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Wednesday, 26 November 2014 00:00

News in brief

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Franklin students take on Holiday Mail for Heroes project

Elementary and middle school students in Macon County have been busy making hundreds of holiday cards this fall for the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes project.

Drake Software spearhead the project by providing all the craft supplies to make the cards and coordinating the effort across six participating schools. Students churned out more than 2,200 cards.

“The staff and students at our local schools really made this project a success. They donated their time, energy, and creativity, and hundreds of our servicemen and women will receive warm holiday greetings and encouragement this holiday season,” said James Stork, Senior Vice President of Drake Enterprises. 

The Holiday Mail for Heroes project gathers cards from all over the country and distributes them to members of the military, military families and veterans.

“Students embraced the opportunity to provide encouragement and to thank our military for protecting our freedom,” Michelle Bell, principal at Iotla Valley Elementary, said.

Since the program’s inception in 2006, the Red Cross has collected more than 4.7 million holiday cards.

“It’s a neat opportunity for our students to participate in a far-reaching project that touches the lives of thousands of veterans and service members each year,” said Josh Lynch, principal at Cartoogechaye Elementary.


Honoring the memory of loved ones during the holidays

A “Tree of Remembrance” memorial celebration will be held at Harris Regional Hospital at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5, in the main lobby.

All community members are invited to attend to celebrate the lives of family members, friends, and loved ones who are no longer with us. The celebration will include special music, readings, and stories all focused around honoring and remembering our loved ones, with an opportunity to place butterfly ornaments on the Tree of Remembrance in memory of loved ones. A tree lighting ceremony will also take place during the event, hosted by LifePath Palliative Care and Hospice, which serves the communities of Harris Regional and Swain County Hospitals.

LifePath Palliative Care and Hospice has been serving the community with the highest quality of end-of-life care to Jackson and surrounding counties for over 20 years. or 828.631.1702.


Need something to occupy the kids when school’s out over the holiday break?

The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department will offer mini daycamps for children ages 5 to 12 on Dec. 22-23 and Dec. 29-30.

The cost per camp is $15 for members of the Waynesville Recreation Center or $20 for non members. The deadline to register is Monday, December 15.

828.456.2030 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Smoky Mountain tourism agencies to talk shop

A regional tourism agency retreat for the Smoky Mountain region will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, at the Balsam Mountain Inn between Waynesville and Sylva.

Smoky Mountain Host, the region’s lead destination marketing organization, is bringing together county tourism agencies from across the region to talk about common issues.

A major topic this year will be room tax —  namely the state rules and laws that govern how it can be used and nuances between counties — with special guest N.C. Rep. Edgar Starnes, Co-Chair of the N.C. House Sub- Committee on Occupancy Taxes.

The program will include a panel discussion focusing on regional tourism development with Tom Hardy, Blue Ridge Parkway Association; Jill Jones, Blue Ridge National Heritage Area; Ryan Sherby, Southwest Commission; and Dr. Steve Morse, Western Carolina University. Thee will also be an afternoon workshop on how to use digital marketing.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her mobile at 828.782.4200 or

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