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LOCAL BRIEFS: Fundraiser honors Tolleson, plant sale, pet blessing, history talk

'Dance, Move and Donate' for Music Center

RobTollesonRobin Tolleson, a mentor of young musicians, died on June 21 at age 62. FLAT ROCK — The Hendersonville Community Music Center will host a Dance, Move and Donate fundraiser from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at Sanctuary in the Pines, 34 Lake Cove Road, Flat Rock.

Nia is a fun, creative, mindful movement technique – a fusion of dance, martial arts and healing movement such as yoga. All ages and ability levels are welcome and no previous Nia experience is required.
The Hendersonville Community Music Center, with its Mobile Music Lab, shares the joy of music-making by bringing teachers and instruments to children who might not otherwise have access to classes. Donations will be made in memory of Robin Tolleson, a professional drummer, teacher and youth mentor who was director of the Hendersonville Community Music Center. Suggested donation is $20. For more information call 828-290-2344, visit or email

Young people may apply for conference

The North Carolina General Assembly invites North Carolina high school students to apply for the 50th annual Youth Legislative Assembly, an opportunity to learn first-hand about the legislative process and develop leadership skills that will help them succeed in life. The Legislative Services Office is accepting applications through Jan. 31 for the conference to be held April 3-5 in Raleigh. The application can be found online at For more information email YLA coordinator or call 919-301- 1372.


Program explores meeting of Dylan and Sandburg

FLAT ROCK — Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site will offer two free programs during the park’s anniversary week in October.
The park was authorized on Oct. 17, 1968, and celebrates 51 years this fall. On Tuesday, Oct. 15, The Gathering Dark will present the music program “Dylan at Connemara.”
“Dylan at Connemara” will be presented from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the park amphitheater. The program explores the 1964 meeting between Carl Sandburg and Bob Dylan. Through song, story and “wild speculation” it presents possible answers regarding what happened the day Bob Dylan arrived in Flat Rock and knocked on Carl Sandburg’s door. The show features the songs of Bob Dylan, as well as selections from Carl Sandburg’s American Songbag and canon of poetry. The work of Dylan and Sandburg are woven into the story of their meeting in a show that provides perspective on how that event fits into the context of American cultural history. The program is presented by The Gathering Dark, a songwriting duo which includes Josh Dunkin, who hails from Tennessee by way of Chicago, and Steven DuRose, who hails from Ohio by way of Los Angeles.
A community reading of Sandburg’s Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection, “The Complete Poems,” will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 19, at the amphitheater. “The Complete Poems” is a collection of Sandburg’s poetry published from 1916 to 1950. The book won a Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1951.
The community is invited to read 5-minute segments of the collection for the audience. Sign up to read at


PEO chapter awards STAR scholarship

Chapter BF of PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization) recently awarded a $2,500 STAR scholarship to Anna Yokote. PEO member Beverly Swartzlander presented the check to Yokote during a chapter meeting at Champion Hills Golf and Country Club. The daughter of Yasuhiro and Priscilla Yokote, Anna is a graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in
Durham. She is attending Barnard College in New York City, majoring in both environmental science and human rights. The P.E.O. STAR scholarship is awarded for excellence in leadership, extracurricular activities, community service, academics and potential for future success.


Playhouse gardeners announce plant sale

Plants will take center stage at the Flat Rock Playhouse when the North Carolina State Theater Garden Club holds its annual fall plant sale on Oct. 3 and 4. More than 60 varieties of perennials, shrubs and trees are offered. In addition, orders for the garden club’s spring flowering bulbs will be taken, including the extraordinary Allium Schubertii, priced below retail cost. Decorative twigs, everlasting stakes and handcrafted signs are also available.
“All proceeds will be used to expand and enhance the gardens,” says Tamsin Allpress, leader of the State Theater Garden Club and Extension Master Gardener. “Our aim is to continue creating a garden befitting the Playhouse and the Village of Flat Rock.”
Sale hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4. Cash and checks are accepted. For more information call 828-243-6950. The Playhouse is located at 2661 Greenville Highway, Flat Rock.

Organists Guild hosts choral reading session

The Blue Ridge Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will host a Choral Reading Session at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, in the choir room of First Baptist Church. Directors, accompanists, choir members and singers are invited to come and enjoy singing anthems which were published by St. James Music Press. Since 1992, St. James has been publishing some of the finest church anthems being written today. Anthems from St. James have been heard on national broadcasts, performed at cathedrals and churches throughout the word, and premiered at major music conferences throughout the country.
Kevin and Amy Simons will conduct the choral reading session. Refreshments will be served. Musicians and music lovers are encouraged to come to participate or just listen. Participants may enter the church from the Fourth Avenue parking lot entrance.

Pardee physicians host breast health seminar

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pardee UNC Health Care will host a free breast health seminar and Q&A session from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, , in the second-floor conference room at the Mission Pardee Health Campus, 2775 Hendersonville Road in Arden. Board-certified physicians Dr. Jennifer McAlister, breast surgeon, and Dr. Lynn Howie, medical oncologist, will discuss breast cancer prevention and detection as well as overall breast health. The seminar is free and open to the public, though space is limited. Light refreshments will be served. To attend, register at For more information, call 828-698-7333.
Headshot of Pepper

Pepper is guest speaker at Saluda history program

Ronnie Pepper will be the guest speaker at the next Step Back in History program at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, in the sanctuary of the Saluda Presbyterian Church, 54 Carolina St. Join Pepper for a look back at the fascinating history of the Kingdom of the Happy Land, a community of freed slaves that settled near Tuxedo on the North Carolina-South Carolina border just after the Civil War. It is thought that some of the African Americans that settled in Saluda may have had ties to the residents of the Kingdom, or may have been descendants. Using the art of storytelling, Pepper will present from an African American perspective. Presented by the Historic Saluda Committee, the event is free and open to the public.

“Our local history is full of African-American people who have endured and overcome many hardships, trials and tribulations whose stories go untold and many times forgotten,” Pepper says. “So it is true of a group of freed African-American slaves that settled into a community on the border of North and South Carolina, the Kingdom of the Happy Land. Even if there is no one person important, no one person famous, this community spoke through their actions that spoke to who they were. They would contribute to this place that would tie their histories into the larger whole. Let us journey together to discover the past from a different perspective.”

Congregational Church to host Blessing of Pets

First Congregational Church of Hendersonville will hold its sixth annual Blessing of the Pets at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at the gazebo in Laurel Park Green.
Officiating at the blessing will be the church’s new minister, the Rev. Karla Miller. Miller and her spouse are the parents of three rescue dogs and are avid animal rights activists. The public is invited to bring their pets, great and small, leashed or safely contained to be blessed by Reverend Miller. You are also invited to bring your stuffies and photos of pets as well. Treats and water will be provided. Parking is available across the street in the church parking lot, 1735 5th Ave. West.



Guided tree walk explores native species


A guided tree walk along the Oklawaha Greenway will focus on identifying and understanding trees, especially those native to the area, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. The free program starts at Patton Park in the circular pavilion near the basketball courts. The walk will take about 90 minutes, returning to Patton Park.
Mark Madsen, a member of the Tree Board and a certified arborist, will lead the walk. The tour will start by looking at trees in Patton Park that are suitable for home gardens and then move on to look at many species of native trees in the wetland forest along Mud Creek. Oklawaha Greenway is a three-mile paved trail meandering through meadows, wetlands and forests and linking Jackson Park, Patton Park and Berkeley Park.


Carolina Village joins fight against hunger

The Carolina Village Hunger Walk will be held Friday, Oct. 11 beginning at 9 a.m. For over 35 years Carolina Village has hosted the annual event, which is a community fundraiser for the Henderson County Hunger Coalition. Villagers donate 100% of the proceeds from the walk to the Hunger Coalition, which combats the hunger crisis in Henderson County.

In order to make a difference and a statement of support for Hunger Coalition and the local community, the Carolina Village Hunger Walk has set a goal of 100% participation from Village residents. Support may include monetary donations as well as volunteers to walk. Last year, the Carolina Village Hunger Walk raised more than $11,000 to help end hunger in Henderson County. The goal is to top that amount this year.
The Hunger Coalition’s goal is to raise $100,000 to fund grants in 2020 for 10 county agencies that provide emergency assistance to hungry families. These local organizations include Blue Ridge Health Center, Calvary Episcopal Food Pantry, Council On Aging, Fishes & Loaves, Hendersonville Rescue Mission, Interfaith Assistance Ministry, Safelight, Salvation Army, The Storehouse, Western Carolina Community Action, and Feed The Kids. For more information about supporting the Carolina Village Hunger Walk, contact Activities Director Phyllis Smith at 828-233-0659 or

Registration is open for spooky trail runs

Registration is open for the 5th annual Trick or Trail 5k & 1 Mile Spooky Sprint at DuPont State Forest. In the only race of its kind in the region, participants strap on headlamps and light up the night as they run through the twists and turns of DuPont’s trails. The One-Mile Spooky Sprint is Halloween themed and is a fun event for kids and kids-at-heart. The event is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Guion Farm, 3045 Sky Valley Road. For more information visit or email