Fort Mill Times

News briefs: Donations need for Lake Wylie fireworks

Donations needed for fireworks

Donations are being accepted for Lake Wylie Fireworks Fund.

The fireworks display begins about 9:30 p.m. July 4, launching from Camp Thunderbird.

Best viewing is near Buster Boyd Bridge area.

The fireworks are funded solely through donations. Send donations to Camp Thunderbird Fireworks Fund, 1 Thunderbird Lane, Lake Wylie, SC 29710.

Arts council celebration June 25

The Arts Council of York County will host the 36th annual Arts Celebration at 6 p.m. June 25 at the Community Performance Center, 249 E. Main St., Rock Hill.

The celebration includes highlights from the past year, presentations of the Ben Ardrey Volunteer Award and the Business & the Arts Award. Matthew Manwarren will perform on the Steinway-Essex piano.

An exhibition of quilts by York County Quilters’ Guild will be on display in the Williams & Fudge Gallery. A reception featuring light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will follow.

Reserve tickets by 5 p.m. June 22 at yorkcountyarts.org or by calling 803-328-2787.

Red Cross posts blood drives

The American Red Cross will hold the following blood drives in York County:

▪ 2:30-7 p.m. June 24, Bass-Cauthen Funeral Home, 700 Heckle Blvd., Rock Hill.

▪ 2-7:30 p.m. June 25, First Baptist Church, 117 S. Main St., Clover.

Ag + Art Tour June 27-28

The Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour will host its second regional tour June 27-28, introducing a fifth county to the tour lineup of Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Union and York.

The largest free farm tour in the nation, the 2015 Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour is a self-guided tour running 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 27 and 1-5 p.m. June 28.

A few sites to see along the tour include Benford Brewing Co. (Lancaster County), Catawba Cultural Preservation Center (York County), Elder Farms Family Homestead (Fairfield County), Fishing Creek Creamery (Chester County), Native American Studies Center and Garden (Lancaster County), Three Horse Milling Co. (Union County), Rock Ridge Farm (York County), Royal Greens (Fairfield County), Simple Times Farm (Union County), and The Powell Farm (Chester County).

Historic Brattonsville, 1444 Brattonsville Road, McConnells, also is participating. Two visiting artisans, Sally Hagerty and Stephen Owen, will sell hand-made work. Hagerty creates hand-woven rag rugs, totes, pillows, fiber art tapestries, scarves, shawls, and wooden looms for kids. Owen crafts cutting/serving boards, bowls and tables from local fallen trees. On Saturday, costumed interpreters will be on the living history plantation with ongoing hands-on demonstrations in 18th century gardening, blacksmithing, and hearth cooking.

The Ag+Art Tour is free to the public and has drawn more than 16,000 visitors since it began in 2012. For information on the Ag+Art Tour, visit agandarttour.com.

YMCA seeks support to send kids to camp

The YMCA of Greater Charlotte and Camp Thunderbird are partnering with schools to offer a year-round program to help disadvantaged children develop lifelong skills. The camp also seeks donations to help send children to camp.

“By combining outdoor experiences with structured academic enrichment activities, YMCA Game Changers is uniquely positioned to reach kids who may not otherwise be exposed to these types of learning opportunities,” said Jill Moore, YMCA Camp Thunderbird executive director.

Serving 50 students at Huntingtowne Farms Elementary School in third to fifth grades, YMCA Game Changers launched in spring 2014. The program, led by YMCA Camp Thunderbird staff and Winthrop University teaching fellows, targets economically disadvantaged children struggling in the classroom.

Children visit Camp Thunderbird’s Environmental Education Center in the fall, and return during spring break for a one-night stay before the full week of overnight summer camp. Students meet with Y staff and Winthrop University teaching fellows four times during the school year to work on collaborative, creative and critical thinking skills. They engage in activities such as orienteering and geocaching, writing and performing songs, and creating audio visual presentations.

“Many of our Game Changers have never spent the night away from home,” Moore said. “That’s why it’s important we set them up for success with skill- and confidence-building activities during the school year. We also provide sleeping bags, sheets and camp gear for kids who need it.”

YMCA Game Changers also aims to develop future camp leaders.

“As students complete the three-year program, our goal is to help them continue their camp experience with the support of scholarship assistance,” Moore said. “Then transition them into counselors-in-training, and eventually full-time counselors and staff.”

The YMCA would like to expand into more schools but needs funding. Supported by individual and corporate donations to YMCA Camp Thunderbird’s annual campaign, the program is free for all participants.

To learn more, visit campthunderbird.org/give or call 704-716-4163.

S.C. national parks visitor numbers up

A new National Park Service report shows that 1,519,746 visitors to national parks in South Carolina spent $81.1 million in the state in 2014. That spending resulted in 1,275 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the state economy of $103.1 million.

The national parks sites in South Carolina are: Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Congaree National Park, Cowpens National Battlefield, Fort Sumter National Monument, Kings Mountain National Military Park and Ninety Six National Historic Site.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz. The report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors occurred in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally; 235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion.

According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent).

Join summer reading programs

Summer reading programs have begun at all York County libraries with prizes and incentives for all ages.

With a superheroes theme, the four programs are: Tiny Tots for children ages 3 and younger, and their parent; Every Hero has a Story for children ages 3-11; Unmask for ages 12-17; and Escape the Ordinary for adults.

Free summer programs for children and families include weekly performances by puppeteers, theater groups and magicians. Free programs for teens include chess club, anime and gaming.

All summer reading programs are sponsored by the Friends of the York County Library. Register at yclibrary.org.

For more, visit nps.gov/Southcarolina.

Food service program continues through Aug. 14

York County Council announces the administration of the Summer Food Service Program runs through Aug. 14.

Meals will be provided to all children 18 years of age and younger without charge. The Summer Food Service Program has operated in York County for 33 years.

To locate a meal service site, call the Summer Feeding Office in Rock Hill at 803-909-7511.

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