Dr. Larry M. Bell has spent many years helping people in his community and appreciation is being shown for his work.
He is being honored during N.C. House District 21 Scholarship Dinner and Retirement Celebration. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, at Alfredo’s Ristorante Italiano, at 101 Wall St., Clinton. During the event, legislators and dignitaries will make presentations and video tributes. The event is open to the entire community or anyone from Sampson, Duplin and Wayne counties.
Bell is retiring after serving nine terms in the N.C. House of Representatives as a leader for the 21st District which includes Sampson, Duplin and Wayne counties. The Sampson County native was also a former educator, principal and superintendent in the area. With 18 years in the legislature, Bell made a decision to not seek a 10th term, because he felt that a younger person should be in the position.
Marcus Bass, District 21 committee chair, applauded the work of Bell, which also includes service as a community college trustee, and as a county commissioner.
“His tenure and the end of his tenure is something that should be celebrated; he’s done a lot to boost the economic interest in the district,” Bass said. “He’s done a lot for individuals in regards of helping them facilitate some of their needs. I think one of the biggest things that we could do is make sure that we’re honoring him in a proper way.”
The committee includes people from different facets of the community, which included both Republican and Democrat supporters. Work began during the summer.
“They are working together to coordinate this celebration,” Bass said about the upcoming event at the restaurant.
Charlotte Murphy, committee member, is also looking forward to the upcoming event. She said Bell has done an excellent job representing the people in the 21st District during his tenure. A one-time scholarship will be named in Bell’s honor for students in Sampson, Duplin and Wayne counties. Some of the requirements are based on citizenship and academics.
“Since he’s retiring, the committee felt it would be fitting to honor him for his many years of public service,” Murphy said. “Since he’s always been in education and an advocate for post-secondary education, we felt a scholarship would be something he would be very honored for us to do.”
The public is invited to attend and may RSVP on or before Monday, Aug. 6, by calling 910-533-3719.
A dinner plate is $50, and will go toward the Bell scholarship for one student in each of the following districts: Clinton City Schools, Duplin County Schools, Sampson County Schools and Wayne County Schools. Bass said tickets are selling fast, but the committee will make accommodations or anyone who wants to attend. Donations are being accepted for the scholarship as well. Checks should be made payable to the N.C. House District 21 Scholarship Committee.
“Even in the celebration, he was was very keen on making sure the proceeds go directly towards the establishment of the scholarship,” Bass said.