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WoodmenLife fund connects with Pink Hill bridge project

The generosity of a WoodmenLife sales representative will help Pink Hill Elementary School rebuild a hurricane-damaged footbridge needed to connect the school’s main campus to its playground.

Five people mimic working on a wooden footbridge. When Lynn Hill of Kinston qualified for an incentive program with the life insurance company, she also received $500 that could be put toward a service project with a community partner. Hill chose Pink Hill Elementary, with which she has a long-standing relationship through Woodmen member and fourth-grade teacher Brenda Griffin, and school principal Lee Anne Hardy welcomed the funds for the bridge project.

The wooden bridge suffered significant damage during Hurricane Florence in 2017 and has since deteriorated to the point it has been unusable this school year. The floor of the bridge has been removed and yellow caution tap laces across its entrance and exit. Without the bridge, students don’t have access to the space where they play organized sports like kickball and softball and where the school stages large events like its annual Field Day.

The $500 donation, made available as part of WoodmenLife’s Giving Together Program, will literally provide the foundation for reconstruction of the 170-foot-long bridge.

“Giving Together is a fraternal pilot program that gives WoodmenLife sales representatives, recruiting sales managers and regional directors the opportunity to conduct a pre-approved community service project with members and prospective members as long as certain criteria are met,” Hill explained.

Funds are capped at $500 per project and can be used in one of three ways: clean-up, community beautification or painting. Pink Hill qualified as a beautification project.

Because the Giving Together program is in its first year, Hill said she was surprised her incentive award opened the door to the $500 donation. Likewise, Griffin said she was surprised to get a text from Hill asking how the donation could help the school.

“I was surprised and delighted,” Principal Hardy said.

The school is currently accumulating building materials and organizing labor support, according to Hardy. The work funded by Hill’s donation is to be completed by the end of September.

Photo caption:

WoodmenLife sales representative Lynn Hill, foreground, and staffers from Pink Hill Elementary School get a feel for what it will take to rebuild the wooden footbridge that connects the school’s main campus to its playground. A $500 award provided by Hill through WoodmenLife’s Giving Together Program will fund replacement of the bridge’s foundation, damaged in Hurricane Florence. From Pink Hill Elementary are, from left, teachers Walter Upthegrove, Chris Radford and Brenda Griffin and principal Lee Anne Hardy.