Helping others smile

By Chase Jordan

June 20, 2014

Wearing a sparkling crown and sash, Rosemary Sprague smiled as a group of students at Sampson Community College placed stuffed animals in a box.

The kindergartner from Plain View Elementary is looking forward to children having the plush toys she is amassing.

“I wanted to bring a smile to their faces,” Rosemary said about helping traumatized children through “Project Smile.”

The Continuing Education (CEd) Division and The Academy of Continuing Excellence (ACE) has entered into a partnership with the Plain View Elementary student to collect stuffed animals to help with her project. The drive to benefit the Child Advocacy Center began Wednesday and will continue through Friday, June 27.

Project Smile is a non-profit organization which donates new or like-new stuffed animals for police officers, firefighters and paramedics to give to children. Items will be distributed to victims of accidents and crimes, those in foster care and anyone who has experienced a loss. They will also go to sick or injured children.

The project was created by Rosemary as a part of her platform for the “Mini Majestic Greater Cape Fear Outstanding Little Miss” title. She has partnered with various schools and organizations in Sampson County to make that project a success.

Rosemary is the granddaughter of Mr. Robert Carr, founder of Carr Precast. Mr. Carr serves on the Continuing Education Advisory Board and the family is an avid supporter of Sampson Community College.

Ann Butler, Dean of Continuing Education at SCC, said it was an honor to participate in Project Smile.

“Mr. Carr and his family are valued members of our college family,” Butler said. “We appreciate them coming to us to ask if we would help them promote the project. We’re excited to have the opportunity to collect a lot of animals that are going to benefit a lot of children.”

Shannon Blanchard, a social worker for the Child Advocacy Center, said it’s their first time working with Project Smile.

“We’re very excited to be a part of that as well,” Blanchard said.

Every child who visits the center for an exam or interview will leave with a gift.

Her mother, Emily Sprague, said donations have been distributed to the Sampson County Emergency Management and Salemburg Volunteer Fire Department.

“We appreciate how Sampson Community College is giving Rosemary the opportunity to reach even more children,” Sprague said.

Chase Jordan can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext.136. Follow us on Twitter@SampsonInd.