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Roper agency to get funding

By Staff
Golden LEAF awards $3.2 million in total
By PETER WILLIAMS, Managing Editor
A Washington County agency will get $250,000 as part of a package of $3.2 million in grants provided by the Rocky Mount-based Golden LEAF Foundation.
Windows On The World is to use its $250,000 to train workers at 15 eastern North Carolina clinics in the use of electronic health records and to perform billing duties.
WOW is a technology center designed to teach computer literacy and open up the world of the Internet to Washington County residents who might otherwise not have those opportunities. It is based in Roper.
Dorenda Gatling, WOW’s chief executive officer, would not be available for comment until after the holidays, according to a receptionist at the WOW office in Roper.
The funding decision was made at a Golden LEAF board meeting earlier this month in Edenton. Nine grants were awarded. The money goes to public infrastructure improvements, job training and a statewide education program for science, technology, math and engineering.
Since its founding in 1999, Golden LEAF has awarded more than $239 million in grants to help North Carolina’s tobacco-dependent communities find new ways to prosper.
Hertford County was the largest recipient of the recent grants at $2 million. That included $1.3 million to fund an early college/high school program at Roanoke-Chowan Community College, $250,000 for a recreation program and $360,000 to help train health workers for Roanoke-Chowan Hospital.
N.C. State University also received $360,000 for a science program, and UNC-TV got $212,000 to fund a 12-part series on economic development. A Rocky Mount-based employment project received $3,500, Columbus County got $150,000 for the revitalization of an industrial park and the town of Elkin got $200,000 for a water tank.
The foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The foundation receives one half of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting economically-distressed or tobacco-dependent communities across the state.
In addition to awarding the new grants, the Golden LEAF board held elections and named J. Thomas Bunn as the foundation’s new chairman. Bunn works with the Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corporation in Raleigh and has served on the Golden LEAF board since its inception.