News Briefs

Posted 8/16/19

News Briefs

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News Briefs

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Sanders named Chamber Ambassador of the Quarter

Erica Sanders, branch manager for Carolina Home Mortgage in Pittsboro, has been honored as the Chatham Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassador of the Quarter.

“(She) is the epitome of an ambassador,” said Cindy Poindexter, Chamber president and CEO. “She handles her role as Ambassador Chair with high regard, grace, kindness, and professionalism. The Chatham Chamber of Commerce is very fortunate to have Erica Sanders on their Ambassador team and very much appreciates her service.”

Sanders is married to Mark Sanders, co-owner of Sanders Automotive on U.S. Hwy. 15-501 in Pittsboro. She enjoys working out, spending time with friends and time with her family. She and Mark have two daughters, Slyvie and Kinley.

Mathis tapped as new Division 8 Transportation Board member

RALEIGH – Lisa Mathis was sworn in Aug. 8 as the new representative of Highway Division 8, which consists of Chatham, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond and Scotland counties, on the N.C. Board of Transportation.

A Sanford small business owner and artist, Mathis is a longtime advocate for jobs and growth. She brings more than 25 years of creative design, communication and problem-solving skills to the board.

Mathis owns ArtStudio, which focuses on spreading art and design education to our next generation of creative leaders. She is a graduate of the College of William & Mary.

She has served on various boards of community and civic organizations and schools, including as a PTAA president and board member of Cary Academy. In 2018, she ran as a Democrat for the N.C. House of Representatives in District 51 but lost to Republican incumbent John Sauls of Lee County.

Food pantry receives donation from Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation

SILER CITY — West Chatham Food Pantry has received a donation of $2,700 from the Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation to help feed local residents. West Chatham Food Pantry will use the gift to provide food and nutrition to its clients.

“West Chatham Food Pantry expresses our sincere appreciation to be awarded this grant,” said a West Chatham Food Pantry spokesperson. “Without it, we could not feed our hungry clients.”

Food pantry clients receive food every two weeks as long as they meet qualification guidelines. The pantry is open three times a week for food pickups and offers home delivery for those unable to physically come to the pantry. The Food Pantry also has a FuelUp program, which is a weekend back-up program that provides grocery items to elementary school children in three schools in the county.

Established in 2001, the Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation provides financial support for programs and organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry in the communities it serves. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded more than $12 million in grants.

Chatham LEO announces scholarship recipient

Amani Watson has been named as the scholarship recipient for the Chatham County LEO Association.

Watson is a graduate of Chatham Charter School and is attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the fall.

The Chatham County LEO Association established its scholarship program to recognize students who are planning to enroll in law enforcement and criminal justice studies and have a desire to move into this career.

“The Chatham County Law Enforcement Officers Association congratulates Amani and looks forward to her presence in this profession in the future,” said Cathy S. Judge, the organization’s secretary/treasurer.

School system to partner with The Great Turnaround for short-term suspension program

The Chatham County Board of Education and the operators of The Great Turnaround, a Siler City-based nonprofit, entered into an agreement Monday night that would allow The Great Turnaround to offer short-term suspension services for middle and high school students.

The “Alternative to Suspension Program” will allow, according to the agreement, “an alternative program that offers a structure, supervised and positive environment” to suspended students from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, during the school year. The program will help students identify goals and barriers, create individual action plans, work on school assignments and participate in small group workshops “focused on developing skills for positive communication, healthy relationships, conflict resolution and development of self.”

The Great Turnaround opened last month and is operated by the Rev. Barry Gray, pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church in Siler City. Chatham County Schools Superintendent Derrick Jordan said Monday that Rev. Gray came to the district with a plan for the program.

“We are very encouraged by what we think we may be able to realize as a result of this potential partnership,” Jordan said. “Rev. Gray is a very active member of the community, and when he reached out to us to talk about this as an opportunity, he did not come with a bag of wishes. He came with a whole lot of stuff that would be necessary to actualize his actual plan.”

Rev. Gray told the board that he’s “always had a desire” to “work with young people” and this program was an opportunity to help curb “the crime and all the killing.”

“We’ve got to start doing something to head off some of this devastation with our young people,” he said.

Currently there is no funding for transportation for students, but resources that will be used with student are included in the local county schools budget. Students would be able to access any district educational material while at The Great Turnaround, as well as the nonprofit’s computers, workout equipment and books and instructional resources.

The board unanimously approved the agreement, pending attorney review of the plan.

Build a Backpack school supply drive a success

Thanks to tremendous response from local businesses, churches and community members, this year’s Build a Backpack school supply drive was a huge success.

The drive, which was coordinated by the United Way of Chatham County, collected backpacks, notebooks, binders, paper, pencils, crayons and other supplies.

“The response from the community has been truly overwhelming,” said Dina Reynolds, executive director of the United Way of Chatham County. “We received almost 300 backpacks this year and 100 of them were laptop backpacks. This is especially important because Chatham County is one of the few North Carolina counties that issues laptop computers to all high school students.”

United Way coordinates the drive every year and distributes materials collected to Chatham County Schools, Chatham Department of Social Service’s Foster Care Program and Salvation Army. These organizations identify students in need of basic school supplies and work with United Way to meet that need.

“We are very appreciative of the community’s consideration of our students,” said Rosemarie Rovito, the Basic Needs Coordinator for Chatham County Schools. “Because of their concern and participation, our children in need will go to school better equipped to succeed.”

Those in need of school supplies should contact their child’s school guidance counselor. They will contact Rovito to make arrangements for your child to receive the supplies that are required by their teacher.

Area businesses and churches that collected school supplies for the Build a Backpack school supply drive include Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, Chapel Ridge, Chatham Hospital, Governors Club, Pittsboro Presbyterian Church and Virginia Cross Elementary School.

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