Annual Backpack Program fundraiser launched at Elks Lodge

HICKORY — Hickory Elks Lodge 1654 has launched its annual food and funds drive for the Backpack Program- Food for Students. This is the program formerly known as Catawba County Backpack Program.

Although budget issues did not allow Catawba County Department of Social Services to continue funding the position for Backpack Program, they were able to assist Backpack Program Coordinator, Amanda Freeland, in the search for a new community partner. Of the three nonprofit organizations that applied for stewardship of the Backpack Program, it was determined that the Corner Table in Newton would be Backpack’s new home.

Operating under The Corner Table’s 501c3, but with an entirely separate budget to the preexisting services of The Corner Table, Backpack Program has remained the same in every other way.

The program serves participating children from elementary school to high school by providing a backpack full of healthy food for the weekend throughout the school year. Last school year, Backpack was in 32 schools. This year Backpack Program serves students in 36 schools. Still with only one part-time employee, Backpack has continued to grow to meet the community need. The Backpack Program relies entirely on donations to fund all costs of the program. Their sole mission is to remove hunger as a barrier to education and reduce the impact of poverty on children and families.

This year is the Hickory Elks’ eighth annual Backpack Program Fund and Food Drive with two returning co-chairs at the helm, Valerie Arbogast and Kathy Long, spearheading the drive.

Last year the Elks exceeded their goal again by donating more than $35,000 in food and funds to the program.

Food donations will be accepted through October at the Elks Lodge along with monetary donations and silent auction items. You can drop off donations Monday through Thursday and Saturday any time after 3 p.m., and Friday and Sunday after 1 p.m. A $130 donation will sponsor a child for an entire school year.

The culmination of the Elks collection efforts ends with a dinner and dance evening. This year’s event will feature a “BBQ Chicken Dinner Night” with entertainment by Mama’s Remedy Band. The event will be held Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Hickory Elks Lodge at 356 Main Ave. NW. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased from any Elks member or directly from the Elks Lodge. Take-out dinners will be available. The community is welcome to join the event and get in on the silent auction and door prizes. To find out more information about the event and to donate to Backpack Program Fundraiser 2019 with the Elks, contact Arbogast at or call the Elks Lodge at 828-322-2527. You can also donate on the lodge website at

Catawba Ridge CDC to host festival, open house

HICKORY — Catawba Ridge Child Development Center will host a fall festival and open house on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The center is located at 1635 20th Ave. Drive NE in Hickory right off Sandy Ridge Road.

The public is welcome to drop into the open house and learn more about the programming for children ages 6 weeks-5 years. Kids will enjoy a bounce house, face painting, games and prizes, and there will be food and giveaways for all. The public will be able to register their child for day care at a special promotional price for new enrollments during the open house.

Catawba Ridge Child Development Center will celebrate their 35th year of business this December. The center is one of the largest privately owned centers in the state. Catawba Ridge is a Literacy Enhanced Center along with being certified 4-Star by NC Department of Health and Human Resources.

For more information contact Catawba Ridge CDC at 828-327-2500, or

Trout Unlimited chapter to watch movie

HICKORY — Hickory Trout Unlimited will present popcorn and a movie at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

The movie will be “Finding Joe Brooks.” This is story about a man who had a tremendous impact on the sport of fly fishing. It is a story of overcoming and redemption. It is one of triumph and achievement. At its heart it is a romantic tale of passion, endurance, and a commitment to something greater than one’s self.

The program will be at the Market on Main Cellar with an optional buffet at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program at 6:30 p.m. Enter from First Avenue SW. Free parking is available across the street. The program is free and open to the public.

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