Rowan County’s first baby of 2021 ‘represents hope and opportunity for all of us’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 3, 2021

By Natalie Anderson

SALISBURY — For many, the start of a new year is accompanied with new hopes and opportunities, and the birth of Rowan County’s first baby of 2021 is thought to represent just that.

Mavis Quinn Weaver just barely missed a New Year’s Day delivery. Weighing 7 pounds and 13 ounces, and measuring 20.5 inches long, Dr. Michael Stadler, of Novant Health Carolina Women’s Health Associates in Salisbury, delivered the baby girl to Melissa Williams and Colin Weaver on Saturday at 12:06 a.m.

Mavis has two sisters, Chloe and Zoey Williams, who are both 4 years old, and one brother, Brenden Williams, age 2. The family lives in Cleveland.

“(The birth) represents hope and opportunity for all of us,” said Smart Start Rowan’s Board of Directors Chair Erik Lipscomb. “It’s huge.”

Being the first baby of the year comes with some perks. For 17 years, Smart Start Rowan has partnered with Novant Health Rowan Medical Center to deliver a gift basket to the baby and family as a way to commemorate their particularly special birthday.

And 2021 is the first year a baby girl has been the county’s first newborn, said Sarah Paynter, Smart Start Rowan’s outreach and development specialist.

“Our vision for Rowan County is that every child will receive the education, nurturing and support needed to provide the foundation for them to grow into healthy, productive citizens,” Paynter said. “We feel it is an honor to celebrate the first baby born in our community every year.”

This year’s hefty basket weighed around 40 pounds, Paynter said, and included diapers, wipes, blankets and other essentials as well as gift certificates for various local restaurants. Baskets comprise donations from the community as well as local businesses.

Also included in the basket is a plaque commemorating the special birthday, donated by the Trophy House of Salisbury. Parents can bring the plaque back to the shop and have Mavis’ name engraved.

Additionally, Paynter said, Smart Start Rowan always tries to treat the mother to something special. Melissa was gifted a spa package.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s basket delivery worked a little differently, Paynter said. Members of Start Smart Rowan were unable to visit the baby and family, so Novant Rowan’s Assistant Nurse Manager Megan Fox delivered the basket on Smart Start’s behalf.

“It’s nice that one of Mavis’ first interactions with the outside world was something kind,” Lipscomb said, who helped deliver the basket with Paynter.

He added that Mavis’ birth evoked his memories of the births of his two daughters, aged 10 and 8.

“She’s already given so many she hasn’t met a special gift,” he said. “It reminds us that it’s a new year with new life.”

The Post also wasn’t able to arrange an interview with the family by deadline Saturday.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at or call her at 704-797-4246.

email author More by Natalie