Fine food friends
When the servers and kitchen staff at Trevi and Rezaz found themselves unexpectedly jobless after the recent flood put Biltmore Village under water, members of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association stepped forward to help.
An all-day fund-raiser at 18 local eateries on Sept. 22 raised more than $12,000 for the embattled employees. The member restaurants contributed 20 percent of that day’s revenues, and customers swelled the kitty with individual donations.
The participating restaurants were: Doc Chey’s, Pomodoros, The Greenery, The New French Bar, Cafe On The Square, the Grovewood Cafe, the Little Venice, the Grape Escape, Los Volcanes, the Southside Cafe, the Left Bank, Savoy Cucina Italiana, the Tupelo Honey Cafe, Vincenzo’s, La Caterina Trattoria, Cafe Soleil, The Boathouse on Lake Julian and Anntony’s Caribbean Cafe.
Eager customers were actually waiting in line at many of the restaurants, event organizers report.
For more information or to make a contribution, call the AIRA office at 350-1122.
— Lisa Watters
Pint-sized fun in Rutherfordton
The weatherman is less than 4 feet tall, the local dentist is a mouse, and the grocery store comes equipped with pint-sized shopping carts. What sounds like a children’s story will be brought to life this week as the KidSenses Children’s InterACTIVE Museum opens its doors to the public.
Created for children ages 10 and under, the museum includes a model Main Street complete with mailboxes, a clock tower and five storefronts, among them Dr. DeSoto’s dental office, the WFUN television station and the Little Family Dollar Grocery. Kids will be encouraged to explore these and other hands-on exhibits as they learn creative and practical skills.
The museum also includes such team-building activities as Gears and Gadgets, an exhibit in which children must problem-solve and work together to trap a toy mouse, while At Your Service! illustrates the importance of civic responsibility.
Steve Saucier, the program’s executive director, stresses the importance of regional support for the facility. “This is a regional museum. We would like everyone in Western North Carolina to come to the museum, to interact with the museum and to take responsibility for our children’s educational future.”
The renovation of the KidSenses building has taken more than two years, supported by an aggressive fund-raising campaign that has collected more than $2 million. “This area has helped to support us during difficult economic times,” notes Saucier, adding, “Without the support of the community, we wouldn’t be able to open the museum.”
The 11,000-square-foot facility, located on Main Street in Rutherfordton, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 per person.
For more information, call the museum at 286-2120.
— Amelia Pelly
New handicapped-accessible pier at Lake Julian
Fishing at Lake Julian in Skyland just got easier — thanks to a new project designed to improve access to the water.
“Bank fishing has always been popular at Lake Julian, but some anglers, especially those in wheelchairs, found it difficult to fish from the bank,” reports Scott Loftis, district biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “This new pier, with its easy access from the parking lot, will provide anglers of all abilities with universal access to Lake Julian, where the potential to catch fish is outstanding.” The large floating pier, completed in August, has three low-handrail sections providing wheelchair access to the water. A handicapped-accessible trail connects the parking lot to the pier.
The pier is a joint project of Progress Energy, Buncombe County Parks and Recreation Services, and the Wildlife Resources Commission. “Progress Energy is proud to partner with the county and the Wildlife Resources Commission to enhance the facilities at Lake Julian. The new pier will make the lake more accessible and [a] more valuable recreation resource for our community,” said Robert Sipes, vice president of Progress Energy’s Asheville office.
Lake Julian is stocked with bass, crappie and catfish for year-round fishing. Rods and reels are available free of charge through Buncombe County Parks and Recreation and the Wildlife Resources Commission’s Fishing Tackle Loaner Program.
For more information on Lake Julian or the park, contact Buncombe County Parks and Recreation Services at 684-0376.
— Megan Shepherd
Funding the cancer fight
Cancer awareness is the theme of a pair of upcoming fund-raisers. On Friday, Oct. 29, the Diana Wortham Theatre will host Enduring Ties, sponsored by a number of local nonprofits in partnership with Paul McCartney’s Garland Appeal USA, a charitable organization founded in memory of Linda Eastman McCartney, who succumbed to breast cancer in 1998.
The Olive Hill Community Economic Development Corporation and Garland Appeal will co-sponsor a similar fund-raiser on Friday, Oct.8. The black-tie affair will be held at the CoMMA in Morganton.
The movie Snow Angels will premiere that evening, followed by a silent auction and accompanied by light entertainment and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Olive Hill needs volunteer help and sponsors to help with the fund-raising effort.
Tickets are $50. For more info, visit www.ohcedc.org or phone 439-8893.
— Cecil Bothwell
Christian ministry plans giveaway
A nonprofit, interdenominational Christian ministry near Boone plans to give away 30 tons of food, clothing, health-care items, cleaning supplies and toiletries this weekend in Asheville.
Shelter Rock Ministries’ “Day of Blessing” starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9 at the Asheville Civic Center. Following entertainment and a “message of hope” from Shelter Rock President Steven Reese, the donation program will take place, according to the ministry and Civic Center Operations Manager Dan Dover.
“A Shelter Rock ‘Day Of Blessing’ is a crusade for Christ built around gifting,” according to the organization’s Web site.
Anyone who needs assistance is eligible to attend the free event, says Reese.
For more info, call (828) 963-4135 or visit www.shelterrock.org.
— Tracy Rose