Victory Junction provides camp for ill children

Carolyn Mullis spoke to the Chamber of Commerce last Thursday about Victory Junction, a Nascar-themed camp for chronically ill children.

The Petty family founded victory Junction in Randleman, N.C after their son died in a racing accident.  They donated 84 acres to build the camp.

Mullis described it as “one of the most amazing places in the world,” and it is funded “through the wonderful support of Nascar drivers and fans.”

More than 14,000 children and families have spent a summer week or a weekend at Victory Junction since it opened in 2004.  Children from every state in the U.S. as well as seven countries have attended camp.  Over 13,000 volunteers positions since 2004 have assisted in its operation.

Camp is free to children, thanks to donations from corporations, small businesses, and individuals.  Thirty hospitals provide medical assistance as well.  Campers’ chronic medical conditions include autism, cancer, diabetes, hemophilia, and spina bifida, among many others.

There are 35-40 full time staff members, and camp relies on 70 summer counselors and 70 volunteers each week.

Mullis said the camp provides an opportunity for kids to gain independence from their parents, learn from others with medical challenges, and make friends.

She encouraged chamber members to take a tour of the camp, and to get involved through volunteering or donating.

“It does take, not only a lot of volunteers, it takes money to keep this place open…one of the bad things about building a place like this is it takes a lot of money to keep it going,” said Mullis.  “You get a wonderful feeling when you’re there.  It’s just indescribable how it can lift your spirits.”

For more information, visit victoryjunction.org.

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Chamber welcomes new member

Rich Ferretti welcomed Yatin Patel at RX Care Pharmacy into the Chamber of Commerce at the July meeting. Photo by Amanda Waters

The Chamber of Commerce met at Jimmie’s last Thursday.  Rich Ferretti welcomed everyone and made some announcements.

The Mint Hill Madness committee is looking for volunteers to help with arts and crafts at the festival.  He introduced the board of directors and the new ambassadors.

“Your chamber is growing, and I just think that’s a wonderful thing,” said Ferretti.

Denise Hallett announced the new member orientation will be Thursday, September 13 from 4-5:30 pm at Pine Lake Country Club.  The orientation is open to all members.

“It’s a chance for you to learn a little bit about what the chamber is doing,” said Hallett.  “In order for this to grow we’ll need your help.”

The chamber welcomed its newest member, Yatin Patel at RX Care Pharmacy.  The pharmacy is located at 11304 Hawthorne Drive Suite 120.  Patel provided an overview of services, including generic medications for $3.50, free delivery to homes in Mint Hill, and working with pharmaceutical companies to provide medications to those without insurance.

Dana Gravely announced plans for Kilahpalooza.  She asked businesses for raffle prize donations.

Nate Huggins announced Blessed Assurance won a $40,000 handicap accessible van, and he invited the chamber to a community event to be held at Scott Clark’s Toyota dealership.

“I want to thank each and every one of you,” said Huggins.

Karrie Lawrence announced the Kiwanis Club golf tournament and asked for sponsorship.

Whitleigh Cook announced the flash mob plans for Mint Hill Madness and asked for participants.  To participate in the flash mob, contact Cook at minthilldancecenter@gmail.com.

Carolyn Mullis announced the Matthews-Mint Hill Optimist Club will meet every second and fourth Wednesday from noon to 1 pm at the Palmetto Grill.  She invited others to join.

“These wonderful service organizations make all the difference in our community,” said Mullis.

During the testimonial section of the meeting, Mike Cochran said “I have never had a bad experience with any business in mint hill.  Most of the folks who open up businesses in mint hill have pride in what they’re doing.”

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Kiwanis Club asking for golf sponsorships

The first annual Kiwanis Club of Mint Hill Golf tournament is being held at Emerald Lake September 1.

The Kiwanis Club is asking for sponsorships.  The platinum sponsor is Wilburn Auto Body, and the gold sponsor is Clear Creek Animal Hospital.  The silver sponsor includes two players and is $750, and the bronze sponsor includes one player and is $500.  The tee box sponsor is $100.  Monarch Mortgage and Texas Roadhouse are sponsoring the lunch and dinner.

Fees are $100 per player, or a foursome for $360.  The kiwi pack includes two mulligans and 20 raffle tickets for $20, mulligans are two per player at $5 each, and raffle tickets are $1 each.

The plan of events is registration at 11:30 am, lunch at noon, welcome at 12:50 pm, and the shotgun start at 1 pm.

Game and raffle prizes include the Kiwanis Cup, a traveling trophy presented to the highest scoring Kiwanis Club, as well as accompanying bragging rights for a year.

Emerald Lake assured a temporary clubhouse would be available, as the last clubhouse burned down in July.

“Our goal is to raise money to continue to grow our club and service the children of the community,” said Brad Simmons.  “It is to support our programs that we do with the schools ever year.  The Mint Hill Kiwanis Club takes care of the Terrific Kids programs at Clear Creek, J. H. Gunn, and Lebanon Road…We are trying to expand our club to include some of the other schools in our area.”  They also sponsor the Aktion Club and Key Club in local middle and high schools.

Their goal for the golf tournament is to have at least 60 players in the tournament and to raise $5,000.

The Kiwanis Club of Mint Hill meets every Wednesday at noon for lunch at Jimmie’s.  Simmons encourages those interested to join, as the club is always looking for new members.

For more information about the Kiwanis Club or the golf tournament, contact Brad Simmons at bradsimm@bellsouth.net or Tina Ross at katrinar87@earthlink.net.

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Students gearing up for annual tax-free weekend

The Sales and Use Tax Division of the N.C. Department of Revenue has announced the dates and regulations for this year’s back-to-school tax-free weekend.  The tax holiday is Friday, August 3 through Sunday, August 5.  The Department of Revenue first held this tax-free weekend in August 2002.

Parents and students from pre-school to college will be filling retail stores for their school needs.  Young children rely on crayons, almost everyone needs number two pencils, and college students will spend as little as they can get away with on textbooks.

Retailers are required to comply with the non-taxation.  They are not permitted to charge tax and tell customers to request a tax refund through the state.  If tax is charged during the tax-free weekend, customers should obtain a refund through the retailer.  Retailer coupons apply discounts before determining the price eligibility of items, whereas manufactures’ coupons will not deduct savings from the original price to make an item tax-free.

To qualify, clothing items must be priced at $100 or less per item; sports and recreational equipment must be $50 or less per item; computers must be $3,500 or less per item; computer supplies must be $250 or less per item; school supplies must be $100 or less per item; school instructional materials must be $300 or less per item.

Computers include a central processing unit, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers. Purchases of a single monitor, keyboard, mouse, or speakers without the CPU will be taxed.  Tablets are considered computers but eReaders are not, and are therefore taxed.  Rented items, like textbooks, will also be taxed.

The University Area’s local textbook store, Gray’s College Bookstore, prepares for this weekend each year with advertising and additional sales.

“It’s a great opportunity to save that extra eight percent.  Pretty much everything in the store is tax-free,” said Jeremy Slone, Gray’s retail manager.  “We actively tell people about it.  We couple a sale with it to increase the savings to the students.”

Below is a complete list of non-taxable items provided by the Sales and Use Tax Division:

Clothing:

  • Aprons, household and shop
  • Athletic supporters
  • Baby receiving blankets
  • Bandannas
  • Bathing suits and caps; beach capes and coats
  • Belts and suspenders
  • Boots; overshoes
  • Coats, jackets, capes, and wraps
  • Costumes (does not include costume masks sold separately)
  • Diapers (children and adults, including disposables)
  • Earmuffs
  • Gloves and mittens for general use
  • Hats and caps
  • Hosiery
  • Scarves
  • Formal wear (does not include rentals)
  • Garters and garter belts; girdles; leotards and tights; panty hose; socks; stockings and footlets; underwear
  • Insoles for shoes
  • Jogging suits
  • Lab coats
  • Neckties
  • Rainwear
  • Rubber pants
  • Sandals; shoes and shoelaces; slippers; sneakers; steel-toed shoes
  • Uniforms (athletic and nonathletic uniforms when purchased for nonbusiness use)
  • Wedding apparel (does not include rentals)

Sport or recreational equipment:

  • Ballet and tap shoes
  • Cleated or spiked athletic shoes Gloves (baseball, bowling, boxing, hockey, golf, and other sports)
  • Goggles
  • Hand and elbow guards
  • Helmets (bicycle, skating, baseball, and other sports)
  • Life preservers and vests
  • Mouth guards
  • Roller and ice skates
  • Shin guards
  • Shoulder pads
  • Ski boots
  • Waders, wetsuits, and fins

Computers and computer supplies:

  • Computer storage media, including diskettes and compact disks
  • Handheld electronic schedulers, except devices that are cellular phones
  • Personal digital assistants, except devices that are cellular phones
  • Computer printers
  • Printer supplies for computers, including printer paper and printer ink

School supplies:

  • Binders
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Book bags
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Clay and glazes
  • Compasses
  • Composition books
  • Crayons
  • Erasers
  • Folders (expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila)
  • Glue, paste, and paste sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index card boxes
  • Index cards
  • Legal pads
  • Lunch boxes
  • Markers
  • Notebooks
  • Paintbrushes for artwork
  • Paints (acrylic, tempora, and oil)
  • Paper (loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper)
  • Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencils (includes pencil leads)
  • Pens (includes pen refills)
  • Protractors
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Sketch and drawing pads
  • Watercolors
  • Writing tablets

School instructional materials:

  • Reference books
  • Reference maps and globes
  • Textbooks
  • Workbooks
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Korean Children’s Choir performs at KWVM

The Korean Children’s Choir traveled from South Korea to tour North America, and stopped in Mint Hill to honor the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the anniversary of the Korean War armistice. Photo by Amanda Waters

The Korean Children’s Choir performed at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on Fairview Road last Friday.  The choir is touring the United States and Canada, and stopped in Mint Hill July 27, the anniversary of the 1953 armistice.

“As you know the armistice was signed 59 years ago, and I trust there would be no more war in my country or your country – that there may be a sustaining peace…I pray that this nation and the state of North Carolina will continue to enjoy the peace,” said a South Korean representative introducing the choir.

The children sang the National Anthem, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and God Bless America.

Numerous people attended the event, including veterans and their families, as well as members of the South Korean military.  Many toured the memorial after the performance.

The memorial broke ground June 2010, and is built to “ensure that the soldier’s sacrifice will always be remembered,” and to commemorate what is called the “forgotten war.”

Adjacent to the KWVM will be the Armed Forces Museum and Archives of the Carolinas.  It will showcase the five branches of the United States military.  The museum is expected to break ground in 2014.

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MHPD announces plans for National Night Out

The Mint Hill Police Department announced its annual National Night Out to take place Tuesday, August 7.  The event “will involve over 14,625 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world” to raise awareness about crime and drug prevention.  The event also intends to get the community involved in the fight against crime.

Residents are invited to join the police department at the Mint Hill Park on Fairview Road from 5-7 pm.

The press release reads, “There will be police demonstrations, crime prevention information, safety tips, a representative from the District Attorney’s Office, and officers on hand to listen to any concerns that you may have.”

Fun activities are planned, too, including a dunking booth and kids games.  Chick-fil-A, Big Guy’s Pizza, Edy’s Ice Cream, and Sam’s Club of Matthews will provide free hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, snow cones, and ice cream.

“Once the event has concluded, residents will be asked to return to their neighborhoods and get out and meet your neighbors. Additional officers will be patrolling the neighborhoods this evening in an attempt to meet neighborhood leaders and gather any information that can be useful in responding to specific neighborhood concerns.”

For more information about National Night Out, contact the Mint Hill Police Department at 704-545-1085.

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