Challenge accepted: Playaz Elite MC ‘adopts’ Monroe Avenue Elementary

Year-long support means students, teachers worry less about school supplies

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Volunteers and members of Playaz Elite MC unload a trailer full of school supplies and deliver them on Friday to Monroe Avenue Elementary School in Hamlet.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Volunteers and members of Playaz Elite MC unload a trailer full of school supplies and deliver them on Friday to Monroe Avenue Elementary School in Hamlet.

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

HAMLET — If Dawn Terry and the 16 members of the Playaz Elite Motorcycle Club had been in the movie Jaws, they would have been the ones to deliver the infamous line, “you’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

Upon receipt of a large donation of school supplies, however, the phrase would have been modified to “you’re gonna need a bigger cart.”

Terry and other school officials on Friday welcomed Rev. Michael Patrick and fellow Playaz Elite MC members as the club adopted Monroe Avenue Elementary School for the 2014-15 school year, and perhaps beyond.

The partnership doesn’t end with a one-time donation, supported by, among others, Steve Earwood of the Rockingham Dragway, Tommie Jones of Walgreens and Vancine Sturdivant, Anson County commissioner. Patrick, of Smyrna House Ministries, said club members will return to the school at Thanksgiving and Christmas to provide help where it’s needed.

Bikers helped unload and cart in the notebooks, paper, pencils and binders that will be distributed to the schools 450 students in grades pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Members present Friday included Patrick, Tommy Harrington, Lawerence Bristow, Robert Smiith, Peggy Harris, William Harrington Jr., Anthony McMillan, Bridgett Gray, Willie Lowe, Kelvin Hewett, William Sturdivant, David Crank, J.R. Steen, Gracie Steen, Sylvia Woodard and Melvin Hailey.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Patrick said the club, which has nearly 80 members, usually conducts a back-to-school drive but felt a pull towards helping a single school this time around. It was not a surprise, Terry said. She said the school’s social worker, Yvonne Leonard, had told her the club wanted to do something for the school. But the level of the donation was appreciated more than being named Principal of the Year one day earlier.

“I had an idea they were coming,” Terry said. “I don’t know that I expected it to be such a large, generous donation.” She said other groups have donated to the school this year but “nothing quite like this.”

“I can’t imagine there’s anything they’re going to need that’s not on (the cart),” Terry said of the student body. Terry said as a Title I school, she and teachers there work to make the most of every dollar or donation made available. She also said staff members work to alleviate any stigma related to receiving assistance in obtaining school supplies.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com The Tigers will be rolling easier at the start of the new school year thanks to a large donation of supplies delivered Friday by members of the Playaz Elite MC.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
The Tigers will be rolling easier at the start of the new school year thanks to a large donation of supplies delivered Friday by members of the Playaz Elite MC.

“We’re just going to make sure they have everything” they need, Terry said. Said Patrick: “Monroe Avenue belongs to us this year. In any way they probably need us this year, we’ll be ready to accept the challenge.”

The club, Patrick said, is composed of retired law enforcement officers, pastors, machinists, industrial engineers, mechanics, business owners, probation officers and others. “We’re on a mission,” Patrick said.

 

Passerby Wendy Chavis, who attended Monroe Avenue Elementary as a child, was impressed.

“You don’t find many people ho would help” like this, Chavis said.

Terry said the club’s initiative should be a “charge to the community” and the nonprofits, civic clubs and businesses to support other schools in Richmond County.

“This could be a great challenge,” Terry said. “What a wonderful bar they have set.”

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Filed in: Business, Education, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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