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The 2021 Chamber Member of the Year, Hannah Garrett with Chairman Pete Craft and presenter and Events Committee member, Tina Clark. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Three “Of the Year” awards given at 2022 Chamber Annual meeting

Cherryville’s Business; Chamber Member; and Citizen of the Year honored at May 12 gala

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


The night of Thursday, May 12, 2022 annual gala and banquet was a great night for those members of the Cherryville Chamber of Commerce who are not just members of our community at large but are businesses and citizens that provide so many great services and love to this great small town in the northwestern corner of Gaston County.
The annual Chamber of Commerce meeting took place last Thursday night at the Cherryville Golf and Country Club and was opened up with a welcome and acknowledgement of all who came that night by Chamber Board of Directors chairman Pete Craft. Mr. Craft recognized and thanked the Board, asking those members present to stand, congratulating them on all their hard work. In addition to Craft (Stamey – Cherryville Funeral Home), the following members are: Mary Beth Tackett (Director/Events Coordinator); Jhoan Alfaro (Alfaro Media Designs); Donna Beringer (Carolina Federal Credit Union); Emily Blackburn (Piedmont Lithium); Johnny Brown (Allstate Insurance); Sarah Chambers (Peak Resources); Barry Heavner (Houser Drug Co.); Emily Hurst (FleetNet America); Hannah Garrett (Carpenter – Porter Funeral Home and Cremation Services); Pam McGinnis (McGinnis Furniture of Cherryville, Inc.); Steve Panton (City of Cherryville); Casey Blair Sipe (Modern Printing Co.); and Vickie Spurling (Vickie Spurling Realty).
Craft then called on Mayor H.L. Beam, III who came up and also welcomed everyone, adding, “We are proud of our Chamber.” Beam also mentioned other events put on by the Chamber, noting that this year’s Independence Day celebration will be moved to Rudisill Stadium this year due to the street construction going on in downtown.
After the invocation by Mr. Craft, Chamber Director Tackett gave the review of the past year 2021, a section of the night’s festivities normally reserved for Events Committee Chairman Gary Dellinger, who was currently out of town.
She showed a brief video of the Year in Review, which met with acclaim by those present, and she recognized the event’s sponsors as well as the program sponsors. Those sponsors were: Carolina Federal Credit Union; the Cherryville Eagle; Cherryville Golf and Country Club; Cherryville Little Theater; City of Cherryville; Dellinger Electric; Modern Printing Company; Sheila Houser, CPA; and Upchurch Garden Center.
The three awards were sponsored by the following: Member of the Year (Calvin Hastings/KTC Broadcasting); Business of the Year (Vickie Spurling Realty); and Citizen of the Year (Patrick O’Leary).
Craft then took the podium and did a brief “Looking Back” aspect in which he commented at the end of his remarks that, “It takes different people to make things happen in a community. Always remember your small businesses and support them.”
The event them moved on to the presentation of the three awards and resultant speeches and comments.
Starting things off was Chamber 2022 Events Committee member Tina Clark who introduced the Member of the Year, Hannah Garrett, of Carpenter – Porter Funeral Home and Cremation Services. Garrett thanked the Chamber and her husband, Scott, as well as the citizens of Cherryville for their love and support, adding that while she wasn’t originally a Cherryville native, she truly loves the community and the love and honor they have given since they arrived.
Former Cherryville mayor, Wade Stroupe, presented the Business of the Year award to Houser Drug. Co-owner/operator and pharmacist Tim Moss, co-owner Don Beam, and co-owner H.L. Beam, III, came up and received the award. Moss spoke about what being one of the oldest businesses means to them and of their love for, and service to, the Cherryville community.
Lastly, the Citizen of the Year award was introduced by Mr. Don Lawrence, who spoke glowingly of the recipient, Dr. Thomas Rhyne White.
“I am proud to call him not just my doctor but my friend and mentor, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than him,” said Lawrence.
Doctor White took the podium and thanked the Chamber as well as his family and many friends present, noting that his and his wife’s decision to move back to Cherryville from Charlotte all those years ago, added to the love of the good folks of Cherryville, many of whom have been his patients at one time or another, has all culminated in this august award.
Mr. Craft, after the presentation of the awards, gave the closing remarks and the evening drew to a close.
(Additional information by Susan L. Powell)
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The W. Blaine Beam Falcon Radio Club took the top honor in the School Club Roundup by taking first place in the Elementary Division. (photo provided)

WBBI’s Falcon Ham Radio Club takes top honor in recent Roundup

Takes top honor by taking first place in the Elementary Division.

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


It’s no secret among ham radio aficionados… the School Club Roundup is an annual world-wide amateur radio contest and something to be desired as far as “wins”, or great accolades, go.
Why? Because students from all over the United States compete against other school radio clubs from across the nation to make as many contacts on the radio as possible over the course of a few days, said Mark Reep, of W. Blaine Beam Intermediate. Reep, one of the founding members of the club and a ham radio operator himself, said, “This year W. B. Beam Intermediate’s Falcon Radio Club (N2FRC) in Cherryville, NC, took the top honor by taking first place in the Elementary Division.”
The Falcon Radio Club was formed last year, Reep noted, and already has 77 students “…actively involved in learning about amateur radio and how it helps to teach children about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).”
This past February was the school’s first time competing in the event, said Reep, who added that the 4th and 5th grade club members “…did an incredible job racking up 105 contacts on the radio.”
Said Reep, WBBI’s School Counselor, via an email, “The students made voice contact with radio operators in 29 different states, nine school radio clubs, two countries, and two Canadian Provinces, for a total score of 8,190 points. As the club president and trustee, I am extremely proud of the students who participated in the event and all the hard work they have put into making this happen.”
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An artist’s rendering of what the finished Downtown Cherryville sidewalks will look like when finished. See construction work photo on page 3. (photo/graphic provided)

Businesses remain open on Main Street while construction progresses

Construction slated to be completed by late summer

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


In a recent media release, Downtown Director David Day noted Cherryville City officials say that despite some delays, construction crews are making great progress on the revitalization project in Downtown Cherryville with completion set for late summer.
“Meanwhile,” said Mr. Day, “businesses remain open.”
City Manager Brian Dalton said, “We’re making great progress on our downtown revitalization, but we’re being flexible as we work through challenges.”
Dalton continued, “As is the case with any large project, the crews have worked through delays caused by the weather, availability of materials and workers, and unforeseen construction issues.”
He further noted, “To keep us moving forward, we’ve slightly changed our plan. Soon we’ll work on replacing the sidewalks and light poles from Depot Street to Pink Street. At the same time, we’ll repave the north and south alleys.”
Said Mr. Dalton. “That’s going to allow folks to park behind the buildings and use the rear entrances while we work on Main Street.”
City Manager Dalton also noted that after the alleys are paved, the work will begin on replacing sidewalks and light poles from Pink Street to Mulberry Street.
Downtown Director Day emphasized that repaving Main Street and side streets will occur last.
Said Mr. Day, “We’re all looking forward to that great day. Our citizens have been very patient, and I know they will be excited with us to see the project complete. We’re planning a celebration in the early fall.”
For any citizens who have further questions about the ongoing Main Street construction work, Mr. Day said they may contact him at (704) 435-3451.
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Cherryville City Manager Brian Dalton and Planning and Zoning Director Alex Blackburn jotting down a few notes at the April 12 Gaston VISION 2040 meeting at the town’s Community Building. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Gaston VISION 2040 kicks off with Cherryville workshop

Far-reaching agenda looking for stakeholders who want to change their future

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


In a series of Community Engagement workshops, Gaston VISION 2040 has officially launched their ongoing efforts to get input on farsighted goals to make the county a better place to live for our children.
The group’s main question is this: “Are you interested in the future of Gaston County? Let’s have a conversation”, and their primary goal, as stated on the group’s web site and a flier handed out at the Cherryville (and other subsequent) meeting(s), is “To engage county residents, businesses, and organizations in dialogue about their desires for the future of Gaston County, and to use that dialogue, along with an examination of data and trends, to create a VISION for what Gaston County can achieve between now and 2040.”
Furthermore, it is noted (also on the group’s information and web site) that “A community vision is an image of a community’s future. It describes the desired outcome – a place where participants agree they want to journey together.”
On Tuesday, April 12, at 3 p.m., Cherryville was the first spot selected to open up the first round of Community Engagement meetings, according to information from Gaston VISION 2040 (GV2040) and their steering committee, comprised of the following members:
Deborah Ally (Chair); Gaston County YMCA CEO Sharon Padgett (Acting Chair); Donyel Barber; Brandon Bellamy; Gaston County School Superintendent Dr. W. Jeffery Booker; Asst. Chief Nancy Brogdon; Stephen Crane; Cherryville Downtown Director David Day; Gaston County’s Dr. Kim Eagle; the Rev. Dr. Rodney Freeman; Juan Garcia; Thomas Gillespie; Vincent Ginski; Rev. Ray Hardee; Carl A. Harris, Sr.; Dr. Kelvin Harris; Steven Long; Ernest Sumner, II; Natalie Tindol; Dr. Valerie Holmes-Waddell; and Diana Willman.
That first meeting at Cherryville’s Community Building was followed by other meetings on April 12 (at 7 p.m., Bessemer City); April 14 at 3 p.m. (Gaston County Citizens Resource Center in Dallas); and April 14 at 7 p.m., at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church (Gastonia).
There are to be meetings on Wednesday, April 27 at The Pointe Church in Belmont (at 2 p.m.), and Wednesday, April 27, at 7 p.m., at Belmont Abbey College Haid Theater. On Saturday, April 30, at 10 a.m., a Zoom Session is scheduled (find the link at www.gaston2024.com).
Sharon Padgett, the Acting Chairperson, noted a second round of workshops, as per a handout at the first Cherryville session, will be held to build on the topics discussed from the first round of meetings. Those second-round workshops are scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, at 3 and 7 p.m.; Wednesday, May 25, at 3 and 7 p.m.; Thursday; May 26, at 3 and 7 p.m.; and another Saturday Zoom meeting for May 28, at 10 a.m. The meetings are roughly 90 minutes each, Padgett noted.
After introductions at the Cherryville stakeholders meeting, emcee Glenn Walters, of Asheville’s Design Workshop, gave a presentation of the group’s goals, using the VISION’s talking points.
“We want to inspire acting leadership, and represent those things and activities that improve our lives,” said Mrs. Padgett, who added it is “important to be thorough”. In all that is undertaken.
She then quoted Ted Abernathy, an Economic Development Consultant (2019) who said, “Gaston County is at an inflection point”, noting that the county and its leaders “…have been on a journey for almost two years.”
The group, noted Mr. Walters, in “…on schedule to get it (the introduction to GV2040) wrapped by fall”, adding that what they have so far been hearing about, concerning the VISION, concerns the many challenges as well as the many opportunities.
“Please keep in mind,” he said, “this is not a one size fits all VISION.”
Additionally, it was pointed out by stakeholders at the Cherryville workshop, that growth is a big issue and that housing densities are really low, especially in Cherryville’s end of Gaston County.
Walters noted other factors that will be taken into consideration at these upcoming workshops include accessibility to parks, schools, and such for less-served groups of individuals, as well consideration of everyone’s cultural importance and history. Another important aspect, especially in light of the current political outlooks in today’s America and the world is our environment; more importantly, protecting our natural environment and our precious natural resources.
As per the handouts, some questions the group wants all to think about as GV2040 goes forward have to do with: What are the critical issues are facing the county; what are its greatest opportunities; how can a shared county-wide vision serve various organizations or the county’s constituents; and what (if any) limitations are seen, with existing planning for the future?
And, lastly: How can Gaston VISION 2040 help the citizens of the county to help us champion the effort going forward?
For more information, please visit their web site at www.gaston2040.com.
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In this publicity photo, originally taken in Watertown, NY, we see Ashley DeMar and her husband, Jeremy Homesley acting out a scene from the book and play, “The Diaries of Adam & Eve”, in which Eve picks out the names of the plants in the Garden of Eden. (photo by Maureen Hillabrandt)

Cherryville couple portray Adam and Eve in locally-hosted production

St. John’s Lutheran Church site for the Mark Twain-written piece scheduled for April 29 and 30

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Cherryville couple Ashley DeMar and Jeremy Homesley are scheduled to perform the Mark Twain-written humorous, yet thought-provoking “The Diaries of Adam & Eve” on Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, in Cherryville.
The production starts at 7 p.m., and a free will offering will be taken with any donations given going to the church’s ministry to feed the hungry, “God’s Work, Our Hands” ministry.
The two, who moved to Cherryville in 2019 from New York, had lived here previously in 2016, said Ms. DeMar, who added she is originally from New York, but that Jeremy’s family is from Cherryville.
“We are lucky enough to live on the family farm – in the same house his grandparents built – and that’s an invaluable experience for us and for us to give to our son, Roan,” she said.
Jeremy said, “I’ve lived here since 2008 and I think it’s a great area. I initially moved here right after graduating from undergrad at Lenoir-Rhyne. We left in the summer of 2017 when I did a long section hike on the Appalachian Trail (from North Carolina to New York). And then we spent a bit of time in New York and a bit of time in Virginia before coming back in spring of 2019.”
Though they are far from retirement age, Ashley noted Jeremy is an English teacher at Bessemer City High School where he teaches British Literature, World Literature, Honors English and AP English, in addition to leading Drama Club. She works remotely as a writer/copywriter, in addition to her work in the theater and music world. Together, we also run a farm and Project Local, which is the non-profit Jeremy founded in 2017.
Said Jeremy, “Project Local is a non-profit agro-business founded on the idea that food production is an essential component of education. Incidentally, Project Local is also producing this play, as a part of our series Project Local Presents, aiming to apply “homegrown” not only to food, but to art, music, theater, poetry and all manner of creative pursuits.”
Working in and on plays is in their blood as Ashley said, “Well, Jeremy had been involved with a production of this play with the Lincoln Theatre Guild in 2016. And it was his idea to work on it together. Since it is only two people and limited tech needs, it’s something we can easily take with us wherever we may go. (And I said yes, because my grandmother took every opportunity to remind me that we distantly related to Mark Twain.)”
Jeremy agreed, adding, “Yeah, I wouldn’t have found it on my own, but after I did it with LTG. I thought it was a great piece to carry forward.”
The two have been performing “Adam & Eve” together since 2017, but have both been performing professionally and recreationally for many years beyond that, they said.
Said Ashley, “I have been performing since anyone would watch. But especially when I became heavily involved in community theater as a kid. This eventually led to pursuing a BFA in Theater Performance and I have been working professionally ever since. Over the years, I have been lucky enough to work with The Live Literature Company (London, England), The Rev Theatre Company (Auburn, NY), The Barter Theatre (Abingdon, VA), Liberty Mountain – The Revolutionary Drama (Kings Mountain, NC), Davidson Community Players (Charlotte, NC), and many more.”
Jeremy added, “I was always involved in music and performance throughout school. And fell back into it in 2015 with the premiere of ‘Liberty Mountain’ – I ended up working with Liberty Mountain for six seasons. I’ve also done a couple of other shows in the area, including ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘Adam & Eve’ with Lincoln Theater Guild.”
As for props, Ashley said, “ Our set and props are relatively minimalistic. But one of the coolest things about our set this time around, is that it was constructed from raw lumber that Jeremy milled himself on the farm.”
She also noted the show features flowers and set pieces decorated to imitate the Garden of Eden.
“So, we are also interested in partnering with local florists for some of this – we think it would add a really special community flair.”
When asked if there was a “message” they wished to convey by performing this play, Ashley said, “Honestly, for me the message is less about the story and more about the production itself. It’s to show that no matter where you may be in the world, you can always create something that wasn’t there before.”
Jeremy noted American author Mark Twain originally wrote this in two sections; the second one after his wife had passed.
“It’s a testament of his love for her that shines through to this day. And anyone who has ever felt like that can connect with this story. I cannot tell you, after the first time I did this show, how three or four older men had to come up and hug me afterward – they felt so seen. The play takes us through the whole spectrum of life: new life, new knowledge, love and loss. The spirit of the play is universal.”
Ashley and Jeremy both strongly support the ministry St. John’s has to offer.
“In particular, this production will go to benefit God’s Work Our Hands, an outreach ministry that provides food and resources for the community. (And yes, Jeremy’s father is the pastor there.),” noted Ashley.
For more information on the play, call St. John’s Lutheran Church at (704) 435-9264.
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Jane Billedeaux and Harris Putnam getting ready to tie the knot after many years apart. (photos provided)

After many decades apart, Shelby couple meet again; tie the knot

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
michael@cfmedia.info


For Jane Billedeaux, 83, and Harris Putnam, 82, words like “hope” and “true love” aren’t just words, they really do mean what they say. They mean happiness can happen to anyone any time, no matter how much time has passed.
After all, it’s not every day, Jane said, you have an old flame call on you in order to propose to you after many decades apart and numerous marriages (with children too!) between them.
The loving couple tied the knot in November 2021 in the Walmart parking where she worked as a customer hostess. The minister was Gary Donaldson, who also worked nearby and knew Jane. Wedding guests (between 50 to 75, she said) were family and many of Jane’s fellow Walmart employees.
Mrs. Putnam said she and Harris were both born and raised in Earl, went to school there and became what she called “sweethearts” there in their fifth and sixth grade years.
After going their separate ways, marrying (three times for her, each ending in the death of her husband at the time), and the death of Harris’ wife, Jane said she felt it was not meant to be for her to be married. Little did she know that Harris had apparently never forgotten her and set about trying to find her. He did by going to the Earl post office, she said, and asking if they knew if she still lived there. Though she worked at a Walmart in Myrtle Beach, S.C., she still had her house in Earl and just happened to be visiting with family, so was back in town.
“I was home (August 2021) for a nine-day vacation from my job at the Myrtle Beach Walmart. Harris called me and we met at 8:30 a.m., on a Tuesday. He brought me a big, beautiful bouquet of roses. They were so big I couldn’t see him behind them!” she said, smiling. “He took me to Tryon to see waterfalls; he loves waterfalls. We were together eight of the nine days I had off.”
Jane said Harris must have still had some feelings for her in the 64 years they were apart, but it still hit her, as she said, “…like a ton of bricks” when he proposed to her.
“He said he wanted to marry me before Thanksgiving, but I didn’t give him an answer right then,” she said. She wanted to talk to her best friend, her daughter, Frances Pruitt. After that Jane said she felt she had to say “Yes!” to Harris.
Harris, said Jane, worked for the government for 30-plus years, retired from that, then worked at the Charlotte-Douglas Airport for a number of years.
The two are very active, she said, with there being three months difference in age between them, she noted, adding that she is the older of the two of them (her: March 27, to his: June 13).
Jane said she knows their wedding has even been on Google, adding she is grateful it has touched so many lives in a positive manner.
“Our story has given so many of all ages hope; that they too can find someone; find love. Don’t give up! Anything can happen.” she said.
Of their wedding, she said, “It’s like a big dream! It’s like a plaque we saw in Walmart about good things are yet to come. We bought it before our wedding. It’s now hanging in their bedroom in our house. Harris loves it as he is very romantic! I could not have gone out and found a better man than him.”
In closing, Jane, who still works as a customer hostess at the Shelby Walmart, said, “I am blessed; we are blessed. The Lord has been so good to me; to us.”
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Ashley Long (far right) and Katy Beam (far left) in their kindergarten class with Mayor Beam. (photo provided)

Mayor H.L. Beam visits Cherryville Elementary School students

Beam: “I was greatly impressed with their questions!”

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Cherryville Elementary School Principal Mrs. Audrey Hovis said 2nd grade students in Mrs. Kelly Brown’s class wrote letters to Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam III, asking him several questions about City government.
Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed she noted, adding, “Mayor Beam surprised the elementary school students and answered their questions in person,” last week. “The students were so excited!”
Additionally, Mayor Beam also spoke with teacher Katy Beam’s and teacher assistant Ashley Long’s kindergarten students as well.
When asked about his being a sort of “teacher for a day”, Mayor Beam said, “I had a ball. I have done it a couple of years ago, and Councilmember Jill Parker-Puett and I have also gone there and talked with the students as well.”
Mayor Beam said that while many of the kids’ questions were fairly serious and on-point, there were a few that were cute and humorous as well.
One in particular, he said, with a laugh, was when, “One little boy asked me what it was like to live in the White House. I told him I don’t live in the White House but in a red brick house not far from the school.”
Another humorous question was, after a little boy, in line with his fellow students and carrying his lunch back to class, passed the Mayor, Mrs. Hovis and Mrs. Long in the hall, he then whispered loudly to a little girl classmate behind him, saying, “Donald Trump is here today!”
“Mrs. Long and Mrs. Hovis told me I just got promoted,” said Mayor Beam, with a chuckle.
Mayor Beam noted how impressed he was with the students and their great questions.
“Their brains are like sponges and they can’t wait to get some new bit of information. They soak it up. They remember everything you say to them!” he said.
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And... It’s CUT! The ribbon is cut, signifying the opening of the new “digs” for the Cherryville Family YMCA, located on Mountain Street, across from the Cherryville Area Ministries building. Many dignitaries, both city, county, and state, were on hand as the bright red ribbon was cut by those with a stake in the new 2022 Cherryville Family YMCA! (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

New Cherryville “Y” ribbon cutting ceremony

“Y” CEO Padgett, staff and employees welcome city, county, state and other dignitaries to state-of-the-art facility

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


The weather was great for the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of the new state-of-the-art Cherryville Family YMCA facility on Thursday, March 24.
Wishing everyone present a “good afternoon”, Chief Volunteer officer of the Gaston County Family YMCA Board of Directors David Rogers said further, as things got started, “This is an exciting day for our YMCA and especially for the community of Cherryville. Thank you for being here.”
Rogers then introduced Mt. Zion Baptist Church pastor, Rev. Keith Huss, as, “...our partner in after-school and summer camp” programs to lead everyone in an opening prayer.
Gaston Family YMCA Sharon Padgett, came to the podium and spoke from a prepared statement about the history of the YMCA in Cherryville.
Reading from her statement, Padgett said, “In 2001 there was a great group of Cherryville City Stakeholders – community members – many who are here today, who saw the need to have a YMCA in Cherryville. So, programs began and the planning started and in 2003 Main Street came to life with a new Cherryville Family YMCA. We are grateful, humbled and blessed to be where we are today.”
Fast forwarding to 2021, Padgett noted another great group of Cherryville City Stakeholders and community members, also many who were there at the ribbon cutting, saw, as she said, “...the need for a new, updated, state of the art YMCA in Cherryville that will carry us for another 20-plus years.”
Padgett also noted how “...many Cherryville families, adults, children and seniors have improved their spirit, mind and body through the doors of the YMCA – not because of the equipment or exercise classes we provide – those are just tools – but by the relationships and friendships that have been built over the years with each other.”
Sharon said “many hands, minds, hearts and prayers that have gone into the making of this new YMCA” and named the following and their contributions: Mr. Patrick and Karen O’Leary for their love for Cherryville and its people; for their passion for service above self and the sharing of their treasures, which fills up, as God’s Word says, “...the storehouses to overflowing.” Padgett added, “We are grateful and there are not enough words to express our gratitude!”
To Mrs. Vickie Spurling, of Spurling Realty, without whose stepping forward and saying, “Come see me, I gotta tell you something that you won’t believe!”, we would not be here standing in this parking lot celebrating.
Added Padgett, “I think she said that to me several times throughout this process!”
To the tireless work of Cherryville Family YMCA employees Butch Boyd and Sandy Homesley, she said, “Your prayers, the love you have for this Y, but mostly for the people of Cherryville, this has been a long day coming and we stand here celebrating because of the grace of God and His wonderful provision! Thank you for who you are and what you mean to this Y and to this community.”
She continued, “To the YMCA staff: not naming names because I will miss somebody. You are the cream of the crop! This Y appreciates you and values what you give day in, and day out to make the mission happen!”
To the Mabry’s (owners of the buildings that housed the former YMCA), she said, “Thank you! Many wonderful years in the Mabry buildings on Main Street. We were able to continue our mission in Cherryville all these years because of your commitment to the Y. Thank you!”
Padgett also thanked the Y’s Board of Advisors in Cherryville and their Board of Directors by saying, “Thank you for believing in this work (and) knowing that Cherryville is a part of the greater whole. When we all row in the same direction great things happen.” She also noted the “Y community and members” by saying, “You deserve this! You deserve it all and it is because of you that this happened! Our Cherryville community needs this Y and this Y needs you!”
In addition to the O’Leary family’s and the Spurling family’s contributions and hard work, Padgett also said, by way of a “shout out”, “Many hands make light work, but the work was not light and there were many hands that made this building possible: Chris Spurling Contractor; Vic with Hoyle Construction; Heath Jackson Plumbing; (Gary) Dellinger Electric; All American Corporation – HVAC contractor; A and A Painting; Chuck Sneed – Bricklayer; and GSM – Roofing.
Padgett also recognized local dignitaries: Mayor H.L. Beam, III, of Cherryville; Cherryville City Council members present; City Manager Brian Dalton (“So thankful for our partnership with the city in the past, now and in the future!”); former CEO of the GCFY, Phill Morgan; House of Representatives member Kelly Hastings and his work through the State of NC for the gift of $10,000 for the Cherryville Family YMCA; Gaston County Manager, Dr. Kim Eagle; and Gaston County Commissioner, Cherryville Township, Mr. Allen Fraley. Thank you! Our hearts are full today!”
Mr. O’Leary said he and his wife were delighted to be there at the opening and ribbon cutting of the new Cherryville Family YMCA.
“The idea to put the Y here was all Vickie Spurling’s idea. So thank her for that. The building and its barrel roof inside and out, it’s beautiful!” he said. “Also, I feel like I’m walking in the shoes of Mr. Dewey Beam,” said Mr. O’Leary, referencing Mr. Beam’s Chrysler/Plymouth dealership in Cherryville that was at the building now housing the new YMCA. The car dealership is said to have opened April 1, of 1947.
Patrick also noted that every dollar spent went to local vendors or to local businesses.
Said Mayor Beam, “It is wonderful to see this crowd her today. This is our fourth ribbon cutting this month! This building is state-of-the-art and it is beautiful! We are happy to have this facility her in our town and look forward to it being in Cherryville for many, many years to come.”
Cherryville Chamber Board of Directors Chairman Pete Craft agreed, adding, “Thanks to all for being here today. We are blessed to have the Cherryville Family Y folks here in this community. I just want you all to know that we here at the Chamber are here to serve you.”
Cherryville’s Downtown Main Street Director David Day said, “We look forward to years of working with you.”
Terri Spake, Branch Manager of Cherryville’s HomeTrust Bank presented a check for $53,000-plus to the Cherryville YMCA. 
Afterwards, Mrs. Padgett reminded folks that after the ribbon cutting, they can feel free to roam around the new Y.
“Staff will be in black polo’s and they can answer any questions you may have,“ she said. “Food is available in the Group Exercise room from 133 West, out of Kings Mountain. They will soon have a location here in Cherryville at the old Butter Me Up location!”
For more information on the new Y’s hours of operation, call (704) 445-9622. 
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Surrounded by family, friends, and Cherryville City staff and Chamber members, professional photographer Frank Zayas and his wife, Teddi cut the ribbon for their new photography business in Cherryville. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Zayas’opens new photography business in Cherryville

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


A new business in Cherryville can help you with any needs you may have when it comes to images of weddings, portraits, and other such things that require the skills of a talented photographer – Frank Zayas Photography.
The business, located at 703 E. Main St., Cherryville, is the brainchild of Master Photographer Zayas and his wife Teddi, a daughter of the late John Kilby, a former Cherryville and Gaston County educator. The Zayas’ relocated her from Georgia, where he was, for 32 years, a professional photographer as well as the staff photographer for the DeKalb County School system.
The couple has been back in the community for a bit, they said, adding they are very glad to be back and are looking forward to working in and with the community, providing this professional experience for all.
“It is great to be in Cherryville,” said Frank, as he greeted the many family and friends who all came by to wish him and his wife well, and to welcome them to the city “…Where Life Blossoms!”
Chamber Board of Director’s Chairman Pete Craft spoke, welcoming the couple to the town, adding all were “…happy to be here!” His welcome was followed by the Rev. Dr. Billy Lowe, of Cherryville’s First Presbyterian Church’s oration of welcome, referencing the Old Testament’s Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 8, verse 18, and the resultant prayer for the success of the Zayas’ business.
Mayor H.L. Beam, III then spoke, recognizing City Council member Jill Parker-Puett’s presence; as well as that of City Manager Brian Dalton and City Clerk, Paige Green’s being there, along with other City, Chamber, and Main Street staff and personnel as well.
Said Mayor Beam, “It is a great pleasure for all of us from the City, Chamber, and Main Street to welcome you all and this great business adventure to Cherryville.”
Mayor Beam then went on to tell all there what Mr. Zayas  does as pertains to the particulars of his art and craft, all of which can be ascertained by going to his web site at www.frankzayasphoto.com.
Zayas was also equally thankful to the City and all those who attended the ribbon cutting, but especially thanked his wife, Teddi, who he said, “…does a little bit of everything!”
Frank said that although he still does a great deal of work in and around Charlotte, he feels they are off to a good start here in Cherryville and around the area nearby, adding, “And we hope it will get better!”
To reach Frank Zayas Photography, call them at (678) 488-8819, or email them at fzayas24@icloud.com.
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Surrounded by his wife, Marci (to his left), and a host of Clinic staff, family and friends, as well as Cherryville City and Chamber officials, Dr. Bret Turner (center front) wields the big scissors as he cuts the ribbon, signifying that Turner Animal Clinic is officially “open for business” in Cherryville! (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Thursday ribbon cutting officially opens Turner Animal Clinic

Dr. Turner noted how the town of Cherryville has grown

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


A Thursday, March 10, Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting officially opened a new business in Cherryville – Turner Animal Clinic, located at 600 West Church Street, Suite C.
The new veterinary clinic, which has been at their location since Jan. 31 of this year, officially opened Feb. 11. The Clinic is owned and operated by Dr. Bret M. Turner, DVM, and his wife, Marci, who is his Vet Tech. Former education professional and family friend, Millicent Heavner, rounds out the crew of three in the office. The clinic is in the space that formerly housed the medical practice of Dr. George Bradley, who is now retired.
Dr. Turner is an NC State grad and had worked previously at the Cherryville Animal Hospital.
Dr. Turner noted how the town of Cherryville has grown, adding he and his wife saw the town “had a demand” for their services to help in – and be a part of – that growth.
“We want to provide timely, affordable, quality care and meds for dogs, cats, and small animals in Cherryville and the surrounding community,” said Dr. Turner, who added he is a “small animal vet” and is not a large animal vet.
He continued, “Our focus is on preventative meds and treatment of non-critical and non-surgical illnesses.”
Cherryville Chamber Chairman Pete Craft welcomed the Turners to Cherryville and noted the crowd of supporters and well-wishers and family was “…one of the largest crowds I’ve ever seen at a recent ribbon-cutting.”
Mayor H.L. Beam, III, agreed adding that he too, along with the City Manager, City Council members and City staff members present, along with other City personnel, wanted to officially welcome the new business to town at this new location.
“Congratulations, and we appreciate you all,” he added.
Mr. Craft also told the Turners that if the Chamber could help them in any way they had but to ask.
Dr. Turner and his wife were moved by the outpouring from the City and family and friends. He said, “I want to thank my wife and Millicent, and I especially want to thank the Lord, Who paved the way for this to happen, and lastly, I especially want to thank the City of Cherryville for everything!”
The Clinic’s hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., and on Friday, 8 a.m., until 12 noon. Their office phone number is (704) 802-4299, and their fax number is (704) 802-4440. You may also reach them at turneranimalcliniccherryville.com.
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Members of Chris Degree’s family and friends, as well as Cherryville City officials and staff, Chamber Board members and staff, and Cherryville Main Street members and staff pose at the March 3, ribbon cutting for Degree’s Tony T’zzz “Grill on Wheels.” Chris (with the Chamber’s big scissors), his wife, Angela, and their children and grandchildren all smiled as Chris cut the bright red ribbon. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Tony Tzzz’s “Grill on Wheels” to be a great addition to Downtown

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Long a sight at the City’s many festivals, as well as more than a few other festivals around Gaston County as well, Cherryville was pleased to announce last Thursday’s, March 3, ribbon cutting for Tony Tzzz’s “Grill on Wheels” Food Truck.
The food truck is the brainchild of Chris Degree and is well-known for its wonderful and flavorful food, cooked up and served with love and smiles.
Chris said his business, which has been around for quite a while, was named in honor of his oldest son, Tony, who was sadly killed in a car accident on Oct. 18, 1989.
“I have retired from Freightliner,” said Chris, “and I have done quite a lot of festivals in Cherryville and around the county. I am hoping we get to get here, weather permitting, every Friday and set up and cook some good food.”
Working with Chris are his son, C.J. Degree, 23, a well-known CHS athlete, and daughter, Brittany. His grandsons, Demario and Christian Chalk were also on hand helping out with getting things set up for the ribbon cutting. His oldest daughter is Chrissy, he said, and he that the family will also help out with the cooking tasks once things get going.
He laughed and said, “I’ve already had people stopping and asking me if they could order food! I had to tell them this was just for our ribbon cutting but that we would be back!”
Degree noted city’s and county’s have designated spots for food trucks to set up in so as not to impede traffic flow and such.
“I have been doing this for 20-plus years,” he said, adding, “I do this to remember Tony. We are usually here at the festivals all the time, except for when we couldn’t because of COVID.”
Chamber Board of Directors Chairman Pete Craft welcomed Chris and his family, saying, “We’re glad to have you here and to see this good turnout. The weather is great also. Chris, we wish you well in your endeavor. If there is anything the Chamber can do for you don’t hesitate to let us know.”
Mayor H.L. Beam, III, agreed, adding, “It’s a beautiful day here in the City Where Life Blossoms, and it’s a great day to recognize such a unique business, which is also a mobile business. We wish you much success and want to thank you all for choosing Cherryville and thank you for providing Cherryville with such a great service!”
Main Street Chairperson, Donna Beringer also welcomed Chris and his family, adding, “I just want to say thank you for coming here and for providing this service to Cherryville. If there is anything we can do for you all, please let us know.”
Chris said, though he wasn’t “much of a talker”, as he put it, he said, “We are glad to be here. We will serve you right. We do this the right way. Thank all of you for coming out.”
This was the first ribbon cutting, noted Craft and Mary Beth Tackett, for new Chamber Board members Barry Heavner (Houser Drug), Johnny Brown (Allstate Insurance), Emily Blackburn (Piedmont Lithium), and Sarah Chambers (Peak Resources).

 
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NC American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony March 5

Two Cherryville inductions gives town 15 of its own in auspicious Hall of Fame

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


On Saturday, March 5, two Cherryville men will be inducted into the 2021 class of the North Carolina American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame. The two are Post 100 American Legion Commander Mike Robinson and former umpire Sam Homesley, also a member of Post 100.
Returning once again to the “City Where Life Blossoms”, the 2022 ceremony will be held at the Cherryville Post 100 Legion Hut and starts at 6:30 p.m.
According to Area IV Baseball Commissioner Jerry Hudson the inductees are, in addition to Mr. Robinson and Mr. Homesley, David Ellis, of Post 102 (Ahoskie), and Jerald D. “Danny” Rollins, of Post 39 (Greenville). Also to be recognized are North Carolina Players of the Year, Will Blackburn (Junior Player of the Year), and Zach Wilson (Senior Player of the Year).
Last year, Mr. Hudson noted that he and Mark Cauble, and Terry Melton were all inducted at the American Legion Convention in Raleigh.
Said Jerry, “For many years the AL Hall of Fame has been at many different Posts throughout the state as hosted by those various Posts.”
Longtime sports writer Richard Walker’s web site, www.CarolinasSportsHub.com, noted that, “…Homesley is a Cherryville High and East Carolina graduate who was a longtime school teacher and coach at Burns High School.
“A 45-year Legion member and Vietnam veteran, Homesley also was a longtime high school and Legion baseball umpire who worked two Legion regional tournaments and 12 N.C. state tournaments.”
Walker’s site continued, “Robinson is a Cherryville High graduate who was a truck driver for 35 years. A Vietnam veteran, Robinson has been Cherryville Post 100 commander the past eight years during which time he has worked every Post 100 baseball game.”
Walker also went into more detail concerning the number of times the event has been hosted by Post 100.
Wrote Walker, “It’ll be the sixth time the event has been held in Cherryville and the eighth time in Gaston County. Cherryville hosted in 1977, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1993, and Gastonia hosted in 1971 and 2005.”
His web site further noted, “The induction of Homesley and Robinson gives Cherryville 15 members of the N.C. American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame; Ezra V. Moss, Sr. (1971 class), Edmond Sullivan (1972), John R. Smith (1974), John Mosteller (1977), Aaron Moss (1981), Ronald 'Scoop’ Kiser (1984), Hugh Putnam (1986), Hugh 'Buzz’ Peeler (1988), Bill Abernethy (1998), Rocky Bennett (2006), Bobby Reynolds (2007), David 'Benny’ Blanton (2008) and Jerry Hudson (2020) were previous inductees.”
Hudson added that Sam, “…umpired high school (and) American Legion baseball for 37 years”, adding that for “…over 25 years” Sam and he umpired together high school, American Legion games, State Championships, and Regionals.”
Jerry said, “Bob Beason is Chairman of Hall of Fame Committee. Members are himself (Area IV Baseball Commissioner Hudson), and Mark Cauble, the NC State Baseball Chairman.
For his part, Post 100 member and veteran Sam Homesley said, “I am honored to be inducted! I had fun and appreciate the American Legion recognizing me for all the hard work I put in.”
Cherryville’s Post 100 American Legion Commander Mike Robinson said, “I really do appreciate the honor to be inducted. However, it’s all thanks to my veteran brothers and sisters at Post 100. It is all of them that have helped me get any recognition I have gotten now and over the years. This honor and my induction is as much about them as it is me, especially for me to be in the position I am in at this time, as their Post Commander. Honestly, we are all like a family here at Post 100. I appreciate all of them!”
For more information on this or other Cherryville or local high school or Legion sports history, visit Richard Walker’s website, at www.CarolinasSportsHub.com.
For those wishing to come to the ceremony, Mr. Hudson said tickets can be purchased at the door.
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At the Feb. 11 retirement ceremony for Capt. Chris “Pudge” Cash, held at the Cherryville Fire Department, Assistant Chief Colby Heffner, Mayor H.L. Beam, III, and retired CFD fire chief Jeff Cash all pose with the man of the hour, Chris “Pudge” Cash as he poses with a signed photo of the word, “Retired” spelled out using captured images, forming the letters of the word. (photo by MEP/The Eagle)

CFD Capt. Chris “Pudge” Cash retires after 36 years of service

Began serving his community as a Junior Firefighter while at CHS

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Cherryville Fire Department Captain Chris “Pudge” Cash has decided – after more than three decades of selfless service to his beloved hometown – to retire.
Cash, younger brother to retired Chief Jeff Cash, started his career in the fire service, he said, as a young lad while he was still in high school.
“I started in 1984 at Hugh’s Pond Volunteer Fire Department when I was 16, then went to Cherryville’s Fire Department,” he said. “(The late) Joe Vandyke was the chief then and it was him that developed the junior firefighter program.”
“Pudge” graduated from CHS in 1985 and never looked back, so far as getting more firmly entrenched in the career he loves so much, and getting to serve others is, for him, just more icing on the professional cake.
Serving others in the fire services runs in the family as Chris, his older brother, Jeff, a couple of uncles, a number of sons and cousins, and, well, you get the picture… have all chosen to, some way, somehow, get active and help folks by being firefighters either in Cherryville, Shelby, Charlotte, or other towns nearby.
Pudge had his retirement ceremony on Friday, Feb. 11, and many of his family, friends, and fellow smoke-eaters came by during the 3 to 5 p.m. “drop-in” event just to say a kind word and to wish him well in his retirement.
Mayor H.L. Beam, III said probably what was on just about everyone’s mind that day when he said, “I’m gonna miss him! He’s one of the good ones!”
Mayor Beam talked about Pudge’s well-known humorous made-up awards and their presentations during the annual CFD Awards and Christmas Banquet, saying that he always made people laugh.
Presenting Pudge with his Captain’s helmet was Assistant Fire Chief Coby Heffner.
Said AC Heffner, “Pudge was my first (fire) captain, and he has meant a lot to me over the years I have been here.” This brought a tear or three to Pudge’s eyes as he remembered how young Colby came up in the ranks, first as a junior firefighter, then a Driver/Engineer, then later moving through the ranks to eventually become the Assistant Chief upon Jason Wofford becoming Fire Chief.
Of Colby, Pudge said, “One of the greatest parts of my job was to see this young man become the young man he is today. I got to train him and my son, Travis, and my nephews, Chad and Quentin, as well as many others.”
He continued, “It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve with everyone of the men and women here. I am going to miss all of you!”
Of his retirement, Pudge said, “It’s going to be a big change for me.”
Chris said he will continue to work at his uncle Hugh Eaker’s business, Eaker Car Ports (aka Eaker Enterprises) and enjoy spending time with his wife, Danya, and their family. The two met through work, said Pudge, in 2011, and they have four children: Travis Cash (a Charlotte firefighter with Engine Co. #12); Lanie Cash (an RN, who plans to marry her fiancé, Jacob Harrell in March); Lawson Harkey; and Mallory Harkey. Mallory’s boyfriend, Chase Cheatum, was there congratulating Pudge on his retirement as well.
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In this image of Main Street’s improvements, the image on the left is what the City currently looks like, and the image on the right is an artistic rendering of what it will look like with the newly-completed sidewalks and brick work.

Downtown Streetscape construction moving quickly

Streetscape progreses with completion set for late summer

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


There have been many questions about the state of affairs with Cherryville’s City Streetscape work in the Downtown area lately. Citizens look around and can see what has been done so far, and what is still being done.
To that end, and thanks to a recent media release from Cherryville’s Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Program, spokesman Steve Panton and Chamber Director David Day, as well as Mayor H.L. Beam, III, City Manager Brian Dalton, and City Public Works Director Brandon Abernathy, all addressed those questions and concerns.
The City staff personnel and officials noted they “…are pleased with the progress (of the ongoing) Downtown construction,” adding, “And they’re looking forward to being finished before late summer.
City Manager Brian Dalton said in the release, he was pleased with how things were moving along.
“Our contractors have been great,” said City Manager Dalton, who added, “We’ve had good weather and they’ve moved really fast. The first phases are already complete.”
According to Mr. Dalton, Dominion Energy completed their gas line work in October, and the  construction  company, Cajan, finished their sewer work in November.
Mr. Dalton added he expects Sealand’s work on the water lines to be finished “…within weeks.”
Mr. Day also noted that next up, work will begin on the streetscape to lay new sidewalks, bury cables, erect new streetlamps, put in new plantings, and repave Main Street.
Mr. Dalton continued, “They’ll start at Depot Street and move west section by section. Once they reach Mulberry Street in late summer, Main Street will be totally transformed.”
As Mr. Abernathy, public works director, stated in the media release, “The city will work hard to keep disruption to businesses to a minimum.”
He continued, “One key initiative will be to lay new temporary surfaces in the alleys behind the businesses on both the north and south sides of the street before any street construction starts. That’s going to open up parking and allow people to enter our merchants through their back doors.”
Cherryville Downtown Director Day said, “The Main Street Program office will keep merchants, community members, and visitors informed,” adding, “We have a website page that we’ll update frequently. And, we’ll have signs directing street and pedestrian traffic.”
Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam, III, pointed to the citizens of Cherryville as the driving force behind the project’s success to date.  Said Mayor Beam, “Our citizens saw the need. Then, they stepped up, voted, and met it.”
He continued, “So far, our citizens have delt amazingly well with the interruptions. We know the last phase will be the hardest. But, we’re on the home stretch now. Generations of Cherryville’s citizens will be blessed because of the sacrifices of this one.”
Mr. Day was enthusiastic about what the changes will mean for the economic development of Cherryville’s downtown.
Said Day, “Savvy investors are already pouring millions of dollars into renovating our old buildings. We’re expecting several new restaurants and a brewery in the near future.”
Day continued, “But that’s not all. We’ll soon see new retail and office space and many new apartments.”
Additionally, Day noted how several new restaurants have expressed interest in joining the Main Street community of merchants.
“Downtown’s future is bright,” said Mr. Day.
For those who have further questions or just want more information about downtown construction, Mr. Day said to call the Main Street Program office at (704) 435-3451, or visit the City’s new website at www.cityofcherryville.com.


 
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All the principal actors in attendance at the movie premiere of “El Dedo Rojo”, from left to right: Timmy Flemming (a.k.a. Orange Crush), Jason Wofford (a.k.a. Redfinger), Matt Smith (a.k.a. Mateo) and Maria Ellis (who plays Mateo’s caddy). (photo provided)

CHS Spanish teacher stirs interest in students with self made videos

“El Dedo Rojo” one in a long line of neat teaching tools/productions

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


By day, he is mild-mannered CHS Spanish teacher Matt Smith; by, well, also by day (mostly), he is the Spanish James (or is it Diego?) Bond – Spanish-speaking superspy “Mateo”, whose wit (and golf score) are seldom equaled, because, I mean, who wants to anyway?
Seriously folks, CHS Spanish teacher Matt Smith puts a great deal of effort into making learning fun for his students, as do many of his teaching peers. Smith does this by making mostly quick and short iPhone videos for their perusal and enjoyment.
Such was the case with his newest – and possibly longest – endeavor to date, a campy, roughly 23-plus minute “remake” (of sorts) of the Ian Fleming classic James Bond thriller, “Goldfinger”.
The mini-masterpiece, titled “El Dedo Rojo”, or “Redfinger”, for short (and artistic purposes) is a video idea, said Smith recently, whose filming “…was really generated during the pandemic.”
Smith, 48, has been teaching for 20 years after a stint in the business world up near Raleigh. The father of two said, “Last year, on our virtual days I would film mini 'virtual lectures’ and post them to my Canvas page. These started out as purely instructional, pretty much me explaining Spanish grammar concepts, but I couldn’t help but notice that I got more views from students if I put a little comedy in the lectures.
“So, it then occurred to me to recruit other Cherryville teachers/staff to help act out little skits revolving around these instructional concepts. Again, those started off pretty simple, for example, Robert Webb and I did a bit about a piece of macaroni stuck to the inside of the teacher lounge microwave (we were studying Spanish foods at the time). Gradually, these skits became more elaborate – I’d throw in some edited images, perhaps a little music.
“Well, it came as no surprise by then that with the better quality videos the number of students watching them went up as well.  Now, I should point out that all of these videos were filmed with an iPhone, not professional movie equipment, so we had limitations. Still, I decided that for my final video of last year, CHS staff and I would act out an entire restaurant scene – I got eight different staff members to appear in that one, which was approximately eight minutes long. The skit supposedly centers around a Scrabble grudge match that (the CHS media center’s) Nancy Olls were having, but the real purpose was for the teachers and I to
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model a restaurant skit dialogue for my students, since they had to create one of their own for the final exam. And again, it worked well; the student skits were creative and fun to watch.”
Smith continued, “Well, over the summer I started thinking about how much fun all the teachers and I had making the restaurant video. I knew my final year of teaching was approaching (Mat6t said he is retiring to Florida at the end of this year), so I decided to give it a go one last time. The result was 'El Dedo Rojo’ an almost 24-minute long movie featuring approximately 15 CHS students, 15 staff members, and even some community members such as our (current) fire chief. The resulting video was less about instruction and more of a tribute to the town of Cherryville, although I did use it again as the basis for my students’ final exam in December. We even had a movie premiere here at school, with most cast members in attendance. Incidentally, James Bond fans might notice 'El Dedo Rojo’ (Redfinger) is largely a spoof of my favorite James Bond movie, Goldfinger. I even got a friend of mine, country music recording artist, David Britt, to record an original theme song, which is featured at the end of the movie.”
Smith loves playing golf almost as much as he loves teaching, and what with growing up in Florida and with playing the sport of golf, as he says, “most of (his) adult life”, Florida seemed like a great place to make his retirement haven.
“I’m originally from Charlotte,” noted Smith, who also added this year was his second at CHS. He graduated with a degree in Spanish in 1996 from NC State, playing – he said – quite a bit of golf there when he had time off from his studies. He later got a job in telecommunications. Smith said his handicap is “probably a solid 8” and he noted he shoots “around 80”.
Back to the video.
“The idea, again, came in bits and pieces,” said Smith, adding he is most proud of being able to get many members of the Cherryville community involved in and engaged with the instructive video.
“Bottom line? I like that it (the video) became something that engaged my students as well as the community,” he said.
One of the actors in the video, Mrs. Carrie B. Dalton, CHS Secretary and Head Girls Basketball Coach, said, “I had a great time helping with the film. Mateo always does a great job and puts on a great production.”
Cherryville Fire Chief Jason Wofford also had a great deal of fun playing the antagonist, El Dedo Rojo, a.k.a. Redfinger. He said of the video, “I enjoyed worked with Mr. Smith during this video. I thought it was an awesome idea to spur interest in (the) Spanish (language).”
Smith said those interested in looking at the video, which can be found on Youtube (search El Dedo Rojo), might be better served by going to his url at https://tinyurl.com/2fnu4swr.
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Retired CFD Chief Jeff Cash with OLLP Award. (photo provided)

Retired Fire Chief Cash recipient of Order of Long Leaf Pine Award

He joins a long list of winners of the
auspicious, celebrated state award


by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Being honored with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award is no trivial thing and it is to be noted more than a few folks from Cherryville have been blessed with the auspicious honor.
Now, after 40-plus years of service to his community and his home state, retired Cherryville Fire Chief Jeffrey C. Cash can count himself as one of those who have received the honor and the beautiful award that goes with it.
To say he was surprised by the award, given to him by longtime friend and fellow Fire Chief Jake Whisnant at the Dec. 12, 2021 CFD Banquet, would be an understatement.
On receiving the honor, Jeff said, “I did not know about the award until Jake made the presentation at our annual Christmas banquet. I was honored to be given this award and very appreciative of the award for what it represents. After 43 years in the fire service, it was great to receive this level of an award.  My career, over 43 years in the fire service, was not really a job. I always felt like it was a ‘calling’. I was blessed to work with some great folks over the years and the City of Cherryville was very good to me and my family. I always hoped, in my travels across the
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country, that I was an ambassador for Cherryville. I am truly a blessed individual.”
At the 2021 banquet, Chief Whisnant, of Shelby FD, regaled those there with humorous stories and memories of his and Jeff’s time serving together first at Shelby, then later working to get grants or to get something done for firefighters and their families.
“Before I present him with this gift, which I don’t know if he knows what it is or not, thought he probably does, I just want to say to you Jeff, that Sen. Kathy Harrington sends her heartfelt regrets that she can’t be here tonight, but wishes you and Cynthia and your family all the best,” said Chief Whisnant, in a previous Eagle article.
Mr. Cash was presented him with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest recognition of honor for one of its citizens, and, clearly moved by all of the presentations and words of kindness, thanked everyone, saying then, “I love all of you and your families. I am so thankful for my family. I am a blessed man!”
Retired Chief Cash reiterated that Sen. Kathy Harrington “…helped expedite the nomination to the Governor’s office,” adding, “The nomination actually came from Jake Whisnant, Executive Director of the NC Association of Fire Chiefs & Retired Deputy Chief of Shelby Fire Department.”
Cash continued, “Jake was assisted with the application by my family, Cynthia, (and sons) Chad and Quentin.”
Jeff noted he started his fire services career in 1979 in Rock Hill, SC.
“I moved from Rock Hill Fire Department to Shelby Fire Department and then came to Cherryville Fire Department in 1981.”
As for his career choice inspiration, he said, “Of course, my inspiration was my mom and dad, but I was also greatly influenced by my uncle, who was a Cherryville volunteer firefighter. His name was Wayne Eaker. My dad was a truck driver and was gone a lot. Uncle Wayne’s only child was a daughter (Debbie Eaker); therefore, he allowed me to tag along with him on fire calls and he also took me fishing regularly.  One particular winter day, he allowed me to go with him to a house fire on Putnam Street in Cherryville. I was about 12 years old. This fire call confirmed for me that all I wanted to do was become a firefighter.”
He continued, “On this particular house fire, Uncle Wayne was assigned to the roof, to cut a hole in the roof, and I can still see in my mind him on the roof of the house doing his best to help the family in need. Thus began my love for the fire service! One of the key reasons that I have had such a wonderful career is especially due to my wife, Cynthia, and to our sons, Chad and Quentin. This also includes extended family members who have been a great encouragement to me and have also been involved in the fire service as well. Over the years there have been countless times that Cynthia has had to take up my responsibilities because I was on an emergency or out of town receiving training. Without my family’s support, this would not have been possible.”
Jeff also noted it has been one of his and Cynthia’s objectives as parents to instill in Chad and Quentin a strong work ethic and a commitment to the community and always the willingness to give back.
“To be a giver, not a taker. We think we have been successful in this area with both Chad and Quentin. Both are successful in their careers and in their communities,” said retired Chief Cash.  The couple’s long-range plans are to retire in the North Myrtle Beach area.
“We both love the coast; however, we really want to stay in the Carolinas. We love beach music and love dancing ‘shagging’. There’s no place like North Myrtle Beach, the home of the Shag dance. Until then, we will continue to be involved with our church, First Baptist Church of Cherryville, the fire service, and the Billy Graham Library ministry,” noted Mr. Cash.
Jeff readily admits he has been very blessed since his retirement.
“I currently have multiple opportunities in part-time capacities and am currently working with NASCAR, in training at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the area of safety. I am also going to be doing some training coordination for the NC Volunteer Fire Insurance Services.
“I have also been consulting for the past 15 plus years. This past year I formalized the consulting business and we are now ‘Bucket Brigade Consulting, LLC’ Cherryville. I have approximately 26 clients, which are municipalities and counties and have three projects that I am currently working on in regards to my consulting.”
Cash noted he serves as the President, with son, Quentin serving as Vice-President; son, Chad as Treasurer; and wife, Cynthia serving as Secretary.
“As you can see,” he added, “Bucket Brigade Consulting, LLC is a family business!”
Cash also noted the name of the business, Bucket Brigade, is a spinoff of early firefighting techniques.
“We have been blessed in this area and it continues to grow and expand. We are excited about where these opportunities may lead our family! Once again, we are truly blessed.”
Cynthia said of her industrious husband and his Long Leaf Pine Award, “I am so proud of Jeff and I know of no one else who is more deserving of the NC Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award than him. He faithfully served the City of Cherryville and the citizens of our great city for 40 years. He has always had a real love for Cherryville and serving was his ‘calling’, not a job. His dedication, professionalism, servanthood, customer service and love for the Fire Service in our city, state and nation have been outstanding. He is a Godly man, wonderful husband and wonderful father to our sons and daughters-in-law, Chad and his wife Heidi, and Quentin and his wife Erin. We are so proud of him and all that he has accomplished and we look forward to what God has in store for him and our family for the rest of our journey for years to come!”
Son, Quentin said, “Largely, I would echo the comments from Mom. But as far as from my perspective as a firefighter and now as President of the North Carolina State Firefighters’ Association I would add, ‘Jeff Cash is the definition of service and humility. He has been a leader of the NC fire service for over 40 years serving in the past as President of the Western NC Firefighters Association, President of the North Carolina Firefighters’ Association, Deputy Director of the North Carolina Associate of Fire Chiefs, and serving on the Executive Board of the National Volunteer Fire Council.’
“As great as all four of those accolades are, that isn’t what defines Jeff Cash or his service as Fire Chief. What defines Dad is the legacy he is leaving behind. He started building the people of the Cherryville Fire Department years ago. He was mentoring and preparing the future fire service leaders of the Cherryville FD, Gaston County and the state as a whole. You can’t go anywhere from ‘Murphy to Manteo’ without hearing about Chief Jeff Cash from ‘Churville’. About all accolades to us though, ‘Dad’ and ‘Hero’ is always what he will always be!”
Son, Chad, who is the Chief Operations Officer for Carolina Federal Credit Union as well as a Cherryville firefighter, said, “We are so proud of my dad. He had such an amazing career, and he did it the right way. I have always looked up to him since a young age and he is still my mentor to this day. His leadership and integrity are something I strive for daily. He always told us, ‘Give everything you do 110 percent and make sure to take care of the small things because if you do that the big things will take care of themselves.’ He loves the Lord, my mom, his family, and his community with a passion. For over 40-plus years he gave his blood, sweat, and tears to this community and our state. He isn’t defined by awards or accolades but having said that, he deserves this honor and again we are so proud of him!”
Cherryville Fire Chief Jason Wofford, a long-time friend and fellow firefighter, said of his former Chief and mentor, “I am happy to see Jeff receive such a prestigious award. For 32 years I have admired his service to our community but also for his work and dedication to the North Carolina fire service. He has testified before Congress, served on many national committees, and has served on many state boards. His hard work is much deserving of this honor.”
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This gentleman is hard at work cleaning the downtown sidewalks of snow and ice right after Winter Storm Izzy dropped more than just a few inches on us. (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Cherryville gets a few inches of snow from Winter Storm Izzy

Second blast of Arctic air brings little snow; more winter mix our way

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Winter Storm Izzy had a big surprise for western North Carolina and Cherryville last weekend. The snowy, sleety beast roared in and dumped a great deal of the white, fluffy stuff ion our area, followed by the dreaded sleet, icy rain and more ice and more snow, piling it on in heaps and generally causing sloppy mayhem across the region.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, more of the cold wet stuff was forecast for the coming weekend as well, though according to weather pundits, that affected folks farther east in our state. Cherryville and its surrounding area got minor snow and more of the wintry mix from the second wintry onslaught.
City Manager Brian Dalton, who helped man the city’s EOC (Emergency Operations Center) said, he wanted to “personally praise the work all the department heads and their employees did for the storm.”
He continued, “Every department had their individual responsibilities and all did a great job in helping Cherryville get through the storm. There was great communication between all the groups to accomplish the goals of getting Cherryville and the citizens back to normal as fast as possible.”
Cherryville Fire Chief Jason Wofford agreed and said, “ Our on-duty staff stood by ready at a moment’s notice to help in any way we were needed.”
Chief Wofford knew the state and county crews had already been out brining the roadways and laying down salt but wasn’t sure exactly how much was done before the arrival of the storm.
Said Chief Wofford, “We received very few calls, but we did have a porch collapse that trapped the occupants of the house. Captain Kurt Black and Engineer Jacob Richardson went above and beyond the call of duty to assist the homeowners in that emergency situation.”
Chief Wofford continued, “I’d like to praise Capt. Black and Engineer Richardson with their handling of the porch collapse and add a word of thanks to our new City Manager for coming and manning the EOC all day that Sunday!”
Cherryville Police Chief Cam Jenks said their department responded to approximately eight (8) calls during the course of the storm that involved either minor motor vehicle collisions or vehicles that slid off of the roadway.
Chief Jenks continued, “We always evaluate potential risks during storms and rely on information from Gaston County Emergency Management and the National Weather Service. We will have crews on standby if they are needed if the second projected storm is bad.”
Fortunately that didn’t happen as the second storm delivered its punch more to the east of us, he noted.
Chief Jenks did have words of praise for his department and his men and women, as well as the citizens of Cherryville.
“First, I would like to thank the majority of our citizens that made a wise decision to stay off of the roads until the roads were passable. This cuts down on the risk of injury to not only the public but to the City of Cherryville employees. I would also like to thank all of the City of Cherryville employees that worked tirelessly through the storm to make sure the roads were clear and that the public was safe.”
While dangerous travel conditions were anticipated with this third winter storm of the year, state crews had already been treating the roads and highways in the eastern and central aprts of the state.
In a media release, State Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette said he and his people were “…getting ready for this storm. You need to be ready, too. Get prepared because once this storm hits, road conditions will quickly deteriorate, and you’ll need to stay off the roads.”
Boyette noted the storm was the second winter storm to hit North Carolina in less than a week and the third storm of 2022.
In the state’s media release, it was noted that “…nearly 800 NCDOT employees and contract crews” worked or were preparing to treat roads for the storm.
NCDOT and its contractors had more than 300 trucks and graders ready to work on roads through the weekend, it was reported and NCDOT employees had also “…readied their chainsaws and other heavy equipment” to make sure all were ready to go to cut and remove any downed trees and debris.
As of early Thursday afternoon last week, state and county crews had applied nearly 1 million gallons of brine in central and eastern North Carolina and had restocked supplies of salt and sand to treat roads after the snow and freezing rain starts.
For information about the work NCDOT does before, during and after winter storms, please visit the NCDOT: Winter Storms web page.
For real-time travel information in lieu of the next impending winter storm or emergency, visit DriveNC.gov, or follow NCDOT on social media.
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Retired CFD Fire Chief and former City Manager Jeff Cash and his wife, Cynthia, were at last Monday night’s regular session Council meeting for Mr. Cash to receive a plaque from the City Council, thanking him for his many years of community service and work for his hometown.

City gets great news on financial audit for fiscal year June 2021

Also votes to annex property known as Stroup Acres

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


At Monday night’s Jan. 10 regular Cherryville City Council session, Council members heard the audit report from Butler and Stowe about the city’s audit, ending June 30, 2021, from Mr. Robert Adams, who is one of the managing partners with that firm.
Mr. Adams noted his firm met with the audit committee members on Thursday, Jan. 6 to review the audited financial statements for the year ending with the aforementioned date.
Wrote Mr. Adams in a brief handed to Council members, “Our opinion on the financial statements for the year end was a clean opinion, which means: (a.) the City has met the audit requirements of the North Carolina General Statutes, and (b.) the financial statements represent the financial status of the City at June 30, 2021.”
Adams also noted some of the financial highlights are as follows: “… (a.) the City ended the year with combined assets exceeding the liabilities by $20,361,000; (b.) the City received funding of the voter-approved bonds and recorded the receipt of $3,653,000 in the General Fund and $5,944,000 in the Water and Sewer Fund; (c.) the unassigned fund balance of the General Fund was $1,080,621. This represents funds available to the Council without restriction. This is an increase of $298,000 over the prior year; (and) (d.) the two enterprise funds, Electric and Water & Sewer, had a combined income of $524,027 for the year ended June 30, 2021.”
Adams spoke to the audit committee – comprised of chairman Jon Abernethy, Mayor H.L. Beam, staff members Brian Dalton (City Manager) and (Finance Director) Dixie Wall and volunteers Pam Harris and Scott Harrill – about future challenges and opportunities for the city and the Council going forward into the coming fiscal year, which include, among other things, budgeting and cash flowing the debt service for the bonds.
He noted, in closing his remarks in his brief, that, “…the improvements to the City’s infrastructure and other funding opportunities made possible by the Cares Act and American Rescue Plan will provide the city and the City Council with great opportunities to improve the city and enhance the lives of its citizens.”
City Manager Brian Dalton said of the report by the auditors that it was a “very good” report for Cherryville.
Council approved the 2021-2022 Budget Amendment items brought up by Dixie Wall then considered the appointments to the Architectural Review Board, approving the recommendations as read.
The Council then heard an update on Piedmont Lithium’s progress from Mayor Beam as well as an update by City Manager Dalton on the City’s purchasing cards that have been issued to the department heads.
Mr. Dalton noted that perhaps the biggest news of the meeting was that, after going into and out of public hearing, the City Council unanimously voted on the ordinance to approve the annexation of the area and parcels of land at 1404 Shelby Hwy., known also as Stroup Acres, LLC, and their rezoning from R-40 to CU R-9 Cluster, CU RMF, and B-2 zoning.
In other ordinance action, Mayor H.L. Beam read an ordinance making Jan. 23-29, 2022 City of Cherryville School Choice Week. Council approved the ordinance as read.
Mr. Dalton brought up another ordinance, this one to consider a resolution to begin an upset bid process on a city-owned lot located on W. Main St. (the corner of W. Main and Mulberry Streets). This was voted on and approved by Council.
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The Cherryville New Year’s Shooter’s Inc., group shot in the New Year on Jan. 1, 2022 at Waco, in Cleveland County. From left to right are: Charles “Brownie” Sisk, Secretary Rusty Wise, Waco Alderman Linwood Pete Sauls, Waco Mayor John E. Barrett, Jr., CNYSI Treasurer and Cherryville City Councilman, Jon Abernethy, and group administrative assistant, Curt Brown. (photos provided)

Cherryville New Year’s Shooter’s fire their guns in Waco

“Following the boom” and driving out evil spirits for a better New Year

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


The small Cleveland County town of Waco heard the “boom” of musket fire on Jan. 1, 2022, around 1 p.m., as the Cherryville New Year’s Shooter’s, Inc. group congregated at the town’s Community Center to help them welcome in the New Year.
Greeting them were Mayor John E. “Butch” Barrett, Jr., and Alderman Linwood Pete Sauls, as well as a number of residents who came out for the popular spectacle.
Mayor Barrett said this isn’t the first time the group has come to Waco, the town whose motto is, “History with Pride and Vision”, to shoot in the New Year.
“They shot at my grandparents, A.A. Barrett’s, house in the ‘60’s, and they have shot at the Post Office here in the past as well. For the past six years they have come over and shot at the Waco Community Center. We have always had a good turnout to see and hear them when they come by,” he said.
Barrett, who has been mayor of the little town since 2015, added they “…had a huge turnout this year” as can be seen on the town’s Facebook page.
Saying it was one of the warmest “shoots” on record for  him,  Cherryville New Year’s
Shooter’s, Inc. Secretary, Rusty Wise, reaffirmed that their group has indeed been coming over to Waco for a number of years, shooting in the New Year for the town and its residents.
“They always are glad to see us when we come by and we like getting out that way,” said Mr. Wise, who also noted their group has always enjoyed shooting at Waco.
Wise also noted their group honored the memory of the late Carl C. “Boozie” Dellinger, their President, at their 2022 last shot at Rudisill Stadium in Cherryville on Jan. 1.
“We also recognized their family that night as well,” he added.
Dennis Devine, of Cherryville, the President of the Traditional New Year’s Shooters group, said by phone recently that their group has also shot in Cleveland County “…many years ago, at the home of the late Roy Kale.”
He continued, “We would then go on in to Shelby and shoot at a couple of places there, but like I said, that has been a while since we have done that.”
The Shooter’s groups and their members are just glad to be “out and about” after the pandemic’s ravages. They are always happy to practice what their chant calls, “the art and science” of firing their guns and to scare away any evil spirits and shoot in a happy, safe, and prosperous New Year.
For more information on the Town of Waco, email them at townofwaco@gmail.com. For more information on the Cherryville New Year’s Shooter’s, Inc., go to https://cherryvilleshooters.com. For more information on the Traditional New Year’s Shooters, go to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Cherryville-Traditional-New-Year-Shooters.
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On the ladder, putting some finishing touches on the TV’s installation part of the exhibit, is Mister Sparky’s Scotty Hutchens. (photo provided by Rusty Wise)

New Year’s Shooter’s exhibit at Historical Museum redone

Moved upstairs to main floor and
expanded


by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


The New Year’s Shooters exhibit, once located in the basement of the Cherryville Historical Museum, has now found a new home of sorts… one flight up and in the main hall of the CHM.
Rusty Wise, owner of Wise Electric and Mr. Sparky, and the Secretary of the Cherryville New Year’s Shooter’s, Inc. group, said he was approached about perhaps working on a new and upgraded exhibit to better reflect what the groups and their history mean to the community.
Said Rusty, “The museum started talking about renovating the basement, including the Shooters exhibit. As discussions progressed, including adding the documentary movie and new items, it was decided to move it upstairs. Many of the Shooters artifacts were deteriorating in the basement, as well as the basement being limited to through traffic because the use of stairs being required to access the exhibit.”
Wise noted that most everything in the exhibit is new; the aluminum storyboards are new as well as some muskets and other items with very little being relocated upstairs.
As far as knowing what to pick, what to show, how to show it all, and what to leave off and not show was concerned, “Mr. Wise said, “The museum and both Shooter’s groups provided pictures and information (for the new exhibit). It was a painstaking process of what to include. We went through at least a dozen edits in the process.”
Rusty continued, “The museum provided the funds for the storyboards. The Cherryville New Year Shooters provided the new TV monitor. One musket was provided by Dan Ginn in memory of (his son) Joey Ginn. The other artifacts, including an original 1862 musket was given by me and our Shooters group. The painting and case work was done, or brought about, by the museum.”
Rusty noted the museum’s intention is to leave the new exhibit where it is permanently.
“The shooters are the oldest thing in the museum – older than Cherryville itself,” he said, adding, “That’s the biggest reason we wanted it at the main entrance. There is over 100 years of history there in the exhibit, with pictures and hundreds just with the history itself! The exhibit starts at the beginning of New Year’s shooting in the world even.”
Wise said, “Our group’s philosophy is all about history and we have most of the Shooter records thanks to Howell Stroup and other members of our group” though he added both Shooter’s groups are represented in the new exhibit.
He continued, “The public has yet to see it as it was just finished. We plan to have a grand opening for the exhibit sometime when the museum wants to.”
Additionally, Rusty said he is “really excited” how the “real” crossed guns hanging up turned out as it mimics their logo patch.
Museum Director Mrs. Pat Sherrill said of the new exhibit, “This is the best exhibit we have done. The New Year Shooter’s (story) is the town’s oldest history, and  since this is our oldest history, it belongs in the first room of the Museum.”
Sherrill noted the project has taken “…about six months.”
She continued, “We have two shooters groups in Cherryville and it’s my purpose and intention to be sure all history is equally represented. Gary Dellinger (Traditional New Year’s Shooters) and Rusty (Cherryville New Year’s Shooters, Inc.), and Casey at Modern Printing have been most helpful.”
Mrs. Sherrill added that the exhibit includes the documentary that Rusty has done.
She continued, “This exhibit earned its place because of Howell Stroup, Boozie Dellinger, Don Homesley, Rusty Wise, Gary Dellinger and thousands of  loyal shooters who over the years have carried the tradition forward, going out in rain, sleet or snow to wish all a Happy New Year.”
For more information on this or other CHM exhibits, their hours of operation, or just general information on the history of Cherryville, please call (704) 435-8011.
The Museum is located on Main Street in Downtown Cherryville, next to the Cherryville Family YMCA.
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Avery Cook finishes his shot. (photo by Jan B. Sailors)

Cherryville Traditional New Year Shooters participate in practice shooting run

Through a smoke-filled parking lot at Tri-County Grill in Vale last week, several Cherryville Traditional New Year Shooters members participated in their annual pre-New Year’s practice shooting run. Seen in the foreground of this photo, Avery Cook finishes his shot.
(photo by Jan B. Sailors )
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After the chanter’s cry ends, “And for good luck, we’ll fire our guns,” this Traditional New Year’s Shooter member greets the New Year with a blast from his musket at the 2020/2021 event. (Eagle/CF Media file photo by Michael E. and Susan L. Powell)

Get ready! It’s that New Year’s Shooting time of year again!

Both groups glad to be out again, continuing their time-honored tradition of shooting in the New Year

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


If you are new to the area you are in for a tried and true, traditional treat as both Cherryville New Year’s shooters groups prepare to start their 24-hour long welcome for the New Year 2022.
The two groups carry on a centuries-old tradition brought over by their ancestors who arrived from Germany and other places in Europe back when this country was in its infancy.
It is a cultural tradition that has survived to this day, in spite of its naysayers and critics and those who generally can’t (or won’t) understand why such traditions continue in the first place.
The easy answer to that is because they are… well, TRADITIONS!
That said, here is what is happening with each group, as told by a couple of their officers.
Rusty Wise, a long-time member of the Cherryville New Year’s Shooters, Inc. group, said their group is “…back to normal this year as in years past.” He added, “(There are) no special COVID restrictions or anything since the public has access to the vaccines. Of course, things could change, but that is the plan as of this (past) week.”
He said their group will start at midnight of Dec. 31, at Black’s Grill and end at Rudisill Stadium approximately at 6:30 p.m. Wise noted pluses for them are that “…membership is up 50 more members this year to date over years past. We expect a huge crowd this year since everyone has been restricted by COVID and wants to get out and celebrate. Also New Year’s falling on Friday night and Saturday will bring out more people. We are preparing for large crowds.”
This year, Mr. Wise noted the entire 2022 shoot will be in tribute to the late Carl Boozie Dellinger the group’s past President.
Said Wise, “His picture is on our member ID badges this year and we will have a special tribute for Boozie at Rudisill Stadium.”
The CNYSI groups has, noted Wise, added 50 shots this year as in years past.
He said, “We’ve added Boozie’s family on there (the schedule) this year. We’ve had many people requesting us to shoot for them but we can only get to so many. We will shoot for Mt. Beulah Church this year just like last year. It’s nice to see a church requesting us to shoot for them. If future new hosts keep requesting we will eventually get to them.”
Rusty also said he and his son, Winston have been working really hard on the Cherryville Historical Museum Shooters exhibit.
“Winston and I finally finished it. Hopefully, we’ll do a 'grand opening’ or something for it in the next few weeks.”
Traditional New Year’s Shooters group officer Gary Dellinger and his fellow members are looking forward to getting out again to shoot in the New Year, as they always have for many years now. Like all New Year’s shooters, the joy of getting to carry on a great and cherished tradition always puts a smile on their face and a spring in their step, no matter their age or who they are.
Said Mr. Dellinger, “We have had a pretty big increase in the number of new members this year. We had 30 new members join last year, and we are already over that number this year with two meetings left. 1997 was the first year we started keeping a cumulative membership list. Prior to that, the membership records are only for that year for those who paid.”
Gary continued, “In 1997, we had 101 members. This year, we just went over 650 members. That doesn’t mean they are all active this year, it just means at some time since 1997, they have filled out a membership application, been voted on by the group, and paid their dues.”
Dellinger noted that Cherryville makes up the majority of their members, with over half being Cherryville citizens.
“Vale, Crouse, Lincolnton and Bessemer City combined make up another 1/4th of the membership, and we even have members from as far away as Michigan and Pennsylvania,” he said.
As for the schedule, Dellinger said, “We are keeping some changes we made to the schedule last year. We will start at City Hall at midnight as usual, but from there we will be going out of the city limits where it is less populated to continue the route.  We will come back into the city around 6 a.m. This follows the traditional intent of the schedule to welcome in the New Year in the city, then go where not as many people will be bothered by the noise while most people sleep.
“We followed this route last year, and it was well received. It also puts more shots in the daytime in Cherryville where more citizens have a chance to see what is going on. It is often difficult to see at night when the smoke from the guns limits the view in the darkness.”
Gary noted there are a few new shots added this year.
“We will be shooting for the Kurt Thornburg family on Hwy. 274, south of town, and the Rev. Keith Huss family on Sellerstown Road. The Brian Kelly family on Hwy. 27 in Vale moved from the Lincoln County pre-shoot route to the New Years route this year as well. We had a few shoots come off the route last year, but we always have new ones wanting to be added, and we like to keep the number of shots to around 55,” he said.
In addition to himself as the group’s Vice President, Gary said the other officers for the group this year are Dennis Devine (President), Mark Moss (Secretary), and Will McSwain (Treasurer).  Megan Dellinger is the Administrative Assistant, and Scott Harrill is the safety officer and shot coordinator.
“Our board members are Bud Mellon, Ryan Pence, Josh Mellon, Charlie Canipe, Jason Wilson, Zeb Mellon, Kevin McSwain, Daniel Hendrick, Colton Brittain, Glenn Wilson, and Barry Sisk,” he said.
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The 2021 Miss Merry Christmas Pageant winners are (from left to right) Taylin Hall, Annalayah Poston, Miley Littlejohn, Savannah Hubbard, and Hope Logan. (photo provided)

2021 Miss Merry Christmas Pageant Queens crowned

Eleven girls participated in the Miss Merry Christmas Pageant, which was held on Friday evening, Dec. 3 at the Cherryville Community Building. The pageant was an official event of the “Whoville Christmas on Main Street” celebration in downtown Cherryville.
The winners were Miniature Miss Annalayah Poston, Tiny Miss Taylin Hall, Little Miss Hope Logan, Young Miss Savannah Hubbard, and Majestic Miss Miley Littlejohn.
The princess award winners were Ellie Rudisill, Emma Johnson, Karter Edwards, Alexis Long, Delaney Hastings, and Heavenly Quinn.
The signatures award winners were Emma Johnson, Alexis Long, Delaney Hastings, Heavenly Quinn, Miley Littlejohn, Savannah Hubbard, and Karter Edwards. The overall signatures award winner was Annalayah Poston.
Savannah Hubbard was the overall photogenic award winner.  The photogenic award finalists were Annalayah Poston, Taylin Hall, Karter Edwards, and Miley Littlejohn.  Taylin Hall was the first application award winner.
The Little Miss Gastonia Pageant sponsored the pageant in partnership with the Cherryville Chamber of Commerce.
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Somerset Court resident and self-taught artist Harold “Don” Harris with a couple of his acrylic paintings. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Self-taught artist Don Harris’s art skills bring joy to others

Former military veteran has created over 300 works, mostly from memory

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Somerset Court resident Harold Donald “Don” Harris is what you might call a “self-taught” artist. By his own admission the U.S. Army veteran (1971-1972) started painting when he was in the sixth grade and has had no art classes.
Harris, 68, really doesn’t know exactly what style his paintings are, though they are a bit similar to the New York-born American folk artist Grandma Moses, whose real name was Anna Mary Robertson Moses (1860-1961).
Harris favors using acrylic paints and paints in his room at Somerset Court, doing so from his wheelchair as various health issues related to diabetes don’t allow him to stand and paint using an easel.
Harris is also quick to let anyone know he is a conservative Republican and adds he is also a “Biblical person.”
Don’s step-dad was a 30-year Army man, and Don noted he was born in Germany, where his step-dad was stationed with the family. They later moved to Texas before coming to Valdese, N.C., to live in his stepfather’s parent’s house. Harris has three brothers, one of whom is deceased. He is also the father of two girls, both of whom live in Burke County.
“I have to say, the past 20 years have been very traumatic for me because of health issues. I have diabetes and bad neuropathy and am paralyzed from my left hip down,” he said.
Harris said he did attend college at the age of 57, going to Western Piedmont Community College for two years, majoring in U.S. Government and Political Debate.
“I have had two writing classes but no art classes,” he said.
Harris noted he has probably painted “…over 300 paintings” while living both
at Somerset and where he lived previously, at the Brian Center in Hickory. Prior to his being at the Brian Center, he said he lived at the Longview Assisted Living Center (two and a half years) in Morganton. He has spent a total of eight years living at the Brian Center and at Somerset Court.
Harris, who said he appreciates beauty, said he has never done a painting in just one day, preferring to take his time with them; sometimes as much as two weeks to finish one. He also makes his own frames, he added.
“I can’t say that I have had any artistic influence, and I call my own work, ‘Nostalgic’, because I paint stuff that is real, you know… real-life scenes. I don’t take requests for my art, I paint what I like and I also paint scenes from my memory,” he said.
Harris speculates he has been painting seriously now for about seven years, having picked it back up from where he left off.
“I guess it (the ability) never left me,” said Harris. “I haven’t forgot how to do it.”
So far as his affliction go, Don said he has never been angry at God, the way some folks can be when faced with debilitating illness or handicaps.
“My afflictions are my own fault,” said Harris, who said he is a reformed alcoholic, who says Christ is his higher power. He said all the bad things from the alcoholism have cleared up now.
“I do miss my church family though. I was raised a Baptist by my grandparents.”
Currently Harris is in need of art supplies as he has to have someone either go get them for him or bring some to him at the facility.
“Right now, I need paint, brushes, paint bottles, that sort of stuff. I’m low on everything,” he said.
Harris is a hard worker when it comes to the painting noting that once he gets focused on a painting, he tries to see it through as much as possible, adding however, he does get tired more easily these days and has to rest more often.
Harris said he wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, adding for them to all remember that “…Jesus is the Reason for the Season!”
If anyone would like to purchase or contribute art supplies to Mr. Harris, they may do so by purchasing them and bringing them to Somerset Court at 401 W. Academy St., Cherryville, and leaving them at the front desk for Mr. Harold “Don” Harris. You can also call them at (704) 445-1554 and ask what he might need, or when you can bring any supplies by to leave for him, if you wish. It is requested any art supplies brought to the facility for Mr. Harris be new and not used.
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The family of retiring City Manager/Fire Chief Jeff Cash at his Monday, Nov. 29 reception at the CFD station house are: son and daughter-in-law, Chad and Heidi Cash; the man of the hour, Chief Jeff and wife, Cynthia; and son and daughter-in-law, Quentin and Erin Cash. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

City Manager/Fire Chief Cash’s retirement reception well attended

Many came by to wish him well and good fortune in his future

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


City Manager/Fire Chief Jeff Cash’s retirement reception – which took place on Monday, Nov. 29 – was well-attended by his many friends, family members, city employees, and many fire associates with whom he has worked or interacted with over his 40-plus years of local government and community service.
They all met at the CFD station house to wish him well in what is sure to be a bright future, filled with plans for family time, resting, reading, and exploring Mr. Cash’s many hobbies and fire service-related activities.
Fire service and community service is in the blood of the Cash family, as is evidenced by his long service to the Cherryville community; his wife’s service as a CFD wife and mother to two young men – Chad and Quentin – whose lives also are entrenched in working for the fire service and their communities in which they live.
According to an earlier Eagle article City Manager/Fire Chief Cash, announced his retirement as Fire Chief and City Manager to become effective on Jan. 1, 2022. Also announced in that same article is the upcoming promotion of Assistant Fire Chief Jason Wofford to Fire Chief, effective Jan. 2, 2022.
For the four-plus decades Chief Cash has served the City of Cherryville, his career at the Cherryville Fire Department says it all, starting his fire services life (in earnest) in December of 1981. Cash was later promoted to Fire Chief in 1984, and then promoted to City Manager/Fire Chief in 2018.
When asked how it felt to have so many friends, and well-wishers come out to share you great day, he replied, “It was a great day and I was so blessed to have so many family members, peers, colleagues, citizens, and friends come to my reception drop-in. It was an especially nice event and I thank Assistant Chief Wofford, the troops, Brittany, and my wife, Cynthia for hosting the event. It was also very special to me that some of the vendors we have utilized for years and years sponsored the event making it no cost to the city. Once again, I am a very blessed individual.”
Chief Cash’s wife and two sons said they were glad to see the day come as they know what Jeff has given to the city and to the fire department and how much he was looking forward to retirement.
Mrs. Cash said she knows retiring from one’s lifestyle and passion is a bittersweet thing for Jeff, but she also knows he will, after resting a bit, finds ways to get involved with his love of fire science in some manner.
Jeff’s sons and their wives said they are glad for him that he is retiring and will get to spend more time with his family and doing some traveling.
“He’s really been looking forward to this,” noted Chad and Quentin.
Though he will be officially retired after the first of the year, Chief Cash said he has a few things in the works, and hopes, after he takes time to rest up and relax, to work on those projects and such.
Said Chief Cash, “I will continue to do some side work with my consulting business, Bucket Brigade Consulting, LLC. I also may have an opportunity in the safety division with NASCAR. I also have been contacted by Jackie Ireland of VFIS Insurance about a position with their company. For the month of December, I simply plan to do a lot of resting and reading. I also plan to spend time with all my family for the Christmas season/holidays. Cynthia and I are going on a trip in late December.”
As for having any last minute words or instructions for AC Wofford and the guys at CFD, or for the City of Cherryville’s staff with whom he has worked, Chief Cash said, “Always provide the citizens and visitors of Cherryville with the highest, quality level of customer service possible. Always operate by keeping firefighter safety paramount (at all times); to keeping Cherryville citizens safe, and God bless the fire department and their families. This also includes all of the city’s wonderful, committed, dedicated, professional employees. They are the city’s most critical asset!”
Assistant Chief Jason Wofford said, “Chief Cash will most definitely be missed. I, along with all our members, will always regard his leadership, friendship, and love of our community as a guide to carry on our service.”
Dixie Wall, the City of Cherryville’s Finance Director, said of Mr. Cash, “Jeff was a dedicated and professional leader. I enjoyed working under his tenure and appreciate his encouragement and trust in my role as Finance/Administrative Utility Director for the City of Cherryville. I wish him the best and hope he can enjoy his retirement.”
Councilman Gary Freeman thanked Mr. Cash for his long service to Cherryville, adding, “He put Cherryville on the map, as far as fire science and firefighting are concerned. As city manager, he saved the city money and guided us (the Council) and helped spearhead the research on the bond referendum.”
City councilwoman Jill Parker-Puett said, “He is going to be missed. He has been quite a leader in the fire services and is highly respected by his peers.”
Mayor H.L. Beam, III said of Mr. Cash’s retirement, “I would say it has been an honor working with him, and I am happy for Jeff and his family, and wish them all the best!”
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North Carolina State Sen. Ted Alexander, Rep. Kelly Hastings, Dennis Reno, Cleveland County Commissioner Ronnie Whetstine, and Waco Mayor John Barrett at the Nov. 10 ceremony honoring the late Floyd Patterson, World Heavyweight Champion, Olympic gold medalist, and native son of Waco. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Waco native son; former World Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson honored

Signs heralding champ and his home town dedicated at Nov. 10 ceremony

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Whenever you hear people talking about boxing in general these days, one of the names sure to be mentioned is that of World Heavyweight Champion, the late Floyd Patterson, formerly of Waco, N.C. He was known as “The Gentleman of Boxing”, and he was every bit that, and more.
The Town of Waco had a dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 10, to honor the late champ’s memory, inviting NC Boxing Commission Chairperson Valerie Dorsett to speak about Mr. Patterson and his contribution to the sport.
Patterson, who was born on Jan. 4, 1935, in the small town of Waco, and who passed away in 2006, made history, as Ms. Dorsett noted in the speech she gave that day at the Southern States store, located on 2330 Cherryville Rd., and just across from one of the signs, just as you head toward Waco from Cherryville. In addition to Dorsett, Waco Mayor John Barrett, and a host of local and state officials were on hand to pay tribute to the man whose humble beginnings took him not only to center stage in the greatest boxing arenas and venues of the world but helped him stand before and meet many great leaders, telling them his story and of his ability to become who he became.
In addition to eventually becoming the World  Heavyweight Champion – a fight he won on Nov. 30, 1956 by knocking out Archie Moore, making him, at 26, the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in the history of boxing – Patterson won the New York Golden Gloves title in 1951 and 1952. He then became an international sensation at age 17 when he took Olympic gold at the Helsinki, Finland Games in 1952.
In her speech, Ms. Dorsett  described  Patterson’s hard life growing up; his struggles with learning, as well as his rise through the ranks of boxing. She noted his many “firsts” in the world of boxing, speaking of all the famous boxers with whom he competed, not the least of which was the late Muhammad Ali, to whom he lost the WH boxing champ title.
As she noted, “Subsequently, Floyd retired from professional boxing with a record of 55 – 8, 40 KOs and one draw. This is a very impressive record for one who weighed only 185 pounds, with a 71-inch reach in the heavyweight division.”
Dorsett noted also that “…after retiring from boxing Floyd continued within the industry,” and was “…a Champion for boxing, testifying before a Congressional subcommittee.” Dorsett said Floyd also served as Chair of the New York State Athletic Commission and was also voted into the US Olympic Committee Hall of Fame in 1987, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.
In closing her speech, she said, “Floyd was definitely loved by the public,” and “…was an inspiration to all, and though he and his family moved to New York at an early age he never forgot his roots in North Carolina,” adding, “I had the honor of not only meeting Mr. Patterson but escorting him at a fight night and definitely agree that he was the Gentleman of Boxing. Waco, you really know how to make them and should be very proud of your offspring. He was truly one of the greatest boxers of all times!”
Mayor Barrett said in his opening comments that getting the signs was something he wanted to do for the Patterson Family and the Town of Waco since he came to the Mayor’s office.
“Mr. Ed Goforth and (Cleveland County Commissioner) Ronnie Whetstine approached me about this, about getting things started on this,” said Mayor Barrett.
“We are very proud to do this for the Patterson Family,” he said, then looking at the family gathered there, added, “This is for you.”
One of those attending the ceremony, NC State Senator, Ted Alexander said, “I’m glad this can be done for him (Floyd Patterson). This is a good day for the Patterson Family and for Waco.”
Representative Kelly Hastings, said, “I want to thank Mayor Barrett and the Town of Waco for doing this for the Patterson Family and for the Town of Waco as well.”
In addition to the various local, county and state officials at the ceremony, members of Floyd Patterson’
s family were on hand for the ceremony: Tyrone Patterson, Grady Patterson, Dorfus H. Patterson, Jr., Junior Phillips Patterson, Phedra Kee, Goldene Kee, Kevin Kee, Evelyn Haynes, Carolyn Wilson, and Winnie Keaton.
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The three Lail siblings – Sandra, Thomas, and Janet – owners and operators of Home Folks Café. They are the 2021 Cherryville Christmas Parade Grand Marshals. (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Lail Family selected 2021 Cherryville Christmas Parade Grand Marshals
 

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


The 2021 Cherryville Christmas Parade’s Grand Marshals have been chosen and they are the Lail Family, of Home Folks Café fame. It is a ‘first’ for them, though they said their dad’s truck was in a previous Christmas Parade.
The Parade is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 11, starting at 10:30 a.m., and ending at 2 p.m., noted Chamber Director Mary Beth Tackett, who noted the Lail Family had been chosen for the unique honor.
The three Lail siblings –Thomas, Sandra, and Janet – who are very pleased with the honor, said they were informed by the Cherryville Chamber of Commerce as to their selection.
They sat down recently with the Eagle and talked about the restaurant, started in Cherryville sometime in the ‘30’s they said. It was then bought by their father and mother, Roy and Doris Lail, who ran it and prepared all the meals and dishes for which they are famous, for 50 years. While Roy and Doris are – sadly – no longer with us, their children have continued the family tradition, having grown up working in the beloved restaurant, learning all the recipes, and keeping as true to them as possible.
The three are quick to point out that while they and the restaurant get a lot of praise for the excellent meals, it is thanks also to the wonderful staff of waitresses, cooks, and others, as well as their excellent customers that really makes Home Folks what it is today – a great small-town diner with some of the best home-cooked food around.
Sisters, Sandra and Janet, noted that Thomas will actually be riding in the parade as they will still be cooking up some great food while the parade is moving down Main Street that Saturday.
“That’s usually our busiest time,” said Janet, who said of their being chosen as Grand Marshal, “We feel honored to have been chosen.”
Thomas agreed, adding he too was “…glad to chosen” to ride in the parade.
Mrs. Tackett said the Chamber and the City are glad to be able to have a parade again as COVID-19 restrictions basically shut everything Christmas down in 2020; no parade; no Who-Ville.
As for the time in an earlier parade, Thomas pointed out a somewhat faded photo of their dad’s 1946 Chevrolet panel truck making its way down Main Street in the 2004 parade. In the photo, Mrs. Lail can be seen happily throwing out candy and treats to the little kids lining the street.
Janet said her love of Cherryville’s Christmas Parades stems from the fact that she loves seeing the kids come out for them.
“Just seeing the joy on their faces! It’s worth it all and brings back a lot of great memories,” she said.
Another facet of Cherryville’s downtown Christmas tradition many will remember is, as Thomas reminded everyone, his dressing up as Santa Claus and walking up and down Main Street handing out candy to the merchants and shoppers during the wonderful holiday season.
Said Thomas, “I have been Santa since 1992. I love it! It’s a lot of fun watching people’s faces as you come up to them, hand out some candy and say, ‘Merry Christmas!’”
For more information on the Cherryville Christmas Parade, check out the Chamber’s website, their Facebook page or call them at (704) 435-3451.
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In this group shot of the Veteran’s day 2021 event at Somerset Court, are (front row. seated, left to right): Harold “Don” Harris (Army), Claude Dixon (Navy), Robert Gore (Army), and Dale Leagon (Navy), with (standing, left to right): Unit 100 Ladies Auxiliary President Jill Parker-Puett; Ladies Auxiliary member Lynette Christensen. Cherryville Mayor H. L. Beam, III; Post 100 Commander Mike Robinson; Color Guard members Mickey Brown, Brian Dailey, and Monica Lockwood. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Somerset Court military veterans honored by city; Legion and Legion Auxiliary

The four–called “Patriot Angels” by the Court – were overjoyed at the recognition

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Four Veterans currently living at Somerset Court of Cherryville were recently treated to a ceremony in their honor on Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day 2021.
The four are Harold “Don” Harris (Army), Claude Dixon (Navy), Robert Gore (Army), and Dale Leagon (Navy).
In a media release, Cigi Sparks, Communications Manager for the assisted living center, said the Court wanted to host the Veteran’s Day event on that day in order to recognize the military vets who have served their country and who now reside at Somerset. Sparks noted Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam, III, and members of the Post 100 American Legion, Unit 100 of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, and staff members of the Court would be on hand to help these vets celebrate their day.
The event started at 2:30 p.m., and though a light rain was coming down, nothing dampened the enthusiasm of those in attendance.
Cigi noted the men were called their “Patriot Angels”, a title written at the head of their certificates. The certificates were presented to the four men by Mayor Beam and Ms. Sparks, along with Unit 100 Ladies Auxiliary and current National American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Commander Jill Parker-Puett. Assisting the Mayor and Mrs. Puett were Post 100 American Legion Commander Mike Robinson, Post 100 American Legion Vice-Commander Monica Lockwood, and members of the Post 100 American Legion Color Guard, Brian Dailey and Mickey Brown, as well as Unit 100 Auxiliary member Lynette Christensen.
Sparks also noted Somerset Court is home to 42 residents, who are taken care of by approximately 30 staff members.
Mrs. Puett, who is also a Cherryville Councilwoman, Mayor Beam, and the Legion members pinned the four veterans with small red, white, and blue ribbons with shield-shaped badges attached, in honor of their great service to America, then they, with Sparks’ help, presented the men with their certificates.
The four men have each been residents at Somerset Court for a few years now, and to a man, each said they were not only honored to receive the pins and the certificates, but were humbled and overjoyed they were recognized on behalf of the many American men and women who served.
Harold “Don” Harris noted also we should never forget all those veterans who didn’t get to come home, and who gave their all for this great country.
Navy veteran Claude Dixon, who formerly worked in the newspaper business for the Cherryville Eagle and Republic newspapers, said the recognition on Veteran’s Day was “…a bit of a surprise, but a good one!”
After the pinning, Mrs. Puett read from a prepared speech on the folding of the American flag and on the history of Veteran’s Day. She also talked about her father, a veteran of WWII, who she said “fought for our flag.”
Mrs. Puett noted the blue field on the flag stands for our sky; the red stripes for the blood, sweat and tears; and the white stripes for peace. She went to describe, as the Legion Color Guard folded the American flag, what each of the 13 folds stands for: Light, Belief, Remembrance (of our Vets), Warrior Nature, Tribute to Courage, Where our Hearts Lie, Tribute to our Armed Forces, Tribute to the Ones who died and to Honor their Mothers, Tribute to Womanhood, Tribute to Fathers, Eyes of the Hebrew God of Abraham and Isaac on us, the Eyes of Christians watching, and lastly, the Complete Stars of the Field, representing that In God We Trust!
“The final shape of the folded American flag is in the shape of America’s first President, George Washington’s tri-cornered hat. It is then given to the wife or family of a fallen veteran,” she concluded.
“Taps” was then performed by Legionnaire Mickey Brown, and the program was concluded.
Harold Harris did comment on how we should never forget those left behind in Afghanistan because we owe them for their help to our military men and women who served there before the recent pull-out.


 
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Rebecca Goins when she was stationed in Italy as a petty officer, third class. She was selected as “Patrolman of the Year”. She would later leave the Navy as a Petty Officer Second Class.

Former Navy veteran Goins has a real passion for cooking

Butter Me Up Bakery Chef and staff serve up a bevy of great sweet treats

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Watching Chef Rebecca Goins hard at work, it’s easy to see why she and her crew do such a great job at baking such fantastic sweet treats and other culinary delights at Goins’ Downtown Cherryville shop, Butter Me Up Bakery.
But Goins isn’t just a baker or confectioner, she is also one of many of America’s military veterans, men and women who served their country, and are now back home, like Rebecca, who is serving her hometown folks in another, yet just as important way, making them smile and go, “Yum!” when they taste her delicious foods.
Simply put, Rebecca Goins is an entrepreneur who passionate about her business and chosen profession and who loves what she does.
Goins said she served in the Navy as a Master-at-Arms, which she said is also known as the Military Police.
“I went to bootcamp at Great Lakes, Illinois, (and) Police Academy in San Antonio, Texas,” she said.
Goins noted she was then stationed in San Diego, California, with the base police.
“I was deployed from there to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where I was a detention guard,” which she said was a “…six-month deployment (that) turned into two years of permanent duty.”
She continued, “I then served in Naples, Italy, for two years as base police. And lastly, (I served in) Manama, Bahrain, for my last year as base police and anti-terrorism.” Goins was honorably discharged in February 2010.
“I chose the military for the college opportunities and to explore the world beyond our small town,” noted Mrs. Goins, who is originally from Louisiana but who moved to Cherryville when she was 13.
“It (Cherryville) has been my home ever since,” she said.
As for her love of cooking and baking and such, Goins smiled and said, “I’ve always loved to cook. My transition back home as a civilian was very hard and I used cooking as a therapy to help refocus my life and purpose. It is a passion that brings happiness not only to myself but others, as well as it gives me a way to reconnect with my community.”
Goins noted that Butter Me Up Cakes and Catering opened Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 in Cherryville. She originally ran her business out of her home, but she and husband Justin decided it was time to have her own building, she said, in a 2020 Eagle article on the grand opening of her business. She still has Justin and their daughters, Lily and Piper, helping out as they can.
Also helping Rebecca out in the bakery are her sister, Madeline “Maddie” Anthony (cookie decorator and – as Goins notes –“so much more!”); and friend, Maleena White, who works in the kitchen and is one of the idea creators, as Rebecca termed it. They are joined by Megan Carpenter, who “works the front of the house” and Earlene Roberson, as well as brother-in-law, Justin Anthony, whom Rebecca called “an all-around handy man, tech support.”
The bakery is open five days a week, she said, “Monday through Fridays, from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m.; and from 9 a.m., to 3 p.m., on Saturdays. Goins noted they don’t do off-site catering anymore but will take call-ins for pickup.
To contact Butter Me Up Cakes and Catering, Rebecca said to call her at (980) 241-6490, or email her at buttermeup.cakesandcatering@gmail.com.
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The CHS Metalheads Pep Club with the big facsimile check for Atrium Health and Cancer Awareness. (photo provided)

CHS pep club presents huge check to Atrium Health

Cherryville High School has had a pep club, affectionately known as the METALHEADS, for several years now. This year the students wanted to be a little more involved in the themes for our Friday night football games. As a group we decided we wanted to do a “Pink Out” in support of cancer awareness. We just recently lost one of our former staff members whose husband still works as a teacher at our school to a battle with cancer.
We sold a little over 100 T-shirts to our students and community. In addition, a few businesses donated directly to the cause. We will have just over $1,000 to donate to Atrium Health Foundation to help support cancer patients and their families. This year our group has selected our game with Bessemer City High School to support the cause and spread awareness.
Moving forward, we would like to work with another school in our conference to have a “Pink Out” game where both schools sell shirts and collect local business donations from our two communities to raise money for the people that Atrium Health Foundation serves.
One of our CHS alumni works with the cancer programs at Atrium Health Foundation and will be helping us plan our event in the coming years to increase our efforts to raise money and awareness for those that suffer from this terrible disease.
At last Friday’s Oct. 29, donation, while surrounded by a sea of pink, we honored the memory of our former teacher, Mrs. Teresa Henley, by donating to the Atrium Health Foundation.
We could not have made this possible without our staff and students supporting the cause, as well as several of our community businesses sending financial support.
A huge thank you to The Medical Center Pharmacy of Cherryville; Mister Sparky/Wise Electric; Watson Electric; Freemans Car Stereo; Print It LLC; Fins and Feathers Lifestyle apparel; and the Cherryville Metalheads.
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Landrie Wofford (second from right) and a few of her CHS Kindness Club fellow members wearing orange and standing by the newly-painted CHS Spirit Rock saying “Choose Kindness!” (photos provided)

CHS “Kindness Club” brings anti-bullying message to Cherryville schools

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Cherryville High School senior Landrie Wofford and a number of her classmates and fellow “Kindness Club” members recently brought a great message to a couple of local Cherryville schools – “Say NO to bullying!”
Ms. Wofford said they created posters for W.B. Beam Intermediate School, noting that each poster has a unique message, such as, “One kind word can change someone’s entire day.”
Landrie organized the project a year or so ago, she said, along with then-CHS senior Ben Hayes, and a handful of others at the high school. In addition to taking the posters to WBBI, Ms. Wofford said they also had “World Unity Day/Say No to Bullying Day – Wear Orange”.
“The positive school poster project was started back in 2019 and was purchased from a generous grant from Walmart, Carolina Federal Credit Union, and donations other community members as well as money raised from fundraisers due to the efforts of the Kindness Club in 2020” noted Landrie. “Due to the cost of the posters, there are three phases – we are on Phase Two.”
Kindness Club members from 2020 helped raise funds through fundraisers, including a “Stand Up for Others” tee-shirt that helped purchase these posters at Beam Intermediate and Cherryville Elementary, Wofford said.
She continued, “The idea for the posters was set from the initial goal of the Kindness Club when I first formed the club with Ben (Hayes – currently a sophomore at Appalachian State University). We set goals to hang these positive posters in the school’s bathrooms. Also, we set weekly goals to send out positive messages on social media and throughout the community (on cars, mail, “to go” food containers, etc.).”
The plan was to work as a club to achieve monthly kindness activities that would benefit our community and encourage others to spread kindness, noted Landrie, who added, “The co-sponsor team also committed to following the guidelines for the National Anti-Bullying Association.”
As for the wearing of orange, Wofford said October 20, 2021, the National Day for Unity, was chosen and the purpose was to make a visible stand against bullying by encouraging students to wear orange.
“Orange is the official color for anti-bullying and Cherryville schools proudly made a visible stand to wear orange to stand up for others!” she said.
CHS students painted the school’s Spirit Rock orange, shared positive social media messages, and participated in acts of kindness activities for random students. Also, this week, Cherryville Elementary students colored a “Kindness Matters” coloring sheet as a reminder to be kind to one another. Landrie said she volunteers at the school each week to learn from guidance counselor, Mrs. Beth Moss, by helping children with activities, while promoting positivity and kindness to children.
Wofford noted her future goals are to be a Trauma Counselor with a concentration in Art Therapy and work with children. adding that she finds such value with working with Mrs. Moss.
At WBBI, students were encouraged to fill out an “Act of Kindness” BINGO sheet. Together, these students helped make a stand against bullying and helping provide acceptance to all students.
Said Landrie, “Mr. Timmy Fleming, Mrs. Kimberly Beam and Mr. Mark Reep have all been very helpful with spreading the message of kindness to their students daily and helping with many Kindness Club efforts over the past year.”
Though the Kindness Club initiative officially started in 2019, it was an idea that began in the 8th grade, she said.
“Its purpose is to encourage students to focus on positive thoughts and actions. It is meant to ensure that all students feel included, safe, and encouraged to be their own unique self!” said Wofford.
In 2020, a formal club was started but limited activities were allowed due to COVID restrictions, though, Hayes and Wofford helped raise funds to pay for custom positive reminder posters hung at Cherryville schools in 2020 and 2021. These kindness posters, that are hung in our local schools help to remind students to be kind to one another and to love themselves.
A very small 10-member club in 2020 raised additional funds and participated in additional local volunteer work for our community and school. Also, Ms. Wofford has also painted murals at Cherryville High School to promote kindness messages.
Said Wofford, “Mr. Shawn Hubers, who is currently the CHS principal, was previously the Cherryville Elementary principal. He helped choose appropriate posters and quotes in the school. Currently, Mrs. Audrey Hovis, Principal, has additionally worked with me to pull through the kindness poster/program initiative for the 2021 school year.
“Mr. Todd Dellinger, Principal at WBBI, and Mr. Timmy Fleming, assistant teacher, also worked with this initiative for their students to display these posters in their school.”
All the projects have been planned and cleared with Principals Hubers, Dellinger and Hovis, as Wofford and Hayes wanted to make sure the chosen messages were appropriate and relevant to each school.
Landrie said this year’s CHS Kindness Club is led by Mr. Robert Webb, a teacher at CHS.
“He has done an amazing job planning and encouraging students to be part of this important club!” she said, adding. “This year, over 150 students have signed up for the Club!”
Kindness Club Vice President, Payton Cook will be carrying the initiative forward after Landrie graduates and the club will have grade level sponsors to ensure all students are involved. Also, each month, all members of the club will have monthly activities to help remind others to choose kindness through one kind act at a time in our schools and community.
Some examples will be community clean-up, teacher/staff appreciation week, random act of kindness activities, can food drives, volunteer work and spreading positivity by encouraging positive messages in our community events.
Wofford noted, “At the beginning of school, several members of the club made freshmen welcome 'goodie bags’ to remind students that they are never alone, and that they are special and accepted. The club’s wish is to raise additional money for kindness posters at our schools and our local sports complexes.”
Landrie continued, “The mission of the Kindness Club is to make a difference through random acts of kindness….one student at a time. I know each person in the club will do an amazing job working together. I am so glad to have so many people be part of this club. It is a group effort for sure, and it isn’t about me.
“If one student can feel better about themselves and spread kindness to another person, then all these efforts are worth it! I know we can make a difference as a team!”
Wofford added, “None of this would be possible without the support from our school’s principals: Mr. Hubers, Mr. Dellinger, and Mrs. Hovis and Mr. Webb, who is our amazing advisor and leader. Also, many other people in our community have supported this club and helped in so many ways. Everything that has happened is because of many kind leaders who truly care for students and want every student to feel safe and included!”
Landrie’s parents, Jason and Danielle Wofford, said of their daughter’s work with the Kindness Club, “We are very proud of Landrie for founding this club and then starting the official 'Kindness Club’ with Ben. They both worked many many months preparing for this initiative and club.
“She spoke about this idea and wanted to paint murals when she was in the eighth grade. She has always noticed peers that were left out and this is how it began. We are most proud that she realizes that every idea or action is because of the efforts of many people who care. At the end of the day, this is what is important to us as her parents, and we are beyond proud of her and the efforts of all members of the club!”
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W. Blaine Beam Intermediate Principal Todd Dellinger with September 2021 Students of the Month Daylee Dalton, Alainah Barclift, Zi’Ayre Heard, and Seth Cothran. These four students were part of eight who received gift bags to recognize their hard work this scholastic year. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

WBBI again looking for sponsors for Student of the Month program

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


W. Blaine Beam Intermediate Principal Todd Dellinger is still a man on a mission. He has some students he wants to recognize for their hard work and he is once again looking for sponsors for WBBI’s Student of the Month program.
Dellinger has sent out requests to the Cherryville Chamber of Commerce and to various local businesses asking for said sponsors to come to their rescue, if you will.
Said Mr. Dellinger recently, “A student in each class in each cohort is recognized with a treat bag including a $5 McDonalds gift card for a current total of eight students each month.
“We would like a sponsor each month from now through next June. We will recognize the sponsor on our school sign and in our messaging to parents. We are suggesting a $30 to $50 donation be made.”
Due to the COVID-19 situation and its negative impact of the school systems and the local economy, Dellinger, like many of his peers, are still unable to do much in the way of fundraising, adding that being able to get sponsors now would really help them put some smiles on their student’s faces.
In a brief interview, Mr. Dellinger elaborated, “In the past, as I’ve noted, we have been able to really count on fundraisers for those extra dollars, but we can’t do that like we want to, which is why I initially reached out to the Chamber of Commerce.”
“These recognitions are to help inspire the students to work at a good level,” he said. “We had done some recognitions like this in the past. We don’t have everything we need right now to recognize our kids and we want to do more. The kids also have behavior incentives as well as academic incentives to achieve in order to become a Student of the Month.”
Dellinger wanted to say a word of thanks to Mrs. Kim Beam, who works on getting the students the recognitions they deserve.
“She works very hard at this, as does all our staff. It’s so important at this time to keep our students and staff safe, so we can’t, as I said earlier, do the fundraisers as before. These monthly sponsorships go a long way to help,” he noted.
Dellinger continued, “I was very touched by those who have so far given. We have made plaques for all the businesses that have so far donated. We’ve had an incredible response so far. For that, W. Blaine Beam’s students and staff want to express our deepest gratitude!”
Mr. Dellinger said for those who wish to give or sponsor, they can contact him at (704) 836-9114, or email him at rtdellinger@gaston.k12.nc.us, or they can mail donations to W. Blaine Beam Intermediate at 401 E. First St., Cherryville, NC, 28021.
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In this photo are the 2021 Gaston Together MLK Unity Award Honorees. From left are: Rev. Dr. Rodney Freeman, Mrs. Sharron Funderburk, and Gastonia Police Chief Travis Brittain. (photo provided)

Gaston Together requests nominations for 2022 MLK Unity Award

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Donna Lockett, Executive Director, Gaston Together: Communities of Excellence noted in a recent media release, they are in the process of requesting nominations for their 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Awards.
Locket said, via the media release, “The Gaston Clergy & Citizens Coalition (GC3), an initiative of Gaston Together, will present the 2022 Gaston Together MLK Unity Awards on Monday, Jan. 17, the MLK national holiday,” adding the details for the event “…are pending based on current coronavirus guidelines.”
Lockett also noted GT’s MLK Unity Award was established in 2004 by the GC3,
to  recognize “…current or former Gaston
County citizens who have performed exemplary community service to help build bridges of unity across lines of race, class, gender, faith and/or among municipalities within our county.” Names of the honorees are engraved on the MLK Monument located at the MLK Plaza, she said, adding that the Plaza is at the corner of Long Avenue and MLK Way in downtown Gastonia.
Locket said past winners include various notable community members such as Senator Marshall Rauch, N. A. Smith, Mildred Sadler, the 1964 Gastonia Human Relations Committee, Rev. Houston Matthews, Danny Jackson, Sam Shoukry and Richard and Lucy Penegar, just to name a few.
To get the nomination form and award criteria, contact Gaston Together at llee@gastontogether.org.
The completed nomination forms must be received no later than 5 p.m., on Nov. 1, 2021.
“The selection committee composed of former MLK Unity Award Honorees will determine the 2022 recipients,” said Ms. Lockett. “The award recipients will be notified in mid-late December.”
The media release also noted the GC3 is a county-wide, non-denominational ministerial association formed in the late 1990’s by Gaston Together. The group meets on the second Thursday of each month at 9 a.m., normally at First United Methodist Church Family Life Center, Gastonia, or virtually, pending coronavirus guidelines.
For more information, please call Gaston Together at (704) 867-9869.
Founded in 1997, the Gaston Together mission is to create a Community of Excellence by bringing people and resources of Gaston County together to address big community challenges.
Said Lockett, “Implementation of the purpose is achieved through the principles and best practices of collaboration,
facilitation, promotion and the anticipation of possibilities. Current focus areas are Community Pride Building programs, Faith-Based Leadership, Civic Engagement Leadership, Creating a Culture of Wellness, and Gaston Vision 2040.”
She continued, “Mr. Jason Austell is serving as the 2021 Board Chair.”
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John Chavis Middle School 7th-grade Math and Science teacher Meghann Sneed will soon be attending the Superintendent’s Leadership Academy at Gardner-Webb University. (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

JCMS teacher nominated for GCS Leadership Academy

Meghann Sneed one of 14 nominated for school administration program

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


John Chavis Middle School teacher, Meghann Britton Sneed, is one of 14 Gaston County Schools’ finest to be nominated to the Superintendent’s Leadership Academy.
Sneed, 30, is a 7th-grade Math and Science teacher at the Cherryville middle school and has been a teacher for five years, she said, having first taught for three years at Belmont Central Elementary School before coming to Chavis. She said she is “happy to have been nominated” and is looking forward to growing and going forward as an education professional.
Mrs. Sneed comes from a family of educators as her mother and father both teach in Cherryville school: her mom, Lara Britton, is a current 5th-grade teacher at W.B. Blaine Beam Intermediate and her father, Jeff Britton, has worked for Gaston County schools for several years.
Meghann noted, “My dad is currently is a Pre-Kindergarten Assistant at Cherryville Elementary, and husband, Josh Sneed is an EC Assistant at W.B. Beam Intermediate as well.”
She and her husband have been married for almost four years now, she said, adding, “We have a 2-year-old little boy, Jude. We also have a pug, Karl. We love to take walks in our neighborhood and be outside.”
Additionally, Mrs. Sneed said her grandmother, Penny Buff, is a retired high school English teacher who taught at Bessemer City High School for a number of years.
Sneed noted she was informed of the nomination to the Leadership Academy via a letter from Dr. Melissa Wilson Balknight, Associate Superintendent of Academic Services of Gaston County Schools.
In that letter, Dr. Balknight stated GCS “…looks forward to having (Sneed) among the 14 teachers who will complete the master’s degree program in school administration through Gardner-Webb University. Furthermore, we anticipate having you prepared to be an administrator in our school district within the next two years.”
The school system told Sneed they were very impressed with her credentials and achievements in education as well as her eagerness to become a school administrator in the county.
The letter to Mrs. Sneed closed with these words, “We are confident that this
See JCMS, Page 10
From Page 1
 quality program will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and preparation necessary to serve as an effective administrator and educational leader for Gaston County Schools.”
Sneed noted that with the scholarship, which is essentially what this is, she noted, both Gardner-Webb University and Gaston County Schools will be covering the amount of her tuition for the full 20 months.
“This averages out to $20,000 per person,” she said. “I will only be responsible for the cost of my books, which will be about $200 per semester.”
Sneed is a 2009 CHS grad who attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, graduating from there in 2014.
“I earned my bachelor’s degree in Statistics with a minor in English. I worked in the corporate world for a few years and decided to go back to school to become a teacher.”
She noted her classes for the master’s “…will not take time away from (her) teaching at Chavis for now. Classes will be online a few nights a week with a few Saturdays in person per semester.”
As for what she wants this graduate degree to do for her, so far as your advancing in your chosen field and what Gaston County Schools expects from her in return, she had this to say, “I would love for one day to become an Assistant Principal and possibly a Principal in the future. As a participant, Gaston County Schools requires a commitment of five years with GCS after the program.”
John Chavis Middle School Principal Matt W. Rikard said of Meghann and her nomination to the Leadership Academy, “Mrs. Sneed is a leader in her class and I feel confident that she will excel in this new journey. As she steps out of her classroom, I feel confident that she will grow into a phenomenal leader in the building at JCMS and for Gaston County.”
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HomeTown Direct Care’s newest physician, Dr. Brianna Buchanan and Dr. Thomas R. White in Dr. White’s office. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

New physician joins Cherryville’s HomeTown Direct Care staff

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Cherryville’s HomeTown Direct Care has a new physician on staff in the person of Dr. Brianna Buchanan, DO.
The Nebraska native, a Board-certified Family Physician, came on staff at Dr. Thomas R. White’s Direct Care clinic, located at 301 East Main St., this summer, Dr. White noted.
In a media release sent out by Dr. White’s office, Dr. Buchanan’s medical interests are “…in patients of all ages,” adding she “…has a special passion and expertise in women’s health.”
Said Dr. White, “We now have three physicians at HomeTown Direct Care. Dr. Josh Carpenter joined us in 2017 and he is primarily in the Shelby office.”
He continued, “I feel incredibly fortunate that Dr. Buchanan made the decision to join us. She will be in the Cherryville office. She is incredibly well trained, bright, personable, and community-minded. Patients are going to love her. She is exactly the kind of physician I would choose for myself and my family.”
Doctor Buchanan noted that although she was originally interested in becoming a graphic artist, she had a greater interest in biology, and thanks to her brother, Dr. Josh Knott, who is an Emergency Medicine physician, she made the decision to go into medicine and has never looked back.
Her father, Paul Knott, is the senior pastor of Hastings Berean Bible Church, she said, and mom, Betty, is a Preschool teacher’s assistant. She has, in addition to her brother, Josh, three other siblings: sister, Tiffanie Ediger, and brothers: Jason, and Caleb Knott.
Said Dr. Buchanan, “All my siblings are older and we are about two to three years apart in age.”
Doctor Buchanan graduated from Adams Central High School in 2008 where she was involved in cross country, track, and chorus.
Doctor Buchanan said she heard about Campbell University through researching medical schools in the local area while working her first job out of college in Greenville, S.C., doing medical research with the Surgery Department.
“At Campbell, they treated me well and cared for me as a person, not just a test score,” she said.
While at Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Buchanan said she “…initially considered Internal Medicine,” but is glad she chose the specialty of Family medicine.
“In the end as it is a better fit for me,” she said, adding, “I am thankful for my DO training. I did my internship and residency through Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Harnett Health. It was a dual MD/DO accredited program.”
Direct Primary Care, the model that Dr. White’s HomeTown Direct Care is based off of, is, said Dr. Buchanan, “…an innovative alternative to insurance-driven medicine with a low monthly membership fee that gives patients more time with their doctor and access to their doctor at their fingertips.”
She continued, “I heard about this model in residency when a woman who did this spoke to my residency group. She said it ‘saved her career’ and I wanted to preserve my career and not have to save it. After meeting Dr. Carpenter and Dr. White, I realized it was possible for me to do. I believe it is a better model for patients and doctors to receive the best possible primary care through increased time and access of patients to their doctor.”
Doctor Buchanan is married, she said. “My husband’s name is Logan. We do not have any children. He is a Marketing manager.” She lists as her hobbies, in addition to her art, she also loves travel, outdoor adventure, and singing and playing the guitar.
As for her aforementioned ‘passion for women’s health’, Dr. Buchanan said, “I want to serve the women of this community through prevention, wellness, and treatment. For a woman to be well and be at her best, I feel self-care is so important and part of that is having a good team including a physician readily available to her.”
To learn more about Dr. Buchanan and HomeTown Direct Care, and to schedule a “get acquainted” visit, either call (704) 435-1100, or contact them through their website at www.hometowndirectcare.com.
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The 2021 Dixie Girls Angels All-Stars softball team and their coaches were recognized for winning the Dixie Girls World Series for their age group in South Carolina. They are Mary Ellis Upchurch, Chaslyn Montgomery, Darrah Beam, Zoe Culberson, Jenny Brown, Avery Beam, Blair Culberson, Katelin Huffman, Addy Morehead, Addison Pruett, Georgia Cruise, and coaches Matthew Anthony, Dustin Morehead, and Wes Culberson. (Not present when photo made was Haylee Lynch.) (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Council works through large agenda at last Monday night’s regular session

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Cherryville City Council’s Monday, Sept. 13, meeting’s agenda was – at least according to the Mayor and City Manager – one of the largest, so far as topics to be covered, they have had in a while.
In the 24 or so agenda itemized topics, Council took care of a couple of Planning and Zoning issues, recognized a number of City employees, adopted minutes from earlier meetings, recognized the World Series Dixie Girls Softball team, the Angels, revised the City’s COVID-19 policy, read a couple of proclamations, and approved various listed agenda items.
The Council immediately voted on and approved the minutes of previous meetings, after which, Mayor Beam’s comments on the City’s 20th 911 Remembrance Ceremony and CFD vehicle push-in event, in which he thanked Mayor Pro-Tem and Councilwoman Jill Parker-Puett for standing in for him, were made.
There were no citizens to be heard so Council moved to recognize the 2021 Dixie Girls Angels All-Stars softball team and their coaches for winning the Dixie Girls World Series for their age group in South Carolina. The resolution noted the Angels were only one of three teams representing N.C. at the Moncks Corner, S.C., DGSB World Series in July of this year. The little ladies went 4-0 and won the double elimination tournament while playing teams from S.C., Georgia, and Florida, said Mayor Beam.
Mayor Beam recognized with a proclamation, that the week of Sept. 17-23, was Constitution Week. He presented the proclamation to representatives of the Tryon Resolves Chapter of the DAR. He asked the citizens of Cherryville to “…reaffirm the ideals of the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties, remembering that lost rights may never be regained.”
Then the Council recognized City employee Nelson “Ned” Yates for his five years of service to the City, followed by Fire Capt. Nathan Bowman being recognized for being the Western NC Association of Firefighter’s
Fire Officer of the Year, which was presented to him by NCAFF President Todd McMurray.
Mayor Beam and the Council then recognized The Cherryville Police Department and the Cherryville Fire Department for their Certificate of Safety Achievement Awards from the NCDOL. Captain Brian Doolittle accepted the CPD’s First Year Silver Award Certificate from Mayor Beam and Capt. Chris “Pudge” Cash accepted the CFD’s Ninth Consecutive Year Award, also from the NCDOL, from Mayor Beam.
Cherryville Financial Director Dixie Wall was recognized next and accepted her Public Power Rising Star Award from Mayor Beam.
Though originally hired as the Finance Director, Mayor Beam noted how Dixie “…quickly assumed the responsibility of Administrative Utility Director,” adding that she is, “a role model, a strong advocate of ‘hometown power’, and has improved the City’s electric system by implementing (the Advanced Metering Infrastructure) technology that will be helpful for the citizens.”
He noted how fortunate the City is to have someone like Dixie looking out for their interests.
Dixie thanked everyone and said, “I can’t do what I do without the help of all the department heads, City Manager Jeff Cash, and the City staff.”
Mr. Cash said, “Dixie is great at her job! She takes on multiple roles within the city. Her education and skill set are a blessing to our organization. She and her staff are very dedicated to serving our citizens at the highest levels! Our organization is fortunate to have Mrs. Wall as a department head. She is a great leader and innovator, always improving service deliver to our citizens!”
Mayor Beam read a proclamation noting the week of Oct. 3-9, as Fire Prevention Week in Cherryville, with the slogan for Cherryville’s citizens to “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.” He also proclaimed that same week as NC Public Power Week.
Council then held Public Hearings on zoning changes. These were brough to Council by P&Z Director Derrick Mackey. After some discussion, Council unanimously approved the zoning change and the amending of the text of a zoning ordinance for a Single Family Cluster to be used under a Special Use Permit.
Council then recognized the City’s Water Treatment Plant and its Director, Patty Hall, for the AWOP Award. Cherryville is one of 64 NC cities to receive the award.
Said Mayor Beam, “We are very proud of Patty and the Water Plant staff for making sure our City has clean water.”
Council also approved a revised COVID-19 policy, approved ARPF (American Rescue Plan Funds) for a wastewater generator, and heard the updated information on insurance coverage for volunteers who work on City property, with the caveat that Council doesn’t have to vote just yet on this issue.
The City Council’s work session will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 28, at the Fire Department’s training room at 5:30 p.m.
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Cherryville City Manager and Fire Chief Jeff Cash presents Truck Committee chairmen Capt. Chris “Pudge” Cash and Capt. Kurt Black with framed photos of the new Engine 73. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

CFD has push-in ceremony for their new fire truck

Big unit in its new home, ready to go to work for the City

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


The push-in ceremony for the Cherryville Fire Department’s new truck, a.k.a. Engine 73, took place immediately after the City’s 911 Remembrance Ceremony on Friday, Sept. 10.
Mayor Pro-Tem and City Councilwoman Jill Parker-Puett welcomed the small crowd that walked over to the fire department’s bays, and after a prayer by Fire Chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Vince Hefner, Driver/Engineer Colby Heffner gave a recitation of the history of the new truck.
The need for, and purchase of, the truck began, noted D/E Heffner, in December 2019 when Chief Cash appointed a committee to be chaired by Capt. Chris
“Pudge” Cash, with Capt. Kurt Black chairing the equipment portion of the same committee. It was rounded out, noted Heffner, by other fulltime and volunteer staff as well as contract service and maintenance tech, Mr. Chris Poole.
Captain Chris Cash said the cost of the vehicle was $598,907, and the amount was approved by the City in last year’s budget.
Throughout a series of meetings and exhibits attended in order to gain more knowledge about what they needed in a new fire vehicle it was eventually decided that the one design that caught everyone’s attention was a design by long-time fire equipment manufacturer Pierce Manufacturing; in particular the beautiful Pierce Enforcer.
Said Heffner, “The primary focus of the committee was to find which manufacturers provide the safest apparatus for our firefighters.” He also noted the committee also found out at during a trip to the Concord, NC, fire department, that they were in the process of purchasing new apparatus from Pierce, and that CFD was allowed to “piggyback” onto their order, thereby saving time and “a great amount of money” with CFD’s order.
Heffner noted that with the help of Mr. Frank Suggs, of Atlantic Emergency Solutions, an authorized dealer for Pierce, who flew the CFD committee folks up to Appleton, Wis., for a couple of planning sessions and a final inspection and punch list session, all was ready for the unit to be delivered. That delivery, said Heffner, came on Aug. 24, 2021 when the bright red vehicle arrived at its new home at Cherryville’s station house, ready to be tricked out with equipment. That job was done, Heffner was proud to point out by CFD’s own crew.
Heffner, reading from hi notes, said, “This piece of equipment will offer exceptional value to our firefighters, community, and citizens. Our firefighters now have an apparatus that is dependable with up-to-date safety features which have been enhanced since our last pumper was ordered 21 years ago. Our community and citizens will benefit from the modern equipment that make fighting fire more effective as well as the time-saving advantages.”
Heffner closed by adding Cherryville and its citizens can all be assured and certain, “…that for the past two years our truck committee diligently researched and considered all facets (of the issue) to give our department and our community what we needed at the most affordable price possible.”
Captain Chris Cash made the vehicle “official” by performing the “In Service” radio call with the county, Rev. Hefner closed with a prayer, and the big unit was pushed into the bay, its new home, ready to go to work for the City of Cherryville.

 
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Pam Eaker Anthony, Mrs. Vera Eaker, and Danny Eaker, at a family get together a few years back. (photo provided)

Cherryville’s Vera Eaker reaches a milestone –100 years young!

Centenarian celebrated her birthday in
grand style with family and friends


by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


When it comes to one of life’s major milestones, no one can argue that turning 100 years old is right up there with the best of them. And while it seems that lately many folks are reaching that one century of life mark, it is still no mean feat and is a great blessing to be able to say you have reached that august mark.
For Carolina Care and Rehabilitation Center resident Mrs. Vera Sellers Eaker, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Aug. 22, 2021 at Cherryville’s First United Methodist Church, she is a member of a very elite club, those centenarians who have weathered life’s slings and arrows and other challenges and come out triumphant.
Vera Sellers is one of 10 children born to Mr. and Mrs. Junious Grady Sellers. There were eight girls and two boys.
“J.G” (born June 25, 1889), as he was more affectionately known, married the fetching Augustus Cleo Sellers, who was born Dec. 30, 1894. He was born in Cleveland County and she was born in Gaston County. J.G. passed away in 1960 and his beloved Cleo passed in 1974. One child, a little girl named Barbara Genette Sellers, was born Feb. 27, 1918 and passed in May of that same year. The remaining Sellers children: Marvin Sylvanis, Benjamin Sterling, Edith Lillian, Bertha Margaret, Ella Aline, Ophelia Deloria, Doris Augustus, and Shirley Sue, all married and had children and grandchildren of their own. Of the nine children, Vera and her sister, Shirley Sue remain to tell their kids and grandkids all the great family stories that are collected over a century of life.
Mrs. Vera went to Tryon School, said her son, Danny, and daughter, Pam Anthony. Pam said her mother graduated April 18, 1939, and was known in her high school’s Senior Superlatives recognitions as having The Prettiest Hair; being the Best Dressed; and being The Friendliest.
“Mom worked at Rose’s Dime Store (in Cherryville),” said Pam, and married a handsome soldier named Alonzo Allen Eaker on Dec. 27, 1942. America had been at war with the Japanese and Germany a little over a year when the two lovebirds were married.
From this union came two children; son, Danny Eaker (wife, Judy); and daughter, Pam Anthony (husband, Ron); four grandchildren, Allen Eaker (wife, Lisa), Valerie Keefe (husband, Dwayne); Heidi Anthony Cash (husband, Chad); and Wes Anthony (wife, Angie); and six grandchildren: Noah, Katie, and Sarah Eaker; Alex and Allie Anthony; and Austin Keefe. The Keefe’s live and work as missionaries in Australia while the other grandchildren live, go to school, or work in NC.
Mr. Eaker, an honorably discharged U.S. Army veteran, passed away on Sept. 7, 1996, and not a day goes by that Pam and Danny said their mother doesn’t think about him.
“He was the love of her life. They were inseparable,” said Pam.
Pam noted her mother was named “Woman of the Year” on June 23, 1993, by the Cherryville Charity League.
“Mom loves her church,” said Pam and Danny, who added she grew up attending Mary’s Grove Methodist Church, but later became a member of Cherryville’s First United Methodist Church, joining in 1951.
Said Pam, “She has been a member there for 70 years, and has been involved in the church. She belonged to the Mae Harrelson Sunday School Class, the Florene Styles Class-June Medlin Class, and has belonged to the Vera Eaker Circle, which was named after her and of which she was Chairman for many years.”
Mrs. Eaker was also in the Dora Mill Woman’s Club and was President of it. She worked at the Dora Mill for 40 years, noted Mrs. Anthony, who added Vera also belonged to the Cherryville Senior Citizen’s Club.
“She belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star 156 in Cherryville and was a charter member of that organization,” said Pam.
Danny and Pam both though spoke with great pride of one of their mother’s greatest accomplishments: her ceramics works.
“She has been making them since 1957 and has given many of them away as gifts to many friends and relatives,” said Danny.
“Yes,” agreed Pam, who added, “She also quilted, did decoupage, and crafted purses and pocketbooks for many.”
Pam and Danny also noted Vera’s longtime friends were Preston and Betty Melton, with whom she went on many trips together.
At her birthday party, attended by many, her family and many friends all sang “Happy Birthday” to her. Not to be outdone, she blew them all kisses, thanking them all for coming and helping her celebrate a century of a life well lived for God, her family, and her community!
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Cherryville’s Paul Czerr Construction Company help the city staff to install a by-pass line in Mountain Street. (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

CITY: Downtown water and sewer work continues; Main Street projects up next

City staff asks
everyone be patient during this process

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info

Construction work on the City’s sewer lines is still on-going, said City Manager Jeff Cash recently, even though it appeared the workers had left. “They were only tidying up for the weekend,” noted Mr. Cash last Friday afternoon, adding, “This is an 18- to 24-month project, from start to finish, and it will continue, depending on the weather and materials, until the project is finished. They are moving along well.”
Last week, the Cherryville’s Paul Czerr and his company were seen doing some work over on Mountain St. in front of the old BB&T building, but Public Works Director Brandon Abernathy said they (Czerr Construction) were “…helping City Staff to install a by-pass line in Mountain
Street due to a reduction in work force due to a COVID exposure. He was not working on the Downtown Revitalization.”
As for that larger project, Mr. Abernathy said, “The Main Street Revitalization Project is now under way. Staff has contractors working on water and sewer utilities right now but will progress to downtown improvements as soon as the utility projects are complete.”
The overall work right now is being done, said Abernathy, by two contractors.
“There are two contractors working right now. CaJenn, which is a Collection System Contractor from Georgia, and Sealand Construction, which will be working on the Water Distribution and Downtown Improvements. Both companies are not local but have worked locally on several projects for other communities,” said Brandon.
Abernathy noted the Water and Sewer Infrastructure Improvements are the “…first part of the Downtown project, then it will move to Main Street Streetscape Improvements.”
Mr. Abernathy said some problems have been observed, but such is to be expected when dealing with the age of Cherryville’s pipes and such.
“There have been several issues that have had to be addressed but it is expected when you are replacing infrastructure that is as old as Main Street,” he said, “There will be more issues as the projects move forward. We just ask that everyone be patient during this process.”

YMCA’s After School program helps kids reach their potential

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Gaston County YMCA spokesperson Molly D’Avria noted in a recent media release they are starting After School programs in various YMCA’s across the county.
Noted D’Avria, “A new school year is filled with potential – a chance to start new routines and habits, build new friendships and discover new possibilities and interests. It’s an exciting time for many kids, however – at the end of the school day, one in five children do not have someone to care for them after school, according to Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness organization. As families are transitioning from summer to fall, the Gaston County Family YMCA is offering programs to school-aged children throughout Gaston County to keep youth active, busy and engaged during out-of-school time.
“Through a well-rounded approach to youth development, the Y’s programs offer activities in a caring and safe environment during the critical hours after school. Whether through sports, mentorship, or academic support, the Y nurtures the potential of youth throughout the school year.”
Hailey Hudson, Youth Program Director agreed, adding, “Over 11 million children are unsupervised between 3 and 6 p.m., an essential time to help increase children’s success in school. Afterschool at the Y is a fun and safe option for children after school ends each day. They get an opportunity to be active, work on their homework, and have a little fun with friends.”
Cherryville Family YMCA Accounts Payable manager, Sandy Homesley, noted YMCA Director Sharon Padgett and Josey Messer will be over all of the After School programs.
Both Homesley and Butch Boyd, the Cherryville Family Membership Coordinator, said their trained staff strive to create an environment that supports the needs of Cherryville’s children.
Boyd added, “We are following the CDC’s requirements for a safe environment for our children and staff.”
Homesley noted the After School Program for Cherryville’s Family YMCA this year is at Mount Zion Baptist Church with the times starting at after school dismal (roughly 2-2:30 to 3 p.m.) until 6 p.m. She added they are open Monday through Friday.
Crystal Baugham will be over the program at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, said Homesley.
D’Avria said, “The ‘Y’ is a leading nonprofit committed to nurturing the potential of every child and teen,  supporting their social-emotional, cognitive and physical development from birth to career. In the Gaston County YMCA’s afterschool program youth receive help with homework and can also explore the arts, music, literacy, math and science, and more!
Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child and teen has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y.
The Y offers Afterschool at four locations throughout Gaston County working closely with neighborhood schools to provide safe and flexible options for working parents.
For more information about the Gaston County Family YMCA’s afterschool program, please contact Hailey Hudson, Gaston County Family YMCA at hhudson@gastonymca.org, or visit gastonymca.org.

City of Cherryville Fire Department Push-In Ceremony

The public is invited to participate in the launch of new fire apparatus on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 as the City of Cherryville and the Cherryville Fire Department install the new fire engine in a traditional Push-In Ceremony. This will take place right after the City’s 2021 911 Remembrance Ceremony, which starts at 9 a.m., also at the CFD Station House on Hwy. 150/W. Church Street.
Anyone with an appreciation of the lore of firefighting and state-of-the-art equipment should be interested in attending the ceremony.
Refreshments and opportunities to conduct walk-around tours of the vehicle, the cab, and compartments.
It will be held at the Cherryville Fire Department, 411 East Church St., Cherryville, at 10:15 a.m., Friday, Sept. 10.
Members of the public are invited to join Mayor H.L. Beam, Fire Chief/City Manager Jeff Cash and other Fire Department personnel, and members of the City Council for this event.
COVID-safe protocols will be observed.
For more information contact Brittany Bingham by emailing her at bbingham@cityofcherryville.com, or calling her at (704)-435-1730.
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This is a photo of the almost finished Big Courtyard, off the library at JCMS. (photos provided)

Redone JCMS courtyards ready for new tables; furniture

Principal’s vision for the two areas coming together but they’re not yet where he wants them

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Now that John Chavis Middle School Principal Matt Rikard and his staff are back at the business of teaching students, he wanted to revisit a project that is near and dear to the head Wolverine’s heart – their newly redone courtyards.
In a recent Eagle article Rikard and crew talked about the state of each of
the two courtyards – dubbed (for obvious reasons) The Big Courtyard and The Little Courtyard.
Their disrepair and sad overgrown state was not only a minor eyesore that could be fixed, he thought, but once finished, the two refurbished spaces would be great places (especially with certain aspects and issues of the pandemic still ongoing) for the JCMS students to possibly eat lunch, providing they could find a way to get the right tables, or maybe a great place to sit outside (weather permitting) and study. And, just so you know up front, Matt Rikard is not a man easily dissuaded or one to shrug his shoulders and take “not sure we can get this done” for an answer when it comes to, well… getting things done!
So guess what he did? He went out and found a way to get things done and now JCMS Wolverine Country has a couple of sharp looking places to study in, maybe eat in, or sit and talk with their teachers. The sky, when it comes to Rikard’s vision for these things, is the proverbial limit. But he still needs help in the way of donations to get the right tables and other items needed to REALLY spruce things up!
The Eagle talked with Mr. Rikard by way of a follow-up to see just what all has been done and where things currently stand, and what is left to be done and what can make that happen for JCMS.
Here’s what he had to say…
From start to finish, Matt said the actual work on the courtyard took about two weeks. The planning stages took a while longer.
Aside from his and others’ own sweat equity, he said, “It was a partnership with Gaston County Schools. GCS had project managers, contractors, and gentlemen from maintenance that were here every day overseeing the work.”
As for donations or “angel investors”, Rikard noted, “We have received a few donations towards the seating (tables). I have not approached (any angel investors) personally, but have had community members say that they will talk to (some).”
Regarding dollar amount projections for what all is needed, as well as what you hope to try and get. Rikard said, “We would like to purchase between 12 to 25 metal picnic tables, like what are located in downtown Cherryville. The metal tables cost around $600 each. The reason for the metal is that they will be more durable, and we can sanitize them between usage. We plan to use the areas as outdoor learning areas, as well as an expansion to our cafeteria so that we can help maintain our social distancing.”
As for everyone’s reaction, Mr. Rikard said, “They (teachers, staff and students) have loved the transformation. They are excited about what the spaces will be used for once the seating is in place.”
Donations are still needed and wanted, and  Mr. Rikard said to contact him at John Chavis Middle School at (704) 836-9606.
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Dr. W. Jeffery Booker Gaston County Superintendent of Schools

Gaston Schools’ Superintendent Booker makes first day of school rounds

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


On Monday, Aug. 23, as many thousands of Gaston County School students and their teachers were enjoying their first day back to school, Todd Hagans, Chief Communications Officer for Gaston County Schools noted the school superintendent was doing the same.
In a recent media release, Hagans said, “Superintendent of Schools Dr. W. Jeffrey Booker spent the first day (Monday, Aug. 23) stopping by schools to greet students and staff.  He started at W.A. Bess Elementary in Gastonia where he talked to several teachers, observed students settling into first- and second-grade classrooms, and welcomed a group of kindergarteners to school for the very first time. By lunchtime, Booker had visited seven schools.”
Said Dr. Booker, “It was great seeing the students arrive at school this morning. Everyone was positive and upbeat and ready to begin a brand-new school year. We know that we will face challenges this year because the pandemic is ongoing, but our hope is that this school year will be as normal as possible for students and teachers.”
He continued, “The first day of school is a time when the slate is wiped clean, and everyone gets a fresh start. Our teachers are prepared to help students build on what they learned and accomplished last year, and they are going to do everything they can to make sure our students grow and thrive in the year ahead.”
Hagans noted Dr. Booker said he wanted to thank the teachers and parents for all
they have done to prepare Gaston School students for that al-important ‘first day of school’.
“We like to say that opening day is the most exciting day of the academic year, and we saw a lot of excitement and enthusiasm (that) morning that we hope will carry all the way through to the last day of school on June 1, 2022” said Dr. Booker.
Hagans said it is Booker’s goal to visit all 56 schools in the Gaston County school district during the first two weeks of school.
 
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Bret Morey and son, Elijah, with their new Elijah’s X-Treme hot sauce vending machine. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Father, son hot sauce entrepreneurs expand business again

Bret Morey: “Our 2021 on-line sales will exceed $1.8 million”

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Asked to describe their most recent move and expansion for their ever-growing hot sauce business at the ribbon cutting on Friday, Aug. 20, former Cherryville resident and Gaston County entrepreneur, Bret Morey, said simply, “We are blessed beyond measure!”
And he is not kidding, as he described how their small, seven-person business started out with him, son, Elijah, and one or two sauce cooking pans out of their own home kitchen and burgeoned into what it is now: a large Gaston County-based company that markets its own Elijah’s Extreme Ghost Pepper sauce, as well as a whole family of other flavorful sauces, across the nation and the world.
Their growth has caused them to move twice in the last year, Bret said.
“For an old marketing guy like me, keeping up with the latest trends and how to reach folks, the world is a different place. Marketing today is unbelievable, complicated and yet extremely rewarding as long as you understand what to do and how to leverage it.
“I had dabbled in social media to the best of my ability and had some success. However, Elijah took a full-on approach. Being tuned-in to trends, social media platforms and what’s most popular and where the best audience can be found for our products and learning how to leverage that is no small task.
“Elijah began taking over all the marketing while still in college. We agreed on a budget that began as a daily spend for ads and he began to craft content, pictures, headlines, create and edit his own videos, adding music and even voice overs. Then
would test each to see what was working best. This took hours and hours of time; the net result was more folks seeing our brand, more folks buying from our website, grocery and other stores and of course Amazon. As sales began to increase so did the need to invest more to continue that reach.”
Bret noted after Elijah graduated college he began digging deeper into understanding the social media platforms, creating more and more content, understanding how to best shape the audiences, engagements and demographics, learning what was working and what was not.
“He built on the successes and learned from the failures,” he said. “I always told him you learn from the mistakes so you know what not to do later, and it makes you better. Finding out what doesn’t work is just as important as what does.”
Morey said the result – by May 2020 – was they saw sales like it was Christmas time, and knew they needed more space than our garage to manage our accelerated growth.
He continued, “We found a 2,500-square foot warehouse space in Ranlo in an old mill, cleaned it up, painted it and made it our home. Business shot up over 400 percent! We moved in Aug. 1 2020 and quickly got set up with our packing table from the garage and adding two more. By November, we saw our sale trend up fast! By December, we (Elijah, myself and our one employee, Juan) were packing 500-600 orders a day! We had to have the post office come pick up from us three times a day, each time filling their van. And here I was thinking managing 100-plus orders a day would be a lot!”
Morey said a great deal of that carried over into 2021, and they added another packing table, now with four (tables), they realized the 2,500-sq. ft. space was not big enough. By March they barely had space to move around with the need to have more inventory on-hand to pack and ship quickly, we needed more space. They found a bigger, 6,000-sq. ft. warehouse with a small office area that was a perfect fit for them, he said.
“Just like before, we cleaned and painted and up-fit the whole space to be our own, 'home away from home’. Adding four more packing tables, (now with 8) and hiring four more people (three for packing and shipping and one to help Elijah with marketing). We moved in June 1, got setup in a weekend and only 10 months after our first move out of the garage. We have been extremely blessed! Our focus, as soon as we got moved, is on our fourth quarter sales and our Christmas selling season,” he said.
Elijah’s savvy social media marketing, (with help now), working with influencers, creating more content and growing our reach, Bret said their products have been seen by over 12.5 million folks in just the last 90 days alone – and growing.
“We now have hundreds of recipes using our sauces now on our own Pintrest page and website with step-by-step videos as well. Elijah has also created a weekly recipe news letter, 'Cookin’ it up with Elijah’s Xtreme’, only in its fifth week and already reaching 5,000 who signed up to get it. There’s no magic, just a lot of hard work creating content daily, testing ads, then growing the ones working,” he said, adding the results are exponential growth with sales rocketing up 400 percent-plus over 2020’s numbers.
“Elijah’s Xtreme brand is now reaching millions of folks and building a broader base. The best part is we’re seeing an average of 22 percent repeat customer orders. And as that continues, in 4 years we’ll sell as much to repeat customers as to new ones!”
(Morey noted their on-line sales will exceed $1.8 million for 2021 and their total gross sales on overall channels is $2.5-2.9 million – he added, “Just think, our sales for 2019 was $298,000. God is good!”
When asked what was next in the grand scheme for Elijah’s X-Treme, Morey replied, “We knew when we leased the new warehouse we’d outgrow it in less than two years, so we got a shorter lease agreement. Our ultimate goal is we’re already working toward buying land and building our own 30,000-40,000 sq. ft. office warehouse by 2023. Also, adding in another 1,000 to 2,000 grocery stores by 2023, and increasing our on-line sales to surpass our Amazon sales (2021 Amazon online sales alone is over $1.2 million!).
Additionally, Bret noted how just about a month ago Elijah got their two of their best-selling products launched on Walmart.com, which will take time to build over the next year or two.
“We got a request for us to add our products to a wholesale site called Faire. They sell to brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S., in Canada, and to Europe,” he said, adding, “We launched this about three months ago and have already sold into Canada, Italy, and Scotland. Plus a couple dozen shops in the USA with at least three that have re-ordered.”
There is so much more to tell about their new products on the horizon (a 5-pack gift set/box, out just in time for Christmas; the launch of their Xtreme Regret Reserve (an even hotter hot sauce than their hottest to date); re-working their Tangy Fire BBQ-Marinade into a Beer-Bacon and Fire BBQ-Marinade; and lastly, a mild green sauce to finish out their line of mild sauces, to be simply called,  'Elijah’s’.
The duo and their company wanted to be close to home, and they are naturally all about community and hometown, so being close to other local businesses was important in their location decisions.
“We want to support other local small business and this was another way to do that,” said Bret.
They currently we have four business channels: On-line Amazon, our website, Walmart.com, and ebay. They also sell via Speciality Wholesale – wholesale distributors like Bass Pro and Cabela’s nationwide; UNFI and KeHE Distributors (wholesale to grocery); where they’re currently located in 1,000 (i.e. Ingles, Winn-Dixie, Fresco Y Mas, Harveys and a few other smaller chains); and distributors, such as Blue Mountain (one they have grown with almost from the start. They wholesale to Ingles, tons of “mom and pop’s” in three states.
And coming soon is Elijah’s Xtreme Vending, said Bret.
“It will be fully loaded with all our hot sauces and gift boxes! To land somewhere in either Concord Mills, or the outlet mall off Steel Creek Rd. Then if that goes as planned, we’ll be creating a business model to franchise the vending machine as a stand-alone business!”
In addition to CEO Bret and CMO Elijah, there are five more employees and they’ll be hiring three more soon.
“There are Faith (marketing support, works on product recipe creation); Gabby (marketing support); Juan (packing and shipping supervisor); packers Philip and Melody; and my wife, Monique, our support and advocate, but she’s not so much involved with the day-to-day aspects of the business.”
Lastly, Bret noted they are grateful for all the support, and are humbled and blessed by their growth!
Said Bret, “The comments from folks on social media and other places are so amazing!. It’s wild for us to see how so many folks love our sauces that much! Business is growing, our base is becoming bigger, more folks are becoming aware of our brand and it’s allowing us to support our business, the community, and employee others! As Elijah put the other day, he said, 'Dad, I’m so thankful I get to do what I want every day. I love it and love growing our business!' We’re excited to see what’s yet ahead in this next chapter of our story, which is God’s story, for His glory!”
To learn more about Elijah’s X-Treme, visit www.elijahsXtreme.com., or email Bret at bm3Xtreme@gmail.com.
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In this group photo are: Ashley Dixon, Katie Estes, Tammy Wilson, Wyatt Wilson (project creator and coordinator), Mary Capps, Cherryville Elementary Principal Mrs. Audrey Hovis, Lori Hughes, Sara Cardamone (Miss Boyer’s cousin), and Cherryville Elementary’s Resource Specialist & Librarian, Melanie Sherrill. Kneeling in front of the group are Wyatt’s twin sister and 2021 CHS grad, Izzy Wilson, and Gracie Cardamone. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Unique room, done in memory of Boyer, will help elementary students

Sensory Room/ Calming Castle
brainchild of Eagle Scout Wyatt Wilson


by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


On Monday, Aug. 9, a very special room was dedicated at Cherryville Elementary School. It has a two-fold goal; one, to remember a very special person and teacher, Ms. Nicole Boyer; and two, to help children with special needs have a room where they can come and sit or play and relax or otherwise explore learning
avenues that involve reaching out and exploring things on s sensory level.
New Cherryville Principal Mrs. Audrey Hovis, said she a 2021 graduate from Cherryville High School, Wyatt Wilson, complete his Eagle Scout project at the school this summer.
Said Mrs. Hovis, “He completed this project in memory of his previous teacher, Nicole Boyer, who passed away of cancer several years ago.”
Wilson is a freshman band student who plans to major in English at Western Carolina University, and hopes to become a teacher one day, she said. His mother, Tammy, is also the school psychologist.
A small group of around 10 or so gathered around 10 a.m., that Monday, including the school’s former Principal, Mr. Shawn Hubers, who transferred to Cherryville High School. Mrs. Hovis, transferred to serve as Principal of Cherryville Elementary School in June. She was most recently the Principal at Holbrook Middle School, she said.
Eagle Scout (Troop 323) Wyatt Wilson said the Sensory Room/Calming Castle was possible thanks to the help and support he received from his parents and family; his friends and fellow Scouts and Scout leaders; and others who saw the project as something whose time had come.
He and his Scout friends, who worked with him on the project, put in many hours, he said. Those who came and helped were: Ethan Carpenter, Ben Hayes, Jackson Childers, JT Willis, and the Sherrills, Ethan, Kevin, and Colin.
Said Wilson, “The Sensory Room area at Cherryville Elementary School, known as the ‘Calming Castle,’ has a purpose and that is to benefit the Exceptional Children’s Department at the elementary school.
“This room will serve as a place where children with autism, ADHD, and various other mental or behavioral impairments can be soothed and calmed by sensory tasks. The room holds numerous sensory tasks like the body-hugging swing and pea pod, the ‘mermaid’ fabric wall, and the sensory table.
“This room is dedicated to the late Miss Nicole Boyer who served as a teacher at Cherryville Elementary School – she was actually my first and third grade teacher.”
Wyatt noted the project began at the end of July and was actually completed in one day. Much of the material was ordered from Amazon with many of the tools coming from Cherryville’s own Ferguson’s ACE Hardware store, he added.
At the event, Wilson said he wanted to thank all who came and to thank all the donors.
Said Wilson, “We had seven Scouts who worked very hard on this project with me, and it was unheard of that we finished an Eagle project in one day!”
There is a plaque dedicated to Ms. Boyer, and Lori Hughes noted, “This room is a great part of her legacy. I think she would approve. Nicole would be speechless. The kids are going to love it!”
Mrs. Hovis said, “I’m excited! It is an amazing addition for our students. They can now have a calming place to come to.”
She also noted the students, when they come, will have an adult with them at all times, adding that, to her knowledge, this school having the room is a ‘first’, so far as she has ever seen or heard about.
Former Cherryville Elementary Principal Shawn Hubers looked around, clearly impressed when he came into the room.
Said Mr. Hubers, “Ms. Boyer was a terrific teacher, and she meant a lot to Cherryville Elementary. Wyatt’s project is a beautiful tribute to Ms. Boyer and the sensory room is a great addition to Cherryville Elementary.”
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The small indoor garden before being cleared off by Mr. Rikard and helpers. The small plaque seen in the background was placed there by Cherryville South students in memory of JCMS teacher Alex Blackwelder. It says, “You never fail until you quit trying.” (photos by Principal Matt Rikard or provided)

JCMS seeks help in making school’s gardens grow again
 

Principal wants to beautify student’s
outdoor learning areas


by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Chavis Middle School Principal Matt Rikard and others have been hard at work to redo and remake two on-campus gardens beautiful and useful again for his students.
When asked about the work, Rikard said, “The courtyard areas were in rough shape when I was appointed principal this past school year. Through working with Gaston County Schools and talking with students and teachers, the idea of converting them to outdoor classrooms and outdoor eating areas seemed like the best use for the space. Increasing usable space within the building is a great idea any time, but seems especially important given the circumstances that everyone has been dealing with over the past year.”
Rikard said a few big changes will take place with the gardens, hopefully before school starts.
Here’s a bit of what he has in mind, noting, “The smaller of the courtyards will be converted to all concrete. We hope to add tables where students can hold class and eat lunch in an outside setting. The larger of the courtyards will be leveled and rocks will be added. We would also like to add seating to this area as well to serve as outdoor classrooms and outdoor eating areas.
“Our goal is for the larger courtyard  to  also  contain two greenhouses for students to grow plants and study the life cycles. We also plan to use the flowers that are grown throughout the school as a beautification project.”
As far as asking for donations for the projects, Mr. Rikard said, “First, we would like to thank Gaston County Schools for helping JCMS take on such a wonderful project. We feel that these areas will benefit students now, and for years to come.
“With that being said, the next step is to attain the seating that is needed. The seating needs to be sustainable, and cleanable.”
He continued, “Our goal is to eventually purchase 15 to 20 metal picnic tables, much like the ones that are used throughout downtown Main Street. We have two fundraisers planned for this year, but donations would be greatly appreciated.”
He added that if anyone would be willing to help them purchase the seating for their students, checks can be made to JCMS and sent to the school to the attention of Financial Manager, Ms. Carla Steele.
Said Rikard, “Anyone who donates will be  recognized in some manner, such as a plaque in the areas listing the names of donors. If anyone would choose rather not to be recognized, please let us know. Personally, I would like to thank everyone in advance who are thinking of donating. This is a project that will directly impact our students’ education, and safety – by providing outdoor areas to gather. It is a true honor to serve as Principal at JCMS, and we look forward to being able to share the finished project with the people of Cherryville!”
Principal Rikard noted that once everything is placed or set up they would love to have an open house to showcase the finished areas.
“However,” he cautioned, “that would depend on safety protocols that we are following at the time. If an open house is not allowed to view the areas, we will have a virtual tour that will be shared for everyone to see.”
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Nancy C. Olls and Sarah Briggs, with Gaston County Schools, with the Battle of the Books trophy. (photo by Robert Webb/CHS)

Cherryville HS beats Highland Tech in 2021 “Battle of the Books”

School gets first win in Gaston County’s reading contest

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Cherryville High School’s Mrs. Nancy C. Olls is proud of the school’s “Battle of the Books” reading team, of which she is the sponsor.
Olls, the School Library Media Coordinator and System’s Operator/Teacher, noted her small team bested the team from Highland School of Technology back in April 2021, taking home Gaston County Schools’ “High School Battle of the Books” gleaming silver trophy.
The Ironmen team, which consists of members Macy Bridges, Harley LaRoche, Bailey Dugan, Destany Fritzler, and Luca Bredin, has been in existence for three years, said Olls.
“We’ve competed twice and were ready to compete last year but were sidelined by COVID-19,” she said, adding that Macy Bridges “…is a founding member of the team.”
Olls noted the students read 16 books throughout the year and competed in April of this year, “…on a county-wide Quiz Bowl type of competition.”
She continued, “(The) Battle of the Books was created and is run by the N.C. School Library Media Association. This year, CHS was victorious and the students received medals for their work!”
Olls said the plan is to house the trophy in the library until next year’s competition.
The team is not without their support in this endeavor, noted Mrs. Olls, who continued, “The CHS Education Foundation supports us each year with the purchase of the books on the ‘battle’ list, subscription to a practice site, and transportation to the competition.”
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Fire Chief/City Manager Cash
retirement effective Jan. 1, 2022

Asst. Fire Chief Wofford promoted to Fire Chief effective Jan. 2, 2022

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


According to a media release from City Manager/Fire Chief Jeff Cash, he has announced his retirement as Fire Chief and City Manager effective Jan. 1, 2022, and the promotion of Assistant Fire Chief Jason Wofford to Fire Chief effective Jan. 2, 2022.
For four decades Chief Cash has served the City of Cherryville, beginning his career at the Cherryville Fire Department in December of 1981. He was promoted to Fire Chief in 1984, and then promoted to City Manager/Fire Chief in 2018.
In the media release, it is noted Chief Cash, “…has given the City of Cherryville exceptional service for 40 years. He will leave behind a legacy of growing this department in all capacities such as personnel, equipment, apparatus, call volume, training, and lowering their ISO rating to a Level 2.
“During his tenure as City Manager, he has done a remarkable job of leading the City of Cherryville into projects that promote overall growth, updating critical infrastructure, and creating a stronger workforce.”
Assistant Fire Chief Wofford, noted the media release, “…began his career with the Cherryville Fire Department in February of 1989 as a Junior Firefighter, (then was) hired full-time in 1993 as a Driver/Engineer, promoted to Captain/Fire Marshal in 1998, and to Assistant Fire Chief in 2010.”
AFC Wofford holds the following certifications: Firefighter I & II, Hazardous Materials Level I, Driver Operator, ERT, EVD, Fire and Life Safety Educator I, II, III, Fire Investigator Technician, Fire Officer I, II, Instructor I, RT Ropes, RT VMR, Chief 101, Fire Inspector Level I, II, and III, and various other leadership courses.
The vacancies left by Chief Cash’s retirement and the promotion of Assistant Chief Wofford will be addressed internally through the Cherryville Fire Department.
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Cherryville Patrol Officer Jessica Richardson proudly shows off her Exceptional Duty Award, given by Chief Cam Jenks, for her role in helping rescue a family’s pet during a fire at their home.

Cherryville officers, staff, employees receive awards at recent Council meeting

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Monday’s July 12 regular Council session was a relatively short meeting and concerned itself primarily with recognition of City employees and staff.
Before that took place though, Council voted on and approved the City Council meeting minutes of the Jun 14, regular session and the June 29, work session.
Following that, Mayor H.L. Beam, III noted in his comments to the Council that he and City Manager Jeff Cash met with CaroMont officials on June 17, regarding locating a medical office in Cherryville; attended the International Express ribbon cutting (also last month), and commented on how spectacular the town’s 2021 Independence Day Celebration was.
“City Manager Cash received a letter from an 81-year-old individual who lives out of town commenting on just how awesome Cherryville’s fireworks display was. She had never seen our display before and was very impressed with, she said. It is just one of many similar comments we have received on the celebration from those who came,” said Mayor Beam.
Beam also commented on the 2021 N.C. Dixie Youth Softball Tournament Cherryville hosted this past weekend, adding, “There were over 1,000 people in attendance just for the opening ceremony (at Rudisill Stadium last week). I want to thank the Cherryville churches who took part in helping feed the many teams and their families who are attending the tournament.” The tournament ended Tuesday, July 13.
Mayor Beam said he has been informed three Cherryville teams have advanced and will be going on to play in Louisiana and South Carolina.
Four City of Cherryville police officers: Derek Thom, Vince Burleson, Lt. Brandon Parker, Jessica Richardson, and Skylar Sisk were all recognized by the Council on the recommendation of Chief of Police Cam Jenks. One City employee, Trevor Haynes, was recognized for five years of service to the City of Cherryville.
Both Officer Thom’s and Burleson’s Certificates of Commendation noted their “Providing exceptional service with compassion” in the performance of their duties as the both “…responded to a call involving a citizen that was having medical problems due to their medication.” Chief Jenks noted both officers “…showed compassion and excellent service while ensuring the citizen received the correct care needed.” He went on to say, “The family of the citizen also wished to express gratitude for their compassion and willingness to go the extra mile.”
Patrol Officer Richardson’s Exceptional Duty Award was given at the behest of Chief Jenks, the Mayor and Council, and City Manager Cash for her going above and beyond the call of duty for “…providing service with compassion, along with prompt and alert actions at the scene of a house fire located at 1430 E. Main St.” resulting in rescuing the family’s pet from the fire on June 11.
Chief Jenks and the Mayor, City Council, and Mr. Cash recognized Lt. Brandon Parker and Patrol Officer Skylar Sisk with Meritorious Service Awards due to their going above and beyond the call of duty for “…providing prompt and alert actions” resulting in locating a missing non-verbal teen after an extensive search and rescue operation performed on April 28, in conjunction with another law enforcement agency.
Additionally, Mayor Beam noted that City Finance Director Dixie wall was given special recognition by Electricities, receiving their Rising Star Award. Mrs. Wall was nominated, he said, by City Manager Cash.
Next up on the agenda was Council’s approval of Stan Bumgarner to serve on the Cherryville Architectural Review Board. Mr. Bumgarner was nominated by CMSP Chairwoman Donna Beringer to fill the open position vacated due to the former individual not living in the local area, as per the new bylaws. Mr. Bumgarner will serve in the open seat until Dec. 31, of this year.
The item of consideration of the conditional use permit regarding the property at 1444 W. Academy Street, to be discussed by Planning and Zoning Director Derrick Mackey was postponed until the next regular Council session on Aug. 9.
Under “other business” the Council discussed alcohol sales on Main Street, with City Manager Cash noting such sales have to be “…five to six feet back from the road”; Downtown Director David Day noted the City’s new web site has been launched, and lastly, Councilman Freeman commented on the condition of the sidewalks on West Academy Street, saying they were “…in bad shape.” He asked if there was any money in the budget to fix them and City Manager Cash noted there was some Powell Bill money and that staff would look into getting them fixed as soon as possible.
With nothing further to be discussed, Council adjourned.
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The ribbon is cut by President and CEO Howard Shope (center with the big scissors) and his Michelle (standing next to his left) and Cherryville’s newest business, International Express Trucking, or IET, is officially open for business! (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

International Express opens new trucking business in Cherryville
 

Firm is located in the Carolina Intermodal Business Park

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Cherryville, once the home of one of the world’s largest trucking firms – Carolina Freight – was able to once again have another large trucking firm inside its city limits.
City and Chamber officials welcomed Mr. Howard Shope and International Express to Cherryville on Wednesday, June 23, with a ribbon cutting at their 1201 E. Church Street location.
International Express Trucking (IET) formed in 2001, according to a Power Point presentation Mr. Shope used to introduce all who came to the ribbon cutting and BBQ luncheon, to the growing company. International Express now has, he noted, counting their new Cherryville hub, five locations in five cities: Atlanta, GA; Lincolnton, NC; Gastonia, NC; Charlotte, NC; and Cherryville.
Shope noted their company has grown over the years to include, “…warehousing, distribution, repackaging, product sorting, and transportation services.”
After the prayer and blessing of the food by City Manager/Fire Chief Jeff Cash, Chamber Board Chairman Pete Craft welcomed Mr. Shope and his staff and employees to Cherryville, adding that the company’s location to the site of the old CF company acreage, brought back, “…many memories.”
Mayor  H.L.  Beam, III, agreed, adding, when it was his turn to speak, “This is my second trip down here. You all have really made the place look nice.” He, like many other Cherryville folks and former Carolina Freight employees present at the event, also noted that the company appeared to be busy, and “on the go!”
Mayor Beam continued, “It’s great to have your company here and great to see our town bringing in new businesses and people and watching the town grow!”
The trucking firm is located in what is called the Carolina Intermodal Business Park, and once complete, Mr. Shope noted its 72-plus acres of asphalt will have 300,000 square feet of space, allowing them to “…offer increased storage capacity and secure truck, trailer, and Ocean Container parking.” The site will also offer 24-hour security and “…cost-effective storage options for our customers,” he added.
Gaston County Commissioner for Cherryville Township Allen Fraley looked around and said, “This is exciting. It brings back a lot of memories. A lot of memories! I was a supervisor on this dock. It was a humming place then; 24/7/365! It was an amazing place to work and it is again! It will happen!”
State Representative Kelly Hastings (R-NC 110) noted it was an honor for him to be at the ribbon cutting. He spoke about all the highway work presently being done and how that will help businesses like IET and others who need better access to the major highways in and around Gaston and Cleveland Counties, and towns like Cherryville, Shelby, Dallas, and Lincolnton.
Mr. Shope, a Gaston County native and IET’s President and CEO, also welcomed everyone to their ribbon cutting and BBQ, and for offering them such great community support.
“As many of you here today know, everything comes to us via the trucking industry. We are an asset-base carrier, that is, we own our own trucks and equipment and properties,” he said. “Just about everything I know about entrepreneurship I learned from an 11th grade textbook on business given to me by my friend and a former North Gaston teacher, Randy Sellars. God has blessed us and it has grown from our original start to where we are today. We are now all over, and are very pleased to be in a community that loves transportation!”
Shope spoke about IET being able to offer what he termed a “level of technology” which will enable their customers to “…track, trace and monitor” shipments online by way of a “customer dashboard.”
The company, he noted, has “…almost 600,000 square feet of clean, well-lit and secure storage space” in their warehouses, with eco-friendly lighting and with CCTV monitoring and motion sensors.
“Additionally,” said Mr. Shope, “we will begin to explore adding a Free Trade Zone certification to the site in Cherryville. If we can make that happen, we feel it will allow us to offer additional services that should attract more businesses to the area. I am very happy with Cherryville, and the warm welcome we have received. The mayor and citizens of Cherryville, have offered us a very business friendly environment and that is very important to me as a business owner. We also want to thank Chief Cam Jenks and the Cherryville Police Department for being out here today and helping us with traffic control.”
He noted he and his wife Michelle are very thankful for that.
Shope concluded his talk by telling the crowd, “We are going to move to the future! By our employees help and hard work, this will be done; is being done.
For more information on IET and what they do or can do for your business, contact Mr. Shope via email at hshope@intexpr.com, or call them at (704) 424-5454, ext. 1200.