Top cops takes pies to the face
By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY — Drivers passing by Team Chevrolet about noon Saturday might have by been startled by shrieks, shrills and howls.
The dealership asked locals to belt out their loudest and scariest scream during its first Halloween Team Scream contest.
Aniya Simmons, 9, and her mother, Sheree Forbes, let out two of the most terrifying screams during the contest to claim first-place prizes.
“I practiced some Friday night, so I was ready,” Aniya said.
The contest is one of the things that lured the mother-daughter duo to Team Chevrolet’s first fall festival.
The other was the cause. All of the money raised during the event is being donated to the United Way of Rowan County.
“I think that’s great because when she was born she was really sick, so we got support from a lot of local organizations, including United Way (agencies),” Forbes said.
Forbes said she wanted to give back to the nonprofit that assisted her family while Aniya was suffering frequent seizures.
David Bush ventured out to the dealership Saturday for similar reasons. He brought along 3-year-old Keyniah Chambers to participate in the screaming contest.
Keyniah got cold feet about the contest, but Bush said he was still glad he showed up.
“I’m having a really good time,” he said. “It’s a blessing they are giving to United way because there is a great need in the community right now,” he said.
Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins and Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten did their part to help out, volunteering to have pies thrown in their faces for $1 each.
“The sad fact of the matter is that with the economy the way it is, more and more people need the United Way now more than ever, so I’ll do whatever I can to support it,” he said.
Auten said he enjoyed being able to give back to the community while having a good time.
“In our jobs, we see the negatives so much it’s good to be part of positive things,” Auten said.
Don McCall said although his 6-year-old daughter, Ava, was almost impossible to drag out of bed Saturday morning, her demeanor made a total turnaround when they got to Team.
“Now, she doesn’t want to leave,” he said.
Ava enjoyed reeling in prizes at the Go Fishing station and painting “scary faces” on a pumpkin to take home as a decoration.
McCall was delighted to hear the proceeds were going to benefit United Way.
“I’m all for charity and if the kids can have fun too it seems like a no-brainer,” he said.
The fall festival was an affordable way for John Myers and his son, Ryan Meeks, 10, to spend some quality time together.
“This has been a good way to get him out of the house away from the video games,” he said. “The best thing is just getting to spend time with my son.”
About 150 people turned out for the event Saturday, despite chilly temperatures and overcast skies throughout much of the day.
“I think that’s great considering we woke up to rain this morning and it’s a little cool and breezy today,” said Cindy Landry, the dealership’s director of business development.”
Landry said Team Chevrolet plans to host the event annually as a way to connec local residents with the United Way.
“It’s a really good opportunity to bring the community together to do something for families and to make sure the proceeds are used in the best possible way,” she said.
Jackie Harris, associate director of United Way of Rowan, said the organization is appreciative of the dealership’s willingness to host the event, which ended up raising nearly $500.
“We’re challenged to raise the money and it’s very much needed,” she said. “When you can do something to raise money and people are having a good time it makes it really meaningful.”
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.