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Back in the Day: Whole lot of giving going on

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A check for $25,000 for an amphitheater on the Town Common was presented on Jan. 13, 1988 to the Greenville Recreation and Parks Commission. From left are, Carl Willie, chairman of the commission, State Rep. Ed Warren, Jeanette Cox, and Sen. Tom Taft.


The Daily Reflector

Saturday, January 13, 2018

December is generally the month most people associated with giving. But back in 1988, January was a month where several gifts helped along city causes.

A $25,000 check from state legislative funds to help pay for the Eugene West Amphitheater on the Greenville Town Common was presented to the Greenville Recreation and Parks Department on Jan 13.

State Sen.Tom Taft and state Rep. Ed Warren jointly presented the check to Recreation and Parks Commission Chairman Carl Willie and Jeanette Cox during the January meeting of the commission. Cox helped lead the public campaign to raise funds to construct the ampitheatre.

Taft said that getting the money for the Greenville project was really a fluke.

“Ed and I both attended had attended the dedication of the ampatheater the day before the end of the legislative session,” Taft said. “In Raleigh the next day, it was discovered that there had been some mistakes in the appropriation bill, so that it had to be redone. Before action was taken to pass it, we asked if we could slip in a last-minute appropriation for Pitt County. We were told we could, as long as it wasn’t controversial.

“We were able to get it because we, along with state Rep. Walter B Jones Jr., acted quickly.”

Warren said getting the unexpected funds for the amphitheater “is a good thing because its project that adds to the liveability of Greenville and Pitt County, especially because of the Sunday in the Park public program. The facility is one we were able to say is used by lots of people all sectors of Pitt County society. We had no problem getting the funds I think we could have got $50,000 if we had asked.”

But legislators were not the only ones handing out gifts, The newly formed Pitt County Educational Foundation benefited from the generosity of several business sponsors. 

John Minges, of Pepsi Cola Bottling Co., presented the foundation with the first installment of a $10,000 pledge to the foundation. Bob Griffon, of Proctor and Gamble, presented board members with an installment on a $15,000 grant. 

Other donors to the educational foundation included Hastings Ford, Carolina Telephone & Telegraph, the Reynolds Foundation and the Guy and Erskine Love Foundation.

Back in the Day is a weekly feature compiled from The Daily Reflector’s archives.