Mountain Area Information Network Mountain Area Information Network
Mountain Area Information Network Mountain Area Information Network
Home / Community Network News / MAIN 5th Anniversary
Short List:
Nonprofit websites hosted on MAIN
MAIN celebrates five years serving community in WNC

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project 
Asheville Area Mothers of Multiples 
Asheville Bravo Concerts 
Asheville Christian Academy 
Asheville Department of Veterans Affairs 
Asheville Humane Society 
Asheville Quilt Guild 
Biltmore Village Historic Museum 
Blue Ridge Equality Alliance 
Buncombe County Council on Aging 
CARING of Jackson County 
Carolina Mountain Woodturners 
Children First 
Church of the Good Shepherd 
Country Workshops Woodworking School 
Daniel Boone Council 
Designing Our Future 
Dogwood Anglers 
Downtown Hendersonville, Inc. 
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society 
Energy Xchange Renewable Energy Center 
Environmental & Conservation Organization 
Episcopal Church of the Incarnation 
Episcopal Diocese of WNC 
Foothills Chapter of NC Surveyors 
Grace Episcopal Church 
Handmade in America 
Heritage Hills Mature Life 
High Country Art & Craft Guild 
Highlands Roadrunners Club 
Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival 
Hospice of McDowell County 
Hot Springs Health Program 
Hot Springs Tourism Association 
Hot Springs Trailfest 
Irene Wortham Center 
Jericho Productions 
Madison County Arts Council 
Marion Downtown Business Association 
McDowell County Chamber of Commerce 
McDowell County Tourism 
McDowell Economic Development Association 
Mineral & Lapidary Museum of Henderson County 
Mitchell-Yancey Habitat for Humanity 
NC Apple Festival 
Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society 
Old Depot Association & Gallery 
Parish of St. Eugene 
Penland School of Crafts 
Plain Path Publishers 
Polk County Travel & Tourism 
Project Challenge NC 
School for Esoteric Studies 
Smart Growth Partners of WNC 
Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair 
Southern Dharma Retreat Center 
Survivors & Victims of Tobacco 
Sustainable Living in WNC 
The Old Farmer's Ball 
Town of Highlands 
VISION for Asheville-Buncombe County 
Waterglyn Property Owners Association 
Western Region Education Service Alliance 
Wild Acres Retreat 
WNC Alliance 
WNC Historical Association 
WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility 
Yancey County Government Online 

MAIN offers WNC nonprofits free webspace and discounted domain hosting. To learn more, please visit our online services listing or call 828-255-0182.

22 Feb. 2001 -
Five years ago today, at approximately 4 p.m, the first dial-up connection through MAIN to the Internet was made. With nearly 4,000 subscribers, 250 nonprofit websites, and a homepage attracting more than 100,000 unique visitors each month, MAIN has grown into one of the most successful community networks in the country.

To help us commemorate our 5th anniversary, we have collected stories and anecdotes from our subscribers demonstrating how this community network has improved their lives or their communities.

Whether the responses were short or extensive chronicles of MAIN's success, the feedback touched us as much as the respondents said MAIN had touched them. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped MAIN foster community in WNC over the last five years.

Following are the stories submitted by MAIN subscribers.

Larry Griffin, Madison County:

MAIN has really improved my life. I live by myself, and the Internet keeps me from getting lonely. .

Julie Bair, Yancey County:

MAIN, to me, it is a godsend. Until I subscribed to MAIN, we had, because of our locality, futile attempts to go online to venture away from our small crack in the mountains. We could write letters but, in my situation, never knew if they were received [because] they were not answered.

My son was kidnapped when he was nine years old, and I had no way to find where he was. There was no legal avenue to give me hope. All I had faith in was that he was safe. This was many years ago. When I finally found where they were, my son was in the U.S. Army in Turkey.

He had been living in Seattle Washington from nine until an adult. My letters were never given to him and he thought that I had disappeared as a young boy might with no maternal contact. Maybe he thought I was dead. I
still do not know what he was led to believe.

When I bought my first computer we had trouble getting online in the remotest twist of hollow in the farthest Yancey County corner. Meanwhile my oldest son was given his father's email address at his business. His younger brother saw a message one day and emailed in return his own email address. Bingo, I was connected as well and the
rest is history.

We have seen each other and renewed our family's quest to remain in touch. Now we talk on chat, send posts, and plan strategies to get together often. My son was also a computer instructor in the army and now is administrator of Communications for his company building web sites.

I thank you for being available locally for me. It makes it so much easier to stay in touch daily. We scan photos and send, and I do not have rush out to another location to email or ask someone far away to do this for me. It is a source of joy to me to be able to know what goes on his life constantly as though he were here with me in person. .

Jim Thurman, Haywood County:

In 1994, I retired after thirty years in the Air Force -- at age 61. I had learned to use a computer -- mostly as a word processor -- in the AF after age 50. I knew little to nothing about the Internet and had about the same understanding of email outside the Local Area Networks in the offices where I worked. In fact, I didn't even own a computer until after I retired to Lake Junaluska six and a half years ago.

Then I began to inquire about servers in the area, and someone told me about MAIN. I liked the idea that MAIN is a nonprofit, service organization and found the staff helpful and patient with an "old man." So, I signed on with MAIN.

After these years since retirement, I still don't know much more about computers than just enough to be dangerous. I have appreciated the way MAIN has expanded and developed during the years I have been part of this network and look forward to continuing a good thing! .

Francois Manavit, Buncombe County:

I want to thank you for your efforts to bring communities together. The [Blue Ridge Web Market] mailing list is working pretty good with about five names a month. I think you are doing a great job, and I am please with all the new additions since five years. .

Barbara Fox, Graham County:

I am 75 years old and never thought I would get on the 'net.' I have found it to be very interesting and fulfilling. I do the church bulletin at my little church and every week I find something on one of my sites or from one of my Internet friends that is appropriate for a food for thought or a blessing for myself and others.

Also many of my children and grandchildren write me and just tell me they are thinking of me and how much they love me. Although I do not live close to most of them, I do try to keep in touch with them, and since I am on a fixed income, this is a perfect way to keep in touch. .

Jeff Haslam & Kim Henry, Polk County:

It's a great service MAIN is providing to the community, and we thank you. I'm sure everyone gets frustrated with any ISP, but every time I get irritated when I can't get online, I remember that there are lots of people who wouldn't be able to get online at all if there wasn't a provider like MAIN. Keep up the good work! .

Katrherine Lyda, Buncombe County:

Computers have given me a new hope for learning at my old age, and I thank you for providing access to the skill of computing at Givens Estates. My family is so much closer, and we can get information very quickly when we have emergencies to all our scattered families over the world.

J. Dale Pounds, Jackson County:

I am the activities director at the Golden Age Senior Center in Sylva. The center has definitely benefited by MAIN's services. We offer computer classes at the Golden Age to seniors (50 years old and up) free of charge. The classes are really popular and most of our seniors who were once terrified of computers and the Internet are having the most fun and are having a great learning experience. It is a joy to see them having so much fun and expressing their enjoyment. You have opened up many avenues for them! Thank you MAIN! You make their kids and grandkids mighty proud!

John L.Cutrell, Madison County:

Being disabled and living in a remote area in which I can only receive one television channel at best means access to the Internet via the reliable efforts of MAIN and it's staff has afforded me an opening to the world of news and information I would not otherwise have. Indeed, each and every individual I have met or needed assistance from on the MAIN staff has been extremely kind, patient, and 100% professional in their endeavor to provide the service all of us need here in Western North Carolina.

Everyone who benefits in any way from MAIN can be very grateful for the improvement it has made in their lives! Thank you MAIN!

Carol Hubbard, Buncombe County:

I've been on-line with MAIN for over three years now, and have reaped many rewards. Firstly, as a computer neophyte, MAIN's help desk has provided invaluable service (at no cost) to work out the bugs in my connections, and has always responded patiently, with great courtesy, to my somewhat desperate pleas for assistance. Having access to the Web has been a very valuable tool as I'm very much in transition vocationally.

I'm disabled, and despite years of mostly accommodating my own disabilities in the professional working world, I got "shut out" of the "working world" almost four years ago and have been busily about creating new ways to continue a life of service, and return to work.

As a result of continuing the quest to find my way in the world, I've participated with other volunteers in writing two major grants; email and the web have been absolutely key in networking and researching on behalf of my passions: mentoring, and advocacy on behalf of the disabled.

It was an e-mail query to a MAIN linked disability program site hosted by Charlotte's Web, MAIN's counterpart in Charlotte, that ultimately led to my incorporating a new disability-specific nonprofit here in Asheville -- recruiting a fine, committed group of volunteers to serve as the Board, and writing a major grant to fund additional services to serve disabled individuals across the lines of various types of disabilities. But for MAIN, I doubt I'd have made the connections to uncover the funding opportunity. Email was also key in coordinating this project with a consultant in Georgia!!!!

I also want to note Wally Bowen and MAIN's significant contributions to the disabled via providing low-cost access to the Internet and filtering re-conditioned and donated computers to the disabled to allow participation in the world of electronic communication.

The Internet is a great "leveler" on behalf of the disabled, and offers vast opportunities for participation in the world, networking, sharing information and support, etc., ad infinitum! Keep up the good work!

Wayne Smith, CyberPals president, Haywood County:

CyberPals is a support group under the umbrella of Pathways, CyberPals membership is made up of disabled folks who communicate through donated or self-owned computers. Pathways and MAIN formed a partnership that would bring the CyberPals program into focus; this partnership was certainly good for CyberPals because of MAIN's affordable access.... The partnership between MAIN and CyberPals has been a godsend that has made a difference in a lot of lives.

Connie Brown, Asheville Quilt Guild:

The Asheville Quilt Guild is a nonprofit organization that has benefited from having a web site at MAIN. Our web site has received many different inquires. Most have been quilt related, but a few have inquired about our community. On our site, we list member information, the purpose of the Asheville Quilt Guild, upcoming meetings, and information about the Asheville Quilt Show.

Members, who have misplaced guild mailings have checked times and locations of upcoming meetings and events. Visitors to the area have also attended some of our meetings after having seen the web site. Several people who have moved to the Asheville area have found the Asheville Quilt Guild and made contact with us or joined us before they have completed their move here.

Several quilters and other guilds have complimented us on our site and inquired about its designer. Information about the Asheville Quilt Show that will be held August 6-8, 1999 is available on the web site. Many tourists in the area visit the "show". Many have been coming to this event for numerous years. This year, it is of utmost importance for us to get out information about the location.

The Asheville Quilt Show will be held at the North Carolina Arboretum, the first time it will be held there and the first move in 8 years. We hope that many tourists will see and take note of the location through our web site. We have also listed this information on MAIN's community calendar.

Quilters throughout the world can also get information on how to enter their quilts into the competition. Many who visit our web site are quilters and ask for tips and how-to's for projects they are working on. We also get inquires about purchasing quilts and quilt related products. This site helps us to fulfill our mission of promoting and perpetuating the art of quilting.

Anne Whitefield, Madison County:

When I moved into the "outback," way up a 4-wheel-drive road, I thought all I needed was the woods, my partner, and good books. I wrote letters to family and friends. Then, MAIN gave Madison County direct dial-up and email opened up.

Correspondence turned into dialogue with virtually instant feedback. I learned to think anew in the company of interesting people, subscribed to a discussion group, linked to Germany, Philippines, Australia, Germany, Iran, Denmark, Hong Kong and all over the the USA.

In addition, I'm in the process of exploring what it means to have all the information in the public domain potentially accessible. I think this World Wide Web may be the 'noosphere' which Teillard de Chardin spoke of back in the 1920s -- an evolutionary step on the order of the development of a biosphere.

MAIN also opens the exciting possibility of responsibility for circulating local news. This solution to the grip of the commercial media also has wide reaching implications. Because MAIN relies on volunteer help and encourages sharing to bridge the "digital divide," I have come alive again after giving up teaching kindergartners. I volunteer for MAIN and my best image of a better world, and that's healthy.

Mountain Area Information Network Home | Resources | Mountain Voices | Classifieds | About MAIN
Web Market | Calendar | Weather | Web Mail | Contact Us