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Award recipients are truly champions for children
I had the pleasure of spending an evening with a room full of champions last week. No, it wasn't a sporting event or a competition. I was at the Champions for Children reception held by the Down East Partnership for Children.

The event was held this year at the Imperial Centre, which I thought was a wonderful idea.

Citizens of Nash and Edgecombe Counties were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the education of children. Large, glossy color posters were displayed at the event, each with the recipient's photo and a list of his or her contributions.

Reading each one, I was overwhelmed of the dedication these people have to the children in our communities. Be sure to read the story on page 9-A in today's Graphic. We've included the services these folks have so graciously volunteered to Nash and Edgecombe counties.

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I have to again say (as I have in many previous columns) early childhood is where the foundation is formed for children to grow into successful, educated adults. And thanks to folks like Jerry Smith, principal at Cedar Grove Elementary, and the other most deserving award recipients, the excuses of not receiving that foundation are being lessened.

These award recipients not only volunteer with the Down East Partnership, they also volunteer their services to many other groups that encourage quality education for our youth, such as Communities in Schools, which leads me to something very special coming up soon.

March 15th is the annual Dine Out For Schools event. When you dine at any of the participating restaurants, 10% of your check will be donated to Communities In Schools.

This non-profit organization's purpose is to keep students in school through graduation plus offering higher education scholarships.

Keeping students in school and encouraging higher education helps young adults become more productive members of our communities.

We'll be keeping you updated on the restaurants that will be participating closer to the event, so be sure to watch for the listings and dine with one of them on March 15th. Your breakfast, lunch or dinner that day could literally be a child's meal ticket to higher education.

Pool Tourney

Coming soon is the Carolina Women's Billiard Classic that will be held Thursday, Feb. 22 through Sunday, Feb. 24 at the Gateway Convention Centre in Rocky Mount.

I'll be the first to admit that I know nothing about pool tournaments, but I do know this is a big deal for Rocky Mount. Hosting this event brings an reported economic benefit of $100,000 to the city.

Morning matches will begin at 10 a.m., evening matches start at 6 p.m. Sunday's events begin at 1 p.m. Gates open one hour prior to each event.

Ticket prices vary, depending on how many days you wish to attend or if you buy for morning or evening sessions.

If you're interested in tickets, you better hurry. I understand it's very probable the event will be sold out shortly.

You can get all the information at http://pqanc.com, once you open the website, there is a menu including tickets and event information.

Also be sure to watch The Graphic for more details about the event along with a feature on the players.

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