Local clubs, individuals honored by Junior Civitan International

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 9, 2024

By Pete Prunkl

For the Salisbury Post

When Ebbie Lescoe was in second grade at Overton Elementary School, she returned from winter break to learn that her friend had an unusual Christmas. She received no presents. There was nothing under the tree. Nothing from her family. That experience made a lasting impression on Ebbie. When she was elected president of the Junior Civitan Club at Salisbury Academy Upper School, she decided to do something about a Christmas without presents.

Her idea was to give something warm like a sweatshirt, sweater or blanket to every student at Overton Elementary School. Clothing sizes would be a problem, so she settled on a special blanket, one embroidered with the school crest. 

The 13 members of the Salisbury Academy Junior Civitan Club were all in on the project. They raised $3,000 for 200 blankets. Ebbie asked her former Girl Scout leader Ashlee Dangerfield of Ashlee’s Embroidery if she would discount her price for the multicolored Overton crest. Ashlee loved the idea and was all in.   

Ebbie and her Junior Civitan Club arranged for an end-of-term party on Dec. 15, 2023, for the blanket presentation.

“Students were ecstatic,” she said. “You could tell they were touched by the gifts.”  

Ebbie, the blanket project and her club were honored at the Junior Civitan International Convention held June 22 by Zoom from Civitan Headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. Of the 11,000 Junior Civitans in 400 clubs in the United States, Canada and the Philippines, Ebbie was named Junior Civitan of the Year and the blanket project was chosen Junior Civitan Best Campus Project of the Year. Ebbie’s singular honor also included a $1,000 scholarship. Ebbie was elected vice president of Junior Civitan International for the 2024-2025 year. 

Meredith Williams is the faculty advisor for the Salisbury Academy Upper School Junior Civitan Club.

“Our students have benefited in so many ways from our connection to Junior Civitan International,” Williams said. “Their way of nurturing student leadership dovetails so nicely with what we are doing at the Upper School.” 

Another Rowan County Junior Civitan and four local Junior Civitan Clubs were honored at the June convention:  

  • Baxter Heilig of Salisbury Academy Upper School was named a director of Junior Civitan International for the 2024-2025 year
  • Faith Academy (co-sponsored by the Faith Civitan Club and the Civitan Club of Salisbury) and Salisbury Academy Upper School were named Honor Clubs of Distinction for 2024
  • North Hills Christian School and Salisbury High School were named Honor Clubs for 2024. 

Reacted to the many awards, Civitan Club of Salisbury Junior Civitan Committee Chair Cyndi Osterhus said, “I am extremely proud of the local Junior Civitan Clubs. The service projects and the participation of the more than 100 members fulfill the motto of Junior Civitans: Make the World a Better Place.”