Wednesday, 02 May 2018 16:20

Seafood festival raises $8,500 for children's events, organizations

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From left, Bryant, Lancaster, Long, Rawls, Morgan, Pierce, Dillard, Baker, Lockamon and Tripp. From left, Bryant, Lancaster, Long, Rawls, Morgan, Pierce, Dillard, Baker, Lockamon and Tripp. rrspin.com

The annual Benefiting the Children of Halifax County Seafood Festival raised $8,500 Saturday and several organizations will use the funds for their upcoming events.

Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp Tuesday distributed the funds to the 4-H Rural Life Center; the Hobgood Academy Preschool; the Lakeland Summer Children’s Workshop  and the Roanoke Rapids Youth Baseball Association.

Joining Tripp for the presentation in Halifax were representatives of partners Maverick 102.3 and White Motors.

The donation of $5,500 will pay the registration of up to 100 children to attend the Junior Deputy Camp on June 11 at Rural Life Center on Highway 903 outside Halifax. Deadline for registration is May 25.

Transportation will be provided and pickup points will be announced later, Tripp said. “We’re hoping 100 children will register. Transportation is free. No child has to pay.”

Lunch is also free and participants will receive a T-shirt. A parent or guardian may attend but has to register. Tripp said space is limited. The camp is for boys and girls ages 6 to 14.

Joe Long, director of the center, said, “The partnership with the sheriff, we’re happy to do that.”

Halifax County Board of Commissioners Chair Vernon Bryant said, “This is the second year he’s put the camp on. I can’t say enough about the sheriff helping the youth of our county.”

Hobgood Academy received $1,000 for improvements to its preschool.

Julie Rawls, who is co-director of the preschool as well as a guidance counselor, said the money will be used for improvements which include a sand box, shading and toys.

Barbara Dillard, who is a board advisor and grant writer for Lakeland, said the $1,000 donation will help children who could not otherwise participate attend the summer workshop, which culminates with a performance of Annie Jr.

“Teachers notice a big difference,” when children participate in theater, she said. “They’re more confident, they learn to work together, learn music and dancing.”

Roy Pierce, chair of the Lakeland board, said the summer workshop offers a “place for every type of kid,” where they can also learn about lighting and other non-acting facets of theater. “The goal is community outreach, helping to pull some of the youth back from the brink.”

The Roanoke Rapids Youth Baseball Association is just not centered on Roanoke Rapids, Tripp said. “It’s open to kids in Halifax County and Northampton County. The association has done a lot of improvements at Ledgerwood Field.”

Todd Lockamon, president of the association, said the organization includes 36 volunteer coaches, 25 teams and some 250 children in the summer league and some 150 in the fall league.

“The main goal in baseball is trying to teach life lessons, social aspects, a way for them to experience success and how to handle adversity,” Lockamon said.

The money will be applied to a batting cage, Lockamon said.

Jerry Lancaster of White said he was appreciative of the company being a partner in the program. “Wes has always been involved in the community. We have to start with the youth.”

Mike Morgan of Great 98 and First Media Radio, told the sheriff, “We know what you’ve done in the community. In radio, it’s all about local.”

Cleve Baker, also of Maverick, said General Manager Chuck Marsh wants to be community-oriented. “We will continue to partner with Wes Tripp.”

Tripp said he was appreciative of the partnerships and the many sponsors of the seafood festival. “It’s much more to law enforcement than enforcing the laws and locking folks up. It’s more about building relationships within our communities, especially with our children and it’s been said by many and it’s very true our future is our children.”

Tripp has been doing the fundraisers since 2015 and has raised more than $43,000. “I plan on continuing to do this on into the future.”

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