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LOCAL BRIEFS: Craft fair, patriotic books donation, St. John performance

Cards for HVL Causes founder Kathy Wrobel and a group of volunteers make handcrafted cards. The cards will be on sale at First United Methodist Church's 20th annual arts and craft fair. Cards for HVL Causes founder Kathy Wrobel and a group of volunteers make handcrafted cards. The cards will be on sale at First United Methodist Church's 20th annual arts and craft fair.

Methodist Church hosts 20th Art & Craft Festival

First United Methodist Church will host its 20th annual Juried Art and Craft Festival 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. Original handcrafted art and fine crafts include Old World Santas, Intarsia, jewelry, holiday ornaments and décor, greeting cards, pottery and fiber, wood, glass and leather items.
The Juried Art and Craft Festival is one of many mission activities supported by the church. Proceeds from the show support a self-help fund for low-income residents of church-owned apartments.
Three dozen local artisans will participate, including Joan Mastny, a local octogenarian creating hand-sewn Old World Santas; Tom Livingston, an Intarsia specialist in “painting with wood;” and Kathy Wrobel, crafting hand-made greeting cards to benefit local charities.
First United Methodist Church, at 204 Sixth Ave. W, embraces a vision of “changing lives, making disciples” and is an inclusive community where all persons may joyfully come together for worship, mission and discipleship.

Muddy Sneakers names new director

The Board of Directors of Muddy Sneakers has named David Rahahętih Webb as the organization’s new executive director. Webb’s first day is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 31.
Webb comes to Muddy Sneakers as an accomplished nonprofit executive with 26 years of experience as a leader in environmental education.
“My career has been dedicated to environmental education, science education, and conservation,” he said. “Environmental education is closest to my heart — getting children outdoors and building personal connections with the natural world. This role encompasses so much of my background and my own ethos.”
Muddy Sneakers’ Executive Director Search Committee, a team of board and staff members guided by transition consultants, selected Webb after a comprehensive search spanning several months. The committee touted Webb’s accomplishments in organizational leadership, strategic planning, project management, fiscal responsibility, fundraising and general operations, as well as his empathetic and inspirational leadership style.
“I chose Muddy Sneakers for my next role because the organization’s mission and work so closely aligns with my own values and passion,” he said. “Muddy Sneakers has an excellent team and dedicated board in place, and is poised to enter an exciting new phase. The impact that Muddy Sneakers is making across North Carolina is vital to the future of our environment and quality of life, and there is so much potential to grow, internally and externally.”


Republican Women’s Club donates 100 patriotic books

The Henderson County Republican Women’s Club donated 100 patriotic books encouraging a love of country and freedom to Henderson County public school libraries as part of the Mamie Eisenhower Library Project. Over the past 60 years, the National Federation of Republican Women and its members have donated thousands of books each year to libraries, schools, hospitals and other public institutions.

Public invited to see Capitol Christmas tree

FLETCHER — The public is invited to celebrate the sendoff of Ruby, a very special red spruce, on her grand adventure from the mountains to Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Forest Service is hosting the harvest celebration for the 2022 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in the Expo Building at the WNC Agricultural Center.
The forest service will invite people to sign the banners on Ruby’s truck to send good wishes to all the communities hosting the Capitol tree along the way. Visitors can also stroll through an interactive display of the four national forests in North Carolina and learn about each forest’s ecosystem and employees. More than 25 partner organizations will offer fun family-friendly games and U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree merchandise. The event is free and open to the public.

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree — also known as “the People’s Tree,” reflecting the nickname for the U.S. House of Representatives as the People’s House —is raised on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The tree is selected each year from a different national forest. The honor of being the People’s Tree this year was given to the 78-foot-tall red spruce affectionately named “Ruby” (short for the scientific name, Picea rubens).
The tree will be harvested on the Pisgah National Forest in early November in advance of a nearly 1,000-mile expedition. The journey will include a series of community celebrations before Ruby arrives on Nov. 18 to the Capitol, where it will be decorated with handmade ornaments and tree skirts created by North Carolinians.

St. John hosts Friends of Music performance

The Episcopal Church of St. John in the Wilderness will host a Friends of Music concert featuring bass-baritone Adrian Smith at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, in the Parish Hall across from the church. Smith will be accompanied by pianist Dewitt Tipton. The public is invited to attend. Contributions will be gratefully accepted.

Hailed for his “big bronze voice,” Smith has been heard in numerous opera and concert roles. Appearances include roles in Rigoletto, Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain, La Cenerentola, Carmen, L’elisir d’amore,The Magic Flute, La fanciulla del West, and Capriccio. Concert performances include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Brahms’ and Mozart’s Requiem, Berlioz’ Roméo et Juliette, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, Handel’s Messiah and Dettingen Te Deum, and major works by J. S. Bach. A native of Hickory, Smith holds degrees from Lenoir-Rhyne University and Boston University, and was a prize winner in competitions in Lincolnton, N.C., Shreveport, La., and Birmingham, Ala., and at the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.
Future concerts include flutist Kate Steinbeck on Dec. 4 and folk musicians Laura Boosinger and Josh Goforth on Feb. 19. In the early spring, storyteller Becky Stone will entertain with African American history. Later in the spring a benefit will be scheduled for the WNC Foundation Eric Anderson Weigel Memorial Fund. The concert will feature Eric’s brother, David Weigel, performing baritone selections with Tipton accompanying on the piano.

St. John in the Wilderness is at 1905 Greenville Highway, Flat Rock. For information call 828-693-9783 or visit