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Eastern 4-H Center’s On the Dock of the Bay Fundraiser Goes Virtual

dock on the water

Columbia, NC is a quiet community in rural, eastern North Carolina – a place where boating, fishing, hunting and farming create a lifestyle that is wholesome and relaxed. It is place where youth from across the state flock every summer to find adventure outdoors in the safe and welcoming space of the Eastern 4-H Center.

Located on Bulls Bay, just off of the Albemarle Sound, the Eastern 4-H Center is a special place for many in the 4-H family.

“Hundreds of youth have passed through this camp every year for the last 20 years,” said Dave Herpy, NC 4-H camping specialist for NC State Extension, noting that no NC 4-H camps hosted campers last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “so the center is special to them. But the local community also celebrates this center, as it has brought jobs and tourism to the area as well,” he said.

As the Eastern 4-H Center prepares to welcome campers back to modified camp operations in June, 4-H camps staff and the community surrounding the center are rallying to make summer 2021 one of the best. While the work has been ongoing, preparations truly come to fruition on May 1, when the center hosts its annual On the Dock of the Bay fundraising event. 

On the Dock of the Bay is an eagerly awaited night of entertainment and socializing in Eastern NC. “It is such a great event,” said Herpy. “Our guests enjoy fresh seafood, produce and delicious desserts – you can imagine dancing on the boardwalk while the sun is setting while great music plays. On the Dock of the Bay is just a great night.”

While COVID precautions led event planners to make this year’s event virtual, its impact as a fundraiser remains vital.

“We look forward to hosting even more individuals to this year’s On the Dock of the Bay event. We have several honored speakers who will address our participants and some wonderful musical entertainment lined up, including former NC 4-H’er and Nashville recording artist Paige King Johnson,” Herpy said. Participants also have the chance to win a pair of emerald earrings valued at $800.

Tickets and sponsorships for Dock of the Bay are on sale through April 30.