01/04/07 — Hulse will be jumping; United Way also plans auction

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Hulse will be jumping; United Way also plans auction

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on January 4, 2007 1:53 PM

With only a week left in its 2006 fundraising campaign and Geoff Hulse poised to take his dive Saturday, the United Way of Wayne County will be auctioning off memorabilia from its Bring It On challenge from 7:45 to 9 a.m. Friday during Wayne Alley's morning show on WGBR-1150 AM.

Items up for bid will be representative of each of the campaign's community rewards.

From Mt. Olive Pickle Co., will be 20 one-gallon jars of Louis Pate-packed sour whole pickles. Each will feature a commemorative label with a picture of Pate and the "Pate Packs Pickles" Bring it On logo.

From Starbucks, will be a gift basket, including two Starbucks ceramic mugs, a Starbucks red and gold hand-painted small gift bowl, a package of dark chocolate peppermint truffles, a box of wild sweet orange tea, Starbucks cinnamon and spearmint mints, holiday peppermints, Starbucks milk chocolate and Starbucks cookies.

Another gift basket will be coming from Krispy Kreme.

From Jerry Narron, will be an autographed large "Read with the Reds" Bring It On T-shirt.

And from Hulse's leap will be an airplane theme package.

Alley and Hulse will auction the items off on-air, describing them and taking live bids. Winners will be able to pick up and pay for their goods at the United Way office at 308 N. William St.

The auction is one of the United Way's final fundraising efforts before its campaign ends Jan. 11.

Right now, the organization has met about 97 percent of its $1.44 million goal.

And while that's still shy of what Hulse, the campaign chairman, had hoped for when he scheduled his skydiving adventure for Saturday, he's decided to go ahead and jump.

"I think it's been a tremendous effort by the community to get this close to the goal," he said. "I feel like I owe it to the community to go ahead and take the plunge.

"It's been a tough campaign, but we dangled these other challenges out there and fortunately we met them. I hope people know that we're committed to the community and even though we're not making the goal (by Friday), I feel we're going to be so close that maybe with the fun generated by the jump will urge some people to give a few extra dollars.

"Maybe the jump will not only put me over the edge but put the campaign over the edge as well."

Hulse will be jumping -- in tandem with an instructor -- from 14,000 feet. For the first 60 seconds, he will be in a 120-mile-per-hour free fall. After that, the instructor will open the parachute and they will spend the next six minutes floating back to the ground.

"I'm excited about it," Hulse said. "I sure hope I don't chicken out.

"Wayne Alley said the other day he knows I've jumped a lot in front of judges so maybe this won't be a big deal. As they say, the first 13,999 feet aren't a problem. It's that last foot that's the problem.

"My priest, Gene Carpenter (at Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church) asked for directions up there. We emailed them to him and he emailed me back saying thanks and that he'd bring a prayer book and a spatula."

Fortunately, Hulse continued, he's got a little extra motivation to go through with his promise.

"I guess if I get the least bit nervous about it, I'll just think about how it's for a good cause and all the people who've stepped up and all the donors and how if you put them on each others' shoulders, they might reach 14,000 feet," he said. "It's really just a marvelous feeling to know there's been all this interaction in the community and to know that the community as a whole has really stepped up. I hope the jump sends a powerful message."

Hulse's jump is the last community reward in the Bring It On challenge. The first, at 60 percent, was Pate packing pickles at Mt. Olive Pickle Co. The second, at 70 percent, was Goldsboro Mayor Al King serving coffee at Starbucks. The third, at 80 percent, was Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders serving doughnuts at Krispy Kreme. And the fourth, at 90 percent, was Cincinnati Reds manager and Goldsboro resident Jerry Narron reading to children at Wayne County Public Library's Goldsboro branch.

And even though Hulse is going ahead with his jump, the campaign doesn't officially end until Jan. 11, so there's still time to contribute.

For more information on donating, call the United Way office at 735-3591. Donations can be dropped off at the United Way office or mailed to at 308 N. William St., Goldsboro, N.C. 27530.