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CCCC Pittsboro hosts 5-K Run and Earth Day activities

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Click to enlarge,  Central Carolina Community College hosted its annual Earth Day celebration and Rabbit Run 5-K April 13 at the college's Chatham County Campus. The first event of the day, the CCCC Foundation's Rabbit Run attracted more than 80 runners.

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Central Carolina Community College hosted its annual Earth Day celebration and Rabbit Run 5-K April ... (more)

04.26.2013College & CommunityFoundationSpecial Events

PITTSBORO - A total of 82 runners turned out on a brisk, but sunny Saturday morning, April 13, to participate in Central Carolina Community College's 5-K Rabbit Run at the college's Chatham County Campus. The Rabbit Run is an annual CCCC Foundation event that raises money for student scholarships and academic equipment.

The Run is also an opportunity to get in some healthy exercise, enjoy nature and renew old acquaintances, according to George Lucier, CCCC trustee and former chair of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners.

Taking first place in the Top Males Overall Division of the 5-K Rabbit Run was 20-year old Luis Majano, of Broadway, who ran the course in 18 minutes and 32 seconds. Top Overall Female was Brooks Holt, 15, of Pittsboro, who posted a time of 26 minutes and 41 seconds.

Sporting a wide-brimmed straw hat with a yellow daisy, CCCC trustee Martha Underwood said she had never participated in a race before in her life, but enjoyed being out in nature and strongly supported the Foundation's mission.

"I'm here because I'm very enthusiastic about raising money for scholarships for Central Carolina Community College, especially for the sustainable farming program here in Pittsboro," Underwood said. "We're really excited about helping people live better, healthier lives."

Organized in 1988 to ensure that CCCC would continue to excel and build on its history of innovative curriculum development and community service, the Foundation is a separate, nonprofit organization that receives, holds and disperses funds for the benefit of CCCC.

The Foundation has a total endowment of $3 million and dispersed approximately $170,000 in scholarship funds during the 2011-2012 academic year. It also provides additional resources to advance the college's academic mission, enhance its image within the community, and broaden its base of support.

On another part of the Chatham Campus, visitors could get screened for cholesterol, learn about the benefits of organ donation, and check out the locally grown, completely organic produce cultivated by students enrolled in the Sustainable Agriculture program. These and other activities were part of the Earth Day celebration, an event with which the Pittsboro campus has a special association.

"We have a symbiotic relationship with the sustainable agriculture program and the concept of conservation," said Robin Griffith, nutrition instructor in Culinary Arts at the Pittsboro campus. Griffith, who helped man Earth Day's Natural Chef Cafe, said the foods served at the cafe were made from natural ingredients grown on the CCCC student farm. The dishes included fresh scones, muffins, a vegetable frittata and plump sweet potato biscuits.

The Chatham County Health Department and Donate Life North Carolina were also at Earth Day. Donate Life NC is a non-profit collaborative group of organizations that promote eye, organ and tissue donation. The organizations working as a group are directly involved in supporting donor families and facilitating organ, eye and tissue transplants across the state.

Donate Life North Carolina holds a personal meaning for volunteer Brianne Moyer. Moyer donated one of her kidneys to her brother who suffered from kidney failure. Both Moyer and her brother are fine, she said, but "spreading the word about organ donation is extremely important to me."

Zack Deacon, a dietician with the Health Department and other department volunteers handed out free educational information on diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and breast cancer.

"Any time we can spread the word about preventive health care, we do it," Deacon said. "We want to get the information out to as many people as possible."

Also at Earth Day, people gathered at the site of a newly installed sculpture on the campus. Created by Edwin White, a sculptor who resides near Siler City, the sculpture is titled "No Time to Waste." It is dedicated to the memory of abstract artist and sculptor, Ruffin Mendenhall Hobbs, who passed away in 2008. Fashioned from one piece of steel, the sculpture stands near the Pittsboro Library in the center of the campus. White said that the sculpture's economy of material would greatly please Hobbs.

The sculpture was funded through the CCCC Foundation's Chatham County Fund and the Chatham Artists Guild.

"It is an appropriate tribute to Ruffin," said Hobbs' sister, Louise Hobbs. "We are anticipating that it won't be the last sculpture to be dedicated at the Chatham County Campus."

She added that she and her colleagues plan to continue fundraising to support possible plans of a future biennial sculpture competition and visiting artist program at the campus.

"We have a uniqueness of programs you won't find at any other college in the state," said Joni Ponsaa Pavlik, CCCC's dean of Business and Media Technologies and Public Service. "We try to live by the philosophy of being green and sustainable at all of our sites and in the way we teach our students to live their lives. We also strive to empower our students through all of our educational programs."

For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit its website, or look for it on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or YouTube.