Lawrence student ‘Aces’ essay

Published 11:37 am Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ace of Ahoskie Manager Brian Hedspeth (front row, at right) presents a $500 gift card to Lawrence Academy student Hallie Corbett for her second place essay in the Ace Helping Hands Contest. Joining in the presentation are (from left) Lawrence Academy Interim Headmaster Dr. Ed Clouse, Ace Assistant Manager Roy Sharpe and Ace Assistant Manager Kim Cribb. Staff Photo by Thadd White

MERRY HILL – Ace Hardware prides itself in being a “helpful place.”

One local school found out just how helpful recently.

Lawrence Academy in Merry Hill won $500 as part of the Ace Helpful Hands campaign.

The local independent school participated in the Ace Helpful Hands campaign which was launched last spring to identify 50 high schools – one in every state for a $2,000 paint makeover from Ace.

Thanks to an essay submitted by junior Hallie Corbett, Lawrence finished second in North Carolina during the campaign and was awarded a $500 gift card to be used for improvements to the school.

Thanks to the generosity of Ace Hardware in Ahoskie, that amount was matched by the local store, giving the Bertie County-based school $1,000 towards their project.

Lawrence Interim Headmaster Dr. Ed Clouse found out about the contest and chose Corbett to submit the essay to help the school earn the award that will provide a fresh coat of paint in the school’s hallways.

“It’s something that I’ve wanted to see happen since I arrived at Lawrence, but there have been other priorities that kept it from happening,” Dr. Clouse said. “This seemed like a good way for us to get help in providing an even better environment with new paint.”

For her part, Corbett said she was excited to have written one of the best essays in North Carolina and to have helped her school.

“It feels good,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the halls painted. I think clean, fresh surroundings will help everyone do better.”

And it was that sentiment that helped lead Ace to choose her essay as she described those same feelings in her submission.

“I am very proud of my school,” Corbett wrote. “Our parents take pride in our school campus, however, they can’t always afford to make necessary school improvements.

“Our school budget doesn’t always include money for beautification projects,” she continued. “I would love to see the halls of our buildings painted as well as one wall of our gymnasium.”

Corbett went on to say that she spent six hours daily in the school and even more during the time she competes as an athlete.

“Fresh paint makes everything seem new,” she wrote. “Starting a new year with the hallways and the gym wall painted would encourage students to take pride in their school. This will foster good citizenship and a great learning environment.”

Her words helped Ace choose Lawrence as the second place finisher in the contest, something that local Ace Hardware officials were pleased about.

“It’s fantastic to have one of our local schools be acknowledged for their efforts,” said Ahoskie Ace Hardware Manager Brian Hedspeth. “We’re honored to have them recognized.”

Assistant Manager Roy Sharpe agreed.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “We did notify some schools in the area, but we’re not sure who ended up participating. It is great that part of the money came back into our local community.”

Because it was a local school that was honored, Ace in Ahoskie decided to add an additional $500 gift card to help with the project.

Ace owner Jamie Johnson said he wanted to give more help to the school.

“We appreciate that Dr. Clouse and Lawrence took time to enter this contest and that we’re designated as their local store,” Johnson said. “They established a need and to us it is a good way we can give back to the community and know it’s going to a worthwhile cause.”

Dr. Clouse said the school appreciated the generosity of Ace.

“The original $500 would have been a good start to do what we need,” Dr. Clouse said. “It’s an unexpected blessing to have it matched locally. I can’t say enough about the generosity Ace has towards local schools and the community in general.”