FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: WNC Communities, Linda Lamp at (828) 252-4783
In a time of complexities and uncertainties, there is still a lot of “great” taking place right here at home in western North Carolina. A celebration of the work of 64 rural communities in the mountains took place on November 12th at the 67th WNC Honors Awards Program. Over 250 community leaders from 15 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee attended the luncheon to be inspired, recognized and rewarded for their exceptional community development programs at the DoubleTree by Hilton.
“Our rural communities are dedicated and work tirelessly on numerous projects,” states Linda Lamp, Executive Director of WNC Communities. “These communities make a great difference in the quality of life for all of us in the mountains. It is only appropriate that we honor them and draw on their continuous positive example of neighbor helping neighbor.”
Engaged Communities receive a cash award of $500 and are engaged in numerous programs impacting their residents. The Brasstown Community Civic Center garnered this distinguished award for 2016.
Brasstown Community Civic Center from Clay County was honored for many outreach efforts and the highlights included their support of Raising the Bar, a group that provides developmentally disabled adults training for craft skills, culinary skills, as well as improving social and motor skills. In addition, the community collaborated with an organic food buying club called Gatherers and Gleaners to provide space for the delivery of products. Their certified kitchen provided space for a local business to create baked goods, as well as space for local residents to create finished products like jams and jellies for sale in area stores.
Generous sponsorships from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, Harrah’s Valley River Casino & Hotel, Biltmore Farms, Inc., Duke Energy, Mission Health, The McClure Fund, Buncombe County Farm Bureau, Carolina Farm Credit, First Citizens Bank and Wells Fargo made it possible to award a record amount of $39,500 to a total of 64 community centers and clubs throughout the mountains for innovative approaches to addressing community needs.
Community centers and clubs across the region voluntarily participate in the annual WNC Honors Awards by submitting an application to WNC Communities in September. The 64 communities involved in this year’s program represented a total of 5,375 volunteers with an impressive 158,000 hours in outreach programs dedicated to beautification, conservation, education, health and wellness, as well as collaborative efforts with government, extension, community colleges, nonprofits and businesses, all in service to rural communities. In addition, the collective fundraising efforts of these communities brought in over $635,000 for everything from neighbor helping neighbor to after school programs, senior meal sites, farmland preservation, a tele-medicine clinic, and events highlighting our region’s great art, craft, and music traditions.
Photo provided by rbmcgee portraits