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LOCAL BRIEFS: Fall prevention, Empty Bowls, Walk Hendo

Fall prevention initiative wins innovation award

A fall prevention initiative at Carolina Village was selected as the recipient of the 2023 Excellence in Innovation award from LeadingAge North Carolina during the organization’s annual conference in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on May 4.

The award-winning idea was a large-scale fall reduction festival that took place last November. The interdisciplinary initiative was created by Carolina Village Wellness Coordinator, Aleen Dailey, Director of Therapy Sara Fink and Resident Nurse Savannah Tadlock. It started as an idea to get residents excited about classes and services already offered at Carolina Village. The ultimate goal, however, were to enhance residents’ quality of life and to prevent falls. It morphed into a week-long “Falls Festival” that incorporated wellness, therapy, nursing, dining services and external community partners, such as the Council on Active Aging.

With more than 20 workshops, lectures, lunch-and-learns, and social events over the course of the week, roughly 30 percent of the Carolina Village resident population attended Falls Festival events. Festival attendees played cornhole, went on a park stroll, ate lunches designed specifically to promote bone health and more.

As a direct result, several residents signed up for a Functional Fitness Assessment and Gym Orientation. More than 20 residents committed to attending balance classes and power training classes regularly for three months as part of a research project led by Dailey.

Since the event, many participants have reported an increase in their quality of life and noted how much stronger and more confident they feel when navigating their environment. Months later, residents still stop the event organizers in the halls to tell them how impactful the event was to them and to ask when the next event will be.
Carolina Village plans to host an even bigger festival this year. The event creators will present the fall prevention initiative at the 2023 International Council on Active Aging Conference to show other communities how they can create their own versions.

Empty Bowls fundraiser is set for Sunday, Aug. 13

Local pottery artists are firing their kilns for the sixth year to help hungry children.
On Sunday, Aug. 13, Empty Bowls, a community meal benefiting the Flat Rock Backpack Program, will take place at the Parish Hall of the Episcopal Church of St. John in the Wilderness, 1905 Greenville Highway.
Advance tickets are recommended for the two seatings: 12:30-2 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m. Each ticket includes a hand-crafted bowl (all donated by area potters) and a soup-based meal (a variety of soups, breads and desserts). For those wishing to eat at home, take-out is available.

Tickets are $25 per person or $50 for a family of two adults and children under 12. They are available at St. John in the Wilderness Parish House Office, from Backpack team members or at the door on the day of the event. For more information, call 828-693-9783. Credit cards are accepted; checks may be made out to SJIW, noting Empty Bowls.

Donations are gratefully accepted throughout the year. The Flat Rock Backpack Program is a 501c-3 nonprofit. All of the money collected goes to feeding the children.

The Parish Hall is located across the street from the church. For more information call 828-693-9783 or visit

Walk Hendo seeks input on pedestrian plan

Area residents and visitors are invited to take part in improving Hendersonville’s pedestrian experience by completing the Walk Hendo Pedestrian Plan online survey. Anyone who lives in, works in or visits Hendersonville is encouraged to visit by May 31 to complete a short survey that will be used to finalize a new pedestrian plan for the city. Pedestrian plans determine sidewalk and greenway priorities and are important tools in securing the funding needed to complete the identified projects.

“The Walk Hendo Pedestrian Plan is an important tool for the city,” said Matthew Manley, strategic projects manager with Hendersonville’s Community Development Department. “Community feedback is truly the foundation of any plan. The public plays a critical role in bringing up areas that need attention, affirming issues identified by staff and consultants, and then in helping to prioritize the recommended solutions.”

The Walk Hendo Steering Committee developed the set of pedestrian infrastructure projects based on last summer’s community input sessions in collaboration with the transportation consulting firm Traffic Planning & Design. Walk Hendo aims to identify the community’s vision, strategies, goals and recommended actions for creating safe places to walk. The project began in the spring of 2022 and is expected to be completed in the late summer or early fall of this year.