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February Featured Business of the Month – Andrew Roby General Contractor

We would like to congratulate our February 2019 Featured Business of the Month, Andrew Roby General Contractor! Andrew Roby is the premier custom residential contractor in the Carolinas, with local offices in Charlotte and Boone, NC. Specializing in custom home construction, full home remodels and additions, and kitchen and bath renovations, Andrew Roby “makes it home” for clients through exceptional quality, craftsmanship and customer service for life. Andrew Roby has deep roots in Charlotte, serving the region since 1950 when Andrew Roby, a Hungarian immigrant, founded a one-man remodeling and handyman service. Two years after starting the company, Roby hired Glenn Haston as Superintendent. The two would work together for over 25 years, establishing the growing organization’s reputation. In 1976, Haston bought the firm outright and today, the second and third generations of Haston’s extended family work for the company. Under their leadership, the company expanded to Boone in 2012 to bring its services to you! Over the last 69 years, Andrew Roby has built an extensive portfolio of projects, thriving on lifetime bonds with homeowners, architects and designers. If you’re ready to build or renovate, call us today at 828.963.4747. We’d love to hear more about your plans and help you bring your vision to life! Andrew Roby is a proud member of the Avery County Chamber of Commerce, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce and the High Country Home Builders Association. Each fall, the company hosts its annual Pitchin’ for Wishes Cornhole Tourney benefiting Make-A-Wish® Central & Western NC to help grant the wishes of children with critical illnesses in the 51 counties from Burlington west.    
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Our Woolly Worm Festival earns state recognition!

On October 20-21, Banner Elk, NC will again host one of the Southeast’s quirkiest gatherings, The Woolly Worm Festival. Now in its fifth decade, the festival can proudly add a new distinction: Official State Woolly Worm Festival of North Carolina.

Avery County Receives Grant From Appalachian Regional Commission to Expand Broadband Access

Avery County was awarded a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to expand broadband in the county and North Carolina Wireless (NCW), LLC. a Fixed Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) will provide that service. The grant request was submitted to the ARC by the Avery County Chamber of Commerce a 501 (c) (3) organization whose Executive Director is Ms. Melynda Pepple, on behalf of the citizens of Avery County. Ms. Pepple was assisted by the Avery County Manager’s Office and the staff of The High Country Council of Governments in developing the grant request to the ARC. The grant was approved in early 2018. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia. The grant is an award of $100,000 for the purpose of expanding broadband service to unserved and underserved areas for Avery County. The grant was awarded with further consideration of serving low-density and low-income areas of the county. Ms. Pepple and the Avery Broadband Committee received early guidance from the NC Department of IT to assist in identifying the unserved and underserved areas. After approval of the grant, a competitive process was utilized to select and Internet Service Provider to partner with the Chamber to implement the project. All methods of delivery of broadband services were considered (coax, fiber, and wireless etc). It was determined that Fixed Wireless was the most cost-effective method and provided the most coverage for the unserved homes in Avery County. “The Broadband Committee determined that NCW with their branded ‘LightLeap’ service offered the most complete and comprehensive plan for delivering the project” stated Ms. Pepple. NCW President Bill Shillito stated “We are proud and humbled to accept this award of funds; proud that the Avery Broadband Committee recognized the value that we bring to the project and humbled by the fact that the Broadband Committee identified us as offering the best and most effective approach to meet the grant’s aims. We will work hard to fulfill the aims of the grant. We are ably assisted by our local partner Mr. Doug Gragg, owner of Highland Electronics (Radio Shack), who serves as our sales and service team for Avery County. They are located at 520 Pineola St, Newland, NC 28657 and can be reached at (828) 733-5718. Mr. Gragg continues to go above and beyond his role in assisting NCW with identifying the best methods to deploy our unique capability in all parts of Avery County.” In response to the project goals, documented demand, and existing tower sites, NCW identified several areas of early focus to expand service to. Those areas include the Jonas Ridge/Pineola and the Linville Falls/Altamont areas as best early focus areas. “Now that the grant is awarded, our staff can and will complete the timelines and progress goals toward accomplishing the aims of the grant” stated Mr. Josh Strickland, CTO for NCW. For more information on LightLeap offerings by NCW including pricing, go to www.lightleap.net. You may complete a service form request at the website to assist NCW in determining demand for expansion in Avery County. Ms. Pepple stated “Many hours of work by a large number of players went into submitting the request to the ARC and selecting an ISP partner. I wish to thank the vision of the Avery County Commissioners and the Manager’s Office for their support toward this effort. I also wish to thank the Appalachian Regional Commission for seeing the need and providing the funding for this project. The High Country Council of Governments staff provided invaluable guidance and support through this entire process. We look forward to working with NCW to expand broadband in Avery…

2018 Annual Celebration

Members and non-Members alike are invited to our Annual Celebration on November 5th! This Celebration will take place at Crossnore School & Children’s Home, located at 100 DAR Dr, in Crossnore. From 5:30 to 6:30 pm, tours will be held, allowing visitors to see for themselves the Weaving Room, the Cottage, and learn about the history of Crossnore School, a staple of our community. At 6:30, a plated dinner will begin, with music for entertainment, followed by a program and awards ceremony. The winners of each award are chosen by you, our attendees, so please nominate today! Seats must be reserved and paid for by October 26. No exceptions can be made to this policy. Your reservation will not be complete without payment in full. We look forward to seeing you there! Click here to…

September Featured Business of the Month – Avery County Habitat for Humanity

We at the Avery County Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Avery County Habitat for Humanity for being our Featured Business of the Month for September! A plaque will be presented at our October 2 breakfast at Life Care of Banner Elk. For 27 years Avery Habitat has been working hand-in-hand with hard working, low income families to bring the American Dream of homeownership to the residents and workers of Avery County, investing more than $4.5 million dollars into the affordable housing landscape of the county. Utilizing thousands of volunteers from across the country, Avery Habitat has built 47 homes with the 48th currently under construction in our newest development, White Oak Knoll, just off Vale Road in Newland. More than 210 Avery County residents now live in simple, decent, affordable, efficient shelter that they own and pay a mortgage on. These mortgage payments, along with donations from generous donors from near and far, help to build more homes for families in need year after year. Partner Families must meet three main criteria: Need, Ability to Repay, and Willingness to Partner. The process is lengthy and requires hundreds of hours of Sweat Equity that in the end means a stable and safe home to raise children and beyond. At present four families are working on their Sweat Equity hours in order to proceed toward achieving homeownership. In addition to building homes and servicing mortgages, Avery Habitat operates the ReStore, a thrift store for building materials, appliances, furniture and household goods on Millers Gap Hwy south of Newland. Donations always welcome! In order to provide accommodations to out of town volunteers, Avery Habitat built the Gilmer Center, where up to 38 stay while spending a week on the build site and enjoying all that the High Country has to offer. Avery Habitat is a diverse organization helping to enact a global vision, “where everyone has a decent place to…

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