About 150 children turn out for J.C Price Post's annual picnic, school supply giveaway

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 4, 2012

By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY – Children laughed as they played games and sank their teeth into juicy slices of watermelon Monday afternoon at the J.C. Price American Legion Post 107.
More than 150 students from surrounding neighborhoods showed up for the Post’s 10th annual Labor Day picnic and membership drive.
The event kicked off with a feast of hamburgers and hot dogs served up by 11 volunteers from North Rowan High School’s JROTC.
“Some kids were so hungry they ate three or four hotdogs,” Commander Mae Carroll said.
After lunch, the children participated in a talent show and played a variety of games using jump ropes, hula hoops and plastic balls.
Then, it was time for what Carroll refers to as the “watermelon feast” featuring homegrown melons.
“I love watermelon. It’s my favorite,” 10-year-old Deneka Cherry said. She had another reason to enjoy the picnic, too. “It’s been fun to play with all my friends.”
The children headed outside to the picnic shelter to enjoy the cool treat in the shade.
A school supply giveaway rounded out the event.
Carroll said each student received a notebook, ruler, crayons, scissors, pencils, pens and erasers.
Pricier items like bookbags and calculators were raffled off.
Ashley Brewer attended the event with her daughters, 7-year-old Zion Hall and 7-month-old Messiah Watkins.
“I think it’s very beneficial to the community,” she said. “It’s very helpful to those who can’t afford supplies.”
Brandi Ellis, who brings her 8-year-old daughter Briana Nichols and two of her nieces to the picnic every year, said getting the free supplies eliminates one back-to-school cost.
“I save money to buy basics like uniforms, which have really gone up,” she said.
Sasha Brewer said the school supply giveaway is a “real blessing.”
“It’s nice that they do this,” she said. “It’s good to see them helping families who are struggling.”
Brewer has two school-aged children, Sacred Nelson, 9, and Spanasia Gordan, 5.
Sacred said Monday’s picnic was a nice way to spend the day off from school making new friends.
“It’s been fun,” she said. “I like that I didn’t have to be shy and I got a chance to step out.”
Ellis said her daughter looks forward to the picnic every year.
“It’s just so nice for the kids to be able to come here because it’s safe and friendly,” she said.
Carroll said the Labor Day picnic began as a way to reach out to local families who are struggling to get back. She said serving youth is part of the post’s mission.
The J.C. Price American Legion Post hosts a number of community events throughout the year including a Christmas party and Easter egg hunt.