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Save the date:  October 12, 2019  Bethel Half Marathon and 5K Race

BRCO News and Events

The WNC Communities Organization  held it 69th Honors Award Ceremony on November 3, 2018 at the Biltmore's Double Tree Hilton Hotel.  Out of more than sixty organizations throughout western North Carolina, BRCO was one of only three to win the "Community of Disctinction" award--the most prestigious that is given out.  

Click the link below to view or download the Community Achievements from the 2018 WNC Honors Awards.  This document highlights a few of the best practices from each of the 64 community centers/clubs that submitted an application to this year's program.

Susan and John Baxley recognized for the 10 years of service as BRCO's treasurer and secretary.  


At the November 13, 2018 general meeting, BRCO President Carroll Jones presented a certificate of appreciation and a Lenoir's Creek Farm art print to Susan and John Baxley.  Susan has served as secretary and John has served as treasurer of the organization for the past 10 years.  

All general meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. with a pot luck supper, followed by a program and business meeting.


January 8

March 12

May 14

July 9

September 10

Novemberr 12

2019 Meeting Dates

BRCO Releases Sunburst and Other Logging Operations in the Bethel & Cold Mountain Region DVD

Bethel Rural Community Organization (BRCO) is releasing its five-year-in-the-making Sunburst and Other Logging Operations in the Bethel & Cold Mountain Region DVD on December 12. Copies are available at Blue Ridge Books, through the BRCO website at www.bethelrural.org, or by calling 828-648-3226. Douglas Chambers (dougchambers.net) is the videographer/editor. Evelyn Coltman is the producer and Craig S. Messer is the narrator. Sponsors include the following: Carol Litchfield, Evergreen Packaging, Blue Rooster Southern Grill, Lake Logan Conference Center, Peak Dentistry, Nancy Armstrong/Jim Lynn, Evelyn and Richard Coltman, and Maria and Carroll Jones. The production is dedicated to the memory of Horace M. Green. Sunburst was one of the largest and most significant logging villages in the region during the early 20th Century with ties to the founding of Champion Paper and Fiber Company, now Evergreen Packaging. The historic village was situated in the area where Lake Logan exists today. The Sunburst documentary consists of four parts: Origins of Sunburst, Life in Sunburst, Logging Lifestyle and The End of Sunburst, and Sunburst’s Legacy. The DVD also includes segments on logging before and after Sunburst as well as special features. Collecting historical data about the iconic logging industry that carved pathways through the early 20th Century Western North Carolina mountains as well as detailing current wood products operations, BRCO has created an impressive documentary worthy of attention by historians and scholars while also being of interest to the anyone interested in local history. Twenty participants, including two with life experience connections to Sunburst, appear on the DVD: Lorna Ashe, Phyllis Barnett, Wayne Carson, Rose Earnest, Horace M. Green, Zac Guy, Cheryl Haney, Danny Heatherly, Harold Heatherly, Carroll Jones, Gerald Ledford, Mike McLean, Susan Merrill, Ann Melton, Lewis Oats, Jr., Bruce Pace, Pat Powell, Sam Powell, Mark Rogers, and Maude Rogers. Musical group Possum on A Whale provides 14 songs for the video. Wide-ranging oral and documented historical accounts include topics such as business and social life in the village and logging camps, the Biltmore Forestry School, the association with Inman Chapel, African American involvement, train and rail history relating to the village and logging operation, as well as the Champion connection to the story. In addition, Zac Guy with Appalachian Antique Hardwoods details his family history with the wood products industry. Harold Heatherly, Carroll Jones, Pat, and Sam Powell take the viewer to the East Fork of the Pigeon River, the Lenoir’s Creek Farm, and the heights of Cold Mountain to discuss the Lenoir and Powell family logging operations. Danny Heatherly details how his family connection with the Powell family hardwood lumber business led to his own current innovative wood-product company in Bethel: BarkClad. BRCO is recognized for its affinity for collecting history as well as for the professionalism of its documentation. The NC Society of Historians has presented BRCO’s Historic Preservation Committee with three state history awards for its Legends, Tales & History of Cold Mountain, Books 1-6 by Evelyn Coltman, Walking in the Footsteps of Those Who Came Before Us DVD, and From New College to Springdale DVD. In addition, the Historic Preservation Committee developed the Cold Mountain Heritage Driving Tour CD as well as The Sunburst Sessions CD by Possum on a Whale. The CDs and DVDs are all produced by Douglas Chambers Productions and are available through BRCO’s website.

We have currently sold out of the Sunburst DVDs.  DVDs will be available for purchase in mid-February 2019.  

Bethel Rural Community Organization (BRCO) Race Award Medallion

BRCO is accustomed to awarding accomplished individuals, particularly students whose talents and capabilities are noteworthy. The typical BRCO student recognition is a scholarship, citizenship, or math award. BRCO tapped Lucas Cody, a student at Pisgah High School, however, because of his artistic capabilities. BRCO’s 5K/Half Marathon Race Committee selected Cody to develop a template for the medal that was awarded to every participant who crossed the finish line in the recent Bethel Half Marathon Race. Mud Dabbers Pottery and Crafts used Cody’s template to create a blue medallion that cleverly juxtaposes features that appear to be a tennis shoe from one perspective and a mountain range whose base is filled with trees from another angle. The shoe, a runner’s symbol, is appropriate for the race while the mountain range is a suitable representation of the lofty heights surrounding the race course in Bethel Community. Cody is not a novice in the awards department. Haywood Waterways Association selected Cody’s environmentally-focused design for its Kids in the Creek t-shirt. Cody anticipates a future in advertising and marketing, a field that will allow him to use his considerable creative skills. Race Committee Chair, Lucas Sorrells, states that this race is a particularly appropriate venue for showcasing Cody’s talents since this October 13 event celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Bethel Half Marathon. The organization’s chief fundraiser is the oldest half marathon in the state and the third oldest in the Southeast. The race is touted as the flattest and most beautiful half marathon in the region, is on the Grand Prix Race circuit, and is USATF certified so that runners can set national time records.

Lucas Cody

BRCO Race Award Medallion designed by Lucas Cody