The Johnston County Heritage Center’s 11th annual Contributing Patrons Appreciation Dinner on March 11 culminated another successful fund-raising campaign by the Johnston County Heritage Commission. In all, 232 donors contributed $28,950 to the Heritage Center.
This year’s drive brought the total raised over the past 11 years to $277,775. These donations augment the center’s basic operating support from Johnston County taxpayers. (The list of this year’s donors is online at jcheritagecenter.org.)
The program theme for this year’s dinner was “Music: The Tie That Binds,” a nostalgic look at the role of music in the lives of Johnstonians past and present. TV personality and entertainer Tina Seldin Cash served as emcee, singing several familiar tunes along the way.
The dinner also was a time to thank numerous volunteers who help the Heritage Center on a regular basis. Singled out for special recognition was Grover Miller, a retired N.C. State University professor who was among the first volunteers to come on board shortly after the Heritage Center opened its doors in 2000. Miller continued his service as a volunteer genealogist in the center’s Reading Room for 13 years. He retired from that role this past year.
Current Reading Room volunteers include Betsy Massengill, Gayenell Gull, Pat Godwin, RoseMary Starling, John McPhail, Garland Guffey and Windy Thompson.
Also recognized at the dinner was Claudia O’Hale, who served as a member of the Heritage Commission for 10 years, from 2003 until 2013. The commission is the center’s advisory board, its members appointed by the Johnston County Board of Commissioners.
The commission also paid tribute during the March 11 program to Wingate Lassiter, the center’s director, who is retiring at the end of the month after more than 10 years on the job.