Kangaroo Kids hop to fight chronic illness, conditions
MATTHEWS – Covenant Day School freshman Emery Pikel and her siblings, Ellie and Bodey, are making a difference with their nonprofit organization Kangaroo Kids.
The trio, who live in Charlotte’s Windswept neighborhood, makes and distributes medical binders called “The Pouch” for parents of children with chronic illnesses or conditions. Parents can use the binders to log calls, keep appointments, maintain office staff information, record hospitalizations, track medications and for many other reasons that accompany managing a chronic health issue.
Kangaroo Kids is partnering with hospitals across North Carolina, including Levine Children’s Hospital, Novant Presbyterian Hospital, North Carolina Children’s Hospital, Duke Children’s Hospital and Novant Forsyth.
On Jan. 4, the organization secured a new partnership with the NICU at North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill. Emery said their initial request for pouches was one she and her sibling could not fill without lots of help, so they reached out to friends and more than a dozen girls from Covenant Day showed up to lend a hand.
In less than four hours, Emery said they not only stuffed thousands of pages into sheet protectors but also assembled 66 pouches to be distributed to families.
To learn more, visit www.kangarookidsclt.org.
Food Network contestant survives first episode
CHARLOTTE – Kevin Pettice survived the first episode of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America,” ensuring at least another week of comic relief during the intense culinary boot camp.
Pettice, 24, of Charlotte, lives off frozen Michelina’s meals and his mom’s Sunday dinners, but he said during the Jan. 7 episode that he wants to take some of the weight off her shoulders.
Being a big fan of host Anne Burrell, he squealed, “Oh, I’m feeding Anne!” as he presented his blackened deep-fried chicken. Then he squealed, “Ooh, Anne eating my chicken!”
Pettice uses the word “blackened” to describe burnt food.
“This blackened chicken has got my roommates sick and it almost burned down my house,” he said.
Burrell said the dish wasn’t terrible, but she acknowledged Pettice has a long way to go.
The episode alluded to Pettice’s fear of kitchen equipment and flames, as well as showcased a variety of expressions, such as “shut yo mouth,” “whoo-hoo-hoo this fancy” and “Momma, this gon’ be good.”
As he was finishing preparing banana pancakes with maple butter for host Tyler Florence, he quipped, “I’m sweating like a sinner in church.”
The 14 remaining chefs learn how to filet and cook a fish in the next episode, which airs at 9 p.m. Jan. 14 on the Food Network.
The Weekly hires new staffer
MATTHEWS – Charlotte Media Group has hired Paul Nielsen as a content producer.
Nielsen has been writing about sports for more than 30 years, most of which at what is now known as the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. He was a high school sports beat reporter, as well as covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, a Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen and his wife moved to Matthews last year. He’ll contribute to Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly, Union County Weekly and South Charlotte Weekly.
“Paul is an experienced and seasoned journalist that will help us drive high school sports coverage as sports editor Andrew Stark recovers from treatment,” editor Justin Vick said. “His first day on the job was an epic display of productivity.”
CMS addresses mold at Providence High School
CHARLOTTE – Providence High parents received an email from Principal Tracey Harrill about air quality at the school after photos of moldy ceiling tiles began circulating, according to WSOC-TV.
Harrill’s email says Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools follows EPA protocols and that a third-party vendor said moisture was at normal levels.
Parent Brian Kasher talked to reporter Elsa Gillis about concerns of students getting sick.
Superintendent Clayton Wilcox was scheduled to meet with parents after school this week.
Brightwood College starts dental assistant program
CHARLOTTE – Brightwood College will host an open house showcasing its new dental assistant program for members of the business community and interested students.
The program equips students to work alongside dentists and patients in a general office environment.
The event takes place 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan.18 at 6070 E. Independence Blvd. It will include campus tours, program information and meet-and-greets with faculty and staff.
Guests will receive swag bags with goodies while supplies last. Attendees 18 and older can enter to win prizes, such as Amazon gift cards. Those interested in attending should RSVP to Shannon Cogen by emailing email@example.com or calling 704-567-3700.
Mint Hill Arts showcasing its members’ best
MINT HILL – Mint Hill Arts will showcase the best work of its members and the community from the past year for its February exhibit, “Best of 2017.”
Members and nonmembers alike are invited to submit four of the pieces they consider the best work they created in 2017. The group is allowing artists to enter work displayed at Mint Hill Arts shows in 2017.
Intake takes place 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 19 or 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 20 at the gallery, 11205 Lawyers Road. Pickup will be at the same times Feb. 23 and 24. The entry fee for up to four pieces of art is $10 for members and $30 for others.
The show opens Jan. 26, with a free reception from 7 to 9 p.m. The show will be available 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays.
Instructions and forms for entering the show are available at www.minthillarts.com.
Butler JROTC reads to Lebanon students
MATTHEWS – A group of five cadets from the Butler High School JROTC program went to Lebanon Road Elementary on Dec. 15 to read to a Pre-K class.
Cadets sought to serve as role models, encouraging the students to further their education.
Cadets were grouped with four to five students. They brought a small gift for each student.
The Butler JROTC intends to continue working with Lebanon Elementary in terms of reading to students and helping with a school beautification project as part of its “Adopt a School Program.”