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Mar. 09, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: Anchors Aweigh

How would you like to make a positive difference in the lives of young people?

One great opportunity is the Anchors Aweigh for Literacy benefit auction fundraiser for the Coalition for Families and the Lee County Partnership for Children. This event will take place at 6 p.m. March 21 at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center in Sanford.

Proceeds will go toward the Raising a Reader and Parents as Teachers programs sponsored by the Coalition, as well as the Dolly Parton Imagination Library sponsored by the Partnership.

As Lyn Hankins, executive director of the Partnership for Children, so aptly points out: "Being able to read is, of course, very important for any child, and those first years are especially important."

Tickets for this event are $35 in advance, $40 at the door.

THUMBS UP: The Order of the Long Leaf Pine

In a special ceremony this week, three former presidents of Central Carolina Community College were saluted as inductees into the honored The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, bestowed by the governor of North Carolina services and contributions to the state.

Past presidents Dr. J.F. "Jeff" Hockaday, Dr. Marvin R. Joyner and Dr. Matthew S. Garrett were recognized for their service to the CCCC.

Among those participating in the presentation was Scott Rawls, president of the N.C. State Community College System. Rawls notes of the three recipients, "We all follow in someone's footsteps; we stand on the shoulders of giants. Today we celebrate three giants in the history of this campus and the community college system."

Current CCCC President Dr. Bud Marchant, also present for the program, said, "We are here to celebrate a legacy of excellence. There are very few events that mean as much to me as this one because I follow in the footsteps of these leaders. I have been the beneficiary of all they accomplished."

Our college has been blessed to have such great leadership over the years.

THUMBS UP: Severe weather awareness

This past week was recognized as Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Severe weather is not something we like to think about, especially when we think back to April 2011, when a tornado wreaked havoc in our community.

Yet, perhaps that event serves as a good reminder as to why it is so important to be aware of severe weather and the necessity of taking appropriate precautions.

This week, area schools were among those to practice tornado drills. That's a good plan, just in case that we should face another such live situation in the future. Fortunately, two years ago, school was not in session as the tornado struck on a Saturday.

Here are some tips provided by the state:

* Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle, and do not stop under an overpass or a bridge. Seek shelter as quickly as possible in a stable structure.

* If caught outside in a tornado, take cover in a low-lying, flat area.

* Know the terms: "Watch" means a tornado is possible. "Warning" means a tornado has been spotted, so take shelter immediately.