Groundbreaking held for Rube and Hester MCCray Memorial Alumni & Training Center at Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

November 18, 2019

McRay Alumni & Training Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

Lake Waccamaw, NC – On Oct. 12, a group of Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina alumni and friends gathered on the Lake Waccamaw campus for a special groundbreaking ceremony.

“A lot of us are who we are because of the people we are recognizing with this building we’re breaking ground on today,” said B&GH President and alumnus Gary Faircloth. “The Rube and Hester McCray Memorial Alumni & Training Center is meant to pay respects in remembrance of the folks who have been so special in our lives.”

Founder and first director A.D. Peacock hired Rube McCray as the first full time director of what was then Boys Home.

“A.D. Peacock founded this organization to make a difference in the lives of children while also running a funeral home full time,” said Faircloth. “His work will be recognized with a founder’s wall inside the building, demonstrating the impact he had on the lives of children. We are grateful for all that he did and his decision to bring in Rube and Hester McCray to continue his vision to serve vulnerable children.”

Peacock’s daughter-in-law Peggy Peacock continues both aspects of the family tradition, serving on the B&GH Board of Trustees and running Peacock Funeral Home & Crematory in Whiteville with her sons Kyle and Craig.

McCray and his wife Hester lived on the campus to provide leadership for the programs for abused and neglected children.

“Rube McCray’s name and Mrs. McCray’s name on this alumni center is so appropriate,” said Jerry Parrish, the first graduate of Boys Home and the fundraising chair for the project. “They collectively saved the lives of hundreds of young men who have gone on to become very successful. Some who have even returned to the Home.”

The center will be the completion of a dream shared by Parrish and several other alumni.

“For many years the alumni of Boys and Girls Homes have talked about having a place where we could display pictures, plaques, remembrances, and just a place that we could come by and go to visit and relive and ponder our past,” Parrish said. “We’ve looked for this facility for many years… a place where we can revisit the critical time in our lives when we needed someone to love us and care for us. We hope it will be a place where our stories can encourage and inspire our current residents. We also want it to be a place to connect former B&GH residents with our current residents. That time is close at hand.”

More than 90 donors contributed to this dream, providing more than 400 gifts to raise more than $170,000 for this memorial project.

“This project was one of the first projects introduced in our comprehensive capital campaign,” said B&GH Vice President for Development Ray Cockrell. “We never questioned who we wanted to lead this effort. Jerry Parrish took this project and put together a phenomenal team. That team and the centers of influence our alumni have made this happen.”

Official construction is slated to begin in early spring with a completion date expected within a year.

About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. B&GH offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 vulnerable children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by B&GH at any given time. B&GH operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. B&GH is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.

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