Seagrove Potters Help Raise Thousands for Local Charities

SEAGROVE, NC – The generosity of Seagrove potters has helped raise countless dollars for local charities over the years, including thousands of dollars in the past month for the First Health Hospice Foundation of Moore County, the North Carolina Friends of the Zoo and the North Carolina Pottery Center.

Nearly twice a week someone with a clipboard or flier approaches a Seagrove potter, asking for a donation for their cause. More often than not, they leave with a handmade work of art to raise money at auction. Requests for contributions come by mail, e-mail and phone, as well as, in person. Everything from school fall fundraisers, fire department dinners and churches trying to raise funds for someone who is suffering a disaster use pottery donations to help generate money.

“Potter’s are generally good people. We try to be good citizens and support our community,” said Frank Neef, vice-president of the Seagrove Area Potters Association. ”Many potters gave a piece of work to all three events. You would be hard pressed to find a single potter in Seagrove that hasn’t donated their work to one of many good causes. The generosity of our community of potters makes me very proud.”

Last month, three major fundraising events took place during the same week that used a pottery auction as a key component to their efforts. The First Health Hospice Foundation of Moore County has relied on the Seagrove potters since 1996 to provide work for its annual event. At the September 24 fundraiser, pottery by Will McCanless, Frank Neef, Fred Johnson, Carol Gentithes and many more Seagrove potters helped to raise several thousand dollars to support Hospice and palliative care for patients in Moore and Montgomery counties. To date the Hospice Pottery Auction has raise $1.6 million in net proceeds.

“Zoo To Do,” the major annual fundraiser for the North Carolina Friends of the Zoo was held September 26. Seagrove potters contributed many pieces of art for both a silent and live auctions. The works of Phil Morgan, Donna Craven, Michael and Levi Mahan, and Eck McCanless alone brought in over $12,000 to help fund programs at the NC Zoo.

The North Carolina Pottery Center held its annual “Going, Going, Gone” pottery auction September 26 at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Raleigh. This auction is supported by potters from all over the state, but Seagrove was more than well represented, with 32 potters contributing work for both the live and silent auctions. The pottery of Daniel and Kate Johnston, Ben Owens III, Chad Brown, David Stuempfle, and Pam, Vernon and Travis Owens of Jugtown raised over $7,500, half of the amount raised from Seagrove potters, to support the pottery center’s efforts to promote public awareness and appreciation of the history, heritage and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina.

The Seagrove Area Potters Association (SAPA) is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote, publicize and market the Seagrove Area Pottery Community and its tradition; to develop partnerships within the community with civic, cultural and governmental organizations; to develop and implement programs such as the upcoming Celebration of Seagrove Potters, November 20-22, 2015 and activities for the membership and to develop educational events and activities that assist in promoting the Seagrove Area Pottery Community.

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