Sandy Ridge News

Carolyn Craig - Sandy Ridge News

If you didn’t make it to the bluegrass singing at The Community Center, you missed some awesome performances. Swift Creek were great, and The Molly Rose Band was awesome. Mark Hudson sang Roger Miller’s song “Dang Me”. You had to be there. Bill Hutchens made an appearance, and hopefully we can get his group booked soon. Don’t forget that we have bluegrass music the second Saturday of every month.

Sympathy is extended to the family of J. R. Joyce who passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at Baptist Hospital. He was 83. J. R., you will greatly missed by everyone at Oak Ridge Baptist Church and also in the community.

Annie Mae Mabe will be spending four days this week in Baptist Hospital. She will be having treatment for melanoma cancer on her eye. Also, Debra Watkins underwent surgery last week and is back home. Please call or go by and visit these two ladies, and hope you get well soon.

Madeline Watkins has news from Delta United Methodist Church. Every third Sunday they have “Praise and Worship Service.” On Sunday, Feb. 21 the Oak Ridge Youth Choir will be performing, and service begins at 5 p.m. Also, on Feb. 28 Sunday Matinee returns as they show the movie, “War Room”. This is a faith based drama about the power of prayer in family life. Popcorn and drinks will be served, and everyone is welcome.

I had an anonymous call from a very nice lady who would not give her name. She was bragging on Alan Hall, and said she is so thankful for this wonderful and nice man who is willing to help out in the community. He takes care of water problems and helps out all he can when anybody needs assistance. She said that a loved one was killed, and he went to the hospital with the family and stayed the entire time.

In case all you ladies are unaware, Danbury Library is compiling the Danbury Community Cookbook. They are in need of tried and true recipes, and please include where you got the recipe or the story behind it. You may drop off the recipes at the library or e-mail to To pre-order a cookbook, call the library at 593-2419.


A lot of times when I ask someone if I can ask them some questions for my article, they will say, “Me? Why? My life is so insignificant.” I always tell them that everyone has a story. And this lady, Donna Mitchell, definitely has a story to tell. I felt like we were old friends after I hung up the phone.

She was born March 22, 1953 at Women’s Hospital in Winston-Salem to Clayton and Peg Moorefield. She was raised in Sandy Ridge her whole life in the Northview community. Her Mom still lives in the area; however, her Dad passed away in 2001. She is the oldest of seven children; she has four brothers

and two sisters. She attended Lawsonville Elementary and graduated from North Stokes in 1971. She received a teaching degree from Greensboro College in 1975.

Donna met her husband, Ronnie, at Oak Ridge Baptist Church through her cousin. In his senior year, Ronnie was paralyzed due to Guillain-Barre Syndrome. He was hospitalized and was actually on a respirator for a while. He eventually learned to walk again, but took a full year to recover. She said she went to see him every single day. They continued to date while she was away at college. She would come home by bus from Greensboro to Madison every week and would walk to the throwing plant where her Dad worked. Ronnie would always take her back to college on Sunday. After dating for over six years, Donna married her high school sweetheart on June 7, 1975. Donna’s son, Adam (age 35) is married to Kelly and they live in Tobaccoville. They have a son, “Smalls” who is eleven months. Her daughter, Amanda (age 28) is married to Matthews and lives in SC.

Donna opened the first fully funded kindergarten at Sandy Ridge in 1975 where she taught for 31 years. She retired June 5, 2008, but continues to tutor two days a week. I asked her why she chose teaching as her career; and she said, “I have always loved kids. I can’t remember not wanting to teach.”

When her husband died in 2005, she said, “I lost a part of me. I was married to the most wonderful and godly man.” Since then she has reconnected and travels with some of her college friends. She also travels with a church group from Winston-Salem and has been to NY where she got to see the Statue of Liberty for the first time. They are planning a trip to Norfolk in April. She also travels with her family to their favorite vacation spot at Emerald Isle; but, her dream vacation would have to be a trip to Niagara Falls.

Donna says that church is a big part of her life. She is a member at Oak Ridge Baptist Church where she sings in the choir. She has been a member of the NC Baptist Disaster Relief Team since 2008. She has traveled to TX and assisted victims of Hurricane Ike as well as Manteo and then to NJ to assist after the massive damage from Hurricane Sandy.

A little known fact about Donna, (well, I have two); she sang for the first time before a crowd at her first grade Christmas program. She performed, “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”, because she really had two front teeth missing. She also is afraid of water and cannot swim. So, when Ronnie surprised her on their 25th wedding anniversary with a cruise to the Bahamas, she said, “no way.” And then, when they got to the ship and she saw how huge it was, she again said, “I’m not getting on that ship.” And husband, Ronnie, said, “Oh yes you are. I have already bought the tickets.” But, when all was said and done, she really enjoyed the trip.

I asked Donna, as I do everyone; who would like to have dinner with just one more time. I already knew the answer before she told me, “Ronnie.”

Donna enjoys scrapbooking and is currently scanning pictures for a scrapbook for Oak Ridge Baptist Church’s 150th anniversary. She also embroiders and reads anything by her favorite author, Karen Kingsbury, and second would be Nicholas Sparks. Her TV may be on, but only to lessen the silence; but, if NCIS is on, she will sometimes watch that. She said, “I do everything I do at church and for the

disaster relief team in order to serve the Lord. He provides me with the means to do all I do, and without Him, I would never have gotten through losing Ronnie. I need to be needed, and church and the kids at the school fulfill that need.

Thank you, Donna, for taking the time to let us get to know you better. I enjoyed our conversation immensely.


“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

—John Quincy Adams

Presidents’ Day was Monday, Feb. 15, and is an American holiday celebrated on the 3rd Monday in Feb. Originally established to honor President George Washington, it is now a day to honor all presidents past and present.


Slow Cooker Taco Joes

3 lb. lean (at least 80%) ground beef

1 can (16 oz.) Old El Paso Refried Beans

1 can (10 oz.) Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce

1 pkg. Old Paso Taco Seasoning Mix

1 jar (16 oz.) Old El Paso Thick ‘N Chunky Salsa

25 hot dog or bratwurst buns, split

3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

3 cups shredded lettuce

2 large tomatoes, chopped (2 cups)

12 oz. sour cream

Cook beef over medium heat until brown; drain. Place in slow cooker and stir in beans, sauce, seasoning mix and salsa. Cover and cook on low for 4 – 6 hours. Serve on bun; top with cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream.

Strawberry Icebox Cake

3 lbs. strawberries, sliced

1 box Honey Graham Crackers

3 each 8 oz. tubs Cool Whip

Spread a thin layer of Cool Whip in 9 x 13 pan just to coat the bottom. Layer 5 crackers across the center of the pan; then 2 more breaking them as needed to fit around the top and bottom edges. Spread a thick layer of Cool Whip (use remaining Cool Whip from 1st step) and top with layer of sliced strawberries. (1 lb.) Place crackers on top, then Cool Whip and then strawberries. Repeat layers one more time (3 times total). Finish with a layer of sliced berries. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight until crackers have softened completely. Serve chilled.

Contact Carolyn Craig at 336-341-8707, or e-mail, if you have Sandy Ridge news.

Carolyn Craig

Sandy Ridge News

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