Foothills Digest owes its existence and continued success to the unwavering support of our advertisers. Without their partnership, our mission to share the stories and celebrate the spirit of our community would not be possible. We take pride in advertising only those companies and organizations we truly believe in, ensuring that our content remains authentic and valuable to our readers. It's an honor to have these esteemed partners collaborate with us, enabling us to bring meaningful content to the forefront. Their belief in our vision not only fuels our endeavors but also strengthens the bond within our community, for which we are profoundly grateful.

Catawba Valley Medical Center, located in the heart of North Carolina, serves as a pivotal healthcare institution in the Catawba Valley region. Esteemed for its comprehensive range of medical services, the center is dedicated to providing exceptional patient care and fostering community health. It operates as a full-service facility, offering advanced treatments and care in areas such as cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, and maternal health, among others.

The medical center is not just known for its broad spectrum of medical services but also for its innovative approach to healthcare delivery. It employs cutting-edge technology and evidence-based practices to ensure optimal patient outcomes. The dedicated team of healthcare professionals at Catawba Valley Medical Center is committed to delivering compassionate care, emphasizing the importance of patient well-being and recovery.

With its commitment to quality care, patient safety, and community wellness, Catawba Valley Medical Center plays a crucial role in enhancing the health and quality of life for residents of Catawba Valley and surrounding areas. Its ongoing efforts to improve healthcare services and accessibility make it a cornerstone of health in the region.

Hickory Furniture Mart in Hickory, North Carolina, is a premier destination for furniture shopping, attracting visitors from across the country and beyond. Spanning over 1.3 million square feet, this expansive facility is not just a furniture store; it's a comprehensive home furnishings complex that offers a wide range of styles, from traditional to contemporary and everything in between. With over 100 galleries, outlets, and stores, the Mart provides an unparalleled selection of quality furniture, lighting, rugs, and accessories.

The Hickory Furniture Mart is celebrated for its commitment to quality and variety, hosting an impressive array of top brands and artisan collections. Whether you're decorating a single room or furnishing an entire home, the Mart's knowledgeable staff and design consultants are on hand to offer personalized service, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience. Its reputation for excellence and value, along with special events and sales throughout the year, make Hickory Furniture Mart a must-visit destination for both design professionals and homeowners looking to create beautiful living spaces.

Foothills Oral Surgery in Newton, NC, stands out as a beacon of excellence in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Renowned for its commitment to providing top-tier patient care, the clinic specializes in a comprehensive range of services, including dental implants, wisdom teeth removal, corrective jaw surgery, and the management of oral pathologies. The practice is underpinned by a philosophy of compassionate, personalized care, ensuring that each patient receives a bespoke treatment plan tailored to their unique needs.

The clinic boasts a team of highly skilled professionals and state-of-the-art facilities, making it well-equipped to handle the diverse needs of its patients. Emphasizing patient education, Foothills Oral Surgery ensures individuals are well-informed about their treatments and post-operative care, fostering a trusting and reassuring environment. This dedication to excellence and patient well-being cements Foothills Oral Surgery's position as a leading oral healthcare provider in the Foothills and beyond.

Natural Elements, located in Lenoir, NC, is a distinguished CBD store renowned for its broad assortment of premium CBD offerings. The establishment is dedicated to presenting natural, holistic health and wellness solutions, catering to a wide range of customers in search of alternative therapeutic options. Natural Elements is celebrated for its well-informed staff, who are devoted to guiding customers through the myriad benefits and applications of CBD, ensuring that everyone can identify the perfect product for their individual requirements.

With a product range that spans from oils and tinctures to topicals and edibles, all items are procured from trusted suppliers to ensure the highest purity and efficacy. Natural Elements spotlights the therapeutic benefits of CBD, highlighting its potential in aiding with various issues such as anxiety, pain, and sleep disturbances, among others. The store has cultivated a warm, educational environment, positioning itself as a preferred destination in Lenoir for those exploring the health and wellness possibilities afforded by CBD.


McKinney Graham Dental, nestled in the heart of Hickory, NC, stands as a beacon of excellence in dental care, offering a wide array of dental services tailored to meet the needs of every family member. This dental practice is renowned for its blend of advanced technology, comprehensive care, and a deeply personalized approach, ensuring that each patient receives the highest standard of dental treatment.

The team at McKinney Graham Dental, composed of skilled professionals, is committed to providing a comfortable and welcoming environment. They offer a range of services, from routine check-ups and cleanings to more complex procedures such as cosmetic dentistry, restorative treatments, and orthodontics. Their focus on preventive care aims to maintain their patients' oral health and prevent future dental issues.

What sets McKinney Graham Dental apart is their dedication to patient education, ensuring individuals are well-informed about their dental health and treatment options. This approach fosters a partnership between the dentist and patient, enabling customized care plans that align with each patient's unique needs and goals. As a staple in the Hickory community, McKinney Graham Dental exemplifies a commitment to excellence, making them a trusted choice for comprehensive dental care.

Valdese, NC, nestled in the picturesque foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, offers a captivating blend of rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for tourists and a charming place for potential residents. Founded by Waldensian settlers from Italy, Valdese celebrates its unique origins with events like the annual Waldensian Festival, featuring historical reenactments, traditional crafts, and cuisine, which draws visitors and enriches the community.

Downtown Valdese, with its artisan shops, local eateries, and the Heritage Arts Center, exudes a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere. The town's appeal extends to outdoor enthusiasts, offering access to scenic trails, fishing spots, and the serene Valdese Lakeside Park, highlighting its natural allure.

Valdese's marketing narrative focuses on its distinct cultural depth, community spirit, and picturesque landscapes. This combination not only attracts tourists seeking an authentic experience but also appeals to those searching for a community-rich environment to settle in. Valdese stands out in North Carolina's competitive landscape as a destination that promises both enriching experiences and a sense of belonging.

Hamilton Williams Gallery and Studio, nestled in the heart of Morganton, NC, is a vibrant showcase of craftsmanship and creativity. This distinguished establishment is not just a store; it's a window into the rich tradition of pottery and artisanal works. Founded by Hamilton Williams, a master potter whose passion and skill breathe life into clay, the studio offers an exquisite collection of handcrafted pottery, ceramics, and other artisanal goods. Each piece reflects a blend of traditional techniques and modern aesthetics, embodying the unique vision of its creator.

The gallery section of Hamilton Williams is a curated space that features not only Williams' work but also the creations of other local and regional artists. It serves as a platform for showcasing a variety of crafts, including glass, wood, and textiles, promoting the appreciation of handmade artistry within the community.

Hamilton Williams is more than a shopping destination; it's an interactive space where visitors can witness the art of pottery in the making. The studio occasionally offers workshops and classes, inviting individuals to learn and experience the joy of pottery firsthand. This engagement with the community and dedication to the craft make Hamilton Williams a cornerstone of Morganton's cultural and artistic landscape, attracting visitors who are eager to connect with the world of artisanal beauty.

MuscleRx, with locations in both Hickory and Charlotte, North Carolina, stands as a beacon of innovative therapy and wellness services, specializing in muscle restoration techniques that cater to a wide array of needs. This distinguished practice is renowned for its unique approach to addressing muscle pain, stiffness, and injury recovery, employing advanced methodologies that go beyond traditional physical therapy. At the core of MuscleRx's philosophy is a deep understanding of the intricate ways in which muscles influence overall health and mobility, guiding their tailored treatment plans.

The team at MuscleRx is composed of highly skilled therapists who are not only experts in muscle restoration but are also deeply committed to the well-being of each client. By integrating cutting-edge techniques with personalized care, they ensure that individuals receive the most effective treatment possible. Their services are designed to enhance performance, alleviate discomfort, and promote long-term health, benefiting everyone from athletes seeking to improve their game to individuals recovering from injuries or managing chronic pain.

MuscleRx's commitment to excellence and patient-centered care has cemented its reputation as a leader in muscle therapy. The partnership between their Hickory and Charlotte locations allows them to serve a broader community, spreading their mission of healing and optimal health across North Carolina. Their innovative approach and dedication to improving lives through muscle health make MuscleRx a pivotal resource for anyone looking to enhance their physical well-being.

Western Piedmont Community College (WPCC), nestled in the scenic foothills of North Carolina, serves as a vital educational institution in the Western Piedmont region. Offering a wide array of programs, WPCC is dedicated to providing high-quality education and training that cater to the diverse needs of its students. From degree programs to certifications and continuing education courses, the college is designed to support lifelong learning and career advancement.

WPCC prides itself on its student-centered approach, fostering an environment where learners can thrive academically and personally. The college boasts a faculty of experienced educators who are committed to excellence in teaching and who provide personalized attention to ensure student success. With state-of-the-art facilities and resources, WPCC facilitates an engaging learning experience that prepares students for the demands of the modern workforce.

The college also plays a crucial role in the local community, partnering with businesses and organizations to drive economic development and workforce training. WPCC's commitment to accessibility and affordability makes it an attractive option for students seeking to pursue higher education without the burden of excessive debt. Through its comprehensive offerings and supportive environment, Western Piedmont Community College stands as a beacon of opportunity, empowering individuals to achieve their educational and career goals.

The Joan Everett Team, a prominent force in the real estate market, epitomizes excellence and dedication in helping clients navigate the complexities of buying and selling properties. Based in North Carolina, this dynamic team is renowned for its deep understanding of the local real estate landscape, offering unparalleled service and expertise to ensure clients achieve their property dreams.

At the heart of the Joan Everett Team's success is a commitment to personalized service. Recognizing that each client's needs are unique, they tailor their approach to ensure that whether clients are first-time buyers, selling luxury estates, or investing in property, they receive guidance that is suited to their specific goals. This client-centric philosophy, combined with their extensive market knowledge, makes the Joan Everett Team a trusted advisor in the real estate process.

Their proficiency is further enhanced by the use of cutting-edge technology and innovative marketing strategies, ensuring properties receive maximum exposure to the right audience. The Joan Everett Team's dedication to excellence, combined with their passion for real estate, has solidified their reputation as leaders in the field, making them the go-to team for anyone looking to make informed real estate decisions in North Carolina.

The Historical Association of Catawba County plays a pivotal role in preserving the rich heritage and cultural narratives of Catawba County, North Carolina. Dedicated to safeguarding the historical integrity and stories of the region, the association operates with a commitment to education, preservation, and community engagement. Through a variety of initiatives, including the maintenance of historical sites, museums, and archives, the association ensures that the legacy of Catawba County is accessible to both residents and visitors. One of the association's key contributions is its effort to maintain and showcase historical landmarks, offering a tangible connection to the past. These sites serve as educational platforms, providing insights into the architectural, social, and economic evolution of the area. By organizing tours, exhibitions, and events, the association fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of Catawba County's heritage. Furthermore, the Historical Association of Catawba County is instrumental in conducting research and disseminating knowledge about the region's history. Through publications, lectures, and educational programs, it engages the community in dialogues about the past, encouraging a sense of pride and belonging among residents. The association's work not only honors the memory of those who shaped Catawba County but also inspires future generations to preserve and celebrate their local heritage. Through its dedication to historical preservation and education, the Historical Association of Catawba County ensures that the rich tapestry of the region's history remains a vibrant and integral part of the community's identity.

Bob Timberlake is an esteemed American realist artist and designer, celebrated for his intricate paintings that vividly capture the essence of Southern life and landscapes. Born in Lexington, North Carolina, Timberlake's work is deeply rooted in the rich cultural and natural heritage of the South, showcasing his keen observation and love for the minutiae of everyday scenes. His art is characterized by its meticulous detail, vibrant realism, and a profound sense of tranquility, often evoking nostalgia for a bygone era.

Beyond his contributions to the art world, Timberlake has also made a significant impact in the realm of furniture design. He launched the Bob Timberlake Collection, a line of home furnishings that reflects his artistic sensibilities and commitment to craftsmanship. This collection, known for its quality, authenticity, and timeless design, mirrors the rustic elegance and warmth found in his paintings.

Timberlake's influence extends further through his commitment to environmental conservation, often advocating for the preservation of natural landscapes that inspire his work. His legacy is not just in the beauty he creates but also in his dedication to celebrating and conserving the world around him. Bob Timberlake remains a towering figure in American art and design, whose work continues to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide.

Graystone Eye is a premier eye care center that has established itself as a leader in ophthalmic services and vision care in the region. With multiple locations serving the community, Graystone Eye offers a comprehensive range of services, from routine eye exams to advanced surgical procedures, ensuring that patients of all ages receive the highest quality care tailored to their specific needs. The team at Graystone Eye consists of highly skilled ophthalmologists, optometrists, and support staff who are dedicated to providing exceptional service. They utilize the latest technology and techniques in eye care to diagnose, treat, and manage a wide spectrum of eye conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and refractive errors. Graystone Eye is also at the forefront of offering innovative solutions for vision correction, including LASIK and advanced lens implant surgeries, helping patients achieve optimal vision quality. Graystone Eye's commitment to excellence extends beyond clinical services. They place a strong emphasis on patient education, ensuring individuals are well-informed about their eye health and treatment options. This patient-centered approach, combined with their expertise and state-of-the-art facilities, makes Graystone Eye a trusted name in eye care, enhancing the vision and lives of their patients.

The Hickory Choral Society is a distinguished ensemble known for its commitment to excellence in choral music. Established with the aim of enriching the cultural landscape, this choir has become a beacon of artistic integrity and musical passion. Comprising talented vocalists from diverse backgrounds, the society performs a wide repertoire that spans classical masterpieces, contemporary works, and traditional favorites, showcasing their versatility and broad musical range.

Under the guidance of accomplished directors, the Hickory Choral Society not only entertains but educates and inspires its audiences through performances characterized by emotional depth and technical precision. Their concerts are events that bring the community together, celebrating the power and beauty of the human voice.

The society also plays a vital role in fostering musical education and appreciation within the community. Through outreach programs, workshops, and collaborative performances, it provides valuable opportunities for aspiring musicians and engages with audiences of all ages. The Hickory Choral Society's dedication to musical excellence and community engagement has solidified its status as an invaluable cultural institution.


Old Salem Museums & Gardens is a remarkable historical and cultural site located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This living history museum offers a deep dive into the rich heritage of the early Southern United States, particularly focusing on the Moravian community that settled in the area during the 18th century. The meticulously preserved town of Old Salem brings history to life through original buildings, engaging reenactments, and hands-on activities, allowing visitors to experience firsthand the daily lives, trades, and traditions of its early inhabitants.

Spanning more than 100 acres, the site includes a variety of museums and gardens that highlight the Moravian way of life, their skills in craftsmanship, and their dedication to music and education. The Single Brothers' House, the Salem Tavern, and the Miksch Garden and House are among the many authentic buildings that offer a window into the past. Moreover, the Heritage Gardens showcase the Moravians' horticultural expertise, featuring plants that were essential for medicinal, culinary, and ornamental purposes.

Old Salem Museums & Gardens not only educates about the past but also connects visitors to the enduring values of the Moravian community, such as innovation, sustainability, and cultural inclusivity. It's a must-visit for history enthusiasts, families, and anyone interested in the diverse cultural fabric of the United States.

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) is a pivotal institution dedicated to fostering and enhancing the quality of life in Western North Carolina. Established to serve as a steward for philanthropy in the region, CFWNC works by connecting donors with causes that match their interests, facilitating impactful giving that addresses community needs. The foundation focuses on a wide array of areas including education, environmental conservation, health, human services, arts, and economic development, reflecting the diverse interests and necessities of the community it serves.

CFWNC operates by managing endowed funds, offering grants and scholarships, and providing strategic leadership on critical community issues. It serves as a trusted advisor to donors, helping them to maximize their philanthropic impact through informed giving. The foundation’s deep local knowledge and extensive network enable it to address both immediate needs and long-term challenges, making it a key player in enhancing community resilience and well-being.

By encouraging a culture of giving and leveraging resources for greater impact, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina plays a critical role in shaping the future of the region, making it a stronger, more vibrant place for all its residents.

The Catawba Humane Society is a beacon of hope for animals in need within the Catawba region. As a nonprofit organization, it dedicates itself to improving the lives of homeless and neglected animals through a comprehensive range of services. The society operates with a fervent commitment to animal welfare, providing shelter, medical care, and love for countless animals awaiting their forever homes. Central to its mission is the promotion of humane treatment of animals.

Through community outreach and education programs, the Catawba Humane Society advocates for responsible pet ownership, spaying and neutering, and the prevention of animal cruelty. Its efforts extend beyond shelter walls, involving the community in fundraising events, volunteer opportunities, and awareness campaigns that highlight the importance of compassion towards animals. Adoption services are at the heart of the organization, where prospective pet owners are matched with suitable companions, ensuring a harmonious and lasting bond.

The Catawba Humane Society also offers resources for pet owners, including advice on pet care and behavioral training, underscoring its commitment to the welfare of animals in its care and the community at large. In its relentless pursuit of a world where every animal is treated with respect and kindness, the Catawba Humane Society stands as a pillar of animal advocacy and welfare in the region.

The Environmental Action Community (EAC) represents a vibrant and committed network of individuals, organizations, and activists dedicated to fostering sustainable practices and advocating for the protection of the natural world. Central to its mission is the promotion of environmental awareness, education on the impacts of climate change, and the encouragement of actions that contribute to the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity.

EAC operates on multiple fronts, engaging in grassroots campaigns, policy advocacy, and community-based projects aimed at reducing carbon footprints, enhancing green spaces, and supporting renewable energy initiatives. Through collaborative efforts, the community aims to influence environmental policy, drive corporate sustainability, and empower individuals with the knowledge and tools needed for eco-friendly living.

Incorporating a holistic approach, the EAC emphasizes the interconnectedness of environmental health, social equity, and economic sustainability. By fostering partnerships across public, private, and nonprofit sectors, it seeks to create a more resilient and sustainable future. Engaging in educational programs, volunteer activities, and awareness campaigns, the EAC nurtures a culture of responsibility and proactive engagement in environmental stewardship, highlighting the critical role everyone plays in protecting our planet.

RiddleFest, hosted annually by the Traditional Voices Group, pays tribute to Lesley Riddle, a significant African-American musician from Yancey County, North Carolina. Riddle profoundly influenced the early country music scene through his collaboration with A.P. Carter and the Carter Family, blending his deep roots in the blues with the traditional Piedmont style. More than just a musician, Riddle was an innovator who bridged the cultural gap between black and white mountain musicians in the early 20th century, enriching the American music genre with his unique contributions.

His legacy is commemorated by a historical roadside marker near Burnsville on Hwy 19E, celebrating his role in music history and cultural heritage. RiddleFest ensures Riddle’s pioneering spirit and contributions are honored, spotlighting the vital influence of African American artists in shaping American music. Through this event, the Traditional Voices Group keeps Riddle's legacy alive, reminding us of the interconnected history of American music and its diverse roots.

The Steve and Lori Watson Foundation, an emblem of philanthropy and compassion, plays a pivotal role in channeling generosity toward causes that touch the hearts of many. Founded on the principles of kindness and a deep commitment to societal improvement, the Foundation dedicates its resources to alleviating hunger and promoting animal welfare, two issues that stand at the forefront of their mission.

At its core, the Foundation recognizes the power of visibility in driving change. By purchasing advertisements for various nonprofits in Foothills Digest Magazine, they not only amplify the voices of these organizations but also enhance their ability to reach a wider audience. This strategic approach to charitable giving not only spreads awareness about pressing social issues but also fosters a sense of community and shared responsibility. Beyond its innovative advertising efforts, the Steve and Lori Watson Foundation engages in direct financial support to nonprofits that align with their vision. Through this multifaceted approach to philanthropy, they have become a beacon of hope, directly impacting the lives of those in need and the well-being of animals.

The Foundation’s dedication to these causes reflects a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of societal issues. By addressing hunger and animal welfare, they tackle both immediate needs and the broader implications of these challenges. The Steve and Lori Watson Foundation remains a testament to the transformative power of collective action and the enduring impact of compassionate leadership.

Nestled in the heart of Hickory, North Carolina, the Melissa Gibson Framing Gallery stands as a testament to the art of preservation and presentation. With Melissa Gibson at the helm, this gallery is more than just a business; it's a sanctuary where art and memories are meticulously framed to stand the test of time. Specializing in custom framing, the gallery offers an array of options tailored to each piece, ensuring that every artwork, photograph, or cherished memento is showcased in its best light.

Beyond its bespoke framing services, the gallery is renowned for its commitment to quality and craftsmanship. Using only the finest materials, Melissa and her team work closely with clients to bring their vision to life, offering guidance on everything from frame style to matting options. The gallery's dedication to customer satisfaction and its passion for artistry have made it a beloved fixture in the Hickory community. Moreover, the Melissa Gibson Framing Gallery serves as a vibrant cultural hub, hosting exhibitions and events that celebrate local artists and artisans. By fostering a sense of community and appreciation for the arts, the gallery enriches the cultural landscape of Hickory, making it a must-visit destination for art lovers and collectors alike. 

Oak City Collection stands out as a beacon of creativity and local craftsmanship in Smithfield, NC. Renowned for its dedication to producing high-quality, custom products, this store has become a pivotal player in the local economy and a beloved part of the community. Among its diverse offerings, Oak City Collection takes pride in designing custom shirts for Foothills Digest, showcasing an impressive blend of artistry and local pride. The collaboration with Foothills Digest exemplifies Oak City Collection's ability to capture the essence of local culture and spirit in their products. These shirts are not just apparel; they are wearable art that narrates the stories of the Foothills, fostering a deeper connection between the publication and its readership. Beyond shirts, Oak City Collection's portfolio spans a wide range of custom products, each meticulously crafted to meet the unique needs and preferences of their clients.

Oak City Collection's commitment to excellence and community engagement has cemented its reputation as a creative hub. Through their work, they not only enhance the local fashion scene but also contribute to the promotion of local businesses and initiatives, making them a cherished institution in Smithfield, NC.

Elechia Morgan's MuscleRx, with locations in both Hickory and Charlotte, North Carolina, has established itself as a premier destination for individuals seeking expert muscle therapy and holistic wellness solutions. This esteemed establishment is renowned for its unique approach to muscle health, combining deep expertise in muscle therapy with personalized care plans designed to address each client's specific needs. MuscleRx stands out for its dedication to not just treating symptoms but targeting the root causes of muscle discomfort and tension. Elechia Morgan, the visionary behind MuscleRx, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her practice, ensuring that clients receive the highest level of care. Her approach is grounded in the understanding that muscle health is integral to overall well-being and that effective therapy can significantly improve quality of life.

The services offered at MuscleRx are wide-ranging, catering to a variety of needs from injury recovery to performance enhancement and general wellness. Clients at both the Hickory and Charlotte locations benefit from a tailored experience that may include advanced muscle therapy techniques, education on muscle health, and strategies for maintaining muscle wellness outside of the therapy sessions. Elechia Morgan's MuscleRx has earned a reputation for excellence, with clients praising the transformative effects of the therapy on their health and well-being. This has not only contributed to the success of MuscleRx but also highlighted the importance of specialized muscle therapy in the broader health and wellness landscape.

REC'D dispensary, with locations in Hickory, Statesville, and Denver, is a trailblazer in the wellness sector, focusing on the therapeutic potential of CBD and hemp-based products. This premier outlet is dedicated to providing high-quality, lab-tested offerings including CBD, Delta-8, Delta-9, tinctures, oils, gummies, flower/bud, vapes, muscle rubs, and distillates. REC'D distinguishes itself through a steadfast commitment to purity, efficacy, and transparency, ensuring customers receive only the best.

The product lineup at REC'D is designed to cater to a variety of needs and preferences. From CBD products known for their stress-relieving properties without psychoactive effects, to Delta-8 and Delta-9 items offering a balance between therapeutic benefits and mild euphoria, REC'D covers all bases. Tinctures and oils provide precise, customizable dosing, while gummies offer a discreet, tasty way to consume hemp derivatives. Flower/bud selections appeal to traditionalists, and vapes offer quick relief. Muscle rubs target localized discomfort, and distillates stand out for their purity and potency.

With a focus on customer education and satisfaction, REC'D's knowledgeable staff ensures a welcoming environment. This approach positions REC'D as a leader in promoting natural remedies and holistic health across Hickory, Statesville, and Denver.

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation plays an essential role in safeguarding and enhancing one of America's most scenic and cherished roadways, the Blue Ridge Parkway. This organization is deeply committed to fostering a sense of stewardship and responsibility towards this national treasure, addressing its unique challenges through concerted efforts in cultural and historical preservation, natural resource protection, and educational outreach initiatives designed to benefit both current and future generations.

Engagement with the foundation is multifaceted, offering numerous ways for individuals to contribute and show their support. Among these is the opportunity to purchase specialty license plates in North Carolina and Virginia, serving as a mobile proclamation of one's commitment to the parkway. Furthermore, the Trails & Views Forever program represents a targeted effort to rejuvenate the parkway's outdoor spaces, including trails, picnic areas, campgrounds, and overlooks. This initiative ensures that visitors can fully immerse in the parkway's natural splendor.

The foundation also emphasizes the importance of legacy contributions through bequests and planned giving. By naming the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation as a beneficiary, individuals can create an enduring legacy that safeguards the parkway for generations to come. This gesture aligns donors with The André Michaux Society, named after the revered French botanist and explorer who shed light on the region's natural wonders, thus fostering a lasting connection to the parkway's preservation.

The foundation's efforts extend to educational and cultural programs, such as Kids in Parks and the Blue Ridge Music Center, which enhance the visitor experience and promote a deeper appreciation for the parkway's natural and cultural heritage. Moreover, by leveraging digital platforms like YouTube, the foundation connects with a global audience, offering insights into the parkway's projects and beauty through engaging video content. This digital outreach complements the foundation's mission, bridging the gap between the parkway and those who cherish it from afar.

Set to open on April 1, The Graceful Geese Mercantile is an exciting new addition to the Hickory Furniture Mart's ground floor. This innovative space is designed to accommodate up to 180 vendors, offering a vibrant mix of antiques, handcrafted items by local artisans, and distinctive vintage finds. The venture is the brainchild of community business owners Angie and Ray McGinnis, who are taking a significant step following Ray's retirement from a fulfilling 30-year career at Corning. For them, The Graceful Geese Mercantile is not just a business but the realization of a long-held dream to create a hub for the local artisan community. Angie McGinnis articulates this vision with enthusiasm, seeing the Mercantile as a crucial platform for showcasing North Carolina-made crafts to a worldwide audience, leveraging the diverse clientele that frequents the Hickory Furniture Mart. In their quest to curate a selection of exceptional artisans, the McGinnises are focused on assembling a group of juried artisans while remaining open to other local creators who wish to join this unique marketplace. Artisans interested in exploring this opportunity are invited to meetings on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to learn more about the Mercantile, including details on space availability and vendor requirements.

The Catawba Science Center, nestled in Hickory, North Carolina, serves as a beacon of inspiration and education for individuals of all ages. Spanning over 35,000 sq. ft., this children's museum, aquarium, and planetarium is dedicated to changing lives and igniting a passion for learning through science and wonder. With its hands-on science exhibits, both salt and freshwater aquarium galleries, and a cutting-edge digital planetarium, it offers an unparalleled learning environment that encourages curiosity and discovery.

Visitors to the Catawba Science Center can immerse themselves in a wide range of interactive and educational experiences. The center provides engaging school field trips, informative summer camps for children from pre-K to ninth grade, birthday party hosting, preschool science programs, homeschool classes, and evening science programs for adults. This inclusive approach ensures that learning is accessible and enjoyable for people from all walks of life, promoting a lifelong appreciation for science.

Among the many attractions, the digital planetarium stands out, offering shows that journey through space and time, revealing the wonders of the universe and our place within it. The aquariums, home to a diverse array of aquatic life, provide a close-up look at the beauty and complexity of underwater ecosystems. With its commitment to education, engagement, and entertainment, the Catawba Science Center is a cherished resource in the Hickory area and beyond, fostering a love for science and exploration in the heart of Western North Carolina.

Foothills Kids Magazine stands out as a distinctive non-profit organization, committed to enriching the educational landscape for over 11,000 students nestled in the foothills of North Carolina. With a mission deeply rooted in connecting children to their local heritage and communities, this publication uniquely tailors its content to not only entertain but educate. Each issue is crafted with care, focusing on a single topic explored through various lenses, ensuring that the richness of the region's history is brought to life in the pages of the magazine. This multifaceted approach encourages students to engage critically with the material, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the world around them.

What sets Foothills Kids Magazine apart is its dedication to supporting educators through its comprehensive teacher guide. Spanning over 80 pages, this resource is packed with more than 20 lesson plans that align with the magazine's themes. This alignment with the curriculum transforms each magazine issue into a powerful educational tool, seamlessly integrating into classroom learning. Teachers can easily draw upon this guide to enrich their lessons, providing students with a cohesive learning experience that extends beyond the traditional textbook.

By bridging the gap between local history, community connection, and education, Foothills Kids Magazine does more than just inform; it inspires. It nurtures a sense of community and identity among the youth, empowering them with knowledge about their local environment and its historical significance. Through its thoughtful content and educational resources, Foothills Kids Magazine not only supports academic growth but also cultivates a generation of informed, connected, and engaged citizens.