ELIZABETHTOWN — The volunteers of Bladen We Care are gearing up to celebrate 25 years of giving and supporting those in need in Bladen County on Friday at Lu Mil Vineyard.
The 25th anniversary celebration will kick off at 7 p.m. and will feature the music of the Blackwater Rhythm and Blues Band.
“It’s a special night, being its our 25th year,” said Mac Campbell, one of the volunteers for Bladen We Care. He added folks won’t see any changes to the program for this year’s event.
Over the 25-year period, Bladen We Care has raised more than $1.2 million and given $1.2 million to various individuals and groups to assist those in need in Bladen County, said Campbell.
The group also endowed a nursing scholarship at Bladen Community College and UNC-Pembroke. The one requirement is that the scholarship recipient must be a resident of Bladen County.
In 2013, Bladen We Care gave 225 individual grants plus the assistance given to groups such as Bladen Habitat for Humanity, Bladen Crisis Assistance, the Bladen Baptist Association, Bladen Community College, Bladen County Schools, The Carvers Creek Free Medical Clinic, and the Bladen Parish Nurse program when it was active, said Campbell.
Bladen We Care got its start 25 years ago in March 1989 when a group of folks were talking and wondering what they could do to assist those who had no insurance or who are not eligible to receive any type of assistance. Out of that conversation Bladen We Care was born and the first golf tournament was held and raised about $6,000 said Campbell.
“We added the Gala as an afterthought,” said Campbell.
He added that the gala has become a popular event among the supporters of Bladen We Care. Campbell said Smithfield and Murphy’s Brown have joined Bladen We Care as presenting sponsors for the gala. Donald Butler, who works for Murphy’s Brown, resides in Bladenboro.
“We met with him and they (Murphy’s Brown representatives) were impressed with what we do,” said Campbell.
Kelly Bryan, one of the many organizers, said that there will also be a live auction during the evening that will feature numerous items and a reverse raffle will also take place. Campbell said when you purchase your ticket for the event you are automatically entered in the drawing.
The event will be catered by Joan Carroll.
“The event is not going to be black tie, per se,” said Bryan. Folks are encouraged to “dress your best.”
Campbell said anyone who would like to become a volunteer with Bladen We Care can do so by calling 862-8423.
Tickets for the event are still available, said Bryan. Tickets can be obtained by calling 910-862-8423, Ext. 221, or by visiting Leinwand’s, Fishers or Campbell Oil in Elizabethtown. Tickets are $100 per couple.