By David Rogers. April 13, 2018. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Blowing Rock’s Recreation Center will receive a much-needed facelift this spring, thanks to an almost $5,000 gift from last year’s class of Leadership Challenge participants.
COVER IMAGE: Left to right — Melissa Tausche, Loni Miller Sharon Chrisman, Margie Hilton, Kelly Cox, Jonathan Smith, Emily Brinker, and Jennifer Brown. Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
Every other year, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce hosts a Leadership Challenge class, providing an opportunity for participants to become more familiar with the way things work in and around Blowing Rock, with strong dose of historical perspective. After the 8-week program has run its course, the class members, as a group, decide on a special project aimed at contributing to the community. Previous classes have started the Candidate Forum for mayoral and board of commissioner candidates running for office and staged a Dancing With The Stars-type fundraiser for a local charity, among others. The 2017 class chose to raise money for Parks & Recreation Department improvements.
We appreciate the Leadership Challenge class in thinking of us.
Participating members on hand to present a check to Parks & Recreation Director Jennifer Brown recently included Melissa Tausche, Loni Miller, Sharon Crisman, Margie Hilton, Kelly Cox, Jonathan Smith and Emily Brinker, as well as Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce CEO Charles Hardin.
“We’ll being doing some renovations on the inside of the recreation center,” Brown told Blowing Rock News in an interview last week in front of the Chamber office. “That will include painting and new flooring. We’ll see how far the money takes us. We also have some bond money that we are using right now to put on a new roof, as well as upgrade the HVAC system. These upgrades are very much needed and without question we appreciate the Leadership Challenge in thinking of us.”
Kelly Cox, a staff member of Blowing Rock’s Westglow Resort & Spa, spearheaded the Leadership Challenge project and its fundraising. In explaining the inspiration for the effort, she explained to Blowing Rock News, “When we toured the recreation center and its facilities (as part of the Leadership Challenge program), we could see that it needed to be updated and made as beautiful as the rest of the town. We did a few different fundraisers. Emily Brinker’s Speckled Trout restaurant hosted a ‘Spirit Night’ where a portion of the day or evening’s proceeds went to the project. We did a benefit concert over at Sharon Chrisman’s Sunset and Vine. We received a very generous donation from Charlie Sellers and The Blowing Rock attraction where Margie Hilton works. And then some of the past classes donated some of the funds left over from their projects.”