Living Legacy Tree selected in Matthews

A willow oak tree at Matthews Elementary School has been designated as the first Living Legacy Tree in Matthews. The tree is considered to be 80-100 years old. The Living Legacy Trees are trees with specific structural, species, historical or aesthetic characteristics that make them unique specimens and of value to the community.

The public is invited to nominate trees in the Town and the Appearance and Tree Commission and the Town’s Landscape Manager will evaluate the trees to see if they meet these criteria. The commission is now reviewing several other trees which have been nominated.

This program allows the Town to recognize the valuable trees we have in our community but the program does not offer any legal protection for the trees instead Town staff will work with property owners to preserve the trees.

If you would like to nominate a tree fill out an application located at
www.matthewsnc.com.

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Former Matthews resident donates bullet resistant vest for dog

The Mint Hill Times

Kneeling in front Officer Jeff Corbett and Bosco. Standing, left to right: Matthews Chief of Police Rob Hunter, Nell Robinson and Matthews Police Captain Carla Thompson.

Nell Robinson, a former resident of Matthews, donated a bullet resistant vest for Bosco, a K-9 dog, with the Matthews Police Department.

Bosco, who is of Belgium Malonis descent, joined the Matthews Police Department last year. He and Officer Jeff Corbett were at a community service event when Ms. Robinson met them.

“I had seen publicity about Bosco, and that he was a new K-9 unit and knew that he would need a vest so I offered to buy it for the department. I love animals and used to have a dog. It is my pleasure to do this for Matthews,” Ms. Robinson said.

Bosco is proudly wearing his vest as he goes about his duties. You may notice that Bosco has a red cast on his right leg. He has injured his tendon and the cast is helping him recover.

“We are very grateful to Ms. Robinson for making this generous donation to the department. Her thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated,” said Matthews Police Captain Carla Thompson.

The vest is valued at $662.95.

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Butler Basketball to play at Time Warner Arena

The Butler Bulldogs will compete against Winston-Salem Reynolds High School on Saturday at 2:00 pm at Time Warner Cable Arena in Uptown Charlotte.  The Bobcats will host the New Orleans Hornets at 7:00 pm on Saturday.  Several Bobcat players and Chris Paul of the Hornets are scheduled to attend the high school game.

A ticket purchased for the Butler-Reynolds game will also be good for the Bobcats-Hornets game. 

Butler’s Head Coach Kurt Wessler is excited about the team playing uptown.

“Incredible experience for our guys!  The opportunity to play in an NBA arena is certainly one that my players will remember their whole life.  It was and is an opportunity we simply could not pass up.  Our fan base has been great in buying tickets, and we are amped to get a chance to compete on the same floor as the best in the world.”

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Fire victim thanks community for support

A Mint Hill family’s worst nightmare has come with a silver lining. On the evening of November 22, a spark escaped through a crack in the chimney and into the attic of Melissa Blando and her three kids’ home. The resulting fire caused enough damage that the house has to be torn down and rebuilt.
Melissa Blando and her two boys (ages 15 and 11) and one girl (13) have learned a lot since then, especially how much the community rallies around people in times of need. They have been living with her brother who lives next door.

The Mint Hill Times

The fire started when a spark escaped through a crack in the fire place and then ignited the attic.

Melissa said so many people helped her family in the days after the fire that she can’t remember them all to thank. She hoped this article would reach everyone to let them know how thankful she was.
The Blandos live on David Drive off Matthews-Mint Hill Road in Mint Hill. Melissa said she doesn’t recall a lot from the night of the fire because of the trauma and the chaos that surrounded the evening. But she does remember the Mint Hill Fire Department getting to the fire quickly and comforting her and the children as they worked to put the fire out. Melissa’s dad had passed away the previous February, and one of her son’s kept his wallet with a fire department badge in it. The Mint Hill Fire Department went into the house to not only get the wallet, but a stuffed animal that one of the other children cherished.
“I wish I could remember that night because they really took care of us,” Blando said.
The day after the fire, Melissa’s youngest son’s teacher and guidance counselor from Bain Elementary School showed up with shoes, clothes and other items for the family. In the days that followed, teachers from Independence High School, where her oldest attends, and Mint Hill Middle School, where her daughter attends, helped out with gift cards.
“Everybody has really embraced us,” she said. “It was just tremendous.”
The Blandos lost nearly everything they owned that night. There were some clothes that were salvaged, and a few furniture pieces, but most everything else was damaged in the fire.
“I learned a lot of lessons from that night,” she said. “Like to be thankful for what you have and don’t take things for granted and to be more humble.”
Melissa said she rarely accepted help from others before the fire because she was proud that she could support herself and her family. The experience, she said, taught her about humility.
She moved to Mint Hill in 2006 from a small town in South Carolina where she said everyone knew each other and helped each other out. When she moved to Mint Hill she thought she would lose the close-knit community feel.
“I thought when I moved here I would lose the small town, community feel. But this changed my mind. Everybody pulled together and I can’t thank everyone enough.”

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Organization that throws b-day parties for homeless children gets new name, location

This is the new layout of the Matthews location.

Birthday Blessings is getting a name change and a new local facility. The nonprofit organization which was started to provide birthday parties for homeless children, will become Bright Blessings USA and will move its headquarters to Matthews.
The name change was a “strategic decision by the organization and its Board of Directors with twofold purpose: To better convey the breadth of the nonprofit’s programs and services which have evolved significantly since its founding; and to provide a unique and trademarked brand for the planned official launch of the organization’s National Affiliate Network.”

“It’s amazing to see how the Charlotte community has wrapped itself around this organization, helping it grow to where it is today,” says Amy Cervantes, volunteer executive director and co-founder. “John and I are constantly humbled by how much Bright Blessings has expanded and how many lives are being impacted as a result. Our community is truly remarkable.”

Amy and John are Mint Hill residents.

This spring the organization will open the doors to its new facility in Matthews, The Giving Village, a concept inspired by the nonprofit’s founding goal of providing relevant, hands-on volunteer opportunities for children—and people of all ages—in a safe, comfortable and uplifting environment. The nearly 4,000 square foot facility located at 608-A Matthews-Mint Hill Road will be home to the Bright Blessings programs and its supporting projects, and will host hundreds of volunteers and visitors monthly. Each aspect of the organization and its program services will be brought to life in the form of a small town operated by its “villagers”—a community of volunteers. Facility details and layout are available online at www.BrightBlessingsUSA.org

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