Author Archives: Todd Morse

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.

A drawing will be held on May 10, 2014 to win 7 silver dollars from 1880, 1887, 1889, 1896, 1922, 1923 and 1976 along with five $1.00 silver certificates – or you can choose to take a crisp, uncirculated, newly redesigned $100 bill instead!

The cost is $10 per ticket and only 60 tickets are available.

25% of proceeds go to to Chimney Rock Village (as part of the Springo event) and 45% goes to Lake Lure Classical Academy.

For more information and tickets, please contact Stephen Webber at 828-674-3582.