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LOCAL BRIEFS: Saluda Inn, Advent lands chef Starr, Bullington's new map

Saluda Inn unveils its renovated space and grounds today

The Saluda Inn will show off its newly renovated historic building with a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. today followed by a community open house from 11:30 a.m. to 2 pm.

The community will be able to enjoy a self-guided tour of the inn and some delicious small eats prepared by Good Life Catering from Greenville, South Carolina.
The inn, which features a combination of 12 uniquely styled guest rooms and suites with private upscale bathrooms, has been transformed with today’s most seasoned luxury traveler in mind. A curated collection of furnishings and artwork will tempt guests to explore every inch of the property. While the historic inn holds true to its 1880s roots, it includes state-of-the-art technology and legendary hospitality, promising a seamless guest journey.
Guests of the inn are served a complimentary continental breakfast each morning overlooking the Grand Lawn, and afternoons can be soaked in with complimentary tempting tastes to prime the palate and to ensure the start to the perfect evening, either on property or off. Reservations may be made online at or by calling 828-388-9027.

Five women nominated for 2022 Athena Award

The Henderson County Chamber of Commerce along with the Athena Committee and sponsors on Friday announced five nominees for the 15th annual Athena Award presented in memory of Vanessa W. Mintz.
The nominees are Vivian Bolaños, Pauline Carpenter, Crystal Cauley, Andriana Chavela and Dr. Amy Siegler. The Athena Award is presented by Pardee UNC Health Care, with support from Optimum and Judy Stroud State Farm Insurance.
The nominees will be honored at a reception presented by Judy Stroud State Farm Insurance, on Tuesday, May 17. The recipient of the 15th annual Athena Award presented will be announced at the Business and Professional Women’s Luncheon on Thursday, May 19, at the Blue Ridge Community College Conference Hall.
Co-sponsored by the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, the Athena Award honors individuals who strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishments, who excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and forge paths of leadership for other women to follow. This year’s luncheon will feature keynote speaker, Micaela Isler, executive director of the National Association of Business Political Action Committees.
The Athena of Henderson County programming will continue throughout the year with the Leadership Breakfast hosted in the fall of 2022 and quarterly women-centric networking events, Empower Hours, hosted throughout the year. The next Empower Hour will be held on June 21 at the People’s Museum.


Veteran chef to direct Advent food service

Mark Starr has been hired as director of Food and Nutrition Services for AdventHealth Hendersonville, the hospital announced.
Starr has more than 30 years of culinary management experience.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, Starr went on to attend the New England Culinary Institute, where he earned his associates degree in Culinary Arts. He began his culinary management career running a kitchen at a bed and breakfast in Lake Lure. He later ran his own catering business in Hendersonville for a little more than seven years.
Starr most recently worked as the executive chef in the Morrison Healthcare Sector in Spartanburg, South Carolina, a food services company that specializes in health care.
“I discovered a real passion for providing the best food possible to the patients and those who take care of them,” Starr said. “I believe that food can be the best medicine and a universal comfort to most people. Good food can make you feel better and friendly service can put a smile on your face, even when you are feeling low.”
Starr and his wife have lived in Hendersonville for 18 years. They have a son who is an aspiring actor and has recently landed several small TV and movie roles. In his free time Starr enjoys painting, wood carving and gardening.


Bullington Gardens updates visitor map

Bullington Gardens, Hendersonville’s public botanical garden and horticultural education center, is upgrading the visitor map of its grounds, thanks to a grant from the Henderson Tourism and Development Authority.
The grant helps provide guests with the ability to navigate and enjoy the expansive grounds, providing details about each of the 12 unique garden zones. Areas such as the Pollinator and Perennial Garden, the Shade Garden and Sally’s Garden with its four-season plantings, are described. Seasonal areas such as the enormously popular Fairy Village, the Dahlia Garden and the Daylily Garden are also included. In addition, Bullington Gardens’ newly acquired art statuary is showcased.

The new map includes an audio garden tour. By scanning a QR code on the printed map, guests will have access to an audio description of various areas in the garden through their mobile phones. The audio tour will be changed out throughout the year, and will give information on how various areas are managed, used and maintained each season.

Fletcher Community Chorus resumes performing next week

FLETCHER — Fletcher Community Chorus is “back in the sing” and ready to present its first free public concert in two years.
From “Let All the World Resound with Joyful Singing” to “This Is Why We Sing,” FCC’s singers will delight ears and lift spirits.
All interested are invited to come hear the chorus at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19, in the sanctuary of Fletcher Methodist Church. The concert is free and open to the public. Donations are gratefully accepted.
FCC is a performing group of dedicated individuals from varied backgrounds who share their love of music and singing with listeners of all ages. Originally established under the auspices of Fletcher Arts and Heritage Association in 2007, FCC attained 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in 2009. Starting with seven singers, some of whom are still on board, FCC had over 30 members prior to its pandemic-related hiatus.
FCC’s musical director since 2011, Christine Georger, has enjoyed teaching music and directing choruses and musical theater in the public school system and community. Retired from Hillandale Elementary School in East Flat Rock, Georger remains active in music. Anita Freeman, the piano accompanist for FCC, is active in the Asheville area as a professional musician. She has worked as a Registered Music Therapist, is currently organist at two churches and is a private music teacher. In addition, she has performed on flute at the Biltmore House for over 30 years.
Membership in FCC is open to all. For information on becoming a member, email or send a message through FCC’s Facebook page.

Pardee offers free stroke screenings

Pardee UNC Health Care will host free stroke screenings with neurologist Joel Callahan and vascular surgeons Rick Hobson and Andrew Sticco in their office 3-6 p.m. Thursday, May 12, and Tuesday, May 17.
Appointments are required; call 828-696-1087 to schedule. Please leave your name and number and someone will call you back to confirm your screening date and time.

“Stroke is the number one cause of disability in the United States,” Callahan said. “It’s also the fifth-leading cause of death.”
A stroke happens when blood flow is cut off from the brain. When the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood, brain cells start to die.
“The good news is that 80 percent of strokes are preventable,” Hobson said. “There are lifestyle choices that can help, like not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and eating healthy foods. Taking stock of your risk factors and attending screening opportunities like this one are also smart approaches to reducing your risk.”
To qualify for this free stroke screening, you must be over 50 and a current or former smoker or have diagnosed hypertension or a prior stroke. The stroke screening will use an ultrasound to view the carotid artery in the neck, which can detect blockages that may lead to a stroke. The ultrasound is painless, and the test should take only 15 minutes. Pardee physicians will also be able to answer any questions and provide health information.

League announces winners of 2022 Short Video Contest

Ari Nichols of Rugby Middle School won first prize and a $250 Amazon gift card while Aunica Tomlinson and the team of Lauren Koch and Khloe Labruno, also from Rugby Middle School, won second prize and a $100 Amazon gift card in the 2022 Short Video Contest sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Third place went to Flat Rock Middle School student Caleb Marshall.
In collaboration with the Henderson County public schools and private schools, the contest invited participants to create original short videos that clearly and creatively showed how people can help the environment.
Judges were Graham Fields, assistant to the president of Advent Health and chair of Chamber of Commerce Education Committee; Jeff Jennings, president of ECO and a founder of Friends of DuPont Forest; and Lucy Butler, who serves on the Henderson County Environment Advisory Committee and is a co-lead volunteer with Mountain True’s water quality program. Other supporters were Shermans Sporting Goods, Kilwin’s, Pinball Museum on Main Street, Celtic Creamery, Mills River Creamery, Team ECCO Aquarium and Shark Tank, Elijah Mountain Gem Mine, Marco’s Pizza and Second Act Coffee Shop.

Curb Market celebrates 98th birthday on June 4

The Henderson County Curb Market, 221 N. Church St., will hold a June Jubilee and celebrate its 98th anniversary 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, June 4. There will be a hot dog plate lunch available for purchase, live music by Two Fer with David Emmons and Glenn Case, and balloons, treats and activities for the children, including a “plant a flower” project at the children’s activity table. Customers will want to take time to visit with vendors and shop for produce and the many unique and beautiful items made by local crafters. The market offers fresh baked goods, free-range eggs and preserves. With each purchase a raffle ticket will be given for a chance to win a basket filled with Curb Market items along with a free packet of seeds.

Community Foundation awards 264 scholarships

The Community Foundation of Henderson County announced that it has awarded 264 scholarships worth a total of $577,900 to graduating high school seniors and other students.
The Foundation awarded 107 new scholarships totaling $209,325 to 104 local students. For current scholars, 157 renewable scholarship awards totaling $368,575 were offered. pleased to announce new scholarship recipients for the 2022-23 school year.
Scholarship Endowment Funds financially assist a variety of students including high school graduates, students already attending college, and returning adult education students. Scholarships can be used by students pursuing community college, technical school or traditional university degrees. This year, scholarship awards ranged from $500 to $8,000 each.
Since 1984, Community Foundation of Henderson County’s Scholarship Program has awarded more than $7 million to nearly 2,000 students.
The Foundation’s Scholarship Committee volunteers invested a significant amount of time reviewing applications, interviewing students, and making award recommendations to Community Foundation’s Board of Directors. The scholarship recipients this year will become teachers, nurses, engineers, and inspiring leaders many of whom expressed desires to return to the Henderson County community.
“The Scholarship Committee members are always impressed by the talent of area students,” said Foundation Donor Services Manager Wendy Hamil. “Because of the generosity of community donors, so many young adults will be supported throughout their educational journey.”
Award winners were:
• American Legion, Post 77, Hubert M. Smith Scholarship, Riley Dale
• William C. Armstrong Scholarship, Madalynn Elliot
• Dan Barber, III/Western Auto Award Scholarship,Ava Kilpatrick
• Millard Beal & Family Scholarship, Makayla Lail
• Bright Futures Scholarship, Micah Marr, Arianna Minton
• Business & Professional Woman’s Club Scholarship, Makayla Phillips
• Janet Layne Spence Scholarship, Miranda Hill
• Roger & Judy Hill Memorial for Mack Broutin Scholarship, Cooper Wilson
• Betsy Copolillo and Sam Gash Scholarship, James Crotty
• Amy Duryee Courtenay Scholarship, Cooper Wilson
• David and Betty Bucher Engineering Scholarship, Ryan Polk
• David and Betty Bucher Nursing Scholarship, Ashley Kastle
• Jane and Tom Davis Scholarship, Brendan Rich
• Denis Barton Scholarship, Kristen Owen
• Jenice Schlein Denning Scholarship, Wendy Maldonado
• Rita & Ray Dunk Piano & Performance Scholarship, Sarah Macdonald
• Rita & Ray Dunk Accounting Scholarship, Ashley Rich
• Kermit Edney Scholarship, Joshua Strickland
• Robert & Sandra Edwards Waggoner Memorial Scholarship, Chauncey Barber
• Robert & Vivian Edwards Scholarship, Chloe Clark
• Environmental Odyssey Scholarship, Noah Shumway
• Francis H. and Margery T. Escott Scholarship, Kylie Varnadore
• Grace B. Etheredge Scholarship, Nathan Rhodes
• Grace B. Etheredge BRCC Scholarship, Aliz Ortiz
• H. Louise Eaton Scholarship, MaKenzie Villarreal
• Friends of Carl Sandburg Miles Sollom Scholarship, Hannah Queen, Michael Keen
• Katharine Schneider Gettman Scholarship, Jylyn Barnes
• James P. Grey Scholarship, Audrey Hood Allison Pridmore
• Haddy Harrington Memorial Scholarship, Shelby Deault
• John Brooks Williams Memorial Scholarship, Marvin Williams
• Arthur R. Hill Memorial Scholarship, Hutson Callender
• Joe T. Hunt Memorial Scholarship, Daniel Russell
• Elsie Mabel Jones Scholarship, Emma Heagney
• Chat Jones Memorial Scholarship, Alan Figueroa Guzman
• Donald D. and Joan B. Joyce Scholarship, Ella Neve
• Eleanor M. Kutchoodon Scholarship, Luciana Denny
• T. Llyle and Marion S. Keith Scholarship, Jeanine Jackson
• Phyllis and George Knopf Scholarship, Nick Andrews
• Anthony Kushigian (Normac) Scholarship, Dwight Canady, Jr.
• Ethel T. & Charles T. Larus Educational Scholarship, Irem Agan, Haley Hargus
• Helen F. Lindner Educational Scholarship, Devon West
• Passage to the Future Scholarship, Kera Putnam
• Peggy Lovvorn Scholarship, Ayman Kassem
• Mary Evelyn & Harry Laurent Scholarship, Kiauna Benniefield, Addison Russell
• George F. and Asha W. McMillan Scholarship, Lauren Mertz
• Lucile V. Means Scholarship, Jesca Massawe, Sadie Rowe
• Ralph A. Milliman Scholarship, Brennan Bastian
• Bree Elizabeth Miller Memorial Scholarship, Grace Weeter
• Sam A. Mills Memorial Scholarship, Emma Otten
• Duane M. and Margaret D. McKibbin Scholarship, Lauren Young
• Mountain Laurel Scholarship, Sarah Rogers
• Clyde T. and Wilma G. Moore Scholarship, Selah Chambers
• Glenn C. Marlow Scholarship, Savannah Sims
• Mills River Fire & Rescue Scholarship, Maggie Cox
• Matching Scholarship, Emma Zaborowski
• Thomas Oliver & Louise Jordan Mulcahy Scholarship, Jackie Blankenship, Celeste Young, Jude Webster
• Nagel Scholarship, Ayanna Palma
• Hilary G. Neighbors General Scholarship, Marissa Detwiler
• Hilary G. Neighbors Medical Scholarship, Rachel Ball
• Jan F. & Harry J. Nolan Women’s Educational Scholarship, Joreeca Dinnall
• Helga Nielsen Scholarship, Hannah McIntyre, Lisbet Alvarez
• Thomas E. and Marian L. Overby Scholarship, Brenda Solano-Oviedo
• Dan and Amy Fisher Pace Scholarship, Angel J. Ramirez
• Rebecca S. Poole Scholarship, MacKray Mauger
• L.B. Prince Memorial Scholarship, Luke Staton
• Charlie Renfrow Trust Scholarship, Brayden Corn
• Vena Case Robinson Memorial Scholarship, Baylee Clayton
• Odell Rouse Memorial Scholarship, Aliana Garcia, Marcella Esmeralda Daniel
• Russell Boyd Thomas Scholarship, Emilee Hoover
• Vina L. & Richard C. Sauer Scholarship, Maxwell Goble, Daniel Jovel, Michael Keen
• Martha Sales Schoch Scholarship, Madison White
• Pat Shepherd Second Mile Scholarship, Grace Verstrate
• Kristen Sue Shetterly Memorial Scholarship, Cecelia Cagle
• Sigrun M. Mapes Nursing Scholarship, Zoe Durall
• Andrea Davies Skillman Scholarship, Savannah Crisp
• James Smith Memorial Scholarship, Jackson Duchesne
• Arthur & Lois Jean Stuenkel Scholarship, Noah Trexler
• George & Helen Stowell General Scholarship, William Lance
• George & Helen Stowell Medical Scholarship, Ryan Seward
• Kenneth R. Stull and Virginia M. Stull Scholarship, Riley Tickle
• Henderson County Educational Scholarship, Shannon McDermott
• Robert B. Tonjes Scholarship, Faythe Gordner
• Tracy Grove Community Club Scholarship, Wilson Mayo
• Valley Clinic Scholarship, Emma Tipton
• VFW Hendrick Rhodes Post 5206 Scholarship, Kaylie Orr
• Dr. Corbin O. Williams Memorial Scholarship, Langdon Shealy
• Lula & Levi Wilson Scholarship, Jaqese Johnson
• Tom Wilson Scholarship, Christopher Ferguson
• John P. and Mary Ann Wold Scholarship, Hunter Mullinax, Ammariah Grace Styles, Jacob Doke, Kelly Bennett
• Gregory Stephen Wright “Crossroads” Scholarship, Luciana Denny
• Winifred M. Wyman Memorial Scholarship, Tye Galloway
• Maria’s Scholarship, Kasya Rock
Applications for 2023-24 scholarships will open on Community Foundation of Henderson County’s website,, in November of 2022. For more information about establishing a scholarship or donating to an existing scholarship fund, contact Community Foundation at (828) 697-6224.