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Eastern N.C. roundup

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ALS walks raise funds

The Greenville Walk to D’Feet ALS raised about $35,000 for the ALS Association, drawing about 700 to the Town Common for food, entertainment and children’s activities, the Daily Reflector reported Sept. 18.

Attending was former East Carolina University baseball coach Keith LeClair, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, before he stepped down in 2002.

ALS attacks the nervous system and leads to muscle weakness.

In Emerald Isle, about 2,000 runners, walkers and bicyclists raised about $150,000 in its ALS walk Sept. 10, the Tideland News of Swansboro reported Sept. 14.

About 500 Marines from Camp Lejeune and the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point participated in the event.

North Carolina’s native son Jim “Catfish” Hunter of Hertford died in 1999 of complications of the disease in 1999.

Bike event aims for $1 million

The fifth annual MS 150 Magical Mystery Bike Tour concluded in New Bern with about 1,500 cyclists and a goal of raising $1 million, the Sun Journal reported Sept. 11.

The fund-raiser for multiple sclerosis research took cyclists from across the state through a two-day, 75-to-100-mile loop. Last year’s event raised more than $900,000.

New Day for Wesleyan

A New Day for Wesleyan raised $503,652, the Rocky Mount Telegram reported Sept. 15.

The yearly Day for Wesleyan had a new name this year, and funds raised will be matched through an inheritance from benefactor Frank E. Brown. The late benefactor allotted $1.2 million to the college that must be matched dollar for dollar. Brown was an Edgecombe County native who died in 1976.

Contributions will support scholarships, teaching materials, faculty research, athletics, student programming, library resources and computer purchases. Last year, the one-day event raised $460,000.

Senior care gets grant

The North Carolina Association of Free Clinics and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation granted $15,000 to the Catholic Social Ministries in New Bern, the Sun Journal reported Sept. 11.

The grant will help provide care for the uninsured and underinsured seniors through the Senior Pharmacy Program serving Craven, Pamlico Jones and Carteret counties.

Lenoir-Greene UW campaign opens

Lenoir-Greene United Way opened its 2006 campaign with a goal of raising $500,000 for programs in the two counties, the Kinston Free Press reported Sept. 14.

The organization began in 1952 as the United Community Fund of Lenoir and in 1980 became the United Way of Lenoir County. It added Greene County in recent years and today serves 18 agencies in the counties.

Pitt United Way begins drive

The United Way of Pitt County has raised $1.2 million toward its goal of $2,996,000, the Daily Reflector reported Sept. 16.

Pacesetters raised the amount before the community phase began Sept. 15. The organization serves 33 programs and 20 health and human service agencies, or about 46,000 Pitt County residents.

Pacesetters were ASMO, Cambridge Behavioral Health Services, city of Greenville, Greenville Utilities, MANPOWER Inc., NACCO Materials Handling Group, Physicians East, Pitt County Memorial Hospital/University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina and The Daily Reflector.

Havelock project stalls

Plans to create a historic park in Havelock stalled when plans to move a railroad depot failed, the New Bern Sun Journal reported Sept. 14.

The Old Town Havelock park is a project of the Havelock Historical Society. The society received a $100,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation to restore the depot and has $20,000 in matching funds.

Rotary festival celebrates 25 years

The Garden Spot Festival and the La Grange Rotary Club Auction brought about 100 people to the baseball field to raise money for La Grange schools, Boy Scouts, Junior Miss Pageant, arts council and other charities, the Kinston Free Press reported Sept. 11.

The 25th annual festival featured games, food and activities in addition to the auction, which raised about $2,000.

Smaller project green lighted

Funds for the city’s Streetscape project seem to be intact, the Elizabeth City Daily Advance reported Sept. 18.

About $700,000 in state funds, including money for a job training center, was allocated for the projects, which have experienced setbacks.

State officials told the city it could retain the funds, as long as they are spent on the Main Street projects. A reduced version of the project is now under consideration.

Wayne Historical celebrates 50

Members of the Wayne County Historical Association celebrated its 50th anniversary, the Goldsboro News-Argus reported Sept. 12.

About 75 people visited the association’s museum, viewing a cotton gin, wooden washing machine and other items.

The museum, built in 1927, once served as a women’s club and USO stop during World War II. Plans this year call for historical holiday displays around the county.

African-American commission regroups

A smaller Commission on African-American History is taking shape in Wilmington, the Star-News reported Sept. 18.

Four months ago, the group was reduced to 9 members from 15 after failing to reach a quorum at its meetings.

The smaller group plans a kickoff event in November to introduce its members to the community and to begin partnerships with local organizations, government agencies and interested individuals.

Health program targets African-American churches

The Onslow Community Health Improvement Process and Onslow Health Department are offering nutrition education to members of Saint Paul AME Zion Church in Hubert and other African-American churches, the Jacksonville Daily News reported Sept. 19.

The 5 A Day Program hopes to improve the health of church members by offering information on healthy eating. African-Americans are at a higher risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease in Eastern North Carolina and face a host of other illnesses.

The 5 A Day program was created by the National Cancer Institute.

Sanctuary helps after hurricane

The Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary in Hubert is helping rescue wild animals after Hurricane Ophelia, the Jacksonville Daily News reported Sept. 17.

Baby squirrels, birds and other creatures have arrived more requests have followed the storm, said Toni O’Neil, a state and federal wildlife rehabilitation specialist.

Cat rescue begins in New Bern

A nonprofit dedicated to saving cats has begun in New Bern, the Sun Journal reported Sept. 12.

Fran Arbit began Fran’s Felines in March and today has about 30 rescued cats in addition to her own 22.

Arbit wanted to be a veterinarian but was unable to because her family could not afford the tuition. She has made about 10 adoptions and is curtailing further rescues because of her limited resources.

Barton leader tapped

Carolyn Brown, vice president for institutional advancement at Barton College, was selected a member of the Leadership North Carolina 2005-06, the Wilson Daily Times reported Sept. 16.

Leadership North Carolina chooses leaders in organizations and communities to meet six times in seven months throughout the state to focus on economic development, education, environment, government and politics, and health and human services.

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