Adoption rally

Twenty-two children in Buncombe County are legally available for adoption, according to a press release from the county Department of Social Services. The DSS, through its Families for Kids program, is looking for a few good homes.

You might not consider yourself qualified to adopt or provide foster care — but think again. DSS will consider individuals, whether they are married or single, renters or homeowners, rich or poor, young or old (however, you must be at least 21).

To promote fostering and adoption, Families for Kids and the Minority Faith Partnership Committee are sponsoring a Families for Kids Rally from 2 to 5 p.m. on June 7 at the Hill Street Baptist Church (135 Zion St. in Asheville). The rally includes lunch and a talk by David Harris, who grew up in foster care. There will be music by the Mount Zion choir, activities for kids, and plenty of info about fostering, adopting and mentoring.

Since July 1995, Families for Kids has placed 110 children in adoptive homes.

Even if adoption or fostering isn’t for you, there are other ways you might want to help kids in the community. Individuals can mentor an at-risk or foster child, provide respite for a foster or at-risk family, or be an advocate for children’s issues.

Civic groups and businesses can help fund a local foster-parent association, organize a Mother’s Morning Out for foster and at-risk parents, or set up a summer-camp scholarship fund. (These are just a few suggestions; the DSS has plenty more.)

To learn more, call Brent Deter at Buncombe County Families for Kids at 255-5848.

Enjoy Montford’s gardens

Indulge your senses and support community events in Montford by attending the second annual Montford Hidden Gardens tour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 13.

This year’s tour features six gardens, some the efforts of individual residents and others belonging to bed-and-breakfast establishments. There is no specific starting point, and guests may visit the gardens in any order, says Fairfax Arnold, director of the Montford Resource Center. Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast will serve refreshments.

Arnold chose the tour gardens from comments she heard on the street about the gardens. “People will say, ‘Have you ever seen so-and-so’s garden? It’s beautiful,'” she says.

Proceeds from the tour will fund Montford’s Easter-egg hunt, Halloween haunted house and annual street dance in August.

Tickets are $15 per person. The rain date is June 14 (same hours apply).

For more info, call Fairfax Arnold at 255-4946.

Coxe Avenue bus-terminal update

City planners are hoping that the new bus terminal on Coxe Avenue in downtown Asheville — with its restrooms and 24-hour attendant — will “give a boost in the arm to the transit system,” says city Planner Carl Owenby, who is acting project manager for the new terminal.

The Asheville Transit Authority won’t be extending its hours of operation when the station opens, but it will be “restructuring some routes,” said Owenby.

The Asheville Planning Department has been overseeing the construction, which started last July. The new terminal will replace the city’s current bus terminus in Pritchard Park.

Construction work on the new facility is now complete (except for the benches, which are on order and won’t be installed “until the last minute,” said Owenby). However, problems with installing traffic signals at either end of the terminal (on Coxe and Asheland avenues) is holding up the grand opening. Owenby hesitated to give an opening date, but said the signals might be working in two to three weeks.

To learn more, call Owenby at 259-5830.

Raffle rebate coming

The May 30 house raffle to support N.C. PRIDE never happened because PRIDE didn’t sell enough $100 tickets to make the venture profitable, says Nancy Baker, the organization’s spokeswoman. PRIDE has already mailed out most ticket refunds, and everyone who purchased a raffle ticket should receive their refunds in the mail by June 12.

For more info, call Nancy Baker at 251-1968.

Cancer-treatment talk

Dr. Michael Lerner, a cancer specialist from California, will speak and take questions at a 10 a.m. lecture on June 4 at the Owen Conference Center at UNCA. Lerner approaches cancer treatment from a complementary angle, combining conventional and alternative treatments. Medical organizations and doctors across the county have acknowledged the value of his unique approach.

The nonprofit, mind-body wellness center Pathways is sponsoring the event. Dr. Lewis Rathburn founded Pathways in 1977, after decades of observing how attitudes, thoughts and emotions effect a person’s healing process.

Lerner will also lead a workshop, beginning at 2:30 p.m. the same day. Workshop participants are asked to attend the morning session.

Admission to the talk and workshop is $75, and includes a 4:15 p.m. reception. The talk alone costs $30. The reception alone costs $15.

To learn more, call Pathways at 252-4106.

Marshall RiverFair

Downtown Marshall will host its first-ever RiverFair, a day of music, games, food, crafts, storytelling and hay rides, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 6. “Bring a lawn chair and stay all day,” encourages the press release.

A free shuttle will run every 10 minutes from Madison High School on Route 25 to the fair site. Handicapped parking is available at the fair site.

Admission to the festival is $2 for anyone 12 and older.

To learn more, call (828) 649-1023 or (828) 649-2192.

An actor’s life for him

Asheville native Chris Chalk will play the lead role in Bedroom Farce, a Summer Theatre production at the University of N.C. at Greensboro. The play opens at the UNCG’s Taylor building on June 3 and continues with five more showings through June 25. Chalk has spent the past few weeks sharpening his British accent for the role as Malcolm, the host of a party where the play takes place. Chalk also plays the Man in the Yellow Hat in a UNCG production of Curious George, also showing this summer. Shown here with Chalk is Alexia Peebles, who plays Malcolm’s significant other.

— fantastically compiled by Jill Ingram

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