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Greater Fayetteville Chamber reception celebrates the 'Can-Do Six'

By Savanah Ramsey, posted 4 months ago

The Greater Fayetteville Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee held the Can Do Thank You Reception for the Cumberland County legislative delegation yesterday. 
The event was held in honor of the work that the members of delegation, Sen. Kirk deViere, Rep. John Szoka, Rep. Diane Wheatley, Rep. William O. Richardson, Rep. Marvin W. Lucas, and Sen. Ben Clark did to bring $412 million dollars to Cumberland County from the state budget – a historic allocation to the area. 

“Everyone needs to realize that we have an opportunity to hear from all of these people, about why they do what they do,” President and CEO of the Greater Fayetteville Chamber Shari Fiveash explained. “This is an opportunity to share what can be done when you work together. Put aside your differences and alliances to work together to make a difference.”

In order to make this momentous investment happen, each member of the delegation put their differences aside to work together.

The delegation agreed that, if it weren’t for the support from the community that elected them and the cooperation and shared love of the region and desire to see it thrive, bringing back $412M would not be possible. 

“It’s not us that should be thanked tonight. It is this community. It’s y’all,” Richardson said. “We were merely reflections of the care and love of this community.” 

Richardson said the process in Raleigh reminded him of something he heard from the movie, “The American President” – that sometimes “we are so busy trying to keep our job that we forget to do our job.” Not the case here, he said. Gesturing to the other members of the delegation, he said that the group courageously trusted each other to prioritize the community. “There are your heroes,” he said. 

Clark pointed out that, when people run for political office, the same points of interest normally come up: education, healthcare and bringing jobs back to the community. But when it comes to talking about the capability to meet needs through the allocation from the state budget “rarely, do we campaign on that stuff,” he said. 

“There was a lot of pressure for various aspects,” stated Sen. Clark. “But at the end of the day we knew we had the opportunity to make a substantial change in our community.” 

By making this change in the community the delegation showcased that it is possible to become a unit in a way that is hardly noticed in politics.

“We have the most cohesive unit,” explained Rep. Lucas. “We want to continue our work, we can not rest on our laurels.” 

This group effort did not come about by accident. It took hard work, the support of spouses, and the love for the community to bring the resources they have to Cumberland County.

“We invested in people. We invested in the fabric of this community,” deViere said. 

With morale high, the “Can-Do Six,” as George Breece called them,  look to continue their relentless efforts and bring more resources back to where it is needed.

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