Each fall, as she flips her calendar to November, Harvey Wooten sees the four dates she circled nearly a year prior and smiles, knowing the time has come for another PCC Foundation Down East Holiday Show.
As someone who loves Christmas and shopping, it’s easy to understand why the Holiday Show is her favorite shopping excursion each year. In fact, she loves the event so much that she sponsors its Thursday opener, an adult-only night of shopping that she suggested more than a decade ago.
An eastern North Carolina native who’s lived in Greenville since 1979, Wooten views the Holiday Show as a win-win-win situation: she gets to shop, someone receives a nice Christmas present from her that she purchased during the show, and the PCC Foundation receives money for student scholarships.
Wooten’s support for education and her community also includes an endowed scholarship with the PCC Foundation for students studying Fine Arts, another one of her passions.
In this month’s edition of “Foundation for Success,” we caught up with Ms. Wooten to learn more about her and her support of higher education and the PCC Foundation …
Q. Where we you born and raised?
Wooten: “I was born and raised in Kinston, N.C., and graduated from Grainger High School in 1964. I am so proud to call Kinston my hometown!”
Q. Tell us a little about your educational background …
Wooten: “I attended East Carolina University in the 1980s, taking many psychology, French and nutrition classes.
The one class at PCC that I enrolled in was a computer class, in hopes of learning how to use a computer. I was lost!
On the third day, I learned that the class was a programming class. No wonder I was lost!”
Q. Tell us a little about your family …
Wooten: “My family business, L. Harvey & Son in Kinston, N.C., has been in business since 1871. It is the longest family-owned business in North Carolina.
I have two sons – Bob, 58 (Donna), and Bryan, 54 (LuAnn) – and four grandchildren: Max (25), Elizabeth (23), Parker (23) and Peyton (20). They call me ‘GaGa!’”
Q. What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Wooten: “My favorite hobbies are reading, gardening, collecting art and craft projects. In 2019, my friend, Christine, and I had a booth in the Down East Holiday Show selling pieces of art that I created from vintage and unique jewelry. What fun!”
Q. What is one thing most people wouldn’t know about you but would find interesting?
Wooten: “I can’t make soup. I can’t play ‘Uno.’ But I make a mean corn pudding!”
Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received and why?
Wooten: “My mother gave me one of the best pieces of advice: ‘just be yourself.’ This piece of advice works in every aspect of life.”
Q. In your words, what is the value of higher education?
Wooten: “Higher education opens doors in life. And what better way to start than at PCC.”
Q. In your words, what is the value of Pitt Community College to Pitt County and the region?
Wooten: “PCC gives students from any walk of life the opportunity to receive an affordable education, no matter in what field of study.”
Q. How long have you been contributing to the PCC Foundation, and why is it important to you to support the organization?
Wooten: “Ever since the very first Down East Holiday Show, I tried to be the very first person in the door – and many times I was!
I was so proud when they asked me to participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the show. My interest in the show led to a suggestion of an ‘Adults-Only Thursday’ shopping event. I currently sponsor that event, and it has proven to be quite a success.
Due to my love of art and artists, it seemed appropriate to endow a Fine Arts Scholarship at PCC. This has been very gratifying to me.”
Q. If someone you know was thinking about supporting the PCC Foundation, what would you say to encourage him or her?
Wooten: “Find an area of interest to you and support it however you can.”