News and Updates

The MACC Amazing Race Challenge

Thursday, October 12, 2017


At center court in the Tug Deason Gym in Stanley, 24 members of 12 Amazing Race teams were full of confidence and ready to be called to the starting line. In the smaller photo below, are 1st-place team winners Brad Wruble and Jerry Liska, in costume, at the finish line. Their prize is a $500 contribution to the Gaston County Boy's & Girl's Club. 

Amazing racers learned a lot about businesses and communities

Through all of the cities and towns of the Montcross area (Stanley, Mount Holly, McAdenville, Lowell, Cramerton and Belmont) and through many shops, restaurants and other businesses, 12 teams of Amazing racers competed to follow clues and solve challenges in the first MACC Amazing Race Challenge. Bragging rights and contributions to winning teams' selected charities provided the motivation.

After a BBQ lunch provided by the Town of Stanley at the Tug Deason Gym, teams went head to head in a basketball-shooting competition to determine starting order. Leaving from center court in 45-second intervals, the race was on, first to Mount Holly and an interactive competition at Discover You and shopping challenges in downtown shops. Next, it was on to McAdenville (aka Christmastown, USA) and a contest to untangle strands of Christmas lights and insert bulbs in McAdenville's prescribed color order.

The Lowell Fire Department provided the next challenge site, with racers competing to don firefighter gear correctly, carry a life-size mannequin and unroll a fire hose. On Goat Island in Cramerton, there were physical challenges in the fitness area. Surprises awaited in Belmont where racers had to find Amazing Race painted rocks in the 5-acre Stowe Park, complete a lengthy scavenger hunt list through downtown shops, and finally don a costume and do jumping jacks in view of the Chamber webcam before dashing for the finish line at 10 Catawba.

Click Here for a list of all teams and sponsors.

See more photos in these Facebook photo albums:

 The Start - The Challenges - The Celebration 


The top three teams in the MACC Amazing Race are shown here (top to bottom) at the starting line in Stanley, the finish line and the awards presentation in Belmont with Chamber Member Services Director Andrea Schrift, who coordinated the event. 

(Click Here to enlarge a printable version of the winning team photos.) 

115 Main Gifts & Provisions in McAdenville

Friday, October 6, 2017

Owner Mona Fore cuts the ribbon at the grand opening celebration for 115 Main Gifts & Provisions, with family members, McAdenville officials, and Chamber members and friends. In the photo below, are Mona and daughter Hannah, who spoke about the new shop at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

Former business office transformed into a beautiful gift shop

The transformation of a low-ceiling office space into a beautiful two-story, rustic brick gift shop is a new must see in downtown McAdenville. Mona Fore is the creative force behind 115 Main Gifts & Provisions, and her McAdenville-born husband Jeff, daughter Hannah and other family members have pitched in.

Chamber members and friends gathered on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, to cut a ribbon, sample delicious food products and to admire and purchase a wide variety of home and gift items available in the shop.

You can purchase packages to make cakes, soups, and many other delicious goodies; you can shop in the boutique; and you can find almost any gift item you can imagine in the 115 Main shop. Here are just a few of the product lines caried at 115 Main Gifts & Provisions: 

  • Mudpie
  • The Giving Keys
  • Laura Janelle
  • Lizzy James
  • Second Nature
  • Plentiful Pantry
  • Hanky Panky
  • Cloistser Honey
  • Rocky Top BBQ Co.
  • Mary Square
  • And Many More ...

See the extensive list of product lines and learn much more at, or call 704.879.7044.

See More Photos on Facebook. (Thanks to John Jacob and Larry Capps for contributing photos.)


The beautiful two-story interior of 115 Main Gifts & Provisions.  

Belmont Eye opens with a bow to building's rich history

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Dr. Bradley Wruble has just cut the ribbon to open his new practice, with former owner Dr. Craig Spangler applauding along with family members, Chamber members and city officials. Holding the ribbon, are Chamber Board Chair-elect Carey Roberts of Carey Roberts Design and Board member Chris Kennedy of Kennedy Business Solutions. 

The small brick building tucked neatly between two restaurants and a bank on Kenwood Street in Belmont has been dedicated to eye care for 60 years. A new era of service began with the grand opening of Belmont Eye on October 5, 2017. Optometrist Dr. Bradley Wruble bought the building from Dr. Craig Spangler, who practiced there for 40 years. A Dr. Sullivan built the building to house his optometric practice in 1957. 

A total renovation was carried out before Dr. Wruble began working in the building recently. Dr. Spangler and his wife Gayle were on hand for the ribbon-cutting, along with the Wrubles, their children and members of both of their families. A large crowd of Chamber members, Belmont city officials and downtown neighbors also attended and enjoyed refreshments provided by Chamber member Peace-N-Hominy Q Shack. 

The practice hours are 8;30 - 5:30 weekdays and Saturdays by appointment. For more information on Belmont Eye, call 704.825.5322, or visit  


New parking spaces cause for celebration in Belmont

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Mayor Pro Tem Martha Stowe has just cut the ribbon along with Charlie Martin and City Council member Ryan Schrift, with City Manager Adrian Miller also in the photo along with other city staff members and members of the Belmont Main Street Board. 

New lot will be welcomed by South Main St. restaurant patrons 

With new retail shops and restaurants opening and more on the way, downtown Belmont patrons have been calling for more parking, and city leaders have responded in a big way. More than 200 new parking spaces have been created in five lots this year.

When work was completed for the most recent new lot, which added 66 spaces on Mill Street behind Sammy's Pub and Old Stone Steakhouse, officials decided it was time to celebrate. The mayor, members of city council, Main Street Board members, the Public Works Department crew and other city staff members gathered for an impromptu ribbon-cutting with assistance from the Chamber of Commerce. 

The newest parking lot is on land where the Belmont Public Works Department was located for many years. Now owned by Pharr Yarns, the city is able to use the property through a lease arrangement. The lot was to be opened to the public for the first time on Friday morning, Oct. 6, 2017, which will be a welcome sight to the many restaurant patrons who flock to that section of Belmont in large numbers especially on weekends, but also on weekdays.

Business Buzz Breakfast

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pitching their businesses at the Chamber breakfast were (seated, from left) Susan Gauff of Lake Wylie Bedding, Jeff Davenport of Davenport Design & Print, Sam Kline of Coldwell Banker Commercial MECA, Jean Penner of Shining Hope Farms, Melissa McAtee of Landmark MD, Billie Wright of Visiting Angels, Suzanne Patz of Patz Promotional Products and Allison Cottingham of Belmont Realty. Standing, from the left, are Heidi Schmidt of Anchored Soul, Joe Giarmo of Open Broadband, Thomas Bailey of The Residence at Tailrace Marina, Sean Walker of Confianz Global, Bill Osborne of Right at Home, Jen Colangelo of Tastebuds Popcorn, Patrick Larkin of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Robert Aldrich of Aldrich CFO Services, Rob Dibble of Ace Learning & Consulting, Ty Ryan of That Loving Space, and Kim Sprenger O'Cain of Kim's Professional Painting. 

Speakers reflected wide variety of Chamber member businesses

Broad diversity among the Montcross Area Chamber member businesses was on full display when the Business Buzz Breakfast program on Sept. 22, 2017, was "Pitch Your Business." Nineteen members presented 90-second pitches describing their business in rapid succession. CaroMont Health is the sponsor of Business Buzz.

Presentations by two of the Chamber's newest members were given by a representative of Open Broadband, a technology firm bringing super-fast gigabit internet service to Gaston County, and also by Anchored Soul, which encourages customers to get out on the lake on a paddle board and also their lines of casual fashion and jewelry.

Click here for a list of all 19 companies, with addresses and phone numbers. 

Business Buzz Breakfasts are held several times each year at the Kimbrell Campus of Gaston College in Belmont. Speakers and others who came out to learn about their fellow Chamber members enjoyed breakfast from Stanton Enterprise/McDonalds. 




Center for Advanced Manufacturing dedicated

Friday, September 15, 2017

After six years of planning and fund-raising, Gaston College officials dedicated an $8 million Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) on Sept. 15, 2017. Located at the entrance to Gastonia Technology Business Park in Dallas, the 21,000-square-foot facility houses labs, where students are learning skills required in the high-tech manufacturing plants of today and tomorrow, such as robotics, computer-aided design, alternative energy, industrial systems technology and many more. Shown cutting the ribbon is Dr. Patricia Skinner, president of Gaston College. Also participating in the ceremony are (from left) Fred Jackson, chairman of the Gaston College Foundation Board of Directors; Dr. Jim Watson, chairman of the Gaston College Board of Trustees; and Virgil Cox, dean of Engineering & Industrial Technologies.  

New Center for Advanced Manufacturing totals 21,000 square feet. 

First MACC Low Country Boil a sellout

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Chamber’s first low country boil was a huge success on Sept. 14, 2017, at the Gaston County Wildlife Club on Lake Wylie, with a sellout crowd of more than 100 attending. Saltwater Markets provided the meal and major sponsors included Creative Solutions Special Events, Gaston County Jaycees, Carey Roberts Design, York Chester Brewing and Gaston Arts Council. Sponsor representatives are shown in the photo above. In front, are Shannon Thomas and Lauren Taylor of presenting sponsor Creative Solutions Special Events. Others, from left, are dessert sponsor Carey Roberts of Carey Roberts Design, beer sponsor Jarvis Roberts of York Chester Brewing, Brad Thomas of Creative Solutions, Traci Burries of table sponsor Stanton Enterprise/McDonalds, Chamber President Ted Hall, artist sponsor Kim George of Gaston Arts Council, entertainer  Caleb Davis, Andrea Schrift of title sponsor Gaston County Jaycees; and table sponsor Ryan Schrift of R.J. Schrift Private Asset Management. The Chronicle Mill and Choice USA Vending also were table sponsors.  

Please thank our sponsors

  • Creative Solutions Special Events - Presenting Sponsor
  • Gaston County Jaycees - Title Sponsor
  • Carey Roberts Design - Dessert Sponsor 
  • York Chester Brewing - Beer Sponsor
  • Gaston Arts Council - Artist Sponsor
  • Table Sponsors: The Chronicle Mill - Choice USA Vending - R.J. Schrift Private Asset Management - Stanton Enterprise/McDonalds  


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