12/10/04 — Community center raises $32,000 in one-day event

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Community center raises $32,000 in one-day event

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on December 10, 2004 2:01 PM

The Community Crisis Center appealed for money to help pay off its mortgage, and Wayne County residents answered the call with $32,000 in pledges during a one-day radio telethon.

Curtis Media Group's two Goldsboro radio stations, WGBR and WFMC, broadcast from the center Thursday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"I opened the center's doors at 5 a.m. and there was Wayne Alley with WGBR waiting for me," said Adeen George, the center's founder and director.

Between 15 and 20 volunteers manned the phones and took pledges. Mrs. George said there were even two pilots in uniform from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base answering phones.

Evangelist Brenda Buckhram from Greensboro helped take pledges. She sometimes conducts services at the Community Crisis Center to help it raise money.

"My daughter and husband came from Knightdale to help," said Mrs. George. "And my sister called me the night before the radio-thon to tell me she had a vision of four angels, one on each corner of the center. She said she had no doubt that the fund-raiser would be successful."

Twenty-seven volunteers also took turns on computers entering pledge information as it was received.

During the event, a former recipient of the center's care told his story. He was on drugs, homeless and had no clothes but those on his back. The center helped him and now he sells real estate and is giving back to the center and this community, said Mrs. George.

Another man told his story at the event. He was a drug and alcohol addict and the center helped him, too. Now he's head usher at his church and helps deliver items to the elderly in the community and runs errands for the center.

The center staff raised an additional $1,160 by selling dinners and sandwiches during the fund-raiser.

"You have never seen anything like it," said Mrs. George. "We had to move furniture to make five offices for the radio-thon. I've never experienced the love and togetherness I felt Thursday."

Mrs. George said she walked the building all day long. "It was like a dream. I just thank God. I've been doing this for 24 years now and at one time, I was ready to just give up."

Mrs. George said the mortgage is a crushing burden. The goal is to raise $131,000 to pay it off.

She founded the center in 1981 and operated out of an old house. In the early 1990s, ground was broken for a new building on Slocumb Street. During construction, the building collapsed. Another was started, but it, too, collapsed soon after it was finished.

A communitywide effort was started to build another building. R.N. Rouse & Co. did much of the construction without charge.

The center currently operates mostly on donations. Mrs. George said it feeds about 270 meals a week.

"We thank God for the support from Curtis Media WFMC and WGBR, the volunteers, the News-Argus, Cingular Wireless, Accu Copy, Sears, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base personnel and the religious and community leaders who gave, sacrificed, got up earlier and prayed for the success of this effort," said the Rev. William Barber, co-chairman of the event with the Rev. Aaron McNair and Tony Denton.

"We have made a major step by raising $32,000 and we believe that more is still to come. Most of all, we are thankful to God for Evangelist Adeen George and all the lives she has touched. It was my special privilege to see her re-energized and smiling, knowing that this institution of mercy will be able to complete its work."

There will be other fund-raising activities to help the center raise the $131,000 it needs. One will be a New Year's service at Mrs. George's church. A special speaker will give the service, and the offering will be used for operating expenses of the center.

"People are focusing on the mortgage to get it paid off," said Mrs. George. "At the same time, we have $7,000 monthly in operating expenses. We get no grant money. We depend on people to donate funds."