It was not Manteo to Murphy… but New Bern to Franklin for me last week. I always love meeting with our fund holders and affiliates, and so it was just a great week to be reminded of the generosity, energy and passion of the folks we are privileged to work with across the state.

When I am in the car for long stretches, I listen to the radio and like to sing at the top of my lungs. (But only when I am alone!) When heading west across our very expansive state, there is a lot of radio time -- and recurring themes begin to emerge. Of course the theme of passion reigns supreme. There are countless songs with lyrics proclaiming passion, and one crooner in particular who “ain’t afraid to show it” always makes me laugh.

I sure did meet a group of fundholders last week who have philanthropic passion -- and I’m here to tell you that they “ain’t afraid to show it!”

On Monday the Craven Community Foundation hosted a “birthday celebration” for the late Margaret Rawls Stancil. Margaret was a Pamlico County native and longtime New Bern educator who established several endowment funds with the North Carolina Community Foundation to benefit local nonprofit organizations.  We heard about Margaret’s generosity, joyful spirit and her attitude of “cheerful giving.” Ken McCotter, a New Bern attorney and executor of her estate, shared wonderful stories of Margaret so everyone in the audience felt that they truly knew her. In honor of her birthday we feasted on all of her favorite foods -- pimiento cheese and BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs and sweet tea.  It was wonderful to honor her generosity.

Fast forward to mid-week: I enjoyed my time at the Museum of American Cut & Engraved Glass in Highlands.  What a gem of a museum. Curator George Siek gave me a tour and provided a truly interesting education on cut and engraved glass.  If you find yourself in Highlands, I strongly suggest a tour. They are open Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays from 1pm- 4pm May through October.  George and his late wife Bonnie had the vision for the establishment of this museum, and spent more than 10 years collecting and assembling an incredible collection.

On Thursday I was privileged to be part of the Macon County Community Foundation grants celebration and also help to mark their 20-year anniversary.  It is always wonderful to be part of the grants ceremony and hear of the incredible work local organizations are accomplishing.  Also in attendance were three of the original board members.  One couple, in their 90’s made it just time for the 6pm meeting, as they were driving from a meeting in Raleigh. Seriously. Talk about energy!

All these folks got passion -- and they “ain’t afraid to show it.” Makes me want to sing.

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