Opportunity is knocking

Published 9:02 am Friday, August 14, 2009

Opportunity is what all rural communities strive for and finally it has come knocking, most recently, in Northampton County.

Representatives with the Golden LEAF Foundation are just beginning the process with the citizens of Northampton County and what exiting time it is. Hopes and dreams abound and now those have a chance to become reality.

Up to $2 million in non-competitive funds will be invested in the county through the organization’s Community Assistance Initiative program.

Golden LEAF, based in Rocky Mount, was set up to replace the wealth that was lost when tobacco farming began to recede and cigarette manufacturers began to decline. North Carolina’s share of the Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers funds the non-profit organization which has a goal to help improve the economic conditions of tobacco-dependant and economically distressed counties (Tier I) like Northampton.

The organization’s name may look familiar as it has already funded projects in Hertford, Bertie and Gates counties.

As the process unfolds, it is vital for citizens to attend meetings or voice their wishes to those who can attend. Public involvement is key. And believe it or not, Golden LEAF representatives want to hear your opinions in those meetings.

Golden LEAF President Dan Gerlach made it clear from the start that one of the objectives is to create a sustainable relationship in order for the organization to come back and help the community through other programs.

When opportunity knocks we should willingly and graciously open the door.