See what's blooming at the Master Gardeners Symposium

17 01 garden boxThe Master Gardeners Virtual Gardening Symposium promises fresh ideas from gardening experts, a bounty of information and some fun for viewers. The event is packed with presentations, raffles and friendly faces.

The Nov. 7 event, scheduled 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., is sponsored by the Cumberland County Master Gardener Volunteer Association.

The event features guest speakers Joe Lamp’l, creator, executive producer and host of the Emmy-award-winning national PBS series “Growing a Greener World;” Kerry Ann Mendez, an award-winning garden educator, author and design consultant whose international gardening webinars are enjoyed by thousands; and Jason Weathington, NC State/Cumberland County Extension urban horticulture agent and landscape architect.

Lamp'l will share behind-the-scenes tips from 9 seasons of his show. Mendez will present "The Right Size Flower Garden." Weathington will present “The Outdoor Room.”

“The focus of my talk will give people the confidence to go out and create an amazing space, which I think everyone desires to have but very few know how to create,” said Weathington. “It’s important to go back to basic landscape elements and how you can use them to our advantage. Most of us need to learn some of the basics.

The event is a fundraiser to support local horticulture efforts and scholarships for Fayetteville Technical Community College horticulture students.

“We give two scholarships at $1,500,” said Cumberland County Master Gardener Symposium Chairperson Judy Dewar.

“We also offer grants to teachers who offer horticulture classes. And we strive to find ways to educate our county residents.”

Dewar added that this event is for every level of gardener.

“There is something from the most adept gardener to the one who has never planted a seed.”

To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/ and search “Cumberland County” and select the event.

Participants can also click the link https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cumberland-county-master-gardener-rescheduled-gardening-symposium-2020-tickets-120442509789?aff=ebdssbeac&fbclid=IwAR2DyFB-H_1yshgyTpP7WL22TdzJd63dJaOpA2HTMmBSyD0S1pLiqOCpjiU

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Pictured: The Master Gardener Virtual Gardening Symposium offers presentations from experts, raffles and fresh ideas. The symposium is scheduled 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 7.


Lake Rim offers fall activities

16 lake rim parkFayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation offers a variety of locations around town to enjoy the outdoors. Lake Rim Park on Tar Kiln Drive offers an assortment of amenities including picnic areas, horseshoe pits, walking trails, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, athletic fields, natural areas and children’s playgrounds.

In addition to park facilities, a number of tours and activities are offered in November and December.

Tar Kiln Tour — Nov. 10, 2 to 4 p.m., free, ages 10+
Participants can take a behind-the-scenes look at a historical treasure located at Lake Rim Park. Join a park ranger to view the remnants of the Weed’s Lightwood Plant, a century-old turpentine factory. Learn about the importance of the naval stores industry in North Carolina and find out why we are known as “The Tar Heel State.” Call to register, space is limited.

Kayak Tours — Nov. 14, 9:30 to 11 a.m., $15, $5 w/own boat, adults and ages 10+
Lake tours are perfect for those trying kayaking for the first time and seasoned paddlers looking to relax on the water. All the equipment and basic instruction for beginners will be provided. We recommend beginners participate in a lake tour before going on a kayak trip. Tours are dependent on the weather. Call to register, space is limited. Participants under 16 must be accompanied by a participating adult.

Color Hunt — Nov. 18, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., free, all ages
Conduct experiments to observe a rainbow of colors, discover why colors change in the fall and then search the park for an array of colors on a scavenger hunt. Call to register, space is limited.

Archery Clinic — Dec. 5, noon to 3 p.m., $5, Ages 8+
This class is designed to introduce the sport of archery to beginners. Participants will use compound bows as they learn the basics of archery to include safety, proper stance and follow through. Adults are welcome too. Registration begins Nov. 23, space is limited.

All facilities are open to the public on a first come, first serve basis unless they are reserved. Contact the park office at 910-433-1018 to reserve facilities or register for events. Office hours are Mon. — Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit https://www.fcpr.us/parks-trails/parks/lake-rim-park for more information.

Airborne & Special Operations Museum Reopens

12 02 DSC 0958The Airborne & Special Operations Museum is again open to the public and offers two exhibits. The 13th Annual Field of Honor exhibit went up Oct. 3 and will be up for display until Nov 30., and the GWOT Memorial Flag exhibit opened Oct 13., and will run until Dec. 6.

The Field of Honor exhibit, in partnership with Cool Springs Downtown District, showcases 500 flags on display at the ASOM field, said Abbie Cashel, donor relations and event coordinator for ASOM Foundation.

“Each flag comes with a story, each dedicated to someone whether it be a service member, a veteran and this year we actually opened it up to personal heroes, people that made a positive experience during COVID-19 or just in general,” she said. The tag on each flag identifies who the flag represents and honoree  information.

“We are really excited that we sold out this year, all 500 flags, that was incredible, all the great community support,” Cashel said.

The flags sold out for $35 each which will may motivate the museum to have more slots available next year.

“A lot of people come from all over to view their loved ones’ flags, it acts as a memorial for people and they also use it to honor their loved ones and their service and that's what makes it really special in the community,” she said. “It’s just a really peaceful, respectful place to view a hero.”

The Global War on Terror Memorial Flag is 28 feet wide and 6 feet tall and designed by Veterans Athletes United. The design symbolizes the shape of a flag when draped on a fallen service member’s casket.
About 7,000 dog tags form the flag, belonging to those killed in the War on Terror. The 50 gold stars on the flag represent all Gold Star families across the nation. Displayed in front of the flag is a battlefield cross sculpted from mahogany wood by female veteran artist Alicia Dietz.

The tags are in alphabetical order ranging from Sept. 11, 2001 to Dec. 31, 2019, the tags are in chronological order of the date the service member was killed in action.

“It’s a really cool piece that we have had up before and a lot of people came, it’s just another exhibit that allows people to honor and remember their loved ones,” Cashel said.

The GWOT exhibit is free to the public but the museum welcomes a $5 donation.

The museum is preparing for its next feature, the Ghost Army Exhibit :The Combat Con Artists of World War II , which will open to the public Dec. 15 and be on display until April 25, 2021.

The exhibit will highlight the story of the 23rd Headquarters Special Group, the first mobile, multimedia, tactical deception unit in U.S. Army history.

The top secret, unique “Ghost Army” was composed of 82 officers and 1,023 men and was activated Jan. 20, 1944, under the command of Colonel Harry L. Reeder.

The group was successfully capable of simulating two whole divisions, approximately 30,000 men by using visual, sonic and radio deception to fool German forces during the final year of World War II.

For more information on the exhibit visit https://www.asomf.org/event/ghost-army-the-combat-con-artists-of-world-war-ii/

The museum is open Tuesday to Friday, from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The ASOM is using a reservation system that helps keep capacity level in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, but people can walk in and sign in at the front desk,
Cashel said.

ASOM first opened its doors in 2000, and celebrates its 20th year anniversary this year, although many of the planned events were postponed due to COVID-19 and will hopefully be rescheduled for next year, she said.

“It's really a place for people to come and learn about Airborne and Special Operations and their history,” Cashel said. “Entry is free, so pretty much everyone in the community does have a chance to come and look and learn and engage with the history of past soldiers that paved the way for modern day soldiers.”

Visit https://www.asomf.org for more information about the museum.

Pictured: (Above) The 13th Annual Field of Honor will be on display until Nov. 30. (Below) The GWOT Memorial Flag is made of about 7,000 dog tags identifying those killed in service  (Photos by Dylan Hooker)

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FTCC Foundation Weekend events scheduled Nov. 4-8

13 01 big image chess makingThe Fayetteville Technical Community College Foundation presents their Foundation Weekend events Nov. 4-8.

“The purpose of the event is to raise money for student scholarships and aid, programs and services at Fayetteville Technical Community College,” said Sandy Ammons, executive director of FTCC Foundation. “The foundation is the fundraising arm of the college and in the past we have raised over $50,000 so we are hoping this year despite the circumstances to sur
pass that.”

The Foundation Weekend consists of one event with three different parts: the FTCC Foundation Golf Tournament, the Bluegrass & BBQ at Home dinner and the Online Silent Auction.

The Golf Tournament will be held at Gates Four Golf and Country Club Nov. 6.

“The golf tournament goes back at least 20 years and has evolved throughout the years,” said Ammons. “It was scheduled for April and May of this year and because of COVID-19 we had to postpone it.”
Ammons added that they had to look at it with a different spin on how they could continue with the golf tournament under the new circumstances. The Golf Tournament is currently full and sold out.

The Online Silent Auction will take place Nov. 4- 8.

“In the past the silent auction was part of the dinner and you would come to the dinner and there would be an auction in the same room,” said Ammons. “We’ve had the Bluegrass theme for several years which is fun and we had live entertainment, a Western theme and people would come dressed in Western attire and it was an in-person event.”

Ammons added that this year the silent auction is online and it is open to everyone to bid on the auction items. There is no fee or ticket to purchase.

“We have really tried to tap into wonderful local businesses and artists who give back to the community who are helping us pull off this event with a new twist,” she said.

The public can view items up for auction by visiting the Online Silent Auction site at https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/ftccfoundation-15436.

“We have got some wonderful auction items that are made by FTCC faculty such as cakes from our Culinary Department, a beautiful hand-milled chess set, exotic plants, tons of gift certificates to local businesses, artwork, original paintings, photography prints, fine jewelry from Hinkamp Jewelers, a BBQ package, a pet package, a garden package and much more,” said Ammons.

“You can do your Christmas shopping through our auction because we have something for everybody and we add packages daily as we receive them.”

The Bluegrass & BBQ at Home dinner will take place on Nov. 7.

“We are going to have a fantastic dinner catered by Southern Coals and it will be chicken, BBQ, macaroni and cheese, broccoli salad and banana pudding,” said Ammons.

“It will be complete with flowers from the Downtown Market, wine glasses from FTCC, and the meal will be delivered to your home hot and ready to serve or you can pick it up at Southern Coals.”

Ammons added it will come with beverages from Bright Light Brewing Company or red wine from Healy Wholesale.

“This event would normally have live entertainment so we are going to have a private live concert at 7 p.m. by the Guy Unger Band streamed to the homes of the guests who buy tickets,” said Ammons. “They will get the link to view the live concert during the dinner.”

The Fayetteville Technical Community College Foundation has been in existence since 1985 and it is the foundation arm of the college.

“A big part of what we do is scholarships so we work with donors to bring in money for scholarships for students as well as work to match the students to the right scholarship,” said Ammons.

“We really try to do everything we can to keep our students on track and in school to graduate and to start their careers.”

The foundation also manages the Alumni Network. “We work with our students as they are getting ready to graduate and we make sure they stay connected to the college, help with networking and work with them so they can stay with their program after they leave college,” said Ammons. “We work with alumni, retired faculty and staff and current faculty and staff so we are kind of the link between the community and the college.”

For more information or to purchase tickets visit https://www.faytechcc.edu/foundation-events/ or call 910-678-8441.

Pictured: (Above) A hand-milled chess set made by FTCC faculty Kevin Henry and students will be available during the Foundation Online Silent Auction event. (Below) The pieces are made from brass and aluminum.

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Virtual ChamberSoul concert from Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater set for Oct. 17

16 shanatucker creditThe Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater, located in downtown Lumberton, is presenting two upcoming virtual concerts that have been pretaped on its stage while the theater is closed to in-person audiences due to COVID-19 social gathering restrictions.

These performances were originally scheduled as part of its 2020-21 season and continue the theater’s commitment to programming during the ongoing pandemic and its related audience restrictions for performance centers.

The first concert will premiere 7 p.m. Oct. 17 and will feature the Raleigh-based musician and singer-songwriter Shana Tucker and her quartet.

With a deep respect for lyrical storytelling, Tucker delivers a unique voice through her self-described genre of "ChamberSoul.™ Her melodies weave strong hints of jazz, classical, soulful folk, acoustic pop and a touch of R&B into a distinctive rhythmic tapestry.

The performances are premiering on the theater’s Facebook page at “Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater” and are shared on its website at www.carolinaciviccenter.com.

The theater’s previous “Spotlight on Local Talent” Performance Series, featuring eight installments also can be viewed on its website. This performance is partially underwritten by a grant from the Robeson County Arts Council and the North Carolina Arts Council.

Touted by JazzTimes Magazine as a jazz talent “…whose imprint and vitality has already been quite visible…” Tucker’s style and sound has been described as a blend of Dianne Reeves, Joni Mitchell and Tracy Chapman, with an efficient complexity that is reminiscent of Bill Withers.

ChamberSoul™ best describes what the listener should expect when experiencing Shana’s music. “I’m intrinsically drawn to 'real' instruments, with resonance, tone and depth that can sound without amplification. Whenever and however possible, I always try to set a tone of acoustic intimacy with my colleagues on stage, and also with the audience, so that the music, performers and audience feel close and tangible, no matter the size the venue.”

Tucker has opened for internationally-acclaimed artists including Norah Jones, Lisa Fischer, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Hamiet Bluett, Javon Jackson, the Blind Boys of Alabama and Indigo Girls.

While the concert is free, a donation link will be available to help support artist fees and production costs. The next concert will feature the all-female bluegrass group Sweet Potato Pie and will premiere Thanksgiving evening, Nov. 26.

For additional information, please contact the Carolina Civic Center at 910-738-4339 or visit

Pictured:The first of two virtual concerts from the Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater will feature Shana Tucker and her quartet. The concert will premiere Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. (Photo courtesy Shana Tucker.)

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