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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…

September 4 After Hours

Join us tonight, September 4, at 5:30 PM for a Business After Hours at The Great Train Robbery, located in Banner Elk! Chamber Members in attendance will not only be able to take advantage of a 10% discount across the entire store for the duration of the event, but will also be entered to win a Vineyard Porch Rocking Chair – a $380 value! See you there!
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August 2018 Featured Business of the Month ~ Crossnore School & Children’s Home

For more than 100 years, Crossnore School & Children’s Home has provided hope and healing for children who are unable to live safely in their own homes. Crossnore offers a holistic approach to treating the whole child emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Our Theory of Change model is unique to our organization and begins with meeting the most basic need by providing a safe and loving home for children from families in crisis. Within the model, each circle grows bigger to show the expansion of a child’s well-being—mind, body, and spirit.
Crossnore has expanded from Avery County to include a residential campus in Winston-Salem and a satellite office in Hendersonville. Our residential programs include on-campus group homes for children in foster care in Crossnore and Winston-Salem. Our clinical services are offered to our residential children, outpatient therapy clients, and through school-based therapies in all three of our locations. Foster care and adoption services are also available in all three locations and include training for licensure, as well as post-licensure training, support, and supervision.
Another aspect of Crossnore’s continuum of care that is offered is Youth in Transition services. Youth in Transition continues support for young adults who have graduated high school. The program concentrates on helping these young adults stabilize their housing, education, employment, transportation, and other independent living skills.
WINSTON– SALEM CAMPUS
1001 Reynolds Road Winston-Salem, NC 27104
(336) 721-7600
Info @crossnore .org
AVERY CAMPUS
100 DAR Drive PO Box 249 Crossnore, NC 28616-0249
(828) 733-4305
Info@crossnore .org

July 2018 Featured Business of the Month ~ Zenergy Massage Therapy

We are here to provide you with professional massage services to help ease your aches and pains and the stress of daily life. We offer a range of massage therapies such as Swedish, integrative, pregnancy, and reflexology.
After a lifetime of loving massage therapy, Deb Casaccia became a licensed massage therapist over 12 years ago. She has attended Healing Arts Institute, Georgia Academy of Massage and the Western North Carolina School of Massage. Deb is very interested in learning new styles of massage therapy and healthy practices. She is trained in Swedish massage, deep tissue, myofascial release, advanced pregnancy massage and reflexology. She became a Reiki Master in 2013 and is 1 in 10 massage therapists in North Carolina trained to massage burn scar survivors. Deb customizes her massages to fit the needs of each individual client and strives to help others feel better. She volunteers at Cannon Hospital and lives in a cottage in Linville Land Harbor with her family. NCLMBT#11667
Our new studio is quiet, cool and delightfully calming!
Featured Business of the Month
Deb Casaccia, Owner of Zenergy Massage Therapy
Member, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
Visit us online at www.zenergy.massagetherapy.com
Call: 828-742-1899 or call/text 828-989-1555 or book online for a massage!
We are delighted to be in our new location in downtown Newland, NC at 418 Pineola St, Newland, NC 28657 sharing a space with Kerri Stephanie Skin Therapy (KSST) (kerristephanie.com)
For facial waxing, professional make up or a relaxing facial, please call Kerri- 828-260-9533

June 2018 Featured Business of the Month ~ Blue Ridge Partnership for Children

The Blue Ridge Partnership for Children is an independent, nonprofit organization, with a Board of Directors made up of community members from all three counties. The Board determines how best to invest local Smart Start funding to support programs designed to address community concerns in early care and education,  the health of young children, and services for their families.    Two locations serving Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties. 392 East Main Street / PO Box 1387, Burnsville, NC 28714, Phone: 828.682.0047 / Fax: 828.682.7987 215 Pineola Street / PO Box 1455, Newland, NC 28657, Phone: 828.733.2899 / Fax: 828.733.9122   Jennifer Simpson, Executive Director director@brpartnershipforchildren.org Visit us online at  www.blueridgechildren.org   or www.facebook.com/Blue-Ridge-Partnership-for-Children    What is the Blue Ridge Partnership for Children?  CLICK HERE   Blue Ridge Child Care Resource & Referral Information:  CLICK HERE                        …

2018 Avery Chamber Golf Classic Winners-Linville Golf Club

Congratulations May 14, 2018 Avery Chamber Golf Classic Winners Linville Golf Club, Linville, NC On behalf of the Avery Chamber we sincerely “Thank” everyone who made this event possible! Host and Event Sponsors: Pictured (L-R) Keith Crain, Head Professional of Linville Golf Club; Melynda M. Pepple, Executive Director of Avery Chamber of Commerce; Tom Dale, Director of Golf of Linville Golf Club; Scott Wallace, Assistant Professional of Linville Golf Club Corporate Sponsors: Pictured (L-R) Todd Elledge, Director of Marketing of Carolina West Wireless; Edward Hinson, Executive Director of Competitive Operations of SkyLine/ SkyBest 1st Place Winners 1st Place “GROSS” Winner (L-R) Jason Eldreth, Carter Dishman, Roscoe Millsaps, John Malone 1st Place “NET Winner (L-R) Scott Boyles, Jeff Craver, Neil Cornatzer, Mark Hollingsworth -Not Pictured 2018 Golf Classic Results CLICK…

May Featured Business of the Month- LifeStore Insurance

LifeStore Insurance – YOUR North Carolina Insurance Specialist As an independent North Carolina Insurance Agency, LifeStore Insurance has seven  locations  (Boone, Greystone, West Jefferson, Elkin, Lenoir, North Wilkesboro, and Sparta) to serve your needs. By working together, our professional insurance agents will guide you through all    available insurance options so you find the policies that best fit your specific needs. As an independent agent, we work with most major insurance carriers and many times can get you a more competitive price than you could receive from the insurance carrier directly. So whether you are looking for individual coverage, family protection, auto, business, or health insurance, investment opportunities, or a custom policy, LifeStore is there for you . . . at every stage of your life. ~     Auto     ~     Home    ~    Business      ~     Life      ~     Health     ~ Karen McNeil , CBIA , Account Executive 1675 Blowing Rock Road Boone, NC 28607 (828) 263-1524 (800) 723-4718 www.lifestoreinsurance.com Email: kmcneil@golifestore.com…

May 2018 Leadership Avery-Nonprofit Sector

On Tuesday, May 1, 2018 the Leadership Avery Class held the nonprofit sector. The sector was a jam packed day highlighting many nonprofit presentations and tours. The following organizations and presenters gave enlightening presentations. Below are just a few of the many nonprofits that provide wonderful services for our county. Hats off to all for a job well done! Feeding Avery Families – Dick Larson Yellow Mountain – David Tate RAM’s Rack (Reaching Avery Ministries) – Janet Millsap Habitat for Humanity – Christon Clark Crossnore School and Children’s Home – Kathy Dellinger, Caroline Hart Mountain Alliance – Zack Green Oasis – Tiffany Moon Tours – Crossnore Weavers, Cottages, Frescos  and Blair Frailey Sales Store Lunch – Kelly Hollbrooks & Staff *Program Facilitators: Kathy Rimmer, 828-733-5804, DeLee Scott, 828-737-5500 Avery County Chamber of Commerce, Melynda Pepple,…

April 2018 Leadership Avery-Education System Sector

On Tuesday, April 10, 2018 the 2018 Leadership Avery Class held the Education System Sector. The day started at Mayland Communtity College on Avery campus with breakfast, presentations and tours. Dr. Bryan Taylor, the new superintendent from the Avery County Board of Education and members of the Avery County Schools Central Services spoke to the class about the Avery County School System, programs, and the various departments within Avery County Schools, including the Scottie Bus.  The Avery High Culinary Arts students prepared a delicious lunch for the class.  After lunch, the Leadership Avery Class traveled to Lees McRae College for presentations from various departments and tours of the campus.  Jon Driggers, Vice President of Student Development,  Dean of Students and Student Development, welcomed the Leadership Avery Class, followed by visiting the School of Nursing, and ending the day at Lees McRae College by visiting the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center with Nina Fischesser.  A great educational learning day was enjoyed by all. Thanks to everyone who made this education sector possible! Program Facilitators: Kathy Rimmer, (828) 733-5804, DeLee Scott, (828) 737-5500 Avery County Chamber of Commerce, Melynda Pepple, (828) 898-5605           …

April 2018 Featured Business of the Month- Blackpoint at Linville Falls

Nestled in the stunningly beautiful North Carolina Appalachian mountains, Blackpoint at Linville Falls is moments from America’s favorite drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway. Featuring furnished luxury homes, this gated community offers all amenities including clubhouse, swimming pool, underground utilities, natural gas, cable/satellite, and high speed internet. Each home has an open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, top-end appliances, marble counters, hardwood floors, and stone. Perfect for vacation rentals, weddings, or retreats, Blackpoint at Linville Falls is across from Linville Falls Winery where you can sip delicious wine while watching the sunset over the majestic vistas of North Carolina’s Highlands. Karen M. Salle, Exclusive Broker          Office Phone: 828.765.1127              Direct Cell Phone 386-569-5854  Web Site: http://www.blackpointatlinvillefalls.net Email: karen@blackpointatlinvillefalls.com      …

March 2018 Leadership Avery Orientation Day

On Tuesday, March 13, 2018  Leadership Avery kicked off this year’s orientation session at the Williams YMCA of Avery County in  Linville, NC.  The session began in the Oak room with coffee and danishes.  Introductions to Leadership Avery was led by DeLee Scott, Kathy Rimmer, Jeff Davis and Melynda Martin Pepple the program facilitators. Team-building exercises  throughout the day were led by Stephanie Greer.  The class enjoyed a tour and learning about the endeavors of the YMCA. Leadership Avery participants will be involved in monthly classes throughout the year. Program Facilitators: Kathy Rimmer, 828-733-5804, DeLee Scott, 828-737-5500 Avery County Chamber of Commerce, Melynda Pepple,…

March 2018 – Dr. Carol G. Schaffer

Dr. Carol G. Schaffer has been practicing general dentistry in the High Country since 1987.  Dr. Schaffer is a 1981 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine.  She completed a one year General Practice of Residency at the University of Pennsylvania in 1982.  Then she moved to North Carolina in where she began to practice in Boone in 1987. She opened her Linville office in 2001 and loves being part of Avery County. In addition to regular cleaning and exams, her office offers restorative, cosmetic and implant dentistry. Dr. Carol Schaffer in her general dental practice treats adult  patients. She offers a full range of comprehensive dentistry services such as: preventive care, comprehensive exams, dental cleanings, digital x-rays, fillings, crowns and bridges, whitening, dental implants, and cosmetic dentistry. She welcomes new patients. Dr. Carol G. Schaffer, general dentistry practice houses three operatory rooms, one dental hygiene room, and one laboratory / sterilization room, a waiting room, and an office which staffs five onsite employees including herself. Jillian Tenge- CDA Wendy Moody- CDA Carol G. Schaffer, DMD, PA Beth Whitehead- RDH Pam Watson- Office Manager In a recent interview, Dr. Carol Schaffer, explains that in her practice she values spending time discussing treatment options for her patients. She states, “An informed patient can make the best decision about his or her long term dental health, comfort and functionality. It is well worth the extra time spent with patients to provide a clear understanding of all dental health procedures and services that we can provide.” Her office is located at Sloop Medical Office Plaza, 436 Hospital Drive, Suite 105, Linville, NC 28646, and can be reached  828-737-7722 or by visiting www.carolschaffer.com….

Avery County Chamber of Commerce Desires to Engage Internet Service Providers for Broadband Expansion

The Avery County Chamber of Commerce has received a grant in the amount of $100,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to extend broadband internet service to residential and business customers in unserved and underserved areas of Avery County. The Chamber is looking for a qualified Partner with the technical expertise and capacity to make available high-speed internet services to as many underserved areas as possible.  The qualified Partner would be required to design, build, operate and maintain a broadband network to provide data services.  The Partner would also be required to provide a minimum of $100,000 to match the ARC funds Copies of the detailed request for proposal (RFP), including a description of the services to be provided by respondents, the minimum content of responses, and the factors to be used to evaluate the responses, can be obtained by contacting Melynda Pepple, Director, Avery County Chamber of Commerce, 4501 Tynecastle Highway, Unit #2, Banner Elk, NC 28604 or (828) 898-5605 or director@averycounty.com or visit www.averycounty.com/avery-county-press-releases/. Proposals will be accepted until 5:00 pm March 30, 2018. The Avery County Chamber of Commerce encourages the submission of proposals from minority- and women-owned firms. Avery Chamber – RFP…

February 2018 – Feeding Avery Families

Feeding Avery Families is a non-profit Christian organization in Avery County dedicated to eliminating hunger by any means possible including monetary donations, volunteerism, and food donations. FAF provided 60% of the food assistance in Avery County in 2017 and currently distributes approximately 500 boxes of food every month (generally on the last Friday), reaching over 1000 individuals, from their Food Distribution Center at 508 Pineola Street in Newland. Please get in touch with Dick Larson to donate or volunteer.   Dick Larson, Executive Director P.O. Box 1075 Banner Elk, NC 28604 (828) 783-8506…

January 2018 – Souvenir Shirts

Listed as one of the top ten “must-do’s” for the Banner Elk area, Souvenir Shirts is located on Hwy. 184 at the base of the Sugar Mountain ski slopes. They sell everything from local Woolly Worm tee-shirts and ski apparel to homemade fudge and ice cream, and have been providing Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain, and Banner Elk souvenirs and gifts since 1987!   Souvenir Shirts 3175 Tynecastle Hwy. Banner Elk, NC 28604 (828) 898-6441…

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