Perspectives Online

Sun sets, funds rise at Dock of the Bay gala

The Eastern 4-H Center was a beautifully shimmering setting for the fund-raiser.
Photo by Art Latham

The sun was obscured by clouds as it slowly sank in the west over Bull Bay May 14.

But those clouds didn't stop a Key West-style salute to the sunset at the second annual Dock of the Bay fundraiser at the Eastern 4-H Center near Columbia. And they didn't stop beach music fans aged 18 to 80 from dancing to radio personality Steve Hardy's Original Beach Party music.

Nor did they dampen the enthusiasm of donors, whose contributions flowed like syrup from the chocolate fountain that was the centerpiece of the silent auction in the waterside conference room.

"We're delighted that this event netted more than $20,000 for camperships and facility construction," said Tommy Cahoon, event committee chair and a Eastern Center board member.

"Just as importantly," he said, "we doubled our attendance - reaching nearly 200 - and significantly increased the number of sponsorships from businesses and individuals in the area."

For instance, recently East Carolina Bank made a challenge gift of $50,000 to the Eastern Center to name the center's corporate dining room. Whoever matches or betters the bank's gift will share naming rights.

Silent auction donations increased, as well, and included such popular items as Colony Tire gift certificates and mountain and beach weekend getaways.

Major Dock sponsors included East Carolina Bank, the N.C. 4-H Development Fund, MACTEC Engineering and Consulting Inc. and Sprint.

The third annual Dock of the Bay event is set for May 6, 2006.

- Art Latham