PCC Employees Raise Money for Greenville’s Hope Lodge
WINTERVILLE—After putting away their shaving supplies and clippers for the month of November, Pitt Community College employees and students presented an $1,102-check to the American Cancer Society’s McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge on Wednesday.
For the first time since 2019, the college’s Minority Male Success Initiative (MMSI) organized a “No-Shave November” campaign to raise money for the Greenville non-profit, which provides free accommodations to hundreds of cancer patients undergoing treatment each year.
“For the month of November, MMSI asked members of the PCC campus community to take the money they would typically spend on shaving and haircuts and use it, instead, to support cancer prevention and those fighting the disease,” PCC Assistant Vice President of Student Support Jasmin Spain said.
This is the fourth year MMSI has organized “No-Shave November” to support Hope Lodge. Including the check presented earlier this week, the group has contributed $2,957 to the facility.
After MMSI’s first Hope Lodge fundraiser generated $350 for the facility in 2017, the group raised $1,105 the following year. In 2019, “No-Shave November” participants raised $400 for the organization, before having to cancel plans for the fundraiser in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
“This shows consistency from Pitt Community College, to not only raise funds to support our students but to raise funds for the community as well,” Spain said. “We are a pillar of the community, so we have an obligation to do our part to give back.”
Hope Lodge Senior Manager Susan Sugg said “it takes a village” to support people battling cancer. Community partnerships play a key role, she said, whether it’s groups providing meals to guests or helping keep the facility clean and germ-free.
“We feel very blessed to have had a partnership with PCC’s Minority Male Success Initiative over the past several years,” Sugg said. “Each dollar raised will directly impact the guests and their caregivers who stay at the Hope Lodge.”
Sugg said Hope Lodge had provided a combined 3,412 overnight accommodations to more than 227 guests this year, a cost savings to those individuals of $358,260. She said the organization has also provided guests transportation to nearly 1,000 doctor’s appointments and treatments.
“One of the criteria for staying at the Hope Lodge is the guest must live greater than 40 miles away,” Sugg said. “This year, we have already provided services to guests from 31 different counties.”
PCC Automotive Systems Instructor Walter Underwood says the services Hope Lodge provides go a long way toward easing stress for cancer patients and their families, which make them invaluable. As he did in 2018, Underwood challenged this year’s “No-Shave” participants to donate a dollar a day throughout November. For those who contributed more than $30, Underwood matched each individual’s donation dollar for dollar over the $30-total.
Organizers of this year’s fundraiser made beard growth more entertaining for participants by presenting special awards at the event’s conclusion. The winners were: Brian Jones (Best Effort), Kirk Grice (Most Growth), Michael Stephenson (Beard of Wisdom), Edward Tatum Jr. (Snuggle Beard), and Scott Chauncey (Best in Show).