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LOCAL BRIEFS: Women United, Wyatt on ASU board, ginseng harvest

Accepting the check from United Way Executive Director Denise Cumbee Long and Women United Chair Pam Combs is Kelly Hart of Smart Start. Accepting the check from United Way Executive Director Denise Cumbee Long and Women United Chair Pam Combs is Kelly Hart of Smart Start.

Women United, United Way of Henderson County’s affinity group for female leadership donors, presented four awards to local initiatives that help women and children succeed and become more self-sufficient.

Last month four checks in the amount of $1,000 each were presented to Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County, Safelight, Smart Start Partnership for Children and YMCA of Hendersonville/Henderson County Public Schools.

“Despite a challenging year, the members of Women United remained passionate about giving back and making a lasting impact in the local community,” said Pam Combs, 2020-21 Women United Chair. “The members of Women United continued to support United Way initiatives like Day of Action and Days of Caring, in addition to our signature program Girls EMpowered (GEM) which we transitioned to a virtual offering this spring,” she added.

GEM is an after-school mentoring program for fifth grade girls at Upward and Hillandale Elementary Schools, and for girls in grades 6-8 at Hendersonville Middle School. A total of 29 elementary school girls and 10 middle school girls completed the spring virtual session which included programs centered on career goals, educational aspirations, yoga and meditation techniques and dream building with most speakers delivering their talks virtually using platforms like Google Meet and Zoom.

“It has been exciting to see the impact that our women are creating,” said Denise Cumbee Long, Executive Director of United Way of Henderson County. “They stepped up during a difficult year to make sure that young girls still had the opportunity to learn and grow through Girls Empowered. Their passion for service is truly making a difference throughout our community!”

Women United is a United Way initiative that is designed to connect giving and volunteerism. Women United members contribute $1,000 or more annually to United Way of Henderson County or take advantage of a three year Step Up plan. A percentage of member contributions is used for initiatives that empower children and women.

Presbyterian Church resumes Bluegrass Bash

Hendersonville Presbyterian Church, 699 N. Grove St., will mark the 12th anniversary of its Bluegrass Bash with music by the Jeter Mountain Band at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 18, in the Fellowship Hall. Ice cream will be served. The public is invited.
The church will resume in-person services on Aug. 1 with a 9 a.m. contemporary service and 11 a.m. traditional service. The choir will resume rehearsing on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at 4 p.m., preceded by Chime rehearsal at 3 p.m. Bell and Chime schedules will alternate. Adult Sunday Classes will be relaunching on Aug. 22 at both 9:30 and 11 a.m. Student Classes will re-open at 10:45 a.m. Childcare will be offered both at 9:00 am and 11:00 am for children 0-4 years of age. Women in Ministry will resume their Second Monday schedule of meeting in September.

Anyone interested in learning more about participation in these ministries or programs may call the church office at 828-692-3211.

Forest service suspends ginseng harvest this year


Because of declines in the levels of the plant, the U.S. Forest Service won’t issue permits for ginseng harvest this year.
Commercial harvesting of ginseng has occurred for 250 years. The Forest Service attributed the declining population of the valuable herb to long-term harvesting, overharvesting, out-of-season harvesting and taking of mature plants without planting seeds for replacement crops. The number of plants in the forest now is too low to be sustainably harvested.
“Every year we’ve seen fewer ginseng plants and the danger is that they’ll complete disappear from this area,” Gary Kauffman, botanist for the National Forests of North Carolina, said in a news release. “We need to pause the harvest now to help ensure that these plants will be available in future years for our grandkids and their kids.”
Anyone harvesting wild ginseng plants or its part on national forest land without a permit may be fined $5,000 or sent to federal prison for six months, the Forest Service said.

Retired manager appointed to ASU Board of Trustees


Steve Wyatt, whose last day as Henderson County manager was June 30, has been appointed to the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees, state Sen. Chuck Edwards announced. Wyatt, who served as county manager here for 15 years, has more than 38 years of city and county management experience. An alumnus of Appalachian State University, Wyatt was a founding member and past president of ASU Local Government Alumni Association, whose mission is to support professional training and continuing education. He earned Appalachian’s Distinguished Alumni Award and served as the University Board of Visitors chairman.