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Ride for Angels: Hospice of Davidson County

By Renee Shipko

Photos provided by Hoy Beck

For nearly 30 years, Hospice of Davidson County has been committed to providing specialized medical care and emotional and spiritual support to patients and families facing end of life.  Hospice care is a type of individualized care that supports emotional and spiritual needs while providing expert care for pain control and symptom management.  Hospice care is delivered in homes throughout the county, in long term care facilities and at the county’s only inpatient hospice program, The Henry Etta and Bruce Hinkle Hospice House, located off of US Highway 64 East in Lexington.

In an effort to raise funds to support patient services, Hospice of Davidson County hosted its first memorial motorcycle ride in 2008.  The event was organized by a volunteer committee who came together to honor the memory of loved ones who had passed away as a result of a terminal illness.  Participation and enthusiasm about the event has grown every year since its inception in 2008, and the ride now attracts more than 500 participants.  The event is a significant one for Hospice of Davidson County, raising nearly $20,000 annually to benefit patient care.

DSC_2655This year marks the 7th annual Ride for Angels event, which will be held on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at Denton FarmPark.  The ride is escorted annually by members of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department and travels a route that weaves across the southern part of the county.  The ride departs from Denton FarmPark around 10:45 a.m. and returns riders to the park, where they enjoy a lunch and entertainment following the ride.

Pre-registration for this year’s ride is $15 per bike, and $5 for an additional rider.  Commemorative T-shirts are available for purchase as well.  Day of registration increases to $20 per bike and $5 for an additional rider.  Ride participants, the majority of whom ride in memory of a loved one who benefited from hospice care, are encouraged to share memories or photos of loved ones on the agency’s Memorial Wall at the event.

The 7th annual Ride for Angels Motorcycle Ride is sponsored by Younts Insurance and Wake Forest Baptist Health-Lexington Medical Center.  Additional sponsorships are provided by WLXN KOOL 1440 AM and 99.9 FM radio in Lexington, Creative Carpets and Holladay Surgical Supply.

Hospice of Davidson County is one of the largest non-profit member agencies of the United Way of Davidson County.  In 2013, the agency provided hospice care to more than 700 patients while providing grief support to nearly 3,000 individuals in the 17 communities that encompass Davidson County.  More than half of the agency’s workforce, which exceeds 100 employees, are from or live in Davidson County, which translates to a better understanding of the uniqueness of the rural county.  And, with patients located in all corners of the county, Hospice of Davidson County is the most responsive provider of hospice care in our area.

For more information about hospice care or to register for the 7th annual Ride for Angels motorcycle ride, please call (336) 475-5444.

2013 RIVER RAT DONATION PICTURE

High Rock Lake River Rats

By Julia Euliss

In the mid-1980s, a group of friends comprised of residents of High Rock Lake and “weekend warriors” congregated regularly to socialize. In 1987, while the group was gathered at a Southmont facility for a Christmas party, a need in the community was made known to those present and the group took up a collection of $650.00 to help. The following year, a similar event occurred and $1,250.00 was collected to help the needy, including a family whose home had been destroyed by fire. In 1989, the group decided to further the tradition by holding an auction of items donated by local individuals and businesses to raise money to buy Santa gifts, food, and clothing for local needy families.

This worthwhile endeavor, combined with the social element, generated increasing interest from members of the community and throughout Davidson County. The original group of roughly 14 individuals created an informal club and elected officers. Club membership was established and immediately began to grow in number.

In the mid-1990s, the River Rats adopted a set of by-laws to establish policies and provide guidance for its growing membership. The River Rats soon became the host for semi-annual golf tournaments benefiting the American Children’s Home and other worthy causes.

scanned River Rat redrawn no lettersThe club assisted in cleaning High Rock Lake in First Citizens Operation Big Sweep in the early 1990s. Over the next ten years, the River Rats gradually assumed the total responsibility for organizing and conducting the cleanup of High Rock Lake in Davidson County and portions of Rowan County. After 2000, lake level fluctuation intermittently prohibited the group from conducting the operation on the water during several statewide events. In 2007, Davidson Water Inc. adopted the project for Davidson County.

The annual Christmas Benefit has drawn in as many as 300 attendees. Through the auction of hundreds of donated items and services, the event raised funds in excess of $20,000 each year. Proceeds were distributed to deserving families and children to meet a multitude of needs.

Since its humble beginnings, the River Rats has evolved into a North Carolina chartered non-profit corporation, specifically The High Rock Lake River Rats Inc. Incorporated in 1999, the group presently maintains an average of 75 members. The corporation is administrated by a nine-member executive board comprised of four officers and five directors elected by the membership.

In 2013, over $15,000 was donated to families, American Children’s Home, Nazareth Children’s Homes and 175 children in need through yearlong fundraisers.  To find out how you can get involved and to learn about upcoming events, please visit www.highrocklakeriverratsinc.com or find us on Facebook (HIGH ROCK LAKE RIVER RATS – look for the rat cartoon logo). You may also call Julia Euliss at 336-210-6571 or email jeuliss@triad.rr.com for more information.

 

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Tour de Kale

By Kale Watkins

Growing up on High Rock Lake near Denton, NC was a great childhood because I have always loved adventure and being outdoors. That love carried through to adulthood, so I moved out west to live in the mountains at Lake Tahoe, CA where I could ski, cycle, kayak, fish and be outdoors on an epic level.

On February 3, 2000, I broke my neck while skiing and my life was changed forever. Being paralyzed at age 30 was not in my plans, and for the first time I was scared about my future. Then my amazing friends, family and the overall community of Denton stepped up in a big way. In just four short months they organized the first annual Tour De Kale as a benefit for me, but also as a tribute to my love for cycling and the outdoors.

After the accident, I was in intensive care for 45 days, followed immediately by three months of spinal cord rehab. Needless to say, I was quite consumed mentally and physically trying to learn a new way of life. Little did I know that my hometown community was just as busy donating their time, money and expertise to building what is now one of the premiere cycling events in NC, if not the entire Southeast.

Tour-de-Kale-logoI flew back to NC on June 15 and woke up in the house I grew up in the next morning to the most memorable day of my life. Almost every person I had known growing up was there. They were cooking BBQ chicken or registering cyclists. They were making signs to point the cyclists in the right direction. They were directing traffic or parking cars. Everything was so well organized it was hard to believe this had come together in such a short time. All that was going on was overwhelming. Words cannot describe the pride and love I felt for these people.

Incredibly, that first day has parlayed into a truly amazing event. Even though it was a tremendous success, each year the Tour De Kale has evolved to become even better. Each aspect has become more finely tuned and has always been organized with three things in mind: 1) to raise money for someone in need; 2) to establish an unforgettable experience for everyone and 3), to do it all safely.

The TDK organizers realized that even though I was fortunate enough to have medical insurance, the medical expenses quickly got completely out of control. The proceeds from the TDK gave me financial hope. We all try to keep this in mind each year when we choose one individual (two at the most) to receive all of the proceeds from the event. We have 100% volunteer staff so after we pay our expenses, every single penny that is raised goes directly to benefit that person.

After a couple of years, we added a running/walking event to get non-cyclists involved. Even though we conduct both events on one day each year (the third weekend in June), the organization goes on behind the scenes virtually year round. Securing sponsors, implementing policies, establishing leadership and shaping volunteer groups all develop behind the scenes. There are so many segments to forming a successful event that few people can appreciate.

bikeridersI always say, “We need feet on the ground; that is what makes us successful. If you know someone who wants to donate time or give financial support, we have something for them to do.” This is something that people will not only enjoy, but that will also instill in them a sense of pride and ownership that is difficult to find elsewhere. When those hundreds of cyclists, runners and volunteers roll through the small streets of Denton, there is a feeling of accomplishment that is addicting, not to mention how great it feels to know this is all done to try and make someone’s life better.

I have the great fortune to be involved with this event and we encourage everyone to join us. As it turns out, the benefit is not only for those who are in financial need, but it helps us all to be better neighbors, friends and human beings. But then, of course, I’m biased.

Join us for the Tour de Kale on June 21st.  Register online for our Walk, Run or Ride to help support this great cause at TourdeKale.com.

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Yummy Red, White and Blue Celebration Recipes

We’re in the celebration months of the year when it comes to patriotic parties, outdoor barbecues and fun get-togethers. I think we’re all suckers for a fun-filled themed party, so here are a few ideas to bring the patriotic theme of true American red, white and blue into your recipes. Have fun and let’s celebrate an All-American summer!


Serves 8

For the crust:
2 c. natural granola (make sure it’s gluten free if you are on a gluten free diet)
1/2 c. walnut pieces
4 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 Tbsp. agave syrup

For the filling;
1 qt. vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, softened to spreadable consistency

For the berry topping:
6 oz. fresh raspberries (about 1 1/4 c.)
6 oz. fresh blueberries (about 1 1/4 c.)
2 Tbsp. agave syrup
2 Tbsp. water
1 lemon
1 tsp. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse crust ingredients until combined and granola is ground to crumbs. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray and press crust into bottom of dish and up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, stir together raspberries, 1 tablespoon agave syrup, 1 tablespoon water, juice of 1/2 the lemon, and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch.

In another small saucepan over medium heat, stir together blueberries, 1 tablespoon agave syrup, 1 tablespoon water, juice of the other 1/2 of the lemon, and the other 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch. Simmer both saucepans of berries until berries have broken down and sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally with a whisk, about 10 minutes. Cool and pour each sauce separately through a fine mesh sieve into small separate bowls. Let sauces cool completely.

Pour sauces into re-sealable sandwich bags. Snip a tiny amount off one of the corners of the bags. Alternating bags, pipe circles about 2-inches apart over the pie starting in the center and working outward. Drag a toothpick from the center of pie outward to the crust so that the berry sauces are pulled upward. Drag toothpick back in the other direction (from crust to center) about 2-inches away from the first line. Continue around the pie. Freeze uncovered at least 3 hours. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Serve with additional berries and any remaining sauces.

 

Blue Cheese Red Potato Salad

8 c. red potatoes, boiled and cubed
1/2 c. green onions, chopped
1/2 c. celery, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. white wine vinegar

Combine potatoes, onions, celery, parsley, almonds, celery seed, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl; set aside. Mix together blue cheese, sour cream and vinegar in a small mixing bowl. Pour over potatoes, tossing to coat. Chill overnight and then enjoy as a side dish at your next barbecue.

All-American Apple Pie

Cinnamon-Pecan Crust
3 c. all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ c. pecans, finely ground
½ c. butter-flavor solid vegetable shortening
7-8 Tbsp. ice water

Filling
2 large Rome Beauty apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Streusel
⅓ c. sugar
¼ c. light brown sugar
½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ c. cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ c. walnuts, chopped

Instructions
To make crust, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon and pecans in a large mixing bowl.
Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and toss the mixture with a fork. Roll in a circle ¼-inch thick. Line a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan with dough; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the filling, toss apples with sugar, flour and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine egg and cream until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Place apples in prepared crust. Gently pour cream mixture over apple mixture. Bake pie in the lower one-third of oven for 20 minutes.

To make the streusel, combine sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined. With processor running, add the cold butter one piece at a time and process until crumbly. Toss in pecans. Remove pie from oven and shield crust with foil. Sprinkle prepared streusel over pie. Return to oven, and bake 45 minutes or until pie puffs.

chickenButtermilk Brined Fried Chicken
Serves 4-6

8 pieces of chicken
Brine
1 qt. buttermilk (I used Cruze Farm’s, if you can get it, I recommend it)
1 c. water
1/8 c. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
1 Tbsp. Frank’s Hot Sauce (or other vinegar based hot sauce)
1 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 c. honey
Cayenne or hot Hungarian paprika to taste (optional)
A few sprigs of thyme (optional)

Coating
3 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1-2 tsp. kosher salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. freshly grated black pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 c. buttermilk
Oil for frying (you need enough to come about 1/3 of the way up the pot or 2 inches)
Kosher salt for sprinkling

For the brine: Combine all the ingredients for the brine except buttermilk in a small pot and heat over medium, dissolving all the salt and honey. Remove from heat and cool by adding ice cubes and stirring. In a large mixing bowl combine buttermilk and cooled seasoned water. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Divide all pieces of chicken between two large Ziplock bags. Pour half of buttermilk brine in each, close, and place in the refrigerator overnight (or up to 12 hours).
1-2 hours before you fry, rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry. Let the chicken come to room temperature, half an hour to one and a half hours, on a parchment lined baking sheet covered with paper towels. Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix all of the ingredients for the coating together in a large bowl, transferring half to a second bowl. Fill a third bowl with the 2 cups of buttermilk. The easiest way to coat the chicken is to have a line set up: uncoated chicken, flour coating, buttermilk, 2nd bowl of flour coating, wax paper-lined baking sheet for the coated chicken.

Pour the oil into your pot. It should come at least two inches and no more than 1/3 of the way up the side of the pot. Turn the heat to low, clipping a frying/candy thermometer to the side of your pot.

Dredge each piece in the coating, dust off all excess, dip into the buttermilk, and then into the second bowl of coating, letting the second coating be clumpier, but still patting to get rid of excess that might fall off in the oil. Place coated chicken on the wax paper lined tray.

Turn the oil up to high and let it come to about 350° F. When it reaches temperature, very carefully place 4 pieces of chicken at a time in the hot oil and fry, adjusting the temperature as needed to maintain a frying temperature between 310° -325° F. Fry dark meat first, as it takes longer. Fry the chicken for about 13-20 minutes, moving the chicken gently (you don’t want to knock the coating off!) after the first five minutes to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom. Be careful to monitor your chicken, watching the oil temperature closely and not letting the chicken get too dark.

Remove chicken from the oil with a spider or slotted metal spoon when it is golden brown, and place it on a cooling rack over a paper towel lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Fully cooked chicken will read 160 degrees and can be served then if desired. If the temperature is lower than that, it must be finished in the oven.

Fry the second batch and then place it on the rack. Place the rack in the oven for ten minutes. Check the internal temperature to make sure the chicken is cooked through, let rest 10 minutes, and serve hot. If all the chicken is cooked through and you want to keep it hot, you can hold it in a 250 degree oven.

Maple-Mustard Grilled Corn with Bacon

12 ears corn, husked
Olive oil for grilling
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 pinch allspice
6 slices bacon

Brush 12 husked ears with olive oil. Grill on medium-high until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and a pinch of allspice. Cook 6 slices of bacon until crisp, about 6 minutes; drain on paper towels. Finely chop bacon and set aside on a platter. During the last 3 minutes of grilling, baste corn with maple-mustard glaze. Roll corn in bacon. Serve immediately.