06/25/13 — Carver alumni plan reunion weekend

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Carver alumni plan reunion weekend

By Josh Ellerbrock
Published in News on June 25, 2013 1:46 PM

When Carver alumni come to Mount Olive for the Carver Alumni Reunion weekend scheduled for July 3-7, they will be greeted by some great news.

A joint effort by the Carver Alumni Association and the town of Mount Olive recently netted a $450,000 Community Development Block Grant, which will go toward improvements -- infrastructure and otherwise -- of the Carver Cultural Center.

"It's exciting for everything to come together so we can enhance our campus. Some members are looking to do some beautification. That grant is going to improve so much," said Cassandra Rush, Carver Alumni and Friends Association president.

The alumni group's major project will be a rehabilitation of the Carver campus auditorium. Alumni have already spent some money trying to fix up the auditorium, and the extra grant money will help recoup some of those funds as well as expand the project. Once complete, the auditorium also would be available for public use.

The town, on the other hand, will concentrate on infrastructure improvements.

The Carver alumni also will give some funds to the town to help deal with the 10 percent match, or $45,000, needed to receive the grant.

Mrs. Rush is excited that once the improvements are finished, the Carver alumni will be able to hold all their reunion events at the Carver campus and make good use out of a building that has already done so much for her mother, a Carver alumnus, and friends.

She especially thanked Donald Faison, noting that he "was steadfast at making changes to the grant application."

The grant process still needs to run through state governmental channels before money can be used by the town, but Town Manager Charles Brown estimates construction should start sometime in 2014.

Until then, Carver alumni plan to make use of the old high school building for their 31st reunion. The schedule for the weekend is:

* The Youth and Scholarship Program will start Wednesday, July 3, at the Carver campus at 7 p.m. Mrs. Rush expects about $10,000 worth of scholarships to be granted to local high school students.

* On Friday, festivities begin at 9 a.m. at the Southern Wayne Country Club with a golf tournament. Later Friday night, a banquet dinner will open the doors at 6 p.m. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. Evening attire is recommended.

* A general meeting on Carver Campus starts Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by a picnic at noon. The night will end with a dance from 8 p.m. to midnight.

* The final event of the weekend will be a prayer breakfast on Sunday morning, 9 a.m., at the St. Mark Free Will Baptist Church.

To purchase tickets for the banquet, submit a $25 payment to P.O. Box 30, Mount Olive, N.C. 28365.