Mint Hill resident joins inaugural New York Brain Tumor Walk

Kay Herrin of Mint Hill is joining with people from around the country to raise a united voice in the fight against brain tumors. Herrin is taking part in the inaugural New York Brain Tumor Walk, one of the nine walks that take place throughout the year to raise brain tumor awareness and essential funds for research and patient services through the National Brain Tumor Society. The 5K walk in New York will take place on Saturday, June 18 on Governors Island. Registration begins at 7 am and programs and activities run from 8:30 am to noon. Continue reading


Mint Hill and Charlotte: Extreme Makeover wants you!

Remember the house on Sudbury Road in 2008 that was completely remodeled by the crew on Extreme Makeover: Home? The King family had their average home turned into a dream home, and it was all filmed for TV.
Here’s amateur video of the project:

Now the producers of Extreme Makeover want to come back to the Charlotte area. They are looking for a family whose home deserves an Extreme Makeover, or a family who simply deserves a home.

Ty Pennington and his crew have been all across the map and now they want to drive that famous bus to North Carolina.
“We are looking for the deserving people and inspiring families that America can really root for,” says Supervising Casting Director Adam Drucker.
What does it take to be picked for an Extreme Makeover?

“We’re looking for those special people who have amazing strength of character and never give up,” Drucker said. “Whether it’s keeping their chin up in really tough circumstances or going out of their way to help others. We want to help people whose stories have really affected their community or made a big difference in other people’s lives. There are a lot of people who are heroes to those around them because of the way they inspire others and quietly serve their communities on a daily basis.” Continue reading


Lottery winner signs check over to mother-in-law

If only all mothers-in-law could be so lucky. Last week, Paula Milwood, a store clerk from Gastonia, was excited to see that her son-in-law scratched off the top prize in the N.C. Education Lottery’s $200,000 Cash game just a day after her grandson was born. Moments later, she was shocked when he handed her the winning ticket, saying “You keep it.”

“He just handed it to me and said I deserved it,” Milwood said. “He told me that I would know what to do with it. I didn’t know what to say.” The ticket was purchased at the Kingsway on Kendrick Road in Gastonia, where Milwood works. She plans to use her winnings, worth $136,001, to purchase a home for her family and possibly season passes to Carowinds amusement park.

“I feel like a big weight has been lifted,” Milwood added. “This is fantastic.” As of Monday afternoon, three top prizes remain to be claimed in the $200,000 Cash game.

In other lottery news, Carolina Cash 5 players in the Charlotte area need to check their numbers. One ticket matched all five numbers (9 – 11 – 14 – 31 – 37) in the Thursday, April 21 drawing and is worth $773,609. The jackpot had rolled since the April 9 drawing. This is the highest top prize in the game since the June 4, 2010 drawing when two players from Mebane and Hillsborough split the $823,652 prize. The largest single-winner Carolina Cash 5 claim occurred in November, 2007 when a player from Greenville matched all five numbers and won $856,988.




Mint Hill resident a finalist for national prize

Jean Grayson of Mint Hill was named a semifinalist for the Energizer Keep Going® Hall of Fame, a program dedicated to “celebrating everyday people who possess the same persevering spirit as the Energizer Bunny® and use that determination to make a difference.”

In January, baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. and Energizer began a national search for the next member of the Energizer Keep Going® Hall of Fame. From all of the submissions received, Grayson’s nomination rose to the top. She is now one of 100 Semifinalists in the running to become the 2011 Inductee into the Energizer Keep Going® Hall of Fame. Continue reading


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.”


St. John Neumann Catholic Church gives back for holidays

The folks at St. John Neumann Catholic Church on Idlewild Road helped 30 families at the Double Oak Community Center have a more merry Christmas. Volunteers gave food, clothing and presents to the families to help spread the holiday cheer. More than 75 people from the church volunteered including the Boy Scouts, youth ministry and Knights of Columbus.