2012 was a happening year in Swannanoa. From the Taste of Swannanoa in the winter, to the summertime Groovin’ on Grovemont outdoor concerts, to the Mill Around the Village Festival in the fall, it seemed like there was never a dull moment. We’re constantly amazed at how much is happening in our small but very vibrant community. Whoever came up with the name “Swanna-nowhere” obviously hasn’t been here lately!
This was a banner year for Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa, too. We launched a brand new website (www.swannanoafans.org) and enthusiastically embarked on community projects in keeping with our new mission of “working for a strong and vibrant Swannanoa by encouraging active involvement, fostering community spirit, and honoring our unique history and natural heritage.”
Our 10th annual Swannanoa Sweep community cleanup was a great success this year, with 35 residents participating. Our first annual Swannanoa RiverFest drew 85 enthusiastic volunteers. We cleaned over five miles of the Swannanoa River and celebrated afterwards with a festival at Owen Park. And more than 100 families took advantage of the opportunity to clear out some clutter at the “Hard-to-Recycle” event we co-sponsored with Rainbow Recycling in the fall.
In addition to our cleanup efforts, FANS also organized or co-sponsored a number of other events that brought the community together. Last spring, FANS and Warren Wilson College welcomed about 65 community members for a wonderful evening of Swannanoa history and storytelling at the Bee Tree Fire Station. And in the fall, FANS and the Swannanoa Business Association co-sponsored the Mill Around the Village Festival, an annual street festival that showcases the great musicians, businesses and nonprofits, food purveyors, and artists and crafters of the Swannanoa Valley.
The every-other-month FANS community e-newsletter now reaches 530 subscribers, bringing our readers a wide range of stories about local happenings, Swannanoa history, and more. Our Swannanoa Community Garden continues to grow, too (pun intended!). All the plots were full this year and our gardeners enjoyed a bountiful harvest. Plans are underway to create more community garden space next year.
FANS’ calendar year will end with a celebration of Swannanoa, past and present, on December 11, and the community-wide holiday party on December 13 (see separate stories). It’s been a busy year indeed!
As 2012 draws to a close, we want to extend a special thanks to all those who’ve volunteered their time in our community this year, whether through FANS or another organization. Your dedication and hard work are much appreciated.
And as you consider your end-of-year giving, we ask that you put FANS on your list. We rely on contributions from the community to fund our work, and our cupboards are getting pretty bare. FANS is an all-volunteer organization. We have no employees, no offices, no overhead — so 100% of the money you donate will be put to work right here in Swannanoa. Please grab a pen and write that check now, before you forget. Every gift helps, no matter how large or small. Checks can be made out to FANS and mailed to P.O. Box 697, Swannanoa, NC 28778. FANS is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your donation is tax deductible.
Thank you for your support, and best wishes
for a happy and healthy new year!