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Governor to speak at state Boys & Girls Clubs event in city

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Gov. Roy Cooper

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Gov. Roy Cooper is going to speak to a statewide gathering of Boys & Girls Clubs later this month in Rocky Mount, the local organization’s chief executive officer said.

Cooper, 61, a Nash County native, is going to be the keynote speaker on March 23, which is going to be the second day of the gathering, Ron Green said. The gathering is going to be at the Rocky Mount Event Center, Green said.

Cooper spokeswoman Noelle Talley confirmed the governor is going to speak at the gathering.

Green said the local organization was quite aware of Cooper long being a supporter of the Boys and Girls Clubs generally.

Additionally, Green noted when Cooper was the state’s attorney general, he advocated North Carolina’s participation in the “Badges for Baseball” initiative. The initiative, which is part of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, pairs youths with law enforcement officers, with the officers playing ball with the youths and serving as mentors and role models.

Green also said Cooper’s brother, District Judge Pell Cooper, whose district includes the Twin Counties, was the contact to get to the state’s chief executive more quickly about him coming to the statewide Boys & Clubs Clubs gathering.

The gathering’s purpose is to choose the Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year and Military Youth of the Year for North Carolina. 

The winners are going to go to the southeastern regional gathering, which is set for June 18 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta. The nationwide gathering is set for Sept. 25 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

The nationwide Youth of the Year program, which dates back nearly 70 years, recognizes Boys & Girls Clubs members dedicated to academic excellence, as well as their commitment to leadership, commitment to service and to living a healthy lifestyle.

The nationwide Youth of the Year serves as an ambassador and role model for nearly four million youths served by Boys & Girls Clubs every year, as well as the nation’s youth.

The Military Youth of the Year honor recognizes outstanding youths from Boys & Girls Clubs-affiliated centers on American military installations.

Green, 47, leads the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tar River Region, which has been in existence for more than half a century.

Green said the local organization, which is headquartered in Station Square, serves approximately 1,400 members, from ages 5-18, at locations in Edgecombe and Nash counties.   

The organization’s purpose is to ensure the members are on track to graduate from high school.

The Twin Counties Youth of the Year gathering is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Booker T. Theater.

Three contestants are going to go on stage to persuade a panel of judges from the community why they should receive the honor.

The three contestants are:

■ Serenity Battle, 15, who’s a sophomore at Rocky Mount High School. Her tentative choice for higher education is Winston-Salem State University and her anticipated career choice is to be a registered nurse. She has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs for five years.

■ Nia Ewuell, 16, who’s a junior at Rocky Mount High School. Her tentative choice for higher education is either Fayetteville State University or N.C. Central University and her anticipated career choice is to be an attorney. She has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs for four years.

■ Caleb Woodard, 14, who’s a freshman at Nash Central High School. His tentative choice for higher education is N.C. Central and his anticipated career choice is to be a chef or a defense attorney. He has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs for six years.

Admission to the event is free.

Green also said plans call for presenting a hero award to a person who has done much for the organization.

He said James Sledge, of the National Education Association and who grew up in Enfield, is going to be the speaker.

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