by Natalie Jenkins Peel
The northeastern part of the state is in its busiest time of the year, harvest time I guess you could say. Wrapping up five of its six affiliate grant cycles, two women’s giving programs and awarding 12 deserving scholarships to stellar students who are starting their college careers. It is a time for closure and renewal if you think about it.
Recently, the Northern Albemarle Community Foundation (NACF), which serves Pasquotank, Perquimans, Camden and Gates counties, held its annual grants reception along with the Women Givers of NE NC, a program of NACF and NCCF. This year’s event, however, was one of several “firsts.” It was the first time they included scholarship recipients and the first time they included our generous fundholders and Chairman’s Challenge contributors. The vision of gathering all of these incredible people in one room who care about their community led to a bit of anxiety but happy anxiety. How is all going to flow, will everyone show up, what if someone is late, did I prepare the CEO? JTW is going to be there … Yikes! Can you picture it?
When the NACF Chair Kathryn Scott welcomed everyone it had begun, and I was able to exhale.
And then the scholarships were presented. The fundholders and the students were asked to come up together and meet for the first time. All of these scholarships are named in memory of loved ones. One was named in memory of a son who was lost too soon before he had an opportunity to go to college. For this family, this award meant everything: a reminder of the son that they lost, a reminder that his memory will live on in through other people and that the students who are awarded the scholarship created in his memory will have opportunities to do something with their lives when their son did not. What an amazing footprint to leave. When the father got up and spoke, he used the notion “bittersweet.” And it was bittersweet, a sense of closure and renewal for this family. It is why we do what we do: we help individuals and families leave lasting legacies, we help them water their seeds and grow their flowers and then are there to see the blooms. It is truly an honor to do that!