DOBBINS HEIGHTS — A local community group is dissolving from a lack of membership, according to president Ozie Felder, but not before they were able to donate their remaining funds to some well deserving organizations.
Concerned Citizens of Dobbins Heights presented checks Wednesday to the Dobbins Heights Park, Toys for Tots, the American Red Cross, Alcohol and Drug Services and New Horizons, with the largest amount of $680 going towards the town’s park.
Council members Tyr′eHolloway and Angeline David, who oversee the town’s parks and recreation, said they are looking forward to working with the American Red Cross and Toys for Tots in the future.
“We’re focused on doing a lot of things with the park,” Holloway said.
New tennis courts were built earlier this year, as well as new playground equipment installed and the basketball court was repaved with new striping, backboards and goals.
Holloway said they plan on using this donation to purchase equipment such as softball and baseball bats and tennis rackets.
“You’ll see the results,” he said. “Just visit the park.”
Toys for Tots, now in its 10th year, received $200 from the concerned citizens and their representative on hand — Bennie Leviner — said that when he started they were only able to give away toys to 300 children. Last year, he said, that number rose to 2,200.
“It’s a worthwhile organization,” said Leviner, adding that he’s found the hardest part is actually giving away toys.
Shirlyn Smith from Alcohol and Drug Services accepted a check for $126 and said Dobbins Heights and her groups working together has been a “great collaboration.” The service has held an event at the town’s park for the last seven years that talks to youths about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.
Cynthia Bradley, disaster program manager for the eastern North Carolina region of American Red Cross was in attendance from Southern Pines to accept a check for her organization, and she encouraged everyone to take advantage of a program they offer that installs free smoke alarms.
A representative from New Horizons was not able to attend, but Dobbins Heights Concerned Citizens treasurer Barbara Young said she would be meeting with them today.
“We appreciate everything that the citizens did to help us,” said Young. Although close to 30 residents were at the first meeting of the group, she said those numbers quickly dwindled off.
Young said they used to host different events such as car washes, a yard beautification contest and a dinner each March, but it just wasn’t enough.
“We did what we could but we struggled and struggled,” she said. “We could do a lot if people had helped.”
Young said it got to the point where there a small set of people doing all the work while the community reaped the benefits. Felder, who has been the president for the last three years, was approached about abolishing the group two years ago, and with a lack of youth participating, it would have been easy for him to do that.
“It’s hard to get them to join,” Young said about youths. “But he said let’s keep rolling on and do the best we can.”
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.