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Jason Hatch, a middle school math teacher at Union Academy, after noticing there was a need for students to have an outdoor classroom, he took it upon himself to make it happen, paying for the construction of a 10 x 12 building on school ground property.

The building is the first outdoor shop that Union has ever had. Hatch plans to add to the building little by little, allowing the students the opportunity to do the work themselves as they learn more about using power tools and doing mechanical work.

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The North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF) has reactivated its statewide Disaster Relief Fund to support Hurricane Irene victims in coastal and eastern regions of our state, according to Rodney E. Martin, NCCF grants chair and member of the statewide board.

Credit card donations can be made online through the NCCF website at nccommunityfoundation.org or by downloading a contribution form. Checks can be mailed to the NCCF headquarters office in Raleigh at 4601 Six Forks Road, Suite 524, Raleigh, NC 27609. Please designate your gift for Hurricane Irene victims. All contributions are tax-deductible, and no portion of the NCCF Disaster Relief Fund will be used for the Foundation’s administrative or operational expenses. NCCF encourages recipient agencies to also waive any fees associated with distribution of its Disaster Relief Fund.

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Highlands’ 11th annual Relay for Life, “Carnival of Hope,” was held Friday and Saturday, August 19-20, at the Highlands Recreational Park. The Relay for Life walk has been taking place on local, regional and national level for 27 years.

Debbie Grossman, the chair for the Relay for Life event, and Mike Murphy, the co-chair, conducted the opening ceremonies. Grossman gave statistics to show how prevalent cancer is and how much good Relay for Life is doing. Just in North Carolina, the American Cancer Society has funded $18 million in research grants in 2011. Grossman applauded the community for being just as instrumental. “What we do as a community is just as important as that $18 million; every little bit counts.”

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Aaron Thomas Cabe was a home school student throughout his education, while at the same time, attending both Trimont Christian Academy and Southwestern Community College in his high school years. He graduated from high school in 2010.

Cabe, 17, has recently completed his AA college transfer degree from Southwestern Community College. He has always had a love for God's creation and is very interested in Biology.

Cabe has already had many exceptional opportunities in life. He lived in Kenya, Africa with his family in 2004 while they served as missionaries. He also attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in 2009 at Emory University and had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to shadow a surgeon.

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