Local News

Adult volunteers needed for military youth mentoring program

9aSeptember 11, 2001. I remember that day and exactly what I was doing at the time. I was doing my principal internship at a local elementary school when I received the tragic news. Parents started coming to the school to check out their children and there was a collective fear and panic in the air.

“Tuesday’s Children gets its name from the events that occurred on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, and we were founded to support the families and children who have lost someone in that tragedy,” said Abigail Diedrich, long-term youth mentoring coordinator. “We are over two decades old at this point and we have created lots of different programs to support families in the wake of tragedy, mass violence or military conflicts.”

Tuesday’s Children Long-Term Mentoring Program is seeking dedicated adult role models to provide support to children.

“While we always support the families who were affected by September 11, we have started to include families who are considered Gold Star or other military-related loss so we have a lot of families who have military-related loss and the children are assigned a one-on-one mentor who is an adult volunteer for at least one year,” said Diedrich.

“The criteria to become an adult mentor entails the individual being over the age of 21 and they have to pass the thorough background screening and interview in order to make sure the individual wants to participate in the program for the right reasons.”9b

She added, “It is really important that the adult is mentally sound and is going to be a positive support in the life of a child who has already experienced some trauma and loss.”

“We match based off of similar interests and we do both in-person and virtual options,” said Diedrich. “In person has to be the preference so we try to find people in the area that is close to where the families are.”

Diedrich added that some of the things the mentors do with the mentees include attending soccer games, going to the zoo or park, arts and crafts activities, or just hanging out having a meal together and having great conversations.

For the virtual option, the mentor and mentee can chat using FaceTime, play Battleship on the screen, follow a recipe on YouTube or discuss a book.

For more information and to sign up call 516-562-9000 or visit http://www.tuesdayschildren.org/

Fayetteville is a four-time All America City Award recipient

8The City of Fayetteville was named a 2023 All-America City by the National Civic League at the All-America City Award Event in Denver on June 11. This marks the fourth time the City is an All-America City Award winner, earning the honor in 1985, 2001, 2011 in addition to 2023.

The AAC Award is a prestigious honor bestowed upon 10 communities around the United States annually. This year’s award recognizes Fayetteville as a community working to improve the health and well-being of young people, particularly focusing on civic engagement.

“Being designated an All-America City is evidence Fayetteville continues to be a great collaborative, solution orientated and forward moving community,” said Mayor Mitch Colvin. “We are being recognized as one of the premier local communities across the country who engage our youth as we continue to make Fayetteville a desirable place to live, work and recreate, not only today but well into the future.”

Along with the AAC Award, Olive Cody won the John Par Youth Leadership Award. Cody impressed the award panel with her humility and passion after being nominated by a Fayetteville-Cumberland Youth Council colleague.

The John Par Youth Leadership Award is dedicated to a former NCL president, which recognizes extraordinary civic engagement and leadership on the part of a young person in their community.
Fayetteville was one of 19 finalists to compete for the award by presenting projects related to this year’s theme, “Creating Thriving Community through Youth Engagement.”

City staff and community members displayed the compelling story of recent work to improve civic education and participation to a jury of nationally recognized civic leaders, ultimately earning America’s Can Do City the title of All-America City.

The city’s application highlighted civic engagement and collaboration, a community-wide effort for inclusiveness and creative leveraging of resources to complete projects that have dramatic impact in the community.

Specifically highlighted during the presentation was the commitment to engaging youth through the Fayetteville-Cumberland Youth Council. The FCYC community outreach efforts in the presentation detailed the council’s passion for and desire to serve their community in a meaningful way, which is a part of the council’s mission.

The city continued to build on youth focused initiatives as key criteria for this year’s award included building the civic capacity of young people, promoting youth participation in voting and policy making and providing leadership opportunities for youth through the efforts of the Fayetteville Next Commission. Additionally, the presentation included Market House Repurposing efforts and Education, Mentorship and Empowerment Programs.

Woven throughout the presentation was how invaluable collaboration is to city leadership and the community. One example is partnering with Cape Fear Regional Theatre to work on the script which incorporates Fort Liberty senior leaders and multiple city boards and commissions.

The cities also earning 2023 AAC Awards include two other North Carolina communities, Charlotte and Davie County, as well as Gonzales, California; Hampton, Virginia; Mesa, Arizona; Decatur, Georgia; Mount Plesant, South Carolina; and Dallas and San Antonio, Texas.

“We are happy to designate Fayetteville as an All-America City. Through their application and presentation, they showed that they are among the best in America at engaging youth and other residents to address important challenges,” said Doug Linkhart, President, National Civic League.

For more information on the award, log onto http://www.allamericacityaward.com/.

Steps to take before applying for a mortgage

17bA home is the single biggest purchase most people will ever make. That has perhaps become even more true in recent years, when the cost of homes has increased dramatically.

The sticker price of a home may come as a shock to first-time buyers, but few homeowners purchase their homes in cash. Mortgages are a vital component of home ownership for the vast majority of buyers.

Mortgages are loans obtained through the conveyance of property as security. When homeowners pay off their mortgages, the title of the property officially transfers to them from their lenders.
Though most homeowners utilize mortgages to buy their homes, that does not mean the process is the same for everyone.

A host of factors affect mortgage terms, and there’s much prospective homeowners can do to secure the best agreement possible.

Recognize why a low interest rate is important. Mortgage interest rates have drawn considerable attention in recent years, as rising inflation has led to rates that have reached their highest point in more than a decade.

Even a seemingly small difference in interest rates can save or cost homeowners thousands of dollars, if not tens of thousands, over the course of a loan.

For example, the financial experts at Bankrate.com note that the difference between a 5.5% interest rate and a 6% interest rate on a $200,000 mortgage is roughly $64 per month.
That might not seem like a lot, but over the course of a 30 year mortgage the borrower who gets the 6% loan will pay in excess of $23,000 more in interest than the borrower who secures the 5.5% loan.

Recognition of the benefits of securing the lowest interest rate possible can motivate prospective buyers to do everything in their power to get a low rate.

Work on your credit score. So how can borrowers get the best possible rate? One way to go about it is to improve credit scores.

Average mortgage interest rates vary significantly by credit score, with higher scores earning borrowers significantly lower rates.

According to data from FICO, as of mid-February 2023, borrowers with a FICO score of 760+ earned an average interest rate of 6.06%, while those with scores between 620-639 secured an average rate of 7.65%.

By bolstering their credit scores before applying for a mortgage, prospective homeowners can improve their standing in the eyes of mortgage lenders, which can potentially save them tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Identify how much you want to spend. Prospective home buyers may be approved to borrow much more money than they think they will qualify for. That’s because lenders do not consider factors like utilities, insurance, day care, or other expenses everyone has.

That means it’s up to borrowers to determine how much those expenses will be, and how much they should be spending on a home.

Though it might be tempting to borrow up to the amount lenders approve you for, in general it’s best to stay below that amount so you can capably meet all of your additional obligations.

Mortgages enable millions of people to buy homes each year. Some simple steps before applying for a mortgage can help prospective homeowners secure the best terms.

Local brokers can help guide your business sale

17aSelling your business is a big decision. Equally important is finding the right business advisor to help navigate the process. Results from the latest Market Report show that choosing a broker form a firm like Transworld can help you meet your business goals.

Let’s dive into Transworld’s small business transaction activity for 2022 and learn more about what sets Transworld’s business advisors apart.

Another historic year

It’s been two years of historic performance levels for Transworld. Not only was 2021 record-setting with 31% more deals closed versus 2020, but 2022 surpassed it by 62%. The total deal value of businesses increased, too, by more than 25%. The 2022 monthly breakdown of sold deals topped every month in 2021, with 10 of the 12 months showing double-digit increases.

In all, a host of key metrics were up, from the average deal value (27% YOY increase) to the number of sales listings (up 24% YOY), from the median deal value (43% above 2021) to the average listing price (a 23% increase YOY).

Who’s selling? And for how much?

The impact of the pandemic’s early lock down phase was significant, and the recovery from 2020 continues. One insight the market report revealed was that the primary driver of business sales is baby boomers.

This demographic is preparing for their next stage in life and looking to either shed responsibilities or fund their next entrepreneurial endeavor.

Another factor fueling the impressive 2022 performance is the number of buyers paying record prices for well-performing businesses. Companies that did well and thrived during the turbulence of the pandemic are especially appealing. Buyer motivation was evident in the decrease in days on the market by 6%, with 2022 also showing an increase in cash deals. Also of note was an increase in owner financing through banks, even with the rise in interest rates back to normal levels from the extraordinary lows experienced in previous years.

The report found the top five most active business segments were restaurants, construction, beauty/personal care, automotive and medical-related businesses, both by closed transactions and deal volume.

Interested in selling?

If all this information leads you to think the time might be right for you to sell your business, what are the most pertinent questions you should ask a business advisor?

First, you can ask how to prepare your business for sale properly. Business advisors can help you get all your business’s legal or financial records in order and recommend any additional experts, such as accountants or lawyers, you may need.

Next, ask your business broker how they will find the right buyer for your business. They will help you package and market your business throughout the world to find the best buyer.

An experienced advisor will help you handle these details and more, all while working to keep the sale confidential and doing all they can to get the best price.

Consider how inflation and interest rates will affect your options. Even with the recent interest rate increase by the Fed, the rates are returning to a normal level, and the market continues to remain strong. What’s more, regardless of the interest rates, people are still selling and buying at historic numbers.

If you think selling is on the horizon for your business, consider working with a business advisor. They can help guide you through the process from start to finish.

Editor's note: Ashley Kelsey is a Business Broker at Transworld Business Advisors of Eastern North Carolina. She can be reached at 910-302-6447 or email akelsey@tworld.com.

Fayetteville ready to celebrate Juneteenth

13a The Cool Spring Downtown District is bringing funk, soul and fellowship to Fayetteville with their second annual Juneteenth Jubilee June 17 and 18.

This year the Jubilee is leaning into a 1970s theme for the event. If you’re familiar with the 70s, it was an explosion of culture for Black America in the arts, music and fashion. It was truly an era that still inspires and influences our culture today. With Juneteenth being a celebration of freedom, and the 70s feeling free artistically and socially, it was a perfect blend to bring this theme into this years Jubilee.

The celebration spans two days in downtown Fayetteville and it’s jam packed with food, music and history for everyone to enjoy. Saturday is quite the show with Headliner Rose Royce taking the stage, along with Fayetteville native The Fatback Band. Sunday will feature local church choirs performing, leading up to Grammy Award and Soul Train Music Award-winning recording artist Tye Tribbett.

Juneteenth is also known as “Emancipation Day.” It’s a celebration of the true independence and end of slavery in 1865. A lot of people think Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was the end of slavery in 1863, but the news of the final Confederate loss in Virginia that freed slaves, didn’t reach certain places in the south right away.

According to the American Battlefield Trust, news that the war had ended and they were free finally reached Galveston when Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and his troops arrived in the Gulf Coast city on June 19, 1865, more than two months after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia.

Granger delivered General Order No. 3, which said: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”

The celebration for Juneteenth gained support for decades with African Americans working to make it an official holiday, recognized by the entire country. Just last year, President Joe Biden signed Juneteenth in as an official holiday, granting a true celebration for freedom in the United States – a celebration that includes everyone.13b

For residents in Fayetteville, the Juneteenth Jubilee has grown tremendously since last year. Adding almost 15 new vendors, an outdoor skating rink, costume contests, a cigar bar and card game area. Up & Coming Weekly had a chance to sit down and talk with two people who are vital in the Juneteenth Jubilee - Ashanti Bennett, Director of Special Operations and Lauren Falls, Director of Marketing and Events.
We spoke with them about the roles they play, the growth they wish to see, and how excited they are to bring this event to locals and visitors.

“Our task is trying to make downtown Fayetteville a place where you can love where you live and build the arts and entertainment districts,” Bennett said.

A Fayetteville native, Bennett moved away from Fayetteville as a child. When she returned as an adult, she put all of her skills to work and help improve the city the best way she knows how. “I remember a time when I wasn't allowed to come downtown. My grandmother was not having that. I bring her down now and she's like, this is really nice. It's good to see that. It feels, you know, safe. It feels creative. It feels innovative.”

With the success of this year’s Jubilee, Bennett wants to take things even further next year, and give Juneteenth a block party kind of feel, like our 4th Fridays. She hopes to be able to give even more room to vendors, performers and activities for the community to enjoy.

This year there will be a trolly ride around the downtown area to share information about Black history in Fayetteville. Many realize that local Black history has been slightly overlooked. The facts discussed on the trolly ride are put together by a history professor at Fayetteville State University, recognized as an Historically Black College. The trolly runs most of the day Saturday and is sure to be one of the most informative and fun parts of the weekend. The trolley is free, but donations are accepted.

Other activities include the Juneteenth Celebration 5K, a Groovy Costume Contest and vendors.

13cLauren Falls, the Marketing Director for Cool Spring Downtown District, shared her excitement about the opportunity to work on the Juneteenth event.

“As a graphic designer in a nonprofit, sometimes it's really fun when you get the opportunity to kind of create new things and when your staff say, ‘go be free’ and they have that confidence in you that you know, they see, you see their vision … If you haven’t seen this year’s Juneteenth Jubilee promos and flyers, you’re truly missing out.”

The flyer is full of beautiful brown tones, afro-centric artwork, and an incredibly groovy font.

“In the background of the Juneteenth flyer, we see the skating rink and all the different colors and shades. It's a subtle hint that this event is for everybody. We're highlighting that every person can be a part of it,” Falls said.

Organizers encourage everyone to bring families and friends out this year. For those wishing to volunteer, there are opportunities available by calling 910-223-2890.

The Juneteenth Jubilee kicks off at 3 p.m. on June 17. Entry into Festival Park is free, but those wishing to have seats close to the stage can purchase VIP tickets.

For VIP tickets and schedule information, visit https://visitdowntownfayetteville.com/juneteenth-jubilee-downtown-fayetteville-2023/


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