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Periclean Scholars raise money for Appalachia

Most media attention about West Virginia focuses on poverty or the coal industry, but the Periclean Scholars Class of 2014 at Elon University is dedicated to a different aspect of the state — the people.

Periclean Scholars in the Class of 2014 have partnered with the Boone-Raleigh Community Center in Whitesville, W.V., to provide a space for open dialogue and discussion about community issues as well as the preservation of Appalachian heritage and history.

Scholars have created an Indiegogo page for individuals to support the community center and its mission to promote unity and hope through sustainable community projects for future generations. The fundraising campaign runs through March 16 and 100 percent of all proceeds benefit the center.

Since its opening in late 2009, the center has focused on community development through programs and initiatives designed to bring people together, regardless of political or environmental views. Their work includes the following:

  • Weekly community meals
  • Community potluck dinners
  • Locally grown produce through provision of individual raised-garden beds
  • Better Living Workshops
  • Christmas Toy Giveaway
  • Support for substance abuse
  • Space for local entrepreneurs and artisans to sell goods
  • Annual Apple Butter Festival
  • Annual Kid’s Day
  • Holiday parties (Easter, Halloween, Christmas)

Over the past three years, the Periclean Scholars have committed to the development of the center’s programs through frequent volunteer trips, fundraising efforts and tangible initiatives such as the construction of a children’s library, equipped with more than 500 books and other educational resources.

Prior to graduation, the Periclean Scholars hope to help purchase the building and provide sustainable upkeep for the center.

The Periclean Scholars program is an affiliate of Project Pericles, a national organization that educates and engages students to become socially active citizens in communities worldwide. Elon’s Periclean Scholars of the Class of 2014 has worked hands-on in the Whitesville community over the past three years under the direction and guidance of the President of the Board of Directors for the center, Lorelei Scarbro.

For more information about the scholars and their work, contact Michelle Lewandowski at mlewandowski@elon.edu or Lucy Hazel at lhazel@elon.edu.

Cameron McIntyre,
3/5/2014 5:10 PM