Meeting Report: September 15, 2016

 

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Jonathon Green, estate planning attorney with the Eggers law firm, shown here on the left, along with our own Billy Chick, discussed with those present at Monday’s Rotary luncheon the reason’s estate planning should be paramount in every member’s plans, not only upon their death, but also for the possibility of becoming incapacitated. Not well known is the fact that many plans do not consider incapacitation in the wording and care givers are left with no access to funds that could otherwise have been available for care. They suggest you visit your investment manager to make sure a Durable Power of Attorney is attached to your retirement account to address this possibility. Since many of our members are residents of other states, it was also suggested they may want to examine their will to make sure it is up to date with the state of their residence.
Billy presented a flyer “Transfer on Death Agreement” which outlines steps that we all should take to ensure our will does what it was intended to do.
Both Billy and Jonathon emphasized the importance of having three up-to-date documents:

  1. Durable Power of Attorney (attach to retirement accounts)
  2. Living Will
  3. Health Care Power of Attorney
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Alice Salthouse, International Services chair, is shown here in the left with President Ray Pickett, accepting the club’s award from the district for the “Best Use of District Grant Funds” recently presented to the club. Alice and her committee frequently use the grant money to bring aid to struggling counties, such as Haiti.

 

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Bill Leahy wasn’t actually present when the joker was pulled from the deck by Basil on his behalf. The pot was just over $1,400 of which he’ll receive one half! How nice!

Meeting Report: September 8, 2016

Kathy Parham, The Children’s Playhouse

 

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Kathy Parham, Director of “The Children’s Playhouse”, spoke to the attendees at the Blowing Rock Rotary Club’s luncheon this past Monday. The Children’s Playhouse, in their 14th year, is the High Country’s only Non-Profit Museum and is located in Boone at 400 Tracy Circle near downtown. According to Kathy, the mission of the Playhouse is to provide children from birth to age eight with a year-round educational play environment, while offering their parents and caregivers friendly support in the important job of raising children. The Children’s Playhouse, according to Kathy, gives away over 25% of its memberships to low income families and agencies serving children with special needs. Kathy says, “This helps local families, who otherwise could not afford the admission fee, enjoy educational play and loving time together for a whole year.” Donations to The Children’s Playhouse, a 501c.3 nonprofit organization, are tax-deductible.
Parents and/or caregivers are required to stay with their children during their stays. “We are not a baby sitting or child care center”, Kathy said.

 

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Visit their website: www.goplayhouse.org

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Admission Costs: $6 per person (1 year to adult) Infants 12 months and younger are free. Memberships & Scholarships available We

Meeting Report: August 29, 2016

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Last Monday’s Rotary meeting featured Rodney Sutton, Director of Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music. Now in his 3rd season, Rodney became the director after Joe Shannon’s death in 2014.  Rodney is known for his expertise in traditional mountain dance and is adept at both flatfooting and clogging. Rodney gave a demonstration of his clogging ability after his talk about the Mountain Home Music program. No one could ever replace Joe Shannon, according to Rodney, so he has developed a slightly different approach the program’s activities. One of the outreaches has been to the various senior facilities, by installing several matinee productions, to reach those who may not otherwise be able to attend an evening program. The final national holiday show will feature Laurelyn Dossett, paying tribute to the working men and women of America, this Sunday, September 4th.

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Auction Results: $30,000+

The 2016 Annual Charity Auction was a huge success, in no small part to all those who volunteered and worked at the event before and after.  In teamwork it takes all the pieces working as one and as a team to make a successful activity. That was clearly evident at this year’s auction. A big THANKS to all who volunteered.

Meeting Report: August 22, 2016

State of our Town

 

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Scott Fogelman, Town Manager and member of our club, reported to the club on the State of Our Town at Monday’s meeting of Rotary. Among the items he discussed is a Comprehensive Plan developed for the town, which includes Conditional Zoning and a Study for Underground Utilities. Fogelman discussed some recent changes to the town which include: a new condo development on the site of the old hospital. These luxury condos expect to sell for 1 to 1.2 million dollars; The new Welcome Center at the corner of 321 & Edminsten, which was recently annexed into the town of Blowing Rock; New duplexes on Ransom street; The new Chestnut Ridge facility, which will be opening shortly; A new sewage pumping station, across the road from Chestnut Ridge, which will allow development on that side of highway 321; And plans for a new sidewalk from downtown to Bass lake, which will allow safe walking or bicycling to the lake.

 
One interesting note is that Fogelman discussed are the recently approved bond issues, which obtained a AA+ rating, saving the town thousands of dollars in interest costs. AA+ rating is the next to the highest rating attainable.

 
As part of the Comprehensive Plan is a study of underground utilities in the downtown corridors. The cost of doing the total project is estimated to be more than 17 million dollars. Estimated costs broken down into three areas are: Sunset Drive, 6.5 million; Main Street North, 5.5 million; and, Main Street South, 5.2 million dollars. The project to hide the unsightly wires and poles, as one can see is not only costly, but would be a major undertaking.

 
Scott also emphasized the importance of logging into the Notification Center on the town’s web -site. Robo calls to those registered would alert them to notices the town considers important.

 

70 Years Ago!

 

Our club was organized on August 30th, 1946, with the permanent Charter granted on September 28, that same year. This means we are celebrating our 70th anniversary this week!

 
Rotary District Governor, Holt McPherson, presented the Charter on Friday, November 8, 1946 at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant Inaugural Dinner. W.B. (Bill) Austin, President of the sponsoring West Jefferson Rotary Club, was Master of Ceremonies that evening while the Charter was accepted by the Reverent Walter K. Keyes, President of the newly formed club. The first project was to work with the American Legion and to initiate the Blowing Rock Memorial Park at Sunset and Main Street.

Meeting Report: August 15, 2016

$145,000 GRANT AWARDED TO MIDDLE FORK GREENWAY PROJECT!

 

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Wendy Patoprsky gave a review of the current progress and the future of the Middle Fork Greenway Project, over which she is the Director. Governor Pat McCrory paid a visit to Blowing Rock last week and told Wendy the State of North Carolina has awarded a grant of $145,000 to build an 80 foot long bridge over the Middle Fork river that when constructed will provide the connection between Blowing Rock
and Boone.

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The Middle Fork Greenway will preserve an expanse of green space along the headwaters of the New River that will protect the natural, scenic, and cultural resources of the corridor and provide a trail for walking and bicycling between Blowing Rock and Boone. The synergy of river, protective green space, and trail will yield an array of tangible and intangible benefits that enhance our community’s quality of life. This is the goal of the Middle Fork Greenway Association (MFGA), an all-volunteer organization formed in 2000 to promote the project and build the public support necessary to acquire land, easements, funds and permits to bring it to fruition.
The river: The Middle Fork rises in Blowing Rock and flows north to Boone, where, joined by the East Fork and Winkler’s Creek, it empties into the South Fork, which zigzags into northeastern Ashe County where it joins the North Fork and becomes the New River, which flows northward through Virginia and into West Virginia where it joins the Gauley River to form the Kanawha River. Eventually waters from the New River basin drain into the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The New River is one of the oldest river systems in the world, flowing through rocks that date to 1.1 billion years old. (Courtesy of their website www.middleforkgreenway.org).
According to Patoprsky, the 6.5 mile greenway will extend from the Tanger Shoppes area, back behind the water treatment plant, cross the bridge and run parallel to the river and 321 highway, around the Watauga Medical facility in Boone and finally connect to the existing Boone Greenway.
A question was asked: “How will Blowing Rock visitors and residences access the greenway?”. According to Patoprsky there will be signal lights installed to cross from sidewalks on both sides of highway 321, where pedestrians can connect to a gathering area near the Shoppes.
“Right now we have all the land acquisitions and right ways needed, said Patoprsky, and we have a Master Plan. What is needed now are funds to complete the construction. Right now, if we had all the necessary funds, it would still take 2 to 3 years to complete.”

 

New Member:  Norm Wright

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Norm Wright was inducted as a new member of our club. Norm is not new to Rotary. From 1987 to 1995 he was an active member of the Ft. Lauderdale club in Florida. He received an Appreciation plaque in 1993 and was Rotarian of the year in 1994. all eight years with that club he had perfect attendance. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, he retired in 1988 after serving 20 years as a pilot with the Air Force and later a pilot with Eastern Airlines, finally moving to Blowing Rock. Norm and his wife of 58 years, Melinda, reside at 245 Virgils Lane in Blowing Rock. Welcome to our club Norm!

 

Did you know?

 

The Blowing Rock club was not always as organized as it is now. As an example, see the article above about Norm Wright and compare that to Virginia and Betty Howe’s experience. Betty, who had been President of the Lenoir club and won Best Large Club in the district, invited Virginia to join her as a guest at our club. Both were introduced as new members of the club! Neither Betty nor Virginia has ever given their new member talk. Editor Note: I think it’s about time they did so, don’t you?
Our club was organized on August 30th, 1946, with the permanent Charter granted on September 28, that same year. This means we are celebrating our 70th anniversary this month!
Rotary District Governor, Holt McPherson, presented the Charter on Friday, November 8, 1946 at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant Inaugural Dinner. W.B. (Bill) Austin, President of the sponsoring West Jefferson Rotary Club, was Master of Ceremonies that evening while the Charter was accepted by the Reverent Walter K. Keyes, President of the newly formed club. The first project was to work with the American Legion and initiate the Blowing Rock Memorial Park at Sunset and Main Street.