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Another Full Weekend!

We had an incredible weekend of experiences! Here’s a summary: on Friday afternoon we had a really cool tour of Appalachian State University’s Outdoor Programs. I think it made a big impression on a lot of our TAASC kids. Some of them are now seriously considering ASU as a potential college
to attend.

After that we ate supper at Black Cats, then on to the Banff Film Festival. Banff continues to be a real highlight of the year for all the TAASC kids.

We finally arrived at Cedar Rock Campground around midnight. At 7:30 a.m. Saturday we drove over to Stone Mountain State Park and began the approach hike to the summit at 8:30 a.m. It was a tough one-hour hike because only six kids showed up to help with the Rappel-a-thon and we had to hump in 150 lbs. of ropes (4,000’), rigging gear and our personal equipment. But everyone did great with no complaints. We rigged our brand new 1,000’ ropes in record time. Usually it takes hours, but this crew completed the task by 10:30 a.m.!

We only had two Rappel-a-thon guests (Bonnie Wilson and Sheila) so it didn’t take too long to get them down the mountain and hike back up.

At 2 p.m., 17 staff and kids from the Asheville TAASC program arrived. Our kids taught them how to descend and ascend 400 feet and at the end of the day, three of their 10 year-old girls got to do the 1,000’ rappel. It was a real highlight of their life and they were very appreciative and thankful for the opportunity. The three girls were best friends since age three and had joined TAASC together two years ago.

Our newest member, Will Duncan did great on his first TAASC trip, as did two brothers from Charlotte, Austin (age 16) and Davis (12). They are moving to Morganton soon and are very excited about joining TAASC. They got to do the 1,000’ rappel also.

We pulled up and coiled all the ropes at the end of the day, then went to our favorite local restaurant, Mazzini’s, to celebrate the day. Since the weather forecast was for 90% rain on Sunday, we decided to head on back to Morganton and arrived at the gym at 10:30 p.m.

Thanks to all the kids who helped out with the Rappel-a-thon. They really worked hard and did a great job of teaching others, monitoring safety and humping loads of gear!

Thanks to Bonnie and Sheila for having the courage to brave the 1,000’ rappel and raise money for TAASC.

Thanks to Mike and Karen Ayotte and Morganton Federal Savings and Loan for their generous contribution, which allowed us to purchase 4,000 feet of new rope to make the Rappel-a-thon much easier to manage (no knot passes).

And thanks to all the other parents and kids who raised money for the Rappel-a-thon, but weren’t able to attend.

According to pledge reports and funds received, it appears that we raised about $2,000 for TAASC this year. Not bad in tough, economic times. Last year we raised about $5,000. Our budget continues to run in the red, so please help us recruit new members.

This will help a lot towards the purchase of canoe and kayak paddles that we desperately need. Thanks to Greg Franklin for arranging a generous deal.

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