Banner-News 7-22-21

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Gaston County’s

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The Banner News /


We love our readers! Volume 87 • Issue 29

Thursday, July 22, 2021



See Pages 14 & 15


Thursday, July 22, 2021

• Belmont • Cramerton • Lowell • McAdenville • Mount Holly • Stanley

Shining Hope Farms busier than ever helping folks on horseback By Alan Hodge

There’s so much excitement these days at Shining Hope Farms even the horses are kicking up their heels. Headquartered near Stanley, with branch locations in Charlotte and Conover, Shining Hope Farms is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enable children and adults to reach their full potential through the use of equine assisted activities and therapies. Programs provided include physical, occupational, and speech therapy utilizing equine movement as a treatment strategy called Hippotherapy. Shining Hope Farms serves a total over 250 in-

dividuals weekly. There are 30 horses at the Stanley location. There are over 40 staff members consisting of occupational and physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, PATH Intl. certified riding instructors, and administrative staff, plus literally hundreds of volunteers. In addition to physical therapy, Shining Hope Farms added a new program last year designed to help veterans with conditions such as PTSD. The program is called Saddles and Salutes. Currently, eleven veterans are taking part. The goal is to eventually have sixty participants. One veteran enrolled in the program is Shante Roseboro who served in the U.S. Army. “The Saddles and Salutes program is awesome,” See SHINING HOPE, Page 3

Mt. Holly Sports Hall of Fame - Donald Fortner

Dancing with Gloves On By Kathy Blake As far back as Donald Fortner’s daughter Elizabeth can remember, music floated through the house. Jazz music … Dixieland Jazz. And her father danced. He was the youngest of 12 children, all of them blessed with moves to accompany a trumpet melDonald Fortner ody and cornet-trombone improve. “Oh, they were all good dancers, some more than others, but they all loved dancing to the music,” Elizabeth Hall says. “If you had any kind of get-together, there was always dancing. They’re all gone, now, all the brothers and sisters.” The last, Aunt Mary, was 95 when she went to be with Lord in July of 2019. Don Fortner’s story, which started in Mount Holly in January of 1931 and had segments in South Carolina and Texas, isn’t solely about jazz tunes, which filled the CDs scattered about his home and car. He was, Hall says, “multi-faceted.” A college graduate, war veteran, car salesman, Christian. He also was a champion boxer – “not a fighter, a boxer,” Hall says. A successful one, which has

Another great day at Shining Hope Farms. Karleigh Faulk - Horse Leader, Ashley Seal – OT, Autumn Bishop - Side Walker, Courtney Farmer – Patient ,and Epic the horse. Photo by Lauren Faulk

Rocky Branch Park grand reopening right around the corner By Alan Hodge

The grand reopening for Rocky Branch Park at the end of Woodrow Ave. in Belmont is set for August 7 at 12 pm. The park has been closed since last January while a major renovation project was underway. Employees of Chapel Hill based Nature Trails have been hard at work Fortner woking the bag, back in the day. in the Rocky Branch woods tackling earned him a spot in the Mount Holly Sports Hall tasks like bridge building, brush clearof Fame. ing, and trail blazing. “I wish my father were alive to be able to receive According to Parks and Rec. direcSee FORTNER, Page 4 tor Zip Stowe, the purpose of the major

upgrades was to make Rocky Branch a more walkable and a family friendly oasis of outdoor area just a couple of blocks from the heart of downtown. The cost of Phase I of the project was $94,650. “The City funds amount to $46,000,” Stowe said. “The remaining funds came from the Trailblazer’s by way of grants and donations.” So, what has the project entailed? “The trail was widened to give it multi-purpose use,” said Stowe. “Several of the old bridges got taken out and replaced with seven new ones. The trail See ROCKY BRANCH, Page 6

August 12: Senior Citizen Day

August 15: Atrium Health Salute to Healthy Living

August 13: Salute to Achievement Day

August 16: Youth Athletic Day

August 14: USAA Military Appreciation Day


Join us August 12-17 and visit for more information about each day