A Special Gift for Coach Sylvia Hatchell

Our members are veterans, but they are also community leaders and doers.  One member, P. H. Craig, showed his support and love for the community by doing something special for someone else.  This is his story,

Chairs for coachI recently presented a beach print to Coach Sylvia Hatchell of Tar Heel women’s basketball fame.

I am a huge admirer of her, and a fellow beach lover and shag dancer with her and her husband, Sammy.  They have a home at the same beach as I do and dance at some of the same places.

At first it was just going to be a beach print, but when people started signing the back it became “a piece of work.”  Sylvia is in a Bible study class for women, and Sammy and I are together in a Bible study for men.  First, I got all of them sign.  The first was Lennie Rosenbluth (National Player of the Year in 1957).  

Next were fellow shag dancer and NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall; Phil Berger president pro tem of the senate; and even the governor, who signed in bold red ink “WE LOVE YOU” Pat McCrory.  Marshall signed it as “Certified to be Original.”

Sylvia was totally surprised.  

Others signing included Chancellor Carol Folt, Freddie Kiger, Lee Smith, and Ron Stutz.  Mickey Ewell, Moyer Smith, Steve Campbell and Jim Lilly helped spring the surprise in a visit to her office.

The whole back of the print is filled with messages of inspiration.  “You Are Our Hero”, “You Are Such an Inspiration to All”; “You Are Such an Asset to this University” and many other messages of love and hope for her speedy recovery from leukemia.  Each person was asked to say a silent prayer for her recovery.  There must be 100 signers; in fact, two frames were out while making he rounds across the state.   P.H. Craig, Chapel Hill

This story was written as a letter to the Editor Chapel Hill News and appeared as a Letter to the Editor, Orange County News, News and Observer, April 27, 2014. Shared with permission, P. H. Craig)

We salute P.H. Craig for his community spirit and love for all things Carolina.  He is a great example of the many things our veterans do for others in our town.

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