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Livingstone hosts 2nd West End Classic on Saturday

By Laurie D. Willis

Livingstone College News Service

SALISBURY – Livingstone College is hosting the Second Annual West End Classic on Saturday, and this year’s event promises to be even more exciting than the inaugural one held last year.

So named because it celebrates Salisbury’s West End community, in which Livingstone is located, the Classic was the brainchild of Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr.

“We started this last year because we are proud of the heritage that exists in Salisbury’s West End, which of course includes Livingstone College and the J.C. Price American Legion Post 107,” Jenkins said. “The college and residents of the West End have been collaborating for a few years on various projects that are designed to improve the quality of life on this side of town.

“I thought an annual football contest bearing the West End name would be a good way to foster our collaboration and to show all Salisbury residents what we have to offer,” Jenkins continued. “West End residents are excited about the classic, as are Livingstone students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. Our football team is a perfect 2-0, so we’re anticipating a large crowd on Saturday to come out and cheer our team on to their third, consecutive win.”

West End Classic festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a parade that starts on Horah Street and continues to Caldwell and Monroe streets before ending on Livingstone’s front lawn, where a brief ceremony will be held and refreshments will be served. Several local dignitaries are expected to attend.

“The West End community is very excited about the upcoming events, and we’re looking forward to a stellar celebration this year,” said Shirley Johnson, a member of West End Community Organization and West End Pride, the two groups with which Livingstone has recently partnered. “This is an excellent opportunity for members of the community to see what campus life is like and to build closer relationships with the college. We’re hoping that eventually the West End Classic will grow beyond the football game and preceding activities to include tutoring of local children by Livingstone College students, which would likely inspire them to want to attend college themselves.”

Johnson added that it’s not too late for local residents to participate in Saturday’s parade, which will feature several local groups as well as Livingstone College’s Marching Band and cheerleaders. After the parade, which ends at the Bear Plaza on Livingstone’s front lawn, a brief ceremony will be held. There will also be vendors on hand and Livingstone students and others will be able to register to vote. Local R&B group Divided by Four will provide music during voter registration.

“The football game should be exciting, and hopefully Livingstone College will win,” said staunch Livingstone supporter and community activist Dee Dee Wright. “I followed Livingstone to South Carolina two weeks ago for their season opener and am glad I’ll get a chance to watch them compete again on Saturday. But I’m even more excited about registering students to vote because we empower ourselves when we participate in the election process and make our voices heard. I hope several hundred students – and adults – will come out and register to vote on Saturday.”

Shirley McLaughlin, president of West End Pride, said she’s excited about The West End Classic.

“It’s a great event that has the potential to continue strengthening the relationship between the college and members of the community,” McLaughlin said. “I’m glad that the college reached out to establish the relationship, and I look forward to us working together to improve the community.”

Even though Classic events begins with the 10 a.m. parade, which will feature area veterans, the big event is, of course, the football game.

Led by senior quarterback Drew Powell, the Blue Bears hope to begin their season 3-0 with a win over the Central International University Cardinals. Last week the Blue Bears, under the direction of Head Coach Daryl Williams, defeated Virginia University of Lynchburg 48-19. The Blue Bears began the season by playing the Benedict College Tigers in The 14th Annual Palmetto Capital City Classic, in a contest they won 49-6.

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