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In 2016 LLCEF commemorated the first graduating class of the Lake Lure Classical Academy with two “Momentum Scholarships” each in the amount of $2500. The scholarship seeks to help deserving students who have a sincere desire to pursue higher education, but who have financial need that puts them at risk for successfully enrolling in or completing such a program. The program may be a 4-year academic degree, but may also include an associate’s degree, a career certificate program, or apprenticeship program that may be provided by a community college or a technical college.

LLCEF plans to present at least one Momentum Scholarship to a deserving senior in 2017, with the hopes of making it an annual award.  Please check back for more details soon!

During the year 2016, LLCEF President, April Young, brought to the attention of the board that Rutherford County is one of the few counties in North Carolina that does not have an Adult Literacy Council. A literacy council is an independent community-based literacy program that increases comprehensive literacy and English language skills in adults through specialized instruction by trained tutors and providing access to literacy resources at no cost to clients. In her position as Director of the Rutherford County Library System, April is uniquely aware of the number of adults who are functionally illiterate or lack sufficient English language skills.

Literacy skills are crucial for activities the rest of us can take for granted like filling out job applications, understanding pill bottle labels and helping children with homework. These become a daily struggle for adults with low literacy skills. There is a direct link between low literacy skills and public assistance, which includes children living in poverty, and the increasing prison populations. Literacy is one of our greatest weapons in the ongoing struggle between a person succeeding or failing. 
Without literacy, adults struggle to reach their full potential as individuals, parents, employees and United States citizens.

As a board we have taken steps to partner with Isothermal Community College and the Rutherford County Library System on an initiative to create a Rutherford Literacy Council. To that end, funds have been allocated to allow for training of ten volunteers. This “train the trainer” class is provided through the Buncombe County Literacy Council. Once trained, these ten people will in turn be able to train other volunteers eager to help adults to gain the skills they need.

If you are interested in getting involved in our Rutherford County Literacy Initiative please contact us at or (828) 351-9930.

We’ve recently signed up with to allow our friends to donate to our Lake Lure Community Education Foundation just by shopping!  If you go to, you can select LLCEF to be your designated charity.  Every time you log into and shop, will donate a portion of your sale total to our charity – it’s simple and free!  Please sign up today!


Lake Lure Classical Academy graduating seniors Jacob Lyda (front right) of Gerton, and Sarah Scholes (front left) of Rutherfordton, are the recipients of two $2500 Momentum Scholarships awarded by the Lake Lure Community Education Foundation (LLCEF). The Foundation instituted the scholarship as a means to celebrate the first graduating class from the charter school. The scholarships were awarded through a three-part process of teacher recommendation, student application, and student interviews. The winners were revealed at the Senior Banquet held Friday evening, June 3.  LLCEF Board Member and Scholarship Committee Chair Esther Lusk (front right) presented the awards.  (Also pictured, from left to right, LLCEF Board Members Todd Morse, Jim Rhodes and Sam Karr)

The Momentum Scholarship is designed to insure that selected students who have built momentum in high school are provided the chance to increase that momentum after graduation, with the ideal of maintaining momentum for lifelong learning. The scholarship may be applied toward a 4-year academic degree, but may also include an associate’s degree, a career certificate program, or apprenticeship program that may be provided by a community college or a technical college.

LLCEF congratulates these impressive students and wishes them well in their future educational experiences.



On Wednesday, March 9, 2016, the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge will sponsor a Mardi Gras in March  party at Roosevelt Hall (behind the Lake Lure Inn).  The event will go from 6:30 PM – 10 PM.  Proceeds from the event will benefit Lake Lure Classical Academy and The Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge.

Party-goers will enjoy an authentic Taste of the Gorge Cajun buffet including Etouffee, Jambalaya, Bourbon Chicken, red beans and rice, New Orleans salad, with authentic King Cake for dessert.  Soft drinks, tea and bottled water will be available.  Buffet food items are being prepared by our local restaurants in the Gorge, including Medina’s, Point of View, Lake Lure Grill, Esmeralda and the Lake House Diner.

Dance the night away to the sounds of Bayou Diesel – back by popular demand!  There will be a silent auction, off-the-wall opportunities to earn your beads and prizes for best costumes.

Eat, drink, be merry!

Tickets are $50 per person and on sale at April’s Boutique in Chimney Rock and the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge office in Lake Lure (next to Carolina Trust Bank).

Contact:  April Sottile (321) 506-1720; or

The Chamber (828) 625-2725;

Sponsorships are still available – a great way to support our local school and chamber!  Please click on this link to download the form and fill it out – .  Contact Laura Deaton at (828) 429-3455 or for more details.

Come out in full Mardi Gras regalia to celebrate Fat Tuesday and raise funds for the new Lake Lure Classical Academy! This Raise the Roof fund-raiser is presented by the Lake Lure Smokehouse on Saturday, March 7 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa’s Roosevelt Hall.

Tickets are $50 each with 100% going directly to Raise the Roof for Lake Lure Classical Academy. They can be purchased at these locations in Lake Lure or by emailing

April’s Boutique
828-436-7004 or 321-506-1720
The Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge
Tim Turner

LLCEF is grateful to our community partners and all of the generous sponsors that have made this event possible!


Lake Lure Professionals Realty Group – Keller Williams-Lake Lure

1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa

WNC Professional Engineers & Surveyors

Todd & Melinda Morse

Carolina Trust Bank (New Lake Lure Branch Opening Soon)


Lake Lure Electric 

Lake Lure Golf Club

Lake Lure Classical Academy will begin classes on Wed., August 20th. The school has been featured in the news lately as this will be the last year at its temporary campus. LLCA will be break ground on its new building in September and move into its new facility in August 2015!

The Lake Lure Community Education Foundation is proud to partner with the school as it gears up for groundbreaking and beyond!

This article highlights the school’s momentum and growth: Times-News article.

Lake Lure, NC—June 10, 2014—In May of 2014, the Lake Lure Community Education Foundation (LLCEF) partnered with Lake Lure Classical Academy (LLCA) to host the Raptors Toga 5K and Fun Run and build an Arts Collaborative that participated in the Lake Lure Arts and Crafts Festival. Both initiatives raised money for LLCA and highlighted the school’s commitment to physical fitness for its students and growing its already robust art program. LLCEF promotes and financially supports the expansion of education and sustainable learning in Lake Lure and the surrounding community.

LLCEF board president Todd Morse was overwhelmed by the community’s generosity in supporting this race. “Thanks to our charitable sponsors and door prize providers, along with our enthusiastic runners, we were able to increase our net proceeds from last year to help support our community school,” explains Morse. Part of the Rutherford Outdoor Coalition Race Series, this event brought out athletes of all ages and abilities and was followed by LLCA’s annual “Spring Fling,” a PTO-hosted event held at Morse Park.

A week later at the Lake Lure Arts and Crafts Festival, LLCEF board member Liani Foster and LLCA’s art teachers—Layne Long and Allyse Ingraham—exhibited a collection of art created by the students at LLCA as part of a newly developed Arts Collaborative. This partnership brings together local artists that take a mentorship role in working with LLCA students to create Appalachian-inspired art. Jewelry, picture frames and photography were sold at the booth with proceeds benefiting the school. “Our goal is to celebrate our artistic heritage and pass it on to the next generation.” Foster explains, “It has truly been a pleasure working with the dedicated art teachers and students at Lake Lure Classical Academy.”

LLCEF is now turning its focus to helping “Raise the Roof” for LLCA as the school embarks on building a new campus. While a bond will fund construction for the new school building, LLCEF is proactively developing a fundraising campaign to help “finish out” the campus with necessary facility upgrades designed to help the Lake Lure Classical Academy Raptors truly soar to new heights.

LLCEF is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports and grows educational opportunities in Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge. Its primary focus is to partner with worthy learning projects and organizations in the community to improve education and quality of life for all in the greater Lake Lure area. To learn more about Lake Lure Community Education Foundation, visit

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