Hurricane Dorian hit the North Carolina coast during the week of Labor Day, impacting millions of people.
One of the areas most impacted by Dorian was Ocracoke, a small town of about 500 people on the southern end of Ocracoke Island, that was forced to evacuate entirely. While residents are able to head back to Ocracoke, the island remains still greatly damaged, which closes it to tourists.
One building in particular that was damaged on Ocracoke Island is Ocracoke High School. In a time of giving thanks, Person High School athletic director Jeremy Clayton and head men’s basketball coach Charles Dacus decided to reach out to Ocracoke’s athletic director and invite the Dolphins to Roxboro to participate in The Courier-Times Classic this weekend.
“[Coach] Dacus and I were looking for a fourth team to participate in the Thanksgiving Classic,” said Clayton. “This was about the time that Dorian devastated Ocracoke Island.”
Ocracoke is traveling to Roxboro for the tournament, and Clayton wanted to do something a little extra for the a team and a school still trying to recover from the natural disaster just months earlier.
“I contacted their athletic director and explained to him that we wanted to do something to help. We invited them to participate in the tournament at no charge. We raised the money to pay for their hotel rooms.” The staff at Brookland Eats donated dinner to the Ocracoke women’s basketball team for Friday night. Golden Corral has agreed to provide breakfast for Ocracoke on Saturday.
For a weekend, Person County will feel like a second home for members of the Ocracoke School women’s basketball team.
“I have contacted Margaret McMann, and she is putting together welcome bags for them, as well as having a banner made that they will have outside the welcome center,” said Clayton. “I went by the chamber and got the Roxboro magazine for each of them. Stephanie Grey at Madison Market Place is going to put together a small welcome gift for each of the girls as well.”
“Ocracoke is way out there,” said Jay Carmichael, the head women’s basketball coach at Person High School. “They’re traveling the distance to come here. Being that it’s around Thanksgiving and the holidays, we wanted to help Ocracoke out. Our invitation is a big thank you, an early Christmas present. At a time when Ocracoke really needs some positivity in their lives, we at Person High School want to give them that.”
While Ocracoke High School’s women’s basketball team will look to come away with the tournament title this weekend, they will definitely come away with a few more friends.