Beginning today, there will be changes to the McDowell Department of Social Services’ Crisis Intervention Program for heating and cooling assistance. DSS is now required to have proof of income before the application can be processed. When residents come in to apply, they have to bring in the previous month’s pay stubs or statement from an employer to insure that application can be processed in a timely manner. For more information, contact Economic Services Supervisor Donna Wilson at 828-659-0628.

The October meeting of the Mountain Glory Quilters’ Guild will be held today at 4 p.m. in the fellowship hall of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church on U.S. 70 in Pleasant Gardens. Anyone interested in quilting, no matter the skill level, is invited to attend. For further information, contact Peggy Remington at 828-652-8132.

The Historic Marion Tailgate Market is open every Tuesday from 3-6 p.m. Locally grown produce, plants, fresh eggs and baked goods are only a few things that are available. The Market is located at 67 W. Henderson St. For more information, call 828-652-2215.

The Foothills Community Band is starting a new season. Practice is held on Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Marion’s fellowship hall. New members are welcome to come join as well as all band alumni. For more information, call 460-6706.

McDowell Early College will host its 11th Annual Variety Show Friday at East McDowell Middle School. Staff and students are performing as their favorite international superstars. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for grades K-13. (4 & under are free) There are chances to win raffle baskets for $1 per ticket. Basket items include a smoker, Keurig, Connected Home, gift cards, spa visits and much more. For information on how to get your dinner/show and raffle basket tickets, call McDowell Early College at 659-0411.

Mercy Fund Animal Rescue will have a yard sale to benefit kittens. Funding is desperately needed to care for the influx of kittens coming to the Mercy Fund. Money made from the sale will totally go towards the food, vet care, deworming and vaccinations for kittens. The yard sale will be held Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at 909 Nix Creek Church Road, Marion. For information, call Deborah at 828-738-4104 or 828-779-5782.

The Regional Artist Project Grant Program provides financial support to high quality professional artists in all disciplines to pursue projects which further their artistic development. Twenty Regional Artist Projects Grants (RAP-G) for artists residing in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba or McDowell counties are now being accepted. (A Spanish language version of the application and guidelines is also available.) This annual grant, for up to $1,500 provides financial support to professional artists at any stage in their careers. The purpose of the grant is to provide support for projects that will take an accomplished artist to a new level of achievement, demonstrate growth and change in the artist’s field, or help the artist to explore a new direction in his/her art discipline. MACA is accepting applications from McDowell County artists now through Friday. For more information, contact Susan Pyatt-Baker, McDowell Arts Council Association, by calling 828-652-8610 or emailing You can also find more information at interested at

The annual parade of lights with local fire departments, McDowell EMS, law enforcement and other first responders will be held Friday evening. The lineup will start at 6 p.m. in Old Fort and the emergency vehicles will travel on U.S. 70 West towards the parking lot of Lowe’s in Marion and Peebles. They will arrive at the McDowell Square shopping center at 7 p.m. and the display will last until around 9 p.m. For more information, call 460-3791.

The Marion City Council will hold an advisory board/volunteer dinner on Monday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Marion Historic Depot located at 58 Depot Street. The purpose of the dinner is to recognize members of city advisory boards and volunteers who assist the city with services and activities throughout the year.

Newcomers and Friends will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at the Marion Community Building, 191 North Main St. The group meets monthly from September through May. The meeting will begin at 11 a.m. with time for socializing. At 11:30 the meeting will begin. At noon, a luncheon catered by Las Salsas will be served. There will be a dessert assortment prepared by Chef Connie. Cost is $12. After lunch, Sandra Warren, a local author who has won awards in at least non-fiction and historical fiction will be the speaker. If you would like to join us, call Liz Alston at 727-641-2820 for further details. Newcomers to the Marion area, or just to the group, are always welcome.

The Lake James Dragon Boat Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Paddy’s Creek Area of Lake James State Park. This unusual fund-raiser to support cancer patients features 44-foot boats with 20 members. You can join a team or watch as teams race in heats to be crowned top dragon. The event is free and there will be vendors and food available. If you wish to compete, you are asked to register before Friday, Sept. 20. This event is presented by Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge. For more information or to sign up, call 828-580-5645 or visit

A Memory Café is a place where individuals with memory loss and their caregivers can get together in a safe, supportive, and engaging environment. Clients with dementia must be accompanied by a friend, caregiver or loved one. The 2019 McDowell Memory Cafés are tentatively scheduled for Friday, Sept. 20, and Nov. 15 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the McDowell Senior Center’s dining room. Volunteers are trained to interact effectively to provide a pleasant and safe experience for the client with dementia and their caregiver. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, call the McDowell Senior Center at 828-659-0823 to register and plan to attend the training meeting.

The Whitehouse Community Center, located at 5408 Painters Gap Road in Union Mills, will have its monthly country breakfast buffet from 7-10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. The cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children, ages 6-10. Children younger than 6 eat for free. The menu is eggs, grits, West Court sausage, Hunter’s Liver Mush, fresh baked biscuits, sausage and pepper gravy, taters, pancakes, homemade apple sauce, orange juice and coffee, jams and jellies. Building rentals available for family functions, birthday parties and other events. All profits go towards the upkeep of the community center. For more information, call 625-9240.

National Clean Up Day will be celebrated in Old Fort as volunteers help remove trash from the Catawba River, Mill Creek, and surrounding areas in Old Fort. The cleanup will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday Sept. 28. Volunteers can meet at the Town Hall, 38 Catawba Ave. The town of Old Fort and McDowell Chamber of Commerce are partnering with Keep McDowell Beautiful to coordinate the event. If you are a leader of volunteers, contact Matt Burneisen by emailing or call 828-652-8104 to request free supplies. You can schedule to pick them up early or pick your supplies up at the sign in table the day of the event. Read more at:

The Dysartsville Community Club will host the Overmountain Victory Trail marchers on Tuesday, Oct. 1. This annual community event recalls a two-day stopover in the Dysartsville area by the Revolutionary War patriots who would then march on to win the decisive Battle of Kings Mountain on Oct. 7, 1780. A covered-dish supper will be served promptly at 6 p.m. A dramatic presentation by the marchers will follow. The public is encouraged to join the club for this evening of food, fellowship, and remembrance. The Dysartsville Community Center is located at 74 Clubhouse Road, just off N.C. 226 South, about 8 miles south of Interstate 40. Free will donations to help support the community center will be welcome and appreciated. For more information call Linda at 652-7056.

The Octoberfest celebration in Old Fort will be held Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5. Organizers are accepting applications now for craft vendor booths and food booths. For more information, call 828-442-1465.

The annual reunion of employees of CE Air Preheater Co. will be held Saturday, Oct. 5 from noon to 4 p.m. with a lunch at 1 p.m. The reunion will be held at the Corpening Memorial YMCA, 348 Grace Corpening Drive.

The Arrowhead Artists and Artisans League in Old Fort will hold a class called “Portrait Painting Made Simple” with Lorelle Bacon as the instructor. The class will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6. The cost is $150 for A3L members or $160 non-members. Students will learn to paint two portrait techniques, realistic and impressionistic using their choice of oils or acrylics. The class will cover placement, hard and soft edges and more. Some painting experience is necessary but you don’t need to know how to draw for this workshop. References will be furnished. Students will need bring their own oil or acrylic supplies, two 11-by-14 canvases, a sack lunch and a big smile. All classes are held at the Arrowhead Gallery and Studios, Old Fort. Call 828-668-1100 or go on line at to register.

The Nebo Alumni Meeting will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 1-6:30 p.m. at Nebo Elementary School. All students who attended Nebo High School are welcome to attend. Dinner will be served from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and the cost is $18. This can be collected at the door.

Food as Medicine McDowell will present Dr. Michael Greger’s 2016 presentation of “How Not to Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers.” This presentation will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at the First Baptist Church of Marion’s fellowship hall. The event is free and light snacks will be provided. For more information, contact Dr. Melanie Orange at 659-9703.

The McDowell Senior Center’s free annual Health & Resource Fair for senior citizens 55 and older will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon at the McDowell Senior Center. There will be over 30 exhibitors, flu shot clinic, free hearing screenings, blood pressure checks, blood sugar testing and screening for falls risk. McDowell Sheriff’s Office will be there collecting unwanted medication for safe disposal and someone from SHIIP will be here to answer any Medicare questions you may have. There will be lots of door prizes and free stuff given out from many of the vendors. Also a free bag lunches will be given out. For more information, contact the McDowell Senior Center at 659-0821.

The McDowell Senior Center will host a legalize your documents program, a free notarizing service on today; Thursday, Oct. 10 and Thursday, Oct. 31 from 1-2 p.m. Alan Mainer, a licensed notary public, will offer his service free to anyone 55 of age and older. Call the Senior Center’s front desk for appointment at 828-659-0821.

The NAACP of McDowell County will meet at Addie’s Chapel United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12.

The Grandparent Support Group will meet Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at Village Wellness beside Big Lots.

NAACP of McDowell County will hold a benefit breakfast at Fatz on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 8-10 a.m. All proceeds will go towards the McDowell County NAACP Endowed Scholarship Fund at McDowell Technical Community College. Tickets may be purchased from any NAACP member or at the door. Adult tickets are $10 and children 12 and under tickets are $5.

The Blood Connection will have a blood drive on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Walmart Supercenter, located at 2875 Sugar Hill Road, Marion.

The Arrowhead Artists and Artisans League in Old Fort will hold a class in spirit icons on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $25 for members or $35 for members-to-be. Participation is limited to 15

Please join us for an intense and liberating exercise in creating your own personal icon. You’ll be guided through the “icon” concept and copious amounts of supplies will be provided, from fabrics to flora and fauna. Participants are encouraged to bring their own special talismans to incorporate into the project. Bring your lunch and let’s see what creatures or icon you will create. All classes are held at the Arrowhead Gallery and Studios, Old Fort. Call 828-668-1100 or go on line at to register.

The Lucky Strike Fall Festival fund-raiser will be held Saturday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. at the Lucky Strike Gold & Gem Mine & Campground, located five miles south of Interstate 40 on U.S. 221 South. The event is a benefit for the Glenwood Fire Department so it can purchase a swift water rescue boat. There will be a gold nugget raffle, a treasure chest, door prizes and concessions. The event will have kids games, inflatables, face painting, pumpkin painting, horseshoe tournament, nugget shoots, duck river race, cake walk, corn hole tournament and more. Music by the Golden Valley Crusaders, In HIs Glory, Susan Newton, Vein Mountain Quartet, Lucky Strike All Star Band. Barbecue served all day with auction and music to follow. For more information, call 828-925-4935 or 828-460-1687.

Details Ca28-925-4935 or 828-460-1687

McDowell High School’s Student Council is sponsoring the fourth annual Community Trunk-R-Treat on Monday, Oct. 28 from 5-7 p.m. at McDowell High School. The school is looking for businesses and organizations to participate at this well-attended event. Set up for this event will begin at 3:45 p.m. in the lower parking lot near the football stadium. Those who wish to participate will bring their own candy, set up the trunk of their car, table or tent with Halloween decorations, option of bringing an activity like corn hole, face painting and more and help spread the world. Any businesses or organizations that would like to participate can contact Alison Garrett before Oct. 21 at or at 828-652-7920.

The McDowell Senior Center is offering a three-day and two-night trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Nov. 11-13. Trip will include motor coach transportation, two nights’ oceanfront stay at the Bay Watch Resort, two breakfasts, all you care to eat seafood dinner at Giant Grab Calabash Seafood and admission to Christmas Spectacular at the Alabama Theatre, Legends in Concerts Christmas Show, and “FantaSea” a Holiday Show. This trip is open to adults of all ages. Deadline to sign up for this trip is Oct. 31. Cost: price per person is $269. For more information, contact Brenda Monosso at the McDowell Senior Center at 659-0832.

The Blood Connection will hold a blood drive on Thursday, Oct. 31 from noon to 5 p.m. at Mission Hospital McDowell, located at 430 Rankin Drive in Marion.

The McDowell County Head Start and Early Head Start programs are currently taking applications for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. Families with children 6 weeks of age up to 4 years old are eligible to apply. Call 828-652-3229 for more information or visit the Head Start website at

CarePartners Hospice and Palliative Care McDowell currently has two volunteer positions available with the hair care specialist team. If you hold a current N.C. cosmetology or barber license and have a desire to share your gift with patients in need, contact the office for more information at 828-652-1318 or by email to

The McDowell Senior Center is now hosting a free chess club. All ages are welcome, and no experience necessary. It will be meet Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. at the McDowell Senior Center. For more information, call the McDowell Senior Center at 659-0821.

Southmountain Children and Family Services has a non-profit thrift store in the Glen Alpine community called Miss Emily’s. It is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. The money made from the thrift store goes to help the children at Southmountain. For more information, call 828-460-7566.

Free Spanish classes are held on Monday evenings from 6-7 p.m. in the East Marion Pentecostal Holiness Church Fellowship Hall (the white building). All ages welcome. Donations are suggested to help us cover supplies. Come learn Spanish. Contact Francesca for more information at 828-652-8069.

Deer Park Health & Rehabilitation needs volunteers (groups, individuals and youth). For more information, contact Anissa Clark at 306 Deer Park Road, Nebo, NC 28761 or call 828-652-3032.

Want to have the best lawn and landscape in the neighborhood? If so, the Extension Gardener training program may be for you. The Extension Gardener Series is open to the public for anyone wanting to learn good gardening practices based on research-based information. Sessions are held in the Extension Conference Room, second Floor, County Administration Building, 60 E. Court St., Marion. Growing culinary herbs will be on Monday at 6 p.m. and repeated on Thursday at 9 a.m.

The McDowell Senior Center is now hosting free chess club and free rated games with an USCF membership. Memberships available at All ages are welcome, and no experience necessary. Tuesday evenings from 5:30-7:45 p.m. at the McDowell Senior Center. For more information, call the McDowell Senior Center at 659-0821.

The Arrowhead Gallery and Studios in Old Fort offers on-going classes in art and pottery. Classes in beginning quilting are also available on request. Contact us at or visit our Web site at for details or to register.

Arrowhead Gallery and Studios, Old Fort, also offers a “glaze your own” pottery workshop on an as-requested basis. The class would have a minimum of three students and cost $15 for one piece or $25 for two pieces. It includes your bisqueware, all glaze, class time, and firing. This is a great way to entertain friends or host a fun-filled party. No experience is required. Come play with us. We’ll call you when your pieces are fired and ready for pickup.

Mercy Fund Animal Rescue has dog houses available for animals in need. The animal rescue will deliver in McDowell and can make arrangements if the delivery is outside the county. If you have need or know someone in need of a dog house, contact us. We have a goal that no animal go without shelter. If you have a dog house to donate, contact Joy Harklerode. If you want to make a donation to help us reach our goal, you can donate to PayPal at or write a check to Mercy Fund Animal Rescue at P.O. Box 2371 Marion N.C. 28752. Please mark your donation for dog house program.

McDowell County Department of Social Services wants to let local Medicaid beneficiaries know about how to get care during the state of emergency for Hurricane Florence. Early prescription refills are allowed and encouraged. Medicaid pharmacists know that Medicaid will allow early refills. Get your prescription refills before the storm. Also, tell your county DSS now if you have a medical device that needs power. If you are evacuated, even out of state, Medicaid will cover a doctor visit. For more information, call the N.C. Medicaid Contact Center at 888-245-0179. Providers call the NCTracks Call Center at 866-246-8505.

To better serve the community, the Red Cross office for McDowell County, located at 39 N. Garden St., has changed its hours. The new hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Rusty’s Legacy is seeking foster homes to help save dogs from the McDowell County Shelter. In an effort to keep our county shelter a no-kill facility we need families willing to foster dogs from the shelter. The dogs will be taken in to Rusty’s Legacy as soon as shelter space or transport comes open. Rusty’s Legacy will provide all shots, food and anything else the foster would need. Most foster commitments are two to four weeks. For more information, call Rusty’s Legacy at 828-460-3190 or email

U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering disaster assistance to flood-impacted farmers and ranchers in North Carolina. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) stands ready to assist agricultural producers slammed by recent heavy rain. FSA reminds farmers and ranchers across the state of federal farm program benefits that may be available to help eligible producers recover from recent heavy rains and flooding. FSA offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist agricultural producers in their recovery efforts following flood or similar qualifying natural disaster programs. Please call/email Kim Rumfelt at 828-439-9727 ext. 100 to report damages.

Want to help McDowell County be a great community by volunteering? Want to have the best lawn and landscape in the neighborhood? Want to grow magnificent veggies? If the answer is yes, the Extension Master Gardener volunteer program is for you. Applicants for the program should have some experience—little or a lot—with gardening, a willingness to learn, and a desire to share their knowledge with others. The Master Gardener volunteer training includes 13 three-hour sessions. Sessions will be on Thursday afternoon starting late winter 2019, exact date TBD. There is a fee for the Extension Master Gardener volunteer training plus 40 hours of volunteer time. We are always accepting applications. Read more at:

McDowell Soil & Water Conservation District is taking applications for cost/share improvements to agricultural land. A current farmer with cattle or a crop will definitely want to speak with a staff member about money saving opportunities. New farmers are helped even more in our program. New and beginning farmers are now reimbursed at 90 percent for approved work. Take advantage of this opportunity as money will decrease when we near the end of the program year. Equipment rentals are also available. Please come by to speak with us at 25 South Garden St. in Marion, email us at, or call us at 652-4434.

McDowell County has a chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). If alcohol is a problem for you, contact AA and it works. The AA Hotline is 828-251-4400. The meetings in Marion are held Monday through Friday at noon and Sunday at 7 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 241 W. Court St. There are also meetings Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. and Wednesday at 7 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Parish House, 289 S. Main St.

Want to make a difference, touch lives, and impact your community? If so, several volunteer opportunities are available in the following positions: administrative office volunteer, patient/family support volunteer, bereavement support volunteer, We Honor Veterans volunteer, special events volunteer, and a newly added position, pastoral care volunteer. For more information about these positions, contact CarePartners Hospice and Palliative Care McDowell Volunteer Services Department at 828-652-1318 ext.303. You can make an everlasting impact with just a few hours of your time a week.

If you want to plant a garden, but have limited space consider using Community Garden for Community Good. N.C. Cooperative Extension-McDowell County Center and McDowell Master Gardener Volunteer Association sponsor Community Garden for Community Good for our community to grow food. The garden has several individual raised beds 12 foot by 4 foot. It is conveniently located on the grounds of Corpening YMCA at the soccer fields. Water, tools and a compost bin are available on-site for you to grow plenty of veggies for you, your family or donate to an organization that helps alleviate food insecurity. Master Gardeners will be available to answer gardening questions. There are many benefits to growing a garden: fresh food, exercise, and free therapy. Cost to lease a bed is $10 to help cover expenses. For more information, call 828-652-8104 or email Molly Sandfoss.

There is assistance available for people with Medicare who have limited incomes and resources. If they qualify, they can receive assistance with premiums, deductibles and co-payments for their prescriptions. If someone has a monthly income below $1,508 as an individual or $2,030 as a married couple living together and assets lower than $13,820 as an individual or $27,600 as a married couple living together (includes $1,500/person funeral or burial expense), they can visit their local Social Security office, call Social Security toll free at 1-800-772-1213, visit, or request an extra help assistance application by contacting SHIIP. People who qualify for any level of Medicaid automatically qualify for LIS and do not need to apply. Each county in North Carolina has a SHIIP coordinating site that provides this service free of charge. McDowell Senior Center is the coordinating site for McDowell County. You can contact your local SHIIP Coordinating Site McDowell Senior Center 828-659-0821.

Glenwood High alumni have a limited number of their most recent pictorial book “Glenwood School Images” for sale. The book would make excellent gifts for anyone with ties to Glenwood School. The book contains more than 250 pictures from the past. Cost of the book is $15. For more information, call Jeanette Jarrett at 460-9641, Richard Buchanan at 460-2655 and Anne Randolph at 460-8823.

CarePartners Hospice & Palliative Care McDowell is currently seeking volunteers. Positions available are patient/family care volunteers, veteran care volunteers, special program/event volunteers and administrative volunteers. Flexible days and hours. To learn more about these volunteer opportunities, contact Scott Sain at or call 828-652-1318.

» Home-delivered meals, the local Meals on Wheels program for McDowell County, is searching for drivers to cover a route on Thursday or Friday. Substitute drivers are also needed. Drivers use their own vehicles to deliver meals on routes throughout McDowell. Each route normally takes 1-1 1/2 hours to deliver. Meals are ready to be picked up at the Senior Center starting each day at 10:45 a.m. McDowell County offers mileage reimbursement to home delivered meals drivers. Individuals or groups interested in assisting with home delivered meals can call the McDowell Senior Center at 659-0826. Interested candidates can also email for more information.

» McDowell Technical Community College’s Human Resources Development will have a class in Introduction to Manufacturing Certification. Participants who successfully complete this six-week class will have the opportunity to make connections with local manufacturing industries in McDowell County. Certificates/Certifications earned in this class include: OSHA Safety Certification, First Aid/CPR, Career Readiness Certification, Microsoft Digital Literacy, and Introduction to Advanced Manufacturing Skills. Plant tours, job interviews, on-the-job training and apprenticeships are also available. The class through March 7, Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. by NC Works Career Center at the Ford Miller Employment and Training Center. For further information, call Jimmy Hensley at 659-6001, ext. 140, or the front desk at ext. 101. This class is at no cost to unemployed and income-eligible individuals.

» McDowell County NCPreK Program has a few openings for children who turned 4 years of age by Aug. 31, 2017, and meet eligibility requirements. Call Stephanie at 828-559-9058, ext. 2000, for more information.

» Volunteers can combine their love of kids and animals by becoming part of a team of two to teach fourth-grade students at a McDowell County school about the proper care of their pets. Retired teachers are welcome. For further information, call Gwen at 652-0088.

» The McDowell Senior Center is hosting a free chess club. All ages are welcome, and no experience necessary. The club meets Tuesday evenings from 5:30-7:45 p.m. at the McDowell Senior Center. For more information, call the center at 659-0821.

» Do you care for and feed feral/community cats but can’t afford to get them spay or neutered? Mercy Fund Animal Rescue may be able to help you. Call Susan Menard with Mercy Fund Animal Rescue Inc at 828-317-1939 or email

» McDowell Mission Ministries is in need of volunteers to supervise the Women’s Shelter and the Men’s Shelter. Volunteers are needed from 5-10 p.m. and also on weekends. Weekend hours would be very flexible. Volunteers are welcome to choose whatever times they could work, but are asked to commit to four-hour shifts. Night times are, of course, the most needed. Interested volunteers can contact Sabra Rock at 659-6490.

» A 12-step group for anyone with post-traumatic stress disorder meets at 5255 U.S. 70 W. on Saturdays from 4-5 p.m. For more information, call 828-559-2082.

» The McDowell County Chapter of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is in need of Kitten Socializers during regular business hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Volunteers are asked to hold and cuddle kittens in order to get them accustomed to human interaction. Well-socialized kittens have a much higher chance of being adopted. Call Jamie Stillwachs at 559-2777 or stop by 74 S. Main St. in Marion.

» Mountain Gateway Museum features a free bluegrass music jam from 2-4 p.m. every Sunday, except during major holiday weekends, on the museum’s front porch at 24 Water St., Old Fort. Musicians of all skill levels are welcome. Just bring your own instrument and join in. For more information, call 828-668-9259 or email

» Are you 55 or older and seeking employment? The Senior Community Service Employment Program may be the answer. Low-income seniors may qualify for paid job-training opportunities. Gain Job skills and earn money while working in your community. There is a priority for veterans. If you are low-income, you may qualify for paid employment skills training. To learn more, contact Blue Ridge Community Action at 828-438-6255. You may also apply at its website

» The McDowell County Chapter of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is in need of volunteers to help walk and socialize foster dogs. Although foster dogs are provided with a safe and loving home, most foster families are at work during the day, and so the dogs lack socialization. Volunteers would be paired with foster families to walk and play with an animal while they are away. Shifts are flexible. For more information, call Jamie Stillwachs at 559-2777 or stop by the store at 74 S. Main St. in Marion.

» New Hope, a domestic violence organization and shelter, is in need of volunteers for their thrift stores. If interested, call 828-652-8538.

» Sweet TEA for Jesus is accepting hygiene donations for the women and their children in need in McDowell County. Items needed include soap, toothpaste, hair care products, wash cloths, toilet paper, diapers (sizes 3-6) and more. Drop-off boxes are at The McDowell News on Logan Street and Appalachian Trading Post on U.S. 70 West. For more information, call Dawn Warren or Philista Gossett at 866-277-ST4J.

» McDowell Senior Center offers Tuesday night classes: beginners line dance at 5:30 p.m.; art class at 6 p.m.; and the exercise room is open on Tuesday evenings from 5-7:45 p.m. These classes are free and open to all adults. For more information, call the McDowell Senior Center at 659-0832.

» Deer Park Health & Rehabilitation needs volunteers in a variety of areas. For more information, contact Anissa Clark or Cindy Atkins at Deer Park Health & Rehabilitation, 306 Deer Park Road, Nebo 28761 or call 652-3032.

» Hospice of McDowell County is holding new adult grief sessions. Sessions will continue for six more weeks. Opportunities will be provided for participants to express grief in healthy ways, learn self-care techniques and to commemorate and celebrate the lives of their loved ones. The participants will learn healthy coping skills as they grieve and mourn the loss of a loved one. They will learn about celebrating important memories and legacies of loved ones and identifying and utilizing support systems. The sessions will be held at Hospice of McDowell County’s conference room in the Hospice building at 575 Airport Road, Marion on Mondays from 5:30-7 p.m. Anyone interested in attending should call Diane Brooks at 828-652-1318 or 828-442-9931.

» N.C. Farm School is coming to Mills River. Go to to learn more. The N.C. Farm School program offers eight business-planning seminars taught by extension specialist, agents and experienced farmers. These sessions give students the tools to create viable farm business plans. The goal of N.C. Farm School is to allow a pathway of success for farmers to generate profitable businesses. The program also includes field trips to working farms led by innovative, experienced farmers and agricultural professionals. Participants learn economically sustainable farming methods in a range of production systems, including fruits, vegetables, specialty crops, poultry, animal husbandry and agritourism.

» The McDowell County Senior Games Advisory Board is recruiting volunteers to serve on its board. Board members meet once a month and govern the McDowell Senior Games as well as decide on the dates for each year’s senior games. Board members do not have to be seniors. Those interested in becoming board members are asked to call Brenda Monosso at 659-0832 or email her at

» Donations and memorials are being accepted for the John Childers scholarship fund. Scholarships are awarded to deserving McDowell County high school seniors. Tax-deductible contributions may be made to Conley Memorial Presbyterian Church, 500 Old Linville Road, Marion, for the scholarship fund.

» The McDowell Senior Center is hosting free chess club and free rated games with an USCF membership. Memberships available at All ages are welcome, and no experience necessary. The club meets Tuesday evenings from 5:30-7:45 p.m. at the McDowell Senior Center. For more information, call the center at 659-0821.

» Develop brain power and socialize with others while learning to play mah jong Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3 p.m. at the McDowell Senior Center. Experienced players are also welcome. For more information, call Pat Peters at 756-1174.

» Foothills Community Band has weekly practice on Tuesdays. Those who can play a band instrument are invited to take part. Practice is at 7:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the First Presbyterian Church at 79 Academy St., Marion.

» The Partnership for Children of the Foothills is enrolling McDowell County children from birth to age 5 in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program. This program provides a free book sent in the mail each month. For information, call 803-3149.

» MACA will host yoga classes on Tuesdays from 6-7 p.m. Classes are $7. Mats will be provided or you can bring your own. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and arrive 10 minutes early to sign in. For information, call 652-8610.

» Nebo Elementary is looking for donations of annuals from Nebo School. Any annuals before 1949 or from 1955-62 and 1964 can be donated at the front office of the school during regular school hours. Donated yearbooks will be preserved in the school’s library.

» Mercy Fund Animal Rescue would like to help anyone taking care of feral cats to spay/neuter the animals. For information on the help they can provide, call Susan at 317-1939 or email

» McDowell County Guardian Ad Litem Program is recruiting child advocate volunteers to speak for abused or neglected children in court. Volunteers track a child’s case and report the child’s wishes to court. Volunteers should expect to spend eight to 15 hours a month. For more information, contact Michele Rink at or 652-4632.

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