Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

Heroes come in many form

SuperI recently read a book entitled Hollywood Kryptonite about the life and tragic death of Hollywood actor George Reeves. Reeves is perhaps better known as the “Man of Steel” – the actor who played Superman in the 1950 television series – The Adventures of Superman.

Many of the kids in my neighborhood would gather around their TV sets at 3:30 in the afternoon after school to see Superman, typically rescuing Lois Lane and Jimmy Olson, as he fought to preserve “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.”

My mother even went so far as to sew capes for a little boy in the neighborhood and myself as we pretended to be super heroes. While we couldn’t fly, we did jump on our Schwinn bikes, our bright red capes blowing in the wind as we pedaled from neighborhood to neighborhood, secure in the notion we were real American super heroes.

This past month, a different set of heroes emerged at Lake Norman. They didn’t don red capes and blue tights with a big yellow letter “S” on their chest.  But they were actual heroes none the less.

A community forum was held at CPCC Merancas Campus to discuss community policing and bringing our community closer together. A national unrest between law enforcement and the community at large is playing out in communities across the nation.  While the major protests have not been as widespread in our region, panelists comprised of our Davidson and Huntersville Police Chiefs along with CPCC, Charlotte Police, and FBI did share the “real fear minorities have of law enforcement.”

It took courage to open up about how an African American man feels being stopped by a white police officer at night at a routine traffic stop or the deep wounds of racial prejudice, which could have occurred decades ago, but are still lurking under the surface today.

Pic 7 Splash Pad

Huntersville Mayor John Anerall, Kiwanis Governor Dawn Hodges, and Bill Russell – Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce 

Just a week later, community, business, and elected leaders gathered at the Splashville Park as the Lake Norman Kiwanis and the Town of Cornelius PARC Department unveiled a new Splash Pad in Smithfield Park. The Kiwanis Club, assisted by the Park Board, have raised nearly $150,000 in donations for the recreational attraction.

The driving force behind the Splash Pad is Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla. John was president of the Kiwanis Club several years ago when the Kiwanis looked at creating a water park for children. Ironically, the club which is for the most part made up of Caucasians, chose to locate the park in a predominantly African American neighborhood in Cornelius – Smithfield. It also wasn’t lost on me at the dedication of the park, the corporate donations which came from Huntersville and Davidson for this regional collaboration.

This month, the Lake Norman Chamber will recognize Corporations, Small Businesses, Non-profits, and Individuals who both practice and promote diversity in the workplace at our Annual Diversity Luncheon to be held Thursday, September 15th at River Run Country Club in Davidson.

These Champions of Diversity are working to bring our community and region together when so many others still seek to drive us apart. Overcoming prejudice and racism is a daunting task. Many of us still wrestle with generational attitudes when it comes to race, gender identity, cultural, and even generational diversity.

We all need to take to heart the words of Mother Teresa who said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

Fifty years after watching my first Superman episode, I’ve come to realize it doesn’t take a man of steel who can leap tall buildings or be faster than a locomotive to be a genuine hero.  It can come in the form of a civic club member, police officer, or community volunteer who simply wants to leave their community better than they found it.

Heroes are just everyday people. They may not be able to change the world but they can impact one life at a time. Creating ripples which speak to our hearts and forever touch our souls.

Bill Russell

September 1, 2016 Posted by | Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Social Causes | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Special Events will again take Center Stage at Lake Norman Chamber’s Business Expo

Expo is Monday March 5th at Davidson College Belk Arena

A dance exhibition will be featured at the expo

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo will be held Monday, March 5, 2012 at the Davidson College Belk Arena (200 Baker Street, Davidson, NC) 10 am until 5 pm.  There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend.  This year’s event features 135 businesses and 25 non profit civic clubs, human service organizations, and regional attractions.

Bill Russell, president of the chamber of commerce, says business is bouncing back as the Expo has filled up and organizers are adding additional booths for vendors.  “We are excited to have some of our real estate and home builders back that we were missing in the last couple of years,” says Russell.  “We are also lining up some great activities both at the Expo and the post event wrap up.  The chamber invites everyone, whether a local business owner or employee, as well as seniors and stay at home mom and dad’s, to participate in the region’s largest business trade show.”

This year‘s Business Expo will feature dancers from the Havana Banquet and Ballroom giving demonstrations at 11 am and 2 pm.  There is also a Business Fashion Show taking place at 1 pm that will involve area elected leaders and business executives.  The show coordinated by Vickie Stevens includes area boutiques such as The Olive Branch, Le-Mu-El Woman’s Couture & Design Boutique, Peek-A-Boo Couture, Sanary Alba Boutique, The Fashoenista, Designing Brides, Classic Bride & Formals, Savvy Salon, and Halo Salon.

Models for the show include North Carolina Senate candidates Cornelius Mayor Jeff Tarte and John Aneralla, Cornelius Commissioners John Bradford and Dave Gilroy, Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain and Commissioner Melinda Bales, Davidson Commissioner Laurie Venzon, business leaders Arlene Arciero, Bill Ellison, and Bill Russell as well as the Miss Lake Norman and Junior Miss Lake Norman.

Approximately two dozen non-profits will be present including the Carolina Raptor Center, Davidson Community Players, Latta Place Plantation, SCORE, and civic groups such as the Kiwanis, Lions, and Rotary Clubs among others.

To encourage public participation, Best Buy in Mooresville has donated a 42″ Insignia – Plasma Flat screen television.  Guests will be encouraged to visit at least twenty-five percent of the exhibitors, getting cards initialed from the exhibitors, and then turning in the cards at the registration table.  A $1 donation will be solicited (not required) for the Chamber’s Junior Leadership Lake Norman program – a nine month program the chamber conducts for high school juniors

Exhibitors and guests will also be invited to a special post event reception at The Flatiron Kitchen & Taphouse located at 215 S. Main Street in Davidson from 6 to 8 pm.  Appetizers will be furnished along with a cash bar as the business to business networking continues in a relaxed atmosphere

For more information, visit the Lake Norman Expo website at or call the Lake Norman Chamber at 704-892-1922.

February 29, 2012 Posted by | Chamber of Commerce | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments