WOMEN’S GROUP GIVES BACK, PAYING IT FORWARD FOR STUDENTS
LUMBERTON — A local women’s group, 4×4 Perfect Timing, is giving back by paying it forward for students at Robeson Community College.
The organization recently donated $500 to the RCC Foundation to create a scholarship for young women.
“We decided as college-educated women to provide an opportunity for young women on an annual basis to help with paying for books, tuition and to help her in her college journey,” stated Valerie Comrie, one of the founders of the organization. “We all understand how difficult college can be and we wanted to help someone else. It can be very difficult to find help these days, and we thought the best way to use our resources was to come together and provide this scholarship for a young woman in need.”
Her daughter, Sabrina Comrie, who serves as the leader of the association, echoes those sentiments.
“We wanted to help empower and inspire young women of color,” Sabrina Comrie said. “This is our opportunity to give a helping hand. There are a lot of stressors in life, but finding money for college shouldn’t be the biggest stress a young woman has… this is a small part of the solution.”
“It is extremely rewarding for us to have this opportunity to do something for someone else,” Valerie added.
The RCC Foundation is thankful for the donation, saying this will help a student achieve their dreams of becoming a college graduate.
“This scholarship will help cover a portion of the costs of attending Robeson Community College and will help supplement other financial aid allowing a student to attend class and buy the necessary supplies required for their program of study,” stated Lisa Hunt, the assistant vice president of grants and foundation at RCC. “We are so appreciative of 4×4 Perfect Timing and their generosity, thought, and consideration of our students and their desire to help pay it forward to others.”
ENDOWMENT ESTABLISHED AT ROBESON COMMUNITY COLLEGE HONORS FORMER COLUMBUS COUNTY TEACHER
ROBESON COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — An endowment has been established at Robeson Community College in honor of Christopher Walker, an English Instructor who died in 2022 at the age of 35.
In 2018, Walkerwas recognizedas WWAY’s “Teacher of the Week” when he taught Language Arts and Social Studies at Acme Delco Middle School in Columbus County.
“To know him, was to love him,” said Kim Spivey, Christopher Walker’s mom, during a private ceremony to honor her son on Monday, Jan. 30 at Robeson Community College. “If you did know him, I’m sure that he left a positive imprint.”
Walker was an English instructor at RCC, working there for almost two years before his sudden death. Even in a short period of time, his impact was profound.
“He was always leaving people with words of encouragement, no matter who they were or what their walk-in life was,” his mother said. “He always saw the glass as half full no matter what.”
To honor Walker, Spivey established an endowment in his name through the RCC Foundation, giving $10,750 to support students seeking a better life through education.
“This is an opportunity for Christopher’s love for education and desire to make a difference in the lives of young people to continue on,” Spivey said. “He saw things through a different lens and was never satisfied with the status quo. He always searched for a deeper meaning and it was always his desire and goal in life to make a difference.”
The endowment established will be used towards supporting scholarships for those in financial need who are first-generation college students and who are working a job to support themselves and pay for their education.Full Story.
ROBESON COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOUNDATION PLANS SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER
LUMBERTON — The Robeson Community College Foundation has planned a Ladies Night Out Fundraiser to establish a scholarship called Elevating Women in Leadership. The event will take place 5-10 p.m. on Feb. 2 in the Student Center in Building 13.
“We are utilizing this fundraiser in order to create scholarships for RCC students,” stated Heather Seibles, donor and major gift specialist. “The Elevating Women in Leadership scholarship will be for females who want to be leaders in their field and have career goals of being future entrepreneurs, working in business or for a corporation.”
Seibles says she hopes that the RCC Foundation will be able to create two scholarships from the earnings of this event.
The RCC Foundation is offering two different package deals for this Valentines celebration.
General admission is $20. This covers craft and food vendors, Locklear’s award-winning wines, light refreshments, a chance to win door prizes, and the King’s 360 photo booth.
The VIP All Access Pass, open to people over the age of 21, costs $50 and includes the general admission package, paint and sip with private group instruction, two complimentary glasses of wine, charcuterie boards, hot oil hand massage or paraffin wax, and an entry to VIP raffle for exclusive prizes.
“It’s something fun to do as a collective and it’s for a good cause,” said Seibles. “It’s a great way for women to celebrate the Valentine’s Day season.”
Vendors are also encouraged to reach out to the RCC Foundation. For $25 vendors can get one six-foot table and have an opportunity to sell items during the event.
For more information or to purchase a ticket contact Heather Seibles at 910-272-3235 firstname.lastname@example.org.Story.
RCC FOUNDATION UNVEILS VETERAN’S WALL OF HONOR
LUMBERTON — The Robeson Community College Foundation unveiled its Veteran’s Wall of Honor Friday during a special tribute featuring the Lumbee Warriors and the Robeson County Honor Guard.
RCC President Melissa Singler welcomed everyone to the event.
“We are so excited to see everyone come out today to honor our nation’s finest,” Singler said. “Thank you for joining us, this is a great day for Robeson Community College and for our active-duty military students, our veterans, and our military families, and I am just so happy that we are able to celebrate the highly anticipated unveiling of the Veterans Wall of Honor today.”
The ceremony began outside with retired Master Sgt. Raymond Hunt and retired Command Sgt. Maj. Gary Deese raising the flag representing all branches of the military. The flag was donated by the Lumbee Warriors to the college and the flagpoles were donated by Woodman Life.
Councilman Eric Chavis sang the National Anthem, followed by Sgt. 1st Class Eric Lofton who spoke on “what the flag means.”
Heather Seibles, the donor and major gift specialist, organized the event and told those gathered that the RCC Foundation had exceeded all expectations in raising funds for the newly established scholarship for military-affiliated students.
“The scholarship had now been fully endowed,” Seibles announced as applause erupted. “But this will be an ongoing endeavor; we still have over 500 slots available for purchase on the Veterans Wall of Honor.”
RCC Instructor and SPC Sherry Lofton with the DAVA Unit 7 announced the winner of the 2022 RCC Veteran’s Day Writing Contest.
“There were so many great submissions,” Lofton said. “The DAVA members actually judge the writings and they had a really hard time this year picking a winner, so we are going to recognize the winner and several honorable mentions…I was so proud to get such writings from our students.”
The winner of the contest was Ellie Baker, the wife of a veteran, who wrote the poem “Veterans’ Isolation.”
“The family gathers, but where are you, isolated in your room… isolated from your family, not a smile on your face,” Baker read aloud. “You cannot find a way to forget your plight, the wall that you have, that kept your loved ones out… try to push through it, love surrounds you every day… we are here to support you, for we know how…isolation go away, let him have peace and enjoy being home.”
Teddie McCain, Regina Walters, Jessica Perez-Rojas, and Roger Williams were recognized for their submissions and received a certificate for honorable mention.
MSG Walter Smith, Quartermaster with the VFW Post 8969 made a tribute to fallen soldiers, followed by a 21-gun salute and playing of Taps by the Robeson County Honor Guard, ending with the grand reveal of the Veterans Wall of Honor.
“Get your cameras ready, there can only be one unveiling,” Singler said with excitement as she got ready to pull the curtain down.
It only took a few seconds for the Veterans Wall of Honor to be uncovered, but once it was visible, everyone started looking for the names of loved ones.
The wall features all six branches of government – the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, United States Navy, United States Air Force, United States Coast Guard, and the United States Space Force.
Giving levels for plaques on the Veterans Wall of Honor include $250 for white stripes, $500 for red stripes, $750 for middle red strips, and $1000 for stars. Donors can provide text for 2 lines per plate, 21 characters each.Story.
GRAND REVEAL OF RCC’S VETERANS WALL OF HONOR TO TAKE PLACE JAN. 13
LUMBERTON — The RCC Foundation will unveil its Veteran’s Wall of Honor on Friday, January 13 at 10:00 a.m. with a special tribute.
The ceremony will begin outside by the new flagpoles between Building 13 and Building 14 with Lumbee Warriors MSG Raymond Hunt and CSM Gary Deese raising the flag they donated to the college. The National Anthem will be sung by Councilman Eric Chavis, followed by Sgt. 1st Class Eric Lofton who will speak on “what the flag means.”
There will be a special presentation by RCC Instructor and SPC Sherry Lofton with the DAVA Unit 7 in which the winner of the 2022 Veteran’s Day Writing Contest will be announced. The winner will read their poem aloud and give their thoughts on “what is a veteran.”
A tribute to fallen soldiers will be made by MSG Walter Smith, Quartermaster with the VFW Post 8969, followed by a 21-gun salute and playing of Taps by the Robeson County Honor Guard, ending with the grand reveal of the Veterans Wall of Honor, featuring all six branches of government – United States Army, United States Marine Corps, United States Navy, United States Air Force, United States Coast Guard, and the United States Space Force.
“We are so excited to finally be able to unveil this amazing work of art for our Military Affiliated Resource Center,” stated RCC President Melissa Singler. “This shows the outpouring of support for our active-duty military students, our veterans, and military families, and I am just so happy that this day is here.”Full Story.
RCC FOUNDATION RECEIVES $25,000 GIFT FROM JULIAN T. PIERCE MEMORIAL INITIATIVE
The Robeson Community College Foundation has received a $25,000 gift from the Julian T. Pierce Memorial Initiative on Wednesday, December 14. The check was presented at theLegal Aid Office in Pembroke. The money donated will go towards scholarships for students, in continuing the legacy of Julian T. Pierce to “keep the vision” in supporting education and equality for all people. The donation was raised during the 9th Annual Julian T. Pierce Memorial Art Dinner held earlier this year.
“Julian T. Pierce had great vision and he wanted to continue to ‘balance the scales’ of justice for all” said Lisa Hunt, the assistant vice president of foundation and grants at RCC. “The money raised will help continue his legacy through students at RCC who receive scholarships in his name.”
Pierce was a lawyer and civil rights activists, fighting for equality for the Lumbee Tribe of which he was a member, and for all individuals. In 1988, he ran for Superior Court Judge, a new judgeship created by the North Carolina General Assembly for Robeson County. In March 1988, just a few weeks before the election, Pierce was tragically killed in his home. Pierce won the election that year, posthumously, by more than 2000 votes.
The memorial dinner was started by Harvey Godwin, the former Lumbee Tribal Chairman and owner of Two Hawk Employment Service. Godwin served as the campaign manager for Pierce during his run for Superior Court Judge, as a way to honor the man, whom many would attest had made such a difference in his community.
“Julian was an activist for all people,” said Hunt. “He believed in equality for everyone and advocated for others so they could have access to resources needed, whether that was education, legal assistance, or healthcare.”
“He really believed in the power of education,” Lisa said. “It is fitting for this scholarship to be in his name.”
Pierce left a lasting impact upon his community that can still felt to this day. For example, he was instrumental in integrating Robeson County’s schools into one school system to provide quality education for all. He founded the Lumbee River Legal Services and Robeson County Health Care Corporation, two organizations that still exist to this day and are in operation helping those in need.
“This Julian T. Pierce Memorial Art Dinner continues to grow each year, it is wonderful to see the support of the community towards this great cause and we are so thankful for everyone who has been a part in contributing to the success of this initiative,” said Hunt. “This gift received will assist in funding multiple scholarships to students in need, fulfilling Julian’s vision and legacy.”
To date, Robeson Community College has received more than $135,000 in scholarship funds from the Julian T. Pierce Memorial Initiative.
“Julian T. Pierce was remarkable man, and we are so honored to have an opportunity to pay it forward through this gift given to Robeson Community College in his name,” said RCC President Melissa Singler. “This money has helped students from all walks of life over the years and will continue to assist students in obtaining a quality education, as they pursue their hopes and dreams.”
“I believe that Julian would be proud to know of the difference he has made in the lives of so many through education at Robeson Community College,” Singler said. “We are so thankful for this donation and we are thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Julian’s legacy.”
The 2022 Julian T. Pierce Memorial Art Dinner raised over $80,000 in support of scholarships. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where Pierce received his bachelor’s degree, received $25,000, and North Carolina Central University School of Law, the institution where Pierce earned his juris doctorate, was the recipient of $10,000.
ROBERT P. HOLDING FOUNDATION GIFTS RCC FOUNDATION $20,000
The Robeson Community College Foundation was recently given a $20,000 check from the Robert P. Holding Foundation, and was presented by First Citizens Bank.
This is the second donation that Robeson Community College has received from the organization. Last year the college received $30,000, bringing the total for the First Citizens Bank Endowed Scholarship to $50,000.
The endowment was established by the Robert P. Holding Foundation to support the programs of the North Carolina Community College System and to help provide scholarships to students in need to promote the education and welfare of the people of North Carolina.
ROBESON COMMUNITY COLLEGE PLEASED WITH FIRST-EVER TELETHON
ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WPDE) —Robeson Community College Foundation held its first-ever telethon Tuesday on the National Day of Giving to raise money for the foundation.
Officials said the telethon raised $13,700.
“It feels amazing. The community support has been phenomenal. We are so fortunate,” said Lisa Hunt, the assistant vice president of foundation and grants.
The telethon raised money for the Military Affiliated Resource Center Scholarship and the Veterans Wall of Honor at the college.
“We are so delighted that so many people thought to support the RCC Foundation today for this worthy cause,” said Heather Seibles, donor & major gift specialist for the foundation.
The Military Affiliated Resource Center opened its doors in April.
The center “helps support student veterans as they work to achieve their academic goals. It also provides valuable information and resources from local veteran organizations, the federal government, and the Veterans Crisis Line. It will be a safe place where veterans can get away from distractions and focus on schoolwork.”
Officials said a new scholarship is being established to help military-affiliated students realize their dream of becoming a college graduate.
“Not all military-affiliated students have funding available to attend college,” said Hunt. “So, it is vital that we help secure scholarships for those who have served in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Space Force, and for their dependents.”
The telethon also benefited an endowment in honor and memory of fallen North Carolina Trooper Kevin Conner, which will go to support students in the Basic Law Enforcement program.
If you would like to donate to another worthy cause at Robeson Community College, you are still encouraged to participate in the telethon, no donation will be turned away.
You can also drop off your Giving Tuesday donation at the RCC Foundation Office which is located in Building 13. Donations can be made online atwww.robeson.edu, through the RCCFacebook pageor mailed to the attention of the RCC Foundation at PO Box 1420, Lumberton, NC 28359.Full Story.
RCC EATING WELL FOR A GOOD CAUSE
LUMBERTON — Robeson Community College’s plate sale in observance of the National Day of Giving gathered proceeds to be used for the construction of the Veterans’ Wall of Honor and the Military Affiliated Resource Center Scholarship.
By 12:17 p.m., according Donor and Major Gift Specialist Heather Seibles, the school was already halfway to the goal of $10,000. She also stated that the Right of Way group and Wirth-Taylor were matching every $1,000
RCC NIGHT AT YOUR PIE SCHEDULED FOR DECEMBER 5
Dine out. Eat Pizza. Help RCC Students. It’s that simple.
The RCC Foundation has worked with the management at Your Pie to offer an incentive for patrons to dine out for a worthy cause on Monday, December 5.
Starting at 5:00 p.m., 20% of all sales will be donated back to the RCC Foundation to help students in need. The fundraiser will take place until closing time which is 10:00 p.m. There will also be a raffle for a free pizza.
Your Pie Pizza is conveniently located next to the main campus of RCC, directly off of I-95, exit 22, Hwy 301 at 5130 Fayetteville Road in Lumberton.
“We are grateful for the support of Your Pie in Lumberton,” stated Lisa Hunt, the assistant vice president of grants and foundation. “We hope that everyone in the community will come out to support our students and support the RCC Foundation.”
When a big pizza pie can feed you and your family and then also helps students reach the sky with assistance to pay for tuition and books, “That’s Amore!”
RCC FOUNDATION PLANS NATIONAL DAY OF GIVING TELETHON NOV. 29 – NOVEMBER 17TH, 2022
With the Thanksgiving holidays soon to be upon us, the RCC Foundation wants to remind you that the National Day of Giving is just around the corner.
“We hope that you’ll join us on the National Day of Giving to help us in our efforts to raise money for our students,” said Lisa Hunt, the assistant vice president of foundation and grants. “This is your chance to make a difference in someone’s life. Every donation made to the RCC Foundation makes an impact.”
The National Day of Giving, also known as Giving Tuesday, is observed on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year it will take place on Tuesday, November 29. The day was created in 2012 to unleash the power of generosity and to encourage people to do something good. The day is also referred to as the Global Day of Giving.
This year, the RCC Foundation will host a telethon, which will be streamed live on its Facebook page – www.robeson.edu/RCCFoundation – to raise money for the Military Affiliated Resource Center Scholarship and the Veterans Wall of Honor. The telethon will run from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on November 29. The number to call to make a pledge during the telethon is 910-272-3335.
All donations designated in honor and memory of all military service members will be matched by up to $1000 by Worthy by Wirth Taylor.
The Right of Way Group will also be matching donations of up to $1000 for all pledges made in honor and memory of fallen Trooper Kevin Conner, which will go to support students in the Basic Law Enforcement program.
If you would like to donate to another worthy cause at Robeson Community College, you are still encouraged to participate in the telethon, no donation will be turned away.
You can also drop off your Giving Tuesday donation at the RCC Foundation Office which is located in Building 13. Donations can be made online at www.robeson.edu, through the RCC Facebook page @RCCFoundation, or mailed to the attention of the RCC Foundation at PO Box 1420, Lumberton, NC 28359.
Military Affiliated Resource Center Scholarship
The Military Affiliated Resource Center opened its doors on April 6, 2022. The center helps support student veterans as they work to achieve their academic goals. It also provides valuable information and resources from local veteran organizations, the federal government, and the Veterans Crisis Line. It will be a safe place where veterans can get away from distractions and focus on schoolwork.
The new scholarship is being established to help military-affiliated students realize their dream of becoming a college graduate.
“Not all military-affiliated students have funding available to attend college,” said Lisa. “So, it is vital that we help secure scholarships for those who have served in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Space Force, and for their dependents.”
“Freedom is not free – it comes at a price,” Lisa said. “Any donation will be greatly appreciated.”
Veterans Wall of Honor
“The Veterans Wall of Honor is a great way to honor our military heroes,” stated Lisa. “It’s a meaningful representation of those who have sacrificed so much to protect and serve our country.”
“I come from a military family, my sister was a Sargent Major in the United States Army for 30 years, and I’ve had several uncles and cousins were served in various branches.”
Hunt also knows first-hand what it is like to have a child that is active-duty military.
“Being a mother whose child has deployed, you serve too, you sacrifice those lost birthdays, holidays, and time together,” said Lisa. “But there is no greater joy than being a proud parent of a US Service Member… you know it’s a selfless act of service.”
Hunt says she wants this to be a community project that honors those who have served in the armed forces.
“We owe a great debt of gratitude to our Veterans,” Lisa said. “We enjoy our freedom because of them.”
Giving levels for plaques on the Veterans Wall of Honor include $250 for white stripes, $500 for red stripes, $750 for middle red strips, and $1000 for stars. Donors can provide text for 2 lines per plate, 21 characters each.
“The Veterans Wall of Honor is a chance for you to remember your loved ones who served, to recognize the sacrifices made to our country, or to simply thank someone for their service,” said Lisa. “I have already purchased one for my daughter, Makayla.”
RCC FOUNDATION OPEN HOUSE, RIBBON CUTTING PLANNED FOR NOV. 9 – NOVEMBER 1ST 2022
Robeson Community College extends an invitation to everyone in the community to attend an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony for the RCC Foundation. The RCC Foundation Office recently moved from Building 2 and is now located within Building 13.
With the new location of the RCC Foundation being closer to financial aid and admissions, the move was made to better accommodate students. It also gave the Foundation some much needed space, including a conference room for meetings and more storage capacity for items needed for fundraising events.
“With all the transition, the staff in the RCC Foundation want to welcome everyone to our new headquarters on campus as our office moves forwards with new initiatives and campaigns,” stated Lisa Hunt, the assistant vice president of grants and foundation.
The Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with a special ribbon cutting ceremony taking place at 11 p.m.
“We will be giving away door prizes, including Amazon gift cards and there will be light refreshments available,” said Hunt. “You’ll also be able to sign up for Amazon Smile during this time, we will help you designate the RCC Foundation as your charity of choice, and also provide more information about this great opportunity.”
“It’s a floating event, just stop by anytime,” Hunt said. “We would love to meet you and have you be our guest.”
TOWNSEND GIFTS $25K TO FOUNDATION; TOURNAMENT RAISES OVER $80K – OCTOBER 6TH, 2022
The 38th Anniversary Clifford Bullard Memorial Golf Tournament raised over $80,000 during the record-breaking event held on Thursday, October 6 at Pinecrest Country Club in Lumberton.
The 2022 tournament will go down in history as one of the best, raising 60% more than the previous year, in which the college raised just over $50,000 in 2021. Since the beginning of the tournament in 1984, the Bullard Tournament has raised more than $730,000.
Adding to the substantial increase was a generous donation of $25,000 from Lumberton native John L. Townsend III.
“This event was amazing and we are so thankful that it continues to grow each year. This year we have exceeded all fundraising goals and expectations, we have shattered records, and for that, we are forever grateful to our sponsors, our faculty and staff, and our volunteers,” stated RCC President Melissa Singler. “We could not do any of this without all of you.”
“We thank John Townsend for his amazing gift to the RCC Foundation,” said Singler. “We are so appreciative of this donation; it will make a tremendous impact upon our students, as well as upon our community.”
Singler adds, “We are also very thankful for our continued partnership with the Bullard family, who has worked tirelessly to help raise money for our students year after year.”
These monies raised will go towards supporting the RCC Foundation and the mission of Robeson Community College through providing scholarships for students, as well as funding faculty/staff initiatives that support student success.
“The Foundation would like to extend thanks and appreciation to the Bullard family for continuing to support Robeson Community College, our mission, and our students, and for helping us to make each golf tournament bigger and better each year,” stated Lisa Hunt, Assistant Vice President of Grants and the RCC Foundation. “We also thank John Townsend for his donation, as well as our many other sponsors and volunteers who made this year’s tournament possible.”
LOWES OF LUMBERTON DONATES REFRIGERATOR TO RCC FOOD PANTRY
When the pandemic hit, it not only shut down businesses and organizations, but also caused the food pantry at Robeson Community College to shut down temporarily as well.
“We rely on donations, and with the pandemic and with a limited number of people on campus, we decided to give all the food we had away during a food distribution,” said Dr. Phoebe Chavis-Harris, director of education programs at Robeson Community College. “We did not want the food to just sit here and go bad.”
The pantry reopened last fall, being fully restocked thanks to monetary donations from faculty, staff, and community members, which afforded RCC the opportunity to purchase items from the 2ndHarvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina.
“The Food Bank mentioned that we could purchase items like yogurt, but we did not have a refrigerator,” said Harris. “So, we had to pass up on those items.”
Harris mentioned it to her team when she got back to the office, she knew that a refrigerator would greatly help in assisting students in need.
“Our student worker said she had a contact at Lowes and so she reached out to him,” said Harris. “They told us to send a letter stating our needs, which I sent one in right away.”
After about a month and a half of waiting, Harris received the call she had been waiting for.
“I was so excited, Lowes called and said that they had a refrigerator but that we would have to go over and get it today,” said Harris. “Thankfully our maintenance staff was able to go over and get the refrigerator while we consolidated our space to make room for it.”
“I’m just tickled pink about the donation from Lowes, we are really excited, we had never been able to offer cold items before,” said Harris. “I’m so thankful for Lowes, this donation will help so many of our students, and we are just so fortunate to have this available.”
The food pantry started years ago after Debbie Lowry, who was an instructor at RCC, witnessed one of her students digging through the trash to find food. Lowry later found out that the student was homeless.
Lowry, determined to make a difference, went to administrators to see if she could have an empty space close to her office to establish the pantry.
Lowry has since passed away, but her legacy continues to live on.
“We wanted to keep the pantry going and continue with it,” said Harris. “It was important to her; she didn’t want to see any more students going hungry.”
“It is run completely by donations, and we have been really blessed with donations from our faculty, staff, and community to be able to keep the pantry up and running.”
Harris says that foot traffic to the pantry has picked up since it was replenished, stating that she sees about 3-5 students visiting weekly.
“We take so much for granted,” said Harris. “Sometimes we just don’t know what others are going through, so being able to provide students with nutritious food is what it is all about.”
The food pantry is located in Building 8, Room 804.
“If the door is locked, please come by my office and we will let you in… It’s open. It’s available. It’s here.”
MOUNTAIRE FARMS DONATES TRANSPORT TRUCKS
Mountaire Farms donated two trucks, a 2015 and a 2016 Kenworth T680, valued at $45,966 and $49,646 respectively, making the donation a total value of almost $100,000.
“We wanted to start a truck driving program,” said Eric Freeman, Vice President of Workforce Development, Continuing Education, and Institutional Services. “But to start one, you need to have trucks for students to train on and they are an expensive commodity.”
Once Mountaire Farms heard of the need from Robeson Community College, they were ready to step in and help make the new truck driving academy a reality, so much so that leaders from the corporate office in Delaware flew in to hand over the keys.
“The decision to donate the trucks was instant,” stated JR LaPearl, Director of Mountaire Cares. “This is where our feed mill and processing plant is, it’s where our employees work, live, play, go to church and it’s our chance to play a small part in something cool, it makes my heart zing.”
And it made the hearts of leaders at RCC zing, too.
“We are excited, so excited to get these trucks. The partnership that we have with Mountaire has been instrumental in getting this program off the ground and running,” said Freeman. “We are so thankful for their support of this program and for this awesome donation that we have received.”
“This gift from Mountaire Farms will help pave the way for Robeson Community College to make a difference in our community by supplying the pipeline of truck drivers,” said Lisa Hunt, Assistant Vice President of Foundation and Grants. “We are thrilled about what the future holds for RCC and our partnership with Mountaire Farms. We expect this program will transform lives and provide employment opportunities for many in our community.”
RCC President Singler is also thrilled about the arrival of the new trucks.
RCC RECEIVES EMS STRETCHER FROM MOUNTAIRE FARMS
Robeson Community College received a much-needed donation from Mountaire Farms on Friday, March 11. The fast-growing agricultural food processing company donated a Stryker EMS stretcher, a gift valued at $5,000.
If the college had purchased this equipment brand new, it would have cost approximately anywhere between $12,000-$13,000.
You might ask, why would Mountaire Farms have a stretcher traditionally used in hospitals and ambulances?
“We have an entire nursing station, where we have RNs and LPNs, who are there just in case anything happens,” explained Jarrod Lowery, the community relations manager for Mountaire Farms.
“Throughout the years we have bought different equipment, but as time goes along, there is some equipment that you just don’t need any more and this was one of those, and that’s why it is practically brand new. If we are not going to use it, what better place to give it to than Robeson Community College to train the next generation of first responders,” stated Lowery.
Lowery says that Mountaire Farms is dedicated to the community and is always seeking ways to assist its partners.
“We want to continue to grow our partnerships in the area, every chance that we get…that’s why we reached out to Robeson Community College first to see if this was something that they would need,” said Lowery.
Brad Lawson said that the equipment was definitely something that they needed.
“We will get this ready to put out on the truck,” Lawson told Lowery, referring to the ambulances the college uses for training students. “Anytime you want to give us something, we will find a good use for it.”
During the donation, Lawson and Lowery spoke of a new hire at Mountaire who helped make the connection to RCC. The new hire has completed the BLS Instructor course through RCC’s Continuing Education program.
“Mountaire Farms employs our students, so this donation is representative of how Mountaire has come full circle by not only providing valuable resources for our classrooms but also offering jobs to our graduates,” said RCC President Melissa Singler. “We are so appreciative of the partnership with Mountaire. It is evident that Mountaire is invested in Robeson Community College and the community.”
Jessica Bullard with the RCC Foundation agreed, saying, “We are grateful for the continued support of Mountaire Farms to Robeson Community College. They have been instrumental in partnering with the Foundation on donations that will assist us in providing state-of-the-art training for our students.”
DONOR ESTABLISHES RALPH JACOB CLARK JR. MEMORIAL ENDOWMENT
The RCC Foundation has received an anonymous donation in the amount of $10,000. The donor came forward earlier this month to create a memorial endowment in honor of Ralph Jacob Clark Jr.
Clark was tragically killed in a car accident this past March. He was a senior at Lumberton High School and would have graduated later this month.
“The passing of Ralph Jacob Clark, Jr. has left our community brokenhearted,” said RCC President Melissa Singler. “This generous gift will help many students fulfill their academic goals and will keep Ralph’s memory alive for generations to come. We are grateful to our anonymous donor for this wonderful tribute to Ralph Jacob Clark, Jr.”
The endowment was established for students enrolled in the welding, industrial systems, or mechatronics program at Robeson Community College.
“Our students are the future of our community and the Ralph Jacob Clark, Jr. Memorial Endowment will enable Ralph’s legacy to live on and change lives for many years to come,” said Jessica Bullard, the RCC Foundation Director.
The donor stated that this gift would help promote higher education in Robeson County to those who may not have the means to pay.
“This scholarship will give young men an opportunity to attend college,” said the donor. “It will give them the opportunity that Ralph did not have.”
If you would like to contribute to the Ralph Jacob Clark Jr. Memorial Endowment, you can do so by contacting Jessica Bullard at (910) 272-3235 email@example.com.
RCC FOUNDATION RECEIVES $10,000 DONATION
The RCC Foundation has received a $10,000 donation from the Lumberton Tourism Development Authority (LTDA). LTDA voted to donate the money earlier this week to their annual scholarship which will provide two hospitality students $500 scholarships each semester.
The RCC Foundation was presented with the check today at the Lumberton Visitor’s Bureau.
“This is the second installation to the established scholarship,” said Angela D. Sumner, the Executive Director of the Lumberton Visitors Bureau. “This will promote tourism in our area and grow the hospitality program at RCC, and help sustain our workforce as more hotels and restaurants build in our area.”
Students enrolled in the hospitality management program will be eligible for the scholarship.
“This scholarship will help support students for years to come,” said Sumner. “We are reinvesting in hospitality and strengthening the number of employees we have who will stay in Robeson County and go into the hospitality industry.”
According to the NC Department of Commerce, the food service sector represents 9.27% of jobs in Robeson County, retail accounts for 13.33% of jobs in the county, and the arts, entertainment and recreation sector constitutes a smaller percentage of jobs at .28%, making up almost quarter of all positions.
“Our hospitality students go on to work in our restaurants, hotels, or they start their own business and create more jobs and opportunity for others,” said RCC President Melissa Singler.
“The support of the Lumberton Tourism Development Authority is tremendous and instrumental in ensuring that students have access to education and have the ability to pursue their dreams in the tourism and hospitality industry. We are so thankful for their support and for partnering with us to ensure the future pipeline of chefs, bakers, caterers, event planners, and hotel and restaurant managers…. With a degree in hospitality, the possibilities are endless,” Singler stated.
Jessica Bullard, the director of the RCC Foundation adds, “Our hospitality students are amazing and this scholarship will help to support some of our best and our brightest.”
“We are so grateful for the continued support of the Lumberton Tourism Development Authority and the Lumberton Visitor’s Bureau,” said Bullard. “You will help impact many of our hospitality students through this scholarship and we thank you for this generous donation.”
Members of the LTDA Board include Arnold West, Chair, Arnold’s Restaurant; John Dunlap, UNCP; Brion Oxendine, Realty One Group Heritage; Katie Davis, Huggins, Davis & Associates; Pramit Patel, Best Western; Dan Davis, Hampton Inn; Owen Thomas, City of Lumberton Liaison, Ex-officio; Alisha Armstrong, Finance Director, City of Lumberton, Ex-officio; Angela Sumner, Executive Director, Ex-officio
First Citizens Bank Endowed Scholarship
The $30,000 gift is from the Robert P. Holding Foundation and was presented to the college by First Citizens Bank to create the First Citizens Bank Endowed Scholarship.
“The Foundation supports the programs of the North Carolina Community College System, and the gift is to endow scholarships,” said Hank Dunbar, Manager of Charitable and Philanthropy Services at First Citizens. “First Citizens Bank and the Robert P. Holding Foundation are proud of the relationship they have with many of the North Carolina Community Colleges.”
Dunbar continued by saying, “The Foundation sees this gift as the token of appreciation for all that the North Carolina Community Colleges do to promote the education and welfare of the people of North Carolina.”
In keeping with its mission, Robeson Community College offers over 80 programs of study that provide opportunities for academic, technical, and life-long learning in a collaborative culture dedicated to inquiry, results, and excellence, allowing students an opportunity to receive a quality education which provides the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve their dreams.
Bowen Family: Lonnie, Dorothy, Woody Memorial Endowment
The gift has been bestowed to the college by Toni Bowen Sacry, and her husband Jeffrey Scott Sacry of Lumberton, in honor of her Father (Lonnie Norwood Bowen), Mother (Dorothy Pittman Bowen), and Brother (Lonnie Norwood Bowen II aka Woody).
“I am the last surviving member of my nuclear family,” said Toni Sacry. “After my father’s passing, being the last surviving member, I wanted to create an endowed scholarship in memory of my family, leaving a legacy at RCC in memory of my parents and brother.”
Toni’s brother, Woody, died in 1986 at the young age of 19 in a motorcycle accident. He had just joined the National Guard and came back from boot camp when the accident occurred. Her mother died ten years later in 1996 at the age of 55, and her father passed away in 2020 at the age of 81.
“My parents were big supporters of education,” said Toni. “My father helped to support my first cousins in attending college, so I wanted to continue their legacy of hard work and education. Education coupled with hard work is how you provide for yourself.”
She added, “I think education is a path to financial stability, understanding, and compassion.”
Many may remember Toni from Robeson Community College. She worked at RCC for 17 years as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and also served as a faculty member in the psychology department from 2003 until she retired in 2021. Before that, Toni worked for 10 years for the Department of Corrections. Her husband Jeffrey was an electrician at Southeastern Health.
The scholarship will be available to support students in college transfer programs, health sciences, and basic law enforcement training. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to be eligible.
Earl and Marjorie Whitener Endowed Scholarship
Mr. Ralph Whitener has established an endowment in honor of his parents, Earl and Marjorie Whitener. Mr. Whitener grew up in Lumberton and after a successful military career, he now lives in North Myrtle Beach, SC. The Whitener Endowment is designated for students majoring in nursing, whom demonstrate a financial need.
Charlie’s Pharm Tech Scholarship
Ms. Kelsea Hammond of Bladenboro, NC has established a scholarship, the Charlie’s Pharm Tech Scholarship, to assist students interested in enrolling in our Pharmacy Tech program. Ms. Hammond teaches part-time for our Continuing Education Division.
The Gilbert Scholarship
Ms. Darlena Moore of Wilmington, NC provided (2) $1,500 scholarships to two RCC students whom had been placed in foster care. Ms. Moore’s scholarship, the Gilbert Scholarship, is named in honor of her foster parents, Dick and Mary Gilbert, whom taught her the importance of education. To learn more about Ms. Moore’s remarkable work and her non-profit, please visit https://mountaingirlinitiative.com
RCC FOUNDATION RECEIVES $24,000 DONATION FROM JULIAN T. PIERCE MEMORIAL INITIATIVE
Julian T. Pierce Memorial Endowment
The Robeson Community College Foundation was bestowed with a $24,000 gift from the Julian T. Pierce Memorial Initiative on Thursday, October 28. The money donated will go towards scholarships for students, in continuing the legacy of Julian T. Pierce to support education and equality for all people. The money was raised during the 8th Annual Julian T. Pierce Memorial Art Dinner held earlier this year in August.
“We are thankful for the continued support in honor of Julian,” said Lisa Hunt, assistant vice president of foundation and grants at RCC. “He was a remarkable man with great vision, and the money raised will help to continue his legacy for generations to come.”
Pierce was a lawyer and civil rights activists, fighting for equality for the Lumbee Tribe of which he was a member, and for all individuals. In 1988, he ran for Superior Court Judge, a new judgeship created by the North Carolina General Assembly for Robeson County. In March 1988, just a few weeks before the election, Pierce was tragically killed in his home. It was determined that Pierce actually won the election that year, posthumously, by more than 2000 votes.
The memorial dinner was started by Lumbee Tribal Chairman, Harvey Godwin, who served as the campaign manager for Pierce during his run for Superior Judge, as a way to honor the man, whom many would attest had made such a difference in his community.
“Julian was an activist for all people,” said Jessica Bullard, foundation director at RCC. “He advocated for others to receive resources they needed, whether that was education, legal assistance, or healthcare.”
Pierce is remembered for his work to inspire great social change in the community. He founded the Lumbee River Legal Services and Robeson County Health Care Corporation. He was instrumental in integrating Robeson County’s schools into one school system to provide quality education for all.
“Having been involved with the Julian T. Pierce committee for several years, I appreciate the work and support that goes into the Julian Memorial Initiative,” said Jessica Bullard. “Now that I am the new Foundation Director at RCC, I know this donation will assist in funding multiple scholarships to students in need, fulfilling Julian’s vision and legacy.”
In the years since his death, many people have been inspired by his life to enter the professional fields where minorities have been historically underrepresented.
TWO STUDENTS AT ROBESON COMMUNITY COLLEGE RECEIVE $5,000 SCHOLARSHIP FROM SECU
Decarius McKeithan and Michaela Gayle Mickles show their scholarship certificates from the State Employees Credit Union, joined by members of the Robeson Community College Foundation and Financial Aid Offices , Zilma Lopes, Jessica Bullard, Deborah Kauba, and Adam Hardin.
MOORE CONTINUES TO PAY IT FORWARD WITH $1500 SCHOLARSHIPS
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give,” famous words once spoken by Winston Churchill.
And it’s a quote that completely embodies the heart and spirit of Darlena Moore, President of the Gilbert Scholarship, Inc., who continues to support students at Robeson Community College and across North Carolina.
Moore stopped by the RCC Foundation on Tuesday to personally give two $1500 scholarships to two students, one to Ravon (Brenda) Jones and another to Khira Thompson.
But this wasn’t her first trip to Lumberton.
Last summer she made the drive from Wilmington to provide scholarships to two other students, Amanda Meares and Riley Scott, both receiving $1500 as well.
Moore is making a life by what she gives – hope, encouragement, and inspiration – by paying it forward to those who have been in foster care.
“The numbers don’t ever seem to go down,” said Moore. “There are 438,000 kids in the foster care system right now, and it can be really discouraging to know that only 3% of those youth will ever graduate from college.”
That’s why Moore started the Mountain Girl Initiative, and the Dick and Mary Gilbert Scholarship, to help those who were in foster care complete college and to make a difference.
“A lot of it is just the support they don’t receive,” said Moore. “It’s all the things like, I ran out of money on my dining card, I need housing, I need a car. All the things that keep you in college.”
FORMER FOSTER KID PAYS IT FORWARD TO TWO DESERVING RCC STUDENTS
Amanda Meares, an associate of arts student
& Riley Scott, surgical technology student both presented with a $1500 scholarship check from
Darlena Moore, founder of The Gilbert Scholarship, for former foster children.