Bikes, Boats, Blue Jeans and Blooms

The Boathouse Restaurant on Lake Julian wants to help build a boathouse on Lake Julian, but this one won’t be for dining. “The Boathouse for a Boathouse” is a charitable event that will benefit the Asheville Rowing Club. All proceeds will be used to construct a boathouse for storage of the club’s racing shells, equipment and training devices. Approximately $50,000 is needed to construct the building, which will also be used for a rowing program for area high-school students.

The event will feature a silent auction of a variety of donated items, including a spa gift package from Sensibilities, dinner for six catered by a personal chef, a gift certificate for dinner at The Boathouse on Lake Julian, a microdermabrasion treatment from Carolina Plastic Surgery, gift baskets by Ginny’s Goodies, a Charleston Southern Gift Package and free lessons from the Rowing Club.

The $25 per person admission includes complimentary entertainment as well as an open bar and an all-you-can-eat “Low-country boil.” Sponsors include Highland Brewery, Biltmore Estate Winery and U.S. Foods.

Richard Stoney, owner of the Boathouse Restaurant, says, “The Asheville Rowing Club is a wonderful organization that promotes health and fitness through the sport of rowing.”

Saturday, June 4, 5-8 p.m. For more information, call (828) 687-4141 or visit www.boathouserestaurants.com.

— Cecil Bothwell

MANNA FoodBank’s Blue Jean Ball

MANNA FoodBank‘s cavernous warehouse on Swannanoa River Road in Asheville will be transformed into a dance party venue this weekend for the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser.

“Rock around the block: MANNA’s Retro Block Party” will combine elements of a sock hop — complete with theme rooms from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s — and a block party, organizers say. The event will feature food provided by area restaurants and caterers, along with entertainment, a silent auction and more.

The fundraiser takes place from 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, June 4, at MANNA’s warehouse (627 Swannanoa River Road in Asheville).

The WOXL 96.5 House Band (performing hits from the ’60s and ’70s) will headline the event. Also appearing are Menage (original, soulful swing), The Dorchesters (doo-wop), One Leg Up (gypsy jazz) and the Sistahs of Aloha (Polynesian beats).

All proceeds benefit MANNA FoodBank, including food/grocery distribution to more than 340 charitable organizations in 17 WNC counties, plus delivery of fresh produce direct to people in need. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is the lead sponsor of the Blue Jean Ball.

Last June, more than 550 guests attended the sold-out ball in their jeans or casual clothes, making it one of the most popular fundraisers in town.

Tickets are $65/person and $80/person for reserved seating. Organizers expect tickets to sell out again this year, so reservations are suggested. For tickets or more info, call 299-3663.

— Tracy Rose

Fletcher Flyer

The second annual Fletcher Flyer bicycle ride on Sunday, June 5, will be dedicated to the memory of its founder, Gregory Wilcox, who died in a cycling accident in April.

The event, which benefits the clean air initiatives of the Western Carolina Alliance, grew out of Wilcox’s love of the environment and his desire to see a relatively flat long-distance cycling event in WNC.

“Greg was always giving his best,” notes David Holle, vice president of Blue Ridge Bicycle Club. (Wilcox was the Webmaster for the organization, which is sponsoring the ride.) “He was truly motivated to help good causes. His dedication to bettering the environment was uncompromised.”

The Fletcher Flyer begins and ends at Fletcher Community Park, with start time at 8 a.m. This year, a new half-century (50 mile) route will be added to the original metric century (62 mile) and century (100 mile) routes. Additionally, there will be a post-ride lounge and upgraded lunch options. The entry fee is $25 through Friday, June 3, and $30 thereafter.

More information and registration forms are available at www.blueridgebicycleclub.org, at area bicycle shops or by contacting the Western Carolina Alliance at 258-8737.

— Lisa Watters

Rafting for the community

Madison County Community Foundation has teamed up with local whitewater outfitters to raise money for community projects. The annual whitewater rafting event will be held at the Hot Springs Spa and Resort in Hot Springs. Tickets are $300 to reserve a boat (6 people) or $60 per person, and include a guided raft trip, lunch and a soak at the spa. Sponsors include French Broad Rafting Expeditions, Huck Finn Adventures, Nantahala Outdoor Center and USA Raft-French Broad Outpost.

The day-long event is an opportunity for adults to enjoy the excitement of whitewater rafting, a great lunch and a relaxing soak after a strenuous day. Contributions to the MCCF make it possible for underprivileged youth, who would otherwise not have the opportunity, to go white-water rafting. “Our goal is to give back to the community, and what better way to do that than to help a youth have a fun-filled day in the great outdoors of Madison County,” says MCCF board member Jerry Plemmons.

The annual fundraiser is for the Madison County Grant-making Endowment Fund, which supports an array of human service, education, health, arts, religious and civic affairs groups, and the conservation and preservation of historical, cultural and environmental resources in Madison County.

Sunday, June 5, 1 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Sue LeLievre at (828) 586-4616 or (800) 201-9532.

— Cecil Bothwell

Pathway’s garden party

There are probably few better ways to spend a June afternoon than sipping wine and listening to music amid the late-spring blooms of a well-loved garden. An upcoming benefit for Pathways-Life After Cancer offers the chance to do just that.

A party in John Cram‘s 9-acre Kenilworth garden takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 11. The celebration honors cancer patients and survivors and benefits the work of the nonprofit.

Cram will kick off the event with a garden tour at 1 p.m. The afternoon will also include wine, light refreshments, music and an auction of folk art for the home and garden. In addition, local caterer/restaurateur Laurey Masterton will share her story of survival.

Local artists who have donated paintings, ceramics and garden sculptures for the event include Barbara Fisher, Michael Hatch, Camille Cummings, Eva Scruggs and Jason Gilliam.

For more than 28 years, Pathways-Life After Cancer has provided emotional support, counseling, education and other resources to cancer patients, families and caregivers throughout Western North Carolina. Services are provided regardless of ability to pay.

Tickets are $65/person or $110/couple. For tickets or more info, contact Mary Hill at (828) 252-4106 or mary@pathways-lifeaftercancer.org.

— Tracy Rose

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