Thursday, June 26, 2014

Alcoa presents $15,000 donation to Stanly County Family YMCA

Alcoa continues to demonstrate its commitment to the Stanly County community with a $15,000 contribution to the Stanly County Family YMCA. The funds will support three signature programs that teach children to swim, provide meals to the hungry, and raise awareness about sexual abuse.

“The Y strives to make a difference every day across our community through our Signature Outreach Programs,” said George Crooker, CEO of the Stanly County Family YMCA.  “With this very generous gift from Alcoa, we can continue to meet the needs of others and help make Stanly County a healthier and safer place for all.” 

Alcoa’s contribution will support the following programs:

·       Second Grade Learn to Swim: This program provides five weeks of swimming instruction to more than 450 second graders at eight elementary schools across Stanly County. The program is designed to reduce the risk of drowning and aligns closely with Alcoa’s ongoing efforts to promote water safety.

·       The Sunday Lunch Program: This program makes a difference with a simple plate of food. The Y coordinates and serves hot meals on Sundays and holidays at the Community Table in Albemarle. In 2013, over 5,500 meals were served.

·       Darkness to Light: This program raises awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse. A partnership between the Y, United Way of Stanly County, Stanly County Schools, Albemarle Police Department, The Butterfly House, and the Stanly County Health Department, Darkness to Light hopes to reduce the rate of childhood sexual abuse in Stanly County by educating 2,000 adults over the next five years.

"Alcoa is proud to partner with the Stanly County Family YMCA to support their outstanding work in our community.  Our donation will help teach nearly 500 young children to swim, provide meals to more than 5,500 individuals in need of food, as well as increase awareness and reduce the rate of sexual abuse across Stanly County,” said Nicole Wright of Alcoa. “Alcoa is honored to partner with the YMCA in these outreach programs, which are such an asset to our community.”  

Alcoa has a long history of support community programs in Stanly County. Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation have contributed more than $4 million to worthwhile programs in the Yadkin region. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Help us name the osprey chick at Badin Lake

We've launched an online contest so you can help us chose a name for the osprey chick that hatched at Badin Lake earlier this month. The contest features four names -- Hope, Lucky, Marvel and Miracle -- submitted by faithful followers of Alcoa's OspreyCam. 

The names reflect the unexpected arrival of the chick, which followed weeks of anxious waiting and came after many people feared the egg wouldn't hatch.

You can vote for their favorite name at through Sunday, June 22.

With nearly 2,500 votes already cast today, it looks like it's going to be a tight race between Lucky and Miracle.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

OspreyCam Update: A Chick Has Hatched!

We received a pleasant surprise this week when the OspreyCam at Badin Lake captured the arrival of a new chick. We'll be launching a naming contest in the coming weeks to give our newest osprey chick a proper name.

The chick's arrival followed weeks of anxious waiting. Osprey chicks typically hatch in late April or early May, but this one was a late arriver. 

Stay tuned to the OspreyCam over the next two months to watch the parents feed and care for the new chick as it grows and prepares to take flight. Osprey chicks usually fledge — or leave the nest for their first flight — after 6 to 8 weeks. For this chick, that will likely take place in late July. 

Visitors can follow updates through the website and join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #AlcoaOspreyCam.

Alcoa Hosts Water Safety Event, Life Jacket Giveaway at Badin and High Rock lakes on Saturday, June 7

Alcoa is kicking off the summer with events at Badin and High Rock lakes on Saturday, June 7 to promote water safety. The events will be held at the Flat Swamp / Pebble Beach Swim Area on High Rock Lake and at the Badin Swim Area on Badin Lake from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Alcoa will be providing free life jackets to 100 children at lake. You can enjoy free snow cones, play family-friendly games and meet some popular children’s characters. Representatives from NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and local law enforcement officials will be there to discuss water safety tips and show off the boats used to patrol the lakes and rescue those in need.

“This is a great opportunity for families to learn the simple things they can do to stay safe when they visit the lakes, and pick up a free life jacket if they don’t have one,” said Karen Baldwin, a natural resources manager for APGI who spearheads the company’s water safety efforts. “But staying safe requires much more than simply having a life jacket in your boat. You have to put it on.” 

Representatives from NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and local law enforcement officials will be there to discuss water safety tips and show off the boats used to patrol the lakes and rescue those in need. 

Providing free life jackets is one of several ways that Alcoa works with law enforcement agencies to promote water safety. The company also provides financial support to local sheriff departments for increased patrols of the lakes and sponsors an advertising campaign to remind people to “Put It On.” 

This is the 10th consecutive year that Alcoa Power Generating Inc. has sponsored a water safety campaign at the lakes.

Friday, April 25, 2014

An Inside Look at Osprey on the Yadkin River: Alcoa Webcam Provides Live View of Birds, Baby Chicks

People from across North Carolina and around the world once again have a front-row seat to watch a pair of osprey nesting atop the Narrows Dam at Badin Lake. Alcoa’s popular OspreyCam returns for the third year to provide live coverage of osprey preparing for the arrival of new chicks. The OspreyCam can be viewed online at  

A new pair of osprey claimed the Badin Lake nest this year. For the past several years, it had been home to a pair of osprey named Oscar and Oliveea by Alcoa employees who grew fond of the birds. Last year, Oscar and Oliveea produced three osprey chicks that hatched in late April and took flight in June.

The Osprey Cam is now following a new pair of birds who have been busy sprucing up their nest in recent weeks and laid two eggs in the past week. Viewers will be able to watch as the chicks hatch, get accustomed to their new surroundings and learn to fly.  

“It’s quite a sight. We’re blessed to have such an intimate look at these birds and how they prepare for the arrival of their new chicks. It's like a reality show based in our own backyard,” said Mark Gross, technical manager for Alcoa Power Generating Inc., which operates four dams along the Yadkin River.

Since launching the webcam in 2012, it has attracted viewers from 87 countries.

Visitors can follow updates on the bird in a blog on the Alcoa site and can join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #AlcoaOspreyCam.

Ospreys are large birds — with a wingspan of 5-6 feet — that resemble bald eagles. The birds live along rivers, lakes and other large bodies of water where they can feed on fish. The open water and large tracts of undeveloped shoreline at the Yadkin Project provide the perfect setting for wildlife such as bald eagles, ospreys, great blue herons and great egrets. 

“We’re surrounded by nature and are committed to preserving the habitat around the Yadkin Project. We spotted a record number of bald eagle nests on our property this year and are proud that wildlife is thriving here,” Gross said. 

Alcoa also operates an EagleCam that provides a live look at two bald eagle chicks in Davenport, Iowa. The site,, has received nearly 20 million visitors.