arrange his will and sends her to meet
his estranged family at their lake home in northern Michigan. After a
shocking discovery, she finds herself caught between his suspicious
family and a deathbed promise her conscience demands that she keep.
Will she sacrifice her own dreams to the pursuit of revenge, or will
she forgive and leave the door open for possible happiness?

Traveling along the southeastern seaboard, touching down in Charlotte,
NC, and lingering on Lake Charlevoix in Northern Michigan, A Familiar
Shore sweeps the reader from salty whitecaps to freshwater storms,
while bringing to life a quirky but down to earth set of characters.

Fromke says, "This multi-layered story explores a father's regrets, a
lonely daughter's drive for a place to belong, and the ugliness that
can result from sibling rivalry."

The novel takes place on Memorial Day weekend, when families all
across America begin their summer fun. Its nautical settings and theme
make it the perfect read to accompany watersports on the lake, chasing
waves at the beach, or dipping a toe in poolside.

The 2010 ACFW Genesis Award for Women's Fiction was awarded to
Jennifer for this novel.

A Familiar Shore is available in print and digital formats at www.amazon.com
and other outlets.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Michigan, Jennifer Fromke writes from Concord,
North Carolina where she lives with her family and their needy Prozac
dog. She graduated with a literature major from Wheaton College,
regularly attends writing conferences and workshops, and participates
in a dynamic critique group, The Yay-Sayers. When separated from her
laptop, you can find her curled up in a corner with a latte in one
hand and her e-reader in the other, daydreaming about her annual
escape to a lake in northern Michigan.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Charlotte area students and community come together at Engage Summit

On Wednesday, March 21, high school students across CMS will attend
the inaugural Engage Summit, an empowerment initiative that brings the
students and community together to promote positive climates in
schools and the community. The summit, which coincides with National
Youth Violence Prevention Week, March 19-23, will take place at the
UNC Charlotte Center City Building (320 E. 9th Street, Charlotte) from
7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Engage is part of the Make it Better campaign, which informs, educates
and empowers students, parents, teachers and the community, in an
effort to eliminate incidents related to school violence.

At the summit, community members, including motivational speaker Kwain
Bryant; Assistant U.S. Attorney for Charlotte, N.C., Anne Tompkins;
and leadership from CMS, the City of Charlotte and Carolina Panthers
Organization will provide expertise and energy to help students
develop a successful initiative. Michael Buchanan, co-author of "The
Fat Boy Chronicles," will provide the inspirational address.

Though group work, community exchange and brainstorm sessions, the
students will learn how they can take ownership in their schools and
community. They will share experiences, develop action plans to
address needs specific to their school and leave the session with the
tools they need to start conversations. Most importantly, they will
have the understanding that the greater community is committed to
supporting them.

"It's important we hear from the students and help them address their
concerns," said Dr. Deb Kaclik, director of arts, heath, physical
education and pre-K-12 curriculum support programs. "If we hear their
voice, it will clue us in on ways to support their initiatives. When
people work together, a group process emerges that is bigger than any
one person's actions."

Planning support for the Summit is provided by the Larry King Center
of the Council for Children's Rights.

Turkeys and ham needed to feed homeless men and women for Easter

Turkeys and hams are needed to feed the homeless community for Easter
Sunday Dinner
Drop off turkeys and ham at the Charlotte Rescue Mission - 907 West
1st Street. (Diagonally opposite the Carolina Panthers practice
fields). Enter through the glass doors at the 2nd building on the left.

The Charlotte Rescue mission provides a free 90-day Christian
residential program for men and women who are addicted to drugs and/or
alcohol and are predominately homeless. Charlotte Rescue Mission main
phone number: 704.333.HOPE

Extraordinary aerial repertory concert to debut in Charlotte by Caroline Calouche & Co.

Caroline Calouche & Co. will perform a unique, contemporary dance
concert at the Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux Center for
Dance in uptown Charlotte on Friday, March 23 at 8pm & Saturday, March
24 at 3pm & 8pm. This innovative type of dance combines bungee, aerial
silk hammocks, aerial cube and an invented apparatus to lift the
dancers and the patrons to a level of art not often seen.

Spring Forward is a repertory concert featuring the world premiere of
"Free to Live" which is partially funded by the ASC's power2give
program. This new aerial and contemporary dance work by the Main
Company is an innovative piece where Caroline Calouche and the dancers
will explore how different people define the idea of freedom. Says
Calouche, "The dancers and I are finding so many layers to the idea of
freedom and how freedom has been interpreted throughout world
history. The rehearsals for Free to Live are immensely thought-
provoking for us and we hope the performance will be that way for the
audience."

On the program as well is the contemporary work "Catch Me" that was
created for the NC Dance Festival. The program will feature a new
aerial dance work by Caroline, "what brings us close", which explores
the blend of aerial and contemporary dance and will be performed by
the Adult and Youth Ensemble dancers. Three dancers have also been
chosen to present their choreography on the program: "Shadows" by Jim
Reynolds, "Human" by Reba Bowens and "Ashes" by Allison Hagaman.
Tickets are available through the CC&Co. website for all performances
for $15-$20 before 3/22/12 or $20-$25 at the door.

About Caroline Calouche & Co.
Caroline Calouche & Co. is an aerial and contemporary dance company
based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded in 2005, Caroline Calouche
began with a group of three dancers to debut "Risk" in her hometown,
Gastonia, NC. It was in 2006 that she began blending aerial dance with
contemporary technique.
CC&Co.'s Educational Programs benefit local schools by teaching them
creativity, collaboration, communication, understanding, and respect.
CC&Co. worked with Hunter Huss High School, East Gaston High School,
Oakdale Middle School, Park Road Montessori School, Omni Montessori
School and Eastover Elementary School. Visit www.carolinecalouche.org
for more information.

Child car seats can become loose over time! -- FREE Inspection Event in Charlotte

It's a good idea to check the installation of child car seats
periodically, as things like the weather, vehicle seat compression,
and the motion from your vehicle moving can cause the seat
installation to loosen. For installation help,come visit BRITAX USA
headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina! A certified Child
Passenger Safety Technician will teach you the correct way to install
your seat, provide safety recommendations, and answer any questions
you may have. This FREE event is scheduled to take place on Friday,
March 16th, from 8:00 – 11:30 am. No appointment is necessary and
child car seats from every manufacturer are welcome. If you cannot
make this event, visit SafeKids.org to find an inspection station or
event near you: http://www.safekids.org/in-your-area/find-a-inspection-station/
.

Please help us keep babies and kids safe on the road, especially
during the heavily traveled Spring Break season.

Statistic: Improper car seat installation — and lack of a car seat
altogether — is responsible for the death and injury of thousands of
children each year. Approximately 96 percent of parents believe their
child seats are installed correctly. However, research shows that
seven out of 10 children are either not securely fastened in their car
seat or are in a car seat that is not properly secured to the vehicle,
according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Where: Britax Child Safety, Inc (13501 South Ridge Drive, Charlotte,
NC); South Point Business Park, close to the corner of Carowinds Blvd
and South Tryon St. (look for signs)

Please visit our website for more information about this event: http://www.britaxusa.com/learning-center/britax-checking-station

2012 Checking Station Schedule:
• March 16, 2012: 8 am - 11:30 am
• May 18, 2012: 8 am - 11:30 am
• July 20, 2012: 8 am - 11:30 am
• September 21, 2012: 8 am - 11:30 am
• November 16, 2012: 8 am - 11:30 am

NOTE: In the event of inclement weather, please call 704-409-1695 to
confirm we are in operation that day.

Sensoria celebration of the arts to arrive at CPCC April 13 - 21

Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) invites you to attend
Sensoria, a week-long celebration of the arts that will heighten your
senses as it brings the best in literature, music, visual arts,
history, culture (and food!) to the College.

The 2012 event calendar includes appearances by distinguished poet
Russell Goings, whose private collection of works by his friend Romare
Bearden (artwork shown in image) will be part of a Sensoria exhibit on
the Central Campus. Bearden's life and work are the inspiration
behind a collaboration between CPCC Dance and the North Carolina Dance
Theatre presentation that will include workshops in conjunction with a
special performance. Another highlight of the week is a CPCC Music
Department concert in partnership with the Bechtler Museum of Modern
Art. This pairing of visual art and music will feature works from the
Bechtler that will also be part of a companion exhibit at CPCC's Ross
Gallery. Ticketed events that will take place during the week include
"Play it Again, Sam," "Made in the USA – Tribute to Gershwin and
Bernstein," "The Canadian Brass," jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan and
the TOSCO Music Party.

While the majority of the Sensoria events take place on CPCC's Central
Campus, events at other campuses include two dynamic exhibits,
"Courage" and "Para Todos Los Ninos" at the Levine Campus in
Matthews. Through a partnership with the Levine Museum of the New
South and funding through the North Carolina Humanities Council, the
exhibit will also feature a panel discussion on the history of school
desegregation. Additionally, the Charlotte Writers' Club will host a
member reading and open microphone night at the Cato Campus and a
plant sale will also take place at Cato.

Sensoria will also take to the streets with outdoor activities
including Jazz On the Green on April 14, and "Connecting Community,"
the grand opening of the Urban Little Sugar Creek Greenway on April 20
at 10 a.m. In addition, this year's celebration will feature its first
ever "CPCC Indoor Artwalk," an event that will feature the work of
local and regional artists. Attendees will have the opportunity to
stroll through theOvercash Center and enjoy talking with talented
artists as they view their works of art.

Admission to most events is free. Community residents are invited to
join us for what is becoming Charlotte's finest celebration of the
arts - Sensoria.

WHERE: CPCC Campuses including Central Campus, 1201 Elizabeth Ave.,
Charlotte (Events taking place at other CPCC campuses, see calendar at
sensoria.cpcc.edu for event locations.)

WHEN: April 13 – 21, 2012

CONTACT: To see a full calendar of events, please visit http://sensoria.cpcc.edu
.

"Mr. Duke's Railway: The Piedmont & Northern": Free Program at Levine Museum

Charlotte – Before the banks, Charlotte had textiles. And companies
couldn't move textiles without rail.
April marks the 100th anniversary of The Piedmont & Northern Railroad.
Cousin to the streetcar, this electric, interurban railroad connected
Charlotte with textile towns in North Carolina and the South Carolina
upcountry. The P&N, which began as a project of James Buchanan Duke
and the company now known as Duke Energy, was essential for
developing business and bringing wealth to the region. Today, plans
are afoot to revive part of the line running west from Panthers
Stadium with the much-loved vintage Charlotte Trolley.
Learn more about this fascinating part of Charlotte's history at a
free program. "Mr. Duke's Railway: The Piedmont & Northern" takes
place on Sunday, April 1, 3 pm, at Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte. The speaker is Bill Jeffers, researcher for the
Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. Reservations are
required. Call 704/-714-4445 or email ecovington@tlwf.org to reserve.
"Mr. Duke's Railway: The Piedmont & Northern" is part of the Explore
History! series sponsored by The Duke Mansion and Levine Museum of the
New South. For more information, visit www.dukemansion.org or www.museumofthenewsouth.org
.

Know a Nonprofit in Need of a Car? Toyota Giving Away 100 Cars for Good Program

Do you know a nonprofit that could make great things happen with a new
car? Applications are now open for Toyota's 100 Cars for Good, a
major national philanthropy program in which the automaker is giving
away 100 cars to 100 nonprofits over the course of 100 days. Winners
will be selected each day through public voting on Facebook.

Last year, Charlotte-area had a great showing: Cindy's Hope Chest
nonprofit received a new Highlander Hybrid SUV to help transport local
women battling breast cancer to treatments and doctor's appointments.
Toyota encourages Charlotte residents to build on last year's success
and continue to help local nonprofits win new vehicles with their
nominations.

Application materials and complete information on the program are
available at www.100carsforgood.com.
· 100 Cars for Good video
· 100 Cars for Good logo and photos

"At Toyota, we appreciate what a big difference a new car or truck can
make for organizations that are doing so much to improve lives and
strengthen communities across America," said Jim Lentz, President and
Chief Operating Officer of Toyota Motor Sales. "Over the past 20
years, Toyota has contributed more than half a billion dollars to
nonprofits throughout the U.S. 100 Cars for Good allows us to build
on that commitment in new ways, putting the public in the 'driver's
seat' as we work to help community organizations broaden their impact
in neighborhoods nationwide."

Applying for the 2012 100 Cars for Good Program

· Registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and non-profit
Native American or Alaskan tribes with sovereignty can apply online at www.100carsforgood.combeginning
on Monday, March 12. This address will link to the 100 Cars for
Good Facebook page.

· 100 Cars for Good applications will be open for two weeks
(until Monday, March 26 at 11:59 am PST]), or until 5,000 applications
are received. From this group, 500 finalists will be selected and
certified by an independent panel of experts. Finalists will be
notified in April.

· Each finalist will then submit a short video and explanation
on how a new vehicle would help further its work. Both will be
featured on the 100 Cars for Good site.

· Public voting on the finalists will begin on Monday, May 14
at www.100carsforgood.com with five organizations up for consideration
each day for 100 consecutive days.

· The four runners up each day will each receive a $1,000
grant from Toyota.

· Finalists will be eligible for one of six Toyota models,
including the Camry Hybrid, Highlander SUV, Prius v hybrid, Sienna
minivan, Sienna Mobility or Tundra full-sized pickup.

· A six-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty will also be
provided for each vehicle, compliments of Toyota Financial Services.


Making a Lasting Impact in Communities Nationwide

This is the second consecutive year for Toyota's 100 Cars for Good
program. 100 Cars for Good is the first Toyota initiative to engage
the public in determining how its corporate philanthropic donations
will be awarded. Vehicles from the first year of the program – which
were awarded to nonprofits in 31 states and the District of Columbia –
are making a significant difference across the country, including for:

· The Community Soup Kitchen of Morristown, NJ, which can now
pick up donations of food that used to be turned away due to a lack of
transportation, allowing it to provide meals and food to even more
people in need;

· Camp Casey, a program near Detroit that provides horseback
riding visits for kids with cancer that is now able to expand its
reach to families in other parts of the state; and

· Washington, DC's Aleethia Foundation, whose new minivan
enables it to transport wounded veterans recovering at the Walter Reed
National Military Medical Center to much needed social nights away
from the hospital.

Teresa Connolly, Executive Director of New Jersey's Community Soup
Kitchen, which was awarded a Toyota Sienna in last year's program,
commented, "Toyota's donation was a game changer for us, making it
possible to significantly expand our food programs at a time of
extraordinary need. This ability to serve more people and to bring
greater awareness to our mission simply wouldn't have happened without
Toyota."

More than Just Cars – Nonprofit Finalists Build Digital Marketing and
Social Media Skills

As part of the 100 Cars for Good program, Toyota will provide every
finalist with a digital video camera, training toolkit and free online
advertising credits to help them create or expand their presence in
social media and other digital platforms. The nonprofit finalists can
use these resources for their 100 Cars campaign and can continue to
build on them after the program.

Molly Reeser, Executive Director of Detroit's Camp Casey, one of the
2011 100 Cars recipients, noted, "In addition to a new truck, Toyota
gave us the training and resources we needed to get more sophisticated
about social media marketing for the long-term. This has had a real
impact, with our 'likes' on Facebook jumping five-fold in very short
order."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Suzan-Lori Parks Appears at Davidson in Connection with Her "In the Blood" Production

Like most of Suzan-Lori Parks' work, In the Blood confronts the
audience with the tragedies of downtrodden people and asks the viewers
to not just watch, but take a stand. In the Blood focuses on a
homeless, illiterate single mother, Hester La Negrita, struggling to
provide for her five children amidst inner urban poverty and prejudice.

Six Davidson College student actors will showcase their interpretation
of this contemporary American tragedy in fiveperformances from March
28 through April 1 in the Duke Family Performance Hall of the Knobloch
Campus Center. March 28-29 performances begin at 7:30 p.m., March
30-31 at 8 p.m. and April 1 at 6:30 p.m. The audience will be seated
on the stage with the actors, so attendance will be more limited than
standard productions in the venue. The play contains graphic sexual
content, violence and crude language, and is recommended only for ages
17 and up.

General admission is $15, $11 for seniors, $9 faculty/staff, and $6
students. Tickets can be purchased weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at
the Alvarez College Union ticket office in person or by phone at
704-894-2135, or online any time at www.davidson.edu/tickets. For more
information email cavanhallgren@davidson.edu<mailto:cavanhallgren@davidson.edu
>. (Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks will also present two free lectures
on April 3. Call 704-894-2361 for information on those events).

Parks has been a prolific and heralded storyteller on stage and page
for the past 25 years, known for powerful plays about social justice
and the black experience in America. Among many other honors, she is
the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in
drama, and she won a McArthur Foundation "Genius Grant." She wrote In
the Blood in 1999.

In the Blood is a modern reflection of Nathaniel Hawthorne's 19th
century novel, The Scarlet Letter. Parks' play tells the story of a
mother, Hester, and her five fatherless children. Hawthorne's work
also focused on a character named Hester who was forced to sew a
scarlet letter "A" onto her dress as punishment for her illicit
affair. Similarly, Park's Hester had sexual relations with five
different men and scratches out the letter "A" on the cement floor and
cardboard boxes of her family's makeshift home.

Professor of English Ann Fox, whose contemporary theatre class studied
In the Blood this semester, said both works deal with flawed women
tormented by the moral hypocrisy of men who rule their lives. Fox
said, "The characters in both are more symbolic than realistic. They
represent social forces that judge disenfranchised people like Parks's
Hester LaNegrita and Hawthorne's Hester Prynne. In the Blood is highly
contemporary, but its message has been voiced in literature throughout
history. Both stories ask us to think critically about our society and
question our own complicity in these tragedies."

Hester La Negrita is entirely dependent on the kindness of strangers,
who in turn take advantage of her. Hester's future and that of her
children grows dim. Her white friend Miga both uses her and cares
about her struggles, and advises her toseek help from her children's
fathers. Hester does so, and the play moves on to their hypocritical
stories and a chilling conclusion. Davidson student Christa Johnson
'12, who plays the part of Hester, said, "I've never worked on a play
as emotionally dense, one that took more time for me to learn."

Parks has given directors of the play an unusual amount of latitude
for creativity by writing into the script many "spells" and "rests."
The rests are times when an actor has something to say to another
actor, but holds it in and stays silent. The spells are also periods
of no dialogue that the Davidson interpreters of the play have chosen
to fill with sound and movement. Professor of Theatre and Director Ann
Marie Costa said, "We've approached these moments by asking the actors
what their characters are feeling, and then worked with them to find a
suitable abstract physical expression for it."

Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Alison Bory has also been
working with the cast of veteran student actors to fill those spaces
with movement and sound. Costa noted, "It creates a mixture of modern
dance and drama. Even without words, I believe the audience will feel
the emotion, the tension between the characters in these moments. It
should be compelling to watch. "

Other direction for the play has come from Winthrop University
dramatist Anna Sartin, who has created a set littered with foundurban
objects like discarded tires, cardboard boxes, old mattresses and oil
drums. Carolyn Bryan is the costume designer, and Josh Peklo is
lighting designer.
In addition to Johnson, the cast includes Audrey Gyurgyik '12, Amos
McCandless '14, Lori Pitts '12, Rodney Saunders '13 , and Brandon
Smalls '12. All are theatre majors, and each will play two roles—as
one of Hester's children, and as the adults who complicate her life.

Gyurgyik, who plays Hester's friend Miga, is excited to be in a play
that directly deals with contemporary social issues in a
straightforward way. "This will stir up the community," Gyurgyik said.
"You can't just watch this play and leave it behind like traditional
entertainment. In the Blood leaves you asking questions. It challenges
you to act."

Two public programs are being planned at the college in coordination
with the production of In the Blood. On Thursday, March 15, the cast,
director and stage managerswill join the public in a dinner discussion
about poverty. That will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Black Student
Coalition House on Patterson Court. On Monday, March 26, the Upsilon
Mu Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority invites the public to a
discussion about the economic and religious responses to poverty. That
event will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Sprinkle Room of the Alvarez
College Union. For more information on both events, contact vijackson@davidson.edu
, or call 618-402-1690.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for
1,900 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C.
Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has
graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of
the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson
Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the
nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages,
giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson
competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding
Honor Code is central to student life at the college.

Kontras Quartet To Perform at Davidson March 18

The Davidson College Music Department concludes its 2011-12 Concert
Series with a performance from The Kontras Quartet on Sunday, March
18. The concert begins at 3 p.m. in Tyler-Tallman Hall of the Sloan
Music Center.

Lauded for their "great sensitivity and brilliance," the Kontras
Quartet is rapidly becoming one of the most vibrant young string
quartets on the scene. Its members -- violinists Dmitri Pogorelov and
Francois Henkins, violist Ai Ishida and cellist Jean Hatmaker -- hail
from different parts of the world, adding to their innovative approach
to chamber music.

After meeting as principals of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, these
four musicians collaborated to offer fresh interpretations of the
established string quartet canon, as well as serve as advocates of new
and unfamiliar compositions.

Tickets are $8 to $12 and may be purchased online at www.davidson.edu/tickets
<http://www.davidson.edu/tickets>, by calling 704-894-2135, in
person at the College Box Office 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays, or at the
door.

Special Needs CMS North Learning Community to Benefit from Run Too Overcome

The 4th annual Run Too Overcome (Together Overcoming Obstacles),
benefiting CMS North Learning Community Schools, will take place
Saturday, March 17. All race proceeds are given directly to
participating Special Needs Departments to purchase supplies and
equipment for their classrooms. The mission of the Run Too Overcome
is to provide awareness and support for the children, families, and
teachers whom meet the daily challenges, and celebrate the joys, of
supporting our special needs community.

The Run Too Overcome unites our community each year to raise funds to
provide our special needs teachers with the equipment and supplies
needed to provide differentiated instruction to enrich and engage
students of all ability levels. The North Charlotte/Lake Norman
Learning Community thanks our teachers for their compassion, support,
and dedication to our children.

We define an exceptional child as one with any disability; disorder;
difference; developmental delay; behavior/attention/sensory problem;
or any other issue hindering his/her life experiences, learning or
development.

Please visit www.run2overcome.com for a brief video and additional
details.

Charlotte Regional Realtors Report Increased Home Sales in February

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 February 2012
(1,614) increased 21.8 percent compared to February 2011,when closings
totaled 1,325. Both the average and median sales price showed
positive increases. The average sales price in February 2012
($184,775) was up by 2.1 percent compared to the same period last year
($180,940), and the median sales price ($145,450), the best measure of
trends over a period of time, showed prices up slightly by 0.5 percent
compared to February 2011 when the median sales price was $144,750.

The average list price in February 2012 ($254,902) increased 6.4
percent when compared to the average list price for the same period
last year ($239,466), bringing the percent of original list price
received measure to 90.7 percent as compared to 87.7 percent last
February. February 2012 pending contracts totaled 1,969, an increase
of 21.8 percent over last February's pending contracts (1,616) for the
CMLS region.

"A second month of positive housing trends only further confirms that
we're seeing our local market continue to stabilize," said Jennifer
Frontera, 2012 association and CMLS president. "Prices are fairly
steady and Realtors® are reporting increased foot-traffic, all good
indicators as we move into the spring selling season."

New residential listings in February 2012 totaled 3,958, down 5.0
percent compared to the same period last year when new listings
totaled 4,165. Overall inventory continued its downward trend, down
28.3 percent compared to February 2011, leaving the CMLS region with
an 8.9 months' supply of homes for sale as compared to 12.4 months'
supply during the same time last year. The average number of days a
property was on the market from the time it was listed until it closed
(list to close) totaled 150, which is a decrease of four days when
compared to last February when the list to close count totaled 154 days.

The share of new listings that were distressed in February was 13.1
percent, compared to 22.1 percent the previous year. 18.9 percent of
all closed sales in February were distressed, compared to 36.7 percent
in February 2011.

For more residential-housing market statistics, visit the
association's website at www.CarolinaHome.com and click on "Community
Data." For an interview with 2012 association/CMLS President Jennifer
Frontera, 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 6,600 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 7,200 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.

Showmars Raises $15,000 for the American Heart Association

In honor of American Heart Month, Showmars partnered with Go Red for
Women to raise money for the Charlotte Chapter of the American Heart
Association in February.

Over a 12-day span from January 30 to February 10, Showmars collected
$1 from every large Greek Salad sold in each of its 28 locations. In
addition, the restaurant sold American Heart Association Red Dress
pins for $5 apiece from January 30 through February 10. In total,
Showmars raised $15,000 to benefit the American Heart Association.

Showmars team members participated in a special check presentation
ceremony with representatives of Go Red for Women and the American
Heart Association at the Showmars location on Highway 521 in Fort
Mill, South Carolina. In the attached photo are, from left-to-right,
David Prosser, Theresa Payton, Go Red Board of Directors, Dean
Peroulas, Showmars Founder George Couchell, Showmars President
Konstantine Zitsos, Louis Manousos, Chrissy Malinky, Director of
Development Go Red for Women at the American Heart Assocation, and
Tommy Racano.

"The entire Showmars family is honored to partner with the American
Heart Association for our Go Red fundraiser," said Showmars President
Konstantine Zitsos. "Of course, we must offer a big 'thank you' to all
our loyal customers and team members at each Showmars location for
helping make this event a huge success."

Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of nearly 500,000 American
women each year, yet women were unaware of the risks. To dispel the
myths and raise awareness of heart disease as the number one killer of
women, the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women in 2004
– a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women
to take charge of their heart health. Additional information about Go
Red for Women is available at GoRedForWomen.org.

Showmars serves fresh, made-to-order food fast in a casual, family-
friendly environment. With a diverse mix of Greek, Southern and
American flavors, Showmars caters to a wide customer base with
signature items such as gyros, Souvlaki, pita burgers, fresh salads
and its famous World's Best Fillet of Flounder. Founded in Charlotte
in 1982, Showmars has proudly served the southeast for over 25 years.
With its reputation of offering a broad selection of quality food at a
great value, exceptional customer service and a comfortable
atmosphere, it's easy to see why everybody loves Showmars!

Social Venture Partners Charlotte and Overflow Audience Select Winners of $30,000 Prize Pool at SEED20 Competition

Social Venture Partners Charlotte has announced the winners of the
inaugural SEED20, a nonprofit competition to discover, spotlight, and
fund great socially innovative ideas. The ten finalists in the
competition pitched their ideas in three minutes or less to a five-
judge panel and to an overflow audience of more than 350 business,
nonprofit and civic leaders. Following comments and evaluation by the
judges and a vote by the audience, the winners were announced. Four
grants were awarded – totaling $30,000 – as follows:

· Wells Fargo Grand Prize (voted on by judging panel) of $15,000:
Grub to Grub
· Grand Prize Runner-Up (voted on by judging panel) of $7,500:
Friendship Gardens
· Coaches' Award (voted on by 43 SEED20 coaches) of $5,000: Grub
to Grub
· People's Choice ("text to vote" by the audience) of $2,500:
Friendship Gardens

The 2012 SEED20 judging panel included:

• Molly Barker, Founder, Girls on the Run
• Mike Elliott, Managing Partner, Noro-Moseley Partners
• Beth Hardin, Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs UNC Charlotte
• Dewey Norwood, Community Affairs Officer, Wells Fargo
• Mark Peres, Founder and President, Charlotte Viewpoint

Grub to Grub, the brainchild of second-grade teacher Julie Jones, will
use her prize money to pilot a grub composting program that utilizes a
bioconversion process which diverts food waste from our landfills,
while producing protein rich chicken and fish feed for local farms.
Friendship Gardens founder Henry Owen is using his winnings to help
fund the development of a high density urban farm and learning center
to supplement their existing network of 20 gardens throughout
Mecklenburg County.

A highlight of the evening came after the awards were announced when
lead investor, Wells Fargo – moved by the quality and passion of all
10 pitches – made a spur of the moment decision to give an additional
$1,000 to each of the finalists. Shortly thereafter, it was announced
that an anonymous donor from the crowd also was going to give $1,000
to each of the finalists who did not win an "official" award. All
told, $48,000 was granted to the 10 finalists from the inaugural
SEED20 Class of 2012.

After the live pitches and awards, the diverse group of 350+ attendees
celebrated the social entrepreneurs and networked and socialized with
each other. Each of the twenty nonprofits represented in the SEED20
Class of 2012 had a booth where all attendees could interact with them
and learn more about their work in the community. "The energy and
enthusiasm in the room was palpable," said one attendee. "This is one
of the best things to happen in Charlotte in a long time."

Mayor Anthony Foxx opened the evening with a welcome and
congratulations to the SEED20 Class of 2012, Following the live
pitches by the 10 SEED20 finalists, former Davidson College President
and current President of The Heinz Endowments, Bobby Vagt, delivered a
stirring keynote address on the vital role social entrepreneur's play
in our world.

"Real leadership and innovation was on display tonight," said Susan
Daniel, Executive Director of SVP Charlotte. "We celebrate all our
winners, our finalists, and all of the SEED20 Class of 2012, and we
hope that tonight's success will strengthen the platform for lifting
up our region's social entrepreneurs."

SEED stands for Social Entrepreneurs Empowered, and the competition
aligns with SVP Charlotte's mission by helping to grow the region's
social entrepreneur community. SEED20 (www.seed20.org) was made
possible with investors Wells Fargo, Knight Foundation, and UNC
Charlotte as well as strategic marketing partner, Topics Education.
The competition was open to any individual or nonprofit organization
from Mecklenburg or bordering counties with a great idea and a
passionate commitment to seeing it positively impact social change.

About Social Venture Partners Charlotte
Social Venture Partners Charlotte (SVP Charlotte) is a diverse network
of engaged individuals who are addressing community needs through a
new model of giving – Venture Philanthropy. SVP Charlotte brings the
collective expertise, creativity, time and money of our members and
their networks to develop and support promising social initiatives and
nonprofits. In addition, SVP Charlotte strives to foster a community
of socially-conscious and well-informed donors through engagement with
Investees, collaboration with other SVP partners, and participation in
educational events. To learn more, please visit www.svpcharlotte.org.

Charlotte area students collaborate to fundraise for education in South Sudan with concert

In 2005, a peace agreement between north and south brought an official
end to nearly 50 years of civil war in Sudan. In July 2011, South
Sudan achieved independence and became the world's newest country,
mostly devoid of school buildings and access to clean water after
years of conflict.

Now, students in leadership clubs, classes and academies at 10 high
schools in Charlotte and Salisbury are helping change the situation
through the collective effort "Raising South Sudan," a project
supported by Charlotte-headquartered 501c3 non-profit Mothering Across
Continents and its education program The Global ClassSM. This year's
student involvement culminates in two public fundraisers in late March.

The first event is an all ages, family-friendly benefit concert at
Amos' SouthEnd, March 29, featuring Charlotte bands Dangerous Daze and
42: A Tribute to Coldplay, school staff, and a special appearance by
Emmanuel Jal—global recording artist, South Sudanese author/peace
activist and former child slave (in photo). Leadership students from
William A. Hough, West Mecklenburg and Northwest School of the Arts
have planned and organized the benefit and developed sponsorship
opportunities for local businesses.

In addition to a night of great music, students will be selling
Raising South Sudan t-shirts designed by members of the leadership
class at NWSA and raffling off items donated by businesses in the
community. Students set a goal of having 1,000 people attend. Tickets
are a suggested donation of $8 (with a $3 door charge for under 21)
and can be purchased on the Amos' website (http://
www.amossouthend.com ). Doors open at 7pm, with the first band at 8pm
and Jal taking the stage around 10:15pm. On the morning of March 29
Jal will also speak at the CPCC Global Speaker Series, spreading a
message about youth empowerment and the incredible things students are
doing to change the world.

The second event is the Carry the Jerry and Basic 5K Walk/Run in
Uptown Charlotte, March 31, for which students register and collect
pledges – with the option to carry Jerry Cans of water – to
demonstrate empathy for life where survival involves walking miles for
basic necessities. Led by student leaders at Rocky River and
Independence High Schools, Mothering Across Continents has a goal of
registering 500 participants from these schools and the community to
walk on behalf of the organization and support clean water at the
Raising South Sudan school-sites. The students at Rocky River and
Independence are competing for most fundraising dollars and are
inviting donations (http://www.active.com/donate/theglobalclass).

Tickets and registration information for both events can be found at www.motheringacrosscontinents.org
.

The student efforts represent the challenge component of The Global
Class, a unique program that integrates classroom learning, an online
community, and a collective fundraising challenge. In the 2011-12
education component, participating teachers and students focused on
South Sudan and stories of former "Lost Boys of Sudan" who fled civil
war as children, grew up in refugee camps, and were specially invited
to come to the U.S. and become citizens. Students have met and
interviewed former Lost Boys living and working in Charlotte and
Atlanta.

Says Jeff Joyce, Leadership Advisor at Hough High School, "For our own
benefit and our communities, we must guide today's youth to be
tomorrow's leaders. Global understanding, empathy and teamwork are all
part of leadership. By participating in Raising South Sudan, our
students learn first-hand from people with very different backgrounds
and collaborate with a diverse group of their peers." Joyce was the
first teacher/advisor in this year's effort to propose multiple
schools working together for a common global cause.

"Our commitment is to make sure students can see the connection
between what they learn, how they behave as leaders, and the
difference they can make," said Elizabeth Peacock, Education Program
Manager at Mothering Across Continents and director of The Global
Class. "These students are developing leadership skills locally while
having a direct impact on school building and water projects globally.
It's been incredibly exciting to watch them grow and really come to
own the project over the course of the year."
In parts of South Sudan, only 2 percent of boys and 1 percent of girls
currently graduate from primary school, primarily because school
structures do not exist and children must take classes under the trees
in a region known for its intense rainy season. Over 70 percent of
South Sudanese lack access to clean water.

About MAC
Mothering Across ContinentsSM (MAC) http://www.motheringacrosscontinents.org
is a 501c3 non-profit through which volunteer "catalysts" receive
consulting, coaching and mentoring to develop dream projects that help
raise tomorrow's leaders. The MAC mission is "Adopting Dreams. Raising
Tomorrow's Leaders." Currently, MAC supports projects in South Africa,
Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Haiti and Hong Kong. For more
information: Tel.: 704.607.0098; email: info@motheringacrosscontinents.org
See attached schedule for media/photo ops.

www.motheringacrosscontinents.org

Hope Tote program to collect personal items for homeless men and women

The Hope Tote program seeks to collect personal items for Charlotte
area homeless men and women, in support of Charlotte Rescue Mission.
When: March 8 - March 30
Who: Community is invited to participate
Where: Drop off locations – North Carolina Bank & Trust
(NCBT) branches or Charlotte Rescue Mission - 907 West 1st Street.
(Diagonally opposite the Carolina Panthers practice fields). Enter
through the glass doors at the 2nd building on the left.

About Charlotte Rescue Mission
The Charlotte Rescue Mission provides a free 90-day Christian
residential program for men and women who are addicted to drugs and/or
alcohol and are predominately homeless. Charlotte Rescue Mission main
phone number is 704 333 HOPE

Charlotte Author Amy Clipston Debuts Her First Young Adult Book in her Bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery Series

Award-winning Charlotte author Amy Clipston returns to Lancaster
County, Pennsylvania, with a gripping new story about hope, faith and
family with the first young adult novel in her ECPA and Christian Book
Distributors bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series.

In RECKLESS HEART (ZONDERVAN; April 2012; $9.99), Lydia Bontrager
seems to have the perfect Amish existence—a loving family, a boy in
whom she's interested, loyal friends and a promising position as a
teaching assistant that may soon lead to a full-time career. But
following a night out with a group of "bad boys," she finds herself
carrying the burden of a shameful secret that threatens to destroy her
reputation. That same week, her four-year-old sister is diagnosed with
leukemia, forcing Lydia to take on a maternal role to her younger
siblings – all while continuing to work at the schoolhouse and her
grandmother's bakery.

With the added pressures at home, her community's displeasure with her
friendships and a faltering relationship with the only boy she's ever
loved, Lydia feels as though her safe little world is crumbling around
her.

Early readers of Reckless Heart say Clipston has hit a homerun,
creating a strong-willed character who is sure to become one of the
most beloved heroines on the YA fiction scene. Teens will instantly
fall in love with Lydia and empathize as she struggles to find her
place in the Amish community while keeping her relationships with
family, friends and God.

Mastering the unique Amish dialect, Clipston captures the cultural
charm of the community in stunning precision – right down to the
scrumptious chocolate peanut butter cookie recipe included at the end
of the book.

Clipston says she's always been drawn to the simplicity and faith of
Amish society: "Due to my German heritage, I feel a loose connection
to the Amish and their culture. My plots come straight from my heart
and all involve family issues intertwined with faith."

To schedule an interview with Amy Clipston, to receive a review copy,
or for more information on RECKLESS HEART, please contact Candice
Frederick at DJC Communications at 212-971-9707 or candice@djccommunications.com
.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amy Clipston is the author of the bestselling
Kauffman Amish Bakery novels, as well as last year's YA title Roadside
Assistance. She is also the recipient of the 2011 Selah Award for
Fiction for A Promise of Hope. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina,
with her husband and two sons. www.amyclipston.com.

Friday, March 2, 2012

National music conference will feature free gospel concert and academic papers March 15-18

About 500 music scholars from around the world will attend the March
15-18 annual conference of the Society for American Music (SAM) in
Charlotte and Davidson, which is being hosted by Davidson College. SAM
is a scholarly organization dedicated to the study of U.S. music.
Davidson College Professor of Music Neil Lerner serves as secretary of
SAM, and, as the chair of the local arrangements committee, helped
organize this year's conference.

More than 120 papers on U.S. music will be read at the conference. It
will also feature a Friday morning panel of eminent African-American
composers and a Friday evening presentation of an Honorary Membership
to traditional music legend Doc Watson.

While most of the conference activities will be in Charlotte and open
only to registrants, the public is invited to the Davidson campus on
Thursday, March 15, to attend four sets of papers and a free gospel
concert.

From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. that day, the public is invited to attend any
of four scholarly sessions on diverse topics of American music
research. The sessions are "Hip Hop and Local Histories" (Hance
Auditorium, Chambers Building), "Sacred Tunebooks" (Lilly Gallery,
Chambers Building), "Spirituality in Celluloid (Tyler Tallman Hall,
Sloan Music Center) and "Negotiating Nationalism in theNineteenth
Century (Semans Lecture Hall, Belk Visual Arts Center).

A "GospelSHOUT!" concert that evening begins at 8 p.m. in the Duke
Family Performance Hall of the Knobloch Campus Center. It will feature
three prominent examples of southern religious roots music: The
Cockman Family (bluegrass gospel), Men Standing for Christ (an African
American a cappella quartet), and Cedric Mangum & Company (a trombone
shout band).

GospelSHOUT! is co-sponsored by the Davidson College Friends of the
Arts , the Department of Music, and the Levine Museum of the New
South, and there is no charge to attend. For more information email or
phone Neil Lerner
(nelerner@davidson.edu<mailto:nelerner@davidson.edu>, 704-894-2850).
For more information about SAM and the conference, consult this
webpage: www.american-music.org<http://www.american-music.org>.

Mecklenburg County Annual Tree Seedling Sale March 3

Mecklenburg Soil and Water Conservation District will have its 41st
Annual Tree Seedling Sale Saturday, March 3, from 9 a.m. until noon
(or until seedlings are sold out) at the Hal Marshall County Services
Center at 700 North Tryon St., Charlotte.

A variety of seedlings will be available, including dogwood, green
ash, loblolly pine, red maple, wax myrtle and more, ranging from $2 to
$5 per seedling.

Rain Barrels will also be available at $95 for a 60-gallon rain
barrel, and $110 for an 80 gallon rain barrel.

For more information about the sale, please contact Mecklenburg Soil
and Water Conservation District office at (704) 336-2455.

Warm Winter Adds to Allergy Woes

North Carolina's often humid climate is not a favorite for allergy
sufferers in any year. But even with recent cold snaps, the unusually
mild winter the state is experiencing this year promises to make 2012
an allergy season to remember for all the wrong reasons. It turns out
the stuffy noses, sneezing, coughing that many people have been
mistaking for a cold are really allergy symptoms….arriving 4-6 weeks
early.

Trees and flowers are blooming earlier. In addition, dead plant
material is decaying faster than usual (mold) which is adding to the
problem. And because it has been a fairly dry winter, some fall
allergens such as ragweed may still be blowing around. The bad news
for allergy sufferers is that most allergy specialists say it appears
this is just the start of what will be one long spring allergy season.

Abby Reynolds, a Kerr Drug pharmacist and Manager of Clinical Programs
for Kerr Drug, offers these tips to help allergy sufferers enjoy the
mild temperatures despite the itchy nose and eyes.

• Ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter antihistamines such as
Zyrtec, Allegra and Claritin. These medicines will work well with
patients with mild allergies.
• Use a saline nasal spray if you're looking for a quick fix to
temporarily stop the sneezing without any kind of oral medication. It
will wash away all the dust and allergens and can be used several
times a day without any problem.
• If you spend a lot of time outside, especially if you are working
in the yard, pollen can end up on your skin and in your hair. Take a
shower after you come inside to rinse away the pollen.
• Take off your shoes when you come in the house to avoid tracking
pollen into every room. The same goes for your clothes. These steps
aren't necessary for everyone, but if seasonal allergies are a real
problem, they will help keep the pollen outside.
• Keep the window closed. While it is nice to open the windows and
let a warm spring breeze into the house, allowing the breeze to blow
through invites pollen inside. It's better to use the air conditioner
during the height of seasonal allergy season.
• Watch the perfume and cologne. Strong perfumes can irritate the
nasal airways and lungs and make you cough.
As you are sniffing and sneezing earlier than usual, you can blame La
Nina, which is a cooling of the waters off the coast of South America,
for this unseasonably warm weather. Ironically, it's the same weather
pattern that brought last year's bitterly cold winter and snow. The
difference this year is something called the arctic oscillation, which
can either be positive or negative. Last year it was negative; this
year it's positive -- and that's what's making all the difference.

Nearly 19,000 students assigned to Charlotte area magnet programs through first lottery

Nearly 19,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students were assigned to
magnet programs during the first student-assignment lottery. Families
will begin receiving notification late this week. The letters inform
parents of the school their child was placed in through the lottery
process and how to ask for reassignment.

Frequently asked questions:

How many families participated in the lottery?
CMS received more than 8,000 individual lottery applications through
the online process and a total of 18,791 students were assigned to a
magnet school. That includes students who were already assigned to
magnet schools and automatically continue in those programs. Click
here to see the list of magnet programs by school, the number of seats
filled, and the number of students in the wait pools.

The three schools with the largest wait pools are: Morehead STEM
Academy (624 students), Piedmont IB Middle (345 students) and Park
Road Montessori (300 students).

Why didn't my child get any of their choices?
Placement through the lottery is not guaranteed. Some magnet programs
have far more applicants than seats available. Students who do not
receive their first choice for a magnet program are automatically
placed in that program's wait pool.

How does the wait pool work?
Right now, 3,547 students are assigned to magnet-school wait pools.
When more students apply to magnet programs than there are available
seats, the lottery establishes a wait pool made up of the remaining
first-choice applicants. Schools can access their wait pools in July.
If a seat becomes available, the school will contact the next person
in the wait pool and offer them a seat. Students may accept or decline
the placement. The school will continue to contact students until all
available seats are filled.

What should I do if I'm not happy with my child's assignment?
Families who are not happy with their child's placement have two
options: request reassignment or apply to a magnet school with space
(open-seat option). The reassignment period is open until March 23.
Families should fill out the request online.
Requests are considered for four reasons:
• The student wishes to attend his/her home school (placement is
guaranteed)
• Child of CMS staff member (placement is not guaranteed)
• Student's medical and/or health condition (families must complete
the CMS medical packet)
• Extreme hardship, which are circumstances that affect a family's
ability to support the student's educational success. Hardship
requests require a written explanation and supporting documents.

Families with students enrolled for the 2012-2013 school year can also
participate in the second magnet lottery, which runs from March 14-
June 4. The second lottery is an opportunity for families to fill
seats that are still available in magnet programs. Instruction letters
on how to apply for the second lottery will mail in mid-March and
placement notification letters will mail in June.

Additional information on student placement and the magnet lottery are
online. For specific information on student placement, families can
contact 980-343-5335. For specific information on the CMS magnet
program, contact 980-343-5030.

March 31st Event at the Polk Site Shows Mexican American War Militia Muster

A Mexican American War Militia Muster will be held at the James K.
Polk site March 31. This program illustrates the life of a common
citizen who has been called into service due the 1846 conflict with
Mexico. From 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, visitors will see period costumed
interpreters demonstrating military drills and practices, camp life,
and even rifle firing. There will be living history vignettes
featuring the roles that women would have played in supporting the
military, such as spinning and weaving, soap making, and cooking.

Other highlights of the free event will include a lecture entitled
"Mexican War Soldiers turned Civil War Generals", given by Doctor
Christopher D. Rounds, professor of American history at Allen
University. His presentation will be given at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.

The site is located approximately 2.5 miles south of Pineville off
exit 65 B, I-485, at 12031 Lancaster Highway in Pineville, N.C. For
further information on the Polk birthday program or the site, call
(704) 889-7145, e-mail polk@ncdcr.gov or check out the website
atwww.polk.nchistoricsites.org. President James K. Polk State Historic
Site is an agency of the Division of State Historic Sites, which is
part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, a state agency
dedicated to the promotion and protection of North Carolina's arts,
history, and culture. For more information, visit www.ncculture.com.

Echo Foundation Launches Young Affiliates Chapter

The Echo Foundation announces the launch of echoING, the new young
affiliates chapter of The Echo Foundation. Serving young professionals
ages 25-35, the mission of echoING is to provide unique social,
volunteer, and intellectual opportunities for members while working to
build a stronger, more tolerant community in the greater Charlotte
region.

Members will support the work of The Echo Foundation by raising
awareness and funds for all aspects of the Footsteps Global
Initiative, a travel and leadership program for high school students.
Unique networking events and service opportunities will also provide
young professionals the opportunity to network with other globally-
minded individuals while furthering Echo's commitment to education and
social justice.

Kelsey Halford, founding President of echoING and Director of
Marketing and Public Relations for Diamonds Direct, said, "We wanted
to harness the tremendous energy of young adults for the benefit of
humanity. With echoING, we are creating a channel for socially-
conscious young professionals to connect and to build a lifelong
commitment to philanthropy."

The inaugural echoING event, "Uncle Sam Jam," will take place Sat.,
March 10, at 8 p.m. at Chop Shop Noda, 399 E. 35th St., and feature
performances by Dead Confederate, The Houstons, T. Hardy Morris and
the Outfit, and DJ Brad Pressley (free for members, nonmembers $10
entrance fee .) For more information visit the "Uncle Sam Jam" event
page on Facebook.
echoING memberships ($75 for individuals, $125 for couples and $60 for
teachers) are available online atwww.echofoundation.org or by calling
704.347.3844.

About The Echo Foundation

The Echo Foundation was founded in 1997 to carry on the message Nobel
Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel brought to Charlotte that year— a call
to action for human dignity, justice and moral courage. The mission of
The Echo Foundation is to "promote justice and inspire hope through
education, creative acts of service and the development of leadership
for a more humane world." This mission is realized through five core
initiatives: Voices Against Indifference, Footsteps Global Initiative,
Books Beyond Borders, Forum for Hope and Living Together in the 21st
Century. For more information about The Echo Foundation, visit www.echofoundation.org
.