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Community almanac

Interfaith vigil planned in Sylva

An interfaith vigil for racial reconciliation and justice will be held on Monday, Sept. 21, International Peace Day, at Bridge Park, 76 Railroad St., Sylva.

Speakers and music will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. followed by a candlelight vigil. This event is one of more than 3,700 events occurring globally during the 2020 Campaign Nonviolence Week of Action, Sept. 17-27.

Local co-sponsors for the vigil are Reconcile Sylva and Jackson County NC NAACP Branch 54AB. All people of goodwill are invited. Wear a mask, physically distance, and bring a candle.


Foundation supports public library

The Haywood County Public Library Foundation is a charitable organization, incorporated in 1983, that receives and encourages gifts and bequests for the purpose of strengthening the local library system with branches in Waynesville, Canton, Maggie Valley and Fines Creek. 

The foundation has funded upgrades in technology and equipment, improvements to facilities, security cameras and tags, outdoor and indoor sculptures, the Story Walk at the Waynesville Recreation Park and digital microfilm and scanning equipment. Recent examples of Foundation support are the purchase of an outdoor shed for the Canton Outdoor Learning Center and startup costs for the “Family Place Libraries” initiative in Canton. All funded projects go above and beyond the basic services and items provided for in the library’s operating budget.

If you are interested in joining the volunteer Board of Directors of the Haywood County Public Library Foundation, visit the Library website “About Us” link and go to the Library Foundation section to download the application for appointment. 

Consider making a donation to invest in the future of your library: simply make a check payable to HCPL Foundation, Inc. and mail to 678 S. Haywood St., Waynesville, NC, 28786.


PAWS auction moves online

Due to Covid-19, PAWS of Bryson City will not be able to have its annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction on Oct. 3 as originally planned, but auction items will be available online. 

Items can be accesses at through Oct. 3. New items added daily. Winners pick up items or pay shipping cost to mail. Anyone with a Facebook account can bid.

No Facebook, no problem — call or text your bid to 828.736.0579.

If you have something to donate to the auction, email, call or text Beth at 828.736.0579. All donations support PAWS shelter.


Nantahala Health calls for proposals

Launching its second and final grant cycle of the year, Nantahala Health Foundation has announced a call for proposals directed at regional nonprofits and governmental agencies with innovative ideas to improve the social determinants that impact health and well-being throughout the six westernmost counties and the Qualla Boundary of North Carolina.

Applications for NHF’s Collaborative Health Innovation Program, or CHIP grants, of up to $50,000 will be accepted through Sept. 23. CHIP grants are intended to support out-of-the-box thinking about how to strengthen the places we live, learn, work and play, said Lori Bailey, the foundation’s executive director.

Potential applicants are encouraged to make the most of the community’s existing resources as they consider options for implementing and measuring the success of their unique approach to solving or, preferably, preventing our most pressing health issues, she said.

For more information about how to apply for a CHIP grant or donate to the foundation’s COVID-19 Impact and Recovery Fund, visit


Sarge’s Dog Walk draws thousands online

Sarge’s reimagined 15th Annual Dog Walk presented a week of fun Aug. 15 - 22 for animal lovers online.

Sarge’s supporters were encouraged to order a special edition T-shirt and take photos wearing the shirt with their pets. People in 14 different states ordered shirts.

The week of contests and posts of cute pet pictures culminated in a Facebook Live parade of Sarge’s adoptable dogs Aug. 22.

The top 10 vote-getters from each day were reviewed by Sarge’s Dog Walk judges. First place contest winners were: Best Tail Wagging, Xela; Best Pet Costume: Bray the Cereal Killer; Best Trick: Tessa; Best Pet with Kids: Sarah with rooster, Russell: Best Sarge’s alumni: Dumplin’; Best Photo Caption, cat: Nikola Rubley; Best Photo Caption, dog: Suzanne Stamey Pless; and the Eddie Award went to Avery and Charlie with Bear and Lucy.


NAACP awards scholarships

The Jackson County NAACP recently announced the recipients of the 2020 Diversity Scholarship, established to support high school seniors of Jackson, Swain and Macon counties.

There were three winners from Blue Ridge Early College: Ramon Morales, Dallas Dean and Allison Morales. From Smoky Mountain High School were Karis Borchelt and Alexandra Zimmerman; and from Swain County High School, Olivia Watty-Harris.

Winners received between $350-$1,000.  The Jackson County NAACP awarded a total of $4,200.  The funds were provided by fundraising endeavor and by the generosity of local NAACP members.  No formal awards ceremony was held because of the pandemic.

To contribute to the Diversity Scholarship fund, donations can be sent to Jackson County NAACP; P.O. Box 788; Sylva, NC, 28779.


Harrah’s supports Children’s Home

For the seventh year, Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos participated in the 36th Annual Cherokee Children’s Home Golf Tournament at Sequoyah National Golf Course.

All proceeds from the event solely benefit the Cherokee Children’s Home, whose mission is to provide a safe, nurturing home environment for children that encourages positive values, personal growth and cultural enrichment.

This year, Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos was an Eagle Level Sponsor of the event, which included a $2,500 donation. The company also donated various raffle items valued over $1,000.


Humane Society feeds animals

The Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society fed 112 animals in the community recently with a free pet food drive-thru at the Cashiers-Glenville Recreation Center.

More than 1,700 pounds of dog food, cat food, and treats were distributed to animal-loving families in need. Based on zip codes provided by donation recipients, pet owners from Cashiers, Cullowhee, Glenville, Highlands, Sapphire, Sylva, Tuckasegee and Webster all traveled to the event for much-needed food assistance.

Also at the event, pet owners for 39 animals signed up for the CHHS low-cost and free spay/neuter program. In the past eight years, CHHS has provided subsidized and free spay/neuter for nearly 4,000 animals, significantly reducing the overpopulation of homeless pets in our community.


Realtors award scholarships

The Carolina Smokies Realtors Foundation has been awarding scholarships to deserving and talented students in the Macon County area, for over 25 years.

In 2016, with the merger of the Franklin Board of Realtors and the North Jackson Board of Realtors, the foundation has been able to expand the scholarship opportunity to include scholarships to students in Jackson, (excluding Cashiers), and Swain counties as well.

The 2020 recipients were Mariana Ramirez Ontiveras from Jackson County, River Thompson from Macon County & Savannah Cook from Swain County. Scholarship recipients were given $1,000 to help with their educational costs.

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