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Park of the Month – Oak Summit Park

The splash pads may be closed now, but our parks sure aren’t! Oak Summit Park, conveniently located just off University Parkway, is one of many fantastic park options as the weather cools down a bit!

Affectionately known to local children as “the spaceship park”, the large playground is comprised of two rocket-themed play sets and swings. There are also tennis courts, a covered area with picnic tables (It’s reservable, and there’s room for more than 60 people!), grills, a walking track, a play field, and brand new bathrooms! Everything you could hope for in a park is found at Oak Summit.

Address: 350 Oak Summit Road, Winston-Salem, 27105
For more information on shelter reservation and more, call 336-734-1219.

Beers & Bicycles!

From BeersNGears Co-Creator Amy Easter / Written by Mackenzie Cates-Allen

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BeersNGears
BeersNGears is a local social enterprise focused on building bicycle culture in Winston-Salem. Their unique bike events, collaboration with local businesses and support of grassroots cycling advocacy are helping develop a rich and diverse cycling culture in the Camel City. Between the Brag Wagon’s trips worth bragging about, Open Bike Night education series, annual HalloWheels bike festival, and maintenance of the Zagster bike share bikes and other endeavors, they stay busy in the cycling community. And, as you can tell by their name, they also enjoy a cold one after a ride.  Check out the website for more info: http://www.beersngears.com/
Recent & Upcoming events:
WS CAN
Winston-Salem Cycling Advocacy Network, or WS CAN, is an advocacy organization uniting people from all backgrounds to improve cycling infrastructure, policy and education in W-S. Their work with elected officials, City staff, local riders and businesses is helping make Winston-Salem a more bike friendly city.  They hold recurring networking events to help share information about local bike projects and events and connect locals to the people and resources needed to promote safe and convenient cycling in our city. Learn more and join the network here: http://www.wscyclingadvocacynetwork.wordpress.com
Recent & Upcoming events:
  • WS CAN Social(ize) at Foothills Tasting Room – Monday, August 21 (https://www.facebook.com/events/161342534412073)
  • Group ride to see completed Salem Creek Connector, new Quarry Park and Zagster Bike Share Station for demo (more info to come)
FORBA
Forsyth Off Road Bike Association (FORBA) is a group of people dedicated to supporting our local mountain bike trails. Their mission is to collaborate with local riders, organizations and municipalities to create and maintain a variety of sustainable mountain biking trails in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, NC. They hold volunteer trail work days so riders can get their hands dirty helping maintain and enhance local trails and they’re involved in helping shape the future of mountain biking in Winston-Salem and surrounding areas. Learn more about FORBA here:  http://www.beersngears.com/forba/
Recent & Upcoming events:
Amy Easter
BeersNGears
Helping People Discover the Fun, Function and Freedom of Cycling

Winston-Salem – The New Fashion Capital?

From Winston-Salem Fashion Week Founder & Creator Nikita Wallace / Written by Mackenzie Cates-Allen
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What is Winston-Salem Fashion Week?
Winston-Salem Fashion Week is a multicultural community event designed to bring awareness to Winston-Salem’s growing fashion and apparel industry. It is designed to incorporate the visual and performing arts with the fashion and apparel industry. It provides a platform to highlight and promote creativity and innovation in fashion and textiles by designers and industry professionals in and around Winston Salem.
Our goal is to not only make an impact by adding to our visual and performing arts culture, but to GROW the market for local designers and industries and to create job opportunities.
 
What inspired you to create Winston-Salem Fashion Week? 
I was inspired to create WSFW for students aspiring to become models, designers, photographers, editors, in major primary fashion cities that are very competitive, and for adults that had dreams of becoming designers or working in the fashion industry.  From this is mindset, I thought it would be cool to create an avenue where they can be stars and fashion influencers in their own city.
I am excited that the word; and awareness and interest is out in the City of Winston Salem about Winston Salem Fashion Week
FW is more than just fashion shows.  The showcases are designed to build an entrepreneur or designer’s brand; highlight and bring awareness of a new and existing boutiques; build the retail and apparel industry in our and neighboring cities and to provide economic growth.
Do you see Winston-Salem becoming a hot spot for fashion? 
I see WS becoming a Fashion Mecca.  The survey conducted by Sparefoot Blog in 2014, indicated that the women in the City of Winston-Salem spent more money on fashion related items.  If you look around at the various styles of women in the city, the individual take on fashion varies from casual, preppy, business, high-fashion, street wear, athletic, boho-chic to couture. This points to a city full of Fashionistas.
Do you have a role model? 
My role model?  My mother.  I know it’s cliché, but she is a true fashionista, a designer.  She would buy dresses, belts, jewelry to bring them home to reconstruct them.  She is 78 years old and still continues to recreate.
Where did you get this love for Fashion? 
When I was 8 years old, I got a Fashion Plate Kit for Christmas.  I loved creating so many looks.  I still have it today.  And then came the Pointer Sisters and I fell in love with their take on fashion.  That must be the start of my love for fashion.

“Winston Salem Fashion Week is regarded as one of the premier events in the Triad since launching in 2015. Winston Salem Fashion Week is a multicultural community event that provides an opportunity for, but not exclusive to, local designers, artists and professionals in the apparel industry (as well as sponsoring business owners and partners) to showcase their collections and talents while expanding their brands.In 2016, Mayor Allen Joines highlighted the mission and how it fits in with the City of Arts and Innovation.

2017 will feature 10 designers and 6 emerging designers that will present their Fall/Winter or Spring/Summer Collections on the runway by professional models. Eight local retailers will introduce the looks for 2017 Fall/Winter or Spring/Summer 2018.

Come prepared to shop their pop up shops, as well as from some of the Triads high-end boutiques and retailers in the Vendors Gallery.”

A Letter to YOU!

Dear Friend,

Greetings  from the  Twin City.  I  hope you  are doing  well as August is wrapping up.

By now I hope that you have either experienced or heard of the Winston-Salem  Ambassadors!  Created last December  and  active ever since, the Ambassadors  have   made  quite  a  few appearances  and  had  many  a conversation.  Eight  board  meetings,  two  Workshops,  one  SSO4, two Venture  Café  sessions,  one  Results  Junkies (major investors) visit and over one hundred and twenty meetings/lunches/coffee conversations have been  had  with folks  all across the City of Arts and Innovation. If there is one  thing  that we have learned since our inception, it is that a welcoming culture   and   an   open-minded   community   is   greatly   desired.

One thing everyone in Winston-Salem agrees is on is that our community is a wonderful place. The thing that  excites me the most about our city is its  vast  potential for   growth.  In  business, in   residents, in  events , the opportunities  are  not  just  possible,   but probable. To  the Ambassadors, innovation   means keeping  an open  mind  and our most valuable asset is you.  You,  the people  of  Winston-Salem, our friends and colleagues, are what makes  this city  such an amazing place to live in, to work in, to play in and  to talk  about.  Thank you  for  being  a  part of  our  first 8 months.

You can play an even bigger role in the next few months. As a federally tax-exempt, brand-new non-profit, whose mission is to increase awareness of Winston-Salem, we are excited to announce our first fundraising campaign. We   have    entitled   this campaign,       “Shaping Community Through Relationships,”  and  we would   greatly  appreciate  your  financial  support. Enclosed is the information on the campaign and we look forward to working with you for a better today and a brighter tomorrow.

Please remember,  when you  give to the  Ambassadors,  you  give to the whole city!

Most Gratefully Yours,

Mackenzie Cates-Allen

President, Winston-Salem Ambassadors

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WHY GIVE? What can it GO to?? Check it out HERE!

Park of the Month: The Quarry

One of the long awaited events of the summer is almost here… the ribbon cutting and grand opening of The Quarry!

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Location: 2450 Reynolds Park Road

Known as Rock the Quarry, the event will include lunch (free for the first 50 guests), bounce house, raffles and even a yoga class. Click here to download the flyer with full details.

This scenic park has gorgeous views of not just the Quarry but downtown Winston-Salem in the distance. It features plenty of open spaces for fun and relaxation with some very unique benches. Vulcan even donated a rock to use as a marker, and it happens to be the largest one they’ve ever donated.

Below are just a few photos of this amazing park.

For a sneak peek and insiders glance be sure to watch the drone footage shot of The Quarry. More details on the event and The Quarry can be found on the Parks and Recreations site’s online announcement.

Triad Moms on Main

Winston-Salem Parenting Resources: Interview with Triad Moms on Main

There are so many amazing resources out there for parents here in Winston-Salem, including online parenting resource Triad Moms on Main. One great feature we know local parents will love about this resource – it’s completely free!

Triad Moms on Main (TMoM) launched in October 2010 and was founded by local moms Katie Moosbrugger and Rachel Hoeing. The site is “an all-inclusive resource for parents that features daily blogs, directories, a detailed local events calendar, contests and giveaways. Our website explores new topics daily through our blog – from how to find the right school or summer camp for your child, to showcasing local restaurants and birthday party venues.”

While neither Rachel or Katie are originally from Winston-Salem, both have lived here long enough to not just call it home but to call it the city they love to share about. Katie has called Winston home for 13 years and Rachel for 16 years.

They shared with us a little more on their thoughts on Winston-Salem, all the city has to offer and their business Triad Moms on Main.

  1. What is your favorite go to spot in Winston-Salem?

Katie: Going to a Dash game when the weather is beautiful. This is my favorite thing to do with family, friends, and visitors. I love the stadium, and having our city as the back drop to the scenery at a game!

Rachel: When I have friends visiting from out of town I love to take them to Reynolda Village to shop and eat. I also love to walk around Reynolda Gardens. For me personally, I am always at Thruway for something! I also can be found at a local restaurant most days of the week for lunch! (Mozelles, West End Cafe, The Porch, Riverbirch Lodge, Oso Eats, or The Carving Board)

  1. What would you love to see happen in Winston-Salem?

Katie: I’m excited to see the greater downtown area grow and hope that continues with more restaurants (especially ones with sidewalk dining) and more things to do for adults, kids, and families.

Rachel: I would love to see more outdoor music events and festivals that are family friendly.  Our downtown area has grown so much and I love what is happening in Bailey Park and Innovation Quarter. Let’s keep it going!

  1. What role do you see TMoM playing in the Winston-Salem parenting scene?

Katie: It’s our hope that TMoM will continue to be recognized as the go-to source for families to find parenting and local information. As the site continues to grow with readers, we continue to grow with more offerings, and that is what makes TMoM such a helpful community tool.

Rachel: I hope that parents use us as a resource for basically every question they might have! Where can I find a good birthday venue? What’s going on this weekend? What private schools are in the area? What camps are available for my teenager? Where can I find baby and mom groups? What are the best kept secrets in the area for fun things to do?  What are some good ideas for “Me Time” for moms?

  1. Why do you love Winston-Salem?

Katie: What is there not to love about this city? I love how it’s a mid-sized city but it still feels like we live in a small community. I love all the offerings the city has (restaurants, arts, parks, education, growing businesses, etc). I love living close to other cities like Greensboro, Raleigh, Asheboro, etc. I love the access we have to the beach and the mountains. I cannot think of a better place to live!

Rachel: So many reasons!! I was reluctant to move here when I first found out my husband was being transferred, but now I sing Winston-Salem’s praises all the time! Affordable housing market, great neighborhoods, wonderful programs for families, rich in the arts, generally a quiet city but still so much to do, very little traffic, friendly people of all different backgrounds, and a fabulous place to raise children.

Learn more about Triad Moms on Main by visiting their website or find them on Facebook.

The Junior League: Not Just Pearls and Bon-Bons

From Junior League of Winston-Salem (JLWS) President Aimee Rowe / Written by Mackenzie Cates-Allen
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No – we do not just wear pearls & eat bon bons!!! This a HUGE stereotype we have battled for years. JLWS is comprised of women who are committed to giving back to their community. Our members choose to spend a minimum of 40 hours per year volunteering to improve the community, with many members giving significantly more time. We dig in the dirt at Goler Gardens, help read essays for Crosby Scholars, and stuff & deliver backpacks to Cook Elementary School.  This year we will start our partnership with READWS – hosting reading parties within the WS community and we will be helping Family Services with the diaper drive – collecting much needed baby items for new moms & families. The training our members receive enables them to become advocates, catalysts, communicators, and coalition builders. Our volunteers also utilize their JLWS training in their employment, education, and other nonprofit work, making lasting impressions that continue to ripple throughout the city and beyond.

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What is the Junior League?
The Junior League of Winston-Salem, Inc. (JLWS) is an organization of women
committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. JLWS nurtures and educates individuals to build healthier families and a stronger community. JLWS has two main focus areas: educating and mentoring youth from birth to age 18, and addressing women’s health issues, specifically related to nutrition and wellness.

What makes the Junior League different from other women’s organizations?
Each year, JLWS members engage in over 4,000 volunteer hours supporting our
community projects which include BookWORM (Winston on a Reading Mission);
Strong Women, Strong Families; Community Baby Shower; Kids in the Kitchen; and our longest running volunteer placement – Child Abuse Puppet Show – since 1986 volunteers go in to every 3rd grade class in Forsyth County (48 schools in all) and perform a live puppet show teaching kids the importance of telling an adult if they, or someone they know, have been abused – physically or sexually, neglected & our newest vignette about the internet – safety tips while online. These projects and others support our commitment to promoting literacy, mentoring adolescents, and building healthier families. Our current membership is over 700 women, and we train more than 50 new members each year to address the needs of the community and to become dedicated and effective volunteers.

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What do you get for your membership fee ($225 the first year & $150 for active membership)?
– TRAINING – the key word in our mission statement.  We have a committee of volunteers who offer training for members ranging in all areas – financial stability for now & in the long haul, women’s safety & security (self defense), diversity in the workforce & community – are just a few to name.
– OPPORTUNITIES – we have so many different avenues to volunteer.  You can work with children & families in & throughout the Winston Salem community.  You can learn new skills and be on the marketing committee, learn to run a fundraiser, write stories for our publications or challenge the membership with our training opportunities.
– NETWORKING – with over 700 members in our organization you can meet someone from any path of life – college graduates, new-to-Winston, Moms, doctors, nurses, teachers, and so much more.
– FRIENDSHIP – I have met my closest friends through the JLWS.  Like minded women who are hard working, want to give back to the community and love to have fun while doing so.

 

What are you most proud of in your history?
Since its founding in 1923 (the very first junior league in North Carolina), JLWS has been, and continues to be, an integral and instrumental force for positive change in Forsyth County. Kaleideum (formerly The Children’s Museum and SciWorks), The Arts Council, and The Children’s Theatre are all Winston-Salem institutions that were established with the support and financial assistance of JLWS.  We also opened the Ronald McDonald House (originally called the “Rainbow House” until the Ronald McDonald House organization took over).

 

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Who is your role model?
This is a hard one because honestly I am inspired daily by women in our community, in my job, on my board of directors & in my circle of friends. I am in awe of mothers who work, volunteer, cook dinners & put not only their families first but their community as well.  I am motivated by women who have completed their active membership with the JLWS and move on to other organizations – sharing what they have learned through their league work & learn & grow with new opportunities.  I could never name one person and if I could take all of the ladies in my mind & make a super power it would be one hell of a Wonder Woman!

 

As the honored president of this amazing 95 year old organization I am “momma bear proud” of each & every member.  Seeing the new members learn & get excited about who we are & what we do; to the active membership diving in to their volunteer roles – learning new skills while helping the Winston Salem community.  And the sustainer membership who continue to be active role models for the younger members – passing along their knowledge & history while learning from the upcoming members – especially in the social media & tech savvy world!!  These woman work 40 – 60 hours
a week in their paid professions and then spend extra time giving back.  They are not sipping wine & shopping – they are digging in the dirt to collect vegetables for the Downtown Health Plaza; they are collecting books so that every child in Forsyth County will have a book to read & OWN; they are collaborating with Kimberley Park Elementary offering health & wellness clinics, providing a nutritious cooked meal for the families during events & offering dental screenings for children & adults; they are teaching kids how to be healthier while still having fun.

 

There are so many things that the JLWS woman are and NOT what the community view us as – ladies who wear pearls, lunch with friends & eat bon-bons…  98% of our membership works full time – they don’t have time to lunch!  And if they like wearing pearls it’s just because it’s a fashion statement – nothing more!

 

I am so passionate about who we are and what we do!! Our website offers a ton of info too www.jlws.org. 

Park of the Month: Little Creek Neighborhood Center

Photo courtesy of the Recreation and Parks Dept. website

Tucked away off of Jonestown Road is a local gem, Little Creek Neighborhood Center. Complete with a walking track, a softball field, tennis courts, a playground and brand new splash pad, Little Creek is a treasured spot where you can find something for the whole family!

Last year was Little Creek’s first year of hosting an after school program for ages 5-10, and they’re looking forward to keeping that option open for next year. They are also the home to dance classes, workout groups, and family-friendly events every other month, such as Parents’ Night Out, Kite-Making/Flying Workshop, and Noon Year’s Eve.

So if you’re looking for a place to cool off, a family-friendly weekend event, or an after-school program for next year, check out Little Creek Neighborhood Center – it really is just around the corner!More info:

Website: Little Creek Neighborhood Center

Address: 610 Foxcroft Drive, 27103

Supervisor: Jessica Garrett, jessicag@cityofws.org

The Inside Scoop on Winston-Salem’s Parks & Recreation Department: Interview with William Royston

We are very excited to start a new blog series where we will be featuring various people, places and events throughout Winston-Salem!

For our first blog of this Winston-Salem Features series we thought as it’s currently summer it’s only fitting to showcase what outdoor fun our city has to offer. What better place to start than with the Winston-Salem Recreation & Parks Department?

Even longtime residents might not know how big a role recreation and parks plays in our city. Did you know that we have 75 parks in Winston-Salem? Or that the Winston-Salem Recreation & Parks Department maintains and operates over 3,700 acres in our beautiful city?

The reWilliam Roystoncently appointed director of the Winston-Salem Recreation & Parks Department, William Royston, sat down with us and shared some of the great new ideas he has for our parks and recreation department. He and the entire staff are dedicated to help improve our city’s outdoor areas and recreation centers.

Originally from Atlanta, William has called Winston-Salem his home for some time. Prior to being appointed as the director of the department he worked under past director Tim Grant as the Parks Superintendent for ten years. He’s found home in both our Recreation & Parks Department and Winston-Salem, and plays a crucial role in building our community.

William shares, “Winston-Salem is a rich, diverse community. One of the things I love about this city is that even with all of its new developments; we’ve found ways to celebrate everything that makes our city unique.”

He originally got into recreation and parks as a way to give back to communities. He elaborates, “When I was much younger, there were times I wasn’t always an angel. Working in recreation gives me the opportunity and ability to give back to people that I feel I used to take from.” However, getting to work with people he considers ‘some of the brightest minds’ has kept him in the field.

This is an exciting time in the Parks & Recreation Department too. They are putting the recreation & parks bond money, which was approved by voters in 2014, to good use.

One project that we at Winston-Salem Ambassadors are very excited about is The Quarry. According to William, “we think this park will be one of our cities best kept secrets”. This scenic park will portray stunning views of downtown Winston-Salem and surrounding areas as well as feature a fresh water lake, a greenway access and plenty of walking trails. It’s anticipated to open later this month! Here are a couple sneak peek photos to tide you over in the meantime!

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Another great opportunity to stay cool this summer is the many splash pads that have opened recently. These will feature no standing water and are a great way to cool off in the North Carolina heat! Locations that opened this year include: Rupert Bell, Sedge Garden, Hathaway, and Little Creek parks. Be on the lookout for ones to open next spring at Polo and Mineral Springs pools.

For more information on our parks and recreations centers, be sure to visit their website at: http://cityofws.org/Departments/Recreation-Parks