Volunteer group clips coupons for troops – Receives commendation letter from national program

By Michele Dotson    dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 5.24.33 PMTuesday, November 26 was cold, rainy, and absolutely miserable outside. Inside the club house at Alpine Village, though, things were warm and cozy. A faithful group of 13 showed up on this dreary day to cut and sort coupons to send to US troops to help soldiers and their families make ends meet on a military families’ budget.

“All the helpers are residents,” says Ed Henderson, organizer for the Troopon program. “I believe our Village is the best kept secret in Charlotte, blessed with people who have formed a caring community.”

Most of the workers come every week, rain or shine. Others are less mobile but still want to stay involved.

“We usually have 14 to 18 members that come here (to the clubhouse), ages 60 to 90,” he says, “and some residents do their share at their own homes.”

The project is now an every Tuesday event. There’s coffee, refreshments, and lots of friendly chatter as the coupons are prepared for shipping. On average, they are sending 10 to 12 pounds of coupons every two weeks. Henderson pays for the shipping cost as part of his contribution.

Residents save Wednesday flyers with store coupons and Sunday coupon booklets for the group to use. The US commissaries accept coupons that are up to 6 months outdated, and that helps add to the growing stacks that will be boxed and sent to the Support Our Troops organization that gets the coupons directly into the hands of the veterans and their families.

The Alpine Village group is so successful, they recently received a monogramed patch and a letter of commendation from the sponsoring organization along with some staggering statistics.

“The effort and time you graciously provide to reduce the pinch on troops’ budgets has made a significant difference,” the letter states.

The letter also outlined the results of the research that was conducted this year, which summarized how much troops were able to save on their grocery bills each month, as well as what the savings allowed the troops to accomplish for their families.

According to the data collected, over a third of the families reported saving between $26 and $50 per month. 20 percent reported savings between $51 and $150 per month, and nearly 10 percent reported savings over $150 per month using the coupons.

The savings allowed 60 percent to pay other bills, while 25 percent reported being able to save toward their children’s education.

Henderson says the Alpine Village group has kept some tallies of their own and is proud to announce that in the past year they have sent over $500,000 in grocery coupons for distribution to overseas locations that aid US military families.

The group has recently expanded their outreach to include sending Christmas cards to wounded heroes currently in the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC.

“We want them to know that we care, love, and truly appreciate the sacrifices they have made and wish them every blessing this wonderful season,” says Henderson.

Henderson hopes other groups will have the opportunity to set some time aside for the coupon program, or send a soldier a Christmas card this holiday season. He’s sure there are others in the Mint Hill area that feel the way his group does about our men and women in the military.

“We are all patriotic senior citizens, giving only of our time to show the families of our troops our appreciation of their service to America,” says Henderson on behalf of the Alpine Village group. “We hope, by others seeing what we have started and accomplished, they will take this information and become members of the Troopon program.”

For more information on the Troopon program, contact supportourtroops.org or call 386-767-8882.

Letters and cards to the military in Walter Reed Hospital should be sent to:

A recovering American Soldier

c/o Walter Reed Medical Center

6900 Georgia Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20307-5001






Texas Roadhouse of Matthews to hold fundraiser for Bain restoration project

Texas Roadhouse, located at 10450 E. Independence Blvd., Matthews, NC (704-814-0285) will donate a percentage of its food sales on Sunday, November 24, to the Historic Bain Academy Restoration, as well as any donations received that day.

Patrons should present the Texas Roadhouse coupon between 11 am and 10 pm, and the Bain project will receive 10 percent of those sales.  Proceeds from the Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser will go toward restoring Historic Bain, which was established 1889 and has served thousands of students in its 124-year history. Continue reading


Election decides commissioners, school board

By Michele Dotson    dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 2.09.32 PMAll eligible citizens should exercise their right to vote. Make your vote count by casting your ballot for Mint Hill Commissioner (you will get to vote for four), mayor (Mayor Biggers is running unopposed), and one school board member.

In an effort to bring the past few months’ worth of campaigning into focus before heading to the polls on November 5, here is a brief review of the candidates.

Mayor Ted Biggers is running unopposed. He was first elected mayor on 1999 and has overseen the transformation of Mint Hill’s steady and constant growth, fought for one high school for Mint Hill students, led the formation of the Mint Hill Police department and was instrumental in bringing in a town manager. Continue reading


Senator Tarte address Mint Hill Chamber

By Michele Dotson    dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

Senator Jeff Tarte fields questions after his lunch-time presentation at the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce meeting. Tarte spoke for about 20 minutes and spent time afterwards talking with visitors and answering questions.

Senator Jeff Tarte fields questions after his lunch-time presentation at the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce meeting. Tarte spoke for about 20 minutes and spent time afterwards talking with visitors and answering questions.

Senator Jeff Tarte (R-Mecklenburg) addressed the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Thursday, October 24 at Pine Lake Country Club. Tarte spent about 20 minutes touching on a variety of topics, including the 2011 Reevaluation Bill, North Carolina’s ability to attract new businesses, term limits, and the airport authority.

Tarte, who was given the highest rating for a freshman senator by The North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation, found his way into public office at the urging of his grandfather who told him to go out and do something about the things he didn’t like.

“My grandfather said not to complain if I wasn’t willing to be part of the solution,” says Tarte.

The 2011 Reevaluation Bill is an example of one of the things Tarte says he’s proud to have had a hand in.

“I’m most proud about how we passed it,” says Tarte. “We must be concerned about the process and how we involve the public.”

The lack of public input and transparency regarding the airport authority issue is case in point. Continue reading


Fall fest fun for the community at Independence High School

The Leo Club is ready for their first customer for their game called "Where's Leo?"

The Leo Club is ready for their first customer for their game called “Where’s Leo?”

The Independence High School Student Council, better known as STUCO, held its annual fall fest on Saturday, October 26 from 5:30-8:00 pm at the school.

Due to current construction, “Trunk or Treat” was held in the back parking lot and was sponsored this year by the math department.

Thriller dance lessons were available in the cafeteria for $1.

All kid games were in the mall area inside the school and were sponsored by student clubs and organizations.

The Leo Club, the student community service organization sponsored by the Mint Hill Lions, Created a game, “Where’s Leo?” A stuffed lion was hidden under one of several Halloween themed cups and then the cups were then shuffled. The object of the game was to identify which cup the lion was under. Continue reading


Armed Forces Museum documentary wins award

Armed Forces Museum & Archives of the Carolinas Documentary Wins Award
Mint Hill, October 21, 2013 — The Armed Forces Museum & Archives of the Carolinas’ (AFMAC) documentary honoring ex-prisoners of war is the recipient of the Paul Green Multimedia award presented by The North Carolina Society of Historians.
The winning video, entitled Honoring Our Heroes -The American POW Experience. WWII 1939-1949, is a 30-minute broadcast-quality documentary about the POW experience and is dedicated to honoring, preserving, and sharing the courage and sacrifices of WWII heroes, many of whom live in our community.
At their annual awards banquet on October 19, NCSH president Elizabeth Sherrill presented AFMAC president Bill Dixon with the award. Accepting the award with Dixon were Roger Reimann from Zoma Communications and Lisa Jillani, AFMAC’s media director.
One judge said of the video, “After watching this video, one word comes to mind – Awesome! It was amazing and touched the heart. On a scale of 1-100, we rate this film a 200.”
The North Carolina Society of Historians was established in December 1941 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, and perpetuating North Carolina’s rich history and for recognizing those persons who fulfill the Society’s objectives.
The motto and vision of AFMAC, a 501(c)(3) entity, is to honor, preserve and celebrate freedom.
This world-class museum will be unique in that it will honor all five branches of the United States military:  Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. When completed, visitors will experience an educational showcase of 250 years of military history combined with the home front support and sacrifices that have made our nation great.
Details and donation information can be seen at VisitAFMAC.org.
Videos may be purchased for $25, which includes postage and shipping.