Big Brothers Big Sisters–Polk

Program Coordinator: Karen Dacey
Phone: 828-859-9230
Fax: 828-859-5364
Karen email:

Outreach Coordinator: Mary Prioleau
Phone:  828-899-9699

301 N. Trade St., Tryon, NC 28782

Polk News: Events & Important Dates

BBBS News:  Polkin’ Around                                         December 2016

Happy Anniversary!

BS Cathy Smith Bowers       LS Belen       6 years

BS Marilyn Prudhomme     LS Mari Lee  4 years

BS Betsy Burdett                      LS Tristin      4 years

BS Rhonda O’Connor            LS Aaleiyah  3 years

BB Bob Montgomery             LB Michael    2 years

Calendar of Community Events:

Please join us for the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Christmas Party, Saturday, December 10, 2-4 pm, @ Morning Glory Farm, Mill Spring! Please RSVP to Karen.

…Dec 1, Landrum Christmas Parade, 6pm

…Dec 2, Tryon Christmas Stroll, 5-8pm

…Dec 2, 9, 16, Friday Night Festivities in Forest City – Hayrides, Santa’s House, Ice skating, 6-9 pm,, 828-247-4430

…Dec 3, Tuba Christmas, PCHS 1:30pm

…Dec 3, Christmas Parade, Columbus 4pm.

…Dec 3, 10, 17, Saturday Night Festivities in Forest City – Carriage Rides, Santa’s House, Ice skating, 5-8:30pm,, 828-247-4430

…Dec 4, 11, 18, Sunday Santa’s Paws, photos with pets, 2-6pm, 828-247-4430,

…Dec 5, Teen Scene, Saluda Library, plan programs & hot cocoa, grades 6-12, 4pm.

…Dec 6, Teen Scene, PCPL Columbus, Nintendo Wii U & hot cocoa, grades 6-12, 4pm.

…Dec 7, Pixel Art Ornaments, grades k-5, PCPL Columbus, 4pm.

…Dec 9, Saluda Hometown Christmas, 6-9pm,

…Dec 10, Children’s Craft Workshop, 9am-1pm, Saluda fire department, FREE.

…Dec 10, Warming the View, coat & blanket distribution, Mill Spring Farm Store,

…Dec 10, Big Brothers Big Sisters annual Christmas Party, Morning Glory Farm, Mill Spring, 2-4pm

…Dec 11, Community Chorus, Polk Co High School, 3pm, $ tickets required.

…Dec 12, Teen Scene, Saluda Library, make cards & cookies, grades 6-12, 4pm.

…Dec 13, Holiday Wreath making, PCPL Columbus, snacks, grades 6-12, 4pm.

…Dec 14, Holiday Greeting Cards, grades k-5, PCPL Columbus, 4pm.

…Dec 14, Tryon Christmas Parade, 5 pm

…Dec 17, Polar Express Night at TIEC, 5-9pm, movie & buffet dinner included in admission of $10 kids 12 & under, $15 adults,

…Dec 19-30, Landrum schools closed for holidays

…Dec 20, Teen Scene, Saluda Library, Nintendo Wii U & snacks, grades 6-12, 4pm.

…Dec 20, Teen Scene, PCPL Columbus, tacky holiday t-shirts (bring your own to decorate) & Christmas karaoke, snacks, grades 6-12, 4pm.

…Dec 21-30, Polk Early College and Lake Lure Classical Academy closed for holidays

…Dec 21.5-30, Polk Schools closed for holidays

…Dec 25, Merry Christmas!

…Dec 27, Teen Scene, PCPL Columbus, Nintendo Wii U & nachos, grades 6-12, 4pm.

…Dec 28, Lego Junior Makers, PCPL, 4pm, grades K-5.

…Dec 31, Tryon Midnight, 7-11pm, includes children’s activities, hot drinks, live music and a ball drop at 10pm.

…Jan 1, 2017, Happy New Year!!

Dec 1-29, Tryon Traditions 2016 Holiday Village  Every day for a month, visitors can come to Tryon International Equestrian Center and enjoy holiday activities. Entrance is free and open to the public. The schedule of events on any single day are:

  • 8am-10am:  Pancake Breakfast with Santa, Legends Club $Reservations @ 863-1130
  • 10am-4pm:  Holiday Village, Vendor Row Shopping Open
  • 10am-4pm:  Hay rides, Classic Car Cruise-In carousel Open
  • 10am-11:30am: Christmas Cartoons & Cookie Decorating at the General Store
  • Noon-1:30pm:  Christmas Cartoons & Cookie Decorating at the General Store
  • 3pm-5pm:  Storytime with Mrs. Claus, Fireside at Legends Club
  • 2pm-3:30:  Christmas Cartoons & Cookie Decorating at The General Store
  • 4pm-5:30:  Christmas Cartoons & Cookie Decorating at The General Store


Please remember to take photos of you and your Little on outings to share with BBBS! Also remember to take advantage of our Enrichment Funds designated to support Polk matches. Feel free to request reimbursement for outing-related expense such as movies and concessions, admission fees, tickets, etc.

Local Events & Opportunities:

  • Bingo! Every Friday night at 7 pm, American Legion Post 250, Tryon. Small fee to play, prizes!! The local American Legion makes donations to area organizations throughout the year from bingo proceeds, including to BBBS. Like their Facebook page at American Legion Post 250 and Auxiliary.
  • KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum, Rutherfordton is offering FREE Fridays! 828-286-2120,
  • Hands On! A Child’s Gallery listed a handsonwnc.or
  • Team ECCO Center for Ocean Awareness,
  • Check out the Buffalo Creek Park Trail at Lake Lure, a 3.5 mile loop with views for hiking or biking.
  • For info on the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site programs online at gov/carl

Helpful Tips for Bigs:

BBBS events:

All of the Littles who attended the annual Recognition Dinner for Littles were honored for their accomplishments. Big Sister Mary Prioleau brought her LS Maddie and sibling LB Tye.

Mary,-Maddie,Tye-RecDin16-copyMaddie was recognized for her great compassion for others evidenced by her volunteering at Hospice House, helping senior citizens, and spending time with her brothers and an ill nephew. Maddie also learned to swim, played on a volleyball team, and enjoys practicing soccer.

Tye has the reputation at school for manners and hard work. He was also recognized for his major soccer talent and for learning to swim. Tye is helpful, handy and mechanically-inclined. He is mature for his age and has a very good sense of humor.

Allie, Peggy, Vicky1

Also attending the annual Recognition Dinner were Little Sister Vicky, Little Sister Allie, and their Mom Peggy. The crowd went wild with applause for these two exceptional girls.

Allie was honored for making A’s all year long and, not surprisingly, is ranked first in her class academically at her school. She was also recognized for membership in the National Junior Honor Society. While in seventh grade, Allie was selected to receive the Bell Scholarship, which will provide $2000 a year for college. She has won third place in the school science fair two years in a row. Allie is very creative in arts and crafts. As a talented painter, she was named winner of the regional Lion’s Club art contest for Peace and awarded $100. Allie and her sister Vicky also volunteered on a recent weekend at Relay for Life to help raise funds to fight cancer.

At school Vicky has been involved with student government, yearbook, filmmaking, drama, and competitive swimming. As a member of the National Honor Society, she was a school representative at the LEAD Conference in Washington DC in January. Vicky has completed 200 hours of volunteer service, including with BBBS and helping at the local animal shelter. She has also organized school projects and charity events, such as raising money for cancer, participating in Relay for Life, and hosting a food drive for the local outreach organization. As Vicky approaches graduation, with honors, she was accepted by her top two college choices, Appalachian State and UNC-Chapel Hill. She has accepted a full-tuition scholarship to Appalachian State as one of six Wilson Scholars, and will study International Relations and International Criminal Justice, with a minor in Arabic or Middle Eastern Studies. Vicky recently learned of human trafficking hubs in Western North Carolina that seriously put young girls at risk. She hopes to work in the human trafficking department of the FBI or SBI, or as an intelligence analyst and writer for the CIA.

Polk BBBS celebrates three Littles who reached graduation this school year: Vicky Anderson, Russell Kenneth Ruff, and Kesley Warren. Some Littles are obviously self-motivated and need less encouragement, but all are supported and guided to broaden their life experience and make strides while matched with their mentors. Big Brothers Big Sisters is very proud of the achievements of all of our Littles. Congratulations to all!

The 5th annual Have a HeART for Big Brothers Big Sisters opening reception at the Upstairs Artspace was delayed by snow to January 30.  A huge crowd gathered to review more than 100 heArts donated by many talented and generous artists for this silent auction to benefit BBBS. Many thanks to the Upstairs Artspace board and staff for hosting this event. Generous bidders, supporters, and many helpful volunteers to joined us in making this the best year ever!             Thanks to Jim Cornell & Doug Dacey for making the bisque hearts. We are so grateful for our sponsors: Heart of Gold Sponsor – Song Hill Reserve; Opening Reception Sponsor – Walker Wallace & Emerson Realty; Closing Night Sponsors – Dave & Sue Anderson and Anonymous; Bronze Heartwarming Sponsors – Happy Horse Farm, Roger & Joanie Newman, , David & Patty Slater, Tryon Daily Bulletin, Tryon Estates. Heart & Hand Artist Sponsors – The Book Shelf,  Garrison Chapel Baptist Church and Vines & Stuff.

Polk Big Brothers Big Sisters was a charity recipient of the Tour de Leaves 2015 bicycle tour on October 18, with about 200 riders participating!

Special thanks to our friends and neighbors at Soups On, a benefit for BBBS  hosted by Chris and Linda Tinkler.

Bevin Corbin&KD AmLeg donation 3-16 $500.00
Karen Dacey, Polk BBBS Program Coordinator accepts a donation from Bevin Corbin from the American Legion

American Legion Post 250 recently made a generous donation to Polk BBBS from their Friday night bingo proceeds! Thanks to  former BB Darrel Moore of the Veterans Services for arranging the gift, to BS Robin Edgar for initiating it, and to Finance Officer Bevin Corbin.

BOWL FOR KIDS’ SAKE! was held on Saturday, October 29. Thanks to all who helped make it a great success, including Becky Kennedy and her team “The BOWLed & the Beautiful” from the Polk County Democrats. Becky, 2nd from left, again amassed pledges of more than $3000! Teammate Frances Parker, left, came in 2nd with pledges. Warner & Ellen Harvey Zipf rounded out the team.


Michael Baughman of Presenting sponsor Parsec Financial enjoyed bowling with his children Jack & Ellie.

Presenting Sponsor: Parsec Financial; Strike Sponsors: Congregational Church of Tryon, and CooperRiis; Pin Sponsors: Terry Ackerman, Diamond B Energies, Fairfield Mountain Chapel, 

Rob Fuller, Lichty Guitars, Morning Glory Farm, A.Bailey Nager – Attorney at Law, and Jennifer & Roger Smith.

Team Sponsors: Jim Peterman, Stearns Education Center/Polk Schools, John & Cindy Boyle, Musselwhite Electric; Lane Sponsors: Blockhouse Sporthorses/Kocher Family, Dusenbury Insurance Agency, Bobby Gato- Farm Bureau Insurance, The Hare and Hound, Andy & Linda Haynes, Robert Heinrich/WWE, Henson Building Materials, HomeTrust Bank, Alan & Debbie Kearns, Steve & Marie King, Kiwanis Club of Tryon, Sandy McCormack MD, McFarland Funeral Chapel, Main Street Financial Group, Nature’s Storehouse,  North State Gas, PANGAEA Internet, The Purple Onion, St Luke’s Hospital, Blake Smythe, St Luke’s Hospital, Cindy Viehman – Foothills Realty, Walker Wallace & Emerson Realty.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Polk County is funded in part by a generous grant from the Unrestricted Funds of the Polk County Community Foundation.


Area Opportunities:

Felburn Foundation Nature Library, 3161 Hwy 176 next to Caro-Mi, open M-W-F, 12-6, (828) 859-6745, call for info on expanded hours.

The Hendersonville Museum under the old courthouse downtown is free and open on Sundays from 1-5 p.m.

Area hiking opportunities :

Visit for info on exploring area trails with children, including Kid’s Main Street Safari in Rutherfordton. Games, tree climbing, gold hunting and a search through a Civil War cemetery are highlights. Also featured in our region are The Gold Mile and the Historic Downtown Walking Tour in Rutherfordton, Chimney Rock State Park, the Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock, and more.

  • The Norman Wilder Forest for a moderate 2-3 mile hike, Hwy 176 & Tau Rock Vineyard Rd, Tryon.
  • The trailhead to the Blue Wall Preserve is on Dug Hill Road off Lakeshore Drive on Lake Lanier.
  • FENCE has miles of hiking trails.

For updates on regional discounts, visit our organization’s webpage at – Match Central.


Show your Big Brothers Big Sisters ID for the following match discounts on your next outing:

Flat Rock Playhouse – Free tickets for select plays, contact BBBS.

Pearson’s Falls is offering Polk Bigs/Littles free admission  once per year. Present your BBBS ID card at the gatehouse. Pearson’s Falls is open, 10-5 M-Sat, noon-5 Sun. For info visit

Asheville Tourists: Free tickets for Bigs & Littles for Sunday-Wednesday games, excluding fireworks games. To reserve tickets call 253-1470 between 9 a.m. and noon on the day of the game, or between 9 a.m. and noon Friday for a Sunday game. Pick up your tickets at the will call window at the ball field under the Big’s name.

Nantahala Outdoor Center: Whitewater rafting! Big rafts at regular price and Little goes for free. Valid on any Nantahala River rafting adventure including guided, rentals and duckies. Littles must be 7 years old or 60 lbs. Some restrictions may apply. Not valid with any other offer. Reservations required. Call 800-232-7238 and mention code 4BBBS.  Participant must show BBBS ID card at check-in.

Chimney Rock Park: Big buys a ticket to the park and the Little’s is free. Any day of the week.

Flat Rock Playhouse: Limited number of FREE tickets to plays available at the Buncombe, Polk, and Henderson county offices. Call the Flat Rock Playhouse at 828-693-0731 for schedule.

Fuddruckers: Kids under age 12 can eat free from the kid’s menu, with the purchase of an adult entree after 4:00 p.m., Mon.-Wed. You do not need to show your BBBS card.

Fun Depot: 2 hours for $15/person, $20/person for 2 hours w/ pizza & pasta buffet included.

The Hop Ice Cream Cafe: Big pays for item, Little’s item of equal or lesser value is FREE. Bigs will need to show BBBS participant card. 640 Merrimon Ave. (Merrimon Square, Suite 103).

Tarwheels Skateway: Roller Skating, Highway 70 in Swannanoa.  Bigs pay for the skating session but Littles skate free. Bigs – show your BBBS participant card to receive the discount.

Tropical Gardens Mini-Golf: Little plays for free when Big pays.

Ultimate Ice Cream: Big buys a cup/cone of ice cream and the Little’s is free.

Urban Burrito: Littles eat FREE on Tuesday nights!  On Tuesdays after 5:00, Little eats free if the Big Brother/Sister buys a meal. Bigs, just show your BBBS participant card to the cashier when you pay. Offer good at both locations: Merrimon Avenue and Hendersonville Road.

WNC Nature Center: Free admission for Littles when their Bigs show participant cards.

YMCA: Enjoy unlimited visits to the YMCA! Present your YMCA photo ID (or pick up membership applications at our Asheville office).

Asheville Symphony: Matches can attend concerts FREE by contacting (at least a week in advance, please); read about next season’s performances

Check out these regional websites:

Polk County Public Library Online Resources: Freegal: Download free music! Reading Rockets: Reading comprehension and language arts teaching strategies for kids. 
Homework help and other online learning tools from NC LIVE (call the library for password to access resources, 894-8721 Columbus, 749-2117 Saluda),

For homework help via Polk County Library visit:

For more area activities:

More About BBBS Polk County:

Big Couple & Little Brother go fishing!
Big Couple Dale & Wendy McEntire & Little Brother Isaias went fishing!

BBBS Christmas 2015 group copy                                   Polk BBBS Christmas, December 2015

Bigs & Littles celebrated summer fun with a pool party and picnic at Matthew's backyard paradise!Bigs & Littles celebrated summer fun with a pool party and picnic at Matthew’s backyard paradise!

BS Monica, BS Helen, LS Allie, LS Vicky

BS Monica, BS Helen,  LS Allie, LS Vicky

BB Mike, LB Zane, BS Paula

BB Mike, LB Zane, BS Paula

Traditional Program: Volunteers are matched with Littles and develop friendships through outings in the community.

M&M: Volunteers spend one hour a week one-on-one with a student who needs a little extra attention at school. Schools served: O P Earle, Polk Central, Saluda and Tryon Elementary schools.