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LOCAL BRIEFS: IAM opening, train tales, Christmas parade

Interfaith Assistance Ministry will celebrate its new building with a ribbon cutting on Thursday. Interfaith Assistance Ministry will celebrate its new building with a ribbon cutting on Thursday.

IAM grand opening is set for Nov. 16


Interfaith Assistance Ministry will hold a ribbon cutting and grand opening for its new crisis services center from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16. Guests are asked to bring a nonperishable food item or a ham or turkey to help struggling families prepare a holiday meal.

IAM’s grand opening will be combined with a Henderson County Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, which will kick off with the ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. United Federal Credit Union is providing the food for the event. Beverages have been donated. The celebration will include a short program and tours of the building from 5:45 to 7 p.m.

“We are so grateful to our generous community, our churches and the synagogue, individual donors and corporate partners,” IAM board President Lynn Pope said. “IAM is the top provider of crisis services in Henderson County. Our new center allows us to serve our neighbors in need with dignity, more efficiently and in a location that is easy to access, just off Four Seasons Boulevard.”
The new IAM crisis service center is at 310 Freeman St. near the Blue Ridge Mall and next to Tequila’s restaurant.

HSO accepting applications for Young Artist Competition

Applications are now being accepted for the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra 2018 Young Artist Competition. The competition will be held on Sunday, Feb. 25.

Now in its 23rd year, the Young Artist Competition is open to musicians in grades 9-12 who live in Henderson, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey counties or who are members in good standing of the Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Three cash prizes are first place, $500; second place, $300; and third place, $200. The first place winner will perform as a soloist with the HSO at its March 2018 concert, “Inspiration!” The competition is sponsored by Laborde Eye Group in Hendersonville.

Orchestral instrument, piano, or voice students who qualify may apply with the recommendation of a music teacher. Past first place winners are not eligible to apply. Competition rules and an online application can be found at The application fee is $30. Applications must be postmarked or submitted online by Jan. 19.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for a young musician to experience the thrill of competition and showcase his or her talent,” said Cheryl Hagymassy, HSO Education Committee Chair. “It is an incredible learning experience for the winner to perform with a professional orchestra.”

Instrumentalists must prepare a movement from a standard concerto. Also, works for two soloists may be entered. Vocalists must prepare an aria from an opera, oratorio, or a song from a song cycle. Works for two soloists may be entered. Please note: All music must be memorized for the audition.

The Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1971, exists to enrich the Hendersonville and Henderson County communities with live symphonic performances and music education opportunities for youth and adults. For more information, visit, or call the HSO office at 828-697-5884.


Saluda Train Tales focuses on helper

The old steam engine helper is gone from Saluda Mountain.

E.M. Patterson, who pushed the trains from Melrose to Saluda, a distance of three miles, for 47 years, retired at the age of 70 years. He only lived two years after he retired. Patterson went to work for the railroad as a water boy at age 13. He pulled a passenger train from Asheville to Salisbury and from Asheville to Spartanburg before coming on the helper at Saluda.

Patterson is the grandfather of actor Pat Hingle, whose acting career began at Saluda School with a part in a school play. Hingle went on to appear on Broadway in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, on TV in Gunsmoke, The Andy Griffith Show, The Fugitive, The Twilight Zone and countless others, and in over 100 movies, including Splendor in the Grass, Norma Rae, Hang ‘Em High, and all four of the 1990s-era Batman films.

Christina Thompson Boies and Katherine Rohling Harrell, granddaughters of Patterson, will share stories about Patterson us on Friday, Nov. 17. Both are from Columbia, S.C.

Saluda Train Tales is a free monthly event to educate the community in the importance of Saluda’s railroad history and the Saluda Grade. These events are at the Saluda Historic Depot, 32 W. Main Street. Doors open at 6:30. Presentation is at 7. The events are free and voluntary donations are appreciated. For more information, please contact Judy Ward at 828-674-5958 or or Cathy Jackson at 828-817-2876 or

Applications available for tree fruit course

Applications for the 2018 Master Pomology Volunteer Program are now being accepted at the N.C. Extension Office at Jackson Park. The course on the cultivation of tree fruits begins on Tuesday, Jan. 16, and runs for nine weeks. The cost is $125 which covers training material and supplies.

This horticulture course is the first and only program of its kind in the United States. For more than 25 years, it has proven to be very beneficial to the participants, to the Extension Service and to the commercial apple industry of Henderson County. Because this course is so specialized, it is offered only every three to four years, depending on demand.

Classes are held at the Extension Office in Jackson Park 9 a.m.-noon on Tuesdays. There could be a few afternoon labs. Students will receive more than 30 hours of comprehensive tree fruit training. Graduates will be awarded a certificate and become representative volunteers for the N.C. Cooperative Extension to share their time and knowledge with others.

Graduates must volunteer a minimum of 40 hours by working in the Variety Block, helping to maintain the orchard, pruning, harvesting, taste testing evaluations, data entry and technical assistance. Other volunteer opportunities include working the taste test booth at the Apple Festival and Farm City Day.

The Master Pomology Course is offered to address the huge demand for tree fruit information from the general public and commercial growers. MP graduates work alongside technically-trained volunteers in the Variety Block, collecting important field data published for commercial growers. The course is offered to anyone who has a keen interest in tree fruits, including Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and commercial growers. To receive an application, contact the Henderson County Cooperative Extension at 828-697-4891 or email

Christmas Parade is scheduled Dec. 2


“A Southern Christmas” is the theme of this year’s Christmas parade on Main Street in Hendersonville at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Sponsored by the Hendersonville Merchants and Business Association, the parade is open to all churches, civic clubs, schools, marching bands, fire departments, homecoming queens, scouts, businesses and riding groups. Categories for judging the floats are Best Use of Theme, Most Original and Judge’s Choice.

The entry fee for the businesses and clubs is $25 and this year the donations will go to help the Hurricane Relief fund. Applications can be downloaded online at WTZQ or picked up at the Henderson County Curb Market, the Chamber of Commerce, the Visitors Center as well as the Tamara Peacock Company at 104 First Avenue East. Any questions can be directed to the office at 692-4179 or

After the parade the Henderson County Heritage Museum will host a Christmas Open House and tours. Cookies and hot apple cider will be served in the Historic Courthouse Rotunda. The gift shop will be open featuring local gifts such as the Henderson County-olopy game, Henderson County Christmas ornaments, books by a large number of local authors and pottery including bacon cookers by seventh generation Brown’s potters. A 20 percent discount will be offered until 2:30 p.m.