08/17/14 — Mount Olive Heart Walk scheduled for Oct. 18

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Mount Olive Heart Walk scheduled for Oct. 18

By From staff reports
Published in News on August 17, 2014 1:50 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Health awareness and historic preservation will join forces Saturday, Sept. 13 when organizers of the Mount Olive Heart Walk and homeowner Connie Wells host an Open House for Heart from 1 to 5 p.m. at the historic Flowers-Wooten-Holmes house.

Free tours of the house will be held all afternoon and visitors will also have a chance to participate in a silent auction and to purchase refreshments to benefit the Mount Olive Heart Walk, and donations will be accepted as well.

All proceeds benefit the Mount Olive Heart Walk.

The Mount Olive Heart Walk, set for Saturday, Oct. 18, annually raises thousands of dollars for the American Heart Association. Peggy Hester and her late mother, Polly Waters, started the Mount Olive Heart Walk in the 1970s. It continues today under the leadership of co-chairs Rhonda Myers, Stan Ricker and Ms. Hester.

Participating teams are coordinating the different facets of the open house and continue to update plans as the event approaches.

In addition, the Saturday, Sept. 13 afternoon event will include free health screenings provided by Walgreens, children's activities and face painting provided by Mount Olive First Pentecostal Holiness Church, and information on heart disease and stroke prevention from the American Heart Association.

Organizers are also seeking heart disease survivors to participate throughout the day.

But the draw is the house itself.

"There have been lots of people over time express an interest in seeing the house," Ms. Wells said. "So we're offering a free open house centered around a fundraising effort to support the Mount Olive Heart Walk."

The Italianate home was built in 1885, incorporating a cabin built by the Wynn family sometime in the 1830s or 1840s as the home's kitchen.

Today the Wynn room represents the oldest physical structure in Mount Olive, dating back to the days when the Wilmington-Weldon railroad was constructed in the area.

The home anchors the town's historic district, created in 1999, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Ms. Wells and her husband, Gene Lilley, purchased the house in 2007 to save it from demolition, and they have steadily made structural and other major repairs to the house over the years. The couple is working with Preservation North Carolina for guidance on the repairs and for help promoting the house to potential buyers.

The Flowers-Wooten-Holmes House is located at 204 N. Center St., at the corner of East James and Center streets in downtown

Contact Connie Wells, 919-223-4615, for details on the house.

For details on the Mount Olive Heart Walk and its fundraising efforts, contact Rhonda Myers, 919-581-3638, Stan Ricker, 919-222-9299, or Peggy Hester at 919-658-3081.