Up & Coming Weekly

July 14, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 16 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 16 UCW JULY 15-21, 2020 Hope Mills News & Views There's something new to cheer about in Hope Mills, both in the literal and figura- tive sense. Tammy Melvin-Carlile, Angela Fitzgerald and Jasmine Lyles have united to open Legacy Athletics at 2824 Legion Rd. The trio took over the facility in May and after making some upgrades to the building, opened for regular hours effective Monday, July 6. Melvin-Carlile said the goal of Legacy Athletics is to provide an affordable gym experience that will cater to cheerleading, dance, gymnastics and tumbling, along with programs designed for special needs people of all ages who would like to take part in the kind of activities the facility offers. All three of the new owners have exten - sive backgrounds in the various disciplines the gym will offer. In addition to providing instruction in cheer and dance, they plan to include yoga as well as allow the gym to be rented out for birthday parties or by the hour for outside cheer groups and dancers who just need a place to practice their craft. Fitzgerald said there will be no limits on the age groups that can utilize the facility. At the same time, they'll accept people from all levels of expe - rience — from newcomers to people who have been involved in any of the activities for years. Fitzgerald said the inside of the building is every little girl's dream, designed to leave them wide-eyed and open-mouthed. The primary workout area features a spring floor with carpet-bonded foam. There is also a 30-foot tumble track along with vari - ous types of equipment, including training mats and materials for stretching. The special-needs programs aren't designed for competition but will allow the participants to take part in routines and exhibitions. Current hours are Mondays from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For those who want to use the gym just as a workout space or to practice with a team not being trained by one of the gym staffers, the gym can be rented on an hourly basis. Lyles said the gym can also be used by home schoolers as a place to earn their phys - ical education credit. For further details on rentals, scheduling spe- cial events and finding out more about fees, call the gym at 910-229-2762. Legacy Athletics opens for cheer/gymnastics by EARL VAUGHAN JR. EARL VAUGHAN JR., Senior Staff Writer. COMMENTS? EarlUCWS- ports@gmail.com. 910-364-6638. NEWS It was during preparations for last year's Heroes Homecoming observance in Hope Mills that Jim Blevins of the town's Veterans Affairs Committee made a troubling discovery. While working with the flags behind the town's veterans memorial on Rockfish Road, one of the nylon ropes snapped. Blevins said committee members quickly realized they needed to perform regular maintenance and function checks on various aspects of the veterans memorial. As part of that process, one of the things they put on a to-do list was to spruce up the appearance of the 105mm howitzer that is part of the memorial. The retired weapon was a staple of American field artillery from the time of World War II all the way through the conflict in Vietnam. According to army.mil, it was the pri- mary field artillery weapon used by the Army during World War II and is still in use in some parts of the world today. Blevins said another member of the Veterans Affairs Committee who helped paint the howitzer, Grilley Mitchell, estimated it's been as long as 15 years since the gun had gotten a fresh coat of paint. Blevins and other members of the committee first used sandpaper to remove the old paint that was badly oxidized and peeling. They tried to get some traditional OD green Army paint from an official source but were unsuccessful. But another committee member, Bill Greene, was able to secure several spray cans of the official Army shade and it was used to put a new coat on the howitzer. "As long as we stuck to OD green, that's the main thing, just the painting for now,'' Blevins said. Other members of the Veterans Affairs Committee who helped refurbish the howitzer were Joanne Scarola and Jim Morris. The next big project for the committee is going to take a little more effort, not to mention more money. The monument at the veterans memorial has some cracks in it, and some of the seals are worn as well. Blevins estimates the repair project will run in the neighborhood of $13,000. While there is some money in the town budget to pay for the repairs, Blevins said the Veterans Affairs Committee doesn't want the town to have to foot the entire bill. He said the committee hopes to work with the local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts to come up with a variety of fundraising projects to help cover the cost of repairing the monument and other projects the committee may promote in the future. Ideas being considered are allowing people to purchase pavers that will be placed some- where at the veterans memorial, along with building a fence at the memorial and letting people pay to have signs placed along it sponsoring sections of the fence. Blevins said the most important thing is to keep the park alive and in good shape to properly honor the veterans from the community. "That's our military heritage to the people that came before us,'' said Blevins, who is retired Air Force. "It's to honor them and hopefully pass it on to the next generation.'' Veterans Committee spruces up artillery piece by EARL VAUGHAN JR. The retired howitzer was a staple of American field artillery from World War II all the way through the conflict in Vietnam. Photo credit : Elizabeth Blevins Legacy Athletics opened for regular hours on Monday, July 6.

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