At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

Regional Calendar

Community events

• The Swain County Genealogical and Historical Society has cancelled its July meeting but hopes to be able to meet again in August. Next month’s program will be “Parson’s Branch Road” rather than the usual potluck picnic. The group will continue to evaluate month to month and resume meetings when it is safe for all to be in such a gathering. 

• QuickDraw, a local art initiative that funds art programs in WNC schools, has jumped online to raise funds online from June 7-30. With the spring physical event cancelled due to COVID-19, volunteers organized an online art sale and auction to replace the in-place fundraiser. QuickDraw’s online auction opens to the public at midnight on June 7 and offers art at auction and a gallery of pre-priced easy-to-ship art. The online auction and art sale can be accessed at For more information, visit or call 828.734.5747.

• Bardo Arts Center has a new webpage dedicated to virtual opportunities at Highlights include a series of Thursday lunchtime webinar presentations, which will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube, as well as through the website. The Thursday webinar series opens with a theatrical talkback, followed by three webinars related to WCU Fine Art Museum exhibitions. 

• Richard G. Sneed, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, will join 11th Congressional District Democratic nominee Moe Davis for a special Moe Talks! Live Virtual Town Hall from 7-8 p.m. July 9. Moe Talks! is a twice-weekly virtual event on Zoom, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Twitch with Davis answering questions from voters and offering his views on the issues of the day. Learn more at

• Mountain Heritage Day, the annual community and campus celebration of Southern Appalachian culture presented by Western Carolina University since 1974, will not happen this year.


Business & Education  

• The Macon County Public Library Tax-Aide site has determined that it will not re-open for this tax season. Tax-Aide sites in Haywood County, Jackson County and the Murphy Public Library will also not be re-opening. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offering online options to assist taxpayers affected by the suspension of in-person services. A self-prep option, providing taxpayers with free access to software so they can prepare taxes on their own, is available at

• The Small Business Centers at Southwestern Community College and Haywood Community College are now offering expanded business services to local small business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Reboot, Recover, Rebuild or R3 Program for Small Business will offer expanded counseling opportunities in more than 40 different categories. Interested businesses are encouraged to apply for the program in advance by visiting If you have questions, email Henry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Small business owners can find materials and services to support business growth at Fontana Regional Library’s locations in Macon, Jackson and Swain Counties. Computer classes and one-on-one assistance available. 586.2016 or


Volunteers & Vendors

• The historic Shelton House in Waynesville is currently in need of volunteers for an array of upcoming events. Alongside help for events and gatherings, the organization is also seeking a docent, gift shop attendee, data entry person, landscaper, handyperson, and other positions. 

• Haywood Vocational Opportunities is seeking donations of goods, services, time and support for the second annual “HVO Stans Up to PTSD Veteran Community Resource, Education and Job Fair,” which will be held on June 27. 454.6857.

• Feline Urgent Rescue is seeking volunteers and sponsors. Info: 422.2704,, or 844.888.CATS (2287).

• Cat adoption hours are from noon-5 p.m. on Fridays and noon-4 p.m. on Saturdays at 453 Jones Cove Road in Clyde. Adoption fee: $10 for cats one-year and older. Check out available cats at 452.1329 or 550.3662.

⦁ Senior Companion volunteers are being sought to serve with the Land of the Sky Senior Companion Program in Henderson, Buncombe, Transylvania and Madison Counties. Serve older adults who want to remain living independently at home in those counties.

• Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking volunteers to assist rangers with managing traffic and establishing safe wildlife viewing areas within the Cataloochee Valley area. To register for training or get more info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 497.1914.

• Haywood Regional Medical Center is seeking volunteers of all ages for ongoing support at the hospital, outpatient care center and the Homestead. For info and to apply: 452.8301, stop by the information desk in the lobby or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Anyone interested in becoming a hospice volunteer can call 452.5039.

• STAR Rescue Ranch is seeking volunteers to help with horse care, fundraising events, barn maintenance and more at the only equine rescue in Haywood County. 828.400.4940.

• Volunteer opportunities are available throughout the region, call John at the Haywood Jackson Volunteer Center and get started sharing your talents. 356.2833.
• Phone Assurance Volunteers are needed to make daily or weekly wellness check-in calls for the Haywood County Senior Resource Center. 356.2800.


Kids & Families  

• The Kathryn Byer Memorial Poetry Contest celebrates our mountains and our connection to them in our everyday lives. It is open to all Jackson County students, K-12. The poets are divided into three categories: K-4th grade, 5th-8th grade, and 9-12th. Three winners, in addition to Honorable Mentions, will be chosen in each category. Poems should be no longer than 40 lines, but can be much shorter, of course. Poems should be submitted to City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, either in person, mail or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by April 10. Please include “Poetry Contest” in the subject line. The winners in each category will receive gift certificates to City Lights Bookstore and will be invited to read at Greening up the Mountains at 3 p.m. April 25 at City Lights Bookstore. Winners will be announced by April 20. 586.9499.

• The Sylva Art + Design Committee is pleased to announce a unique pop-up gallery event that will feature the artistic creations of children ages 5-18 in the Western North Carolina region. “Nature Through A Child’s Eye” will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 4, at Viva Arts Studio in downtown Sylva. If you have a child that you think may want to be a participant ages of 5-18 apply by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Facebook at or on Instagram @sylvaarts. All submissions will be available for purchase and can be picked up after the completion of the exhibition. All money raised will be equally distributed between SADC and the Sylva Community Garden in order to further the betterment of the community through arts, education, and environmental awareness.

• Registration is underway for the Challenger International Soccer Camp, which will be offered to ages 3-14 from July 20-24 at the Waynesville Recreation Center. Costs vary based on age group from $90-197. Separate goalkeeper and scorer program is $25 for ages 6-14 from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday. Register: Info: 456.2030 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

• Waynesville Art School offers the Young Artist Program in the afternoons for 5-6 year old, 7-8 year old, 9-12 year old. Intro to Printmaking and Evening studies in arts is offered for 13-19 year old. Waynesville Art School is located at 303 N. Haywood Street. Info: 246.9869, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit for schedule and to register.

• Mountain Wildlife offers wildlife education programs for schools and organizations in Western North Carolina, free of charge. If you are interested in having them visit your group contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 743.9648 or visit the website at



Health matters

• Free dental clinic for low-income patients, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays by appointment at Blue Ridge Mountains Health Project Dental Clinic on the upper level of Laurel Terrace in Cashiers. 743.3393. 

• The Community Care Clinic of Highlands-Cashiers, 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, provides free care to uninsured patients who meet financial need requirements and live or work in Highlands and Cashiers. $10 donation suggested. The clinic is in the Macon County Recreation and Health Building off Buck Creek Road. 526.1991. 


• The Haywood County Meals on Wheels program has route openings for volunteer drivers. Substitute drivers also needed.

• P.A.W.S. Adoption Days first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the front lawn at Charleston Station, Bryson City.

• The Community Kitchen in Canton is in need of volunteers. Opportunities range from planning a meal updating their webpage. 648.0014. 

• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Haywood County is now accepting applications for boys and girls within the Haywood County area between the ages of 6 and 14 who could benefit from an approved adult mentor/role model. No cost to the family. 356.2148.

• Gathering Table, 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, at The Community Center, Route 64, Cashiers. Provides fresh, nutritious dinners to all members of the community regardless of ability to pay. Volunteers always needed and donations gratefully accepted. 743.9880.

• The Haywood Jackson Volunteer Center has many new openings for volunteers throughout the region. Learn about a wide-range of volunteer opportunities with a variety of non-profit agencies, including respite work, domestic violence hotline volunteers, meal delivery drivers, court mediators, Habitat for Humanity house building, foster grandparenting, charity thrift shops, the Elk Bugle Corps for the Great Smokies National Park and many more. 356.2833.

• Community Care Clinic of Franklin needs volunteers for a variety of tasks including nursing/clinical, clerical and administrative and communications and marketing. 349.2085. 

• Catman2 Shelter in Jackson County needs volunteers for morning feeding and general shelter chores. 293.0892 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

• The Volunteer Water Inventory Network (VWIN) is looking for people to work one to two hours a month taking water samples from local creeks and streams. Fill up empty bottles, collect water samples, and return full bottles. 926.1308 or 

• The Haywood County Historical and Genealogical Society maintains a museum located in the historical courthouse in room 308. The HCHGS is seeking articles and objects of historical value to Haywood County that anyone would like to share. 456.3923.

• REACH of Haywood County is looking for volunteers who would like to assist in its newly expanded resale store. 456 Hazelwood Avenue. 456.7898. 

Go to top